Reading the Bible Plain and Simple


(George Brooks) #23

@Reggie_O_Donoghue,

There is one sentence that says the firmament is the sky. And several sentences that refer to the Firmament Of The Sky. Using your analysis, the sentences should be interpreted as the “Sky of the Sky”.

I can’t believe I’m going to have to give this example… but it has come to this:

If someone were describing the various geological ages of the Earth … starting with the Cretaceous… and he or she said the Cretaceous period is Mesozoic… would you be justified in saying Mesozoic = Cretaceous?

This is just so obvious… and yet you have succeeded in making a mountain out of a molehill. Cretaceous is Mesozoic because it is part of the Mesozoic group of ages. Otherwise, a historian would not be able to coherently speak of the “Cretaceous of the Mesozoic”.

The scribe of Genesis 1 describes the firmament as the sky. But then he goes on to describe the Firmament of the Sky multiple times… making it pretty clear that the Firmament is a part of the sky … it does not comprise the entirety of the sky.

This should be intuitively quite clear to you, even as you pursued the idea that the Firmament = the sky = the clouds. Are the Clouds the sky? They are part of the sky. The clouds of the sky is a coherent phrase. It is clear that neither the Firmament, nor Clouds, make up the entirety of the sky.


(George Brooks) #24

@Reggie_O_Donoghue

Absolutely lovely.

So we have established it. You apparently are asserting that the scribe of Genesis interpreted the “milky river” of the sky as “the waters”… which were kept from falling all at once onto the Earth by means of the solid Firmament… and that the Egyptians went so far as to imagine a solar bark traveling on this river of milky sky.

So… how does this help anyone who imagines the scribe of Genesis knew what he was writing about?


(RiderOnTheClouds) #25

I get that, but it in no way removes the parallelism between day 2 and day 5, you just simply ignored that and refuted something I wasn’t then arguing.


(George Brooks) #26

@Reggie_O_Donoghue

I don’t think “Parallelism” always means what you think it means.

Birds fly “in” the sky, “around” the sky, “near” the sky, and even “along” the sky.
You are taking the English translation of “in the sky” more literally than the Hebrew can necessarily support.

If the firmament is the highest “part” of the sky … what makes you think birds must be flying in the firmament?


(RiderOnTheClouds) #27

Here’s what I mean. There appears to be a pattern in Genesis 1 where the realms are created, and then they are filled with inhabitants in a corresponding order.

For example:

The sun inhabits the day, the moon and stars inhabit the night.

Animals inhabit the earth

So the day 5 must parallel day 2. Birds inhabit the firmament and/or waters above just as fish inhabit the waters below.


(George Brooks) #28

@Reggie_O_Donoghue

So, if we review the verses Genesis 1:19 to 23 (below), your application of “Parallelism” would
lead to the following conclusions:

A. Fish swim in the sea / as do birds fly in the sky.
B. If fowl fly in the “open firmament” - - literally, “fly by the Face of the Firmament” - - or “the face of the clouds” (better than saying birds fly “in the clouds”, yes?) then
C. Fish must swim in the ocean. But that’s not what Verse 19/20 says: “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life…”

It would seem your parallelism is more imagined than real. Water must bring forth… while the sky is for flying, not for bringing forth.

Then God created great whales, which were brought forth by the waters…and maybe even the waters brought forth the birds too? - - except that there is the last part of verse 22: … and let fowl multiply in the earth.
That’s a pretty odd parallelism, yes? The fowl are multiplying in the Earth… not in the sky. If this was strict parallelism, you would think the fish would multiply on the ocean bed… not “in the water”. But water extends all the way down to the ocean bed, right? Well, so does the air, right? Clouds extend right to the ground as fog. Why would birds multiply in the Earth? Especially those that nest in the trees?

Conclusion?:
I think your parallelism is kind of casual … it’s approximate. It hardly seems to be so precise that you can determine that the firmament must mean clouds. What seems clear is that the firmament is part of the sky, not all of the sky itself. And that’s really all we can tell from this part of Genesis 1. In other parts of Genesis 1, we learn that the firmament divides the waters … it is not made of water.

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Gen 1:19 - 20
And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life,
and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open [“open”, or “face of”, Paniym] firmament of heaven.

Gen 1:21-22
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas,
and let fowl multiply in the earth.

Gen 1:23
And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.