God called… Gen. 1:10

“God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:10 NASB)

After another separation, land from water, God names the two new entities. The phrase “dry land” is one word in Hebrew. God is therefore naming the dry part of the separation. The word earth is the same as that used in verse one. Due to the context we understand that this is a more narrow sense than the whole earth.

As I may have mentioned before and should mention again, naming in Hebrew was much more important than it is for us today. God, People, and, here, the land and sea are named according to their characteristics. The word for God (which is used in every verse of this opening chapter, except when declaring some of the days, v. 13, 19, 23) is Elohim. This name for God reveals the power and sovereignty of the creator. In this first chapter of Genesis it is filled with meaning through God’s creative action and purpose. Later we find Jesus, whose name means “YAHWEH is salvation” or “whose help is the Lord”. The name begins to reveal who Jesus is. Jesus came to save us. He is YAHWEH and the only means of salvation (Isaiah 44:6, John 10:30, John 14:6). The names reveal characteristics of what/who is named. A great study is to review the names used for God in the Bible.

The name of the waters becomes “seas”. This word brings the meaning of the tumultuous water, the untamed nature of the water as well as its vastness (Job 7:12, Lamentations 2:13).

This verse closes with God’s view/evaluation/opinion that it is good. In verse 4, the creation of light, is the only time so far where we have encountered God seeing His creation as good. Because of the singular use in verse 4, I am lead to believe that God saw only the light as being good. In this verse, verse 10, God sees the land and seas as good. The second day does not contain any mention of God seeing good. This is not to say that the stages of creation not declared good were not good, just that they were transition periods to a stage worthy of being declared good. The final evaluation of the chapter, verse 31, God sees the entirety of His creation work as “very good”. The other days and stages which are not declared good outright are none-the-less good, being authored by God, but not good as in a finished product for life, such as light and the lands and seas. The final finished product, verse 31, is a support system for life, through which God is glorified. The culmination of His glory occurs ultimately in the Messiah, Jesus, and the trust of humanity in the name of Jesus as the only source of salvation (Acts 4:10-12).