Genesis 1:1, What holds the earth up?

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

//So begins our story of the creation in Genesis chapter 1. Picture a flat earth, unmoving, poking up out of the water. A bowl, or dome, covers and protects the entire earth, which separates the waters below from the waters above. Doors in the heavens (the top of the dome) allow water from above to come through as rain.  If you would like to think of an enclosed dome-shaped snow globe, one of those Christmas scenes you shake upside down and then turn right side up to watch the snow fall, you’ll have the general idea.

The sun and the moon, the two great lights, track across the underside of this dome every day and night to provide light. At night, most people imagined the stars to be either gods or angels, while some pictured them as little holes in the dome for the gods to peek through. Below the waters is hell (Sheol), the realm of the dead.

But here’s the puzzle. What holds the whole thing up? The Bible actually provides several solutions to the puzzle:

Psalm 24:1, For he hath founded [the earth] upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. That’s all fine and well, but what keeps the earth from sinking into the sea, or at least floating away?

Psalm 104:5, Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Ah! So we have a foundation beneath us, keeping us stabilized. But it’s still not clear what keeps us on top of the water.

1 Samuel 2:8, The pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them. Here’s the answer. Pillars! Pillars run down from the earth, through the waters, to Sheol, where they hit bedrock. This was a common belief in antiquity, shared between several ancient Mediterranean civilizations, and the earth’s pillars are mentioned multiple times in the Bible. But not everybody believed this; Job has his own idea:

Job 26:7, [God] stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

Perhaps we’ll never know for sure how it all stays afloat.


  1. I have asked this question a lot of times. Thanks for the most complete answer I have ever seen. You revealed some of God’s misteries to mee. Keep up the good work.

    ps.: I never really got into that gravity non-sense

  2. :) Glad to be of help!


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