Meditating on the Book of Genesis: 1.14-19

When I said I’d do daily readings I may have been overly ambitious but it’s still a good goal, especially if I keep the sections smaller. Anyway, today I’m meditating upon Genesis 1.14-23.

NRSV:
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 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 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon 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. 

CEB:
14 God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will mark events, sacred seasons, days, and years. 15 They will be lights in the dome of the sky to shine on the earth.” And that’s what happened.16 God made the stars and two great lights: the larger light to rule over the day and the smaller light to rule over the night. 17 God put them in the dome of the sky to shine on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was.

19 There was evening and there was morning: the fourth day.

BHS:

1.14 –
This god’s creative activity centers around separating (לְהַבְדִּ֕יל בֵּ֥ין)—Day and Night; Above-Waters and Below-Waters, Below-Waters and Dry Land—and name/purposing: Day; Night; Dome; Above-Waters; Below-Waters; vegetation; seed; fruit-bearing trees; etc.

1.16 –
Sun and Moon, or the ‘Greater’ Light and the ‘Lesser’ Light, rule the Day/Night. Many in the ancient world worshipped these lights as gods. They don’t receive this status here but they’re recognized as important nevertheless. Though their importance is contextualized as being non-gods created by the Creator God.

Theological Interpretation
The Creator’s activity as Creator isn’t making things out of nothing (Creatio ex Nihilo) here but organization of things created. It may be implied that these things were created previously but these acts of creation isn’t that act of creation. These acts of creation are organizing boundaries, designating authorities, and purposing. The Creator God oversee and administrates. The created things do as they are told—even the Greater and Lesser Lights.

1.6-13
1.1-5

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