Physical Separation

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

(Genesis 1:1) KJV

God intends to bring about a permanent physical separation of light from darkness. Light weight and light bearing are synonyms, like dark and heavy are. In general heavier, denser materials are darker.

Now we need to understand nuance. The first verse of the Bible is above. The second verse says this:

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

(Genesis 1:2) KJV

We all have the same evidence. Our choice of paradigm determines what we think it’s evidence of.

Matty’s Razor

Some people believe that Genesis 1:1 describes the creation of a world that existed and was destroyed before Genesis 1:2. In this scenario, Genesis 1:2 begins describing the creation of a world from the remains of its predecessor. The main problem with this approach is that it’s based on the ubiquitous but false belief that God made creation from nothing (ex nihilo) and it’s an attempt to harmonize the existence of the universe with physical laws like the first law of thermodynamics: energy can be transformed from one form to another, but can be neither created nor destroyed.

We have easily dealt with this issue because the universe wasn’t created from nothing, it was created from the deep. We also identified the deep as being the physical manifestation of God, the Word who became flesh. Genesis 1:1 is the conception and birth of the only begotten Son. This is nuance. We can also use it to understand the second part of Genesis 1:4. The first creative act in the Bible is this:

Faith is believing in something that you can’t see, because of evidence.

– Faith, definition

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

(Genesis 1:3) KJV

God caused light to appear. The deep was the source of Hydrogen for nucleosynthesis. The light was generated in the process of forming organic cellular and multi-cellular life containing replicating DNA. However at the end of this process it became dark again because the light was obscured. The next thing we learn is:

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

(Genesis 1:4) KJV

The question that we’ve asked before is this:

  • IF God saw the light, that it was good,
    • AND the eventual goal is a world which is permanently light,
    • AND where there’s no darkness,
  • THEN why didn’t God just keep it light?

The answer is that God committed himself to a process when he said let there be light. This process is what we call the history of the Earth. The goal will be achieved when the process is complete. The nuance of meaning that we need to understand is that the second phrase of Genesis 1:4 isn’t describing a creative act. It is introducing us to what has got to happen next. God’s desire of a permanent physical separation of light from dark is achieved through the creation of gravity, it hasn’t happened yet in the narrative, but it’s the essential next step in the ordering of creation. Here is the second phrase:


  1. Call upon the name of Jesus Christ,
    • believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
  2. confess your sin.

and God divided the light from the darkness.

(Genesis 1:4b) KJV

Most people believe that dividing light from darkness means the alternation of day and night. After all, the narrative describes mornings, evenings and days. However day and night aren’t physically separate, they’re taking place at the same time. We can look at this phrase in the interlinear to see how it’s worded in a word-for-word translation:

and divided God a space between the light and between the darkness.

(Genesis 1:4b) Interlinear

On Earth day and night are separated temporally, not spatially, and one transitions into another. There’s no space between day and night. However, God’s plan is to bring about a space between light and darkness. The Hebrew word translated as either from or a space between is בֵּ֥ין – bayin.

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