Why Does Genesis Chapter 1 Say God Created the Moon, Sun and Stars; Weren’t They Already There from the First Age?
Why Does Genesis Chapter 1 Say God Created the Moon, Sun and Stars; Weren’t They Already There from the First Age?
I know the earth became void/without form due to the katabole.
But why does it say God created the moon, sun and stars during Genesis 1, when Genesis 1 is about the rejuvenation of the earth due to the katabole?
Surely the stars/moon/sun were already there during first world age. So I don’t understand why Genesis chapter 1 says God made the sun/moon/stars on fourth day.
I also don’t understand why trees, herbs, shrubs and other plants were created on the third day, when the light from the sun, moon and stars didn’t take place until the fourth day. Wouldn’t all of those plants need sunlight, to grow?
Thank you for any answers.
Those are really great questions. And you’re correct. The sun, moon and stars have always been there, since the creation of the universe in the first age.
But Genesis chapter one doesn’t say God created them at that time. Read it carefully. He simply re-established their light, which He had withdrawn at the katabole, which is to say, at Satan’s rebellion.
At the katabole, all light was withdrawn by God. The sun, moon, stars and planets still existed. But light was withdrawn from them. As it’s written of the katabole in Jeremiah chapter 4:
Jer 4:23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, they had no light.
You see, the stars and planets were still there. They were just enveloped in total darkness. God had withdrawn all of the light from the heavenly luminaries — the light from the planets and the stars, but also, His own life-giving Light, which is His glory, which we’ll examine in just a moment.
So in Genesis chapter 1, our heavenly Father is simply re-establishing the light He had withdrawn from the earth, and from the sun, moon, stars and planets at the time of the katabole.
Now that we can see from Jeremiah 4:23 above that the heavens were there, but the heavenly bodies had lost their light, darkening the entire universe, let’s pick up at that very same point in Genesis chapter 1, directly after the katabole:
Gen 1:2 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.
That’s pretty much the same description as in Jeremiah 4:23, right? There was total darkness on earth, because at the time of the katabole, God had withdrawn all light.
So in Genesis chapter 1, He’s in the process of restoring that light, as we’ll see below.
What’s extremely important to understand is that in Genesis 1:3-5, He starts by restoring what I’ll call the primal light, or foundational light, which is His very own life-giving Light.
In those verses, He’s allowing His own life-giving glory to shine on the earth once more, after having withdrawn it during the katabole. Let’s take a look:
Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
This light is not the sun, the moon or the stars, which don’t regain their light until the third day, according to Genesis 1:14-18. This light is way better. This is the Light of John 1:4-9, which is to say, “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
In other words, it’s the life-giving light of God Almighty, Jesus Christ — the primal, or foundational light without which life cannot exist anywhere in the universe.
Keep this in mind as we proceed: In these verses in Genesis chapter 1, God is in the process of rejuvenating the earth — i.e., bringing both spiritual and physical life back to the completely dead and desolate planet, which St. Peter describes as having “perished” in II Peter 3:6.
And He begins that rejuvenation by restoring to this earth His own life-giving Light. As you’ll see in the verses that follow, this life-giving Light will illuminate the earth for the first three days of God’s rejuvenation of the earth, which is to say, the first 3,000 years (i.e., because “one day to the Lord is one thousand years” — II Peter 3:8).
So what you’re reading about in Genesis 1:3-5 is the life-giving Light that sustains all life in the universe. Without it, nothing can live. God had withdrawn it at the katabole. But now He’s re-establishing it, because He intends to bring life back in abundance to this planet, which had become “void and without form.”
You might call the re-establishment of this primal, or foundational light “Step One” in God’s great rejuvenation process. Without this life-giving primal light, which is the very glory of God Himself, nothing could live. Indeed, when He withdrew it at the katabole, everything perished.
Before we continue in Genesis, let’s take a quick side trip to the book of John to clarify this “light” we read of in Genesis 1:3-5:
Joh 1:4 In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Joh 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Again, this is God’s life-giving light. It’s His very glory, which is Jesus Christ. No man, no animal, no plant, no insect can live without this life-bringing light. It is the light of life itself.
And as we see in John 1:5 directly above, which corresponds to Genesis 1:2 (i.e., “darkness was upon the face of the deep”) God’s glory shined into the darkness that had enveloped the earth at the katabole, and the darkness could not stop this Light from being re-established on earth.
As St. John would say of this light in John 1:9, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
You simply can’t live without this life-giving spiritual Light, which is the glory of God, which would later be given to us in bodily form as Jesus Christ, Who is God’s glory.
Again, in Jeremiah 4:23, God had withdrawn His life-giving Light from the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars and planets, causing the demise of all life. But in Genesis 1:3, He begins to restore that light, on earth, so that teeming life can be re-established, i.e., plants, animals and eventually humans.
Now that we understand what that first light was, let’s go back to Genesis, where we left off:
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
The word “divided” in that verse should have been translated “distinguished.” In the Hebrew, it’s actually two words — badal (H914) and beyn (H-996) — which, when put together, means “a clear distinction.”
For this flesh age, God drew a clear distinction between His perpetual life-giving Light (which is truth), and the darkness of Satanic deception, if you will. The two are mutually exclusive.
Put another way, God put a clear distinction between the light of Christ which gives life to all living things, and the darkness of Satan’s way of error, which cannot give life at all, but instead, closes eyes to the truth, leaving people who choose to partake of it at dire odds with our heavenly Father and at risk of eternal damnation.
Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
This is why we’re told by St. Paul, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (I Thessalonians 5:5).
God puts a distinction between the two. You either walk in His Light of His countenance (Mt. 28:3; Luke 9:29; Revelation 1:16), or you walk in spiritual darkness. Which one you choose quite literally decides your eternal fate.
So the “Day” in verse 5 above represents the life-giving qualities of God Almighty and His shining glory, and the “Night” represents Satanic darkness — deception — which cannot give life, but instead, only leads to spiritual death.
So to sum up, at the katabole — i.e., at Satan’s attempted overthrow of God’s throne in the first age — God withdrew all light from the material universe, plunging it into utter darkness, causing mass chaos and destruction. You can read about that in Jeremiah 4:23-28.
And in Genesis 1:1-5, on the so-called first day of creation (which should rightly be called the first day of rejuvenation), God reversed the situation. He restored the Light that gives life to the world. In essence, He allowed His life-giving glory to once more shine upon the earth. And why? In anticipation of bringing life back to the earth, which could not exist without this primal light.
But again, this was not the light from the sun, moon and stars, which did not get re-established until the fourth day. Instead, it was God’s own glory, the life-giving Light of Christ, shining upon the earth for those first three days (3,000 years). As it’s written in Revelation 1:16, “and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”
That’s why God was able to bring forth “grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind” on the third day of the rejuvenation of this earth, even though the sun, moon, stars and planets did not get their light restored until the fourth day (i.e., Genesis 1:14-18).
In other words, thanks to the abundance of life-giving Light from God that flooded the earth for those first three days (i.e., 3,000 years) of rejuvenation, the earth became extremely lush once again, starting on the third day — this, in preparation for the animals and humans which would soon follow on the fifth, sixth and eighth days.
Again, this very special life-giving light was only being re-established on earth at this point. We have not yet reached the fourth day, at which time God will re-establish light in the heavens, as well, and will use those heavenly lights to give earth its present daytime and nighttime rotations.
We know that on the second day God established the heavenly firmament. As it’s written:
Gen 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Gen 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Keep in mind that the original water firmament, or canopy, that surrounded the earth during the first age, was destroyed at Satan’s katabole, allowing that water to flood the entire earth. As it’s written in II Peter 3:6 about the katabole, “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:”
So, as you can see, our heavenly Father instituted a different kind of firmament on the second day, essentially separating the heavens (what we now call outer space) from earth with it.
Next, on the third day, God caused dry land to appear out of the flooded earth. And directly afterwards He brings to life plants and vegetation. Let’s take a quick look:
Gen 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Gen 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
We still don’t have the light of the sun, moon, stars and other heavenly luminaries re-established yet. So the plants of Genesis 1:11-12 above are being bathed in the light of His glory — the primal, or foundational light we examined back in Genesis 1:3-5, which, as we know from Revelation 1:16, shines as brightly as the sun — the same light that would guide the children of Israel in the wilderness many centuries later.
Since we know from John chapter 1 that this is the light that gives light to all men, then I think it’s safe to say God can give life to the plants with it, as well.
Now let’s examine the fourth day, at which point God begins re-establishing the lights in the heavens:
Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Notice there’s no talk here about creating planets or stars. It only mentions “lights in the firmament of the heaven.” You could just as easily translate the word “lights” as “brightness.” Check it out in your Strong’s Concordance:
מְאֹרָה מְאוֹרָה מָאֹר מָאוֹר
mâ’ôr mâ’ôr me’ôrâh me’ôrâh
(1,2) maw-ore’, (3,4) meh-o-raw’
From H215; properly a luminous body or luminary, that is, (abstractly) light (as an element); figuratively brightness, that is, cheerfulness; specifically a chandelier: – bright, light.
In other words, God simply turned the lights back on, so to speak, giving the sun, moon, stars and planets back their lost brightness. And for what purpose? Let’s see:
Gen 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
So basically, on the fourth day, once God had the earth full of verdant plant life and ready for humans and animals, He then re-lit the sun, moon, stars and planets, so to speak.
Remember, at the katabole, He had withdrawn all light in this material world, both on earth and in space where the planets are located. Everything was enveloped in darkness.
And on the very first day of the rejuvenation of this planet, He re-established light. But it was the light of His life-giving glory. And it lit up earth for three days (three thousand years). In other words, He was priming earth with this light, in anticipation of the life He’d be establishing on the fifth, sixth and eighth days.
Now, on day four, He’s re-establishing the physical light of the stars and planets, so we can have daylight and nightlight.
Gen 1:16 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.
Notice that in verse 16 above, where it says “he made the stars also,” the phrase “he made” is in italics in your Bible. That’s because those two words don’t exist anywhere in the original manuscripts. They were added by the translators. The verse actually reads as follows:
“And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: the stars also.”
In other words, the heavenly bodies always existed, since the time of the original creation. But here our heavenly Father is simply giving them light, including “the stars also.”
We know that for a fact that the sun, moon and stars already existed in the first age, before the katabole, because we see them in Revelation 12:1-4, which took place in the first age, right? As it’s written:
Rev 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
Rev 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Rev 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
Rev 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
In other words, the sun, moon and stars have always existed, all of the way back to the events of the first age when Satan led one-third of God’s children in rebellion against Him.
But at that katabole, which concluded the first age, the light of the sun, moon and stars was withdrawn by our heavenly Father, as described in Jeremiah 4:23.
Now, on the fourth day, He’s simply re-lighting those planets and stars, or perhaps better put, re-establishing their physical ability to provide light to the earth. As it’s further written:
Gen 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
The word translated “set” in this verse is the Hebrew word nathan (Strong’s H-5414), which is better translated “to give.” (Remember that the Hebrew name, Nathan, means “given to service.”)
By incorrectly translating the word as “set,” the translators gave rise to the erroneous notion that God had just then created the sun and moon and stars, and “set” them in their places. But that’s not so. They were already there. Instead, He simply “gave” those planets and stars their light back.
I hate to beat this point to death. But again, the planets were already there. But the light from them — withdrawn by God at the katabole — was re-established on the fourth day to serve the earth, because God planned on re-establishing life on earth for this flesh age.
Gen 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
And there we have it. The light from the stars and planets was re-established on the fourth day so that we’d have the sun’s brightness during the day, and the moonlight and star light at night.
Regards in Christ,
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