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How do we interpret Genesis 8:22 with Revelation 22:5? Does Genesis 8:22 only apply to the old created order by contrast to the New Heavens & New Earth?

Gen 8:22 - As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall never cease.”

Rev 22:5 - There will be no more night in the city, and they will have no need for the light of a lamp or of the sun. For the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever.

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The answer is in the verses themselves:

  • Gen 8:22 says that seasons would last, "As long as the earth endures".

Further, Rev 22:5 is a description of the new heavens and a new earth. That is the old earth has been cleansed and replaced by a new earth. Further, it also describes condition INSIDE the new Jerusalem, the City of God, not the conditions on the earth.

Therefore, Gen 8:22 does not apply on both counts.

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  • Interesting insight! I’d assume whether or not their would be a sun replaced in the New Heavens would be up to debate on another thread. Do you know of any theology books regarding the structure & plan of the New Heavens & New Earth? I’ll look into it if you got a reference.
    – Cork88
    Oct 1 at 4:15
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    The new heavens and the new earth are not described except in metaphor and thus we know very little about them at all.
    – Dottard
    Oct 1 at 5:28
  • +1 Even the physics is different in order to match the description.
    – Perry Webb
    Oct 1 at 9:24
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Yes. You are taking descriptions from two completely different ages. Revelation 22 is after this …

REV 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

Where as your Genesis 8 description relates to … ”the first heaven and the first earth” … which in Revelation 22 … “had passed away,”.

To help put REV 22 into perspective….

REV 22:5 And night shall be no more; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Consider this …

GEN 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

There was [already] light - here on day 1 …. three days before the sun was created! Thus it will be again.

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The covenant between Yehovah and Noah is unconditional in relation to our earth and the heavenly bodies around it.

It may not be that those things don't exist. Only concerning the people this wont effect them.

But in light of Revelation, we can expand the thought a bit "As long as this age endures". We factor that in talking about Eternity and the three world ages.

2 Peter 3 teaches there are three ages of time. Often translated into the base English word, World.

The world that then was, The current world reserved for Judgment of the ungodly. The new heavens and earth age

Revelation 21-22 kjv

21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

The Bible calls on a greater theology when talking about the Earth.

This link can brake down some difference you have to be aware of from Hebrew to Greek when the word appears in English.

https://www.therain.org/appendixes/app129.html

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In Gen. 1, we learn that Elohim calls the firmament between the separated waters "Heaven"; and the dry land that Elohim made to appear Elohim called "Earth".

So, Elohim doesn't need to replace the stars and other planets. Elohim just needs to rearrange the water. Elohim will do so with a huge fire while those who are alive and remain following the judgment of the second death meet the LORD in the air.

Isa. 51:6

Lift up your eyes to the sky, Then look to the earth beneath; For the sky will vanish like smoke, And the earth will wear out like a garment, And its inhabitants will die in like manner, But My salvation shall be forever, And My righteousness shall not wane.

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  • Welcome to the site, Trumpetfolker. If you take the 'Tour' (below) you will see what is required to give a hermeneutic answer. You would need to deal with both texts, and not just the first one, and probably cite more Bible verses that could then be linked to the final revelation e.g. Isa.34:4 cf. Rev.6:14 (just as a suggestion).
    – Anne
    Oct 3 at 13:30
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Genesis 8:22 vs Revelation 22:5

How do we interpret Genesis 8:22 with Revelation 22:5? Does Genesis 8:22 only apply to the old created order by contrast to the New Heavens & New Earth?

Gen 8:22 - As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall never cease.”

Verse Gen. 8:22

States that the literal earth will never cease to be, it will endure forever. God also assures as implied in the verse that the sun will shine on the earth thus giving its heat and light to eternity. In the New Heavens and New Earth Peter [ 2 Peter 3:13 NET] states that righteousness will truly reside, this means that the wicked human society that is alienated from God will be gone -- cease to exist. Jesus said that the meek will inherit the earth,[ Matthew 5:5 NET] and the Psalmist said that they will live in abundance of peace. [Psalm 37:10-11]

Psalms 37:10-11 KJV

10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

The expression "New Heavens and New Earth appears in Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22, which Peter alluded to at 2 Peter 2:13. "Heavens" most likely refers to God's Messianic Kingdom, for Jesus said at Matthew 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me." and "New Earth"[Ps 96:1] refers to the obedient mankind.

They will not need the light of a lamp or even the sun . Rev .22:3-5

Revelation 22:3-5 NIV

3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.

Revelation 3b says: "The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city ." This obviously is not an earthly city for the throne of God and of the lamb will be in the city. In his vision [Rev 3;12 and 21:2] John says that the city is "New Jerusalem." A symbolic heavenly city.

John continues and says 22:5: They [God's servants ] will not need the light of the lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.

Emphasis [God's servants ] in the verse mine.

A city on earth depends on the sun for light., however in this heavenly city "New Jerusalem", the servants of God will not require the light of the lamp or the sun , for the Lord will shine on the city.

Hence Genesis 8:22 does not apply to either Rev. 22:5 or the old created order by contrast to the New Heavens & New Earth?

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We don't really need to.

Look at what those books are for. Its very different purposes.

The first part of Genesis (chapters 1-11) is essentially a collection of Jewish creation myths. It is not all that different in form (and in some instances in content) from other peoples' creation myths. The point of that form of writing is to instruct the listener a bit about the telling culture's values, under the pretext of explaining how things that are came to be.

They are generally composed over generations as oral traditions, by societies far before they've developed a scientific outlook on things like history and the natural sciences. As such, they freely mix metaphor and fact, and are quite happy to sacrifice the latter in the interests of the former. They are simply not intended to be what we modern people would consider literal scientific truth. Trying to read them that way risks not only misleading you as to the literal truth, but missing the deeper points being made.

In the case of Genesis 8:22, we are explaining why this same thing (the Great Flood) doesn't happen every day, why the natural cycles are so regular, and ending the story. The deeper message is about God making a pact with the Jewish people. The real point here, the purpose this story exists, is to talk about God's relationship with the people (going forward from there of course).

So is the poem in Genesis 8:22 literal truth? Heck no. Historically, there was the year without a summer (due to volcanic activity). There are places on earth where people live that don't really have cold/hot seasons (the Equator), or where agriculture is impossible (North Asia and Northern Canada). We know that one day our Sun will expand to the point where human habitation of the Earth will be impossible. If you wonder how all this can be literally reconciled with Genesis 8:22, the answer is that it wasn't written to be that kind of literal truth. If that's all you're looking for in it, you are missing the real truth that was written into it.

So how about The Revelation (aka: The Apocalypse of John)?

There were in fact many Christian Apocalypses written during that era. This is the only one to have made Canon*, and that decision was very controversial both at the time and today. The Eastern (Syrian) tradition doesn't in fact recognize it as such, and never has. You will find many scholars of the Roman-derived traditions that think the Easterners made the right choice. Among those who didn't rate it were Martin Luther and John Calvin. So I think first off its fair to say its only canonish, and if you think there's an inconsistency between it and another book, its reasonable to defer to the other book.

The book itself is generally accepted to have been largely using coded language to talk about the persecutions of Nero. This coded language was required at the time, because openly criticizing a Roman Emperor was a good way to end up dead. It should go without saying that expecting complete literal truth out of what was essentially written as a cypher is likely to lead to a misreading of the work.

I'm not going to venture an interpretation of Rev:22, as there are too many good candidate theories. However, we are clearly in the wrap-up stages of the story, (as with Gen 8), and it seems equally clear that the author is trying to imply that things will far better when we get through to that point. The NIV gives it the heading "Eden Restored". Its also pretty clear he isn't referring to the kinds of everyday times that the authors of Gen 8 were referring to.

In short, neither passage was intended to be read as literally as this question is trying to do, and they were talking about completely different times for completely different purposes. In general people shouldn't be playing continuity nerd with the Bible. If you find yourself doing that, its a good indication that you are missing the forest for the trees. Look underneath for what its trying to tell you, and save that technical energy for your Marvel movies.


* - The Old Testament Book of Daniel is also an apocalypse. A rather important one too, that New Testament authors were clearly familiar with.

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  • I read the entirety of your post\answer. I don’t believe Genesis 1-11 is Jewish creation myth. Most of what you said doesn’t buy any convincing proof for me. You saying “ There are places on earth where people live that don't really have cold/hot seasons (the Equator), or where agriculture is impossible (North Asia and Northern Canada).” That may be true, but it doesn’t negate the seasons of the earth continuing perpetually elsewhere. I believe the entire Word of God is God breathed. Are there metaphors within, figurative language, prophetic language, poetry, proverbs, etc? Yes!
    – Cork88
    Oct 1 at 19:30
  • @Cork88 - Note that "Myth" here is a term of art, and does not mean "its all BS".To quote from the WP link: "While in popular usage the term myth often refers to false or fanciful stories, members of cultures often ascribe varying degrees of truth to their creation myths. In the society in which it is told, a creation myth is usually regarded as conveying profound truths – metaphorically, symbolically, historically, or literally. They are commonly, although not always, considered cosmogonical myths – that is, they describe the ordering of the cosmos from a state of chaos or amorphousness."
    – T.E.D.
    Oct 2 at 2:49
  • I should study more on what you are referring to with the word “Myth” then. I am convinced it’s creation history, namely: Genesis 1-11. As far as your comment is concerned, maybe I’ll end it there to study more on what you speak of. I’m also not sure what your view is to all of scripture. I’ve been saved 9 years, coming up on 10 soon, I have a lot more books to read to understand arguments on many sides. ;)
    – Cork88
    Oct 2 at 4:05

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