Chapter 1: Creation
According to these Jews, the universe in which we find ourselves consists of the “heavens and the earth,” which came into existence “in the beginning” at the command of one God, the all-powerful Creator (Gen. 1:1). As the one who made the heavens and the earth and everything in them, this God is also the one who owns the creation, who determines its purpose, who has ultimate authority over it, and who decides what may or may not be done in it. When God first made the world, he was very pleased with what he had made. Everything was in its proper order and arrangement according to his will, and everything worked as it was meant to work. There was no violence or disease, and there was no disorder or death. Everything was good in God’s sight. Although God took delight in all of his creation, he was especially pleased with humanity, whom he created uniquely to enjoy a special relationship with him, to serve and worship him as priests, and to represent him on the earth as delegated authorities. God placed the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, in a beautiful place called the Garden of Eden, from where they were to multiply and fill the earth. In the beginning, all was well. In the opening chapter of the story, then, we encounter a world full of life, goodness, and abundance, and a creation free of evil, death, and decay.