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Why Did God Create?

What  is  His  Plan  for  the  Seventh  Day?
 

 This is a more comprehensive treatment of ‘The  Ultimate  Purpose  of  Stewardship’

 

INTRODUCTION    and  an  overview  about  three  sections  in  the  work:

Welcome to the world of creation, science, theology, and also the world of ancient languages essential to it all.

The intersection of science and faith can be better understood through archaeological discoveries in recent decades.  Discoveries about ancient Biblical languages allow better exegesis through etymology and grammar.  

For example of exegesis, the first verb in the Bible at Genesis 1:1 is bara in Hebrew and is normally translated ‘created’ at “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. It is found six times in the first creation passage which continues through Genesis 2:3.  It has also been found to be mistranslated.1  Comparative usages of its verb forms show bara means to “separate a space.”  It is basic to the fuller process of creation and understanding creation stories!

The importance of the proper use of bara is also seen outside the creation passage, such as exemplified at Isaiah 45:7.  It has been translated that the Lord “creates [bara] darkness” and “creates [bara] evil”.  It has been confusing.  God “separates.”  Also, the intensive verb form of bara is to “cut a space” (e.g., cut a grove of trees), related to the more simple ‘separate a space’.  It will be shown in this work how bara better fits with the creation story framework.  This work begins with the major section ‘Science and Theology’.  The meaning of bara in particular is considered in that section, under the subsection titled ‘Separation  in  the  Creation  story - - Words:’.  Ample time will be given to understanding other key words which enlighten the creation text, such as ‘waters’ and ‘firmament’.


OVERVIEW   of   three  sections


[ The  Overview  of  3  sections  is  followed  by  CONTENTS  and  then  the  3  full  sections.]


Physical  science   and   Theology   -  Overview   -  section  1  of  3


Archaeological discoveries about ancient Biblical languages bring major revelation of good science from the creation text.  Central to discoveries is the ‘proto-Sinaitic’ alphabet formed of picto-symbolic script.  Its picture symbols were developed from nature, and script meanings add ample information to etymology, exegesis, and word relationships.  It was the alphabet in use at the time of Moses.  The ‘proto-Sinaitic’ alphabet helps us understand about natural processes taking place in Genesis creation stories, to significantly reveal them.

Proto-Sinaitic’ came from Egyptian culture and hieroglyphs.  The location of its first archaeological discovery was in the Sinai, at a place with a turquoise mine and a significant temple complex associated to it, named Serabit el-Kadim.  Its location begat its name, Sinaitic.  More recently, the script was also discovered along ancient caravan routes near Luxor [ancient Thebes].  Many concepts and meanings from the picto-scripts have remained intact through succeeding languages.  Those concepts help us know how the creation was originally understood.  Using ancient script does not imprint the modern world on the creation text, but allows the creation text to be understood in terms and values of that day.  It shows rational observational science, not allegory.

The proto-Sinaitic alphabet is the paraent to Phoenician, Hebrew, and Greek alphabets.  The Greek alphabet developed into the Latin and some European alphabets.  And the Latin alphabet is the parent to most Western and other European alphabets.  Concepts from nature shown in the original picto-symbolic alphabet letters bring better understanding of root meanings of words in all languages which use its child alphabet letters.  In the Latin letters being read here in English, there is amazing correspondence to the alphabet in use at the time of Moses.  Now, etymology brings modern words alive in context of original picture symbols, as will be demonstrated in this work.

A day as will be shown to be a day-age.  The Genesis creation reveals God separating the beginning chaos into more ordered states, day by day.  Some of those ways in the creation story will be given detail in this work.  The seventh day is without the contextual ‘evening and morning’ as have the first six creation days.  The seventh day is unfinished, and it allows the purpose and plan of God to separate goodness from evil.  

This work will show that the process of creation and the purpose of God are the same.  Creation was separation, and the plan of God continues to be separation of goodness from evil, exercised in this present day named Shabbat.  The end of the process with be separated heaven and hell, forever.  We are created agents of His plan.


Theology  and  Purpose   -  Overview   -  section  2  of  3


This view of creation and purpose of God as alike also leads to a basic concern about theodicy from the classical question,
  Why  would  a  personal  loving  all-powerful  God  allow  evil  and  suffering?  It touches us very personally.  This question must be well answered, both for people who espouse faith in the Bible and creation design, and for people who consider God to be an antiquated concept created in an archaic bronze-age desert kingdom.  A lack of complete reason for this question has historically cut short reasonable consideration about the intersection of faith and science.  People might view a belief in a ‘personal’ God like did Albert Einstein who considered such to be naïve and childish. 

The question, Why  Did  God  Create?, becomes more clear through answering two other questions which intimately tied together in its topic, Why  would  a  personal  loving  all-powerful   God  allow  evil  and  suffering?  and  What  is  His  Plan  for  the  Seventh  Day?  Answers give purpose, identity, and works.  This work addresses the purpose of God for creation and humankind at its second major section, ‘Theology and Purpose’.

As a beginning consideration here for that section about God and purpose, in tight syllogistic form:  if God is good, He would desire to destroy evil.  Within that desire, if God is all-powerful, He would destroy evil.  Evil is not defeated, therefore a good all-powerful God does not exist.  Two things direct attention for a good answer.  1 - tense in the syllogism, and  2 – Biblical scripture that gives a more full and historic panorama to the process of separating goodness from evil.  Time is often wrongly assumed inconsequential.

1 -
The first two sentences of the syllogism use the set a conditional mood  by use of the word ‘would’, about what God would and could choose as His will for a conjectured future event.  The third and last sentence is not conditional.  It is wrongly assumed that the will of God ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ is not now in process.   The creation began the process of the answer of God to solve the problem of Satan and a third of the angels rebelling.  The separation process continues as we breathe, and it will be consummated at a new heaven and earth when goodness and evil are separated.  We must establish the purpose of creation and time.  The Bible defines this purposeful process very well, and our central role to it.

2 – Scripture about the process: 
1st Peter 1:19, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”  1 Peter 1:20, “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,”  God knew before the creation that He would die to redeem us from sins, and thus before Adam and Eve sinned.  It was not a surprise.  If God knew prior to creation that He would experience evil and suffering, then why would He create?  This ups the ante of reasoning.   

If we accept that omniscience is all knowledge:  past, present and future, then even if we did not know or ponder Peter’s important view about the foreordained death of Christ to redeem us, we could conjecture that God omnisciently knew Adam and Eve would sin and that Satan would be in the Garden.  It was their exercised free will, but God knew.  Why did God create, knowing what He knew.  It is personal to Him and us.

In some Christian beliefs an ‘old earth’ creation view is not accepted.  Such is wrongly believed to detract from a gospel that honors the shed blood of Christ, because it connects death within the Genesis creation story prior to the Fall of humanity in the Garden.  This is supposedly contrary to New Testament references to creation at Romans 5:12, and 8:19 – 22, 1st Corinthians 5:21 – 22, etc.  This is claimed to denigrate the redemptive purpose of God, the essence of Christ as the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit that influences humanity for the will of God.  The subsection in this work that most addresses this conflict is ‘The  problem  of  not  seeing  the  Biblical  forest,  due  to  two  trees in the Garden’ under the second main section which is ‘Theology and Purpose’.  It addresses how the intimate relationship of God should be understood to operate from earliest times in the Garden, how eternal life was cut short to death, and the process of redemption in the ‘old earth’ view.

The six days of creation were ‘very good’ to support His plan to be carried out in the seventh day-era in which we reside.  The whole consideration is broader in context than the creation story, Garden Fall, free will, and a desire of God for our relationship, though these items are essentials to the full answer.  Separation of goodness from evil, forever, is the plan.

God called everything made in creation to be ‘very good’, Genesis 1:31.  Creation is ‘very good’ for the purpose for which it was created:  the plan to separate evil from goodness in the Seventh Day.  Creation and the Garden of Eden were not perfect.  Satan slithered there.

This work will offer insight to the Genesis creation story through early proto-Sinaitic script that was the forerunner of Hebrew and other aforementioned languages.  Discoveries have given a better defined language and grammar, to allow better definition of events.  Those events match excellently well to ‘Old Earth’ events common to natural sciences.  And events match excellently well to the purpose of the death of Christ on the cross.

A practical question often arises from this topic.  How does ‘reconciliation’ with God fit with His plan of ‘separation’?  They might seem to oppose each other.  First, to ‘conciliate’ means ‘to be made friendly’, and its prefix ‘re-’ means ‘again’.  ‘To be made friendly again’ with God, and to finally become His redeemed bride at the Revelation 19 ‘Marriage feast of the Lamb’ is an intimate process enacted at the Garden Fall and planned prior.  In omniscience, God planned, alluded Peter.  His reconciliation fits within His larger plan to separation of goodness from evil.  Redemption – reconciliation is meant to heal injury coming from our battle as his created agents to separate evil from goodness.  God states to Satan at Genesis 3:15 that the seed of the woman “… shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”  Intriguing vocabulary will detail this battle at ‘The  problem  of  not  seeing  the  Biblical  forest,  due  to  two  trees in the Garden.’


Purpose  and  Application   -
  Overview   -  section  3  of  3

Considering identity, Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  There are works of faith for us to do, not of our own origin, lest we should boast that we are the source of the plan.  And faith is very rational, to know words claimed from God, and test them to see the effect, then accept or reject His words based upon the promised outcome.  The testing must be done with unadulterated material, or bad outcomes produce false effects.


Etymology will be used to show that humanity lives in the ‘seventh day’.  We live in the purposeful time to which the prior six creation days led.  God expected problems from evil, and gives mercy to us, His apex of creation, to separate goodness from evil through our actions.  It is in His plan for goodness.  In this, God came to offer forgiveness for wrongness resulting from acting independently from Him [sin].  That same forgiveness is required of us toward other people, or we will not be forgiven, Matthew, chapter 6.  This is part of working out salvation with fear and trembling – respect, Philippians 2:12  - 13.  The consideration of our work as forgiveness is the third section of this work, ‘Purpose and Application’.

 
Forgiveness allows a more knowable and a more secure salvation than many salvation ‘eternal security’ paradigms.   This work gives application for what God desires we do as His agents:  to for-give and give goodness in the separation process.  Forgiveness is learned, and in it we will better develop His attribute of Mercy which is the essence of His goodness in love toward us.  The creation story and human story of history is about the problem of evil and goodness mixed tight together from before the creation, and the plan to separate one from the other through the means of creation; done with Mercy in the Seventh day.

God knew his beloved humanity would be hurt, and that in reconciling them to Himself, He would be hurt, too.  After the battle of the separation process, God did not plan to throw humanity into the trash as used goods, but to redeem humanity first made in His image to carry out His will on earth.  That is a loving ‘Husband’.


 
Blessings in reading,

 Steve Huffey

Steve Huffey   Copyright ©  July 2015  P.O. Box 1381, Monrovia, Ca. 91017



CONTENTS
   

 [ Note:  this work combines two of three papers given at the ASA lecture, namely:  lecture notes and a longer paper given for later reading.  And this paper expands lecture notes to include extra items given at the lecture and from Q / A.   A separate work about Hebrew Bara, as the first verb in the Bible, is included.  A separate paper not given at the lecture, Alphabets, is included as a non-profit educational purpose from Ancient Hebrew.org at  http://www.ancient-hebrew.org ]
 
I  -  Physical  science   and   Theology

A.  -  Separation  in  the  Creation  Story  - - Words:  
1.  -  Bara and its opening context
     a.    - ‘separate’, in context of Hebrew [and a separate paper - tab]
     b.    -  The context  of  bara  in creation 
     c.      -  Genesis 1:1 – 2 grammar, 
     d.    -  Two objectives in the text about early creation
    
e.      -  Objective Genesis language based in good sourcing rather than allegory
     f.       - Basic conceptions about Hebrew
 2.  -  Waters – ‘unknowns’ 
 3.  -  Badal  -  divide  [ like bara - separate ]
 
4.  -  Consecutive  And’s

B.  -    Firmament – Meant to be Firm?   Yes, in a ‘loose’ way of speaking.
1.     -  Firmament - raqia
2.     -  Firmament  History:  matters of proper translation and transliteration
3.     -  Context of the firmament seen in Genesis creation verses –
     - ‘within - out of - between’ - beyn
4.  -  Context of the firmament to spatial relationships seen at Genesis, chapter 1 
     - ‘among - midst of’ - betok
5.  -  Overview – and integration to translation:
6.  -  Three creation verses outside Genesis further reveal the firmament –
     a. - Psalm 136:6
     b. - Job 26:7  [first referenced in the section about the word ‘waters’]
     c. - Isaiah 42:5
7.  -  Comparison of   raqa - stretched out’  and   – ‘al = on, upon, over, above’
8.     -  Gen 1:7  - dual  waters  within  the  expanse:  [at] the bottom of  tachat, and ‘[at] the top of - `al
9.     -  Gen 1:9  … waters under = ‘[at] the bottom of’ the heaven be ‘gatheredqavah’ together unto one place
10.              -  Translation of Gen 1:6 - 10, using vocabulary definitions above
11.              -  Job 37:18 is about clouds.  It is not about the sky being hard.

 C.  -  What  is  a  ‘Day’  -  and  the  7th  Day?

 II.  -  Theology  and  Purpose

 D.  -  A  big  view  of  creation,  to  see  the  Purpose  of  God  -
1.  -  Beginning  at  I Peter 1:19 – 20 - -  a view  from  before  “the  beginning” 
2.  -  A  view of  all  creation  - - The  Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
3.  -  The  problem  of  not  seeing  the  Biblical  forest,  due  to  two  trees in the Garden.  4.  -  The  bride

 III.  -  Purpose  and  Application

E.    -  To  For-give  and  give   -
1.  -  the  separating  work  for  us and God  in  the  seventh  day.
2.  -  Forgiveness of God:
3.  -  Salvation  and ‘forgiveness’ in Matthew 6:14 – 15:  See Romans 1:31 - 2:3

 F.  -  Free will, choice, and Pharaoh.    God allows trials and temptations, because ….

 G.   -  Mercy and Goodness in the light of Job – with Romans 9  and  Matthew  9
1-a.  -  What  is  ‘good’  and  ‘fair’?   God allows trials and temptations, because …
1-b.  -  God desires we know that nothing can be withheld from Him, and  
       
-  He determines what is good, and
        -  He desires us to love. 
2. - ‘Ultimate  might  makes  right.’  - -  Romans  9  gives  context  to  ‘goodness’
3. - So,  how does ultimate might match with free will?        Mercy

H.   -   God desires to build good character, but His Purpose in creation is much more!

 I.   -   Exploratory   discussion   questions  -   Personal    application 

 Notes
 
  

BEGINNING   of  - -

 

Section  I   -   -   in  full

 

For convenience, Contents for section  I,  part  A, is repeated.


I  -  Physical  science   and  Theology

A.   -  Separation  in  the  Creation  story - - Words:
A-1.  -  Bara and its opening context
      a.    - ‘separate’, in context of Hebrew [and a separate paper - tab]
      b.    -  The context  of  bara  in creation
     
c.      -  Genesis 1:1 – 2 grammar
      d.    -  Two objectives in the text about early creation
      e.      -  Objective Genesis language based in good sourcing rather than allegory
      f.       - Basic conceptions about Hebrew
 A-2.  -  Waters – ‘unknowns’ 
  A-3.  -  Badal  -  divide  [ like bara - separate ]
 A-4.  -  Consecutive  And’s
…………. 


 A-1.  -  Bara and its opening context
a.    - ‘separate’, in context of Hebrew [and a separate paper - tab]

The creation separated the beginning chaos into more ordered states, day by creation day.  We must consider what is separation, what was the chaos, the process of order, and define day.  The verb at Genesis 1:1 is bara, usually translated ‘created’.  As mentioned in the introduction, it is found six times in three events at the creation passage ending at Genesis 2:3.  It is also found to have been mistranslated.1  From comparative usages of verb forms, bara means to “separate a space.”  It is basic to creation!  Its intensive Hebrew ‘piel’ verb form is used as “to cut a space” (e.g., cut a grove of trees)”.

 

Please see the separate paper [or tab referenced at the end of this paper] on  - Bara, for the best understanding of is uses in various contextual settings.  That section also defines other creation verbs.  It is important to look at that section via the ‘navigation’ at this time.


………….

 A-1-b. - Context  of  bara

Genesis 1:1 is the most important verse in the creation story, “In the beginning when * [see the next section, below] God separated the heavens and the earth,.  It is the summary view of early creation and directs understanding of the creation account.  It is the ‘heading’ of the creation story, telling the overview of its main objectives in the early part of the story.  Following ‘bara – separated’ is the phrase “the heavens and the earth”, that which will be separated.  The phrase is a literary ‘merism’ which is a term from the Greek ‘merismos’ meaning ‘a dividing, a partition’, itself coming from Greek ‘meros’ meaning ‘parts’.  It is not a hendiadys.2   Two parts will be created in successive order, first the heavens and then the earth.  In the Hebrew concept, these are the two parts to the universe.

Creation action begins at Gen 1:3 with the phrase “And God said, Let ….”  This phrase is used at the beginning of each creation day, and once again in both days 3 and 6 for second sections of creation in each of those days; for a total of 8 times.  

The two parts identified in Genesis 1:1, the heavens and the earth, came from the ‘waters’, first identified in verse 2.  Verse 2 is a continuation of verse 1, giving the initial setting prior to creation action in Gen 1:3.  In Hebrew, ‘waters’ is a dual form plural meaning only two things, two waters.  In creation day 2, the waters separated into two parts to become a divided firmament and then ‘called’ heavens in day 2.  There were two parts of the heavens: upper and lower.  The Hebrew word ‘heavens’ is based upon the Hebrew word ‘waters’, and is also dual form.

The upper part of the divided heavens remained the initial stars and galaxies, etc. and the lower part later gathered to one place in creation day 2, to be ‘called’ the earth and seas by day 3.  Anything ‘called’ in the creation is functional for its intended purpose, and supportive of the next higher order of progressive creation.  First the heavens, then the earth.  We understand that the earth developed from supernovae of the heavens.  

This work develops the etymology and meaning of waters in the subsection ‘Waters – ‘unknowns’’.  It develops reasoning about the heavens and firmament at the sections ‘B.  -    Firmament – Meant to be Firm?   Yes, in a ‘loose’ way of speaking.’


  A-1-c. - Genesis 1:1 – 2 grammar

 
* This comments on Gen 1:1 use of “when”, in the first paragraph of the section above.   Gen 1:2 flows from 1:1 as a disjunctive clause (conjunction + subject + verb), “and the earth was ….”  This closely connects it to the earth in verse 1 and a ‘when’ after the Gen 1:1 phrase ‘In the beginning ….’ and in Hebrew = Bereshit which is in the construct state.  Gen 1:2 is the setting prior to creation, for what will become the heavens, and especially focused toward what will become the earth, the home of humanity who was created from its dust [Gen 2:7].

 Gen 1:2 sets what existed prior to creation, thus, the creation is not ex nihilo.  This will be understood when, in the next section, considering the etymology of the word ‘waters’ which means ‘unknowns’.  The first creation act begins at Gen 1:3, delineated by the phrase  And God said, Let ….  That full phrase is used eight times in the Bible, at the beginning of all six creation days and two more times at creation days three and six; each which have two creation phases.   Genesis 1:1 along with verse 2 is an opening heading – summary to the story. 

The focus of this paper is on separation, and full grammar and context is far from developed here.  But be aware in the larger context that almost every noun and some verbs in Genesis 1, and many nouns in Genesis 2, are significantly affected in their word values by better understanding proto-Sinaitic and earlier hieroglyphs.  There is more to know in the relationships of proto- Sinaitic and Hebrew.  Genesis 1 and 2 are in need of re-translation from understanding lost during past millennia.  As an example of lost meaning, the translation history of ‘firmament’ will be later given, and how it is better understood in the logical progression of story development about the separation of the heavens and the earth.

Further, ‘heavens’ in Gen 1:1 is a dual form plural in Hebrew, meaning two and only two, but about half of translations incorrectly do not use a plural.  The importance of its ‘dual form’ plural is explained when later looking at A-3, Waters – ‘unknowns’.  The Hebrew word mayim = waters is also the root of shamayim = heavens, showing from whence the pre-earth heavens of the expanse developed stars and galaxies.   Earth developed from the upper heavenly waters - ‘unknowns’, gathered to one place under the heavens, Gen. 1:9.  


 A comma put the at the end of Gen 1:1 connects Gen 1:1 ‘earth’ to Gen 1:2 ‘and the earth’ = v’haerets.  The opening ‘and’ of Gen 1:2 is a ‘conjunctive and’ attached to the noun ‘earth’, not a ‘consecutive and’ attached to a verb as in Gen 1:3 and following.  This is better explained at section:  B5. -  Consecutive  And’s.   

A-1-d. - Two objectives in the text about early creation

 Gen 1:2 gives pre-creation conditions which eventually led to the separation of the heavens and ‘earth and seas’, both from the waters, upper and lower in the firmament; two.   Much grammar, etymology, and historical derivation are important for Gen. 1:1 - 2.  It sets the frame for two textual objectives first in the heading of Genesis 1:1, creation of the heavens, and from the heavens, the earth.  And both objectives come from the waters which are the ‘unknowns’.

  Significant discovery of proto-Sinaitic having come from Egyptian sources is the result of much archaeology done at Wadi el-Hol near Luxor and also near the Nile River at an area near ancient Thebes dating from the 1700’s BC.  The path of hieroglyphs to proto-Sinaitic begot Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew, and onward to modern Hebrew.  It also traveled to early Greek, directly taken from the earlier proto-Sinaitic / Phoenician.  It thereby developed into other languages that continue today.  These common origin languages might surprise you in their associated range:  Greek, Latin, and English which uses Latin letters, and associated Romance languages.  Also, Cyrillic script derives from the Greek uncial script.  It dominates Eastern Europe, and North and Central Asia.  Due to alphabet and language common origins, lingual values are not that far away from Moses during the time of exodus from Egypt.  If we pay attention to proto-Semitic and hieroglyphs, and the history of lingual values, then we will begin to understand what Moses and the Hebrew people likely understood during four and a half centuries of abiding in Egypt.

 We might well understand how Joseph who married the daughter of the priest of On would have had more in common during familial postprandial discussions that what we normally concord about ancient Egyptian and Biblical cosmogony.  It glorifies the Biblical God, and makes rational sense in ratios of scientific investigations.  The city of On, later renamed Heliopolis by Greeks, was one of the seven grain cities during the famine in Joseph’s time.  It was an important city with a temple complex devoted to the sun god, Ra.  From extant records, its temple built in the shape of trapezium measured about 1,200 meters west to east, and 1,000 meters north to south.  It would have far out-sized the extant Temple of Amun in the Karnak complex at Luxor which measures 480 by 550 meters.  Its base walls were 15.6 meters thick compared to 12 meters at Karnak.  Joseph was at the center of this city’s cosmology, and it was similar to that of the Bible.  Today, the site of ancient On – Heliopolis is near the Cairo Int’l airport at the city of Mataria [Matariya].  For millennia, its materials had been scavenged for other buildings, and some of the foundations yet exist.   The modern Cairo suburb of Heliopolis is not the site.[http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/on.htm]   

A-1-e. - Objective Genesis language based in good sourcing rather than allegory

 Importantly for Genesis creation accounts, albet picto-symbols were developed from nature, allowing word values to explain nature well.  Ancient knowledge comes via structured picto-symbols that begat Hebrew and Western languages.  They direct us away from allegory imprinted to creation.  And modern science is not imprinted to creation, but original creation words need to become uncon-fused.  Science people even opt for allegory, because of the dearth of disseminated knowledge. 

An alphabet section [tab] is separately included so you can enjoy the letter-by-letter relations of the proto-Sinaitic al-bet that are same-ordered as Western alphabets.  In history, the al-bet is the progenitor of the Greek alpha-beta, and from Greek to the Latin and English alpha-bets, etc. that use Latin symbols.  The proto-Sinaitic al-bet  travels a separate line to the modern Hebrew aleph-beyt.  Hebrew letters are not much different from Greek and English letters, because of common origin.  Modern Hebrew script is visually dissimilar because it is a stylistic variant of Aramaic script which slowly displaced Paleo-Hebrew.  But amazingly, the Latin - English alphabet retains more original proto-Semitic shapes and sounds than do other alphabets! 

When realizing the picto-symbols as the origin of many modern alphabets for languages, and which pictographic forms can be recognized as modern letters, a person almost feels like being back in time to view the world as did the ancients.  As we speak in the modern world, we often use words, ideas, and sounds forged in earliest times.  The next section about W[h]aters –‘ unknowns’ gives historical explication. 

Early Egyptian culture is central to concepts developed in the milieu of which the Hebrew people as a nation were early-on formed, as alluded to above with Joseph and the city of On.  The confluence of history and word values give glory to God about His order and progressive creation.  Patterns of concepts and words provide knowledge about ‘science’, itself a word from Latin scientia meaning knowledge.  So with conscientious effort, we can understand the objectivity of science within Genesis.  It is ordered knowledge that matches to the modern understanding of creation as science, not separate unattainable allegory!   

Here is an example of objective language sourcing found in the same section of scripture as good allegory.  Beginning with the objective language, Job 26:7, He stretcheth [ natah ] out the north over the empty place [ tohu ], (and) hangeth the earth upon nothing [ beli-mah = no-thing - what ].  The Adam Clarke commentary states that in Chaldee, the last portion of the verse reads “….  He lays the earth upon the waters, nothing sustaining it.”  

How does earth lay upon ‘nothing’ [English translation from Hebrew ], or upon waters [English translation from Chaldee], as free from something to sustain it? 
 It must be seriously considered how the Hebrew ‘beli-mah’ = ‘no-thing - what’ relates to the Chaldee ‘waters, nothing’.  In the next section, it will be seen how the etymology of ‘mah – what’ is the root of the word ‘waters - mayim’- which is the ‘dual form’ plural.  It will be seen how proto-Sinaitic script has direct bearing on etymology.  Job 26:7 shows the mayim - unknowns what’ to have good scientific nomenclature and exegesis for what is not known.  Call nature for ‘what’ it is, and for what might to be hard to explain, as does the Bible. 

‘Stretching – natah’ and ‘empty place – tohu’ and ‘bohu’ are worth paragraphs and perhaps chapters, but not suited to ‘space’ here.  Know that it is not eisegesis of ‘cosmic expansion’ found in some concordism. 

In comparison, an allegory in the same chapter of Job shows symbolic expression.  In comparison to the above objective verse, Job 26:11 later states, “The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.  Pillars could allude to mountains, which can be imagined to hold up the horizon.  Yes, people likely did climb mountains then, not so much for recreation as for utility.  So, it would be known that they do not fasten to the sky.   An earthquake would be an astonishment.   

Pillars for nature also occur at Job 9:6 and once at Psalm 75:3 in a reflective psalm perhaps composed at the time of pestilence, when David prayed to the Lord not to destroy the people. [Clarke commentary – chapter heading]  Yet, of more concern is the meaning of the firmament and supposed hard dome of the heavens.  After a few more words that relate to separation, the meaning of the ‘firmament’ which was separated in creation is on docket for consideration. 

A-1-f. - Basic conceptions about Hebrew


In Hebrew thought and conceptions, reality is usually from the view of the speaker.  This Genesis 1:1 merism is a heavens and earth, ‘above and below’.  A common English merism is “I looked high and low”, meaning everywhere.  Hebrew is unlike the more abstract Greek ‘cosmos’ meaning ‘universe’.  The Hebrew language is concrete, based in concrete reality, rather than abstract as are many Western languages.  I enjoy the instructive Proto-Sinaitic [forerunner of early Hebrew and Phoenician] pictographic script of the letter hey webassets/Hey.jpg .  It reveals ancient Hebrew thinking and Genesis.  The symbol is of a man with raised arms, signifying “look, breath, reveal”.   I jokingly include, “Hey!” as a call for attention.  Hebrew and Genesis thought is, “Hey, look at this!  It relates to me and you.”, for the concrete active world.  The hey ‘raised arms’ was given a quarter turn by early Greeks, who used only its upper part to form their letter Epsilon.  From Greek Epsilon, it later became the Latin ‘E’, used for the English and many other alphabets. 

Genesis creation words and concepts interconnect with specificity.  The word ‘waters’ has a central role for understanding the Genesis creation story, thus it is given greater detail below.  


      A-2.  -  Waters – ‘unknowns’


How do concepts in Genesis show separation of the chaos to greater order?  And what is the chaos?  Is it somewhat a mystical false vacuum out of which fluctuates an expansion of the universe?  Is it an idea that ‘all possible realities exist’ and we hit on the quantum field theory for our experience?  What are ‘patterns of reality’ which science ‘ratio’nally investigates?  For the Bible, the pre-existent potential for a heavens and earth find relationship to the first word in the previous sentence, ‘What’, and the word ‘waters’.  In English, the word ‘water’ is normally without an ending ‘s’, yet in the Bible is written ‘waters’.  ‘Waters’ – mayim in Hebrew is a dual form plural.  Such plurals are applied only to two things, like feet, eyes, etc.  The two-part Hebrew view of the universe, ‘the heavens and the earth’ associate with the dual form waters.
 
Gen 1:2, And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God viabrated upon the face of the waters.  It is upon the face the waters that the Spirit of God vibrated.3   The etymology of all Gen 1:2 nouns and verbs are amazing, but here we will focus on the word:  ‘waters’ = mayim מ י ם ,   webassets/Mayim.jpg 
[lineup:  English,  Hebrew pronunciation using English,  Hebrew script, Proto-Sinaitic  picto-symbolic  script]
The wordmayim –waters’ is from the root mah - ‘what’,4  מ ה , webassets/Mah.jpg .  Its first letter mem [right to left] /\/\/\ in Proto-Sinaitic is ocean waves.  It means: ‘unknown, chaos, mighty’, all characteristics of the ocean.   To mariners, ocean waters were the great unknown.  The word root, ‘what’ - mah, is an interrogatory about an unknown.  Another Hebrew interrogatory is mi - ‘who’, using the mem letter signifying an unknown.  This unknowns [dual form] is the meaning of ‘waters’ in the Bible until day 3.  At day 3, earth and seas were ‘called’ such, and waters were seas from which the meaning of the word was developed.  In Gen 1:2 and 3, the dual form ‘waters – unknowns’ were that entity from which light was created.  The ‘waters – unknowns’ became the upper and lower ‘waters – unknowns’ of the firmament at Genesis 1:7.  The firmament was thereafter ‘called’ ‘heavens – shamayim’, a dual form rooted in the word mayim.  In Genesis, the word root ‘mayim – waters’ in shamayim lingually indicates the heavens progressed from the waters.  Word root progressions and associations are often in other Genesis words, too, as creation days progress in their development from entities that precede them.

 The combined concept of ‘what - unknown = water’ in a single word is very apparent in various languages since early history and continuing today.  Latin ‘aqua’ = water, with its root ‘ua’ = what.  German ‘wasser’ = water, with its root ‘was’ = what.  Due to English ‘water’ coming through a German line, perhaps the English should be ‘whater’ with an ‘h’!  These examples address two main European language disseminations, Italic - and associated early Greek, and later Latin - and Romance languages derived from it.

Early proto-Sinaitic script is the direct descendent of Egyptian hieroglyphs.  The script was first discovered in the 20th century at a mine and well-developed temple complex in the Sinai, named Serabit el-Khadim, and dated from the 1500’s BC.  Thus the name, proto-Sinaitic is from the Sinai area of discovery.  The Hebrew Exodus was not distant in time, nor was recordation of the creation story.  This was likely the alphabet used by Moses and other early writers.  The letters likely coined roots significant to Genesis.

Modern languages bud fragrant flowers from branches well connected to ancient roots, bringing ‘waters’ and other words from fertile grounds in well-set but sometimes meandering rows; more than we realize.   Germanic languages likely have a ‘bush full’ of origins rather than a more direct tree, but seemingly have main diffusions from Greek.  Greek is an important juncture from its alphabet directly taken from proto-Sinaitic.  Hebrew was taken from proto-Sinaitic.  An millennia ago, Hittite water  = ‘ua-a-atar’ or ‘wa-a-tar’ or ‘wa-a-dar’.  Hittite is considered ‘Indo-European’.  Perhaps the bushy Germanic – early Greek – Proto-Sinaitic line should be also thought of as being influenced and mixed with influence from ancient Afro-Asia.  Most of all, for modern languages and Biblical considerations, Egypt is a large progenitor of languages.

  ‘Waters’ is the most interconnected element in early Semitic or Egyptian cosmogonies, as with others.  Waters includes the Egyptian Ogdoad deity, Nun [Nu means abyss], god of waters of the primordial abyss.  In Gen 1:2, the ‘deep or abyss = tehom’ is the watery primeval deep with darkness over its face.  Egyptian deities usually have gendered counterparts.  Here Nun has Naunet, or Nunet, which has a female gendered ending.  Does the duality of Egyptian gods have watery significance?   

 The creator god is said to have come out of the waters and then shape the rest of the Egyptian gods and goddesses representing various parts of nature.  Note about Nu and mayim:  in earlier Egyptian hieroglyphs, the waters =  /m/ .  Later Egyptian hieroglyphs replaced /m/ with /n/.  Although vowel sounds for hieroglyphs are largely unknown, Semitic languages fit the ‘a’ vowel sound well to the ‘m’.  Thus, /m/ implies ma, and can relate to mah -‘what’ and plural dual form mayim 

Egyptian cosmogony has ‘dual waters separation’ many of its creation stories, with a hill [firmament] in its ‘midst’, etc.  Similarly, the Enuma Elish of Babylonian Assyriology has Tiamat [like ‘tehome = deep’] of oceanic salt water and Apsu, God of fresh water; two waters.  Considering language and cosmogony similarities, we presently look too much to Assyriology and not enough to Egyptology.  

Due to literary forms in the Genesis creation account, I believe it to be recorded from ancient orality, which is a variety of highly specified frameworks in which can be placed a great variety of information; all for memory through a framework’s association of facts.  Other creation accounts, especially the Enuma Elish, are politicized through a rule of Gods who subjugate humanity to non-egalitarian services.  People of upper classes get the cream.  Genesis is about the one God who made in His image, male and female; in dignity,  It is knowledge about nature = science, at its best.  It is all muscle and no fat.  It is well-crafted within the science of creation progression to also be an apologetic combating other creation accounts.  Until understanding word values unearthed in languages, we must not focus on partial ideas.

A closing Biblical proverb with the word ‘waters’ and which gives encouragement would be appropriate.  Ecclestiastes 11:1 KJVersion, Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. 
Bible in Basic English: Put out your bread on the face of the waters; for after a long time it will come back to you again. 
My paraphrase:  Distribute your bread to the unknowns, and it will eventually return to you as cake.

 Blessings
.………….. 


A-5.  -  Badal - divide [ like bara - separate ]

 It is used in contexts that bring control over the initial chaos.  Like ‘bara’ meaning ‘to separate a space’, ‘badal’ leads the story in a stepwise division from the initial chaos to a successively ever more controlled order.  It is often is used with the word ‘beyn’ = ‘between’ [ which is better translated as ‘among’ ].  In Genesis, word patterns show the flow of actions and their degree of completion. Word patterns such as ‘good’, ‘blessed’, ‘and it was so’, etc. trace particular identities to the process. 

Badal - divide
AV Gn 1:4 - God divided the light from the darkness.
AV Gn 1:6 . - firmament -  let it divide the waters from the waters.
AV Gn 1:7 - divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: -
AV Gn 1:14 . - lights - to divide the day from the night; -
AV Gn 1:18 - and to divide the light from the darkness: -
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A-6  -  ‘Consecutive’   And’s - - This topic was part of extended Q/A


Why do almost all sentences in Gen 1 and 2 creation stories begin with the word ‘And’?  It is the Hebrew way of forming an unbreakable storyline that cannot be separated among consecutive causes and effects.  It shows the stories of creation to be tightly connected and progressively unfolding records.

When the Hebrew letter ‘vavו  is  prefixed to a word, it is translated ‘and’.  It is the modern Hebrew letter for the earlier Proto-Sinaitic wawwebassets/vav-waw.jpg , itself a symbol of a stake for holding a tent to the ground; similar to a modern camping stake.   It similarly connects a tent to the ground like ‘and’ connects ideas.  In Genesis, if the vav is prefixed to a verb, it is classified as a ‘consecutive vav – and’ which consecutively joins action ideas.  It shows what ‘before’ in creation led to what came ‘after’!  If the vav is prefixed to other than a verb, then it is a normal ‘conjunctive and’ which joins ideas without particular order; of which we are more acquainted.  A ‘consecutive vav’ is sometimes called a ‘conversive vav’. 

From this and many other things, creation days are shown to not overlap, but are consecutive.  The creation story does not transcend supposed ‘gaps’, nor change its time sequences in order to make more supposed sense.  It is in linear and fully connected in time, as one whole. 

Gen. 1:3 – 2:3 has consecutive vav = ‘And’s beginning each verse, except Gen. 1:30 which continues a list of nouns from verse 29.  Gen 1:1 – 2 is the ‘heading – summary’ and not in the creation action.  The summary-heading of creation uses only ‘conjunctive vav’s – and’s which are attached to nouns, not verbs.

Some scholars think the ‘consecutive vav’ might be an ancient tense called the Preterit.
.
……….

 
It is well to mention in passing at this point, that Genesis 1:1 - 2 is not with a ‘gap’ between verses for ‘re’-plenishing the earth after an appearance of evil, or for creation of first life, or for creation of the earth [pre-Hadean], etc.  These first two verses are not part of the creation process that begins at Genesis1:3.  As mentioned in a Note within the section about the word ‘waters’, I consider Gen 1:2 to flow from 1:1 as a disjunctive clause (conjunction + subject + verb).   It becomes apparent that no ‘gap’ is allowable, especially when understanding more points about Hebrew grammar, context, etymology (including Proto-Sinaitic script and a little of hieroglyphs associated to Proto-Sinaitic script), Afro-Asiatic creation accounts - especially those of Egypt, and basic science.  This paper is not given to this focus, so an in-depth presentation about Gen. 1:1 – 2 is not given here, but does have slight detail at the section ‘A-2.  -  Slight mention of Genesis 1:1 – 2 grammar, and conception of Hebrew.’

 In my opinion, theories that claim a gap tend to obfuscate facts by comparison to other similar theories which obfuscate facts, to claim fuzzy scholarship in this area.  It is not fuzzy.   Also, such gap theories usually cannot account for creation of the heavens as stars and galaxies - etc., or earth, or first life, missing its identification and development in the text during the first three days of creation.  The lack on their part ends up in a supposed gap of information.  Proponents of these theories tend to be challenged in lingual perspicuity.

------------------- 
 


B.  -    Firmament – Meant to be Firm?   Yes, in a ‘loose’ way of speaking.

1.     -  Firmament - raqia
2.     -  Firmament  History:  matters of proper translation and transliteration
3.     -  Context of the firmament seen in Genesis creation verses – - ‘within
     - out of - between’ - beyn
    
4.  -  Context of the firmament to spatial relationships seen at Genesis, chapter 1
     - ‘among - midst of’ - betok
5.  -  Overview – and integration to translation:
6.  -  Three creation verses outside Genesis further reveal the firmament –
      a. - Psalm 136:6
      b. - Job 26:7  [first referenced in the section about the word ‘waters’]
     
      c.
- Isaiah 42:5
7.  -  Comparison of   raqa - stretched out’  and   – ‘al = on, upon, over, above’
8.     -  Gen 1:7  - dual  waters  within  the  expanse:  ‘[at] the bottom of  tachat’, and ‘[at] the top of - `al
9.      -  Gen 1:9  … waters under = ‘[at] the bottom of’ the heaven be ‘gathered – qavah’ together unto one place
10.              -  Translation of Gen 1:6 - 10, using vocabulary definitions above
11.              -  Job 37:18
is about clouds.  It is not about the sky being hard.
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 B1. - Firmament - raqia,

 Close attention must be given to the context of the elusive word ‘firmament’.  The word has a translation history which skews its meaning.  For Genesis 1, its context along with other scripture clarifies its use in the creation account.   As in the adage, “It is okay to be poor, but it is not okay to be too poor to pay attention to context!”

The word firmament   ע ר ק י   raqia - raw-kee'-ah comes from  ר ק ע  raqa - raw-kah' which means to expand, stretch, or overlay.  The type of action for expansion is related to thin sheets of metal which can be ‘expanded’ by pounding them.  The idea is to expand, as a verb – or in the case of a noun, a broad expanse. 

As the creation proceeds, the details of the report of what is in the broad expanse changes from earlier to later creation days.  This will be more detailed below, at A. – context of the firmament in Genesis creation verses, and at B. - other creation contexts which give perspective to the firmament. The other contexts will enrich the word raqia, not incorrectly pair it with extraneous ideas.

First, it will help to know the history of the word.

B2. -  Firmament  History:  matters of proper translation and transliteration

 In the third century B.C., the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy Philadelphus was a Greek person living after the time Alexander the Great who conquered Egypt.  Ptolemy, desired a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, produced by Jewish scholars.  It would be for inclusion in the library of Alexandria.  The resulting Septuagint was translated from about the mid-200’s B.C. and was likely completed about the mid-100’s B.C.  Scholars chose to render raqia by the Greek word stereoma which connotes a “solid structure” (Arndt and Gingrich, 1967, p. 774).  They were possibly influenced by the Egyptian then-popular cosmological view of the heavens as a stone vault. 

 When Jerome produced his Latin Vulgate, he was apparently influenced by the Septuagint to the extent that he used firmamentum meaning a strong or steadfast support.  Modern Biblical works did not translate from the Hebrew raqia, but transliterated the word ‘firmament’ from firmamentum and depended upon the Septuagint for provenance! 5   

 Old Testament scholar W.E. Vine stressed in his Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, “‘While this English word is derived from the Latin firmamentum which signifies firmness or strengthening,...the Hebrew word, raqia, has no such meaning, but denoted the “expanse”,’ that which was stretched out.  Certainly the sky was not regarded as a hard vault in which the heavenly orbs were fixed.... There is therefore nothing in the language of the original to suggest that the writers [of the Old Testament—BT] were influenced by the imaginative ideas of heathen nations (1981, p. 67).” 6   

 A transliteration is a spelling of a word as close as possible in the target language, for how it is sounded in a source language.  If a source language of Latin and Greek is taken from a biased cultural view of the universe introduced to the Septuagint and carried to the Vulgate, then proper meaning has become problematic.  Biblical examples outside the Genesis 1 account, given below, will show that raqia means ‘expanse’ and associates to words such as ‘stretch’.  Such scripture contexts absolutely counter a solid vault or arch.  As will be seen, the context of the firmament has more in common with ‘nothing’, and ‘waters’ as ‘unknowns’.

 Transliterations, like most things, can be good or biased.  An example of a good transliteration is the New Testament word “Amen” taken from Hebrew, sounding like the Hebrew sounding, and usually carrying its full meaning.  It can be further translated as ‘so be it’ or ‘consider this carefully as a source of truth’, but really keeps its original meaning as transliterated, Amen. 

 An example of a poor transliteration is the New Testament word word ‘baptize’.  An English transliteration of the Greek ‘baptizo’ sounded to English was convenient, but it did not truly carry the original meaning of immersion.  Churches during the time of the 1611 King James Bible translation, etc. did not immerse as did John the Baptist at the Jordan River.  They usually poured and sprinkled in deference to earlier ecclesiastical views and books.  The then present King James Ist wished the quality of immersion to take second seat to the then current thought of sprinkling, and desired this transliteration rather than translation.  Thus, without specific translation, the cultural difference could hide under obfuscation of transliteration.

 So, the word ‘firmament’ was based in wrong ideology from the second and third centuries B.C., Egypt.  It might be jokingly said that the word “amen” in ‘firmament’ does not really give it proper ‘pause’ to consider it as any other than solid and unchangeable.  Really, it is very different than ‘firm’, as seen below.
……………. 


B3. - context of the firmament seen in Genesis creation verses –
- ‘within - out of - between’ - beyn

 The first use of the word ‘firmament – expanse’ is in creation day 2 at Gen 1:6 - 8.  In a Hebrew context, creation action is reported if it was as from a person viewing it.  This means that as creation develops, the reporter of the Genesis story reports from the context of the most recent point of creation.  In day 2, that point at verse 6 is among [ Hebrew – beyn` ( or also ‘out of’ )] the ‘waters – unknowns’ of the universe.  There was a place at which the earth would begin its development among the developing universe, originating from the ‘waters – unknowns’ that had already become the primal stars, galaxies; heavens.  At verse 7, waters for the earth are characterized as under the firmament; a developing place for the earth.  The word translated ‘under’ is Hebrew tachat.  Later, it will be shown that tachat is better translated as ‘lower part of’, thus is a lower part of the firmament – heavens. 

At verse 8, the last verse of day 2, the firmament – expanse is called Heaven.  Note that the Heaven is complete, and thusly, so ‘called’.  The earth is not yet complete, but forming with Sun and planets.  By the following third creation day, such lower waters will be ‘called’ the earth, as a completed and functioning entity.  At this point, all future reporting would take place with a view from the surface of the earth.  In day 3, the Earth was completed, and it also completed the summary heading reference of the Gen 1:1 ‘the heavens and the earth’, both created in that order over the three creation days.   

The noun form of raqia is never associated with hard substances in any of its usages in Biblical Hebrew; only the verbal form raqa.  And even the latter cannot be definitely tied to metals, etc., such as a dome.  Rather it is understood as a process in which a substance is ‘thinned’ – this can include pounding, but also includes stretching. 

Raqia not a prescient reference to an expanding universe.  It might be in reference to what is seen as the expanse of heavenly stars thinly spread above; like a curtain made from the Milky Way galaxy.
………………. 


B4.  -  Context of the firmament to spatial relationships seen at Genesis, chapter 1
    
- ‘among - midst of’ - betok

  Creation processes ‘divided - separated’ – ‘badal’ the waters.  And the badal separation was ‘between’ – beyn`  two waters; dual form.
o   Note that ‘between’ – beyn` is better translated as ‘within, or out of’ two parts, Strong’s Concordance H996, not as between two parts!
Thus, Gen 1:6, And God said, Let there be a firmament among the waters, and let it divide the waters within [ out of ] the waters. 

 As the story progresses to Gen 1:6, the firmament was located ‘in the midst of’ – betok the waters, which is translated as ‘among’, Strong’s H8432 , as would a person be in the midst of a crowd of people. 
Thus, ‘waters – unknowns’ were to gain a firmament among it.And, that firmament would divide waters within it – beyn- to two places, one for the initial heavens at the upper part of the waters, and one place for the new earth at the lower part.


B5  - Overview – and integration to translation:
             Mechanical Translation –

Gen 1:7 And He is manufacturing, /God,/ the stretch / and He is dividing/ ‘out of’ /the waters /which /from under/ to the stretch/ and ‘out of’/ the waters/ which /from upon/ to the stretch, /and he is becoming so.
Gen 1:8.  And He is calling /Elohim/ to the atmosphere /heavens/ and he is becoming /evening /and he is becoming/ morning/, second/ day.

 After having made the firmament in Gen 1:7, next, God called the firmament Heaven at Gen 1:8.  The equating of the firmament to heaven is an important connection.

Gen 1:7, loosely retranslated:
 “And God made what we see as the expanse [firmament], and divided the unknowns [ waters ] which ( were ) under what we see as the expanse from which ( were ) above what we see as the expanse:  and it was so.”
Importantly, Gen 1:8 continues, loosely retranslated:
 “And God called the  expanse Heaven. ….”  What was seen as the expanse had developed functionality to the degree that it could support the next phase of creation, the development of earth. 
Thus, the expanse – firmament was ‘called’ the heavens showing completeness of function.  Note that the Hebrew dual form heavens - shamayim exists at Gen 1:8, even though it is sometimes translated in the singular, Heaven.  There were two parts to the heavens.

 Heavens
The firmament – expanse was and is the firm Heavens of stars and galaxies.  It is everything ‘above’ the lower waters which would in next verses condense to become Earth.  The heavens begat the earth. 

 Earth and Seas -
Gen 1:9 states “… waters under the heavens ….” [ in Hebrew, still dual form shamayim ] were gathered “to – one - place”.  In Gen 1:10, the consolidated ‘unknowns’ below became the identifiable ‘dry – yabbashah’ Earth and Seas. 
Early life in the paleo record shows that first life began almost immediately upon formation of the Earth and Seas.  The second part of creation day 3 informs about those first life systems.  Day 3 ‘First  life’ is a topic later in this paper.


B6.  -  Three creation verses outside Genesis further reveal the firmament –

a. - Psalm 136:6
b. - Job 26:7  [first referenced in the section about the word ‘waters’]
c. - Isaiah 42:5

B6a. - Psalm 136:6 is about the wonders and mercies of God.  It states, To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.  The term stretched out = raqa  = ‘stretch – spread - expand’, from which comes the Hebrew raqia for firmament. 
 
How is the earth ‘stretched out – raqa’ above or ‘over’ the waters?   How is the earth ‘raqia - hammered out – formed’ over the ‘waters > unknowns’? 
Note for a later comparison in this verse:  ‘above’ in the phrase ‘earth above the waters’ is Hebrew al.  It can also be translated ‘on – upon - over’.  Verse #2, below, also associates al to the word “nothing” which will be shown to be associated to waters.

>   Basic concepts of this verse:  raqa the earth’ / ‘above the waters’.

B6b. - In the earlier section about the word Waters, Job 26:7 was presented in detail as an example of objectivism, “He stretcheth [ natah ] out the north over the empty place [ tohu ], (and) hangeth the earth upon nothing [ beli-mah = no-thing - what ]”.  How does God hang the earth upon nothing?  

 Here, a slight review is given, in order to add more detail.  The word nothing in the phrase “… hangeth the earth upon nothing.is Hebrew ‘beli-mah’ = ‘no-thing - what’.  The same phrase in the English translation of the Chaldee is “….  He lays the earth upon the waters, nothing sustaining it.  Thus, the Chaldee associates the ‘waters’ – ‘mayim’ for what Hebrew associates mah  -  what. 
[Note for a later comparison at the phrase ‘hangeth the earth upon nothing’, the word ‘upon’ is Hebrew al.  Verse #1 also associates Hebrew al to the word above to the “waters”. ]

The Hebrew ‘natah – stretcheth’ in this Job 26:7 applies only to
the heavens and is never said of the earth, as is confirmed other scripture (נטה, Job_9:8; Isa_40:22; Isa_44:24; Isa_51:13; Zec_14:1; Psa_104:2; נוטיהם, Isa_42:5; נטה, Jer_10:12; Jer_51:15;  נטו ידי, Isa_45:12). > from Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, Job 26:7.

The word ‘north’ is probably a likeness to an earthy object, a tent pole with an accompanying tent.  He [ God ] stretches out the north”, like a tent spread out from a tent pole at the celestial north pole about which the stars appear to rotate.  It is spread over the ‘empty place – tohu’ potentiality of the earth.  The earth is ‘hung – suspended – talah ’upon nothing – or the waters. 
For a similarity, see Isaiah 40:22  … that stretcheth out [ natah ] the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out [ mathach ] as a tent to dwell in:

>  Basics of this verse:  natah = stretches – the heavens / over the ‘tohu = potentiality of earth – empty place’ / the earth is upon nothing ~ waters

>  Note to ASA readers.  The Egyptian origin of tohu v’ vohu at Genesis 1:2 and its context has not been included herein.  Simply, it is central to understanding the two parts of the ‘heavens and the earth’.  The words are lexically related in Hebrew, and also rendered from like sounding Egyptian hieroglyphs which begat proto-Semitic.  They mean >  ‘an earthly potentiality – tohu’ and {within} ‘a heavenly potentiality of upper waters - v’vohu’ .  This is the exact process of creation.  Prior to creation, the earth was a potential within the potential of the heavens.  The heavens had the potential for the earth at the ‘lower’ ‘waters – unknowns’ of the heavens.  The paper concerning this is several pages, including context and supporting word definitions, and comparison to other scriptures in their usages of ‘without form’ and ‘void’.  It is central to the creation, but is too long for the ‘creation’ of this ‘separated’ paper
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B6c
. - Isaiah 42:5, Thus saith God the LORD, he that created [ bara = ‘separate’ ] the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
The word ‘created’ – ‘ bara’ is better as ‘separated’ and more informative as such for the two parts of the dual form ‘heavens’, above and below, addressed in this verse.
The “heavens, and stretched them out is natah for stretched.  The “spread forth the earth” is raqa for spread forth.

>   Basics of this verse:  natah – heavens / bara – separated the heavens and stretched them out / raqa the earth.
………..


B7. - Comparison of verses  for  raqa - stretched out’  and   – ‘al = on, upon, over, above’

-         at #1, Psalm 136:6, the earth is ‘raqa - stretched out’, and
-         at #3, Isaiah 42:5, the earth is ‘raqa - spread forth’, and
-         at #1 and 2, Psalm 136:6 and Job 26:7, the earth is ‘al = on, upon, over, above’ 

In a larger overview:  the earth was formed > in a process > from the ‘heavens – shamayim’ – former ‘waters - unknowns’ which is seen stretched out in a night starry sky.   

Gen 1:2 - Earth was formed as part of the heavens; a tohu potentiality of earth within the bohu potentiality of waters above. 

 The waters above became the ‘raqia – beat out to stretch – firmament’; the same associated to natah, to stretch’, and became the Heavens in Gen 1:8.
……………………………  


B8  -  Gen 1:7  - dual  waters  within  the  expanse:  [at] the bottom of  - ‘[at] the top of

>    [at] the bottom oftachat’ ( is translated ‘under’ ) the expanse ( firmament )

>    [at] the top of - `al’ ( is translated ‘above’ ) the expanse ( firmament )

Gen 1:7 - -  Boldfaced words are the explanded  [explained and expanded] translation -
 And God made the expanse  – raqia’ (firmament),
and divided the ‘unknownsmayim’ (waters)
which were ‘[at] the bottom oftachat’ (under) the expanse – raqia’ (firmament)
within beyn’ (from) the unknownsmayim’ (waters)
which were ‘[at] the top of - `al’ (above) the expanse (firmament):
and it was so.”

 Context following Gen 1:7 - -

The Gen 1:7 storyline has been misdirected by words normally translated as
 undertachat and ‘above - `al the expanse – (firmament),

 instead of correctly translated -

 [at] the bottom oftachat’ and [at] the top of - `al’ the expanse – (firmament).

  In the context of verse 8, the ‘expanse’ is ‘called’ the ‘Heavens’ – shamayim.  If the expanseraqia is defined only as a beat-thin division ‘between’ upper and lower waters, then thinness does not well describe the expanse – raqia which is ‘called’ the Heavens in verse 8.  Nor does thinness support the dual form nature of the word ‘Heavens - shamayim’.
[ Gen 1:8  And God called the ‘expanse – raqia’ (firmament) Heavens shamayim.  And {the span of time defined by} the ‘disordererev’ (evening) and the ‘{new higher} orderboker’ (morning) were the second day.  ]

 Translation of shamayim at Gen 1:8 has normally been by the singular Heaven, not the proper representation of dual form, as Heavens.  The expanse has a dual formation within itself ‘at the bottom’ and ‘at the top’. 
Thus in verse 8, when the expanse is ‘called’ , its formation more definitely defines the Heavens as dual form, and what will soon become two areas of focus first described Genesis 1:1, “the heavens and the earth”.  These two places within the heavens drive the focus of the story to the goal, the earth. ]

  Original dual ‘waters’ has been wrongly translated as associated to above and below the expanse, now itself supposedly separate and called the Heavens. 

Four points:
1 - The verse 8 translation of shamayim as Heaven, singular, does not represent the dual form word nor its root, ‘mayim’ - unknowns – waters’.  In Hebrew, it is Heavens, two in number.
2 - In verse 7, the expanse becomes two parts, better translated:
 at the bottom of = the depression of’ - tachat    and
 at the top of’ - `al  the expanse. 
These dual parts of the expanse are called the dual mayim - Heavens in verse 8. 
3 – The expanse is expansive, all there is, and is ‘called’ the Heavens in verse 8, as complete and good to function.  In proper progression at verse 9 of creation day 3, the unknowns at the bottom part of the heavens [ not heaven, singular ] becomes  gathered to one place.  In verse 10, the one place is called Earth and called Seas.  And then they are  called, good to function.
…………


  B9  -  Gen 1:9  … waters under the heaven be ‘gatheredqavah’ together unto one place

 AV Gen 1:9 . And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be ‘gatheredqavah’ together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so.

 H6960  qavah  kaw-vaw - to bind together (perhaps by twisting), i.e. collect; (figuratively) to expect.
KJV: gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).

 The ‘waters – unknowns’ in the lower part of the expanse gathered, to form the earth and seas. 
In day 4, the appearance of lights are in the expanse – raqia’ (firmament), which is called the heavens, still Hebrew shamayim, dual form.  An expanse as separate from the heavens would not be correct.  Subsequent references to the expanse in Genesis 1 and other scripture associate the expanse as being part ‘of the heavens’, viz. in Genesis 1 at verses 14, 15, 17, and 20.  ………………….
 


B10 - Translation of Gen 1:6 - 10, using vocabulary definitions above

The Genesis translation below incorporates all definition changes. 
The scripture without comments is boldfaced.  Within apostrophes ‘ ’ are newly translated word(s) with meaning changed from current translation, followed by Hebrew in italics or by an associated word.  It is also underlined. 
If identical new word(s) repeat in the same sentence, the Hebrew, etc. is not again included.  If identical new word(s) are in a subsequent sentence, all ‘ ’ information will again be included for that word’s first use in the sentence.
Replaced or deleted words are put in parentheses ( ). 
Words helping easier English transition flow and/or a definition of a word are within braces { }. 
Notes are within brackets [ ].

 After this first section of scripture, a second section of scripture retains the boldfaced part of the verses, but without the extra non-boldfaced added information.

 Gen 1:1  In the beginning when God ‘separatedbara’(created) the heavens and the earth,

 [This section removed, because lecture discussion removed from this paper]

 Gen 1:6  And God said, Let there be an ‘expanse  – raqia’ (firmament) in (the) among [= midst of] the ‘unknownsmayim’ (waters), and let it divide the unknowns (waters) ‘within beyn’ (from) the unknowns (waters).

 Gen 1:7  And God made the expanse  – raqia’ (firmament), and divided the ‘unknownsmayim’ (waters) which were ‘[at] the bottom oftachat’ (under) the expanse (firmament) ‘within beyn’ (from) the unknowns (waters) which were ‘[at] the top of - `al’ (above) the expanse  (firmament): and it was so.

 Gen 1:8  And God called the ‘expanse – raqia’ (firmament) Heavens shamayim.  And {the span of time defined by} the ‘disordererev’ (evening) and the ‘{new higher} orderboker’ (morning) were the second day.
[note:  Unlike all other creation days, day 2 is not characterized as ‘good’.  This is because the process of the dual ‘unknowns – waters’ which become both ‘heavens and earth’ material was not completed until earth was finished in the first part of day 3.  After Earth and Seas are completed, they are called ‘good’.  The delayed position of ‘good’ alludes to the whole cosmological process of heavens – earth development. 

[ part removed because not covered ]

 Gen 1:9  And God said, Let the ‘unknownsmayim’ (waters) ‘[at] the bottom oftachat’ (under) the heavens shamayim be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Gen 1:10  And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
  Below is the translation without various points emphasizing change.  Only new meanings are underlined.  Deleted words are not noted.  Words for smoother English transition are within brackets {}.

 Gen 1:1  In the beginning when God separated the heavens and the earth,

 [removed due to not being covered in this paper]

  Gen 1:6  And God said, Let there be an expanse in among the unknowns, and let it divide the unknowns within the unknowns.
Gen 1:7  And God made the expanse, and divided the which were [at] the bottom of the expanse within the unknowns which were [at] the top of the expanse : and it was so.  Gen 1:8  And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 
Gen 1:9  And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Gen 1:10  And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
..............

 Closing note to the section on Genesis 1:6 – 10:  Good values for ancient words do allow analogy to imprint itself to the creation account.  Nor does it allow modern science to back - imprint itself.   Yet, observational descriptions of Genesis creation accounts are very much confirmed science.
------------------


B11  -  Job 37:18 is about clouds.  It can confuse the perception of the heavens being hard.

This verse is perhaps one of the ‘hardest’ to understand.  It uses the verb ‘raqa – spread out, etc.’, but not the noun ‘raqiya – expanse, etc’.  This is a significant fact, as seen below. 

Three translations:   All with much variation
Auth Vers  Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, [which is] strong, [and] as a molten looking glass?
Young’s Literal Trans  Jb 37:18 Thou hast made an expanse with Him For the clouds-strong as a hard mirror!
New Int’l Vers  Jb 37:18 can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as mirror of cast bronze?

 Vocabulary 
The verb ‘spread out, etc. raqa’ applies to the noun ‘?sky - shachaq  shakh'-ak’, instead of a noun ‘raqiya – expanse, etc’ which is not used.  The verb raqa retains common characteristic with the noun form raqiya, but as a verb it can apply to other nouns, i.e., to ‘?sky – shachaq. 


Why the ? marks used in the above paragraph? –
 That which is translated ‘sky’ - shachaq  shakh'-ak,  Strong’s H7834 and from H7833 “is a powder (as beaten small):  and by analogy, a thin vapor; and by extension, the firmament. – KJV translates: cloud, small dust, heaven, sky.”  Clouds can appear like a powder beaten small.

  The word shachaq occurs in four other verses of Job and always translated ‘clouds’, never ‘sky’.  One verse occurs in this chapter 37, e.g. –
AV Jb 35:5 Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds [which] are higher than thou.
AV Jb 36:28 Which the clouds do drop [and] distil upon man abundantly.
AV Jb 37:21 . And now [men] see not the bright light which [is] in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them.
AV Jb 38:37 Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven, 

In scripture outside Job, shachaq is normally translated ‘clouds’, but sometimes translated ‘sky’ when accompanied by anan – cloud, and rarely translated ‘sky’ alone.  Is such rarity a mistake or with provenance of other supporting scripture?  In Job, shachaq never accompanies anan.

 To further explore `anan  aw-nawn' - from Strong’s H6049; - “a cloud (as covering the sky), i.e. the nimbus or thunder-cloud”.  The word is not used in Job 37:18.  The word is used six times in Job, of which two occur in this chapter, e.g.
AV Jb 37:11 Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud [is ‘ab, a different type of cloud than anan ]: he scattereth his bright cloud [anan]:
AV Jb 37:15 Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine?

 Clouds can be ab ; “properly, an envelope, i.e. darkness (or density, 2 Chron. 4:17); specifically, a (scud) cloud; ….”
AV Jb 37:11 Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud:AV Jb 37:16 Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?

 There are other types of words for clouds in the Bible, such as dust cloud, etc.

 Thus, why shachaq be translated as ‘sky’ when in Job it is always ‘cloud’, and outside Job is normally ‘cloud’, except when with anan causes it to be translated ‘sky’, or rarely ‘sky’ alone?

 In Job, both shachaq and anan are never together.  And this is not the word raqiya – expanse.

 Lastly, the word strong or hard is chazaq  khaw-zawk.  It is widely used in the Bible as such, and to make bold or courageous, or to excite to duty.  It will be seen again when considering how God ‘hardened’ Pharaoh’s heart during the exodus.  Did Pharaoh have free  will – choice?

 Context
At Job 36:1, Elihu is identified as the speaker.  In chapter 37 he shows the greatness of God as it is displayed in weather.  Job 37:11 shows two types of clouds, thick – dark, and a bright cloud.

 And throughout this section, winds are enumerated:
AV Job 37:9 Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.
And the verse prior to the subject verse is AV Jb 37:17 How thy garments [are] warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south [wind]?
And the two verses which follow the subject verse is given to challenging Job, then again is -AV Jb 37:21 . And now [men] see not the bright light which [is] in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them.

 Conclusion -
Job 37:18 is among verses with clouds of different types and winds from various directions.  It would seem that shachaq  should remain cloud, and of a type that is strong - hard.  But, how is ‘a powder (as beaten small):  and by analogy, a thin vapor’ to be considered hard?  The previous verse reads of warmth, and the earth being quieted, and a south [wind].  That would allow high altitude ice clouds to spread [raqa] as vapor clouds [shachaq], and never appear to move, that is, to be resolute and strong [chazaq] in their place.  But that is incomplete as to the process.

 A mirror or ‘looking glass’ in those days was not glass, but usually cast bronze, flattened and polished to reflect light.  The Hebrew modifier to mirror in this verse is yatsaq  yaw-tsak meaning cast or molten, and as molten to first melt and then to stiffen and grow hard, like chazaq - resolute and strong.  The analogy of the phenomena is that high cirrus? clouds move in and ‘raqa – spread’ as though molten, then appear to grow chazaq hard, strong or resolute - as a mass cloud.   This is a shachaq - cloud, not a ‘shamayim – heavens’ or ‘raqiya - expanse’.

 Significantly in the next chapter of Job, for the first time in the book, God speaks to Job out of a whirlwind.  It was the same natural phenomena that caused Job initial mayhem and loss.  Why was God in that whirlwind?  Why is He in whirlwinds, and why does He allow them?  We shall return to Job later in consideration about separating goodness from evil, and what is goodness.
 
By Steve Huffey

  


C.    -     What  is  a  ‘Day’  -  and  the  7th  Day?

 Sub – topic:  Disorder  to  higher  order  -  separation toward the 7th day - -

 God ‘ceased’ [ rested ] from creating – shabbot, on the 7th day.  The 7th day is in motion now, to work the plan of God.  

 The 7th day does not have the phrase ‘evening and morning’ as do the six creation days. Bible:  And the evening and morning was the _____ day.  The Jewish day begins in the evening.  The Hebrew word for ‘evening’ ‘erev    ע ר ב   eh'-reb, is found in  Strongs Concordance as number H6153 and means to become dusky.  The evening is a time when sunlight dims and vision of the surroundings becomes diffuse and intermixes, and is disorderly.  Such finds its root in H6148    ע ר ב   aw-rab',  H6150, with the idea of covering with a texture and to grow dusky at sundown.  It basically means to braid,  intermix, and mingle.

  The Hebrew word for ‘morning’ is ‘bokerבּ ק ר  bo'-ker  and is found in Strongs Concordance as number H1242 , also meaning the dawn.  It finds its root in H1239  בּ ק ר baw-kar' meaning generally to break forth, or to consider.  It is a time when vision of the surroundings becomes clear for consideration and is orderly.

  The ‘evening intermixing’ is opposite of morning ‘breaking forth’ into order.  The phrase "evening and morning", in that sequence, signifies significant steps during each creation day that brought relative disorder to a next higher level of order.  The Jewish day memorializes the significantly creative intervals of time when God accomplished certain related things ... in each of the six creation days.   

The total creation process developed from the least complex to the most complex creation, humankind.  We were the ultimate end of creation, made to work with God in His seventh uncompleted day.  The Sabbath celebrates the plan of creation and the seventh day.  The 7th day and Sabbath is the most important memorial of what God is doing in creation.  We greatly misunderstand its significance and seriousness to God.  Consider that when Israel did not keep the 7th year land Sabbaths for 490 years to the day, that they went into Babylonian captivity for 70 years to the day [490 / 7 = 70].  The land Sabbaths were kept.  Why are we upon the Land?
[Sir Walter Anderson, The Coming Prince, Appendix II]



II.  -  Theology  and  Purpose


D.  -  A  big  view  of  creation,  to  see  the  Purpose  of  God  -
1.  -  Beginning  at  I Peter 1:19 – 20 - -  a view  from  before  “the  beginning” 
2.  -  A  view of  all  creation  - - The  Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
3.  -  The  problem  of  not  seeing  the  Biblical  forest,  due  to  two  trees in the Garden.  4.  -  The  bride
………………


D1.  -  Beginning  at  I Peter 1:19 – 20 - -  a view  from  before  “the  beginning” 


When did God know everything?  When was everything planned?  What is included in everything?
1 Peter 1:19, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
1 Peter 1:20, “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,”.
God knew before the creation, and before Adam and Eve sinned, that He would die for our sins.  Yet, the creation process is called ‘very good’, Genesis 1:31.  The Garden of Eden was not perfect.  Satan slithered there.  No created thing was perfect, but the six days of creation were ‘very good’ to support His plan carried out in the seventh day of which we reside.  Satan and a third of the angles were in rebellion and on the loose.  The plan is very good to separate them to hell, and have perfect heaven.

 God knew that Adam and Eve would sin and be hurt, with all humanity, and that as a result He would die on a cross.  God is omniscient; He knows.  Why did God create us in His image, unless He had a plan for us to work with Him as separating agents, in His image?  It was not a ‘perfect’ situation for anyone.  It was a ‘very good’ purpose for a ‘very good’ plan to be accomplished in the seventh day. 

 Here are three more scriptures referring to ‘before’ –
Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 2:8 – 10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


D2.  -  A  view of  all  creation  - - The  Parable of the Wheat and the Tares


 The parable of the ‘wheat and tares’ is the second of eight parables at Matthew 13.  It is in two parts at Matthew 13:24 - 30, and 37 - 43.  Parables 3 and 4 occur between the two parts.  After parable 4 about bread, there is a break at Mat 13:34 - 36 where verse 35 tells the import of understanding this parable as doctrine, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.  This parable gives a view of all history comparable to the conversation at the transfiguration, and the foreordination of Christ to die, at I Peter 1:20. 

 After finding tare plants in the field of wheat, workers asked the master is they should be pulled up.  The good and bad plants were intertwined at their roots.  Pull one out, and the other would be hurt.  The master stated that the good or bad fruit produced would be separated.  Let them produce wheat heads and tare heads.  Prior to creation, at historical roots when Satan and a third of angels chose to do evil, goodness and evil became intertwined at their roots.  The second part of the parable makes it clear that our acts produce fruiting wheat heads or tare heads.  The big picture of creation is rooted in choices.  Upon the return of Christ, our fruit bearing actions will be separated.  Creation and our existence allow separation of tangled roots, by bearing fruit.  We must ‘bind again’ within religion to the willful purpose God.  We are His agents, created in His image; to do His will as it is done in heaven.  The focus of the full story of creation and time from Genesis to revelation is separation of goodness and evil to two places, forever:  heaven and hell, by fruit bearing actions.  This parable that gives the view purpose through time is put below for convenience of your being able to match parts in the first and second halves, to do. 

Parable 2 of 8, the big picture from beginning to end:  eschatological  wheat  and  tares
Mat 13:24  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Mat 13:25  But while men slept, his enemy came and sowe
d tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Mat 13:26  But when the blade was spr
ung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Mat 13:27  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
Mat 13:28  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
Mat 13:29  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
[Next, parables 3 and 4 occur, after which parable 2 is explained.  This is a literary mechanism.]
…..

Jesus explained Parable 2 -

 Mat 13:34  All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
Mat 13:35  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Mat 13:36  Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
Mat 13:37  He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
Mat 13:38  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
Mat 13:39  The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
Mat 13:40  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
 
Mat 13:41  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Mat 13:42  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
 
..............


D3.  -  The  problem  of  not  seeing  the  Biblical  forest,  due  to  two  trees in the Garden.  

If Adam or Eve [A-E] would have eaten of the Tree of Life [tL], and then later eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil [tKGE] would they have lived forever in condemnation?  What do we know about the character and effect of two trees in relation to sin and death?  The concern of Young Earth proponents for Bible-science harmony is that death prior to the Fall does not appear to honor the cause of the salvific shed blood of Jesus on the cross for our redemption from sin and future restoration to eternal life.  Is this true?

 This doctrinal point and interpretation of the Fall is often the basis upon which secondary interpretation of science is accepted or rejected.  How does science honor doctrine about sin and death, especially death prior to the Fall?  What goes on with these trees and death? 

 Romans 5:12 states, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”.  How so, one to all?  We need to consider trees.  Our ancestors usurped God, as did Satan, thinking they were wise enough to handle goodness and evil.  Only God has the ability to handle all good and evil.

 But, knowing that A-E would be affected by sin, God planned a way prior to creation to save his loved agents of the plan, I Peter 1:19 – 20, 2 Timothy 1:9, Revelation 13:8, etc!

 God banished A-E from the Garden when they ate of the tKNE.  It was done in love so they would not also eat of the tL and live forever separated from Him in misery, but live only temporarily.  According to 1 Peter 1:19, their sin was not a surprise to God.  He would redeem them in due time.  Redemption is a result of the goal of God, separating goodness from evil.   To understand this, now consider the two trees of the Garden.  If A-E had first eaten of the tL, would the other tKGE have disappeared so that its presence would no longer have tempted us to be ‘like’ God, and then live forever in sin?  No.  No necessity.

 Everything would have proceeded the same.  We have advantage of two additional sections of scripture about the tL .  It will appear again in the redeemed new heaven and new earth.  From scripture in Ezekiel and Revelation, given below, the tL is shown not to be a ‘one-bite’ tree, but continually eaten for life.  Yet, we know that ‘one bite’ of the other tKGE caused sin and problems.  If having first eaten of the tL, and if at any later time A-E or their progeny would have sinned such as not following the commandment about the tKGE, then expulsion from the Garden at any time would have prevented their continual access to the tL.  They would have died as did A-E in the Garden story.  This is understood from scripture.  Ezekiel 47:12 is written in context of a perfected Holy Land of the future, “And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

 Compare this Ezekiel description to that at Revelation 22 about the tL.  It reappears in the future new heaven and new earth [the word ‘new’ is at Rev. 21:1].  Goodness will have been separated from evil.
Revelation 22:1  And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Rev 22:2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

 Two other passages in the book of Revelation give setting to the Tree of Life, the first verse of which are words spoken from God.  Paradise reappears, and evil is separated without the city of God.[22:15]
Revelation 2:7, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. 
Rev 22:14, Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

 God knew that all His beloved humanity would be hurt in the separation process.  He knew that He would be hurt on a cross for their redemption.  He knew that some people would choose to not be redeemed and suffer separation like the third of the angels that fell and Satan.  He knew that when creation was completed and He had ‘ceased’ from creating [‘ceased’ is a better translation in Genesis 2:2 – 3 than ‘rested’], there would not be time for rest and refreshment, but that the work of His plan for a final separation would be in full force in the unfinished seventh day.  Satan appeared in the Garden, and the battle rages.  We get hurt.  God saves us.  His highest creation is central to His plan and process.  Satan would desire we not follow Commandment #6, do not kill, and obliterate us and the plan.

 Satan and evil was a problem from before the Garden, and in the Garden, because Satan slithered there trying to obliterate the plan.  Creation and the Garden of Eden were not perfect.  As prior stated in this work, God called everything He made in creation to be ‘very good’, Genesis 1:31.  It is ‘very good’ for the purpose for which it was created:  a plan to separate evil from goodness in the Seventh Day.  Chaos existed from the beginning, and death, too.  The Tree of Life was the antidote to death, to be continually eaten.

 When A-E sinned, they were put to the outside of the Garden so that they would not have access to the tL.  There was an outside.  It is likely from where Adam came: 
Gen 2:15, And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  The word put is well translated in Young’s Literal Translation and the Concordant Literal Versions. 
YLT Gen 2:15 And Jehovah God taketh the man, and causeth him to rest in the garden of Eden, to serve it, and to keep it.
CLV Gn 2:15 And taking is Yahweh Elohim the human that he had formed and is leaving him in the garden of Eden to serve it and to keep it.

It does not say Adam was created in the Garden, but placed there.  Strong’s Concordance, H3240  I  yaw-nakh', a primitive root; to deposit; by implication, to allow to stay [and more].  God commanded, Gen 2:17, But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.  Adam would seemed to have understood death well, and seen much of it outside the Garden of rest.  It is incumbent to answer why Adam existed when God created many animals from the dust of the ground, to name them, because animals were created in the first of the two-part day six creation.  Adam did not have a partner, Eve, but animals for brothers.  They did not please.

 In the first part of day six, wording is changed for the first time in all Gen 1.  The ground-earth upon which the creeper [low animal with legs] went had been Hebrew eretz.  Here it becomes haadamah, that is, ha = ‘the’ and adamah with adam as its root = ‘ground-earth, and following it, words again become ‘earth’ eretz.  Why here?  Gen 1:2 5  And God made the beast of the earth [eretz] after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth [haadamah] after his kind: and God saw that it was good.  

 After the image of God was bestowed upon humankind at Gen 1:26 - 27, the “…creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” was became associated to the earth – eretz, no longer the same as the former ‘earthling’, Adam.  At Gen. 1:28, the word bara = ‘seperated’ (has been translated ‘created’) is used six times, half of its use in the first creation account in Gen 1:26.  Humankind ‘separated’ from what had been prior, by the image put in them.

Adam and animals came from the dust of the ground, Gen. 2:4 and 19, both with the word haadamah for ground in those verses.  In the progressive creation account, that ground was first congealed in heavenly furnaces of supernova located the ‘upper’ waters of the firmament.  During day 2, they were gathered to one place at the lower area of the firmament called ‘earth and seas’ at the opening of day 3.  During the same day, life began.

 God stated at Gen 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, ….”.  The second creation account is a detail of creation day six, both creation parts, and Adam had much experience therein with animals and death.  Satan and thus evil existed in the Garden, and thus it was not perfect.  The universe was not perfect.  It is good for a plan.

  Sin of humankind allowed death to come upon ourselves in the garden, and cut us off from the way of escape from death by continual partaking of the tL seen in Genesis 3, Ezekiel 47 and Rev. 21.  Life was not from a ‘one bite’ tree, as was the tKGE.  Good and Evil is the larger focus, and death is continues as it always had been until access to the tL is regained.

 This does not denigrate the plan for redemption of humankind, but fits within the larger plan of the separation which God put in place before creation, which included His death.

 We must realize the full beautiful view of the Biblical forest by properly describing two Garden trees.  In the big view, continuing death related to our Garden actions.  Should the tKGE been partaken after taking from the tL, the same ejection from the Garden would have caused the same continuation of death, now mandated upon humankind.  We must also realize creation as a battleground, hallowed to conquer and separate goodness from evil, such planned from before creation.  It is the ‘very good’ plan for the Seventh Day.

 At Gen 2:18, the female ‘help meet’ = ‘ezer’, a word with the sense of a complimentary military ally with particular skills, all to help obtain an objective.  More about the ‘ezer’ is given in the following section at D4.  -  ‘The  bride’.  People need to know the shared goal. 

 When Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in the cool of the evening, likely, two of those topics were, “Where did we come from?” and “Why are we here?”.  God revealed answers in scripture so that we can see the full forest of life, and a purposeful path through it for daily life.  How do both Biblical imperatives and natural biota that God prepared for us fit together as one?  

Genesis 2:4 to its end gives further details of creation day six.  Genesis, chapter 3, begins the history of 7th day within which we reside.  It is here in Genesis chapter 2 that origins springboard to other passages.  But our understanding of language has been deficient.  

 This paragraph is a repeat of the paper’s introduction:  To begin, what might be missing from this otherwise excellent syllogism?  If God is good, He would desire to destroy evil.  In that, if God is all-powerful, He would destroy evil.  Evil is not defeated, therefore no such good all-powerful God exists.  Answer:  the first two sentences use the word ‘would’ to set a conditional mood about the will of God.  It indicates what God would choose.  The last sentence assumes that His will has not been exercised, nor in process of exercise as we now breathe.  It assumes God should have completely exercised His will without time and conditionality.  The purpose of creation is the resolution.  To miss the process is to miss the importance of time within the creation!  Perhaps time is the essence for cause-and-effect wherein goodness and evil, wheat and tares, can be separated to heaven and hell, forever.

 God loves us so much, that He planned to die for us who are the apex of His creation process.  He made us in His image and for His purpose; so much that before He created us He planned to die for us, so that whosoever would be as His image-name should not be separated from Him, but become His dwelling place forever.  That is intimate replay of John 3:16!  The Holy Spirit now dwells in believers of God, as a seal [sign of attestation] of that anticipated promise of future intimacy - among other things states Ephesians 1:13. 

………….


D4.  -  The  bride

 It is a battle.  The objective is shared.  At Genesis 2:18, the language of Eve as ‘helpmeet’ for Adam when she was created, is the Hebrew ‘ezer’.  It is most often in scripture with military contexts, e.g., Psalm 33:20, “Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he [is] our help and our shield.”  It is related to azar, a primitive root meaning ‘to surround, i.e. protect or aid.’  The concept of ‘helpmeet’ – ‘ezer’ is that of a second army with complementary skills not held by a first army; joining with the first to accomplish a military objective that neither army could accomplish alone.  In this battle, we are troops.  We are the bride.  Old and New Testaments were written as marriage covenants, Isaiah 54:5, Jeremiah 31:32, and the book of Hosea with Gomer, and Ephesians 5 marital relations wherein Paul suddenly exclaims at Ephesians 5:32, This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church., and the Last Supper promise of covenant as a groom and bride drinking from the betrothal cup in anticipation of the preparation to live in accommodation alongside His Father’s house when the Groom returns again.

 This takes a long time, because that is how God structured our choices!  God structured the six days [eras] of creation that yields itself to a math construct of an expansion series, and it repeats itself for the history of all time according to its pattern and rule.  Within that history is measured prophecy, often fulfilled to the exact day.  God is exact.  In physics, light is without time, or distance, although it travels in and interacts with the material world of time and distance, to allow measurement.  Time does not exist at relative light speed.  It is part of material.  Time and material allows causation and thereby allows fruiting bodies of good and bad works to be later processed for the separation of good and evil, intertwined at their roots.  Time allows separation.  Time is not the enemy with which we identify death and sin, but the essential nature necessary for separation; thereby to allow order to be progressively brought from chaos.  Time patterns in creation and beyond can be shown by using a natural log growth-decay formula.  Temporal resolution is seen by use the Lorentz formula.  But that is not the focus here.  It is that we were originally separated [bara – created], to become a part of works from God foreordained [Greek, katabole – to throw back] before the creation of the universe.

 A  wedding  of  the  Lamb  to  the  church: 
Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. [KJV]  - Authorized Standard Version = “… is the righteous acts of the saints.”  International Standard Version = “… represents the righteous deeds of the saints.”
[ Note - Eph 5:29 – 32, Christ and the church ]

  Our identity is also characterized at Revelation 19:6 – 9 as the future bride of the Lamb. 
There is a fashion show.  We are clothed in fine white linen given to us; not of our earning.  Rev. 19:8
Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. - Authorized Version, or
 … the righteous acts of the saints.” - Young’s Literal Translation, or
 … the righteous deeds of the saints.” - International Standard Version.

  At Ephesians 2:8 – 10 [which is one Greek thought], first compare verses 8 & 9.  Salvation is not of our works lest we boast.  Then at verse 10, we learn that we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works before ordained, that we should walk in them.  Not [self] works, and good works!  Works ‘before ordained’ implies that the ‘fine white linen’ gown is not crafted by self-originating concepts of good works, but by works which God has before ordained in which we walk.  Our faith is about ‘before ordained’ works.  What are ordered good works?  Mercy.  For-giveness, and give-ness of goodness! 



A  Review  before  the  next  section: 

 -         there was a need prior to creation to separate goodness from evil. 

 -         Creation exists to allow goodness and evil to be ultimately separated two places, heaven and hell.  All creation led to this seventh day, a day not ended until a ‘new heaven and new earth’ are brought forth.

 -         If we wish to relate to God, we must relate to His work.  God works His plan in this seventh day. 

 -         Works in your field to produce wheat heads or tare heads is essential to your purpose and your future joy.

 

III.  -  Purpose  and  Application 

E.    -  To  For-give  and  give   -
1.  -  the  separating  work  for  us and God  in  the  seventh  day.
2.  -  Forgiveness of God:
3.  -  Salvation  and ‘forgiveness’ in Matthew 6:14 – 15:  See Romans 1:31 - 2:3
………..


  E1.  -  the  separating  work  for  us and God  in  the  seventh  day.

 The ‘Our Father’ Prayer, at stanza 5 is Matthew 6: 12,  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors:   Immediately after the ‘Our Father’ Prayer, forgiveness is expanded as central to salvation: 
Mat 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: Mat 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  

 It is central to our maturity and work, as it was to the forgiving work of Jesus on the cross.  The central mercy of God is to forgive and give truth for life.

 Relationship  words :   ‘Give and Take’  -  For-give and For-get - -

 Words ‘forgive and forget’ have intimate connections to relationships.  Their roots of ‘give’ and ‘get’ are much like the relationship phrase ‘give and take’.  The common prefix, "for-" in its Old English origin means "not".   Thus, the roots “have application for what we are to not give, and not get.  God desires to for-give us condemnation and in its place give truth for life.  When we forgive; we can "not-give" irritation, bitterness, and hatred, or what is justly due.  It their place, we can give goodness that heals a situation.  Sometimes, we must not-give just due, but give blessing.  It is up to us to offer and the recipient to accept.  This is what God does.  When God forgives, he does not give what is justly deserved:  Lamentations 3:22, It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  Rather, Lam 3:23, They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

E2.  -  Forgiveness of God:

-          Lamentations 3:22  It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
-         Lam 3:23  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

 Forgiveness is part of salvation; our part.  God did His part that we cannot do for perfection; having lived to die for us who accept the efficacy of His substitutionary perfect sacrifice. 

 Forgiveness and give-ness are inseparable.  We always give something through actions, attitudes, and desires.  As we enter a room, attitudes toward people are given.  Do we avoid someone, and God and other people see that?  By mere activity of being alive, we always give.  Forgiveness allows maturity through problem solving about what is good, because the twin of root of forgiving means we must understand what is needed in the situation.  How else do people know what goodness looks like unless they are given goodness?  How do know what goodness looks like, unless it is shown to us?

 ‘Forget means that we are ‘not’ to ‘get’ more of the previous wrong we ‘got’.  No one is called to be a front door mat in front of a revolving door, upon which other people wipe their feet.  Forgetting has been largely associated to memory.  True, but more to the origin of the word, do ‘not-get’ and it will not be ‘re’-‘membered’.  To for-give and for-get means to solve problems with truth and goodness.

 A problem remains if we ‘-get’ more of the same old.  God wants us to change so that we mature for His purpose.  Christ did not offer forgiveness to have us reject it, and then receive more grief.  The ultimate end is to separate goodness from badness into two places, heaven and hell.  Another way of stating it is that if we have not learned to forgive and give goodness, then we will not reap forget-ness.

 When hurts are deeply buried inside, how do we know that we have say we have forgiven is not put deeper in our psyche and covered over with false feelings?  When we can give goodness in place of hurt, for the same situation.  Forgiveness does not excuse justice and rehabilitation, but it pursues justice and help for the other person, for brining goodness.  God does not foolishly forgive without following up on our actions of forgiveness, to do as His image.  Following His image is basic to our salvation and separating goodness from evil.  We are the change agents.  Christ is the first fruit.

 Christ died, asking the Father to forgive people.  He did not die asking condemnation.  A simple application is that sometimes we can tend to avoid situations, perhaps certain relatives at various holiday events or gatherings.  We can murmur “I do not know if I will go this year, or if I do go, I will stay a short time to avoid conflict.”  Maybe we think, “If they start in again, maybe I’ll burn my bridges by telling them what I really think!”  ‘Not-giving’ allows give-ness of goodness; truth for life.

 John 14:6, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  He is the way - to truth - about life.  The way is to for-give, then give His goodness.  It usually takes faith, faith in works prepared beforehand that we should walk in them, Ephesians 2:10.
…………

 For those people who like to be ‘rooted’, like I, here are three references to ‘forgive’ -Forgive -   Greek > to send away – separate / G863  aphiemi  af-ee'-ay-mee - from G575 and hiemi (to send; an intensive form of eimi, to go  ||  G575  apo  apo' - a primary particle; "off," i.e. away

Hebrew
> H5545  calach  saw-lakh' - a primitive root; to forgive.  / KJV: forgive, pardon, spare.
- and H5375  nasa'  naw-saw'; a primitive root; to lift, in a great variety of applications - KJV: accept, advance, arise, (able to, (armor), suffer to) bear(-er, up), bring (forth), burn, carry (away), cast,
 …
…………


E3.  -  Salvation  and ‘forgiveness’ in Matthew 6:14 – 15:  See Romans 1:31 - 2:3

 
It might be queried that - 1. if salvation is not totally humble assent to the sacrifice of Christ, but  - 2. also such faith is filled out in work, then – 3. how does God judge the degree of proper works for salvation?  The book of Romans can help with this concern.  It is doctrinally astute, but I wonder if it might be one of the most misunderstood.   In opening chapters, Apostle Paul proclaims the powerful gospel through faith, with order of our lives according to faith.  He challenges Jewish hearers that they are in danger of eternal damnation due to their unrighteous acts while holding the truth given them.  In comparison, Gentiles who might naturally do what is required of God are righteous and the ‘circumcision’ identity of righteousness, due to their internalizing and doing truth.  Many Jews kept false trust in outward false righteousness.  It is to the Gentiles that Paul is called to preach.  Some Jews are indignant about his being so inclusive.  In ‘transition verses’ of Romans 1:31 - 2:3 Paul uses the focus of the gospel in chapter 1 to build doctrine about judgment and develop righteousness in chapters two and three.

 In this four verse passage, he employs the word prosso [ pras'-so ] five times.  It is found ten times in Romans; half concentrated here and the other half scattered throughout the book.  “Prosso”, means ‘habitually doing’ and is sometimes only translated ‘do’, but other times ‘continually do’, etc.  The generic ‘do’ from Greek is poieo [ poy-eh'-o ] and also used here and throughout Romans.  Habits are judged.  If we might slip up, salvation is not lost.  Of course, habits develop from individual acts, so bad intents can become bad habits.   Habits which do not honor the desire of God are as deadly as habitual contrariness in any other relationship, causing failure of relationship.  In this delineation of personal responsibility along with our dependence upon the work of Christ on the cross for us is found security and comfort.  It rails against ‘justifying sin’ in grace, as was the topic of Romans chapter 2 from Paul to the Jews.  We know where we stand by confession of His death for redemption, and by our habitual choices done in the image of God.  Forgiveness and attendant giving of goodness are character attributes of God.  ‘Forgive and forget’ is ‘giving and getting’ goodness.  That separates evil from goodness.  We bless God by becoming like Him, in His image.  It is His work and ours. 

 Part of a challenge in exegesis is to understand hermeneutical patterns, and realize flows of thought often compartmentalized by Paul for a particular focus needed by hearers.  One focus ‘without works’ and another ‘with works’ do not conflict, but compliment and join each other for the full relationship shared by the bride and the Lamb in their respective roles; to bring righteousness-justification and to accomplish His will through what He must do and what we can do.  This process of separation and righteousness does not originate as a result of the Garden Fall, but the Fall is on the larger continuum which originates prior to the creation and is fulfilled at the marriage feast of the Lamb.  The fine white linen is being woven.  Identity as the bride of the Lamb depends upon doing righteous acts given to us from the will of God.  Mercy is His hallmark of goodness.  And forgiveness with the attendant giving of goodness is its practical outworking.  This separates goodness from evil, act by act.  Therein is our ‘reconciliation’, to ‘be made friendly again’.  Therein, we have religion, bound again unto God.  There in the mercy of forgiveness and giving, we can lift people toward God.  This is our purpose, meaning for being, and reason we were created in the image of God for His purpose.

 

F.  -  Free will, choice, and Pharaoh.    God allows trials and temptations, because ….

 The Bible states several times that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.  Does this mean a lack of free-will or determined election for Pharaoh?  Does it challenge the goodness of God toward us?  In ancient Egypt, Horus and Seth were the personification of goodness and evil.  Is goodness and evil not much more than our categorization of events, equivalent to ancient Horus and Seth?  Does God act?  This has engendered many controversies and wide ranging opinions.  May I throw my part into the pot?

 This section is slightly scholastic.  The word ‘harden[ed]’ in Exodus is quite imprecisely delineated and misunderstood, to our hurt of application.  The verb translated ‘hardened’ is usually  ח ז ק  chazak, [khaw-zak'], e.g., Strong’s Concordance H2388.  It means to causatively strengthen, to make bold or courageous, to excite to duty.  God took whatever attitude dwelt in Pharaoh and excited it.


Within Jewish Bibles, the verb chazak is placed at the end of most books as an exhortation for the reader to take courage [strength] and continue to read, which obedience requires.  It does not advise to harden one’s heart! 7  God told Joshua, “Only be thou Strong, - רק  חזק  rak  chazak.”, Joshua 1:7.  And Joshua, prior to his death, exhorted the nation, “Be ye therefore Very Courageous - וחזקתם  vachazaktem, to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law.”, Joshua 23:6.

 Perhaps the closest English approach to the word ‘harden’ is the word ‘hardy’; “Be ye therefore Very Hardy….”8  God can excite us, chazak, with events, all to influence choices we make for His purpose.  It is done with a merciful hope that we will choose right sooner than later so that His plan can proceed.  Yes, God can lift His hand of protection.  We still choose.  Yet, looking at the history of the Jewish people, God first gave them multiple, increasing, and full warnings as a witness to them and history!  Pharaoh’s free-will was excited, to be exercised and made hardy by events.  But unlike Moses who killed a man and chose to be humble and trainable, Pharaoh was ‘heavy’ by his choice.

 Exodus 4:21 is a good example of improperly understanding the Hebrew word chazak.  There, God refers to Pharaoh, “… I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.  Young’s Literal Translation is more mechanical from Hebrew and more clear, “… and I--I strengthen his heart, and he doth not send the people away;  The phrase “and I -” in Hebrew is ani [an-ee'].  It is an emphasis from God that He would surely do it.  His intervention would be clear to all people.  The plagues were intervention from God, meant to influence Pharaoh’s volition without subverting free-will.  God strengthened whatever resided in Pharaoh.  For Moses and free-will, events led to the Burning Bush and good things because he humbled himself.  The intervention of God serves His goal, but in no way usurps our free will.  In fact, it might be considered a form of mercy, all to influence us well.

 Pharaoh finally broke when all firstborn died in the plagues, to recant and let the people go.  But his demeanor once again caused him to sing his old refrain.  He chased the Hebrew people through the sea.  His free-will had ultimate consequences.  Advice:  God is bigger.  Do not perturb His mercy. 

 A second Hebrew word translated ‘hardened’ is qashah  kaw-shaw', H7185, used only twice in Exodus.  It means ‘to make grievous’, and the like.  An example is God speaking at Exodus 7:3, “And I will harden [make grievous] Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.”  Plagues were grief.  With each calamity, God turned up the grief on Pharaoh.  We improperly understand context due to blanketed imprecise translation of varying Hebrew words. 

 A third often used Hebrew word is kabed  kaw-bade', H3515, meaning ‘heavy’, ‘difficult’, etc., e.g., Ex 7:14, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart [is] hardened [heavy – difficult – obstinate], he refuseth to let the people go.”  Pharaoh’s self-will was heavy on the scales of justice.

 Pharaoh’s attitude was similar to the Pharisees who bickered with Jesus.  At Matthew 12:34, Jesus called the Pharisees a ‘generation of vipers’.  At Matthew 12:35, Jesus expounded, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”.  God ‘strengthens – excites’ whatever is in a person.  God influences by events.  Pharaoh did not respond well toward a good goal set forth by God.  God likewise did not give him much blessing, but stepwise pain.  Was Job like Pharaoh, receiving stepwise pain from God in order to get his attention?  No, God had Job’s attention, and this was a judicial test between God and Satan.  Job was a one-time event, whereas that of Pharaoh and Egypt was a stepwise series for change.  Job was humble and righteous, willing to change for the benefit of God when facts came to him.  At Job 42:8 in the final outcome, God declared Job had spoken right.  Not so with Pharaoh.

 Likely, this raises a myriad of questions about salvation security, election, justification, and other basic teaching.  In a very general view, the God of mercy treats us like a father or mother of a child who might reflect about their parent with assurance, “They have always been there for me.  I know that they always will be.  I can always go to them.”  God is always there in His mercy.  There is much to consider, and the Bible has many good answers for our weak rationale and to provide comfort with direction.  Foundationally, the omnipotent name of El or Elohiym speaks of the ‘all powerful one’.

 The goodness of God within His omniscience and sovereignty, especially in relation to election, might be exemplified from a personal story of my young years at home.  One of my jobs for the family was to mow a very large yard.  My father knew my personality.  It was first to do anything but to mow the yard.  I would play, do homework, whatever.  The agreement was that the yard would be mowed before dinner time.  So, within measured minutes prior to dinner I would hit the yard with a power mower, somewhat with the energy of an exploding bomb, and with enough time remaining to clean up for dinner.  My father knew what I would consistently do.  It was my choice.  It was almost like his being the omniscient Father knowing the future.  Omniscience knows, but to be part of the elect is our will.  Choosing to produce wheat or tares, or to forgive or not, is ours.  It is His absolute knowledge and His absolute commitment to intervene in the action, for goodness to prevail.  All created things have choice, even Satan and the angels.  We can ultimately know as we are known, but not for now.

 Life is not mere random chance with accompanying nihilistic lack of meaning.  It is a series of causes and effects for His purpose.  On the road to heaven, there is an overall Godly plan seen fulfilled in prophecy and beyond it, for the influence of human agency in this process.  Fulfilled prophecy reveal His blessings or curses are often traceable to the exact day, over hundreds [and thousands] of years.

 God revealed blessings and curses to Israel, exercised according to a definite Godly schedule, yet directed in intensity and plan A or plan B, etc., by human choices.  It is the historical inevitability of God who cares to bless us, and yet to curse when needed to get our attention for His goal - purposes.

 Curses of the Garden experience were meant to heighten awareness toward our dependence upon the good God.  Blessing and cursing in prophecy are a carrot and a stick, and a witness.  So, why does evil still remain to cause hurt and hard choices?  We must see the Garden fall in its full context, next.

  

G.   -  Mercy and Goodness in the light of Job – with Romans 9  and  Matthew  9
1-a.  -  What  is  ‘good’  and  ‘fair’?   God allows trials and temptations, because …
1-b.  -  God desires we know that nothing can be withheld from Him, and
             -  He determines what is good, and
             -  He desires us to love. 

2. -  ‘Ultimate  might  makes  right.’  - -  Romans  9  gives  context  to  ‘goodness’
3. -  So,  how does ultimate might match with free will?        Mercy
………
 


G1-a.  -  What  is  ‘good’  and  ‘fair’?   God allows trials and temptations, because -


 Job exercised his free choice to honor God, but God allowed evil to affect Job!  What does that mean about our daily lives and planning?  From the culture of Job’s day, his friends argued that hidden sin caused Job’s affliction and he should humble himself to that realistic fact.  Job tenaciously defended himself from having such sin.  The cultural assumption was that a good God allows only good reward for His good followers.  Job helps define reasoning about goodness.  Job’s story about ‘goodness and evil’ opens with him continually acting as the priest for his family.  In that role, he sacrificed animals to sanctify his children, should someone have inadvertently sinned, Job 1:1 - 5.  Job was trying to be good and holy.  Among these good acts, a challenge was set; first brought in heavenly realms between God and Satan.  The satanic claim was Job was not as righteous as seemed; not good as claimed, somewhat like a ‘good times’ soldier.  In Job’s response of trying to understand what had just transpired and what should be, he argued like a litigating attorney to put God on trial.  God does not speak to Job until chapter 38!  Then He put Job on trial for four chapters.  Chapter 42 is amazing.

G
1-b.  -  God desires we know that nothing can be withheld from Him, and                           -  He determines what is good, and
       -  He desires us to love.  


 At Job 38:1, God spoke to Job from a second whirlwind.  Job’s attention would have been riveted with fear and respect, because the story of his miseries began with a whirlwind which destroyed Job’s family!  God said that Job darkened counsel without knowledge.  He told Job to prepare for His demand of answers, Job 38:2 – 3.  Then God set a right mind for Job about goodness and evil, as would soon also be done for Job’s friends.  God did this by asking Job to consider grandeur in creation, the heavens, weather, and animals.  In comparison to these, God alluded to His own might, especially comparing Himself to things that could not be withstood, Job 41:10.  For the omnipotent God, might made right!  Job humbled himself to God, “I know that thou canst do every thing, … no thought can be withholden from thee.”, Job 42:3.  But, for humans, right makes might.  God has the right to name right, due to his omnipotence.  And, we are right to follow.  Yet, how is this goodness?


G2. - ‘Ultimate  might  makes  right.’  - -  Romans  9  gives  context  to  ‘goodness’

 Apostle Paul understood goodness at Romans 9.  Have you ever wondered about his reasoning at that chapter, that the might of God makes right?  Using examples of Jacob and Esau, Romans 9:11 reads, “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, ….” and likewise
Rom. 9:12, “It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.” 
Romans 9:16 could have been spoken to Job, “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”


G3. - So,  how does ultimate might match with free will?        Mercy

 Mercy is the second part of the story about goodness and might, in both Romans and Job.  Might alone does not bring goodness!  Alone, it can bring evil, such as with Satan.  Mercy has a plan to lift people.  God, and Jesus as God, did not need to lower some people in order to lift other people.  God lifts all who will submit to His merciful good omnipotence!  Yet, Romans 9:20 gnawingly questions twice, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”  First, back to Job, then forward again to this question from Paul about ‘who are you?’ and its sequel question.  It is like going back in time to see the future. 

 At Job 42:7, God turns His attention to Job’s three friends.  The wrath of God was hot on them, and the solution God gave to Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar was to take seven bullocks and seven rams to Job, that he offer up a burnt offering and pray for them.  The wrath of God was kindled because they had not spoken about God in a right way, like His servant Job.  Then, an amazing thing happened to Job after he prayed for his friends with mercy! “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”, Job 42:10.  Mercy is from God.  When Job carried through with mercy toward his friends, then God released His mercy.

 How does mercy speak to goodness?  Forgiveness is much like mercy, and with great application for bringing goodness to light.  For humankind, right makes might, but sometimes our might is on the wrong side.  In the might of God, mercy is right.  And further, mercy is purposefully directed toward the goal, separation.  Mercy is directed toward that goal.  For practical everyday example, a school department might have a missions statement to guide policy.  It is declared good.  Yet, such policy is submissive to the school board’s direction, declared as mightier and broader in goodness.  As culture works up to the ultimate power, God, whether by chain of command or by agreement of law or by masses of opinion, His might has mercy with a purpose to which all else must submit.  Whatever is lesser than God is subject to His purpose.  Humankind must submit to God because He is mightier. 

 So, why does evil remain in effect if God is all-powerful and mercifully loving toward people created in His image?  It takes time to separate things.   In the big picture, creation came by the power of God to separate things, and the ultimate resolution of goodness from evil is to heaven and hell.  It is why creation and we exist.  In a later section, we will see that the Garden Fall was predicted, yet was by free-choice.  At the end of this resolution process, unmerciful Satan and his host will be separated from afflicting the goodness of God.  We can realize our purpose as agents through whom separation takes place, much like Job.  This is our purpose.  We are essential.  Satan would like to subvert and kill us, to kill the process.  Satan’s challenge to God to prove Job’s goodness is consistent with Satan thinking himself mightier than God, unconquered, and engaged in battle.  Meanwhile in that battle, we must realize that time is uniquely allows our exercise of free-will to separate goodness from evil.

 We are created in His image, for His purpose.  We are His agents, to submit to his goal and do His will, as it is in heaven.  To Love God is to give support His purpose, so that all things affected by our giving Him support allows the greatest amount of goodness to be produced.  Loving God is quite amazing.  It reflects back to our benefit, because we are part of His purpose!  That is a good deal! 

 Looking forward from Job toward the two questions of Romans 9:20, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”, we can see that the mercy of God toward us is in context of His might, and our free-will to support God in His purpose to separate goodness from evil.  But the question still stands, “Why did you make me thus?”  How we are to understand is seen in context of Romans 9:21 which follows the verse above, “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” and like the other bookend ,Romans 9:19, “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?”  Tough realistic questions.

 Where is His mercy for our will?  The answer harkens back again, to see the future.  This section of Romans harkens to Jeremiah 18:2 where we are told that the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.”  It continues that the potter made vessels as it seemed good.  Let us look at us, at these good vessels, us.  

 Some vessels were made for honorable places in the home, and others without honorable places.  All were made with function and specific necessity for the master’s use.  The good potter did not form vessels to only exhibit unmerciful power by dashing them to pieces.  All vessels were good and with purpose.  Similarly with humans, Newton and Einstein had specific purposes and functions, like you and I.  What is more, all vessels will be filled in life with wheat heads or tare heads as the ultimate result of human choices!  Matthew, chapter 9, portrays four interrelated miracles that speak to society about the value of all people as vessels to God, set in the battle to separate goodness from evil.  At Matthew 9:32 – 33, a dumb man without speech was also of a capacity wherein he was led in.  He is juxtaposed to two blind men at Matthew 9:27 – 30 who were very aware and cried out to Jesus for mercy.  They all had purpose.  Again at Matthew 9:18 – 25, the daughter of a ruler who would be of high estate at is in context of a Daughter of Israel at Matthew 9:20 – 22 who was a culturally unclean due to her issue of blood and thus an outcast of low estate.  Both were daughters of God, affected by evil and valued by Jesus.  To the best of capacity in their vessels, they chose God, and separated evil from goodness.  In Old Testament contrast, the Egyptian Pharaoh of the Exodus made choices toward the Hebrew people about mercy or its lack.  Through intervening events, God overpowered him, to affect his choice to allow mercy toward the Hebrew people; to let them go.  In comparison, forty years prior, Moses, after killing an Egyptian, began to learn the practice of mercy in the wilderness.

 Moses became meek and usable, Numbers 12:3; simple as 1-2-3.  His vessel filled with wheat heads in the field of history.  Both the Pharaoh and Moses were valued by God, and both had free-will to adjust toward God.  We are made to help God separate goodness from evil, and it is a process over time, and with a schedule.  We are affected by Satan, as is God and as was Jesus on the cross.  But the plan is in process, and we are essential to it.  Time is of the essence for the separation.  With God, events are His method of intervention through which He influences our exercise of free-will.  Does He control us?  No, but whether Jesus or Satan, or we or Pharaoh, there are set times that will not be allowed to be missed.  God influences our choices through events, but does not control us in them.
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 Note  about  Job  and  us:  If anyone reading the book of Job might have a floating dread or a fear that God might choose to allow you or people close to you to be harmed in the course of life, then perhaps Satan has already found a way to inflict harm in past incident(s) that misinform you about eligibility to receive His goodness.  If someone might feel eligible for a ‘Job experience’, then the feeling might be rooted in a belief about ‘ineligibility’ for the joy and goodness of God given to you.  Harm, especially in younger years, can convince us that nature makes us ‘ineligible’ for good things.  If such is felt, hopefully a following section ‘B’ will begin to put things into perspective about the big picture of evil.

 
The book of Job is an epic about basic questions of life, as is the focus of this paper.  Job was written as a drama, with setting, opening scenes, and characters giving opinions and arguments about life, all with themed questions to address classic concerns.  The whole work has the structure of a court case, with Job first putting God on trial, in abstentia.  Then Job’s friends cross-examine Job’s claims with attorney like arguments, and he counters their arguments, and they usually give final summations.

 When God first spoke to Job at chapter 38, He put him on trial, to ‘stand you’ like a man; for tough examination.  The book is full of irony.  The first whirlwind that destroyed most of Job’s life is repeated a second time in chapter 38, and from which wind God spoke to Job.  Job could have been a real person, and events true, too.  Whatever the case, it is an amazingly crafted drama with impressive counter-script to flush out and challenge thoughts; all to address questions about the meaning of life.

 The drama is not meant to vaguely cause anyone to feel ‘ineligible’ toward God and His blessing, or unreasonably incur His wrath by His allowing evil toward them.  Although the book closes in happy resolution for Job who finally received many times what he lost, it does not account for the people lost to Job, themselves.  Everything is in relation to Job, and in last chapters, about his friends, too.  Job addresses questions about life.  Life questions are the focus and center stage, concentrated by action. 


H.   -   God desires to build good character, but His Purpose in creation is much more!

  Character or maturity is not an end in itself!  They lead to our fulfilling the work and purpose of God for creation, the separation of goodness from evil.  Meaning and contentment result.

 

Choice –

James, chapter 1, encourages meaning for life, first by considering character joined to choice:

James 1:3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  James 1:4, But let [choice] patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 

 Work –
At closing verses of the chapter, character are brought together toward purpose of work. James 1:25, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” 

 Then James cements the character of God to His purpose for us and our character:  in work,
 
James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” 

 How is the work of God unlike being a nice atheist or moral agnostic or comfortable Christian? 

 First, the word ‘religion’ often gets bad press, due to misunderstanding.  The etymology of ‘religion’ is ‘re = again’ ‘ligare = bind’:  to ‘bind again’ to God!  Our free will and development of character can lead us to express works in His image, and in our image bind to Him.  God is a worker.  We encounter Him when acting to ‘separate’ goodness from evil.  God ‘separated’ the chaotic ‘unknowns’ into ever increasing order each successive creation day.  And we live in the seventh day, without the completing phrase ‘evening and morning’.  Separation is in process; in the ‘works’!  God created us as His agents to separate, in His image, together.  Acts produce habitual fruits.  Good or bad fruits is our free will choice, encouraged and ‘excited’ by God. 

The verb at Genesis 1:1 is bara, properly translated “separated.”  It is found six times in the first creation passage ending at Genesis 2:3.  We have free-will to choose right or wrong, to be self-centeredly independent. or maturely independent in dependence with God.  God ‘separates.’ 

 Why is this process of separation in creation amid evil considered good, especially when people and nature get hurt?  The process is a battle, for the most possible goodness to transpire.  He does not leave the wounded.  He was wounded for us.  He will redeem us as His beloved wife.

 What is goodness?

 Forgive and give Mercy!


 

I.  -   Exploratory   discussion   questions  -   Personal    application  

 Personal   or  Group:

  If you had a container of mercy, how would you use it?   How would it change you?


 
What is the difference between very good at Gen. 1:3 and perfect  

 How does Gen. 1:3 relate to the Garden of Eden, and the plan of God for His will on earth to be done as it is in heaven?

 What remedy did God plan for our being hurt in the battle plan for separation?

 Why is forgiveness central to the plan of God?   Without it, what would go wrong?

 God is pouring from His container.  You are a container.  How can you join Him in work?

 Mat 6:14 – 15, in essence:  Forgive trespasses and you will be likewise forgiven.  Do not forgive trespasses and you will not be forgiven.  Sin is wrongdoing.  Why is it wrong? 

 How does Romans 1:31 – 2:4 distinguish between habits and mistakes?  -  How does the context read about judgment and salvation?

 What is goodness?

 Love:  how might sacrifice be necessary to allow the ‘total amount’ of goodness to be the greatest possible goodness?  How is Christ an example?

  
 

 Personal    Prayer 

 
Dear God,
how can I see you work; to join and enjoy you in life, within your purposeful work for me?
 

 
 
SHalom    Steve  Huffey

  Notes -  

1Ellen Van Wolde and Robert Rezetko, “Semantics and the Semantics of bara—A Rejoinder to the Arguments Advanced by B. Becking and M. Korpel,”  The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 11, Article 9.

 2A hendiadys [Greek for: one though two] are two words which similarly apply to each other.  For example, when Abraham asked the Hittites for permission to bury his wife in the land, he said two words that similarly apply emphasis at the hendiadys at Gen 23:4, “I am a stranger and a sojourner with you:  give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.  Because a hendiadys has similar elements, it can be adjectivally related.  The example above can be rearranged to a “sojourning stranger.”  Differently, a merism of ‘heavens and earth’ is not similar, nor adjectivally changeable, because elements are parts that make up one thing, not similarly the same in the one universe.  By Steve Huffey
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 3 A  verb,  Hebrew, rachaph, occurs three times in the Bible.  Examples are limited to the creation verse of Gen 1:2, Deuteronomy 32:11, and Jeremiah 23.9.  Genesis 1:2, … And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”  The word rachaph - moved is best translated vibrated.  Both Gen 1:2 and Deut 32.11 have rachaph in the most active verb form, the intensive Piel.  Jeremiah 23.9 is the Qal stem which is the simple active.

Deut 32:1 - 43 is the Song of Moses.  It harkens to when Israelites readied to enter the Promised Land.  The song was created as a succinct recording and history of Israel’s blessings from God and also people’s waywardness.   In the Song, Blessings and Curses are given.  It is poetical logic, meant to be memorized and sung.  The memorized song would hopefully help people do things that led to blessings and keep them from curses.  It was also given as a witness for any future judgment.

In the Song of Moses, racaph is read at, KJV - Deut 32:11, “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:”.   The translated ‘fluttereth’ is rachaph.   And the Hebrew word for ‘stirreth up’ is an action some people question as being too intensely translated, and thus supposedly wrongly influences the word rachaph – ‘fluttereth’ as being treated too intensely.  Thus, it has sometimes been translated ‘brooding’.   Nothing could be further from the nest.

A little context is helpful.  After the quick flight from Egypt, God spoke to Moses in preparation for the giving of the Ten Commandments.  Exodus 19:4 records that God asked him to tell Israel, “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.  The ‘flight’ from Egypt has double application, one as sudden and fast, showing the power of God.  The other also exhibits His power through bearing Israel up and taking them across the desert and through the Red Sea.  It is similar thought to the well-known Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  No part of the exodus from Egypt could have been accomplished without the power of God.  And God had stirred up the Egyptian nest in which fledgling Israel had been incubated, as portrayed in the song of Moses. 

The mother eagle began to ‘stir’ the nest, pulling twigs from underneath the soft down.  Twigs poke.  There is no longer comfortable rest for the eaglets.  The people had been in the desert 40 years becoming a nation that would act in faith.  Things were about to change their comfortable nest for wings spread wide to swoop into the Promised Land.  They were ready for the next step.  I can image that when the eaglets in the story experienced this stirring event, likely responded “What is Mom doing?  Get out of her way!  Get to the edge of the rim of the nest!  This is chaos!”  In Gen 1:2, the deep - tehom was chaos, too, defined in Hebrew as a churning of deep waters.  The Spirit of God vibrating over the face of the waters relates to waters in tehom.  Potentiality for creation was at the edge, ready to ‘take off’ at Gen 1:3.

In comparing the remaining use of racaph at Jeremiah 23.9, there is expression of fear upon the prophet because of the pronouncement through him of what God would do to the nation.  In His felt words, it was not a time of ‘brooding’, as some translations due to misunderstood comparison to Duet. 32:1 put racaph at Genesis 1:2.  It is decidedly different, “Jer 23:9  Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.  Here, racaph is the less intense verbal Hebrew Qal form, not the intense Piel form.  For shaking bones, compared to a more intense Piel form at Gen 1:2 and Deut 23:11, there is not allowance for “brood, flutter, move, etc. of a misunderstood eagle story at Deut 23:1.  Now, full context from text can be considered.

At Deut 32:11, the mother eagle stirs the nest.  Next:  the eagle vibrates - racaph – her wings “… over her young, ….”  The stirring and the vibration gets the eaglets to the edge of the nest in excitement.  The eaglets are likely on the rim of the nest thinking, “Mom is over the top in excitement!”  They are in the process of leaving the stirred-up nest.  Next:  the mother eagle “… spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:”.  They are on their fledgling flight, as was Israel to the Promised Land.  The eaglets use their wings borne on mature wings; like the Israeli flight into the Promised Land with faith upon God.  No more 40 years of nesting for them.  Please note the sequence:  stir up the nest, excited wing vibration over the young, then spread her wings and the young jump on.  The eagle’s preparatory position ‘over’ her young progressed to her young being ‘on’ her wings.

Have you seen a bird’s wings vibrate in excitement?  Even a fledgling bird has a nervous system that allows it to tremendously vibrate wings in expectation of food from its parents.  When a bird vibrates wings, things are happening and in process. 

In Gen 1:2, the Spirit of God vibrated over the face of the waters, which was also over the face of the deep [churning waters] - tehom.  Are the two ‘over the faces’ the same?  At that verse, that which existed prior to first light was that from which creation came.  It was not nothing, that is not ex nihilo.  There was ‘waters – unknowns’ of the ‘deep’ from which it came.

In personal application, the Song of Moses is a review of the strength of God toward the Israelites.  God showed His tenderness and care to them “… as the pupil of His eye.” at
Deut 32:10, the prior verse.  And the nation of Israel was endearingly called Jeshurun, which is a name for Israel as a young fattening stout baby, verse 15.  He fed them well– verses 13 & 14.  In mid-verse 15, the favored child then rejected God, and such is described in succeeding verses of the Song.

Jesus liked to allude to Himself as the rock, as at the ending of the Sermon on the Mount, or Matthew 21:44.  In Deuteronomy chapter 32 alone, God is referenced as the personalized “Rock” five times.  A “Rock” is solid, firm, and represents strength.  A ‘rock’ can also be defined as a cliff vantage point or ‘tower’ that offers security from assault.  References to ‘rock’ other than as God occur in the chapter three times.  An immediate context of Deut 32 reveals the God acting to strengthen and bless the new nation Israel.  God asks us solidify a true relationship with Him, for His guiding us by our faith in Him.  Our part of relationship is to humbly be real, to account truth, and then act.  By Steve Huffey
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4  “The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible,” Jeff A. Benner. ISBN 1-58939-776-2,  page 27, Mah.
5   http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1164 
6     ibid.
7   Adam Clarke commentaries, Exodus 4:21
8  ibid.

Steve Huffey   Copyright ©  July 2015  P.O. Box 1381, Monrovia, Ca. 91017 

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