In Genesis 1:3–5 we read: “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light. And God saw the light that it was good. And God divided between the light and the darkness. And God called the light, Day. And He called the darkness, Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
Genesis 1:14–19 tells us that the sun and the moon were not created until Day 4, nevertheless there was still a day-night cycle as at present (Exodus 20:11). To account for this, creationists usually conclude that God provided the Day 1 light source, that it was on one side of Earth, and that it was the cause of the day-night sequence on a rotating Earth.1
In our experience, light needs a source, but this source does not have to be the sun, moon or stars. Other sources are fire, lightning, electric light globes, fluorescent tubes, luminous insects such as glow-worms and fireflies, etc. In the Bible, we also find many examples of light without the sun, but originating from a supernatural source. Most of these are associated with the glory of God, which in the Bible is usually manifested as light, although sometimes as fire. This is not surprising, as the Bible tells us that God is light (1 John 1:5; cf. John 8:12), and also that God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24;Hebrews 12:29).
Biblical examples of supernaturally caused light, in addition to Genesis 1:3, include the following:2
- During the three-day plague of darkness on all the land of Egypt, all the Israelites had light in their dwellings (Exodus 10:23).
- In the exodus from Egypt, God led the Israelites by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire, to give them light, during the night (Exodus 13:21). At night the pillar of cloud moved and stood between the Egyptians and the Israelites, and there was darkness for the pursuing Egyptians, but light by night for the Israelites (Exodus 14:20).3
- When Moses descended from Mt Sinai with the two tablets of stone, the skin of his face shone as a result of his having talked with God (Exodus 34:29)….
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