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There Is Light And There Is Light

The Bible says that on the first day of creation God said let there be light (lit., Hebrew, "or"). On the fourth day He said let there be lights, i.e., "light-givers," "lanterns" (lit., Hebrew, "ma-or"). Genesis gives the logical order of creation. God did not create the "lanterns" ("ma-or") on the fourth day of creation until He first created intrinsic light ("or") on the first day of creation. The Genesis order makes perfect sense since there could be no creation of "light-givers" until He first created light itself.

More Than Meets The Eye

Scientifically speaking, on the first day of creation when God said, "let there be light," God would have at that time energized the entire universe. In other words, He created the entire electromagnetic spectrum: Visible light waves; ultraviolet light; shortwave radiations; infrared light and other long wave phenomena. Setting the electromagnetic forces into operation would have also involved the gravitational and nuclear forces in the universe. This was a tremendous preliminary divine act of creation on the first day.

The Chicken Or The Egg?

Although the sun, stars and moon were not created until the fourth day, light rays would have been impinging on the earth as it rotated on its axis during the first three days. That is, light came from the same direction and intensity as the light-bearers would eventually emanate from space on the fourth day when they were created. Their light-trails were created back on the first day of creation when He spoke light into existence. Therefore it didn't take millions of years for the light waves from a star placed a billion light-years distant from the earth to reach the earth after it was created. Hence, "there was evening and there was morning" on the earth even on the very first day of creation.

What Time Is It?

The lights (Heb, ma-or) He created on the fourth day not only emanated the light He created on the first day but Scripture says God established them for signs, seasons, days and years on the earth. They held specific purposes for man... for whom this earth was being created.

Evening + Morning = ONE DAY

Many want to consider the days in Genesis one as metaphorical or symbolic. However, there is nothing in the text to suggest this. The evening and morning gives each day a distinct boundary.

The terms "evening" (Heb., ereb) and "morning" (Heb., boqer) occur more than a hundred times in the Old Testament and ALWAYS have literal meaning, that is, the termination of the daily period of light and the daily period of darkness, respectively. Also, in the Pentateuch, the occurrence of "day" modified by a numeral (i.e., third day), which appears more than a hundred times in it, is always presented as its literal meaning.

A Thousand To One

Some have tried to argue the nonliteral interpretation of the word "day" in Genesis one by referring to what the apostle Peter says in 2Pet. 3:8; that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. But Peter was simply saying that what man regards as a long time is like a mere day in God's reckoning of time. He was speaking in the terms of relative perspectives. It's equivalent to saying: To a very rich man a thousand dollars is like one dollar, whereas, one dollar is like a thousand to a very poor man.

Peter, in context, is speaking of the coming of divine judgment, "The Day of the Lord," not the days of creation. In the last days mockers will come mocking, "Where is the promise of His coming?" To those who do not know the Creator through Jesus Christ, so much time has elapsed since the beginning of creation, in the last days these unbelievers will become arrogant toward God. But to the eternal, creator God, who transcends time, such an interval is insignificant.

Textually and scientifically there is no reason to interpret Genesis chapter one metaphorically or symbolically. God created the heavens and the earth in six literal days, saw it was good and rested from His labors on the seventh.

Written by: Gary Nystrom
Ref. The Genesis Record, Henry Morris

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