God asks Job in 38:31-32 “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out constellations in their season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?” Astronomers later found that the Pleiades are a gravitationally bound star cluster. The stars which make up Orion’s belt appear to be moving in different directions and at different speeds. Some have claimed this proves scientific foreknowledge of the Bible, long before the first telescopes. But what if that scientific analysis is incorrect? Is the Bible then proven false? With more powerful telescopes, astronomers have now determined that the Pleiades are slowly moving apart (see link below). Infrared telescopes have also found that Orion’s belt is part of a large “bound” nebula that was previously hidden behind gas clouds. This shows us that we must be very careful in using God’s word to bolster our own arguments. No matter what the current science and technology indicates, God’s word remains true. Remember, even if the initial understanding of the star clusters was correct, God was not teaching Job about astrophysics or gravitational forces. The immediate context of verse 32 indicates poetic language (and Job IS Hebrew poetry, after all, unlike historical books such as Genesis). We must be careful not to put words into God’s mouth or make it seem that He is saying something He isn’t just to support our argument. Astrophysicist John Hartnett observed, “It was argued [before] that God was asking Job if he can do the same as God, while now we could turn the argument around and suggest that God is asking Job if he can undo what God has done.” The effect is the same. God has affirmed His supreme power and rendered Job’s question moot. Science and man’s understanding changes, but God’s word stands unaffected and unchanged.
Posted by: Rob Lester | April 9, 2012
Undoing Orion’s Belt