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Prof. James N. Hanson

The Testimony of God's Cosmic Geometry

The General Geocentric Geometric Character of the Scriptures

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of references in which the Scriptures are implicitly, if not explicitly geocentric. Implicitly geocentric verses are those which assume geocentricity in their wording. Consider, for example, the many references to “the heavens above” and “the earth below.” One is forced to ask: “Above or below what? Above the earth and below the heavens?” Similarly, heaven is spoken of as “up” and earth as “down.” Other such direction-expressing pairs of words exist in the Bible. For example, there is “ascending” with “descending,” and ”over” with “beneath.” Likewise, the many times that the term “host of heaven” is used shows the stars and angels to be geocentrically disposed. When the height of heaven is mentioned, it is mentioned as measured from the earth's center (e.g., Isaiah 55:91) and from the earth's surface (Psalm 103:112). Such references occur everywhere in the Bible and they are certainly not heliocentric or Copernican. God's geometry is geocentric.

For example, “down” is used in Joshua 10:11 where “The LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them….” It would seem that God had fixed the earth so as to be a recipient of heavenly meteoric material. Compare this with “brimstone and fire from heaven” in Genesis 19:29, and “the stars in their courses” fighting from heaven in Judges 5:20. Apparently God hurled wave after wave of stellar meteoric material at Sisera's troops.

The Earth's Stability

A great many verses overtly speak of the earth's immobility and fixity. Most post-Copernican commentaries totally ignore the simple, physical reading of these verses. For example, I Chronicles 16:30 reads: “Fear before him all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved” and Psalm 93:1 and 2 states that “The LORD reigneth, he is clothed in majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is established, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.” These two verses are usually taken as speaking about political unrest or of earthquake activity. Yet the context is cosmological, whereby God is again asserting that the earth is not yet to be destroyed. In the second verse of Psalm 93, the Holy Ghost first uses “stablish” in contrast to ”establish.” A stronger statement of geocentricity would be hard to find. The word “stablish” pertains to utter fixity, of firmly setting or placing a material thing (e.g., Genesis 1:14-18). The word, “establish,” on the other hand, pertains to an office or position, involving people. Compare Psalm 96:9-11, where the stability of the people is mentioned.

If the commentators doubt the geocentric literalness of Joshua 10:12- 14 (referring to Joshua's long day), Habakkuk did not; for we read in Habakkuk 3:11 that “The sun and moon stood still in their habitation.” Habakkuk makes a hopelessly geocentric reference even more geocentric. The sun types Jesus and so the habitation of the sun is God's abode, which may be the sanctuary of the Tabernacle or Temple (Deuteronomy 12:5,3 for example), or his heavenly abode as in Deuteronomy 26:15—”look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven.” Hence the sun not only stood still (not the earth standing still) but its relation is given with respect to the earth, that is, “down.” Furthermore, as can be seen in many verses, it is Jesus who does the moving, as does the sun in these verses, and it is he that comes; we do not nor can we go to him.

Geocentricity and the Restored Temple

Does God put his name in just any place? How can the place where God abides, or will abide, be subject to the whims of motion that the earth is supposed to have in the heliocentric system? In the first chapter of Ezekiel, the wheels move with respect to the earth; they even maintain the same orientation for “they turned not when they went” (Ezekiel 1:12) and in the last verse in the book of Ezekiel, the name of the millennial Jerusalem is “The LORD is there.” In the face of these and many similar verses, where do we find the Copernican cosmological principle that states that there is no special place in the universe? If “the LORD is there,” it must be an important place.

In his first chapter, Zechariah prophesies about the second temple, and in the eleventh verse there is given a cosmological view of the earth (as in Genesis 28:12; Ezekiel chapters 1, 10, and 28, etc.):

And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

Years before, Isaiah had prophesied of the dissolution of the present creation, including the earth (Isaiah 34:4, 24:19). Other scripture writers had done the same (Psalm 102:25, 26, etc.) But the “they” in Zechariah 1:11 (the riders of the red, speckled, and white horses mentioned in the eighth verse) reported that the times had not yet arrived for the dissolution of the earth, thus indicating that this is the state of the earth at a time prior to that time of judgment.

The Geocentric Earth is Israel's Inheritance

They which dutifully inspected the earth, Zechariah 1, inspected it by walking to and fro in it and they reported to Jesus exclaiming: “behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.” It is Jesus that rides the red horse since his is referred to as the angel of the LORD. He is imitated by Satan in Revelation 6:4. Jesus appears prophetically on a blood-colored horse, pointing to the blood atonement of Matthew 26:28; and brings with him Israel, bearing colors from red to mixed (speckled) to pure white (compare Isaiah 1:18) showing Israel's present spiritual state. For he would purify them and the land on their return from the Babylonian captivity (Ezra 6:20-21). Since it is Israel that is to return to a land laid waste for 70 years, it would seem appropriate that they would inspect the condition of the earth. It is noteworthy that these riders should be Israel for they are the third party to the four carpenters of Zechariah 1:20 and to the four horns of verse 15, which, presumably, are the Syrians, Egyptians, Assyrians and Babylonians. It is the earth, at the “midst of heaven” (Deuteronomy 4:11) where God did “choose…to put his name” (Deuteronomy 12:5) and to provide “rest” and an “inheritance” (Deuteronomy 12:9, to be compared with the equally cosmological Christian ”rest” of Hebrews 4:2 and 3).

Whatever may be correct concerning the riders of the red, speckled horse, it may at least be said that where God puts his name and where he brings the “kingdom of heaven” when he comes, must occupy the central position in the creation as indicated overtly here and in many other places. The Copernican moving-earth that takes away its uniqueness is an abomination; for it is on the earth that God has unfolded his plan and purposes, and it is with respect to the earth and its position in relation to God's throne that all cosmic references are made.

The Plumbline at Jerusalem Points to God's Fixed Throne

If the earth is rotating, let alone the profusion of other superimposed motions, a plumbline at the Temple from the mercy seat would seldom, if ever, point to God's throne with New Jerusalem. Such a line, when seen from the throne, would aimlessly flail about. But in Scripture, this line points to God's throne, thus showing the fixity of the earth with respect to the third heaven. That God's third heaven is fixed, we shall have to take at his word, for only God the creator can supply the reference. The plumbline, in turn, holds the plummet, a lead ball. In Isaiah 28:174 this plumbline over Jerusalem connects Jesus (verses 9-13) with the righteous on earth. In Amos 7:75 the LORD shows Amos the plumbline of Isaiah 28 and prophesies that the promised tribulational desolation (verse 9) ”will not again pass by them any more.” The “wall” of verse 7 upon which stands the LORD must be the temple wall showing the cosmological heavenly alignment of the place where God puts his name. Zechariah calls attention to this plumbline when prophesying the rebuilding of the temple (Zechariah 4:10) and associates the plummet with the cosmic events of Revelation 1 through the seven candles, “…for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”

The plumbline shows that salvation comes down, as in Psalm 19, to the earth; note the symbolism of the plummet, being made of lead which is considered the basest of metals, residing closest to the earth, represents man who cannot save himself (Ephesians 2:8-9). The plumbline points from earth to heaven, (Jesus being the plumbline and our way to heaven,) and it also points from heaven to earth, bringing judgment upon Jerusalem, as we see in II Kings 21:13.6 Note that the word “line” in II Kings 21:13, Psalm 19, and many other places is a geocentric notion in that it is the geocentric, diurnally rotating heavens that produce the lines.

Footstools are not Footstools if They are Moving

The stationary relationship at the Temple, which is affixed to the earth, and God's Throne is also depicted by the Temple as God's footstool:

How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!

Jerusalem, as Sodom and Capernaum (Matthew 11:23) and all of Israel (Lamentations 2:2 — “The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof”), love the self-exalted positions and are (geocentrically) “cast down” from heaven to hell. From I Chronicles 28:2,7 Psalm 99:58 and Psalm 132:79 we know that “his footstool” is the Temple upon which “the LORD look down, and behold from heaven” (Lamentations 3:50 and 51). This is not heliocentric talk. God's footstool did not move. It is right where he left it. The Temple mount, Mount Moriah, is still under his throne as it was at the time of Isaac's sacrifice (Genesis 22), at David's purchase of the threshing floor (II Samuel 24:18-25), at the destruction of the Temple (Lamentations, Jeremiah 52), and at the millennial return (Ezekiel 40-48).

Circles, Circuits and Wheels

In Ezekiel 1 the living creatures were each associated with enormous wheels. Perhaps these wheels circumscribed the earth so that their eyes might survey all the earth, just as God's eyes “which run to and fro through the whole earth” (Zechariah 4:10). These wheels show forth the geocentric geometry of the creation in that “when they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went” (Ezekiel 1:17). That is, they never rotate or turn with respect to the earth. This is but one geocentric property of Ezekiel's vision.

In Isaiah 40:21-23,10 God reprimands man for his unwillingness to accept God's word over the science and idolatry of the world precisely on this matter of geocentricity; especially, in verses 21 and 22, about the geocentric character of Genesis 1. These verses are deliberately anti- Copernican. On the strength of Genesis 1 alone, it is obvious that the creation is geocentric. The earth occupies the safe and secure position in the center as at the center of a tent or the center of a curtained abode. (As we see the Lord in the midst of the curtained tabernacle in the wilderness, or in the midst of the veiled holy of holies in the Temple.) God, indeed, on occasions sits at his chosen place on his own spherical earth; and at other times he sits in his corresponding place at the other end of the plumbline.

The Geometry of the Creation

As I read those verses dealing with the creation and with the heavens, (and there are hundreds of them), I can not help but feel that a spherical creation is being spoken of in, for example: Ezekiel 1, the book of Revelation, the cosmological chapters of Job, Zechariah's vision, the waters above the firmament, and so on. Peter Ruckman,11. in his discussion of Amos 9:6—

It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.

observes that a three-storied heaven is indicated by II Corinthians 12:1-4,12 and, by analogy, with the three-storied ark of Noah13 and the three-storied temple of Ezekiel 42:6.14 The analogy is a good one; for the ark of Noah and the millennial Temple in Ezekiel's vision are both sanctuaries, as is the geocentric earth in the midst of God's creation.15 It is hardly a comforting thought to think of the earth as subject to the cosmological principle.

Although my education has taught me to think of space as “algebraic space,” being “curved” by the appropriate “space-time metric,” (whatever such mathematical obfuscation might mean), the fact is that man can not comprehend space. I gladly seize upon Amos's record which seems to indicate a storied or spherically layered creation.

The Earth at the Center of the Firmament and Waters

The earth is spherical and the first (or atmospheric) heaven is a concentric sphere about the earth. The second heaven (the starry firmament, universe, cosmos) is likewise centered about the earth. Finally, the extent of the firmament is a sphere and it interfaces with the third heaven where is God's throne. Whether the third heaven is infinite or not is not for man to say; for man cannot deal with or perceive the actual infinite. This seems to be the intent of the word “stories” of Amos 9:6; that is, spaces or strata layered one upon the other.

The “sea” of which Amos writes must, in this context, be the cosmic ”waters which were above the firmament” (Genesis 1:7). That presumably forms the interface between the second and third heavens. Such a picture is quite in keeping with Genesis 1:6 and 7.

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.

So the firmament is that story which divides the heavenly waters from the earthly waters and it is in the midst of the heavenly waters. For the firmament to be in the midst of the heavenly waters, the latter would have to have a spherical surface. Is not the “sea” in Amos 9:6 this same water, and does not the spreading out of the sky and its likening to a “molten looking glass” in Job 37:18 refer to the watery interface? Note that a layer or story of subterranean waters may also exist, giving three layers of waters (Psalm 136:6; 24:2; Genesis 7:11). All these verses and many others conform to a spherically geocentric creation.


1 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

2 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

3 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:

4 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

5 Amos 7:7-9—Thus he showed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.
And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:
And thes of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

6 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down.

7 Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building

8 Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.

9 We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool.

10 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.

11 Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, 1982. Minor Prophets, Bible Believers Commentary Series. Bible Baptist Book Store, P.O. Box 7135, Pensacola, FL 32504.

12 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

13 Genesis 6:16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

14 For they were in three stories, but had not pillars as the pillars of the courts: therefore the building was straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground.

15 Deuteronomy 4:11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.

Last modified on 27 December, 1999 by GDB