The opening verses of Genesis 1 parallel Enuma Elish in the following points: the existence of primordial waters (viz., no creation ex nihilio), the association of the primordial waters with chaos, the creation of order out of the aqueous chaos, and the bounding of the waters by the firmament-rakia. At this point it is evident that the composer of Genesis 1 completed this narrative against the backdrop of cosmogonies akin to Enuma Elish.
Genesis 1:14:17 reads:
יד וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם,
לְהַבְדִּיל, בֵּין הַיּוֹם וּבֵין הַלָּיְלָה; וְהָיוּ לְאֹתֹת וּלְמוֹעֲדִים,
טו וְהָיוּ לִמְאוֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ
הַשָּׁמַיִם, לְהָאִיר עַל-הָאָרֶץ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.
אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-שְׁנֵי הַמְּאֹרֹת הַגְּדֹלִים: אֶת-הַמָּאוֹר הַגָּדֹל,
לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַיּוֹם, וְאֶת-הַמָּאוֹר הַקָּטֹן לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַלַּיְלָה, וְאֵת
יז וַיִּתֵּן אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים, בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמָיִם,
Further evidence of the ontologically polemical objective of this narrative is the nomenclature used to designate the sun and the moon. Instead of using the common Semitic and biblical terms “shemesh” (sun) and “yareakh” (moon), the author uses the generic germs “greater light” and “lesser light.” The more common designations were in vogue as appellations for pagan deities. This circumlocution establishes an obvious referent for the modern-day reader. This referent is the context of Israelite monolatry and ancient near-Eastern cosmology. Thus the reader will understand that the text speaks to ancient (most likely post-6th century exilic) exigencies and not to questions that the modern-reader burdens the text with (e.g., the “Prank medium”, vapor canopies, white holes, creationism, etc.).
It has been suggested that vaulted-heavens model of the firmament-rakia creates an internal contradiction in Genesis 1. The argument poses that the “mobility” (apparent or otherwise) of the sun, moon, and stars in the “firmament of the heavens” necessitates that the firmament-rakia is a non-solid or gaseous substance (or lack of substance). If the text posits a solid vault, then, the reasoning goes, the heavenly bodies would not be able to orbit.
The text above states that the “lights” are placed “in the firmament-rakia.” The preposition “in” is a judicious translation of the Hebrew preposition. It would have been obvious to the ancient reader that the heavenly lights were placed in as in “on the face of” or “inside” the firmament-rakia. The ancient reader would not have perceived a contradiction in this passage; rather, she would have envisioned (as the ancients did) a solid vault into which the heavenly bodies were fixed.
The modern reader may envision an internal contradiction in this passage only because she is reading the text with her biases present. She is aware that there is not a solid vault over the Earth and that the sun, moon, and stars are suspended in the fabric of gravitational relationships. When reading this passage against an appropriate context (sitz im leben) the reader understands that the heavenly lights are fixed into the solid firmament-rakia. In the ancient cosmologies, the firmament-rakia itself orbits the earth.