Genesis 3:6-10 – More Separation

  • The word “vault” in verse 6 means heavens or sky in Hebrew. The ancients who read Genesis understood the sky as like a dome or vault. The vault here in Hebrew could also mean it is something solid which separates the water above from the waters below.
  • Pictorial examples found from Ancient Near East diggings show waters from above and below.
  • Below the expanse. This could be the subterranean reservoirs mentioned in Genesis. 7: 11.
  • Above the expanse. The canopy of water vapor which filtered out ultraviolet rays causing the extension of life on earth.
  • The terms water and “dry ground” in verse 9 shows another separation this time of waters on the ground from dry land. Ancients believe that the waters were placed in one place and dry land on another.
  • Mesopotamian Belief:

    • Like a skin or in some Mesopotamian literature, this expanse is some sort of pavement.
    • Their gods hold heaven and earth in place by the use of cables.
    • The god Marduk has guards assigned to prevent the waters from flooding the earth.
  • Egyptian Belief:

    • The sky is the body of the goddess Nut arching over the earth.
    • The sun god travels across the oceans in the heavens.
    • Upon the separation of dry ground in verse 9, Egyptians believed that nonexistence was pushed away to the edge of the cosmos when creation happened. These parts of nonexistence are found in primeval waters and primeval hills which are located at the center of their temples.
  • Israel has no god being portrayed as the sky.
  • This is another act of separation to show the Sovereignty of God.

 

Sources:

MacArthur, John F.. The MacArthur Study Bible, NASB (Kindle Locations 6054-6056). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Zondervan. The NIV Zondervan Study Bible, eBook: Built on the Truth of Scripture and Centered on the Gospel Message (Kindle Location 7013). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

HarperCollins Christian Publishing. NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture (Kindle Location 7237). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

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