astronomy God's sovereignty hermeneutics Physics

Pleiades and Orion: bound, unbound, or … ?

The beautiful Pleiades cluster and dominant Orion constellation are two of the most well-recognized groupings of stars in the night sky.  They are mentioned in Job 38:31, where God poses a series of rhetorical questions to Job about the majesty of His creation, in contrast to Job’s abilities.  Some creationists have suggested that astrophysical information was recorded in this passage, verifying the Bible’s claim to truth.  However, pictures by both orbiting and land-based space observatories contradict the interpretation that the (astrophysically) bound and unbound conditions of these star groupings are foretold in Scripture.  Read in context, there is no valid reason for extrapolating this passage to imply anything other than a declaration of God’s power in His majestic creation. (Slightly edited from an article first published in Journal of Creation 18(2):44-48, 2004; the original available here.) 


Pleiades and Orion are easily recognized groupings of stars seen in the night sky.  Pleiades is well-known as the Seven Sisters, and Orion as the Great Hunter.  The constellation of Orion contains a large cloud of gas and dust, which is centred around the Orion Nebula located at the middle star of the Hunter’s Sword.  There has been much confusion over the years about a Bible verse describing these two constellations.