Young's Literal Translation of Gen. 1:14-15:

"14 And God saith, `Let luminaries be in the expanse of the heavens, to make a separation between the day and the night, then they have been for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years,

15 and they have been for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth:' and it is so."

I have always believed these to be the stars of Gen. 1:16. But, if so, then why are they called "stars" in Gen. 1:16, and luminaries in vs. 14 & 15?

Gen. 1:16-17,

"And God maketh the two great luminaries, the great luminary for the rule of the day, and the small luminary -- and the stars -- for the rule of the night;

17 and God giveth them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth,"

It doesn't seem to follow the same pattern of naming in the previous verses. The parenthetical separation of making the stars in verse 16 appears now to me to be a separate creation act from the previous two verses.

If they are the same, why are they not called stars in vs. 14 & 15? Is there a difference between the stars of vs. 16 and the luminaries of 14 & 15?

2 Answers 2


I would not depend on Young's Literal Translation to actually be a literal translation of the Hebrew. It is more like a literal recital of the English words used for the Hebrew words from Strong's concordance. Many of these words are not the actual Hebrew meaning. Some of them are completely off. My own literal translation of these verses is as follows:

14 And Elohim said: “Lights will exist in the [outer] expanse of the heavens to differentiate between the day and between the night. And they will be for signaling of appointed times and days and years. 15 And [they] will be lights in the [outer] expanse of the heavens for shining over the earth.” And so it existed. 16 And Elohim made two enormous lights – the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light and the stars to govern the night.

The words not in the original Hebrew have [...] around them. These are my interpretations of the intended meaning. The rest are translated from the Hebrew with help from Baltsan, Hayim. "Webster's New World Hebrew Dictionary", 1992.

As you can see in my translation, they are simply called lights. The two "enormous" lights are obviously the Sun and the Moon. The greater being the Sun and the lesser of the two is the Moon to govern the night (along with the stars). "the stars" are not mentioned specifically until verse 16. This is by using a unique Hebrew word: הַכּוֹכָבִֽים which means "the stars". These stars are part of the same creation of lights where Elohim said: "Lights will exist...". Verse 16 just goes into extra detail about the Sun and the Moon. This is a pattern used throughout Genesis chapters 1 and 2. I recommend this link Bible Hub Interlinear if you wish to check this for yourself.

  • Thank you! I have begun to use the Interlinear more often.
    – Gina
    Jul 18, 2017 at 9:58

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