Genesis 1:8

And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Since Scripture called heaven the firmament, we can without absurdity hold that anything below the ethereal heaven, in which everything is peaceful and stable, is more mutable and perishable and is a kind of corporeal matter prior to the reception of beauty and the distinction of forms.

Basil the Great

AD 379
8. The nature of right belongs to another, and the firmament only shares it on account of its resemblance to heaven. We often find the visible region called heaven, on account of the density and continuity of the air within our ken, and deriving its name heaven from the word which means to see. It is of it that Scripture says, The fowl of the air, Fowl that may fly...in the open firmament of heaven; Genesis 1:20 and, elsewhere, They mount up to heaven. Moses, blessing the tribe of Joseph, desires for it the fruits and the dews of heaven, of the suns of summer and the conjunctions of the moon, and blessings from the tops of the mountains and from the everlasting hills, in one word, from all which fertilises the earth. In the curses on Israel it is said, And your heaven that is over your head shall be brass. Deuteronomy 28:23 What does this mean? It threatens him with a complete drought, with an absence of the aerial waters which cause the fruits of the earth to be brought forth and to g...


AD 735
On the second day the firmament was made in the midst of the waters, and in the second age of the world, the ark, in which the remains of the human race and the seed of succeeding ages, so to speak, was preserved, was placed in the midst of the waters, which were quickly poured in by all the springs of the abyss bursting forth on the one side, the sluices of the sky opening on the other. But that day too declined towards evening, when the nations, forgetting the closeness of the anger or mercy of God, met to build a tower of pride; but it attained full evening when, with the confusion of the languages of the human race, society was split asunder.

Ephrem The Syrian

AD 373
Although God said about the light that came to be on the first day that "it was very good," He did not say this about the firmament which came to be on the second day, because the firmament had not yet been finished, neither in its structure nor in its adornment. The Creator delayed until the lights came to be so that when [ the firmament ] was adorned with the sun and the moon and the stars, and the strength of the darkness that was weakened by the lights shining from it, He would then say of the firmament as well as of [ the rest of creation ] that "it was very good."

Thomas Aquinas

AD 1274
And if the words, "God saw that it was good," are not said of the work of the second day, this is because the work of distinguishing the waters was only begun on that day, but perfected on the third. Hence these words, that are said of the third day, refer also to the second. Or it may be that Scripture does not use these words of approval of the second days' work, because this is concerned with the distinction of things not evident to the senses of mankind. Or, again, because by the firmament is simply understood the cloudy region of the air, which is not one of the permanent parts of the universe, nor of the principal divisions of the world. The above three reasons are given by Rabbi Moses [Perplex. ii.], and to these may be added a mystical one derived from numbers and assigned by some writers, according to whom the work of the second day is not marked with approval because the second number is an imperfect number, as receding from the perfection of unity.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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