God creates the physical universe and life on earth; he creates a perfect man and woman, settles them in a beautiful garden, and gives them commands to obey
THEY have been called the most famous opening words ever written. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) With that simple, majestic sentence, the Bible introduces us to the Person who is the central figure throughout the Holy Scriptures—the almighty God, Jehovah. The Bible’s first verse reveals that God is the Creator of the vast physical universe, including the planet we live on. The verses that follow explain that in a series of long periods, figuratively called days, God went on to prepare our earthly home, bringing into existence all the wonders of our natural world.
The greatest of God’s earthly creations was man. Here was a creature made in the image of God—able to reflect Jehovah’s own personal qualities, such as his love and wisdom. God made man out of the dust of the earth. God named him Adam, then placed him in a paradise—the garden of Eden. God himself planted that garden, filling it with beautiful, fruitful trees.
God saw the need for man to have a mate. Using one of Adam’s ribs, God made a woman and brought her to the man as his wife, later named Eve. Elated, Adam burst into poetry, saying: “This is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” God explained: “That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh.”—Genesis 2:22-24; 3:20.
God gave Adam and Eve two commands. First, he directed them to cultivate and care for their earthly home and eventually fill it with their offspring. Second, he told them not to eat the fruit of just one tree in all that vast garden, “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.” (Genesis 2:17) If they disobeyed, they would die. With those commands, God gave the man and the woman a way to show that they accepted him as their Ruler. Their obedience would also show their love and gratitude. They had every reason to accept his kindly rule. There was no flaw in those perfect humans. The Bible tells us: “God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good.”—Genesis 1:31.