"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." Winston Churchill
In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and brought me thither, Ezekiel 40:1.
A beginning can take a long time. Many of my readers are familiar with the quote by Winston Churchill made in 1942 after the British victory at El Alamein. After 3 years of war, Churchill warned the British people that the victory did not mean that the end of the war was near. It merely signaled that the beginning of the war was at an end. Time has proven him correct. Likewise, when Ezekiel tells us that the Lord brought him forth, it was in the beginning of the year, not at the beginning of the year. Ten days into the month was still considered the beginning of the year.
All too often, bible readers feel constrained to accept the events of Genesis 1:1 as if they were the beginning of everything. The bible does not say that. To be technical, the entire Book of Genesis is the beginning of which Moses speaks. Certainly Jesus Christ considered Genesis 3 to be part of the beginning because he clearly stated, He was a murderer from the beginning, John 8:44. Satan murdered Adam and Eve by convincing Eve that she would not die if she partook of the forbidden fruit. Jesus Christ called Chapter 3 of Genesis "the beginning".
When the Lord wants us to know that something is just starting, the bible uses the phrase "at the beginning". At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision, Daniel 9:23. Daniel was made to know that when he first began to pray, Gabriel was sent forth. Events can generally be divided into three parts. We have the beginning, the middle and the end. None of those parts are an instant in time.
When the Lord wanted to remind us of the facts of when he first started the covenant of marriage, he said, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, Matthew 19:4. If we wanted to know what marriage was like in the beginning of marriage, almost the entire Book of Genesis could teach us. We can find many instructive examples of how our forefathers regarded marriage in the beginning. We can study both the successes and failures of early marriages to know how marriage was in those times, but if we want to know what it was like at the beginning of marriage, we are confined to Genesis 2:22-24.
If we talked about the beginning of your marriage, we are not confined to the moment you said "I do" at an altar. Generally, any time in which you and your spouse were adjusting to each other can be considered the beginning. If I was to say, "you had a child in the beginning of your marriage", I am not necessarily accusing you of premarital sex. I am saying that in the early days of your marriage before you and your spouse had fully adjusted to each other, you had children. If I said, "at the beginning of your marriage you had a child", I am saying something far more pointed. Either you had premarital sex or you brought in a child from another union.
All too often, the phrase "in the beginning" in Genesis 1:1 has tied readers to an impossible timeline of bible and creation history. It does not say "at the beginning". By believing an English Bible and taking it just as it is written, there is no need for a Gap Theory and no need to try to cram the fall of Lucifer into some tiny smidgen of neat theological time. In reality, we have no idea of how old the universe is. We merely are told how old the earth is in its present circumstance. We are told how long ago the history of man started. That is just plain simple English.