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Firm Foundation
Witnessing Tools
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Wendy Wippel

Genesis is admittedly one of the more challenging portions of Scripture to reconcile with  modern, twenty-first century perceptions of our universe’s origins.

Case in point, a Reverend Seeley has published two papers in the Westminster Theological Journal claiming that the Bible teaches that there is a solid dome above the earth. He announces near the very start of his 1991 article: "The good news is that the problem isn’t really science. It’s vocabulary."

The word firmament occurs 17 times in the Bible (KJV) , nine of which occur in just the first chapter of Genesis. Two are in Psalms, four in Ezekiel, and two more are in Daniel. The interesting thing is that despite being spread throughout the Old Testament, all of the instances of “firmament” in the scriptures are (which is often not the case), represented by the same Hebrew word.

In this case, the word Raqya.  9Strongs #7554 if you are an etomology fan too.  

First instance: Genesis 1:7 "Thus God made the firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."

Second instance: Genesis 1:14 "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens."

Genesis 1:15 "Let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens."

Third instance: Genesis 1:16 "then God made two great lights .. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth and to rule over the day and night."

You get the idea. The thing is that Hebrew is a language that actually has a fairly small vocabulary and therefore one that has to let words multitask.

The same word is often interpreted by the context it appears in, so deciphering the message often requires digging into the synonyms and root words as well.

Rqqya, remember, that’s a word that occurs primarily in the context of the early moments of Creation.  Is it just a coincidence that the synonyms of the of the Hebrew word Raqia are these? Extended surface.  Expanse. Support.

At least it’s a hint.  But the root words really flesh it out.

The root words of the Hebrew word raqia are to beat out, to stretch, to stamp out, to hammer out, to expand, to make broad, to spread forth. Which is actually just an echo of Isaiah.

Isaiah 42:5, to be exact: "Thus saith God the Lord, he that created 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."

Thousands of years later, the Hebrew has preserved the truth.

The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand forever.

Can I get an Amen?

About Wendy Wippel

Last week: LAND LIES



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