In The Beginning

October 23rd, 2013

In The Beginning

- Genesis 1:1 -

In The Beginning

The opening statement of the Bible: Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” is probably the most famous line ever written. But besides famous, it is also perhaps the most profound statement ever made.

The letter Beth

The name of the letter beth, bayit (bayit 241), means house in the sense of a building, but also household; wife and children. This word also serves to mean House Of The Lord, or Temple. As preposition the letter means ‘in’. As such it is the first letter of the Bible.
-From our article on the Hebrew Alphabet.

‘In The Beginning God Created The Heavens And The Earth’ argues God’s nature as Creator, proves God’s ownership of creation, and makes the astounding, utterly extraordinary confession of an Author who seeks to address that which he has written. The opening line of Genesis constitutes a philosophical storm such as there never was or will be again. It states core identities. It explains all essence. And it contains the greatest promise ever made, that God is intimate and seeks intimacy.

Not a single line in all of literature is so rich in meaning, so connected with everything else as this famous phrase, and just like the way Jesus compressed the entire Law and the Prophets with “love the Lord with all your heart and mind, and your neighbor like yourself,” so may the opening line of Genesis be compressed into its initial letter, the letter beth, meaning ‘house’ or ‘household’ (as in Beth-lehem; house of bread). From this singular idea of a House (consisting of God and His Bride), the entire Bible Big-Bangs forward, to meet its purpose in Christ and the Body of Christ:

…you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house…
- 1 Peter 2:5

The first word of the Bible is In The Beginning (reshit 2097e), first, beginning, best. The meaning of ‘best’ allows us an insight of how the Hebrews viewed a collection of things. That what came first may be called In The Beginning but just as well whatever comes out on top; that which is best, and leading in the sense of quality rather than chronology. This sheds light on the first line of the Bible, because not only does it state that God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning of everything, but also that He created everything in its finest moment!

The word In The Beginning occurs at the following locations:

The first word of the Bible is an extension of the word In The Beginning (rosh 2097), which denotes pretty much anything that comes first: head, top, upper part, chief, total, sum. And by the usage of ‘sum’ we learn that a In The Beginning not simply denotes whatever comes first or whatever is highest, but rather that which represents whatever follows. The word In The Beginning contains the entire set of what it is the chief of.

This is highly remarkable because as good as every usage of In The Beginning is in one form or another applied to Christ:

Psalm 118:22
The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone (by Jesus applied to Himself in Mat 21:42).

Eph 2:19-22
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been put upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord in whom you are also being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

Eph 5:23
Christ […] is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.

1 Cor 15:20, 23
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who are asleep.

Isaiah and others speak of the Mountain of the Lord which will exist above and beyond any other mountain. The obvious summit of this Mountain is Jesus Christ.

Another remarkable occurrence of In The Beginning is in Psalm 119:160, where it says, “The In The Beginning of Thy Word is truth.”

All things considered it becomes even more profound when Paul writes,

And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him all things were created […]; all things have been created by (or rather through) Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.

- Col 1:15-18 (abridged)
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