Genesis Ch 1 is a step by step chapter.
The opening verse, like so many passages in scripture consists of opening statement and the rest of the section then proceeds to tell us how that statement was fulfilled. A type of newspaper headline, (though we will qualify this later). So here is a statement of intent.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Verse by verse we are told what God did until we come to Ch2:1
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
So we know that what is sandwiched between that opening and closing statement are the details of the forming of:
- The heavens
- The earth
- All the host of them (everything created in the heavens and earth).
They were finished, (same word as ended in 2:2). In the AV, all but three of the verses between the opening statement and the closing statement begin with and. In the Hebrew, every verse (including 2:1), begins with the Hebrew word waw which is equivalent to our Englishand. It is a normal Biblical method to convey a historical unfolding of events. So Genesis 1:1 is not an isolated statement but has to be taken as the opening to a series of events which will conclude with that opening statement reaching its completion.
It has unfolded a work which it states as occupying six days. But the section is not quite completed.
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. 2:2-3
So although the physical work of creation was completed in the six days, there was another element that God added to finally finish/end His work. That was to initiate a seventh day of rest. An important element in His work of creation, giving man a 7 day week as well as a pointer to that rest to come. We shall pursue this further when we come to consider the 7th day. At the end of the creation week we have all the elements necessary for God’s work of salvation to proceed, as our chart summarises.