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

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

1:3 God said. As the “Spirit” of God “moved” (Genesis 1:2), so now the Word of God speaks in Genesis 1:3. The result is light, the energizing of the vast cosmos through the marvelous electro-magnetic force system which maintains all structures and processes in matter. These varied energies include not only visible light, but also all the short-wave radiations (ultra-violet, x-rays, etc.) and the long-wave radiations (infra-red, radio waves, etc.), as well as heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, molecular inter-actions, etc. “Light,” the most basic form of energy, is mentioned specifically, but its existence necessarily implies the activation of all forms of electro-magnetic energies. Light was not created, since God Himself dwells in light. On the other hand, He created darkness (Isaiah 45:7).

The existence of visible light prior to the establishment of the sun, moon and stars (Genesis 1:16) emphasizes the fact that light (energy) is more fundamental than light givers. God could just as easily (perhaps more easily) have created waves of light energy as He could construct material bodies in which processes function which generate light energy. The first is direct (since God is light!), the second indirect. For the creation of such light generators, see note on Genesis 1:14.

1:4 darkness. That these rays of light energy included the visible light spectrum is obvious by its separation from the newly created “darkness.” That most of this visible light emanated from one direction in space and, further, that the newly-sphericized earth began now to rotate on its axis, is shown by the establishment of a cyclical succession of “Day” and “Night,” which has continued ever since.

1:5 Day. The use of “day” (Hebrew yom) in Genesis 1:5 is its first occurrence in Scripture, and here it is specifically defined by God as “the light” in the cyclical succession of light and darkness which has, ever since, constituted a solar day. Since the same word is used in defining all later “yoms” as used for this “first” yom, it is incontrovertible that God intends us to know that the days of creation week were of the same duration as any natural solar day. The word yom in the Old Testament almost always is used in this natural way, and is never used to mean any other definite time period than a literal day. This becomes especially clear when it is combined with an ordinal (e.g., “first day”) or with definite bounds (e.g., “evening and morning”), neither of which usages in the Old Testament allow non-literal meanings. It is occasionally, though rarely, used symbolically or in the sense of indefinite time (e.g., “the day of the Lord”), but such usage (as in English or other languages) is always evident from the context itself. Thus the so-called day-age theory, by which the days of creation are assumed to correspond to the ages of geology, is precluded by this definitive use of the word in its first occurrence, God Himself defining it!

1:5 evening and morning. The use of “evening and morning” in that order is significant. As each day’s work was accomplished during the “light,” there was a cessation of God’s activity during the “darkness.” Consequently, there was nothing to report between evening and morning.” The beginning of the next day’s activity began with the next period of light, after the “morning,” or better, “dawning.” The literal sense of the formula after each day’s work is: “Then there was dusk, then dawn, ending the first day.”

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