Isaiah 40:22 - Circle of the earth

Rolf Furuli furuli at
Fri Jul 19 10:34:25 EDT 2002

Jack kilmon wrote,

>I think a good handle on the 8th century BCE ANE image of the cosmos sheds
>light on Isaiah 40:22.
>[It is] he that sitteth upon the circle 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:
>ol chug ha-aretz is the encircled or encompassed land.  Turn around and look
>in all directions and all of the land is covered by a dome..a vault..a
>Raqiya that is a solid, hammered out structure and above which are waters
>that "leak out" as rain and under which are hung the lights of the stars,
>moon, sun, etc.  The concept of the heavens shemayim is all of
>creation...not a cozy cloud in the sky relete with harps.  God sits above
>all this and looks down at us as if we were grasshoppers.  This was not a
>geo-political referent.

Dear Jack,

A picture of your solid, hammered out structure is found on p. 5 in 
The New American Bible. But sorry to say, this is an example of how 
mythological ideas based on the historical-critical paradigm are 
forced upon the readers of the Bible. You cannot substantiate this 
picture by help of the Hebrew text, but if you look at all the 
passages relavant to to RFQIA(, you will find the opposite of a solid 
structure. To insist on the idea of "a hammered-out-structure" as a 
central idea in the word is tantamount to making the "etymological 



Rolf Furuli

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list