Posted by: dhkrause | August 22, 2012

When was the Sun Created according to Genesis Chapter 1?

Verse 1 of Genesis tells us that, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” In Verse 16, we learn that he made the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day. What was the source of the light for days 1 through 3? Also, if each “day” represents a long period of time as some maintain, how did the plants created on day 3 survive without the sun?

The phrase, “heaven and earth” in verse 1 includes the stellar universe and the basic planet earth based on a literal and straightforward reading of the Hebrew. The view that the sun was not created until the fourth day is based on a popular misunderstanding of the context of verse 16. The Hebrew word, “asah”, translated as “made” in verse 16 has a wide semantic range, as evidenced by its being translated to English in 74 different ways in the King James Version. Gorman Gray writes, “All seventy-four translations are needed to cover the nuances and contexts represented by this word; that is our point. A translator has to make the proper choice according to each context, and no translator can claim to be infallible. The choice remains an option and is open to review by anyone who grasps the context.” The Age of the Universe: What are the Biblical Limits?”, p.48 (Website: http://www.ageoftheuniverse.com/Welcome.html). A better translation of “asah” in this verse would be “brought forth” based on the context (of the stellar heaven already having being created in verse 1 before light first broke through the darkness upon the surface of the ocean). Most likely, the thick watery atmosphere was thinned to let diffused light come through on the first day, and on the fourth day the atmosphere was further thinned to become transparent allowing the sun, moon and stars to be seen.

As for the days in Genesis 1 representing long periods of time, there is no linguistic justification for interpreting the word “day” (Hebrew: “yom”) in Genesis 1 as anything but an ordinary 24-hour day. This is emphasized by the use of the words, “evening and morning”, and “first”, “second”, “third”, etc. “And the evening and the morning were the first [second, third…] day.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 12/29/2011


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