Biblical Cosmology: The Firmament

In the previous post, we explored how God used His infinite knowledge of the cosmos to give the ancient Israelites a promise with a challenge unbroken even today. Similarly, in this post, we will explore how God challenges the view of heaven held by the ancient Israelites to give them a promise that is valid even today.

Sky is a strong cast metal mirror

Image adapted from talkgenesis.org

With Him, have you spread out the skies, Strong as a cast metal mirror?

Job 37:18

The ancient Israelites believed that the firmament or the sky is like a strong cast metal mirror which holds the waters above as in Gen 1:6.

[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 out like a tent to dwell in.

Isa 40:22

The ancient Israelites also believe that God stretched out the heavens like a curtain which is strong as a cast metal mirror so that we can dwell within the space created.

Heaven is infinite

Thus says the LORD: “If heaven above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel For all that they have done, says the LORD.

Jer 31:37

While the ancient Israelites held the view of a finite heaven with something like a cast metal mirror holding the waters above, God on the other hand gives them a challenge to measure the heavens to show that He will not cast off the seed of Israel.

.. suggests that the Universe is infinite in extent; however, since the Universe has a finite age, we can only observe a finite volume of the Universe. All we can truly conclude is that the Universe is much larger than the volume we can directly observe.

nasa.gov

In this modern era, can be measure the universe? The short answer is no. What we can come up is the estimates for the observable universe.

Conclusion

The ancient Israelites believed that the firmament or the sky is like a strong cast metal mirror and all the stars are within the firmament. God, however, gave them a promise that challenges their view. As God said, if they can measure the heaven above He too will cast off all the seed of Israel. Even in this modern era, humans were never able to measure the heaven and God never cast off the seed of Israel as He promised.