Genesis 1: 6- 8 – Answering Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati

Can firmament and water hear? What does it mean to create heaven?

Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.

"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. And God made the firmament, from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day." (1:6, 7, 8.)

C. ~ Did the firmament and the waters also hear what God said? Had there been no akasha* in water, where would it have existed. The creation of the heaven is mentioned in the first verse (of Genesis), it was useless then to create it again. If akasha be the Heaven it would also be everywhere. It is useless then to say that the heaven is situated somewhere above. How could there be the morning and the evening when the sun had not yet been created? The succeeding verses also treat of such impossible things.

*The word firmament is translated into Akasha in the Sanskrit and Bhasha versions of the Bible. Now akdasha is held by Sanskrit philosophers to be an All-pervading subtle ether-like substance which fills all things in the universe, hence this objection.  This shows that man was not made in the image of God. Now man was created, and being in the image of God and after His likeness it follows as a natural consequences that His nature is also creatable hence he cannot be eternal. Besides, what did He create the man out of?

Answer: As for the hearing of waters, I have already clarified that such understanding is false and erroneously imposed on the text.

Second the word for "made" in the above quoted passage from Genesis is the Hebrew word asah. The word asah occurs 1,200 times in the Old Testament and has a wide variety of meanings, some of which include: did, made, show, appear, made to appear, etc. In light of this fact, the possible meaning of Genesis 1:16 is that God made the sun and moon to appear on the fourth day, whereas 1:3 refers to their actual creation of the sun.

Moreover, there is no reason to believe that heaven is everywhere. Such understanding of heaven as everywhere has been thoroughly refuted by science as already pointed in the previous questions.

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