Bible Blogging Commentary: Genesis 1:6-13
And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. - Genesis 1:6-13
The second day of creation is as expressive as the first. In it God pierces through creation and causes distinctions to be made where no such distinction exist. God is shown to provide meaning and purpose in a formless world. God calls the expanse "heaven" which has previously been created (Gen 1:1). This alone should be enough to refute too literal a reading of the poetic Scripture.
In the third day, God continues His decisive action. The water under the heavens are yet again classified and brought together. What was hidden is revealed. God brings forth the "earth" which also has previously been described as created (Gen 1:1). In distinction this time though the earth is contrasted with the sea. God's purpose in dividing and subdividing is by His will for His purpose and plan.
After these divisions are established the Lord brings about life on the third day. Finally created are things with seeds that can establish themselves upon the face of the earth. From God's mouth and yet from the earth itself these plants began. This is important to distinguish from the creation of man.
*The Bible Blogging Commentary is a slow and simple treading of the Scriptures. No quotes from other theologians and no explicit Greek/Hebrew lessons.*