Tuesday, April 01, 2014

No need...

Despite the range and mass of primary sources in existence from ancient Israel, only scraps of celestial-science terminology are extant. Aside from basic terminology for the sun and moon, only a handful of specific star names and a single veiled reference to a planet remain. This situation can at least partially be explained by (1) preexilic Israel’s lunar calendar, which required very little astral systematization, as will be discussed below; and (2) its lack of celestial divination. Put simply, the writings from Iron Age Israel do not use sophisticated celestial-science concepts or employ complex terminology, probably because there was no need for these sorts of things.—Poetic Astronomy in the Ancient Near East, page 245

<idle musing>
And why not? Perhaps I'm overly influenced from my current reading in Isaiah, but it seems to me that the presence of a living, holy, communicating God obviated the need...
</idle musing>

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