Elohiym ‘amar hayah ‘owr ‘owr
And God said Let there be light (and there was) light
Elohiym ra’ah ‘owr kiy towb ‘elohiym badal ‘owr beyn choshek
And God saw the light that it was good and God divided the light from the darkness
Elohiym qara’ ‘owr yowm choshek qara layil
And God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night
‘ereb boqer ‘echad yowm
And the evening and the morning were the first day
Hayah – to exist, be or become, come to pass, take place, come about,
‘owr – illumination or luminary. Can include lightning and happiness and prosperity.
Means bright, clear, morning, sun
Badal – to divide, separate, sever
Choshek – the dark; literally darkness, night, obscurity; figuratively: misery, destruction, death,
ignorance, sorrow, wickedness. This word is used in Genesis 1:2.
Refers to Hades in Psalm 88:13; an underground prison in Isaiah 42:7; 47:5; 49:9;
Qara – to call out to or to address by name. To utter a loud sound, to proclaim. To name, to give
a name, to call by.
Yowm – a day as refers to the warm hours. Primary meaning is to the heat of the day.
a) a day as opposed to night
b) a 24 hour period
c) A part of a 24 hour period as in a working day or a day’s journey
d) Days, or Lifetime
e) Time or period of time
f) A year
I believe this is a 24 hour day and not a long length of time because:
1) Whenever “yowm” or “day” is used with a number it refers to a 24 hour day. Here it is “the first day.”
2) Although the word “day” can mean a long time period the words “evening” and “morning” can not.
“Evening” and “morning” mean the time period at the end of a day and morning to the beginning of a day.
3) In Exodus 20:8-11 our human week matches the first week.
Choshek – (see above)
Layil – night as opposed to day; gloom or shadow; figuratively adversity.
‘ereb – dusk, evening, night, sunset
Boqer – dawn as at the break of day, morning, end of night, coming of daylight
‘echad –one, each, a certain, first
The Plan – We see purpose, intent, plan and success in God’s activities.
Communication and Interaction – We see communication and room for response, consultation and distribution of power in God’s activities:
Word/Deed Formula – There is the power of his Word but it is always packaged with Deeds or action.
Subdue – in 1:28 the use of the word “subdue” indicates that not all was well but it was order and control of the power of the chaos. This order and control needed to be maintained by man.
Commentators In History
1) Early commentators struggled with the fact that it took God six days to do this. Their assumption was that He should have done it instantaneously and not spent six days doing what his power could have done in a moment.
2) In the face of evolution, Modern commentators struggle with the fact that God did all this work in only six days. They feel God should have taken thousands and millions of years. It is interesting to see how both the ancient understanding and the modern understanding of the natural man both stumble through God’s truth because of the inability of their personal theology and culture’s science to comprehend God and his work.
3) John Calvin said that the six days described here was God trying to accommodate man’s understanding.
4) Martin Luther said Day One was the creation of the crude mass that would be ordered during the next five days.
God says two words on Day One: hayah ‘owr /haw-yaw ore/
Creation by speech
On Day Two God says “let there be. . .” and this is followed by “So God made. . . “
Here God speaks and light is. Everything else follows God’s command with some action.
Out of the chaos came order.
Out of the darkness came light.
This is also true in our lives. Where there is no order and no light then chaos and darkness reign yet today.
The separation includes the assigning both light and darkness to their appropriate places.
The verb “separation” is used five times (1:4, 6, 7, 14, 18):
2) “Separate water from water”
3) “Separated water under the expanse from the water above it”
4) Lights “separate the day from the night”
5) The stars “separate light from darkness”
We see this “separation” in chapter one as a separation toward order and away from the chaos of 1:2.
With the entrance of sin the destructive side of separation is introduced. The separation from God. Man is separated from the garden
Lev. 20:25 – here animals that were called “good” in Genesis 1 are separated as “clean” and “unclean”.
Isaiah 5:20 and 24 – In a culture that has rejected the light (truth) of both God’s natural and written revelation, light will be called dark, and evil will be called good.
Up until chapter 3 man had
only known the light, the good, the truth.
In chapter 3 man breaks rank with God and pursues the lie, the dark, the evil.
Through this process man now becomes conscious of the evil he was to subdue.
Second Corinthians 4:6
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
a) In 4:1-2 the truth is present
b) In 4:3-4 the truth (gospel) is veiled by Satan’s blinding of the eyes of unbelievers
c) In 4:5 the truth is Jesus Christ is Lord and we are his servants.
d) In 4:6 Paul compares the light shining from darkness on Day One to the truth shining into our dark lives filled with sin and unbelief
e) In 4:7 tells us we have this treasure (light, truth, gospel, knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord) in our hearts.
f) In 4:8-11 the conflict between the darkness and the light continues in our “jars of clay” (“earthly tent” in 5:1)
g) 4:16 says “Outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
Proverbs 8:22-31 – Wisdom (8:12-21) there in the chaos before the world began.
a) Before the oceans
b) Before the mountains
c) Before the Heavens where set
d) Before the atmosphere and the fountains of the deep (28)
e) Marked out the foundations
Psalms 104:2 – He wraps himself in light at creation.
Colossians 1:15-17 – Jesus Christ first born, or the favored son with all the privileges, over all creation.
Revelation 22:5 – just like light (presence of Jesus Christ) existed before the sun in Gen. 1, at the end in Revelation 22:5 the light continues to shine after there is no sun. Light preceded the sun and also will outlast the sun.
1) Life giving in John 1:4
2) Truth giving in 2 Cor. 4:6
3) Gives Gladness in Ec. 11:7
4) Pure in 1 John 1:5-7
“Qara” or “called” indicates God’s authority over the things he names.