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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Leupold Genesis part 39 verse 9

9. And God said: Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so.

The second day's work may still be regarded from one point of view as being connected with the work of the first day. The light of the first day requires a free space, the clear atmosphere, in order that it might make its life-giving work felt upon plants and upon man. So "the heavens" (v. 6-8), i. e. the firmament, aids in the distribution of light. But three of the deficiencies noted under v. 2 still prevail. The tekom is now to be disposed of in the work of the third day.

The expression "waters under the heavens" must be taken in the light of the preceding division made on the second day. The "waters above the heavens" are the clouds. The waters on the unformed surface, perhaps seething and surging as tekom suggests, are here under consideration. Waters are to be gathered together to be by themselves; dry land is to assemble by itself. If the waters are to be gathered together "unto one place," this expression may be regarded as sufficiently general to cover all oceans, or "the seven seas" for that matter. These water are by themselves; that is their "one place." So again "the dry land," hayyabbashah, literally: "the dry," involved a limitation in the figure of synecdoche; the term really means continents, but continents are primarily "dry land." The verb "let be seen," tera'eh, is an imperfect used as an optative (K. S. 183 b).

The verse concludes with the customary "and it was (or became) so" to indicate that which is bidden to come into being at once forms itself.

As to the method followed in the separation of dry land and water we can Say little, Did depressions form and the waters rush down into them? We might think so. Or did elevations and mountains thrust themselves upward in the process of the congealing of the-dry land and shed the waters as they rose? (Ps 104:7-9), in describing the work of this day, seems to imply the latter Course, though the expressions used may be poetic rather than exact. No one, it seems, will ever be able to speak a final verdict in regard to this question.

But, surely, in the course of these gigantic, upheavals, not catastrophic in nature because they involve organization rather than disruption, there was a tremendous amount of geologic formation. In fact, it would be perfectly safe to assume that all basic and all regular, formations were disposed of in this day's work. As a result, indeed, no record of the rapidity with which, certain formations took place is written upon the various formations, for vast as these formations were, they were controlled by the orderly operations of divine omnipotence and by these potentialities, no doubt, which the Spirit "hovering over the face of the waters" had implanted. Even these basic forms might, therefore, offer to him who acts on the assumption that there never were any accelerated formations the appearance of things laid down by the slow process of nature that we see in operation at this late day. But this ninth verse surely teaches that what we call geologic formations took place in titanic and gigantic measure at a vastly accelerated pace in a truly miraculous creative work as astounding as the rest.

As far as the expression yammim, "seas," (v. 10) is concerned, it must be noted that it is used in a loose sense so as to include every body of water, like inland lakes and also `the rivers. But since the area of the seas is vastly in excess of that of the smaller bodies, the name is taken from the outstanding part, a parte potiori.

Just because the Greek translators misread the word miqweh, "collection," for the word maqom, "place," that does not give any better reading or occasion for a textual change (Kit.). To call the newly assembled waters "the collection of waters" is most appropriate (v. 10); to say that they are to collect in "one place" is equally appropriate (v. 9). The clause added by the Septuagint is a pedantic attempt at improvement.

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