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Re: raqia, Genesis 1
Yirmiyahu Ben-David wrote:
> "Raqia" derives from raqa, meaning to spread or stamp in the sense of
> beating out or spreading out by hammering. "R'qiah" is a flattening or
> flattened material, e.g. like a plating beaten by hammer. The meaning of
> raqia is best expressed in English as "sky"; that is, the atmosphere above,
> say, trees and mountains, but beneath the stars; the domain of the birds.
> It's as if the ancients perceived raqia as something the Creator spread out
> over the earth like humus (ok, margarine) on pita (ok, bread).
Hmmmm... I'd always understood the name to be _concretely_ descriptive.
In particular related to the nature of the actual, understood structure of
the "Raqia": of a dome, overarching the sky, keeping the "outer waters"
away from the inner world of creation, and --as the name implies-- having
the appearance (or structure) of a sheet of beaten metal.
(For example, see the Targum Psuedo-Jonathan (Gen 1:15) where the Raqia is
described as having a "thickness" of "three fingers". Similarly the
passages in the Noah story where the vaults/windows of the dome open.)
Moreover, it was my understanding that it was on the Raqia where the stars