a reply to: ChesterJohn
QUOTE "Solomon described weather patterns were in a circut/circular, and that rain came from teh oceans went up into the air and fell as rain and
returned to the sea were it came from originaly. He was proven a few thousand years later to be correct. David said and declared the earth was round
and it is. The Bible described that there are more than one heaven, one that had clouds and the birds fly in, and one where the stars were. Thousands
of years before science proved that there was limit to atmosphere of the earth..." UNQUOTE
I'm not sure what you mean by 'Solomon described' since the book of Qoheleth ('Ecclesiastes') is written in late (almost Mishnaic) Hebrew much later
than the time of Solomon and what you meant by 'David said' since only a few Psalms are actually attributed in the Hebrew Bible to David himself. Many
for example are 'of the sons of Korah' etc.
But looking for modern scientific confirmation or proof in the pre-scientific Hebrew & Greek scriptures of Christians and Jews in general is something
of a fruitless effort - especially since the biblical writers (whoever they were) were living in pre-scientific times and seemed to have accepted
their contemporary non-Jewish cosmological (i.e. pre-scientific) beliefs of neighboring countries about the shape of the earth, and the layout of the
universe in general.
Let's start at their general view of the physical world.
The image (roughly) was of an endless Void or Abyss (Heb תְּהוֹם Tehom or 'watery chaos' etymologically related to Tiamat the Babylonian
Monster of Chaos) at the bottom from which emerged Sheol (Heb שְׁאוֹל 'the pit') and 7 foundational columns holding up a flat earth which is
(to their reckoning) covered by a solid dome (Heb. רָקִיעַ Req'iak = 'hammered bowl') in which the sun, moon and stars were placed, with
'waters above the Dome (or 'firmament') separated from 'the waters below the Dome (possibly to explain why the Dome is of a blue colour).
In this schema, the fixed, flat earth is at the centre of the complex - here are some of the source material for such a conception in the Hebrew
וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי רָקִיעַ בְּתוֹךְ הַמָּיִם, וִיהִי מַבְדִּיל, בֵּין
לָרָקִיעַ; וַיְהִי-כֵן וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-הָרָקִיעַ, וַיַּבְדֵּל בֵּין
הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מִתַּחַת לָרָקִיעַ, וּבֵין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל
וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָרָקִיעַ, שָׁמָיִם; וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם
וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶל-מָקוֹם אֶחָד,
וְתֵרָאֶה, הַיַּבָּשָׁה; וַיְהִי-
וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לַיַּבָּשָׁה אֶרֶץ, וּלְמִקְוֵה הַמַּיִם קָרָא יַמִּים
Genesis 1:6-8: "And Elohim said, Let there be a Dome in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And Elohim made Dome,
and divided the waters which were under the Dome from the waters which were above the Dome - and it was so. And Elohim called the Dome, 'Heaven.' And
the evening and the morning were the second day. And Elohim said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry
land appear: and it was so. And Elohim called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas..."
Raqia derives from the Hebrew verb 'raqa', which means "to beat," "stamp on," "beat out" and "spread out." Occurring 11 times in the Old Testament,
raqa has the meaning to "stamp one's feet" or to stamp something with the feet or the spreading out of pounded metal (4 times), spreading out the
earth (3 times) etc.
The Hebrew writers were freely forming their own Creation Myths (see Gen 1 :1 to 2:4a and 2:4b to 4:26) from the earlier and more sophisticated
ancient Sumerian creation myths (later taken over both by Assyrians and Babylonians) provide a picture of the universe's (Anki) creation. The
Sumerians believed that a primeval sea (Abzu) existed before anything else and that the heaven (an) and the earth (ki) were formed within it.
The boundary between the primeval sea and the earth (a flat disk) was a solid vault, within which was the gas-like atmosphere (lil). The stars,
planets, sun, and moon were embedded into this solid vault Each of the four major Sumerian deities was associated with one of these regions; An (god
of heaven), Ki (goddess of earth, also known as Ninhursag, Ninmah, or Nintu), Enlil (god of the air, son of An and Ki), and Enki (god of the primeval
The cosmological view of the Hebrew writings likewise involved a solid vault or hammered out Dome over the
earth which contained floodgates which could be opened to produce floods or closed to produce drought.
see: Gen 7:11b-12
בַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה נִבְקְעוּ כָּל-מַעְיְנֹת תְּהוֹם רַבָּה, וַאֲרֻבֹּת הַשָּׁמַיִם,
"On the same day were all the fountains of the Great Deep broken up and the Windows of Heaven were opened...'
See also Gen 8:2 "The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained."
The author(s) of Genesis believed that the floodgates were physically closed, the rain stopped and the flood drained away
Later in Joshua 10:12-13: we see Joshua literally controlling the 'movement' of the sun so he can finish a battle, which again is pre-scientific
pre-supposing that the sun revolves around the earth.
"Then spoke Joshua to YHWH in the day when YHWH delivered up the Amorites before the faces of the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of
Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had
avenged themselves upon their enemies...."
Here, the sun and the moon were both believed to have stopped moving so the Jews could finish a battle.
This speaks again of a stationary earth and moving sun - another pre-scientific Jewish myth (like talking snakes or Hebrew speaking donkeys)
In the poetical sections to the book of Job (chapters 3-40) in Job 26:7:7 we see the earth supported by 'Eloah' who "stretches out the north over the
expanse, and hangs the earth upon the Beli ('the wearing out')."
נֹטֶה צָפוֹן עַל-תֹּהוּ;
תֹּלֶה אֶרֶץ, עַל-בְּלִי-מָה
Isaiah 40:22 talks about the flat Earth in the form of a circular pancake shape which is covered by the dome of heaven like tent curtains:
הַיֹּשֵׁב עַל-חוּג הָאָרֶץ, וְיֹשְׁבֶיהָ כַּחֲגָבִים; הַנּוֹטֶה כַדֹּק שָׁמַיִם,
וַיִּמְתָּחֵם כָּאֹהֶל לָשָׁבֶת.
"It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants of it are as grasshoppers; that stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and
spreads them out as a tent to dwell in."
Moving away from cosmology for a moment, there are a number of curious zoological errors in the Torah
e.g. Lev 11:20-21: “All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be toqebah ('hateful') to you.”
Clearly there are no fowls on earth that creep on all four legs.
Deut 14:7: ” “…as the camel, and the hare, and the rabbit: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof.”
This is wrong on both counts: Hares don’t chew the cud and camels do indeed divide the “hoof.”
This list could go on for a long time; either way any attempt to use modern science to uphold the Weltanschauung of the Bible is bound to come a
cropper sooner or later, since the writers did not have access to modern scientific facts.
edit on 7-2-2016 by Sigismundus because: stutterrrrrringg computterr keyboardddddd