On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees; And, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, an Unfinished Book

By Saint Augustine; Roland J. S. J. Teske | Go to book overview

any other light than day, and you would not understand any other darkness than night. For, if all light could be understood as "day" and all darkness considered under the name "night," there might not have been any need to say, "And God called the light day and he called the darkness night." 54.

27. Likewise we can ask what day and what night it means. If it wants us to understand the day that begins with the rising of the sun and ends with its setting, and the night that begins from the sun's setting and lasts until its rising, I find no way that these [days] could be before the lights of the heaven were made. Or could stretches of hours and times be spoken of in this way even without the distinction of light and darkness? And how could this change signified by the names, day and night, occur in that light of reason, if this is what is meant, or in that light of the senses? 55. Or are these mentioned, not according to what happened, but according to what can happen, since error can come into reason and dullness into the senses?


CHAPTER 7

28. "And evening came and morning came, one day." 56. Scripture does not now speak of a day in the same sense as when it said, "And God called the light day." 57. Rather it speaks [of a day] in the same sense as when we say, for example, that a month has thirty days, for here we include under the name "day" the nights as well. Above it spoke of a day as separated from night. Therefore, when Scripture mentioned the work God did during the light, it said afterwards that "evening came and morning came, one day," that is, so that it is one day from the beginning of the day to the beginning of the day, that is, from morning to morning. We speak

____________________
54.
Gen 1.5.
55.
In DGnL 4.24.41 Augustine interprets the alternation between light and darkness in the rational light as the morning and evening knowledge of the angels.
56.
Gen 1.5.
57.
Gen 1.5.

-163-

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On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees; And, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, an Unfinished Book
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • On Genesis - Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees and on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis: an Unfinished Book *
  • Contents *
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Select Bibliography xi
  • Introduction *
  • Introduction 3
  • Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees *
  • Book One 47
  • Chapter 1 47
  • Chapter 2 49
  • Chapter 3 52
  • Chapter 4 54
  • Chapter 5 56
  • Chapter 6 57
  • Chapter 7 58
  • Chapter 8 60
  • Chapter 9 62
  • Chapter 10 63
  • Chapter 11 64
  • Chapter 12 65
  • Chapter 13 66
  • Chapter 14 68
  • Chapter 15 71
  • Chapter 16 72
  • Chapter 17 74
  • Chapter 18 76
  • Chapter 19 77
  • Chapter 20 78
  • Chapter 21 80
  • Chapter 22 81
  • Chapter 23 83
  • Chapter 24 88
  • Chapter 25 89
  • Book Two 91
  • Chapter 1 91
  • Chapter 2 95
  • Chapter 3 96
  • Chapter 4 98
  • Chapter 5 99
  • Chapter 6 101
  • Chapter 7 102
  • Chapter 8 104
  • Chapter 9 107
  • Chapter 10 109
  • Chapter 11 111
  • Chapter 12 112
  • Chapter 13 114
  • Chapter 14 115
  • Chapter 15 117
  • Chapter 16 119
  • Chapter 17 121
  • Chapter 18 122
  • Chapter 19 123
  • Chapter 20 125
  • Chapter 21 126
  • Chapter 22 129
  • Chapter 23 131
  • Chapter 24 132
  • Chapter 25 134
  • Chapter 26 135
  • Chapter 27 137
  • Chapter 28 139
  • Chapter 29 140
  • On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis: An Unfinished Book *
  • Chapter 1 145
  • Chapter 2 147
  • Chapter 3 148
  • Chapter 4 151
  • Chapter 5 156
  • Chapter 6 161
  • Chapter 7 163
  • Chapter 8 165
  • Chapter 9 167
  • Chapter 10 168
  • Chapter 11 169
  • Chapter 12 171
  • Chapter 13 173
  • Chapter 14 176
  • Chapter 15 179
  • Chapter 16 182
  • Indices *
  • General Index 191
  • Index of Holy Scripture 196
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