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Genesis 1:14-19 DAY 4
Creation of Sun, Moon, and Stars


Hebrew Text

uyqrb tram yhy - Let there be lights in the firmament

Day four is described in more length than any other except man, yet there is much repetition which is in chiastic form (Wenham 1987, 21-22). The fulfillment of Godís command is written in reverse order.

The sun and moon are not named probably because they were gods in the ancient world. In Genesis one they are created by God. This seems to be a polemic against the ANE view that the sun, moon, and stars were gods (Hasel 1974, 81-102). In Genesis they are mere creations under Godís control.

There are three functions of these heavenly bodies; to divide, to rule, and to give light which are repeated twice. There is debate over whether there are two or three purposes for these lights namely; for signs, for seasons, for days and years. Most agree that days and years go together because they are governed by one l. Westerman argues that "signs" covers the two kinds of seasons, and days and years. Others take "signs" as another kind namely celestial omens. We can not be sure which is the best view.

The Hebrew word rwam "light or lamp" is always used for the lamp in the tabernacle in the Pentateuch except for Genesis one.

We want to look now at some important passages about the sun, moon, and stars in the Bible.

Next - The Sun Stood Still
Bibliography