Alexander McCaul D.D. (1799–1863) was Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament Exegesis at King’s College, London, and Prebendary of St. Paul’s. He was the author of an essay on prophecy, published as Essay III in: AIDS TO FAITH; edited by William Thomson. [JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, LONDON. 1870. pp. 81-132.]
One of the most dark, and hidden subjects related to the Scriptures is the meaning of the firmament of Genesis 1, and of the waters that are said to be above the heavens. The apostle Peter said: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:19-210)
Dr. Thomas M. Strouse, Dean and Professor Emeritus of Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary, Newington, Connecticut has a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University, and a Ph.D from Bob Jones University. He is the author of THE GEOCENTRIC COSMOLOGY OF GENESIS 1:1-19, presented below, in which he defends his geocentric interpretation of the cosmology of Genesis and the OT.
The following is from the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, presenting his discussion of the Genesis account of creation of the firmament, and his explanation of the waters above the firmament.
Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) was an Italian Dominican friar and priest who is known for his attempt to synthesize Aristotle’s philosophy with Christianity. Catholics regard him as a Doctor of the Church.
Because he lived centuries before the date that the prophecy of Daniel 8 specifies for the “cleansing of the sanctuary,” (about 1750 A.D., 23 centuries after the vision given in the third year of Belshazzar, 550 B.C.) and because his conception of the heavens was influenced by the theories of Plato and Aristotle, and by cosmological corruptions introduced in Scripture by Antiochus IV and his agents, foretold by Daniel, Thomas’s writings about the firmament and the waters above are more darkness than light.
In 1727 John Hutchinson (1674–1737) published ‘Moses’s Principia,’ in which he attempted to defend his interpretation of the cosmology of the Bible, against that of Sir Isaac Newton, and Dr. Samuel Clarke, who publicized Newton’s ideas in the Boyle lectures, and of Dr. John Woodward, (1665–1728) physician to the duke of Somerset. Hutchinson ridiculed Woodward’s treatise, The Natural History of the Earth. Hutchinson also attacked Clark for his heterodox views on the Trinity as well as for his Newtonian natural philosophy.
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 scientific revolution in astronomy that occurred about 1750 AD fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel 8:13-14, when an angelic messenger or saint answered the question, “How long shall be the vision concerning the tamiyd [continual] and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” The answer came: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Read more…