From the site Grace Cathedral:

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)

According to the Biblical author known as "P" (the "priestly" writer or writers believed to have set down Genesis 1), God created light, which he called "Day" (1:5) before He created any heavenly body to supply it. Only on the fourth day did He set "lights" in the skies to "divide the day from the night" and to provide a way of measuring time. We don't know how He measured the first three days.

Among these lights two are called "great" -- namely the sun and the moon. But rather than say as much, P refers to the sun as "the greater light" and to the moon as "the lesser light." Hebrew, of course, did not lack proper names for these two bodies, but P was not keen to use them. That's probably because the Hebrew names for "sun" and "moon" were uncomfortably close, and in fact etymologically related, to those of two pagan gods whose Babylonian worshipers had been known to seduce Israelites from their true faith.

Thus we owe the common expression "lesser light" to P's squeamishness and the King James translation. P didn't know that the moon's light was just less of the sun's "greater light," so he couldn't predict how apt his metaphor would prove in modern application. Someone we call a "lesser light" may have his or her own proper talents, but as they are overshadowed by the talents of the "star," they seem only reflected. The Bible probably doesn't mean to be derogatory -- moonlight, though less intense, is equally God's creation. But such are the consequences of sun worship.

My message to the Grace Cathedral & am waiting for a reply:

Are you saying that, even with lack of words, that God was not speaking to "P"?

"P didn't know that the moon's light was just less of the sun's "greater light," so he couldn't predict how apt his metaphor would prove in modern application."

Reading this puts into the mind that you are saying the bible was written by men & not of God. Of course "P" couldn't have known that the moon was an oversize rock. God couldn't explain that the moon was a rock to "P" as He described the lands, the seas, the sky of our own planet?

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Tags: Genesis, lesser light, moon


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