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

In this way these things are joined together on one day and are distinguished from each other by the repetition of God's words. I think that this was not done with regard to the earth and the sea precisely because there is more need to distinguish the nature of these things that are propagated by the transmission of seed since they come to be and pass away. Or is it that earth and the sea could have come to be simultaneously, not only in the ideas of the spiritual creature where all things were made simultaneously, but also in the motions of bodies? The trees and every sort of plant could only have come to be if the earth in which they germinated had come first. 96. Did the command of God, then, have to be repeated in order to show that the things made were different, though they did not have to be made on another day because they are fixed and held by their roots to the earth? One can ask why God did not give them names, or was this passed over because their multitude did not permit it? In any case this question will be better considered later, when we take note of other things that God did not call by name, as he called the light and the heaven and the earth and the sea. "And evening came and morning came the third day." 97.


CHAPTER 12

36. "And God said, 'Let there come to be the lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth and to divide the day and the night and to be as signs for times and for days and for years. And let them be as a splendor in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.' " 98. On the fourth day the lights were made, of which it is said, "And to be for days." What then is the meaning of those three days passed without the lights? Why should these lights be "for days" if there could be days even without them? Is it that the

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96.
Augustine clearly hesitates to say that all things were created simultaneously, since the plants and trees required that the earth and waters first be separated.
97.
Gen 1.13.
98.
Gen 1.14-15.

-171-

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