[b-hebrew] skies in plural? (Rolf's response 3)

George Athas George.Athas at moore.edu.au
Mon Sep 10 10:56:21 EDT 2012

I don't know what more to give you, Rolf, other than the text in its context.

If the birds are above the רקיע, they'd be swimming through the waters above it, not flying. And this wouldn't be visible to anyone below on the earth. It seems logical from the architecture of the cosmos as described in the text that the birds are flying across the surface (taking על פני as an integrated phrase and not just two completely independent words that don't combine to make meaning) of the רקיע on its underside, where they could be observed by a human on the ground. So I'm understanding על פני as having essentially the same connotation in both occurrences in the chapter: across (not above) something that is tangible (ie. has a surface).

For the rest, you can refer to Jerry's study on the root רקע. Though I note you want the evidence to be different from what it is.

It takes us back to the methodological issues: contextual evidence  v  tangential considerations.

If you want tangential considerations, I'm sorry, but I'm going to disappoint you.

Dean of Research,
Moore Theological College (moore.edu.au)
Sydney, Australia

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