Homilies on Genesis and Exodus

By Origen; Ronald E. Heine | Go to book overview

HOMILY I

IN THE BEGINNING GOD MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH.1 What is the beginning of all things except our Lord and "Savior of all," Jesus Christ"the firstborn of every creature"?2 In this beginning, therefore, that is, in his Word, "God made heaven and earth" as the evangelist John also says in the beginning of his Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him and without him nothing was made."3 Scripture is not speaking here of any temporal beginning,4 but it says that the heaven and the earth and all things which were made were made "in the beginning," that is, in the Savior.

"And the earth was invisible and disordered and darkness was upon the abyss, and the spirit of God moved over the waters."5"The earth was invisible and disordered" before God said: "Let there be light," and before he divided the light from the darkness, as the order of the account shows.6 But since in the words which follow he orders the firmament to come into existence and calls this heaven, when we come to that place the reason for the difference between heaven and the firmament will be explained there and also why the firmament was called heaven. But now the text says: "Darkness was upon the abyss."7 What is "the abyss"? That place, of course, where "the devil

____________________
1
Gn 1.1.
2
1 Tm 4.10; Col 1.15.
3
Jn 1.1-3.
4
Philo Op. 7.26-28, too rejected a chronological meaning for "in the beginning" in Gn 1.1.
5
Gn 1.2.
6
Gn 1.3.
7
Gn 1.2.

-47-

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