“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,”
Genesis appears to have been compiled, or edited, by Moses – under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – from inspired documents or family records attributed to various patriarchs in Genesis. For example, in Genesis 5:1, we read the beginning of the section ascribed to Adam, which continues until Genesis 6:8. Jonathan Sarfati has suggested that these account introductions could justifiably be read as “What followed from Adam”, etc.
The first time the phrase, referring to “generations”, appears is in Genesis 2:4.
These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
Unlike the other toledots, this one does not name a person as being responsible for it. But it is giving an account of what followed from the creation of the heavens and the earth. There are those who think that Genesis 2 gives a different creation account from that in Genesis 1. It does not. What we do see, however, from Genesis 2:4 onwards, is the creation from the perspective of the people living in it – the Garden in which God placed them, the temptation and their sin, and the subsequent multiplication of sin in chapter 4.
Genesis 1, on the other hand, is not part of a toledot. That is because it follows from nothing. It is God’s record, given directly to us, of creation from nothing, and therefore following from nothing other than the creative mind of God.
Prayer: We praise You, Lord God, our Creator, that You made everything from nothing and that You revealed Your creative work to us. Amen.
Ref: Sarfati, J. (2015), The Genesis Account, (Powder Springs, GA: CMI), pp17-19. Image: The Garden of Eden, Thomas Cole (1828), Public Domain.