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4 there be light! and there was light. And God saw the
encompassed with darkness'. Rosenmüller is of this opinion?, and the argument for a creation out of nothing has long ago been discarded, which first appears at the Christian æra, although in the book of Wisdom, xi. 18., it is called é apóppov ülns, [the creation of the world out of formless matter.]
Verse 3.—The power of God is revealed through speech”, and ’amar in this sense is allied to command, which signification is the usual one in the Arabic.—'O'r, which is commonly used in a poetical sense for the Sun, is here distinct from that planet, which is first described as a created instrument of light or lightbearer (m’äór) in verse 14, and the illusion here is clearly explained in a poetical passage in Job, according to which the particles of light stream forth, like twilight, from the ends of the earth. The Creator is described as first separating them from the dark Matter, before he continues to create and begins to regulate in order. The heretics here interposed the objections that the Deity himself must have therefore been separated from the world, and at an earlier period in darkness-subtleties to which we can neither venture to reply with Tatian, that the Deity himself is light, and allowed only the earthly to emanate from himself,—nor with Johannsen, that light vanished at the repose and absence of God, and that night again succeeded. Each of these interpretations substitutes something artificial for the simple, childlike conception of the narrative. But on the other hand the thought, “ Let there be light! and there was light," which Longinus6 considered sublime, must not, remembering the limited conceptions of the writer, be rated too highly; and we may admit, without lowering the value of this cosmogony, that the creation of the Hindoos, through a mere act of thinking and willing, (abhidhyánamátrena), was also very sublime, when it is said in the Vedas, “ He (the Great Being)
1 Compare Cicero, De Nat. Deorum i. 10; Alt. Indien, i. 163. 2 Schol.
3 Psalm xxxiii. 6, 9. Job xxxviii. 19, and following verses. • Comp. Cicero, De Nat. Deor. i. 9. Longinus on the Sublime, ix. 9.
light, that it was good, and God divided the light from 5 the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the
darkness he called Night. Thus was it evening and 6 morning, the first day. And God said, Let there be
a firmament between the waters, and let it be a par
thought, I will create worlds, and they were there!” In our narrative, however, as the week formed the basis, an epic development of the whole was necessary, by which the poem naturally loses force and its tone is considerably lowered.
Verse 4.—When the Creator had proved, after the manner of a human artist, that the light was good (as at the close of each day's work approbation is expressed of the objects created), he gives a name, K'ara, to the accomplished work, or in full K'ara shém li-!, 'to call to any one by name'; as also in Menu (i. 21.) the Deity names everything; except that here day and night do not appear until the sun has been created. The evening is the first mentioned, because, not only darkness preceded light, but also the Hebrews, like the Egyptians 3, Greeks 4, Persians (Shebanróz5), Gauls, Germans and other nations, began the day in civil matters with the evening®; wbilst in the reckoning of the Hindoos (ahoratra, rueporúkt wv7) and the later Babylonians, the astronomical day began with sunrises. Commentators have cited passages to prove that the cardinal number 'echad (one) which occurs here, was also used by the ancients for the ordinal number rishón (the first]; and we shall in the following pages only remark such idioms as belong to a later period, or are important to a more correct understanding.
Verse 6.-Rak'ía', 'the hammered,''the stretched,'' wainscot,' is simply the partition which separates the waters, or the vault of heaven; for God himself calls it heaven (verse 8). According to the [Hebrew] national conception, this firmament, whereon 7 tition between water and water. And God made the
1 Genesis xxvi. 18.
2 Verse 5.
3 Isidor. Orig. v. 20. 4 Nvxoņuepov, Macrob. Sat. i. 3. 5 Sheb is night, and roz day, in Persian. 6 See Ideler, Handb. der Chronol. i. 82. Day and night.
8 Joan. Lydus, De Mensib. p. 36, Roeth.
firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under
the firmament, from the waters which (were] above the 8 firmament; and it was so. And God called the firma
ment heaven. Thus was it evening and morning, the 9 second day. And God said, Let the waters be gathered unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear! and it
And God called the dry [land) earth, and the
10 was so.
the stars are studded like nails, rests on mountains', on the rim of the earth's disk, whilst the earth also is supported upon pillars or mountains. The vault of heaven is compared to a molten looking-glass, to a sapphire-stone“, or to crystals; as in Homer it is of brass, xakeovo, or of iron, Grönpeovi. It has windows 8, for above are the chambers of the rain and snow!, and these are here the upper waters, which are separated from the sea by the rak'ía 10 (or partition).
Verse 8.—The Septuagint adds the expression of approval, “and God saw that it was good.” The reason of its omission in the text is probably this: since the disposition of the waters is here not completed, the work was not yet good, and consequently the names earth and sea could not then be given. The place into which the lower waters were destined to flow together (for the waters above were already kept in by the firmament), was the Sea, the Sanscrit name for which, samudra, 'gathering together of waters,' answers to the mik've hammayim. The Creator calls it yammym in the plural, (which is not here poetical), in order to designate at the same time the large streams, which are only the outflowings of the lower sea. Compare Genesis xlix. 15.
1 Mósidóth hashshamayim, 2 Sam. xxii. 8 ; Job xxvi. 11.
4 Exod. xxiv. 10. 5 Ezek. i. 22.
6 Iliad, v. 504 ; xvii. 425 ; Odyss. iii. 2. 7 Odyss. xv. 328. 8 Genesis vii. 11. 9 Psalm civ. 3 ; cxlviii. 4.
10 See Gesenius, in the Encyclop. under Biblische Geographie. Respecting the later construction beyn li, see Ewald, Krit. Gram. $ 337.
11 gathering of the waters called he sea. And God said,
Let the earth bring forth green grass, seed-gifted herb
and fruit-trees, which bear fruits after their kind, whose 12 seed is in them upon the earth! and it was so. And
the earth brought forth grass and seed-gifted herb after
its kind, and fruit-bearing trees whose seed was in them 13 after their kind. And God saw that it was good. Thus was it evening and morning, the third day.
And God said, Let there be lights on the firmament of the heaven, to divide between day and night, and let
Verse 11.—Three species of vegetation (grass, herbs, fruittrees] are here put in apposition, without being connected together by any conjunction; and the first two, deshe'éseb, must not be understood, as Rosenmüller and Schumann have supposed, to be in construction together so as to qualify each other's meaning. Deshe includes the spontaneous and perennial grasses and the new growth after the hay-time : in Menu (i. 46.) udbijjds sthdvards, standing grasses ; 'éseb, on the contrary, means chiefly vegetables and annual herbs yielding seed, including the grain and fruit of the field,—Menu (i. 46.), oshadhyas phalapakdutás. In verse 29 they are assigned as food to man, and the leaves (or green herbs] are given to the beasts: both words stand poetically in the similes of Deut. xxxii. 2, and 2 Kings xix. 26. With the same words are connected the fruit-trees, as also in Menu (i. 74.), apushpds phalavantas. “Upon the earth” is probably not an unmeaning addition, but a completion of the picture of the lofty trees.
Verse 14.—Yehi', 'let there be,' is impersonal?. The purpose of the lights is threefold, and the sun and moon are to regulate the day and night, to divide the time, and in general to serve as lights, verse 15, where the text is clear and unquestionable. Ví hayu li '6thóth uli...moʻadim, [signs and seasons,] are considered 15 them be signs and seasons and days and years, and let
i Compare Proverbs xxvii. 25. 2 Gesen. Lehrgeb. p. 713. Ewald, Krit. Gram. p. 638.
them be lights on the firmament of the heaven, to shed 16 light upon the earth! and it was so. And God made the
two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the
lesser light to rule the night; [he made] the stars also. 17 And God set them on the firmament of the heaven, to 18 give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and
over the night, and to divide light and darkness. And
by Gesenius' to be put in apposition with a conjunction to mean signs of seasons, and Schumann connects ‘days and years in apposition with the preceding words. But there are four distinctly separated functions of the stars intimated : ''thóth, 'to give sigas,' in the astrological sense, according to which they determine the weather and the destinies of men; then there are the regulations of the heavens and the superintendence which they exercise over the earth, and which are mentioned in Job xxxviij. 33, immediately after the zodiac; and in Jeremiah x. 2, the people are forbidden to be dismayed at the signs of heaven, as the heathen are dismayed at them : mé óthóth hashshamayim 'al t'echát'u, ky yéchaťu hag-Góyim méhémmah. Bonfrère connects moʻadim, (seasons,] with the religious and political festivals, and these moaday Jehóvah?, [or festivals of Jehovah,) which as appointed times (Arab. ‘ayd) depend especially upon the moon, are here alone alluded to. Days and years, on the contrary, form the sections of the astronomical division of times, as Menu also says of the sun (i. 65.)-ahordtre vibhajate súryas, and he then enters upon the chronology.
Verse 17.—The verb nathan, 'to give,' used for s’úm, “to set,' belongs to a later usage of language, and is especially frequent in Genesis 4.
1 Gesen. Lehrgeb. p. 854. 2 Lev. xxiii. 2, &c. 3 Compare Hartmann, Pentat. p. 364. 4 Gen. xix. 13; xv. 10; xvii. 20; xli. 41 ; xlviii. 4.