Firmament
Firmament
The notion that the sky was a vast solid dome seems to have been common among the ancient peoples

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Firmament
    Firmament
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Firmament
    (Sept. stereoma; Vulgate, firmamentum).
    The notion that the sky was a vast solid dome seems to have been common among the ancient peoples whose ideas of cosmology have come down to us. Thus the Egyptians conceived the heavens to be an arched iron ceiling from which the stars were suspended by means of cables (Chabas, LÆAntiquiteÆ historique, Paris, 1873, pp. 64-67). Likewise to the mind of the Babylonians the sky was an immense dome, forged out of the hardest metal by the hand of Merodach (Marduk) and resting on a wall surrounding the earth (Jensen, Die Kosmologie der Babylonier, Strasburg, 1890, pp. 253, 260). According to the notion prevalent among the Greeks and Romans, the sky was a great vault of crystal to which the fixed stars were attached, though by some it was held to be of iron or brass. That the Hebrews entertained similar ideas appears from numerous biblical passages. In the first account of the creation (Gen., i) we read that God created a firmament to divide the upper or celestial from the lower or terrestrial waters. The Hebrew word means something beaten or hammered out, and thus extended; the Vulgate rendering, ôfirmamentumö corresponds more closely with the Greek stereoma (Septuagint, Aquila, and Symmachus), ôsomething made firm or solidö. The notion of the solidity of the firmament is moreover expressed in such passages as Job, xxxvii, 18, where reference is made incidentally to the heavens, ôwhich are most strong, as if they were of molten brassö. The same is implied in the purpose attributed to God in creating the firmament, viz. to serve as a wall of separation between the upper and lower of water, it being conceived as supporting a vast celestial reservoir; and also in the account of the deluge (Gen., vii ), where we read that the ôflood gates of heaven were openedö, and shut upö (viii, 2). (Cf. also IV 28 sqq.) Other passages e.g. Is., xlii, 5, emphasize rather the idea of something extended: ôThus saith the Lord God that created the heavens and stretched them outö (Cf. Is., xliv, 24, and xl, 22). In conformity with these ideas, the writer of Gen., i, 14-17, 20 represents God as setting the stars in the firmament of heaven, and the fowls are located beneath it, i.e. in the air as distinct from the firmament. On this point as on many others, the Bible simply reflects the current cosmological ideas and language of the time.
    LeseÆtre in Vig., Dict. de la Bible, s. v.: Whitehouse in Hastings, Dict. of the Bible. s. v. Cosmogony, I, 502.
    JAMES F. DRISCOLL
    Transcribed by William J. Rosini In memory of Dorothy and Evoldo Rosini

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

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  • firmament — [ firmamɑ̃ ] n. m. • XIIe; lat. relig. firmamentum, class. « appui, soutien », de firmare « rendre ferme » ♦ Littér. La voûte céleste. ⇒ ciel, empyrée. Le bleu du firmament. ● firmament nom masculin (latin ecclésiastique firmamentum, du latin… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Firmament — is the usual English translation of the Hebrew raqiya (pronounced rä·kē ·ah) meaning an extended solid surface or flat expanse, considered to be a hemisphere above the ground. [Blue Letter Bible. [http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon… …   Wikipedia

  • firmament — FIRMAMÉNT s.n. (livr.) Boltă cerească; cer2. – Din fr. firmament, lat. firmamentum. Trimis de RACAI, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  FIRMAMÉNT s. v. cer. Trimis de siveco, 13.09.2007. Sursa: Sinonime  firmamént s …   Dicționar Român

  • Firmament — Sn Himmel, Himmelsgewölbe erw. stil. (13. Jh.), mhd. firmament Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus spl. firmamentum (eigentlich: Befestigungsmittel ), zu l. fīrmāre befestigen , zu l. fīrmus fest . Nach mittelalterlicher Vorstellung hatte jeder der sieben… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Firmament — Fir ma*ment, n. [L. firmamentum, fr. firmare to make firm: cf. F. firmament. See {Firm}, v. & a.] 1. Fixed foundation; established basis. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Custom is the . . . firmament of the law. Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] 2. The region of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • firmament — FIRMAMENT. s. m. Le ciel où sont les estoiles fixes. Les estoiles du firmament, les astres du firmament. sous le firmament. En Poësie on dit, Les feux du firmament, pour dire, Les estoilles …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Firmament — Firmament, nach Luther s Uebersetzung die Veste, soviel wie das Himmelsgewölbe. Es erhielt diese Benennung nach dem irrigen Glauben der Alten, daß der sichtbare Himmel fest sei und die Erde gleich einer krystallenen Schale umgebe. Noch in neuerer …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • firmament — mid 13c., from L. firmamentum firmament, lit. a support or strengthening, from firmus firm (see FIRM (Cf. firm) (adj.)), used in Vulgate to translate Gk. stereoma firm or solid structure, which translated Heb. raqia, a word used of both the vault …   Etymology dictionary

  • Firmament — (von lateinisch firmamentum „Befestigungsmittel“), auch Himmelsgewölbe, bezeichnet: im babylonischen Weltbild (und im biblischen Weltbild, das darauf beruht) eine Trennung, die (vergleichbar einer riesigen Glasglocke) den Luftraum der Welt von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Firmament — (v. lat.), der sichtbare Himmel, in der Vorstellung der Alten, daß solcher fest sei, s.u. Himmel …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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