Monday, April 25, 2016

Stars as connectors to the divine realm

Here is something important to notice about the stars in the biblical texts that we have been considering. The stars, closely linked with the divine council and with angels, were very clearly located in the sky but not in God’s heaven (they were this side of the sky-dome). Yet the divine council and the angels inhabited God’s throne room in God’s heaven (the other side of the sky-dome). So the stars functioned as a link—a visible manifestation of invisible powers; a pointer beyond themselves to the transcendent power structures of the created order.

The linking function of stars meant that a complete disjunction of heaven and earth was impossible because the stars, existing in different modes on both sides of the firmament, blurred the dividing line. The stars reminded people of the duality of heaven and earth—that there is more to creation than can be seen with the eye—but countered any tendency towards dualism: the thought that God’s heaven is some self-contained world disconnected from the visible creation. The “space” and “light” of heaven are connected to the space and light of the visible cosmos, and the light of the sun, moon, and stars represent that connection.— The Biblical Cosmos, pages 192–93

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