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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Leupold Genesis part 37 verse 7

7. And God made the firmament and He caused a division between the waters under the firmament and the waters above the firmament: and it was so.

With a certain measure of circumstantiality the author reports in detail that God actually made those things-that He had bidden come into being. This now does not imply that the initial word (v. 6), "Let there be a firmament," was inadequate to cause it to come into being, and so God actually had to "make" ('asah) it. This mode of statement of v. 7 merely unfolds in greater detail that the initial command to come into being involved, the full exercise of God's creative power, which continued operative after the word had been spoken until the work was brought to completion. For "he made" ('asah) dare not be construed, as involving a mode of operation radically different from creating (bara'), for a comparison of the use of the two verbs in v. 21 and in v. 25 shows that they may be used interchangeably. From one point of view one and the same task is created, i. e. is one of those marvellous, epoch-making achievements characteristic of God; from another point of view this task is made, i. e. God-employs His almighty power and energy to carry it through till it is completed.

A textual problem needs to be considered here. Kit. in the margin suggests removing the "and it was so" (wayhi khen) from the end of v. 7 and appending it to the end of v. 6 after the example of the Septuagint translators and after the analogy of v. 9, 11, 15, 24, 30, where it is inserted before the actual carrying out of the thing ordained is reported. However, though a certain quite stereotyped pattern is followed by the author throughout the account in recounting the work of the individual days, the adherence to fixed forms need not be so rigid as to preclude the slightest departure from them. The situation at the close of v. 26 is the same as that of our verse. There the Greek translators did not insert the wayhi khen, proving themselves inconsistent in their corrective endeavours. The text here needs no improvement.

No effort should be made to render literally the compound preposition mittsschath le, "from under to." Mittsschat alone means only "under." Compound prepositions are wont to be followed by le (K. S. 281 p, and G. K. 119 c2).

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