Posted by: adventlife | April 22, 2016

Day Four of Creation Week Dilemma Solved! by Nic Samojluk

Stars 2

Those who favor a literal reading of Genesis One have been plagued by the problem of what to do with the alleged creation of the stars on day four of creation week. How can we reconcile the recent creation recorded in Genesis One with the creation of the stars whose light takes millions of years to reach our planet earth?

Most Adventists believe that the stars have been in existence for millions and billions of years, yet the official position of the church is that the creation story recorded in the book of Genesis is rather of recent history. How can Adventists reconcile an old universe with a relatively recent creation of life on earth?

A possible solution seems to be in the proper understanding of two Hebrew words used in Genesis 1:1 and 1:16. Those two words are: “created” and “made” : In Gen. 1:1 the word used is “created” while in 1:16 the term “made” was used, and those two words are not exactly synonymous in the Hebrew language. Notice the following:

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on Genesis 1:16

“Both these lights may be said to be “made” on the fourth day—not created, indeed, for it is a different word that is here used, but constituted, appointed to the important and necessary office of serving as luminaries to the world, and regulating by their motions and their influence the progress and divisions of time.”


When I checked the interlinear version of the Bible for those words, I discovered a confirmation of what Bible commentator Jamieson affirmed above:

In fact in Gen. 1:1 the Hebrew term is “created” [בָּרָ֣א], while in verse 16 the word used is “made” [וַיַּ֣עַשׂ. This suggests that the sun, moon, and stars were not created in the fourth day, but rather assigned to act as luminaries for our planet. This seems to indicate that the sun, the moon, and the stars were probably already in existence when God assigned them the role of illuminating the sky for us.

The same is true about Exodus 20:11. Here, again, the word “made” is used in reference to the six days of creation. This might be interpreted as follows: Our planet earth was likely in existence when God decided to make it suitable for life during the creation week. Perhaps this is why in the reference to the creation act in the book of Exodus the term used is not “created” but rather “made.”

If this interpretation is correct, then the actual creative activity in genesis 1 began when the Lord said: “Let there be light.” in verse 3 of Gen. 1. This understanding of the story of creation may allow us to read the story of creation in a literal manner in spite of the reference to the creation of the stars in verse 16. What do you think?


  1. It is very simple. God made the wandering “stars” on the fourth day. Thus, he made the sun, the moon, and the wandering starts–the planets. In other words, our solar system.

    • Yes, a very interesting alternative interpretation. Nevertheless, the term “wondering stars” is not in the text. My view is based on the text. Besides, I doubt that Moses could tell the difference between those wondering stars and the rest of the star we see in the sky.

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