Genesis 1:16 BDC: Was light created or made, and was it on the first day or the fourth?

THE CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS gift of prophecy

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THE CREATION ACCOUNT TIMELINE

EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 160 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

IN THE BEGINNING

The material heavens and earth were created.—Genesis 1:1.

THERE WAS DARKNESS

The earth was without form and empty; and darkness was.—Genesis 1:2.

THE FIRST CREATIVE DAY

On the first creation day, ohr (light) was spread throughout the earth’s atmosphere (being diffused). To an earthly observer, had he been there: he would not have been able to discern the source of light. However, if there had been an earthly observer, he would have been able to discern the difference between night and day.—Genesis 1:3-5.

THE SECOND CREATIVE DAY

In this creation period (day) the earth is covered with water and there is a dense covering of vapor (expanse). God separated these two elements, creating a breaking away between the watery surface and the covering of the vapor (expanse). God by way of Moses describes this space as “an expanse in the middle of the waters,” and he called it “heaven” (or sky). Expanse: (Heb., raqia) is the atmosphere surrounding earth the space above the earth that contains the clouds, planets, and stars. It is where the birds fly, and the luminaries reside. God began to call the expanse heaven (or sky). The Psalmist tells us ‘The heavens are telling of the glory of God, and the expanse is declaring the work of his hands.’–Gen. 1:6-8, 14-15, 17, 20; Ps. 19:1; 150:1.—Genesis 1:6-8.

THE THIRD CREATIVE DAY

In this creation period (day) the water on the surface of the earth recedes and the dry ground appears. The atmosphere becomes more clear, which then allows added sunlight to get to the ground. As a result, some vegetation surfaces, with new species growing throughout the third creative day and the following creative days.—Genesis 1:9-13.

THE FOURTH CREATIVE DAY

In this creation period (day) the sun and moon now become observable from the surface of the earth if a human had been there to see it.—Genesis 1:14-19.

THE FIFTH CREATIVE DAY

In this creation period (day) God creates creatures that live underwater and creatures that fly in the heavens (the sky) in large numbers, giving them the gift of procreation within their kinds.—Genesis 1:20-23.

THE SIXTH CREATIVE DAY

In this creation period (day) animals that live on the land are created, both large and small. The sixth day climaxes with the jewel of all of God’s physical creation: the creation of man and then the creation of woman.—Genesis 1:24-31.

The Bible is not in agreement with the views of the fundamentalists and the traditional creationists who believe that the creative days were literally 24-hour days. The Biblical account of the creation days is not at odds with the scientific observation that mutations, micro-changes, variations occur within a kind. Each of the six creative days could have lasted for thousands of years in the Bible account. Before the first creative day ever began God had previously created our universe, our galaxy in our universe, and many billions of other universes, as well as a lifeless planet Earth. Obviously, the six creative days were long periods of time in which God made ready the earth for animals, Adam and Eve. The Bible creation account does not clash with scientific conclusions about the age of the universe. We are not trying to align the Bible with science, the science is now realizing it is in alignment with the Bible.

Genesis 1:1 BDC: Is the earth only 6,000 to 10,000 years old? Are the creative days literally, only 24 hours long?

Now Let’s Turn Our Attention to the Bible Difficulty

How is it that there could be light before the sun was made, or so it would seem?  The problem arises because the creation account comes across as though the sun was not created until the fourth day (1:14-16), yet there was light on the first day (1:3). The solution to this Bible difficulty lies below.

Genesis 1:3, 5 American Standard Version (ASV)

3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Genesis 1:3, 5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

3Then God said, “Let there be light“; and there was light.  5God called the light day, and the darkness He called night And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Genesis 1:3, 5 English Standard Version (ESV)

3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 5And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

 

Genesis 1:3, 5 New International Version (NIV)

3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 5God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Genesis 1:3, 5 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 5 God called the light “day,” and He called the darkness “night.” Evening came, and then morning: the first day.

Genesis 1:3, 5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 5 And God began calling the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day.

Genesis 1:16, 19 American Standard Version (ASV)

16And God made the two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 19And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

Genesis 1:16, 19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

16God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 19There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

Genesis 1:16, 19 English Standard Version (ESV)

16And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

Genesis 1:16, 19 New International Version (NIV)

16God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 19And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

Genesis 1:16, 19 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

16God made the two great lights—the greater light to have dominion over the day and the lesser light to have dominion over the night—as well as the stars. 19Evening came, and then morning: the fourth day.

Genesis 1:16, 19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

16 And God had made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS

In the above there appears to be a difficulty, in that Genesis 1:3, 5 informs the reader that God brought about light during the first creation day when he said: “’Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Then, Genesis 1:16, 19 informs the reader that “God had made the two great lights” during the fourth creation day. Hence, did God create or make light on the first or fourth creation day? Before we begin to answer this difficulty, we must bear in mind that Genesis was written from a human perspective, as an earthly observer, as if he were there; not from a heavenly observation.

In looking at the fourth creation day first, we see that the “greater light” for ruling the day is our sun, and the “lesser light” for ruling the night is our moon. A further explanation of this is found at Psalm 136:7-9 (ASV): “To him that made great lights; for his loving-kindness endures forever: The sun to rule by day; for his loving-kindness endures forever; the moon and stars to rule by night; for his loving-kindness endures forever.”

DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP Agabus Cover BIBLICAL CRITICISM

Returning to the first creation day, we find the expression: “let there be light.” Ohr is the Hebrew word for light, which conveys the idea of light in a broad sense. However, for the fourth creation day, a different word is chosen, maohr, which refers to a source of light. Rotherham, in a footnote on “Luminaries” in the Emphasised Bible, says: “In ver. 3, ’ôr [’ohr], light diffused.” Then he goes on to show that the Hebrew word maohr in verse 14 has the sense of something “affording light.” In other words, on the first creation day ohr (light) was spread throughout the earth’s atmosphere (being diffused). To an earthly observer, had he been there: he would not have been able to discern the source of light. However, by the fourth creation day, the observer would have been able to see the maohr (source) of that light, as the atmosphere would have changed.

BIBLE DIFFICULTIES

It should also be noted that Genesis 1:16 does not use the Hebrew verb bara, meaning, “create.” Instead, the Hebrew verb asah is used, meaning, “make.” The reason being, Genesis 1:1 informs us “God created the heavens (which would include sun, moon and stars) and the earth.” In other words, the “greater light” (sun) and the “lesser light” (moon) were created long before the fourth creation day. What we have on the fourth creation day is Jehovah God “making” the “greater light” and the “lesser light” to exist in a new way with the surface of the earth and the expanse that had now dissipated even further, allowing the source of light to be seen from earth. God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens . . .” (Gen 1:14) This being a further indication of their discernibleness. In addition, they were “to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years.” These were to evidence the existence of God and draw attention to His great power, as well as lead man in numerous ways.

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