'the Light Forever. Bible Study in Context.
Time, Truth, and Wisdom
CHAPTER 6 --The Firmament
And our Father said:
Genesis 1:6 Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
What this firmament is exactly has perplexed and confounded scholars for many centuries. Since the beginning of civilization, and long before Moses wrote the Book of Genesis, it was common for different cultures to think of the sky as a domed, solid, vault with the stars firmly positioned in it.
American Indians, for instance, thought that if they walked far enough towards the apparent skyline that they would eventually get to the point where the sky and the earth came together and that they could reach out and touch the sky as they believed it to be made out of solid material. They could only attempt to rationalize with their mind what they saw with their eyes.
I could go into a lengthy explanation of Greek cosmology and the theorem of a flat earth or we could consider that the water contained within this firmament was split into three proposed sections; one below the surface of the earth, one on the surface and one suspended above it.
It would serve no useful purpose to rehash the obviously errant suppositions of learned men of long ago for the simple reason that we know that the earth is not flat; we know that the stars are not “hung” by wires or embedded in a crystal dome suspended above this earth; we know that the earth revolves around the sun and all of the supposedly intelligent Greek gods are nothing more than the fancied imaginations of men who pretty much denied the existence of a supreme being or creator.
That having been said let’s look at a short summary of the thoughts of learned men from centuries ago (Author unknown):
Thales of Miletus (624-548bc) believed that the earth was made of water and rested on water. A story about Thales says that he was once so intent on his observations of the heavens that he fell into a well.
Anaximander (611-547bc) believed that the air was the substance of all things in heaven and that the earth was a disk floating on the waters, which filled the bottom half of the spherical universe.
Pythagoras (582-507bc) believed that the earth was a sphere suspended in space and that the universe revolved around it.
Anaximenes (550-480bc) believed that the stars were fixed on a surface of crystal, which made a daily rotation around a flat earth.
Philolaus (470bc) believed that the earth floated in space and revolved around a circle of fire called “the hearth of the universe”.
Anaxagoras (499-428bc) believed that the sun and stars are flaming stones carried around by the revolution of the ether.
Protagoras (411bc) was accused of denying the gods and illegally teaching about the heavens. They burned all of his books in the market place.
Plato (427-347bc) believed that the heavens were divine, eternal and moving in a circular motion while the material world was decrepit and characterized by a rectilinear motion. His findings hindered the discovery of the true nature of the heavens.
Eudoxus of Cnidus (406-355bc) believed there to be an “onion-like” system of 27 spheres within spheres to explain the motions in the heavens.
Aristotle (384-322bc) His system contained 55 nested spheres, each with a mind of its own. The outermost sphere was kept in motion by the deity, which he called the “prime mover”.
Heraclides of Pontus (390-322bc) He proposed that the sun was the center of the orbits of Mercury and Venus and that it also orbited the earth. The “central fire” theory was abandoned.
Aristarchus of Samos (320-250bc) proposed a universe of immense size, which men in those days found too difficult to comprehend.
Hipparchus of Nicaea (146-127bc) discovered the precession of the equinoxes, compiled a star catalogue and invented trigonometry.
Claudius Ptolemy (90-168ad) He considered the spheres of heaven to be divine and assumed that the earth remained stationary.
Modern translations of the Bible in most cases do little more than use modern terminology giving less insight as to the meaning of the Scriptures than what we originally started with. One version states: "Let there be something to divide the water in two."
This translation is so unsure of what the firmament actually is that they don’t even call it a firmament. Another translation has it as such: "Let there be a horizon in the middle of the water in order to separate the water." Another feels that it should be: "Let the vapors separate to form the sky above and the oceans below."
I am of the opinion that if there is no clear understanding of what the firmament actually is then one explanation is as accurate as the next, as long as we keep things within the realm of actual possibility and stay away from the absurd.
Therefore, I am not criticizing these new translations but they are a variation of the original King James Version so perhaps we should start with that Bible to see what kind of understanding we can obtain from it. At the very least, with this version we have the ability to go back into the Hebrew language and see what the original Hebrew Texts stated.
Firmament _OT: 7549 raqiya` (raw-kee'-ah); from OT: 7554; properly, an expanse, i.e. the firmament or (apparently) visible arch of the sky:
Everybody has probably seen the visible arch of the sky when you go to the beach. If you look out towards the ocean or gulf, at the skyline, you can see the slight arc or the curvature of the earth as it apparently meets the sky.
The base root of the word raqiya’ is: raqa` (raw-kah'); a primitive root; to pound the earth (as a sign of passion); by analogy to expand (by hammering); by implication, to overlay (with thin sheets of metal):
To overlay with thin sheets of metal. Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. Two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen combined produces water. Scientists have experimented with hydrogen and under laboratory conditions, they have subjected hydrogen to extreme pressure and have determined that, under this extreme pressure, the hydrogen begins to form crystals, which are metallic in nature.
There is ongoing research in the scientific community to be able to produce hydrogen metal. In theory, hydrogen metal can be produced in sheets that are 10,000 times stronger than depleted Uranium, five times lighter than aluminum, sharper than the sharpest metals and manufactured with the ability to retain shape even though it is only a few molecules thick and even potentially made transparent. Could this firmament have contained hydrogen metal? And if so, how could the sun have penetrated this metal to warm the earth?
NASA discovered that because of the lack of atmosphere in space that the astronauts are blinded by the intense contrast between objects exposed to the sun and those in the shade. The anti-glare spacesuit visors attenuated the sun's rays uniformly, that is, they reduced the glare but in the process they obscured dim objects, making them almost invisible.
NASA coated the visors with a layer of gold that was so thin that it became transparent to the point that the astronauts could see through it while it still retained reflective properties. And the desired objective was attained; the astronauts were able to see more clearly under a variety of conditions.
Genesis 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
There were waters above and below the firmament. This firmament, whether metallic in nature or not, was used by God to divide the waters which were suspended above the earth or waters which encompassed the earth.
If the waters were a whole to begin with and God divided this water with the firmament then we can clearly see that there would be “waters which were under the firmament and waters which were above the firmament.”
In the books of the Apocrypha, 2 Esdras, 6:41 we find:
“Again, on the second day, you created the spirit of the firmament, and commanded it to divide and make a division between the waters, so that one part might go up and one part remain below.”
Continuing with verse 8 in Genesis:
Genesis 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Now, before you go and get religious on me, this word “heaven” is not the eternal resting place of souls. It is the Hebrew word shamayim; and from the Strong’s Concordance it is a dual of an unused singular shameh (shaw-meh'); from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve. The definition of heaven pretty much falls in line with the definition of the firmament, doesn’t it?
It would seem that the totality of the waters that encompassed the earth would be divided by this firmament and that the waters below this firmament would cover the earth and by progression, this would make sense because in the next verse God would gather this water into one place and land would appear:
Genesis 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
In this verse waters under the heavens continues to reinforce the established division between the two waters separated by the heaven/firmament.
Genesis 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
If we look at verse 2:
Genesis1:2 ….and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,
I firmly believe that in the first heaven/earth age, when this earth was inhabited by the angels in spiritual bodies, that there were no oceans or seas or storms. That the earth was without mountains; the North and South poles were in their proper axis; there were no ice caps and that the land was fertile and good. And the waters that encompassed the earth acted as a filter for the harmful rays of the sun.
In a later chapter, I will demonstrate the astounding similarities between the spiritual and physical bodies. When the katabole’ occurred God Himself changed the surface of this planet. The first heaven/earth age that the Apostle Peter referred to in his second book, chapter 3, verses 5-6, states:
2nd Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:,
The water above the firmament and the waters below the firmament, the old heaven/earth age,
2nd Peter 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
Our Father used that water that once protected the earth from the harmful rays from the sun to cover the earth and everything on this earth perished. All living animals that we consider to be prehistoric; all the vegetation that supplied the food for these dinosaurs and wooly mammoths; all the animals and plants that, for millions and millions of years, had been absorbing the carbon-14 atoms died and when they died they eventually became fossils to be discovered later by scientists and paleontologists.
Are you beginning to get the picture?
All of Gods’ creation is good. Now, bear in mind where we are in time and space with these Scriptures. This is the beginning of the second heaven/earth age; this is not the first heaven/earth age. You won’t be able to understand this if you don’t remember that there are three heaven/earth ages, as written of in the Book of 2nd Peter, chapter 3, verses 5-13:
2nd Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old,
That first heaven/earth age;
2nd Peter 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now,
This present heaven/earth age;
2nd Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth,
That third and yet future heaven/earth age which will come at the end of the millennium and judgment day, that heaven/earth age where we will spend eternity. It’s not three different earths, but the same earth with three different God-specific conditions.
In that first heaven/earth age, there were no oceans, no seas, no lakes, no streams, and no bubbling brooks. How do we know that? In the Book of Proverbs Wisdom was with God before He created anything. Wisdom is of God. Hard to understand? In this book we hear Wisdom speaking:
Proverbs 8:23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was;
Before the earth was even created;
Proverbs 8:24 When there were no depths, when there were no oceans, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
There was no flowing water and the water, which we find on the earth today, was compressed into a layer that completely surrounded the earth as a protection against the suns’ harmful rays much as the ozone layer protects us from these rays today. And when Satan organized the rebellion, that katabole’, our Father destroyed that age and the surface of this planet with that water;
2nd Peter 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.
This is not the flood of Noah’s time. Our Father decided to destroy the first heaven/earth age and He did it with the water of the firmament. Our Father destroyed every living thing that walked or crawled on this earth. Let me remind you that the earth, in the first heaven/earth age, was millions of years old.
This word “perished”, in the Greek language is apollumi and it means to destroy fully, completely. This is what our Father is preparing to do. He is going to destroy, completely, the surface conditions of the first earth age. How do we know that our Father really did this? Let’s go to the Book of Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 4:22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
This word “sottish” in the Hebrew, is “cakal” and it means silly or foolish or even stupid. Our Father’s people are wise to the ways of the world but just a little slow in understanding His Word;
Jeremiah 4:23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
Be mindful that this is happening between Genesis chapter 1, verse 1 and verse 2. Our Father has already destroyed the face of the earth;
Jeremiah 4:24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
It takes some kind of power to make mountains tremble and hills move lightly;
Jeremiah 4:25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man,
Don’t pass over this; there was no man. Man had not been created as yet;
Jeremiah 4:25…..and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
They were gone! In the flood of Noah, there were eight Adamic souls on board the ark but here we have no man. And what was it that Noah sent out to see if there was land? A raven:
Genesis 8:6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
Genesis 8:7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
Continuing in Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 4:26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger.
Why was our Father angry? Because of Satan’s actions, his attempt to overthrow the throne of God, that katabole’, at the foundation of the world,
Jeremiah 4:27For thus hath the Lord said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
He will leave that remnant behind; He will not fully destroy the earth. Now, how sharp are you? Do you understand the words when you read them? Did you notice the word cities in that 26th verse? How can there be cities if mankind had not been yet created, you might ask? Well, the obvious and simple answer is that there were only angels created at this time and it sort of puts into perspective the clear similarities between the spiritual and physical bodies.
Let’s go to the Book of Psalms for another witness as to how our Father destroyed the age that was, the first earth age:
Psalms 104:6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains;
Psalms 104:7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
At God’s spoken word the waters “hasted away”. Instantly. How long did it take the waters of the flood in Noah’s time to recede? Did they recede instantly? The flood of Noah begins in Genesis chapter 7, verse 11:
Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened,
And it rained for forty days and nights;
Genesis 7:12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights;
And the ground became dry again in:
Genesis 8:14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
The length of time between Genesis 7:11 and Genesis 8:14 was exactly one solar year and if you subtract 40 days from that length of time it took 325 days for the water to recede and the earth to become dry again. This is not the flood of water that destroyed the surface of the earth between the first earth age and the second. The waters of the first flood “hasted away” instantly, “at thy rebuke they fled”.
Many true Bible scholars believe that the flood of Noah’s time did not cover the entire earth and only by understanding God’s reason for this flood can we find this to be true.