Genesis 1:6-8, “Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.”
The Firmament (now known as the sky)
The “firmament” is not a word which we now use, so we need to look carefully to see what God is talking about. Fortunately in Genesis 1:20 it becomes perfectly clear: “Let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”
So the “firmament” is the sky, where the birds fly. In other words, the sky appeared between the water above the sky, and the water below the sky. After the appearance of the firmament there were three separate layers:
- Region 1: Water in the stratosphere.
- Region 2: The sky, where the birds fly.
- Region 3: Water below the sky, now known as the sea
- There was therefore, at the original Creation, a water canopy in the stratosphere, above the sky (the firmament).
After Noah’s Flood this water canopy in the stratosphere was removed, and the water became part of the waters of the Flood of Noah, approximately 4,400 years ago. The water canopy in the stratosphere is therefore no longer present. The water canopy originally provided protection against cosmic radiation from outer space.
The formation of the dry land
Genesis 1:9-10, “Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.”
So then there were four distinct geographical strata:
- Water in the Stratosphere (not present now)
- Sky, where the birds still fly
- Water below the sky, now known as the sea
- Dry land, which appeared in the sea and it still present
The dry land therefore appeared, initially suspended over water. As a direct consequence of the water canopy in the stratosphere, and the land suspended over the water, there would have been many distinct benefits to Planet Earth.
- The whole planet would have been of uniform temperature, with little variation of temperature between the four seasons.
- The whole planet was shielded from the dangerous X-rays, Gamma rays, and Ultra Violet radiation from outer space.
- Radiation can cause damage to our DNA, and is one of the causes of cancer.
- Because there was no rain before the Flood, there would have been no clouds.
- There would have been much more sunshine, with crystal clear, bright blue skies every day of the year.
- In addition, the partial pressure of oxygen and carbon dioxide would have been higher, because of the increased atmospheric pressure caused by the water canopy.
- We will discuss this in detail later in this teaching.
Oxygen content of the atmosphere before the Flood was much higher
- According to Time Magazine the oxygen content in Amber is 50% higher than it is now, (see Time Magazine, Nov 9, 1987, p. 82).
- Amber is a semi-precious stone, commonly used in ladies jewelry.
- Amber is actually fossilized tree sap, and frequently contains either insects, or bubbles of air.
- According to Time Magazine November 9, 1987, p. 82, bubbles of air in amber have an oxygen content that is 50% higher than we now experience.
- According to this article in Time Magazine, Geochemists Gary Landis of the US Geological Survey and Robert Berner of Yale analyzed tiny air bubbles trapped in pieces of amber.
- They placed the amber inside a vacuum chamber, and then opened the amber, allowing the ancient trapped gases to escape.
- They found that the air contained 32% oxygen, which is much higher than out current 21% oxygen in the atmosphere.
- This is startling news, and explains, perhaps, the large humans, animals and insects found in the fossil record.
- To confirm this, according to The New Scientist Magazine published on March 11, 2000 the air trapped in Amber has 35% oxygen.