BHS (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia): וַיַּ֧רְא אֱלֹהִ֛ים אֶת־הָאֹ֖ור כִּי־טֹ֑וב

ESV (English Standard Version): And God saw that the light was good

NLT (New Living Translation): And God saw that the light was good


LXX (Septuagint): Καὶ εἶδεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸ φῶς, ὅτι καλόν

BETS (Brenton English translation Septuagint):  And God saw the light that it was good

NETS (New English Translation Septuagint): And God saw the light that it was good

OSB (Orthodox Study Bible): God saw the light; it was good


VUL (Latin Vulgate): et vidit Deus lucem quod esset bona

DRB (Douay Rheims Bible): And God saw the light that it was good

NAB: (New American Bible): God saw how good the light was


English Translations with variant readings:

AMP: And God saw that the light was good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it

GNB: God was pleased with what he saw

ISV: God saw that the light was beautiful


Observations & Discussions

1.I wonder if you could find some reason to say that “God declared the light good” not just noticed that it was “good.” It seems to say that God “saw that it was good” is for God to learn something about what He had already called into creation. The OSB makes it less confusing on this count by saying “God saw the light; it was good.” Is the light good and God noticed it? Is the light good because God said it was? This might play into righteousness of man. Does God recognize righteousness or does he declare it to be so?

  1. Regarding the light again the NAB offers a slight variation when it adds “God saw how good the light was.” I guess that’s to emphasize the goodness of it. I’m not sure it does that.
  2. The clearest observation from this verse is that all the languages pretty much agree on the translation with slight shifts of emphasis. All noted the goodness of the light that God called into existence.
  3. God declared or observed that the “light” was good and he is going to make some similar observations in the next six more days of creation. God declares that it is all “good.” God knows what’s good for us and made what we needed. He wants to provide for all our needs with “good” things. When God set Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden everything in there was “good” except for one thing; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Where man began to go astray was when he contradicted God’s appraisal. In Genesis 3:6 Eve saw that the forbidden tree was “good for food” even though God said it wasn’t. God never forbids or withholds things from us that are good. He always gives us good gifts and attempts to restrain us from things that will bring great harm to our lives.
  4. Is it just the light that was good? One commentator suggests otherwise, “Day one (1:3–4) featured an act of separation resulting in the creation of light. The darkness which shrouded the earth in verse 2 was removed. God pronounced the alternation of light and darkness good.”[1] We’re going to see the “alternation” of light and darkness in all of the six days of creation: it was day and then it was night.


CLV (Chuck Larsen Version): God saw the light and declared that the light was very good.

CLV In the beginning God created heaven and earth but the earth was invisible and incomplete. And darkness covered the abyss. The spirit of God was brooding over the abyss’ darkness so God issued a decree that there should be light, and there was light. God saw the light and declared that the light was very good.

[1] James E. Smith, The Pentateuch, 2nd ed., Old Testament Survey Series (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 1993), 53.