In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface.
Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
And God saw that it was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light "day" and the darkness "night." Together these made up one day.
And God said, "Let there be space between the waters, to separate water from water."
And so it was. God made this space to separate the waters above from the waters below.
And God called the space "sky." This happened on the second day.
And God said, "Let the waters beneath the sky be gathered into one place so dry ground may appear." And so it was.
God named the dry ground "land" and the water "seas." And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, "Let the land burst forth with every sort of grass and seed-bearing plant. And let there be trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. The seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came." And so it was.
The land was filled with seed-bearing plants and trees, and their seeds produced plants and trees of like kind. And God saw that it was good.
This all happened on the third day.
And God said, "Let bright lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. They will be signs to mark off the seasons, the days, and the years.
Let their light shine down upon the earth." And so it was.
For God made two great lights, the sun and the moon, to shine down upon the earth. The greater one, the sun, presides during the day; the lesser one, the moon, presides through the night. He also made the stars.
God set these lights in the heavens to light the earth,
to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
This all happened on the fourth day.
And God said, "Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind."
So God created great sea creatures and every sort of fish and every kind of bird. And God saw that it was good.
Then God blessed them, saying, "Let the fish multiply and fill the oceans. Let the birds increase and fill the earth."
This all happened on the fifth day.
And God said, "Let the earth bring forth every kind of animal -- livestock, small animals, and wildlife." And so it was.
God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to reproduce more of its own kind. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, "Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all life -- the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the livestock, wild animals, and small animals."
So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and told them, "Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals."
And God said, "Look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.
And I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food." And so it was.
Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way. This all happened on the sixth day.
So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed.
On the seventh day, having finished his task, God rested from all his work.
And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from his work of creation.
This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the LORD God made the heavens and the earth,
there were no plants or grain growing on the earth, for the LORD God had not sent any rain. And no one was there to cultivate the soil.
But water came up out of the ground and watered all the land.
And the LORD God formed a man's body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And the man became a living person.
Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he placed the man he had created.
And the LORD God planted all sorts of trees in the garden -- beautiful trees that produced delicious fruit. At the center of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches.
One of these branches is the Pishon, which flows around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found.
The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there.
The second branch is the Gihon, which flows around the entire land of Cush.
The third branch is the Tigris, which flows to the east of Asshur. The fourth branch is the Euphrates.
The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it.
But the LORD God gave him this warning: "You may freely eat any fruit in the garden
except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die."
And the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him."
So the LORD God formed from the soil every kind of animal and bird. He brought them to Adam to see what he would call them, and Adam chose a name for each one.
He gave names to all the livestock, birds, and wild animals. But still there was no companion suitable for him.
So the LORD God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam's ribs and closed up the place from which he had taken it.
Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam.
"At last!" Adam exclaimed. "She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called 'woman,' because she was taken out of a man."
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)