Astronomy: The Hebrews were devout students of the wonders of the starry
(Amos 5:8; Psalms 19:1)ff In the Book of Job, which is the oldest
book of the Bible in all probability, the constellations are
distinguished and named. Mention is made of the "morning star"
(Revelation 2:28) comp.
(Isaiah 14:12) the "seven stars" and "Pleiades," "Orion,"
"Arcturus," the "Great Bear"
(Amos 5:8; Job 9:9; 38:31) "the crooked
(Job 26:13) the Dioscuri, or Gemini, "Castor and
(Acts 28:11) The stars were called "the host of heaven"
(Isaiah 40:26; Jeremiah 33:22) The oldest divisions of time were mainly based
on the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, the
"ordinances of heaven"
(Genesis 1:14-18; Job 38:33; Jeremiah 31:35; 33:25) Such
observations led to the division of the year into months and the
mapping out of the appearances of the stars into twelve portions,
which received from the Greeks the name of the "zodiac." The word
(Job 38:32) means, as the margin notes, "the twelve
signs" of the zodiac. Astronomical observations were also necessary
among the Jews in order to the fixing of the proper time for sacred
ceremonies, the "new moons," the "passover," etc. Many allusions are
found to the display of God's wisdom and power as seen in the starry
(Psalms 19:1-6; Isaiah 51:6) etc.