New International Reader's Version

Genesis 1

The Beginning

1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth didn’t have any shape. And it was empty. There was darkness over the surface of the waves. At that time, the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. God saw that the light was good. He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day.” He called the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning. It was day one.

God said, “Let there be a huge space between the waters. Let it separate water from water.” And that’s exactly what happened. God made the huge space between the waters. He separated the water under the space from the water above it. God called the huge space “sky.” There was evening, and there was morning. It was day two.

God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place. Let dry ground appear.” And that’s exactly what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land.” He called all the water that was gathered together “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce plants. Let them produce their own seeds. And let there be trees on the land that grow fruit with seeds in it. Let each kind of plant or tree have its own kind of seeds.” And that’s exactly what happened. 12 So the land produced plants. Each kind of plant had its own kind of seeds. And the land produced trees that grew fruit with seeds in it. Each kind of tree had its own kind of seeds. God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening, and there was morning. It was day three.

14 God said, “Let there be lights in the huge space of the sky. Let them separate the day from the night. Let the lights set the times for the holy celebrations and the days and the years. 15 Let them be lights in the huge space of the sky to give light on the earth.” And that’s exactly what happened. 16 God made two great lights. He made the larger light to rule over the day and the smaller light to rule over the night. He also made the stars. 17 God put the lights in the huge space of the sky to give light on the earth. 18 He put them there to rule over the day and the night. He put them there to separate light from darkness. God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening, and there was morning. It was day four.

20 God said, “Let the seas be filled with living things. Let birds fly above the earth across the huge space of the sky.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures. He created every kind of living thing that fills the seas and moves about in them. He created every kind of bird that flies. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them. He said, “Have little ones so that there will be many of you. Fill the water in the seas. Let there be more and more birds on the earth.” 23 There was evening, and there was morning. It was day five.

24 God said, “Let the land produce every kind of living creature. Let there be livestock, and creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals.” And that’s exactly what happened. 25 God made every kind of wild animal. He made every kind of livestock. He made every kind of creature that moves along the ground. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings so that they are like us. Let them rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Let them rule over the livestock and all the wild animals. And let them rule over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created human beings in his own likeness.
    He created them to be like himself.
    He created them as male and female.

28 God blessed them. He said to them, “Have children so that there will be many of you. Fill the earth and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Rule over every living creature that moves along the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I am giving you every plant on the face of the whole earth that produces its own seeds. I am giving you every tree that has fruit with seeds in it. All of them will be given to you for food. 30 I am giving every green plant as food for all the land animals and for all the birds in the sky. I am also giving the plants to all the creatures that move along the ground. I am giving them to every living thing that breathes.” And that’s exactly what happened.

31 God saw everything he had made. And it was very good. There was evening, and there was morning. It was day six.

Amplified Bible

Genesis 1

The Creation

1In the beginning God ([a]Elohim) [b]created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth. The earth was [c]formless and void or a waste and emptiness, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [primeval ocean that covered the unformed earth]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters. And God said, [d]“Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good (pleasing, useful) and [e]He affirmed and sustained it; and God separated the light [distinguishing it] from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was [f]evening and there was [g]morning, one day.

And God said, “Let there be an [h]expanse [of the sky] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters [below the expanse] from the waters [above the expanse].” And God made the expanse [of sky] and separated the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so [just as He commanded]. God called the expanse [of sky] heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place [of standing, pooling together], and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that this was good (pleasing, useful) and He affirmed and sustained it. 11 So God said, “Let the earth sprout [tender] [i]vegetation, [j]plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit according to (limited to, consistent with) their kind, whose seed is in them upon the earth”; and it was so. 12 The earth sprouted and abundantly produced vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, according to their kind; and God saw that it was good and He affirmed and sustained it. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

14 Then God said, “Let there be light-bearers (sun, moon, stars) in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be useful for signs (tokens) [of God’s provident care], and for marking seasons, days, and years; 15 and let them be useful as lights in the expanse of the heavens to provide light on the earth”; and it was so, [just as He commanded]. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light (the sun) to rule the day, and the lesser light (the moon) to rule the night; He made the [galaxies of] stars also [that is, all the amazing wonders in the heavens]. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to provide light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good and He affirmed and sustained it. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

20 Then God said, “Let the waters swarm and abundantly produce living creatures, and let birds soar above the earth [k]in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind; and God saw that it was good and He affirmed and sustained it. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to (limited to, consistent with) their kind: livestock, crawling things, and wild animals of the earth according to their kinds”; and it was so [because He had spoken them into creation]. 25 So God made the wild animals of the earth according to their kind, and the cattle according to their kind, and everything that creeps and crawls on the earth according to its kind; and God saw that it was good (pleasing, useful) and He affirmed and sustained it.

26 Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 And God blessed them [granting them certain authority] and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate it [putting it under your power]; and rule over (dominate) the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 So God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of the entire earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that moves on the ground—to everything in which there is the breath of life—I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so [because He commanded it]. 31 God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good and He validated it completely. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 1:1 This is originally a plural form based on el (root meaning: strength), which itself is used to refer to God in compounds like El Shaddai (Almighty God). The word el is also used to refer to false gods, so the context determines whether Elohim means “God” or is better understood as “gods” (elohim).
  2. Genesis 1:1 Heb bara. Here and in 1:21, God created from nothing which is something only He can do. In 1:27, God used preexisting materials (man from the dust of the ground; Eve from Adam’s rib); each use of the word bara (“create”) must be considered in its specific context.
  3. Genesis 1:2 The Hebrew text here has two rhyming words, tohu and bohu, which have similar meanings of “wasteness” and “emptiness.” The construction is a figure of speech called hendiadys, in which two words are used together to express the same idea. The meaning is that the earth had no clearly discernible features at this point in creation but essentially was a mass of raw materials. This proves to be very important from philosophical and scientific viewpoints, because it documents the fact that the raw matter of the earth—and by extension, of the universe—did not coexist eternally with God, but was created by Him ex nihilo (Latin “out of nothing”).
  4. Genesis 1:3 This is not in the imperative mood (the ordinary grammatical form for a command), but God willed these creative events into existence. It is the voluntative mood in Hebrew. This translates, “It is My will that this happen.” English does not have the voluntative mood, which includes the jussive and cohortative forms. When “let” is used in this way, it represents a command not in the imperative mood, but rather an expression of God’s will, the jussive form. God literally commanded (willed) the world into existence.
  5. Genesis 1:4 “He affirmed and sustained it” is understood (deduced) from the context. The italic “and” alerts the reader or student of Hebrew that the word or words that follow are amplifications not found in the Hebrew text itself, but implied by it or by contextual factors.
  6. Genesis 1:5 The Hebrew word translated “evening” indicates dusk or sunset.
  7. Genesis 1:5 The Hebrew word translated “morning” indicates the time when it is getting light (dawn).
  8. Genesis 1:6 Or a firmament.
  9. Genesis 1:11 Or grass.
  10. Genesis 1:11 Or herbs.
  11. Genesis 1:20 Lit over the face of.