mc2499 at mclink.it
Wed Jan 10 18:47:05 EST 2001
>> The firmament was thought to be a solid dome. Some rabbical
>> writings tell us (if I remember correctly) it was four fingers
>> thick. In its verbal form the same root means to hammer out.
>> If you would like can hunt out some verses, I think from Job,
>> which suggest that the Hebrews thought the firmament was hammered
>> out by God when the made it.
to which Dan responded:
>I disagree. The rabbinical writings are very late and these speculations
>about the meaning as of solid metal are tenuous. The idea of open expanse
>seems to work best, at least in some contexts such as Gen. 1.
I think Bill has it right. rqy` comes from the verb rq`, meaning " beat,
stamp, beat out, spread" (BDB), all tactile actions. rqy` linguistically is
the result of an implied physical action.
The Job reference, 37:18, says that God "spread out [rq`] the skies, hard as
a molten mirror." This "spread out" obviously entails beating it out. The
skies here are perceived as physically solid. Windows opened in the heavens
(eg Gen 7:11) letting the waters above, which the firmanent held up, Gen 1:7
(again the physical notion -- so I can't see Genesis helping your
interpretation, Dan), come upon the earth. In 1 Enoch the sun and moon
entered the sky through doors.
>Also, the blessing/cursing passages talk about God making the heavens like
>brass if the people apostatize... true, but the *earth* (surface) would
>be made like iron. So clearly it's a metaphor (no rain, no crops growing),
>and clearly if it has to be *made* into metal by a curse from God, then
>not metal right now until He brings that curse (therefore, the heavens
>rain, and the earth still grows crops).
If it were in this case a metaphor, that metaphor was in vogue before the
word was coined (as the metaphor would be embodied in the etymology of the
word itself), which seems highly unlikely.
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