We were discussing the age of the earth, for there is debate on this matter, when it was pointed out that our great Creator's habitation is the universe, and he has always existed.
We don't and can't fully understand eternity or infinity. Imagine a long corridor disappearing into a point, but if you go down it never ends. Time is not a human construct but a property of the universe and it has always a forward motion in events that cannot be reversed, so that we are always at a point between the past and future, going into the future. Many foolish words are written on the matter of the age of the earth because people don't understand the Bible, or don't want to understand the Bible.
Eternal in perspective
Moses introduces the Power of the Mighty Ones of Israel, and the word is translated as 'eternal'
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. (Deu 33:27)
The Hebrew word for 'eternal' is from the word qadam to hasten to anticipate and is qedem (also East) meaning 'front'. It is here used as and adverb to mean aforetime, anciently, or from the ancient past looking back until now. Standing looking East a Jewish person looked to their past, having come from the East to the West. The second word everlasting is Olam which is from alam meaning 'concealed' so it implies looking forward to the 'concealed' vanishing point.
Translators tended to favour 'for ever' in the Old Testament and 'eternal' in the new. In the Hebrew Olam in later books tends to have the preposition lamed or 'towards'- meaning toward the vanishing point of concealment. The Hebrew word Olam has a sense of movement from and towards, which is a better way of thinking of the matter than of thinking of infinity. We are here and may by examining history look back and by anticipating the future look forward. And this is a key point.
Any science of the age of the earth is looking back into the vanishing point of concealment – it's history. If dates and events in human history become uncertain a mere 1,000 years ago, and by 4,000 years ago are the subject of debate, we have little hope on knowing anything for sure more than 6,000 years ago. We can carbon date, but there are many assumptions made, and any other dating method is based on theories. Carbon dating "is applicable only to matter which was once living and presumed to be in equilibrium with the atmosphere.. Cosmic ray protons blast nuclei in the upper atmosphere, producing neutrons which in turn bombard nitrogen... This neutron bombardment produces the radioactive isotope carbon-14. The carbon-14 forms at a rate which appears to be constant," ( hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu) They have already had to adjust the dating for the slightly modified atmosphere of the modern age, but it has not been adjusted for an atmophere with no water and an earth covered in water about 6,000 years ago. Anytime anyone says something is aged of so many millions, they need to make clear all their assumptions!
Anyone who is involved in disputes in archaeology of the ancient world or traces a family lineage even of a monarch knows that what we know of history is reliant on contemporary documents and man made items. Even the science of DNA linages is reliant on written documents to establish trajectories! By all means everybody should dig and investigate and ponder!
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. (Pro 25:2)
But let us not beat others over the head with mere theories, as wisdom observes,
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it. (Ecc 8:17)
He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world (olam) in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end. (Ecc 3:11)
God has put Olam, the concealed of eternity in our heart, so we understand and seek the Eternal. So let us consider what is said in one of the oldest documents in the world, from a family history from their beginning.
A very old historical document
A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (Psalm 90:1-2)
Moses was already over two thousand years from when his ancestors were created, and they had a genealogy to prove it. For Europeans over a thousand, towards two thousand years is a long family -national history looking back into the darkness of concealment. When Moses looked back he saw to the concealed place before when the mountains were brought forth (out of the waters see Genesis 1) and as the Hebrew implies by so doing brings to birth and wriggles out the land (eretz) and tebel from yabal 'to bring forth', which means the inhabitable earth. The word for the inhabitable earth directly references their history as recorded in Genesis 1 where the earth comes out of the waters covering the earth.
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Gen 1:2)
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. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:6-10)
Note what is called 'heaven'. The waters of the sky are the 'heavens' of Genesis 1:1 as we must accept the definition given. The Hebrew word for Heaven shâmayim indicates this idea, containing the word mayim for 'waters'. To the Hebrews the heaven was the atmosphere, the water of the air. They knew there was more as there is a Heaven of heavens (Deut. 10:14). The view of the stars from the earth is through the sky. After waters on the earth are separated from waters in the sky, the land under is raised and separated from the water. There is no grand statement about the universe, or about the earth being made, rather, from this account, the earth and water were there at the beginning of the creation.
We might then look for some scientific observational evidence to back up the idea of the earth suddenly emerging from a global ocean. Is there a place where rock striations and boulders and formations speak of a historic and sudden and cataclysmic upheaval? In fact many places show this pattern. A linear history of rock formation and plate movement can't explain all of what we observe. We might make some effort to date earth movement, but we do have a very old document that speaks of it.
The Bible is always consistent in focusing on the making of the things we observe about us. Take a good look at what is said in Proverbs, which gives some detail.
The LORD possessed me (wisdom) in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth (eretz =ground) was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: 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: (Pro 8:22-29)
The 'earth' is, in context, the soil that emerged from the waters, before the depths of the sea (the opposite of the hills standing out of the water). This is clarified by the references to the hills. We are told our Creator “prepared” the heavens at this time. The Hebrew word kum 'prepared' means according to Strongs “to be erect (that is, stand perpendicular);. hence (causatively) to set up, whether literal (establish, fix, prepare, apply), or figurative (appoint). confirm, direct, faithfulness, fashion, fasten, firm, be fitted, be fixed, frame, be meet, ordain, order, perfect, (make) preparation, prepare, make provision, make ready, right, set (aright, fast, forth), be stable, establish.” The stages match that of Genesis One. This passage adds to the depth our knowledge, as we are told, at that time when our ancestors were made, the heavens, where the clouds are, were 'set up' and 'established'.
The Apostle Peter is clear about the heavens being of old and that by the word of God the earth emerged from the waters, as a fact that the people before the flood of Noah knew.
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (2Peter 3:3-7)
Peter is very sure about the fire (lightning Greek) of the future day of Judgement. Judgement is linked to Creation as he also at the same time created the clouds of the heavens and lightning.
He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens by his discretion. When he utters his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings with rain, and brings forth the wind out of his treasures. (Jeremiah 10:12-13)
The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice...Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. A fire goes before him, and burns up his enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. (Psa 97:1-4)
The Bible does not contradict any observations, however it is limited in scope and it says nothing about the age of the rocks of the earth, or the age of the universe. It does affirm that the Lord, is our Almighty El, from the concealed ancient times unto the vanishing point of concealment.
The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting. (Psa 93:1-2)
The Eternal Heaven of Heavens
As Yahweh Elohim is eternal so he has promised that it will be on earth as it is in eternal Heaven.
That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. (Deu 11:21)
The word for 'days' is the common one, yom, yet the context and expression as 'days of heaven' indicates that the time may be better translated as 'days to days' or 'for ever', that the days of our life may be extended to the for-ever of heaven. The whole, in the context of the promise, points to the idea of the eternity of the heaven of heavens, the residence of God.
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. (Isa 40:28)
We may feel much more comfortable with the idea of an everlasting Creator, than an everlasting earth. The one offering eternity must be Eternal. If this be the case, logic suggests that the 'throne' of the Creator would have existed as the Creator sat on it.
Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things has mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word. (Isa 66:1-2)
Whatever we may know about the age of the earth, we can know that it is regarded as a footstool of the Creator. This point argues for a long existence of the earth. The earth is special in the universe and has been for a long time. As far as we know it has had that special place of beign footstool to the vanishing point of history. When we look out there at the heavens, and the universe beyond, they are his throne, the place of his sitting. In addition we are told that everything we see, was made by the Creator.
Witness of the Angels
There are some hints of before 'the beginning' witnessed by the Elohim translated best as Mighty Ones, also known as Messengers or Angels.
The Elohim said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.." So the Mighty Ones (Angels) created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Gen 1:26-27)
Some more detail is revealed to Job.
The LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, "I will demand of thee. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?.. or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God (Elohim) shouted for joy? (Job 38:1-7)
We have a twofold witness that at creation there were many called the sons of Mighty who look like us. We have many credible eyewitnesses that have seen there are many Minsters and Messengers (Angels) of El. It makes sense they were at Creation. Angels look like us as Abraham thought the ones he met were travelling men. It would seem that Angels might come in male and female.
We have another witness; the discussion that Eve had with the serpent shows what they knew something about the Elohim, who they spoke to in the Garden.
The serpent said, “For Elohim does know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:5 )
Eve knew the Elohim were "wise". How did they come to know by experience good and evil when the Mighty El will not look upon evil? (Habakkuk 1:13)
Yeshua said we will be like the Angels.
But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. (Luke 20:34-36)
We had a beginning and in the resurrection we will live unto the vanishing point. Our life unto forever will be on earth, as the meek shall inherit the earth (Psa 37:11, Matt 5:5). So where do the Sons of Elohim at creation, the Angles, today spend most of their time? Wasn't Jacob at Bethel shown they leave earth to return? We are told the Angels are "sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" Heb 1:14, which means they must be on earth with us. Were the sons of Elohim at creation born like us? And where did they learn good and evil? On earth? As we know nothing but what we have written and what we may dig up is surrounded in speculation, it cannot be ruled out.
So when we come to the age of the universe, of the planets and stars, we know as much as we do regarding the age of the earth. We know only what we can see.
Astronomy can never be a hard core physics discipline, because the Universe offers no control experiment, i.e. with no independent checks it is bound to be highly ambiguous and degenerate…
This is why traditionally astrophysicists have been
content with (and proud of) their ability to use known physical laws and processes established in the laboratory to explain celestial phenomena. Cosmology is not even astrophysics: all the principal assumptions in this field are unverified (or unverifiable) in the laboratory, and researchers are quite comfortable with inventing unknowns to explain the unknown. research gate
The speed of light is verifiable, in our part of the universe and starlight we see has travelled to get here. That may suggest many thousands of years. Whereas the planets about us and our orbit may have been arranged 6,000 years ago with no impact, the stars by assumptions tested in verifiable science have been there a long time. If it's God's throne and temple, for all we know, what we see was made from matter that has existed back into the vanishing point of time!
The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. (Psa 11:4)
The earth as the footstool is a special construction in the universe. We are told that though it has a beginning, as it was made, it was made to be established until the vanishing point of time.
And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he has established for ever. (Psa 78:69)
In other words we may not ever know the detail of what happened before the family history of the current epoch. We do know that the future of the earth will join the ages of the heavens, until so far in our future as we can think of and then again to the vanishing point…
Look, think on it- you can't know all your ancestors to more than 1000 years ago. Most people know no more than 300 years ago, and some don't know their father. That is your personal history, as to what made you and was written on your DNA, and you don't and most often can't know it! Why get hung up on knowing the history of the earth? What we do know is we have a reliable history, which was already old in the days of King David.
I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. (Psa 77:5)
The future to the vanishing point
By contrast the future of the earth is a matter of concern and is your future!
Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. He has also stablished them for ever and ever: he has made a decree which shall not pass. (Psa 148:3-6)
One generation passes away, and another generation comes: but the earth abides for ever. (Ecc 1:4)
Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. You covered it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou have founded for them. (Psa 104:5-8)
The Bible gives our family history of the beginning, as a history that matters, but then goes on to the more important matter of our future. The Bible is full of the promises of the future of the Earth to the vanishing point.
And he said unto me, “Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings.” (Ezekiel 43:7)
The foot stool for the soles of our Creator's feet, that he made, will continue forever. This foot stool in the midst of Israel was promised personally to King David.
“After your days be fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up thy seed after you, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him. And your house and your kingdom shall be established for ever before you: your throne shall be established for ever.” (2Sam 7:12-16)
Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah. (Psa 89:35-37)
King David is to be resurrected live to the vanishing point and sit on his throne in Jerusalem to the vanishing point, as far as we may see and then again from there as far as we may see.
Our life is short, and out history is short to even 2,000 and 6,000 years, but the future is about a view into the vanishing point.
My days are like a shadow that declines; and I am withered like grass. But thou, O LORD, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. (Psa 102:11-12)
Our short life now versus salvation forever
There is a long discussion in Isaiah 51 showing how we should not fear humans, but should rather fear the Creator and Maker.
For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people. My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. (Isa 51:3-6)
We see the contrast between the things we see now where the clouds of the heavens vanish and the earth wears and erodes, and the future.
Art thou not He which has dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that has made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, even I, am he that comforts you: who art thou, that thou should be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forget the LORD thy maker, that has stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth;? (Isa 51:10-13)
I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered you in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people. (Isa 51:16)
We know now that the earth is subject to decay. The promise is that this will not continue, but rather the heavens will be planted, or fixed in place and the foundations established.
The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. (Isa 60:19)
As in the previous passage in this context it is speaking of a literal Jerusalem, but this section slips into the poetic language where the walls are salvation and gates are praise. Clearly neither are literal, but speak of the properties of the city of Zion, therefore where the sun stands for political power, there is the promise is of political power of Zion until the vanishing point.
Whereas you (Zion) have been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through you, I will make you an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. (Isa 60:15, 21)
Any detail of what may have happened before recorded history is lacking in the Bible. We just aren't told. In the beginning of this creation, the earth “was”. It was already there covered in water. We don't know for how long, we aren't told. What we find is history as uncertain as any other history that is dug up without written text. The heaven of heavens, the abode of the eternal God was already there. What is written is in accordance with observation.
However there is much said of the future for the earth, which is assured through promise to the vanishing point of the future. We are here and may look back into history, but that is done, so what matters now is that by anticipating the future, we look forward for ever and ever.
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:1-3)
Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keeps truth for ever: (Psa 146:5-6)
And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen. (Psa 72:19)
For more In the beginning
On Sunday May 16, 2016 a gust of wind changed Boston's “Freedom trail” and knocked over the statue of Benjamin Franklin. It has great significance, and likely is no accident or freak chance.
It has been in my heart to write about an observation regarding the movement in the heavens : weather, climate, sun and universe. It concerns me that people do not give the God of the Bible the glory for His gift of life, moment to moment, and the giving of rain and sun.