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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Weakest Link

There was once a television quiz program called The Weakest Link. Basically, the contestant who failed to contribute the required level of intelligence was deemed to be The Weakest Link.

One could be excused for thinking that the manager of a blogspot called These Infinite Spaces represents The Weakest Link in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney.

You know people are losing the argument on a matter touching on science when they resort to accusing their opponent(s) of being "Flat Earthers". It happened last week at the No Carbon Tax protest rally in Canberra when three Get Up juveniles unfurled a banner in front of a news camera with the words "Flat Earth" imprinted on the banner. This was Get Up's low level accusation against people who are cautious when differing scientific views exist on the subject of Anthropogenic Global Warming and who thus oppose the imposition of a tax on power consumption.

That incident follows a recent blog titled "Young Earth, Bad Theology" by the manager of These Infinite Spaces, a blog which links Biblical Creationists to Flat Earthers simply because we take God at his word in Scriptural passages which traditionally have been deemed historical narrative.

To counter the remnant God has sustained through the ages, the manager of These Infinite Spaces cites a Nineteenth Century work by Samuel Birley Rowbotham who, through extensive reference to extra Canonical sources and citation of certain passages of Scripture, has a pretext (Flat Earth belief) which he takes to figurative language of Scripture to justify his argument. This is a long standing practice of cultists and heretics. The manager of These Infinite Spaces tumbles in and is impressed with the potential for figurative language to be taken as literal, forgetting of course, to discern whether a pretext has first to be dismissed. Additionally, no thought is given to the potential to commit the converse offence of taking literal language as figurative - something the manager of These Infinite Spaces is guilty of because he has previously declared, without equivocation, that his world view (pretext) dictates his interpretation of Scripture.

In addition to the great offence this is to God, this is a violation of the principle of Scriptural interpretation instilled by God into the mind of men in perhaps the greatest collective work of God since the Apostolic period viz., the Reformation. That principle Sola Scriptura or Scripture Alone is the means to interpret Scripture i.e. let Scripture interpret Scripture. Evangelicals today exhort the Reformers and their works but many have a mind similar to the author of These Infinite Spaces and, like the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law who revered the murdered prophets of God, are held accountable for killing off the ones they revered.

Today the united pronouncements of Martin Luther and John Calvin on interpretation of Genesis 1 are dismissed as error. It is not Sola Scriptura dictating this killing of Luther and Calvin but extra-biblical influences and the manager of These Infinite Spaces is a willing aggressor.

In throwing off our Reformation heritage these modern day heretics even ignore the sober testimony of scholars who, because they doubt the Inspiration of Scripture, can be deemed hostile witnesses to the Reformation and Biblical Creationist position. It is an old quote (nearly 30 years old) but it bears repeating here. It is that of James Barr, Professor of Hebrew, Oxford University, who doubted what 'Moses' believed nonetheless said this of 'Moses':

‘… probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11intended to convey to their readers the ideas that

a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24hours we now experience

b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story

c) Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark.’

The manager of These Infinite Spaces seems further behind James Barr and other former Hebraists in understanding because, while also influenced by external sources as they were, he cannot see the message that 'Moses' intended to convey in his writings.

Another failing of said manager is his failure to know anything of or grasp something of the use of the word yõm (day). It is definite in Hebrew that when you have an ordinal accompanying the word "day" it means a normal solar day. I think there are about 359 instances of support. If in the Bible anywhere "day" means something else the immediate context makes that perfectly clear. The context clearly shows that "day" is a long period of time. It would be the worst form of eisegesis to read that meaning back into Genesis 1 where "day" has ordinals in a specific series. (extensively a quote from Douglas Kelly, Theologian)

At the risk of criticism for repetition, when yõm is modified by a numeral or ordinal in historical narrative (359 times external to Gen. 1), it means a literal day approximating to 24 hours. When modified by “evening and/or morning”, (38 times external to Gen. 1), it always means a literal day.

Any attempt by me to have said manager justify his erroneous dismissal of the convictive of the direct utterance of God, recorded at Exodus 20:11, was avoided in the first instance and then, when put to further interrogation, he promptly banned me from his blogspot. Since then he appears to have deleted every comment on his posts - strange! He has thus became then The Weakest Link in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney.

I caution new and tender Christians to avoid These Infinite Spaces. It is a black hole of infinite space from which escape to intelligence and understanding of truth is not possible.

Sam Drucker

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Craig's Epistemic Rule-of-Thumb: What the Man is Really Saying

Readers of our blog will be familiar with Craig's blog These Infinite Spaces. Craig rarely tackles subjects which rate high on the importance scale - unless of course you find cage wrestling on par with theological considerations – however, of late, he has composed several threads laying out his opinion (and I do stress, opinion!) on creation, the Bible and science. I won't bother going over old ground again; I just want to underscore his most basic presupposition. It requires mention because, unfortunately, it is lost, buried among all the distracting and evasive non-factual material that prevails on his threads on this combined subject.

Craig's latest disconcertingly muddleheaded comment is that “It's foolish for the Bible to be used as a cosmological textbook.” I have no desire to debate either the soundness of his claim or take issue with the appropriateness of his choice of words in this statement. Others can take up the challenge, if they so choose. What I wish to analyse is his fundamental epistemology and demonstrate how inconsistently he applies it. Furthermore, has Craig adopted a truly Christian epistemology or has he opted for an atheist one?

I seem to recall that it was Alvin Plantinga who called some beliefs properly basic. That is, there are propositions which are immediately justified and are in no further need of epistemic support or the inclusion of further beliefs: they just are. Craig, as does just about every heretic within the Sydney Anglican Diocese, asserts the proposition that the Bible isn't a cosmological textbook as though this were an instance of a properly basic belief. But is it really?

Quite clearly it isn't, because, as it stands, it is neither meaningful nor self-validating and lacks any trace of justification, inferential or explicit, notwithstanding Craig's obvious self-belief that it does possesses all these qualities. Consequently, mirroring his wholesale disdain for epistemic warrant, one is free to dismiss Craig's proposition without committing a logical faux pas.

Hidden beneath Craig's foundational belief is a more deeply rooted one, namely, 'Science Rules OK!' Without this additional supporting belief his actual articulated one makes absolutely no sense. Additionally, its particular quality needs to be understood against a universal proposition. In Craig's case it's that science is the filtering tool for all biblical statements. Without a universal Craig would be accused of, as he has been, special pleading. Craig, I've intimated, claims ex cathedra, “Heck, science is allowed to be the final arbiter on these parts of the Bible but not those.” This, you would hope, no rational man could honestly live with – but Craig, apparently, “can”.

The real point of my criticism of Craig's profoundly irresponsible epistemology is that, consistently applied, it destroys the Gospel. If science, so-called, truly is the final truth arbiter or the tool by which biblical propositions are decided to be figurative or not, then Lazarus and Christ didn't rise from the dead. Science has shown that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics rules and dead men cannot overcome entropic termination. Every day millions are seen to die and none has rise from the dead.

Of course, Craig could rightly object that God can overrule the 2nd Law. We would agree God can. However, if Craig can special plead God out of this dilemma, why then does Craig not allow God to do the same when it comes to the creation of the earth? Why does Craig not permit God to create in 6 real days, as Scripture unambiguously records he has done, but prefers to align himself with what basically amounts to a deeply offensive, non-supernatural and atheist worldview?

One thing is certain, Craig is consistently inconsistent when it comes to instances of applying his own epistemic rule-of-thumb to biblical matters.

Friday, March 18, 2011

6 days! What could they have meant?

This might help the discussion with Craig of t'other blog: a quote from The Interpreter's Bible (1952 edition) on Genesis (p. 471)

There can be no question but that by Day the author meant just what we mean--the time required for one revolution of the earth on its axis. Had he meant an aeon he would certianly, in view of his fondness for great numbers, have stated the number of milleniums each period embraced. While this might have made his account of creation less irreconcilable with modern science, it would have involved a lessening of God's greatness, one sign of which was his power to do so much in one day.

In a similar vein, have a look at this piece on the Anglican site.

When we decide that we can set aside the truth value of the whole content of Genesis 1, we end up in the odd state that we say that we can infer truth from non-truth. The detail is too much to say it is merely figurative, and Simpson, quoted above, would agree: the author meant it! How can we infer what God did from what we say he did not do? If we set aside the direct meaning of Genesis 1 (and it is clearly not poetry, despite the protestations of some non-Hebrew readers) we have to give a reason as to why the detail of the revelation can be disregarded, when the whole Bible treats it as an account of actual events.

What it does is to say that something that doesn't give information about this world (the world it would speak of) gives instead information about some other world which doesn't exist in terms of Genesis 1 (that is an imaginary world, not the real world, as it holds that Genesis 1 doesn't touch the real world of what actually happened).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Execution of Dialogue

It would be easy to write words at length in criticism of the churlishness of Craig Swarze on his blogspot - culminating in his complete removal of a conversation he and I were having in the comments section of a recent blog. It occurred in his blog on the Moore College Think Tank. Look, and you won't now see any comments section.

There is more to his behaviour than just that. Let me just say that there is nothing of Jesus Christ in Craig Swarze's behaviour.

Sam Drucker

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What 'creation' is about.

One of the things missing, it seems, in the debate about origins and the Bible (in the poetry blog), at least as I read it, represented on Craig's blog, is something that Al Mohler says in his conference address on the age of the universe. And that is, the Bible doesn't set out to answer a theoretical question about the origin of the universe and its life, but it sets out to communicate God's relationship with his creation in its full teleological scope and show the ramifications of the interactions between God and his creation.

The Bible unfolds the account of our relationship with God, as relational, physical, dependent and 'in his likeness' beings in a long symmetrical set of events, in palindromic fashion.

It goes like this: creation...dissolution of relationship...rescue of creation, or creation, fall, redemption, new creation, in more traditional language.

The creation account sits then as a meaningful (the Spirit revealed it, so its needful us to know, presumably) part of this sequence, and has to be, to make sense in that sequence, delineated by the same spatio-temporal constraints: so the time and event information corresponds to actual things within the world created. As it is, the detailed history of forming the people of God from Abraham, which follows the relating of why such action is needed by God, has a purposive place within the arc of redemptive history. Deny that the ground work in Genesis 1-11 is informative in a realist sense, and the faith of Abraham and the work of Christ, with the hope of renewal, lacks a basis in the way God relates to the world and responds to events within that world.

It is not about 'science' per se, although it interacts with the physical world, definitively, but it is about theology; about God and how it came to be that the world, in need of Christ, is as it is. The whole span of scripture is rich with meaning; not allegory, not figure or metaphor, although it does contain such, for communicative purposes, but, particularly in the case of God's real contact with the creation it has to be real, because what is is a result of what really was and will be.

Moreover, the first half of the sequence: breaking from relationshp, sets the scene that makes the call of Abram and the following events contextually significant: it places them both ontologicall and soteriologically and gives a great 'so this is why!" to Gods acts to save. Then in the second half of the sequence it is not only that we are saved in Christ, but that he is Lord: creator: the bearer of the restored relationship between us and the one who made us. But this has to be in terms the Bible uses: creator as the one whose actions are described in Genesis 1, etc. so that we see that he is creator in as real a sense as he is redeemer and will be creation-restorer.

Leupold Genesis part 52 verse 21

21. And God created the great sea monsters and each one of the creeping creatures with which the waters teem after their kind and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

Verse 21 in its relation to v. 20 furnishes a very excellent example as to how the account of what actually was done furnishes an invaluable commentary upon the original command of what was to be done. We ourselves would, as a rule, not have discerned what the original commands involved if the following statements had not made the full breadth of the original command plain. As far as the "swarms of living souls" of v. 20 are concerned, we are given to understand, first of all, that these swarms included not only the smaller fry among the fish but also "the great sea monsters" (tanninim), a word whose root indicates a creature of some length. In this category are found not only "whales," as A. V. translates, but all larger marine animals like sharks and, no doubt, also crocodiles: Nor do we hesitate to include under this head amphibians like the saurians of every class and description. Then the account specifically mentions what we have translated, "each one of the creeping creatures!" For here, apparently, nephesh has the common meaning of "individual" or "one," and what the account wishes to emphasize is that of the teeming multitudes of these marine creatures each one owed its existence to God's creative work. On this meaning of nephesh see K. S. 302a. The term rendered "creeping" (romeseth) literally implies "moving lightly about" or "gliding about" (B D B). Difficulty in fitting in these terms led to our rendering "creeping," which strictly does not apply to movement in the water. Another distinctive thought conveyed by this half of the verse is the added assertion that these creatures appeared "after their kind," a phrase not new but as important in its bearing as above. (v. 12) and allowing for no transmutation of species [Leupold here conflates the biblical concept of 'kind' with the scientific term 'species. The two are not the same thing. It is 'kinds' that do not transmute. Kinds may exist at the genus or family level. The definition of species is such that transmutation is readily achieved]. In the second half of the verse it is applied also to the birds.

The expression "winged bird" is literally "bird of wing," kanaph, "wing," being a genitive of quality and the phrase' as a whole what is known as an "ornate epithet" (K. S. 335 a) similar to our expression "yellow gold." Of course, birds have wings. But here, besides, where the very broadest of class distinctions are being made, without a doubt, the expression is meant to include every type of being that has wings--the small and the large, and not only what we call birds.

But on the whole an entirely new type of being has come into existence, creatures that breathe and are animated and have power of their own volition to go from place to place. To give existence to such is the peculiar prerogative of God and is a monumental, epoch-making achievement that deserves to be described by the verb "and He created" (wayyibhra') as the opening verse does.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Evangelical Church Absorbed Within Sleep and Self Interest at Cost to the Lost.

In earlier years there was a sermon illustration about a small group which was instrumental in rescuing shipwrecked passengers from ships which floundered in storms. As I recall, their rescue success brought acclaim, additional resources, comfort and an unhealthy self interest - so much so that a ship in distress was completely ignored and people perished.

That illustration has much application in the church today.

Courtesy of CMI at I repeat hereunder an article appearing in their Focus section of the latest edition of Creation magazine which I received last week:

"Police investigating the recent Colorado shooting-range death of 29-year-old Kristin Hermeler and the simultaneous attempted suicide of her twin sister Candice, report that the twins had "an unusual interest" in the 1999 massacre at the nearby Columbine High School ( And amongst the twins' belongings the police found a copy The God Delusion by outspoken atheist
Richard Dawkins.

That was the same book that Keith Kilgore linked to the 2008 suicide of his 22-year-old son Jesse. He said a biology college professor had objected to Jesse's professed Christian faith and challenged him to read it.

One of Jesse's friends told Mr Kilgore afterwards that Jesse had been "very upset" by the book - "It just destroyed him." And a relative wrote: "He had mentioned the book he had been reading, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and how it along with the science classes he had take[n] had ended his faith."

The 2007 Finnish multiple-shooting murderer Pekka-Eric Auvinen similarly believed what he had been taught at school about origins, saying that Christians were deluded, with God existing "only in your heads' (

By teaching young people evolution as a not-to-be-challenged 'fact', the Western world has been sowing the seeds of its own destruction. It truly is a giant hoax, and Dawkins has certainly played a part in the propagation of such deadly influence - see and Sadly, much of the Church has been asleep at the wheel, sending its young people into the secular educational establishment without providing them any intellectual ammunition and defence. The magazine you're reading can help overturn that. Pass it on!

Suicide twins Kristin and Candice Hermeler had God Delusion in their luggage, news,, 26 November 2010. Dad links son's suicide to 'The God Delusion',, 20 November 2008."

Sam Drucker

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What is Poetry: is it in Genesis 1?

With regard to some of the discussion on Craig's blog about what he calls 'creation science' (a misnomer, in my view), a couple of quotes come to mind:

"One must assume that there is a train of thought. "that the text has a central concern and a remarkable inner logic that may no longer be entirely comprehensible to us." One must get in the data, an d one must do so without undue complexity, without using that brute force which swaggers around the byways of a text arm-in-arm with ignorance"


"Consideration of literary genre must always remain in dialogue with the question of what the text actually says. Neither can claim the high ground and dictate to the other. The sa me is true of the various forms of structural, or structuralist, analysis."

Both from NT Wright in The Letter to the Galatians: Exegesis and Theology, in Green and Turner, eds, Between Two Horizons: Spanning New Testament Studies and Systematic Theology, Eerdmans.

Craig seemed to rely on his view that Genesis 1 represents poetry and therefore its facticity can be discounted. That is, poetry = allegory, metaphor, or symbol. This is not necessarily so, but his understanding of poetry in biblical Hebrew seems deficient. I would suggest the following to give a bit of perspective to his thinking in this area:

James Kugel's work on Hebrew Poetry "The Idea of Biblical Poetry" Yale 1982, is of course the standard text, but you could also consult these, to get a fuller view of some contemporary thinking.

Hobbins, "Retaining and Transcending The Classical Description of Ancient Hebrew Verse"

Tsumura, “Vertical Grammar of Parallelism in Hebrew Poetry” Jrnl of Biblical Literature 128 No. 1 (2009)

Niccacci, “Analysing Biblical Hebrew Poetry” Jnrl for the Study of the Old Testament, 74 (1997)

Bregoli “Biblical Poetry, Spinozist Hermeneutics, and Critical Scholarship” Jnrl of Modern Jewish Studies, v. 8 n. 2 (2009)

Holladay, “Hebrew Verse Structure Revistied (I)” Jnrl of Biblical Literature v.118, n. 1 (1999)

Holladay, “Hebrew Verse Structure Revistied (II)” Jnrl of Biblical Literature v.118, n. 3 (1999)


An essay from the old ISBE that gives a useful overview.

And while we're on links; I mentioned on Craig's blog a couple of talks that could be of interest:

Dr Al Mohler at the 2010 Ligonier conference, and Dr. Joseph Pipa at Grace Reformed Baptist Church. Both good talks which consider exegetical and theological matters in relation to Genesis 1. In fact, at Grace, there's a whole conference devoted to creation and Genesis.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Mistaken Christ.

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever " - Hebrews 13:8

Our Lord Jesus Christ by his nature, by his activity, by his word - all recorded sufficiently for there to be no mistake (only devices would lead to the contrary) - stands irrefutably an argument against any suggestion of an evolutionary process as means of the creation coming into existence - either by chance or by guiding mind.

The point has been made here before and, were he alive today, would be made by John Charles Ryle, former Bishop of Liverpool and author of many works of help to Christians in the 19th Century and subsequent centuries.

To grasp his thinking I have extracted some of his words on the passage of Scripture "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8)

"What of this very world in which we live and move and have our being? It has stamped upon it the marks of a tremendous change; it is no longer the same as it was in the beginning. It cannot be that fair creation of which God pronounced every part and portion to be very good. Doubtless we are not ignorant: it is still a beautiful world, clothed with all that is lovely to the eye, furnished with all that is necessary to our comfort, stored with everything that can make life enjoyable. You may see everywhere the traces of a Father's hand. But still, we repeat, this world is not what it once was: it is no longer the same—no more the same than the gallant ship which yesterday did walk the waters like a thing of life, and today is dashed high on the beach and lies there a wreck, dismasted, shattered, and forsaken—no more the same than the ruin of some ancient house of God, which in days gone by was set apart and hallowed for religious services, and now stands desolate and silent and alone, with weeds and briars creeping over its floor, and ivy hanging about its broken walls like a widow's garment. Just so this world has gone through a blighting, withering change; and therefore it is we see so much of lusts unbridled and tempers ungoverned and passions unrestrained and intellects degraded and affections misplaced and powers misapplied, and God neglected, dishonored, and lightly esteemed. The sicknesses which devour their thousands, and the wars which cut off their tens of thousands, and the graves of infants snatched away in the springtime of life, and the tears and distresses and troubles and sorrows and afflictions which God never placed in Eden, but of which we now hear continually—all these tell you the same tale. The world is no longer the same. All these are the handwriting on the wall to remind us that man, like an unfaithful steward, has marred and spoiled his Maker's handiwork by his own sin, and so put the creation out of order and course ...

But we have not time, beloved, to compare earth as it is with earth as it was before Adam fell; it is enough to know that by his transgression all things suffered, for after his transgression all things were altered. We would rather go on to set before you proofs which are more under your eyes and come within your own observation. We wish you to feel the full force and blessedness of the character St. Paul has given to your Lord and Savior in our text; and in order to this we think it of first importance to establish in your minds this grand point—that there is nothing on earth of which you can say it is unchangeable, it is always the same, yesterday, today, and forever ...

We would remind you, then, that Jesus has always been the same in His office, person, and nature. In these latter days He has graciously made plain to our eyes the way of salvation, by coming upon earth to teach, to suffer, and to die; He has proved Himself the Son of God with power by rising again from the dead. But still we would not have you forget He was always the same—yesterday as well as today ...

Before the mountains were brought forth, or the earth and world were formed, from everlasting Jesus Christ was, like the Father, very God. From the beginning He was foreordained to be the Saviour of sinners

Oh, that the Episcopalian Church of today were not predominantly blighted by degenerate thinkers occupying positions of influence over the mind of people earnestly seeking to know their Creator, Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Oh, that they would have faith in the word of God!

Oh, that there were a proliferation of clergy and theological seminary lecturers who are of the stamp of John Charles Ryle who was far closer to the doctrine of the Reformers and Puritans than the present generation is ever likely to be! How much healthier would the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney be under such thinking and teaching? How much more likely would the Diocese have been able to avoid the financial crisis which demonstrated our being too nearer to worldly thinking than the mind of God? How much more effective in evangelism would the Diocese be than the failed Connect 09? (I know the Archbishop sensed a slight swelling in our numbers but I expect the swelling will soon be seen as nothing more than a body of air which, like a burp, will soon be expelled from the body).

To restate John Charles Ryle: We would remind you, then, that Jesus has always been the same in His office, person, and nature. This Jesus is the Son of God who once created all things out of nothing in an instant, albeit different orders on different units of six consecutive days in the beginning. This same Son of God Incarnate, some 2,000 years ago, performed all the acts one would assign to the Creator and all in the sight of many earthen witnesses. This same Son of God will one day raise up, fully formed and in an instant, all who have ever lived though they be so long departed from this world that their remains are now as nothing.

If only the many in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney had as much faith in this Son of God as they have in the world.

Sam Drucker

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 51 verse 20

20. And God said: Let the waters swarm with swarms of living souls, and let birds fly above the ground across the face of the firmament of the heavens.

The work of the fifth day is also in a sense a double one, but its double character is by no means as pronounced as that of the third and the sixth days. For to have the waters and the skies filled with such creatures as these parts are best adapted to is in reality a work whose two parts are practically identical in nature. However, here the situation is not analogous to the work of the third day, where "the earth brought forth." Here it is not the waters that bring forth. A. V. is in error when it translates: "Let the waters bring forth abundantly." Luther did not make this mistake. The optative of the verb sharats followed by the cognate object shaerets here must mean: "Let the waters swarm with swarms." Meek is more idiomatic: "Let the waters teem with shoals," but he loses the cognate object. We simply do not know from what source fish and birds sprang. They are simply bidden to people their respective domains. In apposition with the cognate object sherets stands the expression, "living souls" or literally, "souls of life." The word "soul" (nephesh) is here used for the first time--a collective singular--as a designation of these aquatic creatures, because the soul is the most important part of them, and at the same time the term definitely points to the new and distinctive thing involved. This is the first time that life in souls or living souls appears. According to the Biblical viewpoint plants have no life. But the life of living creatures is present in their "souls," and so they have souls ascribed to them. But this "soul" again is regarded as nothing more than "that which breathes" (B D B) in any being. A kindred form of life to that of fish is that of birds. Each type has its special element. The polel form ye'opkepk is intensive and so implies: birds shall "fly back and forth." Their element is described as being "above the ground across the face of the firmament of the heavens." The firmament is regarded as having a face, that is a side turned toward and, as we say, "facing" the earth. Across this the birds are to disport themselves. Sherets used in reference to the fish is a graphically descriptive term. All forms of life that love to move in continual agitation through one another, like shoals of fish and the like, are involved. This pronounced gregarious instinct marks these creatures to this day. By this work the emptiness (bohu) of the heavens and the waters is cancelled.