#12──第一層天─天空──The First Heaven – Sky

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第二部分:可見的創造系統

一、天堂:第十二章 第一層天──天空

可見的創造是顯而易見的。只要走出你的門前,就能看到它。當上帝在第二天說:「要有穹蒼,把水和水分開」時,祂不僅僅是在創造穹蒼,祂乃是在為天空的運作方式創造出一個管理制度。穹蒼是第二層天。我們將在下一章中討論這個問題。但蒼穹是一個精彩的創造,將所有的天空彼此分開。天之下,就是我們所說的「天空」,是將水與水分開的副產品。祂不需要說「要有一個天,在它上面有一個穹蒼。」在創造蒼穹的時候,祂創造了我們的天空。

我們的天空可能最被我們所知的是那些蓬鬆的白色小東西,它們隨風飄舞。從因水的蒸騰作用而出現的霧,到卷雲狀的雷頭,雲確實很雄偉。拿瑪人瑣法告訴約伯,惡人的頭頂到雲中,是的,甚至達到天上。155這似乎不對,不是嗎?但當你考慮到天空,或者說天,在你離開這大地後立即開始,那麼它就有意義了。這些雲:積雲 (Cumulus)、層雲 (Stratus)、中雲 (Alto)和卷雲 (Cirrus),都有它們在天空中的一天(甚至現在的人造雲)。它們以其輝煌的姿態管理和統治著大地。箴言告訴我們,當祂(上帝)使上面的天空堅硬的時候,同時深淵的泉水也變得穩固。156這聽起來完全像創造的第二天。

不過,所羅門並沒有就此打住。他還指出,由於祂(上帝)的知識,深淵被打破,天空滴下露水。這是指著挪亞的大洪水,我們將在後面介紹。雲不常被認為是一種神學聲明,但與雲一起發生的另一件事卻常常被認為是──彩虹。創世記中對彩虹是怎麼說的?「我把虹放在雲彩中、這就可作我與地立約的記號了。」157 這個盟約的記號需要一點時間來理解,所以我們現在要花時間來做。這對於理解第一層天是不可或缺的。

彩虹在創世後1656年左右隆重登場158,當時挪亞、他的妻子、他的三個兒子和他們的妻子在世界大洪水後被安全地安置在亞拉臘山下。「當挪亞六百歲、二月十七日那一天、大淵的泉源、都裂開了、天上的窗戶、也敞開了。」159蒼穹的閘門被打開了。明白嗎?整個第三層天的水通過水閘落到第一層天,而水閘是在第二層天。我們不知道有多少個水閘,也不知道它們的位置,但它們就在這裡,下起傾盆大雨來。不僅如此,「大淵的泉源」也打開了,將水釋放到地上去。上帝是認真的,這不是開玩笑。確確實實的,天塌下來了,它在地表面上冒泡。雨下了40畫40夜,水便停留在地上,使挪亞和所有動物漂浮了150天。

當挪亞六百歲、二月十七日那一天、大淵的泉源、都裂開了、天上的窗戶、也敞開了。(創世記 7:11)

我們必須記住,在創世記第二章的第一部分已記載,以前從未下過雨。160 那麼這些倒下來的東西是什麼呢?這是第一次下雨,肯定是很壯觀的。頭頂上沒有形成雲層來警告任何人,霧氣照料了這個問題。當水閘打開時,那是一個值得一看的景象。從巨大的深淵中冒出洶湧的水流。聖經記載,每座山都被淹沒了。這不是一場局部的洪水,這是真實的發動。幾乎所有的古代文明都記錄了這一點,只是在最近幾年,人類才否定了神話語的真理。我們將在以後的章節中更多地談及洪水的閘門以及「大淵」。我們在本章的重點是指出我們的天空──第一層天,以及它在聖經宇宙學中的重要性。

讓我們來談談彩虹。在挪亞和他的家人從方舟出的時候,上帝祝福他們,給他們肉吃,並在創世記9:11-17的一組聞所未聞的冗長經文中與他立約。這似乎非常清楚,當上帝再三提醒挪亞這個盟約是什麼、是為了什麼,祂的意思是很明顯的。就讓我們來看看:

「我與你們立約、凡有血肉的、不再被洪水滅絕、也不再有洪水毀壞地了。神說、我與你們、並你們這裡的各樣活物所立的永約、是有記號的。我把虹放在雲彩中、這就可作我與地立約的記號了。我使雲彩蓋地的時候、必有虹現在雲彩中.我便記念我與你們、和各樣有血肉的活物所立的約、水就再不氾濫毀壞一切有血肉的物了。虹必現在雲彩中、我看見、就要記念我與地上各樣有血肉的活物所立的永約。 神對挪亞說、這就是我與地上一切有血肉之物立約的記號了。」161

為什麼有這麼長的講話?如果之前大地上已經有了折射,這有意義嗎?不 ,沒有。以前從來就沒有雲層。記住,上帝在第一天就創造了光,所以如果以前有雲和雨,光的定律就會存在,來映出彩虹的折射。但之前從未出現過彩虹、從未有下雨的理由。一切都從地面的霧氣中得到它所需要的東西。雲是不需要的。但在這裡,在這世界性的洪水之後,彩虹出現了,上帝抓住這個給全人類(剩下的八個人)留下深刻印象的機會,它是什麼、為什麼是它,以及我們如何從中吸取教訓。上帝正在重新開始,祂希望我們能記住這一點。祂稱它為「永約」是有原因的。

155 約伯記20:6 「他的尊榮雖達到天上、頭雖頂到雲中。」

156 箴言8:28 「上使穹蒼堅硬、下使淵源穩固。」

157 創世記9:13

158 創世記第五章解釋了這些數字。

159 創世記7:11

160 創世記2:5,6 KJV “田地裡的一切植物在地上,田地裡的一切草木在地上生長,因為耶和華神沒有叫雨落在地上,也沒有人耕地。但有霧從地上升起,澆灌了全地。”

161 創世記9:11-17

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Part Two: The System of Visible Creation

I: Heaven──Chapter 12: The First Heaven – Sky

The visible creation is plainly seen. Simply walk out of your front door and see it. When God said “Let there be a firmament to divide the waters from the waters” on day two, He wasn’t just creating the firmament. He was creating a system of governance for the way the sky works. The firmament is the second heaven. We will discuss that in the next chapter. But the firmament was a splendid creation to separate all of the skies from one another.

The under-heaven, what we call “sky”, was a by-product of the separation of the waters from the waters. He did not need to say: “Let there be a heaven, and a firmament above it. In the creation of the firmament, He created our sky.

Our sky is probably most known to us by those fluffy little white things that dance along the wind. From the fog that appears due to water transpiration, to the Cumulonimbus thunderhead, the clouds are majestic indeed. Zophar the Naamathite told Job that wicked man’s height reaches into the clouds, yes, even into the heavens.1 That doesn’t seem right, does it? But when you consider that the sky, or the heavens, start immediately after you leave the earth, then it makes sense. The clouds: Cumulus, Stratus, Alto, and Cirrus all have their day in the sky (even man- made clouds nowadays). They rule and reign over the earth in their splendor. Proverbs tells us that when He (God) made firm the sky above, it was at the same time the springs of the deep became fixed.2 This sounds perfectly like Day Two of creation.

Solomon doesn’t stop with this though. He also points out that by His (God’s) knowledge the deep was broken and the sky dripped with dew. This is a reference to the great flood of Noah, which we will cover later. Clouds are not often thought of as a theological statement, but something else that happens with clouds often is. The rainbow. What was said of the rainbow in Genesis? “I will set my bow in the clouds and it will be a sign of the covenant that I have with you.”3 This covenant sign takes a little bit to understand so we will now take the time to do it. It’s integral to the understanding of the first heaven.

The rainbow makes its grand appearance around 1656 years4 after creation, when Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives are safely deposited down on Ararat Mountain after the World’s Great Deluge. “When Noah was six hundred years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month all the outlets of the vast body of water beneath the earth burst open, all the floodgates of the sky were opened.”5 The floodgates of the firmament were opened. Get that? The entire third heaven rained down into the first heaven via the floodgates, which are in the second heaven.

We don’t know how many floodgates there are, or where they are located, but here they are, raining down a torrent. Not only this, but the “fountains of the deep” opened up to release water up to the earth. God was serious. This was no joke. The literal sky was falling and it was bubbling up onto the surface. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights, and the water stayed on the earth, keeping Noah and all the animals afloat for 150 days.

We have to remember that it was recorded in the first part of Genesis 2 that it had never rained before.6 So what was this stuff coming down? It was the first time it had rained and it was sure to have been a sight. There were no clouds forming overhead to warn anyone. The mists had taken care of that. When the floodgates opened, it would have been a sight to behold. And from the great deep came up bubbling torrents of water. The Bible records that every mountain was submerged. This was not a localized flood. This was the real deal. Almost every ancient civilization records this, and it has only been in recent years that man has denied the truth of God’s Word. We will talk more about the floodgates as well as the “Great Deep” in later chapters. Our emphasis in this chapter, is to point to our sky… The first heaven, and its importance in Biblical Cosmology.

Let’s talk about the rainbow. At the time that Noah and his family were released from the ark, God blessed them and gave them meat to eat and cut covenant with him in an unheard of lengthy set of verses from Genesis 9:11-17. It seems very clear that God means business when He reminds Noah again and again what this covenant is and what it is for. Let us look at it:

“And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there anymore be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”7

Why this long speech? Does it make sense if there had already been refraction before on the earth? No it does not. There had never been cloud cover before. Remember, God created light on the first day, so if there had been clouds and rain before, the laws of light would have existed for the refraction of the rainbow. But there had never been a rainbow before. There had never been a reason for rain. Everything got what it needed from the mist that came up through the ground. Clouds were not needed. But here, after our world-wide flood, there is a rainbow, and God seized this opportunity to impress upon all of mankind (the eight remaining people) what it was, why it was, and how we should take a lesson from it. God was starting over and He wanted us to be reminded of that. He called it an “everlasting covenant” for a reason.

Footnotes

1 Job 20:6

2 Proverbs 8:28

3 Genesis 9:13

4 Genesis 5 explains these numbers.

5 Genesis 7:11, GNT

6 Genesis 2:5,6 KJV “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”

7 Genesis 9:11-17 KJV

──Biblical Cosmology by Pauly Hart
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