The second day of creation.
Genesis Chapter 1: 6-8
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
The word “expanse” comes from the Hebrew word, raqiya` – meaning properly, an expanse, i.e. the firmament or (apparently) visible arch of the sky:—firmament.
What does firmament mean? It means “the heavens or the sky, especially when regarded as a tangible thing.”
Looking at verse six, then, we see the creation of a sky with water both above and below. Water, here, comes from the Hebrew word mayim. While it *can* mean urine, it is most commonly translated as water.
So in verse six and seven, it can be understood that God separated water to make the sky, leaving some water above and some below. Does this mean that God left oceans of water in the atmosphere? Or should we interpret this to mean that water vapor was understood to exist in the upper atmosphere after the second day of creation? That seems to be up to the interpretation of the reader. However, the story of the Flood, which we will come back to soon, will return us to a debate over the meaning here.
If the word mayim is familiar, you may be thinking of actress Mayim Bialik. Perhaps someone named Mayim, who also starred on “The Big Bang Theory,” has thoughts on the creation account in Genesis?
I encourage anyone reading this to do a search for Mayim Bialik’s thoughts on science and religion. She majored in neuroscience, with minors in Hebrew and Jewish studies, at UCLA. She’s obviously smart, an excellent communicator, and her expertise is on point to what we’re studying here!
But what about verse 8? “God called the expanse Heaven.”
The word for Heaven here, in the Hebrew, is shamayim. Strong’s Definition is שָׁמַיִם shâmayim, shaw-mah’-yim; dual of an unused singular שָׁמֶה shâmeh; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve):—air, × astrologer, heaven(-s).
Our second day of Creation concludes as the first one did. “And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.“