In the beginning (rê’shı̂yth) God (‘ĕlôhı̂ym) created (bârâ’) the heaven (shâmayim shâmeh) and the earth (‘erets).” (Gen 1:1)
He created – bara (Hebrew)
The heaven – shâmayim shâmeh (Hebrew)
Earth – ‘erets (Hebrew)
Heaven and Earth are straight forward, but “bara” is not. “Create” (bara in Hebrew) means to call forth out of nothingness. We get the Christian doctrine “Ex nihilo” a Latin phrase meaning “out of nothing” from this Hebrew word. Subsequently, further in the text, the word “make” or “form” (asah in Hebrew) denotes a re-fashioning or production from pre-existing material (this is not the same as “bara” meaning to make from out of nothing). Creation occurred “ex deo”, or out of the very substance of God. Everything that exists is because God created it with his very own substance and nature.
There was no darkness, void or non-existent space. Elohim made the universes by mere will of having them appear, without any use of pre-existent matter.
God is eternal and exists outside of time and space. He is the “high and lofty One who inhabits eternity” (Isaiah 57:15 KJV). Time was created along with the universe and began at a finite point “Creatio Ex Nihilo” out of nothingness with the “Big-Bang.” To the casual observer, the moment of creation appears as a single point of energy or singularity. This is the result of having the entire cosmos compressed into God’s words; hence the “Big-Bang” Model of the universe. When God spoke the words they exploded into all known and unknown elements, including the fires of the suns, the darkness, and the cold. Neither darkness nor light existed before creation Ex Nihilo. God made the cosmos by mere will of having it exist.
Time is something that is exclusive to this dimension in which we live. Eternity is not bound by time. God lives in eternity which has no beginning and no end. Before time, there was only eternity, and for God eternity is a never-ending present.
In summary, we understand that Elohim was the principal thing with no beginning and no end. Secondly, he created the heavens and the earth out of nothingness. We will see in the next chapter why the Hebrew makes such a distinction between bara and asah. It is a very important feature of Genesis that these two different words are used in the creation story.