Tuesday, July 17, 2012

When Genesis 1:4 and Culture Collide (Part Three)

Okay, this is counting as the real Genesis 1:4 post:

Why the Separation of the Light from the Darkness? 

וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ׃

“Now God saw the light, that it was good. And God separated between the light and between the darkness.”

Why is God separating between the light and the darkness here?

According to John H. Walton in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, this view of separation was common in the ancient world. The Egyptians associated all existence with some kind of differentiation having taken place. See John H. Walton, “Genesis,” in Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, ed. John H. Walton (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), 16.

Bruce Waltke offers an interesting perspective on the literary theme of separation in Scripture more broadly in his commentary on Genesis: “Just as God commands the light and dark as well as the land and sea to separate, God calls Israel to separate from the pagan nations. Separation is a fundamental concept both to creation and to Israel’s existence.” See Bruce Waltke, Genesis: A Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 69.

More on this tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Lend Me Your Thoughts

What do you make of the fact that the theme of separation was understood elsewhere in the ancient Near East? Does this mean the Bible is any less inspired, or is that an oversimplification?

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