The origin of the universe

Creation

According to Jewish belief, God created the universe. The stories of how he did this are at the beginning of Genesis, which is the first book of the Torah.

A visual representation of the days of Creation, from Genesis 1.
  • In the beginning - God started creation.
  • The first day - light was created.
  • The second day - the sky was created.
  • The third day - dry land, seas, plants and trees were created.
  • The fourth day - the Sun, Moon and stars were created.
  • The fifth day - creatures that live in the sea and creatures that fly were created.
  • The sixth day - animals that live on the land and finally humans, made in the image of God were created.
  • By day seven, God finished his work of creation and rested, making the seventh day a special holy day, the Sabbath.

The story then goes on to give more detail about the creation of humans, seen as two individuals, Adam and Eve.

Adam was made from 'the dust of the ground' and God breathed life into him. Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs to provide company for Adam. They lived in a special place called the Garden of Eden. Both of them were given the task and responsibility to look after the place that God had created for them.

curriculum-key-fact
Jews believe that God created the world and everything in it. They find the story of creation in Genesis where it explains what God did on each of the days of creation.
Question

Explain the Jewish beliefs about the creation of the universe.

Jews believe that God created the world and everything in it. They find this information in the chapter of the Torah known as Genesis. Genesis 1 gives a day by day account of God’s creation of the world starting with the separation of light and darkness on day one and finishing with the creation of land animals and humans on day six, and God resting on day seven. Genesis 2 then goes onto give a more in-depth account of the creation of the first humans, Adam and Eve. Orthodox Jews will believe this account of creation exactly as it is stated in the Torah, whereas Reform and Liberal Jews may see it more as a story with meaning and believe that religion and scientific beliefs about creation can work together.