Some people say it can be, which very much changes the meaning of the chapter.

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    You might find better results on a different stack exchange, such as the ones dedicated to Biblical analysis, Judaism, Christianity, or the Hebrew language.
    – Draconis
    Nov 6 '18 at 15:37

It is not entirely clear which word you're referring to. Genesis 1 is an entire chapter, comprising close to 400 words, and different translations translate the same word differently. Given that the chapter generally deals with the creation of the world, it uses many forms of words concerned with making and creating. The most common ones are:

1) בָּרָא "create, make, form, shape" – used in verse 1 of heaven and earth, in verse 21 of sea creatures, in verse 27 of man

2) עָשָׂה "do, make, create, prepare, produce, use" – used in verse 7 of "the firmament", in verse 11-12 of plants bearing seeds and trees bearing fruit, in 16 of God making "the two great lights", in 25 of the animals of the earth, in 26 of man, in 31 of "all"

If you're thinking of the latter one, yes, it can mean "use", but that's a rather rare sense of the verb. And that particular verb really has quite a lot of senses. It takes up more than thirty pages in the comprehensive The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew by David Clines. I've attached the index page to that verb so you can see the senses for yourself.

entry for the word עָשָׂה in The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew by David Clines


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