On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees; And, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, An Unfinished Book

By Saint Augustine; Roland J. S. J. Teske | Go to book overview

pressed upon the incorporeal nature in a way suited to reason what the latter impressed in a way suited to bodies so that there might come to be the firmament of the heaven. Thus it added, "And God said, 'Let there be,' and so it was done." Perhaps there was first produced something in the rational nature, and from it beauty was impressed on the body.


CHAPTER 9

Scripture added, "And God made the firmament and divided the water that was below the firmament from the water that was above the firmament." 71. Does this refer to the working on that matter in order that the body of the heaven might come to be? Or was it perhaps for the sake of variety that it did not say above what it said here so that the text of the narrative might not bore the reader? We need not scrupulously search out all these matters. Let each choose what he can; only let him not say something rashly and assert something as known when it is not. Let him recall that he is human and is investigating the works of God to the extent we are permitted.

31. "And God called the firmament heaven." 72. What we said earlier about naming can also be considered here. 73. For not every firmament is heaven. "And God saw that it was good." 74. I would repeat what I said above on this point except that I do not see the same order. For above it said, "And God saw that the light was good," 75. and afterward it added, "God divided the light and the darkness, and God called the light day and he called the darkness night." 76. Here, however, after reporting the deed that Scripture said was done and after the firmament was called heaven, it said, "And God saw that it was good." 77. This change may have been made in order to avoid repetition, but in any case we have to hold to the words,

____________________
71.
Gen 1.7.
72.
Gen 1.8.
73.
Cf. above, 5.19 and 6.26.
74.
Gen 1.8.
75.
Gen 1.4.
76.
Gen 1.4-5.
77.
Gen 1.8.

-167-

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