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Feedback: Why Wasn’t Day Two Declared “Good”?

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On Day 2 of Creation why did God not say that it was “good” like He did for each of the other days?

—E.W., Facebook

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And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. (Genesis 1:6–8)

The account of what God created on day two of creation week is found in Genesis 1:6–8. Unlike the other five days of creation week, God does not look over what he has made and see that it was “good.” Some people have wondered why God doesn’t specifically say that this day was good.

Big Picture Principles

While day two was not specifically called “good,” we know the day, and what God did on that day, was good. Genesis 1:31 tells us that everything God made at the end of the creative process was “very good.” This, of course, would include day two and everything formed on that day.

God calling everything he had made “very good” means there could not have been any death or suffering before sin. Death and the curse are the consequences of sin (Genesis 2:17), so they could not have existed before sin. Neither is God going to call a broken creation full of death, suffering, disease, and bloodshed “very good.” That goes against God’s character and puts the blame for death and suffering on God, instead of on human beings who rebelled against him.

If the days were long periods of time, as some Christians try to argue, then there were millions of years of death and suffering before sin. This is because the rock layers we find around the globe are filled with fossils—dead things. So, if the days were millions of years each, then these fossils represent millions of years of death and suffering, putting death before sin.

The days in Genesis were not millions of years each. They were literal, 24-hour days.

Position One: God Didn’t Actively Create Anything

Although Scripture doesn’t explicitly state why day two isn’t called “good,” some Bible commentators and theologians have used biblically inferred hypotheses. The first and most prominent hypothesis is that God didn’t actively create anything on day two. Rather, he took material created on day one and separated it. Yes, he made the expanse (sometimes called the firmament), but this appears to be just a separation of what was created on day one , rather than a unique creative event.

Position Two: Mankind Was Not the Focus

The second hypothesis is that if God did actively create on day two, he may have spent his creative time on the heavens, so this would have been the only day where earth was not the primary focus of his creation. Even in creating the celestial objects on day four, God stated that their purpose was to give light on the earth and to function as signs and seasons (for the later inhabitants of the earth). Perhaps God created atomic, subatomic and gravitational forces, and natural laws on this day. He may have even instigated episodes of accelerated nuclear decay on day two.1 While these things are necessary, they are not only related to the earth or mankind and the creatures on earth.

Was Day Seven Not “Good”?

However, day two not being referred to as “good” is not an omission. Omission implies that it should have been there but was forgotten or accidently not included. It was deliberately left out. It was also deliberately left out on day seven (Genesis 2:2–3). While the Bible states that God rested on the seventh day and that he “blessed” that day and “made it holy” (which would certainly qualify it as being a “good” day), the “it was good” statement is also absent from that day. Again, we can only speculate, but it seems the most likely reason is that God did not actively create anything on that day.

Footnotes

  1. See “Conclusions” section of Catastrophic Granite Formation.

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