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Sorry no longer take comments. Post's 'labels' are unreliable for linking or searching. Use the INDEX OF POSTS instead. A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Proof of God From Secrets In Holy Texts Part Two (Dead Stars)


This post is dedicated to D.A.

The proof to be discussed may be categorized as  "proof of god from secrets in holy texts see Part 1.  Please skim part one before reading this part two. 

Psalms 148:  2 Praise ye Him [the Lord], all His angels; praise ye Him, all His hosts. 3 Praise ye Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all ye stars of light. 4 Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that are above the heavens...

The argument claims that Psalms 148:3 has secret knowledge. Praise him ..."stars of light". As if to imply there are stars that do not give off light ! How did those ancients know that some stars do not give off light ? Thus the text must be of divine origin.

Response

So according to the theologians advocating the above ‘proof’ only stars of light should praise the Lord ? Those stars not giving light should not praise the Lord ?  Why would the Psalms intend that ? 

Verse 4 speaks about waters above the heavens. This refers to the incorrect notion of water above the firmament with the Lord controlling it's sluices to withhold water or provide it like described in the Noach flood story of Genesis. How ironic to quote verse 3 to support secret science in Psalms, when the very next verse is factually wrong !

Furthermore, why can't it be poetic license to add the word light ? The Tenach when writing about stars sometimes associates them with  light, but more often Tenach just writes stars with the implicit understanding the stars give light.  (see below for various Tenach verse relating to stars. }. 

Even if the word light in Psalms 148:3 is superfluous on what basis may one  presume it was done to teach there are stars with no light ? There could have been any number of other things it may want to teach or perhaps not teach anything at all. Maybe Psalm wrote light for poetic reasons. It is an attempt to retroactively shoehorn a scientific fact into the Tenach.  

Moreover, consider Psalms 14 and 53 which are very similar. Also Psalms 40:14-18 is found in Psalm 70.  Are there hidden secrets in these duplications ? Maybe the editor of Psalms just included duplication or  superfluousness for one reason or another and for reasons having nothing to do with 'teaching' us science secrets. 

Why does finding secrets of science in holy texts require these mental gymnastics ? Why are these science secrets only found  after science discovers them ? 

When the Tenach uses the term stars it is not being used the way science uses the term. Science may include stars with extreme poor eye visibility to those actually visible by eye.  So the ‘proof’ is comparing apples to oranges.  

Even if  Tenach  directly wrote of the existence of stars that do not give off light it is not proof of anything.  The ancients observed stars with strong light and those with weaker and weaker light, and extrapolated to the existence of stars with no light.  How miraculous is that ? 

Finally, it is important to note the translation usually provided for Psalm 148:3 may not be correct ! The  Anchor Bible Psalms III by M. Dahood 1970  pages 351-353 discusses Psalm 148:3. The translation is frequently rendered 'shining stars' or 'stars of light'. However Dahood argues the hebrew word which has been translated as 'light' should be translated as 'morning' as in  Neh VIII:3. Dahood uses  Job XXXVIII:7  to translate Psalms 148:3 as morning stars: Stars visible at dawn, meaning the planets. 

Thus the translation of Psalm 148:3 is uncertain; the so called superfluous word is not extra at all and the 'proof' collapses.

Here are some related Tenach verse involving stars with of my related  commentary.

a) Nehemiah 4:15 So we wrought in the work; and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.

It does not make a distinction between types of stars. It is understood by the Tenach that stars give us light.

b) 1 Chronicles 27 : 23 But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under; because the LORD had said He would increase Israel like to the stars of heaven.

No distinction between types of stars.

c) Psalms 136:9 The moon and stars to rule by night, for His mercy endureth for ever. 

Implicit the stars give of light. Does it make sense that dead stars are to rule the night ?

d) Isaiah 13 : 9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel, and full of wrath and fierce anger; to make the earth a desolation, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it, 10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to ...

Should we infer that there exist stars not in heaven ! ? Of course that is not the intent of the verse. Notice the verse again links Stars with light. 

Notice verse does not write the stars of light will not give their light. This because it is understood stars give light, not that there are stars that do not give light. 

e) Ecclesiastes Chapter 12. 1 Remember then thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say: 'I have no pleasure in them'; 2 Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, are darkened, and ..

Implicit the stars, sun and moon give off light.

f) Joel 4 : 15 The sun and the moon are become black, and the stars withdraw their shining...

Implicit the stars, sun and moon give off light.

g) Genesis 26: 3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore unto Abraham thy father; 4 and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven...

So does this imply some stars do not exist in heaven ? I do not think that is the intent. Should we infer that there are stars not in our heaven and this proves a Multiverse  ? 

h) Jeremiah 31: 34 Thus saith the LORD, Who giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirreth up the sea, that the waves thereof roar, the LORD of hosts is His name: 

Clearly writes the stars are for light. Nothing about giving us stars that do not give off light. 

i) Joel 2 : 10 Before them the earth quaketh, the heavens tremble; the sun and the moon are become black, and the stars withdraw their shining

The STARS withdraw their shining. Implies that Stars means the object giving off light.

j) Genesis 1 : 16 And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

The Moon and Stars are about light.

k) Ezekial 32: 6: I will cover the sky And darken its stars;

Does not specify darken only the stars giving light. That is because the presumption is all stars give off  light.

Conclusion

The Tenach assumes the natural thing is for stars to give off light. It is an a distortion of the Tenach to claim the Tenach intends there exist stars that do not give off light. The Tenach gives us a Theology: The Lord can darken the Stars which shows his power over nature; the Lord made them, praise emenates from them etc:. Are you surprised ancient people would ascribe god(s) the power to control nature or create things ? Do not be. The ancient Greeks claimed Zeus controls weather and lightning. The list of creator gods and gods controlling this or that part of nature or how certain events should unfold is a long one.  There is some related information my post  Psalms, Ancient Near East Texts, Prayer, Science

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