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In the account of creation in Genesis 1, it seems that God describes many of the things He creates as being "good". Verse 2 indicates that prior to there being light, there was "darkness over the face of the deep". God's first created act, aside perhaps from the heavens and the earth themselves, is light. He specifically calls the light "good", but not the darkness.

So, was the darkness "not good", or did God simply not explicitly declare it as such?

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5, ESV)

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Similar to Yin Yang ? :-) – Mawia Jun 10 '13 at 22:42

5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you look over the account, God pronounced all of the things that he created "good," after he was finished creating them. But look at what it says about the darkness: the earth was without form and void, and darkness covered everything... and then God said "Let there be light" and Creation began.

This implies that darkness wasn't something that God created, but rather the default state, the absence of the light that God created. (Which is in line with modern scientific knowledge about the nature of light and optics.)

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It seems that verse 1 indicates that God created the heavens and the earth and the default state then was darkness, but not before the heavens and the earth were created. So, would you not say that God created the time-space-matter continuum that included darkness as the default state? – Narnian Jun 10 '13 at 19:43
This doesn't take into account some of the complexities of interpreting the creation account. This simplistic view would have some sort of space construct existing outside of God's having created it. Not to mention waters. If darkness was what existed before God created anything what exactly were those waters God's spirit hovering over? – Caleb Jun 10 '13 at 19:49
Technically, it was "all that he had made, and it was very good" (1:31 [NIV], emphasis added)--the whole was very good. – Paul A. Clayton Jun 10 '13 at 20:25
No big complaint, but it's neither necessary or helpful to reconcile Genesis to scientific theories which may be as wrong tomorrow as they are right today. It's a good way for us to understand it; evil as the absence of good and dark as the absence of light (as opposed to yin/yang Manichaeism) but they don't imply each other they're just different ways of saying the same thing. – Peter Turner Jun 11 '13 at 1:44

While the idea of darkness being the default state is simple it is not biblically correct nor is it what science believes. What exactly the universe looked like before it was standardized by the big bang is a question for astrophysicist. All we know is it was tiny and hyper-dense. So like a rock and its insides are not dark the pre-universe also wasn't dark. As best we know there was nothing physical outside of the pre universe you couldn't build a machine to take you outside of it just like you cannot build a machine to take you outside the current universe. There was no where physically else to go.

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Isa 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

Depending exactly on where you put your big bang in Gen 1 the result is the same creation of light and calling it good. Looking at Isa 45:7 we see that God did not actively create darkness but allowed it to be created. (As the verb create is in what is called the Hebrew Qal type. Similar to our tenses Hebrew has causative and permissive or little association verbs.) Again the same Hebrew word is used for "vain" in Isa 45:18 and "without form" in Gen 1:2. Our God doesn't actively create situations which are without form and void and dark. Since it was not created by God it is not good.

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I think the science exhibited here is a bit sketchy but the theology is reasonable. My +1 says which I think is important :) – Caleb Jun 12 '13 at 10:13
@Caleb thanks for bumping me up to 500 :) – user4060 Jun 12 '13 at 10:17
And with that you can now re-tag questions :) One step at a time... – Caleb Jun 12 '13 at 10:51

People, the prophet Job also had many questions and Job and his friends thought they knew it all. The bottom line is that we do not know it all, you do not know it all, and will maybe never know it all. Job 38:4- God speaking to Job- Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements-surely you know! On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together, and all of the sons of God shouted for joy? Who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth from the womb; when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band,

And if you guys keep reading the entire passage, you will learn more..God is the creator of dark and light..have you ever told your kids a C is good but and A is very good..well dark is ok, but light was good..the creation of the animals was ok, but creation of humans was good..

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Welcome to this site! If you haven't already, please check out our tour and help center, as well as browsing some of the other questions and answers, to learn more about the site. – James T Dec 11 '13 at 20:37
When you get the chance, please check out our tour and specifically How we are different than other sites. I think you have the start of a good answer ("God created both") but the rest is very chatty and non-academic – Affable Geek Dec 11 '13 at 20:49

This is really amazing. The Bible starts of.."in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. It must be understood that God created heaven and earth out of "nothing" God does not need anything to create something. Remember He is God. God does not exist, rather he is the existence without Him nothing exists.

It is true the bible does not tell us about darkness and water, Yet they are the principal figures in his creation. When he created the heaven and the earth, coming with heaven was darkness and with the earth water.

So when he created heaven and the earth, darkness and water was part of heaven and earth. This was the first four things that was created in the beginning.

It is also very interesting to note that the entire heaven and earth was in darkness, with only "One Light" and God is that Light. There can not be another.

Than God said "let there be light".....that light was merely created so that there may be a day and night,

It is good to note that this world will always be in "darkness"...with only one let his light so shine that others may see and glorify Him.

Imagine for a moment....the heavens in darkness and God lights up heaven with small light and huge light....and The Earth with water that would bring forth trees ,herbs and fruits.

May I remind readers.....the holy bible is all about God, it is His story.

Stay blessed

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This answer would be a lot better if you could add references showing that this is a common understanding, and who teaches/believes it. On this site, we're not looking for personal interpretation, but rather focusing on what various Christian groups teach. See How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? – David Aug 5 '14 at 12:09

Consider this perspective: it would have strange symbolic meaning if God called darkness good, since darkness is usually associated with evil.

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This isn't really an answer. could you perhaps expand on it or move it to the comments? – wax eagle Jun 11 '13 at 20:25

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