A Daily Genesis

Genesis 1:6-10

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 1:6a . . God said: Let there be an expanse[/B]

The word for "expanse" is from [I]raqiya'[/I] (raw-kee'-ah) and means: a great extent of something spread out, a firmament, the visible arch of the sky.

Raqiya' is distinct from [I]shamyim[/I] in that it indicates the earth's atmosphere; which is sort of sandwiched between the surface and the vacuum of space.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 1:6b-8 . . in the midst of the water, that it may separate water from water. God made the expanse, and it separated the water which was below the expanse from the water which was above the expanse. And it was so. And God named the expanse Sky.[/B]

At this point in time, I think we can safely assume that "water" is no longer a place-card name for the colossal soup of particles God created in Gen 1:2 but the molecular combination commonly known as H[SUB]2[/SUB]0.

We can easily guess what is meant by water that's below the sky. But is there really water that's above it? Yes, and it's a lot! According to an article in the Sept 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine, Earth's atmosphere holds roughly 3,095 cubic miles of water in the form of vapor. That may seem like a preposterous number of cubic miles of water; but not really when it's considered that Lake Superior's volume alone is estimated at nearly 3,000.

Our planet is really big; a whole lot bigger than people sometimes realize. It's surface area, in square miles, is 7,868,514,463. To give an idea of just how many square miles that is: if somebody were to wrap a belt around the equator made of one-mile squares; it would only take 24,900 squares to complete the distance; which is a mere [B].[/B]000312% of the earth's total surface area.

Some of the more familiar global warming gases are carbon dioxide, fluorocarbons, methane, and ozone. But as popular as those gases are with the media, they're bit players in comparison to the role that ordinary water vapor plays in global warming. By some estimates; atmospheric water vapor accounts for more than 90% of global warming; which is not a bad thing because without atmospheric water vapor, the earth would be so cold that the only life that could exist here would be extremophiles.

How much water is below the expanse. Well; according to the same article; the amount of H[SUB]2[/SUB]O contained in swamp water, lakes and rivers, ground water, and oceans, seas, and bays adds up to something like 326[B].[/B]6 million cubic miles; and that's not counting the 5[B].[/B]85 million cubic miles tied up in living organisms, soil moisture, ground ice and permafrost, ice sheets, glaciers, and permanent snow.

To put that in perspective: if we were to construct a tower 326[B].[/B]6 million miles high, it would exceed the Sun's distance by 233[B].[/B]6 million miles.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 1:8b . . And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.[/B]

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 1:9 . . God said : Let the waters below the sky be gathered into one area, that dry ground may appear. And it was so.[/B]

If you're a student of geology, then you know Gen 1:9 speaks volumes and fully deserves some serious consideration. Shaping the earth's mantle in order to form low spots for the seas and high spots for dry ground was a colossal feat of magma convection and volcanism combined with the titanic forces of tectonic plate subduction; all of which require beaucoup centuries to accomplish.

At the ocean's deepest surveyed point-- the Challenger Deep; located in the Mariana Islands group, at the southern end of the Mariana Trench --the water's depth is over 11,000 meters; which is about 6[B].[/B]8 statute miles (36,000 feet). That depth corresponds to the cruising altitude of a Boeing 747. At that altitude, probably about all you're going to see of the airliner without straining your eyes is its contrail.

Africa's Mt Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain on earth at 19,341 feet above its land base. If Kilimanjaro were placed in the Challenger Deep, it would have about 16,659 feet of water over its peak. Were the tallest point of the Himalayan range-- Mt Everest --to be submerged in the Challenger Deep, it would have about 7,000 feet of water over its head.

The discovery of fossilized sea lilies near the summit of Mt Everest proves that the Himalayan land mass has not always been mountainous; but at one time was the floor of an ancient sea bed. This is confirmed by the "yellow band" below Everest's summit consisting of limestone: a type of rock made from calcite sediments containing the skeletal remains of countless trillions of organisms who lived, not on dry land, but in an ocean.

"He established the Earth on its foundations, so that it shall never totter. You made the deep cover it as a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. They fled at your blast, rushed away at the sound of your thunder-- mountains rising, valleys sinking to the place you established for them. You set bounds they must not pass so that they never again cover the Earth." (Ps 104:5-9)

Psalm 104 is stunning; and clearly way ahead of its time. It says that the land masses we know today as mountains were at one time submerged; and it isn't talking about Noah's flood. The speech of "mountains rising, and valleys sinking" isn't Flood-speak, no, it's geology-speak. I seriously doubt that the Psalmist knew about the science of tectonic plates, magma pressure, and the forces of subduction, but he was clearly somehow aware that the Earth's crust is malleable. And that's true. With just the right combination of temperature and pressure, solid rock can be made to bend; even forced to hairpin back upon itself like taffy.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 1:10 . . God called the dry ground Land, and the gathering of waters He called Seas. And God saw that this was good.[/B]

"good" meaning not that the dry ground and seas are morally acceptable, but rather, perfectly suitable for the purposes that God had in mind for them.

[B][SIZE=1]NOTE[/SIZE]:[/B] There are Hebrew words in the Bible for marshes, impoundments, rivers, and streams; but I've yet to encounter one for natural lakes and ponds. In other words "seas" suffices not only for oceans; but also for all the smaller accumulations of naturally occurring water.

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