The word "creation" is used 5 times in Genesis 1. I know that "bara" means to create from nothing. Is that same word used all 5 times?

  • 1
    Checking a concordance verifies this as yes. Is there something else that you are looking for?
    – agarza
    Apr 16, 2021 at 15:42
  • בָּרָא bara Strong 1254 occurs, yes, 5 times in Genesis 1. It is used 55 times in the Old Testament (Source : Young's Analytical Concordance). It is usually translated 'create'. In the KJV, (OT) no other words is ever translated 'create', 'created' or 'Creator'.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 16, 2021 at 15:53
  • Did God "bara" the heavens and the earth, then assemble things after that?
    – Randy
    Apr 18, 2021 at 5:20

3 Answers 3



Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

בָּרָ֣א (bā·rā)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 1254: To create, to cut down, select, feed

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1254&t=KJV&bn=1#lexResults shows all 5 instances of the word "created" is the Hebrew word H1254.

I know that "bara" means to create from nothing.

The dictionary meaning does not necessarily mean that. See https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1254.htm

Genesis 1:26a New International Version

Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image

“Let Us make
נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה (na·‘ă·śeh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect Cohortative if contextual - first person common plural
Strong's 6213: To do, make


Bara means " he created". Singular. This matches what Jesus said in Mark 13:19, Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10 :6. Jesus ascribed creation to God, not himself.

Mark 13:19 ASV For those days shall be tribulation, such as there hath not been the like from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never shall be

Mark 10:6 ASV But from the beginning of the creation, Male and female made he them.

Matthew 19:4 ASV And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female

Jesus himself was created. John 3:16 and Revelation 3:14.

  • This is getting away from the "Bara" question but I'm getting red flags . John 1:1-3 tells us Jesus was God and that he made everything that was made. Though Jesus attributed creation to God, He was attributing it to Himself. John 3:16 only directs us to the trinity. Revelation 3:14 only tells us that God created. To conclude that Jesus was created doesn't work.
    – Randy
    Apr 18, 2021 at 5:48

There are lots of words words used for "creating" in Gen 1. Here is a sample:

  1. בָּרָא (bara) = "created", Gen 1:1, 21, 27, 2:3, etc.
  2. הָיָה (hayah) = "come to pass", Gen 1:2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 19, 23, 24, 29, 30, etc.
  3. בָּדל (badal) = "divided", Gen 1:4, 6, 7, 14, 18 [This verb only occurs in the first three days' activities]
  4. עָשָׂה (asah) = "make", Gen 1:7, 11, 12, 16, 25, 31, 2:2, 3, etc.
  5. קָוָה (qavah) = "collect", Gen 1:9 [only once in the creation account and only on day #3]
  6. רָאָה (ra'ah) = "see" or "appear", Gen 1:4, 9, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31, etc.
  7. דָּשָׁא (dasha) = "sprout", Gen 1:11
  8. נָתַן (nathan) = "put" or "set", Gen 1:17, 29 [This only occurs in the second three days of creation]
  9. שָׁרַץ (sharats) = "swarm" or "team", Gen 1:20, 21 [Only occurs in the second three days]
  10. יָצָא (yatsa) = "go/come out", Gen 1:12, 24

These verbs describing God's activity should be seen in the context of the initial description of the earth (V2) as: תֹּהוּ (tohu) = formless, and, בֹּהוּ (bohu) = empty. Then

  • in the first three days God separates and shapes/forms the earth; #1 - light separated from darkness; #2 - waters above separated from waters below; #3 - dry land separated from seas
  • in the second three days God fills the three environments he had created: #4 - lights in the heavens; #5 - creatures in sea and birds in the air; #6 - land creatures and mankind.

APPENDIX - Hebrew בָּרָא (bara) from BDB lexicon

I. בָּרָא53 verb shape, create (compare Arabic probably loan-word, form, fashion by cutting, shape out, pare a reed for writing, a stick for an arrow, but also , create; Phoenician הברא CISi. 347 incisor, a trade involving cutting; Assyrian barû, make, create, COTGloss & Hpt KAT2Gloss 1 but dubious; Sabean ברא found, build, DHMZMG 1883, 413, synonym בנה; BaZA. 1888, 58, compare Assyrian banû, create, beget, with change of liquid; Aramaic בְּרָא, , create) — Qal Perfect Genesis 1:1 19t.; Imperfect יִבְרָא Genesis 1:21,27; Numbers 16:30; Infinitive בְּראֹ Genesis 5:1; Imperative בְּרָא Psalm 51:12; Participle בּוֺרֵא Isaiah 42:5 10t.; suffix בֹּרַאֲךָ Isaiah 43:1; בּוֺרְאֶיךָ Ecclesiastes 12:1; — shape, fashion, create, always of divine activity, with accusative of thing, seldom except in P and Isa2.

1 object heaven and earth Genesis 1:1; Genesis 2:3 (P) Isaiah 45:18 (twice in verse); mankind Genesis 1:27 (3 t. in verse); Genesis 5:1,2(P) Genesis 6:7 (J) Deuteronomy 4:32; Psalm 89:48; Isaiah 45:12; the host of heaven Isaiah 40:26; heavens Isaiah 42:5; ends of the earth Isaiah 40:28; north and south Psalm 89:13; wind Amos 4:13; the תנינים Genesis 1:21 (P).

2 the individual man Malachi 2:10 ("" father) Ecclesiastes 12:1; the smith and the waster Isaiah 54:16 (twice in verse); Israel as a nation Isaiah 43:15; Jacob Isaiah 43:1; the seed of Israel Isaiah 43:7.

3 new conditions and circumstances: righteousness and salvation Isaiah 45:8; darkness and evil Isaiah 45:7; fruit of the lips Isaiah 57:19; a new thing חֲדָשָׁה (a woman encompassing a man) Jeremiah 31:22; בְּרִיאָה (swallowing up the Korahites) Numbers 16:30 (J); cloud and flame over Zion Isaiah 4:5.

4 of transformations: a clean heart Psalm 51:12 ("" חִדֵּשׁ); new heaven and earth Isaiah 65:17 (in place of old); transformation of nature Isaiah 41:20; with double accusative בורא ירושׁלם גילה transform Jerusalem into rejoicing Isaiah 65:18.

Niph`al Perfect2feminine singular נִבְרֵאתְ Ezekiel 21:35; 3plural נִבְרְאוּ Exodus 34:10 2t.; Imperfect יִבָּרֵא֑וּן Psalm 104:30; Infinitive suffix הִבָּרַאֲךָ Ezekiel 28:13; הִבָּֽרְאָךְ Ezekiel 28:15; הִבָּֽרְאָם Genesis 2:4; Genesis 5:2; Participle נִבְרָא Psalm 102:19; — Pass.

1 be created: heaven and earth Genesis 2:4 (P); creatures Psalm 104:30; mankind Genesis 5:2 (P); heavens Psalm 148:5.

2 with reference to birth: במקום אשׁר נבראת in the place where thou wast created (i.e. native land) Ezekiel 21:35; יום הבראך day when thou wast created (king of Tyre) Ezekiel 28:13,15 (compare היום ילדתיך Psalm 2:7); עַם נִבְרָא Psalm 102:19 ("" עַם נוֺלָד Psalm 22:32).

3 of something new, astonishing: miracles Exodus 34:10 (J); new things, חדשׁות Isaiah 48:6.

Pi`el Perfect בֵּרֵאתָ Joshua 17:15; בֵּרֵאתוֺ Joshua 17:18; Infinitive absolute בָּרֵא Ezekiel 21:24 (twice in verse); Ezekiel 23:47; —

1 cut down: a forest Joshua 17:15,18 (J); וּבָרֵא אוֺתְהֶן בְּחַרְבוֺתָם Ezekiel 23:47.

2 cut out: יָד hand, as an index Ezekiel 21:24 (twice in verse).

II. [בָּרָא] verb be fat (Arabic be free of a thing, sound, healthy; see מרא) —

Hiph`il Infinitive לְהַבְרִיאֲכֶם 1 Samuel 2:29 to make yourselves fat.

  • If 1:27 is Bara it conflicts with 2:7 that says He formed man from the dust of the ground. Your thoughts?
    – Randy
    Apr 18, 2021 at 5:17
  • @Randy the verb "bara" appears in Gen 1:27 three times. In Gen 2:7 it is יָצַר yatsar. Their meanings overlap as both can mean "formed". But the process is not the primary meaning - it is the creation of life that is important
    – Dottard
    Apr 18, 2021 at 5:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.