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The Message
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Heaven and Earth

1–2  First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

3–5  God spoke: “Light!”

And light appeared.

God saw that light was good

and separated light from dark.

God named the light Day,

he named the dark Night.

It was evening, it was morning—

Day One.

6–8  God spoke: “Sky! In the middle of the waters;

separate water from water!”

God made sky.

He separated the water under sky

from the water above sky.

And there it was:

he named sky the Heavens;

It was evening, it was morning—

Day Two.

9–10  God spoke: “Separate!

Water-beneath-Heaven, gather into one place;

Land, appear!”

And there it was.

God named the land Earth.

He named the pooled water Ocean.

God saw that it was good.

11–13  God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties

of seed-bearing plants,

Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.”

And there it was.

Earth produced green seed-bearing plants,

all varieties,

And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.

God saw that it was good.

It was evening, it was morning—

Day Three.

14–15  God spoke: “Lights! Come out!

Shine in Heaven’s sky!

Separate Day from Night.

Mark seasons and days and years,

Lights in Heaven’s sky to give light to Earth.”

And there it was.

16–19  God made two big lights, the larger

to take charge of Day,

The smaller to be in charge of Night;

and he made the stars.

God placed them in the heavenly sky

to light up Earth

And oversee Day and Night,

to separate light and dark.

God saw that it was good.

It was evening, it was morning—

Day Four.

20–23  God spoke: “Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life!

Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!”

God created the huge whales,

all the swarm of life in the waters,

And every kind and species of flying birds.

God saw that it was good.

God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Ocean!

Birds, reproduce on Earth!”

It was evening, it was morning—

Day Five.

24–25  God spoke: “Earth, generate life! Every sort and kind:

cattle and reptiles and wild animals—all kinds.”

And there it was:

wild animals of every kind,

Cattle of all kinds, every sort of reptile and bug.

God saw that it was good.

26–28  God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them

reflecting our nature

So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,

the birds in the air, the cattle,

And, yes, Earth itself,

and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”

God created human beings;

he created them godlike,

Reflecting God’s nature.

He created them male and female.

God blessed them:

“Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!

Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,

for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”

29–30  Then God said, “I’ve given you

every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth

And every kind of fruit-bearing tree,

given them to you for food.

To all animals and all birds,

everything that moves and breathes,

I give whatever grows out of the ground for food.”

And there it was.

31  God looked over everything he had made;

it was so good, so very good!

It was evening, it was morning—

Day Six.

The Message

About The Message

Many people assume that a book about a holy God should sound elevated, stately, and ceremonial. If this is how you’ve always viewed the Bible, you’re about to make a surprising discovery. The Message brings the life-changing power of the New Testament, the vibrant passion of the Psalms, and the rich, practical wisdom of Proverbs into easy-to-read modern language that echoes the rhythm and idioms of the original Greek and Hebrew. Written in the same kind of language you’d use to talk with friends, write a letter, or discuss politics, The Message preserves the authentic, earthy flavor and the expressive character of the Bible’s best-loved books. Whether you’ve been reading the Bible for years or are exploring it for the first time, The Message will startle and surprise you. And it will allow you to experience firsthand the same power and directness that motivated its original readers to change the course of history so many centuries ago.

Copyright

Copyright 2005 Eugene H. Peterson.

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