“Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.” - Edward Hopper.

In Menoras Hameor R. Yitzchak Abuhav explains: “Blessed is He Who spoke and the world came to be” - speech was the means by which the Holy One brought the heavens and the earth into being, as is written in Tehillim 33:9 “For He said and it came to be”. Our Sages teach (Bereshit Rabbah 44:22): “The word of the Holy One is actual deed (i.e. the actualization of it; making actual or really existent; it’s an act of coming into existence)”.

So when G-d spoke, through His words He brought the universe into being. (What He speaks into existence comes into existence).

But why did G-d choose to speak creation into existence? Why did G-d choose to ‘express Himself’ in this way; use speech as His instrument to create? (Why not create things in the way G-d created Adam).

  • 2
    What does it mean for G-d to 'speak'?
    – Joel K
    Mar 10, 2021 at 8:17
  • I recall seeing somewhere, but I've searched and can't find it, that Hashem used the metaphor of speech to teach us the importance of speech, that speech can create worlds, and C"V the opposite. Perhaps, (my own thought) by the creation of Adam since he received the ability to speak, more than the animals, over there it says he was formed, because in his case the speech that will create worlds will be done by himself.
    – Chatzkel
    Aug 10, 2021 at 2:15

3 Answers 3


What the account of Creation in Beresheit does is impress upon us a lesson about Hashem’s sovereign power - his capacity to create instantaneously, without great exertion, with a mere word - so it is likely that He chose to do things this way in order to teach Man about Himself and His attributes. The fact that Adam was ’fashioned’ from the dust of the ground likewise seems to me a way of imparting the lesson that He has special concern for Man, and gives his life special attention.

In short, Hashem was teaching from the very beginning :)

  • Rambam said that G-d created everything instantaneously, not six days.
    – Turk Hill
    Mar 10, 2021 at 22:50

For a person, "words" can exist in "inner space", and they can also exist in "outer space".

Le'mashal, for one who learns torah lishmah, the words are real and exist in inner-space, hence nothing else is needed. However, for one who learns torah she'lo lishmah, the words are extraneous and exist in "outer space" and are not part of the self, hence additional motivation is needed.

An act of creation occurs when one takes words that exist in "inner space" and one projects these into "outer space" and to the real world. This is always the creative process, whether it is of an architect, a painter or a poet.

So Hashem spoke and the world came into being.


Jordan Peterson-[1] explained that G-d spoke creation to bring order into the universe. This makes sense.

Jordan Peterson uses psychology to explain why the Bible describing G-d as "talking" to bring order to the universe.

Genesis 1:2: “Now the earth was tohu vavohu and darkness was upon the face of the tehom and the ruach elohim hovered over the face of the waters.”

No one really knows what tohu vavohu means. It seems to denote something unformed. The earth was unformed. Was the world created out of preexisting matter? Did G-d bring order to this matter?

According to Peterson, masculinity denotes order while the feminine aspect denotes disorder and chaos. The yin and yang symbol is an example. Yang is white which means order while black means chaos.

According to Chinese mythology, the yin and yang spinning wheel means eternal order and chaos. G-d, in the Bible, is described as a man (anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms) not because He has a gender (according to Rambam G-d has no gender) but because males are a symbol of order, law, civilization, and G-d is the ultimate source of order, laws, and civilization, so He is depicted as in the male sex. G-d "speaking" also denotes order, since G-d does not have vocal cords, but this is a metaphor. As a result, we should not understand G-d "speaking" literally.

[1] Jordan Peterson is a psychologist and does not at all represent Jewish thought, but I thought his thinking was interesting and may shed light on new Bible intrepertation.

  • 6
    How does speaking bring order into the universe more so than any other method of creation?
    – Alex
    Mar 10, 2021 at 7:23
  • 1
    Your edit only added irrelevant information about his views on men and women, and then you repeat that speaking denotes order, without clarifying what that means and why it's unique to speaking.
    – robev
    Mar 10, 2021 at 20:24
  • @robev Obviously G-d did not "speak." Rambam explains that the word “spoke” and “said” does not mean uttered words. G-d has no vocal cords. It means “thought” or “willed.” G-d did not speak during creation in Genesis 1. G-d “willed” the creation of heaven and earth. This "will" brings order to the universe.
    – Turk Hill
    Mar 10, 2021 at 20:56
  • 1
    You've made this point before, but it's avoiding the fact that creation is described as G-d speaking. The question was "why", and you answered "no".
    – robev
    Mar 10, 2021 at 21:09
  • 1
    I saw your edited answer. You failed to address this concern.
    – robev
    Mar 11, 2021 at 19:25

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