THE FIRMAMENT
The firmament is one of the great mysteries of scripture. There is no consensus what it is. The scriptures
describing its creation are confusing about its exact location and identity. Here the scriptures are:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 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. And
God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided
the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the
evening and the morning were the first day.
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 made the firmament, and divided the waters
which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And
God called the firmament Heaven
. And the evening and the morning were the second day." (Gen. 1:1-8).

The first thing to note about this passage is that God is speaking metaphorically. Nevertheless, we can
assume that the creation of the earth obeyed the physical laws which govern the earth now. The creation
should be examined in that light. "In the beginning," the earth was a blob of unstructured material, "and
the earth was without form, and void." The sun and stars and moons did not exist, but there was water,
"and
darkness was upon the face of the deep."

Then God created a great source of light, probably all of the stars including our sun, "and God said, Let
there be light: and there was light." And God stretched out the stars so that there was darkness between
them, "and God divided the light from the darkness." Then God formed the earth and set it spinning on
its axis and orbiting around the sun, with daytime and nighttime. "And God called the light Day, and the
darkness he called Night." Night only exists on the side of a planet or moon which is turned away from its
star.

Then God created the mysterious firmament, a barrier of some sort. "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 made the
firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above
the firmament: and it was so." (Gen. 1:6,7). The firmament could not divide the waters if it were not a
barrier between them.

Moreover, the firmament must have been within the gravitational pull of the earth, because there were
waters above it. Individual molecules of water might exist in space, but for molecules of water to be
grouped together in a mass recognisable as water the forces of gravity are required. The scripture
clearly speaks of "the
waters which were above the firmament."

The firmament enclosed the earth, and the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens could be
seen through the firmament, "and God called the firmament Heaven."

Bible students will likely argue with me about the chronology, because although the scripture describes
God fine tuning the earth on the third day, it also appears to describe God creating the sun, moon and
stars on the fourth day. Here is the scripture, first, the third day.

"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. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters
called He Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb
yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it
was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding
fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the
morning were the third day." (Gen. 1:9-13).

Grass and trees can not grow without sunlight, so there must have been sunlight as God prepared the
earth for Adam and Eve. That means the sun was already created. Note also that God called a portion of
the earth by the name of the whole earth, "and God called the dry land Earth." In the same way, God
called a portion of the heavens, the firmament, by the name Heaven, "and God called the firmament
Heaven."

Here is the scripture of the fourth 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: and
let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God
made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the
stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule
over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.  
And the evening and the morning were the fourth day." (Gen. 1:14-19).

This is not God creating the sun and the stars, but rather He is fine tuning His creation, as He fine tuned
the earth. Isaiah gives another version of the creation which shows God first creating the stars then
expanding the distance between them. "Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens (not
space, which already existed, but stars), and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that
which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk
therein..." (Is. 42:5).

The fourth day might have been the time of the creation of the moon, "the lesser light to rule the night."
The sun, moon and stars were placed "for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." Thereby
mankind could determine when the Feast Days, Sabbaths and New Moons took place. People could also
determine when to plant, and count the days and the years to the Sabbath Year of Rest and the Jubile.
(See Lev. 25.) As part of this description, there is a recap of the creation of the stars, "and God made two
great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars
also."

There is one more reference to the firmament in Genesis. Here it seems to be synonymous with sky.
"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and
fowl that may
fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven
." (Gen. 1:20). Birds don't fly very high, so the open
firmament probably refers to the part of the sky that was below the barrier of the firmament.

There are several references in Ezekiel to a firmament around God's traveling throne (Ezekiel 1:22-26; 10:
1), however this study deals only with the firmament God made "in the beginning." There is one more
reference to that firmament which tells us that it was bright. "And they that be wise shall shine as
the
brightness of the firmament
; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
(Dan. 12:3).

Summarising what we know about the firmament from Genesis: it was a barrier to water; people could
see through it, therefore it was not a barrier to light; it did not obstruct birds, therefore it was some
distance above the earth; there was water above it, so it was in the earth's atmosphere; it was bright;
and God created it, so it was good. Since modern scientists have not found it, we can also assume that it
no longer exists.

Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, it traps the heat of the sun on the surface of the earth. Therefore the
waters above the firmament must have been responsible for the temperature in the Garden of Eden
which was comfortably warm. Adam and Eve did not need clothes. "And they were both naked, the man
and his wife, and were not ashamed." (Gen. 2:25). Eventually Adam and Eve made clothes for the sake of
modesty. "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed
fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." (Gen. 3:7). If the Garden of Eden was cold, God would
have given them clothes.

In the Garden of Eden, there also was a natural irrigation system. "And every plant of the field before it
was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain
upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and
watered the whole face of the ground." (Gen. 2:5,6).

Obviously, this irrigation system does not now exist. Apparently, the presence of the firmament
suppressed the rain, "for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth." It seems likely that the
"mist" that "watered the whole face of the ground" was condensation, caused by the dropping
temperatures before dawn. The Garden of Eden was the source of four great rivers, the Pison, the
Gihon, the Hiddekel, and the Euphrates. (See Gen. 2:11-14). "And a river went out of Eden to water the
garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads (headwaters for the four rivers)."
(Gen. 2:10). As the source of such a mighty river, Eden must have been a very humid place, hence the
heavy dew.

The first biblical mention of rain refers to the great flood. "For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain
upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from
off the face of the earth." (Gen. 7:4). Subsequently, God created a continuous rain that lasted forty days
and forty nights, the earth has seldom seen a continuous rain that lasted a whole day since.

"And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. 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 (the oceans and rivers overflowed their banks), and
the windows of heaven were opened (God opened  holes in the firmament and the waters fell as rain).
And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights." (Gen. 7:10-12).

Then God took away the firmament. In its place, God gave men rain, rain clouds and rainbows. "I do set
My (rain) bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth. And it
shall come to pass, when I bring a (rain) cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the (rain)
cloud..." (Gen. 9:13,14). So the days of the firmament passed.

The most interesting thing about the firmament is that the technology to recreate it now exists. The
HAARP project in Alaska has been studying focused microwaves (radio waves) for many years. Both
"Angels Don't Play This HAARP" and "Angels Still Don't Play This HAARP" can be viewed on line. Focused
microwaves can be used to form connected plates of microwave activity which could maintain a layer of
water in the earth's upper atmosphere. While this is a slightly different application, I know the technology
exists because similar technology is now being used to turn hurricanes away from our coasts.

In the Kingdom of God, Satan's wicked devices are either turned into blessings or brought to an end.
"And he (Christ's King acting for God) shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar
off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall
not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Micah 4:3). "Thou didst cause
judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still, when God arose to judgment, to save
all the meek of the earth. Selah.
Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt
Thou restrain.
" (Psalms 76:8-10).

Amo Paul Bishop Roden