Heaven’s Pillars

Job 26:11—”This verse falsely says that the heavens have pillars”

Job is Wisdom literature and uses extensive metaphoric, hyperbolic and poetic imagery. We know that Job did not literally believe that the heavens have pillars, for an immediately preceding verse says:

He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. (Job 26:7)

Job not only knew that the skies are suspended over nothing, but he also seemed to know that the entire earth was suspended in empty space, which would seem unusually advanced for such ancient writing. If the critic will not even accept these proofs, he should be reminded that Job is chastened by God at the end of the book for presuming to know all about creation (Job 38:1-4). Job then repents, and God honors him for it.

Incidentally, the Qur’ān also describes the heavens as being supported by pillars which are not visible to the human eye. (Luqman 31:10) We also find comparable cosmological difficulties in the Qur’ān , this time regarding comets. Sura Al-Saffat says that:

We have decked the lower heaven with constellations. They guard it against rebellious devils, so that they may not listen to those on high. Meteors are hurled at them from every side; then, driven away, they are consigned to an eternal scourge. Eavesdroppers are pursued by fiery comets. (37:6-10)

It appears that comets are designed to chase eavesdropping jinn, unless one reinterprets these verses or redefines the words.

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