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OF EARTH, WATER, AIR, AND FIRE.
THE earth was tôh we-bôh6, that is to say, it was unarranged and unadorned, but plunged in the midst of the waters. The waters were p. 8 above it, and above the waters was air, and above the air was fire. The earth is by nature cold and dry. Dry land appeared on the third day, when the trees and plants were created; and the waters were separated therefrom on the second day, when the firmament was made from them. Water is by nature cold and moist. As touching the 'Spirit which was brooding upon the face of the waters1,' some men have ignorantly imagined it to have been the Holy Spirit2, while others have more correctly thought it to have been this air (of ours). Air is by nature hot and moist. Fire was operating in the upper ether, above the atmosphere; it possessed heat only, and was without luminosity until the fourth day, when the luminaries were created: we shall mention it in the chapter on the luminaries (chap. x). Fire is by nature hot and dry.
5 Chap. iv in the Oxford MS.
6 Gen. i. 2, a chaotic waste.
1 Gen. i. 2.
2 This view is maintained in the 'Cave of Treasures,' Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 3 b, col. 1: 'And on the first day of the week the Holy Spirit, one of the Persons of the Trinity, brooded upon the waters: and through His brooding upon the face of the waters they were blessed that they might be bringers forth.' See Bezold's translation, Die Schatzhöhle, p. 1; and Schoenfelder's note 26, on p. 9 of his translation of The Bee.