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Let there be light

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"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 (genēthētō phōs).


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Genesis 1

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

Origin and etymology

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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 "καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεός γενηθήτω φῶς καὶ ἐγένετο φῶς" (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).

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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. The Douay–Rheims Bible translates the phrase, from the Vulgate, as "Be light made. And light was made."

Use by educational institutions

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

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  • Albion College (rendered as "Lux fiat")
  • Alfred University
  • Angelo State University
  • Atlantic Union College
  • Central Memorial High School
  • Clark University
  • Cornway College (rendered in English)
  • Dover Grammar School for Boys
  • Milwaukee Downer College (as "Sit lux")
  • Emmanuel College, University of Queensland
  • Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
  • Fiat Lux Academe in Cavite, Philippines
  • Green Mountain College
  • Hartley College, Point Pedro, Sri Lanka
  • Hiram College
  • Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina (rendered as "Sit Lux")
  • Kitsilano Secondary School, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Kojonup District High School, Kojonup, Western Australia
  • University of Lethbridge
  • Limerick Institute of Technology
  • Mayo College, Ajmer, India
  • Moeding College in Otse, Botswana
  • Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois (rendered as "Sit Lux")
  • Nelson McIntyre Collegiate
  • Queen's College (Barbados)
  • Rollins College
  • Selma University
  • St. Andrew's School, Bloemfontein
  • St. Joseph's College, Colombo
  • Tusculum College (rendered as "Sit Lux")
  • Union County College
  • University of Akron
  • University of California system
  • University of Lethbridge
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Victoria (written in Hebrew)
  • University of Washington (rendered as "Lux sit")
  • University of Western States
  • Waynesburg University
  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, Australia

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    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.

    In literature

    For works which use the phrase as their title, see Let there be light (disambiguation)#In literature and Fiat lux (disambiguation)
  • 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!"
  • "Fiat Lux!" is the activating phrase in the setting of a Ward Major in Kurtz, Katherine, Chronicles of the Deryni .
  • The Fiat Lux Agency is the name of Nestor Burma's private detective agency, in Malet, Léo, New Mysteries of Paris (novels) .
  • One of the three main divisions of Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz (book)  is titled "Fiat Lux."
  • Pope, Alexander, Nature and nature's laws (couplet), Nature and nature's laws lay hid in Night. / God said, 'Let Newton be!' and all was light .
  • "Fiat Lux" is also used in Thelen, Albert Vigoleis (1982), Die Insel des Zweiten Gesichts (novel) (in German), DE .
  • References

    Let there be light Wikipedia

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