Genesis 1-2 What You See God Created! Session 1: Day 1

By Ron Jones, D.D. ©Titus Institute

Scripture quotations are from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version), ©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."


Introduction:

We are beginning a four-week series on Genesis and Creation. We are going to be looking at God's revelation concerning the origins of everything that we see in our universe.

God was very concerned that we understand exactly how the world began, civilization began, our whole human society began and his central role in creating it and setting up its structure as a loving God for the blessing of the human beings he created out of his love.

The four weeks are divided into the following four points:

Genesis 1-2 W1 Genesis 1: Day 1 W2 Genesis 1: Day 2-4 W3 Genesis 1-2:3: Day 5-7 W4 Genesis 2: Day 6

In this series we are going to focus on the text of Genesis 1 and 2. There is so much background material surrounding it that we could spend four weeks just on that subject, but instead I will cover it briefly so we can focus on the text.

W1 Genesis 1: Day 1

1. Moses, a Prophet of God, wrote the first five books of the Bible.

Moses wrote the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, which includes the book of Genesis. The Jews, Jesus and the Apostles believed that Moses wrote the Torah. In John 5:46-47, Jesus says, "For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?" Jesus says Moses wrote of him in his books.

2. The Book of Genesis is a historical narrative.

The Jews, Jesus, and the Apostles understood Genesis 1 and 2 as historical narrative. In Mark 10, Jesus based his teaching of marriage and divorce on what happened in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24. In Matthew 23, Jesus mentioned Abel as being murdered just as Genesis 4 indicates. Luke, in his genealogy in Luke 3:23-38, mentioned Seth and Adam as real ancestors of Jesus. Hebrews describes Abel, Enoch, and Noah as men of faith.

3. The creation week involves a series of instantaneous supernatural acts by God that defy scientific explanations.

The creation of the heavens and the earth is a series of instantaneous supernatural acts by God that defy scientific explanations. The entire week of creation is a week in which the present laws of physics did not apply. This has to be remembered. God's demonstration of supernatural power cannot be explained. How do you explain the process where Jesus turned water into wine? It just happened instantaneously. How do you explain the resurrection of Jesus? It just happened instantaneously. How do you explain each creation act where God declares "Let there be..." It happened instantaneously. No explanation possible.

There are no rules or explanations that need to be given during the time of creation. No one is able to explain a miracle. We do not need to explain how God actually created the universe from a scientific perspective. We need to merely describe it as God reveals it in the Scriptures.

What we see in Genesis 1 is God speaking creation into existence; that's it. God creates instantaneously. There are no evolutionary intermediary life forms. God creates all the birds at one time, all the sea creatures at one time, all the animals at one time and he creates Adam and Eve at one time.

4. God describes through Moses the physical phenomena of the universe in the plain simple language of what is seen by people on earth.

The Bible is written in the plain everyday language of people. God describes the universe from the perspective of what we see on earth! When we speak about physical phenomena, we often describe things by what we see from the viewpoint of standing on the earth. In Genesis 19:23, Moses writes, "The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar." In Mark 16:2, "And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb." The Scriptures here speak of the sun rising. We speak in the same way. We say the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, but we all know that the earth revolves around the sun and the sun is not actually rising and setting. When we say "the sun rises in the morning" is that a true statement? Yes. It is a true statement of a description of what we see each day. We see the sun rising in the morning. It would not be true if we were in a science class giving a report on the revolution of the earth around the sun.

The Bible uses the plain language of describing physical phenomena by describing it according to what is seen by people standing on the earth. Ancient peoples did not know what was behind physical phenomena so they described it simply by what they saw. Simple descriptive statements about what people see are true when they are described as they see them. This is called phenomenological language, that is describing the phenomena one sees as it is seen, not always as it is.

To understand Genesis imagine standing outside on a sunny day or on a clear night and looking all around. In Genesis 1, God says, "What you see I created!" This language we use every day in our lives and it has been that way since the beginning even though we know that it is not exactly like that. It is not an error to use that kind of language.

5. The Three Major Evangelical Views of the Days of Genesis

There are three major evangelical views about the six days of creation. They are the Literal 24 Hour Day View (Traditional Interpretation), the Figurative 24 Hour Day View (The Majority View of Evangelical OT Scholars), and the Literal Day Age View (Progressive Creation/Hugh Ross).

5.1 The Literal 24 Hour Day View (Traditional Interpretation)

This view interprets the days of Genesis as literal 24 hour days and that Genesis 1-2 establishes a young age of the earth around 6000 years old. Those who hold this view believe that the physical evidence is consistent with a young earth when interpreted properly.

5.2 The Figurative 24 Hour Day View (The Majority View of Evangelical OT Scholars)

This view affirms that the days of Genesis are 24 hour days used figuratively. The intent of Genesis is to tell the story of how God created the universe in a 6 day framework that is easy for people to understand. The age of the earth cannot be determined from the Scriptures. Those who hold this view believe that the physical evidence is consistent with an old earth when interpreted properly. Thus, the current scientific interpretation of the physical evidence establishing an old earth of 4.5 billion years is accepted.

5.3 The Literal Day Age View (Progressive Creation/Hugh Ross)

This view affirms that the word "day" literally interpreted can mean "age" as well as a 24 hour day. They say that in this context, the word means "age" and should be understood as long ages of millions of years. Those who hold this view believe that the physical evidence is consistent with an old earth when interpreted properly. Thus, the current scientific interpretation of the physical evidence establishing an old earth of 4.5 billion years is accepted.

Although we emphasize the differences when we discuss these issues, there are major similarities which all Christians agree on. All three views believe that God is the Creator of everything, God supernaturally created each kind of life on each day, God created in the order Genesis gives, and the evolutionary theory that everything evolved by chance is contrary to Genesis.

Which view one takes within the three evangelical positions does not affect one's salvation and these are issues which we as believers are discussing. My goal is not to convince you of my particular position which is a literal six 24 hour days, but to explain what the text actually says so you can make your own conclusion. But I can't be completely unbiased. Nobody can. And I can't go back and forth from each position. I would be too confused and so would you. So, I will give each view's perspective and then what I believe is the proper view and why. As we will see, the biggest specific disagreement between the three views is the creation of light in Genesis 1:3 and the sun, moon, and stars in 1:14.

6. The Purpose and Theme of Genesis 1 and 2

The purpose of Genesis 1 and 2 has three aspects:

1) God (Elohim Yahweh) is the Sovereign Creator of the universe.

We will see many of God's attributes displayed in this creation week which gives Adam and Eve and their descendants a solid idea of who Yahweh Elohim is (Genesis 2:5). I will bring these out as we go along.

The purpose of Genesis 1-2 is to reveal that a sovereign God created everything by the Word of his power according to his will without restraint. God's revelation of Genesis was handed down from generation to generation, some of it in written form (Genesis 5:1) and was fully revealed to Moses and the Hebrew people while Israel was in the wilderness and God was forming his people into a holy nation. It was crucial that they know who God is and his relationship to the world as Creator. They were coming from Egypt which had a strong polytheistic religion centered in their sun god. They were surrounded by the ancient near eastern cultures which also had strong polytheistic cultures.

The creation stories of these cultures were perversions of the original story handed down from Noah to his three sons whose descendants populated the earth after the flood. These stories were all similar. They were filled with many gods who were no more than spirit beings with human faults who were associated with natural phenomenon. The world was molded out of a great battle between the gods. Conflict, violence, pride, and rivalry characterized the creation of the universe in their minds. But the true God, Elohim, was infinitely different which Genesis brings out.

2) God created and structured the universe, the earth, and human society for the good and benefit of mankind.

When God chose to create the universe, he wanted to set up a structure for human civilization that all human beings would follow so that there was not chaos, but order for the benefit of mankind. This order would have basic structures:

1) Society's annual time structure of days, months, and years from the sun, moon, and stars 2) Society's weekly work and worship structure of six days of work and a seventh day of worship 3) Society's food structure of agriculture from the plants and trees God created 4) Society's relationship structure of a family made up of a husband and wife and children. 5) Society's structure of a theocracy where a patriarch (like Samuel the prophet before Israel demanded a king) such as Adam who would lead his family spiritually followed by his designated son from generation to generation

Everything that God does in Genesis 1 and 2 is to set up these structures to create order for human civilization. God is the benevolent ancient father who sets up his son and daughter-in-law for their lives together by providing a piece of land, the materials to build the house of their dreams, the agricultural animals and tools to farm and provide for their family and around them a community of neighbors and friends to share in their lives. All this takes structure and order which was for the benefit of the human beings God created and loved. We will see this throughout Genesis 1 and 2

3. God is full of generosity and goodness and blessing which he pours out on human beings.

Genesis 1 and 2 is all about the abundant generosity and goodness of God who has created man and woman and blessed us abundantly with this incredible world and universe we live in.


Day 1 The creation of time, space, matter, and energy

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

1.1 God is the eternal self-existent creator over all

v.1 "God" Elohim

The Hebrew Bible has three names for "god" or "deity," El, Eloah, and Elohim. Elohim occurs by far the most often in the Bible. This is not a personal name like Yahweh, but the generic Hebrew word for God. It can be used like the English word "god" for the true God or for pagan false gods or even rarely for angels.

It is interesting because when it is used of the God of the Bible, it is used in the plural form, but it takes a singular verb. No one has an explanation for this that is certain, but some as I do see it as a hint of the Trinity. Keep that in mind and we will talk about it again in Genesis 1:26 where Elohim says, "Let us make man in our image..."

Yahweh is the personal name of God and is used in God's personal interaction with men and women with whom he covenants. Elohim is most likely used in chapter 1 because the emphasis is not on the personal interaction of God with man until chapter 2. At that time Yahweh is used together with Elohim.

Moses is also making the statement in Genesis 1 that Elohim is the true God, not the false gods that are worshipped in the pagan nations around them.

God is mentioned without any indication of his origin. The Bible never gives evidence for the existence of God beyond pointing out that the creation displays his attributes as Paul says in Romans 1. The Bible starts with God's eternal existence.

GOD IS ETERNAL

In the beginning before time even existed God was!

Psalm 90:1-2 1Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

GOD IS SELF-EXISTENT

God suddenly appears out of nowhere in Genesis 1:1. There is no indication of how he came to exist. God just is. This is a display of God's self-existence. No one brought God into existence. God always was and always is. God has no beginning and no end.

1.2 God created space, time, matter, and energy.

v.1 "In the beginning" This phrase marks the beginning of time. It is a statement of a reality that had not previously existed. Before the creation of the heavens and earth, there was only eternity. Now there is time. Time is part of the created universe and will one day no longer be necessary. God and his angels exist outside of time and one day we will also.

v.1 "God created the heavens and the earth"

There are different views of exactly what God created in v.1.

Literal 24 Hour Day View God created the raw material of the earth covered with water and the raw material of the universe, empty outer space.

Figurative 24 Hour Day View & Literal Day Age View God created the raw material of the earth covered with water and the universe with sun, moon, and stars.

I think the best explanation that fits the context is that God created earth and space only. This is the Literal 24 Hour Day View. Genesis 1:1 speaks of God creating the sun, moon, and stars on the 4th day. So, unless this is a summary statement for the whole creation account, then then the sun, moon, and stars can't be created in v.1. In Genesis 1:2 what we see is the which is formless and void hanging in space. That is all we read about. Then God creates light, then shapes the earth, then populates it with plants and animals. Then God creates the sun, moon, and stars and then creates human beings.

v. 1 "created"

"Create" (bara?) is used in the Old Testament consistently in reference to God creating something new. Another word also occurs "asa" which is translated "made." They can be used interchangeably as well as we shall see.

God created the raw material of the heavens and earth out of nothing. This is called creatio ex nihilo. The word "bara" can mean create out of nothing, but that meaning must be understood from the context, not just from the word itself.

This truth that God created something out of nothing is verified by the New Testament. If everything that exists was created by God, then he had to create that everything out of nothing. This is what John 1:3 states.

It says, "All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made." "All things" means everything that exists, both visible and invisible which is everything except God. The Greek verb translated "were made" means "became." It means to come into existence out of nothing. There was no pre-existing matter, no pre-existing energy. There was only God. "Through him" means "through Christ's agency." Christ did the actual creating at the command of God the Father.

v.1 "the heavens and the earth"

When this expression is used in other parts of Scripture, it is a summary statement of God creating everything, the whole universe, he created in Genesis 1. But in Genesis 1 God did not create the whole universe in one act; he created it in separate acts over a six-day period.

So, in the context of Genesis 1, the expression "the heavens and the earth" is the first act of creation on the first day where God creates outer space which the sun, moon, and stars will inhabit when he creates them on the fourth day and the earth in raw form which he will mold into an inhabitable earth in the other days.

v. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

The earth was in its primeval state as God first created it. It was formless and empty because God was going to form it into something beautiful, the way a potter forms a ball of clay into a beautiful vase.

Three parallel clauses in v. 2 describe the conditions of the earth at its beginning:

"Now the earth was formless and empty"

"darkness was over the surface of the deep"

"the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters"

The Hebrew word translated by ESV as "formless" refers to a devastated place, a waste place. The other descriptive word Moses gives is empty. It was an empty waste place. It was an empty waste place and uninhabitable. This description means that the earth was unfinished as to its shape and unpopulated. God created the earth in a raw form in order to shape it in six days. That was his plan. There is nothing evil or creepy here. They are described, first of all, as unfinished as to shape, and unpopulated as to inhabitants.

V. 2 tells us that darkness was over the surface of the deep, that is, the earth was surrounded by water. The word "deep" is a synonym used in Scripture for the sea. Darkness was over the surface of the deep because God had not created light. The earth was filled with water and shapeless and engulfed in total, absolute darkness.

The layer of water or primordial ocean was above the surface or mantle of the earth. Many of the Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) Creation stories start with this picture of the earth surrounded by the primordial deep. We should not be surprised as it was remembered by the descendants of the sons of Noah.

Then v. 2 tells us that "the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."

Above this unformed ball hovered the Spirit of God. This is incredible. Right there in the midst of this initial chaos is the Holy Spirit. The primary meaning of the word "hovering" is "to fly to and fro, flutter." It is used in this sense in Deuteronomy 32:11, where Moses says God protected Israel "Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions."

This word indicates the divine care of God through his Spirit over the earth. The Spirit is involved and making ready the earth for the creation process coming as God prepares the earth as a home for the human beings he will create to live there. It's a dramatic picture. The Scriptures tell us the Holy Spirit was involved in creation and here he is.

Job 33:4 The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Notice, this is a second indication besides "Elohim" that God is a Trinity. There is a Spirit of God. It is hinted at but not explicitly stated.

READ Genesis 1v.3-5 (for context) 3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day.

1.3 God created light

v.3 "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."

v. 3 "and God said."

God is a God who speaks through his authoritative Word. God speaks his authoritative Word as he does throughout human history.

Psalm 33:6

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

There has been a lot of controversy regarding the interpretation of this light that God created.

The three Evangelical Views interpret the command "Let there be light!" differently.

The Literal 24 Hour View

Genesis 1:1 refers to God creating the earth and space only (no sun, moon, or stars until 4th Day). Genesis 1:3 speaks of God creating light for the first time. The sun is not created until 1:14 so it describes God creating light supernaturally or creating a temporary physical source until he creates and replaces it with the sun.

Figurative 24 Hour Day View

Genesis 1:1 refers to God creating the earth and space with the sun, moon, and stars. The sun already exists so 1:3 describes a new function of the sun's light which is separating daytime from nighttime.

The Literal Day Age view

Genesis 1:1 refers to God creating the earth and space with the sun, moon, and stars. The sun did exist, but debris blocked it so 1:3 describes the debris disappearing and the sun shining partially through (translucent, not transparent).

Translucent: light can partially go through it, you can see through it but not clearly, i.e. tinted window, wax paper

Transparent: light can easily pass through it, you can see clearly through it, i.e. glass, cellophane paper

I take the literal 24 hour day view.

So let's look at the text.

In v.3 does "Let there be" means "Let there come into existence"? This is the key interpretive issue. "Be" means "exist." This means "let there exist." "Let there come into existence." When used here in a command, it means "Let there exist light" or "Let light exist." All throughout Genesis 1, the command "Let there be" brings something into existence. This is God calling into existence "light" by his omnipotent power.

Literal 24 Hour Day View says that this is what "Let there be light" means all throughout Genesis 1, no exceptions. Figurative 24 Hour Day View and the Literal Day Age View says "Let there be light" means this all throughout Genesis 1, except for Genesis 1:3 and Genesis 1:14. "Let there be" means something else in those two verses.

This is a big problem with the Figurative Day and Literal day age views. There seems to be a simple pattern in Genesis 1 where God consistently uses a command for the same kind of activity, creating something out of nothing. I don't see any hint in the text that "Let there be" means something different.

So, if the sun, moon and stars are not created until Day 4, then where does this light come from? There are two possibilities: some other physical source God created temporarily or physical light supernaturally created by God.

I don't think it was a temporary physical source of light because God doesn't say "Let there be" and name a temporary physical source. Instead he says, "Let there be light." In Genesis 1:14 God creates the sun which is a source of light and calls it the sun. So here, if it was a physical source, God would have named it. But he doesn't which shows that he was simply creating physical light supernaturally.

I agree with Mathews when he writes, "The source of creation's first light is not specifically stated. Since it is not tied to a luminating body such as the sun (vv. 15-16), the text implies that the 'light' has its source in God himself."

(Mathews, K. A. (1996). Genesis 1-11:26 (Vol. 1A, pp. 145-146). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers)

Can a 24 hour day exist without the sun? Yes.

The 24 hour day is based on the rotation of the earth spinning on its axis. The Earth takes 24 hours to make one complete turn on its axis. It is not based on the sun at all.

Jason Lisle from the Institute of Creation Research (ICR) explains that this is when the earth began to rotate on its axis. He states, "People say, 'The sun wasn't made until the 4th day so how could they be ordinary days?' You don't need the sun to have ordinary days you just need a light source and a rotating planet and you are going to have day and night. Did we have a light source for the first three days? Yes. 'God said Let there be light.' And there was light. Then God replaced that temporary light source with the sun on Day 4. It's the rotation of the earth that sets the length of the day primarily. The sun does not have much to do with it. As long as you have light and a rotating planet (and we had a rotating planet on Day 1 because there was evening and morning so the earth was already spinning for the first three days. So, of course you are going to have ordinary days." Lisle, Jason, Genesis, You Tube Video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL-O78UzCto, 30:45

Remember, the laws of physics are part of the order God created as he structured the universe. They did not exist in their present form before the universe was created by God and they did not begin to work together until the creation was completed by God.

The claim that God could not be talking about a 24 hour day for at least the first three days is based upon the idea that a 24 hour day can only be a solar day. It is said that since the solar day cannot exist before Day 4, therefore Day 1, 2, and 3 cannot be 24 hour days. However, God can choose to do whatever he wants since he is the one who defines the time period of a day. God is defining what a 24 hour day is before he creates the sun and moon and stars while the earth is lighted by the physical light God creates supernaturally.

Why did God create physical light supernaturally here without the obvious involvement of the sun?

This question is important. God does not do anything haphazardly.

And physical light is shown in the Scriptures to be a reflection God's glory.

In 1 Timothy 6:16 Paul declares that God dwells in unapproachable light. This is supernaturally produced physical light which God surrounds himself to reflect his glory.

1 Timothy 6:16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

This light exists in the heavenly spiritual realm and seems to be a part of his being as God.

Then in Psalm 104, the psalmist describes God creating the universe while surrounded by light.

Psalm 104:1-2 v.1 Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, v.2 covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.

Psalm 104 is a psalm about creation. Could this light be the same light from the heavenly realm be now manifested in the physical realm on Day 1 in Genesis 1:3? I believe the answer is yes.

See how this all fits neatly together and is consistent? We don't have to look for some other meaning in the text. This interpretation is also consistent with what God does in the new heavens and the new earth. God will be the source of the earth's eternal light.

Revelation 22:1-5 says,

1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Do you think it is a coincidence that the very first chapter of the Bible and the very last chapter of the Bible ends with the light of God? Is it a coincidence that God starts the original heavens and the earth with his light and begins the new heavens and the earth with his light? It is not. Everything God does is purposeful!

This statement about God being the source of light seems to be a strong statement in opposition to the Egyptian sun god, Re.

Listen to a description of this false god from DiscoveringEgypt.com

"The supreme sun god was represented as a man with the head of a hawk, crowned with a solar disk and the sacred serpent...Each day Ra traveled across the sky in the form of the sun, riding in his solar boat, and each night he journeyed through the underworld where he defeated the allies of chaos. He was reborn each morning in the form of the sunrise. The Egyptian kings claimed to be descended from Ra, and called themselves "The Son of Ra." His cult was very powerful during the period of the Old Kingdom, when Sun Temples were built in his honor. His cult center was at Heliopolis, which nowadays is covered by the northern suburbs of Cairo." http://discoveringegypt.com/ancient-egyptian-gods-and-goddesses/:

Here is a description of the worship of the Egyptian sun god's light:

"It is sometimes proposed that the pyramids represent the rays of light extending from the sun and thus these great monuments connected the king with Ra. The Egyptians also built solar temples in honor of Ra. Unlike the standard type of Egyptian temple, these temples were open to the sunlight and did not feature a statue of the god because he was represented by the sunlight itself. Instead the temple centered on an obelisk and altar."

http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/ra.html:

I believe that God knew that men would worship the sun as the highest god or one of the highest gods in their pantheons and so at the very beginning of creation, God wanted to show that he and he alone is the source of light. He wanted to make sure that this truth about him would never be forgotten so he created the first light apart from the sun supernaturally. Later he creates the sun to show that the sun is separate from him and is just a "light." And in the new heavens and the new earth, only his light will shine, the need for the sun and moon will be no more.

v. 3 "and there was light."

The command followed by the immediate result brings out the power and sovereignty of God. When God speaks it is done. There is no opposition, no conflict.

Psalm 115:3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases

Psalm 135:6 Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.

Isaiah 43:13 Also, henceforth I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can turn it back?

This is stark contrast with the ANE gods who fight and are constantly opposed by other gods in what they want to do. Their power and sovereignty are limited.

v.4 "And God saw that the light was good"

God evaluates his creative act and declares it is good. "Good" means beneficial. God declares that light is good and beneficial for man. Light eliminates the darkness and man needs light to live. Also, the universe is founded on light as an essential element. God declares it is good after every creative act but the creation of the sky on Day 2. Why? To show his desire to create a good world for the human beings he will create. It is like a father who builds a house for his son and is happy for how it turned out and knows his son will flourish in it.

v.5 And God separated the light from the darkness.

The division of light and darkness here is the first of three separations (1:6, 9) that God accomplishes to prepare the earth for the creatures he will create. God is structuring the 24 hour days that follow each other which humans will be experiencing by first separating light from darkness and by naming them.

v.5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.

God names the light he supernaturally created with the same name as the light from the sun will have on Day 4. V. 14 says, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night." We'll talk about this more when we get to that verse.

The Creation of Day/Night - the Fundamental Measurement of Time

God here is establishing the fundamental measurement of time for human beings, the day/night period which began then and continued in the time of Moses when Genesis was written and continues today so everyone can see how it began. This shows that the foundation of our human civilization was not from a series of haphazard discoveries by an evolved primitive ancestor, but God laying the foundation for life on earth and explaining it to our intelligent first parents, Adam and Eve.

God is defining what a 24 hour day is before he creates the sun and moon and stars while the earth is lighted by the physical light God creates supernaturally. God is structuring the 24 hour days that follow each other which humans will be experiencing in time.

God names the day and night time periods, the very same names that the sun, moon and stars will fit into on day 4. This naming is a demonstration of God's ownership and authority over his creation. The intent of Moses in this and the rest of Genesis 1 is to show that God is the one responsible for setting up how time is measured and how human beings function on this planet. We have night and day because God set it up that way. They are even named that because God named it.

V.5 And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

God then gives the starting points when night and day will begin. This statement describes the interval time period between the days of creation which is the same interval time period between our days and nights. Evening refers to the period after the daytime and morning refers to the period before the daytime.

Umberto Cassuto writes, "When day-time had passed, the period allotted to darkness returned (and there was evening), and when night-time came to an end, the light held sway a second time (and there was morning), and this completed the first calendar day (one day), which had begun with the creation of light." Cassuto, U. (1998). A Commentary on the Book of Genesis: Part I, From Adam to Noah (Genesis I-VI 8). (I. Abrahams, Trans.) (p. 28). Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University.

Daytime - Interval (evening/morning) - Daytime

Day 1 Daytime - Evening (begins at sunset) - Morning (begins at sunrise/early morning)

Day 2 Daytime - Evening (begins at sunset) - Morning (begins at sunrise/early morning)

It means at sunset the evening begins and at sunrise the morning begins. This is the interval between each day. It means the first day ended with the morning of the second day.

Here in Genesis 1, the day is begin defined as sunrise to sunrise with God's creative activity happening after the dawning on the second, third, etc. days after the dawning of the new day at sunrise or early morning.

v. 5 the first day = literally, one day

Moses calls this "one day" not the first day. He didn't call it the "first day" because there was no second day. The terms "first" and "second" can only be used when they both exist at the same time. But once day one was completed, then the sequence could begin and the next day is called "second."


Conclusion:

So what's the point? The point is that whatever in this world that is good, true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise comes from God.

Look at Philippians 4:8. Paul says, Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

James also states a similar truth.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

The claim in these two verses is based on the good creation that God created. All things that have been created are good and come from God and was and is given to human beings and particularly to God's children by faith out of God's love and goodness. It is the fallen angels and fallen human beings that have corrupted it, but it I still there for us to enjoy its benefits.