Question on the sun created in the fourth day

by opusdei1972 17 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • opusdei1972

    In the first day Elohim created light, and it was day and night in the first day. Then in the fourth day he created the sun, the moon and the stars. How could it be ?. Of course, it did not actually happen, but what did the writer have in mind?. The Watchtower Society tries to avoid this unscientific ancient view of Genesis by telling us that the sun was indeed created before the first day. So the Society says in a footnote:

    In the description of what happened on the first “day,” the Hebrew word used for light is ʼohr, light in a general sense; but concerning the fourth “day,” the word used is ma·ʼohrʹ, which refers to the source of light.

    I don't think that this argument on Hebrew's grounds is correct. I think it is misleading. Is there any scholar in Hebrew here to analyze the above argument?

    On the other hand, Richard Elliot Friedman says:

    People have questioned whether the first three days are twenty-four hour days since the sun is not created until the fourth day. But light, day, and night are not understood here to depend on the existence of the sun, so there is no reason to think that the word “day” means anything different on the first two days (sic) than what it means everywhere else in the Torah. People’s reason for raising this is often to reconcile the biblical creation story with current evidence of the earth’s age. But it is better to recognize that the biblical story does not match the evidence than to stretch the story’s plain meaning in order to make it fit better with our current state of knowledge.

    Also Friedman, said:

    Note that daylight is not understood here to derive from the sun. The text understands the light that surrounds us in the daytime to be an independent creation of God, which has already taken place on the first day. The sun, moon, and stars are understood here to be light sources—like a lamp or torch, only stronger. Their purpose is also to be markers of time: days, years, appointed occasions

  • scratchme1010

    Interesting catch. It's no surprise that they try to provide contrived explanations to accommodate for what they say. That is, not to mention that there's absolutely no correlation between any of that (even if it were 100% as they claim it is) and the ridiculous arbitrary rules and moral "standards" they impose on their crop.

  • schnell

    It isn't scientific cosmology. It's myth. You know how most creation myths start with a big battle between gods and monsters?

    "In the beginning, Elohim (many gods) bārā (not created, but cut out) the heavens and the earth. And the earth was tōhū and bōhū, and the darkness was on the surface of the tehōm."

    Tehōm is the primordial ocean, space or Absolute. Tōhū and bōhū, mistranslated "without form and void," connoted the monstrous and the violent. As Professor Jeremias, the German orientalist, says: "There can be no doubt that tōhū is connected with Ti(h)amat and bōhū with Behemoth. Bōhū is the equivalent of the the Babylonian Apsu, the male mate of Tiamat."

    (Deceptions and Myths of the Bible by Lloyd M. Graham)

  • opusdei1972

    I have read an interesting explanation that makes sense. The creation story of Genesis 1 was intended to emphasize that every creation was "good". The author insists after the end of each "creative day", that for God it was good. So this seems to have been written in the babylonian exile in opposition of the babylonian dualism which believed in some evil creations. Then an editor joined the story of chapter 2 with this of chapter 1 in spite of the contradictions.

  • opusdei1972

    I also found an interesting answer on how could the writer of Genesis 1 could thought that there was light, day and night in the first creative day without creating the sun and the stars (knowing that these were created in the fourth day). So here I quote what I found:

    The view of light and darkness as physical entities that cause day and night can be found in at least one ANE text as well. In a fragmentary Sumerian tablet (NBC 11108) from Nippur during the Ur III period (21st cent. BCE), we find the following:

    When Anu, the lord, made heaven shine, made earth dark… Heaven and earth he held together as one… Day did not shine; in night, heaven stretched forth. Earth, bringing forth plant life did not glow on its own…[11]

    The text describes the Sumerian high god Anu’s creation of the world. When Anu separates heaven and earth, the heavens shine but the earth does not. In other words, when the heavens and earth were combined in the primordial mush, there was perpetual night. By separating the heavens from the earth, Anu also separates light from darkness.

    Wayne Horowitz notes the parallel with Genesis:

    In NBC 11108:8, as in Genesis, where day exists before the creation of the sun, moon, and stars, the heavens are conceived to have had their own glow, irrespective of the presence of luminaries. [12]

  • tor1500


    I'm not a scholar or anything like that...I noticed that as well. God is light...The elements were made for mankind...If this creation story is true and you want to believe in God...The bible is a simple book, it's us humans that want to dissect it and try to make sense of if....If you read Rev. 21:23: And the city has no need of sun nor moon to shine on it, for the glory of God illuminated it and it's lamp was the lamb.....Now for those who are not angry with the org. anymore but still believe in God....this is what I think....God created everything...he didn't need no light, stars nor moon, all these elements were made for us....we need the sun for heat and the moon to light the sky...these elements were put in place for us...what use is the Sun and Moon for God...Also, again for those who still believe in God...See Rev. 22:5: Also, night will be no more, and they have no need of lamplight or sunlight, for Jehovah God will shed light upon them....Once again, we see here that God is light....The org. can't explain it nor acknowledge the God in Genesis....The earth was created just the way the bible says...first there was light...God is God all by himself...verse 17 says Thus God put them (luminaries) to shine upon the earth...verse 15 mentions the same thing...God didn't need no light to do what he did....we need the light...if this story of God is true...then how awesome God really is....When you read Genesis and see just how creation came to be.....then one can understand God...God just created everything to re-create itself...EVERYTHING..if he didn't he'd have to create everyday...everything has it's own seed. The society doesn't grasp this in Genesis...they preach and teach about God but this account in Genesis goes right over their heads...I pointed it out to a brother one day....he's pretty when I showed him, I was just pointing out how awesome God is and he said, well it's not that God is light it's the sequence of events...phooey...I didn't say that to him but I thought Man, you are so smart, you know the scriptures from back to front...but you can't see what these scriptures are saying...but the org. does say some will be blind...I like finding some of these gems...but keep them to myself...I believe in God, not the God that man says he is..but the God that I know is love because he sent his son because he loves us....and I hope for the resurrection, because to tell you the truth....I would like to come back and live a carefree life...sure it may be a fairytale, but it beats thinking....YOU'LL NEVER COME BACK...

    I don't know if God is real or not....I choose to believe....I see many errors not in the bible but in man....It's not the places of worship that make people leave and not believe in God, it's the folks in these places that run folks out.

    This is how I see Genesis...and commented for those who may still believe in God but not the org. Yet, those of you who don't believe in God, I do not each his own...


  • waton

    WT writers mentioned that the creation accounts were written as an observer would see them from an earthly perspective, and at the same time,-- to be inspired.

    If the bible is inspired, it would not contain the scientific errors that it does. The Earth was not created in the beginning. The oldest we can see is light, photons, but from a time when the universe was already 300 000 years old, when that became clear, and photons are the purest form of energy we can think of. The rotation of the Earth (night&day) came ~ 10 billion years later. trying to reconcile the sci fi writing of the early humans with scientific reality serves what?

    agree with tor's heartfelt sentiment: The wt god vastly underrepresents the grandeur of a possible creator.

  • David_Jay

    The writer is merely saying that everything has it purpose in the scheme of things. While it is not clear if the writer believed this was the chronological order in which things appeared, the reason for writing so has to do with the belief that the exile to Babylon occurred because the Jews failed to observe the Sabbath, the cornerstone of the Mosaic Law.

    The first chapter of Genesis appears to be the newest and last part of the book written. The language is Sabbath-centric, revealing that the writer(s) were emphasizing adherence to the Mosaic Law by seeing humankind as designed to obey Torah. This is seen in how the writer makes the Sabbath the pinnacle of the story, after the creation of humankind.

    With this in mind the narrative plays out as an empty tableau, with parts and pieces placed on it like the backdrop for a play, and then the players put into the place. As such it has two parts:

    A three piece tableau is filled: On the first three days the tableau is filled with the settings of night and day, heaven and sea, earth and vegetation. The tableau is now filled, now time to fill the settings.

    The settings are filled: On the last three days (before the Sabbath) the settings get filled: the heavens (which is described as a solid dome or firmament) is affixed with luminaries, birds fly over its face and fill the sky, marine life fills the seas, the land is filled with vegetation, animal life, and then humans. And then the Sabbath caps it all off.

    First off, the settings are based on the science of the day, the Mesopotamian understanding that the cosmos is filled with water (no vacuum of space was understood by the ancients). These cosmic waters were held back by a solid dome upon which were affixed the sun, moon, and stars. Precipitation came down through windows or gates in the dome. The earth was a flat surface with basins for seas, and all this sat upon a set of pillars which kept it upright in the cosmic ocean, the waters around the pillars being referred to as the “abyss.”

    This cosmology is not from the Hebrews, however. The author is only using it as the tableau to fill it with a Jewish meaning, namely that all things are created to fulfill God’s purpose (and subsequently man to fulfill God’s Law).

    The luminaries which appear on the fourth day are merely filling their place in the tableau setting. God made the dome or firmament, the writer says. Why? To hold back the waters over the earth, and to provide a place to affix the sun, moon, and stars. The Mesopotamians believed the luminaries were small lights affixed to the firmament/dome which rotated around the earth to created the differences in day and night.

    Apart from this the author is unconcerned with whether the Mesopotamian cosmology is sound or not, or has any care about the luminaires themselves. The idea the Jews had after the exile was that God had punished them for not keeping the Mosaic Law. This was foremost illustrated on how little importance Sabbath-keeping held in pre-exile days. Upon returning from Babylon and rebuilding the Temple, the Jews set into place the foundations of the religious system that would become Judaism, with strict rules to prevent the exile from happening again. As such the Torah was recopied with interpolations that included some hermeneutic material, and thus the expansion of the creation story. It originally began with Genesis chapter 2 as the first in a series of creation stories (the Noachian flood is also a creation story). With the return from the exile, this third Sabbath-centric one was added as the beginning or prologue to the rest of the Genesis, which in reality is the prologue to the entire Mosaic Law.

  • WTWizard

    Another example of why the LIE-ble needs idiots to believe it, and why the washtowel needs people to be idiots. One way to ensure people never question it is to have boasting sessions on school nights, so children can flunk tests and miss the common sense explanation of how stars and planets form. And why they need to be so strict against belief in exoplanets, even ones where one star in a pair failed and the other lit up.

    According to the latest theories, stars form when a mass of gas (and heavier elements) gathers. The hydrogen forms a globe, which gets bigger until enough mass accrues so it starts fusing the hydrogen into helium. Some of the material is far enough out so it does not join the star, but instead orbits it. It accrues into particles that become larger and larger with collisions, and some of them clear out their orbits. By now, the star is already going strong.

    The LIE-ble, and the washtowel, claim that joke-hova directly created the earth first. If so, then how did it get its orbit around the sun? Try creating a sun after the planet, and you are probably going to have a highly eccentric orbit (no stable climate), or the planet will crash into the sun or get flung into space. Getting a nearly circular orbit is just about impossible if you expect a planet that is traveling through space in a straight line to start orbiting a new star.

    Sure, they say, joke-hova directly altered the orbit of the earth to form a nearly perfect circle. How? And, what about the other planets? Originally, you had 5 rocky planets (and that doesn't include the moon, or the one that hit the earth to give us our moon) inside Jupiter (that was until joke-hova blew up the one between Mars and Jupiter). You had Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Beyond that, you had the Kuiper Belt, of which Pluto is part. All of them are in nearly circular orbits, with Pluto and other Kuiper belt objects more eccentric than the others. How would that be possible if joke-hova hand placed the earth around the new sun?

    Maybe they need to stop wasting so much time in Family Waste the Evening Night and start studying for those science tests.

  • tor1500

    Hi All,

    No matter how you look at's so awesome to see how this all works....everything in it's proper place....This is God's playground and we smart humans are discovering what God made....because God knows we need to know how things work because in the end we don't want to give credit to anything but our magnificent selves, we say, there is no God, we see what he has created and then we try to see well if God created it, maybe I can do it too....Because most of us don't want there to be a God because we want to do just what we want to do...we don't want to be accountable in our lives...we want to do just as we please...& if we say there is no God, then we have science which makes sense but doesn't hold us tells us that if we shoot someone in a certain area they may die because scientifically if you shoot a person here, but not accountability..knowing or thinking there is something or someone holding you accountable to not shoot this person...

    You can look at Gods word as a bunch of does and don't or you can look at it as a book of Love....The entire Ot was God pleading with the Jews to come back to him after all he did for them...doesn't that sound like someone who loves someone even though they may have committed adultery or whatever yet one of the spouses is so forgiving and pleads....God hung out with the Jews as long as he could take he looked to those who were not Jewish...and here it is...NT is about for God, love for yourself and most of all love of everyone, no matter where they come from or who they our fellow one should suffer in these times...folks got too much, go to city dumps...see what folks throw all that to can science with out conscience and passion help those who are less fortunate then others...

    The message of the bible is to be as good as you can and every day be a better person then the day before and if you can help someone, then do don't take a rocket scientist to know when someone is in need...sometimes we humans are too smart for our own good.

    Whether the sun came first or the light came first...guess what? We got light....

    We should be grateful for this life however good or bad it may be...many of us take life for granted....we all are typing from our wonderful computers in our nice warm houses...eating and whatever else...snug and all comfy, but right now, someone is dying from lack of food and water...there are so many deprived people in the world we waste our time debating whether there is a God or not...does it matter...if you see something do something....


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