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by Dr. William Pelletier
Last week’s article, The Hunter and Seven Sisters, surveyed two groups of stars which are mentioned several times in the Bible: Orion (the Hunter) and the Pleiades (the Seven Sisters).
Several Old Testament books use these two star groups, along with the Bear (Ursa Major, of which the Big Dipper is a part), to seize attention and megaphone truth to mankind (Job 9:8-10; 38:31-32; Amos 5:8).
Orion and the Pleiades in the Bible
The book of Job is probably the oldest book in the Bible. It relates the troubles of a man named Job who lived after the Flood, probably around the time of Abraham.
Job had been proclaiming his innocence of wrongdoing, insisting that his suffering was not fair, and calling for an answer from God. Instead of giving Job an explanation, God asked him a series of unanswerable questions to demonstrate His superior wisdom in ruling the world, including His sovereign decision to permit Job’s suffering. Here are several of the questions that God asked Job related to constellations:
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades,
Or loose the cords of Orion?
Can you lead forth a constellation in its season,
And guide the Bear with her satellites?” (Job 38:31-32 NASB)
Astronomers today know that the Pleiades is a gravitationally-bound star cluster. All the stars of the Pleiades are moving in the same direction across the sky at the same speed. In contrast, Orion’s stars are not gravitationally-bound; they are gradually moving away from each other.
Was this bound/unbound nature of the Pleiades and Orion known in Job’s day? It’s very unlikely! The Creator alone would be able to hint to Job that the Pleiades are bound together, but Orion’s stars are “loosed” (not bound). This “inside information” testifies to the divine origin of the Bible…
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