"Let there be light" is an English translation of the Hebrewיְהִי אוֹר (yehi 'or) found in Genesis 1:3 of the Torah, the first part of the Hebrew Bible. In Old Testament translations of the phrase, translations include the Greek phrase γενηθήτω φῶς (genēthētō phōs) and the Latin phrase fiat lux.
1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2And 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. 3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4And God saw the light, and it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
Origin and etymology
In the Torah, the phrase in Genesis 1:3 which is typically translated in English as "let there be light" is in Hebrew וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; וַיְהִי אוֹר (vayo'mer 'Elohim, yehi 'or vayehi 'or).
In the Koine GreekSeptuagint the phrase is translated "καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεός γενηθήτω φῶς καὶ ἐγένετο φῶς" — kaì eîpen ho Theós genēthḗtō phôs kaì egéneto phôs. The original Latinization of the Greek translation used in the Vetus Latina was lux sit ("light – let it exist" or "let light exist"), which has been used occasionally, although there is debate as to its accuracy.
In the Latin Vulgate Bible, the Hebrew phrase יְהִי אוֹר is translated in Latin as fiat lux. In context, the translation is "dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux" ("And said God let there be light, and there was light"). Literally, fiat lux would be translated as "let light be made" (fiat is the third personsingularpresentpassivesubjunctive form of the verb facio, meaning "to do" or "to make"). The Douay–Rheims Bible translates the phrase, from the Vulgate, as "Be light made. And light was made."
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.
The English phrase concludes Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question", symbolizing the godlike growth in power of an extremely advanced computer as it creates a new universe from the ashes of a dead one, drawing comparisons and suggesting an explanation for the biblical Book of Genesis.
Hugo, Victor, Les Misérables [The Miserable ones] (in French) speaks about the importance of daring and writes "That cry, 'Audace,' is a Fiat Lux!"