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Genesis 1 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Story of Creation

In the beginning God
created the heavens
    and the earth.[a]
The earth was barren,
    with no form of life;[b]
it was under a roaring ocean
    covered with darkness.
But the Spirit of God[c]
    was moving over the water.

The First Day

God said, “I command light to shine!” And light started shining. God looked at the light and saw that it was good. He separated light from darkness and named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening came and then morning—that was the first day.[d]

The Second Day

God said, “I command a dome to separate the water above it from the water below it.” And that’s what happened. God made the dome and named it “Sky.” Evening came and then morning—that was the second day.

The Third Day

God said, “I command the water under the sky to come together in one place, so there will be dry ground.” And that’s what happened. 10 God named the dry ground “Land,” and he named the water “Ocean.” God looked at what he had done and saw that it was good.

11 God said, “I command the earth to produce all kinds of plants, including fruit trees and grain.” And that’s what happened. 12 The earth produced all kinds of vegetation. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 13 Evening came and then morning—that was the third day.

The Fourth Day

14 God said, “I command lights to appear in the sky and to separate day from night and to show the time for seasons, special days, and years. 15 I command them to shine on the earth.” And that’s what happened. 16 God made two powerful lights, the brighter one to rule the day and the other[e] to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17 Then God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth, 18 to rule day and night, and to separate light from darkness. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 19 Evening came and then morning—that was the fourth day.

The Fifth Day

20 God said, “I command the ocean to be full of living creatures, and I command birds to fly above the earth.” 21 So God made the giant sea monsters and all the living creatures that swim in the ocean. He also made every kind of bird. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 22 Then he gave the living creatures his blessing—he told the ocean creatures to live everywhere in the ocean and the birds to live everywhere on earth. 23 Evening came and then morning—that was the fifth day.

The Sixth Day

24 God said, “I command the earth to give life to all kinds of tame animals, wild animals, and reptiles.” And that’s what happened. 25 God made every one of them. Then he looked at what he had done, and it was good.

26 God said, “Now we will make humans, and they will be like us. We will let them rule the fish, the birds, and all other living creatures.”

27 So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. 28 God gave them his blessing and said:

Have a lot of children! Fill the earth with people and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the ocean, the birds in the sky, and every animal on the earth.

29 I have provided all kinds of fruit and grain for you to eat. 30 And I have given the green plants as food for everything else that breathes. These will be food for animals, both wild and tame, and for birds.

31 God looked at what he had done. All of it was very good! Evening came and then morning—that was the sixth day.

Footnotes:

  1. 1.1 the heavens and the earth: “The heavens and the earth” stood for the universe.
  2. 1.1,2 In. . . life: Or “When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was barren with no form of life.”
  3. 1.2 the Spirit of God: Or “a mighty wind.”
  4. 1.5 the first day: A day was measured from evening to evening.
  5. 1.16 the brighter. . . the other: The sun and the moon. But they are not called by their names, because in Old Testament times some people worshiped the sun and the moon as though they were gods.

Genesis 1 New International Version (NIV)

The Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 1:26 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see Syriac); Masoretic Text the earth
New International Version (NIV)

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