Genesis 1:1 - 31
ESV - 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
"How can there be light before the sun, moon and stars are made?" -- Good question... and the brothers above have answered well in pointing out that God Himself is light. There is still more in this passage (there always is) and that is why it still pulls on us. Approximately 1/3 of the Bible is written in symbolic language: dreams, visions, parables, etc. God is big on this. We are not -- especially in this western culture -- and also because of the many abuses that can easily occur when entering into this area. Still, if God loves symbols we cannot ignore them. We must be diligent to use the Bible to define the symbols and guide us. Also, just because something is symbolic does not mean it is not literal. The Hebrews leaving Egypt is very symbolic, and referenced as such, but it also literally occurred. In Gen 1:2 we find creation a mess, which is good because we often find ourselves in messes. The creation is without order, proper substance, or light. After several prophetic statements this dark hell is turned into the Garden of Eden; heaven on earth so to speak. One goes from hell to heaven, darkness to light, disorder to order with a few living Words of God. In it's essence it is that simple. These passages demonstrate this process. In v2 The Spirit is moving about. No one REALLY knows what The Spirit is doing... you just let it do it. V3 Thusly things now prepared and The Father speaks the First words (This invokes the first mentioning principle to an amazing degree which cannot ever be paralleled). These words show how all other words are to work. "Then God said, 'Let there be Light": and there was light. "God Said" The word "said" in verse 3 is the Hebrew word "RA," meaning to speak the heart of God. When Isaiah or Jeremiah RA, we translate it they prophesied. We can translate verse 3: "God prophesied, 'Let there be light.'" It's not a word -- it's a prophetic word; a living word. Not surprisingly the prophecy came true, "...there was light." Now notice the oddness of V4, God notices the light and judges it. This conforms to the steps WE must take with prophecy: (we receive it), (we test it), we speak it, it occurs, we see it, and we judge its fruit. (God applies the applicable steps only for our benefit). In the final part of v4, He separates -- or sanctifies -- the light. Light is holy. Light causes things to become clear. That's why it is one of the terms for Jesus. It exposes the good and bad; your sins and your gifts -- it brings the truths which sets you free! God defines the light as day and the darkness as evening. In Hebrew, as with most languages, light, day, dawn are associated with clarity, understanding, and revelation; "It dawned on me!" "The light came on and I understood." "I have a bright idea!" Darkness, evening, shadow represents the opposite; the lack of clarity, confusion, doubt and even fear. "He was in a grey fog and could not find his way out." In summary: God takes things from darkness/confusion, to light/clarity. Though days are literal 24 hour periods, much more importantly is that each is meant to be a step forward in the Light/understanding God provides. A day to God i not defined by the sun and moon, or by the clock, but by the light we allow into our hearts and the growth that results; a day is a period of revelation, which should produce fruit. Prayer: Lord, though I am afraid of your great light, but please let it shine into my darkness and chaos; bring me to the point of fruitfulness we both so much desire. Help me acknowledge my sin shown by the light, but let me gaze be on Your Majesty, that I might become like you. Thank you for the Grace of Light.
This question could have a much more complicated answer than we would originally expect. Scientist have a problem with th Big Bang theory. It's called the Horizon problem. The average temperature across the universe is constant. In other words wherever we look with our telescopes, we never find hot and cold pockets of the universe. In the aftermath of an explosion you would expect to find a colder temperature further away from the original explosion than closer, but this is not the case. What this means is that there has been a transfer of energy between every distant part of the universe so that the temperature has equalized. Much like dropping an ice cube in a glass of hot tea will raise the temperature of the ice cube causing it to melt and lower the temperature of the tea. The tea and the ice cube transfer energy and equalize temperature by contacting each other. In space none of these heavenly bodies are touching, meaning that the only way they could transfer energy is by Radiant energy (in the form of electromagnetic radiation) Visible light is just a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. There are other waves such as Gamma rays, infrared, x-rays, ultraviolet, etc... So Light only travels at 186,000 miles per second. 6000 years is not enough time for light from one part of the universe to travel to another In order for the temperature of all these heavenly bodies to be constant and transfer energy between each other, the "gaps" had to be filled in. I believe that's what God was doing when he created light before the heavenly bodies that emitted light. The universe is much more complicated than we currently understand, but as we get smarter, we usually "catch up" with the Bible, and discover God means what He says, and doesn't need us to help Him out with trying to explain away what He "actually" means. What an awesome God we serve!
Let me throw a little light on this question, The Bible says that God is the Father of Lights, He is never in the dark, where ever He is there is light, & where there is darkness He can put light, & i give God the Father all the glory,in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. Love Brother Tony
The Two Great Lights "Lights" comes from the Hebrew ma’owr (H3974), light holders or luminaries (Ex. 25:6; 27:20; 35:8,14,28; 39:37; Lev. 24:2; Num. 4:9, 16; Ps. 74:16; 90:8; Prov. 15:30). "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." - Gen 1:16 Here, the lights are made NOT created. They were created in the beginning before the earth was (Gen. 1:1; Job 38:4-7), but during the chaos following Lucifer’s rebellion, they were forbidden to give light on earth until judgment had been completed (Isa. 14:12-14; Jer. 4:23-26; Ezek. 28:11-17; 2Pet. 3:5-7). Now they fulfill their creative purposes again in the newly-restored earth. The work of day one proves the prior existence of these lights, for light was merely introduced at that time, as well as the division of light and darkness. Not only did the sun exist, but the daily rotation of the earth on its axis was also in operation. The light of the first three days came from the same source as that of the last three days and all others from the restoration to the present. The lights shone on the waters during days one and two, but the earth was under water until day three. With the earth restored, the permanent regulation of the planets (as before chaos) was the next natural step. The greater light to rule the day - First called "the sun" in Gen. 15:12. The lesser light to rule the night - The moon is the lesser light; it merely reflects the sun’s light. The Source of Light : Gen. 1:17 proves that the light of the first three days came from the sun which was created before the six days of Gen. 1:3--Gen. 2:25. The sun had shone during all of Lucifer’s reign prior to Adam, before being commanded not to give light on the cursed earth of Gen. 1:2 and Jer. 4:23-26. Here we merely have the regulation of the sun, moon, and stars with the restored earth. The Solaric covenant is now made guaranteeing the present life on earth forever. Solaric Covenant(Gen. 1:14-18; 8:22; Ps. 89:34-37; Jer. 31:35-37; 33:19-26): This covenant was made between God and man. In addition to eternal seasons of fruitfulness it promised that man would continue forever--as long as the solar system endures. In this connection definite promises were made to Noah, David, and others as seen in scriptures above. Rule over the day and over the night: Sun, moon, and stars are now restored as rulers of day and night, as before the curse of Gen. 1:2; Jer. 4:23-26; 2Pet. 3:5-7.
To use the fact that God is light as the light mentioned before the sun is a nice way to side step the question. If God s light why would He have to say let there be light. The verse earlier tells us that darkness was upon the face of the deep. It is better to say that God who is omnipotent was able to make light appear without the sun. To me it is always interesting to hear the theologians say light was the first thing created when there was earth or land before light. Later God said let the dry land appear. Also water was there before light. In verse 2 it tells us that The Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. Not sure why creationist have to try to prove a 6000 year old earth in order to disprove evolution. It is clear that there was some type of order before which became dark and wasted..without form and void. It could be a 6000 year old starting from day one of the oresent creation. However what is so difficult in believing there was a creation before vs 3 without giving ground to the evolutionist. Men too like to push God in their little theological boxes. They limit The eternal preexistent God to a creative act of only 6000 years ago as if God only started creating things then. Where were they when He created the angelic beings eons upon eons before vs 3 of Genesis when they say God began all His creative acts. What I see in Genesis 1:3 and onward is a new system to replace what was on the earth from what is referred to as "in the beginning." This new system started when the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and then light was called to dispel the darkness.
How could there be light on the first day of Creation if the sun was not created until the fourth day? The simple answer is that the Sun was created before “the first day of Creation.” Genesis 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (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.” This statement is made by an un-named narrator who appears to be telling us a story about what is happening from an earth-bound perspective. He tell us that the earth already existed before Day 1 of creation. He also says that it was completely dark and that there was an ocean. (Genesis 1:2) From a geologic perspective, it is known that the primary atmosphere of the earth was opaque in the beginning, thus making the surface of the earth completely dark. It is also known that the early earth was covered by a worldwide ocean. So, during the first day of creation, the atmosphere cleared enough to discern light as seen through a very dense fog. No details could be seen, only the light. The light was separated from the darkness because of the rotation of the earth on its axis just as it is now. So, the sun wasn’t created on Day 4 because it had already been created along with the heavens before Day 1. Also, the text doesn’t say God created the sun at this time either. It says He “made two great lights;... and God set them in the firmament... “ (Genesis 1:14-18) The Hebrew word for “made” is Asah which generally means to make out of pre-existing parts. Both humans and God can “make” things. However, the word for “create” is Barah, which is an activity “always with God as subject.” In Genesis chapter 1, Barah is used only three times. In other words, only God can Barah something. On Day 4, He didn’t Barah the sun, He Asahed it by clearing the earth’s atmosphere to the extent we see it now. We know this because the text says that the heavenly bodies would be used to establish “signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” (Genesis 1:14) At this time, you could see individual stars that would become signs, for seasons and years. H6213 עשׂה ‛âśâh aw-saw' BDB Definition: 1) to do, fashion, accomplish, make; 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to do, work, make, produce; 1a1a) to do; 1a1b) to work; 1a1c) to deal (with); 1a1d) to act, act with effect, effect. H1254 בּרא bârâ' BDB Definition: 1) to create, shape, form 1a) (Qal) to shape, fashion, create (always with God as subject) 1a1) of heaven and earth 1a2) of individual man. For verification, do a search on the words “create” (6 verses) and “created. ” (38 verses) Every time God is the subject of the word. As an aside, I can think of at least two examples of Jesus actually creating something out of nothing. There may be more. The examples I have in mind are when he turned water into wine (John 2:6-11) and when he multiplied fish and bread. (Matthew 15:34-37, among others) If Jesus actually “created” something out of nothing, then he must be God who is the only one that can do that. Just a thought.
God is light, he's everything! All he had to do was speak it it was already created through him like everything else.
The Scriptures do not tell us the answer to this question. The Scriptures simply tell us what happened, not how. Some say God is Light - which is perfectly true - but of course, He Himself is not the light that He created on day one. Science teaches cause and effect; every effect has a cause - something that caused the effect. The Bible shows us that God, praise His Name, is able to create the effect without first creating a cause. For example, He is able to heal without medicines. He is able to feed the hungry without grain, He is able to send bread from heaven, and cause water to flow from a rock. And, He was able to create Light independently of first having to create the Sun - or any other source of light for that matter. The God of Science is above science and not subject to science. And when science and logic say something is not possible... I look to God who is able to do the so-called impossible.
In Genesis 1:26 it states "Let US make man in OUR image." In John chapter one we learn that all things were made by him. Jesus is the light of the world, and that's how he provides light, He didn't say "I provide or made the light" of the world, though He did that also. You can say it is only figurative, but literally God is light, that doesn't mean He shines that light at all times. The Spirit hovered over the water and the Son provided light. Jesus created and He is light, He didn't create a sun in order to create light, but another source of light to govern the day. We make lesser lights from candles, yet we can flick on a big lamp or overhead light bulb if we want. We don't confuse the light of the candle with the light of the bulb. In essence, from Genesis 1:5 we learn God did not require the sun to create what is called a "day" or "Day". Hope this simplifies.
The bible tells us that God IS light. And we are to burn bright in these darkening times. Only in the past 100 years has physics understood and agreed with the bible that time had a moment when it began. Long before Messiah created suns or stars, He formed and stretched out the boundaries of His creation with Light. Therefore our universe is not infinite. The most distant galaxies of stars whose light is only now reaching us from the edge of this universe was placed there at the beginning of time, stretched there in the very first moment of created time. That beginning was a momentary flash of light which stretched out the heavens in less than the first second of its created existence.
God didn't say let there be Sun he simply stated light there be light, light as from his presence. Remember God just needs to speak and it'll take place, yes we all know Sun is light as well as a source of heat so is the moon light as a source of shade or covering.
I think this sort of light which is mentioned in first day of creations is the light which is mentioned also in John 1:4 - "In him was life, and the life was the light of men". So this sort of life wasn't physical light but the life it self which is "light of men". In my mind i visualize it as spark - sparkle that is the life, which is the beginning of everything... For example - nobody ever discovered what does make body alive - you can put all parts of body together, but you cant make it alive. So this "something that makes body alive" is this light that is mentioned in this first day of creation. God saw that it is good and continued creating by adjusting the earth to this "phenomenon of life". This sparkle is in everything that god has created. All things the God is created is good - them all are light. :) Thats how I see it. :) Bless you! John 1:1-5
In Geneses 1:3 When God said, "Let there be light", the light could be Jesus.The Bible teaches Jesus was present at creation. Colossians 1:13,16 "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son---For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,---" Jesus also said, "I am the light of the world" When God said, "Let there be light", the light that still shines brighter than the sun is Jesus. Revelation 21:23 "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."
It could also be explained that the sun and stars are merely the messages of light. For example the creation of the touch light was only possible because we know that light exists and therefore are able to produce light with different objects.
In the beginning the surface of the earth was covered with deep clouds which after the first day permitted the sun to shine through to some degree so day and night could be distinguished. As the earth cooled and land and vegetation appeared the cloud cover receded into the stratosphere but still hid the sun most of the time. With the fourth day the weather patterns were altered by divine decree so that both sun and moon became normally visible under the portion of this planet designated as "earth." Notice that the sun and moon are intended to "rule" day and night respectively, which implies that they are intended to be more than simply visible like the stars. They are in place for signs, and seasons, and days and years. Gen 1:14. The rotation and revolution of the planet around the sun was also permanently established by God in the fourth day (no future changes) since He "set them in the firmament." Gen1:17. God has made the sun, moon and stars in the sense that He permanently established on the fourth day what the physical and spiritual effects of these bodies would have on earth and the beings inhabiting it.
The bible was not originally written in any modern language. If translated from the paleohebrew characters, the translation is "Let the One that is Light, shine and manifest." This is referring to the Prince of Light.
Psalm 139:12 states “Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
GENESIS 1.3 And Elohim said, Let there be light: and there was light. GENESIS 1.5 And Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. From my poor understanding, God as in Gen 1.3 first created the light and then he called the light day and the dark night as in Gen 1.5. It's in this verse we read that the light was created before the first day was completed.
Yes, this certainly is problematic. And the reason maybe because of traditional understanding of Gen. 1:1 & 1:2, which should be re-analyzed. Gen. 1:1 should be interpreted as "did not" come from anything that can be seen"(Heb 11:3 NLT). Meaning, that the Creator God Logos (John 1) simply said the word and the "heavens and the earth" were created. Yes, the Creator Logos can easily say the "word" and things were created. The truth is, He did not need anything to create something. Meaning, that the Creator did not start with "without form"/bohuw and "void"/tohuw", not with "darkness"/choshek"(Gen. 1:2) that described something already existing prior to creation. Also, notice that from creation, it started with "good", not with chaos or destruction. Instead, I Tim 4:4 "For everything God created (or started) is good,...," That said, an original "very good" creation of "heavens and earth" in Gen. 1:1 became "without form"/bohuw and "void"/tohuw", with "darkness"/choshek" in Gen.1:2. Could there have been a "celestial war" that caused this devastation that occurred in the time span between these 2 verses? With this scenario, the sun, moon, stars and earth were already created in Gen. 1:1 which could be eons ago. Then in Gen. 1:2 there was this history of destruction and chaos. After that "destruction", was "cleansing" in v-2 that started on the literal "first day" as in "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters(mayim or waste)". The Spirit of God "cleanse the waste" and "darkness" that covered those already existing celestial bodies within that 6 day-period. The living things like plants, animals, humans were actually created on "literal" "sunset-to-sunset" days, as "very good". This pattern of creation was also shown in the creation of man as originally "very good", then because of sin became "marred clay" which was "re-conformed" (and cleansed) by the Potter (Jer.18:4; Heb 2:6; Ps.8:4) into the "likeness of Christ (Rom 8:29) to bring many sons to glory" (Heb 2:10).
We can only pray that God should continue to reveal the deep and secret things of His, and truly He will. Just as Jesus needed to work while it was day, meaning in the LIGHT (although He is that same LIGHT), His Father needed to work in that LIGHT, so He says to the LIGHT that was there, "Be thee manifested"! Anyway, my attempt at the answer is that; Darkness consists of lack of knowledge, evil and the absence of physical light. Light is the absence of darkness, and God wanted to rid 'the beggining' of (lack of knowledge, evil, and physical darkness). Remember Jesus said in John that no one can work when night (darkness) has come. God's ways are not man's ways (the ways of the Spirit/spiritual are not like those of the physical); He works in mysterious ways! Before the foundations of the earth He had created us, but He formed us on the 6th day. Mystery indeed! Let there be light, so that the mystery be unravelled! God bless you!
The light which illuminated the first three days of creation, many Hebrew scholars agree is the first revealing of Messiah, Jesus "in the natural". If we consider the period of three days this light which was not the sun illuminates creation and recognize the three days of darkness; Messiah's death and burial leading to His resurrection, it ties in perfectly. Also consider the many scriptures referring to Jesus as light. "I am the light of the world".
The light created on the first day is similar to the light created on the fourth day. God blew over the face of the waters and said let there be light. This is him energizing the core of the earth. He built the earth from the inside out. The core of the earth is like the sun a big ball of energy, which before it was divided from the darkness shown its light into the darkness. Through the use of the various other elements He divided or separated the light of the core from the darkness by forming the outer layers. Similar to how he divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament by creating the sky. God called the light day. The word day comes from a root word meaning to be hot. Well the sun and the core of the earth are hot. The light of the core had to be covered in order for us to inhabit the earth, so there was the need for the other lights to be created on the fourth day. There is no problem with God creating the vegetation a day before the creation of the Sun. He created the vegetation fully matured. And one day later the Sun. Currently the vegetation survives about half a day without the Sun. Plus God is the one that sustains life. The Bible does say God is light. But clearly God has existed for eternity so he didn't create himself on the first day of the creation of this world. The Genesis account is a record of the creation of this world and the thing on it. Plain and simple. God Bless
I haven't read all of the many previous comments to see if this was mentioned, but this same question was the one that Clarence Darrow used when examining William Jennings Bryan (whom the defense -- rather than the prosecution -- had brought to the witness stand as an expert on the Bible during the Scopes "monkey trial" in Tennessee in 1925) to call Bryan's knowledge into question. When Darrow asked Bryan how there could have been an evening and a morning (that is, a "day") before the sun was created, Bryan (instead of using the reasoning employed by Mr. Houdmann above) gave an answer to the effect that the phrase "evening and morning", instead of meaning a literal 24-hour day, simply meant a period of time that might even have lasted for millions of years. That statement seriously damaged Bryan's credibility with the anti-evolution observers present. Although Scopes was technically convicted of having taught evolution to his students, Darrow is still generally regarded as having "won" the exchange with Bryan. (When Bryan died very shortly after the trial ended, some people jokingly said that the cause of death had been a broken heart resulting from Darrow's questioning.)
My brothers Carl, Eric, and Sterling are closest to the true meaning of why light appears on Day 1 of the alleged Creation Account, 3 days before the Sun is made on Day 4. Eric gives the true meaning of God’s words, “Let there be light” (v3) as: “Let the one that is light, shine and manifest.” The natural presumption is that God is light, and it is He that is to shine and manifest. But Gen. 1:4 has God separating the light and Sterling offers, “Now notice the oddness of v4, God notices the light and judges it.” The actual Hebrew word is: Badal H914: “to divide (in various senses literal or figurative, separate, distinguish, differ, select, etc.).” It is this last word that I want to focus on, i.e. select. It also occurs in the definition of the Hebrew word Bara H1254: “(absolute) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select,…- choose…” In the beginning God created (bara) the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). This is where Carl’s contribution comes in. He complains that Creationist limit God and rightly asks, “Where were they when He created the angelic beings eons upon eons before vs 3 of Genesis when they say God began all His creative acts.” Carl then opines that he sees a ‘new system’ beginning with Gen. 1:3 to replace what was on the earth “in the beginning.” Carl almost gets it right, here. It is a ‘new system’. In fact, it is what the Bible refers to as The Foundation of the World, a new beginning for God’s Creation, but it begins with Gen 1:1. You see, Gen. 1:1 through Gen. 2:1-2, is the selection process that the Trinity went through when the names of the elect were written in the Book of Life. It cannot be an account of the Creation when it states in Gen. 2:1 that all the armies gathered for war (the hosts) were completed by the seventh Day. Neither is it an accurate account of the Creation when vegetation yielding seed, and trees bearing fruit (Gen. 1:12-13) occur on Day 3, before the Sun on Day 4. Additionally, birds are created on the 5th Day (Gen. 1:22-23) before reptiles are created on the 6th Day (Gen. 1:24), precisely the opposite of the fossil record. The whole account from Gen. 1:1 to Gen. 2:4 is an allegory, made to look like an account of the Creation, but is in fact a statement of the time when the Trinity said, “Let us make man in our image” Gen. 1:26”. They chose a portion of the Creation to be set free from the iniquity that was found in Satan, into the liberty of God’s children, possessing His glory, completed in His image. (Rom. 8:20-21, 1 Peter 5:4, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Heb. 1:3). See related answers at: https://ebible.com/answers/15088 (What does it mean that man is made in the image of God?) and https://ebible.com/answers/14746 (What is the meaning of ‘perfect’ in 1 Corinthians 13:10).
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.