Is the Raqia solid or not?

(Phil) #81

and also that birds fly across it:
" let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”


That also. Maybe we are being picky!!!


I think you misunderstood my question. Where physically is the raqia, the water below, and the waters above?


You changed your question! But if you want to learn Ancient Near East Cosmology, you might enjoy

Denis Lamoureux’s Web Lecture Page (Hint: think of a snow globe)

Lamoureux is an expert in ANE cosmology and a science/religion prof at at U Alberta/ St Joseph’s College.

See the 'Bible and Ancient" part of the page. There are lectures and handouts showing just how the people of the ANE viewed their world.


Did you all know that “Hollow Earth Theory” is a thing? (not to be confused with Flat Earth Theory)

Check out Hollow Earth Theorye

(Randy) #86

Denis Lamoureux is very helpful. He is the only one I know who has PhDs in both theology and evolutionary biology (he has several papers about jaw development and investigated the formation of teeth from scales as well; you can find his papers on PubMed). He talks about the Three Tier Universe impression that God used from ancient Near East cosmology to communicate His truths. The Bible alludes to “under the earth” in Philippians 2:10 (“at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth; and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” and Revelation 5:3.

It’s worth reminding myself that the Greeks also thought that there was an underworld–my son is reading the Percy Jackson Greek mythology series, and Tartarus, etc, are thought to be under the earth, as I understand it. That doesn’t mean God doesn’t communicate truth to us in His word, using cosmological terms others could understand. As Lamoureux points out from the Galileo controversy, “The Bible was given us to show us how to go to Heaven, not how Heaven goes.”

(RiderOnTheClouds) #87

Here is one Egyptologist who disputes the notion that the Egyptians believed in a solid sky (Joyce Tyldesley):

Nut, Geb’s sister-wife, is both a woman and the celestial cow or sow who arches herself above the earth with her feet and hands, so forming the firmament that separates the world from the waters of chaos and the darkness of the undefined place. She is a boundary or edge rather than a solid barrier, so that the sun is able to sail along her watery body during the daylight hours. She may even be the milky way.

I happen to share her view that the waters above of Genesis could very well have included the milky way, as a celestial river, alongside all other heavenly waters.


Thanks for that. The ancient Hebrews also believed in an underworld. And sci-fi is amazing–there is Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.

The problem is that there are people today who believe that the earth is flat or the earth is hollow, etc. The scientist Don Prothero is currently writing a book about these crazy ideas. I’m thinking of starting a “Pita Earth Theory” – which declares that the earth is both flat and hollow.

(George Brooks) #89


This photo of a Babylonian engraving, associated with the Enuma Elish, may offer you some additional insights (from posting #67 in this very same thread!):

(RiderOnTheClouds) #90

The plot thickens, turns out, NOT all Jews throughout the ages have interpreted the Raqia as solid:

The other group believes that, in spite of the indisputable existence of the firm sky, the word raki’a describes something else. For example, raki’a may mean space, or air between earth andthe clouds. Advocating this view, we find Ibn Ezra and Rabbi David Kimchi (Radak). 6 Maimonides isalso usually put into this group. 7 Abravanel, for example, understood that Maimonides saw raki’a as space and brought many arguments against this view. This caused Malbim to refute Abravanel’sarguments at length. 8