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Monday, April 27 2015
Psalm 150: What Can You See In The Firmament Of The Heavens?
"Praise Him in the firmament of His Power"
The English-language word "firmament" originated from the Latin word, fermamentum, that meant to make firm, or to condense into a solid. While other more-familiar words were also based upon the same root word (i.e. affirm, confirm and, perhaps a little surprisingly, farm), it was used to refer to solid matter that is seen in the sky or the higher heavens (there are three levels of heaven described in the Word of God; see the Fact Finder question below).
"Firmament" is used by the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version (and others) to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced raw-kee-awh, that means what is visible above. The English Standard Version and the New International Version use "expanse," while the Complete Jewish Bible uses "dome." The James Moffat Translation uses "vault," which originally meant an arched ceiling.
Astronomers, ancient and modern, are familiar with the principle of the "dome" meaning of firmament. While Earth maps are based upon looking down at the outer surface of a globe, star maps are based upon looking up at the inner surface of a globe, the "celestial sphere," as shown in the illustration.
After the Creation of solid matter by means of the Holy Spirit of God (see The Christian Universe; see also Einstein's Holy Spirit Formula), what was below was separated from what was to be above (see also What Did Jesus Tell John About Creation?).
"1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The true calendar of the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God) is based upon the natural astronomical movements of the "firmament" - the sun (days; see also The Sun In History And Prophecy), moon (months; see The New Moon Calendar and The Passover Moon At Midnight) and stars (seasons and years; see How Did Rome Change True Time?).
"1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day."
Understanding what "firmament" actually means enables the reader to understand why, for example, the "stars" were used in the "the brightness of the firmament" prophecy given to Daniel (for a complete study collection for Daniel, see The Prophet Daniel: A Child Of The Exile).
"12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt [see Dust In The Wind and Leaving The Soul Behind; also Is 'Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust' Really In The Bible? and What Did Jesus Say About His Own Soul?).
"19:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." (Psalm 19:1 KJV)
So too in the last of the Psalms, "Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power."
"150:1 Praise ye the LORD.
Fact Finder: Where is "heaven"?
This Day In History, April 27
33 BC: Lucius Marcius Philippus, step-brother to the future emperor Augustus (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars), celebrated a triumph for his victories while serving as governor in one of the provinces of Hispania (the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula i.e. Spain and Portugal).
629: Shahrbaraz was crowned the king of the Sasanian Empire - the last Persian (Persia is known today as Iran) empire before the invention and rise of Islam.
1296: English forces under Edward I battled a Scottish army under the Earl of Athol at the Battle of Dunbar.
1509: Pope Julius II excommunicated the Italian state of Venice.
1521: Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed at age 41 by natives in the Philippines while on his pioneering round-the-world voyage.
1565: The first Spanish settlement in the Philippines was established.
1773: The English Parliament passed the Tea Act.
1810: Ludwig van Beethoven composed Fur Elise.
1813: During the War of 1812 (1812-1814), U.S. invasion forces pillaged the capital of Upper Canada during the Battle of York (present day Toronto, Ontario). The U.S. looting and burning of the Parliament Building in Toronto was later repaid by Royal Marines burning the White House in Washington, forcing U.S. President James Madison and his regime to flee the city. James Madison started the war with the publicly-stated intention to conquer Canada and subject its people to imperial rule from Washington (ironically, the U.S. very quickly adopted the imperialistic behaviour that it claimed to have been founded against).
1865: The Sultanana, a steam-powered riverboat, caught fire and burned after one of its boilers exploded. At least 1,238 of the 2,031 passengers, mostly former Union POWs, were killed.
1840: The foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster in London was laid.
1909: A group known as the "Young Turks" deposed Sultan Abdul Hamid 3 days after a liberation army had taken Constantinople.
1937: The first major aerial bombing of a civilian population took place when German warplanes, supporting General Francisco Franco's fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War, attacked the Basque town of Guernica in northern Spain, killing 1,000 of its 7,000 people.
1940: Nazi Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler gave the order to establish a concentration camp at an abandoned army barracks at Oswiecim, Poland. It became the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
1941: German troops raised the Swastika over the Acropolis in Athens.
1969: French voters, in a referendum on the proposed issues of regional devolution and reform of the upper house of the French Parliament, voted against Charles de Gaulle's further plans for the country; de Gaulle promptly resigned and the de Gaulle era ended.
1974: Over ten thousand protesters marched in Washington, D.C. demanding the impeachment of U.S. President Richard Nixon.
1975: Saigon was encircled by North Vietnamese troops.
1978: Afghanistan's armed forces seized power, establishing a government based on Islamic principles. President Daoud was killed and new President Nur Mohammed Taraki proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Invasions by the USSR in 1979 and the USA in 2001 followed.
1987: The U.S. barred Austrian Chancellor Kurt Waldheim diplomatic entry into the U.S. because of his alleged Nazi involvement during the Second World War. Many other Nazis were allowed into the U.S. immediately after the war however, including Wernher von Braun who was the head of Adolf Hitler's liquid-fuel rocket program that was used to bomb Britain (in which thousands of British civilians were killed). Wernher von Braun, who later admitted that he had been more than just a scientist (he was a member of both Hitler's political Nazi party and Hitler's war-criminal SS, the "schutzstaffel") worked on the development of NASA rockets (despite the opposition of those who knew the truth about "the NASA Nazi," including many Jews and Jewish holocaust survivors) and U.S. nuclear missiles.
1989: Protesting students took over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The protests were later crushed (literally) by Chinese tanks and troops.
2005: The European superjumbo airliner Airbus A380 made its first flight, in France.