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
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.
- 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.