What do we understand when we read Job 26:7?
He stretches out the north over the empty place [תּוֹהוּ tohuw, nothing], and hangs the earth upon nothing. (KJVER)
We are told two things. One is that the Lord stretched the north over an empty place and the second is that He hung the earth upon nothing.
From astronomy we know that the planet is hung on nothing. It is freely orbiting around the sun. In the gravitational field of the sun it is actually falling towards the sun but because of its speed it moves in a stable orbit. But nothing holds it up, because there is no up or down in space.
The direction we give to the north or south are convenient terms, but north is not any more important than south. What is truly amazing though is the fact that the Scriptures have such a statement, when more than 3,000 years ago, around the time the book of Job was written, the ‘science’ of the day (actually myths in Hindu culture) taught the earth was held on the back of four giant male elephants who stood on the back of a giant female turtle. That is probably where they get their elephant god from. And then there is in the ancient Greek mythology, Atlas, a giant Titan god, who held the earth on his back. But the Bible does not describe a fanciful myth but describes what we know to be true. Continue reading