Sunday: Sun, Moon and Stars

Read Genesis 1:14-19. What actions are mentioned on the fourth day of

Image © Standard Publishing from

Image © Standard Publishing from

Creation? How are we to make sense of this, especially given our present understanding of the physical world?

The fourth day has probably been discussed more than any of the other six Creation days. If the sun was created on the fourth day, what caused the daily cycles for the first three Creation days? On the other hand, if the sun already existed, what happened on the fourth day?

Uncertainty over the events of the fourth day of Creation does not arise from a logical contradiction but from a plurality of possibilities. One possibility is that the sun was created on the fourth day, and the light for the first three days came from God’s presence or from another source such as a supernova. Revelation 21:23 is consistent with this idea, as the sun is not needed in the heavenly city because God is there. A second possibility is that the sun, moon, and stars were appointed their functions at that time. Psalm 8:3 seems consistent with this view. Hebrew scholar C. John Collins writes that the Hebrew wording of Genesis 1:14 may allow either of these two possibilities. (See C. John Collins, Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary [Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R Publishing Co., 2006], p. 57.)

A third possibility is that the sun was already in existence but was obscured by clouds or volcanic dust and was not visible or fully functional until the fourth day. One can compare this possibility with the planet Venus, where a similar situation occurs today.

The text does not seem clearly to endorse or rule out any of these interpretations, although this does not deter strong opinions on the topic. It is probably a good rule not to give a question more significance than the Bible gives it, and we ought to acknowledge that our understanding is limited. This acknowledgment, especially in the area of creation, shouldn’t be that hard to accept. After all, think about how many scientific mysteries exist at present; that is, they are right here for experimental science to investigate and yet still remain mysteries. How much more mysterious is something hidden so far in the past?



Sunday: Sun, Moon and Stars — 43 Comments

  1. It seems apparent to me that there was light when God spoke the words "Let there be light". Where it came from is debatable. It may have illuminated from the glory of God, or it may have illuminated from Heaven (streets of gold and all of the other jewels, etc.....).

    But the lights created on the 4th day were created especially to serve all of the stated functions in Gen. 1:14-19.

    • The light was clearly created on the first day and the lights on the first day. Can I try to use an example? A clock reflects time but it doesnt create time because time was already there. The sun, moon and stars were given authority to rule during the day and night when they were created on the fourth day but the light created by GOD on first day was enough to distinguish between day and night

      • I do not understand why there are so many different views on creating light and lights during the creation week. On Day1 God created light (אור) which means electromagnetic radiation (light rays). On Day4 God created (מאור) which means the sources of light (lamp, torch, fire). As people, we cannot produce light rays without first producing the source of light, but God can do it. Let us not interpret what God has done by limiting Him to do what we are able to do. When Moses said that He created lights (lamps in the sky) why should we interpret that they have already existed but were obscured? What are the basis for this interpretation? Why should we call David’s poetry to imply that on Day4 God only gave certain functions to the already existing lamps and ignore what Moses said? As I see it, we should be taking the immediate context of Day4 and say that God created (made, produced) the Sun that did not existed in Day3. (If we are to follow David’s poetry, we should also say that God hammered the heaven with his fingers (Ps 8:3) which to me does not make much sense.) Do we have any reasons to not take what the Bible plainly says? It makes good sense to me as it is.

        • Am with you. We are so used to light that can be traced to some source. Why can't we believe that God created light on the first day. Light independent of his glory or any source..

    • Amen Carrol. We need to accept in faith the creation story and stop trying to rationalize everything. Psalms 33:9 states , "For He spake, and it was; He commanded, and it stood fast." I do not understand it but I put my full faith and trust in the Creator of this universe. When I get to Heaven I will sit at His feet as He explains the entire Creation Story and others stories I never understood her on earth.

  2. On Sunday, the statement "One possibility is that the sun was created on the fourth day, and the light for the first three days came from God’s presence" raises a question. We know that, God is light, 1 John 1:5, therefore, we can be sure that God's presence was not the "light" that he spoke into existence, or He would not have commanded "let there be light" because He already is.

    • One thing for sure is that the light that was spoken into existence was enough to distinguish between day and night. The sun, moon, starz, were given authority to rule when they were created on day4. Light and sun are two different things created by God. Psalms74:16. GOD reserves the authority to stop the sun from giving light by withdrawing that priviledge. Matthew24:29, Isaiah13:10.

  3. The passion to be in heaven gets stronger. The desire to see our God wax stronger by limitations we acknowledge in our understanding about the mystery of creation. God would be there to difuse our assumptions and provide us with the true interpretation of Gen 1:14-19. Find time to be in heaven

    • I am there with you on this one. Our minds are too small, and we lack the necessary understanding to discern the depth of these things, no matter how intelligent we claim to be. Let's live so we can see our Saviour's magnificent face, and get our questions answered. God bless

  4. I personally think on the issue of lights,we confuse our selves a little bit. Because when you read carefully you realise that God has forever been eternal light. When He first let there be light,he refered to the sequence of day and night because the Earth needed its own light for inhabitation. The second light He created was a separation now,accordingly,meaning the stars had to go with the moon and all and then the sun in its self stand alone. So the first light was that light meant for us,the people on earth,the day and night kind of light.

  5. We acknowledge our limitations in our understanding about the mystery of creation. It is my fervent prayer that we get the opportunity to meet God face to face where the creator would defuse our human assumptions and provide us with the true interpretation.

  6. To me it is not hadr to explain. There is daylight. God himself named it. There is darkness which again God called night. Even without any sunlight, on the cloudiest or stormiest of days we know when it is day and we know when it is night. It is the cycle which God himself created. God is not a confusing God. We as man want to make things seem impossible but if you just sit back and let God be God you can see the works and understand His ways. The text says the sun was created to rule the day. That is exactky what it does. The other lights were for the night. Just let the work of my awesome Master continue to awe us. He IS GOD. Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM. Remember...EYES HAVE NOT SEEN NOR EARS HEARD NOR HAVE IT ENTERED INTO THE THOUGHTS OF MEM THE THINGS...I personally believe we waste time trying to fit God into our measly human capabilities....BY FAITH I BELIEVE THAT GOD SPOKE AND IT WAS SO...I really don't need to know what time and just how. All I know is that HIS SON IS ON THE WAY AND I HAVE TO BE READY...NOT GOT READY BUT BE READY

  7. If humans were able to decipher all the mysteries of creation, than it somehow in my view would diminishes the sovereignty of the Almighty God. Somethings are left unknown so that we exercise faith. Like others have said, it also increases my eagerness to ask Him when we get to heaven.

    • Louisdon,

      I suppose there are creatures at different levels of understanding. And since we are still in a world of sins, we are even more limited. And there must be different levels of power too, in any case there is so much to learn from God, the Infinite one, creatures are by nature finite in their entity in terms of capacity, even if they are to live eternally with God and there is room to grow in Him. So this intimate relationship of faith and love with God is one to cherish as it is the meaning of our being fulfilled in Jesus. Your comments brought me to meditate on the issue...

  8. To me what difference does the question of what happened on the fourth day really make. The whole point is that God made the environment we live in and then He made us, that makes us accountable to Him. We are not our own but are His possession - He owns us. All of that establishes the reason why He deserves to be worshiped.

    He also loves us to the extent that He made everything good, even set aside a day "for man" (Mk 2:27). Besides, on top of that He died for us demonstrating just how much He really loved us from the beginning. That gives us a very good reason to love Him in return.

    The bottom line is that the creation account establishes our relationship to God. Without that there is no real good reason to worship Him as our sovereign Lord.

  9. when I reviewed my english dictionay... light is defined as energy producing brightness.

    when God said "let there be light"... maybe... it meant as some sort energy or force.. to start everything in His creation...

    it may not be the "light" that we are thinking it is... maybe,
    "light" is the only word known to human... and it is the only word that we can express and comprehend...

    God in His being... we can not understand.
    Even His love, we cannot comprehend.. to think that He created everything, and we are so small.. and yet, He died for us.

    • Light is a form of energy, and for the ancient people it would mean what we now call visible light (or electromagnetic radiation). If God chose to tell us this, He knew what He was doing, and He expected us to understand. So, let us not back off and make it difficult. The concept of light is not difficult, even children know what it is. If you close your eyes, you see nothing, if you open them, you see the light reflected from various objects. The brain interprets the light and we learn about our surroundings. God created light, exactly as it says.

  10. As I have come to understand the Scriptures all that Moses and the Prophets wrote were for our time. Time is measured by movement. God assigned the sun, moon and stars to play that role. The word seasons in the Hebrew is moedim, which means God's appointed times. The Scriptures tell us that Satan will think to change those times to distort God's time of worship. The issue at the end of time is the day of worship. Whose calendar are you worshiping on? The God you worship is identified by how He measures time.

  11. Brethren, creation as awhole is a mystery. God created sun, moon, and stars to show the time when days, years, and religious festivals begin; on the other hand they are to give light in order to be able to see clearly all the time. Our God is a God of order he creats the sun to enable the vegetation to make food for the animals to eat.

    I cant say that light was created but it was there!God himself is light and there is no darkness in him, so his presence is light.


    Some wonder how we could have evenings and mornings on the first four days of creation when the sun was not created until the fourth day. Various explanatory views are listed below.

    In some ways it appears that God may have created light two times; on the first day when there was light, and on the fourth day when he created the sun.

    God himself might have provided the light on the first 3 days since He provides the light for the city in heaven (Revelation 21:23).

    Some suggest that God created the sun on the first day, which gave some light, but the sun did not become visible until the fourth day when an original dark cloud (Job 38:9) was removed and the sun, moon and stars became visible then.

    Possibly most of the solar system was created on day four. The earth was created earlier, on or even before day one, and it rotated on its own giving evenings and mornings for the first three creation days.

    The sun could have been created earlier, but it did not emit light. It was there to provide gravitational force to keep the earth and other planets in orbit. On day four, God turned the sun on to provide a permanent source of light and heat for the earth.

    Another idea is that the sun and planets existed long before creation week. A partial lifting of the dark cloud (Job 38:9) on the first day of creation resulted in light and evenings and mornings. Later, on the fourth day, a complete removal of the dark cloud resulted in the sun, moon, and stars becoming visible from the earth. This somewhat complicated process appears contrived but can also explains several things.

    In Genesis 1:16, it is stated that God made “the stars also.” This is considered by some scholars to be a parenthetical statement, added on, and not a statement that God created the stars on the fourth day, as some believe, since the same verse begins with the assertion that God created two great lights and not all lights.

    I tend to lean towards the idea of the sun being turned on or a cloud cover removed on the fourth day, but I am not sure.

    Which model one adopts can be influenced by whether one believes that all the universe, or just the solar system, or just preparing and creating life on earth, is what occurred during creation week. None of these various models changes the fact that creation week was in six days and that God asks us to keep the seventh day Sabbath holy as a memorial of that day, and for our own spiritual growth.

    • Genesis 1:1 God created heaven and earth. Heaven includes all. When God spake light into existence, He set earth spinning in orbit. Why? because from God's presence light is emanated rotation of earth will have presence of day and night and we know that God was present in creation during that time. To suggest presence of volcanos is not biblical as volcanos came into being after flood (read PP p, 108 and 1SP 82). Some here believe with the rest of the world that the earth is molten inside, wrong no such record is given anywhere. We are clearly told volcanos, earth quakes are the result of burning coal and oil deposits coming into contact with lime and water causing furious explosions which are vented through volcanos and if such venting is restricted earthquakes are the result. Sun as a star or body came into being 1st day but like earth needed activation to do its purpose.

      • No my friend the sun was never created on day1. read again your bible Ariel A Roth. The was no activation my friend, God created the sun, moon and stars on day4. The sun was given authority to give light and that authority remains with God.
        Remember in the new heaven and new earth there is no need for the sun to shine. Revelation 21:23. A clock reflects time but in itself it is not time, the sun reflects light but in itself it is not light. Psalms74:16 distinguishes between the two, the light and the sun.

        • The language used does not state directly that the stars were made on the fourth day. The subject is the two lights, the greater and the lesser. The word translated in the KJV into the phrase "He made the stars also" is not translated that way in all other uses of that single word. Notice the language of the YLT for Genesis 1:16; "and the stars".

          We have to believe the stars existed in order for other worlds to exist, and the evidence is that they existed prior to the creation of this earth, as they looked on and shouted for joy at the marvelous work of God in creating this world. Also, Lucifer's rebellion was in full activity by the creation of our world and we are not the only world he has attempted to win to his support. Our world was the first and only to accept his deception.

          So the stars existed prior to the fourth day. Read again the creation account and I would have to guess that the moon was given rule of the night "with the stars" or "as the stars" (The single word is thought to mean "star" or "stargazer") Only Moses could explain what he was describing with the words he penned. We simply don't know for certain, but must safely assume the stars were there already. If made on the fourth day, did all the other worlds live without their suns until that day? Why did we get our "star" when our world was created and the others didn't? Doesn't make sense. But giving the moon rule of the night "with" the stars makes good sense.

          One other option: with the speed of light and the distance of those stars, it could be that God made them visible that day since many would probably not yet be visible if God did not "speed up" the speed of light. Remember, God's creation was mature when spoken into existence. Adam and Eve did not have to wait around for the trees to bear fruit, and their night sky was also "complete", as if it had always been there. Not a star was missing!

          Yes, this finite mortal will have questions, not a few!

  13. The opinions posted here are thought provoking but mainly exhibit a true faith in the creative power of our Lord. My 2 mites worth is that God said “let there be light so all can witness what I am about to do. I do not like working in darkness and I will hide nothing from my creatures”. I think it will be interesting that in heaven other creatures throughout the universe will be informing us that they witnessed the whole creation process. As far as the light source itself, I am sure it was just as unique as His creative abilities. The sun and moon literally got the ball rolling (turning) to aid in measuring time for our sakes.

  14. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time. Revelation 12:12, NKJV.
    And He said unto them, i beheld Satan as lighting fall from Heaven. Luke 10:18, NKJV.
    And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation. Revelation 12:7-9.
    And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. Jude 1:6,13.

    God presence is light...Revelation 22:5, 21:23...According to Ellen White, in Chirst Object Lessons, earth is the lesson book for the unfallen worlds. Thus in the story of creation, we see hints of the great controversy. Satan upon being cast from heaven, decided on making earth his last stance (Please see the book redemption story by Ellen White). Thus the darkness that was upon the face of the deep, could very well be the duality of the physical and spiritual...thus the Statement "Let there be Light", is a statement of command to the force of darkness to stand-down/Stand back, and let the glory of God be manifested (providing literal light). God divided the Light from the darkness; suggest also the need for light and darkness to be separated. In the earth made new, when sin, death and the devil is defeated, this paradox of light and darkness, which is symbolic of the great controversy will no longer be maintained. Hence the new earth will have no night, as Jesus Christ will be the source of Light for the new earth for time and eternity. Revelation 21:23 & 22:5.

  15. I don't see that it matters which possibility is the true one, I take the Bible at face value, and believe the word as it is written. I think we spend too much time arguing the toss, what happened when, which came first....and not enough time being "still, and KNOW that I AM GOD"

  16. Discussions are important and we gain knowledge from each other, provided it is based on Scripture and not opinions. We do not study the Bible or learn from each other in order to keep the knowledge to ourselves, rather as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, we must be ready to instruct "non believers" who certainly ask a lot of questions. There are many who are ready to discredit the Bible. 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. Also, Jesus commanded, Matthew 28:19-20 to go and "teach" all nations and to baptise and to "teach" all to "obey" all things He has commanded. In order to teach, we have to be equipped with a knowledge of the Scriptures. We may find ourselves in a situation with a non believer or a believer of another denomination who will ask, why we believe in the Bible? Or, why are we Seventh-Day Adventists? We must be ready, in season and out of season for the eternal life of that soul is at stake.

  17. I think the light before the fourth day is that of Jesus Christ. John 1:4-5 "The word was the source of life and this life brought light to shine to humanity. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out." the light mentioned is not that of the sun, moon or stars but its that of Jesus Christ.

  18. I am satisfied with the fact that our glorious God created the heavens and the earth and all the compliments that comes with it. We have finite minds so we may never be able to fully understand everything about God. Let's all strive to get to heaven so that we might ask Him all the "hows?" and "whys?"

  19. the sun and moon where to replace the function of our Lord's light so as to upgrade the functions such as determination of seasons..Again on the First day they was no division of waters to have the Heavens where the Sun ,moon and stars where to be placed

  20. Let us confuse ourselves ladies and gentlemen with the light and lights issue. God created light on the first day and the sun, moon, stars on the fourth day. A clock reflects time but in itself it is not time. The sun, moon and stars give the light the get from GOD who is light. Light and the sum were created on the first and fourth day respectively. Psalms74:16 tells us that, "THOU HAST PREPARED THE LIGHT AND THE SUN". These two are different. Remember the bible when it talks about the signs of his coming, says, those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light... Matthew24:29 what will have happened is that the creator will have withdrawn his light

  21. I do not subscribe to the author' idea that we are like the planet venus. The bible clearly said that light was created on day 1 and the lights on day 4. The sun only reflect the light that it gets from God because it was given that authority in Genesis 1:16.
    That authority can be withdrawn by God, for example, Matthew 24:29 and Isaiah 13:10.

  22. Perhaps the lesson in creation is not to figure out the missing details, but to see the example God gave in making that which was "without form and void" into a place of life, joy and beauty, with every part living in service to all other parts.

    In His example of creating this world we can learn the lesson of Gospel Order. What should be the first "light" that shines in dark hearts? The Law or the goodness of God that leads to repentance? In the end, if perfect order is followed, the work will be to God's glory and called "good" as sinners are made into His likeness.

    God will teach us His lessons if we seek them and ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit, and by God's grace meet every condition set forth for it's reception. As for our many reasoning's, we should follow the counsel of Paul to the Corinthians and cast them down, "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;".

  23. light and darkness originate with God,Is.45:7. Job.38:9. and like all His creation they obey His command as seen in the storm on the sea of Galilee." even the wind and the waves obey Him!."
    So God did not have to depend on the light of the sun and the moon to provide light on the first three days. lets not limit God's ability to the limitation of our minds.

  24. As I read posts at this blog I cannot help by note that people bring more and more alternative ideas to the creation account written by Moses. Does the Bible require or suggest these alternative teachings anywhere? So far nobody explained why they bring alternative ideas, not to mention that these ideas should be substantiated. I would like to be wrong, but at the moment I guess that if anyone has in mind any support for what they say, it must be non-biblical. To me the Bible does not require looking for interpretation in evolutionary hypothesis, yet in my understanding this is what predominates posts at this blog.
    As every contributing writer of the Bible and one of the greatest people of God, Moses must have had just one description of creation, and did his best to convey it clearly. How come that we multiply ideas instead of focusing on what Moses said? Let us limit our creativity in the area of producing more options, but rather focus on what Moses said in plain language, and try to make sense of what he said. Also, let us not forget that God is able to make miracles, or we will end up in the naturalistic explanation of the existence of cosmos (evolution).

  25. The point of the discussion in the lesson was to show that the the wording allows for some different interpretations, and that reasonable and committed Bible believers may come to interpretations that are a bit different. This provides the opportunity for us to recognize our own limitations, and to be gentle with those who interpret the words responsibly but yet differently from our own interpretations. When a point is linguisitically ambiguous and theologically trivial, it is not productive to be dogmatic about the interpretation.

  26. Thank God for this wonderful lesson which is telling us the story of creation. i want say that God is perfect he does not make mistakes, but we do! that alone is enough to believe that God create everything perfect, having know this, the Bible also warn us not to rely on our own understanding but of God; then why are we trying to mention what God did not said it during his creation by ASSUMPTION! therefore we must have to be very careful the way we interpret the Bible, very important. And it's not any question that we have an answer here on earth! why because Satan is working very hard here, sometimes we mislead people instead of directing them to the right way! remember the Bible said; "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word remain forever' so we should believe with what the Bible said about creation not trying to correct what is not in the Bible, and invite the holy spirit to take control. Thank you.

  27. why do we worry ourselves thinking about mysteries in the bible whiles the answer is our Lord Jesus Christ.Lets make it a point to be in Heaven and all secrets shall be revealed to us.

  28. Brother Whiteman, thanks for thought-provoking post. It raises a few questions.
    1). Why do you think that the language of Gn1:16 “does not state directly that the stars were made on the fourth day”?
    2). Why do you think that the subject of Gn1:16 is only “the two lights,” excluding the stars?
    3). The language of YLT “and the stars” (without the translator-added ‘also’) only tells me that the stars were included in the subject of Gn1:16. Do you have anything else in mind?
    4). The YLT also teaches that both the small luminary AND the stars were to rule the night. The LitV says even stronger “the small luminary and the stars to rule the night.” Have you considered that? Does it not show that the subject of Gn1:16 includes the stars?
    5). You mention the evidence that exists for other worlds to exist prior to the creation week. Do you mean planets that revolve around their stars like our planet revolves around the Sun?
    6). Do you believe that the sons of God who “shouted for joy” (Jb38:7) during the creation week came from other planets like ours to admire God’s work? Do you imply that they were physical beings like humans?
    7). How do you know that “we are not the only world he [Satan] has attempted to win to his support”?
    8). Why do you think we have to believe that stars existed prior to the creation week? Is there any reason for this notion?
    9). You draw a conclusion (or at least it looks like) “So the stars existed prior to the fourth day” and two sentences later you say that we “must safely assume the stars were there already.” To me it looks like a self-supporting argument (circular reference): you assume that the stars existed prior to the fourth day, therefore the stars existed prior to the fourth day. Is there any biblical support for your statement and/or assumption?
    10). By the way, what is the difference between safe and unsafe assumption?
    11). You assert that only Moses could explain in Gn1:16. Why do you think so? Did not he write the text for us to understand? Did not God inspire him to convey His message to us? And if you do not understand what Moses said about stars in Gn1:16, why do you insist that the stars existed prior to the fourth day? To make such a statement you should first understand Gn1:16 and make sure that it does not contradict your statement. If you do not know what Gn1:16 says, it follows that you do not understand what it does not say. So, how did you derive your conclusion that the stars existed prior to the fourth day described in Gn1:16?
    12). If the moon and the stars were given the task to govern the night, as described in Gn1:16, why do you think that only Moses could describe what he panned? Do not we understand it?
    (I need to wait with the issue of other worlds getting their “stars” until you demonstrate that these worlds exist and need them.)
    13). If it is possible for God to increase the speed of light so that Adam and Eve could see all stars from the day they were created, it means that the light reaching the earth from all stars is not the reason for the stars to exist prior the creation week. Do you agree? If yes, then your argument about stars existing prior to the fourth day should be discarded.
    14). Why would God need to “speed up” light rays? Do you mean that the light from distant stars did not reach the earth before the creation week even though the stars already existed prior to the fourth day? This would mean that your argument about pre-existent stars serves no purpose.
    15). If God created mature people and fruit trees, could he have created mature heaven with all stars created on Day4 and with light rays passing the earth from Day1?
    16). God created light rays on Day1. How would the stars exist for a long time yet without being able to produce light rays?


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