The Germination of the Earth
(ON THE HEXAEMERON)
THEN GOD SAID, 'Let the earth bring forth vegetation: the plant producing seed of its own kind, and the fruit tree that bears fruit containing seed of its own kind.' 1 Consequently, after the earth, rid of the weight of the water, had rested, the command had come to it to bring forth first the herb, then the trees. And this we see still happening even at the present time. For, the voice which was then heard and that first command became, as it were, a law of nature and remained in the earth, giving it the power to produce and bear fruit for all succeeding time. 'Let the earth bring forth.' First in the generation of growing plants is the germination; then, when the shoots have emerged a little, it becomes a seedling; after it has grown, it is a grass, while little by little the growing plants are articulated and continue even to maturity with seed. The characteristic of being green and producing stalks is practically the same in the case of all plants. 'Let the earth bring forth vegetation.'
Let the earth bud forth by itself, needing no assistance from the outside. Since some think that the sun, drawing the productive power from the center of the earth to the surface with its rays of heat, is the cause of the plants growing from the earth, it is for this reason that the adornment of the earth is older than the sun, that those who have been misled may cease worshiping the sun as the origin of life. If they are____________________