The Constellations in Job
“Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion”? (Job 38:31)
Constellations are patterns of stars in the sky. In one sense, constellations are imaginary. Someone, at some time in the ancient world, has looked at a pattern of stars in the sky and has imagined that they make an image, to which they have given a name. Out in the universe, the stars, of which a constellation is comprised, might not actually be near each other. Imagine you are driving along a very straight road at night. Ahead, you see four lights close together. Two of those lights turn out to be a car, which passes you quite quickly. But the other two belong to a car a mile away. It is the same with stars. Star A might be close to star B in the sky, but actually star A might be much further from us than B. So, when the ancient people named the constellations, does this mean that they were ignorant of the true nature of the universe? The book of Job mentions several constellations. Were the writers of the Bible ignorant, primitive people?
The answer is No. We have already discussed in a previous Creation Moment how the characters in Job mentioned the universe in such a way to show that they understood something of its size. So their use of constellations was the same as ours – just a matter of convenience, where the imaginary pictures help us to find things in the sky.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your great provision for us in giving us constellation pictures in the sky for signs and for seasons. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Lisle, J. (2012), The Stargazer’s Guide to the Night Sky (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, p. 48. Image: CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported.
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