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Light without the sun in Genesis?

February 14th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Here in Genesis 1:3 we have light, but the sun and moon were created in Gen 1:16

Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.

I believe the reason for this is because light and darkness had different meanings during ancient times. Later these words transformed into the definitions we came to know.

The first thing we need to notice is the words used for light in Genesis 1:3 and Genesis 1:16.

Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.

In 1:3 the Hebrew word for light is H216 אור ‘owr.
In 1:16 the Hebrew word for light is H3974 מאור ma’owr.

Here we have two different Hebrew words being used for light. Therefore, it is logical to assume they have two different meanings.

The root for darkness is obscuration, things are not discernible.
Darkness obscures our ability to discern objects so later it became to mean darkness.

Light is the ability to start to discern, start to relieve obscurity.
So as you start to relieve obscurity, you begin to get order. Darkness is disorder, light is order.

Notice how during the 6 days creation “evening and the morning” were each day. (This is why the Jewish day starts at night and why the Sabbath is on Saturday.) Evening starts at ~7pm and morning starts ~7am. This is only ~12 hours. I don’t think when it is said that the evening and morning were day X it is referring to light, but that each day it moved from disorder (evening) to order (morning.)

And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And the evening and the morning were the second day.

And the evening and the morning were the third day.

And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

And on the seventh day God ended his work.

Notice how there was no evening and morning on the 7th day. This does not mean there was no daylight. I think it means that from day 1 until day 6 we slowly moved from disorder to order. On the 7th day order has been obtained, so there was no disorder.

The other idea is that Genesis 1:3 is referring to light as we know it — photons propagating through space as electromagnetic waves reflecting off objects. If so, then where is the light coming from?

Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Here it says that the sun and moon aren’t requirements for light because Jesus is the light.

If 1:3 refers to literal light and God is the light, then why did he “let there be light” if it already existed within himself? The answer is in verse 1:2.

Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The word darkness is H2882 חשך choshek which is an un-natural darkness. It is the same word used in Exodus 10.

Exd 10:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness [which] may be felt.

Exd 10:22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:

In Exodus 10 this was a darkness you could feel. If it is indeed the same darkness as in Genesis 1:2 then in Genesis 1:3 when God said let there be light he probably removed the choshek.

Much of what I learned about this is from Chuck Missler of khouse.org. I highly recommend you download his Genesis talk, it’s very good.

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  1. Logan
    December 2nd, 2010 at 04:00 | #1

    Hello,

    I am a Creationist, and strongly believe in the Big Bang theory.

    Virtually all physicists agree that the big bang occurred when “something” caused a large amount of energy and matter to forcibly exit another dimension and enter our own 3. Several leading physicists (Michio Kaku and Stephen Hawking among them) postulate that “the only way this could happen is if it was intentionally triggered.”

    “Light and dark” being in existence before matter coincides PERFECTLY with the large amounts of evidence pointing towards a “big bang”–Dark matter and energy (light) were present during the Big Bang. After the catastrophic release, much of this energy fixated itself into matter, and stars and planets came into being.

    Therefore, it is my lowly opinion that–God caused the Big Bang to occur, and the Bang was the source of light and matter, and later stars and planets.

    Regards,
    Logan W.

  2. rob
    December 29th, 2010 at 20:59 | #2

    @Logan
    Ty for the thoughtful comment.

    I too believe in a big-bang. However, I believe it happened in Genesis 1:1.

    To make sure I understand, you’re saying that light in Gen 1:3 is really energy?

    Can you do a play-by-play with Gen 1:1-3 on how this all works? I am curious how you explain Gen 1:2.

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