Genesis 1:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 1:7, NIV: "So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so."

Genesis 1:7, ESV: "And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so."

Genesis 1:7, KJV: "And 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."

Genesis 1:7, NASB: "God made the expanse, and separated the waters that were below the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse; and it was so."

Genesis 1:7, NLT: "And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens."

Genesis 1:7, CSB: "So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above the expanse. And it was so."

What does Genesis 1:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verse, God spoke words of creation, and in this verse He fulfills those words exactly. Throughout the Bible, God speaking a thing and doing a thing are inseparable. In this case, that created thing is the atmosphere, or sky, or vault, or heaven, depending on the translation, which is placed between the seas below and some layer of "waters" above. The Hebrew term used in both verses is rā'qi'a, implying something which lifts or supports. The image of Hebrew thinking was waters below, and waters above, separated by the "firmament" of the sky. Scholars have offered various interpretations of what the waters above the firmament are meant to represent.

The ability of God to create is understated here using the Hebrew phrase wa yehi kēn, literally meaning, "and it was so." As much as God's existence is treated as obvious and necessary (Exodus 3:14), His power and ability is also not given much detail. Rather, the focus is simply on the basic fact: God intended to create, stated His intention, and then what He intended to occur actually occurred. Regardless of interpretation, this basic idea cannot be separated from the biblical text.