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Can anything be inferred from Genesis 1:16 with regard to how the stars are mentioned as “also” being created? Does the text support or contradict the concept that the sun is indeed a star?

“And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

  • Welcome to BHSX. Thanks for your question. Please take the tour below to find a little more about how this site works. – user25930 Jul 2 '19 at 1:18
  • @Mac'sMusings Thanks. Will do – Lott99 Jul 2 '19 at 1:18
  • There is nothing to either associate the sun with stars or not to make such an association. That connection is modern and foreign to the text and so cannot be proven one way or the other. – user25930 Jul 2 '19 at 1:31
  • @Mac’s Musings Did I post incorrectly or do you mention the tour to every new contributor? – Lott99 Jul 2 '19 at 2:40
  • Nothing wrong with your post - just wanted to ensure you have taken the tour and understand the rules here. – user25930 Jul 2 '19 at 5:04
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What does Gen 1:16 really tell us?

Lets focus in on the Hebrew word לְמֶמְשֶׁ֣לֶת this here is the Hebrew word that the KJV translated as "rule". And it is perfectly good for its translation for it carries the concept of "over-rule" which is governing.

In the Hebrew this verse uses the object marker (את) 4 times.

Genesis 1:16 Hebrew OT: Westminster Leningrad Codex

וַיַּ֣עַשׂ אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֶת־שְׁנֵ֥י הַמְּאֹרֹ֖ת הַגְּדֹלִ֑ים אֶת־הַמָּאֹ֤ור הַגָּדֹל֙ לְמֶמְשֶׁ֣לֶת הַיֹּ֔ום וְאֶת־הַמָּאֹ֤ור הַקָּטֹן֙ לְמֶמְשֶׁ֣לֶת הַלַּ֔יְלָה וְאֵ֖ת הַכֹּוכָבִֽים׃

Although usually left untranslated, because English language order helps us recognize the subject and the object. The English word "at" functions very similar. Therefore let us see what this text tells us from the perspective of subject and object.

וַיַּ֣עַשׂ אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֶת - And God formed at

Here we can see that the Verb of this sentence is Formed/Made.

הַמְּאֹרֹ֖ת - is in the constructive state meaning using the Mem prefix. "from the light of"

שְׁנֵ֥י הַגְּדֹלִ֑ים - the two greats

In English we would say "from the two great lights".

However the constructive state helps us identify that the forming occurs specifically with the light.

The second object marker still carries the verb Formed. And here it is going to specify exactly what the two great lights mean.

הַמָּאֹ֤ור הַגָּדֹל֙ לְמֶמְשֶׁ֣לֶת הַיֹּ֔ום - from the greater light (over ruling) over powering the day

Here they use the conjunction form of the object marker, we could translate as: "and at". Therefore showing us the second form of "great light"

הַמָּאֹ֤ור הַקָּטֹן֙ לְמֶמְשֶׁ֣לֶת הַלַּ֔יְלָה - from the lesser light over-powering the night

again they use the conjunction form of the object marker attaching the following object within the "second form".

הַכֹּוכָבִֽים - the stars

The Build

Phase One

And God formed/made at from the two great lights at from the greater light over-powering the day and at from the lesser light over-powering the night and at the stars.

Phase Two - removing the object markers and switching the object and verb for English

And God from the two great lights made the greater light over-power the day and the lesser light and the stars over-power the night.

Phase Three - Substitute Definitional Terms with English Object Names

And God from the two great lights made the Sun's light over-power the day and the Moon's light and the stars over-power the night.

Phase Four - Correct Grammar

And for the two great lights, God made the Sun's light over-power the day and the Moon and Star's light over-power the night.

How the King James Version Carries this Concept

“And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

And God made two great lights;
Here we can see that God is making these lights do something.

the greater light to rule the day
the Sun's light over-powers the day

and the lesser light to rule the night
the Moon's light over-powers the night

he made the stars also
the Star's light also over-powers the night

Does the text support or contradict the concept that the sun is indeed a star?

The text supports the Sun as one of the Great Lights, and the Stars as part of the other Great Light.

Conclusion

  • Gen 1:16 neither confirms or denies the sun as a star.

Why is Genesis 1:16 worded the way it is with regard to the sun and stars?

Because the translator felt the English represented what the Hebrew said.

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    Thank you for your very thorough answer! – Lott99 Jul 2 '19 at 11:52
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The Hebrew reads (WLC):

ויעש אלהים את שני המארת הגדלים את המאור הגדל לממשלת היום ואת המאור הקטן לממשלת הלילי ואת הכוכבים

Which is perhaps best, or most simply translated:

And God made two great lights: a greater light to rule the day, and a lesser light to rule the night, as well as the stars.

The last part (ואת המאור הקטן לממשלת הלילי ואת הכוכבים) is one unit, and comprises the lights of the night sky: "[God made] [the moon] as well as the stars [to rule the night]."

So the plain meaning in Hebrew is that the stars were also made as lights for the night, in addition to the moon. Not that the stars are also moons, much less that the sun is a star. In other words, all that is spoken of here are the number and name of the lights, and their greatness, not their kind.

  • Thank you. This is helpful as well. – Lott99 Jul 2 '19 at 23:44

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