Genesis 1:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
And God said, "Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water."

New Living Translation
Then God said, "Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth."

English Standard Version
And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”

New American Standard Bible
Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."

King James Bible
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters, separating water from water."

International Standard Version
Then God said, "Let there be a canopy between bodies of water, separating bodies of water from bodies of water!"

NET Bible
God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it separate water from water.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then God said, "Let there be a horizon in the middle of the water in order to separate the water."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

King James 2000 Bible
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

American King James Version
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

American Standard Version
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And God said: Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Darby Bible Translation
And God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it be a division between waters and waters.

English Revised Version
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Webster's Bible Translation
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

World English Bible
God said, "Let there be an expanse in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."

Young's Literal Translation
And God saith, 'Let an expanse be in the midst of the waters, and let it be separating between waters and waters.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:6-13 The earth was emptiness, but by a word spoken, it became full of God's riches, and his they are still. Though the use of them is allowed to man, they are from God, and to his service and honour they must be used. The earth, at his command, brings forth grass, herbs, and fruits. God must have the glory of all the benefit we receive from the produce of the earth. If we have, through grace, an interest in Him who is the Fountain, we may rejoice in him when the streams of temporal mercies are dried up.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 6. - Day two. The work of this day consisted in the formation of that immense gaseous ocean, called the atmosphere, by which the earth is encircled. And God said, Let there be a firmament (rakiya, an expand, from rakah, to beat out; LXX., στερέωμα; Vulgate, firmamentum) in the midst of the waters. To affirm with Knobel, Gesenius, and others that the Hebrews supposed the atmospheric heavens to be a metallic substance (Exodus 24:10), a vault fixed on the water-flood which surrounds the earth (Proverbs 8:27), firm as a molten looking-glass (Job 37:18), borne by the highest mountains, which are therefore called the pillars and foundations of heaven (2 Samuel 22:8), and having doors and windows (Genesis 7:11; Genesis 28:17; Psalm 78:23), is to confound poetical metaphor with literal prose, optical and phenomenal language with strict scientific statement. The Vulgate and English translations of rakiya may convey the idea of solidity, though it is doubtful if στερέωμα (LXX.) does not signify that which makes firm as well as that which is made firm (McCaul, Wordsworth, W. Lewis), thus referring to the well-known scientific fact that the atmosphere by its weight upon the waters of the sea keeps them down, and by its pressure against our bodies keeps them up; but it is certain that not solidity, but expansiveness, is the idea represented by rakiya (cf. Scottish, tax, to stretch; Job 37:18; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22).

"The firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,
Transparent, elemental air, diffused
In circuit to the uttermost convex Of this great round."


(Milton, 'Par. Lost,' Bk. 7.) And let it divide the waters from the waters. What these waters were, which were designed to be parted by the atmospheric firmament, is explained in the verse which follows.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,.... On which the Spirit of God was sitting and moving, Genesis 1:2 part of which were formed into clouds, and drawn up into heaven by the force of the body of fire and light already produced; and the other part left on the earth, not yet gathered into one place, as afterwards: between these God ordered a "firmament to be", or an "expanse" (v); something stretched out and spread like a curtain, tent, or canopy: and to this all those passages of Scripture refer, which speak of the stretching out of the heavens, as this firmament or expanse is afterwards called; seePsa 104:2 and by it is meant the air, as it is rendered by the Targum on Psalm 19:1 we call it the "firmament" from the (w) word which the Greek interpreter uses, because it is firm, lasting, and durable: and it has the name of an expanse from its wide extent, it reaching from the earth to the third heaven; the lower and thicker parts of it form the atmosphere in which we breathe; the higher and thinner parts of it, the air in which fowls fly, and the ether or sky in which the sun, moon, and stars are placed; for all these are said to be in the firmament or expanse, Genesis 1:17. These are the stories in the heavens the Scriptures speak of, Amos 9:6 and the air is divided by philosophers into higher, middle, and lower regions: and so the Targum of Jonathan places this firmament or expanse between the extremities of the heaven, and the waters of the ocean. The word in the Syriac language has the sense of binding and compressing (x); and so it is used in the Syriac version of Luke 6:38 and may denote the power of the air when formed in compressing the chaos, and dividing and separating the parts of it; and which it now has in compressing the earth, and the several parts that are in it, and by its compression preserves them and retains them in their proper places (y):

and let it divide the waters from the waters; the waters under it from those above it, as it is explained in the next verse; of which more there.

(v) "expansio", Montanus. Tigurine version; "extensio", Munster, Fagius, Vatablus, Aben Ezra; "expansum", Junius, Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, Schmidt, Sept. "firmamentum", V. L. (w) Id. (x) Vid. Castell. Lex. col. 3647. Fuller. Miscell. Sacr. l. 1. c. 6. (y) Vid. Dickinson. Physica "vetus et vera", c. 7. sect. 13, 14. p. 88, 89.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Ge 1:6-8. Second Day.

6. firmament—an expanse—a beating out as a plate of metal: a name given to the atmosphere from its appearing to an observer to be the vault of heaven, supporting the weight of the watery clouds. By the creation of an atmosphere, the lighter parts of the waters which overspread the earth's surface were drawn up and suspended in the visible heavens, while the larger and heavier mass remained below. The air was thus "in the midst of the waters," that is, separated them; and this being the apparent use of it, is the only one mentioned, although the atmosphere serves other uses, as a medium of life and light.

Genesis 1:6 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Second Day: Firmament
6Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." 7God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.…
Cross References
2 Peter 3:5
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

Psalm 19:1
For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Psalm 33:6
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

Psalm 136:6
who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.

Isaiah 40:22
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

Jeremiah 10:12
But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
Treasury of Scripture

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Let there.

Genesis 1:14,20 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven …

Genesis 7:11,12 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the …

Job 26:7,8,13 He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth …

Job 37:11,18 Also by watering he wearies the thick cloud: he scatters his bright cloud…

Job 38:22-26 Have you entered into the treasures of the snow? or have you seen …

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.

Psalm 33:6,9 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of …

Psalm 104:2 Who cover yourself with light as with a garment: who stretch out …

Psalm 136:5,6 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endures for ever…

Psalm 148:4 Praise him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters that be above the heavens.

Psalm 150:1 Praise you the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the …

Ecclesiastes 11:3 If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth: …

Jeremiah 10:10,12,13 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting …

Jeremiah 51:15 He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world …

Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, said the LORD, which …

firmament. Heb. expansion.

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