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De Moor VIII:24: The First Day, Part 2


2.  And indeed, in addition this pertains to the work of the First Day, that God created Light, Genesis 1:3-5.  Concerning which we briefly observe:


              α.  That it does not denote the Angels, to whom indeed is attributed Light in Job 4:18; 2 Corinthians 11:14, on account of their knowledge, holiness, glory, and joy, whence also they go by the name of Stars, Job 38:7:  yet nowhere, 1.  are they found under the name of Light; and 2.  the use, which the Light here mentioned by Moses served, completely turns us away from the Angels, since this Light constituted the Day, and was fit for the measurement of the νυχθήμερα/night-day.  3.  Darkness also, which was previously upon the face of the Deep, which was again and again constituting the Night, set in opposition to this Light, compels us to think of Light corporeal and properly so called, not metaphorical of spirits.


And so not of human Spirits, which are also elsewhere called the Candles of the Lord, namely, in Proverbs 20:27; although Menasseh Ben Israel, problem XVI de Creatione, maintains that these, together with Angels, among other things, are to be understood in this Light:  On which day were human Souls created?  And he responds, Doubtlessly on the first day with the Light.  So that he might prove this, he wants it to be observed, that in the text of Moses in Genesis 1, in which the Creation of the original Light is treated, the term Light occurs five times, which, in his judgment, indicates that at this point all Lights, even Spiritual creatures, are comprehended, which were created on the First Day; and then he enumerates, 1.  the Light of the ten sephiroth,[1] 2.  the Light of intelligences, 3.  the Light of souls, 4.  the Light of Angels, and, 5.  the Light that illuminated the Earth on the first three days.  But, apart from the fact that these things with respect to Angels and Souls fall of themselves, HOORNBEECK, book IV contra Judæos, chapter I, pages 330-332, refutes this discourse of Menasseh with respect to other ἄτοπα/ eccentricities:  consult also below, Chapter XIII, § 14.  And, since this Light in Moses is so expressly set in opposition to Darkness, and is circumscribed by its own use, it is strange, that MARESIUS himself, Systemate Theologico, locus V, § 29, was able to judge, that it is not altogether unsuitable, by the language of the original Light to understand also the Angels; since under the name of Light here substantial intellective Light is equally able to be expressed as sensible Light, as some Rabbis maintain, as in Genesis 2:1 by the Hosts of the Heavens Stars and Angels are understood together.  Although in favor of understanding Angels in this Light GERHARD,[2] in his Locis Communibus, also cites Augustine, Rupertus,[3] and Bede:  see AUGUSTINE, book I de Genesi ad litteram, chapter IX, opera, tome 3, part 1, column 93.  Just as VOSSIUS also in book I de Idololatria, chapter VII, opera, tome 5, pages 18 near the end and 19 at the beginning, in favor of understanding Angels in this Light cites Augustine, Gregory the Great, and Bede, but also Cyril of Alexandria, book II contra Julianum, yet at the same time refuting this their opinion.



              β.  Neither was it some Accidental Property without a Subject, which, if it could be proven concerning this Light, according to the Papists it would be for the confirmation of Transubstantiation, in which the subject of the Body of Christ is believed to be present without its accidental properties, and the accidental properties of bread and wine without their subject; whence also Lapide on this passage, page 38a, wants this to be observed against the heretics, denying that in the Eucharist accidental properties are able to exist without a subject:  while he, although himself differing, surveys the opinion of BASIL, homily VI on the Hexaëmero, and of others, who may suppose that here the quality of Light alone without a subject was created, which Bellarmine also relates, book III de Eucharistico, chapter XXIV, Controversiis, tome 3, columns 765, 766.  But, with MARESIUS cautioning, Systemate Theologico, locus V, § 19, note m, a thousand testimonies of the Ancients could be set forth, settling with one voice, that Accidental Properties are not, and are not able, to be conceived apart from a subject.  Even though Basil had considered this in the constituting of nature, in this had judged, according to Pererius on Genesis 1:3, page 22a, compared with pages 23b, 24, against the nearly universal opinion of the Fathers, both Greek and Latin, and of almost all Theologians, according to which opinion that Light was corporeal and sensible.


γ.  Therefore, positively it was true Light diffused from luminous bodies, spread and moved through the hemisphere, although not yet gathered in the Sun and Stars; of which matter we no longer know the whole method.  To wish curiously to investigate the whole method of this matter beyond that which Moses has revealed to us is indecent.  1.  That that Light had to proceed from luminous bodies, appears to be sufficiently evident, yet the matter and form of which it does not belong to us precisely to determine.  2.  The Use of this Light is evident from Moses, namely, that is this manner the day was distinguished from the night through the first three days.  Unto which end, these luminous bodies, ignited in one hemisphere, had to be rotated into a circuit around the terraqueous globe; so that, while they were in the upper part of the hemisphere, it was day, and while in the lower, it was night.  3.  With respect to origin, that these luminous Bodies were immediately produced out of Nothing, HEINRICH ALTING, for example, maintains, Scriptorum Heidelbergensium, tome 1, part I, locus V, page 82 near the end, likewise tome 2, problem XVIII, page 78.  Now, following a number of Scholastics, following LAPIDE on Genesis 1:3, page 38, who cites many other ὁμοψήφους/fellow-voters, following BARTHOLOMEUS VAN VELSEN in Philosophicis Scripturis, chapter XI, § 13, pages 166, 167, tome 2, chapter XVII, in which place see § 145, 165, 167, pages 919, 957-960, and not obscurely our AUTHOR, who at the beginning of this paragraph in his Medulla Theologiæ said, “God created the Earth, or this whole Inferior Globe, from which afterwards proceeded the Expanse, Light, Earth, and Water:”  it appears no less probable to us, that those more finer and luminous bodies, by which this Light was dispersed, were separated from the denser and less mobile parts of the terraqueous Globe, so that these luminous bodies were brought forth first of all from that formless and void Earth.  Presenting no obstacle is, a.  that Let there be Light, since whatever things were produced by Creation ex Nihilo relatively, no less than what things were created ex Nihilo absolutely, were produced by the command of God alone:  indeed, the same expression not rarely also occurs concerning the works of Providence, Job 37:6; etc.  b.  Neither does Paul contradict, 2 Corinthians 4:6, in which Darkness is only set forth as the terminus à quo[4] of the shining forth of the Light, and which is affirmed to have preceded the Light:  but, although Darkness is not able to be the material Cause of Light, yet every Cause of this sort is not excluded, ordained in being absolutely out of Nothing by God in the anterior part of the same νυχθημέρου/night-dayc.  The divine Power is not injured, which, a.  is acknowledge to be conspicuous in all the works of the Second Creation, no less than in the First Creation:  and, b.  we confess, that God produced this matter, which He now made to be serviceable in the diffusion of the Light, out of Nothing, but only a few hours earlier.  And so the manner of bringing forth these luminous bodies will have been the same as that of the Expanse, concerning which next.  4.  Finally, if you should ask what was then done concerning this luminous Body, which by its circular motion around the World was distinguishing day and night for the first three days; Theologians respond, that on the fourth Day these luminous Bodies were gathered and distributed into the Sun and shining Stars.  For, say they, these luminous Bodies either were reduced to nothing, or yet survive.  Not the former, because God is read to have dissolved nothing of those things that He created; neither is this able to be presumed concerning the Light, which specifically God is mentioned to have seen and approved as good.  Therefore the latter:  and thus either such Light survives, which sort was created on the first day; or it has been distributed into the Sun and remaining Luminaries.  Not the former:  for where it is now, either it appears, or what is the use of it?  Therefore the latter.


[1] In Kabbalitic mysticism, the Ten Siphiroth are the ten emanations or channels through which God reveals Himself and His will, and creates.

[2] John Gerhard (1582-1637) was an eminent Lutheran divine.  He held the position of Professor of Divinity at Jena (1616), and he was four times the Rector of the same.  He wrote copiously in exegetical, polemical, and dogmatic theology.  His Loci communes theologici (1610-1622) was the largest Lutheran dogmatic text that had been produced to date.

[3] Rupertus (1091-1135) was a learned Benedictine, Abbot of Tuits on the Rhine.

[4] That is, the border/limit from which.

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