The Old Testament: Inspired Truth? or Mere Mythology?
Is the Old Testament a reliable record of scientific truth, containing scientific knowledge long before modern times made similar discoveries? Or is it a relic of ancient mythology and superstition, as its critics claim? Is it astounding fact -- or ancient folklore? Here is the most incredible, astonishing PROOF, from history, physics, astronomy, geology, chemistry, oceanography, and archaeology that the Old Testament, written thousands of years ago, contains knowledge that was supposedly only discovered by scientists during the past two centuries! Here is the most amazing and intriguing story you have ever heard -- proving the Old Testament to be an amazing, astounding book of scientific knowledge and insight!
by HOIM Staff
FOR CENTURIES, skeptics and scoffers have called the Old Testament a collection of ancient primitive myths, fables, stories, and superstition. One religious leader calmly claimed, "We know now that every idea in the Bible started from primitive and childlike origins...."
Dr. Edgar J. Goodspeed, who translated the Old Testament into English, declared that the book of Joshua "is the legendary story of the conquest of Canaan" and the book of Ruth "belongs to Israel's fiction, rather than to its history, and should be among its tales and stories."
WHY have so many men of high education, scholars, and scientists REJECTED the Old Testament as historical truth and reliable science? Is the Old Testament "unscientific"? Have they jumped to conclusions, based on insufficient evidence? Why all the apparent "haste" to discredit the Old Testament record?
It is time you knew the incredible truth!
Science Versus Myth
We live in a modern, push-button, scientific world. Science is adulated, placed on a lofty pedestal, and virtually worshipped as the new "messiah" -- the new savior of the world.
However, science has also bequeathed to the world lethal modern weapons of war -- the H-bomb, Neutron bomb, A-bomb, poisonous gases, deadly chemicals -- a murderous host of technologically amazing devices to destroy!
Science has been described as an angel of mercy, and also as a devil of destruction.
But unknown to millions, the Old Testament has a great deal to say about TRUE science. And it also has much to say about the wrong kind of science, and "science falsely so called"! Although the Old Testament is not a textbook about science, it does give many foundational principles of science - alludes to basic principles of biology, physics, chemistry, meteorology, astronomy, geology, and oceanography!
Those who have lightly discarded the Old Testament and relegated it to the limbo of outer darkness, as myth and fable, have carelessly missed out on the solid foundation of SCIENCE in the Old Testament or Tanakh! They have jumped to conclusions without getting all the facts. For some reason, the world of scholars and scientists has rejected the Old Testament as the provable Word of the living God - without examining all the evidence! Why such anti-Old Testament bias?
Very few know it, but the Old Testament has far more to say about science than many suppose. Scientific facts, not understood by the world until the last few hundred years, with the advent of the "scientific explosion," are IN THE TANAKH!
Think what this means. While pagans worshipped sticks and stones, the sun, moon, and stars; while entire nations were bowing under a cloud of magic and superstition, ignorant of the truth -- at that very same time, a Book unknown to millions, the Old Testament, was being INSPIRED which contained many fascinating, fantastic SCIENTIFIC SECRETS totally unknown to the rest of the world!
Notice how amazingly scientific the Old Testament really is!
Flat Earth Theory
Many people have erroneously believed that the Tanakh teaches the earth is flat. The Medieval Catholic Church held to the notion the earth is and is the center of the universe.
When Galileo presented scientific evidence to the contrary, his facts and theories were branded as "absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical, because expressly contrary to Holy Scripture." But nowhere does the Old Testament teach the flat earth theory, or that the earth is a stationary object at the center of the universe. Galileo's theories were declared heretical in the 17th century. But, amazingly enough, six hundred years before the Messiah, the prophet Isaiah was inspired by YEHOVAH God Almighty to write and speak of the spherical shape of the planet earth!
Notice it! In Isaiah 40:22 we read of YEHOVAH God, "It is He that sitteth upon the CIRCLE of the earth." Moffatt translates this verse more clearly: "He sits over the ROUND EARTH." The Critical and Experimental Commentary states this expression is "applicable to the globular form of the earth." The original Hebrew word is chuug and means a "compass, circle, or sphere."
But how did Isaiah, an ancient Hebrew prophet, know that the earth is round? Here is PROOF that the ancient Hebrews were far more knowledgeable and scientific than they are given credit for being!
But how much did the ancient writers of the Old Testament really know about the earth? Did they believe the notions of their Gentile contemporaries who believed the earth was carried about on the back of a great tortoise?
The Revolving Earth
Many amazing scientific truths were known about the earth itself which the rest of the world did not understand for another two or three THOUSAND YEARS! Sound incredible?
The fact that the earth revolves around the sun once every year was not generally understood until the days of Copernicus and came to be known as the Copernican Theory. This was in the 16th century -- just a little more than 400 years ago. He taught that the sun is the center of the solar system.
However, thousands of years before his time -- in the days of the patriarch Moses -- the Old Testament uses the precise expression to indicate the revolution of the earth around the sun once a year was known to ancient Old Testament astronomers! In Exodus 34:22 we read, in the King James Version, the innocent phrase, "And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end." According to the original Hebrew, however, this should be translated "at the REVOLUTION OF THE YEAR." The original Hebrew word is tequuphah and means "to move in a circle," "circuit," "to go round," "orbit of the sun," as well as "revolution of time."
The Goodspeed translation has "at the turn of the year." In the days of the prophet Samuel, the expression "in revolution of days" was used to denote the time from conception to birth of a child (I Samuel 1:20, margin). Goodspeed translates this, "when the time came around."
Notice also II Chronicles 24:23 where the "end of the year" is called, in the original Hebrew, "in the REVOLUTION of the year" (marginal rendering). Don't these verses clearly suggest the fact that the ancient Hebrews KNEW the earth revolves around the sun, and completes one revolution -- one turning -- each year?
But this is not all. Notice Job 38:12-14 where we read: "Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; that it might take hold of the ends of the earth...IT [the earth] IS TURNED AS CLAY TO THE SEAL..."
What does this mean? YEHOVAH God is talking to the ancient patriarch Job about the morning - the rising of the sun. How is it that the sun appears to rise in the morning? This verse contains the scientific truth -- the TRUE explanation! The earth itself turns, or "rotates" -- from west to east, causing the sun to rise in the morning, in the eastern sky, and appear to move through the sky to the western horizon, where it appears to "set."
The original Hebrew in this verse says, of the earth, "it turns itself." What could be a more apt expression? The allusion to the day and the seal refers to the rolling cylinder seal, one to three inches long, such as was used in ancient Babylon, which left its plastic impression on the clay as it turned about or rolled around. What more apt figure of speech could be used to represent the motion of the earth itself, as it rotates, causing day and night?
Another example of scientific knowledge among the writers of the Scriptures involves the laws of gravity. As we all know, the laws of gravity were not explained and understood until Sir Isaac Newton, a Christian scientist and theologian, discovered them in the 18th century. The laws of motion were discovered by this same genius.
However, strange as it may seem, thousands of years ago the Old Testament states a fact not known to the rest of the world. In the book of Job, we read: "He [YEHOVAH God]...hangeth the earth UPON NOTHING" (Job 26:7).
In ancient times, the Egyptians and other pagans believed a tortoise carried the earth about; but the Hebrew people understood that the earth hangs suspended in space by powerful laws of force and motion! -- "upon nothing" visible!
Science of Meteorology
The science of weather and understanding the earth's atmosphere is of relatively recent origin. It, too, has developed greatly during the last two hundred years. Chemistry and physics play a vital role in this science. Before the nature of matter and air were understood, weather science was in total chaos. Here again, however, the Old Testament "scooped" science by more than two thousand years!
The basic key to understanding the weather cycles and patterns on the earth is the hydrological cycle. Today it is well known that water evaporates from the surface of the oceans, rivers, lakes and all bodies of water; that it rises into the atmosphere; and that later it returns to the earth as rain, snow, sleet, or hail. The evaporation-condensation-precipitation cycle was not understood by mankind, however, before the nature of water, water vapor, and the chemistry of matter was understood.
The Old Testament, however, reveals this basic CYCLE was understood, THOUSANDS of years ago! Once again, the Tanakh is proved to be SCIENTIFIC! Notice Jeremiah 10:13 -- "When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapors to ASCEND from the ends of the earth."
How could Jeremiah, a prophet of YEHOVAH God, have possibly known about the evaporation of water into water vapor, condensation of water vapor as rain droplets, and the precipitation cycle?
Jeremiah was not the only Old Testament meteorologist, however. The Scriptures reveal that king Solomon was an avid student of nature, and the natural world, and wrote extensively on the subject. Some of his writings as a "naturalist" are preserved in the Scriptures. Solomon declared, about one thousand years before Yeshua the Messiah,
"The wind goes to the south, and circles about continually, and on its circlings the wind returns again. All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place from which the rivers come, to there and from there they return again" (Ecclesiastes 1:6-7, Amplified).
Solomon understood the circuits of the wind -- and of water. How did he know? If we give Benjamin Franklin credit for being a gifted genius, how much more should we recognize the genius of Solomon who was the most famous naturalist, writer, poet, composer, and scientist of his time? (compare I Kings 4:29-34.)
Springs in the Sea
In Job 38:16, YEHOVAH asked, "Have you explored the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in the recesses of the deep?" (Amplified Version).
How could the writer of the book of Job have known that beneath the oceans of the world there exist springs, or fountains of FRESH WATER? An article in the Saturday Review, (July 1, 1967) declared: "Although they usually remain undetected, submarine springs of fresh water are often more common along certain types of shoreline than are rivers and other surface streams." Along some shorelines, as much as 20 million gallons of fresh water a day flows into the sea for every mile of shoreline.
In fact, one major submarine spring in the Persian Gulf flows with enough volume to create a large area of fresh water in the midst of the sea, because of favorable limestone geology in Iran and Saudi Arabia. In Greece, an estimated 100 million cubic feet of fresh water goes into the sea through submarine springs.
But about four thousand years before, YEHOVAH asked Job if he knew about the springs in the sea!
"The Recesses of the Deep"
Job also had knowledge about the "recesses of the deep."
Oceanographers today have plotted much of the ocean bottoms of the world, and have discovered deep underlying "trenches" which at some points go down thousands of feet in sharp, sudden drop-offs. The Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean is 36,198 feet deep. It was discovered in September, 1959 by the Soviet ship Vityaz. The same ship discovered a depth of 35,702 feet for the Tonga Trench; there are four other deep trenches in the North Pacific. The greatest depth in the Atlantic Ocean is north of Puerto Rico -- the Puerto Rico Trench, 27,498 feet deep.
The dark world of the bottom of the ocean is now being explored by scientists in bathyscaphes, and special cameras, mounted with strobe lamps, have been lowered miles into the depths. New instruments have revealed that the ocean bottom is surprisingly rugged. Depths of valleys and canyons running underwater when averaged out are five times greater than heights reached on continents. The undersea world is cut, and sliced, by huge canyons bigger than the Grand Canyon. One such canyon is the Hudson Canyon off New York. Sixty miles off shore, this mammoth canyon knifes sharply downward to 8000 feet, and then slopes on down another 6,500 feet.
The sea floor is called the abyssal plains. At their edge are sometimes found tremendous chasms or trenches, averaging 20 miles wide at the top and hundreds of miles long. The deepest such trench discovered is the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, almost seven miles down.
Yet thousands of year ago, YEHOVAH God asked the patriarch Job what he knew about these "recesses" -- what we call the "trenches" -- of the "deep" -- that is, the oceans? How could Job have known about such things? In the original Hebrew, the word for "explore" or "search out" is cheqer and means to "search out, examine; secret, inmost part." It is derived from the word chaqar, meaning "to penetrate; hence to examine intimately." The word for "deep" is tehown and means "confusion" -- or "the ABYSS, the great deep."
"Pathfinder of the Seas"
It was not until the 1800s that William Ferrell, an American meteorologist, formulated "Ferrell's Law" which explains the prevailing directions of the winds over the earth, based on the earth's rotation.
Matthew Fontaine Maury, an American hydrographer who lived in the late 1800s, declared: "The direction in which a wind blows is so constantly changing that we often speak of the winds as fickle, inconstant, and uncertain. There is, however, ORDER to the movements of the atmosphere. The fickle winds are obedient to LAWS."
Matthew Fontaine Maury, when reading the Old Testament, was struck by the words of Psalm 8:8:
"The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas."
His curiosity aroused, he set out to map the currents of the oceans of the world and became the foremost hydrographer of his day (1806-1873). He discovered the ocean routes which would make best use of prevailing ocean currents and winds. His research enabled ship owners to cut many days from the time required to make their voyages and helped them save many thousands of dollars. He was called the "Pathfinder of the Seas."
The Old Testament was his source of inspiration!
But how did king David, who wrote the eighth Psalm -- who lived about one thousand years before the Messiah -- know about the "paths of the seas" and the great currents in the oceans?
The Gulf Stream
In 1855 Matthew Fontaine Maury, pioneer oceanographer, wrote, "There is a river in the ocean. In the severest droughts it never fails, and in the mightiest floods it never overflows. Its banks and its bottom are of cold water, while its current is of warm. The Gulf of Mexico is its fountain, and its mouth is in the Arctic Seas. It is the Gulf Stream" (The Physical Geography of the Sea, 1855).
Truly, a river in the middle of the sea, the Gulf Stream flows for the most part through the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico and leaves through the Straits of Florida, from where it flows out into the broad Atlantic across to northwestern Europe.
"Seaward of New England, where the Gulf Stream is most robust, it can be 100 miles wide and 16,400 feet deep, and have a surface velocity of six miles an hour. There it carries past a given point about 150,000,000 tons of water every second; this makes it the equal of 700 Amazons or 8,800 Mississippis"' ("A Capsule History of the Gulf Stream," by Thomas Lineaweaver III, Holiday, Nov. 1967).
If the Gulf Stream were emptied upon the United States, it would flood the entire nation to a depth of over four feet -- in just one day! This mighty river is truly a PATHWAY in the sea! The larvae of a snail (Cymatium Parthenopeum) found from Brazil to the west coast of Africa ride the Gulf Stream, perhaps taking 300 days to cover 2,640 miles from the Bahamas to the Azores. Although the "odds" against a successful passage for the snails may be 2 million to 1, it is commonly done!
The Gulf Stream is just one of many mighty ocean currents, such as the cold Humboldt Current, pushed by Antarctic winds up the west coast of South America. Then there is the Japan Current, or Kuroshio, in the Pacific. The earth's great wind systems push before them the great sea currents, and have enormous impact on world weather. The westerlies drive the Gulf Stream and Japan Current; the polar easterlies drive before them the Humboldt Current and Brazil Current, and others. The Labrador Current, in the North Atlantic, flows down from the. north polar region, pushed along by polar easterlies.
All these mighty currents are virtual rivers or paths in the seas. But -- how did David, one thousand years before the Messiah, know such mighty paths in the seas existed? How indeed, unless navigation was far more advanced in his day than skeptics like to admit?
David also wrote of the "fowl of the air...and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas." What do migratory birds have to do with the great ocean currents? Is there a relationship? Indeed, there most certainly is!
Winging their way over the seas, in giant paths through the skies, are the Golden Plover and the Arctic Tern, navigating many thousands of miles every year. Also navigating in paths through the seas are species of eel, turtles, whales, and many species of fish.
How did David understand these things about the fowls of the air, and the "fish of the sea" and other migratory creatures? How was he so familiar with the biological sciences of the earth?
There is evidence that David himself was a great traveler and explorer, and even visited the Emerald islands of Britain and Ireland. An astonishing fact of history, no doubt, but there is evidence that king David himself was also recognized as a "king" among the early inhabitants of Ireland, where he was noted for his poetry, music, warrior prowess, and kingly authority. Write for or download our article, Was Ollamh Fodhla King David of Israel?
Knowledge About Air Pressure
You are no doubt familiar with the fact that air has weight. At sea level air pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inch. As you go up in altitude, air pressure decreases. A mountain climber ascending Mount Everest finds the air so thin that he has to take oxygen along to breathe.
When did scientists discover that air has weight? Any textbook on Physics reveals that the laws of pressure, temperature and volume of gases were supposedly not discovered until the last few hundred years. But notice! Here is what YEHOVAH God inspired to be written in the Old Testament -- over three thousand years ago!
"God...looks to the ends of the earth; beneath the whole heavens he sees. When he made a WEIGHT FOR THE WIND, and meted out the waters by measure [rainfall in the United States averages 29 inches every year!]; when he made a LAW for the rain, and a WAY for the thunderbolt" (Job 28:23-26).
The Amplified Bible makes this even more clear: "When He gave to the wind weight or pressure..." This implies strongly that Job knew that wind -- which is air -- has weight and pressure. Here is another remarkable evidence of sophisticated SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE and understanding, possessed by the ancient Hebrews who wrote the Old Testament! Thousands of years before modern science discovered air has pressure, Job wrote of it in the book of Job! It was not until the seventeenth century that Torricelli, an Italian physicist (1608-1647), proved the same relationship with his barometer!
The Way for the Thunderbolt
Lightning kills more people yearly than any other natural disaster -- about 400 fatalities per annum. It destroys $37 million worth of property annually, plus the losses due to 8,000 annual forest fires started by lightning.
How are lightning bolts formed? Inside enormous thunderclouds are so-called "chimney currents" -- a column of air rising upward with gale force. Within this turbulence near the top small hailstones become positively charged, while raindrops in the lower portion are charged negatively. Below on the earth there is another positive charge buildup, following the drifting cloud. Tremendous differences of electric potential are created between the top and bottom of the thundercloud, and the earth's surface.
At this point, a gaseous arc reaches down from the cloud for perhaps fifty feet, hanging there, building up, growing. Meanwhile, positive particles on the earth below streak upward as high as fifty feet, called "St. Elmo's fire." When one of these earth "streamers" meets one of the cloud's dangling gaseous arcs, called "leaders," suddenly A PATH IS FORMED BETWEEN THE THUNDERCLOUD AND THE EARTH!
Notice what the word of YEHOVAH God -- the Old Testament -- says about lightning:
"When he [YEHOVAH God] made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder" (Job 28:26).
"The way of the lightning" discovered by science was described in the Old Testament thousands of years ago! Did Job really understand about this mysterious "way," or was YEHOVAH God communicating knowledge to him which he did not fully understand, at that time, but which we have discovered to be precisely true, thousands of years later?
Meteorologists now understand that the darting, flickering BOLT OF LIGHTNING hurtles through the air, starting at the point of contact between negative and positive charges of electricity, ripping up to the cloud along the gaseous arc path already formed. The lightning actually travels upward, and the fact that it appears to travel downward is an optical illusion.
The point of this fascinating story is -- HOW DID JOB KNOW? How could he have ever known that there is "A WAY for the lightning of the thunder," over 3,500 years ago? Obviously, he was not just a simple "farmer" or "sheep-herder" who lived during an age of ignorance and superstition!
Science did not discover the secret of this phenomenon until very recent times. But YEHOVAH God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, discussed the "path" or "way" of the lightning with the patriarch Job, over 3,500 years ago!
Secrets of Geology
What about the earth science of geology? Does the Old Testament have anything to say about it! It certainly does! Again, the book of Job contains the answers. We read of the process of erosion in Job 14:19 -- "The waters wear the stones: thou washest away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth...." Job knew of the power of erosion to carve valleys and canyons out of rocks, and to change the landscape or surface of the earth.
Notice, also, Job 28:10 -- "He cutteth out rivers among the rocks." There is no canyon on the earth as majestic and awesome as the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. Geologists point out that this enormous canyon was formed by cutting action of the Colorado River, gouging out a pathway through the rock.
The natural world is full of lessons for us to learn. The Word of YEHOVAH God actually commands us, "But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: or speak to the EARTH, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the HAND OF THE LORD HATH WROUGHT THIS?" (Job 12:7-9.)
YEHOVAH GOD is the Creator! This is the supreme lesson and teaching of ALL true science, and the science of the Old Testament! Truly, as king David wrote in the Psalms, "The FOOL hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).
The Expanding Universe
Isaiah challenges the critics, the scoffers of the God who inspired the Scriptures, "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the spirit of the LORD, or being his counselor hath taught him?...Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance...All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him as less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?...
"Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? [YEHOVAH God is] he that sitteth on the circle [globe or sphere] of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in" (Isaiah 40:12-22).
Notice! Here in this verse may well be a hidden indication that Isaiah the prophet knew of the "expanding Universe," one of the most incredible discoveries astronomers have made in this century. According to modern astronomers, the heavens are rapidly expanding, as stars and galaxies recede into outer space. This, they tell us, is evidenced by the "red shift" in the spectrum of light rays reaching us from the receding stars! Just as a train whistle changes its tone as it reaches your ears, when it approaches you, and when it goes past you, and then travels further and further away, so the rays of light from the receding stars "shift" toward the red end of the light spectrum.
Star Clusters and Star Streams
As we have seen, the patriarch Job was quite knowledgeable with the study of the stars. But there is evidence he understood much more than just basic astronomy. In the book of Job we find a very mysterious statement. YEHOVAH asked Job, "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven?" (Job 38:31-33).
The Amplified Bible has this passage in more modern English, as follows: "Can you bind the chains of [the cluster of stars called] Pleiades, or loose the cords of [the constellation] Orion? Can you lead forth the signs of the Zodiac in their season? Or can you guide [the stars of] the Bear with her young?"
There is more behind this strange question than mere ancient Hebrew poetry. Why does the writer mention the "chains" of the Pleiades? And the "cords" of Orion? Why does He single out the constellation of the Bear, asking if Job can "guide" it?
The implications of this simple, yet quizzical, verse, are staggering to astronomers. Consider the following scenario: The patriarch Job, who probably lived during the time after the Flood, but before Moses, may have been a contemporary of Joseph, the son of Jacob, circa 1700 B.C. However, he evidently possessed some peculiar knowledge about the star groups or "clusters" in question -- the Pleiades, Orion, and the Bear! The words used to describe these otherwise "normal" constellations in the night sky indicated that he understood something very strange about them that was not common knowledge. As it turns out, he must have known things that were not even discovered by modern astronomers, until the 20th century!
According to his statements, Job had knowledge that the Pleiades, the stars of Orion, and the Bear (Ursa Major or the Big Dipper) actually travel together through space as "units" or "clusters" of stars. Since the "chains" of Pleiades is mentioned, and the "cords" of Orion, Job knew that these particular groups of stars are more than just your average "constellation" in the sky -- he knew that there is something UNIQUE about them! He knew that they are actually local groups of stars moving through interstellar space together! Notice!
The original Hebrew word translated "bind" regarding the Pleiades is qashar, a primitive root which means "to tie, physically, gird, confine, compact" -- "bind up, join together, knit." It is listed in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance as #7194. Its basic meaning is "to BIND, to bind anything to anything," "to bind together" (Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon). The word for "sweet influence," or "chains," referring to the Pleiades, is the Hebrew ma'adannah, meaning "a BOND, group." It is #4575 in Strong's. The Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon has it, "bonds, from the root 'to bind.' Job 38:31, 'The BANDS of the Pleiades."'
Concerning the constellation Orion, the Hebrew word for "loose" is #6605, pathach, and means, "to open wide, to loosen," "let go free," "ungird." It means, in this instance, "to loose, as bonds" (Gesenius). The word for "bands" is #4189, mowshekah, meaning, "something drawing, i.e., a cord -- band," from mashak, "to draw."
The word for "guide" referring to the Bear (Ursa Major), the stars of the Big Dipper, is the Hebrew word nachah, #5148, and means, "to guide, by implication, to transport, lead forth," etc.. It means "to lead," or "lead forth (as troops)" says Gesenius.
Now let us consider the staggering implications of the usage of these particular words on the part of Job, who lived about 3,700 years ago, hundreds of years before the time of the prophet Moses, during an age when the world was "supposedly" steeped in ignorance, superstition, and gross darkness! Notice this amazing fact!
Says the Larousse Encyclopedia of Astronomy:
"Usually it is found that the motions of the different stars of a constellation figure are oriented quite at random -- confirming our conclusion that their apparent mutual proximity is simply an effect of perspective. But there are certain exceptions to this rule. Occasionally, velocities of the same order of magnitude, and oriented in more or less parallel directions, are observed. Such stars, without being 'near' to one another in the ordinary sense, nevertheless form a physically connected unit and are voyaging through space together. They are said to belong to the same star stream, or to form a moving cluster.
"Five of the principal stars of the Great Bear form such a moving cluster. The same thing is encountered among the stars of Orion, and with the two clusters of stars in Taurus known as the Hyades and the Pleiades."
How did the patriarch Job, in the remotest, wildest stretches of his imagination, learn that the star constellations of THE GREAT BEAR (Ursa Major), ORION, and the PLEIADES, MOVE TOGETHER THROUGH THE COSMOS AS "STAR CLUSTERS"? How did he discover that they are BOUND TOGETHER and are "VOYAGING THROUGH SPACE TOGETHER"?
By what "intuition" or gift of knowledge was Job made aware of these facts not understood by mankind until the advent of super-powerful modern telescopes and other astronomical tools of research, developed during the twentieth century?
Abraham, a predecessor of Job, the father of the Israelites, was also a notable astronomer. He lived about 200 years before Job, and according to the Jewish historian Josephus:
"He was the first that ventured to publish this notion, that there is but one God, the creator of the universe...This his opinion was derived from the irregular phenomena that were visible both at land and sea, as well as those that happen to the sun and moon, and all the heavenly bodies" (Antiquities, I, vii, 1).
Josephus quotes the ancient historian Berosus as saying, "In the tenth generation after the flood, there was among the Chaldeans a man righteous and great, and skillful in the celestial science." He also mentions that Abraham taught the science of astronomy, and mathematics, to the Egyptians! (Antiquities, I, viii, 2).
Abraham, a true man of science and probity, discerned that the laws that regulate the universe and govern the motions of the planets and stars are stark PROOF -- irrefutable evidence -- of the existence of the Great Creator God, the Supreme Mathematician and Architect -- who designed, planned, created, and established them all!
Isn't that what true science is all about?
Stop and think, for a moment. The pagans worshipped the heavenly bodies. Jews and true Christians worship the Almighty One who created them!
Pagans believed in astrology and worshipped the sun, moon and stars. But in the pages of the Old Testament, YEHOVAH God expressly CONDEMNS such worship. He tells us the purpose of the creation of the heavenly bodies: "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for SEASONS, and for days and YEARS" (Genesis 1:14).
Human methods of counting time, and human clocks, are all based on the motions of the heavenly bodies. The earth rotates at a relatively constant speed, giving us day and night; it revolves around the sun at a relatively constant speed, taking one year per revolution. The moon revolves around the earth, giving us the lunar month. Every human timepiece -- whether it be a wristwatch or a Grandfather's Clock, with Westminster chimes -- is kept accurate by timing them with the most precise Clock ever invented -- the solar system and the stars!
Time is kept accurate by basing time, calculations and computations on the precise movements of the stars and the positions of the fixed stars. The master clock in the United States is at the Naval Observatory, Washington, D. C. By measuring time by the stars, the Naval Observatory keeps track of time to the tiniest fraction of a second.
By knowing the exact movements of the heavenly bodies, solar and lunar eclipses can be PREDICTED thousands of years in advance!
YEHOVAH inspired David to write, "He made the moon for fixed times; the sun knows its time of setting" (Psalm 104:19, Goodspeed). Or, as the Amplified Bible has it, "the sun knows the EXACT TIME of its setting."
Truly, as David wrote in the Psalms:
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof" (Psalm 19:1-6).
The apostle Paul was so bold as to put it this way: "For the invisible things of him from the CREATION are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are MADE, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). The existence of YEHOVAH God is plainly and forcibly REVEALED in His handiwork, His "Creation"!
The Watch and the Watch Maker
Take a close look at your watch. It is a delicate, intricate, manmade instrument for telling time. You know, as you look upon your watch, that a watchmaker somewhere made your watch. It may have been made in Switzerland, which is famous for its quality watches. But you KNOW that your watch has no brains, consciousness, or intelligence of its own. You know that it didn't invent itself, or construct itself, and out of nowhere suddenly "decide to EXIST"! You know it wasn't made by "sheer accident." Elements of the ground, and sand and water and iron and tin and sun and heat didn't just "CONSPIRE" to accidentally manufacture a "watch," or to "EVOLVE" your watch!
It just didn't just somehow decide to put itself together! NO WAY! Great painstaking and careful workmanship went into it, and its delicate parts were made with great precision. The more money you paid for your watch, the better it probably is. But you know that if you don't wind it up regularly, or replace the battery in it, it will eventually run down, and stop ticking. The second, minute, and hour hands will stop moving -- or, if it is a digital read-out watch, the numbers will simply fade from view.
If you own a watch, you also know that from time to time, it needs repair. I had my watch cleaned and repaired not long ago. Physical things simply gradually "run down," lose energy, and stop functioning.
Consider, now, the Great Master Clock we call the "Universe," composed of millions upon millions and sheer billions of Galaxies, each one with billions of stars in orbit! The Universe is the greatest "Clock" of all. It, like your own watch, at one time had to be "created" -- built. "In the beginning," the Word of YEHOVAH God tells us, "GOD created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).
There was never a more logical, precise, SCIENTIFIC STATEMENT than that!
The Great Master Clock had to be "manufactured." It had to be "wound up," with potential "energy" placed within it. It had to be set to "ticking." It has been running smoothly, operating for millions if not billions of years! And it is STILL "TICKING" today! It is still the most accurate timepiece in existence. Its parts -- the stars, globular clusters, and galaxies -- still move with age-old, timeless precision! Its "pulsars" -- rapidly rotating, spinning super-dense stars -- still operate with incredible precision and timeliness!
You keep your watch running by winding it up. Who keeps the Great Clock of the universe operating? Who SUSTAINS it?
TRUE SCIENCE admits the existence of the original "Clock Maker," YEHOVAH God Almighty. True science admits YEHOVAH made the heavens and the earth. True science also reveals YEHOVAH as the SUSTAINER of the universe!
True science sees the hand of YEHOVAH God in the creation, functioning, and activity in the Universe -- and in the writing and preservation of the Old Testament or Tanakh! But those who deny the Scriptures, who deny the existence of YEHOVAH God, and His power to divinely inspire His Word, are truly "fools" in His sight! Those who believe in the sick theory of "evolution" of life on earth, believe the "big lie" of Satan the devil. Their so-called evolutionary science, God-rejecting science, is NOT true science at all. It is "science falsely so-called" (I Timothy 6:20).
YEHOVAH God says of such men, no matter how intelligent they may fancy themselves to be:
"For the invisible things of him from the CREATION of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are MADE, even his eternal power and Godhead: so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful: but became VAIN in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was DARKENED: Professing themselves to be wise, they became FOOLS....And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient [or good]..." (Romans 1:20-28).
What does YEHOVAH God Almighty, who inspired the Holy Scriptures, have to say about the so-called "higher critics" who despise His Word, who deny His divine inspiration, who question its historicity, accuracy, and literal truth?
He says, "Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I will work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you" (Acts 13:41; compare Habakkuk 1:5).
The truth is, the great "scholars" and men of "wisdom" of this world are "blinded." They do not submit themselves to YEHOVAH's authority, as Creator and Law-Giver. The apostle Paul says of such men: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the LAW of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:7-8).
Modern skepticism, and scholarly "criticism" and unbelief, were all prophesied. Peter wrote under divine inspiration, "Knowing this first, that in the last days SCOFFERS, walking after their own lusts," will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation" (II Peter 3:2-3).
In other words, Peter was foretelling that in the end time -- our day, today -- the world would believe in a uniformitarian theory of modern geology, that "the present is key to the past," that there never were divine interventions in geologic history, but that all the earth's strata were made by slow processes operating over billions of years. According to the "uniformitarian theory" of geology, nothing occurs but by slow change -- no catastrophes, no cataclysms.
Peter goes on, "For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (v. 5-7).
As the apostle Paul wrote: "ALL SCRIPTURE [Old Testament] is given by inspiration of God [that is, "God-breathed," in the literal original Greek], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect [or, become perfect, and completely mature], thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (II Timothy 3:16-17).
Truly, the Old Testament is a most remarkable Book! We ought to spend time daily to study it, and to pour over its lessons, wisdom, and revelation. As Solomon wrote in the book of Proverbs, "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings [as well as scholars and scientists] is to search out a matter. The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings, is unsearchable" (Proverbs 25:2-3).
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God Here On This Earth!
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