The waters above the heavens
The following is a brief account of the history of the notion of “waters above the heavens” that followed from the identification of the ‘raqia’ or ‘firmament’ made on the second day with heaven, by the insertion of “And God called the firmament Heaven,” [Gen. 1:8] one of the key changes implemented by Antiochus IV and his agents in the second century BC. Since the ‘raqia’ was a solid layer formed in the midst of the primeval waters, that separated the upper from the lower waters, identifying it with heaven implies waters above the heavens. For centuries, theologians and astronomers struggled to understand these mysterious upper waters.
The prophecy of Daniel 8 describes the sanctuary of God, (the starry heaven), being cast to the earth, and trampled, by the little horn of a goat, who represents the Seleucid king Antiochus IV. Daniel’s prophecy indicates that the concept of “waters above the heavens” was not part of the original creation account, but was one of the cosmological corruptions of Scripture introduced in the second century B.C. by Antiochus IV and his agents.
Daniel’s prophecy said that the tamiyd would be taken away by the little horn. The tamiyd or “evening-morning” signifies the knowledge of the earth’s diurnal rotation, which is constant, and continual. Antiochus, who promoted the geocentric views of the Greek philosophers, tried to stamp out all knowledge of the earth’s movement, and he initiated a revision of the cosmology of the Scriptures to accomplish this. His policies aimed to establish geocentrism, and the belief that the sky is a rigid shell revolving around the earth, and that the sun revolves around the earth.
The story related in 2 Kings 7 suggests that Windows in heaven were unknown in the time of Elisha. When the city of Samaria was under siege by the Syrians, Elisha foretold a miraculous deliverance for the Israelites:
Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria. Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.
Four lepers discovered that the Syrians had abandoned their camp, and left their provisions behind. When the news reached the people in the city, there was a rush of people at the gates, and the person who had referred to “windows in heaven” was trampled and killed.
And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him.
And it came to pass as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, shall be to morrow about this time in the gate of Samaria:
And that lord answered the man of God, and said, Now, behold, if the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.
And so it fell out unto him: for the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died.
Evidently, this Lord on whose hand the king leaned was unaware of the reference to windows in heaven in Genesis 7:11 or any other Scripture. This would be expected, if concepts such as windows in heaven were absent at the time, but were introduced in the second century BC as part of the revision of the cosmology of Scripture implemented by Antiochus IV.
After the events of Elishah’s time, windows of heaven were associated with blessings, and feasting, and having plenty to eat.
In the second century BC and later, references to windows in heaven were inserted in the account of the flood. [Genesis 7:11.]
Malachi speaks of God opening the windows of heaven, a metaphor for a promise of a blessing.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
References to the waters above the firmament are missing in Ex. 24. & Ezek. 1, in each of which God is depicted above a firmament, but there is no mention of the waters above it.
Waters within the earth are referenced in the 10 commandments:
Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:
The psalmist described the earth overlying the waters of the abyss:
The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
In Psa. 136:6, the earth is stretched out above the waters, in the context of Creation.
3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
The firmament is described as evidence for God’s handiwork, and his power.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.Psalm 150:1
Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
The waters above the heavens referred to in the Psalms allude to the hellenistic cosmological corruptions initiated by the little horn of Dan. 8, which “cast the truth to the ground.”
Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.
Also in Jeremiah:
When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens.
John said, “no lie is of the truth.” [1 John 2:21]
Moses spoke of the waters within (under) the earth; Ex. 20:4, Deut. 5:8; and “the fountains of the great deep.” (Gen. 7:11.)
The fountains of the deep may be evident today as hydrothermal vents on the sea floor that release subterranean waters at high pressure.
In the Hexaemeron, Homily III, St. Basil the Great tried to explain the waters above the firmament and the windows of heaven.
The apostle Peter said that men were “willingly ignorant” of the waters of the earth’s interior, which brought on the flood. No doubt this ignorance resulted from the corruption of the cosmology of Scripture initiated by Antiochus IV, foretold by Daniel.
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: