Disclaimer: There is no "Right" answer to this question--but some answers can be more plausible than others.
An Objection to the first Proposed Answer, by David:
I disagree with David, that "Light" was explicitly written side-by-side with the expressions, "good," and "it was so*," because only light was created on the first day, or because "It" could be used in the following passages to summarize the multiple acts of creation, and to summarize multiple created things ... I do not believe the text supports this conclusion.
Arguing that the author explicitly placed "Light" and "Good" side-by-side in the text because only one creative act occurred, or because only one thing was created, doesn't add up--literally.
Nevertheless, If, and Only If--one thing was created on the first day--And If Also--only one act of creation occurred on the first day, then this argument would be valid.
If BOTH those statements are true, this answer could be valid because:
- In each of the following passages, it is the case that "It was so," is a anaphoric/elliptical construction, describing an action, (or actions)--and could refer to multiple acts of creation.
- And, it is also the case that, "It was good," is a anaphoric/pronominal construction describing a thing that was created, (or things)--and could * refer to multiple things that were created.
The Third Alternate Answer below goes into detail about these constructions.
However/But: from the text only, it is apparent that: a.) Many acts of creation occurred on the first day, (i.e., creating the heavens, creating the Earth, separating light and darkness, creating day, creating night, etc), (Gen. 1:3: יְהִי אֹור, (let there be light); Gen. 1:4: וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים בֵּין הָאֹור וּבֵין הַחֹֽשֶׁךְ, (and God separated), the light from the darkness), etc); and b.) Many things existed by the end of the first day, (i.e., the Earth, water, darkness, day, night, etc. ...).
First Alternate Answer:
Interpretation of the Question:
Question: Can emphasis/significance be inferred regarding the Creation of Light from the text, as it is explicitly written "side-by-side" with "Good" in the text"?
None of the "usual" suspects are present in these passages to suggest that word order/arrangement imply that "light" should be emphasized.
Answer: On the contrary, the explicit depiction of "Light", "side-by-side" with "good" in the text, can actually be seen to de-emphasize the early periods of Creation--in juxtaposition with the sixth day, in order to ensure proper emphasis on all that was created--especially Mankind.
A common error by modern translators is "filling in the blanks" for modern readers. Ancient writers often omitted words, often for the sake of brevity--knowing that that readers could/would fill in the blanks themselves.
However, this technique also created carries with it a strong dramatic effect: By requiring readers to make inferences, ancient Writers were able to leave readers with a much greater impression.
Proof of this can be seen in Gen. 1:31--where there is no dispute that there IS a special significance in the declaration:
Gen. 1:31 - וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וְהִנֵּה־טֹוב מְאֹד
Gen. 1:31 - And saw, God, all he did, and behold, exceeding beauty!
In this final passage, there is an implicit reference to what was "exceedingly beautiful", requiring the reader to make the necessary inferences--unlike when the author explicitly states that "Light" was good.
Because light was explicitly called "good", requiring no inferences to be made by the reader, and because the writer does require the reader to make more and more inferences as more/greater things were added, day by day, culminating into the last day--the impression the reader is left with, at the end of the sixth day, is much, much, greater.
Second Alternate Answer:
Interpretation of the Question:
Question: Is it reasonable to infer a special significance to the creation of "Light", from the texts?
The linguistic construction of this passage, by itself, and the differences in how it is written, is not a Sufficient Condition to justify inferring a sort of special significance to the Creation of light.
(This is actually a common grammatical construction in ancient writing, see Third Alternate Answer).
Answer: A conclusion that "Light" bears some significance, in this context, is only valid if/when taking into account the differing Creation accounts written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, (all of which have been considered authoritative/inspired in Ancient Israel).
The significance of "Light" becomes even more apparent when considering other texts, like Proverbs 8, Job, the first book of Enoch, and even John 1--and "Light" takes on a much more mystical/philosophical connotation.
Genesis' account explicitly places "Light," near, or at the very beginning of Creation--even before the "Sun and Moon were given as lights"; This placement at the "beginning," is a Necessary Condition to begin arguing that significance can be inferred hermeneutically, in view of a Systematic Theology, etc, etc. (This would preclude a conclusion that "days" in this passage were computed as 24 hour days, as the Sun was not "given/made/placed" until the fourth day.)
Given all of these texts and sources, the primacy of "Light" takes on a whole new meaning.
Third Alternate Answer:
Interpretation of the Question:
Question: Linguistically, can significance be logically inferred to the "Creation of Light" in view of the fact that Gen. 1:4 explicitly associates "Beautiful/Good" with "light", whereas every other instance of "Good/Beautiful" is implicitly associated by the use of the word "It"?
In Ancient Languages, an expression appearing first can imply emphasis--but primacy in this case is not sufficient to conclude that there is special emphasis/significance--explicitness, anywhere, is not indicative of emphatic construction, unless it is in direct repetition.
In this case, there are more plausible reason for this construction.
Answer: The two explicit references to "light", mentioned in the original question, are not grammatically considered "emphatic constructions"--and by themselves, are insufficient to imply special significance. However, these instances are actually only two parts of a much larger grammatical construction, which spans from Gen. 1:1 to 1:31. This construction actually has a completely different purpose--to emphasize the awesomeness of all Creation.
Commonly, in Ancient Languages, there are "Elliptical Constructions" and "Anaphoric Constructions": a.) Elliptical Constructions: omitting one or more words from clause that is nevertheless understood, by inference, from the context, (in the expression, (Coming to be so, It was so, is elliptical, requiring the reader to infer that "the separation of the waters came to be so, etc); b.) Anaphoric Constructions: Requires the reader to infer meaning based on another expression in that same context, (an antecedent or postcedent), (in the expression "it was good," "it" is anaphoric, (specifically, a pronominal suffix, and pronominal article in Greek), referring back to water, etc.
In both of these constructions, the reader must infer what is being spoke about, and substitute some expression in the place of what is missing ...
If the grammatical constructs in Hebrew were truly intended to require the Reader to make inferences, by using elliptical and/or anaphoric constructions, then this would be firmly proven IF the Greek translators conveyed these passage similarly. And--it is the case that these constructions are unmistakingly present in the Greek Septuagint/LXX text of Genesis 1, repeated over and over again.
The Constructions in Greek, Anaphoric/Pronominal, and Elliptical:
ὅτι καλόν = That it was good / a Neuter Construction.
καὶ ἐγένετο οὕτως = and coming to be so / An Adverbial phrase, neither M/F or Neuter.
As expected, The Constructions in Hebrew begin clearly, and explicitly:
Gen. 1:3 - וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי אֹור - וַֽיְהִי־אֹֽור
Gen. 1:3 - And calling/called, God, "light, become", - and light became.
Gen. 1:4 - וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאֹור כִּי־טֹוב
Gen. 1:4 - And calling/called, God, the light as good.
As expected, the writer continues by beginning to generalize, omitting the explicit phrase, "and the there was a Firmament/Expanse," requiring the reader to make the necessary inferences :
Gen. 1:6 - וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי רָקִיעַ בְּתֹוךְ הַמָּיִם וִיהִי מַבְדִּיל בֵּין מַיִם לָמָֽיִם׃
Gen. 1:6 - And said, God, "Expanse/Firmament, become" ...
Gen. 1:7 - וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָרָקִיעַ וַיַּבְדֵּל בֵּין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מִתַּחַת לָרָקִיעַ וּבֵין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל לָרָקִיעַ וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃
Gen. 1:7 - And made, God, the Expanse/Firmament ... [The reader infers/injects God's command to/for the Expanse/Firmament to become, which was written before] became so.
Remaining true to this form/construction, the writer generalizes even more, providing even less detail, leaving the the reader to make more inferences, and further in contemplation, (before, God made the expanse; but, what God's actions are, in this event, are omitted):
Gen. 1:9 - וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶל־מָקֹום אֶחָד וְתֵרָאֶה הַיַּבָּשָׁה וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃
Gen. 1:9 - And said, God, Waters, be gathered ... and land be seen ... [the reader infers/injects all the Commands just given, how, etc] ... became so.
The writer continues to use these grammatical constructions, to greater and greater effect, within this passage :
An example of Anaphoric/Pronominal Suffix in the Hebrew Context:
Gen. 1:14 - וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַיֹּום וּבֵין הַלָּיְלָה וְהָיוּ לְאֹתֹת וּלְמֹועֲדִים וּלְיָמִים וְשָׁנִֽים׃
Gen. 1:14 - And said, God, "Lights, become in the expanse of the heavens", ... and [lights, (omitted)] become signs ...
This specific passage ends in an Elliptical Construction, leaving the reader considering for themselves just what had happened in the heavens:
Gen. 1:15 - וְהָיוּ לִמְאֹורֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם לְהָאִיר עַל־הָאָרֶץ וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃
Gen. 1:15 - "And Lights, become ... to give light on the Earth ... and [injected by inference: the sun, the moon, the stars, nebulae, meteors, ensure God's command] came to be so.
Finally, this entire construction culminates with a very large, awesome, anaphoric/elliptic expression, requiring the reader to compress, and inject, all of those ideas and contemplations into one very small expression:
Gen. 1:31 - ... וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וְהִנֵּה־טֹוב מְאֹד
Gen. 1:31 - καὶ εἶδεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ πάντα ὅσα ἐποίησεν καὶ ἰδοὺ καλὰ λίαν ...
Gen. 1:31 - And saw, God, all he did--and behold, exceeding beauty!
The reader has to inject/substitute/infer, "a lot of actions" in the place of "all". And, the reader has to inject/substitute/infer, "a lot of created things," to know what was exceedingly beautiful.
In the end, the the writer's use of this grammatical construction is incredibly successful: the reader is left with the sense of being "breathless."
The writer doesn't seem to be able to convey the right words, and doesn't try. The reader is left overwhelmed in contemplation, at a loss to make any inferences, overwhelmed by a sense of awesomeness--the narrative ultimately ending with the creation of Man ...
The emotional sense that the reader is left with is an obvious parallel to the account of Creation in Job.