Sunday, March 29, 2015

Abraham and Lord stargazing

Perseid Meteor Shower as seen in Mitzpe Ramon, Negev, Israel
Video The Jewish Press   
© 2013 Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

“Do not be afraid, Abram.
    I am your shield,
    your very great reward.”
But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Genesis 15:1-6
Negev desert sky over Beet Sheba region where this took place must have been a brilliant and spectacular sight in antiquity. In summer time there no clouds and all year round  there is absolutely no light pollution.

Under such circumstances naked human eye can see thousands of stars (2,500 to 5000 on moonless night according to this estimation).

The beautiful story of Abraham and Lord stargazing in Beer Sheba is over 2500 years old. It is therefore truly remarkable in its total lack of any kind of star worship so prevalent in the science and popular cultures of Near East in those distant days.

But the really surprising thing that this story emphasizes is that Abraham actually believed what Lord said to him.

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