The Opening of Genesis Part III.

And the Spirit of God moved over the waters
(c) 2013 Bart A. Mazzetti §

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TEXTS. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.
2 ἡ δὲ γῆ ἦν ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος καὶ σκότος ἐπάνω τῆς ἀβύσσου καὶ πνεῦμα θεοῦ ἐπεφέρετο ἐπάνω τοῦ ὕδατος

2 Terra autem erat inanis et vacua, et tenebræ erant super faciem abyssi: et spiritus Dei ferebatur super aquas. 1:2. And the earth was void and empty [or “invisible and shapeless”, LXX], and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters. TOPICS. Ruach Elohim as meaning “A Mighty Wind” On “the Spirit of God” in relation to the life that was in the word: a spiritual meaning of that ‘life’. On certain natural phenomena as pointing to the existence of God. The order of nature as revealing the providence of God. On “impressing vital power”: the Spirit of God moving over the waters.
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1. On The Spirit of God: Ruach Elohim as meaning “A Mighty Wind”. Cf. “The Bible: Genesis 1,” Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies:1
And a Mighty Wind Hebrew Text Myhla jwrw - and a mighty wind The Hebrew word hwr can mean “breath, wind, or spirit” (BDB, 924). Its most basic meaning is “blowing, air in motion, wind” (NIDOTTE, 3:1073). To the ancient Hebrews breath, wind, and spirit were the same (Gaster, 1969, 5). There is no article in the Hebrew which indicates “wind” not “The Spirit” as well as the following Hebrew participle tpjrm denoting motion. It is interesting to note that the Hebrew and Akkadian word for “day” mwy and umum, respectively, can mean “wind” (Hildegard and Lewy, 1943, 5). The word <yhla can also be used as a superlative describing the wind, therefore meaning “a mighty wind” or “raging storm.” Moscati and Freeman argue against taking it as an elative because of the context (1947, 305-10; 1996, 9-13). The only other exact Hebrew phrase with vav mentioned in the Masorah is in 2 Chronicles 24:20 where the Spirit of God comes upon Zechariah (Kelley, Mynatt, and Crawford, 1998, 113). There are six other references listed, Gen. 41:38, Ex. 31:3;35:31; Num. 24:2; Ezek. 11:24; and 2 Chr. 15:1. Psalm 33:6 says, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth” (NIV). Here “word” and “breath” are used in parallel. Job 26:13 states, “By his breath the skies became fair” (NIV). Clearly, in this passage the wind which is considered God’s breath is blowing the clouds away causing fair skies. LXX Text pneuma qeou - a wind from God The LXX has translated the Hebrew phrase as pneuma qeou with no article as the Hebrew which seems to indicate that “a wind from God” was meant (Wevers, 1993, 2). 2 Aramaic Texts ywy mdq nm ajwrw - and the wind from before Yahweh Grossfeld in his notes states that ajwr means “wind” not “spirit” even though it has an article in the Targum Onqelos (1988, 42). In the Targum Neofiti I McNamara translates, “and a spirit of mercy from before the Lord was blowing over the surface of the waters” (1992, 52). In the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan Maher translates, “and a merciful wind from before God was blowing over the surface of the water” (1992, 16). This same phase “merciful wind” occurs in Genesis 8:1 to dry the flood waters.
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(http://www.bibleandscience.com/bible/books/genesis/genesis1.htm [9/16/08]) Needless to say, as the author’s own remarks make clear, inasmuch as the same word “can mean ‘breath,’ ‘wind,’ or ‘spirit,’” the absence of an article here in no way supports his restrictive claim, since the wind moving over the waters, suggesting a breath of God’s, by that very fact may also designate His Spirit. Cf. Summa Theol., Ia, q. 36, art. 1, c., where St. Thomas explains the word’s fittingness as a name for the Third Person of the Trinity looking to its “proper signification”: “ For the name spirit in things corporeal seems to signify impulse and motion; for we call the breath and the wind by the term spirit . Now it is a property of love to move and impel the will of the lover towards the object loved” (tr. English Dominican Fathers) (emphasis added); the Third Person being understood to proceed by way of love.

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In the Fragment-Targums Klein translates, “and a merciful wind from before the Lord was blowing over the surface of the waters” (1980, 3). The Targums seem to believe by their translation that “a wind from the Lord was blowing” not the “Spirit of God” moving. Jewish Literature Josephus in Jewish Antiquities writes, pneumatoj d’ authn anwqev epiqeonyoj , meaning “a wind (or breath) from above was moving over it.” Framxman notes, “The alteration of the ruah `elohim to a breath from above (anothen)’ cannot help call to mind the similar effort employed by the Targumim to interpret this ‘breath’ as something a bit apart and distinct from God himself” (1979, 39). Philo renders it “life-breath” and comments, “The one he entitles the ‘breath of God’, because breath is most life-giving, and of life God is the author” (On The Creation, 30; LCL, 23). In Genesis Rabbah Rabban Gamaliel understands ruah as “wind” referring to Amos 4:13 (I.IX; Neusner, 1985, 13). R. Judah b. R. Simon understands it in light of Genesis 8:1 “And God made a wind pass over the earth” (Ibid, 23). The Babylonian Talmud in Hagigah 12a translates, “And the wind of God hovered over the face of the waters” (Epstein, 1935, 63) Was Blowing Upon the Surface of the Waters Hebrew Text mymh ynp-lu tpjrm - was blowing upon the surface of the waters Hebrew participle tpjrm, indicates continuous action. The root word pjr occurs only two other times in the OT (Deut. 32:11, and Jer. 23:9). Deuteronomy 32:11 says, “like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers ( pjr) over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions” (NIV). There is some debate whether pjr means brooding, hovering, soaring, or violent flapping in this verse. This is the same verb form as in Genesis 1:2, and both are describing the creative activity of the spirit. Some have suggested that the spirit is like a bird brooding over the world egg from which the earth hatched. Gaster sees here the ancient idea of the wind-bird where the wind is described as a bird-god (1969, 5). The wind in the OT is sometimes described as having wings (2 Sam. 22:11; Psa. 18:11, 104:3; Hos. 4:19). Jeremiah 23:9 says, “My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine” (NIV). Here pjr clearly means shake or tremble. Stadelmann concludes, “The meaning of the verb rhp is the same in three places in which it occurs, and it indicates in all cases violent, not gentle motion” (1970, 15). Ugaritic Literature The cognate word for pjr in Ugaritic is rhp. It occurs in Aqhat which says, “above him eagles hovered, a flock of hawks looked down, [Among] the eagles Anat hovered” (KTU 1.18 IV.31-2; Gibson, 113; COS, 350).

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In the Baal-Yam Cycle it seems that Baal uses the winds to defeat the sea. It says, “You’ll whirl in Ba’lu hand, like a hawk in his fingers. Scatter (him) O Mighty [BA’lu]” (COS, 249, KTU 1.2). Akkadian Literature In the Disputation Between Bird and Fish it says: Then came Bird, lion-faced, and with an eagle’s talons, Winging towards its nest. It stops in mid-flight; Like a hurricane whirling in the midst of heaven, it circles in the sky; Bird, looking about for its nest spreads open wings and legs. (COS 1997, 583). Here the bird soaring around is described as “a hurricane whirling.” It is not a gentle breeze. In the Legend of Adapa, Adapa was mad at the South wind for capsizing his boat and said, “I will break thy wi[ng]! Just as he had said (this) with his mouth, The wing of the sou[th Wi]nd was broken. For seven days The [south win]d blew not upon the land” (ANET, 101). In Enuma Elish Marduk uses the winds to help him defeat the monster Tiamat. It says, “He brought forth Imhullu the Evil Wind, the Whirlwind, the Hurricane, The Fourfold Wind, the Sevenfold Wind, the Cyclone, the Matchless Wind; Then he sent forth the winds he had brought forth, the seven of them” (ANET, 66). Jewish Literature Genesis Rabbah says, “The spirit of God blew is not what is written, but rather, The spirit of God hovered like a bird which is flying about and flapping its wings, and the wings barely touch [the nest]” (II.IV.4.E; Neusner, 35). [N.B. As the reader will observe, the text continues with Tertullian and other Christian writers, giving every indication of an omission in the original web page here. (B.A.M.)] Tertullian lived from 145 to 220 AD. Later in life he became a Montanist. His writing Against Hermogenes is written against the view that matter is eternal. God did not use preexistent matter to create the world (Roberts and Donaldson 1981, Vol.3, 477-502). He also says that the word “earth” does not mean “matter” (Ibid., 490-1). Basil follows the LXX saying the earth was invisible for which he gives two reasons. First, the earth was submerged under water and therefore could not be seen. Second, light had not been created so the earth lying in darkness could not be seen. Darkness was unlighted air (1963, 22). He views a literal earth that was created but submerged contrary to Ambrose. Basil sees the Holy Spirit of God stirring above the waters with warm and fostering care like a bird brooding over its eggs (Ibid., 31). Ambrose uses the theory of atoms to explain the matter called “earth” in Genesis 1:1-2. Greek philosophy used similar terms to “invisible” and “unformed” to describe matter (aneideos, amorfos, apoios; Van Winden, 208). Augustine concludes, “Hence, all these expressions, whether heaven and earth, or the earth invisible and without order, and the abyss with darkness, or the water over which was borne the Spirit of God, are names for unformed matter” (Against the Manichees, Book 1:12; 1991, 60).

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By William Hallo. Collegeville: Liturgical Press. But according to the holy writers. lest it should be supposed that God loved of necessity the works He was to produce. Leiden: Brill. “The Wind in Biblical and Phoenician Cosmogony.T. Van Winden. Saint Jerome’s Hebrew Questions on Genesis. Ambrose’s Interpretation of the Concept of Matter. C. Michael. Isidore. 3. “In place of what is written in our codices as moved. 1938. Gibson.” the air or the wind. Trans. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Philo. 1979. Loretz. in which these things are throughout attributed to God. Augustine. Franxman. Analecta Biblica 76. The Hebrew Conception of the World. 1997. 1980. Epstein.” JBL 66: 305-310. Moscati. Jacob. St. 1993. Freeman. 1996. by Dietrich. 1978. Edinburgh: T&T Clark. Atlanta: Scholars Press. 1991. By. McNamara. Trans. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 8 Vols. “St. not superior to. Summa Theol. 1992. 2nd Ed. Teske. By Thackeray. J. Martin. The Masorah of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Trans. 1998. The Babylonian Talmud. Neusner. 1943. Washington D. Luis. By 1988. 1962. Targum Neofiti I: Genesis. and Sanmartin. Genesis and the “Jewish Antiquities” of Flavius Josephus .” Orientalia 49:137-332. Kelley. Cf. St. and Crawford. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Theodor..M. NIDOTTE: New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis . Wilmington: Michael Glazier. The Works of Philo. Vol. Collegeville: Liturgical Press. Legend. Trans. Canaanite Myths and Legends.1. Michael. 1969. English Dominican Fathers): Reply to Objection 4: Rabbi Moses (Perplex. 6 . Roberts and Donaldson. Rome: Biblical Institute Press. as though He stood in need of them.D. By. ad 4 (tr. KTU: The Cuneiform Alphabetic Texts from Ugarit. 1969. Grossfeld. the object of love. Trans. Ia q.C: Catholic University of America Press. Maher. Oxford: Clarendon Josephus. 1992. 1985. Klein. 1970. by C. Munster: Ugaritic-Verlag. 1930.Jerome in Hebrew Questions on Genesis states. COS: The Context of Scripture: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World . art. Eds. 1995. Loeb Classical Library 242.” V Chr-Vigiliae Christianae 16:205-15. which we can render as was brooding over or was keeping warm.R. Vol. Peabody: Hendrickson. 1980. ii) understands by the “Spirit of the Lord. Thomas. 1981. Rome: Bibical Institute Press. Jewish Antiquities. Bernard. (emphasis added) Bibliography ANET: Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament . The Targum Onqelos to Genesis. 1. 2nd ed. the Spirit of the Lord signifies the Holy Ghost.C: Catholic University of America Press. For love of that kind is subject to. Trans. Basil. in the likeness of a bird giving life to its eggs with warmth” (Hayward. 1963. over what Augustine holds to mean formless matter. Genesis Rabbah. Myth. Trans. 1995. the Hebrew has merefeth. J.L. [missing from the author’s bibliography] Gaster. as Plato also did. 30).C. Who is said to “move over the water”–-that is to say. London: Soncino. Sabatino. Ras Ibn Hani and Other Places . by Roland J.C. Yonge. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Washington D. Wevers. 1995. Saint Augustine on Genesis: Two Books on Genesis: Against the Manichees and On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis: An Unfinished Book . “The Origin of the Week and the Oldest West Asiatic Calendar” HUCA 17:1-146. and says that it is so called according to the custom of Scripture. “Histories and Historians of the Ancient Near East. and Custom in the Old Testament. John. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis. Thomas Aquinas. The Fathers of the Church: Saint Basil: Exegetic Homilies. 1947. 74.Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Stadelmann. Rome: Biblical Institute Press. by Sister Agnes Way. Hildegard and Julius. Lewy. Mynatt. The Fragment-Targums of the Pentateuch . Hayward.

” (emphasis added) N. 179. since many animals are generated in water. but of pre-eminent power. he describes the manner of their generation. [1964]). since “spirits. O.. the Philosopher subsequently determines about the winds. The first is divided into three parts: In the first he determines about the generation of winds. which. that there are two kinds of exhaleation: one. In the second about the species of winds (c.P. And it is divided into two sections: In the first he determines about the winds themselves. 7). 6). After determining about the sea. are to be discussed. 7 . It is the opinion. The first is divided into two parts: In the first he determines about winds in general.Moreover. as Augustine says (Gen. he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. it is fittingly implied that the Spirit moved over that which was incomplete and unfinished. Secondly. i. Pierre Conway. whose saltness is caused from an admixture of the dry earthy exhalation. at 179. 8). Before proceeding. and F. strictly speaking. however. at 179. In the second about their local motion (L. O. is the moist.” i. which is called “vapor”. which are caused by the same dry exhalation. Thomas Aquinas. 178-184: Lecture 7 On the generation of winds 178. he manifests what has been said.e. ad lit. the other is the dry.” For water has especially a life-giving power. lect.R. In the second about certain phenomena caused from winds (c. already enunciated. winds. Larcher. St. Also the life of the soul is given by the water of baptism. having no common name. 9). 7). 3:5: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost.B. at 181. and the seed of all animals is liquid. 2. Book II. at 182. at 179. namely. it will be helpful here to consider a naturalist’s account of winds: Cf. the dry exhalation of burning wood. Thirdly. since that movement is not one of place.P.) that the Spirit moved over the element of water. “fostering and quickening its nature and impressing vital power. of Basil (Hom. nn. Now these two exhalations are not so independent of each other that the moist is without the dry. according to Jn. ii in Hexaem. and the dry without the moist—rather they are denominated one or the other by that which is predominant in a given case. Commentary on Aristotle’s Meteorology (tr. is called “smoke” from one of its forms: for smoke is. indeed. it is necessary to recall this principle. he lays down the principles of the generation of winds. as the hen broods over her chickens. Regarding the first he does two things: first he assigns the material principle of winds [185] and says that. In the third about their increase and abatement (L. Regarding the first he does three things: First.

when moved. This is why there is more rain in winter than in summer.” just as in a parallel case. he manifests it with an argument. it is possible. First. as some supposed who said that it is the same air which. both should come about. namely. because of fire. although night-rains go unobserved because of sleep. it is hot. as said above (which he says. as the sun recedes. 182. Secondly [190]. on account of the two sources from which they are derived. which is borne up from water. he dismisses the false opinion as to its tenet that wind is nothing more than air in motion. is cold by its very nature. rivers and ponds—but also dries out the earth itself and draws up the moisture drunk by the earth. 184. and this belongs to air in so far as it is moist. The rain water is divided up in the earth and drunk in by it.180. he manifests this with signs. which is hot and moist. it is necessary that. to be a river. air has something of vapor and of smoke. Then [188] he manifests what has been said about the generation of winds. 8 . He says therefore first [188] that since exhalations are of two kinds. this raised vapor is condensed into water on account of the cold. heat-ing the earth. Secondly. or that every movement occurring in air is wind. Consequently the exhalation it produces from the moisture resting on the earth is called “vapor.” 181. as also is unwarmed water: just as warmed water remains cold according to nature. 183. from what has been said. Then [189] he dismisses false theories about the winds. which is a spring gushing from the earth. which is the motion of the sun. bears a likeness to both. its warmth elevates the moist. that the sun and the heat which environs the earth can cause the resolution of both exhaleations. This he excludes by the fact that the effects of diverse things are themselves diverse: hence. from the sun’s motion. Secondly [186]. Its vapor is cold and moist and well-definable by its density. not only draws aloft the moisture resting on the surface of the earth—for example. when in motion. because he had previously stated that some dry exhalation is mixed with it). it is necessary that the nature of wind and of rain water be not the same. just as also we do not suppose any water at all that flows. he mentions the efficient principle. earth and water. Hence it is manifestly plain that the upper air. caused by the action of the sun and other heavenly bodies. but the dry exhalation is the source of winds.” but the exhalation that results from its drying out the earth is called “smoke. becomes water. But smoke is hot and dry: because of the earth. it is dry. wind. at 183. so also vapor. Thirdly. the water of the sea. is wind. but only when it flows from some determinate source. even necessary. And he says that it is unacceptable for anyone to suppose that the air which surrounds each of us is. the exhalation from heated wood is called “smoke. In the earth much heat exists. About this he does three things: First. he excludes false opinions about winds. at 185. And the sun overhead. even if it be a large amount. since the exhalations differ on the basis of dry and moist. and more at night than during the day. one vaporous and one smoky. Then [187] he determines the generation of winds and says that since exhalations are of two kinds. The one with more moisture is the source of rain water. Thus also vapor. But as stated in On Generation. And he says that when the sun in its course approaches a given region of the earth. the opinion of those who said that the natures of wind and of rain are the same. as has been said. and when condensed.

the surface of the waters was being stirred by the breath of God. and it is frequent in Hesiod and Homer to make Oceanus. but of those that were the most remote from the then present generation in which he lived. which covered the earth. interpret it. that is. Consequently. to impregnate them. which is to be understood not of a wind. as well as Christians. as in the garnishing of the heavens. and because it does not have a starting-point. The Rabbinic interpretation witnessed above to the contrary notwithstanding. to be the parents of generation: and so the Scriptures represent the original earth as standing out of the water. in accordance with which it may be translated. as many Jewish writers {t} call him. Hence. was not made until the second day. This same Spirit “moved” or brooded {u} upon the face of the waters. since the air.B. the fact that the word ruach can mean ‘breath’ or ‘spirit’ justifies understanding the verse to convey the notion of a wind blowing. see Job 26:13. in addition to ‘the earth’ and ‘the waters’ (which are also ‘the deep’). That is to say. cap. John Gill: Cf. or the ocean. This sense and idea of the word are finely expressed by our poet {w}. so he to separate the parts which were mixed together. it is not true that air in motion is wind: both because sometimes a small amount of air is in motion. a raised dry exhalation. (Cf. as we shall argue below. as Onkelos. with Tethys. but only when it has as its source. Ps 104:6 the earthy particles being heaviest sunk lower. before they were drained off the earth. and observes. who was concerned in the creation of all things. which the wind is a motion of. Aben Ezra. “the Spirit of God moved”. as do the Indian Brahmans {r}: and Aristotle {s} himself owns that this was the most ancient opinion concerning the origin of the universe. among the simple bodies enumerated in verse 2.The same applies to winds: it is not a wind. the third Person in the blessed Trinity. on Genesis 1:2: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (emphasis added) N. lect. so in bringing the confused matter of the earth and water into form and order. which is represented as being a wind from God. even in large amounts. On the right interpretation of the words “the Spirit of God”. Thomas explains that the waves of the sea are caused by the winds. and consisting of it. 2Pe 3:5 and upon the surface of these waters.) In sum. if air. John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible (1748). and the waters being lighter rose up above the others: hence Thales {q} the philosopher makes water to be the beginning of all things. Supplement. blowing over it like a wind. and give them a quickening virtue to produce living creatures in them. also In Job. that it was not only the opinion of Thales. “And the wind (= breath = spirit) of God was blowing over the face of the waters”. the spirit of God precedes such a cause in nature: that is to say. 8. the aforementioned cycle is the effect of the spirit of God understood as wind. 2. 9. n. where St. 3. The Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem call it the spirit of mercies. there is also ‘the wind (of God)’. I take the spirit of God to be the breath of God. 2. Whereas natural winds result from the hydrological cycle in the way in which Aristotle explains. and by it is meant the Spirit of the Messiah. 9 . and many Jewish writers. is moved in some chance way. as though its spring. and of those that first wrote on divine things. as an hen upon eggs to hatch them. where by breath is understood the Spirit of God.

out of whose mouth went forth an egg. Bab. Into this gap he places a pre-Adamic age. {d} Saturnal. “as a dove on her young”. Stn. Geograph. l. let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind . 10. not that the earth was endued with a power to produce these creatures of itself. l. and deserved consideration: and the Chinese say {e}. Cicero do Natura Deorum. p. 14. Praepar. See Topic 8756. idem. 3.. c. {w} ----and. {u} tpxrm “incubabat”. 3. of Virgil. otherwise these would not be six normal days. {x} Laert. ver. Sinic. which when all things were mixed together came and set them in order {x}. 235. Ed. p. 20. Euseb. 364. 33. Praepar. in Vita Anaxagor. c. p. “In the Minds of Men”. T. {z} Apud Drusium in loc. l. fol. All sorts of living creatures that live and move upon the earth. they could not have existed before the fall of Adam. on Genesis 1:24: Ver. {y} Cicero de Nat. 1.O. c. 4. {s} Metaphysic. 24. 1. 115. or egg of Orpheus {a}: or the firstborn or first laid egg. 18. c. Some great catastrophe took place. 1. Tracing back through the biblical genealogies we can determine the age of the universe to be about six thousand years with an error of not more than two per cent. about which the scriptures say nothing. And mad’st it pregnant. 21. The same sentiment is in B. out of which all things were formed. and the yolk the earth. 156. 3. Piscator. There is no direct evidence that the earth is much older than six thousand years. 1. the numerous rock layers that are the supposed proof for these ages. Chagigah. Also. that there was an infinite darkness in the abyss or deep. {g} This speculation has been popularised by the 1917 Scofield Reference Bible. 234. and the “spiritus intus alit”.. not even for one minute. 491. 113. {b} Euseb. 15. 504. B. P. 3. l. TEF Publishing. l. In Ex 20:11 we read of a literal six day creation. 2. Because the rock layers display death on a grand scale. the white the air. Bereshit Rabba. Evangel. endued with a divine power. 14. l. {a} Hymn. fol. Tremellius. 22. Box 5015. 3. fol. {t} Zohar in Gen. Toronto. p. l.. which formed all things out of water {y}. that the first man was produced out of the chaos as from an egg. Evangel. the shell of which formed the heavens. 11. which left the earth “without form and void” or ruined. 10. p. 363. is owing the windy egg of Aristophanes {f}. &c. 2. However. l. in Vita Thaletis. in Ro 5:12 we read that death is the result of Adam’s sin. and in the rites of Bacchus they worshipped an egg. protogon.Milton’s Paradise Lost. and they perhaps from the Jews. c. Lactant. 1. of the form of an egg. Caphtor Uperah. p. sect. Canada. (Thomas Chamlers (1780-1847) in 1814 was the first to purpose that there is a gap between verse 1 and 2. as some would have it. with mighty wings outspread. in which state it remained for as many years as the geologist required. and which he borrowed from the Egyptians and Phoenicians. and to this incubation of the spirit. 16. 2. 4. Vajikra Rabba. according to Sanchoniatho {c}. (emphasis added) Cf. and water. c. and which was reckoned by them a resemblance of the world. fol.Some traces of this appear in the nous or mind of Anaxagoras. 2. 1. No gaps. or wind. {e} Martin. However. de falsa Relig. l. 5. F. 91. were. Deorum. which were heavenly birds. as Macrobius {d} says. {f} In Avibus. Junius. Hist. and 6. 107. {r} Strabo. {c} Apud Ib. 1. was of some moment. 3. Dovelike satst brooding on the vast abyss. and fol. {g} Ian Taylor.---. 128. l. we have the direct eyewitness report of God himself that he made everything in six days. were mainly laid down by Noah’s flood. 7. p. 4.) {q} Laert. without the interposition of God: 10 . which they interpreted of the world {b}: and the Zophasemin of the Phoenicians.. and with this agrees what Hermes says. The Egyptians had a deity they called Cneph. And God said. p. as being an image of the world. and the “mens” of Thales he calls God. whether an hen or an egg was oldest. l. Baal Hatturim in loc. fol. were in the chaos {z}: and perhaps from hence is the mundane egg. and a small intelligent spirit. and therefore he thought the question. 7. 1. 15. l. 1984.

even the firmament and visible heavens themselves. and those that chiefly partook of a moist or watery nature. the thinner part the air. which moved on it whilst a fluid. but by this gradual proceeding he would show what is. and of the sun on the fourth. and then out of the mixture of these proceeded plants and animals. 1. both for its vastness and because the waters which were afterwards separated from the earth were now mixed with it. that animals were produced out of slime. it is also called the deep. mere earth. and had been prepared and disposed for such a production by the heat of the body of light created on the first day. p. 524. whose sentiments Diodorus Siculus {c} seems to give us. Called Genesis (1706). and formed into their several shapes. to our comfort. in Vita Archelai. where we find. ordinarily. The Heathens had some traditionary notion of this affair: according to the Egyptians. and became flying fowl. in Vita Zenonis. (emphasis added) Cf. Here is the work of creation in its embryo. and the membranes burnt and burst. Chapter 1: Gen 1:1-2 In these verses we have the work of creation in its epitome and in its embryo. 99. It is here called the earth (though the earth. and somewhat like is that which Archelaus. whereas Moses here most truly ascribes their production to the all powerful Word of God: <…> {c} Bibliothec. The Creator could have made his work perfect at first. through the heat of the earth liquefying the slime like milk for food {d}: and Zeno the Stoic says {e}. 7. A chaos was the first matter. With Practical Observations. where we have an account of the first matter and the first mover. and other terrestrial animals. 1. 2. p. but all this they seem to suppose to be done by the mere efforts of nature. of whom those that had got a greater degree of heat went upwards. 1. ran to the place of a like kind.for though it might be impregnated with a quickening virtue by the Spirit of God. till at length the enclosed foetus having arrived to a perfect increase. I. that these creatures were produced of the earth. v. the first article of our creed. and all the other kinds. the fire. and as such we believe in him. and in the day was consolidated by the heat of the sun. delivers as his notion. Matthew Henry. 10). the method of his providence and grace. creatures of all kinds appeared. 11 . This is the account they give. the earth being stiffened by the rays of the sun. the process was thus carried on. and were called swimmers or fish. Observe the description of this chaos. p. l. were afterwards produced by the power of the Eternal Word. {d} Laert. An Exposition. the master of Socrates. of The First Book of Moses. that God the Father Almighty is the Maker of heaven and earth. those that were endued with an earthly concretion were reckoned in the class or order of reptiles. destitute of its ornaments. <…> II. and the moist matter being made fruitful by the genial heat. In its epitome. because it did most resemble that which afterwards was called earth. properly taken. This immense mass of matter was it out of which all bodies. and that still more subtilized. at night received nourishment by the mist which fell from the ambient air. was not made till the third day v. the grosser part of the watery matter of the world made the earth. v. such a heavy unwieldy mass was it. yet no doubt it was by the power of God accompanying his word. {e} Ib.

On “the Spirit of God” in relation to the life that was in the word: a spiritual meaning of that ‘life’. Weisheipl. emptiness. which yet could not be said to be wanted till something was made that might be seen by it. nor needs the want of it be much complained of. still appears to be nothing but confusion and emptiness. John 3:8: The wind bloweth where it listeth.): 1 Cp. the shadow or rough draught of things to come. When we consider the earth without form and void. Toho and Bohu. Dead matter would be for ever dead if he did not quicken it. methinks it is like the valley full of dead and dry bones. Isa. There is no true beauty to be seen. but canst not tell whence it cometh. This is our condition by nature.) There was nothing in it desirable to be seen. That power which brought such a world as this out of confusion. 10:1. lect. it was without inhabitants. God did not create this darkness (as he is said to create the darkness of affliction. and thou hearest the sound thereof. for it is without God. at the end of time. but in God only. 4. and every evil work. “the spirit of God. in this earth. Mt. The earth is almost reduced to the same condition again by the sin of man. and lo it was without form. (2. For an explanation of this verse.—as the hen gathers her chickens under her wings. 32:11. If the work of grace in the soul is a new creation. and hovers over them. if a spirit of life from God enter into it. without ornaments. and darkness. the ‘wind’ of God blows where it wills—that is. in comparison with that upper. Isa. 452-456 (tr. Thomas Aquinas. and can make them glorious bodies. though it is a land of darkness as darkness itself. and. 2. and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. who or what shall hinder? God is said to make the world by his Spirit. Deu. but the fountain of life and spring of motion. Part 3. so these words are rendered. Eccl 11:5: “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit. it is darkness itself. 4:23. On ruach elohim. And this makes it credible to us that God should raise the dead. and flutters over her young (it is the same world that is here used). at the beginning of time. and void . yet there was no light to see it by.” understood as a ‘wind’ blowing over the surface of the waters: Cf. as Elijah stretched himself upon the dead child. 34:11. Ps.(1. was upon the face of the deep. no satisfying fulness to be enjoyed. I beheld the earth. It was shapeless. Eze. See Jer. (KJV) As the Evangelist teaches. 45:7). 2. St. till almighty grace effects a blessed change. That God is not only the author of all being. it is empty of all good. it was useless. and not the image of the things. Heb. where it wishes. confusion and emptiness. and without any order (Job 10:22). for it was without form and void. nn. O.” 12 . He moved upon the face of the deep. under which the creation groans.—as the eagle stirs up her nest. if he work.) If there had been any thing desirable to be seen. 23:37. 33:6. thick darkness. confusion. for the Spirit of God begins to work. 37:9. To those who have their hearts in heaven this lower world. for darkness. Learn hence. when there was nothing to be seen but confusion and emptiness. can. Commentary on the Gospel of John. Can these live?1 Can this confused mass of matter be formed into a beautiful world? Yes. Job 26:13. Now there is hope concerning this thing. it is dark. and by the same mighty worker the new creation is effected.P. to warm and cherish them. this chaos represents the state of an unregenerate graceless soul: there is disorder. cf. who is the maker of all. James A. nor how the bones are joined together in the womb of her that is with child: so thou knowest not the works of God. The Spirit of God was the first mover: He moved upon the face of the waters . bring our vile bodies out of the grave. for it was only the want of light.

he refers to the origin of the Holy Spirit. spiritus is taken for the Holy Spirit. Therefore. that there is a twofold voice of the Holy Spirit. that is. for the Holy Spirit leads us to what is right: “Your good Spirit will lead me to the right path” (Ps 142:10).” And this voice is heard by unbelievers and sinners. I will not see him” (Jb 9:11). distributing to each as he wills” (1 Cor 12:11)... the source of his spiritual birth. the above four qualities of the Holy Spirit are found in one who has been born of the Holy Spirit. We may answer to this. 453 Secondly. This refutes the error of Macedonius who thought that the Holy Spirit was the minister of the Father and the Son. 454 Thirdly. do not harden your hearts” (Ps 94:8). because the Spirit leads one to a hidden end. the Spirit of truth. which is also hidden.. and he himself is judged by no one” (1 Cor 2:15). we do not know where such a person comes from. 456 So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. And no wonder: for as he had said before. i. Or. But then he would not be breathing where he willed. but you do not know where it comes from. and you hear its voice: “Today. The Spirit blows where it wills. Thirdly. they are like the Holy Spirit. Thus it says in Ephesians (1:14) that the Holy Spirit is “the pledge of our inheritance. which is hidden. i. and so he says. with Augustine. about which the Psalm (84:9) says: “I will hear what the Lord God says within me. nor has the ear heard. “What is born of Spirit is itself spirit. when he says. First of all. by instructing hearts: “One and the same Spirit does all these things.e. Chrysostom objects to this and says that this cannot pertain to the Holy Spirit. his power.452 In another way. and only believers and the saints hear this voice. has set me free” (Rom 8:2). First. eternal happiness.” because the qualities of the Holy Spirit are present in the spiritual man. 13 . i.. who was still an unbeliever. for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. because no one can judge one who is spiritual: “The spiritual man judges all things.e. how the Spirit enters into a person. “The eye has not seen. Secondly. but the Holy Spirit who is speaking through you.e. whom no man has seen or is able to see” (1 Tim 6:16). according to Matthew (10:20): “For it is not you who speak. he mentions four things about the Holy Spirit. you do not know where it goes.” And again. nor has the heart of man conceived. which remains concealed from us. who proceeds from the Father” (below 15:26). of what he is made worthy. whom I will send you from the Father. but where he was commanded.e. or where it goes. i. he gives the destination of the Holy Spirit. to what perfection he may lead him: “If he comes toward me.” The other voice is that by which the Holy Spirit speaks in the Scriptures or through those who preach. that is. although you may hear its voice. and thus not fit to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.. Or. what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9). because it is by the free use of his power that he breathes where he wills and when he wills. if you hear his voice. just as the qualities of fire are present in burning coal. you do not know where it comes from. And according to this. and he frees us from the slavery of sin and of the law: “The law of the Spirit. saying. of eternal life. i. we get an indication of him through the sound of his words. there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17). he mentions the evidence for the Holy Spirit. or where he goes. thus he says.e. which is baptismal grace. and when we hear them we know his spirituality. 455 Fourthly. he has freedom: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is. For the Lord was speaking to Nicodemus. of life in Christ. One is that by which he speaks inwardly in man’s heart. But the Father and the Son “dwell in inaccessible light. he has an origin and an end that are hidden. And this is because the Holy Spirit comes from the Father and the Son: “When the Paraclete comes.

5:8). as applied to manifestation of every kind. English Dominican Fathers): Whether the word “light” is used in its proper sense in speaking of spiritual things? Objection 1: It would seem that “light” is used in its proper sense in spiritual things. But if it belongs to the Spirit to be instructing.” or “burns”.” Objection 2: Further. I answer that. it may properly be applied to spiritual things. of which it is written (Ps. iv) includes Light among the intellectual names of God. the former is to be taken literally. cf. afterwards it was extended to that which makes manifest to cognition of any kind. Thomas comments.. First by way of an abiding form. “Further. Therefore also does light. And thus it is with the word light. But such names are used in their proper sense in spiritual things. Nom. Objection 3: Further. 67. This is clearly shown in the word “sight. St. If. q. On the verse in question. extended in common speech to all knowledge obtained through the other senses. Cf. On the contrary. Ambrose says (De Fide ii) that “Splendor” is among those things which are said of God metaphorically. as stated above (Question [171]. ad 2 (tr.” But to be made manifest belongs more properly to spiritual things than to corporeal. art. and in this way that light was in Paul when he was in rapture. “ The Spirit blows where it wills. ad lit. 35:10): ‘In Thy light we shall see light. it is to be understood metaphorically when applied to spiritual things. Hence this 14 .. art. either in its original application or in its more extended meaning. and thus it beatifies the saints in heaven.’ But this light can be shared in two ways. 3. St. Secondly.” originally applied to the act of the sense. then He must be a kind of light. 175. and the latter metaphorically. In its primary meaning it signifies that which makes manifest to the sense of sight. 452). sight is applied to knowledge obtained through the intellect. by instructing hearts” (n. 1 (tr. by way of a transitory passion. also St. 5:13): “All that is made manifest is light. But if taken in its common and extended use. Thomas Aquinas. Therefore light is used in its proper sense in spiritual matters. as Ambrose says (De Fide ii). On the first of the four things John mentions about the Holy Spirit. Article [2]) of the light of prophecy.5. Ia. and then.” or “smells. For Augustine says (Gen. “Seeing how it tastes. the Apostle says (Eph. Thomas Aquinas. Thus we say. Any word may be used in two ways—that is to say. Summa Theol. for they shall see God” (Mt. (emphasis added) The answer to the objections will sufficiently appear from what has been said. iv. as sight is the noblest and most trustworthy of the senses. II-IIae. because it is by the free use of his power that he breathes where he wills and when he wills. 28) that “in spiritual things light is better and surer: and that Christ is not called Light in the same sense as He is called the Stone. Dionysius (Div. as in those words: “Blessed are the clean of heart. q. English Dominican Fathers): The Divine essence cannot be seen by a created intellect save through the light of glory. (emphasis added) On the light by which we “see” in relation to the beatific vision. then. the word is taken in its strict and primary meaning. Summa Theol.

vision did not beatify him simply. St. and the anagogical.). as if to say. 4. and yet they differ with respect to signification. St. But it must be noted that allegory is sometimes taken for a mystical understanding of any sort. are said through an allegory. in whose power it is not only to accommodate vocal sounds for the purpose of designating [something] (which even man is able to do). Cf. Also relevant here is St. To see how the foregoing doctrines apply to the Holy Spirit. forasmuch as God is its author. 5 The light shines in the darkness. which is “other” and goge. so as to overflow into his body. and man became a living soul. cf. who is appropriately named ‘life’ . but that soul was breathed into the face of the first man by the “breath” of God. but only in a restricted sense. “let there be light”. but that signification by which the things signified by the vocal sounds in turn signify other things. 2 but that ‘breath’ may be understood of the Holy Spirit. 2 He was in the beginning with God. Super ad Galatas. But since. omne quod est manifestativum lumen est. “a leading”. One is through sounds of voice. Gen. 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life. therefore. which is a kind of light. sometimes for only one of the four which are the historical. inasmuch as his intellective power. Thomas on the interpretation of the words. and the life was the light of men. as we have seen. 3 All things came into being through Him. Eph. they signify solely by sounds of voice. 6. we can understand how that ‘life’ could be “the light of men. and the life was the light of men. comes to man through the soul. pertains to the mystical sense. Consequently this rapture pertains somewhat to prophecy. He says. For that signification by which vocal sounds signify something pertains to the literal or historical sense. and so this science can have many senses. and the darkness did not comprehend it. and the Word was with God. Thomas’s commentary on Jn 1:4-5 excerpted below. For there is a twofold signification.”1 In sum. the mystical. 4 In Him was life. that the very things signified by vocal sounds signify something else through them. 5:13). through another understanding. 1 2 Cf.” (Douay-Rheims) 15 . but also the things themselves. Now to say of the Word that “in Him was life. who may therefore be understood as instructing hearts in accordance with it. For allegory is a trope or manner of speaking by which one thing is said and another is understood. And this is particularly the case in Sacred Scripture and not in the others. another is through the things signified by the sounds of voice. and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. John 1:1-5: In the beginning was the Word. These things which are written about the two sons. Whence allegory is said from allos. But the light of glory presupposes the light of the agent intellect. which are the four senses of Sacred Scripture. And so in the other sciences handed on by man which cannot be accommodated for signifying except by words alone. cp. But this is proper in this science.M. B.A. and the Word was God. etc. Thomas on the fourfold sense of Sacred Scripture: cf. the light by means of which men know may be fittingly assigned to God’s Spirit. that is. who is ‘life’ par excellence. 7 (tr. lect. “leading to another understanding”. “everything that makes manifest is light” (cf.” points to Holy Spirit.

as the Apostle says. Now inasmuch as the Holy Spirit is “The Lord. the light’s irradiation (v 5a). And so. This whole section may be explained in two 16 . it pertains to the allegorical sense. 95 Above. “the man smiles.” according to the letter about bodily light. there is the moral sense. Supplement. who makes “free use of his power. however. But if “Let there be light” is said so that [one understands that] through Christ we are led into glory. James A. Again. it pertains to the literal sense.P. “the meadow smiles.): LECTURE 3 4b And that life was the light of men. the giver of life. nn. O. as when we say according to the first way that “Jesus ascends.. according to Dionysius in the book About the Celestial Hierarchy. and the darkness did not overcome it. 5 And the light shines in the darkness. and in those things which signify Christ. because whatever things are written are written for our doctrine. thirdly. Part 1. And so insofar as those things in the New Law done in Christ. St. and the life was the light of men. there is the anagogic sense..” And we use both ways in Sacred Scripture. If “Let there be light” is understood to mean that Christ is born in the Church. Weisheipl.by instructing hearts” (Commentary on the Gospel of John. n. are signs of the things we ought to do. “Let there be light” is said so that [one understands that] through Christ we are enlightened in understanding and inflamed in affection. 7. First. as when I say.” And so under the literal sense is included the parabolic or metaphoric. Cf. as when I say. “Let there be light. but it is said of the Word. secondly. he introduces a certain light to us (v 4b). 452). it pertains to the moral sense.” we understand that “we are enlightened in understanding and inflamed in affection” through the Spirit of God proceeding from His Word. For when I make this statement. participation in the light (v 5b). saying that this Word is a light to men. in the New Law those things which are done in the Head are examples of the things we ought to do.” and when we say according to the second that “He sits at the right hand of the Father.” or according to a likeness or metaphor. And all of these are clear in an example. the New Law is the figure of future glory. lect. And so insofar as those things which are in the New Law and in Christ signify the things in the fatherland. insofar as those things which belong to the Old Law signify the things of the New.But something can be signified by the literal sense in two ways. here he describes his power as it is related to men. Thomas Aquinas. Commentary on the Gospel of John. according to proper speech. the Evangelist described the power of the Word insofar as he brought all things into existence. 95-107 (tr. But the mystical or spiritual sense is divided into three. there is the allegorical sense. namely. it pertains to the anagogic sense. “in Him was life. For in the first place. If. 3. Again. the Old Law is a figure of the New Law. On the life which was in the word: its literal meaning.

moves himself freely to all that he wills. according to Augustine and many others. light is discovered first in sensible things. Origen. those things that are moved by such a principle are more truly made to act than act themselves. And that life was the light of men . And so the Evangelist. since he is master of his act. For whereas all things that in some way move themselves are called living. thinks that brightness is said metaphorically of God. such as exists in the brutes. and know. that inner principle is nevertheless not open to opposite alternatives. As a result. And he says that he is the light of men. because it is intellectual or rational. And. why did he say. For although other things are moved by themselves by some inner principle. according to Origen. 97 To clarify the statement. In the beginning was the Word. 99 We also see from this the perfection and dignity of this life. of men? Two answers have been given to this. to whom not only this or that are made manifest. because we first used this name to signify sensible light before intelligible light. 17 . and this is mentioned next. the light of men. And that life was the light of men. because they have no knowledge. Ambrose. man has perfect life. In him was life. is concerned only with individual and material things. not only truths. Secondly. not only says that he is life but also light. But they do not have the light of men. existence is first. Hence their life is not light. we should remark that there are many grades of life. For some things live. then. says that participation in this light pertains to men insofar as they have a rational nature. who live. but their knowledge. But man. light belongs to spiritual things in a prior and truer way than to sensible things. 98 But since he is also the light of angels. And that life was the light of men. however. For in the natural order of things. he wants us to understand every rational nature. for in whatever way the name “light” is used. If we compare sensible and intelligible manifestation. is perfect life. although as to power. But for us. And so the life of the Word. it implies a manifestation. Chrysostom says that the Evangelist intended in this Gospel to give us a knowledge of the Word precisely as directed to the salvation of men and therefore refers. lest anyone suppose he means life without knowledge. plants. Such are rational creatures. light is more properly said of spiritual things than of sensible things. comes life. hence they are not moved freely but from necessity. according to the influx of natural knowledge. whether that manifesting concerns intelligible or sensible things. but do so without light. for example. who give names to things on the basis of their properties as known to us. and among lower creatures only man moves himself. as does every intellectual nature. and the Evangelist implies this in his first statement. only those that perfectly move themselves are said to have perfect life. more to men than to angels. and that is mentioned next. when the Evangelist says. But this is not a great issue. according to participation in grace. he fittingly attributes light to life because light can be attributed only to the living. So they have both life and a certain light. and perfectly. As to the first point he says. 100 We find a fitting order in the above. since it is on the sense level. Other things both live and know. accordingly. Thirdly comes understanding. 96 Here we should note first that. Consequently. in keeping with his aim.ways: first. but also the very nature of truth itself. speaking of the Word. lest anyone suppose he meant only sensible knowledge. however. but truth itself. light is found first in spiritual things. properly speaking. as is the case with the brutes. secondly. which can be manifested and is manifestive to all. which is the light of men. according to the nature of things.

who is your face. i.” i. is marked upon us. For to overcome something [comprehendere. by whom you are manifested. because. considered in itself it is a darkness. enclose it [i. since he alone is capable of the vision of God who “teaches us more than the beasts of the earth. but if they are to see it..” i. and so forth]. Yet the darkness. for although other animals may know certain things that are true. Now the fact that some are darkness is not due to a defect in that light. incomprehensible in thought” as Jeremiah (32:19) says. according to the two meanings of “darkness. “The spiritual voice of the eagle. the Evangelist now considers its irradiation. although air is receptive of the light of the sun. to comprehend. to seize or apprehend. nor did they remember her paths” (Bar 3:23). and this participation is in man and is the superior part of our soul. for every truth. “And I saw that wisdom excells folly as much as light excells knowledge” (Ecc 2:13). And so. nevertheless no man is in such darkness as to be completely devoid of divine light. saying. to reach God with the mind is a great happiness. they did not persevere. i.e. And that life was the light of men . since on its part it shines in the darkness and radiates upon all. Although some minds are darkness. that the light of men is taken as an object that man alone can look upon. For we would never be able to look upon the Word and light itself except through a participation in it.e.e.e. we might take “darkness” as a natural defect. in created souls and minds. the light of wisdom. which is called a darkness.. they did not apprehend it.” First.e. of your Son. O Lord. can be understood in two ways. Consequently. but to overcome [comprehend] him is impossible. no matter by whom it is spoken. For the mind is to that light of which the Evangelist speaks here as air is to the light of the sun. “On a man from whom the light is hidden” (Jb 3:23). i. intellectually]. shines in the darkness. they lack savory and lucid wisdom. First. This explanation is found in that homily which begins. i. And the darkness did not overcome it . nevertheless. 18 . “From the savage. about which the Psalm (4:7) says. because the rational creature alone can see it. comes from the Holy Spirit. the foolish are ‘without that light because the darkness did not overcome it. because whatever truth is know by anyone is due to a participation in that light which shines in the darkness.e. that of the created mind. that life which is the light of men.. is to enclose and understand its boundaries. after having been lifted up. Someone is without wisdom. “Behold.e.” i. “and shows his friend that it belongs to him. i. This can be explained in two ways. God is great.e.. i. For the eyes know external light as an object. therefore. exceeding our knowledge” (Jb 36:26).. Rather.. the darkness did not overcome it. “They did not know the way to wisdom. the intellectual light. As Augustine says. so by the lack of it they are darkness.e. from the proud. “The light of your countenance. not being able to attain a participation in it due to their foolishness. and enlightens us more than the birds of the air” Jb 35:11).. to overcome. And so his statement. and that he may approach it” (Jb 36:32).” 103 We can explain this passage in another way by taking “darkness” as Augustine does.101 We should note that light can be related in two ways to what is living: as an object and as something in which they participate.. just as the minds of the wise are lucid by reason of a participation in that divine light and wisdom. “Great in counsel.. And the light shines in the darkness. The light of men can also be taken as a light in which we participate.. by always shedding its light on all. According to this the meaning is: the light. man alone knows the nature itself of truth. as is clear in external sight..e. 102 Having introduced a certain light. they must participate in an inner light by which the eyes are adapted and disposed for seeing the external light. because he lacks the light of divine wisdom. for the natural lack of wisdom in man. i.e. “he hides his light.

shines on the world. i. the Evangelist considers here the restoration of the rational creature through Christ. and finally killing him. i. shines in the darkness. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood.e. “the light of the Jews. i.” i. And so he says that the light. apprehend it in truth. did not overcome him. The light is in the flesh.” Looked at this way he says..e. the light shines in the darkness..e. of all men in general. in the light of the three meanings of “darkness. who have struggled against Christ (as is plain from the Gospel) by upbraiding him. the light shines in the darkness. is Christ coming into the world. to testify to the truth” (below 18:37). that you might be my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Is 49:6). For any sadness and suffering of heart can be called a darkness. upon the men of the world. as is plain in Matthew (c 4) 107 Thirdly.e.” In one way.. my joy and consolation (Mi 7:8). i. having a body capable of suffering and without sin. “I have given you as a light to the nations. “As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world” (below 9:5). shadowed over by pride.. And the darkness did not overcome it. “I came into the world for this.. And the darkness. “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light” (Is 9:2). we can take “darkness” to mean the devils. “You were at one time darkness” (Eph 5:8). the Word of God. the incarnate Word of God. For the Son of God assumed flesh and came into the world to illumine all men with grace and truth. hold sway: “Now the prince of this world will be cast out” (below 12:31).. “Grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ” (below 1:17). with respect to the natural influx of knowledge] that Origen and Augustine explain this clause.e. can be expounded in three ways. This is the way. “I will cover the sun with a cloud” (Ez 32:7). So he does not say.e. the devils.. and not only of the Jews. 106 Secondly. [ i..” because although previously he had been known only in Judea.. i. “When I sit in darkness and in suffering the Lord is my light.men in darkness. of the Word.. since we are illuminated by Christ. against the rulers of the world of this darkness. shines in the darkness.e. through a participation in grace. 104 Starting from And that life was the light of men . i. as in Ephesians (6:12). according to the influx of grace.e. we can explain this in another way. nevertheless they did not overcome it. but “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom 8:3). by a knowledge of truth and wisdom. were unable to obscure him by their temptations. did not overcome it. i. As if to say: The light. blinded by envy. i. we can take “darkness” for punishment.e. has descended into the world where darkness. and light. And that life.e. And that life was the light of men . did not overcome it. the flesh of Christ. After he had considered the creation of things through the Word.e.. 105 According to this explanation. i. For in spite of the number of men darkened by sin. i.e. the light. heaping insults and calumnies upon him. the devils.e. that is. i. just as any joy can be called a light. we can take “darkness” for the error or ignorance which filled the whole world before the coming of Christ. which is called a darkness insofar as it has a likeness to sinful flesh. And so Origen says: In this explanation.. saying. but against principalities and powers. gain the victory of so obscuring him that his brightness would not shine throughout the whole 19 .. in order to show that these two have come to us through Christ: life. veiled about by the darkness of the flesh. the Son of God. It was fitting to join light and life by saying. “To enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Lk 1:79). who are blinded by the darkness or error and ignorance. he later became known to the world. was the light of men.

Bandas. Philosophical Essays. Introduction by Rev. that the Heaven was the father is clear. It was manifest to men that the Heaven was the father of those things. S. but wisdom. that the sun and moon give us the stimulus to view and contemplate (θεω ϱε ῖν). CHAPTER VI.” Now. In sum: 20 . (Baltimore.D. Ph. Thomas Aquinas.S. by loving His goodness..T. Lloyd Bevan. and likewise considered those things which by their influences in the earth do receive a being and do likewise fructify. Translated with a Commentary by Rev.” that is. 8. Plutarch. Wisdom (7:30) says. for God. Rudolph G. Thomas Aquinas . created everything: “Thou lovest all things that are. by their rising and setting. Likewise men considering that the stars are running ( θέοντες) in a perpetual motion. she takes precedence. because it says. Ph. and the Earth the mother. when they contemplated that they are the causes of so great an harmony.. and hatest none of the things which Thou hast made. that they regulate day and night. 1939). St.D. WHENCE DID MEN OBTAIN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE EXISTENCE AND ESSENCE OF A DEITY? To men the heavenly bodies that are so visible did give the knowledge of the deity. Essays and Miscellanies.D. the incarnate Son of God. the Earth the mother. et M. they call them all gods (θεούς). Joseph B. because she receives them and brings forth.. of the Jews and of heretics. 50: The Catechism of St.D. winter and summer. In The Catechetical Instructions of St. “is not overcome by wickedness. Wis. Note the role played by the Holy Spirit in the creation of man: Cf. since from the heavens there is the pouring down of waters. 25. Thomas Aquinas THE EIGHTH ARTICLE: “I Believe in the Holy Ghost. because God has made all things through Him. Cf. On certain natural phenomena as pointing to the existence of God.”[18] ENDNOTES 18. for night supplants it. The Eight Article. The Catechism of St. Collins. In Plutarch’s Complete Works. S. pp. Thomas Aquinas.world. “She gave him the prize for his stern struggle that he might know that wisdom is mightier than all else” (Wis 10:12). the soul is created by the Holy Spirit. (New York. The Apostle’s Creed. Vol. edited by W. “Compared to light.. 49. D. xi.” that is. Vol. 1909): SENTIMENTS CONCERNING NATURE WITH WHICH PHILOSOPHERS WERE DELIGHTED BOOK I. which have their spermatic faculty. I.

Ross. as foretelling the death of Hector.• • • • That the existence of God may be inferred from the movements of the heavenly bodies (having seen the stars running in a perpetual motion. It was from such events. 1 such a one would certainly have come to think that there was someone arranging such an array and commanding the soldiers ranged under him. p. 12 b. he says. cf. That certain things in the earth fructify by their influences. when at death it is severed from the body. that men came to suspect the existence of something divine. tr. and the orderly dances of the stars. Cf. Ross. Math. for Homer has represented Patroclus. with Mutchsmann. Vol. as soon as he sees from afar a ship running before the wind with all its sails well set. when they come to the unswerving and well-ordered movement of the heavenly bodies. for as. But the heavenly bodies also contributed to this belief. Phys. and footmen behind’. Sextus Empiricus. 12 a. R3 13). 2. winter and summer. 2 And as one familiar with ships. by their rising and setting”. in the moment of his death. Select Fragments. 29. 20-23 (= Aristotle. 84: Aristotle used to say that men’s thought of gods sprang from two sources—the experiences of the soul and the phenomena of the heavens. men are led to calling them gods). On the celestial motions as giving rise to the notion of God. Sextus Empiricus. Il. Elaborations of the foregoing. so those who first looked up to heaven and saw the sun running its race from its rising to its setting. 6 kata/gwn. frag. W. 554 3 Reading in R. R3 12). tr. they came to think that there is a God who is the cause of such movement and order. I) 26-27 (= Aristotle. Select Fragments. D. Such was the belief of Aristotle. 21 . Aristotle accepts even Homer as having observed this. 85: Some men. W. On Philosophy. seeing by day the sun running his circular course. he says. I. The Works of Aristotle. 297. So it is too with the soul. frag. That such bodies “regulated day and night. ‘horsemen first with horses and chariots. thereby producing living creatures out of the elements. if one had sat on the Trojan Mount Ida and seen the array of the Greeks approaching the plains in good order and arrangement. which was God. the soul is isolated in sleep. 9 (Phys. looked for the Craftsman of this lovely design. That because of these things men called the Heaven father and the Earth mother. 4. XII. and by night the well-ordered movement of the other stars. it assumes its true nature and foresees and foretells the future. p. 9. Ibid. 1 of that which is in itself akin to the soul and of all things most full of knowledge. D. On Philosophy. and Hector as foretelling the end of Achilles. The Works of Aristotle. To the first head belonged the inspiration and prophetic power of the soul in dreams. say that in this the thought of gods had its origin. Nestor or some other hero who knew ‘how to order horses and bucklered warriors’. and surmised that it came about not by chance but by the agency of some mightier and imperishable nature. For when. At all events. Vol. XII. knows that there is someone directing it and steering it 3 to its appointed harbours. 1 2 Hom.

in these verses. but the Sun in that of a year. and for seasons. and overtaken the Sun in such (a time). on account of her power. taken from the Internet: It is very difficult to observe the things in the heavens and conclude that there is no God.1 Reading in R. after arriving at the same point. and let them be for signs. VI. Gen. 1:18. and the order and influence of the heavenly bodies. And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven. in his introduction to Psalm 19:1 says it well: From the things that are seen every day by all the world. 13 qei=on. the structure and beauty of them. To shine in the firmament of heaven. 1:16. the psalmist. But the Moon is seen in the second rank. to divide the day and the night. the centres of 22 . Matthew Henry’s Commentary. the firmament and the sun. when all the planets. “There is no God. translated by George Burges: The Sun is the leader of all. And to rule the day and the night. One has to be truly blind spiritually to miss the profound glory expressed by God’s creation. Now from all these revolutions the perfect number and time is completed. And God made two great lights: a greater light to rule the day. but by the properly instructed. Commenting on Psalm 19:1. “There is no cause. cf. also the following. cf.) has its part in making known the mystery of God’s glory. And God saw that it was good. 1:14-19 (Douay-Rheims): 1:14. 28. who see there is a heaven and yet say. On the sun as being a ‘greater’ light and the moon a ‘lesser’ and the orderliness consequent upon their motions. and to divide the light and the darkness. 1:19. and for days and years: 1:15. and to give light upon the earth. after it has completely gone through its own revolution. Vol. yet gave that glory to the lights of heaven which those very lights directed them to give to God only. and a lesser light to rule the night: and the stars. each of these (The heavens. Now the Moon makes the measure of a month. In The Works of Plato. leads us to the consideration of the invisible things of God. while the rest make use singly of their own periodical revolutions. For after it has gone round the circle of the Zodiac. CD Rom version. On the lights of heaven as ‘regulating’ day and night. and it was so done. In constant revelation by day and by night the expanse of the heavens reveals the excellence of God’s creative work.[2] [1] [2] Wycliffe Commentary. And he set them in the firmament of heaven to shine upon the earth. obtain such an arrangement. which are beheld.” but to show the folly of idolaters also. [1] Mathew Henry. And the evening and morning were the fourth day. each according to its own share.” who see the effect and yet say. The Introduction of Alcinous. Cf. who. This instance of the divine power serves not only to show the folly of atheists. and the vanity of their imagination. the Father of lights. to the Doctrines of Plato (14). 1:17. though the heavens declare the glory of God. the Wycliffe Commentary says. CD Rom version. with Mutschmann. that a straight line being conceived to be let fall from the non-wandering sphere to the earth in the manner of a perpendicular. and the other planets proportionally. it completes the seasons of the year. showing and illuminating all things. not by ordinary persons. whose being appears incontestably evident and whose glory shines transcendently bright in the visible heavens.

Three Volumes in One (Grand Rapids. and above the rest. and preparing the living forms. and had been prepared and disposed for such a production by the heat of the body of light created on the first day. which some call by the name of the star of Saturn. is thrown around them all. was a heaving deep. 23 . without the interposition of God: for though it might be impregnated with a quickening virtue by the Spirit of God. formed out of the circle of the different and the wandering. and formed into their several shapes. which is the next after it in slowness. by the name of Jupiter. And all these are living intellectual beings. the roaring waves (Psa_42:7) or flood (Exo_15:5. …not that the earth was endued with a power to produce these creatures of itself. the principle of all life (Psa_33:6.. and of a spherical form. and hence the depths of the sea (Job_28:14. the slowest of them lying under the sphere of the non-wandering. cf. And God said. which worked upon the formless. denotes the “And darkness was upon the face of the deep. to rage. for the Spirit of God moved upon the waters. and as it were unborn. which were called into being by the creative words that followed. lxx). but the creative Spirit of God. Keil and F. Gramm. The three statements in our verse are parallel. (each) in its own sphere. which moved on it whilst a fluid. lifeless mass. and even the abyss of the earth (Psa_71:20). And he placed the Moon in the first circle after the Earth. Ruach Elohim is not a breath of wind caused by God (Theodoret. This suffices to prove that the theosophic speculation of those who “make a gap between the first two verses. for the verb does not suit this meaning. for the most part fire-like. which had received at its creation the germs of all life. like πνεῦ να from πνέω. which is above. yet no doubt it was by the power of God accompanying his word. unformed.. is an arbitrary interpolation” (Ziegler). Job_38:16). All three describe the condition of the earth immediately after the creation of the universe. and of the sun on the fourth. 1 But it was in process of formation.). (emphasis added) 1 For further elaboration on this conception of “the deep”. separating. to fill them with vital energy by His breath of life.” ‫ם‬.‫ו‬ raging waters. under which is that of Mars. and gods. that these creatures were produced of the earth. As an old traditional word. and fitted them to the spheres. There being then seven spheres in the wandering sphere. In such a way as this the Spirit of God moved upon the deep. The chaotic mass in which the earth and the firmament were still undistinguished. it is construed like a proper name without an article ( Ewald. Delitzsch. and develop their vital powers (Deu_32:11). Deu_8:7). and the Sun he arranged for the second circle. an abyss of waters ( ἀ ́ βυσσος. from ‫ם‬. ‫ח‬ ַ ) ְ ‫( רו‬breath) denotes wind and spirit.). Psa_104:30). the deity made seven visible bodies out of a substance.” (emphasis added) Cf.. etc.‫ו‬ ֹ‫תֹוה ם‬ ּ ְ . on Gen 1:2: ְ ‫ֹוה‬. and Lucifer and the so-called sacred star of Hermes into the circle.F. to roar. and this deep was wrapped in darkness. 1973). which moves with a velocity equal to the Sun. the substantive and participial construction of the second and third clauses rests upon the ‫ וֹוהיחֹוה‬of the first. quickening. Exposition of the Entire Bible (1748). Commentary on the Old Testament in Ten Volumes: Volume I: The Pentateuch. but at a distance from it. let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind . to warm them. But in the eighth the power. see below. and that. on Genesis 1:24: Ver. (emphasis added) On “fructifying” in the earth. 24. ‫ רחף‬in the Piel is applied to the hovering and brooding of a bird over its young. and fill it with a wild horde of evil spirits and their demoniacal works. John Gill. C.all are seen upon that line.

Arthur Platt): For by a male animal we mean that which generates in another. English Dominican Fathers): Reply to Objection 4: …. Ia. Aristotle. as the hen broods over her chickens. wherefore men apply these terms to the macrocosm also. Summa Theol. 74.) that the Spirit moved over the element of water. 4. and of the earth as mother suffice for their production…. …Now the production of plants from the earth into actual existence belongs to the work of propagation. Alfred J. 2.” For water has especially a life-giving power. the corporeal liquids being heated. For [15] nothing comes into being out of the whole of anything. whether in earth or water. [15] naming Earth mother as being female. Arthur Platt): All those which do not bud off or ‘spawn’ are spontaneously generated. Freddoso): 24 . since many animals are generated in water.Cf.. Now all things formed in this way. and air [= pneuma] in water. since the powers of the heavenly body as father. the residue of the mixture takes such a form. manifestly come into [10] being in connexion with putrefaction and an admixture of rain-water. Thomas Aquinas. St. this again depends on the medium in which the generation takes place and the material which is included. and the matter (or body) which contains the life being included within it. Now in the sea the earthy matter is present in large quantities. Quaestiones Disputatae de Potentia Dei. ad 4 (tr. III. Animals and plants come into being in earth and in liquid because there is water in earth. any more than in the products of art. On the Power of God by Thomas Aquinas. (emphasis added) Cf. and the seed of all animals is liquid…. also St. ad 4 (tr. Whether what is forming is to be more or less honourable in kind depends on the embracing of the psychical principle. there arises as it [25] were a frothy bubble. 736b 35 ff. (emphasis added) On naming the Heaven “father” and the Earth “mother”. 11 (762a 8-33) (tr. and consequently the testaceous animals are formed from a concretion of this kind. but as it is in the one case art removes the useless material. I.. putrefaction and the thing putrefied is only a residue of that which is concocted. ii in Hexaem. Ia q. art. 115. Therefore living things form quickly whenever this air and vital heat are enclosed in anything. 2. but addressing Heaven and the Sun and other like entities as fathers. art. the earthy matter [30] hardening round them and solidifying in the same manner as bones and horns (for these cannot be melted by fire). ad 28: Reply to the Twenty-eighth Objection. On the Generation of Animals. translated by the English Dominican Fathers (1952). as causing generation.It is the opinion. Aristotle. q. but by concocting. Thomas Aquinas. For as the sweet is separated off into the matter which is forming. q. if it did art would have nothing to do. On the Generation of Animals. art. cf. 3. [20] and in all air is vital heat [cf. however. Summa Theol. and by a female that which generates in itself. (emphasis added) Cf. “fostering and quickening its nature and impressing vital power.] so that in a sense all things are full of soul. of Basil ( Hom. (emphasis added) Cf. in the other Nature does so. When they are so enclosed. 2 (715b 14-16) (tr. Nothing comes into being by putrefying.

— The Religions of Profane Antiquity. 325. air. we all Have the same father. A. A third distribution places fire in Aries. as the first of the series. “as a mother is pregnant with the unborn offspring. and the earth. Light. 9) that. and conformity with. everything was subjected to the dominion of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The Religions of Profane Antiquity (London. She is rightly called our mother. accordingly. 7. so is the world itself pregnant with the causes of unborn things ”…. heat. The four elements were. would have remained sterile and unfruitful. and multiply. and water in Cancer. Taking Leo. from its very position. and fixing in it the seat of fire. The trees that make us glad. Hence it was supposed. the house of the Sun. cf. in the order of fire.” Again. 1839): In The Monthly Review. distributed among the twelve signs. iii. and Doctrines. that certain signs had a greater relation to. she brings forth the shining grain. their Mythology. Fables. In continuing and repeating the series. air in Gemini. air under Libra. and water in Pisces. quickened vegetation and fertilized the soil. Book II. Hieroglyphics. which cover and encompass it in all directions. By JONATHAN DUNCAN. earth in Taurus. (emphasis added) For a universal statement of this usage. and death of man. “On the Origin of Error”. and water under Scorpio. the earth appeared to be the recipient of the fructifying principle. 1839. air in Aquarius. otherwise. those of a mother. earth in Capricornus. B. Lactantius. decay. just as seed is a kind of cause: for he says (De Trin. So pregnant. Being.Reply to Objection 4. fire takes a second position in Sagittarius. and water. and rain descending from above. <…> “The heavens were supposed to discharge the functions of a father. poured down into its matrix from above. and on this notion the doctrine of the active and passive powers of nature was founded. Vol.D. subjected to the heavens. the food By which they feed. which. Vol. and vegetables. In The Ante-Nicene Fathers: translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A. or Ceres as she was called. earth. The Divine Institutes. from January to April Inclusive.—“In this sublunary world. The Way Things Are: The De Rerum Natura of Titus Lucretius Carus by Rolfe Humphries (Bloomington. I: ART. Cf. certain elements. Founded on Astronomical Principles. Review of Jonathan Duncan. II 991-998: We have all come from heavenly seed. cf. London: Rickerby. 1968). increase. 12: 25 . growth. The genial warmth of the Sun infused physical life into the womb of the earth. and our mother earth Receives from him the fertilizing showers. it is easy to gather that they are also causal virtues. than others. From the words of Augustine when speaking of these seminal virtues. depended on the influence of this circle of generation. the race of men. so that each element was attached to three signs. (emphasis added) For a text bringing together the considerations of the two preceding sections. animals. then earth would fall under Virgo. IX. and the birth. The generations of wild beasts. ch.

until their sinews were strengthened. Therefore it is impossible but that it was reared by someone. and that these. from the womb of mothers. BUT BY A DIVINE ARRANGEMENT. In the next place. respecting which Lucretius says. they say. do we see that none of these things now happens? Because. But let us suppose that this also happened by chance. but a perpetual spring of an equable temperature. and that the temperature of the atmosphere should be equable.CHAPTER 12 – THAT ANIMALS WERE NOT PRODUCED SPONTANEOUSLY. nor did that divine government. Now see whether an infant could have lain through many months in the same manner and in the same place where it was cast forth. that the world might not appear gloomy with waste and desolation. provision must have been made with great judgment. brought forth of itself certain vessels after the likeness of wombs. all animals are born not in a tender condition. or be free from danger. there must of necessity be a providence. which manages and rules their courses. were they without their motions. and in the next place. when they had become mature. nothing can exist in this world which does not continue permanent. so that they had power to move themselves and to change their place. For neither were the sun and moon and stars then uncreated. as it began. however. OF WHICH GOD WOULD HAVE GIVEN US THE KNOWLEDGE. if it is as they say. they might be poured forth. or to be born at all. were they able to endure or avoid the force of the cold or of heat. the circumstances which follow assuredly cannot be by chance – that the earth should at once flow with milk. at the beginning of the world there was no winter nor summer. They say that at certain changes of the heaven. but after they began to exist. they say. that animals might be born. produced tender animals. being rent by the compulsion of nature. it must be that someone provided these things by some divine counsel. and they fall into that very condition which they especially avoid. afterwards. that the newly born animals might have nourishment. it was necessary that it should once happen. how easy it is to refute falsehoods! In the first place. as it were. having received from the vessels with which they were covered the power of life and sensation. he will assuredly understand that those earth-born children could not possibly have been reared without someone to bring them up. that the earth itself abounded with a kind of moisture which resembled milk. overwhelmed and corrupted by that moisture of the earth which it supplied for the sake of nourishment. and that animals were supported by this nourishment. Wombs grew attached to the earth by roots. that men should be born from the earth. But who is able to make this provision except God? Let us. Why. that the moisture condensed from the earth might be formed into the various figures of bodies. And if these things plainly happened. IF IT WERE ADVANTAGEOUS FOR US TO KNOW IT. and the power of generation was given to them. How. that they might be produced from the earth without the office of parents. there existed a kind of maturity for the production of animals. it is plain that someone provided that they should be born. indeed. then. fail to begin its exercise together with them. the earth ceased to bring forth. see whether the circumstance itself which they assert could have taken place. Therefore the whole of that method is impossible and vain. and thus that the new earth. Oh. If any one considers during how long a time and in what manner an infant is reared. but grown up: and it never came into their mind to say this. nor having been created. retaining the productive seed. if that can be called method by which it is 26 . which can scarcely happen within the space of one year. unless. For they must have lain for many months cast forth. and motions of the stars. then. But. and also that. and the condition of time was changed. For while the animals were yet unborn. without dying. since the sun would scorch them or the cold contract them? But. and by the excrements of its own body mixed together. is a wonderful and indescribable provision.

that it might be the seat of God Himself. having refuted those who entertain false sentiments respecting the world and God its Maker. and death. first of all. unless it receives it from the heaven. He Himself mixed the nature of all belonging to the generation of life. for He made them so. But if nothing can be done or produced without design. and placed it under the heaven. and suspended it on high. AND ITS PARTS. acute. lest that of man should be insufficient. in which He placed perpetual light. For he who says that all things are produced of their own accord. He Himself formed the body. the sun and moon. so God. inasmuch as he held the image of wisdom. understood that man could not be produced except by God? But. but He placed on the earth the darkness. (emphasis added) Also relevant here is the following: Cf. He decked it with the sun. when all other animals are destitute of them. which we say is assigned to that depraved adversary of God. with the other races of animals. Therefore God. to which that which is called design peculiarly belongs. and the shining orb of the moon. but overthrows method. though ignorant of the sacred writings. it is plain that there is a divine providence. foreseeing. is possessed of perfect majesty. and enlightens all things with the brightest splendour. on the contrary. although He is one only. that a representation of true religion and of false superstitions might be shown from these. concerning which we are informed in the sacred writings of our holy religion. But night.” Do you see that the man. In what manner He effected this He would have taught us. and attributes nothing to divine providence. He Himself infused the soul with which we breathe. and might. there is need of divine testimony. sagacious. which we call man. ch. who in his treatise on the Laws. He placed on the earth darkness. The Sibyl testifies that man is the work of God: He who is the only God being the invincible Creator. and vices from virtues. was produced by the supreme Deity under remarkable circumstances. it is altogether His work. and of most powerful heat. and it alone is seen – yet. nor overpower 27 . in the first book. however. 10 (excerpt): CHAPTER 10 – OF THE WORLD. For of itself the earth contains no light. and of perfect fulness. and I add his words: “This animal. as He taught us other things.. The sacred writings contain statements to the same effect. as a dwelling-place for man. the Creator. various. gifted with memory. For although innumerable stars appear to glitter and shine. For as the sun. made man. and splendour. if it were right for us to know. the Contriver of all things. For these things are as far removed from the former ones. which have conveyed to us the knowledge both of ancient error and of true light. and eternal life. for this alone of so many kinds and natures of animals. and. ibid. although it is but one – from which Cicero would have it appear that it was called Sol. which is contrary to these. Now.attempted that there shall be no method.] God had regard to the future. and with the glittering signs of the twinkling stars. He Himself fixed the figure of the form of men. He willed that it should be surrounded and held together by water. as evil things are from good. since it is a true light. Whatever we are. although far removed from the knowledge of the truth. he assuredly does not assert. and send forth no heat. Then He founded the earth. and the gods above. THE ELEMENTS AND SEASONS. because they are not full and solid lights. yet. Therefore God discharged the office of a true father. shows by a resemblance the many and various superstitions which belong to him. full of method and design. <…> And even in the making of these [namely. let us return to the divine workmanship of the world. partakes of judgment and reflection. and the inhabitants of the lower regions. which rises daily. Therefore. And even Cicero. saw this. God made the heaven. yet. handed down the same thing as the prophets. because the stars are obscured. But He adorned and filled His own dwelling-place with bright lights.

and has convicted of error those that deify creation. on the other hand. and is perfectly ordered throughout. as it were. could fire from water. 2 and note. indeed. moist vapour produces all things. From which also some philosophers and poets said that the world was made up of a discordant concord. cannot be mixed with water. and the universe were borne along without plan. save the Father of Christ. For the one element is. which have power differing from and opposed to one another – heat and moisture. by His own Wisdom and His own Word. because the young of animals are furnished with a body by heat and moisture. For if our argument has proved that the gods of the poets are no gods. but whatever had begun to exist must immediately have been destroyed by conflagration. and which we see taking place. nothing could have been born or have existed.161 161 Cf. Rightly therefore does Ovid say: For when moisture and heat have become mingled. For if the movement of creation were irrational. steers and preserves and orders all things. (Buffalo. which God wonderfully designed for the support and production of all things . St. from ignorance with regard to him. nor. 2. The substance of fire is heat. and discordant concord is adapted to production. as it were. it strictly follows from the elimination of these that the true religion is with us. 3. but I think no one is really in doubt about it. lest. 44-46: §40. (emphasis added) Cf. Each saw something of the truth. Who like an excellent pilot. Book III. it follows that He that is over it and has ordered it is none other than the [reason or] 1 Note that. and yet each was in error: for if one element only had existed. moisture . they conceive.the darkness by their multitude. and fall once more into the same old godless error. the one which proved superior must destroy the other. Against the Heathen. therefore these two things are found to be of chief importance. above 2. and does as seems to Him best? But that is best which has been done. Thales of Miletus from water. because they are opposed to each other. And on this account it was appointed by the ancients that marriage contracts should be ratified by the solemnity of fire and water. while air is implied by the Spirit of God moving over the waters. 28 . masculine. a man might fairly disbelieve what we say. since that is what He wills. 1. But their substances may be mingled. Who is Lord of Creation and Maker of all existence. a man should suppose the wrong maker. and in general has shewn that the idolatry of the heathen is godlessness and impiety. Athanasius. feminine: the one active. whereas earth and water are mentioned by name. And though fire is at variance with water. and if they came into collision. our Lord and Saviour Christ. 1892). the other passive. and all things arise from these two. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. of water. Who then is this. Translated by Archibald Robertson. and this a man can hardly refuse to believe. most holy and above all created existence. 4. Second Series. Heraclitus said that all things were produced from fire. chh. and that the God we worship and preach is the only true One. But if it subsist in reason and wisdom and skill. the element of fire is not otherwise specified. water could not have been produced from fire. but it is more true that all things were produced from a mingling of the two. Vol. but they did not thoroughly understand the matter. Who then might this Maker be? for this is a point most necessary to make plain. and are thus animated to life. The rationality and order of the Universe proves that it is the work of the Reason or Word of God. also 35. the other. Fire. 40. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. 1 if He had not tempered its ardour and force by mingling matter of moisture and cold. For since the power of God consists in heat and fire.

as we have said. but only works by external art. which is without soul and has no power of reason or thought. as regards what we are saying. others in their growth become old and decay.163 163 Joh. and that reason the Word of God. which some are wont to call the seminal 162 162 σπερματικός principle. if there be a Word of God at all. and some are young. while the earth bears grasses and is clothed with all manner of plants. some ripening. the moon goes her circuit. and bears fruit. and from all Creation. Illumined by Him. For being the good Word of the Good Father He produced the order of all things. and all things whatever have their life and movement. and reducing them to one harmonious order. creeping things go along. i. 3. the earth abides fixed. and has the air as its vehicle of expression. birds fly. rivers flow. according to the skill of him that applies it. and the living things in it grow. and 29 . fountains spring forth. 4. and the winds blow: the mountains are reared on high. and the sea is [27-27] kept within bounds. but yet demonstration is possible from what is seen. But by Word I mean. the sea is rough with waves. nor would any created thing have had a fixed existence had it not been made by reason. By reason of Him the water is suspended in the clouds. Who while different from things that are made. hail is formed. and made it fast. is the One own Word of the good Father. the rains shower upon the earth. the stars move. 1. combining one with another things contrary.165 165 De Incarn. the sea is navigated. and has suspended the earth. clouds are filled. such an one would indeed be mad to doubt concerning the Word of God. and man is formed and lives and dies again. though resting upon nothing.—nor such a word as belongs to rational beings and which consists of syllables. and the air receives the sun’s light and the æther his heat. the heaven revolves. 41. <…> §44. not that which is involved and inherent in all things created. because all things subsist by the Word and Wisdom of God. 6. the sun gives light to the world. And if a man were incredulously to ask. 5. the earth is sown and grows crops in due season. He being the Power of God and Wisdom of God causes the heaven to revolve.164 164 νεῦμα. act of will. plants grow. water-animals swim. water cools. and the moon has her measured period of shining. seasons and hours come round. or fiat. i. the very Word which is God. the God of the Universe. fire burns. by His own nod. rains descend. seen and unseen.e. the sun shines. The similes applied to the whole Universe.Word of God. snow and ice congeal.—but I mean the living and powerful Word of the good God. Who by His own providence ordered and illumines this Universe. For by a nod and by the power of the Divine Word of the Father that governs and presides over all.

the Word of God. giving light and life. 2. “Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven image. 9. both Governor and King and organising power. Dionys. moves and orders by His own nod. 23. if you refer to them.while some things are vanishing others are being engendered and are coming to light . He does all for the glory and knowledge of His own Father. it is possible to infer the Word Who ordered these things. And there can be no excuse for disbelieving this. He holds them together and quickens them by His nod and by His providence. we receive a knowledge also of His good Father. by thinking about the word. one needs must behold also God His Father. 5. saying: 176 176 Ps. But all these things. Doctrine of Scripture on the subject of Part I.” But the cause of their abolition another writer declares. “By the greatness and beauty of the creatures proportionably the maker of them is seen. and possesses life and thought. as the Saviour Himself says. But this all inspired Scripture also teaches more plainly and with more authority. xiii. for we see what takes place. CONCLUSION. see with our reason the mind which it reveals. 30 . For an argument when confirmed by higher authority is irresistibly proved. the worker of wonders and marvels. And this one may see from our own experience. and you. xx. From the first then the divine Word firmly taught the Jewish people about the abolition of idols when it said:175 175 Ex. so by beholding the Word of God. 3. and more. But Himself being over all.”172 172 Wisd. by far greater evidence and incomparably more. 4–7. allotting to each its proper function. 3. will be able to verify what we say. we infer that the mind is its source. de Sent. seeing the power of the Word. For as by His own providence bodies grow and the rational soul moves. Nor does He leave out of Himself even the invisible powers. “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” 174 174 Joh. For just as by looking up to the heaven and seeing its order and the light of the stars. so that we in our turn write boldly to you as we do.—so again the same Word of God with one simple nod by His own power moves and holds together both the visible universe and the invisible powers. cxv. §45. while visible things move as they are [28-29] seen to do. 4. xiv. which for their number we cannot mention. nor the likeness of anything that is in the heaven above or in the earth beneath. for if when a word proceeds from men 173 173 Cf. 2. and this requires little proof. making the universe one. and. so that the divine powers move in a diviner way. proceeding from Whom He is rightly called His Father’s Interpreter and Messenger. for including these also in the universe inasmuch as he is their maker also. so that almost by the very works that He brings to pass He teaches us and says.

cxlvii. and Him only shalt thou serve.” Nor has it passed over in silence the doctrine of creation . and giveth food to the cattle. 19. where men who speak of God say180 180 Ps. and left the race of mankind to go entirely unprovided with the knowledge of God? Not so: rather it anticipates their understanding when it says 179 179 Deut. that covereth the heaven with clouds.” 2. that bringeth forth grass upon the mountains. but also from the divine Scriptures. that prepareth rain for the earth. And the language itself shews that they are no Gods. He saith:178 178 Ex. save by Him through Whom all things were made? For the providence over all things 31 . But that the providence and ordering power of the Word also. iv. the works of men’s hands: a mouth have they and will not speak. knowing well its beauty. which abolished the godlessness of the heathen or the idols. should begin to make himself gods of what were not. in that they had the knowledge of God not only from the works of Creation. “Thou hast laid the foundation of the earth and it abideth. 3. “Hear. 4. the Lord thy God is one God. God the Maker of them all. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy strength. go astray and worship them. “Thou shalt have none other gods but Me.” which refers only to the future. vi. The day continueth according to Thine ordinance. 4.” 3. which the Lord thy God hath given to all nations under heaven. O Israel. “Thou shalt have none other gods.” But He gave them.” and again. is attested by all inspired Scripture. passed over in silence. as we have said. 90. Doctrine of Scripture on the subject of Part 3.” Not as if there were other gods does He forbid them to have them. But by whom does He give it.” And again:181 181 Ps. eyes have they and will not see. noses have they and will not smell. but that by their agency the Gentiles should know. 7–9. and shalt cleave to Him. not to be their gods. over all and toward all. but. “Sing to our God upon the harp. cxix. §46. Has then the divine teaching. and green herb for the service of man. And in general to draw men away from the error and irrational imagination of idols. xx. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God.” and again. turning from the true God. such as those who in the poets and writers are called gods. when it says. 5. instead of God’s works. it teaches men firmly beforehand when it says” 177 177 Deut. ears have they and will not hear. lest any attending solely to this beauty should worship things as if they were gods. but lest any. “And do not when thou lookest up with thine eyes and seest the sun and moon and all the host of heaven. hands have they and will not handle. But what is referred to the future does not exist at the time of speaking. though they are none. 13. For the people of the Jews of old had abundant teaching. this passage suffices to confirm our argument. feet have they and will not walk.“The idols of the heathen are silver and gold.

xxxiii. saying: and God said. 19. and all the host of them by the Breath of His mouth. 5. 29-30 “He spake and they were made. and be made. looking at the Father He fashioned the Universe. and true Son. 5. cxlviii. green herb. But being present with Him as His Wisdom and His Word. for they were not yet in being. viii. O man. not being so by participation188 32 . nor addresses to what is not yet made a command to be made. 6. and be created. i. He gave all things strength to be.belongs naturally to Him by Whom they were made. heaven. 7. “let us make man in our image and after our likeness:” for also when He was carrying out the creation of the heaven and earth and all things. He must have said. “What things soever I see the Father doing.184 184 Gen. and. 6. He is the Father’s Power and Wisdom and Word. For if God were giving a command to the things that were to be.183 183 Ps.” But in fact He did not do so. 20. but He gives the command thus: “Let us make man. except His Wisdom. but no one speaks to what does not exist. and come forth. being the good Offspring of Him that is good.185 185 Gen. as He is the power of the Father.” 8. earth. 4. “Be made. “Let the heaven be made. i. all created things in heaven and earth are included as well. 27. v.” and “let the waters be gathered together and let the dry land appear. the Father said to Him. and who is this save the Word of God. He commanded and they were created.” and “let the green herb come forth. he says: “By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made. to use the imperative mood? If He were commanding and addressing the things He was creating. “When He was making the heaven and the earth I was present with Him?” But in the mention of heaven and earth.” and “let the earth bring forth herb” and “every green thing:” so that one must convict Jews also of not genuinely attending to the Scriptures. and organised it and gave it order.” For He tells us that all things were made in Him and through Him. Wherefore He also persuades us and says. as the Saviour says: 187 187 Joh. I also do in like manner. Col. 16. except His Word? Or who was with Him when He made all created Existence.” By which God is proved to be speaking about them to some one at hand: it follows then that some one was with Him to Whom He spoke when He made all things. which says186 186 Prov. concerning Whom in another psalm182 182 Ps. the utterance would be redundant. but were about to be made. save His Word? For to whom could God be said to speak.” as the illustrious Moses also at the beginning of his account of Creation confirms what we say by his narrative.” And His holy disciples teach that all things were made “through Him and unto Him. i. and. Who then could it be. For one might ask them to whom was God speaking. 6–11.

very Light. and Resemblance. without hindrance one to another. 53. very Righteousness. and the worlds beyond it.htm [10/1/08]) 33 . 134) οὐ κατὰ μετουσίαν ἀλλὰ κατ᾽ οὐσίαν θεός. 20:2 Day and night accomplish the course assigned to them by Him. 20:1-17: 20:1 The heavens are moved by His direction and obey Him in peace. 20:3 The sun and the moon and the dancing stars according to His appointment circle in harmony within the bounds assigned to them. so it doeth. to whom be the glory and the majesty for ever and ever. 20:7 The basin of the boundless sea. (emphasis added) Cf.μετοχή. making no dissension. doing good unto all things. 20:16 but far beyond the rest unto us who have taken refuge in His compassionate mercies through our Lord Jesus Christ. the inscrutable depths of the abysses and the unutterable statutes of the nether regions are constrained by the same ordinances. without any swerving aside. putteth forth the food that supplieth abundantly both men and beasts and all living things which are thereupon. Epistle to the Corinthians. cf. very Virtue. 51. 48. but He is the very Wisdom. and unchanging Image of the Father. 20:13 and the everflowing fountains. Cf.com/bible/books/genesis/genesis1_circleearth. Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies:1 Genesis 1:9-13 DAY 3 Circle of the Earth 1 (http://www. and in truth His express Image. 20:12 The winds in their several quarters at their proper season fulfil their ministry without disturbance. 188 nor as if these qualifies were imparted to Him from without. very Truth. He is the wholly perfect Fruit of the Father. de Syn. and thy waves shall be broken within thee}. and very own Power of the Father. but in common with Paul of Samos and many of the Monarchian heretics. 20:5 neither altering anything which He hath decreed.bibleandscience. 20:8 but even as He ordered it. bearing fruit in fulfilment of His will at her proper seasons. 20:10 The ocean which is impassable for men. very Word. are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. created for enjoyment and health. 20:15 All these things the great Creator and Master of the universe ordered to be in peace and concord. and receive power and reason in Him. 20:6 Moreover. 20:9 For He said. as they are to those who partake of Him and are made wise by Him. xiii. 20:14 Yea. and Brightness. 20:11 The seasons of spring and summer and autumn and winter give way in succession one to another in peace. passeth not the barriers wherewith it is surrounded. And to sum all up. Clement of Rome. 20:4 The earth. and is alone the Son. the smallest of living things come together in concord and peace. 135 (Lomm. {So far shalt thou come. This was held by Arians. without fail give their breasts which sustain the life for men. on Ps. gathered together by His workmanship {into its reservoirs}. 20:17 Amen.. The same principle in Orig.

and fashioned. have represented it as existing without any maker. Clement of Rome St. and that the active cause is the intellect of the universe. earth.<…> Church Fathers St. who had early reached the very summits of philosophy. while it would have been right on the other hand to marvel at the might of God as the creator and father of all. 7-9: II. and as impiously as falsely have represented God as existing in a state of complete inactivity. and to admire the world in a degree not exceeding the bounds of moderation. heaven. briefly describes his view of the world as under the control of the creator which results in peace and enjoyment. cut off the most useful and necessary of all the qualities which tend to produce piety. and employs every device imaginable to ward off everything that is pernicious or injurious.1-22: Of Mans First Disobedience. and endowed with life by the intellect. (emphasis added) Cf. became transformed into that most perfect work. Surrounding the earth is the ocean which man cannot pass. “worlds. I. (In The Works of Philo Judaeus The contemporary of Josephus. (7) For some men. and underworld. without being aware of it. Beyond the ocean are kosmoi. “On the Creation”. that on the secret top 34 . for a father is anxious for the life of his children. this world. admiring the world itself rather than the Creator of the world. Clement of Rome in his epistle to the Corinthians (about 95 AD). namely. It may refer to the underworld and upperworlds. He says the following in chapter twenty: <see preceding excerpt> In this chapter there is the common three-layer view of the world. But with regard to that which has not been created. translated from the Greek By Charles Duke Yonge (London. was well aware that it is indispensable that in all existing things there must be an active cause. do. superior to virtue and superior to science.” It is not certain what is meant by kosmoi. and a passive subject. providence: (10) for reason proves that the father and creator has a care for that which has been created. whose mortal tast Brought Death into the World. II. John Milton. With loss of Eden. And those who describe it as being uncreated. thoroughly unadulterated and thoroughly unmixed. but having been set in motion. superior even to abstract good or abstract beauty. (9) while the passive subject is something inanimate and incapable of motion by any intrinsic power of its own. and a workman aims at the duration of his works. [5] Sing Heav’nly Muse. and regain the blissful Seat. and is desirous by every means in his power to provide everything which is useful or profitable for them. Cf. till one greater Man Restore us. “Paradise Lost” (16xx). and all our woe. and who had learnt from the oracles of God the most numerous and important of the principles of nature. (8) But Moses. there is no feeling of interest as if it were his own in the breast of him who has not created it. 18541890). and the Fruit Of that Forbidden Tree. and eternal. also Philo Judaeus.

. That with no middle flight intends to soar Above th’ Aonian Mount. Hence the words of Job are offered to apply to this view: “He doth not consider our things. while it pursues [15] Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime. D. But he is foolish indeed who believes this is due to chance.. Joseph B. which would be impossible if they were merely products of chance. The Catechism of St. In The Catechetical Instructions of St. for Thou know’st. He.T.” Among all the truths which the faithful must believe.D. St.”[1] There are those. They reason thus because they see in this world how the good are afflicted and how the evil enjoy good things. 1939). didst inspire That Shepherd. and He walketh about the poles of heaven. Cf. so that Divine Providence seems to disregard human affairs. et M. I thence Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song. We see how the sun. because he does not know the causes and method of God’s 35 . S. And chiefly Thou O Spirit. hence they believe that human acts do not come under God’s providence. Instruct me. Introduction by Rev. and Siloa's Brook that flow’d Fast by the Oracle of God. is subject to the rule and foresight and an orderly arrangement of someone. Thomas Aquinas. It is just as though a person who is ignorant of medicine should see a doctor give water to one patient and wine to another.S. For God in His just and wise Providence knows what is good and necessary for men.Of Oreb. who believe that God rules and sustains all things of nature. 9-10: The Catechism of St. or of Sinai. and with mighty wings outspread [20] Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss And mad’st it pregnant: 10.. and nevertheless do not believe God is the overseer of the acts of man. Bandas. he is indeed foolish who does not believe in God: “The fool hath said in his heart: There is no God. Ph. this is the first—that there is one God. that dost prefer Before all Temples th’ upright heart and pure. Thomas Aquinas THE FIRST ARTICLE: “I Believe in One God. The order of nature as revealing the providence of God. and hence He afflicts some who are good and allows certain wicked men to prosper. Rudolph G. which operates with a certain definite time and order. since he does not understand the science of medicine which for good reasons prescribes for one wine and for another water. So is it with God. pp. therefore. and the stars.D. He would believe that this is mere chance. He who would believe that all things come into being by chance does not believe that there is a God.D. No one is so foolish as to deny that all nature. Translated with a Commentary by Rev. Collins.”[2] But this is indeed absurd. Ph. The Apostle’s Creed. Thou from the first Wast present.D. Hence. as is spoken of in the Psalm. the moon. Thomas Aquinas. (Baltimore. Thomas Aquinas . What is Faith?. however. In the Beginning how the Heav’ns and Earth Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill [10] Delight thee more. who first taught the chosen Seed. and all natural things follow a determined course. We must see that God means the ruler and provider of all things. S. believes in God who believes that everything in this world is governed and provided for by Him.

therefore. 4. Even some later men like Democritus and Empedocles attributed things to chance in most things. not many gods. but by one only. If a being lack that which constitutes supreme perfection. be wise at last. But by a more profound diligence in their contemplation of the truth later philosophers showed by evident proofs and reasons that natural things are set in motion by providence. 1. iv.” First Article. firmly believe that God governs and regulates not only all nature. there the group is found to be ruled and provided for by one. xiii. doth He not consider? . 13. Among these. Therefore after the majority of men asserted the opinion that natural things did not happen by chance but by providence because of the order which clearly appears in them. ye senseless among the people. This is evident from the position of the ancient natural philosophers who admitted only the material cause. Because of this many erred in the beginning about the truth from an imperfect knowledge. Indeed the opinion of these first men was not correct because they held that the world was made by chance. there were some who excluded divine providence and attributed everything to fortune and to chance.. “And they said: The Lord shall not see. . For in the beginning they attained a very limited understanding of the truth. He that planted the ear. This is seen in that wherever [9-10] the regulation of human affairs is well arranged. “I wish that God might speak with thee. it is. therefore. For such a sure course in the motion of the heavens and the stars and other effects of nature would not be found unless all these things were governed and ordered by some intellect transcending the things ordered. Understand. 5. it is evident that the government of the world is not by many gods. not many. 7). and would open His lips to thee. xxii. and. Prologue (tr. Brian Mullady) (© 1996-2009 Western Dominican Province) (excerpt): PROLOGUE Just as things which are generated naturally reach perfection from imperfection by small degrees. Thomas Aquinas.dealing with men. Ps. imperfect and cannot have the nature of God” (“Roman Catechism. Job. so it is with men in their knowledge of the truth.”[5] We believe that God who rules and regulates all things is but one God. and it is impossible that what is highest and absolutely perfect could be found in many. The Lord knoweth the thoughts of men. but also the actions of men. a doubt emerged among most men about the acts of man as to whether human affairs evolved by 36 . that He might show thee the secrets of wisdom. both our thoughts and the hidden desires of our will. 14. . and that His law is manifold: and thou mightest understand that He exacteth much less of thee than thy iniquity deserveth. 6. 3. you fools. the necessity of doing good is especially imposed on man since all his thoughts. He that formed the eye. Commentary on the Book of Job. Job. But since divine government exceeds in every way that which is merely human.”[3] We must. Heb.[6] ENDNOTES 1. 2. shall He not hear. xi.” “The Creed. St. Ps. words and actions are known in the sight of God: “All things are naked and open to His eyes. xciii.”[4] God sees all things. We attribute to God the highest goodness and perfection. Thus. 7-11. but later they gradually came to know the truth in fuller measure. For a number of heads often brings dissension in their subjects. “There is but one God. neither shall the God of Jacob understand. Cf. 5-6.

and employs every device imaginable to ward off everything that is pernicious or injurious. Philo Judaeus. namely. superior even to abstract good or abstract beauty. Cf. For this reason the first and foremost aim of those who had pursued wisdom inspired by the spirit of God for the instruction of others was to remove this opinion from the hearts of men. For nothing so calls men back from evil things and induces them to good so much as the fear and love of God. But that the just are afflicted without cause seems to undermine totally the foundation of providence. admiring the world itself rather than the Creator of the world. (9) while the passive subject is something inanimate and incapable of motion by any intrinsic power of its own. but good and evil indifferently befall both the good and the wicked. this world. and a passive subject. was well aware that it is indispensable that in all existing things there must be an active cause. On the other hand. evil things do not always befall the good nor good things the wicked. nevertheless this can be excused in one way or another by divine compassion. translated from the Greek By Charles Duke Yonge London. the books composed by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit for the instruction of men. (7) For some men. And those who describe it as being uncreated. and fashioned. and eternal. who had early reached the very summits of philosophy. (8) But Moses. while it would have been right on the other hand to marvel at the might of God as the creator and father of all. But with regard to that which has not been created. “On the Creation”. 7-12: II. the Book of Job occupies first place in the order of Holy Scripture. are proposed as a kind of theme for the question intended for discussion. and as impiously as falsely have represented God as existing in a state of complete inactivity. (11) 37 . 1 and who had learnt from the oracles of God the most numerous and important of the principles of nature. no reverence or true fear of God will remain among men. became transformed into that most perfect work. thoroughly unadulterated and thoroughly unmixed. and endowed with life by the intellect. without being aware of it. cut off the most useful and necessary of all the qualities which tend to produce piety. The whole intention of this book is directed to this: to show that human affairs are ruled by divine providence using probable arguments. G. and a workman aims at the duration of his works. have represented it as existing without any maker. providence: (10) for reason proves that the father and creator has a care for that which has been created. (In The Works of Philo Judaeus The contemporary of Josephus. Each man can weigh well how great will be the propensity for vice and the lack of desire for virtue which follows from this idea.chance or were governed by some kind of providence or a higher ordering. H. do. others attributed their outcome to a fatalism ruled by the heavens. Some said that human affairs proceed by chance except to the extent that they are ruled by human providence and counsel. Bohn. The methodology used in this book is to demonstrate this proposition from the supposition that natural things are governed by divine providence. This fact then especially moved the hearts of men to hold the opinion that human affairs are not governed by divine providence. For if divine providence is denied. This idea causes a great deal of harm to mankind. 18541890] II. Thus the varied and grave afflictions of a specific just man called Job. perfect in every virtue. and that the active cause is the intellect of the universe. and to admire the world in a degree not exceeding the bounds of moderation. For although it seems irrational and contrary to providence at first glance that good things sometimes happen to evil men. but having been set in motion. This doubt was fed especially because there is no sure order apparent in human events. and is desirous by every means in his power to provide everything which is useful or profitable for them. superior to virtue and superior to science. For good things do not always befall the good nor evil things the wicked. So after the promulgation of the Law and the Prophets. for a father is anxious for the life of his children. there is no feeling of interest as if it were his own in the breast of him who has not created it. The affliction of just men is what seems especially to impugn divine providence in human affairs.

commit suicide. by whom God is proved uncertain. money. so that it should have no superintendent.’ It will not have been irrelevant to have diverged to these topics. which have already been widely disseminated because of the unceasing enquiry into the nature of God. and one for which no one should contend. 1944) (excerpt): Everywhere in the whole world at every hour by all men’s voices Fortune alone is invoked and named. thinking that a thing which has not been uncreated is as alien as possible from that which is visible before our eyes (for everything which is the subject of our senses exists in birth and in changes. in which nature’s bounty of itself suffices. the forecasts made by oracles. or more presumptuous. 1 This is in accordance with the description of him in the Bible. a stumble – counted as omens. and even inconsiderable trifles – sneeze. (12) But the great Moses. (emphasis added) Cf. and above all death. on which account it was not without a wise purpose that he recorded its creation. so that among these things but one thing is in the least certain – that nothing certain exists. holding that for all men that ever are to be God’s decree has been enacted once for all. Rackham. 38 . or regulator. or judge. Ch. alone impeached. inconstant. and that punishment for wickedness. His late Majesty put abroad a story that on the day on which he was almost overthrown by a mutiny in the army he had put his left boot on the wrong foot. H. But it agrees with life’s experience to believe that in these matters the gods exercise an interest in human affairs.It is then a pernicious doctrine. the prophecies of augurs. and is not always in the same condition). by whom everything must be managed and governed. and we are so much at the mercy of chance that Chance herself. Put the chief consolations for nature’s imperfection in the case of man are that not even for God are all things possible – for he cannot. alone rebuked and visited with reproaches. and attributes events to its star and to the laws of birth. as God is occupied in so vast a mass of things. This belief begins to take root. nor cause a man that has lived not to have lived or one that has held high office not to have held it – and that he has no power over what is past save to forget it. it follows of necessity that it must have been created. Another set of people banishes fortune also. the supreme boon that he has bestowed on man among all the penalties of life. Pliny’s Natural History. and prove that it is this that we mean by the word ‘God. giving a very venerable account of God. then. deemed volatile and indeed by most men blind as well. 1 tr. and that nothing is more pitiable. yet is never frustrated. she alone fills both pages in the whole of mortals’ account. alone accused. ambition. This series of instances entangles unforeseeing mortality. and the learned and unlearned mob alike go marching on towards it at the double: witness the warnings drawn from lightning. while for the rest of time leisure has been vouchsafed to Him. fickle in her favours and favouring the unworthy. than man! inasmuch as with the rest of living creatures their sole anxiety is for the means of life. Book II. while of that which is the object of our external senses he had predicated generation as an appropriate description. Since. the one blessing indeed that is actually preferable to every other being the fact that they do not think about glory. such as anarchy is in a city. and that man was not born God’s next of kin for the purpose of approximating to the beasts in vileness. wayward. alone pondered. even if he wishes. has attributed eternity to that which is invisible and discerned only by our intellect as a kinsman and a brother. and (to link our fellowship with God by means of frivolous arguments as well) that he cannot cause twice ten not to be twenty or do many things on similar lines: which facts unquestionably demonstrate the power of nature. nor bestow eternity on mortals or recall the deceased. uncertain. this world is visible and the object of our external senses. alone applauded. takes the place of God. V (Loeb Classical Library vol. though sometimes tardy. where he is represented as being learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. to establish a system in this world. To her is debited and that is spent and credited all that is received.

As God pleased. The expression. some part of the land remains uncovered by the waters.e. because water is especially apt to be changed into living things. a child. and a heavy yoke lies on the sons of Adam from the day they come forth from their mother’s womb until the day they return to their burial in the mother of them all. and naked I shall return there. Cf. Job 38:8: 8 Who shut up the sea with doors when it burst forth as though coming from a womb…? Cf. ch. he continues then speaking about the waters which are immediately placed over the land. “from the womb. Blessed be the name of the Lord! In all these things. “He said: Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb. “when it burst forth as though proceeding from the womb.11. so it has been done. he shaved his head and he fell on the ground and worshipped. There were some who thought the action of the sun dried up some part of the earth.” i. On the earth as a womb of subterranean waters. he demonstrated from the condition of nature so the text said.” namely. Thomas’s Lesson 4 on 1:21: The Fourth Lecture: Job’s Submission 20 Then Job arose and rent his robe.” not because it has had its origin from other corporeal matter. the waters burst forth from the deep “as Pharez broke out of his mother’s womb. Brian Mullady) (© 19962009 Western Dominican Province). from the earth which is the common mother of everything. On this point cf. as God holds back the waters of the sea within their certain limits by his power. but because it proceeded from the hidden origin of divine providence as from the womb. This is why the seed of all things is moist.” (40:1) This can also be interpreted in another way. but he can return to the state which he had in the womb of his mother in a certain respect. First. 39 . and plants. …Job revealed the state of his mind not only by deeds. Thomas Aquinas. since exterior goods are not connatural to him. but also by words.” He uses the word “to break forth” because it is a property of water to move almost continually. “Great hardship has been created for man. but the Lord shows that it has been disposed from the beginning that the sea does not cover the land everywhere. to the earth. “from my mother’s womb” can be literally taken as the womb of the mother who bore him. 38. The natural order of the elements requires that water surrounds the earth at every point like air surrounds earth and water at every point. The child first comes forth from the womb of its mother. animals. Literally. He says the sea proceeds. For he rationally demonstrated that although he suffered sadness. Job did not sin with his lips. (emphasis added) N. For a man cannot return a second time to the womb of his own mother. it has been effected for the generation of men. namely in that he is removed from the company of men.. Lesson 1: After the foundation of the earth.” (Gen. he did not have to yield to sadness. and so he says. 38:29) as John Gill puts it. but come to him accidentally. “Who shut up the sea with doors. St. Commentary on the Book of Job (tr.” the term “there” establishes a simple relation. He describes the production of the sea using the comparison of the birth of a living thing. the Lord has taken away. nor did he say anything foolish against God.” with determined limits. But by divine disposition. The Lord gave. Sirach speaks in the same vein saying. “and naked shall I return there. In saying this he reasonably shows that a man should not be absorbed with sadness because of the loss of exterior goods.B. 21 He said: Naked I came from my mother’s womb. When he says next “naked I shall return there. and he means this when he says.

31 Playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men. 1. and I was already conceived.P.. What are the “fountains of the great deep?” This phrase is used only in Genesis 7:11. and poised the fountains of waters: 29 When he compassed the sea with its bounds. Proverbs 8:22-31: 22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways.christiananswers. before he made any thing from the beginning. “Fountains of the deep” is used in Genesis 8:2. So when these accidental goods are taken away if the substantial ones remain man ought not to be overcome by sadness although sadness may touch him. Pierre Conway. O. where it clearly refers to the ocean. 30 I was with him forming all things: and was delighted every day. lect. n.e. O. (emphasis added) The same conclusion is suggested by considering “the fountains of the great deep” of Genesis 7 and 8: Cf. Larcher. 24 The depths were not as yet. Book II. and Proverbs 8:28.” indicating either relative importance or the order of events. Commentary on Aristotle’s Meteorology (tr.P. playing before him at all times. that to some. For they say that when water is raised aloft through evaporation and then re-descends. where God’s fire of judgment is said to dry up the great deep.R.” i. 23 I was set up from eternity.html [11/30/09]) 40 . where the precise meaning is not clear. Thomas Aquinas. probably the oceans. and Psalm 36:6 where it is used metaphorically of the depth of God’s justice/judgment. nor the poles of the world. 1 (http://www. nor the rivers. and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when be balanced the foundations of the earth. 125: …He says therefore first [122]. from some large depth where a great amount of water is gathered. (emphasis added) That we should understand the womb of the earth here is also evident from the following considerations: Cf. Amos 7:4. [1964]). and of old before the earth was made.net/q-aig/aig-c010. the same things seem to be true of the generation of rivers as was said of the generation of winds. “The great deep” is used three other times: Isaiah 51:10. the waters of which the Lord speaks in Job 38:8 are fountains originating from the earth: Cf. It is as if they were understood to emerge from some “great womb. (emphasis added) Clearly. I was present: when with a certain law and compass he enclosed the depths: 28 When he established the sky above. neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out: 25 The mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth: 26 He had not yet made the earth. where it clearly refers to the same thing.This is evident since a man comes into this world without them and leaves this world without them. it collects under the earth and thus flows on to generate springs and rivers. St. 27 When he prepared the heavens. “Noah’s Flood – Where did the water come from?”1 The Fountains of the Great Deep The “fountains of the great deep” are mentioned before the “windows of heaven. and F.

not “divine providence” as such ( pace St. Gaster. in another article. The “breaking up” and “bursting forth” (i.” (emphasis added) ⊂ We conclude. Psalm 104:6: “Thou didst cover it [the earth] with [the] deep [ tehôm] as with a garment. On the interpretation of “the deep”. Ezekiel 26:19.grisda. 8:2). is this: having brought into being the waters of the deep. and usually refers to the oceans (e. Psalm 42:7.e.org/origins/22058.”[1] [1] Strong’s Concordance Cf. This word may be derived from the Hebrew root ybl “to flow. 104:6. cf. The”. and the Lord sits as King forever. Isaiah 51:10. . which in the Flood narrative is usually associated with mayim “waters. but sometimes to subterranean sources of water (Ezekiel 31:4.” seems to have become “a technical term for waters flowing or streaming forth and as such designates the flood (deluge) being caused by waters.htm [12/17/06]) 41 . Richard M. This technical term clearly sets the Genesis Deluge apart from all local floods. The primeval state of things. p 71). Hasel devoted an entire scholarly article to the phrase “all the fountains [ma yenoth] of the Great Deep [tehôm rabbah]” (Genesis 7:11. then. that by the sea which burst forth as from a womb the Lord means us to understand the subterranean waters that afterward in Noah’s day He permitted to burst forth in the Deluge. and is utilized in the Psalm 29:10 to illustrate Yahweh’s universal sovereignty over the world at the time of the Noahic Flood: “The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood. geological faulting) of not just one subterranean water spring in Mesopotamia. Job 38:30. and showed how it is linked with the universal “Deep” (tehôm) or world-ocean in Genesis 1:2 (cf.g. Origins 5:83-98 ]. Jonah 2:3). 1970): 1 (http://www. Theodor H.. “Biblical Evidence for the Universality of the Genesis Flood”:1 Seventh.. although ultimately they derive therefrom). Encyclopedia Judaica (New York. God restrained their chaotic force. Thomas. but rather “the earth which is the common mother of everything”. Origins 1:67-72]. For the Hebrew conception and its Near-Eastern parallels. mabbûl is in the Old Testament a term consistently employed for the flood (deluge) which was caused by torrential rains and the bursting forth of subterranean waters” (Hasel 1978 [ Some issues regarding the nature and universality of the Genesis Flood narrative. by His rebuke causing them to recede from the surface of the earth into their proper bounds where they will be held in check until the time of the Flood. 15).“The deep” is used more often.. Hasel perceptively concludes that “the bursting forth of the waters from the fountains of the ‘great deep’ refers to the splitting open of springs of subterranean waters with such might and force that together with the torrential downpouring of waters stored in the atmospheric heavens a worldwide flood comes about” (Hasel 1974 [The fountains of the great deep. recognizing their source to be. then. “Deep. p 92-93). Genesis 1:2. 63:13. the waters were standing above the mountains”). 12. far transcends a local scene. Davidson. spring.” The term mabbûl. but of all the “fountains” of the Great Deep.. The Hebrew word (mayan) translated “fountains” means “fountain. coupled in the same verse with the opening of the windows of the heavens. 41:32. Eighth. Hasel (1978) shows how the Hebrew Bible reserved a special term mabbûl [= “flood” or “cataclysm”] which in its 13 occurrences refers exclusively to the universal Genesis Flood (12 occurrences in Genesis. well. once in Psalm 29: 10). to stream.

” like a beast. c. In the wake of Isaiah 27:1.. art. possibly. It is related in the Talmud (Ta’an.e. and the upsurging of it was partly responsible for the Deluge (Gen. q. and the stairs connecting the two courts of the Temple were called popularly “the stairs of Tehom” (Targ. which holds the middle place.e. nos.. and again be defeated. 42:8). Comparable is the classical notion that Proteus. while in ancient Mesopotamian folklore the seven sages (apkallK) who introduced civilization. 28:30) to have covered the mouth of the deep. xxii.. reflected in the words of Psalms 29:10: “the Lord sat enthroned over the flood” (see Gaster in bibl. the water finds its way back to the tehom through tunnels and then surges up again to the springs and repeats the cycle. 1. the old man of the sea. respectively. 7:11). 14 seems. Thus.. art. Wisdom exists prior to the creation of the deep. (excerpt) (tr. Ex.. Augustine’s conception. with special reference to St. In the Babylonian Epic of Creation the primordial ocean is personified as the monstrous Tiamat. In Ecclesiasticus 24:8 Wisdom is said to have walked primordially “in the depth of the abyss. as Augustine says (Contr. Similarly. Faust.” while in the second century C. who launches battle against the supreme god Anu. bidding the waters of the former to pour down.. St.” the two parts of her body forming. Bundahi2n 29:9). iv. a notion which recurs in Iranian lore (Yashts 19:38–44. the dwelling of the supreme god El being located at their confluence. The rock on which the Temple was built at Jerusalem is said in later legend (Targ. ii. but is eventually subdued by Marduk and slit lengthwise “like an oyster. Ia. to protest against this idea. The ancient Hebrews believed that the earth lay across an all-encompassing ocean. stands midway between the upper and lower oceans. Rivers and springs were believed to emanate from the nether tehom (Targ. 120). cf.DEEP. English Dominican Fathers): …The formlessness of water. however. this word signifies the mass of waters without order. while in Proverbs 8:24. (emphasis added) Cf. i. Ps. post-biblical legend asserts that at the end of the world this monster will again break loose.E. On the Power of God by Thomas Aquinas. Thomas Aquinas. 25–31). Most frequently it denotes the latter.” The Canaanite myths from Ras Shamra (Ugarit) speak similarly of “the two oceans” (thmtm). THE. where Tehom is described as “crouching below. 25b) that the angel Rdy. the vault of heaven and the bedrock of the earth.. and which also leaves traces both in the New Testament (Rev. (excerpt): 42 . as interpreted by Targum and Rashi. Dhorme.. Quaestiones Disputatae de Potentia Dei. The term is used in the Bible either for the primordial waters in toto (Gen. Related to this is the belief that the supreme god sits enthroned over the waters of the nether flood. on the horizon. 1:2) or for the upper or lower portion alone (cf. 324. q. Lucian was shown a spot in the temple at Hierapolis into which the waters of the Deluge were said to have gathered. is omniscient. c. Summa Theol. p. 11). This belief is. 69.. 750–1. who is in charge of rain. and of the latter to rise. and it is then conventionally rendered “the deep. translated by the English Dominican Fathers (1952). “abode of wisdom” (E. For the theological and philosophical underpinnings of this notion. is called the “deep. i. 31). by which the freshwater abyss is called. emerge from the deep (Gaster. believes that after surging up from this nether tehom and flowing through streams into the sea. the temple of Marduk at Babylon and that of E-ninu at Lagash rested reputedly on the nether ocean. cf. Ecclesiastes 1:7. pp.” because. 1:7. 843–54. 20:1–3) and in the Talmud (BB 75a).. which they called tehom. 42). Weinsinck in bibl.. Religion assyro-babylonienne (1910).” and in Babylonian glossaries the name Apsu. in a Hittite myth the god who conquers the dragon Illuyankas is subsequently installed “above the well. The personification of the primordial ocean as a monster is further echoed in Genesis 49:25. Jon. 73). is fancifully etymologized as ab-zu. Job 28:12. Eccles. no. the supernal and the infernal. Ps.

.” t he word “deep” might be taken to mean the infinite mass of water.” I answer that. because earth among all the elements of the world is the least beautiful. who does not introduce the order of time into the distinction of things. and the primary element of all bodies. and this is incidental to matter because of privation. Thomas Aquinas. considered superficially. which is the genus of the brightest line [read light]. Selected Writings. (emphasis added) Cf. for abyss is formed from a. because of its receptibility to forms. without light. The text of Genesis. might lead to the adoption of a theory similar to that held by certain philosophers of antiquity. Book II (translated by Ralph McInerny. 3. because the wet is receptive and terminable. prime matter must be understood as wholly unformed. and thus it will be called by the name of water or earth by reason of similitude. Ia. St.. art. who taught that water was a body infinite in dimension.. and byssus. “Darkness was upon the face of the deep. In Thomas Aquinas. It is written (Gn. But it is called the abyss because it is incidentally evil. English Dominican Fathers): On the contrary. Thomas Aquinas. as it is called earth on account of the lack of form.. Summa Theol..”‘ It should be known that according to Augustine. Faust. For earth has the least form of all the elements since it is the grossest element. infinite in extent.> Article 5 Are the four coevals properly assigned? <. 1998): DISTINCTION 12 CREATION OF MATTER <. exists above that heaven. (emphasis added) Cf. q. 43 . c.The element of water lacked due order and distinction from the element of earth: and this lack of form is designated by the word deep. On this view the firmament of heaven might be said to divide the waters without from those within–-that is to say. These philosophers also taught that not all corporeal things are confined beneath the heaven perceived by our senses. as was said.> Thomas’ Explanation of the Text of Peter Lombard As Augustine says in Against the Manicheans. sc. St. xxii. that is. 68. (excerpt) (tr. and let it divide the waters from the waters. from all bodies under the heaven. but that a body of water. ‘without’. “What Moses calls by the name of earth. as is said in Physics 1. Thus in the words. Penguin.. since they took water to be the principle of them all. ii). understood as the principle of all other bodies. 1:6): “Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters. Commentary on the Sentences. which signifies a certain inordinate immensity of the waters according to Augustine (Cont. but water.

). is not to be termed earth.g. J. e. as without basis.C. although the isolated references in Iliad book xiv (8 and 9) to Okeanos as origin of all things were also probably based upon the same near-eastern concept.1 Against this profusion of parallel material from the east and south-east for the waters under the earth.Or it is called abyss. and also sailed under the earth each night (not round it. they contain no implication of the special idea that the earth floats on water. and so are unlikely to have been the origin of Thales’ assertion of this idea. Kirk. from a slightly different aspect. For the evidence furnished by a consideration of Thales of Miletus (620? – 546? B. Wherefore. of the widely-diffused near-eastern generic concept of the earth rising in the midst of the primeval waters – a concept almost certainly not native to the Greek-speaking peoples. In the story of Eridu (seventh century B. The naive Greek conception of a river Okeanos surrounding the earth (ch. but is an invisible and formless being which [b] receives all things and in some mysterious way partakes of the intelligible. S. ‘the deep that coucheth beneath’ (Deut. and is most incomeprehensible. and established it upon the floods’ (24. 2).13) . Thus Thales’ view that the earth floats on water seems to have been 44 . rimmed dish resting upon water. and M. cf. 1960. Similarly Tehom is ‘the deep that lieth under’ (Gen. Jowett): Wherefore. in the beginning ‘all land was sea’. and Apsu remains as the waters under the earth after Marduk has split the body of Tiamat to form sky (with its waters) and earth. Schofield. and on the raft a reed-hut which became the earth. Thales would no doubt be encouraged and gratified to have the apparently native Homeric precedents. or is maintained by. or water. although it was probably a much earlier development. But according to other saints we can say that according to the text it was under the substantial form of earth or water. in a different direction. the sun sailed each day across the sky in a boat. In the same way that which is to receive perpetually and through its whole extent the resemblances of all eternal beings ought to be devoid of any particular form. water. B. or any of their compounds or any of the elements from which these are derived. Timaeus 50 E—51 B (tr. 7). or fire. there is no comparable Greek evidence apart from Thales. In the Babylonian creation-epic Apsu and Tiamat represent the primeval waters. ‘founded it upon the seas. xxxiii. as in the Greek legend. G. cf. but begin by making [51] the surface as even and smooth as possible. For any more general contention that the earth came from. Similarly. which also filled the sky. the mother and receptacle of all created and visible and in any way sensible things. pp. So too prime matter is called abyss insofar as it is deprived of form through which it receives substantive existence. xlix. of some great depth and of the deepest waters. 25). (emphasis added) For a related conception of matter. An analogous view is implied in the Psalms (where the Leviathan is an analogue of Tiamat). that which is to receive all forms should have no form. as in making perfumes they first contrive that the liquid substance which is to receive the scent shall be as inodorous as possible. Second Edition). according to Augustine. then Marduk built a raft on the surface of the water. Raven. Plato. or air. 1 §2) is not strictly comparable (for it is clear that there is no Okeanos under the earth). 92-95: The near-eastern origin of part of Thales’ cosmology is indicated by his conception that the earth floats or rests on water. where Jahweh ‘stretched out the earth above the waters’ (136. in its youngest extant version). E.C. The Presocratic Philosophers (Cambridge. 6). whose home before the migrations into the Greek peninsula lay far from the [92-93] sea. or as those who wish to impress figures on soft substances do not allow any previous impression to remain. In Egypt the earth was commonly conceived as a flat.

as his views on the universe are concerned. Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. Paul Tannery pointed out the similarity between Thales’ view of the world and that contained in ancient Egyptian papyri. especially pp.most probably based upon direct contact with near-eastern mythological cosmology. supporting the earth. and it was so. formed the vault of heaven. So far. however. limited.2 1 These instances are cited by U. 1931). Ancient Egyptian Religion (N. he may also have been directly influenced (as he seems to have been for the special detail that the earth floats on water) by foreign. Hermes 81 (1953).. and let the dry land appear. Before Philosophy 59ff. 2 Thales evidently used the floating-earth idea to explain earthquakes. Introduction. Heath. Frankfort. According to these. 1948). there existed in the beginning the Nu. pp. and the waters separated into two masses. and H.. and the stars. perhaps Egytian versions…. We may compare also the first chapter of Genesis. cleaves in twain with his scimitar. began to float. in Thales’ view. and the Babylonians. the supreme God of Babylon. We have already seen that he had associations both with Babylonia and with Egypt. the Hebrews. The cosmological scope of the idea is. and air again when heated becomes fire. We may assume therefore that. standing upright in his sacred bark which had endured for millions of years. earth is the result of condensation of water. Thales may have rationalized the idea from a Greek mythological form like the Homeric one. and it was so. verses 6 to 10: “And God said. conducted by an army of secondary gods. and the conjecture might hazarded that Thales was indebted to Egypt for this element of his world-picture. and divided the waters [xx-xxi] which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. and let it divide the waters from the waters. 11ff. the planets. Greek Astronomy (London. Wilson. xx-xxi: Thales’ theory of the universe was this. Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place. The one gave rise to the rivers and the ocean. the commentator on Aristotle. A. the earth was flattened out. 1. the chaos. And God made the firmament. and it seems reasonable to conclude from Aristotle’s information in 85 that Thales also thought that the world originated in water. a primordial liquid mass in the limitless depths of which floated the germ of all things. Some of the material is treated in ch.. The sun. the waters above.” The Babylonian account of creation contains apparently the same idea of the primordial watery chaos being cleft into two parts. Sir Thomas L. the other. For the idea of Nun. conjectures that Thales derived his ideas from myths current in Egypt. Thales was not greatly in advance of the Egyptians. and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas. suspended above. since this is implicit in the near-eastern mythologies and is stated in the Homeric Okeanos-passages which are thought to be based on those mythologies. the one “first principle” (as Aristotle calls it) or material cause of all things is water. however.. And God called the firmament Heaven. (emphasis added) 45 . glides slowly. borne by an eternal current. air is produced from water by rarefaction. being personified as a monster which Marduk. The idea that the earth actually floats upon water was more clearly and more widely held in the latter of these countries. 114. Simplicius. there was in the beginning only the primordial mass of water and from this other things were gradually differentiated. (emphasis added) Cf. When the sun began to shine. therefore. he would therefore presumably regard it as a flat disc or short cylinder. Holscher in his convincing discussion of Thales. on which the stars and the gods. And God called the dry land Earth. the Egyptian primeval ocean. Thales said that the earth floats on the water like a log or a cork.. And God said. According to him. see also the remarks of J.Y. 385-91.

but gradually sank until a small hillock appeared. p. . and Mother Tethys. Iliad XIV. The shift in perspective from mythology to science that occurred 2600 years ago in Greece was localized and limited. cf. D. W. Guthrie. 11 Lindberg D..): The discovery of natural science by the early Greek philosophers did not represent a revolutionary change in our view of the world.Cf. . 1 (Cambridge.K. For more on the last point made by Heath. as some have portrayed it. it was the appearance of new. the replacement of mythology by philosophy.M. mythology. F.. .C. Of these early philosophers. But the outward difference only disguises an inward and substantial affinity between these two successive products of the same consciousness. from whom the gods are sprung.10 The transition from myth to science.). The modes of thought that attain to clear definition and explicit statement in philosophy were already implicit in the unreasoned intuitions of mythology.. 11 In fact. Religion expresses itself in poetical symbols and in terms of mythical personalities. History of Early Greek Philosophy Vol. for Greek mythology did not disappear but continued to flourish for centuries. Cornford observes: . 1995. which are still everywhere beneath it—as Thales said—and also surrounding it like the Homeric Oceanus. and speaks of substance. The Beginnings of Western Science. 10 Cornford F. matter. and so forth. New York.C. Katz. 1962). Summary of an Egyptian creation myth (c. 2500 B. 1992:25. cause. 92:637-645. “Emergence of Scientific Explanations of Nature in Ancient Greece. Arnold M. 1957:v. . building on the highly developed but practically oriented technology and mathematics of Babylon and Egypt. The Only Scientific Discovery?” ( Circulation. C. From Religion to Philosophy: A Study of the Origins of Western Speculation. and Oceanus. on this hillock the creator god made his first appearance. philosophical modes of thought alongside. . Homer. but instead emerged through an evolutionary process in which a remarkable school of presocratic philosophers. sought to understand nature by modifying an older paradigm. and this is no matter of superficial analogies. Rather. 1 At first the waters covered everything.. Lindberg says of the appearance of Greek philosophy: This was not. Ill: University of Chicago Press.C.. 46 . belief in the gods and in magic continued to be dominant in Western culture long after the Greek world had ceased to exist as a political and social entity. philosophy prefers the language of dry abstraction. that of mythology. even them that lovingly nursed and cherished me. Chicago. (emphasis added) 1 Cf. therefore. there is a real continuity between the earliest rational speculation and the religious representation that lay behind it. or sometimes mingled with. NY: Harper & Bros Publishers. 59: The earth itself had arisen out of Nûn the primordial waters. 200-203 (translator not given in my source text): For I am faring to visit the limits of all-nurturing earth. M. represented not so much the appearance of a new rational approach to the understanding of nature as the discarding of mythical personifications of natural phenomena.

” Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies:1 And a Mighty Wind Hebrew Text Myhla jwrw . but of pre-eminent power. of Basil (Hom.htm [9/16/08]) 47 . Who is said to “move over the water”–-that is to say. it is fittingly implied that the Spirit moved over that which was incomplete and unfinished. Moreover. “The Bible: Genesis 1. 22). It is the opinion. On “impressing vital power”: the Spirit of God moving over the waters. But according to the holy writers. ibid: Was Blowing Upon the Surface of the Waters Hebrew Text mymh ynp-lu tpjrm ..bibleandscience.” the air or the wind. 31). Ia q. Summa Theol. First. Second.was blowing upon the surface of the waters 1 (http://www. St. however. light had not been created so the earth lying in darkness could not be seen. over what Augustine holds to mean formless matter.and a mighty wind <…> Basil follows the LXX saying the earth was invisible for which he gives two reasons. 7). 74. as Plato also did.com/bible/books/genesis/genesis1.” (emphasis added) Cf. 3:5: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost.13.. ad 4 (tr. Darkness was unlighted air (1963. Thomas Aquinas. ii in Hexaem. i. art. ad lit. ii) understands by the “Spirit of the Lord. as though He stood in need of them. the comparison with the hen brooding on her eggs: Cf.” For water has especially a life-giving power. 3. English Dominican Fathers): Reply to Objection 4: Rabbi Moses (Perplex. and the seed of all animals is liquid. the Spirit of the Lord signifies the Holy Ghost. as Augustine says (Gen. Cf. Also the life of the soul is given by the water of baptism. “fostering and quickening its nature and impressing vital power. since many animals are generated in water. the earth was submerged under water and therefore could not be seen. according to Jn. For love of that kind is subject to. He views a literal earth that was created but submerged contrary to Ambrose. not superior to. as the hen broods over her chickens.) that the Spirit moved over the element of water. and says that it is so called according to the custom of Scripture. he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. the object of love. Basil sees the Holy Spirit of God stirring above the waters with warm and fostering care like a bird brooding over its eggs (Ibid. Cf. lest it should be supposed that God loved of necessity the works He was to produce. in which these things are throughout attributed to God. since that movement is not one of place.

48 . to be the parents of generation: and so the Scriptures represent the original earth as standing out of the water. and consisting of it. and of those that first wrote on divine things. hence probably the notion. and the waters being lighter rose up above the others: hence Thales {q} the philosopher makes water to be the beginning of all things. on Genesis 1:2: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters . 22:11. was brooding over. The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and the New Testaments (New York. 104:3. and by it is meant the Spirit of the Messiah. Some have suggested that the spirit is like a bird brooding over the world egg from which the earth hatched. indicates continuous action. as Onkelos. Psa. The wind in the OT is sometimes described as having wings (2 Sam. “The meaning of the verb rhp is the same in three places in which it occurs. 23:9). Adam Clarke. “My heart is broken within me. The Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem call it the spirit of mercies. I am like a drunken man. Aben Ezra. (emphasis added) Cf. Consider also the following: Cf. and observes. John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible (1748). “the Spirit of God moved”. Hos. with Tethys. before they were drained off the earth. soaring. like a man overcome by wine” (NIV). was not made until the second day. see Job 26:13. which is to be understood not of a wind. that the world was generated from an egg. The root word pjr occurs only two other times in the OT (Deut. on Gen 1:2: Moved] [Hebrew omitted] merachepheth. and both are describing the creative activity of the spirit. that is. which the wind is a motion of. It here probably signifies the communicating a vital or prolific principle to the waters. 2Pe 3:5 and upon the surface of these waters. Gaster sees here the ancient idea of the wind-bird where the wind is described as a bird-god (1969. There is some debate whether pjr means brooding. Jeremiah 23:9 says. which covered the earth. as in the garnishing of the heavens. as many Jewish writers {t} call him. is implied in the original word. for the word expresses that tremulous motion made by the hen while either hatching her eggs or fostering her young. 18:11. 5). who was concerned in the creation of all things. as do the Indian Brahmans {r}: and Aristotle {s} himself owns that this was the most ancient opinion concerning the origin of the universe. Ps 104:6 the earthy particles being heaviest sunk lower. or the ocean. This is the same verb form as in Genesis 1:2. and Jer. the third Person in the blessed Trinity. “like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers ( pjr) over its young. that it was not only the opinion of Thales. 32:11. hovering. 15). Stadelmann concludes. interpret it. or violent flapping in this verse. and many Jewish writers. which prevailed among the ancients. 1811). so in bringing the confused matter of the earth and water into form and order. that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions” (NIV). and it is frequent in Hesiod and Homer to make Oceanus. As the idea of incubation. and it indicates in all cases violent. since the air. not gentle motion” (1970. Deuteronomy 32:11 says. Here pjr clearly means shake or tremble. or hatching an egg. all my bones tremble.Hebrew participle tpjrm. 4:19). but of those that were the most remote from the then present generation in which he lived. as well as Christians.

234. as an hen upon eggs to hatch them. No gaps. Deorum. 1. B. 20. {b} Euseb. Some great catastrophe took place. 10. Chagigah. 21. which left the earth “without form and void” or ruined. 18. And mad’st it pregnant. Junius. the white the air. as Macrobius {d} says. 14. in Ro 5:12 we read that death is the result of Adam’s sin. Lactant. l. in Vita Anaxagor. l.This same Spirit “moved” or brooded {u} upon the face of the waters. Tremellius. as being an image of the world. and they perhaps from the Jews. Praepar. on Genesis 1:24: Ver. {r} Strabo. However. 1984. 3. l. p. Baal Hatturim in loc. Toronto. 15. 128. according to Sanchoniatho {c}. 5. l. Cicero do Natura Deorum. {w} ----and. and therefore he thought the question. Evangel. endued with a divine power. Tracing back through the biblical genealogies we can determine the age of the universe to be about six thousand years with an error of not more than two per cent. Evangel. p. ver. l. p.. with mighty wings outspread. and 6. 3. Sinic. This sense and idea of the word are finely expressed by our poet {w}.. 364. The Egyptians had a deity they called Cneph. (Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847) in 1814 was the first to purpose that there is a gap between verse 1 and 2. {c} Apud Ib. 10. were mainly laid down by Noah’s flood. Box 5015. and which he borrowed from the Egyptians and Phoenicians.---. c. Also. Stn. 1.O. 1. Canada. F. {f} In Avibus. protogon. fol. {u} tpxrm “incubabat”. “In the Minds of Men”. {g} This speculation has been popularised by the 1917 Scofield Reference Bible. 1. 4. in which state it remained for as many years as the geologist required. P. 2. {x} Laert. and water. 363. Piscator. and to this incubation of the spirit. 107. fol. l. Some traces of this appear in the nous or mind of Anaxagoras. and fol. the shell of which formed the heavens. Geograph. c. let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind . that there was an infinite darkness in the abyss or deep. Because the rock layers display death on a grand scale. Caphtor Uperah. p. 22. Vajikra Rabba. {d} Saturnal. 113. 4. of the form of an egg. Dovelike satst brooding on the vast abyss. c. which formed all things out of water {y}. c. 1. 235. 16. {e} Martin. and in the rites of Bacchus they worshipped an egg. 91. TEF Publishing. or egg of Orpheus {a}: or the firstborn or first laid egg. so he to separate the parts which were mixed together. l. the numerous rock layers that are the supposed proof for these ages. {y} Cicero de Nat. 24. There is no direct evidence that the earth is much older than six thousand years. {t} Zohar in Gen. is owing the windy egg of Aristophanes {f}. Ed. c. idem. fol. And God said. Hist. or wind. de falsa Relig. p. Euseb. sect. in Vita Thaletis..Milton’s Paradise Lost. 3. out of which all things were formed. Bereshit Rabba. 1.. which were heavenly birds. 1. was of some moment. l. 2. out of whose mouth went forth an egg. and give them a quickening virtue to produce living creatures in them. p. “as a dove on her young”. and which was reckoned by them a resemblance of the world. were in the chaos {z}: and perhaps from hence is the mundane egg. 4.) {q} Laert. otherwise these would not be six normal days. which they interpreted of the world {b}: and the Zophasemin of the Phoenicians. {s} Metaphysic. of Virgil. p. However. we have the direct eyewitness report of God himself that he made everything in six days. whether an hen or an egg was oldest. p. 2. to impregnate them. 14. 3. which when all things were mixed together came and set them in order {x}. l. as some would have it. and a small intelligent spirit. {z} Apud Drusium in loc. and the “spiritus intus alit”. 11. In Ex 20:11 we read of a literal six day creation. 115. Bab. See Topic 8756. were. 7. 7. 3. 504. l. not even for one minute. fol. and the “mens” of Thales he calls God. and with this agrees what Hermes says. and deserved consideration: and the Chinese say {e}. that the first man was produced out of the chaos as from an egg. about which the scriptures say nothing. {g} Ian Taylor. 3. Praepar. l. 491. fol. 15. (emphasis added) Cf. {a} Hymn. they could not have existed before the fall of Adam. 33. 49 . &c. Into this gap he places a pre-Adamic age. c. 2. and the yolk the earth. The same sentiment is in B. 1. T. l. 156.

and in the day was consolidated by the heat of the sun. was not made till the third day v. that these creatures were produced of the earth. An Exposition. 1. I. ran to the place of a like kind. yet no doubt it was by the power of God accompanying his word. of whom those that had got a greater degree of heat went upwards. 7. and that still more subtilized. the process was thus carried on. and formed into their several shapes. both for its vastness and because the waters which were afterwards separated from the earth were now mixed with it. and of the sun on the fourth. properly taken. in Vita Archelai. (emphasis added) Cf. at night received nourishment by the mist which fell from the ambient air. and those that chiefly partook of a moist or watery nature. that God the Father Almighty is the Maker of heaven and earth. {e} Ib. which moved on it whilst a fluid. delivers as his notion. This immense mass of matter was it out of which all bodies. 524. the earth being stiffened by the rays of the sun. that animals were produced out of slime. through the heat of the earth liquefying the slime like milk for food {d}: and Zeno the Stoic says {e}. With Practical Observations. not that the earth was endued with a power to produce these creatures of itself. of The First Book of Moses. it is also called the deep. the first article of our creed. v. even the firmament and visible heavens themselves. till at length the enclosed foetus having arrived to a perfect increase. and then out of the mixture of these proceeded plants and animals. 1. 10). p. and became flying fowl. and had been prepared and disposed for such a production by the heat of the body of light created on the first day. where we find. destitute of its ornaments. and somewhat like is that which Archelaus. to our comfort. Matthew Henry. mere earth. v. but all this they seem to suppose to be done by the mere efforts of nature. without the interposition of God: for though it might be impregnated with a quickening virtue by the Spirit of God. and were called swimmers or fish. and as such we believe in him. <…> II.All sorts of living creatures that live and move upon the earth. Here is the work of creation in its embryo. 1. those that were endued with an earthly concretion were reckoned in the class or order of reptiles. p. and the moist matter being made fruitful by the genial heat. the grosser part of the watery matter of the world made the earth. This is the account they give. and the membranes burnt and burst. Chapter 1: Gen 1:1-2 In these verses we have the work of creation in its epitome and in its embryo. where we have an account of the first matter and the first mover. 99. It is here called the earth (though the earth. p. the thinner part the air. whose sentiments Diodorus Siculus {c} seems to give us. 2. {d} Laert. in Vita Zenonis. A chaos was the first matter. because it did most resemble that which afterwards was called earth. In its epitome. the fire. were afterwards 50 . such a heavy unwieldy mass was it. whereas Moses here most truly ascribes their production to the all powerful Word of God: <…> {c} Bibliothec. and other terrestrial animals. creatures of all kinds appeared. the master of Socrates. Called Genesis (1706). l. The Heathens had some traditionary notion of this affair: according to the Egyptians. and all the other kinds.

45:7). still appears to be nothing but confusion and emptiness. Isa. 14. in this earth. it is darkness itself. for darkness. Ps. without ornaments. Summa Theol.. and lo it was without form. The Creator could have made his work perfect at first. at the beginning of time. but the fountain of life and spring of motion. can. thick darkness. That God is not only the author of all being. since many animals are generated in water. bring our vile bodies out of the grave. for it was without form and void.—as the hen gathers her chickens under her wings. and void . 34:11. and without any order (Job 10:22). 23:37. if a spirit of life from God enter into it. methinks it is like the valley full of dead and dry bones. and. and the seed of all animals is liquid. (1. yet there was no light to see it by. Ia q. in comparison with that upper. To those who have their hearts in heaven this lower world. nor needs the want of it be much complained of. nor how the bones are joined together in the womb of her that is with child: so thou knowest not the works of God. There is no true beauty to be seen. but in God only. 1 Cp. and darkness. as the hen broods over her chickens. English Dominican Fathers): It is the opinion. this chaos represents the state of an unregenerate graceless soul: there is disorder. This is our condition by nature. which yet could not be said to be wanted till something was made that might be seen by it. so these words are rendered. confusion and emptiness. (2.) that the Spirit moved over the element of water. but by this gradual proceeding he would show what is. 32:11. And this makes it credible to us that God should raise the dead. If the work of grace in the soul is a new creation. 33:6. and can make them glorious bodies.” For water has especially a life-giving power. 74.) There was nothing in it desirable to be seen. 2. That power which brought such a world as this out of confusion. The earth is almost reduced to the same condition again by the sin of man. Heb. 4:23. See Jer. when there was nothing to be seen but confusion and emptiness. however. it is dark. Eze. no satisfying fulness to be enjoyed. it was without inhabitants. God did not create this darkness (as he is said to create the darkness of affliction. Can these live?1 Can this confused mass of matter be formed into a beautiful world? Yes. who is the maker of all.—as the eagle stirs up her nest. for it was only the want of light. and hovers over them. Toho and Bohu. to warm and cherish them. for the Spirit of God begins to work. ii in Hexaem. “fostering and quickening its nature and impressing vital power. Eccl 11:5: “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit.produced by the power of the Eternal Word. the shadow or rough draught of things to come. ad 4 (tr. for it is without God. He moved upon the face of the deep. Observe the description of this chaos. The Spirit of God was the first mover: He moved upon the face of the waters . as Elijah stretched himself upon the dead child. I beheld the earth. of Basil (Hom. emptiness. though it is a land of darkness as darkness itself. if he work. Deu. It was shapeless. When we consider the earth without form and void. under which the creation groans. The comparison with the hen. and by the same mighty worker the new creation is effected. till almighty grace effects a blessed change. and not the image of the things. was upon the face of the deep. Isa. Learn hence. it was useless.” 51 . art. who or what shall hinder? God is said to make the world by his Spirit. Thomas Aquinas. and flutters over her young (it is the same world that is here used). 37:9. Now there is hope concerning this thing. 3. Cf. it is empty of all good. Job 26:13. Dead matter would be for ever dead if he did not quicken it. and every evil work.) If there had been any thing desirable to be seen. the method of his providence and grace. St. ordinarily. confusion. at the end of time. Mt. 10:1.

reflecting the ancient traditions of Memphis. erected under the Nubian king Shabaka (712-698 BCE) of Dynasty 25. known as the “Memphite Theology. idem:2 A Brief Survey of Scholarship: Genesis 1-2 as Polemic Against Egyptian Creation Mythologies Dr. In the Work of the Six Days... “And God said. “And the Spirit of God moved over the (face of the) waters”.com/ShowArticle. Hoffmeier28 <. according to Jn... that is..aspx?ID=83&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 [11/9/08]) Idem. Gordon Johnston Parallels Suggested by James K. the waters themselves are like the seed of an animal. a site in Lower Egypt in the Nile Delta. 3:5: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost. ..” claims to be a copy of an ancient worm-eaten papyrus scroll.> [3] In the Memphite Theology. cf. Gordon Johnston Introduction (excerpt) Creation Mythology of Memphis: Creation by the Spoken Word of Ptah The third major cult center in ancient Egypt was at Memphis.Also the life of the soul is given by the water of baptism. “Let there be …!” Hoffmeier also notes the concept of creation by divine command is not found in Babylonian creation accounts. creation by the spoken word. 15.let there be”. etc. 52 .32 1 2 (http://eedin. its most distinctive feature is creation. 12 The Memphite Theology reiterates the basic mythology of Heliopolis. the Spirit of God moving over the waters resembles the hen brooding over her chicks. For an Egyptian parallel. Throughout Genesis 1.” (emphasis added) In sum. impressing its vital power thereon. he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.. This text. Accordingly. (emphasis added) [footnotes omitted] Cf. the creator god brings about creation by combination of the conception in his heart and the command of his tongue.attributed to a combination of the conception in the heart (volitional will) and spoken command of the tongue (divine word) by the creator god. God’s word is indicated by the words. “Ancient Egyptian Creation Mythology”:1 Abstract: The Polemical Background Of Biblical Genesis 1-2 by: Dr. God’s word and will in creation. The chief source for the content of the creation mythology of Memphis is the Shabaka Stone. 13 However. God brings about creation by the power of His divine command. but His will by the words.

and who can do. (emphasis added) Cf. Principal conclusion. the world must be perfect... It therefore follows that the form imparted to the world must be like a soul. But the immediate principle of the appearance of life must be a created cause. God’s acts: creation separation or division adornment speaking His word 16. its first principal part. the first work of distinction is seen to correspond to the first stage in the generation of an animal 53 . A principle cannot be fecundating unless it acts in virtue of its subject’s substantial form. as a result of receiving its first form.” Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society 15 (1983): 32-48. and does whatever he will. <. which is its soul. it is admired by Longinus the Heathen in his treatise “of the Sublime”. whose word is clothed with power. And God said. his orders are always obeyed. and efficacy of the divine Being. Hoffmeier. But this conclusion brings us to the point of considering the resemblance between the world and a living thing.> 32 Hoffmeier. and was God. like the sun.28 James K. Once we recognize that the Spirit of God corresponds to the spirit enclosed in the seed of the male.. as a noble instance of it. understood to be the heart but we have already seen how the heavens informed by light corresponds to the heart of an animal therefore. Since nothing can generate its like without being perfect.. Perhaps the divine Person speaking here is the Logos or Word of God. authority. If the Spirit of God corresponds to the seed of the male. and the stars. and who himself is the light that lightens every creature. 3. we note the following: • • • • in Aristotle’s understanding of animal generation. the form received by the world necessarily corresponds to the substantial form of a living thing. 42. then the material creation must correspond to the seed of the female. Now we have already seen that the informing of the heavens by light corresponds to the formation of the animal’s heart. This phrase is used nine times in this account of the creation. But if so. the moon.. which was in the beginning with God. power. and as soon as he pleases. on Genesis 1:3: Ver. the seed of the male is composed of pneuma and water but the first thing produced in being is the first principle part. John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible (1748).. and it is most beautifully paraphrased and explained in Ps 33:6 as expressive of the will. “Some Thoughts on Genesis 1-2 and Egyptian Cosmology.

And the Spirit of God moved over the waters (c) 2013 Bart A. Mazzetti.§ The Opening of Genesis Part III. 54 . All rights reserved.