Firmament of Flesh

or The Universe is Flat

omegaratioThe three density ratios (Ω omega) and the corresponding cosmological morphology. (Goddard Space Flight Center WMAP Cosmology)

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22)

The “firmament” is the most troublesome element of the Creation week. Even when we understand its symbolic counterpart in the Tabernacle (the veil), how do we account for its description as a physical part of the world?

On Day 4, God created the governing lights and put them in the firmament. If this refers to some sort of “water canopy” that later came crashing down in the Great Flood, the language referring to it as a home for stars is then visual. The Adam-to-Noah pattern puts the floodgates of heaven at “Atonement,” which means the opening of this original “proto-veil” brought men face-to-face with the Ark/throne of God and washed away the sin of the world, quite literally. All flesh was cut off. All sin was covered. And it was the end of that Covenant. The sky was rolled up like a scroll. In Noah, God founded a new heavens and a new (mediatory) Altar-Land. Symbolically, the old sun, moon and stars came crashing down. They were the “mighty men” of Genesis 6. Symbolically, God put new rulers in the firmament: a body of men and animals in a covered vessel.

But, of course, the actual governing lights remained. So, there remains something beyond this original watery “sea.” The word translated “firmament” means something flat, beaten out like metal. It is architectural. Cosmologists now tell us that the universe may well be both spherical, hyperbolic and/or “flat,” a bit like the surface of the earth, I guess. [1] God speaks of the mediatory Land as flat because it is an Altar. [2] Space is a veil between men and the throne of God. Filled with lights, it pictures for us the Holy Place before God’s throne, which is populated with angels and the redeemed. This cosmic hall of government resembled a crystal sea.

But there is something strange about the account of the creation of this veil, this dark garment stretched out on Day 2. Like the “waters above” of the original Covenant, space itself has a built-in obsolescence.

We looked at Day 1 a while ago (see The Face of the Deep) and it followed the seven-point Covenant pattern. Day 2, however, only seems to break into the five-fold Covenant pattern, which means it is a “proto-history,” something spoken into being by God that is made to be broken, something yet to be revealed. This explains why the “firmament” is not judged as “good.”

God’s five-fold Covenants (on “stone”) become seven-fold history as they are written in flesh. The central point, the Covenant “rules,” gets split into three: Law given (Firstfruits), Law opened (Pentecost), Law received (Trumpets). In this process, the obedient Covenant head fills the submissive Covenant body with light.

We see this in the Creation week, with the “Light” of Day 1 as “head” and the “Lights” of Day 4 as “body.”

We see this at Sinai, when Moses receives the Covenant Tablets, breaks them because of Israel’s disobedience (ie. the tablets died in Israel’s place), and brings a New Covenant in new Tablets. Law-Testing-Law.

We see this in the Babylonian exile. The Ark (light) ascended to govern heaven, and the Lampstand (lights) rose from the grave to govern the New Land (Daniel 5:5).

The act of sex follows the same pattern: Ascension of the Covenant Head, Pentecost is the euphemistic threshingfloor. and the Covenant body receives the creative Word with gladness. Sex is an act of Covenant Creation, of Dominion, of forming a new body and filling the earth. [3]

As proto-history, the firmament is a temporary barrier. It is the wrapping on a present, it is a bridal veil; it is a (deep weird here) cosmic hymen awaiting the marriage of heaven and earth. [4] Paul tells us that the body of Christ was what the veil pictured. He became human flesh torn open as a door.

Surely these typological correspondences reveal the hand of God in every form of Covenant we find in human existence. This also explains the structural correspondences of the relationships of Abraham and the Egyptian baker to their respective scavenging birds (see Bible Matrix). Both men were a “veil of flesh” at Division (Passover/Veil). [5]

Day 2 could be divided into seven parts except that the central point, Testing, the tearing of the Covenant veil, is missing.

Transcendance – Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,

…..Hierarchy – and let it divide the waters from the waters.”

…..…..Ethics -
……….Thus God made the firmament,
…..and divided the waters which were under the firmament

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
……….from the waters which were above the firmament;
……….and it was so.

…..Sanction (singular!) – And God called the firmament Heaven.

Succession – So the evening and the morning were the second day.

You can also see that what is required to fill the gap in this literary structure is the governing lights. In the Tabernacle pattern, we have the waters below awaiting the Bronze Altar-Land, and the waters above awaiting the Golden Incense Clouds, but it is the Lampstand missing from the centre. The firmament was the Old Covenant house awaiting its Pentecost.

The heavenly sea was a “sapphire pavement” (Exodus 24:10). This too had a built-in obsolescence. In AD70, just like the overflowing Jordan, the crystal sea was made to stand up as walls and gates: the New Jerusalem. The heavenly court was filled with the Old Covenant saints (the twelve tribal names) and the New Covenant apostles. [6] The breaking up of the crystal sea brought an end to the Old Covenant.

So, the waters ended the Adamic era. The crystal city ended the Abrahamic era. All that remains is the final “cosmic” Pentecost: the second resurrection and final judgment, when God will be all in all, and men will finally judge the angels. [7] Even the New Jerusalem is but a temporary structure waiting for the day when it is completely filled with the glory of the nations. [8]

[1] See Wikipedia’s Shape of the Universe.
[2] See The Earth is Flat.
[3] see Ish and Isha.
[4] See The Context of Drawing Near.
[5] See Joseph Gets Passed Over.
[6] See Crystal Walls – 1.
[7] See Trinitarian Judgments.
[8] See Walking On Water.

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6 Responses to “Firmament of Flesh”

  • Travis Finley Says:



  • Steven Opp Says:

    I think your idea of the firmament as hymen is interesting. I’ve been thinking of it as foreskin. I’m working on a paper comparing the themes of circumcision and apocalyptic in Galatians. The apocalypse of the clouds rolling back is circumcision, in my estimation. However, I don’t think this contradicts your idea of it as hymen. Hymen and foreskin are analagous as the blood from each is paralelled in James Jordan’s idea of a “bloody bridegroom” in “The Law of the Covenant.” The tearing of the foreskin is somehow the same as the tearing of the hymen, so perhaps they can both symbolize the firmament.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    I’d put the clouds rolling back at Conquest rather than Division – the Veil being opened. But in the transition from Adam to Noah, they correspond anyway. The waters are an open door for the remnant of Adam, but they cut off flesh for the new humanity.

    Good observation! I’ll check out LotC again.

  • Travis Matthew Finley Says:

    I’m still rereading this, but I think that the theology of the veil might just be the nail in the coffin for H-P. I just wish that in stead of using the word for firmament, he’d-ve-used “veil.” I think that would have helped move out of the phenomenological and into the typological. But I’m still reading…

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Well, there’s also the kapporet – the lid of the Ark – as a “hammered out” firmament, made of the purest gold. The Ark itself is an image of the entire Tabernacle. The Lord stands on, or is enthroned over, the kapporet, just as the Tent stands on the Sea. Don’t you love fractals?