New Defender's Study Bible Notes
1:14 lights. On the first day, God had said: “Let there be light” (Hebrew or). Now He says: “Let there be lights” (ma-or). Light energy was activated first, but now great masses of material (part of the “earth” elements created on the first day) were gathered together in one of the firmaments, or spaces, of the cosmos–the space beyond the waters above the space adjacent to the earth. These great bodies were set burning in complex chemical and nuclear reactions, to serve henceforth as “light-givers” for the earth.
1:14 signs. The Hebrew word for “signs” is the same word (oth) as used for Cain’s “mark” (Genesis 4:15) and for Noah’s “token” (meaning the rainbow–Genesis 9:12). Evidently the stars were arranged by God to “signify” something to those on the earth, not just scattered evenly or randomly around in space. God even named the stars and their constellations (e.g., Job 38:31-33; Isaiah 40:26). For their possible significance, see notes on Amos 5:8; Job 9:9; 26:13; 38:32.
1:14 seasons. The establishment of “seasons” (and these were not simply religious seasons, but actual climatological seasons) indicates that the earth was formed with an axial inclination from the beginning, for this is the basic cause of its seasons.