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Genesis 1:6-8 DAY 2
Creation of the Firmament

Hebrew Text

uyqr yhy - Let there be a firmament

The Hebrew word for firmament is uyqr. It comes from the verb uqr which means "stamp, beat out, spread out" (BDB, 1980, 955). It refers to the vault of heaven that God made on the second day of creation to separate the waters. The Greek word for "firmament" in the LXX is sterewma, and in the Vulgate it is firmanemtum. These words stress the solidness of the firmament (A&G, 1957, 766).

Exodus 24:9-10 says, "Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire (or lapis lazuli), clear as the sky itself" (NIV). Here the firmament is described like the appearance of lapis lazuli which is blue in color like the sky above.

Deuteronomy 28:23 says, "And the heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron" (KJV). In Leviticus 26:19 the metal are reversed. It says, "and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass" (KJV). This is poetically describing a drought.

Job 37:18 says, "Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass" (KJV). The mirrors in those days were polished brass. The Hebrews thought the firmament was like a strip of hammered out brass. Even if this verse is just a metaphor, it still indicates that the Hebrews thought the firmament was a solid substance. BDB (1980, 1051) translates Job 26:13 as "by his breath the sky becomes fair." God breathes (with the wind) on the mirror like sky to polish and clean it. The firmament supported a celestial ocean above it according to Genesis one.

Ezekiel 1:22 states, "Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked like an expanse (firmament), sparkling like ice, and awesome" (NIV). The firmament is described as jrqh /yuk meaning "like sparkling ice." This seems to be a change of thinking about what the firmament was made of from lapis lazuli to ice.

Amos 9:6 says, "he who builds his lofty palace in the heavens and sets its foundation on the earth" (NIV). The Hebrew word tdga is used in parallel with twlum which means "upper chambers." The root meaning of the word tdga is "band" (BDB, 8). It is used in 2 Samuel 2:25 for a band of men, and in Exodus 12:22 for a bunch of Hyssop. BDB (8) says that here it refers to the vault of heaven. Rinaldi explains, "the root to bind, yields bundle for concrete concepts, and bond or frame used in support of a building" (1985, 202-204; OT Abstracts 1986, 716). The universe is described as a huge building. The roof is the firmament that holds the wind, rain, snow, and hail in certain chambers (Psalm 104:13). There are windows that let the rain out. Genesis 7:11 and 8:2 mentions the windows of heaven that are either opened or closed to let the water in or out. Wind, snow, and hail are said to be in storehouses ytwrxwam, and qhsaurwn in the LXX (Psalm 135:7, and Job 38:22). The storm-wind is said to come out of the rdj meaning "inner chamber or store rooms" (BDB, 293). In Job 9:9 there are chambers rdj of the south where constellations are stored. The upper chamber ytwylu in Psalm 104:3, and 13 are said to contain water which God rains on earth.

The terminology used to picture the firmament in Amos 9:6 is that of a heavenly building. Proverbs 8:27 says that God is erecting the heavens. Psalm 11:4 says, "The Lord is in his holy temple; the lord is on his heavenly throne." Here Godís abode is described as a temple and a palace. Isaiah six is a graphic picture of Godís dwelling place. Comas in book 5 explains that Mosesí tabernacle is a picture of the universe. The curtain in the Holy place is the firmament. Above the firmament is the Holy of Holies where God dwells (McCrindle 1897, 138-243).

New Testament

Revelation 4:6 says, "Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal" NIV). The Greek is ws qalassa ualinh omoia krustallw. This is probably based on Ezekiel 1:22. The LXX has wsei sterewma, ws orasis krustallou, meaning "like the firmament, clear as ice.

In the Targum of Ezekiel the firmament is compared to a great ice field (Aune 1997, 296). It says, "The likeness above the heads of the creatures was a firmament, like a mighty ice field" (Levey 1987, 22). In the Book of Wisdom 19:20 it says, "On the other side, the flames wasted not the flesh of corruptible animals walking therein: neither did they melt that good food which was apt to melt as ice" (DV).

In Homer and Herodotus krustallos means "ice" (L&S, 1000). Herodotus (Book 4:28) says, "The sea freezes over, and the whole of the Cimmerian Bosphorus; and the Scythians, who live outside the trench which I mentioned previously, make war upon the ice (krustallou), and drive wagons across it to the country of the Sindi" (Selincourt, 280).

In the Iliad (Book 22:152) it tells of two springs. Homer writes, "The one floweth with warm water, and round about a smoke goeth up therefrom as it were from a blazing fire, while the other even in summer floweth forth cold as hail or chill snow or ice that water formeth (ex udatos krustallw)" (LCL 171, 465).

In the Odyssey (Book 14:477) it says, "night came on, foul, when the North Wind had fallen, and frosty, and snow came down on us from above, covering us like rime, bitter cold, and ice (krustallos) formed upon our shields" (LCL, 69).

This word krustallos also appears in Revelation 22:1 which says, "Then the angel showed me the river of water of life, as clear as crystal" (NIV). Because krustallos is used with the words "sea, river of water" the older meaning of "ice" should be preferred (A&G, 454).

The Greek verb, krustallixw, appears only once (hapax legomenon) in Revelation 21:11 meaning "shine like crystal, be as transparent as crystal of jasper" (A&G, 454).

In Revelation 15:2 it says, "And I saw what looked like a sea of glass (ualinhn) mixed with fire" (NIV). Daniel 7:9-10 says, "His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out before him" (NIV). Possibly this is a reflection of a fiery sunset on the horizon of the ocean where water and fire are seemingly mixed together. In the Book of Gates there were five pits or lakes of fire. Budge explains:

The pits of fire were, of course, suggested by the red, fiery clouds which, with lurid splendor often herald the sunrise in Egypt. As the sun rose, dispersing as he did so the darkness of night, and the mist and haze which appeared to cling to him, it was natural for the primitive people of Egypt to declare that his foes were being burned in his pits or lakes of fire. The redder and brighter the fiery glare, the more effective would the burning up of the foes be thought to be (1906, 178-9).

The other possibility is that of hot springs that boil up steam that look like they are coming from a fire.

Revelation 21: 18 and 21 say, "The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass" (NIV; ualos diafanhs). The Greek word ualos originally meant "some kind of crystalline stone" (L&S, 1840). Herodotus (Book 3:24) writes, "These coffins are said to be made of crystal, and the method the Ethiopians follow is first to dry the corpse, either by the Egyptian process or some other, then cover it all over with gypsum and paint it to resemble as closely as possible the living man; then they enclose it in a shaft of crystal which has been hollowed out, like a cylinder, to receive it. The stuff is easily worked and is mined in large quantities. The corpse is plainly visible inside the cylinder; there is no disagreeable smell, or any other cause of annoyance, and every detail can be as distinctly seen as if there were nothing between oneís eyes and the body" (Selincourt, 213). This word is used also in Job 28:17 which says, "Gold and crystal shall not be equaled to it" (LXX). This word is also used for glass. The adjective means glassy or transparent. The verb means, "to be green like glass" (L&S, 1840). Maybe the frozen sea is like green glass.

Akkadian Literature

There are two very interesting Akkadian texts KAR 307 30-33 and AO 1896 iv 20-22 that divided heaven into three regions; upper, middle, and lower heaven. Each heaven is made of a different precious stone. It is described as follows:

 The upper heaven is Luludanitu stone of Anu. He settled the 300 Igigu  inside. The middle heaven is Saggilmut stone of Igigu. Bel sat on a throne within, on a dais of lapis lazuli. He made glass and crystal inside (it). The lower heaven is jasper of the stars. He drew the constellations of the gods on it (Livingstone 1986, 83; see also Horowitz 1998, 4; SAA 3, 100).

The upper heaven is said to be made of Luludanitu stone which is said to be red covered with white and black patches. Several texts refer to the red color of the sky at sunrise or sunset (Horowitz 1998, 10). It may also refer to Anu who is identified with a red bird with white patch on its head (Ibid.).

The middle heaven is made of Saggilmut stone which is blue colored stone. Its appearance is like lapis-lazuli (Ibid.). This is similar to Exodus 24:10.

The lower heaven is made of jasper which is a hard, glassy, translucent quartz. Pliny in his Natural History (Book 37:37) tells of a sky blue "aerizusa" jasper from Persia which seems to best fit this context (LCL 10, 258-9). It seems that the stars were directly etched onto the jasper stone surface (Horowitz 1998, 14-15).

There are two traditions about the heavens being made of water and stones. The best way to explain this is that the waters are held in place by the stone floors of heavens. There are close connections between the Sumerian and Akkadian words for "heaven" and the words for "rain." The stars are also connected with dew (Ibid., 262).

Egyptian Literature

The ancient Egyptians had a strong sense of symmetry and balance. A sky above meant that there must be a sky below. Each god had his goddess. Heaven was an ocean that paralleled the earthly ocean. The sun sailed in a ship across the heavenly ocean. They believed that there was a nocturnal ocean beneath the world on which the sun would sail at night. Boats have been dug up around the Great Pyramid so the king would have a boat to sail on the heavenly ocean.

The Pyramid Texts are the oldest Egyptian writings. They are very short, and are mainly concerned with the destiny of the dead in order that they might dwell in the sky like the gods. They could journey with the sun-god in his ship, or live in the fields of the Blessed, the Field of Food-Offerings, or the Field of Iaru. There are many utterances that have been written on the Pyramids. Here are some excerpts from the texts about their view on heaven (Faulkner 1969).

Set the rope aright, cross the Milky Way(?), smite the ball in the meadow if Apis! Oho! Your fields are in fear, you izd-star, before the Pillar of the Stars, for they have seen the Pillar of Kenzet, the Bull of the sky, and the Ox-herd is overwhelmed before him. Ho! Fear and tremble, you violent ones who are on the storm-cloud of the sky! He split open the earth by means of what he knew on the day when he wished to come thence (Utterance 254).

The king takes possession of the sky, he cleaves its iron (Utterance 257).

Stand up, remove yourself, O you who do not know the Thicket of Reeds, that I may sit in your place and row over the sky in your bark, O Re, that I may push off from the land in your bark, O Re. When you ascend from the horizon, my sceptre will be in my hand as one who rows your bark, O Re. You mount up to the sky, you are far from the earth, far from wife and kilt (Utterance 267).

If you wish to live, O Horus in charge of your staff of justice, then you shall not slam shut its door leaves before you have taken the kingís double to the sky (Utterance 440).

From these utterances one learns that there is a heavenly ocean with gates that keep the waters in, and the sun travels by boat across this ocean. There is a parallel underworld ocean and sky.

In utterance 257 the word for "iron" is better translated "bronze," (Faulkner 1991, 80) which indicates that heaven was made of hard metal. Mercer (1952, 2:142) takes this as a figurative sense meaning "hardness" or "firmness."

There are a number of drawings on Egyptian walls that explain their view of the world. In the Cenotaph of Seti I at Abydos there is a drawing of the universe on the ceiling in the sarcophagus chamber (Keel 1978, 32, 389). Shu, the god of the air, holds up Nut covered with stars. The sun is born again each morning from Nutís birth canal, and is swallowed by her mouth at dusk which leads to the underworld. The underworld is both in heaven and under the earth. Those whose souls were lighter than the feather of righteousness could continue on to heaven while the others would be punished in pits of fire. The sun is drawn as a winged disk, and right beside it is written:

The majesty of this god [the sun god] enters the world of the dead through her mouth. The world of the dead is opened when he enters into it. The stars follow him into her and come out again after him, and they hasten to their place (Keel 1978, 32).

In a much later drawing from Ptolemy IX there are two heavens (Ibid., 34, 389). The lower heaven contained the moon while the upper one contained the sun. The Tuat is surrounded by the earth. Sometimes the earth is identified with the underworld. The Egyptian word for earth, t, and the Hebrew xra can designate the upper surface of the earth as well as the interior underworld (Keel, 35; Psalms 7:5, 44:25, 63:9).

A papyrus from the New Kingdom pictures the sky as a heavenly ocean on which the sun sails in its special boat. In the boat is Maat with a feather on her head sitting before the falcon-headed sun god. Maat symbolizes world order (Ibid., 36, 389).

There is a text that states that there are two heavens. There is the heaven that is above, and the heaven that is in the underworld on which the sunís boats float. The text says:

(Thus) thou shalt be in thy shrine, thou shalt journey in the evening-barque, thou shalt rest in the morning-barque, thou shalt cross thy two heavens in peace, thou shalt be powerful, thou shalt live (ANET, 7).

Greek Literature

In ancient Greek literature heaven was described in similar terms as in the OT. Homer describes heaven several different ways. In Iliad heaven is described as calkeos (brass), and polucalkos (solid brass; LCL, 17:425, 5:504). The Odyssey also describes heaven as sidhreos, meaning "iron" (LCL, 1:2,3). According to Liddell and Scott (1857, 1068), the Greek heaven was like "a concave hemisphere resting on the verge of earth, with an opening in it, through which the peak of Olympus stretched upward into pure ether. It was upborne by the pillars of Atlas" (Odyssey 1:54).

Jewish Literature

Josephus describes the creation of the firmament as follows:

After this, on the second day, He set the heaven above the universe, when he was pleased to sever this from the rest and to assign it a place apart, congealing ice about it and withal rendering it moist and rainy to give the benefit of the dews in a manner congenial to the earth (LCL, 1930, 4:15).

According to Josephus God froze some of the water to keep it uplifted above the earth. The ice melts to let it rain on the earth. The Greek word is krustallos which can mean "crystal" or "ice." Ice is the older meaning (A&G, 1957, 454).

Philo (30-45 AD) was a citizen of Alexandria, the chief city of the Jewish dispersion, and the center of Hellenistic culture. Philo brings together Hellenism and Judaism. Philo is famous for his allegorical interpretation of scripture. About the second day of creation Philo says, "Fitly then, in contradistinction to the incorporeal and purely intelligible, did He call this body-like heaven perceived by our senses 'the solid firmament'" (Philo 1929, 29).

Ber.R. writes, "The firmament resembles a lake, and above the lake is an arched vault. From the heat of the lake the vault oozes out drops of water, which fall into the salt waters, yet do not mix with them" (Bowker, 1969, 104).

Fragments of 1 Enoch have been found among the Dead Sea scrolls. This book sets forth some interesting beliefs about the universe. It says:

And they took me into a place of whirlwind in the mountain; the top of its summit was reaching into heaven. And I saw chambers of light and thunder. And they lifted me up unto the waters of life, unto the occidental fire which receives every setting of the sun. And I came to the river of fire which flows like water and empties itself into the great sea in the direction of the West. And I saw all the great rivers and reached to the great darkness and went into the place where all fresh must walk cautiously. And I saw the mountains of the dark storms of the rainy season and from where the waters of all the seas flow. And I saw the mouths of all the rivers of the earth and the mouth of the sea. And I saw the storerooms of all the winds and saw how with them he has embroidered all creation as well as the foundations of the earth. I saw the cornerstone of the earth; I saw the four winds which bear the earth as well as the firmament of the heaven. I saw how the winds ride the heights of heaven and stand between heaven and earth; These are the very pillars of heaven. I saw the winds which turn the heaven and cause the star to setůthe sun as well as all the stars. I saw the souls carried by the clouds. I saw the path of the angels in the ultimate end of the earth, and the firmament of the heaven above (Charlesworth, 1989, 17-18, 20-21).

In the book of 2 Enoch which was probably complied at a much later date, there are ten heavenly spheres. Enoch travels through each one describing what is there. Seven spheres contain the sun, moon, and planets. Creation of the world is described as follows:

And I gave the command: Let there be light and some of the darkness. And I said, Become thickened, and be wrapped around with light! And I spread it out, and it became water. And I spread it out above the darkness, below the light. And thus I made the solid waters, that is to say, the bottomless. And I made a foundation of light around the water. And I created seven great circles inside it, and I gave them an appearance of crystal, wet and dry, that is to say glass and ice, and to be the circuit for water and the other elements. And I pointed out to each one of them his route, to the seven stars, each one of them in his own heaven, so that they might travel accordingly. And thus I made solid the heavenly circles (Book 27:1-28:1; Charlesworth, 1983, 46).

There are several opinions on how thick the firmament was. One Rabbi said, "It is like a thin metal plate," and another one said, "It is two or three fingers thick" (Bowker, 104). In Genesis Rabbah the firmament is the same thickness as the earth because the Hebrew word gwj is used for both heaven and earth (Neusner, 1985, 41). In the Babylonian Talmud it says, "But the distance from earth to the firmament is a journey of five hundred years, and the thickness of the firmament is a journey of five hundred years, and likewise [the distance] between one firmament and the other" (Epstein, 1935, 8:74).

In the Talmud the Hebrew word for heaven, shamayim, was explained as, "the combination of sham and mayim (the place where there is water), or esh and mayim (fire and water), and from these two elements the celestial region was made" (Cohen, 1975, 30). Because there are seven different Hebrew words for heaven, there must be seven different heavens (Epstein, 69-70). Vilon retires in the morning and issues forth in the evening, and renews the work of creation daily. Rakia is where the sun, moon, and stars are placed. Shechakim is where millstones grind manna for the righteous. Zebul is where the celestial Jerusalem is, and the Temple with its altar. Maon is where there are bands of ministering angels who sing at night. Machon is where there are treasuries of snow and hail, a loft of dews, a chamber of whirlwind and storm, and a cavern of smoke with doors of fire. Araboth is where there is righteous, judgment, charity, and storehouses of life, peace, and blessing. There are the souls of the righteous, and souls of them not yet born. There are also angels, and the very throne of God.

There are several ways in which the heavens could have been made according to the Rabbis. One Rabbi explained the phrase "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters" as "the central drop of water became congealed and both the lower and upper heavens were made" (Cohen, 31). Another Rabbi said, "the works of creation were in liquid form, and on the second day they solidified." Rabbi Hanina said, "Fire came forth from above and licked at the face of the firmament" (Neusner, 38). The fire dried the surface of the water and hardened it. Another Rabbi said, "He, took fire and water and beat them up together, and from them the heaven was made" (Freedman and Simon 1939, 32). Genesis Rabbah says, "when a mortal king builds a palace, he will roof it over with stones, timber, and earth. But the Holy One, blessed be he, made a roof over his world only with water, as it said, Who roofs your upper chambers with water" (Neusner, 37; Psalm 104:3).

In the Apocalypse of Baruch Baruch is carried up through the heavens by an angel. It says, "he led me to where the heaven was set fast and where there was a river which no one is able to cross" (Charlesworth 1983, 665). Heaven is seen as resting on the earth encircling ocean. Baruch asks the angel to tell him how thick the heaven is? The angel Phanael answers, "The gates which you saw are as large as (the distance) from east to west; the thickness of heaven is equal to the distance from earth to heaven" (Ibid., 664). In the Slavonic version it says, "They took an auger so that they could proceed to bore heaven so that they could see whether heaven is (made) of stone or of glass or of copper" (Ibid.). In the Greek version it says, "And taking an auger, they attempted to pierce the heaven, saying, "Let us see whether the heaven is (made) of clay or copper or iron" (Ibid., 665). This seems to indicate what they thought heaven was made of back then.

The partially preserved Apocalypse of Zephaniah starts off with Zephaniah being taken up into the fifth heaven. Chapter 2:5 says, "And [I saw] the whole inhabited world ha[nging] like a drop of wa[ter], which is suspended from a buc[ket] when it comes up from the well" (Charlesworth 1983, 510). This is similar to Isaiah 40:15 which states, "the nations are as a drop of a bucket" (KJV), and the Wisdom of Solomon 11:23 which states, "For the whole world before thee is as the least grain of the balance, and as a drop of the morning dew that falleth down upon the earth" (DV). In the Apocalypse of Zephaniah chapter 10:2 it says, "Heaven opened from the place where the sun rises to where it sets, from the north to the south. I saw the sea which I had seen a the bottom of Hades. Its waves came up to the clouds" (Ibid., 514).

The Sibylline Oracles which dates from the 2nd century BC to 70 AD starts out by describing the creation of the world. It says, "It was he who created the whole world, saying 'let it come to be' and it came to be. For he established the earth, draping it around with Tartarus, and he himself gave sweet light. He elevated heaven, and stretched out the gleaming sea, and crowned the vault of heaven amply with bright-shining stars and decorated the earth with plants. He mixed the sea with rivers, pouring them in" (Charlesworth 1983, 335).

The 4th Book of Ezra retells the story of creation in six days. Chapter 6 starts at the beginning before the heavens and "circle of the earth" where created. Verses 38-54 describe the 6 days of creation. On the second day it says, "you created the spirit of the firmament, and commanded him to divide and separate the waters, that one part might move upward and the other part remain beneath" (Ibid., 536). This may mean that the wind separated the waters by uplifting part of the waters for the firmament.

The Greek Apocalypse of Ezra describes Ezraís ascent up into the first heaven then descent into Tartarus and then back up into the heavens. This was written sometime between 150 to 850 AD.

In the Apocalypse of Sedrach Sedrach is taken as far as the third heaven. He wants to know why God created the earth? This was probably composed sometime between 150 and 500 AD, and its final form after 1000 AD.

The Apocalypse of Abraham tells of the secrets of heaven that were revealed to Abraham when he visited the eight firmaments. Chapter 15:5 states, "And we ascended as if (carried) by many winds to the heaven that is fixed on the expanses. And I saw on the air to whose height we had ascended a strong light which can not be described. And behold, in this light a fiery Gehenna was enkindled" (Charlesworth 1983, 696). This was probably written after 70 AD and before the middle of the second century.

The Testament of Levi states, "And I entered the first heaven, and saw there much water suspended. And again I saw a second heaven much brighter and more lustrous, for there was a measureless height in it. In the uppermost heaven of all dwells the Great Glory in the Holy of Holies" (Ibid., 788). The first heaven is dark because it sees all the sins of mankind. The second heaven contains the armies of angels, and in the upper most heaven God dwells with the archangels serving.

The Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah describes Isaiahís travels through the seven heavens. Each higher heaven is brighter and better then the lower one. This was written at the end of the first century, but the tradition behind it goes back further. In Joseph and Aseneth (12:1-3) creation is described as, "(God) who brought the invisible (things) out into the light, who made the (things that) are and the (ones that) have an appearance from the appearing and non-being, who lifted up the heaven and founded it on a firmament upon the backs of the winds, who founded the earth upon the waters, who put big stones on the abyss of the water, and the stones will not be submerged, but they are like oak leaves (floating) on top of the water" (Charlesworth 1985, 220). In the second part Levi will "see her (Asenethís) place of rest in the highest, and her walls like adamantine eternal walls, and her foundations founded upon a rock of the seventh heaven" (Ibid., 239). This seems to be a Jewish legend written around 200 AD.

In the Ladder of Jacob it says, "you who have made the skies firm for the glory of your name, stretching out on two heavenly clouds the heaven which gleams under you, that beneath it you may cause the sun to course and conceal it during the night so that it might not seem a god" (Ibid., 408; 2:10-12).

The History of the Rechabites tells of a righteous man named Zosimus who is taken by an animal for many days to reach the great ocean. Zosimus says, "I looked and (saw) in the midst of the sea (something) like a dense bulwark of cloud suspended upon the sea; and the top of the cloud extended to the height of heaven" (Charlesworth 1985, 451; 2:8). No one can cross this ocean, but two large trees bend down and took him to an island on the other side of the ocean and cloud. Chapter 10:7-8 explains, "And after the angles of God brought us and placed us in this place in the midst of the water of this great sea, God commanded and the waters rose up from the deep abyss and encircled this place. And by the command of God a cloud became a bulwark above the water and rose up as far as heaven" (Ibid., 455). Because of this cloud the sun does not shine there, but a glorious light. This was probably written sometime between the 2nd and 6th century AD.

There are some interesting Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers written sometime between 150 to 300 AD that tell about Godís creation. These are contained in the Apostolic Constitutions, Book 7 and 8. Prayer 3 says, "(God) who separated waters from waters with a firmament, and put a lively spirit in these; who settled the earth (firmly), and stretched out heaven. While heaven, having been pitched like a vault, is adorned with stars" (Charlesworth 1985, 679). Prayer 4 says, "Heaven knows the one who raised it as a vault upon nothing, like a stone cube, and united earth and water with each other" (Ibid., 681). This may indicate that they thought the universe was cube shaped. Prayer 12 says, "For you are the one who placed the heaven like a vaulted arch, and like a screen stretched it out; and founded the earth upon nothing, by judgment alone; the one who fixed a firmament, and prepared night and day; the one who brought light out of the treasuries" (Ibid., 691).

Next - Genesis 1:6-8 - Circle of the Heavens