Moses distinguishes two main types of creation, which followed one after another. The first creation in the proper sense, which was at the very beginning, when the Creator produced everything from nothing: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1, 1), produced the very substance of the world, which contained the beginnings or embryos for all of its creatures . In this sense, the wise son of Sirach said: "All things are created by Him who lives for ever" (Sir 18, 1). ... And another creation is a creation from a ready-made primordial and still unsettled substance, which took place for six days. This creation, of course, was meant by Solomon when he wrote that the almighty hand of God created the world from an imageless substance (Prem. 11, 18). And the holy martyr Justin repeated Solomon's words: We accepted that God in the beginning created everything from a substance that does not have an image.Bishop Makarii (Bulgakov), p. 93-94.
It is clear that the device of the world and the whole creation originated from matter, the very substance was created by God; the substance was coarse and formless, before the elements were divided, and by their separation it became ornamented and well-arranged. So the sky and the stars on it consist of matter, and the earth with all the objects that are on it has the same composition, so everything has the same origin.
... Matter is not without beginning, like God, and has no power equal with God, as without beginning, but it has a beginning, and not from somebody else has occurred, but is produced from one Creator of everything.Tatian (Compositions of the ancient Christian apologists, M., 1867, pp. 252, 17).
The material from which God created and created the world was derived from God.Theophilus Theophilus of Antioch (Works of the ancient Christian apologists, pp. 196).
It is known that everything that is mutable is formed from something formless. At the same time, the catholic faith inspires, and the rational mind says that there could be no matter for any of the natures except from God, the culprit and the Creator of all ...Blessed Augustine. Creations, h. 7, Kiev, 1912, p. 160.
So, on the first day God creates the substance of the creatures, in the following days gives shape to His creations and brings all created things in order(40, 737).
When God produces by His all-powerful matter, then in the book of Genesis the term "created" is used. When God begins the dispensation of the world, and the beginning of this dispensation was light, this is expressed by the corresponding concept.St. John Chrysostom (40, 740).
God, before there was anything from what is now visible, having put in his mind and being moved to bring into existence what was not existing, thought about what the world should be like, and produced matter corresponding to the form of the world.St. Basil the Great (4, 11).
So ... God created in the beginning heaven and earth, created as a kind of matter, all-encompassing and potentially all bearing, and this clearly rejects the erroneous opinion that matter occurred by itself.St. Gregory Palamas (65, 69).
At first, the substance was mixed and unsettled, from which everything that happened was later divided and arranged. That stuff, I think, the Greeks call chaos, as elsewhere we read: You created the world "from an unrelated substance" (Prem. 11, 18), or, according to other texts: from the substance of the invisible. This is an imageless substance, which God created from nothing, is called heaven and earth. And it is written, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1, 1) not because they happened at the same time, but because they could happen - just as if we, looking at the seed of the tree, said , that there are roots, strength, trunk, fruits, and leaves, they would say, not because, of course, that all this is already there, but because all this must happen.Blessed Augustine (Bishop Makarii (Bulgakov), pp. 94).
It is known that the whole machine of the world and everything that is in it is formed of matter, but the matter itself is created by God.Tatian (Bishop Makarii (Bulgakov), pp. 94).
On the first day, God created from nothing, and on other days he did more than anything, and arranged from what he created on the first day.Hieromartyr Hippolytus of Rome (Bishop Makarii (Bulgakov), pp. 94).
... God produced matter from nothing and, giving it a form, created this perceived and visible world ...Mitrophan Critopoulus (Confession of the Catholic and Apostolic Church of the East, "Christian Reading", part 2, 1846, St. Petersburg, pp. 347).
The creator, beginning to perfect and decorate the first creation, invisible and unpainted, first of all ordered the light to shine out of darkness. As an artist who got up at midnight to do what he wants, at first he lights a candle to see everything in his house, so is the wise Creator God - although He sees everything and sees things in the dark abyss, as if by the light - above all, as a candle in the house, revealed the light of the day, saying: "Let there be light. And there was light "(Gen. 1, 3).St. Demetrius of Rostov. Chronicle. M., 1784, p. 2.
The beginning of creation is light, because light makes visible what is being built. Therefore it is said: "And God said," Let there be light. " And there was light. And God saw that the light was good, "for man, of course.St Theophilus of Antioch (Works of the ancient Christian apologists, M., 1867, pp. 196).
"And God said," Let there be light "(Gen. 1, 3). The first God's Word created the nature of light, dispelled the darkness, dispelled discouragement, filled the world with joy, all of which gave suddenly an attractive and pleasant appearance.St. Basil the Great (4, 30).
When, by the sole wave of God's will, the universe was suddenly created inseparably and all the elements were still mixed together, then the scattered fire everywhere was obscured by the excess of matter. But since it has some kind of all-pervading and mobile force, at the same time as the nature of beings was given by God's command to bring into being the world, and the fire passed through all the heavy nature and suddenly lit up everything with light.Saint Gregory of Nyssa (17, 14).
Darkness is necessary. And that it is not any essence, but something accidental, it is not difficult to understand because it is a shadow cast by heaven and earth and disappears when light appears. Light is an essence, and it is independent, it comes and again appears and, having left, comes back. As our body is an entity, and the shadow it produces is something random, not an entity, so heaven and earth, these greatest of bodies, are different entities, the shadow they produce, while there is no light, is called darkness. But the light destroys the darkness.Blessed Theodoret of Cyrus. Creations, part 1, M., 1855, p. 15.
Darkness is not something eternal, it is not even a creation, because darkness, as the Scripture shows, is a shadow. It was not created before the sky and not after the clouds was created, but together with the clouds and by them is generated. Its being depends on another, because it does not have its own essence; and when it ceases to be that on which it depends, then along with it, and like this, there will be no more darkness. But what ceases together with another, ceasing to be, then close to nonexistent, because otherwise serves as the cause of its being. Therefore, the darkness that was under the clouds and firmament and which did not exist in the original light and the sun, could it be independent, when one by its spread gave birth to it and the other dispersed it by its phenomenon?The Monk Ephrem the Syrian. Creations, part 8, 1853, p. 260-261.
Fire is one of the four elements - and light, and more upward, and burning, and illuminating, created by the Creator on the first day. For the Divine Scripture says, "And God said, Let there be light. And there was light "(Gen. 1, 3). As some say, fire is not anything other than light. Others argue that this world fire, which they call ether, is above the air. So, in the beginning, that is, on the first day. God created the light - decoration and decoration of the whole visible creature. For take away the light - and everything will remain unrecognizable in the dark and will not be able to reveal its own beauty.
"God called the light Day, and the darkness at night" (Gen. 1, 5). Darkness is not any essence, but an accident, for it is the deprivation of light, because the air does not have light in its essence. So, God called the darkness the most deprivation of light, which precisely indicates its chance, rather than the essence. And it was not the night that was called first, but the day, so that the day was the first and the night the last. Thus, night follows the day; and from the beginning of the day until the beginning of another day - one day, for the Scripture says: "And there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Gen. 1, 5).
On the first three days, day and night, of course, due to the fact that the light, according to Divine command, spread and contracted. On the fourth day, God created a great light, that is, the sun, into the beginning and power of the day, for by his mediation there is a day, for the day is at a time when the sun is visible above the earth; and the measure of the day is the running of the sun above the earth from its rising to setting. On the same day, God created and shone less, that is, the moon, and the stars, into the beginning and power of the night, to illuminate it. ... In these lights the Creator put in a primordial light - not because He had a defect in a different light, but that that light did not remain idle. For the light is not the light, but the receptacle of light.The Monk John of Damascus. Exact statement of the Orthodox faith. St. Petersburg, 1894, p. 54-60.
... It is written: "The earth was formless and empty" (Gen. 1, 2), and from this it is clear that everything was already possible in the first aspiration of God to creation, as if from a certain invested force inseminating the being of the universe, but in reality there was nothing yet separately. For it is said: "The earth was formless and empty," and this means the same as to say: the earth was and was not, because they did not yet meet the qualities of it. The proof of this thought is that, according to the Scriptures, it was formless. For the invisible has no distinguishable color, and it is produced as it were by some kind of outflow of the image to the surface, the image is impossible without the body. Therefore, if the land was "formless", then, of course, it is also colorless, which means that it did not have a body. Consequently, with the original foundation of the world, the earth, like everything else, was among the creatures, but still expected what is given by the device of qualities, which means - to come into being. Scripture, saying that the earth was "formless and empty," shows that there was no visible quality of it, and calling it "empty" makes it clear that it was not yet clothed with bodily properties.Saint Gregory of Nyssa (17, 21).
When thus water covered the earth, especially its in-depth places, God, through His Word, commanded the water to come together in one place and appear to a land that had previously been invisible. The earth became visible, but was still unsettled.St Theophilus of Antioch (Works of the ancient Christian apologists, M., 1867, pp. 201).
... Water is one of the four elements, the most beautiful creation of God. Water is an element: both wet and cold, and heavy, and tending down, easily poured. About it mentions also the Divine Scripture: "and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen. 1, 2). For the abyss is nothing but a great abundance of water, the limit of which is incomprehensible to people. In the beginning, of course, water was on the surface of the whole earth. And first of all God created the firmament that divides the water, "which is under the firmament, from the water that is above the firmament" (Gen. 1, 7; 6). For she was strengthened in the midst of the abyss of water, according to the Lord's commandment. Therefore, God said that the firmament should take place, and it happened. But why did God put water on the firmament? Because of the strongest inflammatory properties of the sun and ether. For right under the firmament was spread ether, and also the sun with the moon, and the stars are on the firmament. And if water were not placed on top, then the firmament would burn out.
Then God commanded that the waters gather "into one place" (Gen. 1, 9). The same circumstance that the Scripture speaks of one place does not indicate that they have gathered in one place, for after that it is - look! - says: "And the assembly of waters called the seas" (Gen. 1, 10); but this word of Scripture showed that the waters together, at the same time, were particularly separated from the earth. So, the waters gathered in one place and appeared dry (Gen. 1, 9).
... There is also the ocean, like a kind of river that surrounds the whole earth, about which, it seems to me, the Divine Scripture said that the river comes from Eden (Gen. 2, 10), which is suitable for drinking and sweet water. It delivers to the seas water, which, remaining in the seas for a long time and being still, becomes bitter, since the sun and tornadoes constantly carry up the subtlest part of it, causing clouds to form and rains - from the evaporation of sweet water.
There are ... rivers ... very numerous and very great, some of which are poured into the sea, while others disappear in the earth. Therefore, the whole earth is drilled and dug, as if it has some veins through which it takes water from the sea and pours out their sources. Therefore,
according to the property of the earth, there is also a water of different sources. For sea water seeps and filters through the earth and is thus made sweet. If the place from which the source flows is bitter or salty, then the same goes up the water. Often, compressed and bursting with strength, the water warms, then the hot water from nature rises upward.
Thus, according to the divine command, there was a void in the earth, and thus the waters gathered "into one place" (Gen. 1, 9), as a result of which the mountains also took place. Then God instructed the original water to produce a living soul (Gen. 1, 24), because He intended to renew the human being through the water and rushing in the beginning over the waters of the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1, 2) ... It produced living things, and great ones: whales, dragons, fish swimming in the waters, and winged birds. Consequently, water, land, and air are connected through birds, for they originated from water and live on the earth and fly in the air. On the other hand. water - the most beautiful element, and very useful, cleansing of impurity - not only physical, but also spiritual, if anyone, in addition, still receive the grace of the Spirit.The Monk John of Damascus. Exact statement of the Orthodox faith. SPb., 1894, 67-70.
When God favored creating the earth, there were no depressions or mountains yet. But when it was God's pleasure to say: "Let the water come together" (Gen. 1, 9), simultaneously the earth dispersed and formed cavities in it.St. John Chrysostom (40, 754).
... Initially, the entire luminous force, collected in itself, was a single light. Since in the nature of the universe there was a great variety of creations according to their greater or lesser subtlety and variability, it was enough to have a three-day period for each creation in the world to separate from each other. The subtlest and lightest, the purely insubstantial, in the fiery essence, occupied the most extreme limit of visible creation. Behind him came an intelligible and disembodied nature. And ever less active and more inert formed within the space surrounded by that subtle and light nature. Yes, and it itself, according to the variety of properties, divided sevenfold, by mutual kinship among themselves and the correspondence of the nearby parts of the world and by the separation of those in which there is something alien. So after the mutual confluence of all these particles, as there were of them in the luminous essence of the solar nature, there was one great luminary. Similarly, on the moon, and on each of the other moving and motionless stars, the union of homogeneous particles produced one of the visible stars. Thus everything came into being. It was enough for the great Moses to name only the more famous of them: "the greater the light ... and the lesser light" (Gen. 1, 16), and everything else is called the generic name of the "star".St. Gregory of Nyssa (17, 64-65).
... The original light, which was called good by creation, climbed three days for its ascent. He is said to have contributed to the conception and generation of everything that the earth was to produce on the third day. The sun, confirmed on the firmament, was to result in the maturation of what had already happened with the assistance of the original light. It is said that from this scattered everywhere light and from the fire created on the first day, the sun is arranged, which is on the firmament, and that the moon and the stars are from the same original light. The sun, which owns the days, illuminating the earth, at the same time leads to the maturation of its growth. And the moon, which owns the nights, not only lightes its night with heat, but also contributes to that which generates the fruits and growth inherent in its original nature.The Monk Ephrem the Syrian. Creations, Part 8, M., 1853, p. 255-256.
What is the sun made of? From the light that was created on the first day. The Creator changed the light in the way that His Almighty and Goodness pleased, and transformed it into different heavenly bodies. On the first day he creates a substance of light, and now - the sun, the moon, the stars and other light heavenly bodies.St. John Chrysostom (40, 755-756).
"And God created two great lights" (Gen. 1, 16) ... These luminaries are called great, not because they are larger than other stars, but because they have enough volume to illuminate the sky and air and simultaneously shed light on the earth and the sea ...St. Basil the Great (4, 98).
Seven of these lights ... there are planets. ... Running, they perform the incessant, as the Creator appointed them and as founded them, just as the divine David says: "I look ... to the moon and the stars that You have set" (Psalm 8, 4). For by the expression "Thou hast set," he denoted the firmness and unchangeability of the God-given order and order, and the continuous movement. For He set them "to separate the day from the night, and for signs, and times, and days, and years" (Gen. 1, 14). For by the medium of the sun there are four changes of the seasons, and the first is the spring, for at this time God created everything without withdrawal; and this is indicated by the fact that to this day everything blooms in the spring.
... The Greeks, of course, say that through our ascent and approach, and the convergence of these stars and the sun and the moon, all our affairs are arranged, for astrologers are engaged in this. However, we affirm that although they are foreshadowing rain and frost, cold or heat, humidity or dryness, winds and the like, but in no way omen of our affairs. For we have come from the Creator with gifted free will and are the masters and masters of our works. For if we all did as a result of the flow of the stars, then we would necessarily do what we do, and what happens necessarily is neither virtue nor vice. If we have neither virtue nor vice, then neither praise nor punishment is worthy. And also God would be unjust, delivering one good, and others calamities. Under such condition, if everything were managed and carried away by necessity. God would not even rule over His creations and would not have traded for them. Moreover, reason would have been superfluous in us, for we, without being masters of any business, would have in vain comprehended ourselves. But reason is given to us just to discuss why all sensible also ends up with free will.
... Often the comets are also shown - some signs announcing the death of kings. They do not belong to the number of stars that originated from the beginning, but, according to the divine command, are formed at the proper time and are again destroyed. For the star that appeared to the Magi during the humane and saving for us birth of the Lord in the flesh was not one of the stars that occurred in the beginning. And this is clear from the fact that she made her run from east to west, then from north to south, and that she was hiding something, then she showed herself, which is unusual for the order or nature of the stars.
... It is clear that the sun, the moon, and the stars are complex and by their nature are subject to destruction. But we do not know their nature. Some, of course, say that fire outside any substance is not visible, why it fades and disappears. Others argue that it, dying away, changes into the air.The Monk John of Damascus. Exact statement of the Orthodox faith. St. Petersburg, 1894, p. 60-64.