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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

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Commentary on Genesis

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1, 1–2, 4a :

This section introduces the whole Pentateuch. It shows how God brought an orderly universe out of primordial chaos.

1, 2 :

The abyss: the primordial ocean according to the ancient Semitic cosmogony. After God's creative activity, part of this vast body forms the salt‐water seas (vv 9f ); part of it is the fresh water under the earth (Ps 33, 7; Ez 31, 4 ), which wells forth on the earth as springs and fountains (Gn 7, 11; 8, 2; Prv 3, 20 ). Part of it, “the upper water” (Ps 148, 4; Dn 3, 60 ), is held up by the dome of the sky (Gn 1, 6f ) from which rain descends on the earth (Gn 7, 11; 2 Kgs7, 2. 19; Ps 104, 13 ). A mighty wind: literally, “a wind of God,” or “a spirit of God”; cf Gn 8, 1 .

1, 5 :

In ancient Israel a day was considered to begin at sunset. According to the highly artificial literary structure of Gn 1, 1–2, 4a , God's creative activity is divided into six days to teach the sacredness of the sabbath rest on the seventh day in the Israelite religion (Gn 2, 2f ).

1, 26 :

Man is here presented as the climax of God's creative activity; he resembles God primarily because of the dominion God gives him over the rest of creation.

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