The Bible and Scientific Mysteries
by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., January 1994
Edited by David Sielaff, October 2009
Read the accompanying Newsletter for October 2009
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The Holy Bible claims to be the Word of God and I have not the slightest doubt that it is. It is the message of God to mankind, to give us the essential nuggets of truth so we can comprehend what salvation is all about. It is also the message about the spiritual principles by which God wants us to know about Him and ourselves. There are other teachings in Scripture found throughout its pages that deal with scientific physical matters which mankind would want to know about as well. If you look carefully at what Scripture says, you will find there is a considerable amount about physical matters in the Holy Scriptures.
If we will look at the Bible carefully, we may be able to discover answers to some of the mysteries of science. The mysteries that scientists today are trying to unravel may well be answered within the pages of the Scripture. These words of wisdom in the Bible may be the keys to unlock mysteries of the universe that people have been seeking for many generations.
The Bible is the Word of God. It says that it is. People have overlooked many of the verses of Scripture today (especially in the scientific community) because they have not looked upon the Holy Scripture as being the Word of God. Most scientists have looked upon the Bible as nothing more than the philosophical beliefs of primitive men trying to express through uneducated and unintelligent ways the mysteries of the universe. Because of the theory of evolution that has been imposed on us for over 100 years, most of us have considered that primitive man was indeed just that, very primitive, and that the words they used to describe the origin of things could not possibly be correct. We today, so the theory goes, should know far more about the universe, its origins and what makes it up, what makes it tick, than any people of the past.
That is the assumption that is made and if there were no such thing as the Holy Scriptures, if the Bible were nothing more than opinions of ancient men, then perhaps all of us could share in that concept today. But the Word of God is in the Bible, it is the Holy Scripture. The Holy Spirit inspired the prophets and the priests and apostles of old to write what they did. In essence, it becomes a revelation by God Himself about Himself. If God talks about the origins of the universe, about the earth and how the heavens came into existence, about the fabric of powers and the forces that keep it in motion, and if what He says is His authoritative word, should we not expect Him to give us vital truths within that Biblical revelation? Truths which mankind would not know about? I think this would be the case, and indeed, when we look carefully at the Holy Scripture and get the proper translations of what the prophets and priests and the apostles said of old, we might be in for some surprises. Some answers to the mysteries of the universe that scientists today are seeking to unravel may very well be within the pages of the Holy Scripture.
We are told in Acts chapter 3 that there will be a restoration of all things prior to the second advent of Christ. That restoration not only has to do with the salvation message, which we find throughout the pages of the Bible, but it also means that mankind will be able to discover from the words of God many new and important concepts. They are not new from God’s point of view but new from man’s point of view, because new things can be discovered from Scripture, written by God Himself.
Mankind will suddenly say, “My, there are the answers,” that is, to questions scientists have sought answers to for generations. Yes, we may find answers to some of the great mysteries that scientists have been trying to discover right there within the pages of that good old book known as the Holy Scripture. God will reveal Himself at the end of the age, just prior to the Second Advent of our Lord to this earth. He shall do so to show that the Bible is His inspired Word of God, to fulfill time prophecies and teaching, so scientists themselves can begin to learn answers to mysteries that they have sought for so long.
Perhaps a new relevance, a new appreciation, and a new love for the Holy Scripture could be in evidence if the scientists can begin to see that some of the answers to their basic questions are found within the literature called the Holy Scripture. It would go a long way in showing that God is truly the God of the universe and the writer of the Bible, if He is the one giving us in this divine revelation of the Holy Scripture, the truths that even scientists can now say they have discovered.
People will begin to see that some major teachings that scientists are discovering are to be found within the pages of the Bible. When that happens, I believe that many individuals in this world will begin to have a new respect for the Holy Scripture, as I hope that all of us have at present through the spirit of God.
That is why I thought it important to consider some of the things in Scripture about scientific matters, matters of the past dealing with cosmology, the creation of things. Matters such as what keeps things together today in a physical sense, and what will happen in the future? These things are described in the Holy Scripture. Scientists are beginning to use some of the same words, the same analogies that the Scripture has used over many generations to describe the beginnings of things, matters dealing with cosmology, and what they conjecture to be the end or the conclusion of things.
We find in the Holy Scripture many, many teachings about science if people would simply look carefully at what the Holy Word of God says. I want to give just a few of the ideas that Scripture has given, and that scientists should presently be looking into. We might become aware of what the truths of science really are if we will pay attention to what the Holy Scripture says.
There are certain sections of Scripture in which you will find more information on the scientific methods and forces, and things that cause the earth and even in the universe to exist. Certain books in the Bible teach more than others about scientific matters. A book of doctrine would not contain much scientific material. On the other hand, there are books of wisdom particularly in the Old Testament going back many years before the birth of Christ, which have many scientific teachings in them. As long as the translations to these books are made clear, the teachings that people could not understand before, suddenly can be realized if they have proper translations.
Most of the works in the Bible that speak of scientific matters are called Wisdom books, books of poetry. The principle wisdom book of the Old Testament is the Book of Proverbs. The word Proverbs actually means “parables” or “dark sayings,” wisdom that comes out of the teachings of God and how you can learn the principles of living, principles of life, and principles of scientific matters as well.
The Book of Proverbs is a book of Wisdom. It is followed by the Book of Ecclesiastes written by King Solomon. Solomon was described in the Bible as the wisest man who ever lived. Kings would come to him from around the world to hear his wisdom about 1000 years before the birth of Christ. Solomon had such wisdom at the time that he could talk about any subject and keep people enthralled with his knowledge and wisdom. Much of that wisdom — not all, but much of it — has come down to us in the Bible we have today. The Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon primarily, have a tremendous amount of scientific information if we will look at them carefully.
The superlative book of the Old Testament that has more scientific knowledge in it than any other is the Book of Job. We have in the 38th, 39th, and 40th, and even parts of chapter 41, no less than YHWH Elohim Himself, with Christ Jesus representing the Father (before His birth on this earth), speaking to Job and giving him information that only God could have known and could give. We have the words of God Himself being given to us about the creation of things and about the nature of things here on this earth, starting in the 38th chapter of the Book of Job, with highly technical scientific language being used. Scientific language is used in Job in a way, which modern scientists today are only now beginning to discover. The ancients often did not know what the words actually meant in some cases, believe it or not, and they had no way of comprehending exactly the full meaning of some of the words used by God when He talked to Job back some 1600 years or 1700 years before the birth of Christ.
When God begins to speak about cosmology, about the beginning of things, when He begins to speak and tells us about how things cohere together, what keeps them going, what keeps them perpetuated, and the end of all things, where things are going — if God is speaking and it is written down in the divine revelation as something coming from God Himself, it seems we should want to pay attention to it. We can find information about such things in the Book of Job.
We find similar information in the 1st chapter of Genesis, and the 6th, 7th, and 8th chapters of Genesis are filled with scientific knowledge about the ancient earth. These are important sections of Scripture because we find Moses writing about 1500 years before the birth of Christ explaining about things dealing with the creation of the heavens and the earth, which if you pay close attention, give a secular relevance today from a divine source. That divine source is the Holy Scripture itself. If we will pay close attention to what the first chapters of Genesis actually say, we will be amazed at the description of this earth, the elements associated with it, and what was going on in the heavens just prior to the great flood of Noah.
All of these things are indicated with few words, but those words are full of meaning. If we will pay close attention to them, you will be amazed at what is stated therein. Things that scientists today are beginning to believe actually took place in the past are revealed clearly in those first chapters of Genesis, in Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and other sections of the Scripture that I will refer to below. We need also to look at the New Testament because it is an appendage of the Old. Those 49 books of the Bible give a coherent and proper understanding of all matters dealing with scientific facts coming from the source of one mind, that of YHWH Elohim Himself. That understanding is expressed by many prophets, many priests, many apostles, and particularly by Christ Jesus Himself, the only begotten Son of God. These teachings have relevance and consistency from beginning to end if we will just pay close attention to what is stated.
The Bible says in Daniel 12:4 that at the end of the age knowledge shall be increased. It means the knowledge of that specific prophecy, but it also means knowledge of other things that will help us make this Bible come alive. We need to pay close attention to the Scripture. All of us will begin to realize that this book called the Holy Bible is indeed holy because the words are coming from and emanating directly from the Word of God Himself, the Logos, none other than Christ Jesus, the representative of YHWH, the Father of heaven and earth. When we begin to understand that, we will be able to have knowledge, wisdom, and comprehension of things that other people cannot know.
Let us go to the main book in the Scriptures devoted to wisdom, understanding God’s ways of looking at things. It is the Book of Proverbs. As I said before, the word Proverb in this sense means parables, it means types of teachings, analogies, and sometimes they are very short, other times they are very long to show wisdom teaching, knowledge that God can impart that otherwise mankind would not be able to know or understand of ourselves. Some of the knowledge is social, other knowledge happens to be religious, some knowledge is scientific. You will find all of them in the Book of Proverbs.
The prologue to the Book of Proverbs occupies the first of the book. The first Proverb begins with verse 7. Those 6 verses are an introduction to the whole Book of Proverbs and explain why Proverbs was written in the first place. We are told that Solomon gave many, many Proverbs but most of them are not found in Scripture, just the prime ones that you and I need are recorded in Scripture in the 31 chapters of Proverbs. But the introduction, the preface, says this:
“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment and equity; To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels to understand a proverb [a parable], and the interpretation; the words of the wise [wise ones, plural], and their dark sayings [sayings not understood on the surface, very deep and penetrating in impact].”
That ends the prologue. It speaks about the words of the “wise ones,” the philosophers of the past, the people who lived from the time, say of Abraham, before Israel came along, but also after, in the time of Moses and the Exodus down to the time of Solomon. Solomon collected many of these proverbs of early wise people from the past as well as his own proverbs and proverbs from his contemporaries and put them in this Book of Proverbs. They are known as the words or the wisdom of the wise ones. It speaks about them having “dark sayings,” but how you can appreciate these things if you lack the wisdom to interpret them correctly?
That means that these wise and dark sayings could not be understood on the surface. They are very deep and penetrating statements, philosophical teachings. That is why we find the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. Solomon collected many of the Proverbs, or parabolic teachings, as it says in Ecclesiastes chapter 12, and he put them in the Book of Proverbs. Other additions to Proverbs were written after Solomon. Look at Proverbs chapter 25. There were Proverbs copied out by some of King Hezekiah’s men, many actually from Solomon, but not in Solomon’s original collection. They were put into the Book of Proverbs at that time. But principally the Proverbs that we have in the 31 chapters in our Bible today are those, which came from Solomon. He either wrote them, or he collected them and put them in the book. He was the one that collected these Proverbs and teachings from the various ancient philosophers from around the world who existed at his time. As He used his wisdom to instruct people in what the truths of God really were, these were basic, essential teachings, not only of an ethical and moral and social nature, but also scientific information.
The first Proverb begins in verse 7: “The fear of YHWH is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” 1 If you want to have even the first start to knowledge, the firstfruits of it, you must have respect and love of YHWH. When you have that deep respect of His knowledge, His ways, and for His words in the Holy Scripture, then you will be able to understand wisdom as never before. That is the first Proverb; it gives you the first principle of understanding anything. Look to God first.
Look at the second Proverb. It shows a significance of rank of authority. It says we ought to listen to others than just God, believe it or not. The first proverb shows that we should listen to and respect with all our hearts the teachings from YHWH. But the next Proverb shows the line of authority to which all of us should pay attention, it makes no difference how old we are, we should pay attention. It says. “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and forsake not the law of your mother.” Both the father and the mother come next after YHWH in being able to give a child (or anyone) understanding.
A father and mother will always be older than the children. They will always have more experience on earth than the children. My father and mother are both dead. My mother died a little over 10 years ago at 91 years of age. Unto the day that she died, even though I was over 50 at the time, she could still give me “nuggets of wisdom,” as I called them, from time to time, even in her old age. My father did the same thing as well. He died at 83 years of age. All people that are elder to me can still do the same thing. It makes no difference if it is a woman or a man. We should listen to both because if we want to have a long life on this earth, it says to show respect to parents. Long life is what we will be given; that is in the Commandments of God through Moses. We should give respect to elders.
So in the rank of authority is YHWH Himself first, and then the parents, father and mother. Those two proverbs or parables introduce the whole book of Wisdom so that you and I can understand proper wisdom. It means to pay attention to those that are older than we are, who have had more experience with life. There is none other who has had more experience with life than the Creator Himself, YHWH, because He has never died. It goes on with the next Proverb, “My son, if sinners entice you, consent you not …”
It continues with other teaching, but the principle thing that you will find in this Book of Proverbs, particularly this first section inclusively up to chapter 9, in those sections the teaching is primarily that we should pay attention to wisdom. Wisdom means philosophical understanding of all things. It means not only social and religious or ethical matters, but it means all things. It would include even scientific disciplines. It says that if a person will pay attention to wisdom, then that individual will much better comprehend what life is all about and be better able to deal with it.
“She [wisdom] is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retains her. YHWH by wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding has he established the heavens.”
That is a scientific statement, very terse and to the point. It does not tell about how God was able to do it; it just says that He did. And it was through wisdom.
Then there is the whole section about wisdom that follows this chapter 3. It personifies the wisdom that Solomon is talking about as a woman, as a female individual. This wisdom is what God Himself possesses, or this wisdom was along side of Him before He ever founded anything on earth or in the heavens.
If you will pay close attention, even before God created His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:15–17; Hebrews 1:2), wisdom was there even before that. Wisdom is something that God possessed from the very beginning. If you can have a portion of His wisdom, you have a portion of Him in you. This section of Scripture, the first 9 chapters of the Book of Proverbs, is most important and I will refer to it as an introduction to all this on the scientific method.
If you go to Proverbs 8:22, it says “YHWH possessed me in the beginning …” Who is speaking here? You will find that the person doing the speaking is titled “wisdom.” This wisdom is a woman. In the Greek, her name would be Sophia, which means wisdom (In the New Testament the Greek word sophia occurs 53 times). “And YHWH [the Lord God of the Israelites] possessed me [wisdom] in the beginning of his way before His works of old,” before He began to create things wisdom was with Him. Wisdom is talking in the first person. Pick up the story back to chapter 8, verse 1: “Does not wisdom cry? And understanding put forth her voice?” Both wisdom and understanding are personified in this 8th chapter and both personified as women. Wisdom in particular is given that role by YHWH at the beginning of everything, even before He created His firstborn Son or the heavens and the earth. Wisdom was personified as a woman beside Him.
“YHWH possessed me [wisdom] in the beginning of his way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting [olam, from the age] from the beginning, or ever the earth was.”
Before there was an earth. That is what it means.
“When there were no depths [that means no oceans] I was brought forth [says wisdom]; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I [wisdom] brought forth, while as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world [the chief parts like mountains]. When he prepared the heavens, I [wisdom] was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth.”
The “compass upon the face of the depth” means the oceans that covered the earth. Wisdom was there as well. Now notice it says a compass. In the Hebrew, that means a circuit of some kind, a circular something on the face of the depth. I will refer to this a bit later because it is most important to this discussion on science. The Bible has a lot to say about the earth, how it came into existence and its origin. It is interesting to note how many times the word circuit or compass, or the fact of going in a circle, is in certain contexts showing that whatever the earth was, or even the heavens itself, there is circularity to the whole thing. That is what we find in the beginning in this section of wisdom in Proverbs. Verse 27 again,
“When he [YHWH] prepared the heavens, I [wisdom] was there: when he set a compass [a circuit or a circle] upon the face of the depth [the ocean]: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I [wisdom] was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.”
In the Hebrew, that last phrase means “frolicking” as a woman would before her husband, frolicking before him, dancing before him to his delight. Now that is poetic, I realize, but that is what the Hebrew says, that YHWH loved wisdom so much, that wisdom personified as a woman was actually frolicking in front of YHWH and all His creation. It is most amazing how Solomon words it with wisdom being in the feminine gender, frolicking before him, “Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men” (Proverbs 8:31).
It goes on to talk about what this wisdom can give to mankind. The same wisdom was shared by YHWH Himself at the very beginning. Through this wisdom, YHWH brought into existence the entirety of the universe, both things visible and invisible. God and wisdom worked in unison. Before any of His works were made, He had at His side this personification of a woman called wisdom, Sophia in the Greek. The Book of Proverbs here is trying to give us some understanding on all of that. These are dark sayings. These are sayings for you to think about, to ponder about, and to weigh very carefully. Since wisdom is feminine and YHWH is masculine we have the unity of male and female even in the very beginning before the creation of anything.
The apostle Paul tells us that if we want to know anything about God Himself, about His nature, about His physical makeup or His spiritual makeup, about what makes God tick, he says we should look at God’s creations because they reflect something of Himself. The physical creation around us tells us about God. His invisible attributes are demonstrated by the visible results of God’s actions in creation, both in the past and in the present, as Paul tells us beginning in Romans 1:15 and following.
For example, in nature we find male and female whether it be humanity or animals. Almost all animals have male and female characteristics associated with them. It also extends into the flora dimension. Almost all plant life has a male and female relationship. Scientists tell us that even inanimate particles such as atoms, inanimate things, seem to have negative and positive characteristics that we might call male and female. 2 It seems that a basic ingredient of what makes up the physical universe happens to be either positive or negative characteristics, male or female, that we have a balance between these forces. That unity which keeps things together causes them to cohere.
At the beginning we find that YHWH has something of femininity associated with Him called wisdom, and they created the universe together that we find around us. That is what Solomon says and he was supposed to be the wisest man who ever lived. Besides that, this represents the Word of God. I would accept that as a truism. Everywhere in nature you find this balance between male and female, in the animal world, the plant world, and in the inanimate world. If scientists could only understand that everything is in a harmonious balance of the male and the female, or the negative and the positive (or positive and negative, it makes no difference, we are not talking sex or gender here, or superiority), that is the first step to understanding some scientific secrets that the Bible has to give which come directly from the Word of God.
That is what we find here in Proverbs chapter 8. When God allows scientists the opportunity to begin to unravel many of the mysteries of the atoms themselves, subatomic particles and all that, it will be discovered even more than we know today, that there is this relationship of positive to negative which we might call female to male, or male to female, and that it expresses the divine unity of YHWH in heaven.
Exactly how that is to be explained is a mystery. I do not have all the answers to that, but we do find in the Scripture that our union through Christ with YHWH Himself is like Christ being married to the ekklesia. We are told that the union between male and female in holy matrimony is an example of our being in oneness with Him as the apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:32. I find it difficult to argue with him on the subject because he makes it clear that there is the male and female relationship even between Christ Jesus and His ekklesia. It extends even into the realm of heaven itself because as we have seen in Proverbs chapter 8, YHWH has wisdom associated with Him in a mystical and allegorical way, masculine and feminine.
YHWH created the heavens and the earth. He had at His side this wisdom. We should go not far off and try to say that Wisdom is YHWH’s wife, or something like that. That is not what the texts say.
Proverbs will grant to us the secrets not only of the universe in a visible side, but also the invisible side of creation. Proverbs exposes something about God Himself, which is important for us to understand. It shows that there is a feminine side associated with God. Humanity is half feminine and half male. That is a wonderful thing. The positive and the negative balance each other. God is the same way. The universe seems to be built with that type of a structure. This is what scientists need to understand. That is what the apostle Paul is trying to show us in Romans chapter 1. We find it reflected in many sections of Scripture by Paul and the Book of Proverbs, especially chapter 8.
I want to return to that section in the Book of Proverbs where it says that God possessed wisdom at the very beginning before He began to do the works of old.
“When he prepared the heavens I [wisdom speaking, personified as a woman] was there when he set a compass [that means circuit] upon the face of the depth [the ocean]: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I [says wisdom] was by him ...”
This wisdom, personified as a woman, was there with God, aiding Him in the creation of the heavens and the earth. Now we are told in Colossians chapter 1 that it was actually Christ Jesus (before He became a human being) back at the very beginning, the only begotten Son of God who actually did the creating. In this allegorical section in Proverbs, the feminine counterpart in some way, or some how, was a part of the same thing.
Notice however that the word “compass” or circuit is used, “circuit of the deep.” It seems to show very clearly that this whole earth was completely enveloped by water at one time before the dry land appeared and that it was in the form of a circle. Several Scriptures in the Bible show that people of ancient times knew the earth to be like a globe, that it was circular. It was a sphere. 3
If God will tell us about the description of the earth, He would know it was a circle, a sphere of some kind. There is poetic language in various places that might make you think there were pillars supporting the earth, and it was not a circle, but you have to consider all the Scriptures to understand properly what God is talking about. Oh yes, it was understood that the earth itself was a circle, definitely like a sphere because Isaiah 40:22 says that the earth is formed in a circular fashion, like a sphere. In Job 26:7 Job says that the earth hangs upon nothing. There is nothing supporting the earth. There are not any pillars supporting it or ropes holding it up from above the earth. No. The earth hangs upon nothing. That is what Job 26:7 says and that is the Word of God.
Even in the time of Christ it was recognized by most intelligent people, that the earth was a sphere, that it was circular. In the parable of Luke 17:30–36 Christ gave information about the coming of the Son of Man, where two were grinding, some were in the field, and some were sleeping, all at the same moment that He comes at His Second Advent. Analyze this carefully. If some are in bed, some are grinding, and some are harvesting, and He comes at one moment for all of them, that means it is night in one part of the earth when He comes, it will be morning when they are harvesting in another part of the earth, and it will be afternoon as they are getting out the sheaves in the afternoon, when they are ready to close up shop so to speak, in evening. Put it all together and it is quite clear that back in Biblical times the earth was thought to be round and that it hung upon nothing as Job said. We find that very definitely stated in Scripture.
The Bible makes it clear that there is a circularity associated with the earth. In this section of Proverbs chapter 8 dealing with wisdom, we find that the whole earth at first, after it was created, was surrounded by water and that there was circularity to all things. In the first chapter of Genesis, that is what we find in the pattern that God followed in the creation of the world:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void [it was empty]; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved [or fluttered] upon the face of the waters.”
“Moved,” means like a bird with wings. It fluttered. The Genesis passage goes on, “Let there be light and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from darkness …” That became the first day. Not until the third day did the dry land begin to appear. We have a world created at first with water completely over its surface and everywhere surrounding the earth. The Proverbs chapter 8 passage presents further information about creation from another point of view with the whole water system of earth in circulation. In Genesis 1:1–2 also, the entire globe was covered by water until the third day when the dry land appeared. This gives the impression that people of the past understood that this world covered with water was like a circle, or better like a sphere. Obviously, if it was in that fashion, and as Job says it hangs upon nothing, then a sphere is the only description that you can give from the Biblical revelation.
Like most of the Book of Proverbs, the Book of Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon (recognized as the wisest man who ever lived up to his time, 1 Kings 4:30, 10:23; 2 Chronicles 9:23–24; and Ecclesiastes 1:16). He also speaks of a circularity to things not only so far as the shape of the earth is concerned but also in matters concerning things “under the sun.” Solomon says:
“The sun also arises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to his place where he arose.
The wind goes toward the south, and turns about unto the north; it whirls about continually and the wind returns again according to his circuits and all rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun.”
It means that something keeps coming back. “There is no new thing under the sun.” That is what he said. Anything that has been invented was already invented in the past somewhere by someone.
Solomon discusses not only physical things but also even historical matters. He discusses social matters, strange as that may seem to us. Things return to where they were before. That seems to be a law that God has put into force. This is how Solomon begins his Book of Ecclesiastes. Things return to the way that they were before. This is philosophy at its highest level but it has simple truths to it and we ought to pay attention. These principles that we find in Scripture can be helpful to scientists today in trying to solve the riddles of the universe.
Solomon says that the sun comes up in the east and the sun will set in the west. Twelve hours later, or about that, it rises in the east again, and it sets in the west. Over a years time it will go through its circuit and return to the same place it was before.
He also uses the analogy of the wind. It comes from the north, it circles around to the south, and it goes back to the north again and returns to the place where it began. In my training in meteorology, which is weather forecasting, when I was studying the Scripture, I came to see that in the first chapter of Ecclesiastes Solomon was describing a typical low pressure center which happens precisely in the fashion he described in the northern hemisphere around Palestine. The wind comes out of the north normally, circles to the east a bit, then to the south. From the south it comes back up, and then to the north, round and round it goes.
Solomon must have been so interested in nature that he must have had weather observers at various places around Palestine. These weather observers noted the directions of the winds and the clouds and things like that at a particular time of the day, say at noon, in the south of Israel, in the north of Israel, the west of Israel, on the seacoast, over the mountains of Moab on the other side of Jordan, and all of these areas. He brought all of the observers’ information together to find that there were wind patterns that developed over the land at the time. He could have gotten this information directly from God without any weather observers, and maybe that was so, but clearly he is describing a proper low-pressure center in the northern hemisphere, it is most amazing. What we find is a circular motion of weather patterns.
Solomon not only describes a typical low-pressure center (there is no question about that), but he also depicts the rains cycle. The vapor comes out of the sea, and what happens? It comes over the land and falls as precipitation, whether as snow, rain, or dew. That goes into small streams or rivulets and then into rivers and runs right back into the sea again where it starts all over, as he says in verse 7:
“… all rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.”
In other words, when you find the rains coming down on the earth, the water goes right back into the sea. He says the oceans do not rise because there is a cyclical system going on all the time. It goes round and round.
Solomon’s emphasis is on that of a circle or circularity. He is trying to show us that in creation wherever you look, you will find circularity. It not only is the physical side of things, according to Solomon, it reaches out also to embrace the spiritual, or the physiological, the historical, or whatever it might be. That is what he is saying in Ecclesiastes. He even says that history is like that. That is why he says in Ecclesiastes 1:9:
“… the thing that has been is that which shall be. And that which is done, is that which shall be done. And there is no new thing under the sun.”
Everything is circular. Solomon is showing us, whether in nature, in the physical realm of things, or whether it is in human history (and I think he would take it even to psychological matters), all things are circular. That is one thing every one of us ought to be told and should understand. Our very young children when they study scientific matters should be taught that all things have a basic circularity to them when it comes to motion of some kind. All things are going round and round, and coming back to where they were once before. This is the most interesting concept because it happens to be true.
Look out into space; circularity is displayed there also. This describes not only our earth but also our solar system, where the earth and the moon are associated with each other in circular motion. The moon circles around the earth. The moon and earth system go around the sun. Our sun and solar system are part of a pinwheel of a galaxy that is supposed to be 100,000 light years across, a large galaxy in which we reside. Even so, ours is a medium size galaxy, or so we are told by astronomers. There are many billions of galaxies out there in the universe.
Our solar system itself is a part of a Milky Way that is nothing more than one galaxy in which we find solar systems circulating around a center. Not only that, it seems that galaxies relative to another seem to be circulating around each other, and all around some central place in superclusters of galaxies, and it is suggested that even those turn around an unknown center, wherever that might be in the universe. Everywhere you look in the universe you see circular, even pinwheel arrangements of the stars.
All of these things are in a harmonious balance because all are in motion and they are in motion around one another in a most interesting way. They all seem to come back to the same place that they were before. That is what we find in nature and that is what Solomon is trying to show.
When you take a microscope and look into the elements, getting to the atoms themselves, and the subatomic particles, even there in many cases you find the circularity of things when it comes to motion. We are told that even in subatomic particles, it seems that tiny circular or spherical energy systems are in operation, or at least it appears to be.
So we find the circularity of things starting out in the Book of Ecclesiastes as told by Solomon. Remember he was the wisest man whoever lived, and he had inspiration from God. He is saying that all things are circular, and indeed, I believe that is absolutely the case.
I believe Einstein said that the universe itself was circular. If you would go in any direction in space, theoretically keep going on and on in one direction, and never deviate from it, you would finally come back to the same place where you started. You would be going in a circle. That is apparently the way that Einstein understood things. It seems to be the way that the Bible describes things. This is one theory being stated at the present time, that the whole universe is circular and it is very likely because we find in the Word of God itself that all things are circular, or better yet, they are spherical.
When we look at the universe that motion is going on all the time and it goes in the form of a circle. That may not be an exact circle, it may be elliptical, but still there is circular motion or movement that is going on. We find it everywhere in creation. This is done by motion, but motion around a central point of gravity. This is where gravitation comes in. Wherever we are in the universe gravitation seems to be involved, gravitation plays a role. Gravitation along with motion and centrifugal force allows everything to remain in equilibrium in the universe.
This is what we see with our eyes. Apparently, this is the way it is supposed to be, because the Book of Ecclesiastes states that everything is indeed circular and we must have gravitation to hold things together. We must also have motion of the particles in the universe whether they be small or whether they be large, and along with it centrifugal force when you have motion, to keep things from colliding together through gravitation. Motion and centrifugal force are in balance with gravitation wherever you look.
These are simple points of science but they are technical as well. We can observe these things. Even since the time of Sir Isaac Newton it has been known how gravitation works. No one knows exactly what gravitation is, but it can be measured and it can be understood to a certain extent. If someone could absolutely describe what gravitation is, that would be a marvelous achievement. Maybe even the Scriptures can give us some teaching along that line that would be helpful? If that were the case, that would be a discovery of discoveries.
Just what is gravitation? That is something that scientists have been trying to find out for a long time. It is one of the most mysterious forces that we find in the universe. It is possible to measure gravity. It is possible to realize where gravitation is and where it is not, apparently, but exactly what gravity is, no one seems to know. But the Bible does seem to give us some information on this subject that might prove very interesting to scientists today if they would pay attention to it.
In the first chapter of Genesis it says that God at first created the heavens and the earth. He created the material part of the earth, and only after that did He create what the Bible calls “light.” Light came after material substance was created. It says that first He created the heavens and the earth. The next thing He created was light.
Light is a part of what we might call today the electromagnetic spectrum and light waves are very familiar to all of us. Light comes in various wavelengths. There are very short waves and very long waves. The light spectrum for visibility is very high. We see through our eyes but the light we “see” has a very, very high frequency. Then you come down in the longer frequency range, but it is still very short from our point of view, you can get down into radio waves of various lengths on the lowest end. We can come to very long waves stretching out miles.
Light itself was created, according to the Genesis 1:3, after the material things were created. Light is subsidiary to material things. 4 It almost gives you the feeling that you have to have something else before you can have light waves, before you can have light itself. Gravitation no doubt was one of the first things created by God. That may seem silly for me to say it this way, but after all, we have the creation coming into effect at one time in the past, and does the Bible have any information on this subject? There is quite a bit of information if a person is willing to look at it.
These waves of light, how are they transported throughout the universe? We are familiar with the electromagnetic spectrum and that light itself can come from distant objects in space. It travels from the sun at about 186,000 miles a second. It takes about 8½ minutes for the light of the sun to reach the earth. It has to be traveling on something. It is my own personal belief that there can be no light traveling through space unless there is some kind of substance on which it is moving. Now that seems to contradict virtually every scientific teaching there is today because in outer space there seems to be nothing out there.
Scientists today say light does not travel on anything, that there is no type of substance or medium whatever upon which light actually travels. This is interesting because this scientific understanding is contrary to all experience that we have with waves on earth. All waves on earth, like waves of water for example, require a substance or medium of some kind in order for the waves to operate on or to have their function. Yet the Bible may be a key to help us understand even fundamental issues of what gravitation is and how it is used. Why, scientists today may find by studying what the Scripture from God has to say on these things that we can have the truth of this important matter of just what gravitation is.
However, when you look at outer space, say outer space between here and the moon, once you get outside of the atmosphere there are very few particles or atoms and yet light seems to travel without any trouble. It seems to be traveling on absolutely nothing. However, there is something out there. As I said, it is my belief that light is traveling on something, and that something is gravitation. Take away gravitation and there would be complete darkness. There could not be any light whatsoever. Light itself is limited. It is finite. It can only travel, as far as we know, at 186,000 miles per second. Gravitation on the other hand is an energy that has an instantaneous type of an effect. 5
Let me expand further on my own personal belief, and again I cannot prove this: there can be no light unless there is gravitation. Whatever gravitation is, and no one seems to know, but at the same time, I do not think that there can be any light unless there is gravitation.
Gravitation seems to exist throughout the universe. Everywhere you go in the universe you find gravitation, theoretically that is. It has to be assumed that it does. Everywhere in the universe you will find that application of gravity because, after all, all systems that we can observe are kept in balance through centrifugal force and gravitation in complete balance to one another. It has to be assumed that there is gravitation everywhere and that there is no such thing as “empty” space. Gravitation is there. 6
If gravitation is out there throughout creation, could gravitation itself be looked upon as having particles? Gravity seems to have wave motion to it some scientists say. Some scientists say no, gravity seems to have particles. Some scientists say gravitation has both characteristics of wave and particle action. No one knows exactly, but wherever you go in the universe theoretically, you would expect some type of gravitation to be there. In fact, there is no “empty” space out there between the galaxies because gravitation is there holding the galaxies in their various places of motion.
In fact it seems that gravitation not only acts like waves on some occasions (as some theorists are now saying that is the case), but gravitation seems also to act like particles, like a substance of some kind. (Light has the same attributes, exhibiting both particle characteristics and wave characteristics.)
That may sound silly to begin with and it is only a theory from my point of view, but there is something in the Bible that might suggest that to be the case. It might be that gravitation is like spirit. The Bible says in the Psalms that God’s Spirit is everywhere in the universe, everywhere in the physical creation. It does not mean that God himself, as a personality, is everywhere, but the demonstration of His power, which is His Spirit, is everywhere manifested in the universe. There is a place where you can find the Spirit of God in action. Psalm 141, 142, and 143, all these have to do with the Spirit. They speak about the Spirit of God being everywhere. Where can you flee from the Spirit of God? It cannot be done. God’s Spirit is everywhere in the universe.
What is the Spirit? Look at what Jesus said concerning the Spirit in the 3rd chapter of the gospel of John. He says that the Spirit, though humans cannot visibly see it, the actions of it or the results of it are very much visible. (Job even says that the wind has “weight,” Job 28:25.) He shows that the spirit is like the wind blowing in the trees. Like the breeze, the wind. You can see the fluttering of the leaves as a breeze goes through them. In fact, if the breeze is a very strong one, then things begin to be a little difficult. If it is very strong and you get a hurricane or a tornado, that spirit can be quite substantial.
Years ago, a major hurricane hit south Florida. It was very destructive to material things in that area of Florida. You see, the example of the Spirit that Christ used, which He says permeates the universe, is something that is very substantial, but man cannot see it. The word pneuma in the Greek actually means things dealing with wind, which you can feel and can in a sense touch, you can even weigh it, but you cannot see it. He says the Spirit is like that.
God, as spirit, has a body. But His body is comprised of Spirit (John 4:24). It looks like a human body (or humans actually look like God, being made in God’s image), Who is a Spirit. But He is not a wispy, ghost like person that is just like a fog of some kind meandering around throughout the universe or something of that nature. No. He sits on a throne. He looks like a human being. He has a head, eyes, a nose, a mouth, hands, and feet. He is made up, however, of Spirit and that Spirit is substantial. It is like substance, though it is not substantial to a human being. 7
God can go through walls if He wishes to. Jesus was able to do that. He could not do it with a human body of flesh like you and I have, but He could in His spiritual body. His spiritual body, you see, is substantial. It says in the Psalms that the Spirit is found everywhere in the universe. You cannot go anywhere in the universe without finding His Spirit.
As far as scientists are concerned, the one thing that seems to permeate the entire universe is gravitation of some kind. Could it be that gravitation is like the spirit? It could very well be. If the spirit is substantial, according to Christ, and it is everywhere throughout the universe, then, although the universe appears to be empty space we can be assured spirit is there. Gravitational force is there as well. It well may be that gravitation is very much like substance of some kind that we can not detect in a physical way at present, and light itself could very well be traveling the waves upon gravitation which has a substantial aspect to it. This seems to be like the Biblical teaching.
Gravitation can have a very interesting effect upon the earth and upon the sun. You know the earth and the sun are in balance with one another as well as with the moon because they are in motion, but centrifugal force also is there to keep the gravitation from pulling the bodies into one another. The earth and the moon would be destroyed if you did not have the centrifugal force, if you did not have the circular motion. But because you have everything properly in motion, everything is in balance as God has placed it.
Though it takes light approximately 8½ minutes to reach us from the sun, or from the moon in about a 1½ seconds to reach us, but if the gravitation between the earth and the sun (the largest gravitational source in our solar system), or between the earth and the moon were taken away, there would be instantaneous reaction. Instantaneous. It would not take 8½ minutes for the result to be felt. In our solar system, if the gravitational forces were taken away immediately and in relationship to some other part of the galaxy, the results would also take place instantaneously. They would not go at 186,000 miles a second.
The Bible talks about an instantaneous reaction throughout the entire earth and indeed throughout the entire universe. The prophecy in Isaiah chapter 34 is most interesting. It says that a time is coming in the future when all the host of heaven (it means the entirely of the universe), will be rolled up like a scroll and taken away so that people cannot be able to see the same thing.
“And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falls off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.”
It will be like a scroll opened up from one end to the other and two people let go of it and it just rolls up quickly. Now that is how the heavens will disappear from view according to this passage in chapter 34 of Isaiah. Other sections of Scripture speak about the same thing. It shows that God’s actions can have an instantaneous result throughout the whole universe if He pleases. It is not necessary at all for 186,000 miles a second to be maintained.
Supposedly, nothing can go any faster than that. But the instantaneous reaction, if gravitation were taken away, could take place anywhere in the universe. This is what we seem to find in the Book of Revelation, talking about the descriptions of the destruction of the cosmos, paralleled in Isaiah chapter 34 and in areas of the Psalms. It seems that there will be instantaneous reaction.
When Jesus, for example, was here on earth and He was resurrected from the dead early Sunday morning, He was in heaven before His Father and then back to this earth before midday. He was able to travel very quickly to wherever the heaven of God’s throne is at the present time. Soon God’s throne will be here on earth, and this earth will be the center of the universe as far as authority is concerned when God the Father establishes His power here.
Jesus was able to go anywhere He wanted. He did not have to rely upon the 186,000 miles per second limit that scientists place upon the motions of material objects, including light. So you see, things are different in the Scripture than we are generally being told today. Science will find answers to many of the mysteries of the universe. The solutions can be found within the Scripture itself. Some of the things that we think are absurd today in the Scripture will be shown to be philosophically sound in the future.
When scientists begin to see some of these things happen in the next few years, I am utterly convinced that is when Jesus Christ begins to restore the knowledge of His truth to this world, as Daniel 12:4, 9 says will happen before the Second Advent of Christ to this earth. Some of the things discovered will be scientific matters that will come from an understanding of what the Bible has said in the first place. Scientists will see that the Bible is an old book all right, written by ancient people, but coming forth from the very Creator God of all of the physical and spiritual elements that make up our universe today. If we can read His language and interpret it correctly, we will be able to see things that we never noticed before.
Are some of the suggestions that I have been making about gravitation equaling the spirit true? I do not know. I am not a scientist by profession. We are talking here about very technical matters. I do know one thing, that the Bible has the answer to everything. If this Bible is the word of the living God, which it is, God will manifest Himself to all people on this earth in the various science disciplines soon, and they will see that the answers that they have desired, the discoveries they have wanted, will come if they are smart. If they are using their heads, discoveries will come through the application of the understanding of God’s Word.
If we can get the proper translations of words in the Book of Job in particular, the Books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, some of the Psalms, and even in the New Testament in the Book of Revelation, if we can find those words interpreted correctly, we could be given some scientific principles that will open up knowledge of what the universe is all about. This would be true both with reference to cosmology (which deals with the beginning of things), as well as knowledge dealing with the end time (how things will finally be resolved).
The Scripture is the Word of God. I want all of us to realize something about the Old Book that we have in front of us. If we could have proper translations of words, put the Bible back into its original order, we will then be able to have the basic keys to work with that even scientists themselves will begin to understand if they apply the principles found in Scripture, exactly the truths they have been searching for over the years.
The Bible will prove itself to be the Word of the Living God. When that happens, we can all rejoice. In the meantime, we need to show the people in the world that the Bible is God’s Word.
Ernest L Martin, January 1994
Edited by David Sielaff, October 2009
Read Part 2 of this article
1 When you have the fear of YHWH first (it does not mean to have a terror of Him), that is the Old Testament way of saying we need to have a deep respect for YHWH. Many people do not know the name of God in the Old Testament or even the New Testament for that matter. YHWH is the name of God, the name of the Father (Exodus 3:13–15). Christ Jesus came to reveal who the Father was, and to reveal His name. Even the name Jesus itself in traditional Hebrew is Joshua, which means “YHWH is Savior.” The very first proverb that Solomon took down says that fear of YHWH, respect for him, is the beginning of knowledge. ELM
2 I am not talking about superiority one way or another in a social sense but male and female, as in positive and negative, opposites. We are not talking about social matters here of course. But it is a matter of balance. ELM
3 Almost like a sphere, because at the Polar Regions it is a little flattened due to centrifugal force that causes a slight bulge at the equator. But normally when you look at the earth from space it looks like a sphere and it almost is. Certainly from ancient times, they considered that the earth was a sphere. ELM
4 Yes, Einstein’s equation of E = mc2 relates energy (E) with the speed of light (c2) times matter (m, mass), but it is also possible to solve for m or Mass. That would give an equation m = E/c2, which, if no light (c2) is being moved then m = E in a 1:1 relation. That is, of course, assuming that E = mc2 is correct in most all situations. DWS
5 Light and gravitation seem to be reciprocal in one other way. Light emanates in all directions from a single point. Conversely gravitation attracts from all directions to focus to a single point. Gravitation bends light. See the basic article “Worldbook at NASA, Gravitation” at http://www.nasa.gov/worldbook/gravitation_worldbook.html that presents the current and orthodox scientific view of gravity. DWS
They used to call it ether. They did not know what it was. Ether was an
ancient term for a force that could not be seen, measured, or weighed,
but was still substantial. Hardly anyone calls outer space ether today.
In fact, they do not believe there is any ether out there whatsoever.
See the discussion in the Wikipedia article "Luminiferous aether" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminiferous_ether . DWS
7 See Dr. Martin’s article “The Bodily Composition of God” at www.askelm.com/doctrine/d080601.htm. DWS
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