Out of the Darkness: ‘Let there be light!’

If we examine closely the scriptures (and especially after the last few post’s clarifications) it seems that the first thing God created was actually the light, because it is the first appearance of the phrase ‘Let there be’:

“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” (Genesis 1:3-6)

The original Hebrew for ‘Let there be’ is ‘Ye’ee’ {יהי} and that is a very interesting Hebrew term which possesses a much deeper meaning in Hebrew and actually requires a separate post for itself, so we will talk about it very soon. Today we will discuss an ancient ‘Midrash’ {מדרש} (Jewish lesson) that says the following words:

“It does NOT written here (in Genesis) that God called the darkness ‘Night’ but rather ‘and the darkness He called Night’.”

Some of the Jewish Bible commentators have wondered about this rather odd ‘Midrash’. They said that according to the rules of the Hebrew language, there is NO need to repeat the subject TWICE because it is perfectly clear that it is a direct continuation of the first part. In other words, it appears the ‘Midrash’ is asking WHY the Bible did not say ‘God called the light Day, and the darkness GOD called Night’ – and that is a rather odd question because according to the rules of Hebrew grammar, there is no need to say it like that.

But then, those Jewish Bible commentators had taken another look at the scriptures and realized the deeper meaning of this wise question – which is NOT why the Bible does not repeat TWICE the word ‘God’ but rather WHY it appears BEFORE the light and not before darkness even though the darkness was there FIRST. This means it should have been written ‘God called the darkness Night and He called the light Day’ because the darkness came before the light!

The answer for this question is found in the opening of this post – even though the darkness was there before the light, the FIRST thing to actually be created was the light meaning this was the FIRST time God said ‘Let there be!’ This is the reason there is a match between the first thing God created and the first thing God called – ‘Or’ {אור} (Hebrew for ‘light’).