The firmament is a flat disc, not a dome


(RiderOnTheClouds) #1

Another change I’ve made to my views on the Firmament of Genesis 1. Whilst I still believe it to be solid, I find it hard to be a dome, and the meaning of Raqia is not ‘a solid object’, rather it is a ‘thin, beaten out expanse’, as shown by the meaning of ‘Raqa’ found elsewhere in the Bible, see Exodus 39:3, where it likely means to spread thin. I find that this meaning of Raqia makes more sense in historical context given the Babylonian background to Genesis. As Wayne Horowitz has pointed out the Babylonians considered the firmament to be a flat disc not a curved dome.


#2

But it has to separate the waters above from the waters below. Wouldn’t water seep over the edge of a flat disc?


#3

Beat thin for sure, but it also was used to cover the calf and that is the more important meaning. I take Raqa to mean spread out tight and covering, like a tent. When you see the sun rise up in the morning, reach the highest point in the sky (to you) at noon, and then see it go down in the evening it certainly appears that the sun is following or traveling on a (to us) dome shaped structure. The raqa is like a tent covering the earth that keeps the waters above off of us like a tent keeps off rain (which I assume they did have a little experience with).

I would need to see a picture of what a disc was supposed to look like to understand that meaning.


(George Brooks) #4

@Reggie_O_Donoghue,
I’m wondering if I should wait for another posting or two before responding … is this your third “semi-final” assessment?

But I’ll be nice about it. Certainly I’ve changed my mind on a great number of things regarding the Bible. There is lots of room for 2nd and more thoughts!

But in return, I’m sure you will be nice in your response to my questions:

You write: “… the meaning of Raqia is not ‘a solid object’, rather it is a ‘thin, beaten out expanse’, as shown by the meaning of ‘Raqa’ found elsewhere in the Bible…”

I’m not really “tracking” with your meaning here. How is a “thin, beaten out expanse” (like, say, bronze armor) not a solid object?

Certainly nobody has proposed that Raqia is a reference to a slab of concrete. But the question has always devolved on just a point or two:

Is the Raqia “air” or “air with clouds”? Or is it a kind of “divine metal” or “crystal”?

While you grimly attempt to assay exactly what it’s substance is, you still seem to conclude that the Raqia is not the open air or clouds, right?

As for your thought on the “dome-yness” of the Raqia, I distinctly recall being impressed by an earlier conclusion of yours where you said (to paraphrase from my memory): how could the Raqia be anything other than “dome-y” - - while we may conclude that the Sun, Moon and Planets may be visible through the Raqia, the stars are in perfect concert as they spin around the Pole Star, smoothly gliding up, over and then back down to the horizon.

Gen 1:14 “And God said, Let there be lights [Hebrew: mâʼôwr, maw-ore’, typically translated to anything from “luminaries” to “stars”] 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…”

If the stars are affixed to the Raqia, the Raqia must extend all the way to the horizon (where the last star can be seen even as we travel to the southern hemisphere).

If the stars are not fixed to the Raqia, they must be fixed to something else, yes? For unlike the Sun, Moon and Planets, the stars are in perfect concert, never vearing from their courses.

In the end, what you call “thin” and what is “thin” in comparison to the Earth, may be more than a trivial point. Just how thick is “too thick”?

In Job 37 (verses 17 & 18), the scribe asks Job why he feels hot from the South Wind? - - while God feels no discomfort even while doing the hot molten work of “spreading out the sky” (i.e., “raqa’ shachak”) as “strong as a cast metal mirror” ?

While “spreading out metal” over small objects (like the Ark of the Tabernacle) can be done with a soft hammer, sometimes the “spreading” is done with some objects like mirrors, or in more wholesale fashion like the skies, by pouring sheets of molten metal, hard and gleaming to support the stars and the blue celestial ocean.

If God does not get burned by pouring out the liquid flaming molten metal sheets of sky, why is Job troubled by something as comparatively inconsequential as the South Wind?

In the ANE, we find two “schemes” for the sky - - either metal or crystal. Maybe some kind of hybrid of crystalline metal? But, it is certainly not merely the sky, which would hold back no waters and provide no support for stars.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #5

It would still produce a space in which life could exist.


(George Brooks) #6

Whether it be a dome, a flat roof, or just concave enough to come down to the horizon for 360 degrees (think of an inverted saucer)… it’s hefty enough to hold back the blue celestial waters!


#7

The Denis Lamoureux course I mentioned does a good job of explaining the firmament.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #8

I never said the Raqia was not solid I just said that Raqia does not ‘mean’ a solid object. A cat is an animal but cat does not ‘mean’ animal.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #9

Not necessarily. The Babylonians believed the sky was a flat solid disc. If they believed it was solid they must have believed the stars were affixed to it. For the reason why Ancient and Primitive peoples believed/believe in a solid sky is because the stars appear to move in perfect unison as the night elapsed, leading to the conclusion that they were all attached to a solid object.


#10

A quick trip to Wikipedia shows the Babylonians believed the earth was a flat disc. Which is what anyone would think if you just look around you from a high point. If you have something that says otherwise please share it.


(George Brooks) #11

@Reggie_O_Donoghue

Please promise me you will never attempt to say that sentence again.

Your clarification is an attempt at semantic distinctions not possible in less than 200 words.


#12

You are right. The teaching materials of Denis Lamoureux show that also.


(Victor) #13

Raqia is a noun. Raqa is a verb. To raqa something is to pound it out, to spread it out. To run is a verb and the thing that runs is the noun: the runner. Thus raqia is the object that spreads out. Thus, God continues (imperfect verb) to speak for a shamayim raqia to form on day two. Shamayim is sky, can be atmosphere or the luminaries, depending on the context. On day two the raqia separates the water above from the surface water. Clearly the thing that continues to spread (check the continuing actions in Hebrew) on day two is the atmosphere. This is supported in Proverbs 8 where God’s wisdom is declared in creation. Proverbs 8:28 explains day two. He made rigid the clouds above when the geysers of the deep were powerful. Clouds that are rigid are made of ice dust.

We have a visible example of the long term events that continued to occur on day two, on the moon Enceladus. One hundred geysers eject ice dust into space where it forms a ring along its orbit. The geysers also eject gases: methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen and silica crystals. Evidently, hydrothermal vents under the ice are making these powerful geysers. On day two, the ice remained around the earth as did the emerging gases. Thus the raqiya shamayim on day two was the thing that spread out, the atmosphere, that separated the ice dust around the Earth from the surface waters. Raqia is mentioned five times on day two.

Someone might claim, the Earth is to massive for geysers to eject water out into space. The Bible repeatedly claims that the Earth continues to spread out. Indeed, the continents fit together on a minuscule globe, without any of the modern spreading oceans. A global expansion seam keeps on spreading out new seafloor as lava and hot water emerge from deep in the Earth. Indeed, in Zechariah 12:1, God continues to lay the foundation of the earth, perhaps by giving form to matter, as he continued to do by continuing to command light on day two. Indeed, the thing that gives matter its properties is the light that dithers around within.

Another important thing to notice, is that the ice clouds remained around the Earth. They did not drift off to form an orbital ring. Evidently the Earth orbited very slowly on day two. God did NOT say, what happened on day two was good. 1500 years later, the crevasses of the sky were passively rupture and the ice in space came down as the subcrustal seas (tehom) also passively ruptured.

The most powerful evidence for a biblical creation is the word raqia on day four. Here the raqia are the luminaries, identified as the Sun, Moon and stars. All of them are raqia, the things that spread out. Indeed, we can see with telescopes billions of galaxies. The earliest galaxies are minuscule. Their atoms shine at much less than 10% of the frequencies of modern atoms. When we compare early galactic shapes with local shapes, every galaxy is obeying God to become a raqia, a spreading thing. Matter’s volume, the stars stream orbits and the atomic clocks all shift together as billions upon billions of galaxies spread out. Many of them grew into growth spirals, like the Milky Way. This is the most powerful evidence for the word raqia, the things that spread out in the sky. Visibly, the clocks and the orbits accelerate together as billions of galaxies spread out from the tohu wa bohu matter that God created first.

I apologize if this interpretation shocks you. I was trained as child to reason with the first principle that Friar Aquinas’ disciples established, that the essence of substance is changeless. However, the Bible was written long before Thomas’ notion that matter is not changing itself as it ages. Change and science are diametrically opposite worldviews. The changes the Bible mentions are the ones we see in billions of galaxies as they become raqia shamayim.

Victor


(George Brooks) #14

@godsriddle

No need to apologize. Your spectacular insights no longer shock. I got in my time machine and went back. And it all checks out. It’s just as you say it was.

I guess I owe you a beer.

(Hey, @cwhenderson, I’m a little short, I need one more buck to treat this fellow a beer … )


(RiderOnTheClouds) #15

[quote=“Bill_II, post:10, topic:36685, full:true”]

A quick trip to Wikipedia shows the Babylonians believed the earth was a flat disc. Which is what anyone would think if you just look around you from a high point. If you have something that says otherwise please share it.
[/quote] Not denying this, but according to Wayne Horowitz they considered the sky to be a flat disc as well. Three flat discs to be precise.


(Curtis Henderson) #16

No can do, George. I need to meet my own ethanol requirements, first!


(George Brooks) #17

@Reggie_O_Donoghue,

Ah! So why didn’t you say so sooner?! I’d love to take a look at that… what is Wayne Horowtiz’s citation?


#18

Dr. Horowitz appears to know his stuff. I can’t find any references to 3 discs in publicly available sources. Where did you find this? Was it in his “Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography”?


(RiderOnTheClouds) #19

Yes it was, and here’s the passage:

Although the clear sky seems to us to be shaped like a dome, rather than a flat circle, there is no direct evidence that ancient Mesopotamians thought the visible heavens to be a dome. Akkadian kippatu are always flat, circular objects such as geometric circles or hoops, rather than three dimensional domes.

See also Job 22:14, which talks about the ‘Circle (Chug) of Heaven’.


(George Brooks) #20

@Reggie_O_Donoghue

Well, every dome is also a circle, is it not?

How about this text, one of the 3 that use the Hebrew word “chug”:

Isa 40:22 “It is he that sitteth upon the circle H2329 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…”

How many tents do you know that have a flat roof? Virtually all tents are vaulted in the center.

As for Dr. Horowitz’s statement: “Although the clear sky seems to us to be shaped like a dome, rather than a flat circle, there is no direct evidence that ancient Mesopotamians thought the visible heavens to be a dome. Akkadian kippatu are always flat, circular objects such as geometric circles or hoops, rather than three dimensional domes.”

I would say that Isaiah 40:22 is such evidence.

When you wrote this, Reggie: “but according to Wayne Horowitz they considered the sky to be a flat disc as well. Three flat discs to be precise.”

… it conjurs up a very different assertion than what we actually find about geometric circles or hoops.

Perhaps the word “dome” is just too aggressive. Remember, I did counter-propose “saucer”. The stacking of three kippatu is what provides for the flooring of the reality above! But this doesn’t mean there is to be no concavity on the bottom of the bottom layer - - where the stars get attached to control the rain windows below the celestial waters - - much like the gentle concavity of a saucer.

@Jon_Garvey seems to be a better researcher than Horowitz, but maybe his logic is not as strong (the 3 points are quoted from his linked article):

http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.uk/2017/06/02/ancient-cosmic-geography-the-actual-modern-view-2/

"Nonetheless, evidence for dome-shaped, or curved, heavens may be found in

  1. the ZK/ptt-star text BM 38693+,
  2. the blessing formula STT 340:12, and
  3. AO 6478, where the Path of Enlil is 364° long."

"All three imply that the Path of Enlil, at least, is a curved band that encircles the earths surface. However, this does not prove that the surface of heaven is curved, since stars need not have necessarily traveled along the surface of the sky. "

[Note: I found these exact same references in Horowitz… so it would seem Jon is better at describing the value of the texts than Horowitz - - though they both ultimately dismiss it.]

I think the whole point of this discussion was based on the seamless way that stars traverse the sky … from zenith to the very lowest horizon… without any weird jumps or jerks that would happen if the roof was flat, while the horizon is a circle…