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Let there be light

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CarnegielibraryEdinburghScotlanddoor

The phrase "Let there be light" used metaphorically over the door of a Carnegie library, in Edinburgh

"Let there be light" is an English translation of the Hebrew יְהִי אוֹר (yehi 'or). Other translations of the same phrase include the Latin phrase fiat lux, and the Greek phrase γενηθήτω φῶς (or genēthētō phōs). The phrase is often used for its metaphorical meaning of dispelling ignorance.

The phrase comes from the third verse of the Book of Genesis. In the King James Bible, it reads, in context:

1:1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
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.
1:3 - And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1:4 - And God saw the light, and it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

Origin and etymology

The Latin phrase fiat lux, from the Latin Vulgate Bible, is typically translated as "let there be light" when relating to Genesis 1:3 (Hebrew: "יְהִי אוֹר"). The full phrase is "dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux" ("And said God let there be light, and there was light"), from the Greek "και είπεν ο Θεός γενηθήτω φως και εγένετο φως" (kai eipen ho Theos genēthētō phōs kai egeneto phōs), from the Hebrew "וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; וַיְהִי אוֹר" (vayo'mer 'Elohim, yehi 'or vayehi 'or).

Since fiat lux would be literally translated as "let light be made" (fiat is from fieri, the passive form of the verb facere, "to make" or "to do"), an alternative Latinization of the original Greek and Hebrew, lux sit ("light - let it exist" or "let light exist") has been used occasionally, although there is debate as to its accuracy.[1]

Use by educational institutions

Fiat Lux, Sather Gate detail

The motto "Fiat lux" on the Sather Gate at the University of California, Berkeley

Fiat lux is the motto of and also appears on the seals of the following educational institutions:

Fiat Lux also appears on the outside of Kerns Religious Life Center at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. The second half of the same verse, Et facta est lux appears on the seal of Morehouse College.

NOT ALL BUSINESSMEN AGREED WITH THE OREGON GOVERNOR'S EXECUTIVE ORDER CURTAILING NEON AND COMMERCIAL LIGHTING. THIS... - NARA - 555410

In October 1973, a Portland, Oregon business owner delivers a message to Governor Tom McCall in response to his executive order curtailing commercial lighting during the 1970s energy crisis.

In literature

For works which use the phrase as their title, see Let there be light (disambiguation)#In literature and Fiat lux (disambiguation)

References

External links


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