The book of Genesis shows the creation of light in two phases, first Light itself, then luminaries. . .
Genesis 1:1-5 God creates Light:
As God began creating the heavens and the earth—and the earth was unformed and void, with darkness on the face of the deep, and a wind of God hovering over the water—God said: “Let there be light!” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness [God] called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Genesis 1: 14-19 God creates the celestial luminaries:
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 years. Let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth; and it was so. And God made two great lights: the large light to rule the day, and the small light to rule the night; and the stars. God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
So then, there is a puzzle. According to the Torah, light was created on Day One of Creation, but the sun and other heavenly luminaries weren’t created until the Fourth Day. To explain this discrepancy, Midrash and Talmudic lore identify the original light of Day One as a primal spiritual light that illuminated the cosmos (Talmud Bavli Chagigah 12a), long before the heavenly bodies were called into being. But people were not yet deserving of this pure light, so it was hidden away (Ohr HaGanuz) for the righteous in the future.
Photos by Jonathan Gurwitz, at Landcut, Laguna Madre, Texas
Featured Image: Sunset in Santa Monica (no filter), JHD