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OF THE MAKING OF THE LUMINARIES2.
ON the fourth day God made the luminaries--sun, moon, and stars--of three substances, air, light, and fire. He took aerial material and prepared vessels like lamps, and mixed fire with light, and filled them. And because in the nature of fire there was no light, nor heat in that of light, the fire imparted heat to the light, and the light gave luminosity to the fire; and from these two were the luminaries--sun, moon, and stars--fabricated. Some say that the luminaries were made in the morning, that the sun was placed in the east, and the moon in the west; while others say that they were made in the evening, and that the sun was placed in the west, and the moon in the east; and therefore the Jews celebrate the fourteenth3 in the evening. Others say that all the luminaries when they were created were placed in the east; the sun completed his course by day, while the moon waited until eventide, and then began her course. The path of the luminaries is beneath the firmament, and they are not fixed as men have foolishly stated, but the angels guide them. Mâr Isaac says, 'The sun performs his course from the east to the west, and goes behind the lofty northern mountains the whole night until he rises in the east.' And the philosophers say that during the night the luminaries perform their course under the earth.
1 Chap. xi in the Oxford MS.
2 Gen. i. 14.
3 See Exod. xii. 18.