Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. Could you explain how there could be light on the first day of creation when the sun, moon, and stars were not created until the fourth day?
A. As explained in the last few answers, great destruction had occurred to the earth as pictured in Genesis 1:2.  When God looked at the chaotic state before Him, He saw an atmosphere filled with thick clouds.  If there had been a human being on the earth’s surface, he would have seen nothing—because no light penetrated the saturated atmosphere.  God’s first act in recreating the earth’s surface was to thin the clouds enough to let light from the sun filter to earth.

Then, on the fourth day of creation, God cleared the clouds away so that the sun, moon and stars could be clearly viewed.  Verse 16 tells us that God “made” the sun and moon.  The Hebrew word for “made” is asah.  It could be translated as “made,” “had made,” or “will have made.”  Any of these renderings could be correct.  But the exact one would have to be determined from the context.  By looking at the context, it is evident that God already “had made” the sun, moon and stars long before and set them in the sky.

Note what one well-known Old Testament introduction says on the subject: “In explaining this phenomenon it must first be noted that the standpoint of the first chapter of Genesis is an ideal geocentric one, as though the writer were actually upon the earth at that time and in a position to record the developing phases of created life as he experiences them.  From such a standpoint the heavenly bodies would only become visible when the dense cloud-covering of the earth had dispersed to a large extent” (R.K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 554).

Therefore, the sun, moon and stars were created long before the fourth day of creation.  They were made visible again on the fourth day of the week of re-creation of the earth’s surface.
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