*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Genesis 1:2-5 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 1:2
  • Genesis 1:3
  • Genesis 1:4
  • Genesis 1:5

This is the first full day of creation. God creates light and separates it from the darkness. He names the light “day” and the darkness “night.”

The earth was empty and dark. Isaiah explains God’s purpose in forming the earth.

“For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited),
I am the LORD, and there is none else.”
(Isaiah 45:18).

The Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters; the Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit. We see the third member of the Godhead present during creation too.

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Throughout Scripture, we see a symbolic use of the words light and darkness (i.e. good and evil). In the book of John, Jesus spoke to the people and said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12), and “this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed” (John 3:19-20).

Jesus is the light of the world and the darkness represents evil or the absence of God.

We also read in 1 John 1:5 that “…God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” The physical world God created reflects spiritual realities, including the nature of the triune God Himself. Romans 1:20 tells us that God created the world around us in order for God to be “clearly seen.”

God declared that the light was good. In other words, He blessed the light and gave it His stamp of approval. God then divides the light from the darkness and He calls the light “day.” He calls the darkness “night.” This ends the first day of creation.

While here in this world, we have light and darkness. When God recreates the new heaven and the new earth, God will dwell among us and the glory of the Lord will be the actual “lamp” that lights the entire world, so there will be no darkness. (Revelation 21:23-24).

Biblical Text

2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

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