I tried to categorize the build up in detail as we move from the 1st to 7th day. I tried to use the word "Let" to create an orderly arrangement of the chapter.

I discovered that the word "Let" occurs 14 times in the seven days of creation. But It doesn't occur on the seventh day since God is resting.

A) Before the 1st evening and morning, the word "Let" occurs only once.

B) Before the 2nd evening and morning, the word "Let" occurs twice.

C) Before the 3rd evening and morning the word "Let" occurs thrice

D) Before the 4th evening and morning the word "Let" occurs thrice still.

This means that the word "Let" is used 8 times in the first four days and 6 times in the remaining 3 days of creation.

But that's as far as this pattern goes. What kind of literary style is Moses using here? Is this pattern significant? If yes then what is the significance.

  • Please indicate which translation you are using.
    – user17080
    Sep 4, 2017 at 16:34
  • I'm using NKJV version.
    – user20490
    Sep 8, 2017 at 21:47

3 Answers 3


I trust that you are aware that the book of Genesis was written in Hebrew, not English. In the Hebrew text of Gen 1 the word "let" does not occur at all. "Let there be..." is expressed by a single word, the verb "yhi", and the other passages where the English Bible writes "let" there is always a single verb in Hebrew. So your observation relates only to the English translation.

  • 1
    Precisely. 'Let' is a way of making it sound more grammatically accurate in English, whereas in Hebrew you need but to say, "Be light." "Let there be light" is in indication or clarification that God wills for there to be light, not that there is light or is simply going to be light. A closer rendering would be "be light [made]". Sep 4, 2017 at 14:43

The phenomenon that you note in the English translation (14 "let"s) is a reflection of the number of times (10) that "And God said" appears in the text, plus the number of times (4) that "And God said" is followed by two commands or "say"ings. These latter four are verses 9, 11-12, 14, and 20 in the MT.

That is, God says things into existence 14 times, or ten times if you count the each of the compound commands as single "say"ings.

There is no pattern, only a distribution of how things were created on consecutive days. There might be meaning in the distribution, but that's a different question.

Regarding the ten "say"ings of creation in the early Jewish tradition see the Mishna tractate "Chapters of the Fathers", chapter 5.

The point of this style is to emphasize that God created the universe by means of divine speech, where speech is also be a metaphor for thought alone; that just by speech alone, He created the elements of the world. Unlike the gods of competing religions, the LORD did not have to actually do anything heroic or mythic to create the universe.


Congratulations on your curiosity. It is just such searching that does reveal the sensus plenior of Scripture hidden in pattern and riddle.

There are several patterns which do have meaning. This one relates to things words used on each day.








The last three days mirror the first three. Each day is like a table of contents entry to the rest of the Bible and each speaks of the hidden picture of Christ within each portion.

The last A points to the first A to close the chapter. It extends into verse 2.5 to clarify which reference to heaven and earth it is referring to; the one before the plants and herb: so not (a) but (A). This eliminates the invented contradiction of the wrong order of creation.

The 3 + 3 pattern is reflected in 1John 5:7,8 which gives the key to unlocking the pattern in Ge 1. the first three days are 'heavenly testimonies' the second three are 'earthly' testimonies.

It is easy to say a pattern is an important pattern when: 1. it reveals Christ in agreement with the literal revelation in the NT. 2. The metaphor within is consistent with teh metaphor every where else. 3. The metaphor is derived from the metaphor within the words themselves. 4. the pattern is validated other places (2 or 3 witnesses).

Sensus plenior is not as free-wheeling as people presume it to be.

It is nearly impossible to say that what you are observing is not sensus plenior, but we can say that we don't see it yet.

Though the NT authors do occasionally use numbers, their meanings are well-established and not subject to free-for-all.

2 relates to the Biblical dualism of Holiness and Love

3 relates to the Trinity

4 to the four voices of God through prophets, priests, kings and judges.

If your number patterns are meaningful, they will either agree with these, or present an alternative meaning that replaces these everywhere they exist. Such is the nature of intellectual humility in sensus plenior. We recognize that not all riddles have been solved, and until they are solved, we do not have a complete picture, just an improving one.

Another important pattern is when there is a pattern established and then broken. the break in the pattern has meaning. All days were good but one. This day is a prophecy of the great and terrible Day of the Lord. It was not a good day. Can you discern why?

  • Amazing Bob Jones. You didn't fully answer the question but you've created a wider perspective from which we can meditate towards a fuller understanding. Indeed the day of the Lord in Zephaniah is the only day that isn't good. Great observation!
    – user20490
    Sep 8, 2017 at 21:59

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