What does it mean in Genesis 1:6, and should it be taken literally or figuratively?

Genesis 1:6 is a verse from the opening chapter of the Bible, which describes the creation of the world and all its inhabitants. The verse reads as follows: "And God said, 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.'"

So what does this verse mean, and should it be taken literally or figuratively? The answer to these questions has been the subject of much debate and discussion among scholars and Bible readers.

At its core, the verse is describing the creation of the sky or the heavens, which is often referred to as the "firmament" in biblical language. The verse suggests that the sky was created as a barrier or divider between the waters above and the waters below, creating a clear delineation between the earth and the heavens.

One interpretation of this verse is that it should be taken literally, as a description of the physical creation of the sky and the earth. According to this view, the verse is describing a specific moment in history when God created the world, and should be understood as a factual account of that event.

However, there are also many who argue that the verse should be taken figuratively or symbolically, as a reflection of deeper spiritual truths or theological concepts. According to this view, the "firmament" or division between the waters represents the separation between the physical and the spiritual realms, and the act of creation as a whole represents the divine power and creativity of God.

Subscribe to Bible Analysis

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson