By Brother Robert S. Herring

There are 2 creations that take place in Genesis. The first, Chapter 1, refers to the creation itself (everything out of nothing) and the second, Chapter 2, is the specific creation of Adam. The first biblical account of creation is accepted to be a very brief summarization of older documents. There are close similarities, in sections, to the Enuma Elish (Babylonian creation mythos).  We must remember that Abraham was Babylonian.  The creation of Adam is in itself a unique version of the story of the creation of humans found in older sources yet it is expressly different.  It is interesting that the Hebrew version accepts the concept that there were humans long before Adam (and states it) but doesn’t go into any detail about this.  Therefore, the biblical account does not contradict older mythology/theology in retelling the creation yet builds and expands on it while focusing on different aspects. 

The Sepher Yetzirah (Book of Creation) is a short text that is generally accepted by mainstream Judaism and rabbinical authorities to be attributed to the Patriarch Abraham.  We know it was written down before the 10th century because we have multiple versions and commentaries dated to that time spreading across large geographic regions.  The Sepher Yetzirah was originally an oral tradition (like the Torah) that formed an important part of Hebrew theology and spirituality.   It was later hidden along with other ancient “mystical texts.”  Many if not most of these texts have since disappeared but the survival of the Sepher Yetzirah in its several forms denotes its importance. The differences in the versions appear to be commentary on the original text that was later incorporated by scribes trying to save the commentary or who after so many years were unaware parts are commentary.  Thus the Sepher Yetzirah, going back to Abraham, predates the biblical text by well over 500 years.  The Sepher Yetzirah gives a very detailed account of how God created existence.  This is much more than “God said” but explains the nuts and bolts of HOW in a way designed to be a “do it yourself” guide for the “educated.” 

The account relies heavily on “masonic” imagery, descriptions and metaphor. While never mentioned specifically in the biblical text, there are numerous references that do not apply to any other source and appear in illiteration throughout the entire “Old Testament.”  It speaks of engraving, carving and hewing as well as giving the entire system of geometry that construction and masonry are built upon.  The text explains not only 3 dimensional space but also the 4th dimension of time.  Thus we have a space-time.  It provides us with an entire coordinate system and XYZ axis.  The text also describes a 5th dimension of spirit.  The text uses metaphors of cut stones and rough stones.  It is easy to see why the ancient builders were so revered because it was they who understood the mysteries of God.  They were doing similar things and using the same principles on earth building cities, tabernacles, and temples that God used in creation. 

The 7 days of creation in the biblical account did not occur in 7 light-dark cycles of the Earth. Psalms 90:4 and the Midrash say that “a day unto the Lord is as 1000 years” to man.  There is a doctrine in Torah called “The Doctrine of Sabbaticals (or Jubilees).” The Jubilee cycle is 7 Sabbatical Cycles or 49 years.  We see this in the Jubilee year in which nothing is planted or harvested (the land rests) and the larger cycle where all debts are forgiven, land is returned to its hereditary owners and slaves are freed.  This larger cycle extends to the 50th Year (49 years then the 50th a Jubilee Lev 25:9-14). This doctrine is brought from the Divine teachings in scripture and also refers to the creation: “On the 7th day God rested.” Ancient Kabbalists teach (from Sepher Yetzirah) that the 7 days denotes Divine Cycles of Creation/Sustaining.  Thus us we see that each Day in the biblical account is 1000 years but not 1000 of our years but Divine years because at this point there is no “earth.”  Therefore, we cannot use our day or year as a reference but must rely on scripture to give conversions. 

Rabbi Issac of Akko (circa 1305), explaining this ancient wisdom, stated that since the year is 365.24 days long the Divine year would be 365,250 earth years.  Therefore each of the cycles, consisting of 7,000 Divine Years would be 2,556,750,000 earthly years.  It interesting that science says life appeared on earth roughly 2.5 billion years ago which would match up to the 5th “Day” (cycle) of creation in Genesis.  It is on the 5th Day in which life is created (Gen 1: 20-23).  During the 6 days of Creation God didn’t create the world but created the ingredients that would make up the world and let it develop.   It thus refers to the creation of all matter along with space and time.  It was during these 6 days God brought the universe into being from absolute nothingness.

After this initial Creation, God allowed the universe to develop by itself renewing His Creation each cycle of 7,000 Divine Years or 2.5 billion earth years (2.55675 billion to be exact).  The 5th cycle began about 2.5 billion years ago with the creation of life: plants and animals. The 6th “day” God further renews His creation and creates humans.  It was on the 6th day God Created Adam and made him special and unique by giving him a soul but this is given in detail in Genesis Chapter 2. There were humans before Adam but none uniquely endowed with a soul (the Breath of God) and spiritual awareness that connected him and connects all of his descendants to the Divine.  It was about 974 generations (25,000 years) before Adam that human beings developed “from the dust of the earth (Gen 1:24-26 and Gen 2:7)” with the mental and physical capabilities we have today.  This man that evolved from the dust of the earth was still lacking a Divine Soul. Modern anthropology has put forth the evolution of modern humans at about 25,000 years ago.

When we count backwards from the creation of Adam (Gregorian date 9-9-3761 BCE) and we assume the 6th Cycle of Creation started with the Creation of Adam (as stated in the Bible), we count the years of the cycles (6 X 2.55675 billion), we find the Creation of the Universe in Genesis 1:1 occurred 15,340,500,00 years ago (15.345 billion years ago).  NASA recently confirmed the age of the Universe using orbiting satellites at 15 billion years.  This is what Rabbi Issac of Akko said in the early 1300’s. So if we delineate it:  4th cycle (5 billion years ago) the Sun and Earth begin to form (NASA’s formed age of Sun/Earth 4.57 billion years); 5th cycle 2.5 billion years ago life appears on Earth;  and during the 6th cycle 5774 years ago Adam was Created  “And He blew into his nostrils a soul of life (Gen 2:7).”  It is amazing the knowledge and wisdom our ancient masonic ancestors possessed.


Kaplan, Aryeh (1997). "Sepher yetzirah the book of creation." Red Wheel/Weiser: San Francisco




Museum Home Page     Phoenixmasonry Home Page

Copyrighted © 1999 - 2015   Phoenixmasonry, Inc.      The Fine Print