bein ha'or - between the light


This is an allusion to the separation between the Jewish people and the Nations, the former always looking forward to the Mashiach and redemption, whereas the Nations are content to remain in spiritual darkness.


Our Sages in Bereishit Rabbah 2:5 commented that in this verse we have a reference to the four kingdoms preceding the Messianic Age. They said, "The words veha'aretz hayetah tohu vavohu are a reference to the empire of the Babylonians; the word vavohu is reference to the empire of the Medes. The word vechoshech is a reference to the empire of the Greeks, whereas the word tehom is a reference to the Roman Empire. Finally, the words veruach elokim refer to the spirit of the Mashiach."


The Midrash means that G-d foresaw all these developments before He commenced to create the physical universe, a concept described in Yeshayahu 46:10 as "foretelling the future events." The Sages wanted to reassure us that the whole objective of creating the universe was the period of the Mashiach. (Rebbeinu Bachya)