Let there be light. First words, first accomplishment, first day. The kindling of glorious luminosity. Let the story of humankind begin.
Let there be light and kindling glorious luminosity, might sound poetic and maybe corny, but it’s majestic. Read on to learn why. At last, we’re into the 7 Day Creation story. Complete darkness engulfs our auditorium; there aren’t even any lights at the exits.
(Origin of the Universe, chapter 8.3)
Three short verses open the story and dump us smack in the middle of one of the reasons many consider the Bible not credible. Or is it?
3. And God said, Let there be (H1961) light (H216): and there was (H1961) light (H216).
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 (H3915). And the evening and the morning were the first day.
The controversy revolves around the above 1st: “Let there be light…” and the fourth-day recital: “And God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.” (Genesis 1.16). Galacti wonders, “How can you possibly have light the 1st day, when the sun (greater light) only exists the 4th day?!”
And so starts all the debating and debasing. And all parties, what I call Bible technicians, fall into the snare: overlooking and missing a key that unlocks comprehension. Coupled with the recital of physical creation is another story, the vastly more important, ultimate plan of God, His spiritual creation.
In a nutshell, this is someone analyzing the Bible from a statistical point of view. They’re looking for facts, not understanding. They’re looking at it from a human point of view, not a Godly point of view. Their here’s-what-I-think opinion or what is God telling us?
As I began to work on and talk to people about this book, I got inundated by well-meaning articles. These included theologians computer analyzing letter placements to find hidden patterns (of which, undeniably, there are some), scholars going through reams of historical works to find all the textual discrepancies. There are offers of dozens of extra-biblical works that would add to the study. Not to mention all of the blatant opposition that lines our library shelves by those that hack away at what they consider the ridiculous–and I’m being very polite–nature of the Bible narrative.
These fact finders, often doing extensive work, spending incredible resources, time and devotion to their projects (I’m amazed), are putting together what I’d call their dictionary composed of isolated data. It’s like a sheet of statistical figures because it’s just information denuded of any background, foreground, or context. Blobs, frequently very catchy blobs, that grab attention and are crowd gatherers but isolated in that they only deal with one, often tiny subject. Thus, you get the evolution/creation, young creation/old creation, 7 days/7000 years creation week, God-inspired Bible/man’s writings, points of view. Each is attached to their piece of the puzzle and promoting their color.
But a color fits into its rightful place in a rainbow and you need the whole palette, that’s what The Explanation is. Yes, I’m biased, yes, I’m looking at it from a Godly point of view, we’re looking to understand what He says, why God did what He did and how He’s involved in what is going on around us and where it’s all leading. I’m approaching this to put together His whole plan.
You probably think that’s pretentious, and you could be right. All I ask is you read on and judge for yourself.
Let there be
Let there be carries Strong’s number H1961. Whereas in English, we have three words, in Hebrew, there is only one word with three letters; this of itself is amazing. It is the word: יְהִ֣י (yod, hay, yod). Here’s the basis of that one word
הָיָה hâyâh haw-yaw; a primitive root (compare H1933 (הָוָא)); to exist, i.e. be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary):
הָוָא hâvâʼ haw-vaw’; or הָוָה; a primitive root (compare H183 (אָוָה), H1961 (הָיָה)) supposed to mean properly, to breathe; to be (in the sense of existence):
KJV – be, ⨯ have.
The first utterance of God (Elohim) is: Be, Become, or Exist. Notice this expression is emphatic. There’s a sort of movement in the verb: from before there was no light (it was dark) to now, there is light.
I want to very briefly draw your attention to another aspect of יְהִ֣י that will not go unnoticed by those who can recognize the Tetragrammaton יהוה the four Hebrew letters that identify one of God’s names for which we use the letters YHVH or JHVH. The two letters ה and י (of which there are two) are a part of the Tetragrammaton.
In discussing the keys to master Biblical Hebrew and unlock Bible meaning, key 5 is Biblical names–including God’s names–have meaning. YHVH includes the notion of Be and precisely Exist. From the Bible’s point of view, Exist is a name of God; this, of course, is associated with Eternal.
The very first word in Genesis 1:5, pronounced by Elohim, has to do with Exist. For now, keep in mind that this has a profound connection with Genesis chapters 2 and 3. These chapters are the continuity of one story, the story of humankind. I shall return to יְהִ֣י and יהוה.
What is to: Be or Exist?
The very first component on the creation list is light. Light is vital, simply because it is the opposite of darkness. Let there be light is the first thing you do by switching it on when you walk into a dark room; it must and will prevail; it is what you need. We see this in our auditorium as we sit in utter darkness. We are disoriented and confused, and yet as the audience of any play, eager to see the next scene, for the stage lights to come up, and the stage lights pale in comparison to the let there be light on the world-stage in Gen 1:3-5.
אוֹר ʼôwr ore; from H215 (אוֹר); illumination or (concrete) luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.):
KJV – bright, clear, + day, light (-ning), morning, sun.
אוֹר ʼôwr ore; a primitive root; to be (causative, make) luminous (literally and metaphorically):
KJV – ⨯ break of day, glorious, kindle, (be, en-, give, show) light (-en, -ended), set on fire, shine.
Here is where the keys of Biblical Hebrew concerning concrete/abstract, literal/figurative, metaphorical come fully into the limelight. Light is not solely about photons; it is about happiness and glory that shine forth and ignite the fire. From an earthly perspective, this אוֹר, this light, is the first element to come into existence, to kindle and re-illuminate humankind’s new playground. Hence my introductory sentence: Let there be light and kindling glorious luminosity.
Let there be light sums up everything Godly. That may sound enigmatic, mysterious, and reek of spirituality, even emotional appeal to those who dislike that approach, of which I’m one. So let me explain.Light sums up everything Godly. That may sound enigmatic, mysterious, and reek of spirituality, even emotional appeal to those who dislike that approach, of which I’m one. So let me explain. Click To Tweet
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 (3915). And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Remember Lucifer, the bringer/bearer of light. He turned all the lights off when he blew a fuse and caused tohu and bohu. He plunged Earth into darkness and obscurity, the total opposite of God’s intention. Night describes the globality of the pre-Genesis 1.3 situation. Strong’s sums it up with a couple of now-familiar concepts:
לַיִל layil lah’-yil; or (Isaiah 21:11) לֵיל; also לַיְלָה; from the same as H3883 (לוּל); properly, a twist (away of the light), i.e. night; figuratively, adversity:
KJV – (mid-)night (season).
לוּל lûwl lool; from an unused root meaning to fold back; a spiral step:
KJV – winding stair. Compare H3924 (לֻלָאָה).
לֻלָאָה lulâʼâh loo-law-aw’; from the same as H3883 (לוּל); a loop:
KJV – loop.
The key to understanding night–the deeper meaning–is looking a little beyond just our initial descriptive dark number of hours we refer to as nighttime. Look at the root translation: winding stair. Grasp the meaning: twist away from the light. Isn’t that a perfect description of what Lucifer did? Look at fold back, loop, adversity. The reference to the Serpent is adversary, the devil. In 1 Peter 5:8. It is the Serpent who can lead us up that winding garden path that throws us for a loop.
The word night is being used both literally and figuratively in Genesis 1:5. It is associated with the darkness that the Bible has clearly defined as associated with the deep, tohu and bohu and chaos and confusion.
But, then, with one singular and straightforward intervention, let there be light; God shows us who is running the show. Just the pronunciation of two Hebrew words, יְהִ֣י א֑וֹר (yehi or), that’s all it takes, and the lights on our stage emerge, revealing the model of the Earth in brilliant and beautiful detail.
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 8.3 of the book Origin of the Universe.
If you’ve come to this blog post for the first time, then you need to see at least one of the Keys to Master Biblical Hebrew: The importance and relationship of Hebrew word roots, the most fundamental structure. The stem of Hebrew words–generally composed of three consonants.
What is vital in our above three words associated with night is the presence of the double lamed (לל) in all three words. The usage of all the other letters (א ,’ ,ה ,ו) is as vowels. So this is an exceptional two-letter root.
Go to UnlockBibleMeaning.com and look at Genesis chapter 1 in the Interlinear Bible.
You’ll see both the English and Hebrew and notice the conciseness of Biblical Hebrew compared to English. Less than 9 000 words in Hebrew to express everything in the Bible. Not just the concrete but the literary and figurative as well.
Consider the authorship mind it takes to use a simple word like אוֹר (light) in various contexts from Genesis, through Samuel, Psalms, Job and various minor and major prophets (checks it out by switching to Strong’s and clicking on Hebrew Concordance for H216).
Remember that these various books have various authors over some 1400 years. Yet there’s a unitary flow of the use of the word light and, maybe, you’re beginning to see there are rhyme and reason in what we’re studying.
Not yet convinced? That’s fine, stay tuned, there’s plenty more to come.
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