The Opening of Genesis Part VI.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”
(c) 2013 Bart A. Mazzetti §

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TEXTS. 9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.
9 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός συναχθήτω τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑποκάτω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ εἰς συναγωγὴν μίαν καὶ ὀφθήτω ἡ ξηρά καὶ ἐγένετο οὕτως καὶ συνήχθη τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑποκάτω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν καὶ ὤφθη ἡ ξηρά

9 Dixit vero Deus: Congregentur aquæ, quæ sub cælo sunt, in locum unum: et appareat arida. Et factum est ita. 1:9. God also said; Let the waters that are under the heaven, be gathered together into one place: and let the dry land appear. And it was so done. §

I. ON THE WORK OF THE THIRD DAY. II. ON GENESIS 1:2. II. THE WORK OF THE FIRST THREE DAYS AS EMBODYING CERTAIN NATURAL PRINCIPLES. §

N.B. Inasmuch as several sections of this paper have been taken from others in this series, the reader will notice the recurrence in several places of the same witnesses. Rather than replace them with an explanatory note, however, for his convenience I have let them stand intact, trusting to the reader’s ability to use the Page Down function to skim.

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I. ON THE WORK OF THE THIRD DAY. 1. Some observations by the Jewish Sages on the work of the third day: Cf. Midrash: Breisheet I: Creation:
Why is “It was good” not written about the second day [of creation]? R. Samuel bar Nachman said: Because the disposition of the waters was not yet finished. Consequently, “It was good” is written twice in connection with the third day, once about the disposition of the waters and a second time about the work that was begun and completed on that day. A Roman noblewoman asked R. Yose, “Why is ‘It was good’ not written about the second day?” He replied, “But in fact, Scripture subsequently does include all the days in the words ‘And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.’” She said, “Suppose six men came to you, and you gave to each of five one maneh, but you did not give one to the sixth, and then you gave a second maneh to all of them together. Would not each of the first five now have a maneh and one- sixth, while the sixth man would have only one-sixth of a maneh? I am still baffled.” At that, R. Yose, retracting his own explanation, explained the matter in the same way as R. Samuel bar Nachman. R. Simon, in the name of R. Joshua ben Levi, told the parable of a king who had an excessively fierce legion, and he said: Since the legion is so fierce, let it not bear my name. Likewise, the Holy One said: Since the generation of the flood, the generation of Enosh, and the generation of the dispersion of mankind will be punished by water, let not “It was good” be set down concerning water. But R. Hanina explained: Because separation [that is to say, disunion] was brought into being on the second day, as indicated in “Let [the firmament] separate water from water” (Genesis. 1:6), [the statement “It was good” does not occur]. In this regard, R. Tavyomi noted: If there is no mention of “It was good” about an act of separation conducive to the world’s improvement and well-being, all the less should such words occur in describing occasions leading to the world’s disarray.

Cf. ibid.:
On the third day, the earth was as flat as a plain, and the waters covered the entire surface of the earth. And when out of the mouth of the Almighty there issued the command “Let the waters be gathered together . . . and let the dry land appear” (Genesis 1:9), mountains and hills rising up in different parts of the earth emerged over its entire surface, so that it became pitted with many valleys. As the core of the earth rose up, the waters rolled down into the valleys [and became seas]. Forthwith, swelling with pride, the waters rose in order to cover the earth as at the beginning. But then the Holy One rebuked them, subdued them, placed them beneath the soles of His feet, and measured out their extent with His own span, so that they should neither enlarge nor diminish. And as a man makes a hedge for his vineyard, so He made the sand into a hedge for the seas, so that when the waters rise and see the sand before them, they turn back and recede . (emphasis added)

Cf. Midrash Rabbah Genesis I Volume I:
GENESIS (BERESHITH) [V. 1-3 2. R. Judan and R. Berekiah observed: The whole world was one mass of water, yet you actually say, INTO ONE PLACE ! This may be compared to ten inflated wine-skins lying in

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R. ed. 15). blessed be He. R. Part I. Behold \ He [consumeth] the waters. 10. 35 V. and removes them into a corner. 16)? Which means. transl. where I investigate the powers at works in the first three days of creation.a chamber.). (Ps. to the place specially prepared to receive the waters. etc. as you read. § 1 See Part II below. 8). which slaps it and says. 3). and He deflated them. 3. p. 'Let us go and obey the fiat of the Holy One. 8): which place hast Thou founded for them? The Ocean. The floods have lifted up their voice. we are broken: receive us. as it were. Joshua b. xxm. into the 1 V. On mazzal cf. 7. IJananiah said: To the receptacle (diksa) of the sea.N. Bialik and Y. n. 10:5. The Book of Legends (Sefer ha-Aggadah). by William G. ed. 3~5] MIDRASH RABBAH waters absorbed by the sea. they descended into valleys unto the place which Thou hast founded for them (Ps. & It was for this purpose that the waters were to be gathered together at the Creation. xcin. permits their air to escape. IX. (Sonc. 5 R. 4 . “Grow!”12 12 Gen. and they dry up. blessed be He'. 135. Even so did the Holy One. Our Rabbis interpreted it: We are crushed (dakkim): receive us. Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea (Job xxxvin. R. For a witness relevant to my interpretation of the appearance of plant-life at the end of the third day. Huna explained: To this sea (ha-dak yama). 6 I.e. 629. (New York. it also says. Braude. 8 The waters having been hitherto inflated. n. Simon said: There is not one herb without its own constellation ( mazzal) in heaven. Eliezer said: The sea absorbed them. Levi said: The waters said to each other. Sanh. 4 E. derekyam (to the way of the sea). as it is written.V. Levi said: [' Dokyam '] means. by H. civ. thus it is written. 'But whither shall we go/ asked they? 'Let the floods take up (dokyam)/ 4 replied He. and they overturn the earth (Job xii. R.1 cf. infra. p. R. Here it is stated that not only each man but each herb has its own mazzul. When the king needs their place. what does he do to them? He unties them. Abba b. Ravnitsky. R. And He treadeth upon the waves of the sea (ib. tread down all the primeval waters 3 and remove them into the Ocean. They ascended the mountains. 11: 35. until they came to the Ocean [Mediterranean]. Kahana interpreted it: To such and such a place (dok\ to such and such a corner. R. Joshua b. Nehemiah said: The waters ascended mountains and descended into the depths. R. as it is written. 'their roaring' .H. 1992). R. also He sendeth them out.

quod excedit aërem. Ad Claras Aquas. ne labantur. and of what kind are the waters. He Himself knows who founded (them) ». namely (those) solidified as ice. Vol. that is from waters. 2. Cf. and what kind are they? « However if it disturbs [movet] someone. Qui enim infra caelum ligat aquas ad tempus vaporibus nubium retentas. 4: Magistri Petri Lombardi Arch. The Second Book of the Sentences (tr. Opera Omnia S. In what manner can waters be above the sky. quae super illud caelum sunt. in what manner waters. that is. de Deo scriptum 4 esse meminerit: Qui ligat aquas in nubibus suis. Ch. scilicet ut glacies solidatae. et quales sint aquae. 333-335. DE RERUM CREATIONE ET FORMATIONE CORPORALIUM ET SPIRITUALIUM ET ALIIS PLURIBUS EO PERTINENTIBUS DISTINCTIO XIV. 1885. can even consist above the (sidereal) heaven. pp. Chapter IV. 14. On the works of the second and third days according to Peter Lombard. Alexis Bugnolo). Episc. can also suspend waters above the sphere of the sky not by the tenuousness of vapors [vaporali tenuitate]. ipse novit qui condidit ».2. which heaven was made. Br. sed glaciali soliditate aquas suspendere. 5 . scilicet illud in quo fixa sunt sidera. — Ecce ostensum est his verbis. quomodo aquae natura fluidae et in ima labiles super caelum possint consistere. Notes by the Quaracchi Editors. Quales autem et ad quid conditae sint. Parisiensis Sententiarum Quatuor Libri LIBER SECUNDUS SENTENTIARUM. Master Peter Lombard Archbishop of Paris The Four Books of Sentences THE SECOND BOOK OF THE SENTENCES ON THE CREATION AND FORMATION OF THINGS CORPORAL AND SPIRITUAL AND MANY OTHERS PERTAINING TO THIS DISTINCTION 14 Latin text taken from Opera Omnia S. Peter Lombard. et de qua materia. Quomodo aquae possint esse super caelum. he will remember (what has been) written of God: 4 Who binds the waters in His clouds. Vol. IV. lest they fall. and from which matter. 1885. which are above that heaven. Dist. Bonaventurae. Bonaventurae. id est. Moreover of what kind (they are) and for what they were founded. (the one) which exceeds the air. scilicet de aquis. fluid in nature and able to fall into the depths [in ima labiles]. (it was made). — Behold there is shown with these words. 2. pag. but by the solidity of ice [glaciali soliditate]. potest etiam super caeli sphaeram non vaporali tenuitate. Cum Notitiis Editorum Quaracchi Cap. 333-335. « Si quem vero movet. et quales sint. For He who binds beneath the sky the waters retained for a time in the vapors of clouds. quod caelum factum sit. namely that in which are fixed the constellations [sidera]. Part I. Ad Claras Aquas.

7. codd. quod excedit aërem. ut feratur vaporaliter super aërem aquis naturaliter leviorem.. caelum) coniungunt cum praecedente propositione. Scripturae est Ps. Aquas autem. 1 Utrum vero nomine firmamenti caelum. an ipse aër hic intelligatur. beclouded with the exhalation of the earth. in whatever manner they may be there. sicut videmus. which are above that heaven. 6. c. is had in the Glossa ordinaria nearly word for word. 3 Omissa inscriptione capituli. VII. 103. with whom (St. ibi esse non dubitamus. he says. just as we see. asserting. draws waters in the manner of vapor and suspends (them) through subtle particles [minutias]. haec et sequentia usque ad cap. de quo igne sidera et luminaria facta esse coniectant. 2 Hexaëm. However whether there is understood here by the name of “firmament” the heaven.. (which is) naturally lighter than waters. reading which for That. which exceeds the air. Bk. qui dicitur esse caelum. that the heaven. 1 Gen. Erf. or the air itself. Yet he seems to approve more. 6 . 1:6. super aërem purum ignem esse. 57. et edd.. that above the air there is pure fire. 3. quibus Augustinus5 consentire videtur. 57. quae coniunctio ex eo explicari potest. ad v. 6. This text. — According to the testimony of the Erfurt codex. are drawn and suspended in the lightest drops [levissimis guttis]. habetur in Glossa ordinaria fere ad verbum. qui excurrit usque in cap. etiam super illud levius caelum minutioribus guttis et levioribus imman-are vaporibus »?6 Sed quoquo modo ibi sint. e. IV. et post corpulentius conglobatas pluvialiter refundit. 3 Hexaëmeron. arrive at particles so small [tantas minutias].) Augustine5 seems to agree.. Magis tamen approbare videtur. just as this air. 103:3. quod spatia aëris excedit. — The passage of Sacred Scripture is Ps. which exceeds the spaces of the air. quod in antiquis manuscriptis Having omitted the title of the chapter. II. which is said to be the heaven [caelum]. — Locus sequens s. « water can. 1. which conjunction can be explained from this. the codices and editions conjoined the quod to the preceding proposition. that it remains [immanare] above that lighter heaven in more minute drops and lighter vapors »?6 But we do not doubt that (waters) are there. (is) of a fiery nature. therefore. vocem quod (i.7. these and the following up to chapter VII. — Testante cod. Sent. Moreover the waters. II. idem Augustinus quaerit nec solvit. which exceeds the spaces [spatia] of the air. and pours (them) back (upon the earth) in the manner of rain [pluvialiter] after they have condensed together in larger drops [post corpulentius conglobatas].Quidam vero caelum. ad tantas minutias pervenire. 6. dicit vaporaliter trahi et levissimis suspendi guttis. caelum illud hic accipi. that there is accepted here that heaven.) Augustine asks and does not solve. from which fire they conjecture the stars and luminaries (of heaven) have been made. However certain (authors) say. cur non credamus. have been taken from Gandolphus. ch. Hic textus. Sent. the same (St. as to be born in the manner of vapor above the air. quae super illud caelum sunt. on v. sumta sunt ex Gandolpho. which runs on to chapter IV. why do we not believe. sicut aër iste nubilosus exhalatione terrae aquas vaporaliter trahit et per subtiles minutias suspendit. If. quod excedit aëris spatia. Si ergo « potest aqua. 2 Gen. igneae naturae dicunt asserentes.

quando aquae congregatae sunt in unum. et appareat terra. p. nearly word for word. Part II. 4 4 Iob 26. [Trans. — At the start of chapter IV for fluid in nature [natura fluidae]. with not a few other editions has emanates [emanare]. have incongruously of a fluid nature [naturae fluidae]. 14. II. 6.. Eodem enim die protulit terra herbam virentem. — Verba. in which text for immanare the Vatican edition. Dist. August. — In initio cap. cum Vat. 7-8: PARS II Cap. 1 et cod. fere ad verbum. . 5. . that in the ancient manuscripts the titles of the chapters were written not rarely along the margin. was made from waters [Crystalinnus . et quod 5 On a Literal Exposition of Genesis¸ Bk. cit. 22: et gelavit crystallus ab aqua. IV. the codices. codd. n. and what follows is ibid. together with the Vatican edition and all the other editions. 8 exhibent. quod edd. 8. 4.] 6 August. Tertii diei opus est congregatio aquarum in unum locum. in puro aëre clarior fulgeat. note: A little below this spaces of the air (aëris spatia) seems to be said.. Ch. cum nonnullis aliis edd. de qua lectione Lexicon Forcellini annotat: Est qui legit immanare. et appareat arida. 5 Libr. quae sequuntur: Crystallinus . n. c. n. sed minus recte (pro immanere). when the waters were gathered together into one. 43:22: and crystal is frozen from water [et gelavit crystallus ab aqua]. 1. so that light.) Augustine. 7. quae cooperta latebat. 4. 8 Job 26:8. absolvit. cit. p. 4. de aquis factus est alludere videntur ad Eccli. . . et ceteris edd. Cf.) Augustine’s (works). de aquis factus est] seem to allude to Eccli. ut habet ed. There follows: God said: Let the waters be gathered together into one place. . et quae aquis limosa erat fieret arida et germinibus apta. lignumque faciens fructum ». loc.4 PART II Chapter VII. ch. — Paulo post pro solvit 3. which had brightly cleansed [lustraverat] the waters with clear light in the past two days. in quo textu pro immanare Vat. ad lit. The Second Book of the Sentences. quae praeterito biduo aquas clara luce lustraverat. ut lux. 6. 7. In-congrue naturae. — ed. c. might gleam clearer in the pure air. de Gen. but less rightly (for im-manere).. Erf. concerning which reading the Lexicon of Forcellinus notes: There is the reading immanare. pro natura. « Congregatae sunt enim omnes aquae caelo inferiores in unam matricem. which editions 1. A little after this for solve [solvit] edition 1 and the Erfurt codex have resolve [absolvit]. Sequitur: Dixit Deus: Congregentur aquae in locum unum. « For there were gathered together all the waters below heaven into one matrix. ch. emanare. and let the dry land appear. VII. On the work of the third day. because according to Aristotelian cosmology. 8. the air is contained beneath several different concentric heavens. 5 and 8 exhibit. n. which (when) covered had lain hidden. . 43. The work of the third day is the gathering together of the waters into one place. loc.). — The words. and (so that) the land might appear. ch. c.tituli capitulorum non raro ad marginem scribebantur. 3. which follow: For crystalline stone . sequitur ibid. as is had in the edition of (St. 4. and (so that) what had been 7 . ibid. De opere tertii diei. 6 (St. II.

For water is heavy by nature. English Dominican Fathers): Whether there are waters above the firmament? Objection 1: It would seem that there are not waters above the firmament. ubi congregatae sunt aquae. where the waters were gathered together. even though there are many seas and rivers. But none of God’s works are useless. and for that reason were able to brought down [redigi] into one place. but by being gathered together were thickened. and not above the firmament. Quomodo omnes aquae congregatae sunt in unum locum. Ideoque cum dixerit aquas congregatas in unum locum.. which are among the lands [in terris]. q. there cannot be water above it. that the earth subsiding proffered (its) hollow [concavas] parts. because all the rives and seas are joined into a great sea. yet (Scripture) says that the waters (were) gathered together into one place on account of the continuity [continuationem] of all the waters. « But if it be asked. sed congregatione esse spissatas. were rarer. congregationesque aquarum. and heavy things tend naturally downwards. quia cuncta flumina et maria magno mari iunguntur. St. it could have come to be. And for that reason when it said that the waters (were) gathered together into one place. which had covered the lands as a nebula. Objection 3: Further. it then says in the plural. 8 . Summa Theol. For on the same day the earth brought forth the green herb [herbam virentem]. How all the waters were gathered together into one place. 2 (tr. quae sicut nebula tegerent terras. quae in terris sunt. potuit fieri. so that water would be useless there. which had covered the whole space even unto heaven. propter multifidos sinus earum. VIII. Therefore there are not waters above the firmament. Cumque multa constet esse maria et flumina. The position of St. « Si autem quaeratur. in unum tamen locum dicit aquas congregatas propter continuationem omnium aquarum. But bodies of composite nature have their place upon the earth. Therefore. on account of the their many-cloven [multifidos] gulfs. Cf. Thomas Aquinas on the foregoing matters. and fluids cannot rest on a sphere. and the gatherings of the waters [congregationesque aquarum]. Objection 2: Further. Thomas Aquinas. not upwards.4 Cap.slimy with waters might become dry and apt for shoots [germinibus]. 3. as experience shows. water is an element. and wood bearing fruit [lignum faciens fructum] ». ut terra subsidens concavas partes praeberet. since the firmament is a sphere. according to the relation in which imperfect things stand towards perfect. And though [it] is established that there are many seas and rivers. quibus omnibus ex magno mari principium est ». ubi fluctuantes aquas rariores fuisse. cum multa sint maria et flumina. Therefore there are not waters above the firmament. and appointed to the generation of composite bodies. art. where the fluctuating waters. et ideo facile in unum posse redigi locum. water is fluid by nature. quae totum texerant spatium usque ad caelum. Ia. deinde dicit pluraliter. 68. Chapter VIII. the beginning of all of which is out of the great sea ».

but that “the thoughtful contemplation of them by those who understand fulfils the glory of the Creator. as they say volatilia cœli (Gen ii. the following. if we understand by water not the element but formless matter. cont.) that these words do not mean that these waters are rational creatures. 4).” Hence in the same context. and whatever their mode of existence. it may still be said to divide the waters. 3:60): “Ye waters that are above the heavens. And in fact clouds. iv. as being of the nature of the four elements then the waters above the firmament will not be of the same nature as the elemental waters. Again. where the higher clouds form. Since therefore he has proved that the air is called heaven. hail. unless its space divided between certain water vapors. and if these drops become thicker. It is written (Gn. et al. and those waters that flow more fully on earth. says (Super Gen. not. in gathering and accumulating. fiery. bless the Lord. ii. “These words of Scripture have more authority than the most exalted human intellect. But to say. we cannot for a moment doubt that they are there. from the Veritas website: St. he showed that the air is also called heaven. then the waters above the firmament must rather be the vapors resolved from the waters which are raised above a part of the atmosphere. as they rest on the peaks of mountains. then. For if by the firmament we understand the starry heaven. and the sea poured out below. 5. from those that were above the firmament. But if by the firmament we understand the starry heaven. Now we often see clouds accumulate in the air close to the earth. these waters to be material. ad lit. 20. ad lit. one heaven is called empyrean. 7). fire. the air is not able to hold it. 148:4): “Let the waters that are above the heavens praise the name of the Lord. II. if the firmament is held to be of other nature than the elements. solely on account of its splendor: so this other heaven will be called aqueous solely on account of its transparence. produce just such a kind of very small drops. If. so that frequently they even pass the mountaintops. according to Strabus. Augustine. which was very easy. so that he might assert the faith proposed by Scripture from visible natures themselves. that is. i in Gen.) that the waters that are above the firmament are “spiritual substances. however. however. 9 . we understand by the firmament that part of the air in which the clouds are collected. whatever these waters are. though no one would attribute reason to these..” and (Dn. but their exact nature will be differently defined according as opinions on the firmament differ . for the same reason it may be believed that the waters above the heaven are of the same nature as the elemental waters. which is among the damp vapors. but gives way to its greater weight: and this is rain.” To this Basil answers ( Hom. Augustine: “A certain one has laudably tried to explain the waters above the heavens. and other like creatures. for no other cause would he wish the name firmament also to be supposed.2 that waters 2 Cf. i. Origen says ( Hom. from the air.’ but even in the custom of our Scriptures themselves. And first. Therefore I consider this diligence and conclusion most worthy of praise …” ( De Gen.” As to the nature of these waters.” I answer with Augustine (Gen. in fact. Hence. 1:7): “(God) divided the waters that were under the firmament. and as being of the nature of the four elements. ad Lit. Therefore. 5) that. as those have experienced who have walked among them in the mountains. but just as. Manich.7) that whatever divides bodies from bodies can be said to divide waters from waters. so that many small drops become joined in one large one. not only in common speech. and this heaven is above the starry heaven. ii. this man wanted to show there to be a heaven between water and water..) as it is clear that birds fly in the air: and since the Lord spoke of clouds: You know then how to discern the face of the sky [of the heavens] (Matt. xvi.” Wherefore it is written (Ps. as some writers alluded to by Augustine ( Gen.On the contrary. are invoked in the same way. We must hold. as when we say ‘cloudy’ or ‘clear heavens. 4). and from which the rain falls. all are not agreed. iii in Hexaem.

is the primary mobile. q. Th. above. Secondly. that a body seen as concave beneath need not necessarily be rounded. the plain meaning of the text being that they were already there: the firmament. translated by the English Dominican Fathers (1952). is the cause whereby different bodies are generated or corrupted. Quaestiones Disputatae de Potentia Dei. as well as the fact that vapors are perceived not to rise even to the tops of the higher mountains. and that this is the crystalline heaven of some writers.” We leave this view. however will not admit this solution. 3 The solid nature of the firmament. being “made in the midst of the waters. and their various influences. Reply to Objection 3: According to the third opinion given. On the Power of God by Thomas Aquinas. as Basil supposes (Hom. ad lit.resolved into vapor may be lifted above the starry heaven. In the same way the starry heaven. we may understand the matter of bodies to be signified. by the zodiacal movement. whereby the continuance of generation is secured. or convex. according to some. the tendency in light and rarefied bodies to drift to one spot beneath the vault of the moon. 5) that some have considered this to be proved by the extreme cold of Saturn owing to its nearness to the waters that are above the firmament.). lxvi. all to go to show the impossibility of this. what is “a mere absurdity” is the supposition that the waters need to be “lifted up” above the firmament in the first place. 1). then. (emphasis added) Cf. but whatever the explanation one gives. according to the last two opinions. the waters above the firmament have been raised in the form of vapors. iii in Hexaem.” from which it follows that the waters divided by the firmament are already in place at the start of the Second Day. But according to the first opinion. lxix] 3 In truth. and those around the firmament of a rarer consistency. no such difficulty as touched upon by St. the intervening region of fire. QQ lxvii. not how far it may have pleased Him to work on them by way of miracle. iii in Hexaem. But according to the first opinion these waters are set there to temper the heat of the celestial bodies. IV: ARTICLE I Did the Creation of Formless Matter Precede in Duration the Creation of Things? [Sum. 4. Nor is it less absurd to say. since natural bodies cannot be infinitely rarefied or divided. Reply to Objection 2: The solution is clear from what has been said. Augustine exists. but up to a certain point only. Basil gives two replies ( Hom. that is to say. i. But according to the second opinion. ad lit. According to the first opinion. art. an order of the elements must be supposed different from that given by Aristotle. that the waters above the firmament are not fluid. I. and serve to give rain to the earth . This. He answers first. And Augustine says (Gen. that bodies may be rarefied infinitely. so we are told. it is kept in its place above the firmament by the Divine power. the cause of the daily revolution of the entire heaven. that the waters surrounding the earth are of a dense consistency. ii. and answer that according to the last two opinions on the firmament and the waters the solution appears from what has been said. 10 . as a mass of ice. wherein all vapor must be consumed. How they got there presents a problem to be sure. Q. Reply to Objection 1: Some have attempted to solve this difficulty by supposing that in spite of the natural gravity of water. is a mere absurdity. as stated. 1. ii. Or by the water. through the rising and setting of the stars. they are above the heaven that is wholly transparent and starless. but exist outside it in a solid state. A. Augustine (Gen. in support of this opinion. in proportion to the respective density of the earth and of the heaven. ad 5: Q. but says “It is our business here to inquire how God has constituted the natures of His creatures.).

if the bounds of water’s rarity were exceeded. since every form demands a certain quantity even as other accidents in accordance with its nature. and not the miracles that he may have been pleased to work in them. And it was impossible for Saturn to be cooled by those waters. Nor is it enough to reply that God by his omnipotence upholds those waters against their nature. ii. as Augustine says (ibid. Nor would it be possible for water naturally to rise above the positions of air and fire. agrees with this explanation. the effects of cold are observed. Origen is credited with the view that they denote spiritual natures.Reply to the Fifth Objection. above the heavens. which would be the case if the element of water were partly immediately above the earth and partly above the heavens. Moreover. and that he set them in the firmament of the heaven. and that the waters situated above the heavens are of the same nature as the elemental waters. since it is not competent to the nature of a spiritual being to occupy a situation. —Secondly. but air or fire. The other argument is that in the star Saturn. natural bodies have a fixed term to their divisibility. but it reaches a fixed term which is the rarity of fire. the argument about rarefaction and divisibility of the waters is altogether futile. i). and the aqueous body which is seen to be situated on the earth. it would seem inconsistent with the nature of things that water. With regard to the waters that are above the heavens there have been various opinions. since we are discussing the nature that God gave to things. Nor again would it be possible for an elemental body which is corruptible to become more formal than the heavens which are incorruptible. according to Basil. and remain there in a position becoming to its nature. Hence others hold that the firmament signifies the neighbouring airy sky above which the waters are raised by evaporation and become rain-clouds: and then the airy heaven stands between the higher vaporised waters that float in the space of the mid-air. and thus be set above them naturally. —First. as regards position. But this cannot be reconciled with the text. Moreover it would seem out of keeping that things of the same species should be allotted different natural places. Wherefore one would prefer to offer an 11 . One was that since water by means of evaporation can rise into mid-air where the rains are produced. For though mathematical bodies are indefinitely divisible. But this explanation we consider to be defective in that it ascribes to the Scriptures statements that are proved evidently to be false. as though the firmament intervened between them and the lower corporeal waters. 5) advanced two arguments. water might continue to be rarefied until it was no longer water. and they pretend that this is occasioned by the neighbourhood of the water which has a cooling effect on this star. but that they are set there by divine providence in order to temper the power of the fire of which they held the entire heaven to consist. Rabbi Moses. which nevertheless would seem to be incompatible with the context: since the text goes on to say (verses 16. without the stars of the eighth sphere being affected by them in the same way: whereas many of these stars are observed to have a heating influence. ad lit. Thirdly. according to the text (i. In support of this view some according to Augustine (Gen. ii. which is the most material of all bodies with the exception of earth. Consequently others maintain that the firmament signifies the starry heaven. Hence neither can rarefaction of water continue indefinitely. for it would seem to upset the natural situation of bodies. Because since a body should occupy a higher position according as it is more formal. should be set even above the starry heaven. whose heat must be extreme on account of the rapidity of its movement by reason of the length of its orbit. unless it lost the nature of water so as to surpass their rarity. 6). Heavenly bodies as philosophers show are not susceptible to impressions from foreign bodies. if it be yet more rarefied and divided into yet smaller particles (for it is indefinitely divisible like all continuous bodies) it will be able by reason of its rarefaction to rise above the starry heaven. 4. 17) that God made two great lights and the stars. the second argument is utterly trivial.

and the primary element of all bodies. For bodies that are of one and the same species have naturally one and the same place. and called a space filled with air a vacuum. it may be argued. It is written (Gn. by suggesting that those waters are not of the same nature as our elemental water. As. 1:6): “Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters. as a wall standing in the midst of a river.) only a silly child or an imbecile could imagine such things about the heavens: but on account of their solidity. that things distinct in species need nothing else to distinguish them. for there have even been philosophers who said that air is nothing. however. whereas it is not evident to all that air also is corporeal. 5): Howsoever these waters may be there and of what kind they may be. The text of Genesis. on the contrary. In order. to express the truth to those capable of understanding it. 3 (tr.” Water therefore cannot be distinct from water by place. understood as the principle of all other bodies. being transparent like the waters here below. but that a body of water. But the Philosopher says (Topic. even as the empyrean shines like our fire. then. to avoid setting before ignorant persons something beyond their knowledge. infinite in extent. from all bodies under the heaven. English Dominican Fathers): Whether the firmament divides waters from waters? Objection 1: It would seem that the firmament does not divide waters from waters. These philosophers also taught that not all corporeal things are confined beneath the heaven perceived by our senses.” I answer that. On this view the firmament of heaven might be said to divide the waters without from those within–-that is to say. Hence Augustine does not adopt any of these explanations but dismisses them as doubtful. Some call them crystalline. Ia. and let it divide the waters from the waters. Thus in the words. This heaven according to astronomers is the ninth sphere. Summa Theol. iii in Hexam. Thomas Aquinas. But it is evident that the waters below do not reach up to the firmament. considered superficially. i. 12 . might lead to the adoption of a theory similar to that held by certain philosophers of antiquity. “Darkness was upon the face of the deep. Objection 2: Further. thus he says ( ibid. On the contrary. even as it is written about all the heavens (Job xxxvii. since they took water to be the principle of them all. (emphasis added) Cf. art. however. who taught that water was a body infinite in dimension. while he expressly mentions water and earth. Surely the written Word has greater authority than the combined genius of men. they are there. this theory can be shown to be false by solid reasons.. 6): “All water is the same species. q. St. If then. and that out of condescension to their weakness he put before them only such things as are apparent to sense. since according to Basil (Hom. Now even the most uneducated can perceive by their senses that earth and water are corporeal. Objection 3: Further. makes no express mention of air by name. Therefore the firmament does not divide the waters from the waters. one thing is certain. should it be said that the waters above the firmament differ in species from those under the firmament. it cannot be held to be the sense of Holy Scripture. Moses. these waters differ in species. 68. It should rather be considered that Moses was speaking to ignorant people.explanation which would leave the text of Scripture unassailable. but are of the nature of the Fifth Essence.” the word “deep” might be taken to mean the infinite mass of water. it would appear that what distinguishes waters from waters must be something which is in contact with them on either side. not that they are frozen into the form of crystals. 18) that they are strong as though they were made of molten brass. exists above that heaven. it is not the firmament that distinguishes them.

the earth hitherto had been completely covered by the waters.” and “Let there be a firmament made. Objection 2: Further. whatever be the sense in which the word is used. is the air. There was then no place on the earth to which the waters could be gathered together. the lower. therefore. Whether. and thus it is evident that waters are found on each side of the firmament. (emphasis added) Cf. the place of their repose. so to say. Objection 5: Further. then. Thomas Aquinas. which. where the rain and similar things are generated. or the cloudy region of the air. Ia. But the waters flow naturally. Reply to Objection 3: On account of the air and other similar bodies being invisible.. as the cause of their destruction. as recorded. 69. upon the water. a Divine precept of this kind was unnecessary. and the cloudy region divides that higher part of the air. which is connected with the water and included under that name. from the lower part. q. Reply to Objection 1: If by the firmament is understood the starry heaven. the firmament cannot be said to divide the waters. But not all the waters are in continuous contact. as fittingly designated under the name of waters. Objection 4: Further.” the existence of air as attendant. For it may be understood from these words that over the face of the water a transparent body was extended. we understand by the firmament the starry heaven. In their case. the waters above are not of the same species as those beneath. Moses includes all such bodies under the name of water. English Dominican Fathers): Whether it was fitting that the gathering together of the waters should take place. “In the 13 . Reply to Objection 2: If the waters are held to differ in species. Objection 3: Further. both these waters are of the same species. “God said: Be light made. it is true to say that it divides the waters from the waters. wherefore it was described as “invisible” [*Question [66]. Summa Theol. things which are not in continuous contact cannot occupy one place. For what was made on the first and second days is expressly said to have been “made” in the words. and therefore all were not gathered together into one place. Objection [1]]. but only as the boundary of each. the higher being the place of their begetting. in fact. But if by the firmament is understood the cloudy region of the air. a gathering together is a mode of local movement. art. according as we take water to denote formless matter. Therefore the work of the third day should have been described as a making not as a gathering together. the earth is given its name at its first creation by the words. Article [1]. and two places are assigned to them.” But the third day is contradistinguished from the first and the second days. or any kind of transparent body. on the third day? Objection 1: It would seem that it was not fitting that the gathering together of the waters should take place on the third day.he implies in the words: “Darkness was upon the face of the deep. St. For the starry heaven divides the lower transparent bodies from the higher. though not for the same purpose. the subject of light and darkness. and take their course towards the sea. 1 (tr.

7).beginning God created heaven and earth. For as the spiritual nature is higher than the corporeal. was without form so long as “darkness” filled it.” Not that this formlessness preceded formation. in order of time. reveals that they are numerically many. signified by the common name ‘Seas’. Contr. i. and is the numerical measure of the movement of the highest body. De Gen.” by which is to be understood the impression of celestial forms on formless matter. so as to have such movement. He says that the formless spiritual and formless corporeal natures were created first of all.” mean that corporeal matter was impressed with the substantial form of water. The authority of Scripture suffices. so the higher bodies are nobler than the lower.” 4 That is. of land and sea. by the words. light being the act of the transparent. 6 The earth was without form until its veil of waters was withdrawn from it and it became visible. nor yet that one formation preceded another in duration. also with a priority of origin only. the use of the plural would be inaccurate. namely. to other holy writers [*Question [66]. by which is meant that the formlessness of matter precedes its formation. the lowest body. i. “Let the dry land appear. the transparent body of the heaven was without form until light was created. Manich.34. however. in time. that preceded with priority not of time. having clearly expresses the manner in which it received its form by the equally suitable words. namely. and that the latter are at first indicated by the words “earth” and “water. and water already existed. but of origin only. iv. and in respect of these three Scripture mentions three kinds of formlessness. to this order. But in the third place the impression of elemental forms on formless matter is recorded. On the third day the earth. 15. On the contrary. for if they were not. from this formation. water.” because it was covered by the waters.5 Thirdly. there is no order of duration. 11). I answer that. as Augustine says (Contr. then. “Let there be made a firmament. 14 . Heaven. 22. earth. Article [3])). but only in origin. ad lit. and with the substantial form of earth. because it was the source of light. Hence Scripture. 5 The ‘deep’ was without form until its waters were gathered together into ‘Seas’. Article [1]] an order of duration in the works is to be understood. according to Augustine (Gen. then. the formation of the highest or spiritual nature is recorded in the first place. so as to have such an appearance. Therefore the words. receiving from the firmament a sort of distinction and order (so that water be understood as including certain other things. and therefore a form. but merely in the order of nature. they do not hold that the formlessness of matter implies the total absence of form. Nevertheless. that of night and day. 6 Thus. and one form another. since these three are named as already clearly perceptible to the senses. which holds the middle place. and there resulted the distinction in the lowest body. rather they understand by formlessness the want of due distinction and of perfect beauty. but only of origin and nature. Faust. On the second day the intermediate body. “Let the waters be gathered together. In all these works. And since time results from the movement of the heaven. xxii. received its form by the withdrawal of the waters. this word signifies the mass of waters without order. the highest of them. But that place. which is one common place.” Therefore the imposition of its name on the third day seems to be recorded without necessity. the formation of the highest body took place on the first day. resulted the distinction of time. was formed. It is necessary to reply differently to this question according to the different interpretations given by Augustine and other holy writers. and the dry land appear.4 The formlessness of water.” because. where it is said that light was made on the first day. the formless state of the earth is touched upon when the earth is said to be “void” or “invisible. is called the “deep. Agreeably. According. as explained above (Question [68]. Hence the formation of the higher bodies is indicated in the second place. since heaven. 5.

i). where first mentioned. whereas inferior forms are imperfect and mutable. Wherefore it is written: “He called the dry land. are perfect and stable in being. which was afterwards condensed when the waters were gathered together. iv in Hexaem. Hence the impression of such forms is signified by the gathering of the waters. it was necessary for the waters to be withdrawn from a portion of the earth. that the earth is mentioned in the first passage in respect of its nature.” to use Augustine’s words. i).8. “He called. 5:22. that the expression. and this may be the reason why they are said to be gathered together into one place. it is hard to see how any other interpretation could be judged superior to the view that by producing some sort of ‘basins’ in the surface of the earth God distributed “the mass of waters without order” into ‘Seas’. “one place” is to be understood not simply. i. primary matter is meant by the word earth. the earth abides” ( Gen. in order to show that higher and spiritual forms.” Or we may say that it was according to the nature of water completely to cover the earth. namely. 7 Reply to Objection 3: All the waters have the sea as their goal. apart from the dry land. Of the above the first seems the most probable. as it says of those that precede. Scripture does not say of the work of the third day. according to Augustine’s opinion ( De Gen. Or.” (NIV) 15 . For “water. dryness. Others. where it is written: “Will you not then fear Me. Scripture. “The gathering together of the waters He called Seas. which Augustine gives (Gen. “glides and flows away. ii. not only in the Book of Genesis. also Psalm 33:7: “He gathers the waters of the sea into jars. that the sea is higher than the land. he puts the deep into storehouses. That the waters occupied more places than one seems to be implied by the words that follow. again. into which they flow by channels hidden or apparent.” that is. But according to the other writers there are three solutions.). ad lit. ii. 11). ad lit. but that they were produced in this very gathering together. hold that the work of the third day was perfected on that day only as regards movement from place to place. The second explains the water that covered the earth as being rarefied or nebulous. such as the angels and the heavenly bodies. so that the sense would be. and that for this reason Scripture had no reason to speak of it as made. Again it may be said with Basil ( Hom. Earth. saith the Lord. Contr. The third suggests the existence of hollows in the earth. water.” denotes throughout an 7 Would not a better explanation be one supposing God to have so formed the surface of the earth that a body that of its very nature has no shape. as Basil remarks ( Hom. ad lit. namely. and that these were afterwards gathered together. but as contrasted with the place of the dry land.” It may also be said with Rabbi Moses. 20]. that plants and animals might be on the earth. to receive the confluence of waters. who have set the sand a bound for the sea?”8 Reply to Objection 5: According to Augustine (De Gen. Contr.Reply to Objection 1: According to Augustine [*Gen. attributes it to the Divine power. because we need not suppose that the earth was first covered by the waters. but as a necessary means towards an end. “I set My bounds around the sea. “Let the waters be gathered together in one place. and the appearing of the land. Manich.” Reply to Objection 4: The Divine command gives bodies their natural movement and by these natural movements they are said to “fulfill His word. iv in Hexaem. but in the present passage it is to be taken for the element itself. but also Job 38:10 where in the person of the Lord it is said. 8 Cf. 12).” and Jer. would thereby have one imparted to it? If so. The first supposes that the waters are heaped up to a greater height at the place where they were gathered together. Reply to Objection 2: This argument is easily solved. Some philosophers attribute this uncovering of the earth’s surface to the action of the sun lifting up the vapors and thus drying the land. iii. 7. Manich. for it has been proved in regard to the Red Sea.). just as the air completely surrounds both water and earth. but here in respect of its principal property. however. that it was made. namely.

equivocal use of the name imposed. 24 When there were no depths. 20 by his knowledge the deeps broke forth.” that is. and the clouds grow thick with dew.” as distinct from the sea. Revised Standard Version: 22 The LORD created me at the beginning of his work. although the name earth is equally applied to that which is covered with waters or not. or ever the earth was. and I was already conceived. “He called. King James Version: 19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth.” that is. So by the expression “He called” we are to understand throughout that the nature or property He bestowed corresponded to the name He gave. where it is said that “there was evening and morning. it is said that “the dry land. 20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up. 24 The depths were not as yet. and the clouds drop down the dew. 23 I was set up from eternity. when there were no fountains abounding with water. Proverbs 8:22-24: Douay-Rheims Version: 22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways. and of old before the earth was made. 16 . before his works of old. Earth. neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out: King James Version: 22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way. 23 I was set up from everlasting. Thus we find it said at first that “He called the light Day”: for the reason that later on a period of twenty-four hours is also called day. the air. Proverbs 3:19-20: Douay-Rheims Version: 19 The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth. by understanding hath he established the heavens. the part from which the waters had withdrawn. Revised Standard Version: 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth. I was brought forth. again.” And here. the first of his works of old. and the clouds drop down the dew. before he made any thing from the beginning. 4. from the beginning. On the breaking out of the waters. at the first. 20 By his wisdom the depths have broken out. “He called heaven”: for that which was first created was also called “heaven. hath established the heavens by prudence. before the beginning of the earth. one day. 23 Ages ago I was set up.” In like manner it is said that “the firmament. by understanding he established the heavens.

24 When there were no depths I was brought forth; when there were no springs abounding with water.

Psalm 103: Douay-Rheims Version:
Benedic, anima. God is to be praised for his mighty works, and wonderful providence. 1 For David himself. Bless the Lord, O my soul: O Lord my God, thou art exceedingly great. Thou hast put on praise and beauty: 2 And art clothed with light as with a garment. Who stretchest out the heaven like a pavilion: 3 Who coverest the higher rooms thereof with water. Who makest the clouds thy chariot: who walkest upon the wings of the winds. 4 Who makest thy angels spirits: and thy ministers a burning fire. 5 Who hast founded the earth upon its own bases: it shall not be moved for ever and ever. 6 The deep like a garment is its clothing: above the mountains shall the waters stand. 7 At thy rebuke they shall flee: at the voice of thy thunder they shall fear. 8 The mountains ascend, and the plains descend into the place which thou hast founded for them. 9 Thou hast set a bound which they shall not pass over; neither shall they return to cover the earth

Psalm 104, King James Version:
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. 2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: 3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: 4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: 5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. 6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. 8 They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. 9 Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

Revised Standard Version:
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honor and majesty, 2 who coverest thyself with light as with a garment, who hast stretched out the heavens like a tent, 3 who hast laid the beams of thy chambers on the waters, who makest the clouds thy chariot, who ridest on the wings of the wind, 4 who makest the winds thy messengers, fire and flame thy ministers. 5 Thou didst set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be shaken. 6 Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the sound of thy thunder they took to flight. 8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place which thou didst appoint for them. 9 Thou didst set a bound which they should not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth,

4. On the envelope of water called the sea. Cf. Archibald Geikie, Elementary Lessons in Physical Geography (1886), pp. 103-105:
CHAPTER III.

17

THE SEA. LESSON XII. — The Great Sea-basins. 1. From the outer envelope of air which encloses the earth we now pass to the underlying envelope of water called the Sea. At the outset some obvious differences between these two coverings may be noticed. For example, while the atmosphere completely wraps round the whole planet, rising to a height of many miles above its general surface, the water envelope is pierced in many places by masses of the underlying solid part of the earth, which rise above it to form land. As already mentioned (Lesson V. Art. 2), the sea covers not quite three quarters, and the land a little more than one quarter, of the entire surface of the earth. 2. Again, we know nothing about the upper surface of the atmosphere, and cannot say precisely how far it lies above us, but the surface of the sea forms a great plain, and the line between it and the air is sharply defined. Though we speak of the sea as forming a plain, we know this apparent plain to be really curved, and that from its wide extent and its freedom from inequalities, it shows the curvature of the earth's surface better than can be seen on land. (Lesson I. 2.) The amount of the curvature is about eight inches in a statute mile; that is, an object eight inches high above the sea-level sinks out of sight when looked at from the same level at a distance of more than a mile. The line of meeting between the [103-104] sky and the surface of the earth is termed the horizon. Its distance from us evidently depends upon the elevation at which we may happen to stand. Thus, at the seashore with our eyes exactly six feet above the sea-level, our horizon out to sea is three miles off. If we ascend so that our eyes are about ten feet and a half above the sea-level, our horizon is extended to four miles. If we climb to some adjoining height, say to a lighthouse top, about ninety-six feet above the sea, our horizon is increased to a distance of twelve miles. 1 3. Another evident contrast between the air and the sea lies in the fact that while every inhabitant of the earth is familiar with the one, only a comparatively small part of mankind has ever seen the other. Even in an island like Britain, a large proportion of the inland population has never been within sight of the sea. On the continents the proportion is necessarily much greater, for, except the people dwelling along the sea-margin, the great mass of the inhabitants, having little or no communication with the coasts, have no acquaintance with any larger sheet of water than their own native river or lake. 4. One who has not seen it can hardly realise what the sea is from descriptions in books. Let us suppose, however, that some intelligent dweller in the inland regions were taken for the first time to the sea-coast, and, after recovering from his first impression of wonder and admiration, were to begin to look attentively at those features which would be most likely to attract his notice. He would observe that the solid ground, with which he had been familiar all his life, gives place to a seemingly boundless plain of water, at first sight level and motion1

In estimating the extent of the visible horizon, however, when the distance exceeds half a mile, we need to take into account the effect of atmospheric refraction which tends to make distant objects seem higher than they are. The allowance to be made for this effect varies from day to day; it commonly requires a deduction of about one-seventh from the apparent height of an object.

[104-105] less, but soon found to be in a state of perpetual unrest, and answering to all the movements of the air above, heaving or rippling when the air is gently stirred, but rising into waves and foam-crested breakers along the shore when the wind blows strongly. Should he taste some

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of this blue sparkling water he would find it salt and undrinkable, even though clearer perhaps than his own river at home. Gathering the shells and other remains of the living things of the sea from the sands of the shore, he would find every one of them different from anything he had ever found on the land or in fresh water. Were he to watch by the shore from day to day, he would notice that twice every day the water advances slowly and as slowly retreats, and that this regular movement takes place whether the water be smooth or rough. Were he to set sail upon the seemingly boundless plain of water, he would watch the land behind him gradually sinking, as it were, into the water, till at last its highest point had disappeared, and the same long level line of meeting between sea and sky would then sweep around him on every side. With no land in sight and no other vessel perhaps to be descried; with only the sky overhead and the heaving water beneath and around, he would learn better than from any map or description the vastness and solitude of the great deep. And yet from the deck, or even from the mast-head of his ship, only a comparatively small patch of the sea could be seen at once. The horizon or sky-line, which he thinks so immeasurably distant, is only a few miles off (Art. 2). And he might sail for weeks together, passing over thousands of miles, with all the time the same limited horizon and the same monotony of sea and sky.

§ N.B. With respect to the correspondence the work of the third day has with embryogenesis, cf. the following excerpt from my paper, THE PARADIGM OF GENESIS:

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without any light or motion. Hist. and the nature of them. It was. 33. and void. supposed the principle of the universe to be a dark and windy air. 10. out of which the immaterial being (God) made all things that consist of matter. III. which has its name in the same language from its height {f}. Ovid Metamorph. Hesiodi Theogonia. 9 Cp. p.II. xiv: “In fact Anaxagoras alone is mentioned as the first of the Greeks who declared in his discourses about first principles that mind is the cause of all things. and formed the atmosphere. and others. Eusebius. and darkness was upon the face of the deep: the whole fluid mass of earth and water mixed together. and also of trees. l. and a turbid chaos surrounded with darkness. as all matter has. 1. Phys. the watery parts were not separated from the earthy ones. {k} “Quem dixere chaos. thought the system of the universe had but one form. simple privation came first. 9). 2. the grosser parts subsiding and falling downwards. Summa Theol. but now that part of the terraqueous globe. according to Diodorus Siculus {o}. and this was all a dark turbid chaos. it was not put into the form of a terraqueous globe it is now. The Chinese make a chaos to be the beginning of all things. for the work of distinction was carried out by that power: wherefore Anaxagoras asserted that the separation was effected by the act of the intellect which moves all things (cf. p. the heaven and earth. and they from it.. Thomas Aquinas. 12. as before expressed.… ‘For in the beginning..’” Cf. Evangel.. And God called the dry land earth. and plants. till an agitation was made by the Spirit. was called earth before.. and this is agreeably to the notion of various nations. and so Orpheus {m}. 2. which they distinguish into parts they call Yin and Yang. viii. a rude unformed mass of matter. This abyss is explained by waters in the next clause. the other open or perfect {n}: and so the Egyptians. {o} Bibliothec. and Hesiod {l} makes a chaos first to exist. but were mixed and blended together. 1. which seem to be uppermost. as is next observed…. 74. a chaos and an indigested mass of matter. The whole chaos. it was. Sinic. l. as before observed. Praep. 10. John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible (1748). as follows.. and moved upwards.’ he said. rudis indigestaque moles”. ver. and the earth by itself.. {n} Martin. p. otherwise it must have a form.. it was a fluid matter. On the separation of “the watery parts” from “the earthy ones”: Cf. obj. art. being mixed and blended together. l. on Genesis 1:10: Ver. ‘all things were mingled together in confusion: but mind came in. 19. the sea apart. which was separated from the waters. herbs. ad 1: “Now the separation of the parts of the world from one another at the world’s beginning was effected by God’s power alone. And the earth was without form. It was not in the form it now is. c. 2. IIIa q. {p} Apud Euseb. idem. 7. l. 2. Evang. and it may be added. 1.. {l} htoi men protista caov &c. until by degrees they separated and obtained the form they now have:9 and the Phoenicians.. Aristotle. whose opinion he is supposed to give. a waste and desert. as Sanchoniatho {p} relates. 5. is called “earth”: which has its name in the Arabic language from its being low and depressed. a mixture of earth and water.” That is. the lighter parts having been elevated. Praepar. then Mind came in. ON GENESIS 1:2. (emphasis added) Cf. St. made the earth. as Ovid {k} calls it. as both the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase it. empty and destitute of both men and beasts. or the blast of a dark air. {m} Orphei Argonautica. 20 . which is low with respect to the firmament. and then the wide extended earth. of fishes and fowls. the one signifying hidden or imperfect. and brought them out of confusion into order. on Genesis 1:2: Ver. 1. that was a turbid fluid. Fab.

Hippocrates. Priestley. as explained in our treatment of the formation of man on the sixth day. 234. elatus. 2. c. Bottinger.B.{f} Mymv “a verbo”. 21 . the earthy and other particles of matter being mingled with the water. hmv “sublimis. The following correspondences between the divine works and the stages in embryogenesis have now become apparent: (1) to the informing of the heaven by light on the first day corresponds the first step in the compaction and solidification of the fetal body. Dr. Adam Clarke. infra. the formation of its first principal part . Ura “lingua Arabica. so. sect. and “mixed” state of the earth and mass of waters on the first day corresponds to the similar state of the material furnished by the female in generation prior to its being worked on by the seed of the male. Cf. a dense outer crust is formed. too. the more solid part comes together. Philolog. has very properly observed that it seems plain that Moses considered the whole terraqueous globe as being created in a fluid state. just as the vital heat of the male seed causes the embryonic mass to become firm. excerpted above. 1. In this way parts naturally solid being up to a point hard and dry are not consumed to feed the fire but fortify and condense themselves the more the humidity disappears—these are called bones and nerves. for rennet is a kind of milk containing vital heat. (emphasis added) Cf. which is its “nucleus and origin”. depressus fuit significat”. “fluid”. and the relation of the semen to the catamenia is the same. milk and the [25] catamenia being of the same nature)—when. while (3) to the withdrawal of the waters from the surface of the earth by their conformation on the third day corresponds the process of articulation and organization determining the conceptus in outline form.” Now it is apparent that the “turbid”. both for its vastness and because the waters which were afterwards separated from the earth were now mixed with it. with the solid parts coming together and the fluid parts being separated off. 1811). on Gen 1:10: An eminent chemist and philosopher. and as the earthy parts solidify membranes form all round it …. Thesaur. On the conformation of the surface of the earth. Regimen 9: “As it solidifies. It therefore consumes the interior humidity. The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and the New Testaments (New York. 6. and then the fire inside cannot any more draw in sufficient nourishment and does not expel the air because of the density of the surrounding surface. with the matter of creation as the result of the second work of distinction. humilis. Arthur Platt). cf. the liquid is separated off from it. speaking of the earth: “[I]t is also called the deep. l. 4 (739b 20-31) (tr. also the following excerpt from The Opening of Genesis Part II: 10 On the Generation of Animals II. while (2) to the formation of the firmament on the second corresponds the formation of a membrane (called the ‘chorion’) separating the fetus from the fluids surrounding it. p. also Matthew Henry on Gen 1:1-2. Cp. N. as we have seen Aristotle describe it in his work on animal generation: When the material secreted by the female in the uterus has been fixed by the semen of the male (this acts in the same way as rennet acts upon milk.”10 (emphasis added) Accordingly. which brings into one mass and fixes the similar material.” (emphasis added) See also Gill on Gen. altus fuit”. 1:24 on the Egyptian account as reported by Diodorus Siculus. I say.

which by the compressure of the expanse or air were separated from it and these. the sand upon the seashore is such a boundary to it that it cannot pass. and wash them. That the form of the earth is irregular: That Scripture itself understands the gathering of the waters into one place to involve depressions producing basins and elevations producing hills and mountains is well expressed by the following comment from John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible (1748). or mixed with it. God cleaved the earth. The waters of the sea shall spread themselves to such and such shores. for which. on Job 38:10-11: Verse 10. {h} Or determined. yet they shall not prevail. and perhaps an earthquake. Genesis 1:9 {h}. unto the decreed place that was broke up for them.. but go no further.. and through his almighty power is tended to.3. to which may be added. “recto et equabili cursu contendant et collineant”... hitherto shalt thou come. proper. which beautifully expressed in Psalm 104:7. so David de Pomis. the great hollow or channel which now contains the waters of the ocean: this was done by the word of the Lord.. and which were either on the surface of the earth. 9.. were caused to flow as by a straight line... the Word of God. on Genesis 1:9: Ver.. as here. and refers there. Fagius. by apertures and channels made. which became as channels to convey the waters that ran off the earth to their appointed place. as the word {e} used signifies. so high and no higher shall they lift up themselves. Jeremiah 5:22. ibid. Jeremiah 5:22. which made the vast cavity for the sea. that is. this is said by Jehovah. 203. Lexic. or in the bowels of it. and what is amazing. and then return. the boundaries of the sea. (emphasis added) Cf. keeping exactly to time and place. reason pride is ascribed to them.. and here shall thy proud waves be stayed . appointed for it its convenient. Junius. so far and no farther shall they roll on.. see Job 38:10: <…> {e} wwqy “congregentur tanquam ad amussim et regulam”. and though they may toss up themselves as proud men toss up their heads. as Mr. And said. which are sometimes compared to the waves and 22 . than to the boundaries fixed for them. as the Targum. its rolling tides shall go up so far in rivers that go out of it. at his rebuke. fol. let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place. to the work of creation on the second day. And brake up for it my decreed [place] . as well as threw up the hills and mountains. Which are before called the waters under the firmament. and made the valleys. raised the hills and sank the valleys. next expressed. to keep it in its decreed appointed place. all this may be accommodated to the afflictions of God’s people. and when it seems there was a clap thunder. And God said. “and brake the earth for it by my decree”: made a vast chasm in the earth to hold the waters of the sea. Verse 11. which was provided as a sort of cradle to put this swaddled infant in. and fixed place. but no further . Or. 1. but these would be insufficient was it not for the power and will of God.. Broughton translates it. the cliffs and rocks upon them. these are the shores. and set bars and doors. that the waters might not go over the earth..

sometimes more strongly marked in one place. 1871) on Gen 1:9-13: Ge 1:9-13. on Job 38:8: II. Commentary on the Whole Bible (1721). sometimes in another .” and thus were formed oceans. Ps. cf. into which the waters impetuously rushed . and dash against the people of God. and stood above the mountains. etc. and to the men of it. neither shall they return to cover the earth. During the course of many millions of years. Ernst Haeckel. beyond which they cannot go. land and water have perpetually struggled for supremacy. 8. Ec 1:7). but the Lord restrains their wrath and fury. though each having its own bed. in obedience to the divine command the waters broke forth like a child out of the teeming womb. 8 The mountains ascend. 1876).billows of the sea. when God said (Gen. Matthew Henry. seas. 360-62: The history of the earth’s development shows us that the distribution of land and water on its surface is ever and continually changing. (emphasis added) Cf. History of Creation. And long – immeasurably long – periods of time have not been wanting in the earth’s history. pp.. and rivers which. Psalm 104 (103): 6-9: 6 The deep like a garment is its clothing: above the mountains shall the waters stand. At God’s rebuke they fled. Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place. (emphasis added) Cf. are all connected with the sea (Job 38:10. and the formation of vast hollows. (New York. Third Day. ever since organic life existed on the earth. who are like a troubled sea. he has set the bounds and measures of them. but God is with his people in them. (emphasis added) Cf. v. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary (Hartford. 23 . and these issue out of the womb of God’s purposes and decrees. and preserves them from being overflowed by them. and this was effected by a volcanic convulsion on its surface. Psalm 42:7. retired with precipitation. and are not the effects of chance. being separated from them who were originally mixed with them. when it brake forth. let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place—The world was to be rendered a terraqueous globe. as if it had issued out of the womb? ] This refers to the third day’s work. 9. (emphasis added) For a modern take on the sorts of changes at issue here. and swell. [sc. and also to the world. that those proud waters cannot go over them as they threaten to do. lakes. In consequence of geological changes of the earth’s crust. and threaten to overwhelm. and who rise. and it was so. 104:6. 2nd ed.. see Psalm 76:10. whom he has placed in the munition of rocks out of their reach. Out of the great deep or chaos. still they nevertheless effect great results in the course of long periods of time. Or who shut up the sea with doors. the upheaving of some parts. and suffers them not to do his people any harm. Daniel 7:2. or even only a few lines. 7 At thy rebuke they shall flee: at the voice of thy thunder they shall fear. the sinking of others. I. 9 Thou hast set a bound which they shall not pass over. elevations and depressions of the ground take place everywhere. as is graphically described (Ps 104:6-9) [Hitchcock]. Then the waters that had covered the deep. or channel. 8. 7. Even if they happen so slowly that in the course of centuries the seashore rises or sinks only a few inches. Thus a large part of the earth was left “dry land. Vol. they are many. Concerning the limiting of the sea to the place appointed for it. v. 1:9). in which earth and water were intermixed. and the plains descend into the place which thou hast founded for them. 1. see Isaiah 27:8.

Now when places become drier the springs necessarily give out. while other parts in their turn are filled with life and moisture. an isthmus connected Africa with Spain. the sea must needs be affected. it gains in other places by the accumulation of mud. and we may assert that the outlines of continents and islands have never remained for an hour. there one day comes to be dry land. cf. But we must suppose these changes to follow some order and cycle . exactly the same . The Indian Ocean formed a continent which extended from the Sunda Islands along the southern coast of Asia to the east coast of Africa. and the numerous little islands which now lie scattered in it were simply the highest peaks of the mountains covering that continent. an Englishman. I. The South Sea at one time formed a large Pacific Continent. Webster): The same parts of the earth are not always moist or dry. And so the relation of land to sea changes too and a place does not always remain land or sea throughout all time. <…> Thus. that some parts remain moist for a certain time. 24 . Nothing can be more erroneous than the idea of a firm and unchangeable outline of our continents. For the waves eternally and perpetually break on the edge of the coast. Lakes and seas have been slowly raised and dried up. when man already existed. and new ones have arisen out of its bosom. ever since liquid water existed on the earth. and it is at the same time of great importance from being the probable cradle of the human race. again. and new water basins have arisen by the sinking of the ground. has called Lemuria. even Europe and North America have been directly connected. which are devoid of a geological basis. This large continent of former times Sclater. which increase and diminish on account of the sun and its course. from the monkey-like animals which inhabited it. whereas it does go on by parts in the case of the earth. E. Aristotle. even for a minute. Here the causes are cold and heat. The islands of an archipelago have become the peaks of a continuous chain of mountains by the whole floor of their sea being considerably raised . If the sea was once pushed out by rivers and encroached upon the land anywhere. and when [351b] this happens the rivers first decrease in size and then finally become dry. and when rivers change and disappear in one part and come into existence correspondingly in another. if the dry land has encroached on the sea at all by a process of silting set up by the rivers when at their full. Only in the case of these latter the process does not go on by parts. but where there was dry land there comes to be sea. Peninsulas have become islands by the narrow neck of land which connected them with the mainland sinking into the water. the boundaries of water and land have eternally changed. Meteorology. and then dry up and grow old. the time must come when this place will be flooded again. Thus the Mediterranean at one time was an inland sea. and whatever the land in these places loses in extent. like the bodies of plants and animals. England even during the more recent history of the earth. which in all likelihood here first developed out of anthropoid apes. it [5] necessarily leaves that place dry when it recedes. but each [30] of them necessarily grows or decays as a whole. but they change [20] according as rivers come into existence and dry up.Continents and islands have sunk into the sea. which condenses into solid stone and again rises above the level of the sea as new land. (emphasis added) For a classical explanation of the forces at work in the foregoing process. nay. The principle and cause of these changes is that the interior of the earth grows and decays. It is owing to them that the parts of the earth come to have a different character. such as is impressed upon us in early youth by defective lessons on geography. Nay. W. 14 (351a 19-353a26) (tr. and where there is now [25] sea. has repeatedly been connected with the European continent and been repeatedly separated from it. when in the place of the Straits of Gibraltar.

that formerly were covered with water. Men whose outlook is narrow suppose the cause of such events to be change in the universe. Famines. too. Rather we must take the [30] cause of all these changes to be that. That this should be so is natural. which implies that Memphis did not yet exist. In the time of the Trojan wars the Argive land was marshy [10] and could only support a small population. This has been the case with Egypt. or when. modern [35] though he is in relation to such changes. For the parts that lie nearer to the place where the river is depositing the silt are necessarily marshy for a longer time since the water always lies most in the newly formed land. For it is absurd to make the universe to be in process because of small and trifling changes. So a long period of time is likely to elapse from the first departure to the last. Here the Selli dwelt and those who were formerly called Graeci and now Hellenes. all the mouths of the Nile. and this goes on until the land is unable to maintain any inhabitants at all. but pestilence or famine cause them too. while the Argive land that was formerly barren owing to the water has now become fruitful. with the single exception of that at Canopus. therefore. In the latter case the disappearance of a nation is [15] not noticed because some leave the country while others remain. and in its turn enjoys a period of prosperity. that these [10] changes are not observed. Here. took place chiefly in the Greek world and in it especially about ancient Hellas. the lapse of time has hidden the beginning of the process. In the same way a nation must be supposed to lose account of the time when it first settled in a land that was changing from a marshy and watery state and becoming dry. or what the land was like when they came. are obviously artificial and not natural . and before their course can be recorded from beginning to end whole nations perish and are destroyed. in the sense of a coming to be of the world as a whole . For these places dry up and come to be in good condition while the places that were formerly well-tempered some day grow excessively dry and deteriorate. such an excess of rain occurs we must suppose that it suffices for a long time. However. (emphasis added) 25 . But in time this land changes its [5] character. But this excess does not always occur in the same place. again. But this is only partially true. But because the [30] neighbouring peoples settled in the land gradually as the marshes dried. whereas the land of Mycenae was in good condition (and for this reason Mycenae was the superior). But now the opposite is the case. When. are either sudden and severe or else gradual. as Homer. But we must not suppose that the cause of this is that the world is in process of becoming. just as winter occurs in the seasons of the year. The deluge in the time of Deucalion . But the opposite is true too: for if they look they will find that there are many places where [25] the sea has invaded the land. Hence they say [20] that the sea [is] being dried up and is growing less. too. for the reason we have mentioned: the land of Mycenae has become completely dry and barren. and no one remembers and the [20] lapse of time destroys all record even before the last inhabitants have disappeared. Of such destructions the most utter and sudden are due to wars. the country about Dodona [352b] and the Achelous. For Thebes is the place that he mentions. Here it is obvious that the land is continually getting drier and that the whole country is a deposit of the river Nile. This happened to the land of Argos and Mycenae in Greece. shows. or at any rate was not as important as [352a] it is now. And Egypt was nothing more than what is called Thebes. so in determined periods there comes a great winter of a great year and with it excess of rain. when the bulk and size of the earth are surely as nothing in comparison with the whole world. for instance. Now the same process that has taken [15] place in this small district must be supposed to be going on over whole countries and on a large scale. the change is gradual and lasts a long time and men do not [25] remember who came first. It is true that many places are now dry.But the whole vital process of the earth takes place so gradually and in periods of time which are so immense compared with the length of our life. because this is observed to have happened in more places now than formerly. a river which has often changed its course. since the lower land came to be inhabited later than that which lay higher.

J. 1918): § 4.. N.C. To sum up. One therefore observes in these several works a progression from the most perfect shape to a shape that is most irregular. inasmuch as a fluid body has no boundary of its own. Muller. “Aristotle”:11 As Aristotle saw it.Cf. 2 Plato. in the bigger picture. elevations and depressions. in Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum. 7 1 Aristotle. Thus Aristotle’s description of the geographic process differs little from what one might read today in stratigraphic descriptions of the nonuniform. 115) (Meteorologica. without describing. 3 vols. the shape of a sphere.C.2 The Parian chronicler.”7 Some people thought that the sanctuary of Zeus at Dodona was founded by Deucalion and Pyrrha. the wetting and drying was.edu/~meehan/donnelly/aristot. the shape of an elliptical arch flattened at the top. Handbuch der mathemetischen und technischen Chronologie . the ravages of the deluge in Deucalion’s time were felt most sensibly “in ancient Hellas. (Berlin. quasi-rhythmic character of deltaic microstratigraphy. 1831). (London. part of a long term cycle. Frazer.stanford. by virtue of the formation of the firmament made in their midst. B. Ignatius Donnelly and the End of the World. and to the surface of the earth. I. Im. and earth: to the heavens.html [5/27/03]) 26 . implies the imparting of an irregular shape to the surface of the earth. for that river has changed its bed in many places.B. p. 14. ed. 4 Marmor Parium. Plato also mentions. 238. 4 according to this calculation the cataclysm occurred in the year 1539 B. to the waters. which is the country about Dodona and the river Achelous. 352. i. for just as there is a winter among the yearly seasons so at fixed intervals there is a great winter and an excess of rain. who dwelt among the Molossians of that country.. pp. In those days the land was inhabited by the Selli and the people who were then called Greeks ( Graikoi) but are now named Hellenes. and he represents the Egyptian priests as ridiculing the Greeks for believing that there had been only one deluge. Cf. Meteorolog. xiv) In this Aristotle accepted the view of Plato who had concluded that the flood of Deucalion must have been an event confined to river valleys and that not all humanity had perished in that great flood. Richard L. then. i. ed.1 In the fourth century B. water. who drew up his chronological table in the year 265 B. 6 sqq. Aristotle thought that these rare pluvial events were not necessarily world-wide but might be confined to certain geographies. The gathering of the waters into the several seas. Bekker (Berlin. 11 (http://www. the flood which took place in the time of Deucalion and Pyrrha. I. i. 542. 18251826). whereas there had been many.C. C. 3 L.C. Meehan. Ancient Greek Stories of a Great Flood According to Aristotle. much as the great flood of Deucalion had been mostly confined to the River Achelous in Old Hellas (Met. 22A.. Folk-lore in the Old Testament. Plutarch. Timaeus. 380 sqq. 3 dated Deucalion’s flood one thousand two hundred and sixty-five years before his own time. Pyrrhus. and so must be contained by something else. p. by the three works of distinction certain shapes must be understood to have been communicated to the elements heaven. writing in the fourth century B. Ideler.

which work shall be treated in a later paper in this series.§ N. Having sufficiently treated of the work of the third day. 27 . It should be noted that our first section begins from what I take to be the last work of adornment. it is convenient here to lay out certain correspondences which are discoverable by reason between the works of the first three days and certain natural principles.B. the production of the woman from the side of the man.

through the rising and setting of the stars. For we see that those things which are generated when the sun comes closer to the earth are destroyed when the sun recedes (for example. Therefore this mover which acts in different ways must be one that “acts in one way of itself.. As we have argued in an earlier paper. 28 . On the source of such powers in relation to the constitution of the world. it is reasonable to look for a correlation of the next work in order. by the power of some 12 The Opening of Genesis. cf. they are above the heaven that is wholly transparent and starless. Supplement. But if so.e. (emphasis added) For an account of such motions. And the coming to be and ceasing to be of everything which is generated and destroyed is caused by the motion of these stars. 25112522: 2511. This being so. 2. 68. In the same way the starry heaven. English Dominican Fathers): Reply to Objection 3: According to the third opinion given. for both the sun and the other planets are moved in the circle of the zodiac.” i. 1961). 12 the second work of distinction can be accounted for by supposing the light of the first day to have begun the process of generation and corruption called “the hydrological cycle”. as Ptolemy proved. 1.. Summa Theol. He says that this agent is the body which is moved in the oblique circle called the zodiac . art.e. the third work of distinction. if the second work of distinction is due to a power afterward determined to the sun. Ia. Preliminaries III: On the Apparent Structure of the World (Exegetical Principles III). And it must act “in another way in virtue of something else.e. But according to the second opinion. and the next. cf. Book XII.. it is necessary to posit some agent which is always in different states when it acts. the first work of adornment. the cause of the daily revolution of the entire heaven. Commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle by Thomas Aquinas. THE WORK OF THE FIRST THREE DAYS AS EMBODYING CERTAIN NATURAL PRINCIPLES. Rowan (Chicago. and their various influences …. with that of the stars. nn. by the power of some other agent. St. For since this circle falls away on either side of the equinoctial circle. q. and by reason of its being near or far away it causes contraries. plants are born in the spring and wither away in the autumn). translated by John P.” i. the waters above the firmament have been raised in the form of vapors. if generation and destruction are to occur in the realm of lower bodies.II. Thomas Aquinas. Lesson 6. by its own power. is the primary mobile. but more evidently by the motion of the sun. inasmuch as it causes eternal generation and destruction. 2512. and obviously those things which are generated and destroyed do not remain in the same state. Hence this second agent must act either “in virtue of some third agent. This. with the power of the moon. whereby the continuance of generation is secured.” i. The powers manifested on the first three days.. inasmuch as it causes the diversity found in generation and destruction. by the zodiacal movement. is the cause whereby different bodies are generated or corrupted. But the fixed stars are also said to be moved over the poles of the zodiac and not over the equinoctial poles. according to some. the body which is moved circularly through the zodiac must be at one time nearer and at another farther away. ad 3 (tr. for at one time they are generated and at another destroyed . But that which always acts in the same way only causes something that is always in the same state. it is reasonable to look for similar agencies in the subsequent works: that is to say. and serve to give rain to the earth.

. its movement will be irregular. of the sun and the other celestial bodies] along the inclined circle: for this motion not only possesses the necessary continuity. we shall proceed by laying out our understanding of the entire matter as follows: (a) The second work of distinction. can the movement of a mass of waters across the surface of the earth be attributed to the power of the moon? And does the power of the stars play a role in the production of plant-life? While the answer to these questions is quite obvious. “or of the first. but that. And since it is not possible to assign some other agent by whose power this first agent brings about the eternal motion of things. but the motion [sc. then. where he explains that “the eternal motion.” i. (emphasis added) We see. that by its power it causes the eternal generation and destruction of things. II.. if it generates by approaching and by its proximity. therefore. It takes place far more copiously in warm 29 . p. understood as presupposing the appearance of waters above the surface of the earth: the power of the sun. 4. For that which acts in different ways acts eternally. that is. sec. LESSON X. it also destroys by many successive retirements. by the power of the first agent. especially the warm parts of the day. Archibald Geikie. once it is recognized that the second work of distinction arises from the substance of the sun assisted by the wind. assisted by the movement of air we call ‘wind”: the hydrological cycle causing the transmutation of the element water: rarefaction. in our experience a work of nature resulting from the passage overhead of the sun. but includes a duality of movements as well. and since its distance is thus unequal. with respect to the third work of distinction. assisted by the wind. 65: “Evaporation. For the consequence of the inclination is that the body becomes alternately remote and near. it—this very same body—destroys by retreating and becoming remote: and if it generates by many successive approaches. CHAPTER III. the moon and the stars were also produced in substance on the first day. takes place chiefly during the day.” i. it is therefore necessary according to this “that it act in the same way”. but that the differences observed here below are due to the approach and withdrawal of the heavenly bodies: cf.” He goes on to state that “[t]his explains why it is not the primary motion that causes coming-to-be and passingaway. For it—the first agent—which always acts in the same way. — The Moisture of the Air. and the natural processes of passing-away and coming-to-be occupy equal periods of time. which always acts in the same way. From this it is also evident that the second agent. which acts in different ways. But to return to our consideration. eternal generation and destruction. Hence it is the cause of the eternality of that which acts in different ways inasmuch as the latter acts eternally in this way. and it is also the cause of that which is produced by it. and that which acts in the same way is the cause of the eternality of any motion. by causing the generator to approach and retire. but goes on briskly when a fresh wind blows .other agent. is the cause of that which acts in different ways. and more actively in summer than in winter. acts by the power “of the first agent. it is quite natural to consider whether the next two works are to be attributed to the power of the former and to that of the latter.e. For contrary effects demand contraries as their causes.e. which always acts in the same way. that the diurnal rotation of the outermost heaven is responsible for the eternity and continuity of change. That is to say. as noted above. that the continuity of this movement is caused by the motion of the whole: but the approaching and retreating of the moving body are caused by the inclination. the first heaven or first orb. 10 (336a 14-336b 15).13 13 Cf. will produce coming-to-be uninterruptedly. It is feeble in amount when the air is moist and still. On Generation and Corruption. namely. Therefore. followed by condensation.” And again. Elementary Lessons in Physical Geography (1886).

Astrology: Roots & Branches : “Once you have mapped the stars it is easy to envisage the Sun passing through the constellations of the Zodiac bringing.” Cf. involving the movement of a mass of waters across the surface of the earth: the power of the moon:14 the gravitational pull of the latter causing the tides.A. (tr. forms the great geological process whereby the habitable condition of the planet is maintained and the surface of the land is sculptured (Part IV. Book II. (1910).v. c.15 But. being the cause of the seasons of the year. snow and ice. is too evident to need corroboration. 145: “Now the water of the sea is often moved back and forth. 1. Ken Taylor. inasmuch as this work precedes the detertropical regions than in those with a temperate or polar climate. all of which things could not be secured if it were always summer or winter. q. the mountains. where the latter are understood as the constellations of the zodiac: the stars. As regards the point at issue both these actions would seem to concur in the gathering together of the waters. “Geology”. 38. art. lect. art. and so must also be adduced to account for the entirety of this work. which. varies greatly in amount according to variations in temperature. the changing Seasons.” 14 Cf. explaining that the celestial bodies of the fourth day were created for “the service of man”. and so if the clouds and rains were not set in motion by the winds it would follow that it would never rain in dry places..). 8. that the propagation of plant-life is dependent on the seasons of the year. nevertheless is natural to water as moved by a heavenly body instrumentally. 2. 15 Cf. hail. Commentary on Aristotle’s Meteorology .” (emphasis added) Hence we observe that the third work involves both the tidal pull of the moon as well as the ‘sculpturing’ effect of the hydrological cycle.” See the related texts below. preserve health. lect. Hence immediately after the formation of the firmament the text refers to the gathering of the waters together. 1. In reference to this he says: ‘Let them be for seasons. Book II. [these lights are of service to man] as regards the changes of the seasons. also St.16 (c) The first work of adornment: the production of plant-life: the power of the stars. mist. and years.: “In like manner the starry heaven by its zodiacal movement causes diversity in generation and corruption. English Dominican Fathers). which is manifest to everyone.18 And note that. 18 Cf. de- 30 . n. in turn. ch. as it does so. rain. p. q. as was known even to the ancients. iii): thus the ebb and flow of the sea. n.’” (emphasis added) Of course. and in these forms includes and carries down some of the other vapours. 16 Cf.(b) The third work of distinction. which prevent weariness. 188 (B. speaking of the atmosphere: “Of the vapours contained in it by far the most important is that of water which. Thomas Aquinas. s. lect. assisted by the wind and related phenomena. 4. between the position of the Sun in relation to the Zodiac. so its power must also be adduced to explain this effect. S. The circulation of water from the atmosphere to the land. whose proper nature it is to agitate the moist …. cloud. since it is not towards the centre. from the land to the sea. 11th ed. Ia. ad 20: “That the heavenly bodies should exercise an active influence on the elements is not contrary to nature. Thomas’ Commentary excerpted just above.M.” 17 Cf. not only the power of the sun. Commentary on the Book of Job. and provide for the necessities of food . gives three reasons.” (emphasis added) Cf. Ia. 2. also Commentary on the Meteorology. also ibid. and for days. 70. by approaching to or receding from us and by the varying power of the stars. its valleys and basins for the sea. and that of the heavenly body in a subordinate degree. de Pot. of which the second is relevant here: “Secondly. as well as our edition of the De Motu Cordis. [cf. especially as a consequence of the movement of the moon. Encyclopedia Britannica. c. gases and solid particles present in the air.)] Much more truly may this be said of the divine action on the elements whose whole nature subsists thereby. and the perpetual cycle of vegetation’s growth. the divine action principally. Thomas Aquinas. This link. as well as the sculpting of the surface of the earth resulting in its elevations.Th. et Mund. follow on the movement of the heavens and its bodies. although it is not the natural movement of water as a heavy body. 17 But as with the previous work. together with climactic factors. the sun also exerts a pull on the waters. and again from the sea to the land. as we have seen in the text from St. By condensation the water vapour appears in visible form as dew. St. as the Commentator says ( De Coel. 4. producing the seeding of plants on earth. but also that of the moon also plays a role in the aforementioned production. 2: “Vapors bearing rain arise especially from humid places. although always present. 654.

trans. On the workings of nature in relation to the divine will. is anything but imaginary…. Translated. 20 Cf. Among the acts of creation. not in order to exclude the working of nature. Summa Contra Gentiles Book III: Providence Part II. 16-17: [16] However.20 but each subsequent work to derive from God’s agent causality alone. 10: But he consequently touches on the making of man with respect to the work of propagation insofar as man is generated from man. causes.mination of the powers of the lights of heaven on the fourth day. Such a text is that of the Psalm (134:6): “All things whatsoever the Lord hath willed. art. as we have already said above. we must show that the second and third works of distinction as well as the first of adornment involve second causes operating through the first cause. 19 Clearly.” (http://www. where he denies the hydrological cycle could be the cause of “the uncovering of the earth’s surface”. that the gathering of waters was due to the “Divine command” exclusive of natural agent causes. to conclude that the presence of waters above the surface of the earth is to be ascribed to the power of the sun. Now there would be no difficulty for our position if we were to read the text according to an interpretive principle St.html [12/1/09]) 19 Cf. a subject I treat in a subsequent division below. or second. but in the way in which the things worked by second causes are attributed to the principle agent. It is evident that the members of the foregoing division all result from a unitary cause in the same way in which the members of per se division of a genus result from one and the same principle. nn.Th. And here one must consider that he attributes every work of nature to God. The Literal Exposition of Job: A Scriptural Commentary Concerning Providence. 1. 31 . in accordance with the understanding of the Work of the Six Days according to an order of time. These are not expressed in order that reason may be removed from the dispensation of providence. N. but to show that the will of God is the first principle of all things. then the evident unitary of our division would be destroyed. 5. 97. q. as the working of a saw to the craftsman: for the very work done by nature it has from God. 1989). Thomas Aquinas. and that of the movement of waters across the surface of the earth to the power of the moon.. Thomas proposes. Thomas Aquinas himself recognized as elsewhere applicable to Scripture: cf. demands that the causality at work be univocally the same. Ia. the Angelic Doctor recognizes the presence of waters above the surface of the earth to be due to the agency of natural. what is to be attributed to divine power exclusively and what to the workings of nature. ibid. He hath done”. St. one must suppose the plants produced to stand to all others subsequently produced as universal causes to particular effects. namely. etc.B. S. who instituted it for this (purpose). 69. again in Job (9:12): “Who can say to Him: Why dost You cay and regeneration.. But were we to accept the assignation of agent causality regarding the third work of distinction that St. that is to say. Now inasmuch as it is hardly likely that the order we have discovered with regard to these works is coincidental. with an Introduction and Notes by Vernon J. Bourke (Notre Dame. 1975). c. ad 4 and the other texts referenced above. there are some texts of Scripture that seem to attribute all things to the pure divine will. by Anthony Damico (Atlanta.com/nonfic/astrorb. cf.joulestaylor. cap.

The Syntopicon. This consists in the coming to be or passing away of a body which. in quality. In his physical treatises. (2) alteration or qualitative motion. but not appropriately. That is somewhat inaccurate. Cf. in which bodies change in size. to examine briefly the kinds of change and to indicate the problems which arise with these distinctions.” Aristotle also remarks that “every motion is a kind of change. we can give a reason based on a proximate cause. On the several species of change.” he is answering it appropriately. of fire”. therefore.” in regard to a natural effect. in which bodies change from place to place. One distinctive characteristic of generation and corruption.” He does not restrict the meaning of motion to change in place. Aristotle thus applies the word “motion” only to the continuous changes which time can measure. whereas things come into being or pass away instantaneously. and this is so “because heat is its proper accident.” he says. Hence.’ and the converse change is ‘passing away. it is ‘motion’. taking time. texture.. or temperature.” as well as “becoming. of rewards and punishments. according to Aristotle’s vocabulary. in Aristotle’s conception of this type of change. Of the four kinds of change.” “becoming” and “perishing” – to name the last kind of change. until we come to the divine will. He thinks that the other three kinds of change are continuous processes. when it is .” as if all three were interchangeable in meaning. in addition. when we ask the reason “why. in which bodies change with respect to such attributes as color. when it is in place. Chapter 10: WE HAVE SO FAR used the words “change” and “motion. Aristotle’s analysis considers the subject of change – that which undergoes transformation – and the starting point and goal of motion. He never says that time is the measure of change. or quantitative motion. but when nothing persists of which the resultant is a property (or an ‘accident’ in any sense of the term). Supplement. Mortimer J. only the last is not called “motion. .’ “ Aristotle also uses other pairs of words – “generation” and “corruption. and so on. Thus.” he writes. while it has being. but only of motion. three kinds of motion: (1) local motion. if the question is asked: “Why is wood heated in the presence of fire?” it is answered: “Because heating is the natural action. of graces and retributions. exists as an individual substance of a certain sort. And. which is usually called “local motion” or “locomotion. “it is ‘growth and diminution’. if a person answers someone who asks why wood is heated: “Because God willed it. “Change”. there is the one kind of change which is not motion – generation and corruption.” [17] And so. (3) increase and decrease.” There are. Adler. But the contrast between the one mode of change which is not motion and the three kinds of motion involves more than this difference with regard to time and continuity. but Aristotle also includes the transformation of water into ice or vapor as examples of generation and corruption.so?” Also in Romans (9:19): “Who resists His will?” And Augustine says: “Nothing but the will of God is the first cause of health and sickness. provided he intends to take the question back to a first cause. if he means to exclude all other causes. that we trace back all things to the divine will as a first cause. provided. it is much less accurate for the moderns who have tended to restrict the meaning of “motion” to local motion or change of place. is their instantaneity.” But this is the result of its proper form.” But in the context of saying that “becoming cannot be a motion. it is ‘alteration’. even for the ancients who regarded all kinds of change except one as motions. 6. Becoming and perishing are most readily exemplified by the birth and death of living things. “Every motion. “proceeds from something and to 32 . It is necessary. Aristotle distinguishes four kinds of change. “When the change from contrary to contrary is in quantity. then. of course. it is ‘coming to be.

however. The atoms neither come to be nor pass away.” The notion that all change can be reduced to the results of local motion is not. in such attributes or accidents as quality. for I am induced by many reasons to suspect that they may all depend upon certain forces by which the particles of bodies. Newton. . its body decomposes into the elements of inorganic matter. the stone does not cease to be a stone when it rolls from here to there. and the third is that from which it proceeds. of modern origin.” (emphasis added) Cf. when the nutriment is assimilated to the form of a living body.’ and ‘cold. and the passing-away of another. it is only in modern physics that the emphasis upon local motion tends to exclude all other kinds of change.. or are repelled and recede from one another. is now healthy and now ill. Change of place is the only change which occurs on the level of the ultimate physical reality. it is matter itself rather than a body or a substance which is transformed. Aristotle calls the one kind of change which is not motion substantial change. and cohere in regular figures. not in a certain respect. for example. and yet remains the same bronze.” James quotes Hermann von Helmholtz to the effect that “the ultimate goal of theoretic physics is to find the last un- 33 .” then. When an animal dies. But though we find the notion in ancient atomism. that which changes persists throughout the change as the same kind of substance. The changing thing does not come to be or pass away absolutely. and speaks of it as “a coming-to-be or passing-away simply” – that is.’ ‘hot. “it is a coming-to-be of one substance. that which is directly in motion being distinct from that to which it is in motion and that from which it is in motion. In the Preface to the first edition of his Mathematical Principles. “I wish we could derive the rest of the phenolmena of Nature by the same kind of reasoning from mechanical principles.” In the alteration which occurs when the wood changes quality. according to Aristotle. “When nothing perceptible persists in its identity as a substratum. . In all these cases. and the bronze is now spherical and at another time angular. and place – Aristotle groups the three kinds of motion together as accidental change. but absolutely or “without qualification. For example. or the organism an animal of a certain kind when it grows in size. he says. the second is that which to which the motion proceeds. Lucretius expounds the theory of the Greek atomists that all the phenomena of change can be explained by reference to the local motion of indivisible particles coming together and separating. just as in the increase or decrease which occurs with a body’s change in quantity and in the local motion which occurs with a body’s change of place. and the thing changes as a whole. for instance. Because it is a change of substance itself. quantity.something. generation and corruption involve a change in the very substance of a thing. by some causes hitherto unknown. ibid.’ of which the first is that which is in motion. It is characteristic of what William James calls “the modern mechanico-physical philosophy” to begin “by saying that the only facts are collocations and motions of primordial solids. and the only laws the changes of motion which changes in collocation bring. The wood does not cease to be wood when it becomes hot or cold. nor change in quality or size. In contrast.” Because the substance of the changing thing remains the same while changing in its properties – i. “the substratum” – that which is the subject of change – “persists and changes in its own properties .e.: When mechanics dominates the physical sciences (as has been so largely the case in modern times).” In such becoming or perishing. although persisting as the same body. explicitly expresses this desire to formulate all natural phenomena in terms of the mechanics of moving particles. the bread or corn becomes the flesh and blood of a man. are either mutually impelled towards one another. after recounting his success in dealing with celestial phenomena. we may take the three things `wood. but only in a certain respect. The body. there is a tendency to reduce all the observable diversity of change of various appearances of local motion. Matter takes on or loses the form of a certain kind of substance.

It finds natural tendencies or desires. . . No one of the four kinds of change which he distinguishes has for him greater physical reality than the others. The same principles are sometimes stated to be (1) matter. Change occurs when the matter undergoes a transformation in which it comes to have the form of which it was deprived by the possession of a contrary form. the matter or substratum being that which both lacks a certain form and has a definite potentiality for possessing it. in the motion of inert as well as animate bodies. the change takes place.” He does not mean merely that this is the primary sense of the word. “Motion in its most general and primary sense. and when neither what the body is nor how it changes can be explained by reference to its matter alone. holds becoming to be less intelligible than being. change is intelligible through the three elements of permanence which are its principles: (1) the enduring substratum of change. and the only outer relations which can modify the action of the forces are spatial too. and the contraries – (2) that to which. Chapter 53: When matter is nothing more than a body’s potentiality for change. precisely because change necessarily involves potentiality. for nothing can exist without being actual or determinate in certain respects. Aristotle represents the opposite view.” he writes. physical theory seems to be constructed in other than mechanical terms. Remove matter entirely from a thing and. discussed in the chapter on CHANGE. the principles of physics must include the correlative factors of potentiality and actuality which Aristotle conceives in terms of matter and form. that must be primary.changing causes of the processes of Nature. to this end. or. the forces are motor forces dependent for their effect on spatial relations.” then. and ends or final causes. “the only changes that can remain in such a world are spatial changes. but rather that no other kind of motion can occur without local motion being somehow involved in the process. (2) form. and you remove its existence. As constituents of the changing thing. in other words. With motion so defined. which we call locomotion. Helmholtz continues. Central to Aristotle’s physics are his theory of the four causes. Yet Aristotle does assign to local motion a certain primacy. or either of these to place. Cf. and his theory of the four types of change.” For Aristotle. “we imagine the world composed of elements with unalterable qualities. he says that “of the three kinds of motion . discussed in the chapter on CAUSE. according to Aristotle. ibid. principles of its being as well of its being mutable.. When 34 . he. Yet becoming can be understood to the extent that we can discover the principles of its being – the unchanging principles of change. and (3) privation. “In pursuing the truth.: Even though Aristotle differs from Plato in thinking that change and the changing can be objects of scientific knowledge. Adler.” Cf. But even more fundamental is his definition of motion as the actualization of that which is potential in a respect in which it is potential.” In the history of physics. they are the principles of its mutable being. Showing how increase and decrease depends on alteration. i.” Aristotle remarks – and this applies to the truth about change as well as everything else – “one must start from the things that are always in the same state and suffer no change. “Matter”. “is change of place. you remove its capacity for physical change. so in his judgment the motions associated with these terms are irreducible to one another. and how that in turn depends on change of place.e. Only the thing composite of matter and form changes with respect to the forms of its matter. Just as quality cannot be reduced to quantity. it is this last. Remove form.” If. Hence these principles of change are themselves unchanging. Mortimer J. them. which we call locomotion. The Syntopicon. and (3) that from which. movements. not in. Its concepts and principles resemble those of biology. too. Change takes place through. Neither of the contrary forms changes.

the exposition is more unqualified. Now he intends to elucidate this reason in itself.” Aristotle says. Aristotle frequently uses artistic production to afford a simple illustration of his theory of matter and form as principles of change. quantity. When a man sets out to make a bed. With respect to these various possible determinations in structure. and lacks certain forms which it can assume (the respects in which the substance is both indeterminate and potential). The thing is “capable both of being and of not being. when matter itself changes from being one kind of matter to being another in the coming to be or perishing of composite substances. which can be shaped in a certain way. showing how some posited many principles—for in the case of those proposing one principle. This indicates that though the wood may be called matter or material by the artist. Concerning this he does two things: 35 . the wood is in a state of both privation and potentiality with regard to the form of a bed. a chair. yet all the while it must have had a capacity for acquiring them. The wood.. He clarified above the root of this reason. a thing composite of matter and form. but a substance. 1964). he chooses material. As the chapter on ART indicates. like wood or iron or bronze. it loses certain determinate characteristics and acquires others. nn.a thing changes physically. the wood to the bed. by Pierre Conway & R. Commentary on Aristotle’s Generation and Corruption by Thomas Aquinas. lect. Referring to this ultimate substratum as “the underlying nature. the actually existing. the wood is itself indeterminate and determinable. On generation and alteration. as it does not when it suffers the natural change of combustion. i. which artistic production illustrates. “and this capacity. the wood or matter which is now actually in the form of a bed may still have the potentiality for being remade into a chair or table. so is the matter and the formless before receiving form to anything which has form. Before the artist has worked on it productively. The transformation which the artist effects consists in his actualizing certain potentialities in the material for forms or determinations which the material at the moment lacks. Larcher (Columbus. Cf. In the preceding lecture Aristotle stated that the reason some ancient philosophers posited generation as differing from alteration.” must be matter in condition of absolute indeterminacy and pure potentiality. the matter which had the form of wood assumes another form. such as wood. or a table.” The matter of an existing substance is thus conceived as that which has certain forms (the respects in which the substance is actually determinate). as the material principle. The determinations it acquires it had previously lacked. of course. for when the wood is reduced to ashes by fire. But in the analysis of substantial change. The same wood could have been made into a chair or a table. which Aristotle calls “generation and corruption.” 7. F. was that some postulated one material principle and others more than one. When the bed is made. remains actually wood throughout these artificial changes.” he goes on to say. In the analysis of accidental change. For as the bronze is to the statue. and others did not. it is not matter.e. it suffices to treat a composite substance. or place) the substratum of substantial change. 11. and so also is the underlying nature to substance. the material principle must be pure matter – matter totally devoid of form. 11-16: Lecture 2 The basic reason for these differing opinions on generation and alteration. 2. tr. Where a whole substance can be regarded as the matter or substratum of accidental change (in quality.” Aristotle says that it “is an object of scientific knowledge by analogy. “is the matter in each.

for those who posit but one principle reach the conclusion with necessity once its root is supposed. it is plain that they so speak of the difference between generation and alteration.First. For they posited their one material principle to be some actual being. Therefore. Hence Empedocles asserts that the “nature. as has been said. And just as the matter always persists in things made from matter. it consists solely in a certain “mixed” nature. he presents an analogy and says that. called “growth” and “decrease. but it is solely a “mixture. takes place only through transmutation. But alteration. as has been said. Then [13] he disproves what has been stated. and the opposite privation consists in the separation of what was mixed. after being made a being in act. 12. as will be explained later. he elucidates his proposition with two arguments. as to those who posit several principles. For they say 36 . he manifests the reason. who assign many kinds of material principles. corruption occurs. he objects to it.e. About the first he does two things: First. he proposes what he intends. at 13. And since something is said to be generated when it acquires its appropriate nature. and corruption from separation .” i. remains. But it is said to be altered when. Now we say that a thing is altered when.” so too with alteration. that this subject remains one and the same. it acquires any additional form. and says that those who posit many principles must admit that generation is different from alteration. 14. just as. In regard to the first. they posited that generation resulted from aggregation. Secondly [14]. But according to what is posited by those philosophers who assume many principles. when they are separated. they also posited it to be the substance of all things generated from it. Concerning this he does two things: First. so too is quality.” i.” i. such as fire or air or water. Secondly... with respect to those who posit several principles. so they said. some variation occurs with respect to the form. of a body composed of elements is none of the elements (for it is not of the nature of fire or of water or of the other elements). is not a being in act but in potency. this is called simple generation. which is a motion according to quality. Hence it follows that there can be no change called simple generation and corruption. mentioned above. We. Nevertheless. they said. we see a change occur in it as to size. For just as quantity is based on substance. Therefore when its first subject acquires a form through which it becomes a being in act.. the form. And he says that those. Then [12]. however. at 14. declare that there is of all generable and corruptible things one first subject. and they do indeed speak thus.e. but only alteration. must say that generation differs from alteration. 13. with the substance of the thing in act remaining. it is impossible for alteration to occur in this manner. as will easily be seen from what follows. on the other hand. he elucidates the aforesaid reason as to those who posited several principles. For according to those philosophers generation comes about when those material principles combine into one. he elucidates the aforesaid reason as to those who posit one principle. He says therefore first [11] that all the philosophers who assert that all things are produced from one material principle are forced to say that generation and corruption are the same as alteration. this is impossible to maintain in consistency with what they say. since this explanation fits their supposition.e. which. Secondly. while the substance “rests.

white and black. another could be generated.e. cold and cloudy. and “cold” of water.. “hot” can be found only in fire and “cold” only in water. But whatever is to be converted into something else must be resolved into some first subject. namely. minus Strife. They said that it was not possible for water to be produced from fire. nor one element from another. is seen always as dark. And the same goes for all other such qualities.” i. He presents the second argument [15] and says that it is necessary in any motion to suppose one nature for the contraries which are the termini of the motion. separating things. on the other hand. then black cannot come to be from white or hard from soft. that if there is alteration. with respect to which we state this. but several. is white and hot and light. it is evident that such differences are newly acquired by the elements. it follows that there be alteration.” i. there be one subject and one matter for all the things having such a mutual change. Rather they posited them as first matters that would not be resolved into some first subject. it is plain that. Likewise. From this it is plain that through certain differences and passions of the various elements it was brought about by Strife out of that one that one thing be water and another fire..that the “passions. In the first of these he declares that Empedocles seems to be at odds not only with what our senses reveal.. he says that no element is generated from another.e. Consequently. with two arguments. this must be so in alteration.e. Therefore they have no grounds to posit a difference between generation and alteration. since he posited the sun to be of the nature of fire. namely. fire cannot come to be from water. or for any one of the elements to be converted into another in any way whatsoever. as is evident from the darkening of the air when it rains. since alteration occurs only when one or another of these qualities varies in one and the same subject. water. his argument differs from the first in that it states the universal cause of the middle term used in the first one. but earth is heavy and hard. or growth and decrease. “rain. 15. attributing them to the elements. if “hot” is the proper accident of fire. but all other “elemented” bodies are composed of them. and so on. Hence. so that out of the corruption of one. fire. He explained the other passions in a similar way. fire. are the proper differences of the elements. but he seems to contradict himself also. whether something is being transmuted with respect to place. But since the aforesaid thinkers do not posit one subject for all the qualities involved in alteration. For they did not posit such elements as composed of matter and form. From this. on the one hand. alteration to occur. they groundlessly say alteration to be different from generation. is seen as white and hot. Now whatever is newly acquired can be removed.” i. namely. For example. hot and cold. 16. therefore. Then [16] he disputes against Empedocles in particular. all the nature of things was assembled by Friendship into one. Empedocles stated that the “sun. there is no such thing as alteration. namely. since these differences are removable inasmuch as they are newly engendered. and. Consequently. it is necessary that 37 . namely.. the passible qualities. and that if those have one subject when alteration is looked for. the fact that we see that air comes to be from water and fire from air. If. Therefore. he says that before this present world was generated. For. and so on for the others. Now it is impossible for the proper accidents of a thing to be anywhere but in their proper subject. And he gives an example of the “differences and passions”—thus he [Empedocles] says that the “sun.” i. soft and hard.e. dry and moist. or earth from water. and that each of the elements and also each of the other bodies came to be out of that one through the influence of Strife. once removed. they cannot posit alteration.

Commentary on Aristotle’s Generation and Corruption by Thomas Aquinas. tr. q. Therefore. (emphasis added) Now conversion. and. lect. cit. “He fed the five thousand with five loaves. Larcher (Columbus. in the beginning of the world. and the converse change is ‘passing-away’. I. in which nourishment consists—“for the food is converted into the substance of what is nourished and increased” ( Commentary. n. For the multiplication of the loaves occurred either through a transformation of the substance of the matter itself or through a transformation of its dimensions. 3. considered in itself.. and also because (b) multitude and magnitude lie outside of the essence of matter itself. either through creation or—what is more probable—through conversion. Aristotle. but differ in account. when it is in place. in general. it is ‘growth and diminution’. we observe that growth belongs to it as follows: Cf. which production constitutes a work of its own. though reverse. Then [117] he shows the difference between growth and nourishment. for the matter to be rarefied is just for it to take on bigger dimensions. Ia. On Generation and Corruption. the production of the woman from the side of the man.e. St. the definition without the thing defined. Yet we still say. H. lect. when it is in property. But as the Philosopher explains in Physics 4. it is ‘motion’. And so the multiplication of matter is not in any way intelligible as long as the same matter remains without addition—unless the matter takes on bigger dimensions.water be made from earth. as we have seen. as St. And he says that nourishment is the same thing as growth. the production of the entire substance of a thing. [320a] of which the resultant is a property (or an ‘accident’ in any sense of the term). coming about through the change of the passions. it is necessary to posit an addition to the matter. but they differ in being—as if to say: they are the 38 . 1964). Taking as our starting-point the very last work of adornment. 103)— and growth are the same in subject. in Super Ioannem Augustine says. in the way in which our Lord multiplied the five loaves. 17. op. cf. Summa Theol.” i. it is ‘coming-to-be’. each element from some other—and this not only “then. The several species of change as entering into the works of distinction and adornment. art. Freddoso): Reply to objection 1: Some claim that the woman’s body was formed by the multiplication of the matter without the addition of anything else. to claim that the matter is multiplied without rarefaction is to posit contradictories simultaneously. Presupposed to the last of these. Thomas Aquinas. in quality. Hence. Now in the exposition of the Six Days. i. 14. each of the aforementioned species will be seen to occur in the exact. F.. it is ‘alteration’: but. when nothing persists.. But it did not occur through a transformation of the substance of the matter itself. H. and earth from water. is wholly unable to change as long as it exists in potentiality and has only the character of a subject. But this is altogether impossible.” because the addition was made to the preexisting matter of the loaves or the rib. however. but also now. is creation.. ad 2 (tr. since rarefaction does not seem to be present in the multiplications under discussion. Thomas explains: Cf.e. both because (a) matter. n. by Pierre Conway & R. order just given. Hence. viz. Joachim): When the change from contrary to contrary is in quantity. 92. 4 (319b 34-320a 2) (tr.” or “He formed the woman from the man’s rib. 117: 117. Alfred J. For the species of change in sum. (emphasis added) 8. “Christ satisfied the five thousand men with the five loaves in the way that from a few seeds He produces a field full of corn”— which happens through the conversion of nutrients.

to quantity and to flesh. inasmuch as light may be supposed to have proceeded from a luminary formed out of the appropriate element. Taylor..22 (4) Subsequent to creation comes substantial change.. then. etc. yet there is one special case where it does: the soul of man. Larcher. the power to cause motion and generation having been imparted to it. which is water congealed. Richard C. F. But anything that is augmented or diminished must undergo a change in place. in every motion there is some corruption and generation. but alteration is a motion. (3) Subsequent to substantial change comes alteration : That waters congeal to form ice can happen only if their moisture is overcome by heat. possessing the faculties of reason and will. 84. as was explained above. make it impossible that such a form be educed from pre-existent matter . 22 Cf. Commentary on Aristotle’s Generation and Corruption by Thomas Aquinas. 39 . it is nourishment or food.”. as we concluded from our discussion of pneuma in relation to the formative virtue in Part III.21 (emphasis added) (2) Subsequent to alteration comes change of place: As we have seen. inasmuch as something begins to be and something ceases to be….same as to subject but differ in notion. II: “…as the Philosopher says in Book 8 of the Physics. For in so far as the acceding thing is in potency to both. Second day: alteration. It will also be apparent from a careful consideration of the changes under discussion that.P. but to be overcome is to pass away. translated by. which is a species of substantial change. translated by Vincent A. “since like is generated by like. Guagliardo. and hence visibility. Commentary on the Book of Causes by Thomas Aquinas . n. in this respect there is growth of flesh. standing to the world as the generative principle stands to the body of a man. Pierre Conway & R.e. we must suppose the heaven to have received its form and species. 11. O. But light. but in so far as it is in potency only to flesh. Hess. So much. this change results from the conformation of the earth and the waters below. lect. inasmuch as the element ‘water’ may be supposed to have been formed into the firmament in the manner of ice. and so to have undergone a substantial change”. O. which are immaterial operations. the reason being that. inasmuch as contours were imparted to the surface of the earth (= topography). for growth.. but a change in shape is a change in quality. which is involved in the production of light. substantial change. therefore. Charles R. commentary on Prop. First day. and therefore presupposing a 21 Cf. in a way. Now is quite evident that substantial change as such in no way presupposes an act of creation.P. i. which is a species of alteration. The remaining species occur as follows: Third day: a change of place resulting from change of quality with respect to shape or figure (= the fourth species of quality). each one is continuous with the one presupposed to it: (1) Subsequent to change of place comes growth : That growth involves a change of place is manifest: For the mode of the aforesaid changes differs in that what is altered does not necessarily undergo a change of place and neither does a thing that is generated.

there being no prejacent matter in evidence.23 We see. So much. Such a thing might happen unobserved over a small space: but that it should remain unnoticed from the. for though this may be the case in short distances. then. creation ex nihilo is intimated. with the rising of the sun. 2. 420). O. so that the account presents the imagination with a picture. The several species of change: 1. 40 . For St.P. Thomas’ view on this matter (sc. its propagation being instantaneous. the whole hemisphere is illuminated from end to end. For if light were a body. of course. of the producing in being of something out of nothing. ( Commentary on Aristotle’s De Anima by Thomas Aquinas. cf. seeing that at first there was nothing and then there was something. Accordingly. art. passing away (corruption) 23 See also his commentary on the passage excerpted from Aristotle (= n. how this observation reveals that the first work of distinction is in a way continuous with the work of creation. 7 (418b 21-27): Empedocles (or anyone else who may have said the same) was wrong when he said that light was borne along and extended between the earth and its envelope. it was not a body. Summa Theol. Aristotle could not observe the transit of light across the sky.P. This is not to say. It must also be borne in mind on the part of movement that whereas all bodies have their natural determinate movement. from which he concluded that. 1951) In other words. instantaneous. c. Consider also the implication of Aristotle. for our argument. O. that no element is thereby presupposed in its coming to be but only that none is specified. translated by Kenelm Foster. In this regard compare the second creation account of man (Gen 2:7). Nor can it be argued that the time required is too short to be perceived. Hence it appears that the diffusion of light is not the local movement of a body. could not have been so educed. in which it is said that God formed man of the slime of the earth. De Anima II. and thus every species of ‘change’ is manifest in the Mosaic narrative.. with no material cause specified in the account. so to speak. 67. working equally in a circle as in a straight line. and Sylvester Humphries. coming to be (generation) 2.. we are left to consider that prior to each day was the creation of the heaven and earth from nothing. (excerpt) (tr. Now no local movement of a body can be instantaneous. its diffusion would be the local movement of a body. Summary: The species of change according to Aristotle.separated substance as the mover of the heavens informed by it. in the present instance. Ia. it cannot be so in distances so great as that which separates the East from the West. English Dominican Fathers): The second reason is from movement. making its immediate creation by God inescapable. Yet as soon as the sun is at the horizon. one could argue that. But there is another agreement between the two: The appearance of light being. q. no such material is put before the eyes. that of light is indifferent as regards direction. This is in contradiction alike to sound reasoning and to appearance. 9. east to the west is a very extravagant postulate. as everything that moves from one place to another must pass through the intervening space before reaching the end: whereas the diffusion of light is instantaneous. then. as it were. that light cannot be a body). unperceived by us.

e. It is a coming-to-be of one substance and a passing-away of the other—especially if the change proceeds from an imperceptible something to something perceptible (either to touch or to all the senses). is to be identified with the substratum which is receptive of coming-to-be and passing-away: but the substratum of the remaining kinds of 40 41 . however. then. In V Phys. we must distinguish (a) the substratum. air: for air is pretty well imperceptible. as regards musical man and unmusical man. is now healthy and now ill. lect. Since. (Cf. and the thing changes as a whole (when e. the second thing. e.) Consequently such changes are ‘alteration. But when nothing perceptible persists in its identity as a substratum. according to accident. If. they [30] are a passing-away and a coming-to-be. Joachim): Next we must state what the difference [5] is between coming-to-be and ‘alteration’—for we maintain that these changes are distinct from one another.’ Suppose. or air as a whole into water). [10] and since change of each of these occurs. however. any property (being one of a pair of contraries) persists.g. when nothing persists. H. into which the first changes. the seed as a whole is converted into blood. is divided into a) locomotion (change according to place) b) alteration (change according to quality) c) growth and decrease (change according to quantity) Cf. 3. although persisting as the same body. in the most proper sense of the term. and the bronze is now spherical and at another time angular. Aristotle. 4 (319b 4-320a 8) (tr. and (b) the property whose nature it is to be predicated of the substratum.g. and the converse change is ‘passing-away’. must not be a property of this persistent identical something. lect. it is ‘motion’.g. and yet remains the same [15] bronze. when it is in place. i. or water into air. motion The first two are change according to substance. n. though. e. in quality. in such cases. it is ‘growth and diminution’. when water comes-to-be out of air. but changes in its own properties. man.. as when [20] water comes-to-be out of.e. if ‘musicalness and unmusicalness’ had not been a property essentially inhering in man. cf. the last. but is only quoting a common view in illustration. it is ‘alteration’: but. both are transparent or cold 40 — Aristotle is not saying that water and air are in fact ‘cold’. in the thing that has come-to-be. Now. these changes would have been a coming-to-be of unmusicalness and a passing-away of musicalness: but in fact ‘musicalness and unmusicalness’ are a property of the persistent identity. when it is in property. it is ‘coming-to-be’. H. these changes are ‘modifications’. Otherwise the change will be ‘alteration. On Generation and Corruption. I. or passes-away into. 2. and that the man persists as something identical.3. The body. there is ‘alteration’ when the substratum is perceptible and persists.g. the same as it was in the thing which has passed-away—if. ‘Matter’.’ When the change from contrary to contrary is in quantity. the properties in question being opposed to one another either as contraries or as intermediates. [320a] of which the resultant is a property (or an ‘accident’ in any sense of the term). viz. (Hence. 660) Motion. such an occurrence is no longer ‘alteration’. that the musical man passed-away and an unmusical [25] man came-to-be. as regards man.

Secondly.. he removes a difficulty. After showing why there is a certain absolute generation and a certain qualified generation. as an answer to the questions (i) whether coming-to-be ‘is’ or ‘is not’—i. is now round and now angular. With respect to the first [72] he supposes two things. by Pierre Conway & R. at 74. he shows in what things alteration occurs. he states his intention [71] and says that we must discuss generation and alteration and indicate how they differ. Commentary on Aristotle’s Generation and Corruption by Thomas Aquinas. while remaining the same. he carries out his intention. Regarding the first he does two things: First. above. with no change having taken place in the substance. First he shows the difference between generation and alteration with respect to that according to which both are changes.e. what are the precise conditions of its occurrence and (ii) what ‘alteration’ is: but we have still to treat of growth. And it should be noted that the first of these examples pertains to the first species of quality and the second example to the fourth species. About the first he does two things: First. He gives two examples: the first is when the body of an animal. So much. 42 . First. Yet the Philosopher proved in Physics VII that there is no motion of alteration in the first and fourth species of quality but only in the third. then. the Philosopher here inquires into the difference between generation and alteration. The first is that the subject is one thing and the passion which is apt to be said of a subject is another. Secondly. tr. in what things generation occurs. Secondly. 10 complete: Lecture 10 The difference between generation and alteration 73. in a certain sense. i. for we have stated above that these are different types of change. lect. I.e. The second is that change occurs in both of these. or possessing angles. And it makes no difference whether the change involves contrary extremes or intermediates—for example. i. the second is when bronze or some other metal. for sometimes the change is in the very substance of the subject and sometimes in the accidents.change is also. a change occurs in its passions. at 75. he shows the difference between generation and alteration. 74. Secondly. at 79. at 77. ‘matter’. 41 41 Cf. in its qualities. is first healthy and then sick. whether it is from white to black or from red to pale.. F. (emphasis added) Cf. Larcher (Columbus.e. just as in the case of substance and accident. when. because all these substrata are receptive of [5] ‘contrarieties’ of some kind. 315a 26-28. with respect to the subject of each. while remaining the same. With these suppositions in mind he says that it is alteration when the same perceptible subject remains. 1964). Bk.

” But it should be said that alteration is primarily and per se in the qualities of the third species. He says therefore first [73] that when a change affects not only the passions but the entire substance of a thing. at 76. there seems to be according to this outlook. 77. We say that “musical man” has been corrupted when man loses the habit of music. there is generated what is wholly blood. it would be alteration. Then [74] he explains when there is generation in the highest degree. namely. by reason of some change within the sphere of hot and cold a man is changed from healthy to sick. coldness. namely.] But he excludes this when he says that in those bodies that are reciprocally changed one from the other. the air or the water. someone could believe that in the case of everything with respect to which something is changed while something other remains. If what we now say were not so.. or to the other senses—as. 76.” i. one might think that water and air are passions of the transparent. when from the whole seed. is a passion of that which remains. but only a passive one. or vice versa. namely. the diaphanous or the cold. when water is generated from air. finally. while in fire. namely. or when from what is wholly air there is generated what is wholly water. yet this does not mean that the other thing. it is generation. Then [73] he shows when generation occurs. Then [75] he removes a difficulty. About this he does two things: First. which is more rarified than air. For example.which is called “passion or passible quality”—for which reason he perhaps advisedly said that alteration is a change in the “passions.” i. 75. moistness. [i. For air is only slightly perceptible. without any gatherings or separatings playing a part as Democritus posited—such a change is the generation of one thing and the corruption of another. For since he had said that the subject remains when a change has taken place with respect to its passions. which. we have alteration. both because it is so rarified and because it has no excelling active quality.e. since the latter remains throughout the change. for we always see that when that which is changed is a passion of what remains. He shows this by means of an example. is more gross and material (hence among the people it is according to this sense above all that something is judged as perceptible—in so far as it may be felt). among the senses. that which is changed is a passion of that which remains. Secondly. when there is generation par excellence. he states when there is generation. But water is both denser than air and there excels in it an active quality. an active quality. but when that which is changed is not a passion of what remains. heat. man having the privation of music is 43 . generation which is absolute.e. is the densest of all the elements. or when it is corrupted into air there seems to be absolute corruption. sometimes there remains some one and the same passion in the generated and in the corrupted thing. and through a change within the sphere of soft and hard a body is brought to some shape. above all is something said to be generated when the change proceeds from something not easily perceptible to something clearly perceptible. transparent. in so far. And he says that according to the third way laid down above and which is taken according to the opinion of many. at which time “unmusical man. in which the change takes place. earth.. as when from air is produced water—for both are “diaphanous. it would follow that when water comes to be from air. as the matter acquires another substantial form so that nothing perceptible remains as though the being in act were the same subject as to number—for example. through which alteration subsequently occurs also in the other species. or cold (although air is not cold by nature but accidentally). does excel. either to touch.e.

When. the same numerical accident would be in two subjects. For if it does not remain the same. But because this is not so. the passion. by reason of corrupting the subject or matter—this is the same way in which a larger flame consumes a smaller. Then [76] he shows. local motion. since quantity occurs to a subject existing in act. then the change of “musical” and “unmusical” would constitute the generation of one thing and the corruption of another. 78. alteration is according to the passions of something that remains. 44 . Nor is it unacceptable for like to destroy like per accidens. that which was subsequent. how generation differs from alteration and from other changes. therefore.” i. as of something permanent. Similarly. He says therefore first [76] that.” since it is of its notion. Therefore. of the same remaining body.e. But when nothing remains existing in act. And this same thing occurs in other changes.” i. as is evident. we have “alteration” of the same permanent being. It should be answered. But there is a problem as to whether the same numerical passion which is at one extreme of a set of contraries could exist in the generated and in the corrupted. But when the change is with respect to contrariety of place —for example.. if music and “lack of music” were not passions of “this. at 81.” Hence musical man does not remain. it follows that even though that which was prior. there was no conflict between agent and patient. man].generated. with respect to this accident. i. water and air were passions of the transparent. from large to small. remains. then the transition into each other of things that are similar will not be easier. it would follow that the change of water from air would be alteration.. and because man remains. and in other qualities as a consequence). for the generator destroys that which previously was present. following on the newly-arriving form. from the side of the subject. primarily in passible qualities.” i. But if one supposes the same numerical passion to remain.e.. because quality too accrues to a subject existing in act. it follows that music is a passion of that which remains [namely. Therefore alteration occurs with respect to “such. unmusical is of the notion of “unmusical man. has been removed. The reason for this is that music is not a passion of “musical man. 79. a change is from contrary to contrary according to quantity—for example. If. since “where” accrues to a body existing in act. When the change is with respect to a contrariety in passions (i. but the same numerical man does remain. the subject. of which that which is changed might be a passion or some accident. that the same numerical passion does not remain.e. namely. First.e. or vice versa—we have “growth” or “decrease” of the same permanent subject. therefore. Moreover. when the form which was the principle of that accident departed.. with respect to which generation and corruption occur. namely. but that what existed previously is corrupted per accidens with the corruption of the subject. it seems to follow that like is destroyed by like. the passions of things that are permanent. does not accrue to a subject existing in act. And because. as was said. but were part of his notion.. therefore. the change was easier. and that a similar accident comes. how related to the subject which is a being in potency. of man. which take place with respect to accidents which occur to a subject existing in act.e.” since the substantial form. as was said above. since on both sides it will be necessary to remove everything. it is universally “generation and corruption. up or down—it is “latio. likewise. therefore music and “lack of music” are passions of man. Secondly. he shows how all of them are related to the subject which is a being in act. But there is a generation and corruption of musical and unmusical man.

a perfect animal. as was said above. Consequently. For since it is one and the same thing to constitute a substance and to make a “this something. and more contemporaneous with life. But in a certain sense. But this is irrational. The order among the species of change: Certain presuppositions. rather the heart’s motion is the cause of such an alteration as involving heat. (a) That local motion precedes alteration: The comparison of the motion of the universe with that of the heart: Cf. namely. it also underlies all the other changes. In summary [78] he concludes that so much. as has been said. would also make it a “this something”. whose subject is first matter. And therefore all the other subjects partake in some sense of first matter in so far as they are composed of matter and form. Consequently. De Motu Cordis (On the Motion of the Heart). 703a 24-25) says: “what is about to initiate movement. that substantial forms differ according to more and less perfect.M.” or first matter. And so the Philosopher in On the Movement of Animals (ch.B. and more. Hence it is evident that the opinion is false which Avicebron handed down in the book Font of Life. most approaches to a likeness of the whole universe: and so man. in the sense that first matter acquires a form making it a substance.. which being generated by spirit moves the heart. which is a subject existing in act. seems to be the motion of the heart rather than any alteration involving heat. Therefore an alteration involving heat is not the cause of the heart’s motion. which is the proper subject of generation and corruption. and in a like manner concerning alteration. because all the subjects of the other changes are susceptible of certain contrarieties which are reduced to the first contrariety. it immediately underlies the substantial forms. consequently and mediately. and then another which makes it living body. no substantial form accrues to a subject existing in act.80.” which pertains to particular substance. But the more perfect can do all that the less perfect can do. who is the most perfect of animals. And he says that it is above all “hyle.” as does the more imperfect form of non-living body. and with respect to them there would be alteration rather than generation.A. is of this kind”.e. which constitutes the substance. is by some called a 45 . Again. as is said in Physics I. and what are the precise conditions of its occurrence. In addition to the foregoing correspondences. has been determined concerning absolute generation. nn. and which pertains to the consideration of Logic. as to whether it exists or not. 10. which would be the object of Natural Philosophy. which is one that moves itself. nor does it presuppose some other common form really distinct from it. because. which come and go by generation and corruption . hence the more perfect form that makes a thing “living” can also make it “body. and so on. which is that of form and privation. and then another that makes it a body. Now the most principal thing in an animal.): 8. but only one distinct according to reason. then. it can be shown that each of the works of distinction correlate to the several species of change as follows: 10. according to the doctrine which Aristotle here transmits. For that which is most principal in a thing must be the cause. 81. 8-10 (tr. Others therefore say that the principle of this motion in animals is heat itself. it would follow that the first form. not by alteration. that in matter there is an order of forms. 9. i. Then [77] he compares all the above-mentioned changes to the subject which is only being in potency. Therefore one should say. the subsequent forms would accrue to a permanent subject. B. Thomas Aquinas. (emphasis added) N. St.

but it produces increase inasmuch as potentially it is quantified flesh. 250 b 14-15). Aristotle. for growth does not take place without a certain particular generation. so that (as some have claimed) its motion were from an intrinsic mover. the essential comes before the accidental. 18. <…> Reply to objection 1: This passage from the Philosopher can be understood to apply either to the first motion. a certain likeness of a vital operation in natural things. which is local motion. q. since these motions are in a certain way consequent upon generation. Prologue. F. Hence. Thomas. they must be studied along with generation and corruption. (c) That certain species of alteration are analogous to growth: Cf.B. for which reason even in animals the principle of alteration appears to be local motion. Freddoso): Objection 1: In Physics 8 the Philosopher says that motion is... I. H. Summa Theol. Similarly. every natural motion is. ST. cf. which is the cause of alteration as well as the other motions. 5 (320a 8-24) (tr. whereas growth is subsequent to generation: Cf. 46 . Therefore. what is per se is prior to what is per accidens. [N. the motion of the heavens comes from a conjoined mover. art. tr.25 But the first motion of an animal is the motion of the heart. pursuing this resemblance. On Generation and Corruption. 1: Among these motions. For alteration is directed to generation as to its end. all natural things participate in life. Therefore. q. Now in the universe the first motion is local motion. viz. For the motion of the celestial bodies in the universe of corporeal natures is like the motion of the heart by which life is conserved in an animal. Ia. 1. and the end is by nature more perfect than what leads to it. but heat does not move locally except accidentally: for it belongs to heat to alter per se. by Pierre Conway & R. 1964). we may infer an alteration involving heat insofar as the waters above would have been produced by evaporation caused by the passage overhead of the body of the sun. generation and corruption obtain the primacy. H. as it were. as it were. 70. Now with the work of the first day we have the diurnal rotation of the outermost heaven. Thomas Aquinas.24 10. And in both senses motion is said to be like the life of natural bodies according to a certain likeness and not properly speaking. that by which food is converted into the thing fed.] 25 That is to say. It is therefore ridiculous to say that “heat is the principle of the motion of the heart. if the whole corporeal universe were a single animal. Joachim): 24 Cf. is subsequent to generation. n.” rather one must assign a cause which can be an intrinsic cause of motion in place per se. (b) That subsequent to alteration comes generation. What is more. But all natural things participate in motion. Alfred J. obj. Thus the Philosopher says in On the Soul II that food nourishes in so far as it is potentially flesh. Larcher (Columbus. St. Growth. likewise. art. namely. but with the second. a sort of life in all things that exist by nature. ad 1 (tr. 1. says that motion is “like a kind of ‘life’ existing in all things”. Commentary on Aristotle’s Generation and Corruption by Thomas Aquinas. 3. but per accidens to move something in place.“microcosm”. And so the Philosopher in the eighth book of the Physics (ch. 1. For St. Ia. then it would follow that its motion is the life of all natural bodies. or to motion in general. the movement of the celestial bodies.

We must explain (i) wherein growth differs from coming-to-be and from ‘alteration’. retaining its position as a whole while its parts change their places” ( Gen. Note also that the further comparison St. lect. But something changes its place “like that which is drawn out.” The Catholic Encyclopedia (emphasis added). (emphasis added) But a similar explanation is applicable to the third work: Cf. what is growing or diminishing changes its spatial position of necessity. I.16: 26 James F. or any other body of this sort. 47 . et Corr. by Pierre Conway & R. from potential to actual substance) is coming-to-be. For the parts of the globe change their places while the whole continues to occupy an equal place: but the parts of the growing thing expand over an ever-increasing place and the parts of the diminishing thing contract within an ever-diminishing area . by Pierre Conway & R. and thus extended…. then. Thomas makes with a liquid being poured into a receptacle suggests the same for the third work of distinction. They change their places. 85: He says therefore first [82] that a thing which is increased or decreased changes place differently from that which is “carried. F. n. a change in the sphere of magnitude is growth and one in the sphere of quality is ‘alteration’—both growth and ‘alteration’ being changes from what is-potentially to what is-actually magnitude and quality respectively? Or is there also a difference in [15] the manner of the change. though in a different manner from that in which the moving thing does so? For that which is being moved changes its place as a whole: but the growing [20] thing changes its place like a metal that is being beaten. lect.” i. F. the thing “universally.. changes place. Bk. 2. insofar as the firmament suggests beaten metal. In these cases. namely. I. but not in the same way as the parts of a revolving globe. in rectilinear motion. Larcher (Columbus. n. while the object remains in the same place. 1964). For in the case of that which is carried. tr. moved with a rectilinear motion. (d) That alteration. like metal by beating or also something liquid as poured into a receptacle.e. its formation is manifestly analogous to growth. that “[i]n the first account of the creation (Gen. Driscoll. [10] Hence our first question is this: Do these changes differ from one another solely because of a difference in their respective ‘spheres’? In other words.e. (emphasis added) Bearing in mind. 5. in its wholeness. whereas neither what is ‘altering’ nor what is coming-to-be necessarily changes its place. 1964).. its parts are changed with respect to place either by extension or in some other way. Commentary on Aristotle’s Generation and Corruption by Thomas Aquinas. 11. and (ii) what is the process of growing and the process of diminishing in each and all of the things that grow and diminish.[B]ut we have still to treat of growth. which is a change with respect to passions.” for example. Commentary on Aristotle’s Generation and Corruption by Thomas Aquinas. 320 19-20).. since it is evident that.. while a change from this to that (viz. we note that “[t]he Hebrew word means something beaten or hammered out. retaining its position as a whole while its parts change their places.. i) we read that God created a firmament to divide the upper or celestial from the lower or terrestrial waters…”. “Firmament. tr. Larcher (Columbus. implies generation: Cf.” i.26 Now on the analogy that “the growing thing changes its place like a metal that is being beaten. do they differ because.

there is such a coming-to-be. is a sort of growth (even though the propagation of light is apparently instantaneous. 11. but earth is heavy and hard. fire. Therefore. he says that before this present world was generated. it is plain that. and. too. For. thereby producing the world’s first form. on the other hand. minus Strife. inasmuch as it may increase in intensity. and that each of the elements and also each of the other bodies came to be out of that one through the influence of Strife. in general.e. given a confusion of the elements where they lack their proper passions.. coming about through the change of the passions. From this. when earth is separated out of the water allowing the dry land to appear.. but also now. etc. (emphasis added) In sum. and so is substantial change (= coming-to-be) (4) but the appearance of light. So. is white and hot and light. it is necessary that water be made from earth. The species of change in sum: (1) local motion followed by (2) an alteration (involving heat) followed by (3) substantial change followed by (4) growth 12. with the work of the third day. he says that no element is generated from another. and earth from water. with two arguments. From this it is plain that through certain differences and passions of the various elements it was brought about by Strife out of that one that one thing be water and another fire. separating things. which is as a substantial form. the fact that we see that air comes to be from water and fire from air.e. In the first of these he declares that Empedocles seems to be at odds not only with what our senses reveal. it is evident that such differences are newly acquired by the elements. each element from some other—and this not only “then.16. since these differences are removable inasmuch as they are newly engendered. Now whatever is newly acquired can be removed. and.” i. And he gives an example of the “differences and passions”—thus he [Empedocles] says that the “sun. in the beginning of the world. Then [16] he disputes against Empedocles in particular. but he seems to contradict himself also. once removed. but all other “elemented” bodies are composed of them. we nevertheless speak of it “growing light”.” i. on the one hand.) (= growth. namely. in a manner of speaking) 48 . The foregoing changes as found in the three works of distinction: (a) In the first work: (1) the Spirit of God moving over the waters (= local motion) (2) imparting the generative principle by means of heat (= alteration) (3) resulting in light coming to be. all the nature of things was assembled by Friendship into one. when one or another is separated out of the mixture the said element has come to be.

hot and cold. [It is] he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth. wet and dry. the four primary qualities.. (b) In the second work: (1) the revolution of the celestial sphere (= local motion) (2) causing evaporation and condensation. and the same with water (= coming-to-be) (4) thereby causing the movement of the waters into receptacles (= growth. Two verses that describe this stretching compare it to a curtain being stretched. the following taken from the Internet:27 2. The universe was stretched out from its original size after God created it.html [12/1/09]) 49 . Two stages in development: • • the work of the second day = a first determination (the more earthy parts are separated off from the fluid. and the inhabitants thereof [are] as grasshoppers..On the first work of distinction. A curtain is clearly a finite object. in a manner of speaking) 13.creationists.org/universe-is-finite-in-size. God produces light and the heavens “like that which is drawn out”. the parts acquire their respective natures and so are perfected) Notice also that in the Work of the Six Days. accompanied by the formation of a ‘membrane’) the work of the third day = a second determination (what is potentially dry is separated from what is wet in act and vice versa. for if it were merely another alteration it would not endure when the sun returns to its vicinity) (= coming-to-be) (4) but in agreement with the etymology of the Hebrew word raqia. that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain. and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: . in a manner of speaking) (c) In the third work: (1) the movement of waters across the surface of the earth (= local motion) (2) imparting of a shape to the surface of the earth (= alteration) (3) resulting in the separation of the wet from the dry with respect to earth and water implies an instance of generation: what was potentially earth became earth in act.Isaiah 40:22 Who coverest [thyself] with light as [with] a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Psalms 104:2 That is to say. the firmament is like a metal that has been beaten out (= growth. are manifested in the following order: 27 (http://www.. producing the waters above (= alteration) (3) resulting in the formation of the firmament in their midst (which must be a substantial change. cf.

Accordingly. Cf. Now the nature of such generation is best preserved in an account where something is given in the manner of a passive principle to be formed into a new being. while it belongs to the work of distinction and adornment to give forms to the elements that pre-exist . 68. is the air. and called a space filled with air a vacuum. the coming into being of anything whatsoever. and something in the manner of an active principle imparting motion to what is passive. upon the water. it must be recognized that while certain ‘elements’ are named as existing from the start. 14. 68. as St. but commonly. to avoid setting before ignorant persons something beyond their knowledge.• • • First day: hot. it means the coming into being of a living thing. English Dominican Fathers): According to the first opinion. to express the truth to those capable of understanding it. makes no express mention of air by name. Thomas explains. are given a form. the appearance of light implies a luminous body producing it (light being understood here as an active quality of the luminous body. cf. q. In order. Summa Theol. on the second day. and consequently. lect. for there have even been philosophers who said that air is nothing. (tr. thereby producing the firmament of Heaven. Third day: wet and dry insofar as the waters below are gathered into one place leting the dry land appear. in fact. Thomas Aquinas. that of illumination (light being understood in this latter case as the act of the transparent. all the wet going to the one. (emphasis added) 15. For it may be understood from these words that over the face of the water a transparent body was extended. Moses. it is fitting that the Work of the Six Days be disposed in the manner of a coming into being. he implies in the words: “Darkness was upon the face of the deep. being entitled ‘Genesis’ from the Greek. like the sun. cf. 1. however. the dry to the other.. 3. Now even the most uneducated can perceive by their senses that earth and water are corporeal. by the divine fiat. 50 . St. ” (emphasis added) For the heavens above the air. Ia.. namely.” the existence of air as attendant.: “It should rather be considered that Moses was speaking to ignorant people. may we not suppose that. In II De Anima. But they are also given a formative virtue. whereas it is not evident to all that air also is corporeal. see Part IV). such as an artifact. idem. The work of formation with respect to the ‘elements’.’ as well as the heaven or heavens above it “on high” within which the luminary may be presumed to revolve. Ia. c. which. inasmuch as vital heat is understood to underlie the generative power of the heavens informed by light. footnote on the next page. but others. 14. with respect to the work of the first day (for which. strictly speaking. the active quality of heat driving the processes of generation which takes place here below?28 Now by means of light both the body of air existing under the privation called ‘darkness. art. so one might also suppose the others to have also existed from the start. the form of the generator. c. then. 420). Now ‘genesis’ has both a proper and a common meaning: properly. into that otherwise unmentioned luminary? And would not such a substance also possess. and that out of condescension to their weakness he put before them only such things as are apparent to sense. art. so to say. For it is part of the work of creation to produce the substance of the elements. q. con28 As we have noted elsewhere. such as aither. and so presupposes a first formation of some unformed element. such as air. be granted that the firmament was made. namely earth and water. it may. n. Second day: cold in relation to the congealing of water to ice. are implied. even as to substance. even if unnamed. The work of distinction on the first day. cf. Summa Theol. 405). the subject of light and darkness. n. while he expressly mentions water and earth. The Scripture we have before us. Cf.

2. but rather as secondary.5). whereby the continuance of generation is secured. 4. Cf.29 may we not also suppose this process to have begun with the production of light? But if so. The work of distinction on the second day. inasmuch as the diurnal movement of a heavenly body is the first efficient cause of motion and generation (as the ancients believed to be the case with that body. a form that appears to the observer to be that of a dome or a sphere. q. as Augustine says ( De Trin. 1. 68. it follows further that even corporeal forms are derived from spiritual substances. and the primary movable body that moves with diurnal movement: while by the firmament made on the second day he understands the starry heaven”. that the philosophers speak of. not its cause. is the cause whereby different bodies are generated or corrupted. Summa Theol. then. Ia. and their various influences.. which alternation is the first work of distinction in particular. the work of the second day. as well as with the sun.: “But since the composite agent. in fact. c. As I explain more fully elsewhere. The firmament. not emanating from them. Thomas speaks of “the primary mobile” as “the cause of the daily revolution of the entire heaven. iii. Following upon this institution. Cf. 65. It is not enough. Hence it follows that they are moved by some intellectual substances. must we not understand that motion to be due to a separated substance conjoined to it as its mover. we must recognize that the work of the second day principally consists in this accomplishment. as the body its soul. also idem. by the zodiacal movement.” 51 .sisting in the power of generation. where St. 30 Cf. Ia. ibid. q. lies in the fact that whereas nature moves to one fixed end which having attained. the moon. as has been touched on above?30 17. so that the order placed in the element of water on the second day. like bodies of specific gravity. being manifestly in that shape. to speak merely of the waters being formed when it is the firmament itself which is ‘made’. and not. ad 3.. q.”. with the naming of the light ‘Day’ and the darkness ‘Night’. and so should not be treated as principal. it rests. calling it the ninth sphere. art. 4. to understand the formation of the heavens by light to be analogous to the reception of a subject by a substantial form.: “A proof that the heavenly bodies are moved by the direct influence and contact of some spiritual substance. the imparting of a shape to the entire corporeal universe clearly counts as a principal work of formation. and with the subsequent succession of evening and morning. consisting in the bringing into being of the firmament (prior to its adornment by ‘lights’). In the same way the starry heaven. through the rising and setting of the stars. The work of distinction on the third day. thereby dividing the part of the waters above it from the part below it.” The entire article is devoted to this subject. ibid.. the formation of the waters is an effect of the latter. the same. 3. We have. 29 Cf. and the stars). a point which I have developed at length in preceding parts of this series. imparts to whatever matter we may presume to underlie it—most likely the waters in which it was produced—a certain form. then. then. In sum. the first work of distinction—described universally as the separation of light from darkness—is seen to result in the alternation of day and night produced by the diurnal movement of the luminous body through the heaven. Moreover. 18. Ia q. ii) that [heaven] of the first day was spherical in form and without stars. by nature. art.. c. 70. is moved by a created spiritual substance. 67. this does not appear in the movement of heavenly bodies. as the apparent motions of the heavenly bodies makes clear. but as the term of their movement. art. Corollary: Accordingly. ad 1: “According to Damascene ( De Fide Orth. art. which is a body.

Also. q.. ibid. understood as “the mass of waters without order. Joachim): Accordingly.. heavy-light. 11. also Aristotle. 3.. art. I therefore suppose the gathering of the waters into ‘Seas’ to imply the imparting of a form to the surface of the earth. ‘Hot’ is that which ‘associates’ things of the same kind (for ‘dissociating’. as I explain further in PART VIII. hard and soft. and from the bodies of water which some have asserted to exist hidden from us in the bowels of the earth. viscous and brittle. Things are not called ‘heavy’ and ‘light’ because they act upon. H. presumably ‘basins’ of some sort (with a corresponding raising of mountains. a fluid having no boundary of its own. but is readily adaptable and follows the outline of that which is in contact with it. cf. art. namely. being readily adaptable in shape.e. as we observe with its containers we call “the Seas”. 2 (329b 17-330a 1) (tr. Contrarieties correlative to touch are the following: hotcold. the earth as a consequence receiving an additional determination—that of visibility. With respect to water’s need for a terminus outside it. 1. For (a) since the moist has no determinate shape. the “deep”. by their separation the elements of earth and water had their natures imparted to them. 19. ibid. Faust. Thomas Aquinas. is not determinable by any limit of its own: while ‘dry’ is that which is readily determinable by its own limit. Larcher) (excerpt): The second fact he proposes is about water [15] and he says that we do not observe water to exist by itself and isolated from the body located about the earth. That is to say. c. since its effect is to eliminate what is foreign).”31 necessarily lacked the determination of shape. 66. 69. For it does not occur to water to be gathered together in this way – since the moistness which is water is contained by some alien terminus. or suffer action from. lect. for which reason they must have pre-existed seminally. insofar as water does not of itself have a shape. cf. and distinguish which amongst them are primary. but acquires one only from the body containing it. xxii. dry-moist. 31 32 52 . homogeneous and heterogeneous things alike. hard-soft. R.[20] smooth.With respect to the work of formation on the third day. But the ‘elements’ must be reciprocally active and susceptible. other things. which we see. (emphasis added) Cf. on which see below). II. citing Augustine. while ‘cold’ is that which brings together. H. and dry and moist. q. [30] And moist is that which. 1. is ‘associating’ things of the same class. Commentary on Aristotle’s Meteorology. Ia. St. as St.). we must segregate the tangible differences and contrarieties. from the sea and rivers. Pierre Conway and F. which people attribute to Fire as its function. and the remaining tangible differences. rough. since they ‘combine’ and are transformed into one another. are terms. 17 (tr. we must perforce recognize that the nature of “the waters” is such as to require an “alien terminus”. On the other hand (ii) hot and cold. c. i. On Generation and Corruption. it is [330a] characteristic of it to be ‘such as to fill up’. as Augustine and Thomas saw. Likewise. Contr.32 On the former of these two points. of which the first pair implies power to act and [25] the second pair susceptibility. Ia. coarse-fine. we must also recognize that the earth-bound waters must be gathered into one place somewhere on earth (whether that place be on its surface or in its ‘bowels’ or both as the case may be). viscous-brittle. ‘associates’. but not readily adaptable in shape. n. From moist and dry are derived (iii) the fine and coarse. Of these (i) heavy and light are neither active nor susceptible. Thomas explains—when its “watery veil” was “withdrawn” (cf. given the evident fact that water seeks its own level. On the moist and the dry.

understood as mixed with the waters of the deep. but each [30] of them necessarily grows or decays as a whole. The gathering of the waters on the third day: certain difficulties recognized by St. whereas it does go on by parts in the case of the earth. n. Thomas Aquinas. for the flow of water is toward what is more concave. therefore. Now when places become drier the springs necessarily give out. there one day comes to be dry land. and therefore all were not gathered together into one place. The principle and cause of these changes is that the interior of the earth grows and decays. Cf.33 Objection 4: Further. 144: “He gives the second argument [142] and says that there are many seas that have no communication with any other. Summa Theol. 1. but where there was dry land there comes to be sea. But we must suppose these changes to follow some order and cycle. and take their course towards the sea. (emphasis added) 20.” 34 “Indeed. 3-4. lect. a gathering together is a mode of local movement. It is owing to them that the parts of the earth come to have a different character. ad 3-4 (tr. 69. For the Red Sea joins but slightly with the Ocean Sea beyond the columns of Hercules: from which sea the Hyrcanian and Caspian (which is the sea of Pontus) are far removed. Thomas Aquinas. that some parts remain moist for a certain time. St. 1. E. which increase and diminish on account of the sun and its course. Ia. things which are not in continuous contact cannot occupy one place.. 2. W. 34 In their case. a Divine precept of this kind was unnecessary. Here the causes are cold and heat. all water moves toward the sea as to its proper place. And so the relation of land to sea changes too and a place does not always remain land or sea throughout all time. disagreeing with the Angelic Doctor’s assigning the latter to the third work of distinction. I. Also relevant here is Aristotle. But not all the waters are in continuous contact.From the foregoing passage. q. and when [351b] this happens the rivers first decrease in size and then finally become dry. and then dry up and grow old. But the waters flow naturally. and the necessity for imparting an outline to the surface of the earth on the other. is bohu. Meteorology. we must recognize that the foregoing observation reveals how the gathering of the waters below into seas is itself a kind of ‘filling up’ of what is empty. one can readily see the intimate connection between the nature of fluidity on the one hand. as is the place of the sea. 14 (351a 19-351b 4) (tr. and when rivers change and disappear in one part and come into existence correspondingly in another. and where there is now [25] sea. but they change [20] according as rivers come into existence and dry up. art. the sea must needs be affected. ‘void’ or ‘empty’: While we have argued above that this indetermination was taken away by the several works of adornment. while other parts in their turn are filled with life and moisture. then. like the bodies of plants and animals. thereby making the last work of distinction in a way continuous with the first work of adornment. n. Only in the case of these latter the process does not go on by parts. 153) 53 .” (Commentary on Aristotle’s Meteorology. Notice also how that nature relates to the requirement that the earth. obj. English Dominican Fathers): Objection 3: Further. Webster): The same parts of the earth are not always moist or dry. lect. <…> 33 Cf. Commentary on Aristotle’s Meteorology.

Or this can be understood to mean that the boundary of the waters will remain unchangeable. they are not described as having been formed apart from the elements. 5:22. “Let the waters be gathered together in one place. which has set out a boundary for the water covering the earth. art. Seeing that mineral bodies do not show any evident superiority of excellence over the elements as living bodies do. however. attributes it to the Divine power. but that some part of the earth remains uncovered by the waters is due to divine power. ad 18: Reply to the Eighteenth Objection. Chapter 26: Then he shows the effect of divine power on the waters when he says. into which they flow by channels hidden or apparent. Quaestiones Disputatae de Potentia Dei. 4. it was necessary for the waters to be withdrawn from a portion of the earth. 12) seem to mean that these hollow places did not already exist beneath the surface. (emphasis added) On the conforming of the surface of the earth by God. which is enclosed everywhere by the ocean. that plants and animals might be on the earth. which surrounds the land everywhere. i.” that is.” Or we may say that it was according to the nature of water completely to cover the earth. but as contrasted with the place of the dry land. namely. not only in the Book of Genesis. “The gathering together of the waters He called Seas. “at the boundary between light and darkness. That the waters occupied more places than one seems to be implied by the words that follow. Brian Mulladay). cf. 54 . so that the earth could afterwards provide room for the waters to be gathered together in the depressions of its surface. “He has circumscribed a limit on the waters”.Reply to Objection 3: All the waters have the sea as their goal.” Reply to Objection 4: The Divine command gives bodies their natural movement and by these natural movements they are said to “fulfill His word. Commentary on the Book of Job (tr. but also Job 38:10 where in the person of the Lord it is said. Hence nothing prevents the existence of hollow places before the waters were gathered together. “one place” is to be understood not simply. but that they were formed on the surface of the earth when the waters were gathered together. also St. Thomas Aquinas. “I set My bounds around the sea. apart from the dry land. 1.” and Jer. as long as this actual state of the world remains in which there is a succession of light and darkness.” For the light of day and the dark of night are bounded for us by the sun rising and setting from the upper hemisphere.35 This pertains particularly to the ocean. These in fact are his words: “By subsiding in all directions the earth was able to provide these hollow places into which the waters flowing and rushing together were received. where it is written: “Will you not then fear Me. However. On the Power of God by Thomas Aquinas. so that the sense would be. Some philosophers attribute this uncovering of the earth’s surface to the action of the sun lifting up the vapors and thus drying the land. for the waters according to the natural order of the elements should cover every place on the earth. just as the air completely surrounds both water and earth. who have set the sand a bound for the sea?” (emphasis added) On God’s bounding of the waters. and we understand them to have been produced at the same time as the elements. translated by the English Dominican Fathers (1952). and 35 Cf. ad lit. and this may be the reason why they are said to be gathered together into one place. our remarks on “the world-encircling Ocean” in Preliminaries III. the words used by Augustine in his allusion to this view (Gen. cf. and because of this he continues. q. but as a necessary means towards an end. saith the Lord. which is placed over the habitable land. Or. Scripture.

11th ed. though for convenience of reference distinguished by separate names. of which some interpret it. by apertures and channels made. or mixed with it. Junius.the dry land appeared in those parts that the waters had abandoned. s.. Or [who] shut up the sea with doors . &c. as the sea of Galilee and Tiberias. And God said. “Geology”. British.. and which were either on the surface of the earth. and even lakes and pools of water are called seas. — The water envelope covers nearly three-fourths of the surface of the earth. and it is throughout this account represented as an infant. (emphasis added) 21. which made the vast cavity for the sea. are all linked together in one great body.. Fagius. iv.): “When the waters were commanded to gather together. and with the doors of it. shut up in the bowels of the earth. as the word {e} used signifies. the Mediterranean. as the German. in Hexaem. compare Encyclopedia Britannica. which was no other than the lake of Gennesaret. Baltic. Which are before called the waters under the firmament. were caused to flow as by a straight line. a place for their gathering was at once formed. and this refers not to the state and case of the sea as at the flood. That Scripture itself understands the forming of the surface of the earth to involve depresssions producing basins and elevations producing hills and mountains. see Job 3:10. even as certain parts are accidentally higher as hills and mountains. on Genesis 1:9: Ver. ibid. and when it seems there was a clap thunder. or in the bowels of it. the following excerpted above: To the use of the plural “Seas” for describing what has been gathered together into one place. On this question. (1910). so that by God’s command sufficient place was provided to receive the confluence of the many waters. and made the valleys. and so are one.. &c. or which are denominated from the shores they wash. as the Red sea. as well as threw up the hills and mountains. p. and forms the various oceans and seas which.. but as at its first creation. How we are to understand the one place to which the waters are gathered. From the earth the transition is to the sea. and perhaps an earthquake.. for though there was but one place into which they were collected.” It may be that sufficient place was made by the depressions in the earth’s surface. The conformation of the earth and waters: Some Biblical witnesses. with which all other waters have a communication. and here first as in embryo. The Hydrosphere. “recto et equabili cursu contendant et collineant”. John Gill on Genesis 1:10: “And the gathering together of the waters called he seas . the bowels of the earth being the storehouses where God 55 .. Caspian. which by the compressure of the expanse or air were separated from it and these.” The same view is expressed by Basil (Hom. see Job 38:10: <…> {e} wwqy “congregentur tanquam ad amussim et regulam”. yet there are divers seas. at his rebuke. the great hollow or channel which now contains the waters of the ocean: this was done by the word of the Lord. (emphasis added) Cf. according to the order of the creation. as an infant shut up in its mother’s womb. 9. where it was when first created with it.. and which is the main ocean. is well brought out by the following comment from John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible (1748). on Job 38:8-11: Verse 8.” Cf.. unto the decreed place that was broke up for them. cf. let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place.v. 654: “2.” 22.

misty air. as Pharez broke out of his mother’s womb. the sea was shut up in hollow places. though since. these are the shores. foggy.. which beautifully expressed in Psalm 104:7.. Something like this the Heathen philosopher Archelaus had a notion of. but go no further. And brake up for it my decreed [place] . 203. fogs. but both may be said of the sea. Verse 11. hitherto shalt thou come. [as if] it had issued out of the womb . Verse 10. that is. appointed for it its convenient. and wash them. the misshapen earth. 99.. was like a woman big with child. Verse 9. 1. Broughton translates it.. which signifies a breach. Genesis 1:9 {h}. see Genesis 1:2. raised the hills and sank the valleys. l. which rise out of the sea. which became as channels to convey the waters that ran off the earth to their appointed place. which was the case of the sea when it burst out of the bowels of the earth and covered it. and set bars and doors. and the surrounding atmosphere. as easily as a nurse can turn about and swaddle a newborn babe upon her lap. before they were drained off the earth. and these are the garments and the swaddling bands with which the hands and arms of this big and boisterous creature are wreathed. to which may be added. the boundaries of the sea. keeping exactly to time and 56 . and may be called the birth of it. it is said of the infant in Ezekiel 16:4 that it was neither “salted nor swaddled at all”. p.. so it follows. and still does and can manage. so the waters of the sea from spilling out. its rolling tides shall go up so far in rivers that go out of it. but these would be insufficient was it not for the power and will of God. clouds. as it presses the whole terraqueous globe. and this was before its separation from the land. so the sea burst forth and issued out of the bowels of the earth. {h} Or determined.. for which reason he had his name given. and that it is swaddled is here affirmed. and what is amazing. Or. as in Psalm 104:6. The waters of the sea shall spread themselves to such and such shores. a dark. to keep it in its decreed appointed place. but no further . and mists.. as the Targum. For this newborn babe. 2. which was provided as a sort of cradle to put this swaddled infant in. the cliffs and rocks upon them. that it is salted is sufficiently known. as a child out of its mother’s womb. Psalm 33:7. as the Targum. but who except the Lord Almighty could do this? and who has managed. as here. next expressed. and then return. and fixed place. Lexic. when it brake forth out of the abyss . When I made the cloud the garment thereof.. this was the first open visible production of the sea. fol. the sand upon the seashore is such a boundary to it that it cannot pass. and cover it at times. as Mr. {g} Laert. God cleaved the earth. Vit. for then darkness was upon the face of the deep. and when the chaos. and keeps the parts of the earth together.. that the waters might not go over the earth. this unruly creature. Jeremiah 5:22. and in this order it stands in this account. Genesis 1:2. “and brake the earth for it by my decree”: made a vast chasm in the earth to hold the waters of the sea.. and now it was that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.. so David de Pomis. with force and violence. Genesis 38:29. to the work of creation on the second day. who says {g}. the sea. And said.first laid up the deep waters. and was as it were strained through the earth. are as garments to it. Philosoph. and thick darkness a swaddling band for it . proper.. and refers there. and covered it all around.

when God said (Gen. and this was effected by a volcanic convulsion on its surface. for which. and swell. who are like a troubled sea. but God is with his people in them. so high and no higher shall they lift up themselves. than to the boundaries fixed for them. whom he has placed in the munition of rocks out of their reach. are all connected with the sea (Job 38:10. 7 At thy rebuke they shall flee: at the voice of thy thunder they shall fear. Cf. in obedience to the divine command the waters broke forth like a child out of the teeming womb. he has set the bounds and measures of them. neither shall they return to cover the earth. being separated from them who were originally mixed with them. 104:6. Ps. and the plains descend into the place which thou hast founded for them. and also to the world. and the formation of vast hollows. and here shall thy proud waves be stayed . the Word of God. [sc. Thus a large part of the earth was left “dry land. At God’s rebuke they fled. but the Lord restrains their wrath and fury. Job 38:8: 8 Who shut up the sea with doors when it burst forth as though coming from a womb…? 57 . that those proud waters cannot go over them as they threaten to do. the sinking of others. the upheaving of some parts. they are many.” and thus were formed oceans. 8. (emphasis added) Cf. 1. Concerning the limiting of the sea to the place appointed for it. and through his almighty power is tended to. 9 Thou hast set a bound which they shall not pass over. reason pride is ascribed to them. v. when it brake forth. Psalm 42:7. and rivers which. 8. seas. Jeremiah 5:22. beyond which they cannot go. Or who shut up the sea with doors. see Psalm 76:10. let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place—The world was to be rendered a terraqueous globe. 23. 9. as if it had issued out of the womb? ] This refers to the third day’s work. into which the waters impetuously rushed. and though they may toss up themselves as proud men toss up their heads. 8 The mountains ascend. yet they shall not prevail. 7. and who rise. and threaten to overwhelm. though each having its own bed.place. and are not the effects of chance. Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place. etc. (emphasis added) Cf. Commentary on the Whole Bible (1721). and preserves them from being overflowed by them. Ec 1:7). this is said by Jehovah. Out of the great deep or chaos. Matthew Henry. so far and no farther shall they roll on. or channel. Daniel 7:2. 1871) on Gen 1:9-13: Ge 1:9-13. and suffers them not to do his people any harm. Third Day. v. see Isaiah 27:8. Psalm 104 (103):6-9: 6 The deep like a garment is its clothing: above the mountains shall the waters stand. 1:9). retired with precipitation. on Job 38:8: II. all this may be accommodated to the afflictions of God’s people. and to the men of it. in which earth and water were intermixed. which are sometimes compared to the waves and billows of the sea. Cf. and stood above the mountains. lakes. and dash against the people of God. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary (Hartford. and these issue out of the womb of God’s purposes and decrees. Supplement: On Job 38:8: A problem of interpretation. as is graphically described (Ps 104:6-9) [Hitchcock]. Then the waters that had covered the deep. and it was so.

he shaved his head and he fell on the ground and worshipped.B. Brian Mulladay). from the earth which is the common mother of everything. namely in that he is removed from the company of men.” (40:1) This can also be interpreted in another way. …Job revealed the state of his mind not only by deeds. For he rationally demonstrated that although he suffered sadness. St. First. a child. he did not have to yield to sadness. “Who shut up the sea with doors. For a man cannot return a second time to the womb of his own mother. This is evident since a man comes into this world without them and leaves this world without them. but he can return to the state which he had in the womb of his mother in a certain respect. On this point cf.e. “from the womb. animals. ch. to the earth. He says the sea proceeds. and plants. (emphasis added) 58 . but come to him accidentally. “He said: Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb. The Lord gave. the Lord has taken away. This is why the seed of all things is moist.” not because it has had its origin from other corporeal matter. He describes the production of the sea using the comparison of the birth of a living thing. so it has been done.” He uses the word “to break forth” because it is a property of water to move almost continually. 38. As God pleased. In saying this he reasonably shows that a man should not be absorbed with sadness because of the loss of exterior goods. but also by words.” the term “there” establishes a simple relation. Commentary on the Book of Job (tr. The expression. he demonstrated from the condition of nature so the text said. it has been effected for the generation of men. and naked I shall return there. as God holds back the waters of the sea within their certain limits by his power. and he means this when he says. because water is especially apt to be changed into living things. he continues then speaking about the waters which are immediately placed over the land. Thomas Aquinas. 38:29) as John Gill puts it.” namely.” with determined limits. But by divine disposition. 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 so he says. When he says next “naked I shall return there.Cf. Sirach speaks in the same vein saying. “and naked shall I return there. but the Lord shows that it has been disposed from the beginning that the sea does not cover the land everywhere. but because it proceeded from the hidden origin of divine providence as from the womb.” i. There were some who thought the action of the sun dried up some part of the earth. The child first comes forth from the womb of its mother. Literally. “from my mother’s womb” can be literally taken as the womb of the mother who bore him. the waters burst forth from the deep “as Pharez broke out of his mother’s womb. some part of the land remains uncovered by the waters.. Thomas’s Lesson 4 on 1:21: The Fourth Lecture: Job’s Submission 20 Then Job arose and rent his robe. Job did not sin with his lips.” (Gen. Lesson 1: After the foundation of the earth. (emphasis added) N. 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. Blessed be the name of the Lord! In all these things. 21 He said: Naked I came from my mother’s womb. “when it burst forth as though proceeding from the womb. The natural order of the elements requires that water surrounds the earth at every point like air surrounds earth and water at every point. since exterior goods are not connatural to him. “Great hardship has been created for man. nor did he say anything foolish against God.

and F. 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.P. and Psalm 36:6 where it is used metaphorically of the depth of God’s justice/judgment. that to some.christiananswers. Commentary on Aristotle’s Meteorology (tr. nor the poles of the world. For they say that when water is raised aloft through evaporation and then re-descends. 125: …He says therefore first [122]. Ezekiel 26:19. and poised the fountains of waters: 29 When he compassed the sea with its bounds. well. nor the rivers. 27 When he prepared the heavens. Pierre Conway. “The deep” is used more often. probably the oceans. Jonah 2:3).That we should understand the womb of the earth here is also evident from the following considerations: Cf. I was present: when with a certain law and compass he enclosed the depths: 28 When he established the sky above.. Thomas Aquinas. Larcher.” i. where the precise meaning is not clear. Genesis 1:2. 41:32. St. 24 The depths were not as yet.. [1964]). and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when be balanced the foundations of the earth. playing before him at all times.”[1] 36 (http://www. and I was already conceived. where it clearly refers to the same thing. Book II.e.html [11/30/09]) 59 . The Hebrew word (mayan) translated “fountains” means “fountain.P.R. before he made any thing from the beginning. where it clearly refers to the ocean. 63:13. Proverbs 8:22-31: 22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways. O.g. 31 Playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men. “Fountains of the deep” is used in Genesis 8:2. O. What are the “fountains of the great deep?” This phrase is used only in Genesis 7:11. it collects under the earth and thus flows on to generate springs and rivers. “Noah’s Flood – Where did the water come from?”36 The Fountains of the Great Deep The “fountains of the great deep” are mentioned before the “windows of heaven. Job 38:30. the waters of which the Lord speaks are fountains originating from the earth: Cf. Psalm 42:7. 1.” indicating either relative importance or the order of events. where God’s fire of judgment is said to dry up the great deep. the same things seem to be true of the generation of rivers as was said of the generation of winds. 104:6. Isaiah 51:10. n. but sometimes to subterranean sources of water (Ezekiel 31:4. (emphasis added) Clearly. lect. “The great deep” is used three other times: Isaiah 51:10. 30 I was with him forming all things: and was delighted every day. 15). from some large depth where a great amount of water is gathered. and of old before the earth was made. 23 I was set up from eternity. Amos 7:4. It is as if they were understood to emerge from some “great womb. and Proverbs 8:28. spring. and usually refers to the oceans (e.net/q-aig/aig-c010. The same conclusion is suggested by considering “the fountains of the great deep” of Genesis 7 and 8: Cf.

grisda. This word may be derived from the Hebrew root ybl “to flow. Hasel devoted an entire scholarly article to the phrase “all the fountains [ma yenoth] of the Great Deep [tehôm rabbah]” (Genesis 7:11. and the Lord sits as King forever.. The primeval state of things. § (c) 2013 Bart A.org/origins/22058. and showed how it is linked with the universal “Deep” (tehôm) or world-ocean in Genesis 1:2 (cf. but rather “the earth which is the common mother of everything”. which in the Flood narrative is usually associated with mayim “waters. once in Psalm 29: 10). Origins 1:67-72]. . All rights reserved..htm [12/17/06]) 60 . 8:2). the waters were standing above the mountains”). coupled in the same verse with the opening of the windows of the heavens. but of all the “fountains” of the Great Deep. This technical term clearly sets the Genesis Deluge apart from all local floods. 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. geological faulting) of not just one subterranean water spring in Mesopotamia. p 71). 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. Origins 5:83-98 ]. Psalm 104:6: “Thou didst cover it [the earth] with [the] deep [ tehôm] as with a garment. 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. then.” seems to have become “a technical term for waters flowing or streaming forth and as such designates the flood (deluge) being caused by waters. Davidson.” The term mabbûl. The “breaking up” and “bursting forth” (i. p 92-93). in another article. to stream. recognizing their source to be.e.” (emphasis added) ⊂ We conclude. is this: having brought into being the waters of the deep. Richard M. far transcends a local scene. God restrained their chaotic force: 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. “Biblical Evidence for the Universality of the Genesis Flood”:37 Seventh. 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.. Eighth. Mazzetti. not “divine providence” as such (although ultimately they derive therefrom). 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. 37 (http://www. then.[1] Strong’s Concordance Cf.