1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth didn’t have any shape. And it was empty. There was darkness over the surface of the waves. At that time, the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. 4God saw that the light was good. He separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day.” He called the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning. It was day one.
6God said, “Let there be a huge space between the waters. Let it separate water from water.” 7And that’s exactly what happened. God made the huge space between the waters. He separated the water under the space from the water above it. 8God called the huge space “sky.” There was evening, and there was morning. It was day two.
9God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place. Let dry ground appear.” And that’s exactly what happened. 10God called the dry ground “land.” He called all the water that was gathered together “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11Then God said, “Let the land produce plants. Let them produce their own seeds. And let there be trees on the land that grow fruit with seeds in it. Let each kind of plant or tree have its own kind of seeds.” And that’s exactly what happened. 12So the land produced plants. Each kind of plant had its own kind of seeds. And the land produced trees that grew fruit with seeds in it. Each kind of tree had its own kind of seeds. God saw that it was good. 13There was evening, and there was morning. It was day three.
14God said, “Let there be lights in the huge space of the sky. Let them separate the day from the night. Let the lights set the times for the holy celebrations and the days and the years. 15Let them be lights in the huge space of the sky to give light on the earth.” And that’s exactly what happened. 16God made two great lights. He made the larger light to rule over the day and the smaller light to rule over the night. He also made the stars. 17God put the lights in the huge space of the sky to give light on the earth. 18He put them there to rule over the day and the night. He put them there to separate light from darkness. God saw that it was good. 19There was evening, and there was morning. It was day four.
20God said, “Let the seas be filled with living things. Let birds fly above the earth across the huge space of the sky.” 21So God created the great sea creatures. He created every kind of living thing that fills the seas and moves about in them. He created every kind of bird that flies. And God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them. He said, “Have little ones so that there will be many of you. Fill the water in the seas. Let there be more and more birds on the earth.” 23There was evening, and there was morning. It was day five.
24God said, “Let the land produce every kind of living creature. Let there be livestock, and creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals.” And that’s exactly what happened. 25God made every kind of wild animal. He made every kind of livestock. He made every kind of creature that moves along the ground. And God saw that it was good.
26Then God said, “Let us make human beings so that they are like us. Let them rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Let them rule over the livestock and all the wild animals. And let them rule over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27So God created human beings in his own likeness.
He created them to be like himself.
He created them as male and female.
28God blessed them. He said to them, “Have children so that there will be many of you. Fill the earth and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Rule over every living creature that moves along the ground.”
29Then God said, “I am giving you every plant on the face of the whole earth that produces its own seeds. I am giving you every tree that has fruit with seeds in it. All of them will be given to you for food. 30I am giving every green plant as food for all the land animals and for all the birds in the sky. I am also giving the plants to all the creatures that move along the ground. I am giving them to every living thing that breathes.” And that’s exactly what happened.
31God saw everything he had made. And it was very good. There was evening, and there was morning. It was day six.
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tune: St. Flavian, 100.
1-11 Let heav’n arise, let earth appear,
said the Almighty Lord:
The heav’n arose, the earth appear’d,
at his creating word.
2 Thick darkness brooded o’er the deep:
God said, “Let there be light:”
The light shone forth with smiling ray,
and scatter’d ancient night.
3 He bade the clouds ascend on high;
the clouds ascend, and bear
A wat’ry treasure to the sky,
and float upon the air.
4 The liquid element below
was gather’d by his hand;
The rolling seas together flow,
and leave the solid land.
5 With herbs, and plants, and fruitful trees,
the new‐form’d globe he crown’d,
Ere there was rain to bless the soil,
or sun to warm the ground.
6 Then high in heav’n’s resplendent arch
he plac’d two orbs of light,
He set the sun to rule the day,
the moon to rule the night.
7 Next, from the deep, th’ Almighty King
did vital beings frame;
Fowls of the air of ev’ry wing,
and fish of ev’ry name.
8 To all the various brutal tribes
he gave their wondrous birth;
At once the lion and the worm
sprung from the teeming earth.
9 Then, chief o’er all his works below,
at last was Adam made;
His Maker’s image bless’d his soul,
and glory crown’d his head.
10 Fair in th’ Almighty Maker’s eye
the whole creation stood.
He view’d the fabric he had rais’d;
his word pronounc’d it good.
Learn More About Scottish Metrical Paraphrases 1781
First published by the Church of Scotland in 1781.