"Let there be light" is an English translation of the Hebrew
יְהִי 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.
1 Genesis 1
2 Origin and etymology
3 Use by educational institutions
4 In literature
6 External links
The phrase comes from the third verse of the Book of Genesis. In the
King James Bible, it reads, in context:
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
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).
Septuagint the phrase is translated "καὶ
εἶπεν ὁ Θεός γενηθήτω φῶς καὶ
ἐγένετο φῶς" — kai eipen ho Theos genēthētō phōs kai
egeneto phōs. The original Latinization of the Greek translation used
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.
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 person singular present
passive subjunctive form of the verb fio, meaning "to do" or "to
Douay–Rheims Bible translates the phrase, from the
Vulgate, as "Be light made. And light was made."
Use by educational institutions
The motto "Fiat lux" on the
Sather Gate at the University of
The emblem of
Cornway College with the motto "Let there be light".
Fiat lux or Sit lux appears in the motto and on the seals of a number
of educational institutions, including:
Albion College (rendered as "Lux fiat")
Angelo State University
Atlantic Union College
Central Memorial High School
Cornway College (rendered in English)
Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha, Nigeria
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
Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida
Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte,
North Carolina (rendered as
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)
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
University of California system
University of Lethbridge
University of Liverpool
University of Victoria
University of Victoria (written in Hebrew)
University of Washington
University of Washington (rendered as "Lux sit")
University of Western States
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, Australia
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 October 1973, a
Portland, Oregon business owner delivers a message
Tom McCall in response to his executive order curtailing
commercial lighting during the 1970s energy crisis.
For works which use the phrase as their title, see Let there be light
(other)#In literature and Fiat lux (other)
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.
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 .
^ "But What Does It Mean?". The Daily. The University of Washington.
1999-05-25. Retrieved 2014-09-01.
^ "Verbix, verb conjugator".
^ Fiat Lux Academe (official), Facebook .
Fiat Lux (film), Debevec .
Fiat Lux Assisi to Rome pilgrimage (film), UK, archived from the
original on 2007-10-06 .
Fiat Lux – Let There Be Lights (SCA, Kingdom of Lochac), NZ: Web
Let There Be
Light (JPEG) (seal), Rollins College .
Smith, Howard, Let There Be Light .
Let there be light
Let there be light (annual outdoor art exhibit), Charlottesville,
Masonic Lodge (1098), Lombard, IL,