Re: ORIGINS/BIBLE--The "solid" firmament of Genesis

Dick Fischer (
Fri, 08 Nov 1996 19:19:52 -0600

Hi Joel, you wrote:
>A belief in a solid sky is
>universal until 200 AD when the Chinese suggested that the sky
>was empty space. A solid sky was widely believed all the way
>up until the Renaissance!

Not true. The Sumerians depicted the solar system with all the planets in
their proper orbits around the sun before 2000 BC. They called the seven
planets they could see "shepherds" because they moved in their own orbits.
Orbital planets wouldn't be possible in a "solid sky." Presumably this
knowledge was also known to the Accadians (early Semites), who also attached
special significance to the number seven.

>The nearly inescapable conclusion is drawn that when Moses
>spoke of raqiaa to the people surely interpreted this as a solid sky
>and almost surely Moses would have believed this true himself.

Quite escapable.

Dick Fischer