What Is A Firmament?
"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:"
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork."
"And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above."
I promised you we would cover this way back on “Exploring Zerubbabel – Part 1” and other than wanting to give you more of a foundation on this topic before jumping right in, I have been trying to find a way to put it into words.
On that blog topic, we discovered a rather tight relationship between the band “REM” and hints of future events, like the 1989 released “End of the World As We Know It” and it’s warnings about “plane flying too low” and “don’t get caught in falling towers”. I had also posted their video “Losing My Religion” on Part 1 also:
Do you know what this song is about?
Do you know who it is to?
“Consider this . . . the hint of the century…”
Below that we discussed the “second temple”, which Sheshbazaar and Zerubbabel were both given credit for laying the foundation for, but with the Lord’s promise that Zerubbabel’s hands will finish it. Yet King Herod was given credit for finishing the temple and King Herod was he who wanted the child Jesus killed. Therefore this left us with a temple which would be “more glorious than the first” but that perhaps the promise the Lord made to Zerubbabel was not what turned out to be Herod’s temple; that this was not completed in Zerubbabel’s time. Was this promise broken or were there two different temples being talked about; a material one and a biological one?
"Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; 22. And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.
23. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts."
There was no shaking of the earth unless we of course count the earthquake and the rocks renting when Jesus died on the cross. Could the spirit of he who raised Christ from the dead also have been in Zerubbabel? What did the Lord remind the Jews as they poured out of Babylon after their exile?
"I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the Lord. 18. Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid, consider it.
19. Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you."
What is the Lord telling them here? From the four and twentieth day of the ninth month he says specifically. In that day, the Lord instructed Haggai to give the priests a riddle; of whether a garment concealing holy flesh would still be holy if it touched an unclean thing – and they answered “no”; or if any of the holy vessels were touched by one who had touched a dead body, would it be unclean. They answered “it will be unclean”. Verses 11-15, and the Lord instructs Haggai to tell them "So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean. And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the Lord:"
You know what this means. Their hands cannot possibly construct a temple in which the Lord would be able to dwell. This is why the Ark of the Covenant with the tablets, and the presence of God was missing from the second temple; and why the disciples of Christ after he resurrected, knew about it but for some reason couldn’t speak about it. Remember from Hebrews -
"And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4. Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
5. And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly."
And just as the riddle for Zerubbabel to Sheshbazaar; and Jesus to the great prince Michael, we have in Ezekiel an ambiguity between real time prophecies of that era or of the end days to come. And I can see how those that cling to the Old Testament covenant would read this book as strictly a Nebuchadnezzar related prophecy. Those who can’t (or refuse) to validate a new covenant in Christ will not be able to get beyond the “veil” of understanding. Still there are others that know, but don’t want YOU to know, because your continuance in their bondage depends on you remaining blind and dependent on them, instead of trusting in Christ.
With that said, let me finally get to the point.
What is The Terrible Crystal?
While reading Ezekiel I found amongst other things, this verse below.
“And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.”
What is this? What is the terrible crystal? What color was it? And more importantly, what is the “firmament” of which this likeness was? This lead me to search on “firmament”, why it was called that, what it meant and its significance.
The “firmament” is mentioned 15 times in the King James Bible. The first one in the beginning, Genesis chapter 1:
"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."
In this verse, a “firmament” divides the waters from the waters. On earth what does this is usually land. In the next verse in Genesis we see something interesting:
"And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so."
Diagram of Genesis 1:7
God made the firmament and this divided the waters under it from the waters above it. This suggests that if the firmament is land, then there is water UNDER the land as well. Let’s see what else we can find to identify what the firmament is:
"And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so."
Something Like This
So this isn’t land. This is something else. This is “heaven”. This is where lights to divide the day from the night, for signs and for seasons, days and years are placed by God. So then what were the waters ABOVE the firmament? Was the earth a sphere-encased ball floating around in a huge celestial ocean?
I remember as a child, I would find times to just lie back in the grass with my hands folded behind my head and look up into the sky. I would imagine that I was actually a fish or a mermaid, and that the sky and it’s wisps of clouds was actually the underside of the surface of the ocean. It was fun for fifteen or so minutes to imagine that. But as an adult, I wanted to know what a “firmament” was.
Upon researching for that is where I ran into descriptions of Noah’s flood, and the “eruption” of water up from the ground. I saw this described on the CBN Website:
"10 After seven days, the waters of the flood came and covered the earth.
11 When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky. 12 The rain continued to fall for forty days and forty nights.
17 For forty days the floodwaters grew deeper, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth. 18 As the waters rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely on the surface. 19 Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth, 20 rising more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks.
24 And the floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days." - Source, CBN.com
This is their quote from Genesis 7. The KJV Bible words it like this:
"And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. 11. In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
17. And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. 18. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
19. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. 20. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered."
No firmament is mentioned in the account of the flood. But “windows of heaven” are mentioned. CBN explains the “great deep” in this way:
Windows or Doors of Heaven
The “great deep” is mentioned four times in the King James Bible; Genesis 7:11, Psalm 36:6, Isaiah 51:10 and Amos 7:4. Aside from the passage in Psalms, each mention is related to the waters. The assertion in the CBN paragraph above makes it sound as if the waters of “the great deep” were an accident as God made land, trapping water beneath the surface.
Now, let’s leave this alone for a minute and go back to the “firmament” that separates the waters from the waters (above the firmament and below it). I searched for the etymology on the word “firmament” and I found this:
I have a couple of questions about this. Whenever I see the words “erroneous translation” in regard to Bible translations coupled with the words “probably from”, I have to question it. Because the last time I saw this was in relation to the name of God, Jehovah, and we know the Hebrew we see today is not the Hebrew that was “pre-Babylon” exile.
First, there is no reason to believe that Bible translators who were translating old Hebrew (or trying to translate from the post Babylonian corrupted Hebrew), would have any reason to resort to the Syriac meaning of the word for “raqia”. Syriac was not the originating language of the Bible to the best of my research.
William Tyndale was put to death because of his translations from Hebrew and Greek because of the truth. The King James Bible is two thirds Tyndale-sourced and Tyndale used “firmament”.
I took to the translation in Google even though Google references modern, not ancient or traditional Hebrew:
The word “ductile” there means “able to be pulled or bent into different shapes/malleable”.
Then I took the words “raqiya” and “raqa” and put them into the translator. In the translator there is no “raqia” or “raqa” in Hebrew. Only the suggestion “רקיה“ which translates into “rakia”
And there is no “description” below as to what “rakia” is. When I enter that word by itself into “Google” search, I come up with “a strong alcoholic Bulgarian drink”. However, a similar word, “raca” appears in the King James Bible. Used in one of the verses in context, it appears below:
"But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."
That looks similar to “raqa” or “raqia” too. What does Raca mean?
And according to the “Hebrew Lexicon” web site the word “raqa” means the same thing as “raca”. (source,)
Two other sources assert that the word and it’s “base” word relate more to something “solid” or “firm”:
Extreme compression? Then it goes on to say that the “firmament” was the land because earth was once heaven. But that is not what Genesis says, does it? Then we get this from "Answers in Genesis" -
A third account narrows down the various Biblical translations:
You can take all of these explanations and throw them out the window if you are a believer that the Bible is the inspired word of God. That being so, it would not matter what ancient cultures believed about how the sky was formed, whether it was solid or just an “expanse” – none of that matters if these are God’s words. If these are God’s Words, then what the ancient Hebrews ‘THOUGHT’ the sky was made of is irrelevant.
The “inspired Word of God” is not restricted by scientific understanding of certain peoples during certain courses of history. If Jacob knew how to “pill strakes” way back in Genesis 30 to get Laban’s flocks to conceive calves with a certain kind of marking, then they knew what DNA was and how to manipulate it that far back in history. I have no problem believing that David knew that God had written “his members” in a book when as yet “there were none of them” and I would have no problem believing that the universe is not what government funded “science” tells us it is.
The Bible means what it says. Science’s attempts to dumb it down are another way that the devil keeps you in bondage. “This is impossible” . . . Modern science tells us that the universe is “filled with emptiness”.
There is another group of verses in the Bible that loosely relate to this topic and is mentioned nowhere else in the Bible; That is in 2nd Corinthians:
“It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4. How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."
Depiction of the 3rd Heaven
Don’t you wonder who this was? Who was it that Paul knew was caught up to the third heaven? He did not know if he knew this man “in the body” or “out of the body” and twice says “God knoweth”. And why was it important enough for them to include this in scripture? What was it God wanted us to know from this?
The Firmament From the Beginning
We know from reading the account in Genesis 1 of creation, that a “firmament” was first made before God called it “Heaven”. This firmament was what God created – spoke into existence, to separate “waters above” from “waters below” this firmament.
Before the firmament, the earth “was without form, and void”. In other words, there was nothing but water.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
That is your beginning. Before there was an earth, there was “darkness upon the face of the deep”. The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. The first thing God spoke into existence was light.
"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."
God called the light day and the dark, night and that was the first day of creation. The separation of light from dark occurs. The next day, day 2 God makes the firmament.
"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."
God creates the firmament in the midst of the waters (in the middle or into). God then divided the waters UNDER the firmament from the waters ABOVE the firmament. He THEN called the firmament Heaven. That was the second day, and we learn in the next couple of verses that this “firmament” could not be the “land” of the earth as Answers in Genesis asserts because of the “third day” in verses 9 and 10 . . .
"And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."
By God’s own words, the firmament could NOT have been dry land, because the dry land was the result of gathering the waters UNDER the heaven, which God so named the FIRMAMENT after he created it.
According to God’s Word, we have a firmament He named “Heaven”, that divided the waters under it, from the waters above it.
Something solid would have to do that, wouldn’t it? Of course you could use liquid to divide liquid, if a liquid was heavier or denser than the other. Point being, the words in the Bible mean what they mean. Translation ambiguities are easily figured out if you read the Bible and those words in context of those verses. You will always find what you are looking for in other parts of the Bible to solve a dilemma. Some will try to sell this as a misunderstanding based on the scientific naivety of the ancient Hebrews; yet they knew more about DNA in Jacob’s day then we do today! They could do things we can’t do now, and knew how to access power that today is kept hidden from us by those who guarded these secrets and used them to oppress – Something Jesus called them out for time and again in the gospels.
One thing I do agree with on the “Answers in Genesis” page is this. It most certainly is important in understanding the scope of creation and how everything began.
One of the articles I found while searching for this was a publication on PDF titled “Myth of the Solid Heavenly Dome”.
Note that they again fall back on the “naïve” and “pre-scientific” view of the universe. Would this matter, if the Bible is the “Word of God”?
Even the pictures drawn in an attempt to illustrate what it MAY be like, are not subject to the Word God put down in the Bible. It is only a rendition of what they understand it to be. “In the beginning was the Word”, not the “illustration” in John 1:1.
You either believe the Bible is the Word of God, or you don’t.
Perhaps now this quote from Michael Jackson might make more sense:
Michael Jackson’s “Hayvenhurst” Studio
“Music of the Spheres” put on the wall
Michael Jackson also said this in the same interview:
Isn’t that interesting? There are bible verses that back this up:
"The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear."
God made the sun and moon stand still. This happened twice in Biblical history, and it is mentioned in Joshua 10:13 of the book of Jasher mentioning this.
"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
The angels “left their own habitation”, which is spoken of in Genesis 6 of the ‘sons of God’.
"And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me."
This is Joseph telling his bigger brothers that the other eleven “stars” (first sons of the tribes of Israel) and the sun and the moon would obey him (remember what it says in the Bible about the oppression of Joseph in Zechariah 10:6, Amos 6:6 and Acts 7:9) .
"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?"
Here David so eloquently describes more than one heaven, the “work of thy fingers” of God, the “ordained” moon and the stars.
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:"
And in Matthew as well as the other gospels, the same version of the events of the coming tribulation – the sun will be darkened and the moon shall not give light, and the stars shall fall from heaven.
Can the stars fall from heaven and hit JUST the earth? Was there an “earth” before this one? And if so, what happened to it?
Why did God send a rainbow to promise Noah that this would be the last time he would destroy the earth with a flood? Was there one before the event of Noah’s day?
One day, about two years back when I was working on the blog, I received a message. I don’t know who it was from because I wasn’t trying to track visitors or emails back then. There was no name on it, it just said “you’ve been here before…”
There is more than enough evidence in the Bible scripturally to attest to a “former days” and “days of old”, “men of old”, and the “foundation of the world”.
How this happened or the way God planned it is beyond our understanding, but we are promised by God that all “mysteries” will be finished.
"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets."
To some, the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are made known. To others they are not. This was preordained, from the days of old . . . because we HAVE been here before.
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Why is this?
I believe what the Bible says . . . period. The firmament was called so for a reason. Do I believe that the sky is “solid”? Do I believe that there is an “ocean” above the “firmament” called “heaven”? Despite what “modern” science has “discovered” I can’t help the tickle in my brain brought on by this verse:
"O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:"
A wise man once sang “where rockets fly and research lies, in progress to become…” in a song titled “Be Not Always”.
More to come….
“An unbelieved truth can hurt a man much more than a lie. It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There's a punishment for it, and it's usually crucifixion.” ― John Steinbeck, East of Eden