Saturday, February 12, 2022

Psalm 19:6--The Sun's Heat and God's Glory (In Progress)

There are numerous articles dealing with Psalm 19:6, so my post is very specific, only concentrating on part of verse 6 and making an application to the Sun.

NET: "It emerges from the distant horizon, and goes from one end of the sky to the other;
nothing can escape its heat."

NWT 2013: "It emerges from one end of the heavens, And it circles to their other end; And nothing is concealed from its heat."

The psalmist mentions the Sun (
laš-še-meš) in Psalm 19:4 after proclaiming that the heavens declare the glory of Jehovah's handiwork (compare Romans 1:20): hence, the Sun is the subject of verses 6-7. It is the Sun that makes a daily circuit from east to west like a newly married bridegroom or great champion about to run his course: God also makes a palatial tent for the Sun. Moreover, the Sun's heat is extensive in its scope as it shines on every terrestrial thing.

Certain scholars think the worship of Shamash (a sun God) could be what partly motivated David to compose this psalm: they think it's a polemic against the Akkadian deity. Supposedly, Jehovah is contrasted with this sun god.

Regarding the latter part of Psalm 19:6, KD write:
"On this open way there is not נסתּר, anything hidden, i.e., anything that remains hidden, before its heat. חמּה is the enlightening and warming influence of the sun, which is also itself called חמּה in poetry."

My Reflections on the Sun: There are billions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, but the sun is special. The sun is "an average sized star" (NASA); Genesis calls it the greater luminary in comparison to our moon.  Additionally, the sun is the source of light and life for us. There is a famous section of Plato's Republic, where Socrates compares the Form of the Good to the sun: this star provides light and life for us just as Plato's Good purportedly supplies intellectual light and life.

It is no wonder that the Bible uses sun metaphors or imagistic language at times which involves the sun. The scriptures even compare Jehovah himself to the sun (Psalm 84:11); he is our spiritual light and gives us life in a physical and spiritual sense (Psalm 36:9; 43:3). 
As Psalm 19 testifies, nothing on earth remains hidden/concealed from the sun's penetrating heat. What a blessing Jehovah bestowed on us by creating the sun.

Other Facts About the Sun:

The Sun continually converts hydrogen into helium, a process known as nuclear fusion.

The Sun is approximately ninety-three million miles away from the earth: it takes light from the Sun about eight minutes to reach earth (circa 499 seconds).

"the temperature at the very center of the Sun is about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit" (NASA)

Sources for Further Reading:

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