Genesis (Part 4)

Genesis 1:4-5 4And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Some observations:

  1. We see in verse 3 that God created light. However, we did not see it stated explicitly that God created the darkness.
  2. From verse 3, we move to today’s verses. God saw that the light was good. But He did not see that the darkness was anything at all. Is it fair to infer then that because we are not told explicitly of God creating darkness, nor are we told that he pronounced it as good (or bad) that darkness in the context of this verse is a place where nothing is created? Light is substance and darkness is lack of substance? What do you think?
  3. God separates light from darkness and he calls them day and night. However, it is not stated explicitly that God created the sun, moon, or stars until verses 14-18 of chapter 1. So what gives? Was day and night, light and darkness, as described in our verses here, symbolic of something more? Well… nobody really agrees because the text is not clear. You can see the Strong’s Hebrew translation for light here. And you can see the same for the word darkness here.
  4. Is the first day of creation a literal 24 hour day in the way that we think of it in our present time? How can it be without the sun? The Strong’s Hebrew translation for day is here. יוֹם yôwm, yome; from an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literal (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figurative (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverb):—age, always, chronicals, continually(-ance), daily, ((birth-), each, to) day, (now a, two) days (agone), elder, × end, evening, (for) ever(-lasting, -more), × full, life, as (so) long as (… live), (even) now, old, outlived, perpetually, presently, remaineth, × required, season, × since, space, then, (process of) time, as at other times, in trouble, weather, (as) when, (a, the, within a) while (that), × whole ( age), (full) year(-ly), younger. The word can be translated to mean a literal day in the sense that we think of it. Further, the translation for night can be taken as either literal or figurative. The idea of light without the sun as a source is not unique to Genesis. Revelation 21:23 in the Christian Bible says: The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. For Christians, at least, it might be inferred from a reading of other holy text that the light described here in Genesis is supernatural.
  5. The passage ends by referring to evening and morning, the first day. Jewish days are calculated from sunset to sunset. Here you see evening mentioned as the first “mixture” of light and darkness. It serves as a beginning point marker for the day. Morning, the second mixture moment, is mid-day. Thus, the return of evening is the end of one day and the beginning of the next.

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