Day Two The second day has to do with the creation of the firmament. The primitive concept

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Day Two The second day has to do with the creation of the firmament. The primitive concept involved in the word "firmament" is: "beaten out, stamped (as of metal), suggesting a thin sheet stretched out to form, the vault of the sky" (Speiser, 1964, p 6). Liberals take pleasure in pointing this out as an indication of the Hebrews' "pre-scientific view of the universe" (Murray and Buffaloe, 1981, p 10). This view, it is alleged, involves a belief that the sky was a solid structure which rested upon the mountains. This notion is based upon the very troublesome assumption that the word "firmament" was intended (by Moses) to convey the meaning the liberals have assigned to it; but the Hebrew word may be better translated "expanse" (Wilson, p 166). In his typically concise way, W.E. Vine stresses: While this English word is derived from the Latin `firmamentum' which signifies firmness or strengthening ...the Hebrew word, `raqia', has no such meaning, but denoted the "expanse," that which is stretched out. Certainly the sky was not regarded a s a hard vault in which the heavenly orbs were fixed.... There is therefore nothing in the language of the original to suggest that the writers [of the Old Testament---BTB] were influenced by the imaginative ideas of heathen nations (1981, p 67). Moses elaborates by stating one of the functions of the firmament. It was intended to serve as a divider between the atmospheric and the terrestrial waters. Here too, the liberals suppose they have grist for their mills. In their minds, Genesis reads like a pagan myth. Murray and Buffaloe allege: "The Genesis account explains that there is a vast reservoir of water collected above the dome (`firmament'), which of course is how ancient peoples accounted for rainfall" (p 10). The question must be raised as to where Genesis "explains" anything concerning a "vast reservoir of water." The text simply states that a division was accomplished between the waters above and below the sky (firmament). Water vapor is an important component of the atmosphere, and there is nothing in Moses' words to suggest that he necessarily had reference to any more than that. Some scholars have suggested that a canopy of water vapor enveloped the antediluvian world and caused a globally temperate climate to prevail (e.g., Bixler, 1986). While the Vapor Canopy Theory is not inconsistent with the phrase "waters above," other passages would have to be considered in order to support the theory. With these acts of creation finished, evening falls and morning returns---completing day two.


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