Pastor David B. Curtis


Media #1154 MP3 Audio File Video File

Biblical Cosmology Pt 2

(Psalms 19:1-6)

Delivered 02/12/2023

Good morning, Bereans! As I said last week, my plan was to start 2 Thessalonians today. But that got changed. We'll start that next week. I know that last week's message was a shock to some of you. I knew it would stir up people's emotions. That is why I gave a warning in the beginning. The response that I received from the message has been overall positive. Eighty percent of the comments on YouTube have been positive. What surprised me was that some of you wanted to argue against what I had taught by using arguments from modern cosmology rather than from a textual or exegetical perspective. This makes me think that you hold the pseudoscience of our day above the Scriptures.

I pleaded with you at the very beginning of the message to be Bereans and to search out for yourselves what I had to say. But to me a Berean would go to the Scriptures to support his position. But I got zero pushback from the Scriptures—not one biblical argument.

So, I guess to some folks, pseudoscience trumps Scripture. To me the Bible is the living word of God and I'm sticking with it. So, you can stop writing me, texting me, or calling me unless you have a biblical argument. Use the Scriptures not pseudoscience.

Someone sent me a link to an article from Biologos, entitled, "The Firmament of Genesis 1 is Solid but That's Not the Point." [] This was written by Pete Enns who is the Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University. He is a former Senior Fellow of Biblical Studies for BioLogos. The very first sentence of the article says, "To insist that the description of the sky in Genesis 1 must conform to contemporary science is a theological problem." I believe that it's more of a problem of not understanding what science is. Science has nothing to do with cosmology. Science cannot test cosmology. Modern cosmology is all imagination. But yes, you have a theological problem if you think Genesis 1 or any of the Bible must conform to contemporary pseudoscience.

The article goes on to say that "Genesis 1 and 2 tell the story of creation, and it says things that are at odds with what modern people know to be true of the world and universe around us." What is wrong with that sentence? So, the Bible is at odds with what is true?  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17 ESV

My most basic presupposition is that the Bible is the Word of God—inspired, inerrant, infallible. It is God's complete message for humankind. Believers, scientific views should never play a part in the actual interpretation of Scripture. Interpretation must be based solely on the text and its context. Indeed, if the Bible is the Word of God, then no other authority, including scientific reasoning, should dictate how it is to be understood.

The article goes on to say that "Arguing for a non-solid raqia in Genesis is extremely problematic, for two reasons. First, the biblical and extrabiblical data indicate that raqia means a solid structure of some sort. The second problem is a much larger theological issue, but it is actually more foundational. Regardless of what one thinks of the raqia, why would anyone assume that the ancient cosmology in Genesis could be expected to be in harmony with modern science in the first place?" Again, there is no science when it comes to cosmology. So, there is no conflict.

The article goes on:

"Virtually every description of raqia from antiquity to the Renaissance depicts it as solid. The non-solid interpretation of raqia is a novelty. Other Old Testament passages are consistent with the raqia being solid (Ezekiel 1:22; Job 37:18; Psalm 148:4). The noun raqia is derived from the verb that means to beat out or stamp out, as in hammering metal into thin plates (Exodus 39:3). This suggests that the noun form is likewise related to something solid."

So, they agree that the Bible teaches a solid dome over the earth.

The article goes on:

"The solid nature of the raqia is well established. It is not the result of an anti-Christian conspiracy to find errors in the Bible, but the ‘solid' result of scholars doing their job. This does not mean that there can be no discussion or debate. But, to introduce a novel interpretation of raqia would require new evidence or at least a reconsideration of the evidence we have that would be compelling to those who do not have a vested religious interest in maintaining one view or another."

I agree! As I said last week the majority of scholars would agree that the Bible teaches a flat earth with a dome over it. And if you want to refute the flat earth view, you must do it from Scripture and not from pseudoscience. Let's go back to Genesis and look at some things that we didn't talk about last week.

And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, Genesis 1:14-17 ESV

We used this text last week to talk about the raqiya. Here we see that the sun, moon, and stars are actually located inside the raqiya (verse 17). The stars may actually be embedded in the raqiya. These lights are to be for "signs and seasons." The word "sign" is from the Hebrew word oth, meaning "the sign" or "the seal." The letters in the Hebrew alphabet were originally pictures. Hebrew letters contain pictographic meaning. Examining the Hebrew letters of the word oth, we get ALEF. The Aleph in pictorial Hebrew is the picture of an ox head, meaning strength, power or "leader." The pictogram or symbol behind the shape of the letter VAV is a "nail." The ancient Hebrew letter pictogram for TAV, is a visual image of a cross. So, the sun, moon, and stars were first and foremost a "sign" of "the Leader nail[ed] [to the] cross."

How do the heavenly lights point to "the Leader nail[ed] [to the] cross?" How do they point to Messiah? Two ways.

1) The word "season" is the Hebrew mow'ed, which means "appointed times," referring to the Feasts of Yahweh. The Feasts point to Messiah, and they are dependent upon the moon and sun. So, the sun, moon, and stars are placed where they are for the scriptural determination of the Feasts of Yahweh, which point to Messiah, "the Leader nailed to the cross."

2) I think there is more to this than just the feasts. I believe that the stars are a sign that points to Messiah. To be more specific, I believe that the constellations of the Zodiac are signs that point to the Messiah and his death on the cross. Before you get upset, please understand that what I am talking about is astronomy NOT astrology. Astronomy is the study of God's creation in the stars, and "declares the glory of God." Astrology means "the word about the stars." But in our culture, it is no longer that at all. Astrology is horoscopes and fortune telling from your "sign," which is forbidden in the Scriptures. People think the astronomical signs are about THEM. Today, astrology says a man can tell something about himself from the stars. That is nonsense. Their original purpose was to tell us something about Yahweh and His plan for the world.

The word "zodiac" is not a bad word in itself! It comes from "zoad" meaning "path" or "way." It refers to the way the sun appears to pass through the various constellations during the year.

The "signs" talked about in Genesis 1:14 can be understood when we look at the wise men (magi) from the East who visited the young child, Yeshua. They must have been very assured of the signs that they read in the heavens. They were convinced enough of the star they observed in the East to travel a great distance by camel. These wise men were priests from the country where Daniel and the children of Israel had been led captive. Their culture was schooled in the study of the stars. Daniel was made chief and master over all the wise men and astrologers of Babylon (Daniel 2:48 and 5:11). Daniel could have taught these priests about the promise of the coming Messiah to be born of the tribe of Judah, and out of the house of David.

This view is laid out in E. W. Bullinger's, Witness of the Stars and Joseph A. Seiss', The Gospel in the Stars. It is asserted that the signs of the zodiac were originally designed by God to communicate the "Gospel"; that this "Gospel in the Stars" was known to those living before the flood; that it was later corrupted into astrology; and that the alleged recovery of the "Gospel interpretation" of the zodiac is a great witness to God and His Word.

As always, all I am asking is that you be a Berean and hear what I am saying and then study it out for yourself. To me this view is fascinating and has answered questions that I have had about various texts.

Astronomer John P. Pratt writes this about the view of The Gospel in the Stars, "Suffice it to say that when I examined the evidence, as a PhD in modern astronomy, a student of ancient wisdom, and as a practicing Christian, I have found more evidence favoring the proposal than against it. I now accept the overall concept in spite of several reservations. To me there is enough good evidence to accept the overall theory, even though many of the details, and especially the translation of star names, need a lot of work."

The Book of Enoch states that an angel revealed the constellations to Enoch.

Enoch 8:1 And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all 2) colouring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they 3) were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. Semjaza taught enchantments and root-cuttings, Armaros the resolving of enchantments, Baraqijal (taught) astrology, Kokabel the constellations, Ezeqeel the knowledge of the clouds, Araqiel the signs of the earth, Shamsiel the signs of the sun, and Sariel the course of the moon. And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven…

Now if what Enoch says is not true, knowledge of the constellations would have to have been a special revelation because those pictures just are not there for anyone to see without a lot of instruction.

Let me share with you some texts from Scripture that lead me to believe that the Zodiac points to Christ. In Romans 1 we see something interesting.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20 ESV

How has God made his eternal power and divine nature clearly seen? Some people point to the beauty of creation, some to the complexity of life—all these are fine, but this may not be what the Bible is talking about.

Later in Romans, Paul seems to be following through on this. In Romans 10, we read something very familiar, which is answered by Paul in a way not many catch at first.

For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:13-17 ESV

We are all familiar with this text; you may have even memorized it. Paul talks to them about the necessity of calling on the name of the Lord, but to do that, they must first believe, and to do that they must first hear, and in order to hear someone must preach to them, and the preachers must be sent. Makes sense, right? Now, notice the next verse:

But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed, they have, for "Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world." Romans 10:18 ESV

The objector here says, "But I ask, have they not heard?" And you might expect Paul to say, No, they haven't heard. That's why preachers are being sent. But the construction here is a double negative. The effect is to rule out entirely the possibility that they did not hear. So, Paul replies, "Indeed they have." And then he quotes from Psalm 19 as proof that they have heard the Gospel. Romans 10 is talking about the necessity of believing in Yeshua to be saved. Do you agree? Paul asks, "Have they not heard?" And then he says, "Indeed they have." And his proof that they have heard the Gospel of Yeshua is in Psalm 19.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. Psalms 19:1-6 ESV

The standard view of Psalm 19 is that it tells us that the knowledge of God has been written for us in two volumes: (1) general revelation (the Creation) and (2) special revelation (the Bible). In the first part of this Psalm, most commentators see David saying that God reveals Himself through His world, through nature. Is that true? What is this Psalm about? Is it about nature in general? No, it is not. These verses are a declaration of the greatness of God as seen in the heavens/dome, not in nature in general.

Now let me ask you something. Can man come to know God through natural revelation? As man looks at the glory of God in the heavens, does he realize there is a God? Do all men know God because of natural revelation? Romans 1 says,

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:20-21 ESV

Most people look at these verses and see grounds for general revelation. Man looks at creation, knows there's a God, and is without excuse. Look at the first part of verse 21, "for although they knew God." Whom is this referring to? Is it all men? Do all men know God? No, Paul said.

not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 1 Thessalonians 4:5 ESV

Paul says the Gentiles do not know God. But in Romans 10, Paul asks, "have they not heard? Indeed, they have!" And then he quotes from Psalm 19. Before we look at Psalm 19, let me say a word about natural revelation.

Romans 1 is not talking about general revelation; it is talking about pre-Babel men who had a knowledge of God and an understanding of the zodiac. Natural or general revelation will not bring anybody to God, neither will special revelation bring anybody to God. The only way man comes to God is if God draws him to Himself.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:44 ESV

The word "draws" here is helkuō which means to drag by irresistible superiority. Men have to be irresistibly drawn because

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV

The man without the Spirit cannot appreciate God's glory through the heavens or through special revelation. God must first open the heart of man. God must give men life, and then man can see His glory in creation and in The Word. How much do dead men see of the glory of God?

All men, Jew and Gentile, are lost. None seek God. God is seeking men, even though they are not seeking Him. The only way any unbeliever is convinced and converted is by the divine opening of the heart through the work of God by His Holy Spirit.

Let's look at Psalm 19.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalms 19:1 ESV

This is what's called Hebrew parallelism.

The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

The second part echoes the first part. The "heavens declare" parallels "the sky above proclaims." Likewise, "the glory of God" coincides with "his handiwork".  Because of the nearly one-to-one correspondence, such poetic parallelism has often been called "synonymous."

The pair "heavens" and "sky above" are not precise synonyms. "Heavens" (shâmayim) is the more generic term and occurs well over 400 times in the Tanakh; by contrast, "sky above" (raqiya') occurs only 17 times (nine occur in the creation account of Genesis 1). The writer moves from the more generic assertion in the first part to the more specific statement in the second part in order to display God's glory in his "handiwork."

The word "declare" here is from the Hebrew word, "saphar." This is the same word we saw in Genesis 15:5.

And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."  Genesis 15:5 ESV

Both "declare" and "number" are the same Hebrew word saphar. Saphar can mean "intensively to recount, that is, celebrate: shew forth, speak, talk, tell." It comes from a root meaning: "a book" or "a scroll." In the LXX the word "number" is arithmeo, meaning "reckoned up." The meaning of arithmeo is much wider than "number" and can mean "enumerate" or "reckon." There was a story in the stars. The NASB says, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God." I really think "telling" here is a good translation. The heavens are telling a story that glorifies God.

So, Yahweh told Abram to "recount or tell" the stars. And David said, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God." There was a story in the stars, and Yahweh wanted Abram to take note of it. In the same manner, David says it tells of God's glory. And there was something about this story in the stars that Abraham believed, and it was counted to him as righteousness.

And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6 ESV

What did Abram believe? Was it that he would have a bunch of descendants? How would that make him righteous? Or was it the message of redemption in the constellations? Paul tells us that Abraham had the Gospel preached to him.

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." Galatians 3:8 ESV

Was the Gospel in the stars? Whatever Abram believed, it caused him to be counted as righteous. Yahweh evidently showed Abraham that one of his descendants would redeem man from the curse and satisfy the justice of God. How do I know that? Yeshua told me.

Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad." John 8:56 ESV

Abraham believed that God would provide a redeemer to deal with man's sin. Maybe that Gospel message was in the stars imbedded in the raqiya. Back to Psalm 19.

"The sky above proclaims his handiwork"—the Hebrew word for "sky" here is raqiya. We saw this word in Genesis 1. We saw that the stars are in the raqiya. I think that what David is referring to here is the Zodiac that is in the raqiya. Notice verse 3.

There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Psalms 19:3 ESV

Does that make sense? Verse 2 says,

Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. Psalms 19:2 ESV

And then the next verse says "There is no speech"? Which is it? Is there speech or not? The KJV puts it this way:

There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Psalms 19:3 KJV

See the difference? The Geneva Bible put it, "[There is] no speech nor language, [where] their voice is not heard." Then has this note, "The heavens are a schoolmaster to all nations, no matter how barbarous."

Albert Barns writes: "The idea conveyed by our common version [KJV] is probably the correct one. This is the idea in the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate. According to this interpretation the meaning is, 'There is no nation, there are no men, whatever may be their language, to whom the heavens do not speak, declaring the greatness and glory of God.'"

So, what is it that utters or pours forth speech? Which voice goes out to all the world? Whatever it is, it shows the glory of God. Is the glory of God seen in the existence of stars alone? No. Many would say those are all the result of a big bang.

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Yeshua the Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV

It is the work of Christ that shows the glory of God more than anything else. So, the glory of God is not just stars, but the work of Christ in redemption laid out in the stars. If the heavens declare the glory of God, then they are saying something about Christ. There is something in the raqiya which declares Christ. The Gospel message is written in the raqiya.

Back to Psalm 19.

Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. Psalms 19:4-6 ESV

Does  this  language  give  you the  idea  that the   sun  is in   motion?    What does modern cosmology tell us about the sun? NASA claims that the Sun is a 4.5-billion-year-old yellow dwarf star—a hot glowing ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of our solar system. It's about 93 million miles from Earth and it's our solar system's only star. They tell us that the Earth revolves around the Sun and that the Sun orbits around the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. But they contend that our whole solar system orbits around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. We are moving at an average of 450,000 miles per hour. But even at that high rate, it still takes us about 230 million years to make one complete orbit around the Milky Way!

The Bible on the other hand speaks of the sun's "leaving his chamber" and proclaims that it "runs his course." It's "rising is from the end of the heavens." But notice this about its circuit: "its circuit to the end of them." It sure appears that the sun is moving.

Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,  Psalms 19:4 ESV

The word "voice" here is from the Hebrew word qav which means "a cord (as connecting), especially for measuring; figuratively a rule." It is usually translated as "line." It is used 21 times in the Tanakh and most of them refer to a measuring line. But notice Isaiah 28.

And the word of the LORD will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Isaiah 28:13 ESV

Qav is used four times here, translated as "line." Here and in our text in Psalms 19:4, the singular number being put for the plural, that is, their "writing," is made up of several lines. The heavens do not teach men with an audible voice, but with visibility—in other words, by exhibiting things to their eyes (done in lines, or writing).

Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, Psalms 19:4 ESV

"Voice" is parallel to "words." There is writing in the dome that tells of the glory of God.

Earth here is 'erets which Strong's defines as "From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth at large." And the word "world" is the Hebrew word têbêl which Strong's defines as "the earth as moist and therefore inhabited." The Psalmist partners "earth" with "world."

"In them he has set a tent for the sun"—"in them" is referring to the earth and world. The word "tent" here is ohel which means "a tent (as clearly conspicuous from a distance): - covering, (dwelling) (place)." The sun is in a tent or dwelling place. Is this a reference to the raqiya? This sounds like what Isaiah says.

It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; Isaiah 40:22 ESV

So, according to the Bible, we are in a text-like structure and so is the sun. The sun is in a tent or dwelling place. That fits with the flat earth view. But not with the globe view.

which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Psalms 19:5 ESV

Here we see the sun's "leaving his chamber" and that is "runs its course." That is motion. The word "course" here is 'ôrach which means "a well-trodden road." On a flat earth model, the sun goes around in circles over the earth under the dome. This doesn't fit what they tell us about cosmology.

Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. Psalms 19:6 ESV

This again is Hebrew Parallelism. Notice that it says that the sun is rising. This doesn't literally happen with either system. The sun doesn't rise on the globe, the earth rotates. And on the flat earth, the sun circles above. The word "rising" here is the Hebrew word môtsâ' which means "a going forth, that is, (the act) an egress, or (the place) an exit; hence a source or product." This word is used 25 times in the Tanakh and this is the only place it is translated as "rising." Here it should be "it's going forth" not rising.

This description that we see in Psalm 19 sure doesn't fit with modern cosmology. The sun is going in a circuit around the earth under the dome. It does fit with the flat earth model. So, I wonder which is correct—the Bible or modern cosmology.

Many try to explain this away by saying that this is the language of accommodation. God is explaining it how we see it. But I don't see a dome. I would never have thought of the sky as firm. I think that God does accommodate some of his communication in the Bible to the limits of human readers. I think that God uses language of accommodation for any subject that falls under the heading of transcendence. He does so because our finiteness limits our ability to understand His infiniteness.

But God does not use accommodating language for any subject within the realm of our finiteness, including the created cosmos. This is because all such subjects are within our created abilities to understand.

People, I am convinced that the Bible teaches a flat earth with a dome over it. The earth, not the sun, is fixed in space. The heliocentric view pictures the sun as motionless at the center of the solar system with the earth in motion around it.

The high priests of pseudoscience have convinced most people that the Bible is wrong and that the earth is in motion. Until pseudoscientists convinced the people that flat earth under the dome was a primitive, foolish idea contradicted by vast quantities of evidence, practically all Bible scholars took it as obvious that the Scriptures taught this. Bible scholars also upheld special creation until pseudoscientists convinced the world that there was a vast quantity of evidence proving evolution. In both cases, there is actually no evidence, just imagination.

Pseudoscientific theories will come and go, but the Word of God endures forever. Truth is found in the Scriptures alone; the Bible has a monopoly on truth. It is God's Word that must be believed, not the imaginations of men.

The Bible teaches that Yahweh created a flat earth covered by a dome that has imbedded within it the gospel in the stars? None of this happened by a big bang. God created this world for us. We don't need to worry about global warming because there is no globe. We don't need to worry about meteors hitting the earth. We are not here by chance, people, we are God's creation! And He created a very special environment for us.  All this should cause us to praise Him.

"Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." Revelation 4:11 ESV
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