Verse 6. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made. The angelic heavens, the sidereal heavens, and the firmament or terrestrial heavens, were all made to start into existence by a word; what if we say by the Word, "For without him was not anything made that is made." It is interesting to note the mention of the Spirit in the next clause, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth; the breath is the same as is elsewhere rendered Spirit. Thus the three persons of the Godhead unite in creating all things. How easy for the Lord to make the most ponderous orbs, and the most glorious angels! A word, a breath could do it. It is as easy for God to create the universe as for a man to breathe, nay, far easier, for man breathes not independently, but borrows the breath in his nostrils from his Maker. It may be gathered from this verse that the constitution of all things is from the infinite wisdom, for his word may mean his appointment and determination. A wise and merciful Word has arranged, and a living Spirit sustains all the creation of Jehovah.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 6. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. That the (hwd) is not spirit, but breath, is evident from the words of his mouth (compare Isaiah 11:4 ), and from the parallelism with word. Simple word is simple breath; both together, they stand in contrast to that exercise of strength, that labour, that use of means and instruments without which feeble man can bring nothing to perfection. Then there are the parallel passages, "All the while my breath is in me, and the Spirit of God is in my nostrils." Job 27:3 . "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." Job 33:4 . "Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust, thou sendest forth thy breath, they are created." Psalms 104:29 Psalms 104:30 . On the other hand, however, the exposition which would interpret (wyp xwr), without reference to the Spirit of God, cannot be a correct one. In the history of the creation, to which the verse before us, as well as verses seven and nine, generally refer, the creation is described as the work of the SPIRIT of God, and his WORD. First, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, then God said. We may also suppose that the Spirit and the power of God are here represented by the figure of breath, because that in man is the first sign of life. E. W. Hengstenberg.
Verse 6. By the word of the Lord. May be understood of the hypostatic Word, as John teaches us. John 1:1 . (John Cocceius), 1603-1669. This is an illustration of the old saying, that while Grotius finds Christ nowhere, Cocceius finds Christ everywhere. C. H. S.
Verse 6. Let any make a world, and he shall be a God, saith Augustine; hence is it that the church maketh it the very first article of her Creed to believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. John Weemse.
Verse 6,9. It is all one with God to do as to say, to perform as to promise; it is as easy, he is as willing, as able, to do the one as the other. There is no such distance betwixt God's saying and doing, as amongst men. His saying is doing: He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made. "The worlds were framed by the word of God." Hebrews 11:3 . There is omnipotence in his word, both of command and promise; therefore called, "The word of his power." Hebrews 1:3 . One word of his can do more in an instant than the united powers of heaven and earth can do in eternity. This consideration removes at once the chief discouragements that hinder the lively actings of faith; for what is it that weakens our confidence of the promises' performance, but because we look upon the accomplishment as uncertain or difficult, or future and afar off! Now from hence faith may conclude the performance is certain, easy, and present. David Clarkson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 6. The power of the Word and the Spirit in the old and new creations.