Day Two – The Two Waters

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 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. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

In the world of humanity there may be seen two kinds of water – one which is spiritually reviving and one that quenches, or drowns the spirit. Then, in each dispensation man learns how to differentiate between these two waters through the revealed law of the divine messenger. The law emerges from between the two waters – the life-giving heavenly water and the bitter earthly water. Every divine messenger must subdue to this position: the message needs to be suited to its times, to the receptiveness of the earth, i.e. the people, but it must also allow for the seeker of truth to reach a higher degree of learning than the previous revelation made possible, and indeed for society to progress.

The word expanse may also be translated into firmament, barrier or canopy.

“…Thou hast like a skin stretched out the firmament of Thy book, that is, Thy harmonizing words, which by the ministry of mortal men Thou spreadest over us.”[1]

Augustine clearly sees the expanse as the Bible. In the Gospel of John it becomes clear that the separation of the waters, and the access to the heavenly water is indeed associated with the divine messenger, the revealer of the “harmonizing words”.

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” [2]

With these words, Christ bridges the water symbolism of The Six days of Creation with that of other accounts in Genesis and Exodus. He speaks of the two waters, but also mentions the heavenly water as a source within man. When the water comes from within, it is the water of the heart – the deeper knowledge that is alluded. The water that seeps up from a mysterious source in the parched earth, or the hard rock, is perhaps the most eloquent description of what happens in a person who finds faith.

In every day of Creation we find the words (and God saw that it was good…) except in this day. Why? What may this day hold in store when it has not earned to be seen as good? Reading the history of the Israelites may cast some light upon this matter, as will surely, the study of the Enhuma Elish. For this is a day marked by war, suffering and oppression. In the Babylonian myth Marduk fights the Chaos dragon, and in Exodus we can see the parallel – the struggle between Moses and Pharaoh. When the prophet comes to raise the vault (or firmament) the people holding on to tradition arise in violent opposition against him and do their utmost to quench his light, for the firmament entails the annulment of old customs and laws and the disapproval of idolatry. The water that is split in two may also be a direct reference to the exodus from Egypt, where the Israelites pass dry-shod through the Red Sea and their adversaries drown in the waters. In the Rig Veda there is a verse with striking similarities to the aforementioned story. Here there is a river that withdraws on divine command for a fleeing people to cross, and when they are safe on the other shore, the water returns and their persecutors are drowned.

Soon as the Bharatas have fared across thee, the warrior band, urged on and sped by Indra,
Then let your streams flow on in rapid motion.[3]

However mind-boggling it may be to pinpoint stories such as these to specific times and places, as have been customary for centuries, this shallow reading will bar us from the knowledge conveyed through metaphor. The parting of the water is to illustrate the true miracle that the divine messenger performs, namely that of establishing virtue where chaos ruled. As the word yisra’el is the designation of someone who “struggles with God”, the Egyptians and Pharao stand for those people, or internal forces that reject the principles of faith – that oppress the soul’s longing for union with God. The miracle performed by Moses, as expressed in the myth, is the liberation from the slavery of materialism. Those who rejected his words and persecuted him were drowned in their egotism and animosity, and as the Kingdom of the Jews did arise, so did the ancient culture and empire that was theirs fall.

–› Day Three

Notes and references:

1 Confessions XII:16
2 John 12:46
3 Rigveda 3:33