By H. Norman Strickman
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Extra resources for Ibn Ezra's Commentary on the Pentateuch: Genesis
The day spoken o f in the Torah begins at sunrise and lasts until sunset. Night begins when the stars are first visible. Those who say that night begins with the appearance o f three stars are c o r r e c t . K n o w that evening begins at sunset and lasts for one and a third hours, during which time a light-like appearance is seen in the clouds. Similarly morning dawns before s u n r i s e . W h e n the light of xhc implication from Scripture is clearly that the moon is larger than the stars. 119 Scripture calls the sun and the moon lights because it refers to the light given off Xyy them and not to their physical size.
Verse 9 does not start the account of the third day of creation, but is a continuation of verse 8 . See note 99. Thus land was created on the second day and not on the third day. Hence Scripture (Gen. 2:4) states, the Lord God made earth and heaven, rather than the Lord God created earth and heaven. E. had previously commented that only one thing was created on each day. He therefore explains that the making of the firmament and dry land on one day does not constitute the creation of two things on the same day, for the drying of the land was not a creation.
Another Midrash states that the world was created because of the bikkurim (first fruits), as it is written. The choicest (reshit) first-fruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God (Ex. 23:19). Another Midrash asks, why does the Torah open with a b etl To teach that God is one. *^^ Another Midrash asks, why does the Torah open with a bet followed by resh, alef, shin and finally by yod tavl It answers that Scripture teaches that the first Temple, which preceded the creation of heaven and earth, ^2 26 The body remains unchanged regardless of one's dress.