God Divided the Light from the Darkness

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. – Genesis 1:3-4

Here we see God calling light into existence. He saw that it was good and he divided the light from the darkness. He separated the light from the darkness. He distinguished between the light and the darkness. He made a distinction between the light and the darkness. The action described here in Hebrew is “badal beyn”. When we look in Scripture to see what else has been “badal beyn”, we find the following:

>> The waters under the firmament / the waters above the firmament

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.  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.  – Genesis 1:6-7

>> The day / the night

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:  – Genesis 1:14

>> The light / the darkness

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.  – Genesis 1:4

…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.  – Genesis 1:18

>> The holy place / the most holy
>> That which was holy / that which was common

And thou shalt hang up the veil under the clasps, and shalt bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall separate unto you between the holy place and the most holy.  – Exodus 26:33

He measured it on the four sides: it had a wall round about, the length five hundred, and the breadth five hundred, to make a separation between that which was holy and that which was common.  – Ezekiel 42:20

>> The holy / the common
>> The unclean / the clean
>> The beast that may be eaten / the beast that may not be eaten
>> Unclean fowl / the clean

and that ye may make a distinction between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean;  – Leviticus 10:10

to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living thing that may be eaten and the living thing that may not be eaten.  – Leviticus 11:47

Ye shall therefore make a distinction between the clean beast and the unclean, and between the unclean fowl and the clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by bird, or by anything wherewith the ground teemeth, which I have separated from you as unclean.  – Leviticus 20:25

Her priests have done violence to my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. – Ezekiel 22:26

>> You / your God

but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear.  – Isaiah 59:2

For the longest time, I never paid much attention to the action of dividing/separating the light from the darkness in Genesis 1:4, but when I started studying Scripture to find out about when the day begins, this jumped out at me. At first I didn’t look up the Hebrew word for dividing/separating, I just read the verse and noted that this action is mentioned in several verses there in the first chapter.

It wasn’t until I looked up the Hebrew and sought out where else in Scripture this action is mentioned that I realized its significance.

Scripture clearly says, after the distinction between light and darkness was made, Elohim called the light “day” and the darkness he called “night”.

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.  – Genesis 1:5a

Then a few verses later, we find that Elohim put lights in the firmament of heaven to make a distinction between the day and the night. A greater light, which we know to be the sun, was to govern/rule over the day, and a lesser light, the moon, to govern/rule over the night.

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:  and let them be for lights in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.  And God made the two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.  And God set them in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth, 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.  – Genesis 1:14-18

This tells me there is a distinction between day and night, according to Scripture. I do not see anything in Scripture where this distinction between the two is removed and the whole day plus night is called day. Needless to say, there are many who insist the day includes the night, however that is not what Scripture says.

If I am in error, please somebody reprove me from Scripture.

4 thoughts on “God Divided the Light from the Darkness

  1. Pingback: When Does the Biblical Day Begin?

  2. Pingback: “Let there be Lights…”

  3. Delia

    We agree that the day begins in the morning, however, it is clearly stated that after each day of the creation it then became evening and after evening it became dawn (just before sunrise is what BOKER means) the first day etc. clearly the day is defined in terms of 24 hours but also as that period of light in which the sun is shining. See Bereshithe 1:5, 1:8, 1:13, 1:19, 1:23, 1:31. We understand that we are to rest on the sabbath DAY, but when the light of day is over and night has begun, what are we supposed to do? Go to the movies? What did YHWH do the night of the sabbath just before the dawning of the first day of the next week? Or was he resting during that night as well? It is a logical question that begs a logical answer.
    We do not believe that we are to seek our answers from Judaism as all the Messianic teachers claim. What happens when the sun has been darkened and the moon doesn’t give her light? The moon becomes a sliver. Yehezqal 32:7-8. The moon is not a light when it is a sliver, and it is not able to send out the invitations to the festivals by itself. The sun must be seen first and then the moon in order to give the sign, and they must be seen together at the same time in the sky (Ber. 1:14). This event happened this morning at 6:49am and lasted for almost 40 minutes as the sun watched the full moon set in the western sky. Psalm 81:3, Psalm 104:19, Shir HaShirim 6:10, Yeshayah 13:9-10. The Torah says that the first (echad) burnt continual daily offering was to be offered in the morning, and the second (shiniy) was to be offered in the evening, although the evening offering was to burn all night and the fire was never to go out. There was also a new moon burnt offering in addition to the daily. So the new moon must occur in the morning! (Shem. 29:38-42)

    Reply
  4. Carrie Wigal Post author

    Shalom Delia! Thank you for your comment. It is my understanding that there is “day” and “night”, 2 parts to a 24-hour period (or 1 complete earth rotation). The evening is the transition period between day and night, and the morning is the transition period between night and day (boqer being the breaking forth of light). I may be off on the precision of when these take place (their start and finish), but the gist is the morning comes at the end of the night and is considered the start of the day, and the evening comes at the latter part of the day and ushers in the night. The enumeration of the days are simply enumerating the day portions of the 24-hour periods, while the nights are not mentioned.

    Regarding your question about the Sabbath day, I think there is a premise being introduced here that one typically works in the day, and not in the night. (See also John 9:4.) Hence the reason we are told to keep the Sabbath DAY holy. Typically we work in the day and sleep in the night…we are told to do our work in 6 days but on the 7th day we are told not to work. (Sabbath means to “rest” as in “stop” or “cease”, not “rest” as in “sleep”.) As for the night…we sleep, and we do that every night (some more than others…ha!).

    Regarding the sun being darkened and the moon not giving her light, Ezekiel 32:7-8 specifically says YHVH “will cover the sun with a cloud”. If that is the case, then the sun will not give its light, thereby prohibiting the moon to reflect any light at all. Or, the cloud can be blocking both the sun and the moon from giving light to the earth. But I don’t believe this is an example of the earth coming between the sun and the moon. I believe this is referencing an exceptional sign.

    I have a different take on the moon’s role regarding YHVH’s moedim (annual feasts and monthly offerings), but I’ll save that for another post.

    Thanks again for sharing your perspective. 🙂

    Reply

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