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“God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”  Gen. 1:5

Most English translations of this verse read very similarly.  So do most Jewish translations, however the English is different from the Jewish.  Most Jewish translations read something like:

God called to the light:  “Day”, and to the darkness He called: “Night”. (emphasis mine)

So instead of simply declaring a formal name for light and darkness, it is more like God is now telling these newly created entities what their roles, or jobs, will be; the divinely declared ordinance of their operation.  Before we rule this out, we must consider that we do not know or understand God’s relationship with His created things, aside from humans.  For instance, we are told that the rocks can cry out (Luke 19:40), and Isaiah 55:12 reads:

“”For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

In fact, part of the context of Isaiah 55 is declaring that the things God created have specific purposes that they will fulfill.  That chapter also happens to be home to the verse which reads:

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isaiah 55:9)

Lastly, we note that the verse ends with “and there was evening, and there was morning, one day.”  This shows us the Jewish pattern of a day, that the day begins at sundown (evening, then morning.)


“Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness” Gen. 1:3-4

God saw the light He made was good, and then He separated it from the darkness.  He never says the darkness is good, only the light.  There is no mention of the darkness being created here, only separated from the light. However in Isaiah 45:7, the creation of darkness is mentioned:

“The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the LORD who does all these.”

The Hebrew word for light (“owr“) and the word for darkness (“chosek“) are the same between Isaiah 45 and Genesis 1.

It is passages like this that force us to question how we think we understand the scriptures.  In this case, we must consider that:

A) Perhaps other things were created in Genesis 1 that were not specifically mentioned, (such as the darkness); or

B) Is it speaking of the same type of darkness, even though the same original word was used?

Further, if it is not actual darkness we are dealing with in Isaiah, but instead calamity as the verse suggests – then we may be dealing with allegory here, unless, of course, calamity was what was meant in Genesis 1:4.  In the end, we may wonder if we are speaking of physical creation, or something more.

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