People can do anything not from nothing, but through matter. But God, in fact, surpasses people by the fact that He Himself called to the being the matter of His creation, which previously did not exist. Sainted Irenaeus of Lyons (113, 149).
As a potter, who made thousands of vessels with the same art, so he did not exhaust art or strength, so the Creator of this universe, having a creative power, not only sufficient for one world, but infinitely greater than it, brought into being all the greatness of the visible, by one wave of will (4, 6). God does not create His own creatures out of Himself, but by His activity brings them into being, just as a person doing something with his hands does not produce his own business from himself. St. Basil the Great (113, 150).
To imagine that God formed the world from a ready-made substance-this would amount to equating his creativity with human art, which always needs some substance (as, for example, a potter needs clay, a builder in brick and stone, a carpenter and a shipbuilder- in the tree, the weaver in the wool, the tanner in the skin, the painter in the paint, etc.), and do not understand the difference between man and God, not to understand that it is impossible for the image to have all that the Primordial has. Blessed Theophylact (113, 149).
It is necessary to imagine everything in God in totality: the will, wisdom, power and essence of things. If this is true, then let no one obstruct himself, seeking and inquiring about matter, as well as from where it comes, like those who say: if God is immaterial, then where does the substance come from? How did the quantitative happen from the non-quantitative, the visible from the invisible? .. To all such questions about matter, we have one answer: do not assume that the Wisdom of God is not omnipotent and His Omnipotence is not wise. On the contrary, one must hold the thought that one with another is inseparable, that both are the same, so that together with one another is seen. If, in the same God, there is wisdom and power, He could not but know how to find matter for the creation of beings, and could not but have the necessary power to realize the thought. Saint Gregory of Nyssa (113, 149).
What would be great if God created the world from the finished matter? And at us the artist, having received from someone a substance, forms from it everything. But the power of God in this case is manifested, that He produced nothing from anything that He only wished.
... God brought everything from non-existence into being, so that from His creations His greatness could be known. St. Theophilus of Antioch (Bishop Makarii (Bulgakov), pp. 14, 32).
Moses, on the mountain on the forty-day fast, sees God in charge, as it is written, and not in divination, and talks with Him, and speaks as one who talks to his friend. He is taught by God, and he teaches about Him, teaches that God is ever-present and does not depend on anything, but also does not recognize what exists as being, and from nothingness leads everything into being, and does not allow it to return to non-being, He , Which at the beginning with a wave and with a single desire produced from nothing the whole visible creation. St. Gregory Palamas (65, 69).
If everything happened by itself without Providence, as the Epicureans say, it would be necessary for everything to happen monotonously and be the same, not different; in the universe, as in a single body, everything should be the sun or the moon, and in humans the whole body should be either a hand, or an eye, or a foot. But there is nothing of this now; we see that one is the sun, the other is the moon, and the other is the earth; and in human bodies there is also one - the leg, the other - the hand, the other - the head. And such a routine makes it clear that all this did not happen by itself, and even shows that everything was preceded by a reason from which one can know and bring order, and created the universe of God.
If God is not Himself - the original cause of the substance, and every creature creates from the substance of the finished, it is obvious that He is powerless, because nothing real can not produce without substance, just as a wood carver can undoubtedly do no things without a tree. Sainted Athanasius the Great (113, 149).
The universe is created, and God did not create it from Himself, to be to her the same as He is Himself. On the contrary, He created it out of nothing, so that there would be no equal to Him Whom it was created, nor to His Son, through whom He was created ... Out of nothing, God created everything, but He did not create Himself from Himself, but gave birth to Himself equal to Whom we we call the Son of God. Blessed Augustine (113, 150).
The created world did not originate from the essence of God, but the will and power of God was brought from non-being into being ... The birth consists in the fact that from the essence of the giving birth there is a born, equal to him in essence. Creation and creation is that the created and the created are from the outside, and not from the essence of creating or creating, and, without any doubt, not like him in essence.Reverend John Damascene (113, 150).
From nothing created (God the world) for the glorification of His greatness. Tertullian (Bishop Makarii (Bulgakov), pp. 32).
So, let no one ask what substance God produced such great and amazing creatures; He produced everything from nothing. Lactantius (Bishop Makarii (Bulgakov), pp. 14.)
According to the Scriptures, heaven, earth, fire, air and water are created from nothing. The light that was created on the first day, and everything else that was created after it, was created already from what was before. For when Moses speaks of the created from nothing, he uses the word "created": "God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1, 1). The Monk Ephrem the Syrian. Creations, part 8, M., 1853, p. 259.
... On the first day, God, by His almighty word, created everything from non-being, and on the remaining days already creates everything from the existing (created on the first day). St. John Chrysostom (40, 755).
None of the people can either properly explain this seven-day creation, or depict all of its Housebuilding, even if it had a thousand lips and a thousand languages; even if one lived a thousand years in this world, and then he will not be able to say anything about it in a worthy way because of the superior grandeur and the riches of the wisdom of God revealed in this seven-day creation. St. Theophilus of Antioch. Works of ancient Christian apologists. M., 1867, p. 198-199.
Moses ... writes that the world and the earth received being and were formed for six days not by the forces and laws that are now in force in nature, but by the direct word of God. But the Almighty, without any doubt, could in a very short time - or even instantaneously - produce something that, according to the forces and laws of nature, would have been formed only for centuries or millennia. These forces and laws began to operate in nature only since it itself, together with being, received a complete education from God, but to extend their action to the preceding time, to subordinate the omnipotence of the Creator Himself to the initial arrangement of heaven and earth - is wrong. Bishop Makarii (Bulgakov), p. 100-101.
"And there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Gen. 1, 5). Why is it called not the first, but one? Although it would be more natural to intend to talk about the second and third, and fourth days, the first day from which the following begin, but he called one. Or does he determine by this measure the day and night, connecting them in one day ... And Moses as it were said: the measure of twenty-four hours is the continuation of one day, or the return of the sky from one sign to the same sign is accomplished in one day. ... Or the main thing lies in this mysterious marking, namely, that God, having arranged the nature of time, with measure and signs, laid the continuation of the days, and, by measuring the time of the weeks, commands that the week counting the movement of time always return to itself, and also the week was filled one day, seven times on itself returning. And the image of the circle is such that he begins with himself and ends in himself. Of course, the century has that distinctive property that it returns to itself and does not end anywhere.
Therefore Moses called the chapter of time not the first, but one day, that this day, according to the name itself, should have an affinity with the century. St. Basil the Great (4, 33-34).
Himself created the ages - formerly before the ages. To whom the divine David says, "From everlasting to everlasting, You are God" (Psalm 89, 2-3) and the divine apostle: "Through Whom also He made the world" (Hebrew 1, 2).
However, it must be known that the word "century" means very much. The age of each person is also called the age. A century is called a thousand years. The whole real life is called the age, the century - and the future, infinite after the Resurrection (Matthew 12, 32; LX 20, 35). A century is not time and not any part of the time, measured by the movement and running of the sun, that is, composed by days and nights, but as if some temporary movement and distance that stretches alongside and at the same time as forever. For what exactly is the time for what is in relation to time, this is the age for the eternal.
So they speak about the seven centuries of this world, that is, from the creation of heaven and earth to the common end of people's existence and Resurrection. For there is, on the one hand, the private end is the death of everyone, on the other hand, there is also a common and perfect end when there is a General Resurrection of people. The eighth century is the Century of the Future.
Before the dispensation of the world, when there was no sun that separates day and night, there was no age that could be measured, but there was, as it were, some temporary movement and distance that stretched along and along with that which is eternal, and in this, of course, the sense of the age of one, since God is also called the Eternal. But He is also called the Eternal, for He created the very age, because God, the only Beguseless, Himself is the Creator of all - both centuries and all things. Clearly, speaking of God, I mean the Father and His Only Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and His All-Holy Spirit, the One God of our God.
They say also about centuries of ages, since seven centuries of the present world embrace many centuries, that is, human lives, and the one century that holds in itself all the centuries. And the century of the century is called the present age and the future. And Eternal Life and eternal punishment point to the infinity of the Future Age. For the time after the Resurrection will not be counted in days and nights. On the contrary, there will be one non-black day, for the Sun of Righteousness will shine brightly with the righteous; for sinners there will be a deep and endless night. ... So, God, who, without exception, created and exists before the ages, is one Creator of all ages. The Monk John of Damascus. Exact statement of the Orthodox faith, St. Petersburg., 1894, p. 43-44.
No one should think that the words about the six-day creation are an allegory. It is also inadmissible to say that everything described in the text was created in the course of six days, it was created in a moment or that in this description only conditional names are presented, or nothing meaning, or meaning something else. On the contrary, it must be known that as the heaven and earth created in the beginning is really heaven and earth, and not something else is meant by these words, so what has been said about everything else that was created and brought into the device after the creation of heaven and earth , contains not empty names, but the power of these names corresponds to the very essence of the created natures. The Monk Ephrem the Syrian. Creations, part 8, M., 1853, p. 250.
... We should think that for the present seven days, following the example of those days (days of creation), a week from the repetition of which the times are composed and every day of which continues from sunrise to sunset, represent some kind of change of creative days, that they are not like them, but undoubtedly in many respects are different from them. Blessed Augustine, Creations, Part 7, Kiev, 1912, p. 268.
God created all that we see, for six days. But the first day differs sharply from the others following it, namely: on the first day, God created everything from nonexistent, and beginning from the second day God does not create anything from the nonexistent, only changes how pleasing to His all-powerful will, what was created on the first day. St. John Chrysostom (40, 737).
On the first day nine spiritual natures were created in silence (Angelic world) and one nature by word; this is light. The second day created a firmament. On the third day God produced water and cereal collections, in the fourth - the separation of light, in the fifth - birds, reptiles and fish, in the sixth - animals and man. Reverend Isaac the Syrian (55, 78).
All nature was created in six days: on the first day God created light; in the second - firmament; in the third, having collected water, he formed the land; in the fourth, he created the sun, the moon, and the stars; in the fifth, he produced animals that live in water and fly through the air; in the sixth - four-footed on the ground and finally - a man. Sainted Athanasius the Great (Bishop Makarii (Bulgakov) from 92-93).
The Lord God creates from what is not and builds from the existent: the first heaven created out of not being, and the second created from the waters. So brought into existence and earth the nonexistent, and she commanded to grow trees and seeds. He created the light as he wished. But as the firmament divided the water, part placing above the firmament, and part leaving under the firmament, so by his own will divided the light, creating great and small luminaries. Blessed Theodoret of Cyrus. Creations, part 1, M., 1855, p. 20.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1, 1) - not empty, of course, and not completely devoid of any moisture, because the earth was mixed with water, and both were heavier than air and any kind of living creature and plant ; The sky is of different lights and lights, of which it all consists. St. Gregory Palamas (65, 69).
On the first day He created the higher heavens, the earth, the waters. Of these elements are formed: ice, hail, frost and dew. Then from the service spirits before His face follow: Angels, coming to His face, Angels of Glory, angels of winds, angels of clouds and darkness, snow, hail and frost; angels of noise, thunder, lightning, cold, heat, winter, autumn, spring, summer, and all the spirits of His creatures, which are in Heaven and on earth. Further - the abyss: the abyss of the underground and the abyss of chaos and darkness. Then they follow: evening and night, light of day and morning. These seven great works were created by God on the first day.
The second day (God created) the firmament in the middle of the waters and the separation between the waters that are above the firmament and the waters that are under the firmament on the surface of the whole earth. Only this one God created on the second day.
On the third day - the seas, rivers, springs and lakes, seeds of sowing, plants, trees prolific and barren, forests. These are the four greatest things that God did on the third day.
The fourth day is the sun, the moon and the stars. These three great works were created by God on the fourth day.
On the fifth day - great whales, fish and reptiles in the waters, birds of the winged. These three great works were created by God on the fifth day.
On the sixth day - beasts, cattle, reptiles on earth and man. These four great works were created by God on the sixth day.
And there were all the works that God had made in six days, twenty-two. And God ended on the sixth day all that was in heaven and on earth, in seas and abysses, in light and in darkness and in everything else.St. Epiphanius of Cyprus. Creations, part 6, M., 1884, p. 252-253.
In the beginning, God created heaven and earth, and a dark water abyss or, as the Hellenists say, chaos, which is a mixture of elements, in it the earth was formless and empty, covered with bottomless waters and darkness, as the Scripture says: "And darkness is on the face of the deep" (Gen. 1, 2). God created them from God's nothing, and from non-existence brought into being, and from those later he made other creatures, all the more and more slender, creating six days ...
... The first-made God created by God became the firstfruits of other creatures. The original matter of the heavens was water, and the earth was a heavy mass. Then by the commandment of God the water was separated from the earth, the sky from the earth, appeared in the middle of the air and the fire shone. And other creations have occurred according to their rank and time. St. Demetrius of Rostov. Annals, M., 1784, p. 1-2.