DISCOVERY: THREE THOUSAND YEAR OLD WISDOM BOOK DESCRIBES ATOMS, SUBATOMIC PARTICLES
SOLOMON WRITING PROVERBS DORE
HIGHEST PART OF THE DUST?
Proverbs 8: 26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
Ukrainian (Kyiv) Icon, Sophia, the Holy Wisdom, 1812
Proverbs is one of my favorite books in the Bible. In the eighth chapter wisdom is personified as a woman. This is just a way of trying to make the abstract understandable by giving it human attributes. It is a rhetorical device.
WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, AND UNDERSTANDING
There are three words used throughout Proverbs: wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
Knowledge is the amount of information that you have available in your mind. Understanding is the ability to apply this information to situations. When this ability is seen in action it is called wisdom.
CREATION IS GOD’S WISDOM ON DISPLAY
Creation is a demonstration of God’s infinite knowledge and understanding.
When the infinite knowledge and understanding of God began to be demonstrated, wisdom was brought forth. Wisdom existed from all eternity, it became visible in creation. This is what we see in this Chapter.
Proverbs 8: 22-26
The Lord possessed me (brought me forth) in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
A PROBLEM FOR THE TRANSLATORS
The last verse here is extremely interesting. What is “the highest part of the dust”? Why would some dust be more important than other dust? As we will see, this is just an attempt by the translators to translate a very complicated Hebrew phrase.
PRIMITIVE ATOMS? FIRST ATOMS?
As I was working my way through “The Word: The Bible from 26 Translations”, my attention was drawn to ” Helen Spurrell’s translation from original Hebrew”. Her translation of verse 26 was, ” the primitive atoms of the globe.”
I wondered, is the Bible mentioning atoms here?
Then I checked Bullinger’s Companion Bible and found this: “the first atoms or particles of the world.” Since this translation is over 100 years old I was impressed.
Now I was really interested. I looked up the Hebrew words to see exactly what they mean.
ATOMS IS THE CORRECT TRANSLATION
This is why “atoms” is the correct translation.
The Hebrew for this phrase is “rosh aphar tebel”
וְרֹאשׁ עָפְרֹות תֵּבֵ
Let’s look at each Hebrew word.
Rosh is the Hebrew word translated “highest part” in KJV. The NKJ has “primal dust”. The ASV, DBY, and HNV have “beginning of the dust”. The YLT has ” the top of the dusts”,
It means whatever is highest, supreme, foremost, the beginning , or the commencement.
THIS DUST IS WHAT BEGAN THE CREATED WORLD
Today we would use the term “elemental particle” instead of “highest dust”. The dictionary defines elementary particles as “any of various fundamental subatomic particles, including those that are the smallest and most basic constituents of matter”.
So, “highest dust” is just the ancient way of saying elementary particles.
Aphar is the Hebrew word translated “dust”. It is a plural word in Hebrew. The use of the plural means “dusts” that stick together to form something. Some translators use the word “clods” for this word. It is used in Job 28:6 of gold dust (atoms)that clings together to form nuggets. The primary meaning of this Hebrew word is particles that are bound together. Elementary particles (electrons, protons, and neutrons) cling together to form atoms.
The word translated “world” is tebel and it means the created world that we live on. It is the whole earth, especially where the creation of the world is mentioned. It is the part of God’s glorious creation that we are most in contact with. It is created from “dust” and we were created from its dust.
WOW AND HALLELUJAH !
My translation of the phrase, in context, would then be: ” I Wisdom, existed before all things. I was here even before God made the elementary particles that cling together to form everything we see.”
One of Hubble’s most famous images, “Pillars of Creation” shows stars forming in the Eagle Nebula
A WITNESS TO PEOPLE AT THE END OF THE AGE
Did Solomon understand what he was writing about?
I do not think he did completely.
When God gave his direct word to men they did not always understand it.
Solomon wrote “rosh aphar tebel” because he was being lead by the Holy Spirit to write it, even though he may not have understood its full implication.
Daniel repeatedly asked for an interpretation of his own visions . The Prophets had to study their own revelations.
1 Peter 1: 11&12 NAS “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you…”
So, the Holy Spirit impressed Solomon to write this so it would be a witness to men who would later understand that everything is made up of atoms and their subatomic particles.
The Bible also mentions DNA, time dilation, relativity, atomic fission, atomic binding force, etc.
Look for these studies in “My Other Stories” at the top.
Mike Clinton, Hiawassee, Ga. March 8, 2014
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