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De Moor VIII:24: The First Day, Part 1

Moreover, our AUTHOR is going to give us a delineation of the Work of the Hexameron according to the narration of Moses, Genesis 1, which he observes to be almost completely taken up in the description of the Creation of Bodies; and the narration of which he is unwilling to be wrested through mere Philosophical Hypotheses, which, how it is done by some, has already been explained in the preceding §:  but at the same time it is readily apparent that this is altogether inappropriate, since concerning the manner and order of the Creation nothing certain is evident by the light of nature alone, but only by the divine narration of Moses.  For whatever reason manifests concerning the divine manner of operation, that either is to be deduced à priori from the altogether perfect nature of the Creator, or is to be concluded à posteriori from the observed constitution of that work.  Neither will loose the matter here.  For, 1.  if you have regard to God, His independent Liberty and supreme Dominion over all things, conjoined both with infinite Wisdom and with infinite Power, do not allow us to infer any method of Creation, that it might not be able to be equally easy and ready to the Creator in a thousand other ways.  2.  Neither does the readily perceivable arrangement of the Universe help.  For, whatever manner of Origin you assign (provided that it is not manifestly opposed to the divine Perfection, nor to the arrangement of today’s World, in the phenomena readily perceivable in it), it, on account of the complete Freedom of God, just now mentioned, in the production of works outside Himself, is able to appear almost equally probable:  at least there is no necessity of it, so that it ought to be considered certain and indubitable.  A fair number of vestiges of the Mosaic narrative concerning the Creation are related by GROTIUS out of Gentile Writers, de Veritate Religionis Christianæ, book I, § 16.



After the likeness of a most ample commentary upon the works of the Hexameron are able to be considered, both GIROLAMO ZANCHI’S Operum tomus tertius, which treats de Operibus Dei intra Spatium Sex Dierum creatis; and VOETIUS’ Disputationes de Creatione, which are found in his Disputationum theologicarum, part I, pages 552-881, to which are added his Problemata de Creatione, Disputationum theologicarum, part V, pages 148-241.

Now, according to Moses,

 

On the first day, God created the Heavens, the Earth, and light;

On the second, He spreads a Space, a separation of Waters;

On the third, separating the Waves, He gives Grass to the fields;

On the fourth, He creates the Sun, the Moon, and shining Stars;

On the fifth, He gave Fish, and every sort of Bird;

On the sixth, He gave Animals, and Man, whom God Himself

Constructed:  thence on the seventh light shined, the Rest from work.

 

God, on the first day, created,

1.  Heaven and Earth, Genesis 1:1, on which passage our AUTHOR does not think that a Summary of the things to be said thereafter is set forth, as many maintain, not only some of the Fathers and certain celebrated Pontifical Writers with Eugubinus, but also many of ours, among whom are GIROLAMO ZANCHI, de Operibus Dei, book I, chapter II, and DAVID PAREUS:  but our AUTHOR, following the Ancients and a great many More Recent Men, thinks to be found here only the first Work of the first Day, after which follow the others distributed through the Six Days.  For which makes, α.  the observation of CALOVIUS, that Moses exhibited a summary of the six-days’ work, not at the beginning of the book of Genesis, but after the completion of the treatment of the ἑξαημέρου/ hexameron, Genesis 2:1.  Neither is it to be supposed, says he, that he wanted a summary to be included in so compendious a description both at the beginning and at the end of the Hexameron κατὰ ταυτολογίαν, tautologically.  β.  The scope of Moses, who wanted to deliver to us in this Chapter the first origins of all things, not just with respect to form, but with respect to matter also.  Whence it was not sufficient for him, to introduce God as the one who had at length merely reduced all things already existing into a better condition and order.  Which, nevertheless, Moses is discovered to have done, if in his first words is contained, not the first work of God, but a summary of all the following works; contrariwise, we will find here, with His first work posited first, the very first production of all things and the refinement of the same, to the glory of God.  γ.  The terms Heavens and Earth were not restricted to the form of these alone, to the exclusion of matter, but rather they principally designate the matter of substance, of which the work of Heaven and Earth is made up:  which ought especially to have place here, where the first divine production of all things is overtly treated, and the refinement of the same is then subjoined.  δ.  As the word ‎בְּרֵאשִׁית, in the beginning, is here posited most absolutely, and is repeated in the New Testament in John 1:1, so it is to be understood absolutely concerning the very first moment of all successive duration, in opposition to the the six following days:  if in this altogether absolute sense the word בְּרֵאשִׁית, in the beginning, is taken, this verse will not able to be referred to all the works of the six days, but there is to be halting here in the first beginning of the same.  ε.  When Moses in verse 2 proceeds, and the earth was without form and void, he supposes the existence of a disordered Earth, yet not of itself and from eternity, but by divine production; which, we find it so aptly and clearly expressed in verse 1, with which verse 2 coheres as tightly as possible, one ought not to be unwilling to see here, but to acknowledge the glory of God, most becomingly illustrated by Moses, when after the production of that Mass by God in the Beginning of all time he most aptly subjoins the subsequent most elegant formation of the Earth performed by the same God:  see our AUTHOR’S Exercitationes Textuales I, Part V, § 5, 6.


Those things that are objected on behalf of the contrary opinion you are able to find reviewed and resolved by our AUTHOR in the same Exercitation just now cited, § 3, 9.


But among those that halt before the first work of Creation in Genesis 1:1, it is yet asked, what comes to be understood by the name of the Heavens and the Earth?  1.  Many halt here before the Visible World, with the terraqueous globe understood by Earth and only its circuit understood by Heavens, in the place of the Birds and Clouds and of the Stars, with the exclusion of the Empyreal Heaven.  At which time this whole mass is to be regarded as confused in the first beginning of its production, just as its adornment and arrangement in all its parts are narrated by Moses.  While Moses, making no mention of the Empyreal Heaven and of Angelic Spirits, because his scope has regard to men, yet does not thus deny either the existence or Creation of the same, made, not at some earlier time, but at the same time; according to the opinion of many, against which other rashly rail with respect as much to the Heavens as to Angels.  Most nearly to this class of opinions, that of the Most Illustrious PIETER VAN MUSSCHENBROEK[1] is able to be referred, who by the Heavens and the Earth in Genesis 1:1 understands Space and Bodies, and believes that space was the chief creation of God, so that it might receive bodies, and they might be moved in it, Institutionibus Physicis, chapter III, § 133, page 56; but against whom disputing concerning Space see the Most Illustrious HORTHEMELS[2] in his Monito subjoined to the Disputationi of the Illustrious GISBERT BONNET[3] de Notitia eorum, quæ Mens humana nec directe nec positive cognoscere potest, K, in which he teaches that Space is the Where of things, a non-being or being of reason, but what is conceived by us by relation to an actual or possible body; pertaining to those simple affections of Reason, which only denote a certain peculiar mode of being or operating, which is able to be affirmed concerning Being with a foundation, and lead unto into a more distinct apprehension of Being.  2.  Not a few others extend the term Heavens more broadly, and dare not to exclude here from that appellation the Supreme and principal Heaven with its Inhabitants, more than in many other passages, so that here they might find the whole Universe of Visible and Invisible Creatures.  Which opinion commends itself more than the former, so that the narrative of Moses might be all the fuller, and its expression all the more apt for the use of many other passages.  3.  Yet our AUTHOR prefers that opinion, which here restricts the name of Heavens to the Supreme Heaven alone with its spiritual Inhabitants, and which extends the appellation of Earth, on the other hand, to those Visible Heavens, Aerial and Starry, as made from the inferior terrestrial globe and for the use of it with its own light, according to the progression of the Mosaic narrative, verses 3, 6, 14, etc.  In favor of which opinion, besides the Papists, are cited by our AUTHOR in the Exercitation cited, § 7, TREMELLIUS[4] and JUNIUS, PISCATOR,[5] COCCEIUS, JACOB ALTING[6] (HEINRICH ALTING is able to be added, Scriptorum Heidelbergensium, tome 1, part I, page 81, tome 2, problem XVIII, page 78, and also Theologia Elenctica nova, locus V, problem V, page 318); and he says that the principal reason why our ATUHOR embraces this opinion is that thus there is the greatest opposition of the two principal parts, while one may not doubt of the creation of the Supreme Heaven with the Angels and that it is certainly most worthy of the name Heavens:  and the Aerial and Starry Heaven, both of which Moses then treats, are referred totally by Moses to the Earth, previously vast and dark, then variously adorned above and below.


If You Should Object, α.  that the title of Heavens in the subsequent context is manifestly bestowed upon the Aerial and Ethereal Heaven, verses 8, 14, 20:


Our AUTHOR Responds, that initially the term of the first supreme part was undivided, and then communicated by God with the superior part of the inferior mass separated, even if this be not understood in the first place, even because of the signification of the termשָׁמַיִם / Heavens, whence it is derived.  Whence with other Ancients THEODORET distinguishes the Heaven of the second day from that of the first day, Question XI in Genesi, opera, tome I, pages 9, 10.


If You Should Object, β.  that the Aeriel and Ethereal Expanse appear either uniquely designated or comprehended under the name of Heavens, where they are opposed to the Earth, Genesis 2:1, 4, etc.


Our AUTHOR Responds, it is not at all strange, that after the absolute Creation of the Expanse, made between the Heavens and the Earth, and the name of Heavens communicated with that by God Himself, that very thing either is understood sometimes also by the name of Heaven or Heavens out of the context and with words added, or under that term is comprehended in opposition to the Earth, strictly so called, together with the Supreme Heaven:  while also in many other places it is either more or less doubtful, whether or not the Supreme Heaven alone is more truly indicated, for example, Isaiah 66:1; Psalm 115:3, 15, 16; 2:4; 14:2; 1 Kings 8:30,34, 36, 43, 45, 49.


If Your Should Object, γ.  that, on the other hand, the term Earth in no place appears to be applicable to the Expanse.


Our AUTHOR Responds, that the term Earth, taken more strictly after the separation of the Expanse from it, does indeed signify our Terraqueous Globe; indeed taken even more strictly, after the distinct gathering of the upper and lower Waters, denotes the Dry part of our globe, verses 9-11:  but that the same term, before that completed separation of the ruder and darker substance, was no less able to be bestowed upon the fiery and aerial parts mixed and immediately conjoined, than upon the watery, as it appears also to have been done in verse 2; and that to the Earth even more than the supreme Heaven, which sort of opposition is here found, it is allowable and fitting to refer the Expanse with all its splendor and abundance, as resting upon the former and also especially intended for its use.


Therefore, in the first moment of time and of the first νυχθημέρου/night-day, God made, α.  the Supreme Heaven, ‎אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם, which term the Jews derive, either from מַיִם שָׁם, Waters there, because they are the upper Waters in the Expanse, which etymology Michlol Jophi has on Genesis 1:8; but then Philologists observe, that it ought to be read, not שָׁמַיִם, but שַׁמְמַיִם or שַׁמַּיִם.  Or they derive it from אֵשׁ/fire and מַיִם/water, because the Heavens have both these elements mixed together with them, as passages out of the Talmud and Rabbi Bechai[7] in BUXTORF’S[8] Lexico Hebraico prove; but thus according to the Philologists in the place of שָׁמַיִם ought to be read אִשְׁמַיִם:  and both Etymologies only square with the visible Heavens.  Or from שָׁאָה, to be astounded, and מַיִם/water, which likewise BUXTORF confirms out of the Jews, because in an astounding manner the Waters remained suspended there, until they be allowed to fall at the command of God:  but then, say they, in the construct, in the place of שְׁמֵי, would remain שָֽׁמֵי, because the א is concealed in that ָ ; and it renders the same unsuitable concerning the term thus especially regarding the inferior Heavens.  Some among the Christians refer it to שָׁמַם, to be stupefied, because the Heavens are a stupendous work of God, which ought to draw each one to admiration and stupefaction:  but thus also the lost radical ם would perhaps have been compensated for by a dagesh (ּ ).  And so many, and we also, are find satisfaction in the opinion of Ibn Ezra, who derives שָׁמַיִם/heavens from the Arabic سَمَا, in the place of سَمَوَ and سَمِيَ, to be high, to project, and to raise, to lift up, whence also the term descended among the Arabs, that denotes Heaven and whatever covers us above, like the roof of a house, clouds, etc.; and this is certain, that the notion of altitude is most aptly agrees with all Heavens, both visible, and especially the third Heaven.  While this term, with respect to the form שָׁמַיִם, according to the Most Illustrious SCHULTENS,[9] Institutionibus ad Fundamenta Linguæ Hebrææ, pages 172, 173, is not a noun dual, but plural, in the termination used among the Chaldeans in derivatives from verbs quiescent in the third ה, the origin of which is י; so that שָׁמֶה/high was an uncommon singular, from שָׁמַי, to be high; which plural is suited to signify the several Heavens.  CALOVIUS, Bibliis Illustratis, on Genesis 1:1, tome I, page 219b, is in agreement with the Most Illustrious VRIEMOET, Adnotationibus ad Dicta Classica Veteris Testamenti, tome I, chapter I, page 52.  Nevertheless, שָׁמַיִם is rather duel, from שָׁמֶה/ high, as מַחֲנַיִם/Mahanaim, Two Camps, is from מַחֲנֶה/camp, Genesis 32:1, 2.  With every Heaven (even the third) called by the dual noun from the two visible Heavens, which also go simply by the name of Heavens, Hebrews 4:14; 7:26; Ephesians 4:10; just as also names are wont commonly to be taken from external things.  By OUTHOF, in Bibliotheca Bremensi, classis VIII, fascicle I, chapter VIII, § 7-12, the dual number in the term שָׁמַיִם appears to have been acknowledged, but to have been derived from the singular שָׁם/there, which to him is properly a place distant or removed, and so the term שָׁמַיִם denotes two places distant or removed; see the passage.  With respect to both philological questions concerning the term שָׁמַיִם just now considered, compare also BOSKOOP[10] in his Commentarium on Psalm 139:8, pages 298-301.


That Heaven, which Moses relates to have been created in the beginning, Genesis 1:1, is wont to be called the Heaven of Heavens for the sake of distinction, 1 Kings 8:27; Nehemiah 9:6; etc., the Third Heaven, 2 Corinthians 12:2:  and indeed, CHRISTIAN SCHOTANUS observes, in his Diatribe I de Mundo Mosaico, Bibliotheca Sacra, tome I, page 24, that only Heaven, namely, the Supreme Heaven, is properly twofold, is properly called שָׁמַיִם, while the Inferior is called the ‎רָקִיעַ/firmament; but that Inferior Heaven yields to be distinguished by Moses into two regions, when he writes that a lower was placed between the upper and lower waters:  likewise the Supreme, Crystalline and also Empyreal, of which terms JAMES CAPPEL in his Historia Sacra, page 11, makes use:  The third heaven may be called Crystalline and Empyreal.  For, even if it does not have the wild voracity of Fire, nor the instable flux of Water, yet it does have the most purified perfections of both Elements, the φωτιστικὸν/illumination of Fire, and the διαφανὲς/translucence of Water, as far as a creeping thing lying upon the earth is able to babble concerning those things that surpass our sight and capacity.  Of course, Theologians think with some probability, that this Heaven, not produced from any matter, received its essence through such a Creation, that it is able to be called a substance most subtle, most luminous, and liable to no corruption; which they gather from 1 Timothy 6:16; Revelation 21; 22:  while, nevertheless, the passage in 1 Timothy 6:16 is explained by great Interpreters also of the Light of the divine perfections and glory.


That this Heaven was indeed created, we hold from Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 11:10; Psalm 115, in which concerning that Heaven, which belongs to the Lord, in opposition to the Earth, which He gave to the children of men, verse 16, and so concerning the Supreme Heaven, the throne of God, it is said in verse 15, that the Lord created or made this Heaven every bit as much as the Earth; likewise out of Psalm 148:1, 4, in which the Heaven of Heavens, the Supreme Heaven, is expressly enumerated among the things created by God, in comparison with verse 5.  And also out of Genesis 1:1, according to those things that I have already observe above; seeing that the Creation of the Supreme Heaven, verse 1, is most fittingly distinguished from the Creation of the Inferior Heavens mentioned in verses 6-8, lest the same thing be mentioned twice.  Which is to be held against Eugubinus and others, who imagine this Heaven to be Uncreated and God Himself, or divine brightness and glory; in ignorance not knowing how to distinguish between Heaven as God (in comparison with Daniel 4:26 and common expressions of the Jews out of passages of this sort taken in loan, in which by שָׁמַיִם/heaven they are wont to indicate God:  see the Reverend BOSKOOP and the many he cites on Psalm 139:8, pages 315-317, whose exegesis on verses 7-10 of that Psalm, pages 204-420, is able to be esteemed as the fullest and most solid for confirming this argument, which for establishing the Essential Omnipresence of God I was urging more briefly according to the manner of this Compendium from this passage, Chapter IV, § 27, Part I) and the Heaven of God.  Thus Eugubinus in his Cosmopœia on Genesis 1:1, page 29:  The Empyreal Heaven does not appear to be anything other than what Aristotle says, the habitation of God, where there is neither place, nor time, nor anything corruptible.  Therefore, this is not able to be created, etc.  Then, since that is the kingdom of God, it does not appear right that the kingdom of God was not always.  For, the Empyreal Heaven is the divine brightness, which has always necessarily been with God.  To which brightness He admitted the Angels, by His incredible kindness, and pious men, etc.  No other thing is able to be the Empyreal Heaven, that is, the fiery Heaven, except that brightness, being shed by God all around beyond the world, beyond the kingdom of things created and corruptible.  Likewise, on page 200, he promises that he is going to prove, that the Empyreal Heaven was not created:  which he then attempts to accomplish, pages 209-211, where he nevertheless modestly writes, page 211:  This is the Empyreal Heaven, springing, proceeding, and being shed by divinity.  Which I would never say to have been created, being prepared to recant, if I am found to think incorrectly.


But if the things said prove the Creation of the Heaven of Heavens, they show that it is to be referred to the beginning of the first νυχθημέρου/night-day.  The cavils that are moved to the contrary see resolved by CHRISTIAN SCHOTANUS, Bibliothecæ Sacræ, tome I, de Principio Rerum, pages 20, 21; and by HEINRICH ALTING, Theologia problemata nova, locus V, problem V, page 319.


But, says our AUTHOR in his Compendio, whether that first Supreme Heaven was involved in the common Mass, and in the first part of the first νυχθημέρου/night-day was drawn out of it, or was next created separately and in all its own beauty, with Moses being silent, we are ignorant.  That that Supreme Heaven was also at first involved in the one common Mass with the other Creatures, appears to be acknowledged by, among others, GERHARD JOHANN VOSSIUS, disputation I de Creatione, if you compare thesis 5 with thesis 17.  The words of AUGUSTINE, book I de Genesi contra Manichæos, chapter VII, opera, tome I, column 482, are also able to be brought in for comparison, which are AUTHOR cites in Exercitationibus Textualibus I, Part V, § 5, page 9.  But our AUTHOR, whom we were just now hearing profess his ignorance on this matter, with the matter more thoroughly examined, Exercitation I, § 8, Part V, pronounces, that by the nexus of the Mosaic narrative, concerning the first divine Creation of the Heavens and the Earth, verse 1, and concerning the unformed desolation of the Earth then to be adorned, verse 2, scarcely a doubt remains, that in the beginning that Supreme Heaven was not at all mixed with the Earth, or featureless like the Earth, but then separated from the Earth set in opposition, in such a way that it received from God all its adornment and splendor together with its production.  Because, 1.  Moses not only named Heaven and Earth distinctly in the narrative of their first Creation, which hence it is not fitting to mix by our decision; but also, 2.  he recorded concerning the Earth alone in opposition to the Heavens previously mentioned, that the former was desolate and formless, and thence through six uninterrupted days at length brought to its perfection.  Which argument our AUTHOR judges to be far more plausible than that, which others seek to the contrary from the Earth, at first produced in imperfection, as if for this reason the former Heaven also was to be understood to have been desolate according to this pattern, since one is not at all permitted to augment the narrative of Moses in this way according to our will.  CHRYSOSTOM, Homily II on Genesis, opera, tome 4, page 12, gives a twofold reason, why God created Heaven immediately perfect, but the Earth formless:  1.  Heaven, says he, He created immediately perfect, lest anyone conclude that it was from want of power, that the Earth was not immediately perfect.  2.  But God at first formed the Earth rude and disordered, lest man, because of the innumerable uses that the Earth furnishes for him, should esteem it above its deserving, or should consider such good things as received from the Earth itself; but he should rather ascend to God, who in the beginning produced the Earth out of Nothing and further refined it by degrees.


Moreover, that this Supreme Heaven, Created on the first Day, is also verily Corporeal and Local, High above the remaining visible Heavens, we affirm and defend against the Ubiquitarians among the Lutherans, who concerning the Supreme Heaven hold, that it is Uncreated, God, or at least the state of eternal felicity; which is without body and locality, being everywhere, and similar things, which Johann Behm, Professor at Königsberg,[11] defended in his little book,[12] acknowledging also before the meeting on the Feast of the Ascension, that he does not know what or where the Supreme Heaven is.  Which things he had drawn from the writings of Brentius[13] and Jakob Andreæ,[14] who for the grace of Consubstantiation, and lest they be hurt by the argument from the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, advanced against His Ubiquity, corrupted the sense of this article, and destroyed Heaven itself, insofar as it was in them.  Whence Peter Martyr[15] to Bullinger,[16] who was comforting the former, being about to depart from the land of the living, with the saying of Paul concerning the citizenship of believers, which is in Heaven,[17] is said to have responded in grave jest:  But not in the Heaven of Brentius, which is nowhere.  Just as CALOVIUS also on Genesis 1:1, Bibliis Illustratis, tome I, page 219a, has it as the invention of the Calvinists that that Heaven is Local above the firmament:  see HEINRICH ALTING, Theologia problemata nova, locus V, problem V, page 320.  Concerning Brentius’ fourfold Heaven, of majesty or power, of grace, of glory, and of the wrath of God, or concerning the presence of God in the World governed by Himself, the Church militant, in the presence of the Angels and the blessed and in which is Christ, and in the presence of the Demons and reprobate men at last, compare SPANHEIM’S Vindicatis Evangelicis, opera, tome 3, columns 491, 492, on Matthew 18:10.  You might say that FREDERIC ADOLPHUS LAMPE makes common cause with the Lutherans on this matter, both in Exercitation VI on Psalm 45, § 4, page 230:  “I add from Isaiah 66:1, where Heaven is called His throne.  For the Heaven, concerning which most here and elsewhere most frequent mention is made, is not some empyreal Heaven exalted beyond all the summits of stars.  Is there anyone that might demonstrate to us some such fixed seat of the blessed, either from nature, or from Scripture?  Or if it be the case, which nevertheless is not to be supposed without some evident revelation, who will confine the divine majesty in its circuit?  The mystical Heaven is the Church, and the, not so much place, as sublime state, of it is expressed, even in those expressions of Scripture that are wont commonly to be employed concerning some fixed seat of the blessed:  the examination of which hypothesis I reserve for another place.  When, therefore, the Prophet calls Heaven God’s throne, he understands the Church:”  both in his Commentario on John 3:13, tome I, page 594, and on Psalm 45, Exercitation VI, § 4, “I would advise, that I differ from the opinion of those that by the Heaven of the blessed understand a certain place exalted above all the heights of this world; and I would show that by this phrase is expressed, not so much a place, as a heavenly state:  much more do I divorce myself from those that assign Heaven to God as some local residence, when He is said to be in the Heavens:”  and on page 595, “Now, since שָׁמַיִם/heavens is dual, a twofold sort of Heavens ought to be distinguished.  For they are either the natural Heavens or the mystical, even indeed in such a way that each is in turn able to be considered as double.  For the natural Heavens are ethereal and aeriel; the mystical Heavens are of the Church triumphant and militant, etc.:”  to which add what things are found in his Commentario on John 14:2, tome 3, pages 98-102.  But on this opinion of Lampe carefully consider the nervous strictures of NICOLAAS HARTMAN, who judges that opinion, not only ἄγραφον/unwritten, but also dangerous, Huysbybel on John 14:2, pages 278-280.


a.  That this Heaven was Created, we have already proven above.


b.  But that this Heaven is also verily a Corporeal Place, we prove, 1.  from this, that it is compared with the inferior Heavens as of the same nature, when it is called the Heaven of Heavens, and similarly the Third Heaven, 1 Kings 8:27; 2 Corinthians 12:2.  2.  From this, that it is wont to go under various names of Corporeal Places, πόλεως/city in Hebrews 11:10; πατρίδος/country/fatherland in Hebrews 11:14; οἰκίας/house, in which are μοναὶ πολλαί, many mansions, where the Lord Jesus ἑτοιμάζει τόπον, prepares a place, for His own, John 14:2, 3, on which passage consult HARTMAN in the place cited; παραδείσου/paradise in 2 Corinthians 12:4; οἰκοδομῆς ἐκ Θεοῦ, a building of God, οἰκίας ἀχειροποιήτου ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, a house not made with hands in the heavens, in 2 Corinthians 5:1:  Scripture does not indicate to us that all those Passages are to be interpreted improperly, as are those things asserted concerning God, that He is His people’s Tower, fortified House, high Citadel, Rock.  3.  Contrariwise, Scripture directs us to understand these things concerning a true Place, since that Heaven is set forth to us as destined to be the receptacle, not only of blessed souls, but also of Bodies glorious resurrected:  but extended Bodies are only able to subsist in a space truly local, which they occupy and fill.  But thus Enoch, Moses, Elijah, and Christ in their glorified bodies already at present occupy the Third Heaven; but the same mansion is also destined for all believers, as, in addition to the Passages already cited, it is evident out of 1 Thessalonians 4:17.


c.  That the same Place is Higher than whatever other things and the visible Heavens themselves, is evident; since, 1.  it is said to be ἄνω/ above, and as the highest it is set in opposition to this lower earth, Colossians 3:1, 2; Isaiah 66:1, which passage LAMPE does indeed attempt to turn in another direction in the words cited above, but against whom consult HARTMAN in the place already cited.  This heaven is called the ὕψιστα/highest, ὕψος, on high, Luke 2:14, where it is likewise set in opposition to the Earth, Luke 24:49.  2.  God, dwelling in Heaven, is said to dwell in the heights, on high, most highly, Psalm 113:5, 6; Deuteronomy 4:39; Job 16:19; James 1:17.  3.  Christ, ascending into Heaven, is said to have ascended on high, made higher than the visible Heavens, Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:10; Hebrews 7:26; 1:3.


But, if this Heaven has its own determined situation above the visible Heavens, it is not at all able to be said to be Everywhere.


The Objections to the contrary are trifling.  For example, a.  in Matthew 18:10, 1.  the Angels are called οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτῶν, the angels of them, more specifically, τῶν μικρῶν τούτων, of these little ones, not that they were actually always present with them, but that they were destined for their service.  Hence, 2.  the same are said ἐν οὐρανοῖς διὰ παντὸς βλέπειν τὸ πρόσωπον τοῦ Πατρός, in heaven always to behold the face of the Father:  not that they, ministering to the little ones on earth, at the same time behold the face of the Father in the heavens; but that Heaven is their ordinary place of dwelling.


b.  On the passages cited in the second Objection, 1.  Heaven, as the house and sanctuary not made with hands, is in opposition to every earthly structure made and adorned with human hands:  since it is well-known, that God, as a Spirit, does not have hands, and works in a far more perfect manner.  Or, 2.  it is not treated of the Supreme Heaven, but of the human nature of Christ, and its miraculous workmanship, as it is in Hebrews 9:11, compared with Hebrews 8:2:  on both passages see, see the marginal Notes in the Dutch Version.


c.  The Conflagration of the Heavens, which they object in addition, as our AUTHOR rightly cautions, is extended by no necessity to the Supreme Heaven, nor does it imply substantial dissolution; see below, Chapter XXXIV, § 30:  if it might happen, which we nevertheless do not admit, it would no more overturn the truth of the created bodily place with respect to the Supreme Heaven, than with respect to the Visible Heavens, but it would rather imply, that a subject of the Conflagration is granted; with the new Heavens and the new Earth, however, being about to succeed in the place of the former, 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1.


d.  That they themselves dismiss here other things wont to be moved concerning the Ascension of Christ, our AUTHOR indicates; for the examining of which there will be a more advantageous place below, Chapter XXI, § 28.  Against the Lutherans, consult WENDELIN’S[18] Exercitationes theologicas XXII, which concerns the empyreal Heaven.


β.  At the same time with the Supreme Heaven, God in the first moment created ‎אֵת הָאָרֶץ, the earth; which term, as Terra/Earth is perhaps derived from terendo/treading/grinding, so also by some is derived from רָצַץ, to tread or to crush, because the Earth is trodden upon and trampled by its inhabitants:  others derive it from רוּץ, to run, because of that heavenly, spherical body, which by a perpetual course continually orbits the Earth.  But, as we have seen שָׁמַיִם/heavens to be quite aptly derived from a verb, which means to be high, so that the Heavens might be names for their Height; so some also without absurdity seek the origin of אֶרֶץ/ Earth from an Arabism, and judge that the Earth was thus named from lowliness in opposition to the Heavens, namely, from the verb ارص, to be humble, to be in a low place:  see CALOVIUS, Bibliis Illustratis on Genesis 1:1, page 219b; OUTHOF, in the passage cited from Bibliotheca Bremensi, classis VIII, fascicle I, chapter VIII, § 9.  In verses 1 and 2, the word אֶרֶץ/Earth is taken in the broadest possible sense for this whole Inferior Globe, from which the Expanse (also created in common in its material now on the First Day), Light, Earth, and Waters afterwards sprung forth; in opposition also to the stricter signification of the אֶרֶץ/earth occurring in verses 10-12 and thereafter; it is evident from those things that have already been disputed on this above in this same §.


Why that אֶרֶץ/earth is said to be ‎תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ, without form and void, is explained in § 14, being without a more polished and pleasing form, but also all ornament and elegance, which things were added on the following Days:  but also hitherto devoid of inhabitants.  At the same time, a vast and enormous mass, without bottom, as it were; hence that prodigious Terraqueous Body was called תִּהוֹם, the Deep, the Waters of which were mixed with the Earth, and were enveloping the Earth on all sides, Psalm 104:6.[19]  And Darkness was adjoined to tis through the first part of the first νυχθημέρου/night-day, which was constituting the first Evening with the following night, from that רֵאשִׁית/beginning, in which God was creating Heaven and Earth, unto the first Morning following the dawn by the created Light.


[1] Pieter Van Musschenbroek (1692-1761) was a Dutch Reformed scientist and philosopher, serving as Professor of Mathematics and Philosophy, and then of Medicine, at Duisburg (1719-1723), and Professor of Philosophy, first at Utrecht (1723-1739), and then at Leiden (1739-1761).

[2] Johannes Horthemels (1698-1776) was a Dutch Reformed theologian and philosopher, serving as Professor of Philosophy at Utrecht (1742-1776).  He was among the last to take Aristotle’s part against the rising Cartesianism.

[3] Gijsbert Bonnet (1723-1805) was a Dutch Reformed Theologian; he served as Professor of Theology at Utrecht (1761-1804).

[4] John Immanuel Tremellius (1510-1580) converted from Judaism to Christianity and quickly embraced the principles of the Reformation.  He taught Hebrew at Strasburg (1541) and at Cambridge (succeeding Paul Fagius in 1549), and served as Professor of Old Testament at Heidelberg (1561).  Together with Franciscus Junius, he produced a major Latin translation of the Scriptures.

[5] John Piscator (1546-1626) was a learned Protestant divine.  He held the position of Professor of Divinity at Herborn (1584).  His German version was the first, complete and independent, since that of Martin Luther.  Through his career, his views changed from those of the Lutherans to those of the Calvinists, and from those of the Calvinists to those of the Arminians.  He remains widely regarded for his abilities as a commentator (Commentarii in Omnes Libros Veteris et Novi Testamenti).

[6] Jacob Alting (1618-1679) was a Dutch Reformed Theologian and Hebraist.  At Groningen he served as Professor of Hebrew (1643-1667), and then as Professor of Theology (1667-1677).

[7] Bahya ben Asher was a thirteenth century Spanish Rabbi and scholar.  He produced a commentary on the Torah, which takes into account the literal meaning of the text, its logical and philosophical implications, traditional Rabbinic interpretation, and a Kabbalistic/mystical interpretation of text, following Nahmanides.

[8] Johann Buxtorf, Sr. (1564-1629) was a renowned Reformed Hebraist, known as the “Master of the Rabbis”.  He served as Professor of Hebrew at Basel from 1590 to 1629.

[9] Albert Schultens (1686-1750) was a Reformed scholar and philologist.  He served as Professor of Hebrew at Franeker (1713-1729), and Professor of Oriental Languages at Leiden (1732-1750).  In his day, he was the pre-eminent teacher of Arabic in Europe.

[10] Johannes Boskoop (1714-1772) was a Dutch Reformed minister.

[11] Johann Behm (1578-1648) was a German Lutheran theologian, serving as Professor of Theology at Königsberg (1612-1648).

[12] Decas problematum de glorioso dei and beatorum coelo, nonnullisque gloriosorum corporum dotibus.

[13] Johannes Brenz (1499-1570) was a German Lutheran theologian and reformer.  He served as Professor of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew at Heidelberg (1519-1522).

[14] Jakob Andreæ (1528-1590) was a German Lutheran Reformer and Theologian.  Although he worked for unity among Christians, he maintained a sharp polemic against Reformed doctrine.

[15] Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562) began his career as an Augustinian monk, preacher, and lecturer in Italy.  Through personal study of the Scripture and the Reformers, he came to embrace the Protestant doctrines.  He settled in England and served as Professor of Divinity at Oxford and as Canon of Christ Church.  Unhappily, he was forced to flee from England as well, when Mary Tudor took the throne.  He settled in Zurich and became Professor of Divinity there.

[16] Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575) was a Swiss divine, the successor of Zwingli in Zurich.  He endeavored to unite the Lutherans and Calvinists.  Among Bullinger’s many written productions are the Second Helvetic Confession, the Decades, and, with Calvin, the Consensus Tigurinus.

[17] Philippians 3:20:  “For our conversation is in heaven (ἡμῶν γὰρ τὸ πολίτευμα ἐν οὐρανοῖς ὑπάρχει); from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ…”

[18] Marcus Friedrich Wendelin (1584-1652) was a Reformed Theologian and educator.  He served as Rector at Zerbst from 1610 to 1652.

[19] Psalm 104:6:  “Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment (תְּ֭הוֹם כַּלְּב֣וּשׁ כִּסִּית֑וֹ):  the waters stood above the mountains.”

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