Astronomy [N]

The Hebrews were devout students of the wonders of the starry firmanent ( Amos 5:8 ; Psalms 19 ). In the Book of Job, which is the oldest book of the Bible in all probability, the constellations are distinguished and named. Mention is made of the "morning star" ( Revelation 2:28 ; Compare Isaiah 14:12 ), the "seven stars" and "Pleiades," "Orion," "Arcturus," the "Great Bear" ( Amos 5:8 ; Job 9:9 ; 38:31 ), "the crooked serpent," Draco ( Job 26:13 ), the Dioscuri, or Gemini, "Castor and Pollux" ( Acts 28:11 ). The stars were called "the host of heaven" ( Isaiah 40:26 ; Jeremiah 33:22 ).

The oldest divisions of time were mainly based on the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, the "ordinances of heaven" ( Genesis 1:14-18 ; Job 38:33 ; Jeremiah 31:35 ; 33:25 ). Such observations led to the division of the year into months and the mapping out of the appearances of the stars into twelve portions, which received from the Greeks the name of the "zodiac." The word "Mazzaroth" ( Job 38:32 ) means, as the margin notes, "the twelve signs" of the zodiac. Astronomical observations were also necessary among the Jews in order to the fixing of the proper time for sacred ceremonies, the "new moons," the "passover," etc. Many allusions are found to the display of God's wisdom and power as seen in the starry heavens ( Psalms 8 ; 19:1-6 ; Isaiah 51:6 , etc.)

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Astronomy". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .
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