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Home / Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary / Genesis / Chapter 1


Lectionary Calendar

Monday, November 30th, 2020


Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary the First Week of Advent
Genesis 1:7
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Genesis 1:6 Genesis 1 Genesis 1:8

God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the
expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.

Jump to: Gill's Exposition • Geneva Study Bible • Trapp's Commentary • Coke's Commentary • Poole's Annotations •
Constable's Expository Notes • Whedon's Commentary • Haydock's Catholic Commentary • Bullinger's Companion
Bible Notes • Ellicott's Commentary • Treasury of Knowledge

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John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible Other Authors

And God made the firmament,.... By a word speaking, commanding it into being, Range Specific
producing it out of the chaos, and spreading it in that vast space between the Barne's Notes
heaven of heavens and our earthF26, Chuck Smith
Commentary
And divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters Hole's Commentary
which were above the firmament; the lower part of it, the atmosphere above, Meyer's Commentary
which are the clouds full of water, from whence rain descends upon the earth; and Gary Hampton
which divided between them and those that were left on the earth, and so under it, Commentary
not yet gathered into one place; as it now does between the clouds of heaven and
Everett's Study Notes
the waters of the sea. Though Mr. GregoryF1 is of opinion, that an abyss of waters Commentary Critical and
above the most supreme orb is here meant; or a great deep between the heavens Explanatory - Unabridged
and the heaven of heavens, where, as in storehouses, the depth is laid up; and
The People's Bible
God has his treasures of snow, hail, and rain, and from whence he brought out the
waters which drowned the world at the universal deluge. Others suppose the Keil & Delitzsch
waters above to be the crystalline heaven, which for its clearness resembles water; Kretzmann's Popular
Commentary of the Bible
and which MiltonF2 calls the "crystalline ocean",
Wells of Living Water
And it was so: the firmament was accordingly made, and answered this purpose, Henry's Complete
to divide the waters below it from those above it; or "it was firm"F3, stable and Henry's Concise
durable; and so it has continued. Pett's Bible Commentary
Peake's Bible
Commentary
Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Preacher's Homiletical
Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario. Commentary
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR,
Hawker's Poor Man's
72855
Commentary
Bibliography Biblical Illustrator ADVERTISEMENT
Gill, John. "Commentary on Genesis 1:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible".
Pulpit Commentaries
https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/genesis-1.html. 1999.
Wesley's Notes
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Geneva Study Bible

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] f under the firmament from the waters which
[were] above the firmament: and it was so.

(f) As the sea and rivers, from those waters that are in the clouds, which are upheld by God's
power, least they should overwhelm the world.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Genesis 1:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/genesis-
1.html. 1599-1645.

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John Trapp Complete Commentary

Genesis 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the
waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so.

Ver. 7. Waters which were above the firmament.] That is the clouds, and watery meteors above the lower
region of the air, where God’s "pavilion round about him is dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies". [Psalms
18:11 Jeremiah 10:13] These he "weighs by measure"; [Job 28:25] not a drop falls in vain, or in a wrong place.
And this is the first heaven: as the second is the starry sky, which is firm and fast, "as a molten looking-glass".
[Job 37:18] To this heaven, some that have calculated curiously, have found it five hundred years’ journey.
Others say, that if a stone should fall from the eighth sphere, and should pass every hour a hundred miles, it
would be sixty-five years or more, before it would come to ground. (a) Beyond this second heaven, Aristotle
acknowledgeth none other. Beyond the movable heavens, saith he, there is neither body, nor time, nor place,
nor vacuum. (b) But "we have a more sure word of prophecy." God’s blessed book assures us of a "third
heaven," [2 Corinthians 12:2] called elsewhere "the heaven of heavens," [Deuteronomy 10:14] the "Paradise" of
God, [Luke 22:43] the "bosom of Abraham," [Luke 16:22] the "Father’s house," [John 14:2] the "city of the living
God," [Hebrews 12:22] the "country" of his pilgrims. [Hebrews 12:14] A body it is, for bodies are in it; but a
subtile, fine, spiritual body; next in purity to the substance of angels and men’s souls. It is also, say some, (c)
solid as stone, but "clear as crystal" [Revelation 21:11 Job 37:18] A true firmament, indeed, not penetrable by
any, no, not by angels, spirits, and bodies of just men made perfect; but by a miracle, God making way by His
power, where there is no natural passage. It opens to the very angels, [John 1:51 Genesis 28:12] who yet are
able to penetrate all under it. The other two heavens are to be passed through by the grossest bodies.

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Genesis 1:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/genesis-
1.html. 1865-1868.

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Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Genesis 1:7. And God called, &c.— And this expanse God called heaven, shemmim, (because waters were
there placed,) from ‫ שׁם‬sham, there, and ‫ מים‬maim, waters: a derivation the rather to be approved, because, as
we shall see throughout the scriptures, the Hebrew names were generally given from the actions immediately at
hand.

REFLECTIONS.—1. God having made the light, a proper medium is now provided through which its rays may
pass. But though this firmament is stretched over us, the way is open to the throne of God, and faith can even
here enter within the vail, and prayer hath wings which mount beyond the skies. Observe, 2. the design of this
firmament, to divide the waters from the waters. There are waters beneath the firmament that cover the great
deep, and rivers which run among the vallies; and there are waters above the firmament, in clouds which drop
down fatness, and in treasure-houses reserved for purposes of judgment.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Genesis 1:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible.
https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/genesis-1.html. 1801-1803.

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Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The firmament here is either,

1. The starry heaven; so called, not from its solidity, but from its fixed, durable, and, in a sort, incorruptible and
unchangeable nature. Or,

2. The air; called here, the expansion, or extension, because it is extended far and wide, even from the earth
to the third heaven; called also the firmament, because it is fixed in its proper place, from whence it cannot
be moved, unless by force.

The waters under the firmament are seas, rivers, lakes, fountains, and other waters in the bowels of the
earth.

The waters above the firmament, or above the heavens, as they are called, Psalms 148:4, are either,

1. A collection or sea of waters placed by God above all the visible heavens, and there reserved for ends known
to himself. Or rather,

2. The waters in the clouds; for the clouds are called waters, Psalms 18:11 Psalms 104:3, and are said to be in
heaven, 2 Samuel 21:10 Matthew 24:30, and the production thereof is mentioned as an eminent work of
God's creation, Job 35:5 Job 36:29 Psalms 147:8 Proverbs 8:28; which therefore it is not credible that Moses
in his history of the creation would admit, which he doth, if they be not here meant; and these are rightly said
to be above the firmament, i.e. the air, because they are above a considerable part of it. As God commanded
and ordered it, so it was done and settled.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Genesis 1:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible.
https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/genesis-1.html. 1685.

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Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

God separated the waters so some of them remained on the earth and some were above the earth in the
atmosphere. Before He made this division there may have been a dense fog over the whole surface of the
earth. [Note: See my comments on the "canopy theory" at2:4-6.]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Genesis 1:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable".
https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/genesis-1.html. 2012.

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Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7. God made the firmament — By his almighty fiat the dense mist that hung over the face of the deep, and
was itself a vast expanse of waters, was lifted up to find a local habitation on high. Thus was formed the vast
reservoir of the heavens, from which the rains descend to fertilize and refresh the land. “Next to the light,” says
Jacobus, “is the law of the atmosphere, so essential to life in the vegetable and animal world. Here it is set forth
as supporting the floating vapour, and keeping in suspense a fluid of greater specific gravity than itself. The
formation of clouds is referred to by Job in language which reveals an acquaintance with the laws here
established by the Creator: ‘He maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour
thereof; which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.… Dost thou know the balancings of the
clouds?’” Job 36:27-28; Job 37:16; compare also Genesis 2:6. “But why, it may be asked, did he not speak of
this storehouse of waters as diffused through the firmament, instead of placing it above it? We answer: This
would have been to convert the firmament of sense into the atmosphere of science, and phenomena into
natural philosophy, which doubtless God could have done, but did not see fit to do.” — Barrows.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Genesis 1:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible".
https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/genesis-1.html. 1874-1909.

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George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Above the firmament and stars, according to some of the Fathers; or these waters were vapours and clouds
arising from the earth, and really divided from the lower waters contained in the sea. (Calmet)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Genesis 1:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary".
https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/genesis-1.html. 1859.

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E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

made. Occurs 7 times. App-5.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Genesis 1:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes".
https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/genesis-1.html. 1909-1922.

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Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) God made the firmament.—This wide open expanse upon earth’s surface, supplied by the chemistry of
nature—that is, of God—with that marvellous mixture of gases which form atmospheric air, was a primary
necessity for man’s existence and activity. In each step of the narrative it is ever man that is in view; and even
the weight of the superincumbent atmosphere is indispensable for the health and comfort of the human body,
and for the keeping of all things in their place on earth. (See Note, Genesis 1:8.) And in this secondary sense it
may still rightly be called the firmament.
The waters which were under the firmament . . . the waters which were above the firmament.—While this is
a popular description of what we daily see—namely, masses of running water congregated upon earth’s
surface, and above a cloudland, into which the waters rise and float—it is not contrary to, but in accordance
with, science. The atmosphere is the receptacle of the waters evaporated from the earth and ocean, and by
means of electrical action it keeps these aqueous particles in a state of repulsion, and forms clouds, which the
winds carry in their bosom. So full of thoughtful contrivance and arrangement are the laws by which rain is
formed and the earth watered, that they are constantly referred to in the Bible as the chief natural proof of God’s
wisdom and goodness. (See Acts 14:17.) Moreover, were there not an open expanse next the earth, it would be
wrapped in a perpetual mist, unvisited by sunshine. and the result would be such as is described in Genesis
2:5, that man could not exist on earth to till the ground. The use, however, of popular language and ideas is
confessedly the method of Holy Scripture, and we must not force upon the writer knowledge which man was to
gain for himself. Even if the writer supposed that the rains were poured down from an upper reservoir, it would
be no more an argument against his being inspired than St. Mark’s expression, “The sun did set” (Mark 1:32),
disproves the inspiration of the Gospels. For the attainment of all such knowledge God has provided another
way.

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Genesis 1:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers".
https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/genesis-1.html. 1905.

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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which
were above the firmament: and it was so.

divided
Proverbs 8:28,29
above
Job 26:8; Psalms 104:10; 148:4; Ecclesiastes 11:3
and it
9,11,15,24; Matthew 8:27

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Genesis 1:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/genesis-
1.html.

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Genesis 1:6 Genesis 1 Genesis 1:8

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