Meditating on the Book of Genesis: 1.6-13

Today, I’ll look at Genesis 1.6-13.

NRSV:
And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 

And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. 

CEB:
God said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters to separate the waters from each other.” God made the dome and separated the waters under the dome from the waters above the dome. And it happened in that way. God named the dome Sky.

There was evening and there was morning: the second day.

God said, “Let the waters under the sky come together into one place so that the dry land can appear.” And that’s what happened. 10 God named the dry land Earth, and he named the gathered waters Seas. God saw how good it was. 11 God said, “Let the earth grow plant life: plants yielding seeds and fruit trees bearing fruit with seeds inside it, each according to its kind throughout the earth.” And that’s what happened. 12 The earth produced plant life: plants yielding seeds, each according to its kind, and trees bearing fruit with seeds inside it, each according to its kind. God saw how good it was.

13 There was evening and there was morning: the third day.

BHS:

1.6 –
In Genesis 1, we see God speak things into order (existence?). I’ve heard this juxtaposed with the Second Creation Narrative where God seems to ‘make’ things—see 2.4, where YHWH God ‘makes’ earth and heaven (עֲשׂ֛וֹת יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהִ֖ים) and 2.7, where YHWH God ‘forms’ the male human (וַיִּיצֶר֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֜ים). In v. 3, when God speaks and light appears, this makes sense. Likewise, this patterns seems to be in place in v. 6 when God speaks in order to separate the waters from the waters with a dome. By the way, Faithlife (Logos) has put together a nice visual info graph for this this:

1.7 –
Notably though, after God speaks he also makes the dome (וַיַּ֣עַשׂ אֱלֹהִים֮ אֶת־הָרָקִיעַ֒). The dome separates the waters (see the above info graph).

1.9 –
More separating: this time water from land.

1.10-
More naming (‘Earth’ and ‘Seas’) and acknowledging the work as ‘good’.

1.11-13 –
While these vv. include the praising of creation as ‘good’ there’s an interesting shift in ‘making’. Here ‘the fruits trees that make fruit’ ( עֵ֣ץ פְּרִ֞י עֹ֤שֶׂה פְּרִי֙ לְמִינ֔וֹ) indicate the the creation has some sort of agency of its own now.

Theological Interpretation
In this section we continue to see this god organizing the world. This god separates, designates, and names (purposes) things. He speaks but he ‘acts’ (makes) somehow (by speaking?). But he isn’t alone. His creation begin to make as well.

Notes on:
1.1-5

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