[b-hebrew] Question on Genesis 1:6-7

Dora Smith villandra at austin.rr.com
Mon Jun 14 00:04:52 EDT 2004

I have a question about the meaning of raqiya in GEnesis 1.  Also the
phrase, v'yhiy mav'diyl, beyn mayiym lamayiym.

First of all, the notion that raqiya means "heaven", "sky" or "air" makes
little sense.   I always thought that "firmament" means hard land, because
the English word contains the word "firm", and because only land in that
context makes any sense.

Here is how verses 6 and 7 translate.   And God said, let tehre be a sky in
the midst of the waters.   and let there be divided, between/among the
waters to/for the waters.    Which is translated, and let the sky divide the
waters from the waters.   How does any part of this add up?

And God made the sky, and he separated between the the waters which were
"from under" the sky, and the waters which were "from upon" the sky.
(mitachat and mi'al)    Whatever that means.   No clue why not just say
tachat and al; under and upon, if that's what it means.   Translated as God
made the sky, and divided the waters which were under the sky from the
waters which were over the sky.

All of this after verse 2 just got through explaining that the Earth had no
form at all, it was completely empty, and God hovered over the waters- how
did he manage that if there was no sky?   And where did the light that he
created shine if all there was was water and mysteriously some space above
the water where the breath of God blew in the not air which he hadn't
created yet.

And what sort of waters were above the sky?

Can someone please make sense of these words?

Dora Smith
Austin, Texas
villandra at austin.rr.com

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