Isaiah 40:22 - Circle of the earth

Jack Kilmon jkilmon at
Fri Jul 19 11:28:45 EDT 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rolf Furuli" <furuli at>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Friday, July 19, 2002 9:34 AM
Subject: Re: Isaiah 40:22 - Circle of the earth

> Jack kilmon wrote,
> >
> >I think a good handle on the 8th century BCE ANE image of the cosmos
> >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
> >and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
> >
> >ol chug ha-aretz is the encircled or encompassed land.  Turn around and
> >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
> fallacy".

By "etymological fallacy" you mean to say, the word doesn't mean what it

Ex 39:3 And they did beat <rq(> the gold into thin plates, and cut [it into]
wires, to work [it] in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and
in the fine linen, [with] cunning work.

Num 16:39 And Eleazar the priest took the brasen censers, wherewith they
that were burnt had offered; and they were made broad <rq(> [plates for] a
covering of the altar:

Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out <rq(> the sky, [which is] strong,
[and] as a molten looking glass?

Is 40:19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth
<rq(> it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.

Jer 10:9 Silver spread <rq(> into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold
from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue
and purple [is] their clothing: they [are] all the work of cunning [men].

Ez 6:11  Thus saith the Lord GOD; Smite with thine hand, and stamp <rq(>
with thy foot and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of
Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the

The vision of the throne of God described in the Ezekiel 1 included the
reference to a firmament. This was a rigid structure. It was a platform,
composed of a SOLID crystalline substance, which supported the throne of
God. It was supported by four living creatures. This firmament or platform
was described :

"And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature
[was] as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their
heads above. And under the firmament [were] their wings straight, the one
toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every
one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies. And when they went, I
heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice
of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they
stood, they let down their wings And there was a voice from the firmament
that [was] over their heads, when they stood, [and] had let down their
wingsAnd above the firmament that [was] over their heads [was] the likeness
of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of
the throne [was] the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it."

In short, the "firmament" is a solid, beaten or stamped out plate that
stretches over the "eretz" and keeps those water above it from washing away
your new RV.

I see no "etymological fallacy" but sure am willing to


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