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1

That is not the early Israelite understanding of cosmology, it is Babylonian cosmology. Tannaim (eg R' Eliezer on Bava Basra 25a) and the earlier Babylonian amoraim mapped the Torah to it, much the way rabbis today talk about Relativity and QM in the Torah. The Babylonians and Persians had much much more accurate observations than the Greeks, so this was ...


3

There are different opinions regarding the nature of the rakia. One opinion is that of R. Avraham Ibn Ezra who writes in his commentary to Genesis (1:6) (Shitta acheret) as follows: והנכון בעיני, כי הארץ היתה מכוסה במים, והרוח יבש המים מעל הארץ כדרך ויעבר א-להים רוח על הארץ וישכו המים (ברא' ח, א) אז נראה. ובעבור האור היה הרקיע. והוא האויר ההוה על הארץ ...



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