Creator of heaven and earth

Creator is one of the most well known of the names for God, and He did indeed make heaven and earth. However, “Creator of heaven and earth” only comes to us as a name of God in English via the Greek translation of the Old Testament. The Hebrew for this name really means “Possessor of heaven and earth,” which is how the NASB and KJV have it. The Amplified Bible combines the two ideas in the name, “Possessor and Maker of heaven and earth.”

The Greek translators of the Old Testament chose to use the Greek word ektisen in place of the Hebrew qoneh. Ektisen means “He created.” Some English versions of this verse are based on the Hebrew (NASB, KJV), others on the Greek (NIV, The Message Bible).

Both of these names of God speak truths about God because He is the Creator and He is also the Possessor. Other Bible verses speak of Him possessing things, for instance the nations (Ps. 82:6-8). God has a double interest in man and the universe; He created them and He possesses them.

The two verses are part of an interesting dialogue between Melchizedek (the king of Sodom) and Abram (who later became Abraham):

[Melchizedek] blessed [Abram] and said,

“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth. . . .

Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth. (Genesis 14:19, 22)

Melchizedek invoked ’El ‘Elyon (God Most High). In reply, Abram attached the name Yahweh (or Jehovah) to the other titles. It was Abram’s way of stating that Yahweh was the true supreme God, just in case Melchizedek had a Canaanite god in mind.

Possessor or Creator of heaven and earth (Qoneh shamayim wa’arets) pictured in the Hebrew text of Genesis 14:19.

Possessor or Creator of heaven and earth (Qoneh shamayim wa’arets) in the Hebrew text of Genesis 14:19.

Creator of heaven and earth in Hebrew:

Qoneh shamayim wa’arets

Strong’s Concordance numbers: 7069, 8064, 776

Bible references: Gen. 14:19, 22

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