3rd and 4th Days (Genesis 1)

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Rufus

Puritan Board Junior
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[e] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,[f] and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
- Genesis 1:11-14.


Question: How can the vegetation exist on the third day prior to the sun on the fourth day?
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Light was already created. The sun was then created to be a dispenser of the already created light. Apparently, such an arrangement did not harm the plants.

So says Calvin:

"14. Let there be lights Moses passes onwards to the fourth day, on which the stars were made. God had before created the light, but he now institutes a new order in nature, that the sun should be the dispenser of diurnal light, and the moon and stars should shine by night. And He assigns them this office, to teach us that all creatures are subject to his will, and execute what he enjoins upon them. For Moses relates nothing else than that God ordained certain instruments to diffuse through the earth, by reciprocal changes, that light which had been previously created. The only difference is this, that the light was before dispersed, but now proceeds from lucid bodies; which in serving this purpose, obey the command of God."

"Let there be light It we proper that the light, by means of which the world was to be adorned with such excellent beauty, should be first created; and this also was the commencement of the distinction, (among the creatures.) It did not, however, happen from inconsideration or by accident, that the light preceded the sun and the moon. To nothing are we more prone than to tie down the power of God to those instruments the agency of which he employs. The sun and moon supply us with light: And, according to our notions we so include this power to give light in them, that if they were taken away from the world, it would seem impossible for any light to remain. Therefore the Lord, by the very order of the creation, bears witness that he holds in his hand the light, which he is able to impart to us without the sun and moon. Further, it is certain from the context, that the light was so created as to be interchanged with darkness. But it may be asked, whether light and darkness succeeded each other in turn through the whole circuit of the world; or whether the darkness occupied one half of the circle, while light shone in the other. There is, however, no doubt that the order of their succession was alternate, but whether it was everywhere day at the same time, and everywhere night also, I would rather leave undecided; nor is it very necessary to be known."

Edit: I agree with the above post.
 

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
A plant can live without light for one day, anyway.

Thief!!! Taking my response!!!!

:D

Seriously, they only needed one day without sunlight. And there was an unknown light that functioned at least until the placement of the sun the next day.

You see? If you hold to a literal rendering of the six day creation, it explains quite a bit.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
A plant can live without light for one day, anyway.

I wonder what those who hold to it not being a literal day do with this one. What would they say? Would they give Miss Marple's answer but how can plants live for thousands of years? Or would they give Josh's answer free to work above ordinary providence, especially in His creating acts? Both would bring inconsistencies (at least in my opinion) in their view of longer than literal days. Thoughts? (Not trying to derail...)
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Romans922 said:
I wonder what those who hold to it not being a literal day do with this one. What would they say?
The Day-Age view I am familiar with would state that the perspective of the person in the narrative is that of an observer on earth. Thus, when God created the light, it was actually the sun, stars, galaxies, etc., but the observer on earth could not see through the dust clouds (which came from the earth's formation into a planet, as spelled out in modern scientific theory) on earth to see them. Enough light gets through the dust clouds covering the earth to help the plants that would have been able to exist at that time (other kinds of plants would come later). As the dust clouds are removed, the plants are better able to thrive, and other plants are able to thrive.

On day 4, the dust cloud is finally removed by God to reveal the sun, moon, and stars (remember again, it is claimed the perspective is that of an observer on the earth), and now all sorts of plants can finally thrive. Oftentimes, it is believed that the day plants were made, it is only required that they were begun to be made--that is, that not all plants of all kinds were made at that time, but only certain kinds, after which others would sprout up later--all according to the order we've found them to come by in modern science. I'd imagine a similar view would be held by others who do not hold to a literal day but hold to an historical view of Genesis 1, but I could be wrong.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Have you read EJ Young's Studies in Genesis one? I suggest you do. He basically says that the sun was created on day four so as not to be worshipped, after all when Moses wrote it they had come out of a society that did that. In other words, it's God's way of saying I created it and that he could do what ever with it.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
A Critique of Howard J. Van Till's The Fourth Day. 1988 Samuel E. Waldron

If you can find the book named above it is really a good little booklet.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Trent
In other words, it's God's way of saying I created it and that he could do what ever with it.

Or, rather He's saying, "The sun that you worship isn't as indispensible as you imagine". If it hadn't really happened that the sun was created after the plants, this point would lose some of its argumentative force.

I think the fact that it appears that day and night were created on day one along with light for that purpose, doesn't comport with a metaphorical view of the days.

Is this the creation of metaphorical days within the metaphor of metaphorical days, or of real days within the metaphorical days? More likely real days are created in day one and continue throughout the creation week It just seems very clumsy if these aren't real days that are being created on day one, and real days that are spoken of throughout the creation week.

God had to create real day and night on day one if He was to create on real days and nights.
 
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