|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.
Verse 8 - And God called the firmament heaven. Literally, the heights, shamayim, as in ver. 1. "This," says Principal Dawson, "may be regarded as an intimation that no definite barrier separates our film of atmosphere from the boundless abyss of heaven without;" and how appropriate the designation "heights" is, as applied to the atmosphere, we are reminded by science, which informs us that, after rising to the height of forty-five miles above the earth, it becomes imperceptible, and loses itself in the universal ether with which it is surrounded. And the evening and the morning were the second day. For the literal rendering of this clause see on ver. 5, It is observable that in connection with the second day's work the usual formula, "And God saw that it was good," is omitted. The "καὶ εἰδεν ὁ θεος ὅτι καλόν of the Septuagint is unsupported by any ancient version. The conceit of the Rabbis, that an expression of the Divine approbation was omitted because on this day the angels fell, requires no refutation. Aben Ezra accounts for its omission by making the second day's work terminate with ver. 10. Lange asks, "Had the prophetic author some anticipation that the blue vault was merely an appearance, whilst the sarans of the Septuagint had no such anticipation, and therefore proceeded to doctor the passage?" The explanation of Calvin, Delitzsch, Macdonald, and Alford, though declared by Kalisch to be of no weight, is probably the correct one, that the work begun on the second day was not properly terminated till the middle of the third, at which place, accordingly, the expression of Divine approbation is introduced (see ver. 10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And God called the firmament heaven,.... Including the starry and airy heavens: it has its name from its height in the Arabic language, it being above the earth, and reaching to the third heaven; though others take the word "shamaim" to be a compound of two words, "sham" and "maim", that is, there are waters, namely, in the clouds of heaven:
and the evening; and the morning were the second day; these together made up the space of twenty four hours, which was another natural day; the body of light, created on the first day, having again moved round the chaos in that space of time; or else the chaos had turned round on its own axis in that time, which revolution produced a second day; and which, according to Capellus, was the nineteenth of April, and according to Bishop Usher the twenty fourth of October. It is an observation that everyone may make, that the phrase,
and God saw that it was good, is not used at the close of this day's work, as of the rest: the reason some Jewish writers give is, because the angels fell on this day; but it is a much better which Jarchi gives, and that is, because the work of the waters was not finished; it was begun on the second day, and perfected on the third (d); and therefore the phrase is twice used in the account of the third day's work: the Septuagint version adds it here indeed, but without any foundation.
(d) Vid. Maimon. Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 30.
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