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Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster [1899], at

II. (1) On the third day the earth was like a plain, and the waters covered the face of the whole earth. When the word of God went forth, saying, 'Let the waters be gathered together,' the mountains were lifted up and scattered over the earth, and deep valleys were dug down in the bowels of the earth, into which the waters rolled and were gathered, as it is said, 'The gathering of waters He called seas.' The waters then immediately rose tumultuously to a great height and covered the face of the earth as at first, until God rebuked them and subdued them, and placed them under the hollow of His feet, and measured them in His palm, so that they could neither diminish nor increase. He surrounded the sea with sand as a fence, just as a man makes a fence for his vineyard. So that when the waters approach and see the fence before them they recede, as it is said, 'Will they not fear My signs, says the Lord.' (2) Before the waters were finally gathered together, the rivers and the fountains of the deep were created, for the earth was stretched over the waters just as a ship floating in the midst of the sea, as it is said, 'To spread out the earth over the waters.' (3) And God opened a gate in the Garden of Eden and brought forth all kinds of plants, every kind of tree yielding fruit after its kind, and every kind of grass. He took their seeds and planted them upon the earth, as it is said, 'Whose seed is within itself upon the earth.' He prepared food for His creatures before they were created, as it is said, 'Thou preparest a table before me.' (4) All the fountains of waters rise from the depths. R. Joshua said that the depth of the earth would take sixty years to walk through. There is one fountain close to Gehinnom which receives and gives out hot waters that delight man. (5) R. Jehudah says: Once every month

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rivulets ascend from the depths and water the face of the whole earth, as it is said, 'And a spray went up from the earth to water the garden.' The thick clouds pass on the sound of the water-courses to the seas, and the seas to the depths, and the depths to each other, and finally rise and give moisture to the clouds, as it is said, 'Who causes the vapours to ascend at the end of the earth.'

(6) The rains descend upon every place bidden them by the King, so that the earth immediately flourishes and becomes fertile. But when God wishes to bless the land and make it fertile and prosperous, so as to feed His creatures, He then opens His storehouse of good contained in the heavens and rains upon the earth, so that it immediately becomes fertile and produces the seed of blessing, as it is said, 'The Lord will open for thee His treasure of good.'

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