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It has been several years now since I've run into the argument that Job 38:14, which says of the earth that: “It is turned as clay to the seal …,” is an example of a heliocentric verse. Although promoted during the 1970s, this verse has fallen by the wayside like all other verses in scripture which have been proposed as heliocentric. Now, finally, I've traced the origin of this notion.

Evidently is is due to Dr. Bill Rice, (1912-1978) who proposed it in the 1960s.1 Although the editorship of the Sword of the Lord seems to place great store in Rice's apologetic, the article clearly shows that Rice is confused about the physics involved in the matter. To Rice, the phrase, ”turning of clay to the seal,” is interpreted as the turning of clay on a potter's wheel, Rice assuming that the seal is engraved during the turning on the wheel, but then he applies it to the earth's alleged revolution around the sun. If it applies to anything of the sort, its proper application would be to the daily rotation of the earth, not its orbital motion, as this latter is more like tying a string to the pot and then slinging it about one's head versus clay on a potter's wheel.

In the same article, Rice promoted the long-discredited belief that the solar system orbits Alcyone, the brightest star in the Pleiades star cluster which 150 years ago some held to be at the center of the universe. (The Pleiades looks like a tiny dipper in the constellation of Taurus, the bull; and it is visible in the autumn and early winter in the Northern hemisphere.)

Rice also claims that Luke 17:34-36 (where both daytime activities and nighttime activities are present at the rapture) proves the earth rotates. It does not such thing. If anything it proves that the earth is spherical, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with rotation.

Finally, Rice believes that the “worlds” mentioned in Hebrews 1:2 & 11:3 refer to other inhabited planets. Since the definition of world is “the order of man on the earth,” such interpretation is totally unjustified. But then any man who places science falsely so called (1 Timothy 6:20) above the clear words of the Holy Bible isn't going to be able to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15), is he?


1 The article is reprinted in the Sword of the Lord issue of May 17, 1996, 62:10, 1.

Translated from WS2000 on 12 February 2005 by ws2html.