Gen 2:1 BSB

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

Was this where other planets were created?


The Bible, in Jude vs 13 translates the Greek word 'planetes' as 'wandering stars'. It was known that these 'stars' wandered inexplicably but it was assumed that all celestial objects were stars and circled earth, so their perturbations were strange and 'wandering'. Only when it was worked out that they were circling the sun (not the earth) did it become clear that they were other than had been supposed. Until then, nobody reading the word "planetes" in the Bible up until cosmologists identified the difference between stars and planets, would have know what a planet was! They called them 'wandering stars'.

This means that all heavenly bodies are referred to in the Bible as either sun, moon, or stars. Planets come under the word 'stars'. Our earth and our moon are actually planets, but as that word did not exist, they are not spoken of as planets. Therefore, your question is answered in Genesis 1:14 to 16 -

"And God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and year. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light', and it was so. 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."

That last sentence includes all the planets (for we live on a planet, and that chapter is also about the development of planet earth, already in existence.) We understand (from earliest times) that the greater light is our sun, and the lesser light is the moon (which is not a star but a planet which reflects the sun's light, unlike other moons orbiting other planets). And from earliest times people have looked up to the night sky to see billions of stars. Even though it's only been comparatively recently that we've learned that billions of planets are also "up there", to the naked eye planets like Venus and Jupiter and Saturn look for all the world like stars that just moved strangely.

This means that when Genesis 2:1 concludes the preceding section with, "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them", planets are included.

  • 7
    @Faith Mendel The first book of the Bible has been in existence for about 3,400 years and is not a scientific treatise. The Bible is not out to teach anybody, at any time, about cosmology. It doesn't mention deoxyriboneuclic acid, or photosynthesis, or event horizons around black holes either. That's because none of that has any bearing on God's plan of salvation. We are to stay focused on God as creator of everything, and all life, to give him due glory and obedience. It is inconsequential how many planets he created, only that he created them all!
    – Anne
    Oct 28 at 14:54
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    Right. The English word "planet" comes from the Greek and Latin words for "wander". That is, a planet is simply a star that wanders around instead of being fixed in place like the others. Because they were so special, they were given the names of gods. And until we knew what planets actually are, and hence why they wander, they were also considered to be stars, such as "the morning star" referring to the planet Venus. Oct 28 at 14:55
  • 8
    @FaithMendel says "how the ancient saw the then world isn't really all how it is". Not necessarily. In many cases it was simply a different use of words. They used one word for the dots of light in the sky, but we now use many words for those lights. If we hadn't chosen to retain the original single name and restrict its use to one specific type of light, there wouldn't be any confusion (e.g. if we still called all the lights "stars" and called most of them "suns"). Oct 28 at 15:00
  • 2
    @Faith Mendel The Bible is all about God, and how his creation should relate to him. It's his written communication to humanity showing how he deals with sinners and saves those who humbly seek him. Nobody needs to know anything about car mechanics, physics, athletics, or recipes etc. They need to know how to relate to God via faith in his Son who said, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (then all necessary things would be added to us). In Christ are hidden all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom, however, so knowing him is everything! There is only One to know.
    – Anne
    Oct 28 at 16:55
  • 1
    @Anne Yes I agree Oct 28 at 16:56

Does bible cosmogony allow for the Creation of Other planets?

Yes, John 1:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

All things include other planets.

Gen 2:

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

Was this where other planets were created ?

Planets were part of the heavens. They were completed by the time of Genesis 2:1.


The Scriptures teach the theology of Creation, but teach the readers at the level of science at the time of the writing. As Anne mentioned the noun for planets (πλανῆται) does appear in Jude 13. It is translated "wandering stars," what planet meant back then, because that's what makes sense in the context. Also, James 1:16-18 does seem to reference planets indirectly.

The verb πλανάω is where we get the word planet. At that time they didn't see planets as different from the stars, except for one thing. They moved different from the rest of the stars in a pattern they didn't understand. So, they called them planets meaning wanderers.

Why does James's using this verb imply planets?

τοῦ πατρὸς τῶν φώτων (Father of Lights) referenced God creating the lights of heaven.

τροπῆς ἀποσκίασμα (shadow of turning) is an apparent astronomy term.

Given the astronomy at James's time, a comparison of God's perfection to an imperfect world would naturally point to the wanderers (planets) as the opposite extreme.

Μὴ πλανᾶσθε, ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοί. 17 πᾶσα δόσις ἀγαθὴ καὶ πᾶν δώρημα τέλειον ἄνωθέν ἐστιν καταβαῖνον ἀπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς τῶν φώτων, παρʼ ᾧ οὐκ ἔνι παραλλαγὴ ἢ τροπῆς ἀποσκίασμα. 18 βουληθεὶς ἀπεκύησεν ἡμᾶς λόγῳ ἀληθείας εἰς τὸ εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἀπαρχήν τινα τῶν ⸀αὐτοῦ κτισμάτων. (James 1:16-18,NA28)

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:16-18.ESV)

Figure 1. Senses of πλανάω in the New Testament (generated with Logos Bible Software)

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[v16] James begins with the warning, “do not deceive yourselves” (μὴ πλανᾶσθε). Martin labels this a “final call … of vigilance.” The present imperative with µή could imply “stop” being deceived, although nothing in the context necessitates this. The word “deceive” suggests the sense of wandering (just as a “planet” was so named because it looked like a “wandering” star), going astray, or being mistaken.

[v17] The genitive “of lights” (φώτων) is objective, showing God as the Creator. The “Father of lights” appears in a context referring to God’s activity—his showering good gifts on his people. So “Father” is likely to be a verbal noun in this context, which limits our options to two possible genitives: subjective (the Father produced by lights) or objective (the One who fathered the lights). Only the latter makes sense here. God is the one who created the lights of heaven—the sun, moon, and stars.

The verse goes on to affirm that “to send good gifts belongs to God’s unvarying nature.” James uses the qualifier, “in whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (παρʼ ᾧ οὐκ ἔνι παραλλαγὴ ἢ τροπῆς ἀποσκίασμα), to emphasize the complete lack of change in God’s character. The expression “shadow of turning” (τροπῆς ἀποσκίασμα) uses a descriptive genitive (equivalent to “turning shadow”). The pair of words probably once formed a technical, scientific expression, but that meaning has been lost in Koine Greek. These words, nevertheless, “often refer to astronomical phenomena in the ancient world,” and James almost certainly uses this expression with a similar referent here.

There are two main interpretations. First, one can claim that “God neutralizes the astral powers and gives to man the freedom to decide his own destiny when faced with trials.” Given that he never changes, we are not bound by fate to the changes in the stars. The safer, less ambitious interpretation, which we prefer, reads this verse as declaring the “sovereignty of God over the stars.” Moreover, “while they are always in motion he never changes whether in himself … or in his dealings with his people.” -- Blomberg, C. L., & Kamell, M. J. (2008). James (Vol. 16, p. 74). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.


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