THE SECOND DAY (The Year of the World 39,128 B.C.)
“Then God said, “Let there be a firmament [atmosphere] in the midst [between] the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament [the ocean] from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament *Heaven. So the evening and the morning were THE SECOND DAY.”
In this era or second epoch-day of 7,000 years, God created the firmament, the atmosphere or “expanse,” suggesting something thin or spread out over the earth, like a blanket or tent. (See Isa 40:22) The wisdom and expertise of a Divine Chemist were needed to bring about the critical combination of gases such as oxygen and nitrogen that were required for higher forms of life that were to follow.
Up until this point, there evidently was no clear separation between the vapors above and waters below. The photo above illustrates what it would be like beneath the canopy as God’s spirit hovered upon the face of the waters prior to the first appearance of light. The transition between those waters in a liquid state and those composed of vapor and gas would be near impossible to distinguish in this thick dark atmosphere. This was the “deep”.
Following the first presence of light in this dark and gloomy world, came the creation of the firmament or expanse which acted as a buffer between those waters in a liquid state, vapors and gas, and those comprised of ice, water and gas which circled the earth above the firmament, this new expanse would be distinguish by the first truly visible horizon line.
It was probably developed in a perfectly natural way, as are most of God’s wonderful works, though nonetheless of his devising, ordering, creating. The fall of one the various “rings” of water and minerals, which enabled light to penetrate through the dense canopy to the earth during the first epoch-day, reaching the still heated earth and its boiling and steaming surface waters, would produce various gases which, rising, would constitute a cushion, or firmament, or atmosphere, all around the earth, and tend to hold up the remaining waters of the “rings” off from the earth.
Another thought is that:
“All the rings formed by the rising vapors surrounding the earth necessarily contained great quantities of water — as well as carbon and other mineral substances. These revolved with greater rapidity near the equator and gradually spread out like an envelope toward the poles until they enveloped the earth as a canopy. As these rings neared the poles their motion was slowed, and both the weight and the slowing velocity caused them to fall. As each one fell, great pools of water or bodies of water were rained down upon the earth. All the mineral substances taken up in solution were brought down at the poles and were rushed on toward the equator.
There would then, of course, be water upon the earth and waters above the earth. David backs up this conclusion in the Bible when he says: “Deep [above] calls unto deep [below] at the noise of your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me.” (Psalm 42:7); “You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever, you covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.” (Psalm 104:5, 6; Proverbs 8:27, 28; Job 38:9-11). By the falling of these aqueous rings or canopies the oceans were formed, and these great bodies of water on the earth were separated from the deep above the earth by the firmament. The firmament was not holding up the water — the great deep above the earth was held there by virtue of the fact that it was rapidly revolving in its orbit.” (Hope of Israel Ministries, Ecclesia of YEHOVAH)
This “day,” so far as Scriptures show, would also belong to the Azoic, or lifeless, period; but geology objects to this, claiming that the rocks appropriate to this time show worm-trails and immense quantities of tiny shellfish, the remains of which are evidenced in the great beds of limestone. They denominate this the Paleozoic age of first life—the Silurian period. This is not at variance with the Biblical account, which merely ignores these lowest forms of life.
Evening and morning, Day Two, ended with the full accomplishment of the divine intention respecting it; the separation of the clouds and vapors, etc., from the surface waters by an atmosphere.
At this point in our study we would like to address some supposed scriptural arguments against the Canopy theory.
The following thoughts were written by a creationist in an article entitled “Explaining the Flood without the Canopy”.
Some Scriptural objections to the canopy theory
The writer states, “I will now show that the canopy is not required by Scripture, and is even probably incorrect, according to Scripture.
“Probably incorrect”, right here the writer shows his own uncertainty concerning the issue.
*Dr. Russell Humphreys has suggested a cosmology, based on the stretching of space. In this cosmology, Humphreys has suggested that the firmament, which divides the waters above from the waters below, in Genesis 1:6-8, represents the stretching of the universe. The Hebrew word translated firmament is râqîya (רקיע). This word has a similar root to the concept of “stretching” metal, by hammering it. Some versions translate the word as expanse. Humphreys, therefore, uses this concept to explain the various red shift measurements observed in space. However, a side effect of his theory is that the “waters above” would therefore be beyond the stars, rather than at the edge of the atmosphere. This makes sense for a number of reasons.
Does it really? Ask yourself honestly, what practical purpose would there have been for God to have even mentioned the “waters above” if they were something which supposedly existed far beyond the stars, at the very edge of the universe? What does something far off at the edge of the universe have to do with the preparing of the earth for the arrival of man?
The writer continues,
First, we read in Genesis 1 that the Sun, Moon and stars were made in the firmament (Genesis 1:15). If there were a canopy at the edge of the atmosphere, this would mean that the stars were above the canopy, which is not what Scripture says.
Here the author makes his first mistake, Genesis 1:15 in no way implied that the Sun, Moon, and stars were literally made in the firmament, the expanse or atmosphere of the earth.
Let us read the text again for ourselves,
“Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years” (New American Standard Bible).
And from Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible, “And God said, Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to divide between the day and the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years”
The only translation I found which states made in was the Douay-Rheims Bible.
“And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years”
However the statement that something is made in the heavens does not necessarily imply that the object was physically made there, but rather that it was made to appear there. It was made visible there.
“Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens” Why are these lights made to appear in the heavens, simple, because the atmosphere is composed of air, and air is invisible, transparent. Thus the lights (the Sun, Moon, and stars) were made to appear in the firmament of heaven (the earth’s atmosphere) when in truth they reside in the heavens (the expanse or firmament) above this, in the starry heavens.
As to the second part of the author’s statement, viz. “If there were a canopy at the edge of the atmosphere, this would mean that the stars were above the canopy, which is not what Scripture says.”
The texts may not specifically state that they were, but common sense does.
As we are admonished, “Come let of reason together” that is let us apply the “spirit of a sound mind” and utilizing our god given ability to reason things out for ourselves, let us not fall prey to the foolish babblings of men.
The author continues,
Second, some have pointed to birds flying in the canopy, as pointing to the canopy being at the edge of the atmosphere.
Who are these “some” with whom you mention, certainly not any true canopy theorist? How could the birds fly in the canopy when the canopy is purposed to have been located above the breathable atmosphere? Birds could only survive in the lowest portion of the atmosphere in the troposphere. The canopy containing the “waters above” is suggested to have resided above the troposphere in the upper levels of the atmosphere.
However, if the canopy were at the edge of the universe, this would not contradict this verse (Genesis 1:20). Moreover, the Hebrew version actually talks about the “face of the firmament.” Some versions, such as the NKJV, refer to this: “…let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So the birds are not actually in the firmament, but flying across the face of it.
More nonsense, obviously the author lacks the “spirit of a sound mind”, “So the birds are not actually in the firmament, but flying across the face of it.” The same mistake made in respects to Gen 1:15, is being repeated here. The “face of the firmament” encompasses the whole of the firmament as seen or taken in by one looking up from the vantage point of the ground. You look up and you behold the face of the sky. And what do you see, why you see not only birds flying across the face of the sky, but likewise airplanes.
The author continues,
Third, Psalm 148:4 shows that the “waters above” are still actually in place, because this psalm was written after the Flood. That would also suggest that the “waters above” had nothing to do with the Flood, and lends support to Humphreys’ idea that the “waters above” are beyond the last galaxies, not at the edge of the atmosphere.
Here we believe the reference is not in regards to those waters mentioned in Gen 1:7. No here we believe the thought is that all God’s works render him praise, whether they be animate or inanimate, lofty or lowly, each in its own particular way praises the God of it creation, be it the angles, the Sun, the Moon, the stars or even the majesty and splendor of the eternal abode of the Most High, the heaven of heavens.
The waters above likewise praise him in similar fashion, however as stated we believe these waters refer not to physical waters, literal waters, but rather to the waters which reside above the heavens, (above the firmament or atmosphere of earth), the great ocean of space wherein the heavenly hosts (the Stars, the Planets, Moons, and etc.) dwell or we could say float, i.e. the universe itself, another one of God’s creations, one which is continually found praising him both day and night.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handy-work. Day unto day utters speech and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” (Psa 19:1-3)
The ancients themselves once thought that there was an ethereal and lofty ocean in which the worlds floated like ships in a sea. –Thomas Le Blanc.
The term “waters above” as used here in Psa 148:4 we believe is used metaphorically or symbolically as representing the great body of water above, space, the universe itself.
It is apparent that a significant part of the problem with respects to this issue has been the failure to distinguish between the various heavens mentioned in the scriptures.
Throughout the scriptures reference is made to the heaven(s). The scriptures speak of different types of “heavens”, those which are LITERAL, and those which are SYMBOLIC.
There are in fact three types of “Literal heavens” made reference to in the scriptures.
The first of these literal heavens mentioned, is that which the Genesis account designates as the “firmament”, (Strong’s # 7549, Hebrew, “raqiya”, raqia, properly, an expanse, i.e. the firmament or (apparently) visible arch of the sky [supposedly that in which the atmosphere would be contained]: — firmament. Gen 1:6
The Lord himself designates this “firmament” as the heaven(s), “And God called the firmament Heaven” (Strong’s # 8064, Hebrew shamayim, the sky aloft, the visible arch in which the clouds move [i.e. the atmosphere], as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve: air, heaven(s) Gen 1: 8 compare with Verse 20
This word “firmament” also stands in regards to the starry “heavens” of the universe, i.e. the expanse of space, wherein the celestial bodies revolve as was alluded to by the foregoing Strong’s number, this we designate as (The second literal heavens) Compare Gen 1:14-18 and Psa 19:1
The third literal heavens mentioned in the scriptures is in reference to the physical heavens, the dwelling place of the Most High, Jehovah God, the place of his throne or (supreme ruler-ship), the abode of all the holy hosts. (See Revelation Chapters 4 and 5, although this is a symbolic picture the implication is clear that this is in regards to the physical heavens where Gods throne dwells).
I have noted that many critics of the canopy theory seem to be under the impression that those who advocate the canopy theory are inferring that the “firmament” is the canopy, however this is not so, the firmament is that portion of the atmosphere or sky containing breathable oxygen, the Troposphere, it is above this expanse or heavens (in the upper atmosphere) where once the canopy laid. It was the “waters which were above the firmament” which constituted the canopy, NOT the firmament itself.
“He made darkness his secret place; his canopy around him was dark waters and [the] thick clouds of the skies.” Psa 18:11
The “firmament” or expanse which the Lord created was situated “in the midst of the waters”, that is it extended in such a fashion so as to divide the waters, those under the firmament would naturally be in reference to the waters which covered the earth, liquid waters, in the beginning all the earth’s surface was covered by these waters, later following the emergence of land these waters consisted simply of the various oceans, seas, rivers and etc., those waters above (the firmament) would most likely constituted a vast blanket [or canopy] of water vapor above the troposphere and possibly above the stratosphere as well, in the high-temperature region now known as the ionosphere, some 50 to 250 miles above the earth’s surface and extending far into space.
These particular waters spoken of could not have been in reference to the clouds of water droplets which now float in the atmosphere (the Troposphere, which has a ceiling height of 4 to 11 miles high depending on latitude), an expanse in which nearly all clouds form and weather conditions manifest themselves, in which birds can both breath and fly (Gen 1:20) The Scriptures clearly state these waters were found “ABOVE this firmament”.
Simply points to ponder.
We shall examine the third “day” or epoch in our next post.
* David Russell Humphreys is an American creationist author and a scientist with a PhD in physics. He has proposed a theory for the origin of the universe which he says resolved the distant starlight problem alleged to exist in young Earth creationism.