Dr. Dan Hayden • 

Have you ever been in a smoky environment and then gone outside to get some fresh air? How wonderful it is to breathe good, clean air! God calls it His “firmament.”

Firmament is not a word we use a lot, and probably most people do not have any idea of what it is. Yet, on the second day of Creation that’s what God created. He created the firmament. In Genesis 1:6-8 we read, “Then God said, ‘Let there be a [firmament] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ And God made the [firmament], and separated the waters which were below the [firmament] from the waters which were above the [firmament]; and it was so. And God called the [firmament] heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.”

Now, in verse eight God specifically calls the firmament “heaven.” In the Bible there are three heavens: the atmospheric heaven where the birds fly, the starry heaven of outer space, and the heaven of God’s throne and presence. Well, the word “firmament” of Genesis 1 is a reference to the atmospheric heavens. On the second day, God created an atmosphere conducive to life on planet earth. It was a climate-controlled canopy of oxygenated air.

The word “firmament” is a Hebrew word that means “expanse” or spread-out thinness.” It comes from a root word that means “to make thin by pounding.” So above the watery mass that He had created on the first day, God expanded the elements into a thinness that became the atmosphere that we breathe. Good clean air – that is what God created on the second day when He created the atmosphere – the firmament.


Now you know the real meaning of the word.

Today when you step outside, take a deep breath – appreciate the fresh air – and give thanks to God for His firmament.