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Enoch’s Domed World

Enoch’s Domed World

~ from Testingtheglobe.com

This view was held well into the New Testament time frame, as also indicated by the writings of Josephus in the 1st Century:


1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. But when the earth did not come into sight, but was covered with thick darkness, and a wind moved upon its surface, God commanded that there should be light: and when that was made, he considered the whole mass, and separated the light and the darkness; and the name he gave to one was Night, and the other he called Day: and he named the beginning of light, and the time of rest, The Evening and The Morning, and this was indeed the first day. But Moses said it was one day; the cause of which I am able to give even now; but because I have promised to give such reasons for all things in a treatise by itself, I shall put off its exposition till that time. After this, on the second day, he placed the heaven over the whole world, and separated it from the other parts, and he determined it should stand by itself. He also placed a crystalline [firmament] round it, and put it together in a manner agreeable to the earth, and fitted it for giving moisture and rain, and for affording the advantage of dews. On the third day he appointed the dry land to appear, with the sea itself round about it; and on the very same day he made the plants and the seeds to spring out of the earth. On the fourth day he adorned the heaven with the sun, the moon, and the other stars, and appointed them their motions and courses, that the vicissitudes of the seasons might be clearly signified.

The “Early Church Fathers” also wrote quite a bit about this “crystalline firmament” but that’s a topic for a whole other essay. OK. This is what really got me though. Check out how the author of 1 Enoch describes the Flood, as given through the vision/dream of Enoch prior to the Judgment occurring…

The Deluge and the Deliverance of Noah


2 And again I raised mine eyes towards heaven and saw a lofty roof, with seven water torrents thereon, and those torrents flowed with much water into an enclosure.

3 And I saw again, and behold fountains were opened on the surface of that great enclosure, and that water began to swell and rise upon the surface, and I saw that enclosure till all its surface was covered with water.

4 And the water, the darkness, and mist increased upon it; and as I looked at the height of that water,that water had risen above the height of that enclosure, and was streaming over that enclosure,and it stood upon the earth.

5 And all the cattle of that enclosure were gathered together until I saw how they sank and were swallowed up and perished in that water.

6 But that vessel floated on the water, while all the oxen and elephants and camels and asses sank to the bottom with all the animals, so that I could no longer see them, and they were not able to escape,(but) perished and sank into the depths.

7 And again I saw in the vision till those water torrents were removed from that high roof, and the chasms of the earth were leveled up and other abysses were opened.

8 Then the water began to run down into these, till the earth became visible; but that vessel settled on the earth, and the darkness retired and light appeared.

I’m in the process of trying to take the descriptions given in the canonized texts along with what we can read in books like Enoch and other writings contemporary with the Biblical texts – which clearly illustrate the worldview of the Biblical authors – and creating a 3D model, taking these descriptions as literally as I can. This is still very much a work in progress, the following is what I’ve come up with so far:


#14 Why Don’t Christians Embrace the Bible’s Flat Earth Teachings?

King James Bible
Thou hast set all the borders of the earth




The Bible teaches that the earth was “flat and circular sitting on pillars with a rotating solid sky dome overhead which carried the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars and allowed water to leak through ‘windows of heaven’ or sluice gates to form clouds and rain.”1 If the claim is true that the Bible teaches such a primitive cosmology, then nobody should believe that it originates from God nor follow its precepts. So, let’s look at what the Bible really says about the heavens and the earth and whether the atheists’ claims are valid

Biblical Flat Earth


The king seeing all the earth

Shows why you couldn’t see all the kingdoms

  • Daniel 4:10-11. In Daniel, King Nebuchadnessar “saw a tree in the midst of the earth [whose] height thereof was great reaching unto heaven, and the sight thereof [was] to the end of all the earth”. Only with a flat Earth could a tall tree be visible from “to the end of all the earth” — this would be impossible on a spherical earth.

Theological rebuttal?: The strength of Daniel 4:10-11 as an argument for a flat Earth is considerably lessened by the fact that this part of the Book of Daniel recounts a dream experienced by the Babylonian king during a fit of madness. Thus, it does not necessarily refer to an actually existing tree or make any statements about real cosmology. This fact would seem to indicate that biblical literalists do not know how to read the Bible properly. This rebuttal also ignores that the New Testament claims that the Devil showed Jesus the entire world from the top of a mountain, which would not be possible on a spherical Earth:

Jesus seeing all the kingdoms

  • Matthew 4:8: “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world”
  • Luke 4:5: “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.”

Theological rebuttal again: The strength of using Matthew and Luke as flat Earth claims is lessoned by the fact that “Kingdom” is a human construct. If you classify all the places on Earth you can’t see from that particular location as “Not Kingdoms” such as barbaric tribes and non-monarchies, it can be fitted within that description. However, how the devil knows those places are not ruled by Kings (Again, the concept of “King” is also a human concept) is not exactly clear.

The earth is a circle

  • Isaiah 40:22: “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” — Indeed, this quote is used to prove that Bible claims that the Earth is spherical. Some scholars point out that Isaiah never uses the Modern Hebrew word for sphere Kaduranywhere[16]. It is not clear whether this is relevant, seeing as the interpretation of the word Kadur in the Bible is disputed.[17]

“Four Corners”

  • Isaiah 11:12 “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
  • Revelation 7:1 “And after these things I saw four angels standing on four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” — As with the Daniel quote, this cannot be taken literally; the events described in Revelation are a series of visions, rather than an accurate description of the world. Another interpretation of this verse is that four corners of the earth don’t refer to literal four corners but to cardinal directions, which is further supported by the description of the four winds which are commonly referenced by their cardinal direction.



1 Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.”

Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm …”

Psalm 96:10: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable …”

Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.”

Isaiah 45:18: “…who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast…”


‘Four Corners’ Flat Earth claims

  • Isaiah 11:12 “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
  • Revelation 7:1 “And after these things I saw four angels standing on four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” As with the Daniel quote, this cannot be taken literally; the events described in Revelation are a series of visions, rather than an accurate description of the world. Another interpretation of this verse is that four corners of the earth don’t refer to literal four corners but to cardinal directions, which is further supported by the description of the four winds which are commonly referenced by their cardinal direction.

The Three-Story Universe

From N. F. Gier, God, Reason, and the Evangelicals
(University Press of America, 1987), chapter 13.
Copyright held by author

Author’s Note: Full bibliographical information for references will be supplied at a later date.
Until then please check the full bibliography of the hard copy of God, Reason, and the Evangelicals.


The Vault of Heaven


The vault of heaven is a crucial concept. The word “firmament” appears in the King James version of the Old Testament 17 times, and in each case it is translated from the Hebrew word raqiya, which meant the visible vault of the sky. The word raqiya comes from riqqua, meaning “beaten out.” In ancient times, brass objects were either cast in the form required or beaten into shape on an anvil. A good craftsman could beat a lump of cast brass into a thin bowl. Thus, Elihu asks Job, “Can you beat out [raqa] the vault of the skies, as he does, hard as a mirror of cast metal (Job 37:18)?”

Elihu’s question shows that the Hebrews considered the vault of heaven a solid, physical object. Such a large dome would be a tremendous feat of engineering. The Hebrews (and supposedly Yahweh Himself) considered it exactly that, and this point is hammered home by five scriptures:

Job 9:8, “…who by himself spread out the heavens [shamayim]…”

Psalm 19:1, “The heavens [shamayim] tell out the glory of God, the vault of heaven [raqiya] reveals his handiwork.”

Psalm 102:25, “…the heavens [shamayim] were thy handiwork.”

Isaiah 45:12, “I, with my own hands, stretched out the heavens [shamayim] and caused all their host to shine…”

Isaiah 48:13, “…with my right hand I formed the expanse of the sky [shamayim]…”

If these verses are about a mere illusion of a vault, they are surely much ado about nothing. Shamayim comes from shameh, a root meaning to be lofty. It literally means the sky. Other passages complete the picture of the sky as a lofty, physical dome. God “sits throned on the vaulted roof of earth [chuwg], whose inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the skies [shamayim] like a curtain, he spreads them out like a tent to live in…[Isaiah 40:22].” Chuwg literally means “circle” or “encompassed.” By extension, it can mean roundness, as in a rounded dome or vault. Job 22:14 says God “walks to and fro on the vault of heaven [chuwg].” In both verses, the use of chuwg implies a physical object, on which one can sit and walk. Likewise, the context in both cases requires elevation. In Isaiah, the elevation causes the people below to look small as grasshoppers. In Job, God’s eyes must penetrate the clouds to view the doings of humans below. Elevation is also implied by Job 22:12: “Surely God is at the zenith of the heavens [shamayim] and looks down on all the stars, high as they are.”

This picture of the cosmos is reinforced by Ezekiel’s vision. The Hebrew word raqiya appears five times in Ezekiel, four times in Ezekiel 1:22-26 and once in Ezekiel 10:1. In each case the context requires a literal vault or dome. The vault appears above the “living creatures” and glitters “like a sheet of ice.” Above the vault is a throne of sapphire (or lapis lazuli). Seated on the throne is “a form in human likeness,” which is radiant and “like the appearance of the glory of the Lord.” In short, Ezekiel saw a vision of God sitting throned on the vault of heaven, as described in Isaiah 40:22.

Hebrew view

Like most ancient peoples, the Hebrews believed the sky was a solid dome with the Sun, Moon and stars embedded in it.[11]

According to The Jewish Encyclopedia:

The Hebrews regarded the earth as a plain or a hill figured like a hemisphere, swimming on water. Over this is arched the solid vault of heaven. To this vault are fastened the lights, the stars. So slight is this elevation that birds may rise to it and fly along its expanse.[12]

The Copernican Revolution of the 16th century led to reconsideration of these matters. In 1554, John Calvin proposed that “firmament” be interpreted as clouds.[15] “He who would learn astronomy and other recondite arts, let him go elsewhere,” wrote Calvin.[15] Genesis had to conform to popular prejudice regarding cosmology, or it would not have been accepted


The firmament


The main reason why skeptics have said the Bible endorses dome cosmology comes from the King James version (KJV) translation of the Bible. Here is the KJV translation of Genesis 1:6-8:

And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. (Genesis 1:6-8)

The word “firmament” implies a solid material, coming from the Latin word “firmamentum,” from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. The Latin word firmamentum has the meaning of a “support,” or “prop.” However, the original Hebrew word, raqia,8 which Jerome translated into the Latin word firmamentum, is not nearly as specific. Raqia comes from the Hebrew verb raqa, which means “beat,” “stamp,” “beat out” and “spread out.” Occurring 11 times in the Old Testament, raqa has the meaning to “stamp one’s feet” (twice), stamp something with the feet (once), spreading metal (four times), spreading out the earth (three times), and spreading the sky or the clouds (once).9 So, the verb raqa does not necessarily refer to the beating out of a solid object, but to a spreading out process, whether the object be solid or not.


The Hebrew noun raqia is used 17 times in the Bible. Eleven of those instances occur in 7 verses from Genesis 1.10 Five instances of raqia occur in Ezekiel’s visions11 – once referring to the expanse (or extent) of the angels’ wings and the other four referring to something that appeared to be like a gleaming crystal, although it is never identified as being a solid object. Two others occur in the Psalms,12 once referring to the expanse as described in Genesis (also written by Moses), and the second referring to the mighty expanse of God’s power.12 So, raqia itself does not always refer to a solid object.

Genesis 1:8 says that God Himself defines what the raqia is, saying “God called the expanse heaven.” So, the so-called firmament is nothing more than heaven itself and does not comprise a separate structure. This fact is further emphasized in Genesis 1:20, where God says, “… let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.”10 Obviously, birds cannot fly through a solid structure, clearly indicating that raqia is not a solid object.

Pillars of heaven

In the book of Job, Job is talking to his four “friends,” and eventually to God Himself. During one of these long discourses, Job talks about God’s creation, referring to the “pillars of the heavens.” Skeptics say that the pillars hold up the solid dome firmament above the earth. However, before deciding exactly what these “pillars of the heavens” are, we should look at the verse in context:

  • He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. (Job 26:7)
  • He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight. (Job 26:8)
  • He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it. (Job 26:9)
  • He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness. (Job 26:10)
  • The pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke. (Job 26:11)

As one can see, Job comes up with some rather remarkable insights into the nature of the earth. He says that the earth is suspended over nothing and that the clouds carry water and have weight, yet do not fall to earth. In the context of the passage, it is clear that the “pillars” are the mountains, which quake at God’s rebuke. Whereas the Quran says the earth is like a carpet13 that is held in place by the heavy mountains, described as being like tent pegs,14 so that it won’t move or shake,15 the Bible associates the mountains with shaking16 and says that, instead of placing the mountains on the earth, God caused the mountains to rise up.17 So, it is pretty obvious that these pillars aren’t holding anything up, but are merely free-standing pillars, similar to those found in Solomon’s Temple.18


Many evangelicals believe in “detailed inerrancy,” which means that the Bible, in the words of Francis Schaeffer, is “without error in all that it affirms” and contains “propositional true truth where it touches the cosmos and history.”(1) This in all probability was not the position of historical Christianity and many evangelicals themselves reject this position.

The inerrantists cannot decide which “science” to use to prove that the Bible is without error about cosmological matters. Following the lead of Charles Hodge and B. B. Warfield, writers for the Moody Bible Institute contend that the Bible is completely compatible with current theories about the evolution of the universe over billions of years. (2) On the other hand, we have “fiat creationists,” like those from the Institute for Creation Research, who reject cosmic evolution and maintain that the universe is less than 10,000 years old.

Throwing intelligent light on the question are the evangelical writers of the New Bible Dictionary. An author warns us that the Genesis account “must not be confused or identified with any scientific theory of origins. The purpose of the biblical doctrine, in contrast to that of scientific investigation, is ethical and religious….The whole is poetic and does not yield to close scientific correlations….Genesis neither affirms nor denies the theory of evolution, or any theory for that matter.”(3) Evangelical J. J. Davis concurs: “Evangelicals have generally come to adopt the position that the Genesis accounts of creation are primarily concerned with the meaning and purpose of God’s creative work and not with precise scientific details of how it was accomplished….We look to the science of genetics to answer the scientific question of when human life begins and to the Bible for revelational answers concerning the value and purpose of human life.”(4) Of course these evangelicals are correct in disclaiming any scientific foundation for the cosmology of the Old Testament.

I believe, however, that there is more than just poetry in the biblical creation account. In what follows I argue that we should take the Hebrew cosmology as a prescientific attempt to understand the universe. Parallel accounts in other ancient mythologies will be the principal evidence I offer. One of the first problems we have is that there is no word in Hebrew for the Greek kosmos. Kosmos was first used by Pythagoras, who is said to be the first Greek to conceive of the universe as a rational, unified whole. Such a notion is crucial to the scientific idea that things operate according to law-like regularity. For the Hebrews the universe is not a kosmos, but a loose aggregate held together and directed by God’s will.(5) If God’s will is free–this is an assumption threatened in some evangelical doctrines of God–then the results of such a will are not predictable events. This is why the biblical idea of creation can never be called “scientific,” and why “scientific creationism” will always be a contradiction in terms.

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