Creation Week, part 1
NIV – And God said, “Let there be light” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness he called “Night.” And there was evening and there was morning – the first day.
KJV – Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that [it was] good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
LXX – 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 between the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night, and there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
There is an interesting implication in the Greek in verse 4. The word for light is singular, but the word used for darkness is a form which can be singular or plural. The Greek itself uses the word ‘between’ both before ‘the light’ and before ‘the darkness.’ It appears we have a double meaning here. In the next verse the reference is obviously to the earth, as there is evening and morning, the first day. A day is established by a directional light source and the rotating earth. So by this point the earth has been formed and is rotating.
Where is the light coming from? Many people think this is a spiritual light, as Christ is described as the light of the world in the New Testament. But Genesis is talking about a physical creation, and so this is a physical light. When plasma filaments are studied in their interactions with one another we can see what happens. First the radio galaxies form, and then the ultra-brilliant quasars are formed and light up. When the math correction is done, correcting atomic time to orbital time (via the red shift curve), the result is the lighting of the quasars in the middle of day one (which would be the morning, since the 24 hour day started with sundown the night before). This would include the quasar in the middle of our Milky Way Galaxy. With the Zero Point Energy quite low at this point, the light from our quasar would reach us in a few seconds, not the thousands of years it would now take.
The reason for the speed of light slowing, very quickly, is that the Zero Point Energy is made up of electromagnetic waves of all sorts of lengths going in every direction. When two of them hit, they form a peak of energy which manifests as a virtual particle pair -- one is negative and the other positive. In an instant they snap back together and are gone. This is why they are called 'virtual' particles. But during their brief existence, they are just as capable of absorbing a photon of light as any larger particle would be. When they slam back together the photon of light goes on its way, and at its original speed. With just a few virtual particles, when the universe was new and the Zero Point Energy low, light traveled from source to final destination with almost nothing in the way and its speed was something like 10 billion times its current speed. However today, with the ZPE as high as it is, the educated guess is that there are about 1040 virtual particles in a cubic yard of space. That's a 1 with 40 zeros after it. So while it only took a few seconds for the light from our quasar to get to us on day 1, today it takes eight full minutes just for light to get from the sun to us.
There is a clear implication of a formed and spinning earth at this point. Day and night require only a light source, not necessarily the sun. Our early quasar would have been a strong, steady light source until the sun kicked in.
So what about the light and darkness separation? Most consider this simply a reference to the earth spinning and day and night thus being established. But the Greek also allows another, additional interpretation: the separations of light and dark throughout the universe. When we look at the grammar, we read “between the light and between the darkness,” not, as our modern translators have phrased it “between the light and the darkness.” While both are true, the implication in the Greek is more than one light and more than one darkness. Thus we have the stretching of the universe causing the plasma filaments to sort themselves out into the large ‘strands’ and patterns we see today, with vast spaces of darkness between them.
[Note: Feb. 2010 -- a question about the dividing between the light and dark has just been added to the Discussion section]
God made it possible, in other words, for the earliest writers to understand in their own terms as well as scientists much later to be able to look at the phrasing and see another implication – one which definitely supports the concept of a plasma universe.
Now there is another interesting ‘problem’ which people bring up. The Bible indicates the earth was formed and rotating before the sun was possibly formed, or at least lit up. Is this possible?
This is not only possible, it is to be expected with plasma filaments. Plasma filaments themselves can, and do, fragment into what would remind one of a cable with a lot of wires in it.
The magnetic field will keep these fragmented filaments somewhat together, as we can see in spiral galaxies.
In the above galaxy there are two main filaments which have interacted. Each, however, has fragmented itself so that you see the splaying out at the outer ends. On a smaller scale, such as our solar system, essentially the same thing happened. When the 'cable' filament pinched, the outer sub-filament reacted first, forming a ‘ball’ of some sort at the pinch. The pinching effect progresses inward, with a series of ‘balls’ beginning to rotate about the center. The last part to be affected is the central core, which, under the pressure of the pinch, then lights up. The earth, as well as the other planets, are these ‘balls’ which formed. And they all formed before the sun lit up.
Plasma does something else fascinating. It sorts elements. The elements with the lowest ionization potential are collected in the middle, with increase ionization potentials layering outside of that. This not only happened with the formation of the planets themselves, individually, but with the planets in relation to each other. Each planet has its heaviest elements in the middle with the lighter, and less easily ionized elements, layering as you go toward the surface. This is exactly what we find with Earth.
But this is also what we find among the different planets. Those closer to the middle of the solar system have the highest ratios of heavy elements. So Mercury has a very large iron core. It’s about 75% of its diameter! But as we progress out from the sun, the heavy cores decrease in their relative sizes to the planets involved and the lighter, less easily ionized elements are more abundant. This is why the rocky planets are closer to the sun with the gas giants much further out.
Here is Mercury:
Now, compare it to some of the other planets:
The easiest elements to ionize are the heavy radioactive elements. They are at the cores of the planets, in varying amounts depending on the position of the planets. The heavy metals are next, and, as you move outward from the core, after the heavy metals, come the silicates. Then magnesium, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.
Biblically, then, as well as in the plasma model, the planets started off cool and then heated from the inside. This solves many of the geological problems presented by the mainstream idea of a hot, molten earth at the beginning. For example, some of the earliest dated rocks that geologists have found are metamorphic. That means they started out as sedimentary rocks, which are water deposited materials, and then heated later, and changed into metamorphic rocks. Geologists have also discovered a special form of oxygen in some of the earliest zircon crystals. For this form of oxygen to be in the rocks, it would have been in water, and this means cooled rocks! It also indicates a hydrologic cyce in action, meaning rain, rivers, seas, etc. The plasma model agrees with both the evidence and with the Bible.
This is a good time to discuss the meaning of ‘day.’ The word used in the Hebrew is ‘yom.’ ‘Yom’ is used exactly the way our word ‘day’ is used – it can have several meanings.
In Genesis 1, two qualifiers are used, however, which guarantee the meaning intended is a 24 hour day. Ordinal numbers are used: first day, second day, third day, etc. This is indicating something specific and not a generalized time frame. In addition, the qualifiers of ‘evening’ and ‘morning’ are used. This absolutely identifies the meaning of ‘yom’ in Genesis 1 as one 24 hour day. There is no other real possibility which does not do violence to the text and the way the word is used.
If an indefinite amount of time, such as an era, were meant, then the word used would most probably have been ‘olam,’ not ‘yom.’
Here is a challenge for you: please define a full day/night without using the words ‘hours,’ ‘minutes,’ or ‘seconds.’ Those three words are related specifically to the way we, now, measure time. They do not apply to creation. So what else would you use except exactly what was used? -- morning and evening and ordinal numbers.
NIV – And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse, “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day.
KJV – Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament “heaven.” So the evening and the morning were the second day.
LXX – And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water, and let it be a division between water and water, and it was so. And God made the firmament and God divided between the water which was under the firmament and the water which was above the firmament. And God called the firmament “heaven,” and God saw that it was good, and there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
The traditional understanding of this verse involves either the clouds being separated from the sea water on earth, or the formation of some kind of vapor canopy above the earth, whether lower or higher than the stratosphere. Evidence has indicated that any kind of vapor canopy below the stratosphere, in the area of our regular clouds now, would have made the earth inhospitable to life. This does not eliminate the possibility of a vapor canopy above the stratosphere in an area referred to as the thermosphere.
As we go higher into the thermosphere than the diagram on the left shows, the temperature climbs to about 3600 degrees F at an altitude of about 180 miles. In can also plunge to -225 degrees F. in other areas of the thermosphere. So there is a real possibility of a stable vapor canopy that high above the earth. It is not there now, if it ever was there. But it COULD have been there.
All that being said, when we examine the words used in these three verses very carefully, there is another possible option as to their meaning.
The Hebrew word which translates ‘firmament’ or ‘expanse’ is ‘raqia.’ The Greek word the translators of the Alexandrian LXX used was ‘stereoma.’ The Hebrew word involves the implication of something stretched out, or hammered thin. The Greek word indicates something strongly established and stable.
One quick note here: one of the standard mocking criticisms of Genesis 1 involves the word ‘raqia’ and the claim that the Hebrews thought the sky was a solid, stretched material. This has nothing to do with their historical belief, as they were as able as anyone to see birds flying through it. In short, they were not, and are not now, stupid.
Let’s look at some of the other words. We were particularly interested in the words ‘under’ and ‘above’ in relation to whatever this raqia, or stereoma, was/is.
Both words are compound words, and both begin with the Hebrew ‘min,’ a preposition used over 7500 times in the Old Testament. It is translated ‘from’ about half of those times, ‘of’ over 590 times, and various other words other times, including ‘in,’ ‘on,’ ‘than,’ and ‘some.’
To get the ‘under,’ interpretation, the ‘min’ is followed by ‘tahat.’ This word is used over 500 times in the Old Testament. It is translated ‘under’ (as in depressed, or pushed down) about 150 times, ‘succeeded’ about 65 times, ‘for’ about 35 times, ‘in place of’ about 25 times, ‘instead of’ about 20 times, etc.
The word “sky” or “heaven” is, again “shamayim.” And, again, we find it interesting that the word for waters (plural), “mayim” is the largest part of that word. Curious, as I (Helen/Penny) was typing this, I asked Barry what the ‘sha’ meant. It means “that which…etc.” If the word ‘shamayim’ is a contraction of ‘sham’ and ‘mayim’, then looking at ‘sham’ we find it means “in it,” “there,” “therein,” thither,” “thence,” etc. So we have the meaning as either “that which is water,” or “water in it.”
Thus, what we have is necessarily subject to the translators’ interpretation of the possible meanings. We are NOT criticizing any interpreters. We all do the best we can with what we know when it comes to this sort of thing! But our question is this: is the traditional interpretation correct? Could these verses be indicating, instead, what was actually happening in outer space? As the heavens were continuing to be stretched out by God Himself, the water plasmas were indeed separating out into galaxies, leaving vast voids between them.
In the same way, then, that there was a division between the light as well as between the darknesses on the first day, the Greek grammar, and the Hebrew as well, leave open the idea of a division between the waters, plural, which are not necessarily ‘above’ or ‘under’ anything in particular. Rather, the indication is that the spaces between the separations had the name of ‘shamayim.’
Thus ends day two of creation week.
NIV – And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
KJV – Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry [land] appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry [land] Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that [it was] good.
LXX – And God said, Let the water which is under the heaven be collected into one meeting, and let the dry land appear, and it was so. And the water which was under the heaven was collected into their meetings, and the dry land appeared. And God called the dry land Earth, and the systems of the waters he called Seas, and God saw that it was good.
Looking up the words used, there is no doubt at all that the earth itself is being referred to now. And it is partly for this reason that the traditional interpretation of what happened on day two involves the possible formation of a vapor canopy above the earth.
There is something in the ancient Greek which indicates this, although it only comes through in the King James in the English. The word translated ‘heaven’ in the Greek is singular in verse 9, not plural. In the Hebrew the word ‘shamayim’ is still used, which is plural, but when the Hebrew translators over 250 years before Christ picked a Greek word to use in this verse, the word they used was the singular form of ‘heaven.’ This, then, could well be separating the terminology used for day 2 with that used for day 3. However it works, day three is definitely zeroing in on our earth.
The ‘dry land’ is, in the Hebrew, ‘yabbashah,’ not ‘eretz.’ The word comes from the root meaning ‘dried up, withered.’ The word in the Greek is ‘xeros,’ which means the same. However when the Hebrew scholars translated Genesis into classical Greek, they added the word ‘ge’ to ‘xeros,’ so that the reference to ‘land’ would not be missed. ‘Ge’ is the root of words like geology, which is a study of the land. What God called this dry area was eretz, which is the same word used in Genesis 1:1, meaning “that which is firm.”
The fact that the waters were gathered into one ‘meeting,’ or place, indicates that the dry land was in the OTHER place. In other words, there was one great bit of dry land, or one supercontinent. Here, again, the Bible shows itself to be thousands of years ahead of science. The concept of one supercontinent is not that old in science. It became accepted in the last generation.
One last note here. The word for ‘seas’ is ‘yam.’ The word comes from an unused root, meaning ‘to roar,’ or ‘a large body of water.’ The reference to the surf and/or storms is evident here. However another meaning of the word ‘yam’ is ‘west’ or ‘southwest.’ So is it possible the first population was on or near the western coast of the newly-formed land mass?
NIV – Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning – the third day.
KJV – Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb [that] yields seed, [and] the fruit tree [that] yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed [is] in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb [that] yields seed according to its kind, and the tree [that] yields fruit, whose seed [is] in itself according to its kind. And God saw that [it was] good. So the evening and the morning were the third day.
LXX – And God said, Let the earth bring forth the herb of grass bearing seed according to its kind and according to its likeness, and the fruit-tree bearing fruit whose seed is in it, according to its kind on the earth, and it was so. And the earth brought forth the herb of grass bearing seed according to its kind and according to its likeness, and the fruit tree bearing fruit whose seed is in it, according to its kind on the earth, and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
“bring forth” is “dasha,” a primary root meaning to sprout. So the land sprouted vegetation, both grasses and fruit trees. Interestingly, although there are many other kinds of vegetation, it is these two which are primary food sources.
We have here, nothing new in terms of creation ex nihilo, or out of nothing. The land sprouts the vegetation. Why is this not a ‘creation?’ Because it is only a formation. Plants are made of the same elements the rocks and stars are. In a sense they are only chemically replicating systems made out of these elements. And although we take for granted today that everything physical is made up of the same elements, this would not have been the normal way of thinking just a few hundred years ago. So here, again, the Bible is way ahead of science, declaring that plants themselves are not, physically, made of anything different than anything else.
One other thing to note regarding the verses pertaining to day three is the emphasis on ‘according to their kind.’ From the very beginning, God established quite firmly that the concepts of evolution, or even of reincarnation, were directly contrary to His Word in the Bible. It is important, however, to note that the term ‘kind’ is NOT the same as our current taxonomic ‘species.’ More about this on day five.
NIV – And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights – the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning – the fourth day.
King James – Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. [He made] the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that [it was] good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Alexandrian LXX – And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light [literally, ‘shining’] upon the earth, to divide between day and night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years. And let them be for light in the firmament of the heaven, so as to shine upon the earth, and it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light for regulating the day and the lesser light for regulating the night, the stars also. And God placed them in the firmament of the heaven, so as to shine upon the earth, and to regulate the day and night, and to divide between the light and the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
‘Expanse,’ or ‘firmament,’ is again, raqia. This refers back to day 2, and indicates that the raqia is not simply our sky, but can involve all of outer space. What is interesting here is that although the English translations use the plural, ‘heavens,’ the word chosen by the Hebrew scholars for the Alexandrian LXX is not plural, but singular. The Hebrews recognized ‘three heavens,’ (as do we, actually). To review: the ‘first heaven’ is where the birds fly, or our atmosphere. The ‘second heaven’ is where the stars are, or outer space. The ‘third heaven’ (which Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians, when he is translated into the presence of God) is, in the Old Testament, “God’s Throne.” So by using the singular of heaven in this passage, the Hebrew scholars were eliminating either the sky or God’s throne as places where the sun, moon, and stars are.
There is something the NIV does in the above passage which sublimates a meaning which is much more clearly stated in both the King James and the Alexandrian LXX: the lights in the heavens are to serve as signs, not just as time keepers. This is something very important which will be discussed later.
About the stars. Many Bible believers say the mention of the stars on day four indicates that all the stars were formed on that day. There are two indications that this might be the wrong interpretation of the passage however. First, and this shows up very clearly in the KJV and the LXX, "the stars also" is an interruption. Go back and read the passage again, leaving out that part. It flows much more smoothly. There is the possibility that "the stars also" was inserted at a later time. We do know that by the time of Moses, idolatry and many false religions abounded. Astronomy and astrology were one, and so various gods were associated with various star groups. It is very possible these gods were credited with creating their associated star groups. The insertion of 'the stars also' would be a contradiction to this: the one true God made everything in creation, just as He states so clearly in the Ten Commandments. This is a guess, a possibility, but it is based on the fact that 'the stars also' is an apparent insertion, the fact that Moses seems to have inserted other phrases and explanations in some other areas of Genesis, and, finally, the fact of the prevalence of star/sun/moon worship and other idolatry that was so widespread during Moses' time.
The second indication that not all the stars were made or even lit on day four is much more precise: when we allow Bible to explain Bible, as we always should, we find something interesting. In Job 38, we find God finally responding to Job’s misery and questions. The first thing God mentions is creation, and in verses 4 and 7 He responds to Job saying, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell [Me], if you have understanding… To what were its foundations fastened: Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” That is the King James. The King James refers to these stars as ‘the morning stars,’ and makes a clear distinction between the stars and the angels/sons of God (although many current expositors seem to feel they are the same).
Here is the full passage in the Alexandrian, which will make it very clear why the King James and other translations identify the stars as ‘morning stars.’ “Where wast thou when I founded the earth? Tell me now, if thou has knowledge, who set the measures of it, if thou knowest? Or who stretched a line upon it? On what are its rings [or pillars] fastened? And who is he that laid the corner-stone upon it? When the stars were made, all my angels praised me with a loud voice.” The next verse, verse 8, refers to the sea being confined to a particular space and not being allowed to overrun that space. This is clear reference to day three of creation week, when the dry land appeared. So the stars being spoken of in verse 7 appeared before day three, although our sun and moon and, as it turns out, all the stars in the spiral arms of galaxies lit on day 4.
To explain this, we need a little astronomy. Astronomers recognize two main groups of stars. These groups are referred to as Population 1 and Population 2 stars. Population 2 stars are the oldest when astronomers look at the material in them, as well as their size. They are found in the hubs and cores of galaxies. It is these that lit on the first day, shortly after the lighting of the quasars. Population 2 stars include the red giants (which are relatively cool) we see today. They are quite prominent in this population. The Population 1 stars are much younger, astronomically, and are found in the spiral arms of the galaxies. They contain the blue giants (which are relatively hot). Our solar system is in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way Galaxy, and thus our sun is a Population 1 star. It lit on the fourth day.
This is the Andromeda Galaxy, and is an excellent example of the different populations of stars
When the math is done, correcting atomic time to orbital time, the quasars and Population 2 stars lit on day 1. According to uranium/thorium dating, the best atomic age places these stars at about 13.7 billion years old. Similar dating techniques, using thorium/neodymium dating, places the best average age for Population 1 stars, such as our sun, at about 8.2 billion years old. The different in age between the two populations, in atomic dating, is about 5.5. billion years.
Now, biblically, the Population 2 stars, lit about half-way through day 1, and the population 1 stars, sometime on day 4. In Genesis, the age difference is about 3.4 days. When the mathematic conversion is done using the speed of light during that time, which averaged 6.0 x 1011 times faster than now, the 3.4 day age difference equals 5.5 billion atomic years.
The only other point which should be emphasized here is that God instructed us, in verse 14 to use the sun, moon, and stars as our time-keepers. The movement of the moon around the earth and the earth around the sun are gravitationally governed, and it is because of our movement around the sun that we see the stars in different places at different times. So God was telling us to use these movements as our time keepers. He was telling us to use gravitational movements to define time. Gravity has not changed the way atomic rates have.
October, 2009 -- we were asked a question about the use of the word 'seasons' in reference to the sun, moon, and stars being for seasons and days and years. Did this refer to summer, autumn, winter, and spring? The word translated 'seasons' is 'mowadah,' and means, 'an appointment, a fixed time, a festival, a year, an assembly.' It is not a reference to the four seasons of the year but, rather, a reference to the command that festvals and appointed times are to be determined by the movement of the moon around the earth and the earth around the sun.