To start this topic, let’s read Hebrews chapter 11 verse 3,
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
—Hebrews 11:3 (KJV)
There is great information in this single verse, so let’s analyze the mention of “the worlds”. In this passage, we are to understand that it is by faith that we believe that “the worlds were framed by the word of GOD.” The passage that comes to mind regarding this is Genesis chapter 1:1;
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
–Genesis 1:1 (KJV)
In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth.
–Genesis 1:1 (AMP)
So we see that “the worlds” were created by GOD. But what does the term “the worlds” even mean? Thayer’s Greek Definition states what this is referring to in this passage,
Thayer’s # G165
1) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
2) the worlds, universe
3) period of time, age
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from the same as G104
Citing in TDNT: 1:197, 31
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible give more information about this,
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God,…. The celestial world, with its inhabitants, the angels; the starry and ethereal worlds, with all that is in them, the sun, moon, stars, and fowls of the air; the terrestrial world, with all upon it, men, beasts, &c. and the watery world, the sea, and all that is therein: perhaps some respect may be had to the distinction of worlds among the Jews; See Gill on Hebrews 1:2, though the apostle can scarce be thought to have any regard to their extravagant notions of vast numbers of worlds being created: they often speak of three hundred and ten worlds, in all which, they say, there are heavens, earth, stars, planets, &c. (f); and sometimes of eighteen thousand (g); but these notions are rightly charged by Philo (h) with ignorance and folly. However, as many worlds as there are, they are made “by the Word of God”; by Christ, the essential Word of God, to whom the creation of all things is ascribed in John 1:1. And this agrees with the sentiments of the Jews, who ascribe the creation of all things to the Word of God, as do the Targumists (i), and Philo the Jew (k). And these are “framed” by the Word, in a very beautiful and convenient order; the heavens before the earth; things less perfect, before those that were more so in the visible world, or terraqueous globe; and things for men, before men, for whom they were; and it is by divine revelation and faith that men form right notions of the creation, and of the author of it, and particularly of the origin of it, as follows:
so that things which are seen: as the heaven, earth, and sea, and in which the invisible things of God, the perfections of his nature, are discerned:
were not made of things which do appear; they were not made from pre-existent matter, but out of nothing, out of which the rude and undigested chaos was formed; and from that invisible mass, covered with darkness, were all visible things brought into a beautiful order; and all from secret and hidden ideas in the divine minds; and this also is the faith of the Jews, that the creation of all things is “out of nothing” (l). There seems to be an allusion to the word used for creation, which signifies to make appear a thing unseen; and is rendered in the Septuagint version by Numbers 16:30 and Isaiah 40:26 to show, or make appear; and thus God created, or made to appear, the heavens and earth, which before were not in being, and unseen, Genesis 1:1 and created to make, as in Genesis 2:3 that is, made them to appear, that he might put them into the form and order they now are.
(f) Misn. Oketzim, c. 3. sect. 12. Targum Jon. in Exodus 28.30. Kettoreth Hassamim in Targum Jon. in Gen. fol. 4. 4. Lex. Cabel. p. 60, 61. (g) T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 3. 2. Yalkut, par. 2. fol. 50. 4. (h) De Opificio, p. 39. (i) Targum Oak. in Deuteronomy 33.27. & Ben Uzziel in Isaiah 48.13. (k) De Opificio, p. 4. & Leg. Alleg. l. 1. p. 44. (l) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 1. 1. Kettoreth Hassamim in Targ. Jon in Gen. fol. 5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary gives a excellent exposition on this passage,
3. we understand—We perceive with our spiritual intelligence the fact of the world’s creation by God, though we see neither Him nor the act of creation as described in Ge 1:1-31. The natural world could not, without revelation, teach us this truth, though it confirms the truth when apprehended by faith (Ro 1:20). Adam is passed over in silence here as to his faith, perhaps as being the first who fell and brought sin on us all; though it does not follow that he did not repent and believe the promise.
worlds—literally, “ages”; all that exists in time and space, visible and invisible, present and eternal.
framed—”fitly formed and consolidated”; including the creation of the single parts and the harmonious organization of the whole, and the continual providence which maintains the whole throughout all ages. As creation is the foundation and a specimen of the whole divine economy, so faith in creation is the foundation and a specimen of all faith [Bengel].
by the word of God—not here, the personal word (Greek, “logos,” Joh 1:1) but the spoken word (Greek, “rhema”); though by the instrumentality of the personal word (Heb 1:2).
not made, &c.—Translate as Greek, “so that not out of things which appear hath that which is seen been made”; not as in the case of all things which we see reproduced from previously existing and visible materials, as, for instance, the plant from the seed, the animal from the parent, &c., has the visible world sprung into being from apparent materials. So also it is implied in the first clause of the verse that the invisible spiritual worlds were framed not from previously existing materials. Bengel explains it by distinguishing “appear,” that is, begin to be seen (namely, at creation), from that which is seen as already in existence, not merely beginning to be seen; so that the things seen were not made of the things which appear,” that is, which begin to be seen by us in the act of creation. We were not spectators of creation; it is by faith we perceive it.
So we see that “the worlds” refers to the starry heavens, Heaven of Heavens, etc. This essentially means that the worlds as we know and discover more of every day were created by GOD. However, we cannot simply see how exactly the worlds came to be. Why? Because we were not there. Not the animals. Not Even Adam & Eve were there to see how “the worlds” were formed, even though they were created on the Sixth day of Creation. The Worlds were formed long before they and animals were created (see Genesis 1:1-19). But they did have access to the One who made the worlds: GOD Himself. They literally had access to the Creator/Maker who made all things and could easily have asked Him face-to-face (before they sinned) how exactly He made them.
While we today do not have face-to-face access to GOD like they did, we still have a close relationship with GOD through His Anointed Son Jesus Christ. Through this relationship, we have access to the Holy Ghost (who is the Third person in the Godhead) and ask him how the worlds were made in the beginning as He made them. In fact, Romans 1 details how the visible world points back to GOD himself,
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
–Romans 1:19-20 (KJV)
For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],
–Romans 1:19-20 (AMP)
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible covers this in more detail,
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Because that which may be known of God,…. There are some things which could not be known of God by the light of nature; as a trinity of persons in the Godhead; the knowledge of God in Christ as Mediator; the God-man and Mediator Jesus Christ; his incarnation, sufferings, death, and resurrection; the will of God to save sinners by a crucified Jesus; the several peculiar doctrines of the Gospel, particularly the resurrection of the dead, and the manner of worshipping of God with acceptance: but then there are some things which may be known of God, without a revelation. Adam had a perfect knowledge of him; and his sons, though fallen, even the very Heathens have some notion of him, as that there is a God; and by the light of nature it might be known that there is but one God, who is glorious, full of majesty, and possessed of all perfections, as that he is all powerful, wise, good and righteous: and this
is manifest in them, or “to them”; by the light that is given them: it is light by which that which may be known of God is manifest; and this is the light of nature, which every man has that comes into the world; and this is internal, it is in him, in his mind and conscience, and is communicated to him by God, and that by infusion or inspiration; see Job 32:8;
for God hath showed it unto them; what may be known of him by that light; and which is assisted and may be improved by a consideration of the works of creation and Providence.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
For the invisible things of him,…. Not the angels, the invisible inhabitants of heaven: nor the unseen glories of another world; nor the decrees of God; nor the persons in the Godhead; but the perfections of God, or his “properties”, as the Arabic version reads it; and which are explained by “his eternal power and Godhead”: these,
from the creation of the world are clearly seen; this is no new discovery, but what men have had, and might, by the light of nature, have enjoyed ever since the world was created; these
being understood, in an intellectual way, by the discursive faculty of the understanding,
by the things that are made; the various works of creation; all which proclaim the being, unity, and perfections of God their Creator,
so that they are without excuse; the very Heathens, who have only the light of nature, and are destitute of a revelation, have no colour or pretext for their idolatrous practices, and vicious lives; nor have they, nor will they have anything to object to God’s righteous judgment against them, or why they should not be condemned.
So we believe by faith that GOD is the One who made “the worlds” and we are given the proof of His handiwork through the very Earth, Sky, Universe, and more that we see every day. We know that it is GOD (who is invisible and cannot be seen) who made all things (that are visible for us to see). So we know that we lives the worlds which are made by GOD, and in who we have our faith.
- Hebrews 11:3
- Genesis 1:1
- Thayer’s Greek Definitions
- Genesis 1:1-19
- Romans 1:19-20 (KJV & AMP)
- Job 32:8