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Thread: What is the Firmament in Genesis 1?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    The firmament was created separating water from water and was named heaven.

    Heaven can mean "space" or "abode of God."

    If you've got water that space could have separated from the oceans, maybe "space" is a reasonable read. As it is, we've got scriptural and physical evidence that the crust of the Earth separated water from water, so "abode of God" seems reasonable. Moreover, God lived on Earth with Adam and Eve.
    This isn't very convincing.
    You are having to change then normal meanings of both firmament (dome, expanse, air) and heaven (sky) in order to come up with an excuse for claiming that the later verse about God calling dry land by the name earth is just a repetition of God calling firmament by the name heaven, but that leaves the birds flying around in a sky that was never created in your narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    Either the words mean things, or they don't.
    Yes, why don't you believe it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    Why do the early references say "firmament" only, while the latter ones modify it with "of the heavens."

    Our explanation is that it is to distinguish separate meanings.
    This isn't very convincing.

    What is convincing is God calling the firmament by the name heaven and then creating birds that fly around in that same firmament of heaven.
    Learn to read what is written.

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    By the way, you missed JR's pertinent question: Where is the deep?
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
    E≈mc2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    By the way, you missed JR's pertinent question: Where is the deep?
    It is not relevant to the discussion.
    Learn to read what is written.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genuineoriginal View Post
    You are having to change then normal meanings of both firmament (dome, expanse, air) and heaven (sky)
    The "normal meaning" of firmament should be informed by the descriptions of it. It was created within the deep, separating water from water.

    If we find out where the deep was, we constrain where the firmament was.

    A normal meaning of heaven is "abode of God."

    What is convincing is God calling the firmament by the name heaven and then creating birds that fly around in that same firmament of heaven.
    They didn't fly "in" the firmament of the heavens; they flew "across the face of the firmament of the heavens."

    From this, it seems clear that the firmament of the heavens is far more than just the atmosphere.
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
    E≈mc2
    "the best maths don't need no stinkin' numbers"

    "The waters under the 'expanse' were under the crust."
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    Quote Originally Posted by genuineoriginal View Post
    It is not relevant to the discussion.
    Of course it is. It's a powerful challenge to your understanding of the passage.
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
    E≈mc2
    "the best maths don't need no stinkin' numbers"

    "The waters under the 'expanse' were under the crust."
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  9. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    A normal meaning of heaven is "abode of God."
    Not in the context of Genesis 1

    Here are the relevant verses using The Expanded Bible, which shows alternate translations of many words.

    Genesis 1:6-10,20 EXP
    6 Then God said, “Let there be ·something to divide the water in two [L a firmament/dome/expanse in the midst of the waters to separate/divide the waters from the waters].”
    7 So God made the ·air [L firmament; dome; expanse; C rain clouds] and placed some of the water above the ·air [L firmament; dome; expanse] and some below it [C referring to the rain and the oceans, lakes, and rivers].
    8 God ·named [called] the ·air [L firmament/dome/expanse] “·sky [heaven].” Evening passed, and morning came [1:5]. This was the second day.
    9 Then God said, “Let the water under the ·sky [heavens] be gathered together so the dry land will appear.” And it happened.
    10 God ·named [called] the dry land “earth” and [L he called] the water that was gathered together “seas.” God saw that this was good.
    ...
    20 Then God said, “Let the water ·be filled with living things [L swarm with living creatures], and let birds fly in the ·air [L firmament/dome/expanse] above the earth.”



    We have God making air and calling it sky.
    We have God making dry land and calling it earth.
    We have birds flying in the air above the earth.

    All attempts to make the verses say something different are denying what the verses actually say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    By the way, you missed JR's pertinent question: Where is the deep?
    Quote Originally Posted by genuineoriginal View Post
    It is not relevant to the discussion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    Of course it is. It's a powerful challenge to your understanding of the passage.
    Not at all.

    The only thing important is whether you can understand that the verses show that air (the firmament) is not the earth.
    Learn to read what is written.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omniskeptical View Post
    The firmament was rock that covered water; and the heaven is a mistranslation of rock elevation. It isn't an expanse.
    The Bible is its own best interpreter. The idea that the waters under the earth are "the deep" and the ocean is viewed as completely separate is not a Biblical idea.

    Psalm 107:23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
    24 These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
    Ancient mariners, and even modern man, cannot see through the bottom of the ocean to look at what lies beyond floor of the ocean so no one one of David's day had ever seen the whatever the wonders are contained in the waters under the earth. Even today, with all the sophisticated technology we have, no one has ever seen what wonders there are in the waters under the earth. So, the Bible uses the term "deep" interchangeably. It can refer to the waters under the earth, or to the ocean. It can refer to either in any place the word is used.

    Second. During the creation week God created the fowls of the earth to fly in the firmament, and as no birds I've ever heard of can fly through rock, I'd say your assertion is pretty mind boggling.

    Third. During the flood it rained over the entire earth for 40 consecutive days and nights. Where did that amount of water come from? The Bible makes it clear that these were no gentle showers or a light drizzle. This was heavy, heavy rain. There is evidence that before the flood there was a dome over the earth that consisted of water. It filtered out the ultraviolet rays and radiation coming from the sun which is at least partially responsible for the long lives of the antedeluvians. And it created a system of watering the earth with dew only even at the increased temperatures. It also created a heavier atmosphere than we now have with a higher oxygen content and a far more stable weather pattern without the extremes of summer and winter.

    Some doctors now use similar atmospheres to heal people of some very nasty diseases and injuries. They are called hyperbaric chambers and some very amazing results have been achieved using them.
    “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by genuineoriginal View Post
    Not in the context of Genesis 1
    The context is the creation of the world. The narrower context is the development of land and seas. God wound up living on that land. Calling it His abode seems fine, in context.



    We have God making air and calling it sky.
    When there is disagreement, it pays to p please things in a fashion that both sides can agree to. The Bible says that God made a firmament that divided waters from waters.

    All attempts to make the verses say something different are denying what the verses actually say.
    Nobody has attempted to make the words say something that they don't mean.

    The only thing important is whether you can understand that the verses show that air (the firmament) is not the earth.
    When you show convincing reasons for such a change.
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
    E≈mc2
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    "The waters under the 'expanse' were under the crust."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    During the creation week God created the fowls of the earth to fly in the firmament, and as no birds I've ever heard of can fly through rock, I'd say your assertion is pretty mind boggling.
    Genesis says the birds flew across the face of the firmament of the heavens:

    Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”
    Genesis 1:20 NKJV

    So that kinda works regardless of whether the firmament is the crust of the Earth or outer space. It doesn't really work of the firmament is the atmosphere.

    Where did that amount of water come from?
    The "fountains of the great deep."

    A more important question is: Where did the water go?
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
    E≈mc2
    "the best maths don't need no stinkin' numbers"

    "The waters under the 'expanse' were under the crust."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    The context is the creation of the world. The narrower context is the development of land and seas.
    You are missing the creation of the sky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    God wound up living on that land. Calling it His abode seems fine, in context.
    God did not end up living on the land and He won't live on the earth until Revelation 21.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    When there is disagreement, it pays to p please things in a fashion that both sides can agree to.
    The disagreement is that you want to redefine "firmament" and "heaven" to mean "dry land" and "earth" when the creation of dry land takes place after the creation of the firmament.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    The Bible says that God made a firmament that divided waters from waters.
    Yes, and God called that firmament שָׁמַיִם shamayim

    Heaven in Judaism

    Shamayim (שָׁמַיִם), the Hebrew word for "heaven" (literally heavens, plural), denotes one component of the three-part biblical cosmology, the other elements being erets (the earth) and sheol (the underworld).

    The Hebrew word shamayim is constructed of two parts: sham (שָׁמַ) derived from Akkadian samu meaning "sky" or "lofty", and Hebrew mayim (מַיִם) meaning "water". In Genesis 1:6 Elohim separated the "water from the water". The area above the earth was filled by sky-water (sham-mayim) and the earth below was covered by sea-water (yam-mayim). The Hebrew word for the sun is shemesh. It follows the same construction, where "shem" or "sham" (Akkadian: samu) means "sky" and esh (Akkadian: ish) means "fire", i.e., "sky-fire".


    You seem to think שָׁמַיִם shamayim (heaven) does not mean sky-water.
    Learn to read what is written.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    Genesis says the birds flew across the face of the firmament of the heavens:
    Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”
    Genesis 1:20 NKJV

    So that kinda works regardless of whether the firmament is the crust of the Earth or outer space. It doesn't really work of the firmament is the atmosphere.



    The "fountains of the great deep."

    A more important question is: Where did the water go?
    Sure it works if the firmament is the atmosphere.
    The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 (gcide)
    Face Face (f[=a]s), n. [F., from L. facies form, shape, face,
    perh. from facere to make (see Fact); or perh. orig.
    meaning appearance, and from a root meaning to shine, and
    akin to E. fancy. Cf. Facetious.]
    1. The exterior form or appearance of anything; that part
    which presents itself to the view; especially, the front
    or upper part or surface; that which particularly offers
    itself to the view of a spectator.

    [1913 Webster]
    You're requiring a much too narrow definition of face. If a plane or bird flies above me it flies across the face of the heavens from my point of view. All it means in the context of Genesis 1:20 is the bird is flying through the atmosphere in such a way that it would be above the viewer of the activity. Did God give Moses a vision of that? I don't know, but from the word description that Moses uses it appears that way to me.

    I think your water question is based upon an assumption that the earth was covered with oceans before and after the flood and that the surface of the earth was the same before and afterward. I don't think either assumption is logical or true. The flood was a massive upheaval on planet earth. I think there was massive geological upheaval that dramatically changed the landscape of planet earth. The erosion of soil that must have happened had to have been massive. And the amount of water gouging of both rock and soil in areas must have also been incredible.

    There are studies that show that since the time of the flood earth's magnetic field has been collapsing at a rapid rate. That is evidence the crust of the earth itself was shattered as that would have a major effect on the earth's magnetic fields then and be responsible for the continuing degradation of the magnetic fields since that time. That would mean there were massive movements on the earth's crust from the rotation of the earth, and we still see those going on today with continental drift. That means massive holes had to have been created and also massive mountains created from the upthrust of rock from what we now call continents of one continent moving under or the collision of continents.

    The water would simply move to the lowest areas by the force of gravity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by genuineoriginal View Post
    You are missing the creation of the sky.
    As I say: When there is disagreement, we should strive to phrase things in a manner that both sides can agree with. The Bible says that God created a firmament within the deep to divide water from water.

    That's the tighter context.

    God did not end up living on the land and He won't live on the earth until Revelation 21.
    So you're saying He did plan to live on Earth?

    Seems reasonable to call it heaven then.

    The disagreement is that you want to redefine "firmament" and "heaven" to mean "dry land" and "earth" when the creation of dry land takes place after the creation of the firmament.
    Nope.

    Don't attribute motive, just respond to what is said.

    You seem to think שָׁמַיִם shamayim (heaven) does not mean sky-water.
    It can mean that.

    It can also mean something else.
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
    E≈mc2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Sure it works if the firmament is the atmosphere.

    You're requiring a much too narrow definition of face. If a plane or bird flies above me it flies across the face of the heavens from my point of view. All it means in the context of Genesis 1:20 is the bird is flying through the atmosphere in such a way that it would be above the viewer of the activity. Did God give Moses a vision of that? I don't know, but from the word description that Moses uses it appears that way to me.
    "Across the face" makes a big difference from "in."

    I think your water question is based upon an assumption that the earth was covered with oceans before and after the flood and that the surface of the earth was the same before and afterward. I don't think either assumption is logical or true.
    You don't think the global flood covered the globe?

    The flood was a massive upheaval on planet earth. I think there was massive geological upheaval that dramatically changed the landscape of planet earth.
    How? Why?

    From water falling from the sky?
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
    E≈mc2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    "Across the face" makes a big difference from "in."



    You don't think the global flood covered the globe?



    How? Why?

    From water falling from the sky?
    Some versions say "in" and some say "across". Either way I see no problem with my statement. A bird flying across the face of the heavens is flying in the firmament, i.e. atmosphere. No bird is going to fly without the atmosphere. For one it would be dead within a minute or so due to lack of oxygen, and for another, lack of an atmosphere means no aerodynamic forces applied to the wings/feathers thus the inability to fly. As birds cannot fly through stone, or without an atmosphere it's a given they were flying in the atmosphere when they flew across the face of the heavens.

    Of course the flood covered the globe. Where would you get the idea that I wouldn't think it did? I was speaking to the effects of a world wide flood upon the land. The hydraulic forces of water can change a landscape so that it is unrecognizable even after a small flood, let alone one that covered the tops of all the mountains. Look what a tidal wave does. Then imagine a flood a couple of million times that large.

    As to your last question I guess you've never read Genesis 7:11 and 8:2. A massive geological event would cause the "fountains of the deep" to "burst forth" as well as the other events I mentioned. I, personally, have a hard time accepting that God's perfect creation included destructive earthquakes caused by an earth with an unstable crust, i.e. continents drifting into each other. God's just way too wise and intelligent to create a system on day one that is already tearing itself apart. Would He allow that as a consequence of sin in His destruction of the antedeluvians? Yes, as mankind needs to learn just how destructive sin is and just how small we really are in the universe. Earthquakes show us just how little power we really have. It's humbling to have everything a person knows/owns to be destroyed in a minute or two with no ability to even begin to halt the forces at work. God uses every avenue possible to get our attention.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Some versions say "in" and some say "across".
    What would the Hebrew have meant of it said "in" the face?







    Either way I see no problem with my statement. A bird flying across the face of the heavens is flying in the firmament.
    It doesn't say flying in/across the face of the heaven. It's across the face of the firmament (of the heavens).

    No bird is going to fly without the atmosphere. For one it would be dead within a minute or so due to lack of oxygen, and for another, lack of an atmosphere means no aerodynamic forces applied to the wings/feathers thus the inability to fly. As birds cannot fly through stone, or without an atmosphere it's a given they were flying in the atmosphere when they flew across the face of the heavens.
    I'm pretty sure we're all in full agreement that there is an atmosphere.

    Of course the flood covered the globe. Where would you get the idea that I wouldn't think it did?
    Sorry. I think I misread your analysis of my assumptions.

    I was speaking to the effects of a world wide flood upon the land. The hydraulic forces of water can change a landscape so that it is unrecognizable even after a small flood, let alone one that covered the tops of all the mountains. Look what a tidal wave does. Then imagine a flood a couple of million times that large.
    "Tidal waves," actually tsunami, do very little to the ground they run over. Some superficial erosion when they hit the shore. That's relative, of course. They can destroy towns, but they don't cause "massive geological upheaval."

    As to your last question I guess you've never read Genesis 7:11 and 8:2. A massive geological event would cause the "fountains of the deep" to "burst forth" as well as the other events I mentioned. I, personally, have a hard time accepting that God's perfect creation included destructive earthquakes caused by an earth with an unstable crust, i.e. continents drifting into each other. God's just way too wise and intelligent to create a system on day one that is already tearing itself apart. Would He allow that as a consequence of sin in His destruction of the antedeluvians? Yes, as mankind needs to learn just how destructive sin is and just how small we really are in the universe. Earthquakes show us just how little power we really have. It's humbling to have everything a person knows/owns to be destroyed in a minute or two with no ability to even begin to halt the forces at work. God uses every avenue possible to get our attention.
    I think we're mostly on the same page, except you seem to place a lot of stock in rainfall as a source of water and destruction, while I think the fountains provided all the water and led to all the destabilization of the planet.

    Is that fair?
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
    E≈mc2
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    "The waters under the 'expanse' were under the crust."
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