All Miracles Were Part of Creation


Moshe Ben-Chaim



"Ten things were created at dusk on the sixth day of creation, the mouth of the earth (which swallowed Korach), the mouth of the well (during the 40 years in the desert), the mouth of the donkey (the account of Bilam), the rainbow, the Manna, the staff, the Shamir (the worm used to miraculously cut stones) the Hebrew letters, the tool used to write the Ten Commandments, the Ten Commandments (the actual sapphire tablets) and some say even Mazikim, the burial site of Moses, the ram of Abraham, and some say even the first tongs (metal instruments used to forge other instruments)."  (Avos, 5:6)

God's omniscience includes the perfect knowledge of when each miracles needed to occur. With His omnipotence, Maimonides explains, that God instilled precise laws in creation, timed exactly to unfold and enact all miracles in their proper second. The property of the Reed Sea to split was implanted in the waters on Day 2 when God separated the waters. The property of the sun to stand still when Joshua required it, was implanted in the sun's properties on Day 4 when God set the sun's properties. This rule applies to all creation. As matter was created, specific miracles destined to unfold in the future were built into that matter. This principle attests to God's supreme and complete knowledge of all events which are to unfold throughout all time. To assume that God performed miracles only "at that time" in history, assumes that God could not anticipate the exact moment the miracle would need to be performed. It assumes ignorance on God's part. It also assumes God exists in time. In fact, God created time, and is not governed by His creations.


The question is, why weren't these 10 miracles cited in this mishna also created in their respective days, like all other miracles? What is the concept that they were created at dusk on day 6 of creation, and not in their proper day? Meaning, when God created the Earth and all its elements, what demanded that He not create the Tablets on that day, but wait until sunset on Day 6? Understanding the mark of distinction held by these few miracles will lead to the answer. So how are these miracles different than all others?


I believe the distinction is that these miracles incorporate that which is antithetical to the substance in which it resides. For example, the mouth of the rock which gave forth water. Rock is a purely arid substance - water is the opposite. The donkey is the most stubborn and stupid creature, yet it spoke, implying intelligence. The first tongs by definition are a contradiction: how does one make the 'first' tongs, if there are no others with which to forge that first set? The shamir worm is a tiny insect, a weak creature, yet it had the capacity to split huge stones. And the tool to write the Ten Commandments, made for sapphire. Sapphire being one of the hardest substances, the existence of the tool used to cut such a substance would be a contradiction, i.e., how can something else be harder than the hardest thing? 

In contrast, the splitting of the Red sea for example does not incorporate a direct contradiction to water's nature, but as the passage states, “God blew a strong wind to break open the waters.” This means that something external to the water itself provided the separation. When Joshua prayed the sun and moon stand still, again, motion of heavenly spheres is external to the spheres themselves. Again, no inherent contradiction.


So why didn't God incorporate inherent contradictory miracles into their respective days of Creation? What is the purpose of their delay until dusk?


The answer is that it was not a 'delay', but it was an impossibility for these few miracles to inhere in a substance before the substance became complete, with all its laws. As an example, had God brought stone into existence in a state containing moisture, the entire definition of stone would be different than what is needed for an inhabitable planet. God first had to create substances, which are defined as how they first come into existence. This is what took place on each of the 6 days of creation, i.e., matter coming into existence in distinct forms, each containing specific, essential properties. Once a certain substance exists in a desired form with its essential properties, only then can God make aberrations in the nature of individual members, without altering the substance’s general properties. God desired that stone exists: this means an arid, hard substance. So God brought stone into existence as stone, and not as a moist object, which would not be stone. Subsequent to its creation as a hard and arid element, God made aberrations. This is what is meant by “dusk.” Meaning, first, God defined matter by giving each categorical substance specific, unique properties. This occurred during the 6 Days. Only subsequent to the completion of many substances, could God incorporate a “suspension” of those properties. But suspension means, altering that which already exists.


Certain miracles were needed for future events, without which, catastrophe would occur. As it is God's wish to benefit man, the suspension of a specific few laws at a few times was essential to preserve mankind. God therefore made concessions to man (implied by making these miracles at the "last moment possible") by altering laws of created matter.


In summary, all miracles were already built into all of created matter. Miracles on the whole do not contain contradictions in material substance, but are rather natural forces operating differently than what occurs typically. Due to the need for substance to maintain essential, structural properties, matter needed to come into existence as a defined entity. Only once existing in an essential form could God alter it to assist man.