Exegetical and Hermeneutical Commentary of Genesis 1:3

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

3. The First Day

3. And God said ] Observe here that the spoken Word is the only means employed throughout the six days’ Creation, cf. Psa 33:6; Psa 33:9, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made. For he spake, and it was done: he commanded, and it stood fast.” Creation by a word combines the idea of perfect facility with that of absolute power.

It is only through the Revelation of the N.T. that we learn to identify the work of Creation with the operation of the Personal Word (Joh 1:3): “All things were made through him ( ); and without him was not anything made that hath been made,” cf. Col 1:16, “For in him [the Son] were all things created all things have been created through him, and unto him.” Heb 1:2, “through whom [his Son] also he made the worlds.”

Let there be light ] This command, in the Hebrew, consists of two short words, y’hi ’r. Light is the first created thing, that upon which depends all life and growth known to us on earth.

For “light” as the symbol of the Divine presence in the Revelation of the N.T., cf. Joh 1:4, “in him was life; and the life was the light of men,” cf. Gen 1:9, and Gen 8:12, “I am the light of the world.”

and there was light ] Literally, “and light came into existence.” Apparently the primitive conception of the Hebrews was that light and darkness were separate things, incomprehensible indeed, but independent of the sun, cf. Job 26:10; Job 38:19, “where is the way to the dwelling of light, and as for darkness, where is the place thereof?” The unscientific notions of the Israelite have received in regard to light an unexpected illustration from modern discovery; but we must be careful not to suppose that there is any resemblance between the Hebrew picture of the creation of light, and modern theories respecting light and the ether of infinite space. The Hebrew view of the universe was (cf. Gen 1:6-8) extremely limited; the modern scientific view of the universe is practically infinite in its capacity for development, and is continually being enlarged. There is little room for comparison between them.

Fuente: The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

– III. The First Day

3. ‘amar, say, bid. After this verb comes the thing said in the words of the speaker, or an equivalent expression. In this respect it corresponds with our English say.

‘or, light. Light is simply what makes a sensible impression on the organs of vision. It belongs to a class of things which occasionally produce the same effect.

vayo’mer then said. Here we have come to the narrative or the record of a series of events. The conjunction is prefixed to the verb, to indicate the connection of the event it records with what precedes. There is here, therefore, a sequence in the order of time. In a chain of events, the narrative follows the order of occurrence. Collateral chains of events must of necessity be recorded in successive paragraphs. The first paragraph carries on one line of incidents to a fit resting-place. The next may go back to take up the record of another line. Hence, a new paragraph beginning with a conjoined verb is to be connected in time, not with the last sentence of the preceding one, but with some sentence in the preceding narrative more or less distant from its terminating point (see on Gen 1:5, and Gen 2:3). Even a single verse may be a paragraph in itself referring to a point of time antecedent to the preceding sentence.

A verb so conjoined in narrative is in Hebrew put in the incipient or imperfect form, as the narrator conceives the events to grow each out of that already past. He himself follows the incidents step by step down the pathway of time, and hence the initial aspect of each event is toward him, as it actually comes upon the stage of existence.

Since the event now before us belongs to past time, this verb is well enough rendered by the past tense of our English verb. This tense in English is at present indefinite, as it does not determine the state of the event as either beginning, continuing, or concluded. It is not improbable, however, that it originally designated the first of these states, and came by degrees to be indefinite. The English present also may have denoted an incipient, and then an imperfect or indefinite.

3. ra’ah, see horao, ‘or, emit light, ra’ah, see by light.

tob, good. Opposite is: ra.

4. qara’, cry, call.

ereb, evening, sunset. A space of time before and after sunset. arebaym, two evenings, a certain time before sunset, and the time between sunset and the end of twilight. beyn haarbaym the interval between the two evenings, from sunset to the end of twilight, according to the Karaites and Samaritans; from sun declining to sunset, according to the Pharisees and Rabbinists. It might be the time from the beginning of the one to the beginning of the other, from the end of the one to the end of the other, or from the beginning of the one to the end of the other. The last is the most suitable for all the passages in which it occurs. These are ten in number, all in the law Exo 12:6; Exo 16:12; Exo 29:31, Exo 29:41; Exo 30:8; Lev 23:5; Num 9:3, Num 9:5,Num 9:8; Num 28:4. The slaying of the evening lamb and of the passover lamb, the eating of the latter and the lighting of the lamps, took place in the interval so designated.

At the end of this portion of the sacred text we have the first (p). This is explained in the Introduction, Section VII.

The first days work is the calling of light into being. Here the design is evidently to remove one of the defects mentioned in the preceding verse, – and darkness was upon the face of the deep. The scene of this creative act is therefore coincident with that of the darkness it is intended to displace. The interference of supernatural power to cause the presence of light in this region, intimates that the powers of nature were inadequate to this effect. But it does not determine whether or not light had already existed elsewhere, and had even at one time penetrated into this now darkened region, and was still prevailing in the other realms of space beyond the face of the deep. Nor does it determine whether by a change of the polar axis, by the rarefaction of the gaseous medium above, or by what other means, light was made to visit this region of the globe with its agreeable and quickening influences. We only read that it did not then illuminate the deep of waters, and that by the potent word of God it was then summoned into being. This is an act of creative power, for it is a calling into existence what had previously no existence in that place, and was not owing to the mere development of nature. Hence, the act of omnipotence here recorded is not at variance with the existence of light among the elements of that universe of nature, the absolute creation of which is affirmed in the first verse.

Gen 1:3

Then said God. – In Gen 1:3, God speaks. From this we learn that He not only is, but is such that He can express His will and commune with His intelligent creatures. He is manifest not only by His creation, but by Himself. If light had come into existence without a perceptible cause, we should still have inferred a first Causer by an intuitive principle which demands an adequate cause for anything making its appearance which was not before. But when God says, Be light, in the audience of His intelligent creatures, and light forthwith comes into view, they perceive God commanding, as well as light appearing.

Speech is the proper mode of spiritual manifestation. Thinking, willing, acting are the movements of spirit, and speech is the index of what is thought, willed, and done. Now, as the essence of God is the spirit which thinks and acts, so the form of God is that in which the spirit speaks, and otherwise meets the observations of intelligent beings. In these three verses, then, we have God, the spirit of God, and the word of God. And as the term spirit is transferred from an inanimate thing to signify an intelligent agent, so the term word is capable of receiving a similar change of application.

Inadvertent critics of the Bible object to God being described as speaking, or performing any other act that is proper only to the human frame or spirit. They say it is anthropomorphic or anthropopathic, implies a gross, material, or human idea of God, and is therefore unworthy of Him and of His Word. But they forget that great law of thought and speech by which we apprehend analogies, and with a wise economy call the analogues by the same name. Almost all the words we apply to mental things were originally borrowed from our vocabulary for the material world, and therefore really figurative, until by long habit the metaphor was forgotten, and they became to all intents and purposes literal. And philosophers never have and never will have devised a more excellent way of husbanding words, marking analogies, and fitly expressing spiritual things. Our phraseology for mental ideas, though lifted up from a lower sphere, has not landed us in spiritualism, but enabled us to converse about the metaphysical with the utmost purity and propriety.

And, since this holds true of human thoughts and actions, so does it apply with equal truth to the divine ways and works. Let there be in our minds proper notions of God, and the tropical language we must and ought to employ in speaking of divine things will derive no taint of error from its original application to their human analogues. Scripture communicates those adequate notions of the most High God which are the fit corrective of its necessarily metaphorical language concerning the things of God. Accordingly, the intelligent perusal of the Bible has never produced idolatry; but, on the other hand, has communicated even to its critics the just conceptions they have acquired of the spiritual nature of the one true God.

It ought to be remembered, also, that the very principle of all language is the use of signs for things, that the trope is only a special application of this principle according to the law of parsimony, and that the East is especially addicted to the use of tropical language. Let not western metaphysics misjudge, lest it be found to misunderstand eastern aesthetics.

It is interesting to observe in the self-manifesting God, the great archetypes of which the semblances are found in man. Here we have the sign-making or signifying faculty in exercise. Whether there were created witnesses present at the issue of this divine command, we are not here informed. Their presence, however, was not necessary to give significance to the act of speech, any more than to that of self-manifestation. God may manifest Himself and speak, though there be none to see and hear.

We see, too, here the name in existence before the thing, because it primarily refers to the thing as contemplated in thought.

The self-manifesting God and the self-manifesting act of speaking are here antecedent to the act of creation, or the coming of the thing into existence. This teaches us that creation is a different thing from self-manifestation or emanation. God is; He manifests Himself; He speaks; and lastly He puts forth the power, and the thing is done.

Let there be light. – The word be simply denotes the existence of the light, by whatever means or from whatever quarter it comes into the given locality. It might have been by an absolute act of pure creation or making out of nothing. But it may equally well be effected by any supernatural operation which removes an otherwise insurmountable hinderance, and opens the way for the already existing light to penetrate into the hitherto darkened region. This phrase is therefore in perfect harmony with preexistence of light among the other elementary parts of the universe from the very beginning of things. And it is no less consonant with the fact that heat, of which light is a species or form, is, and has from the beginning been, present in all those chemical changes by which the process of universal nature is carried on through all its innumerable cycles.

Gen 1:4

Then saw God the light that it was good. – God contemplates his work, and derives the feeling of complacence from the perception of its excellence. Here we have two other archetypal faculties displayed in God, which subsequently make their appearance in the nature of man, the understanding, and the judgment.

The perception of things external to Himself is an important fact in the relation between the Creator and the creature. It implies that the created thing is distinct from the creating Being, and external to Him. It therefore contradicts pantheism in all its forms.

The judgment is merely another branch of the apprehensive or cognitive faculty, by which we note physical and ethical relations and distinctions of things. It comes immediately into view on observing the object now called into existence. God saw that it was good. That is good in general which fulfills the end of its being. The relation of good and evil has a place and an application in the physical world, but it ascends through all the grades of the intellectual and the moral. That form of the judgement which takes cognizance of moral distinctions is of so much importance as to have received a distinct name, – the conscience, or moral sense.

Here the moral rectitude of God is vindicated, inasmuch as the work of His power is manifestly good. This refutes the doctrine of the two principles, the one good and the other evil, which the Persian sages have devised in order to account for the presence of moral and physical evil along with the good in the present condition of our world.

Divided between the light and between the darkness. – God then separates light and darkness, by assigning to each its relative position in time and space. This no doubt refers to the vicissitudes of day and night, as we learn from the following verse:

Gen 1:5

Called to the light, day, … – After separating the light and the darkness, he gives them the new names of day and night, according to the limitations under which they were now placed. Before this epoch in the history of the earth there was no rational inhabitant, and therefore no use of naming. The assigning of names, therefore, is an indication that we have arrived at that stage in which names for things will be necessary, because a rational creature is about to appear on the scene.

Naming seems to be designating according to the specific mode in which the general notion is realized in the thing named. This is illustrated by several instances which occur in the following part of the chapter. It is the right of the maker, owner, or other superior to give a name; and hence, the receiving of a name indicates the subordination of the thing named to the namer. Name and thing correspond: the former is the sign of the latter; hence, in the concrete matter-of-fact style of Scripture the name is often put for the thing, quality, person, or authority it represents.

The designations of day and night explain to us what is the meaning of dividing the light from the darkness. It is the separation of the one from the other, and the orderly distribution of each over the different parts of the earths surface in the course of a night and a day. This could only be effected in the space of a diurnal revolution of the earth on its axis. Accordingly, if light were radiated from a particular region in the sky, and thus separated from darkness at a certain meridian, while the earth performed its daily round, the successive changes of evening, night, morning, day, would naturally present themselves in slow and stately progress during that first great act of creation.

Thus, we have evidence that the diurnal revolution of the earth took place on the first day of the last creation. We are not told whether it occurred before that time. If there ever was a time when the earth did not revolve, or revolved on a different axis or according to a different law from the present, the first revolution or change of revolution must have produced a vast change in the face of things, the marks of which would remain to this day, whether the impulse was communicated to the solid mass alone, or simultaneously to all the loose matter resting on its surface. But the text gives no intimation of such a change.

At present, however, let us recollect we have only to do with the land known to antediluvian man, and the coming of light into existence over that region, according to the existing arrangement of day and night. How far the breaking forth of the light may have extended beyond the land known to the writer, the present narrative does not enable us to determine.

We are now prepared to conclude that the entrance of light into this darkened region was effected by such a change in its position or in its superincumbent atmosphere as allowed the interchange of night and day to become discernible, while at the same time so much obscurity still remained as to exclude the heavenly bodies from view. We have learned from the first verse that these heavenly orbs were already created. The luminous element that plays so conspicuous and essential a part in the process of nature, must have formed a part of that original creation. The removal of darkness, therefore, from the locality mentioned, is merely owing to a new adjustment by which the pre-existent light was made to visit the surface of the abyss with its cheering and enlivening beams.

In this case, indeed, the real change is effected, not in the light itself, but in the intervening medium which was impervious to its rays. But it is to be remembered, on the other hand, that the actual result of the divine interposition is still the diffusion of light over the face of the watery deep, and that the actual phenomena of the change, as they would strike an onlooker, and not the invisible springs of the six days creation, are described in the chapter before us.

Then was evening, then was morning, day one. – The last clause of the verse is a resumption of the whole process of time during this first work of creation. This is accordingly a simple and striking example of two lines of narrative parallel to each other and exactly coinciding in respect of time. In general we find the one line overlapping only a part of the other.

The day is described, according to the Hebrew mode of narrative, by its starting-point, the evening. The first half of its course is run out during the night. The next half in like manner commences with the morning, and goes through its round in the proper day. Then the whole period is described as one day. The point of termination for the day is thus the evening again, which agrees with the Hebrew division of time Lev 23:32.

To make the evening here the end of the first day, and so the morning the end of the first night, as is done by some interpreters, is therefore equally inconsistent with the grammar of the Hebrews and with their mode of reckoning time. It also defines the diurnal period, by noting first its middle point and then its termination, which does not seem to be natural. It further defines the period of sunshine, or the day proper, by the evening, and the night by the morning; a proceeding equally unnatural. It has not even the advantage of making the event of the latter clause subsequent to that of the former. For the day of twenty-four hours is wholly spent in dividing the light from the darkness; and the self-same day is described again in this clause, take it how we will. This interpretation of the clause is therefore to be rejected.

The days of this creation are natural days of twenty-four hours each. We may not depart from the ordinary meaning of the word without a sufficient warrant either in the text of Scripture or in the law of nature. But we have not yet found any such warrant. Only necessity can force us to such an expedient. Scripture, on the other hand, warrants us in retaining the common meaning by yielding no hint of another, and by introducing evening, night, morning, day, as its ordinary divisions. Nature favors the same interpretation. All geological changes are of course subsequent to the great event recorded in the first verse, which is the beginning of things. All such changes, except the one recorded in the six days creation, are with equal certainty antecedent to the state of things described in the second verse. Hence, no lengthened period is required for this last creative interposition.

Day one – is used here for the first day, the cardinal one being not usually employed for the ordinal in Hebrew Gen 8:13; Exo 10:1-2. It cannot indicate any emphasis or singularity in the day, as it is in no respect different from the other days of creation. It implies that the two parts before mentioned make up one day. But this is equally implied by all the ordinals on the other days.

This day is in many ways interesting to us. It is the first day of the last creation; it is the first day of the week; it is the day of the resurrection of the Messiah; and it has become the Christian Sabbath.

The first five verses form the first parashah ( parash) or section of the Hebrew text. If this division come from the author, it indicates that he regarded the first days work as the body of the narrative, and the creation of the universe, in the first verse, and the condition of the earth, in the second, as mere preliminaries to introduce and elucidate his main statement. If, on the contrary, it proceeds from some transcriber of a subsequent period, it may indicate that he considered the creative work of the first day to consist of two parts, – first, an absolute creation; and, second, a supplementary act, by which the primary universe was first enlightened.

Fuente: Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Gen 1:3-4

Let there be light

The creation of light



1. For the protection of life. Plants could not live without light; without it, the flowers would soon wither. Even in a brief night they close their petals, and will only open them again at the gentle approach of the morning light. Nor could man survive in continued darkness. A sad depression would rest upon his soul.

2. For the enjoyment of life. Light is one of Gods best gifts to the world.

(1) It is inexpensive. The world has to pay for the light produced by man; that created by God, we get for nothing. Man has limitations; God has none. Man is selfish; God is beneficent.

(2) It is extensive. It floods the universe. It is the heritage of the poor equally with the rich; it enters the hut as well as the palace.

(3) It is welcome.

3. For the instruction of life. Light is not merely a protection. It is also an instructor. It is an emblem. It is an emblem of God, the Eternal Light. It is an emblem of truth. It is an emblem of goodness. It is an emblem of heaven. It is an emblem of beneficence.

DIVINELY APPROVED. And God saw the light, that it was good.

1. It was good in itself. The light was pure. It was clear. It was not so fierce as to injure. It was not so weak as to be ineffectual. It was not so loud in its advent as to disturb.

2. It was good because adapted to the purpose contemplated by it. Nothing else could more efficiently have accomplished its purpose toward the life of man. Hence it is good because adapted to its purpose, deep in its meaning, wide in its realm, happy in its influence, and educational in its tendency.

3. We see here that the Divine Being carefully scrutinises the work of His hands. When He had created light, He saw that it was good. May we not learn a lesson here, to pause after our daily toil, to inspect and review its worth. Every act of life should be followed by contemplation.

DIVINELY PROPORTIONED. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night.

1. The light was indicative of day. In this light man was to work. The light ever active would rebuke indolence. By this light man was to read. In this light man was to order his moral conduct.

2. The removal of light was indicative of night. In this night man was to rest from the excitement of pleasure, and the anxiety of toil. Its darkness was to make him feel the need of a Divine protection. (J. S. Exell, M. A.)

Light and the gospel compared


1. Light and the gospel resemble each other in their source and Divine resemblance.

2. Light and the gospel resemble each other in their adaptation to the end designed.

3. Light and the gospel resemble each other in their purity.

4. Light and the gospel resemble each other in their inseparable connection with joy and happiness.


1. That man should have the light of salvation.

2. That His Church should be the light of the world.

3. That the world should be filled with the light of the gospel of Christ.

(1) Now the gospel is adapted to all the world. It is as much suited to one part of it as to another.

(2) It is expressly said that it is designed for the whole world. I am the light of the world. Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

(3) The whole world shall finally enjoy its saving rays. This gospel of the kingdom, etc. (See Isa 11:9; Isa 60:19, and Hab 2:14.)


1. Have you the light of Divine grace in your hearts?

2. Have you this light in your families?

3. Have you this light in your neighbourhood?

4. Are you assisting to enlighten the world? (J. Burns, D. D.)

Genesis of light


1. God said: an anthropomorphism.

2. The God-said of Moses the God-word of John.

3. The first light chemical.

4. And God saw the light, that it was good. It is to light that the cloud, the sunset, the rainbow, the diamond, the violet, owe their exquisite hues. Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the Ecc 11:7). Nay, more: Light is one of the essential conditions of all life itself–alike vegetal, animal, human, and, doubtless, angelic. Yes, there is a better curative than allopathy or homeopathy, hydropathy or aeropathy; it is heliopathy, or light of the sun. Physicians understand this, and so seek for their patients the sunny side of hospitals. And so they unconsciously confirm the holy saying, To you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings Mal 4:2).

5. Evening: Morning. Observe the order of the words: It is not first morning, and then evening; it is first evening, then morning: And there was evening, and there was morning, day one.


1. God is light (1Jn 1:5). For aught I know, the apostles message is literally true. Remember that when we are talking of light we are moving in presence of a very subtile mystery. The origin and nature of light is still a profound problem. True, we talk learnedly and correctly about the laws of light; its laws of reflection, refraction, absorption, dispersion, polarization, etc. But these are only phenomena; they tell us nothing about the nature or origin of light itself. All we know of light is merely a knowledge of the mode and laws of its motion. We do not know the essence of light itself. One thing is certain: light is the nearest known, sensible approach to immateriality, being classed with its apparent kindred–heat, electricity, magnetism–among the imponderables. Indeed, the modern magnificent undulatory theory denies that light is material, and affirms that it is but a mode of motion. We are accustomed to say that there are but two things in the universe–spirit and matter–and that the chasm between these is infinite. Possibly this is one of those assumptions which, did we know more, we would affirm less. Possibly light is an instance of what the philosophers call tertium quid–a third something, intermediate between spirit and matter, ethereally bridging the measureless chasm. Possibly light is Gods natural expression, outflow, radiation, manifestation, vestment Psa 104:1-2). Possibly, when the Creator moves in that finite world we call time, He leaves light as His personal vestige and train. His mantle ripples into light, is light itself. In view of this possibility, how natural as well as fitting that the ancient token of Gods personal presence among the Hebrews should have been the shechinah, or dazzling glory cloud.

2. And as God is light, so also are His children light. Expressly are they called Sons of Light (Luk 16:8). Expressly is He called Father of Lights (Jam 1:17). We know that light is latent in every form of matter; for, when sufficiently heated, it becomes incandescent–that is to say, self-luminous. What is flame but a mass of heated, visibly glowing gas? True, it doth not yet appear what we shall be (1Jn 3:2). Nevertheless, I believe that light is latent within us all, and that by-and-by, at least in the case of Gods saintly children, it will stream forth; not that it will be evolved by the action of any heat or chemical force, but that, under the free, transcendent conditions of the heavenly estate, it will ray forth spontaneously.

3. Jesus Christ Himself, as Incarnate, is the shadow of Gods light. Infinite God, Deity as unconditioned and absolute, no man hath ever seen or can ever see, and live (Exo 33:20). He dwelleth in light which no man can approach unto (1Ti 6:15), is light itself. Dark with excess of light, we poor finite beings cannot behold Him except through the softening intervention of some medium. Therefore the Son of God, brightness of His glory and express image of His person (Heb 1:3), radiance of His effulgence and character, or impress of His substance, became incarnate, that in the softer morning star and suffused dayspring of the Incarnation we might be able to look on the dazzling Father of Lights, and not be dazed into blindness.

4. Jesus Christ is not only the shadow or tempered image of God: in the very act of becoming that shadow Jesus Christ also became the Light of the Joh 8:12). Ah, how much the world needed His illumination!

5. As Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, so also is His Church. He, clear as the sun, she, fair as the moon, both together resplendent as an army with banners (Son 6:10).

In conclusion:

1. A word of cheer for the saint. Ye are sons of light. Recall now how much light means. It means all that is most bright and clean, and direct, and open, and unselfish, and spotless, and lovely, and healthful, and true, and Divine. How exceedingly great, then, your wealth! Oh, live worthily of your rich estate.

2. A word of entreaty to the sinner. Of what use is the most abounding light if we persist in keeping our eyes closed? As there is an eternal day for the sons of light, so there is an eternal night for the sons of darkness. (G. D.Boardman.)

Light and life




1. Trust in Gods overruling providence.

2. The study of nature should not be separated from religion. (W. S. Smith, B. D.)


Light is PURE. Its property repels defilement. It traverses unstained each medium of uncleanness.

Light is BRIGHT. Indeed, what is brightness but lights clear shining.

Light is LOVELY. Beauty cannot live without it. So Christ decks all on whom His beams descend.

Light is FREE. The wealth of the wealthy cannot purchase, nor the poverty of the poor debar from it. Waste not time in seeking a price for Him, compared with whom an angels worth is nothing worth.

Light is ALL-REVEALING. By Christs rays, sin is detected, as lurking in every corner of the heart; and the world, which we so fondled, is unmasked, as a monster whose embrace is filth, and in whose hand is the cup of death.

Light is the PARENT OF FRUITFULNESS. In Christs absence, the heart is rank with every weed, and every noxious berry. But when His beams enliven, the seeds of grace bud forth, the tree of faith pours down its golden fruit.

Light is the chariot which CONVEYS HEAT. Without Christ, the heart is ice. But when He enters, a glow is kindled, which can never die.

Light is the HARBINGER OF JOY. Heaven is a cloudless God. (Dean Law.)

The Word of God

Let there be.

1. How the growth of the world points back to the eternal existence of the Word.

2. How the eternal Word is the foundation for the growth of the world. (J. P. Lange, D. D.)

Light, a source of life

1. Its good, as existing in its ground.

2. Its beauty, as disclosed in its appearing. (J. P. Lange, D. D.)

The creation of light a days work of God

1. The first days work.

2. A whole days work.

3. A continuous days work.

4. A days work rich in its consequences. (J. P. Lange, D. D.)

All the blessings of the light

We, who worship the Father of lights, have reason every day that we live to thank God for life and health, for countless blessings. And not least among these may be reckoned the free gift of, and the many blessings of the light. For in many ways that we can tell off, at once, upon our fingers, and in very many more ways that we neither dream of nor think of, does light minister to our health, wealth, and comfort.

1. The very birds sing at daybreak their glad welcome to the dawn, and the rising sun. And we all know and feel how cheering is the power of light. In the sunlight rivers flash, and nature rejoices, and our hearts are light, and we take a bright view of things.

2. So, too, light comes to revive and restore us. Darkness is oppressive. In it we are apt to lose heart. We grow anxious, and full of fears. With the first glimmer of light in the distance, hope awakens, and we feel a load lifted off our minds.

3. Again, we have often felt the reassuring power of light. In the darkness, objects that are perfectly harmless take threatening shapes; the imagination distorts them, and our fancy creates dangers. Light shows us that we have been alarmed at shadows: quiets and reassures us.

4. Once again, the light comes to us, often, as nothing less than a deliverer. It reveals dangers hidden and unsuspected; the deadly reptile; the yawning precipice; the lurking foe.

5. And when, over and above all this, we remember that light is absolutely essential, not to health only, but to life in every form, animal and vegetable alike, we shall heartily echo the words of the wise king in Ecclesiastes: Truly the light is sweet; and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. (J. B. C. Murphy, B. A.)

The first day

The work begins with light, God said, Let there be light, and at once light shone where all before was dark. God says, Repent ye–the kingdom of heaven is at hand: then our darkness displeases us, and we are turned to light. Thus of all those blessings hid in Christ from everlasting, and which are predestinated to be accomplished in the creature, light is the first that is bestowed: God shines in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But the heaven announced at hand is yet unformed. No sun yet shines, no fruits adorn the creature. Many steps remain before the image of God will come, the man created in righteousness, to rule all things. Then at once comes a division between what is of God and what is not; between the natural darkness in the creature and the light which God has made. The light shines in darkness, but the darkness comprehends it not. Two conflicting powers are striving each to gain the day, making the old domain of darkness a continually shifting but ceaseless battle field. Then a name is given by God both to light and darkness; that is, the character of each is learnt according to the mind of God. Now the darkness has a name. What God calls it, we call it. His thoughts are not altogether strange to us. Natural as the darkness may seem to the creature, God calls it night, or deviation. It is a turning from the right or straight line. The light is day, or movement: there is a disturbance of the darkness. Death rules no longer; life with light is come. Besides, in this name there is a form given to both. Until now light and darkness were unformed, but day and night intimate order and distribution. Night is darkness put within limits. So with light; it is not day till it is arranged and put in form and order. (A. Jukes.)

Light, natural and spiritual

Every saved man is a new creation.

THE DIVINE FIAT. Let there be light. The work of grace by which light enters the soul is–

1. A needful work. No heart can be saved without spiritual light, to reveal self and Jesus Christ.

2. An early work. First day.

3. A Divine work.

4. Wrought by the Word. God spake.

5. Unaided by the darkness itself. Darkness cannot help to bring day.

6. It was unsolicited.

7. Instantaneous.

8. Irresistible.


DIVINE APPROBATION. Natural light is good. Gospel light is good. Spiritual light is good.

1. Because of its source.

2. Because of its likeness. God is light.

3. Because of its effects.

4. It glorifies God.

DIVINE SEPARATION. The Christian man has light and darkness contending within him; also contending forces without him.

DIVINE NOMINATION. We must call things by their right names. (C. H.Spurgeon.)

Light and its laws

The light God has made, and His mind concerning it.

1. Physical light–good; light, sweet; pleasant. Sun, the emblem of many things; cheerful revealing.

2. Mental light–good. Hence in some parts an idiot is called dark.

3. Gospel light–good; the light of the story of God; light that shined out of darkness to enlighten Gentiles; Christ, the Light of the world, the Sun of Righteousness.

4. Spiritual light–good.

5. Essential light–light of heaven from the Father of lights.

The law by which it is governed.

1. Not mixed, but separated.

2. Sons of light must have no communion with darkness.

3. Churches should be lights in the world.

4. Truth not to be mixed with error.


1. Love the light.

2. Walk in it.

3. Enforce the law concerning it. (J. C. Gray.)

The ceaseless act of the Almighty

THE THINGS SPOKEN OF IN THE TEXT, LIGHT AND DARKNESS. To each of these terms there are different significations. There is what we term natural light; there are also mental and moral light (the illumination of the understanding and of the heart); there are also providential, spiritual, and eternal light: each of these has its opposite state of darkness. It is true that our text speaks only of light natural; yet, as the works of God in nature are often typical of His works of grace, we may follow the example of Scripture, and in tracing out the truths it teaches, may endeavour to prove, that in the whole economy of nature, providence, and grace, it is the practice and prerogative of God to divide the light from the darkness. Is it darkness with any of the Lords people present? Are His dealings mysterious? Are their state and prospects full of gloom and obscurity? Child of sorrow, strive to bow with submission to the will of your Heavenly Father. Let patience have her perfect work. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Why art thou cast down, oh my soul! and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God, for thou shalt yet praise Him who is the health of thy countenance. At evening time it shall be light. Yes, then, when you are expecting the darkness to increase–when the sun of enjoyment seems to have set forever,–then, at evening time it shall be light. Who is among you that feareth the Lord and obeyeth the voice of His servant: that walketh in darkness and hath no light; let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Unto the upright there ariseth light in darkness. There are also spiritual and eternal lights, with their opposite states of darkness. With Thee is the fountain of life, said the sacred writer, and in Thy light shall we see light. While we are in the darkness of natural corruption and alienation from God, we know nothing aright, nothing of the evils of sin, nothing of the astonishing love of Jesus, we have no just conceptions of the amazing and stupendous work of redemption, or of the work of the Holy Spirit upon the soul of man. But when in infinite compassion Jehovah enlightens the understanding and touches the heart, we see and feel the reality and vast importance of eternal things–we see at what an awful distance sin has placed us from a God of spotless purity–we feel how deeply we are steeped in the poison and pollution of iniquity–we adore the infinite wisdom manifested in the plan of redemption, that stupendous plan, which while it redeems, pardons, and sanctifies the sinner, satisfies also the high claims of Divine justice, magnifies the Divine perfections, and brings Glory to God in the highest.

We have now to consider WHAT MAY BE AFFIRMED CONCERNING THE OBJECTS HERE SET BEFORE US: GOD DIVIDES THE LIGHT FROM THE DARKNESS. He is accomplishing this upon earth by a mysterious but infinitely wise process. Much light and darkness dwells in the minds of individuals–in the various religious sects throughout the land, and among the different nations of the world. Whatever true light is in the world, it is of God. He is its Author. By nature all are under the dominion of the prince of darkness, and are enslaved by Him. But a stronger than he comes upon him, and delivers the captive from the dark dungeons of iniquity. Jesus came to be a light to them that sit in darkness; He sends His Spirit with His Word to subdue the rebellious heart, to awaken the insensible heart–to pour the light of celestial day upon the benighted spirit–to show the sinner to himself, and to reveal the saving mercy, of God in Christ–to reveal the dangers that lie in his pathway to eternity–to give him right views of every essential truth connected with salvation and eternal life–to teach him everything it is requisite he should know and experience ere he can inhabit the realms of light above–in short, to separate the light from the darkness. Hitherto the very light had been darkness; there had been light in the intellect perhaps, but darkness in the soul (for in many an unrenewed character the one is strangely mixed with the other). There may even possibly exist a theoretic knowledge of Divine things where blackest crimes dwell in the heart and are perpetrated in the life. But where Jesus shines forth in mercy–where the Holy Spirit exerts His power, the light is separated from the darkness: there is no longer that heterogeneous mixture of knowledge and sin, of Divine truth in the intellect and sin in the life, which formerly existed. Jehovah has wrought His wondrous work, has divided the light from the darkness, has separated the sinner from his sins, and behold all things become new. To conclude: The day of final separation is hastening on, then, forever and at once, God will divide the light from the darkness, truth from error, holiness from iniquity, the righteous from the wicked. Truth and righteousness shall dwell in heaven, error and iniquity shall sink to hell. The wicked will then be all darkness, the righteous will then be all light. (W. Burgess.)

Darkness before light

And do you think, children, that you were first light and then became dark? or that you were first dark and then became light? Because when you were a baby boy or girl you did not know much; it was very dark: now I hope that the light of the Sun of Righteousness is upon you, that the evening has become the morning. The morning star has risen, I hope. It is light! light! (J. Vaughan, M. A.)

Night a necessity

A remarkable effect was mentioned by Mr. Robert Hunt (to whom the public are indebted for much valuable information on solar and other phenomena) to the present writer. In the course of his early experiments on the active power of the suns rays, he subjected a metal plate to its operation, and, of course, received upon it a picture of the objects within its range. He now rubbed this off, making the surface clear and fresh as at first; photographed a different picture, and then effaced this as he had done the former. In this way he proceeded some ten or twelve times, now receiving, and now rubbing off the traces of the sunlight, when the question arose in his mind, What would be the result were I to transmit an electrical current through this plate? To determine it, he caused a current to pass through it diagonally, when, to his astonishment, the various objects that had been, as he supposed, effaced from the surface, rushed to it confusedly together, so that he could detect there a medley of them all; thus proving that there had not been merely a superficial action of the light, but that it had produced a molecular disturbance throughout the plate. Only let, therefore, the sunbeams play uninterruptedly on the iron, the brass, or the granite, and they will crumble into dust under an irresistible power; the falling over them of the mantle of night alone prevents the occurrence of a catastrophe. (C. Williams.)

It was good

The first day of creation

1. Mans fallen nature is a very chaos, without form and void, with darkness thick and sevenfold covering all. The Lord begins His work upon man by the visitation of the Spirit, who enters the soul mysteriously, and broods over it, even as of old He moved upon the face of the waters. He is the quickener of the dead soul.

2. In connection with the presence of the Holy Spirit the Lord sends into the soul, as His first blessing, light. The Lord appeals to mans understanding and enlightens it by the gospel.

3. If you keep your eye upon the chapter you will observe that the light came into the world at first by the Word God said, Let there be light. It is through the Word of God contained in this book, the Bible, that light comes into the soul. This is that true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

4. The light which broke in upon the primeval darkness was of a very mysterious kind, and came not according to ordinary laws, for as yet neither sun nor moon had been set as lights in the firmament. Can we tell how spiritual light first dawns on natures night? How He removes darkness from the understanding, and illuminates the intellect, is a secret reserved for Himself alone.

5. The light came instantaneously. Six days were occupied in furnishing the earth, but a moment sufficed for illuminating it. God works rapidly in the operation of regeneration: as with a flash He darts light and life into the soul. The operations of grace are gradual, but its entrance is instantaneous. Although instantaneous, it is not, however, shallow and short lived.


1. He was the sole observer of it. Neither eye of man, nor bird, nor beast was there to behold the golden glory; but God saw the light. Newly enlightened one, it may be you are pained because you have no Christian companion to observe your change of heart: cease from your sorrow, for God beholds you.

2. That light had come into the world in a noiseless manner, yet the Lord saw it. The entrance of Gods Word which giveth light is effected in solemn silence of the mind. If men make an illumination, we can hear the crackling of their fireworks over all the city; but when God illuminates the earth with the sun, the orb of day arises without a sound. Although the work in your soul has been so quiet, so hidden from the eyes of men, so unremarkable and commonplace, yet take comfort from the text, The Lord saw the light. No trumpet proclaimed it, but the Lord saw it; no voice went forth concerning it, but the Lord saw it and it was enough; and in your case it is the same.

3. The earth itself could not recognize the light, yet the Lord saw it. How often do we mourn that we have scarcely more light than suffices to reveal our darkness and make us pine for more. Oh, troubled one, lay this home to your soul, the Lord saw the light when earth herself could not perceive it.

4. Let us not forget that besides the light there was no other beauty. The earth, according to the Hebrew, was tohu and bohu, which, in order to come near both to the sense and sound at the same time, I will render anyhow and nohow. Even so your experience may seem to be a chaos, nohow and anyhow, exactly what it should not be, a mass of unformed conceptions, and half-formed desires, and ill-formed prayers, but yet there is grace in you, and God sees it, even amid the dire confusion and huge uproar of your spirit.

5. Remember, too, that when the light came it had to contend with darkness, but God saw it none the less. So, also, in your soul there still remains the darkness of inbred corruption, ignorance, infirmity, and tendency to sin, and these cause a conflict, but the light is not thereby hidden from the eyes of God.

6. For many reasons the Lord sees the light, but chiefly He sees it because He made it, and He forsakes not the work of His own hands.

THE LORD APPROVES OF WHAT HE CREATES. God saw the light that it was good. He took pleasure in it.

1. Now, as far as this world was concerned, light was but young and new: and so in some of you grace is quite a novelty. You were only converted a very little while ago, and you have had no time to try yourselves or to develope graces, yet the Lord delights in your newborn life. Light is good at dawn as well as at noon: the grace of God is good though but newly received; it will work out for you greater things by-and-by, and make you more happy and more holy, but even now all the elements of excellence are in it, and its first day has the Divine blessing upon it.

2. Here we must mention again that it was struggling light, yet none the less for that approved of by the Lord. We do not understand how it was that the light and the darkness were together until God divided them, as this verse intimates; but as John Bunyan says, No doubt darkness and light here began their quarrel, for what communion hath light with darkness. My brethren, I am sure you are no strangers to this conflict, nor is it to you altogether a thing of the past. You are in the conflict still. Still grace and sin are warring in you, and will do so till you are taken home. Let this help you, O ye who are perplexed; remember that struggling as the light is, God approves of it, and calls it good.

3. As yet the light had not been divided from the darkness, and the bounds of day and night were not fixed. And so in young beginners; they hardly know which is grace and which is nature, what is of themselves and what is of Christ, and they make a great many mistakes. Yet the Lord does not mistake, but approves of that which His grace has placed in them.

4. As yet the light and darkness had not been named: it was afterwards that the Lord called the light day, and the darkness night, yet He saw the light that it was good. And so, though you do not know the names of things, God knows your name.

5. The light of the first day could not reveal much of beauty, for there was none, and so the light within does not yet reveal much to you; and what it, does reveal is uncomely, but the light itself is good, whatever it may make manifest.

6. But why did God say that light was good?

(1) I suppose it was because its creation displayed His attributes.

(2) He loves the light, too, because it is like Himself, for God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

(3) Light is eminently good, for the Lord spent a whole day in creating and arranging it–a whole day out of six. This shows that He attaches great importance to it. Moreover, he gave it the front rank by occupying the first day of creations week upon it. Even thus the plan of grace was early in the mind of God; it was and is His masterpiece, and He has never yet placed it in the background.

(4) I suppose that the Lord approved of the light because it was a seasonable thing. It was what was wanted to begin with. Not but what God could work in the dark, for, as to natural light, in that respect darkness and light are both alike to Him; but we can all see that the works of His creating skill needed light, for how could plants, animals, and men live without it?

THE LORD QUICKLY DISCERNS ALL THE GOODNESS AND BEAUTY WHICH EXISTS IN WHAT HE CREATES. The Lord did not merely feel approbation for the light, but He perceived reason for it: He saw that it was good. He could see goodness in it where, perhaps, no one else would have been able to do so.

1. Let us note, then, that light is good in itself; and so is Divine grace. What a wonderful thing light is! Just think of it! How simple it is, and yet how complex. Light, too, how common it is! We see it everywhere, and all the year round. Light, too, how feeble and yet how strong! Its beams would not detain us one-half so forcibly as a cobweb; yet how mighty it is, and how supreme! Scarcely is there a force in the universe of God which is more potent. The grace of God in the same manner is contemptible in the eyes of man, and yet the majesty of omnipotence is in it, and it is more than conqueror.

2. Light is good, not only in itself, but in its warfare. The light contended with darkness, and it was good for darkness to be battled with. Grace has come unto you, and it will fight with your sin, and it ought to be fought with, and to be overcome.

3. The light which came from God was good in its measure. There was neither too much of it nor too little. If the Lord had sent a little more light into the world we might all have been dazzled into blindness, and if He had sent less we might have groped in gloom. God sends into the newborn Christian just as much grace as he can bear; He does not give him the maturity of after years, for it would be out of place.

4. Light was good as a preparation for Gods other works. He knew that light, though it was but the beginning, was necessary to the completion of His work. Light was needful, that the eye of man might rejoice in the works of God, and so God saw the light that it was good, in connection with what was to be. And, oh, I charge you who have to deal with young people, look at the grace they have in them in relation to what will be in them.

5. What a mass of thought one might raise from this one truth of the goodness of light and the goodness of grace, as to their results. Light produces the beauty which adorns the world, for without it all the world were uncomely blackness. Lights pencil paints the whole, and even so all beauty of character is the result of grace. Light sustains life, for life in due time would dwindle and die out without it, and thus grace alone sustains the virtues and graces of the believer; without daily grace we should be spiritually dead. Light heals many sicknesses, and grace brings healing in its wings. Light is comfort, light is joy, the prisoner in his darkness knows it to be so; and so the grace of God produces joy and peace wherever it is shed abroad. Light reveals and so does grace, for without it we could not see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


1. This leads me to say to the young Christian, the Lord would have you encouraged.

2. My last word is to older Christian people. If the Lord says that His work in the first day is good, I want you to say so too. Do not wait till you see the second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth day before you feel confidence in the convert and offer Him fellowship. If God speaks encouragingly so soon, I want you to do the same. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Fuente: Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Verse 3. And God said, Let there be light] YEHI OR, vaihi or. Nothing can be conceived more dignified than this form of expression. It argues at once uncontrollable authority, and omnific power; and in human language it is scarcely possible to conceive that God can speak more like himself. This passage, in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, fell in the way of Dionysius Longinus, one of the most judicious Greek critics that ever lived, and who is highly celebrated over the civilized world for a treatise he wrote, entitled , Concerning the SUBLIME, both in prose and poetry; of this passage, though a heathen, he speaks in the following terms: – ( ,) , , , , . .” So likewise the Jewish lawgiver (who was no ordinary man) having conceived a just idea of the Divine power, he expressed it in a dignified manner; for at the beginning of his laws he thus speaks: GOD SAID – What? LET THERE BE LIGHT! and there was light. LET THERE BE EARTH! and there was earth.” – Longinus, sect. ix. edit. Pearce.

Many have asked, “How could light be produced on the first day, and the sun, the fountain of it, not created till the fourth day?” With the various and often unphilosophical answers which have been given to this question I will not meddle, but shall observe that the original word signifies not only light but fire, see Isa 31:9; Eze 5:2. It is used for the SUN, Job 31:26. And for the electric fluid or LIGHTNING, Job 37:3. And it is worthy of remark that It is used in Isa 44:16, for the heat, derived from ( esh, the fire. He burneth part thereof in the fire ( bemo esh:) yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha! I have seen the fire, raithi ur, which a modern philosopher who understood the language would not scruple to translate, I have received caloric, or an additional portion of the matter of heat. I therefore conclude, that as God has diffused the matter of caloric or latent heat through every part of nature, without which there could be neither vegetation nor animal life, that it is caloric or latent heat which is principally intended by the original word.

That there is latent light, which is probably the same with latent heat, may be easily demonstrated: take two pieces of smooth rock crystal, agate, cornelian or flint, and rub them together briskly in the dark, and the latent light or matter of caloric will be immediately produced and become visible. The light or caloric thus disengaged does not operate in the same powerful manner as the heat or fire which is produced by striking with flint and steel, or that produced by electric friction. The existence of this caloric – latent or primitive light, may be ascertained in various other bodies; it can be produced by the flint and steel, by rubbing two hard sticks together, by hammering cold iron, which in a short time becomes red hot, and by the strong and sudden compression of atmospheric air in a tube. Friction in general produces both fire and light. God therefore created this universal agent on the first day, because without It no operation of nature could be carried on or perfected.

Light is one of the most astonishing productions of the creative skill and power of God. It is the grand medium by which all his other works are discovered, examined, and understood, so far as they can be known. Its immense diffusion and extreme velocity are alone sufficient to demonstrate the being and wisdom of God. Light has been proved by many experiments to travel at the astonishing rate of 194,188 miles in one second of time! and comes from the sun to the earth in eight minutes 11 43/50 seconds, a distance of 95,513,794 English miles.

Fuente: Adam Clarke’s Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

He commanded, not by such a word or speech as we use, which agreeth not with the spiritual nature of God; but either by an act of his powerful will, called the word of his power, Heb 1:3 or, by his substantial Word, his Son, by whom he made the worlds, Heb 1:2; Psa 33:6, who is called: The Word, partly, if not principally, for this reason, Joh 1:1-3,10.

There was light; which was some bright and lucid body, peradventure like the fiery cloud in the wilderness, giving a small and imperfect light, successively moving over the several parts of the earth; and afterwards condensed, increased, perfected, and gathered together in the sun.

Fuente: English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

3. God saidThis phrase, whichoccurs so repeatedly in the account means: willed, decreed,appointed; and the determining will of God was followed in everyinstance by an immediate result. Whether the sun was created at thesame time with, or long before, the earth, the dense accumulation offogs and vapors which enveloped the chaos had covered the globe witha settled gloom. But by the command of God, light was renderedvisible; the thick murky clouds were dispersed, broken, or rarefied,and light diffused over the expanse of waters. The effect isdescribed in the name “day,” which in Hebrewsignifies “warmth,” “heat”; while the name”night” signifies a “rolling up,” as night wrapsall things in a shady mantle.

Fuente: Jamieson, Fausset and Brown’s Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

And God said,…. This phrase is used, nine times in this account of the creation; it is admired by Longinus the Heathen in his treatise “of the Sublime”, as a noble instance of it; and it is most beautifully paraphrased and explained in Ps 33:6 as expressive of the will, power, authority, and efficacy of the divine Being; whose word is clothed with power, and who can do, and does whatever he will, and as soon as he pleases; his orders are always obeyed. Perhaps the divine Person speaking here is the Logos or Word of God, which was in the beginning with God, and was God, and who himself is the light that lightens every creature. The words spoke were,

let there be light, and there was light: it at once appeared; “God commanded light to shine out of darkness”; as the apostle says, 2Co 4:6 this was the first thing made out of the dark chaos; as in the new creation, or work of grace in the heart, light is the first thing produced there: what this light was is not easy to say. Some of the Jewish Rabbins, and also some Christian writers, think the angels are designed by it, which is not at all probable, as the ends and use of this light show: others of them are of opinion, that it is the same with the sun, of which a repetition is made on the fourth day, because of its use and efficacy to the earth, and its plants; but others more rightly take it to be different from the sun, and a more glimmering light, which afterwards was gathered into and perfected in the body of the sun f. It is the opinion of Zanchius g, and which is approved of by our countryman, Mr. Fuller h, that it was a lucid body, or a small lucid cloud, which by its circular motion from east to west made day and night i; perhaps somewhat like the cloudy pillar of fire that guided the Israelites in the wilderness, and had no doubt heat as well as light; and which two indeed, more or less, go together; and of such fiery particles this body may well be thought to consist. The word “Ur” signifies both fire and light.

f Vid. Menasseh ben Israel conciliator in Gen. qu. 2. g De Operibus Dei, par. 3. l. 1. c. 2. col. 239. and l. 2. c. 1. h Miscell. Sacr. l. 1. c. 12. i Milton seems to be of the same mind:—– —–and forthwith light. Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure, Sprung from the deep, and from her native east To journey thro’ the airy gloom began, Sphered in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle Sojourned the while.—– Paradise Lost, B. 7. l. 243, &c.

Fuente: John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

The Creation.

B. C. 4004.

      3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.   4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.   5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

      We have here a further account of the first day’s work, in which observe, 1. That the first of all visible beings which God created was light; not that by it he himself might see to work (for the darkness and light are both alike to him), but that by it we might see his works and his glory in them, and might work our works while it is day. The works of Satan and his servants are works of darkness; but he that doeth truth, and doeth good, cometh to the light, and coveteth it, that his deeds may be made manifest, John iii. 21. Light is the great beauty and blessing of the universe. Like the first-born, it does, of all visible beings, most resemble its great Parent in purity and power, brightness and beneficence; it is of great affinity with a spirit, and is next to it; though by it we see other things, and are sure that it is, yet we know not its nature, nor can describe what it is, or by what way the light is parted,Job 38:19; Job 38:24. By the sight of it let us be led to, and assisted in, the believing contemplation of him who is light, infinite and eternal light (1 John i. 5), and the Father of lights (Jam. i. 17), and who dwells in inaccessible light, 1 Tim. vi. 16. In the new creation, the first thing wrought in the soul is light: the blessed Spirit captives the will and affections by enlightening the understanding, so coming into the heart by the door, like the good shepherd whose own the sheep are, while sin and Satan, like thieves and robbers, climb up some other way. Those that by sin were darkness by grace become light in the world. 2. That the light was made by the word of God’s power. He said, Let there be light; he willed and appointed it, and it was done immediately: there was light, such a copy as exactly answered the original idea in the Eternal Mind. O the power of the word of God! He spoke, and it was done, done really, effectually, and for perpetuity, not in show only, and to serve a present turn, for he commanded, and it stood fast: with him it was dictum, factum–a word, and a world. The world of God (that is, his will and the good pleasure of it) is quick and powerful. Christ is the Word, the essential eternal Word, and by him the light was produced, for in him was light, and he is the true light, the light of the world,Joh 1:9; Joh 9:5. The divine light which shines in sanctified souls is wrought by the power of God, the power of his word and of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, opening the understanding, scattering the mists of ignorance and mistake, and giving the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ, as at first, God commanded the light to shine out of darkness, 2 Cor. iv. 6. Darkness would have been perpetually upon the face of fallen man if the Son of God had not come, and given us an understanding, 1 John v. 20. 3. That the light which God willed, when it was produced, he approved of: God saw the light that it was good. It was exactly as he designed it, and it was fit to answer the end for which he designed it. It was useful and profitable; the world, which now is a palace, would have been a dungeon without it. It was amiable and pleasant. Truly the light is sweet (Eccl. xi. 7); it rejoiceth the heart, Prov. xv. 30. What God commands he will approve and graciously accept; he will be well pleased with the work of his own hands. That is good indeed which is so in the sight of God, for he sees not as man sees. If the light is good, how good is he that is the fountain of light, from whom we receive it, and to whom we owe all praise for it and all the services we do by it! 4. That God divided the light from the darkness, so put them asunder as that they could never be joined together, or reconciled; for what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Cor. vi. 14. And yet he divided time between them, the day for light and the night for darkness, in a constant and regular succession to each other. Though the darkness was now scattered by the light, yet it was not condemned to a perpetual banishment, but takes its turn with the light, and has its place, because it has its use; for, as the light of the morning befriends the business of the day, so the shadows of the evening befriend the repose of the night, and draw the curtains about us, that we may sleep the better. See Job vii. 2. God has thus divided time between light and darkness, because he would daily remind us that this is a world of mixtures and changes. In heaven there is perfect and perpetual light, and no darkness at all; in hell, utter darkness, and no gleam of light. In that world between these two there is a great gulf fixed; but, in this world, they are counterchanged, and we pass daily from one to another, that we may learn to expect the like vicissitudes in the providence of God, peace and trouble, joy and sorrow, and may set the one over-against the other, accommodating ourselves to both as we do to the light and darkness, bidding both welcome, and making the best of both. 5. That God divided them from each other by distinguishing names: He called the light day, and the darkness he called night. He gave them names, as the Lord of both; for the day is his, the night also is his, Ps. lxxiv. 16. He is the Lord of time, and will be so, till day and night shall come to an end, and the stream of time be swallowed up in the ocean of eternity. Let us acknowledge God in the constant succession of day and night, and consecrate both to his honour, by working for him every day and resting in him every night, and meditating in his law day and night. 6. That this was the first day’s work, and a good day’s work it was. The evening and the morning were the first day. The darkness of the evening was before the light of the morning, that it might serve for a foil to it, to set it off, and make it shine the brighter. This was not only the first day of the world, but the first day of the week. I observe it to the honour of that day, because the new world began on the first day of the week likewise, in the resurrection of Christ, as the light of the world, early in the morning. In him the day-spring from on high has visited the world; and happy are we, for ever happy, if that day-star arise in our hearts.

Fuente: Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary

Verses 3-5:

The “light” with which God dispelled the darkness which shrouded Planet Earth was possibly the Shekinah glory of His presence. This light appears to have illuminated Earth independent of the sun, moon, and stars, which were not installed as luminaries until Day Four. There are various theories regarding the nature of this primeval light. There appears to be no way to know for certain the exact nature of this light. Light is necessary for life on earth. Thus, on the first day of Earth’s reconstruction God decreed, “Let light be; and light was.”

“And the evening and the morning were the first day.” This appears to be the beginning of time as we know it. Time is measured segments of eternity. This first reference to a “day” suggests that until this point, time, as we know it, did not exist. Time measures existence in terms of years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds. The text implies that time had its beginning at this point. There is no way to calculate the prior span of creation’s existence, since our calculations must be made in the sphere and frame of time.

“Day” is yom, and is universally recognized as a period of twenty-four hours. There appears to be no valid reason to interpret the “days” of Genesis 1 as eras made up of hundreds or thousands of years.

Fuente: Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

3. And God said Moses now, for the first time, introduces God in the act of speaking, as if he had created the mass of heaven and earth without the Word. (48) Yet John testifies that

without him nothing was made of the things which were made,’ (Joh 1:3.)

And it is certain that the world had been begun by the same efficacy of the Word by which it was completed. God, however, did not put forth his Word until he proceeded to originate light; (49) because in the act of distinguishing (50) his wisdom begins to be conspicuous. Which thing alone is sufficient to confute the blasphemy of Servetus. This impure caviler asserts, (51) that the first beginning of the Word was when God commanded the light to be; as if the cause, truly, were not prior to its effect. Since however by the Word of God things which were not came suddenly into being, we ought rather to infer the eternity of His essence. Wherefore the Apostles rightly prove the Deity of Christ from hence, that since he is the Word of God, all things have been created by him. Servetus imagines a new quality in God when he begins to speak. But far otherwise must we think concerning the Word of God, namely, that he is the Wisdom dwelling in God, (52) and without which God could never be; the effect of which, however, became apparent when the light was created. (53)

Let there be light It we proper that the light, by means of which the world was to be adorned with such excellent beauty, should be first created; and this also was the commencement of the distinction, (among the creatures. (54)) It did not, however, happen from inconsideration or by accident, that the light preceded the sun and the moon. To nothing are we more prone than to tie down the power of God to those instruments the agency of which he employs. The sun an moon supply us with light: And, according to our notions we so include this power to give light in them, that if they were taken away from the world, it would seem impossible for any light to remain. Therefore the Lord, by the very order of the creation, bears witness that he holds in his hand the light, which he is able to impart to us without the sun and moon. Further, it is certain from the context, that the light was so created as to be interchanged with darkness. But it may be asked, whether light and darkness succeeded each other in turn through the whole circuit of the world; or whether the darkness occupied one half of the circle, while light shone in the other. There is, however, no doubt that the order of their succession was alternate, but whether it was everywhere day at the same time, and everywhere night also, I would rather leave undecided; nor is it very necessary to be known. (55)

(48) “ Sans sa Parole ” — “without his Word.” — French Tr.

(49) “ Sed Deus Verbum suum nonnisi in lucis origine, protulit.” — “ Mais Dieu n’a point mis sa Parole en avant, sinon en la creation de la lumiere.” — “But God did not put his Word forward except in the creation of the light.” — French Tr.

(50) “ In distinctione.” The French is somewhat different: “ Pource que la distinction de sa Sagesse commenca lors a apparoir evidemment.” — “Because that the distinction of his Wisdom began then to appear evidently.” The printing of the word Wisdom with a capital, renders it probable that by it Calvin means the Son of God, who is styled Wisdom in the eighth chapter of Proverbs and elsewhere. Whence it would seem that he intends the whole of what he here says as an argument in favor of the Deity of Christ. — Ed.

(51) “ Latrat hic obscoenus canis.”

(52) “ Mais il faut bien autrement sentir de la Parole de Dieu, assavoir que c’est la Sapience residente en luy.” — French Tr.

(53) To understand this difficult and obscure passage, it will be necessary to know something of the ground taken by Servetus in his attempt to subvert the doctrine of the Trinity. He maintained that Christ was not the Son of God as to his divine nature, but only as to his human, and that this title belonged to him solely in consequence of His incarnation. Yet he professed to believe in the Word, as an emanation of some kind from the Deity; compounded — as he explains it — of the essence of God, of spirit, of flesh, and of three uncreated elements. These three elements appeared, as he supposes, in the first light of the world, in the cloud, and in the pillar of fire. (See Calvin’s Institutes, Book II. c. xiv.) This illustrates what Calvin means when he says, that Servetus imagines a new quality in God when he begins to speak. The distinct personality of the Word being denied, qualities or attributes of Deity are put in his place. Against this Calvin contends. His argument seems to be to the following effect: — The creation of the indigested mass called heaven and earth, in the first verse, was apparently — though not really — without the Word, inasmuch as the Word is not mentioned. But when there began to be a distinction, (such as light developed,) then the Word existed before he acted — the cause was prior to its effect. We ought, therefore, to infer the eternal existence of the Word, as he contends the Apostles do, from the fact that all things were created by Him. Whatever quality God possessed when he began to speak, he must have possessed before. His Word, or his Wisdom, or his only-begotten Son, dwelt in Him, and was one with him from eternity; the same Word, or Wisdom, acted really in the creation of the chaotic mass, though not apparently. But in the creation of light, the very commencement of distinguishing, (exordium distinctionis,) this divine Word or Wisdom was manifest.

Having given, to the best of my judgment, an explanation of Calvin’s reasoning, truth obliges me to add, that it seems to be an involved and unsatisfactory argument to prove —

1, That the Second Person of the Trinity is distinctly referred to in the second verse of this chapter; and,

2, That He is truly though not obviously the Creator of heaven and earth mentioned in the first verse.

It furnishes occasion rather for regret than for surprise, that the most powerful minds are sometimes found attempting to sustain a good cause by inconclusive reasoning. — Ed.

(54) “ De la distinction des les creatures.” — French Tr. That is, the beauties of nature could not be perceived, nor the distinction between different objects discerned without the light. — Ed.

(55) See Note at p. 61.

Fuente: Calvin’s Complete Commentary


Gen 1:3-4

IT could hardly be claimed with assurance that a speakers interest in his subject and his profit from the study thereof, is always a measure of the pleasure and profit of his auditors. Yet it will scarcely be denied that it is often a fair standard by which to estimate both. To me the studies in Genesis are proving at once pleasant and profitable. This morning we gave thirty minutes to a birds-eye-view of eleven chapters of the Book, thereby doing what may honestly be called Bible study. This evening we begin another kind of study in this same first volume of the Pentateuch, having in mind altogether another purpose, namely the study of a short text in order to show those who are in sin the way of salvation. When this text was written Moses meant thereby to give us a history of the introduction of light into the worlds atmosphere. It is Inspirations abbreviated report of how Light, that nursing mother of all life, first found her way through the blackness that had brooded over this earth of ours. You will not expect me to enter upon a scientific treatise with Light for my subject, defining its nature, tracing its history and calling attention to its beneficent effects. Such is the work of the teacher in the schools. The business of the man in the pulpit is altogether different, as I conceive the Gospel ministry, and I believe that his success is in part measured by the ministers fidelity to the very ends for which he is divinely appointed, namely that of appealing to the hearts and consciences of men.

So if I make this record of an incident in the development of the physical universe the basis of a plea for spiritual things, my method is justified by the magnanimity of my purpose. Let me call your attention, therefore, to two or three of the greater thoughts growing out of this Scripture.


And God said, Let there he light.

And God said.

Then God is. The Bible does not attempt to prove the existence of God; it assumes it. To this assumption many men have made objection, saying, We havent any right to assume anything; we must prove all things. Those who so reason forget that many of the greatest truths are so self-evident that proof of them is needless, and any attempt at such proof only succeeds in introducing confusion where clearness existed. I have never felt it necessary to prove that I had an existence. That is self-evident. I never felt it was necessary to argue that I was a man. There may be people who are so nearly monkeys that they feel such argument to be a necessity, but if so, I am only sorry for them. I never have felt it was necessary to adduce labored evidence that I had passed the period of childhood. The lines in my face, the gray in my hairthese things speak more convincingly than anything mind could think or tongue formulate; and when a man tells me that I have no right to assume that God exists, I feel like saying, My friend, come with me into the street. Look at yonder worlds and constellations of glory, and understand what David meant when he said, The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork, and know why the Psalmist wrote, The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

Dr. Clarke, author of a very questionable Outline of Christian Theology, wrote also a volume on Can I Believe in God? So long as I live in this world, where all creation from the lowest to the highest life, from protoplasm to saint evidences a Creator, I shall be ashamed to raise any such a question. So let the sentence pass, And God said, for God is.

And God said, Let there be light?

Then God wills. There are plenty of people today who will admit that God is, but who will not admit that God wills. There are plenty of people who regard God as a universal principle, which may make for righteousness but which does not know it is doing it. Most Americans reject idolatry, and refuse polytheism, but pantheism is making progress among us in exact proportion as Christian Science, Theosophy and their allied isms progress. With all of these, God is an infinite It. And I feel a good deal as Dr. A. C. Dixon said sometime ago to a company of Free-thinkers who had invited him to speak on the subject of Christ, and Him Crucified, namely that people become like the object they worship, and if they worship an everlasting IT, they will soon become a lot of Its!

If there is any one thing that this first chapter of Genesis makes clear, it is that God is personal and conscious just as certainly as He is powerful and creative. As Dr. Behrends says, If God be self-conscious and self-revealinga personal being, the path is open between Him and me. He can speak to me and I can pray to Him. Religion vanishes if God cannot come to man.

Speak to Him, thou, for He hears,

And spirit with Spirit can meet;

Closer is He than breathing,

Nearer than hands and feet.

And God said, Let there be light and there was light.

Then God acts. He has power to bring to pass what He wills, and He does bring it to pass, as the light of the world evidences. The moon shining now in the heavens yonder is not there because blind Nature happened to hit upon that luminary for the night-time, but because God made the moon to shine by night, and when the sun rises tomorrow morning and every hilltop is kissed into glory, and on every valley the mellower lights are lying, it will not be because some unconscious principle compels, but solely because God is saying again, Let there be Light. Men who have come out of the night of unbelief, who are walking in the Light of Truth, are not enjoying the accidents of a moral evolution, but the excellence of a Divine revelation instead.

James Russell Lowell said, When the microscopic search of skepticism, which has hunted the heavens and sounded the seas to disprove the existence of a Creator, has turned its attention to human society and has found a place on this planet ten miles square where a decent man can live in decency, comfort and security, supporting and educating his children, unspoiled and unpolluted; a place where Age is reverenced, Infancy nurtured, Manhood respected, Womanhood honored and Human

Life held in due regard; when skeptics can find such a place ten miles square on this globe where the Gospel of Christ has not gone and cleared the way and laid the foundation and made decency and security possible, it will then be in order for the skeptical literati to move thither and ventilate their views. But so long as these men are dependent on the religion which they discard, for every privilege they enjoy, they may well hesitate a little before they seek to rob the Christian of his hope, and humanity of its faith in that Saviour who alone has given to man that hope of life eternal which makes life tolerable, and society possible, and robs death of its terrors and the grave of its gloom.

It is told that an unbelieving Arab guide had reported to the Christian traveler that a man riding a camel had passed the tent in the night. When the traveler inquired what proof he had to that effect, he pointed with triumph to the camels track in the sand, saying, I did not see him, but there is your evidence. Thereupon the Christian pointed to the sun now setting in the west, and said, You say I have no evidence that God exists; behold His track. His illustration was perfect, for the light of the sun is indeed the track of God.

The light of America is not her public school system. The light of Asia is not Buddhism nor yet Confucianism. The light of Africa is not the civilization that begins to rim her around. The light of America, the light of Europe, the light of Asia, the light of Africa, and the light of the Isles, so far as it be true, cometh down from above, from the Father of Lights, and is God revealed through man and to man! For of Christ is it written, He was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.


It is within His power to speak it.

And the Lord said, Let there be light, and there was light.

He who spake the sun into existence and at whose word the darkness lifted from earth, is able to speak Light for your darkness, and Day for my night. Sometimes people complain to me that all is dark, and that if God would only make the way of right plain to them, they would gladly walk in it. But I have found out that my God, in whom there is no darkness at all, does make the way of right plain, and that men are not half so much troubled from lack of Light as they are by the presence of Light. Many a man would be better content if only a deep spiritual darkness was round about him. His trouble exists in the fact that God has turned upon him the searchlight of truth, and he is compelled to see himself as God sees him, hence Christ said,

This is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. For everyone that doest evil hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth, cometh to the Light that his deeds may be made manifest.

It is reported that when Admiral Cervera was being tried by a Spanish court for the loss of his fleet at Santiago, an attorney asked him why he did not go out from the harbor stealthily at night and thereby escape under the cover of darkness. Cervera replied that it was safer to attempt an escape in the daytime, since the great searchlights of Admiral

Sampsons fleet would have revealed at once the Spanish ships and blinded the Spanish soldiers. And so, it is easily within the power of God to speak the word that at once uncovers us to His eyes, and renders our escape from His presence an impossible thing. And whenever a man is in the act of sinning the very silence in which he may imagine himself shall be broken by the voice of the Son of God saying, Let there be Light.

This Light comes as suddenly as speech itself.

And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.

No sooner had the Father spoken it than the face of the earth was flooded with light. I do not care how deep the darkness brooding over any life; I care not how thickly the mists of skepticism are settled down upon any heart. When God says, Let there be light, no time will be required for the darkness to pass away, or the mists to be dissipated. This is a point that needs special emphasis. I have met very many people of late who are under conviction of sin, but some of them have been saying to me, Well, I will struggle and I hope after a while to come into the light. Satan has deluded all such into the supposition that God is slow either in making the path plain or in imparting the power to walk therein. Look into the New Testament and see. On the day of Pentecost Peter preached to a multitude. They were blinded bigots. They had shed the blood of the Son of God. In such darkness did they live that they little supposed who He was. But when Peter had preached, thousands of them fell upon their knees and in penitence said, What shall we do to be saved? and even as Peter answered, Repent, God was saying, Let there be light, and lo! 3,000 were saved and added together.

Peter and John were going up into the temple to pray. A lame man lay at the gate asking alms. To him Peter said, In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk, and God said, Let there be light, and lo! He leaping up, stood, and walked and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God.

Zacchaeus, standing in a crowd, heard that Jesus Christ was coming that way. Quickly he climbed a sycamore tree, and when Jesus saw him He said, Zacchaeus, make haste and come down. And, as Mr. Moody put it, Somewhere between the limbs of that tree and the ground he was converted, for while he was coming down, God seeing the darkness and yet the eagerness of his heart, said, Let there be light.

Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi. At midnight they prayed and sang praises unto God. An earthquake opened the doors and loosed their bands, and the keeper of the prison was ready to kill himself, supposing they had fled, But Paul cried with a loud voice saying, Do thyself no harm for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in and came trembling and fell down before Paul and Silas, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And while they were answering, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house, God seeing that this same darkened heart was crying out for the Truth, said Let there be light, and lo in that same hour of the night, he and all his were baptized ***** and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

And now, my friends, you who are in darkness and need the light, need not wait. If, tonight, you are ready to let God into your heart to take possession of it, He will illuminate it by His presence and the whole pathway to Heaven by the precious truths of His Word.

Thomas Dixon tells of meeting in an inquiry room in Raleigh, N. C. a man of about sixty. This man seemed to be in the greatest distress, and as Dixon talked with him and tried to show him the way of life, he groaned and turned from side to side as though he were choking or smothering. At last he exclaimed, O, my friend, I have been working on this problem forty years, and I cannot see it. Well, answered Dixon, suppose you cease to work and give it all to Christ and let Him settle the problem for you. Inside of five minutes this man was making the very building ring with his shout of joy, for God had taken the darkness out of his heart by saying, Let there be light.

There are men and women here tonight who think they have been searching for years after the truth, and who have often said, O, if I could only come into the light! Beloved, you do not have to come into the light, but you have to open your heart and let God come into you, for God is Light.


And God saw the light that it was good.

It is essential to mans bodily comfort. The blind man appeals to our pity because of that fact. We know what a deprivation it is to have the light shut out of the physical life. Once a year in New York City hundreds of the blind are assembled to receive a certain sum of money distributed to them from the City Treasury, and strong men weep as they look upon this assembly which sometimes exceeds 400 of our sightless brethren and sisters. I have often tried to imagine the ecstasy of the blind who felt the healing touch of the Masters hand. I dont wonder that some of those who have been healed of blindness, looking upon the beauties of earth have , asked, Is not this Heaven? He is an ingrate indeed who does not give God glory if he is able to sweep the earth and scan the skies with perfect vision.

Gods light is also adequate to mental development. Phillips Brooks said, Men are looking for light. With that insatiable passion which belongs to their humanity, they are running hither and thither seeking to know. We cannot doubt that God approves this search after knowledge. All nature which is only another name for Gods Word, incites it; the whole Book of Revelation demands it. There have been in the past, and there are today, men, the magnitude of whose lives impress us with the fact that God has poured His Light into their minds.

Dr. Lorimer in his Argument for Christianity, tells us when a Hindu lad was placed for the first time beneath the dome of the great cathedral in London which bears the name of the apostle to the Gentiles, impressed by its majesty and magnitude, he inquired wonderingly, And did man make all this? When one studies a Peter, a Paul, a Polycarp, a Savonarola, a Luther, he feels instinctively that he is not the product merely of earthly teachers, but into his mind and heart God has poured eternal Light.

And this Light meets the needs of the soul. The athlete, the physical man needs lightthe light of nature; the scholar or the mental man needs light the light of learning; but the soul, or the spiritual man, needs light, the light of Gods revelation. He needs that Light to see himself, a sinner; he needs that light to see Jesus, a Saviour.

Bishop James relates how a Jewess came to one of his meetings out of curiosity. On her way home this question thrust itself into her mind, What if Jesus was the Christ? The next evening she felt drawn to the meeting again and was the more impressed with the possibilities that the Man of Nazareth was her Messiah. Listening to the truth the third time, conviction came upon her, and she went home to pray this prayer, O thou God of Abraham, the father of my people, give me the Light that I may know the Truth. She opened the Book at the first chapter of Romans and began to read, and when she came to the 16th verse, For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek, God illumined the words and they flashed the Truth into her very heart, and from that hour she went forth saved and ready to serve. And I do believe that if any man or woman here tonight puts up before God an honest petition for Light, pledging at the same time to walk in it, that the Light will come; Light for present salvation; Light for future progress, and Light by which to pass through the Gates of Pearl.

Fuente: The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist by Riley


Gen. 1:3. And God said] Better (because of the strong waw, and position of verb): Then said God = the state of things being as just described. From this point the drama is unfolded to the eye. Light] The orig. is indeed inimitable: Yehir, w-yehi r. The nearest approach in Eng. is perh: Exist, light!then exists light

Gen. 1:4. Good] Also: fair, fine, beautiful; Sept. Kalon.

Gen. 1:5. And the e. and the m. were] A dull rendering. The Heb. marks sequence, with some latitude of application, And soorAnd then it became e became m. one day.



I. Divinely produced. And God said, Let there be light.

1. For the protection of life. The Divine Being is gradually preparing the infant world for the habitation of living things. Hence, prior to their creation, He beneficently makes everything ready for their advent. Plants could not live without light; without it, the flowers would soon wither. Even in a brief night they close their petals, and will only open them again at the gentle approach of the morning light. Nor could man survive in continued darkness. A sad depression would rest upon his soul. A weird monotony would come upon his life. He would long for the grave, and soon would his longings be at rest, as life under such conditions would be impossible, and certainly unbearable.

2. For the enjoyment of life. Even if man was permitted to live for a short space of time in a dark world, what practical use could he make of life, and what enjoyment could he have in it? He would not be able to pursue any commercial enterprise. He could not spend his time in study. He would not be able to read. He would not be able to write. For if darkness had remained upon the earth from its creation, an invention for the giving of light would have been impossible, nor would men have been favoured with the artificial advantages now possessed by the blind. It is light that makes the world so beautiful, and that enables the artist to perceive its grandeur, and reproduce it on his canvas. Light is one of Gods best gifts to the world.

(1.) It is inexpensive. The world has to pay for the light produced by man; that created by God, we get for nothing. Man has limitations; God has none. Man is selfish; God is beneficent.

(2.) It is extensive. It floods the universe. It is the heritage of the poor equally with the rich; it enters the hut as well as the palace.

(3.) It is welcome. The light of morning is welcome to the mariner, who has been tossed on the great deep through the dark and stormy night; to the weary sufferer, whose pain has rendered sleep impossible; and how often has the morning dawn over the distant hills awakened the rapture of poetic souls as they have been watching from an eminence the outgoings of the morning.

3. For the instruction of life. Light is not merely a protection. It is not only an enjoyment. It is also an instructor. It is an emblem. It is an emblem of God, its Author, who is the Eternal Light. It is an emblem of truth. It is an emblem of goodness. It is an emblem of heaven. It is an emblem of beneficence. It is calculated to teach the world the most important lessons it can possibly learn. All the gifts of God are teachers as well as benefactors. He leads men through enjoyment into instruction.

II. Divinely approved. And God saw the light, that it was good.

1. It was good in itself. The light was pure. It was clear. It was not so fierce as to injure. It was not so weak as to be ineffectual. It was not so loud in its advent as to disturb. It was noiseless. It was abundant. There is a great force in light, and yet nothing is more gentle; hence it was as the offspring of Divine power.

2. It was good because adapted to the purpose contemplated by it. Nothing else could more efficiently have accomplished its purpose toward the life of man. Nothing else could have supplied its place in the universe. It is allied to religious ideas. It is allied to scientific investigation. It is allied to every practical subject of life. Hence it is good because adapted to its purpose, deep in its meaning, wide in its realm, happy in its influence, and educational in its tendency.

3. We see here that the Divine Being carefully scrutinises the work of his hands. When He had created light, He saw that it was good. May we not learn a lesson here, to pause after our daily toil, to inspect and review its worth. Every act of life should be followed by contemplation. It is criminal folly to allow years to pass without inquiry into the moral quality of our work. He who makes a daily survey of his toil will be able to make a daily improvement, and secure the daily approval of his conscience.

III. Divinely proportioned. And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night.

1. The light was indicative of day. In this light man was to work. The light ever active would rebuke indolence. By this light man was to read. In this light man was to order his moral conduct. Through this light man was to walk to the eternal light.

2. The removal of light was indicative of night. In this night man was to rest from the excitement of pleasure, and the anxiety of toil. Its darkness was to make him feel the need of a Divine protection. Let no man seek to reverse the order of Gods universe, by turning day into night, or night into day, if he does, a sure retribution will follow him. Some preachers say that they can study better at night. If they can, it is the result of habit, and not the natural outcome of their physical constitution. God evidently thinks that men can rest better at night, and work better in the day-time. Hence He puts out the great light, and bids the world repose under the care of Him who neither slumbereth or sleepeth.


Verse 3. Light is the first of all creatures that God makes, as being itself most generally useful, especially to the end which God principally aimed at, which was to make all the rest of his works visible.
God loves to do all His works in the light.

1. He dwells in the light (1Ti. 6:16).

2. Because His works are perfect, and therefore, able to endure the light (Joh. 3:21).

3. In order that He may be seen in His works.

The study of Gods work is:

1. Pleasant.
2. Profitable.
3. Necessary. Light is an emblem of God:
1. Glorious.
2. Pure.
3. Diffused in an instant.
4. Searching all places.
5. Useful for direction and comfort. How much more is God the author of wisdom, and understanding, the inward light of the soul.

There was nothing but deformity till God brought beauty into the world.
God often brings light out of darkness:

1. The light of day from the darkness of night.
2. The light of prosperity from the darkness of affliction.
3. The light of knowledge from the darkness of ignorance.
4. The light of peace from the darkness of strife.

Was light created before the creation of the sun, and other luminous bodies? That this is possible has been shown by Dr. McCaul, Aids to Faith, p. 210; but very probably the creation of the sun is related in Gen. 1:1, where under the word heaven (or heavens), may be comprehended the whole visible universe of sun, moon, and stars. Now, the history is going on to the adaptation of the earth for mans abode. In Gen. 1:2, a thick darkness had enveloped it. In this 3rd verse the darkness is dispelled by the word of God, the light is separated from the darkness, and the regular succession of day and night is established. Still, probably, there remains a clouded atmosphere, or other obstacle to the full vision of sun and sky. It is not till the fourth day that their impediments are removed, and the sun appears to the earth as the great luminary of the day, the moon and the stars as ruling the night. Light may, perhaps, have been created before the sun. Yet the statement, that on the first day, not only was there light, but the succession of day and night, seems to prove that the creation of the sun was in the beginning, though its visible manifestation in the firmament was not till the fourth day [Speakers Commentary].

One or two facts may be mentioned, as confirming the more recent elucidation of this Scripture statement. Humboldt, in describing the beauty of the Zodiacal light, has saidThe Zodiacal light, which rises in a pyramidal form, and constantly contributes by its mild radiance to the external beauty of the tropical nights, is either a vast nebulous ring, rotating between the Earth and Mars, or less probably, the exterior stratum of the solar atmosphere. For the last three or four nights, between 10 and 14 of north latitude, the Zodiacal light has appeared with a magnificence which I have never before seen. Long narrow clouds, scattered over the lovely azure of the sky, appeared low down in the horizon, as if in front of a golden curtain, while bright varied tints played from time to time on the higher clouds; it seemed a second sunset. Towards that side of the heavens, the diffused light appeared almost equal to that of the moon in her first quarter. Not less striking is his description, in another passage, of a cloud well known to astronomers, passing over the heavens luminously and with great rapidity: The light of the stars being thus utterly shut out, one might suppose that surrounding objects would become, if possible, more indistinct. But no: what was formerly invisible can now be clearly seen; not because of lights from the earth being reflected back by a cloudfor very often there are none,but in virtue of the light of the cloud itself, which, however faint, is yet a similitude of the dazzling light of the sun. The existence of this illuminating power, though apparently in its debilitude, we discover alsoby appearance, at leastamong other orbs. While these facts prove the existence of light without the sun being visible, it may be urged that the light spoken of in Genesis not only made day and night, but it must have been sufficient to sustain life. To suppose that it was adequate to this end involves no violent hypothesis, for neither plant nor animal life is spoken of until there has been a separation of land and water. In the earlier and more recent geological ages the heat was doubtless greater than it is now; and this, taken in connection with a surrounding vapourous atmosphere, and with such light as existed, may have conduced to the development of whatever plant-forms then prevailed. Difficulty in entertaining this view has been greatly lessened by the fact, that not only plant, but animal life may be sustained under conditions of feeble light, great pressure, and intense heat, which were not long ago deemed incredible [Dr. W. Fraser].

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. But Gen. 1:16 reads, God made two great lights. In the one, we have bara, create; in the other, ash, He made or fashioned, or appointed, of materials or objects already created, or existent, the sun to be a light-bearer; and so also the moon, which is known not to have light either in itself or immediately surrounding it. The Creator adopted and employed for this purpose the sun and moon, and may have introduced, for the first time, such relations as now exist between them and our atmosphere. Adopting the latitude of interpretation, which is warranted by the use of the distinct terms, bara and ash, we suggest another view. When, after the deluge, God Set His bow in the cloud to be a token that the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy the earth, it is not necessarily an inference that the rainbow had never before appeared. As all the physical conditions, on which it depends had existed during mans history, it may have been visible; and, assuming that it was so, it only received a new historical connection when it was made a token of the covenant. In the same manner the sun and moon and stars may have been visible long before they were appointed to be for signs and for seasons, and to fulfil a new historical relation to man, as they ever afterward rule his day and night [Dr. W. Fraser].

Gen. 1:4. Gods view of His works:

1. To rejoice in them.
2. To support them.
3. To direct them.

Let us review the works of God:

1. As a good employment for our minds.
2. As a comfort to our souls.
3. As increasing our love for Him.
4. As inspiring us with praise.

The work of God is good:

1. Because it must answer to the workman.
2. Because no one else can augment its perfection.
3. Because it is the vehicle of truth.
4. If it proves not so to us it is because we are out of harmony with it.
5. Let us try to imitate God in his method of works as far as possible.

Light is good:

1. Therefore thank God for it.
2. Therefore use it well.
3. Therefore strive to reflect it.

Light and darkness succeed each:

1. Each useful in its turn.
2. We should prepare for darkness.
3. We may anticipate heaven where there is no night.

Gen. 1:5. All light is not day, nor all darkness night; but light and darkness alternating in a regular order constitute day and night [Augustine].

None but superficial thinkers can take offence at the idea of created things receiving names from God. The name of a thing is the expression of its nature. If the name be given by man, it fixes, in a word, the impression which it makes upon the human mind; but when given by God, it expresses the reality, what the thing is in Gods creation, and the place assigned it there by the side of other things [Keil & Delitzsch].

In what sense is the word day to be understood in this narrative? To simplify the subject I make the single issueis it a period of twenty-four hours, or a period of special character, indefinitely long? The latter theory supposes the word to refer here not so much to duration as to special characterthe sort of work done and the changes produced during the period contemplated. Turning our attention to this latter theory, we raise these inquiries:

1. Do the laws of language and especially does the usage of the word day permit it? Beyond all question the word day is used abundantly (and therefore admits of being used) to denote a period of special character, with no particular reference to its duration. We have a case in this immediate connection (Gen. 2:4) where it is used of the whole creative period; In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. (See 1Th. 5:2; 2Pe. 3:12; 2Co. 6:2; Eph. 4:30, Joe. 2:2; Ecc. 7:14.) To set aside this testimony from usage as being inapplicable to the present case, it has been saidi. That here is a succession of days, first day, second day, and that this requires the usual sense of days of the week. To which the answer is that here are six special periods succeeding each othera sufficient reason for using the word in the peculiar sense of a period of special character. Each of these periods is distinct from any and all the rest in the character of the work wrought in it. The reason for dividing the creative work into six periodsdays, rather than into more or fewer, lies in the Divine wisdom as to the best proportion of days of mans labour to the one day of his rest, the Sabbath. ii. It will also be urged that each of these days is said to be made up of evening and of morningThe evening and the morning were the first day. But the strength of this objection comes mainly from mis-translation. The precise thought is not that evening and morning composed or made up one full day; but rather this: There was evening and there was morningday one, i.e., day number one. There was darkness, and there was light, indicating one of the great creative periods. It is one thing to say, There were alternations of evening and morningi.e., dark scenes and bright scenesmarking the successive periods of creation, first, second, third; and another to affirm that each of these evenings and mornings made up a day. Let it be considered, moreover, that while in Hebrew, as in English, night and day are often used for the average twelve hours duration of darkness and of light respectively in each twenty-four hours, yet in neither language are the words evening and morning used in this sense, as synonymous both night and day. Indeed, evening and morning are rather points than periods of time; certainly do not indicate any definite amount of timeany precise number of hours; but are used to denote the two great changesi.e., from light to darkness, and from darkness to light; in other words, from day to night, and from night to day. Therefore, to make evening and morning, added together, constitute one day is entirely without warrant in either Hebrew or English usage, and cannot be the meaning of these passages in Genesis.

2. Apart from the bearing of geological facts, are there points in the narrative itself which demand or even favour this sense of the word? i. Throughout at least, the first three of these creative epochs, there was no sun-rising and setting to mark off the ordinary day. These, therefore, were not the common human day; but, as Augustine long ago said, these are the days of GodDivine daysmeasuring off His great creative periods. ii. In some, at least, of these creative epochs, the work done demands more than twenty-four hours. For example, the gathering of the waters from under the heavens into one place, to constitute the seas or oceans, and leave portions of the earths surface dry land. Nothing short of absolute miracle could effect this in one human day. But miracle should not be assumed here, the rule of reason and the normal law of Gods operations being never to work a miracle in a case where the ordinary course of nature will accomplish the same results equally well. We must the more surely exclude miracle, and assume the action of natural law only throughout these processes of the creative work, because the very purpose of a protracted, rather than an instantaneous creation, looked manifestly to the enlightenment and joy of those morning stars, the sons of God, who beheld the scene, then, sang together and shouted for joy (Job. 38:7.) We may say moreover, in regard to each and all of these six creative periods, that if the holy angels were indeed spectators of these scenes, and if God adjusted His methods of creation to the pupilsthese admiring students of His glorious workthen surely we must not think of His compressing them within the period of six human days. Divine days they certainly must have been, sufficiently protracted to afford finite minds scope for intelligent study, admiring contemplation, and as the Bible indicates, most rapturous shouts of joy. In this case, should geology make large demands for time far beyond the ordinary human day, we shall have no occasion to strain the laws of interpretation to bring the record into harmony with such demands [Dr. Cowles].

Arguments for the literal interpretation of the Mosaic day:It was evening, and it was morning, the first day, or, evening came and morning came, one day, are terms which can never be made to comport with the theory of indefinite periods; and especially when there follows Gods resting from His works, and hallowing the seventh day, as a day of sabbatical commemorative celebration of the work of the other six. Was that, too, an indefinite period [Dr. Wardlaw].

It is certain that in the fourth commandment, where the days of creation are referred to (Exo. 20:9-11), the six days labour and the sabbath spoken of in the ninth and tenth verses, are literal days. By what rule of interpretation can the same word in the next verse be made to mean indefinite periods? Moreover, it seems from Gen. 2:5, compared with Gen. 1:11-12, that it had not rained on the earth until the third day; a fact altogether probable, if the days were of twenty-four hours, but absurd if they were long periods [Hitchcock].

On the supposition that geological discoveries necessitate the admission of a more remote origin and a longer existence to our globe than a few thousands of years, the true explanation lies in the first verse of Genesis, which leaves an undefined interval between the creation of matter and the six days work. Why, then, should we not regard the days described by Moses as natural days? Chalmers, Buckland, Sedgwick, Dr. Kurtz, and Archdeacon Pratt and many other writers of eminence, adhere to this view, that the days of Genesis are literal days; that the ages of geology are passed over silently in the second verse, and that the passage describes a great work of God at the close of the Tertiary Period, by which our planet, after long ages, was finally prepared to be the habitation of man. [Birks].

Again, let it be observed that the whole notion of equality of endurance, or of close succession, of these days of Creation, is imaginary, and imported into the narrative. The story of Creation is arranged in these periods, familiar to us; the great personal cause of every step in it is God, and Gods will. But it is as irrevelant and as foolish to inquire minutely into the lower details following on a literal acceptance of the terms used in conveying this great truth to our minds, as it would be to take the same course with the words, God said, to inquire in what language He spoke, and to whom. It never can be too much impressed upon the reader that we are, while perusing this account, in a realm separated by a gulf, impassable for human thought, from the matter-of-fact revelations which our senses make to us. We are listening to Him who made the world, as He explains to us in words; the imperfect instruments of our limited thoughts. His, to us, inscrutable procedure [Alford].


Gen. 1:3-5

And God said. How long did the spirit brood over chaos? When did God say, Let there be light? Moses does not tell us. He states results, not processes. He brings the thing produced into close proximity with the producing cause. The instrumentality employed, as well as the time engaged, are not mentioned. Man is not forbidden to enquire concerning these; but Moses did not write to gratify such a spirit. He wrote to teach that it was at the bidding of the Almighty that light dawnedthat the waters retired within the limits assigned to themthat the vast continents and mountain chains lifted their headsthat the flowers looked forth in beauty in the valley; and that the great lights of the firmament took each its station on high, and began to run its appointed course in the heavens. It was by this wordin finethat the world passed through all its various stages of progress from chaos to the wondrous scene of order and beauty which filled the eye of Adam; and the first of these stages of progress was the call to light.

Let there be light, said Godand forthwith light,
Ethereal firstof thingsquintessence pure
Sprang from the deep, and from her native east
To journey the airy gloom began,
Sphered in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun
Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle
Sojourned the while [Milton].

All Nature, (says a thoughtful mind) is one storehouse of parables to the thoughtful mind. Science, even when most careless, can hardly help stumbling on some of them in its way. But the more carefully we weigh its discourses, the richer we shall find them to be in lessons of wisdom. The links which bind the planets to their sun are not so firm as those which bind the outward world of sense and matter to the higher and nobler truths of the spiritual world. Nature is one vast mirror in which we may see the dim reflection of a nobler field of thought than the conflict of jarring atoms, or integrels of atomic force can ever supply. We need first to gaze downward that presently we may look upward; and turning (says Birks) from the shadows to the substancefrom things seen and temporal to the unseen and eternalmay veil our faces before the mission of a greatness that is unsearchable and a goodness that is unspeakable, and in the spirit of Christian faith and hope may gaze on the uncreated light, and rejoice with trembling while we adore.

Light! There is more than sublimity in these words; there is prophecy. As it was in the beginning, so shall it be once again before time shall close. The scene here is a predictive typea germinal budding (to use Bacons expression) of the earths moral regeneration in a future age, both

(1.) as to the order in which it was done, and
(2.) as to the time it occupied. At present the waters of superstition lie deep on the face of the earth while the spirit has been moving on the space of those watersthe great moral chaos for 6,000 years. The Divine voice shall again be heard saying, Let there be light; and the light, which has struggled ineffectually with the darkness for 6,000 years, shall break forth on all sides, and with boundless brilliancy and prevailing power dart its rays to the very ends of the earth, so that the magnificent appeal of the seraphic Isaiah will receive its full consummation: Arise, shine! for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

Of old,

Messiahriding on the heavens serene
Sent forth His omnipresent Spirit to brood
Over the troubled deep: then spake aloud,
Let there be light!

So shall it as certainly be when the reign of grace has closedwhen the brooding of the spiritfor regenerative purposes has ceased. The Divine Word shall send forth His eternal fiat over the moral and spiritual chaos; and straightway shall at His command,

Light pierce the canopy of surging clouds,
And shoot its penetrative influence through
Their masses. Then shall the broken clouds
Melt into colours as a dream.

Creation! Here we have:

1. The Author;
2. The Order;
3. The Purpose; and
4. The Period of Creation! In all times, and in every heathen land, people have had their thoughts and dreams about the way in which this fair world and yonder bright heavens came to be. One asserts the eternity of matter, another argues that they originated in chance; and both of these rank in wisdom with the quaint explanation of Topsythat they grew. The Bible clears up all obscurity by declaring that whatever wonders Science may reveal in heaven and earth, the simple truth remains that God created allnot at once, but gradually and progressively: i.e.,

(1.) from the lowest to the most perfect forms of being, and
(2.) during unknown and indefinite periods of time:

God is a God of Order, though to scan
His works may pose the feeble powers of man.

Nowhere do we meet with conflicting plans. All is created in the order of progression. Throughout all Nature, from the earliest zoophyte and seaweed of the Silurian rocks, to the young animals and plants that came into existence to-dayand from the choice gems that were produced when the earth was without form and void, to the crystals which are now formingone golden chain of harmony links all together, and identifies all as the work of the same Infinite Mind. As Paley says: We never find traces of a different creator, or the direction of a different will. All appears to have been the work of ONE, more so than appearances in the most finished machine of human construction; for

In human worksthough laboured on with pain,
A thousand movements scarce one object gain:

In Gods, one single can its end produce,
Yet serves to second, too, some other use.

Darkness and Light! How great is this mystery! And, as the light cast upon a diamond only brings out its beauties, so the light of Science only reveals more and more the mysteries of darkness and light. The prism of late has been unusually rich in new discoveries. The pathway in which Newton took the first main step has been explored anew, and secret marvels have been disclosed in every step of the progress, opening up a wondrous field of beauty in the Divine enquiry: Knowest thou the pathway of light? The waves of light, from 4,000 to 6,000 in one inchthese swift undulations, hundreds of millions of millions in one second, baffle and confound the mind. The beautiful gradation of tint and shade deduced from the pure white of the sunbeamthe strange fusion with heat at one end of the scale, the passage into magnetic force at the otherthe dark lines that take their stations, like sentinels, in the midst of LIGHT itself, and turn in other cases into lines of double brightnessall stimulate the curiosity of Science, while they disclose depths of mystery in the Scripture flat: Let there be light!

Let there be light! Oer heaven and earth,

The God, Who first the day-beams poured,

Uttered again His fiat forth,

And shed the Gospels light abroad

And like the dawn, its cheering rays

On rich and poor were meant to fall,

Inspiring their Redeemers praise,

In lowly cot and lordly hall.

Light! Biblical criticism and scientific research are more in harmony than ever on the great questions and problems of Genesis. It is McCosh who says that Science and Religion are not opposing citadels, frowning defiance on each other, and their troops brandishing armour in hostile attitude. There was a time when that fratricidal strife was indulged in; but, happily, a change has taken place. Men of science now agree with Herschel that the creation of the world is a subject beyond the range of science; while some are prepared to follow Hugh Miller, when he says that even its present formation is beyond that range. The greater number readily accept the definition of Chalmersthat Nature is the handmaid of Revelation, and that it is for Natures students to aid her in washing the hands and feet of Revelation as she struggles against principles of atheism and sin. As the students of Nature, men of science, while maintaining that the truths of Revelation do not inform them of the deductions of Physical Science, as strongly assert

(1.) that the study of Nature teaches not the truths of Revelation; though

(2.) that it does confirm and illustrate those truths. This is especially the case with reference to Genesis 1, and notably of the statements as to LIGHT. These statements have been held up to ridiculehave been treated with contempthave been pounded with the scientific mortar mercilesslyhave been flung into the crucible of human intellect, set over a fire of scientific knowledge, heated sevenfold; with what result? The account as to light has been found to harmonize in every point with the ascertained deductions of Natural Science. The great difficulty was: How could light be before the sun? All perplexity has disappeared, as autumn mists before the glorious orb of day. Science has discovered that light is not conditioned by perfected luminous bodies, but that light bodies are conditions of a preceding luminous element: i.e., that light could exist before the sun. Did it so exist in Genesis 1?Revelation alone can tell. Some assert

(1.) that the sun did not exist till the fourth day, and that the light sufficed for all plants previously formed; others declare
(2.) that the sun did exist, but that his light was retarded by the mists and exhalations. It matters not, therefore, whether that light
(1.) emanated from a luminous elementa sea of subtle and elastic ether

Immense, imponderable, luminous,
Whichwhile revealing other thingsremains
Itself invisible, impalpable,
Pervading space;


(2.) undulated from a luminous body; whether that light
(1.) was independent of the sun, or
(2.) came through mists from the sun. It is, however, worthy of notice that the Hebrew makes a definite distinction between the light of the first and that of the fourth day, from which distinction it is not unreasonable to infer that there is no necessary connection between light and luminousness! i.e., that luminaries are after all only a concentration of particles of light previously existing as light.

Fuente: The Preacher’s Complete Homiletical Commentary Edited by Joseph S. Exell


(3) And God said.Voice and sound there could be none, nor was there any person to whom God addressed this word of power. The phrase, then, is metaphorical, and means that God enacted for the universe a law; and ten times we find the command similarly given. The beauty and sublimity of the language here used has often been noticed: God makes no preparation, He employs no means, needs no secondary agency. He speaks, and it is done. His word alone contains all things necessary for the fulfilment of His will. So in the cognate languages the word Emir, ruler, is literally, speaker. The Supreme One speaks: with the rest, of hear is to obey. God, then, by speaking, gives to nature a universal and enduring law. His commands are not temporary, but eternal; and whatever secondary causes were called into existence when the Elohim, by a word, created light, those same causes produce it now, and will produce it until God recalls His word. We have, then, here natures first universal law. What is it?

Let there be light: and there was light.The sublimity of the original is lost in our language by the cumbrous multiplication of particles. The Hebrew is Yhi r wayhi r. Light is not itself a substance, but is a condition or state of matter; and this primval light was probably electric, arising from the condensation and friction of the elements as they began to arrange themselves in order. And this, again, was due to what is commonly called the law of gravitation, or of the attraction of matter. If on the first day electricity and magnetism were generated, and the laws given which create and control them, we have in them the two most powerful and active energies of the present and of all timeor possibly two forms of one and the same busy and restless force. And the law thus given was that of gravitation, of which light was the immediate result.

Fuente: Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

3. And God said Or, Then says God . Having stated the condition of things at the time and place of the fiat of the “omnific word,” the writer now denotes a sequence by introducing the future or imperfect tense-form of the verb . The perfect tense of the preceding verbs, (Gen 1:1) and , (Gen 1:2,) puts the reader back to an ideal standpoint the beginning; the future tense of denotes a point of time future from that standpoint, though really in the past . Every creation of this chapter is preceded by these words, God said, from which doubtless arose the sublime New Testament conception that the worlds ( ages) were made by the WORD of God . Heb 11:3. Hence, too, the doctrine of the Logos in Joh 1:1-3.

Let there be light: and there was light Well might Longinus and others call attention to the sublimity of this passage . The natural meaning is, that at the fiat of the Almighty light supernaturally broke in upon the confused deep, and revealed its desolate and empty condition . Whence the light proceeded, by what means it was produced, and how large an area it illumined, are questions as idle to essay to answer as, Of what did God create the great sea monsters, (of Gen 1:21,) and how many of them did he make? We are told in the verses next following that “God divided the light from the darkness, and called the light Day and the darkness Night . The old question, Why this production of light on the first day, when the luminaries first appear on the fourth day? may be anticipated here . The making of an expanse to divide the waters above and the waters below, (Gen 1:6-7,) and the chaotic condition of the land and waters as previously described, warrant the conclusion that the atmosphere far into the upper heavens was filled with impenetrable mist, utterly shutting out the light of the sun and moon and stars. These luminaries were, of course, in existence, but at the time of this “beginning,” and from that portion of the earth’s surface here described, they were concealed. We know what it is now to have an impenetrable fog settle upon a region and abide for days. Comp. Act 27:20. The plague of darkness which covered Egypt for three days was such as could be felt, and prevented any one from moving from place to place . Exo 10:21-23. Is it, then, difficult to conceive a darkness covering all that region where God planted the garden of Eden, so dense as utterly to shut the celestial luminaries from view? We may, indeed, suppose that the light produced by this word of God was the light of the sun, forced through the intervening clouds and mist without dispelling them for three days. The sun would, in such a case, have been invisible. But as the earth continued its axial revolution, day and night were alternately produced, and thus God divided between the light and the darkness. Nothing hinders our supposing such a mode of producing the light, and dividing the light from the darkness.

Fuente: Whedon’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

‘And God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light.’

This is God’s first ‘action’. Here was a ‘big bang’ indeed. The writer is brief and to the point. God speaks and light is. That which was without form and empty now experiences that which makes it spring into positive existence. That which was permanently lacking light, now receives light. And as light (electro-magnetic waves) is the basic essential of the universe we recognise that it is also necessary in the bringing into usefulness of earth. It is separate from Him and yet provided and sustained by His word. Let Him say, ‘Let light not be’ and the universe would collapse into itself. So by His word God produces positive out of negative.

From our perspective we know that when God spoke He acted through His Word, Jesus Christ (Joh 1:1-3), Who created all things and upholds the universe through His powerful word (Heb 1:3). It is through His sustaining that the universe continues as an inhabitable cosmos.

It is significant that what is positive in the world is seen as not initially there in what was created, but produced from it by His word, a reminder that the whole universe and the whole of life on earth depends upon His continual sustenance (Col 1:17). It will be noted that pantheism, which believes that everything is part of God, is excluded by all this. His work of creation was separate from Himself, although He remained intimately connected with it. He acted on it from ‘outside’ and it was by His word of command that the means of it being held together came into being.

“And God said.” This phrase introduces each phase in God’s creative activity. It is the creative word indicating God’s transcendence and demonstrating that all is done in accordance with His will and command and through His power. Not for this writer a god who interplays with others in a complicated scenario. God but speaks and His will is accomplished. It is God’s world and only He has a say in it. This stresses that all that takes place results from God’s word. We may investigate a hundred scientific hypotheses, but behind the outworking of them all we hear the words, ‘God said’.

Eight actions will now be detailed in a ‘six day’ framework. The making of light and darkness; of water below and above the atmosphere and therefore of the atmosphere itself; of land and sea; and then of plant life. Then sun, moon and stars to control light and darkness; fish and birds to inhabit water and atmosphere; animals to inhabit land and sea and to partake of the plant life; and then finally man. The point being made is that in each case God made provision for what was to come, and that that provision is from Him. We may complicate the process by our theories, we cannot evade the fact. Note the parallels between first and fourth, second and fifth, and third and sixth, while at the same time there is continual progression. Note also that the eight resultants are fitted into a six period ( yom) framework. It was necessary for all to be depicted as within the divine ‘seven’ in order to bring out its perfection. To ancient man anything else was unthinkable. Even the seven spoke of God.

Fuente: Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

The First Day of Creation Gen 1:3-5 gives us the account of the first day of Creation. On the first day God created light. This light made a distinction between darkness and light, so that God called the light “day” and the darkness He called “night.” This is the beginning of the existence of time. Before the first day of Creation time did not exist, although space existed because the heavens and the earth were of a constant size. There was no beginning and no end. Now, God still dwells in this realm where time and space do not exist, although His creation was made subject to time and space.

The Creation Story in the Book of Jubilees – The Book of Jubilees (2.1-3) tells us that God created all of the angels of heaven on the first day of creation. This reflects an ancient Jewish tradition, although there is no Scriptural basis for this of which I am aware.

Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Gen 1:3 And God said ” – Comments – The phrase, “And God said,” occurs ten times in the Creation Story (Gen 1:1 to Gen 2:3). God created the heavens and the earth through the power of His spoken Word (Joh 1:1-5; Joh 1:14, 2Pe 3:5), and He established its purpose and destiny when He charges man to take dominion over the earth (Gen 1:26-30). Jesus is called “The Word of God” in the Gospel of John (Joh 1:1-14) and the book of Revelation (Rev 19:13). That is why Rom 11:36 says, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”

Rev 19:13, “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God .”

2Pe 3:5, “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old , and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:”

In the first chapter of Genesis, the Hebrew verbs are in the imperative when God speaks to His creation (Psa 33:9; Psa 148:5, Isa 45:12). Thus, when God speaks, He literally commands the substance of His creation to conform to His Words.

Psa 33:9, “For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast .”

Psa 148:5, “Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created .”

Isa 45:12, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded .”

God did not say it, “and then He create it”; rather, the saying was the act of creation. The saying and the creating were one and the same act. It is amazing to know that each aspect of Creation began in the heart of God, as a thought and a desire (Heb 11:3). He then spoke this world into existence according to His thoughts. One preacher said that a thought never expressed will die; but a thought spoken has the possibility of becoming a reality.

Heb 11:3, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

Everything that had an origin began with the spoken word (Joh 1:1-3). This is why God prophesies, in order to set the event in motion through the tongue or spoken word. Illustration: In Genesis, God said, “Let there be…”, thus setting creation in motion.

Joh 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

Let there be light ” – Comments – Light was created before the sun, moon, and stars ever were formed. God will be the source of light in heaven, not the sun. Earth was created before God placed the sun, moon and stars in the heaven.

Why did light come first in the order of creation? Any scientist knows that the source of all life comes ultimately from sunlight. Light gives energy. All chemical reactions receive energy from light. However, the light mentioned in Gen 1:3 does not refer to natural sunlight, because the sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth day. This refers to the supernatural light that reveals the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit hovering over creation.

and there was light” – Comments – God’s light in the Creation Story still shines upon the earth today. Although God created the sun on the fourth day of Creation, He created light on the first day. This light has never ceased to exist, so that it still shines today. We can understand that the source of this divine light was from the presence of the Holy Spirit hovering over the earth in Gen 1:2. However, today we see in the natural realm so that we only recognize natural sunlight, which sustains the life that is already created by God. This is why some ancient peoples worshiped the sun, because they recognized it as sustaining the life around them, yet they could not see the One who created the sun. This is why Paul prayed “for God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, to shine in our hearts.”

Now the light that God made on the first day is the same light that creates and gives life to us our spiritual walk today. It is the same source of power that keeps this present creation intact as God’s Word emanates over His creation (2Pe 3:5-7). For example, when we see the supernatural take place in the Scriptures or in modern times, we can recognize the presence of God’s creative power, which takes place through this divine light, which shines on us still today. This is why Jesus Christ could say that He is the Light of the World, or the True Light, which lights every man. He was referring to the spiritual realm that we live in. He is the Creator and source of divine light, which still shines today in order to illuminate our hearts, or the spiritual realm that we live in. From our natural senses, we call this the supernatural, or the spiritual realm.

So, the creative power and light of God has never ceased to shine upon His creation since the first day. The divine light of God was the method that God used to create life on the third day, by the light that was emitted from the presence and mouth of God. The presence of the Holy Spirit hovering over the earth was the intermediary of this light. We know that heat was a physical manifestation of the presence of light. For example, when people are healed during crusades today, they often claim to feel a warmth or heat come over their bodies when they are touched by the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is this same heat that emanated from this divine light and divided the vapors and liquid elements on the second day of creation and this same heat that divided the solids from the liquid elements on the third day. It is this same heat that will one day intensify until the elements are burned up with a fervent heat.

2Pe 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

The Scriptures bear witness to the fact that this divine light is still shining upon the earth since the first day of creation. It is the same divine light that shone upon the face of Moses after spending forty days in this divine realm.

Exo 34:29, “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.”

It is the same light that shone down upon the shepherds in their fields to announce the birth of our Saviour.

Luk 2:9, “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”

It is the same light that shone down upon Jesus Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Mat 17:2, “And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.”

It is the same light that shone upon Paul on the road to Damascus.

Act 9:3, “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:”

Act 22:6, “And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.”

Paul tells us that it is this same light that God commanded to shine out of darkness on the first day of creation that has now shone in our hearts.

2Co 4:6, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Because the Holy Spirit dwells within us, Jesus tells us that we have become the light of the world.

Mat 4:16, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”

Mat 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”

Thus, the Scriptures use the word “light” figuratively in reference to our spiritual walk in this life.

Isa 60:1, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.”

Mat 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Luk 1:79, “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Luk 2:32, “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”

Eph 5:14, “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Jesus Christ told the Pharisees that they could discern the natural sunlight and heavenly signs so as to determine the weather, but that they could not discern the divine light (Mat 16:1-4). The sun bears witness to the divine light of God the Creator since sunlight works in a similar way to God’s divine creative light. Because of sin, mankind has been blinded from the recognition of this divine light.

2Co 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

We are called “children of light” in a dark and sinful world.

Eph 5:8, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”

Gen 1:4  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen 1:4 Comments – Note that God did not create darkness, because it already existed. He did create light, which becomes the source of all life.

Gen 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Gen 1:5 “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night” Word Study on “night” Strong says the Hebrew word “night” ( ) or ( ) or ( ) (H3915) means properly, “a twist (away of the light), i.e. night,” and figuratively, “adversary.”

Comments The earthly cycles of day and night become a covenant that God cannot break (Jer 33:19-20). His covenant with day and night is reconfirmed after the flood with similar covenants of seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, and summer and winter (Gen 8:22), in which God will hold Himself faithful so that He will no longer violate them by causing another flood.

Jer 33:19-20, “And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;”

Gen 8:22, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

Gen 1:5   “And the evening and the morning were the first day” – Comments God ends the first day having fulfilled His purposes and plan for that day. God is at work in each of our lives, helping us fulfill daily plans. In other words, we are given a daily destiny to fulfill, upon which we should focus, so that we do not become anxious about tomorrow (Mat 6:34).

Mat 6:34, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

Fuente: Everett’s Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Gen 1:3. And God said To speak and to will, with the Almighty, is to command. His word is with power. Struck with the grandeur of this passage, the celebrated Grecian critic Longinus produces it as an instance of the true sublime. “So likewise,” says he, “the Jewish legislator, no ordinary person, ( , ) having conceived a just idea of the power of God, has nobly expressed it in the beginning of his law. And God saidWhat? Let there be light: and there was light.” We may here truly say with Boileau, “Whatever noble and majestic expression, elevation of thought, and importance of sentiment, can contribute to sublimity, may be found in this passage.”

Said By amar, the Hebrews often express internal volition, as well as outward speaking, as both Mr. Locke and M. Le Clerc observe. So Exo 2:14 it is translated, intendest thou to kill me? 2Sa 21:16. He thought, designed ( LXX) to have slain David. The Greeks also often use the word , to speak, in this sense. This observation will be of frequent and general use. Moses means here, that God having purposed to create the light, no sooner willed it to shine forth, than it shone.

Let there be light: and there was light Many have been the questions, and great the triumph of unbelievers, upon this declaration in the Mosaic account, “that there was light three days before there was any sun.” But the objection is founded on a gross misconception, that light is nothing more than an emanation from the sun, or other luminaries: according to which there can be no light, where there is no sun, &c. But is it not easy to conceive, that God, the light of the world, might either sustain this light, in the first act of creation, by his own immediate power; or that, in consequence of that original motion, impressed on the chaotic mass, those particles of matter which we call fire, (whose known properties are light and heat,) being the lightest, strongest, and most active of the elements, disuniting themselves from the grosser parts, ascended, and constituted that light, which, in the fourth day, was compressed and consolidated, if we may so speak, into the body of the sun? It seems probable, that after the first vivifying motion impressed by the Spirit of God, the material atoms or elements were left, in some measure, to their natural and regular operation, under the direction of the Supreme Creator. For you observe the light first appears, as consisting of the subtlest matter; next the air or firmament; next the waters; and so the earth, the most gross of all. But after all, I may say with Le Clerc, “that it is unnecessary to philosophize too subtilly concerning the cause and nature of this light; since the solutions of the most learned are attended with difficulties; and we cannot but expect to be ignorant of various things respecting the origin of the world.”

REFLECTIONS.1. Light is the great beauty and blessing of the universe: like the first-born, it doth, of all visible beings, most resemble its great Parent in purity and power, brightness and beneficence. By beholding it therefore let us be led to, and assisted in, the believing contemplation of him who is light, infinite and eternal light, and the Father of Lights, and who dwells in inaccessible light. 2. What a striking emblem is this natural light of Christ, in whom was light, and who is the true Light, the Light of the world? Darkness had been perpetually upon the face of fallen man, if the Son of God had not come, and given us an understanding, that we might know him that is true.

Fuente: Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

2Co 4:6 . Is it not a sweet thought, that the same Spirit which gave light to the old creation gives light to the new.

Fuente: Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Ver. 3. And God saith, Let there, &c. ] He commanded the “light to shine out of darkness.” 2Co 4:6 “He spake the word, and it was done.” Psa 33:9 ; Psa 148:5 a Creation is no motion, but a simple and bare emanation; which is, when without any repugnancy of the patient, or labour of the agent, the work or effect doth voluntarily and freely arise from the action of the working cause, as the shadow from the body. So God’s irresistible power made this admirable work of the world, by his bare word, as the shadow and obscure representation of his unsearchable wisdom and omnipotency.

And there was light. ] This first light was not the angels, as Augustine would have it; nor the element of fire, as Damascene; nor the sun, which was not yet created, nor a lightsome cloud, nor any such thing; but the “first day,” which God could make without means, as Calvin well observeth. This light was the first ornament of the visible world, and so is still of the “hidden man of the heart,” the new creature. Act 26:18 The first thing in St Paul’s commission there, was to “open men’s eyes, to turn them from darkness to light,” &c. To dart such a saving light into the soul, as might illighten both organ and object. In which great work also, Christ’s words are operative, together with his commands, in the mouths of his ministers. “Know the Lord; understand, O ye brutish among the people,” &c. Psa 94:8 There goes forth a power to heal, as it did in Luk 5:17 ; or as when he bade Lazarus arise, he made him to arise, so here the word and the Spirit go together; and then what wonder that the spirit of darkness falls from the heaven of men’s hearts, “as lightning”. Luk 10:18 So as that they that erst “were darkness, are now light in the Lord,” Eph 5:8 and do “preach forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light”. , 1Pe 2:9

a Dei Dicere est Efficere. “of God to speak is to accomplish”

Fuente: John Trapp’s Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

God said (occurs 10 times in Introduction). This begins each day: 3rd day twice; 6th day four times. The second act is also of God (1Pe 1:23-25). App-5.

be light = become light (as in Gen 1:2), not the verb “to be”. Light not located till 4th day.

was = became, as in Gen 1:2. It is even so in the New Creation: His Word enters and gives light (Psa 119:130. 2Co 4:6).

Fuente: Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Let there be light

Neither here nor in Gen 1:14-18 is an original creative act implied. A different word is used. The sense is, made to appear; made visible. The sun and moon were created “in the beginning.” The “light” of course came from the sun, but the vapour diffused the light. Later the sun appeared in an unclouded sky.

Fuente: Scofield Reference Bible Notes

God: Psa 33:6, Psa 33:9, Psa 148:5, Mat 8:3, Joh 11:43

Let: Job 36:30, Job 38:19, Psa 97:11, Psa 104:2, Psa 118:27, Isa 45:7, Isa 60:19, Joh 1:5, Joh 1:9, Joh 3:19, 2Co 4:6, Eph 5:8, Eph 5:14, 1Ti 6:16, 1Jo 1:5, 1Jo 2:8

Reciprocal: Gen 1:14 – lights Job 25:3 – upon whom Psa 74:16 – The day Jon 2:10 – General Mar 1:41 – I Mar 5:41 – Damsel Luk 5:13 – I will Luk 5:25 – immediately Joh 11:44 – he that

Fuente: The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


And God said, Let there be light.

Gen 1:3

I. We have reason every day that we live to thank God for life and health, for countless blessings. And not least among these may be reckoned the free gift of, and the many blessings of the light.

For in many ways that we can tell off, at once, upon our fingers, and in very many more ways that we neither dream of nor think of, does light minister to our health, wealth, and comfort.

The very birds sing at daybreak their glad welcome to the dawn, and the rising sun. And we all know and feel how cheering is the power of light. In the sunlight rivers flash, and nature rejoices, and our hearts are light, and we take a bright view of things.

So, too, light comes to revive and restore us. Darkness is oppressive. In it we are apt to lose heart. We grow anxious, and full of fears. With the first glimmer of light in the distance, hope awakens, and we feel a load lifted off our minds.

Again, we have often felt the reassuring power of light. In the darkness, objects that are perfectly harmless take threatening shapes; the imagination distorts them, and our fancy creates dangers. Light shows us that we have been alarmed at shadows; quiets, and reassures us.

Once again, the light comes to us, often, as nothing less than a deliverer. It reveals dangers hidden and unsuspected; the deadly reptile; the yawning precipice; the lurking foe.

And when, over and above all this, we remember that light is absolutely essential, not to health only, but to life in every form, animal and vegetable alike, we shall heartily echo the words of the wise king in EcclesiastesTruly the light is sweet; and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.

II. All things are double one against another. The types in the natural world all have their antitypes in the moral and spiritual world. So we find it here. The natural light of which we have been speaking; the sun, which is the centre of our systemis a type of another light, of which we are now going to speak.

When God sends this light, of which we speak, into a soul that has long been dwelling in, and rejoicing in the darkness which the evil liver loves, a mans first impulse generally is to shrink from itto shut it out.

As you know very well, one of the chief characteristics of light is that it shows things, not as they might be, not as they are said to be, not as they ought to be, not as they are supposed to be, not as we would like them to be, but as they are!

In some way or another God sends a flood of pure light into your home; sometimes it is through sickness; sometimes through sorrow; now by means of an accident; now it is the innocent prattle of a little child. Your life is revealed to you just as it is! There hang the thick cobwebslong indulged, confirmed evil habits; here lies the thick dust of a dulled consciencethere the dark stains of grievous sins. And the air is full of countless motesthese are what you call little sinsmotes of ill-temper; motes of malice and unkindness; motes of forgetfulness of God, and many others.

It is from God, this light; stand in it; gaze at it; look through it, till you see His face who sends itGod, who in the beginning said, as He saw the earth without form, and void, who says, as He looks at you, Let there be light.

Rev. J. B. C. Murphy.

Fuente: Church Pulpit Commentary

Gen 1:3. God said Not by an articulate voice; for to whom should he speak? but in his own eternal mind. He willed that the effect here mentioned should be produced, and it was produced. This act of his almighty will is termed, Heb 1:3, the word of his power. Perhaps, however, his substantial Word, his Son, by whom he made the worlds, Heb 1:2, and Psa 33:6; Psa 33:9, is here intended, and whom the ancient fathers of the Christian Church thought to be termed the Word, Joh 1:1, chiefly for this reason. Let there be light, &c. The noted critic, Longinus, in his celebrated Treatise on the Sublime, expresses his admiration of this sentence, as giving a most just and striking idea of the power of God. In bringing order out of confusion, and forming the sundry parts of the universe, God first gave birth to those that are the most simple, pure, active, and powerful; which he, probably, afterward used as agents or instruments in forming some other parts. Light is the great beauty and blessing of the universe; and as it was the first of all visible things, so, as the firstborn, it most resembles its great parent in purity and power, in brightness and beneficence. Probably the light was at first impressed on some part of the heavens, or collected in some lucid body, the revolution of which distinguished the three first days. On the fourth it was condensed, increased, perfected, and placed in the body of the sun and other luminaries.

Fuente: Joseph Bensons Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was {e} light.

(e) The light was made before either Sun or Moon was created: therefore we must not attribute that to the creatures that are God’s instruments, which only belong to God.

Fuente: Geneva Bible Notes

3. The six days of creation 1:3-31

Cosmic order consists of clearly demarcating the various elements of the universe. God divided light and darkness, waters and dry land, the world above from the world below. Likewise people should maintain the other divisions in the universe. [Note: See Mathews, p. 124.] In three "days" God made the uninhabitable earth productive, and in three more "days" He filled the uninhabited earth with life. The process of creation, as Moses described it, typically follows this pattern for each day of creation: announcement, commandment, separation, report, naming, evaluation, and chronological framework. [Note: Waltke, Genesis, p. 56.]

One writer sought to retain six literal days of creation and to harmonize them with an old age earth model, allowing a long period of time (possibly billions of years) between Gen 1:2-3. [Note: Gorman Gray, The Age of the Universe: What Are the Biblical Limits?] However, this explanation does violence to the Hebrew text. [Note: For a critique of this book, see Douglas C. Bozzung, "An Evaluation of the Biosphere Model of Genesis 1," Bibliotheca Sacra 162:648 (October-December 2005):406-23.]

Fuente: Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

The first day 1:3-5

Fuente: Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

The world came into being by God’s word (cf. Psa 33:9; Heb 11:3). Each of the six creative days began with God speaking. God’s ten pronouncements in this chapter anticipate His ten commandments at Mt. Sinai (Exo 20:2-17). All but one of Jesus Christ’s miracles occurred immediately after He spoke. The exception occurs in Luk 8:25 when He laid His hands on a blind man. Jesus Christ, the Word of God, was the Creator (Joh 1:3). The theme of God’s word (spoken, written, or incarnate) continues through the Bible. His word is consistently powerful, as here. Fiat (the Latin word for "Let there be") creation means creation that came into being by God’s word.

"The idea of creation by the word preserves first of all the most radical essential distinction between Creator and creature. Creation cannot be even remotely considered an emanation from God . . . but is rather a product of his personal will." [Note: Gerhard von Rad, Genesis, pp. 51-52.]

The "light" might not have been sunlight (cf. Gen 1:14). Perhaps it came from a source fixed at a distance from the earth such as the shekinah, the light that manifests God’s glory (cf. Rev 22:5). [Note: Hamilton, p. 121.] Perhaps God created the sun on the first day, but it became visible on the fourth day. [Note: Sailhamer, "Genesis," p. 26.] A third view is that God created the sun, moon, and stars on the first day and assigned them their specific functions on the fourth day (cf. Gen 1:14-18). [Note: Ibid., pp. 33-34.]

Fuente: Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)