Figurative Language And Geocentrism
In the previous chapters we looked at how the Bible uses
figurative language in general. In this chapter we will examine
figurative language in the context of Geocentric and Flat Earth
The Traveling Sun?
Geocentrists often mention how the Scriptures portray the heavens
from a Geocentric perspective, and in this they are correct. The
Bible does speak of the sun, moon, stars, and heavens in general
from an earthly, geocentric standpoint, as everyone does yet
today. Even the most die-hard Heliocentrist speaks of "sunrise,"
"sunset," etc., in his normal conversation. We all live on the
earth and naturally view the physical world from an earthly
perspective, and since the Scriptures were written for men on the
earth, they also speak from an earthly perspective. They speak to
men "under the sun" (Ecc 1:3).
The Geocentrists will often brag about how they have 100, 200, or
even 300 verses in the Bible that show Geocentrism is true, but
upon examination almost all of them are relative, earth
perspective statements. For an example we will look at the first
mention of the "sun" rising found in the Scripture, Gen
"The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered
Consider these words carefully. It says the "sun was risen upon
the earth." If this is taken as an absolute statement then there
must be a time when the sun is NOT risen or shining upon the
earth...but that is not possible! The sun is shining somewhere
on the earth at all times in any cosmological system. When
pushed on this the Geocentrists will usually say, "Well...here the
earth is not the whole earth but just the local area." Ah,
equivocating already. Their absolute approach to dealing with
these terms is falling apart at their very first "proof" verse!
If one will be honest with the Scriptures and himself he will
admit the sun does not literally and absolutely set in any
scenario. It is always relatively moving and shining on half the
earth at any given time. To "set" means to stop or rest. The sun
never does. This simple observation proves that when the Bible
speaks of sunrise/sunset it is plainly speaking from the local,
relative perspective of a person on the earth gazing into the sky.
It is by no means making a dogmatic, absolute statement about the
movement of heavenly bodies. When the sun is setting for me, at
the same moment it may be rising for you.
When cornered with this fact the Geocentrists will then claim,
"Well...the terms still mean the sun is the object doing the
moving even if it doesn't actually set." Really? We shall see.
The Lord Sets the Precedent
For scriptural proof the Lord and His Scriptures speak from
an earthly frame of reference we only need to look at one of His
most profound promises. In Genesis 15:5 the Lord made a key
promise to Abraham. He told Abe to gaze into the sky and “tell
the stars if thou be able to number them”. Then the Lord, in
just five words, unloaded an unconditional promise that still has
huge ramifications today. He told Abe, “So shall thy seed be.”
This promise that Abraham's seed would number as the stars speaks
of the beginning of the nation of Israel and of Israel’s seed,
Jesus Christ. This promise based of the number of the starts was
reiterated again and again,
"That in blessing I will bless thee, and in
multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the
heaven,..." (Gen 22:17)
Several hundred years later, after Israel was freed from Egyptian
bondage, Moses said to them (Deut 1:10),
"And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of
heaven,..." (Gen 26:4)
“The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold,
ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.”
He said again in Deut 10:22 (see also Deut 28:62),
Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and
ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the
stars of heaven for multitude.
Nehemiah even gets in on this (Neh 9:23),
"Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of
heaven, and broughtest them into the land..."
And the author of Hebrews gives a NT confirmation of the promise's
fulfillment (Heb 11:12),
"Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good
as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude,..."
Many times the Scriptures say this promise has been fulfilled, but
how could this be? Did Abe already have billions and billions
of descendants, as many as all the existing stars, only 400
years or so later? At most Abraham could only have had two
million or so descendants (Ex 12:37), no where near the number of
stars that are in the heavens (100 billion in our Milky Way Galaxy
alone!). How do we reconcile this? Simple, the Lord was using
Abraham’s limited human vision and earthly perspective of the
heavens as the quantifying basis for His promise. He did not use
as the quantifier the literal, absolute number of the stars of
heaven as He knows them (Psa 147:4). He only used the
number of stars Abraham could actually see: probably less than
three thousand stars, even on a very clear night.
Imagine the scene: in a manner of speaking the Lord is on His
throne in the third heaven looking down through all the billions
and billions of galaxies He created (100 to 200 billion estimated
at present), each with around 100 billion stars, finally stopping
his gaze at tiny planet earth and sees an old man standing looking
up into the heavens; looking back towards Him. Then the Lord tells
the man to count the stars (if he can), knowing the man with his
very limited human vision can only see 2,000-3,000 of the very
brightest stars that are near the earth. Then the Lord makes a
promise generally based upon the number of stars the man
This scriptural observation sets a precedent of the "frame of
reference" the Lord uses when He communicates with man and relays
information. Unless specifically and clearly shown otherwise,
the Bible perspective of reality and the universe is from the
earth, and that is the basis of the "geocentric" terminology the
Here are even more texts that indicate this,
"Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though
thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee
down, saith the LORD." (Oba 1:4)
Can birds fly to the stars? Since we know NOW the nearest star is
over four light-years away, it is impossible. However, from a
human perspective 3000 years ago, the stars are in heaven and
birds fly in heaven, so the concept is somewhat conceivable.
"Thou (Nineveh) hast multiplied thy merchants above
the stars of heaven:..."
Really? There were more merchants in Nineveh 2500 years ago than
the stars of heaven? From who's perspective God's or an earth
bound man? Obviously, this is not an absolute statement. No,
Geocentrists, God is not deceiving us; He is simply using
figurative, relative, and even hyperbolic language. In these cases
it is not only relative for the location, but also for the time
The Host of Heaven Innumerable?
In relation to the Lord having Abraham count the stars 4000 years
ago, around 1400 years later he said through Jeremiah (Jer 33:22),
"As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the
sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David
my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me."
Here the Lord is not referring to the children of Israel, but of
David's seed. However, this time He says the host or stars of
heaven cannot be numbered. Ah...it seems a little advanced
revelation is going on here! The Lord told Abraham to count all
the stars he saw and then fulfilled the promise a few hundred
years later. Many centuries after Abraham a Greek named Ptolemy
counted a total of 1026 visible stars claiming they could be
numbered thus "proving" Jeremiah 33:22 is an overstatement or
false. Today we know the truth of the passage. The heavens cannot
be numbered, no more than the sand of the sea.
A few years ago some researchers tried to estimate the
number of stars in the known universe and the number of grains
of sand on all the sea shores. Obviously, no exact number of
either can be determined by man, and it never will be. The best
we can do is estimate. They determined that there are 70
thousand million million million
(70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) stars visible from the Earth
through telescopes. This is roughly 10 times more than there are
grains of sand on all the beaches. Looking in another direction,
there are about the same number of water molecules in 10 drops
of water as there are stars in the heavens! God's creation
contains very small things as well as very large.
Notice the Lord does not say in Jeremiah 33:22 that the seed of
David will number as many as the host of heaven; it says
they will be innumerable as the sand is innumerable. The number
could be much less and still innumerable. Nevertheless, in this
instance the Lord said the stars cannot be numbered. Around 600 BC
when these words were spoken men could not see anymore stars in
the sky than they could in Abraham's day. However, the Lord
progressed from "tell the stars" to you can't number them in that
time period. This seems to be an instance of progressive
revelation hidden in the Scriptures which Bible readers could only
understand AFTER the telescope was invented in 1608!
A Few Grains of Sand
In Genesis 22:17 the Lord reaffirmed the promise to Abraham
concerning his seed. He again mentioned he would multiply his seed
as the stars of heaven, but also added another quantifying
comparison—"the sand which is upon the sea shore." The number of
Abraham's descendants drastically increased with this "enhanced"
promise! Before it was a few thousand according to the number of
visible stars (which certainly tickled Abraham), but now it is
much, much more. Anyone can stand on the beach and by merely
looking between his feet see more grains of sand than he can stars
in the sky. Thus with this new quantifier, Abraham realized his
descendants would be as countless as the sand.
Later on in the Scriptures it is revealed that the terms "stars of
the sky" and "sand by the sea" are metaphors for an innumerable
amount. The actual number (which God only knows) is not to be
taken literally. Look at Judges 7:12,
"And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the
children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers
for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand
by the sea side for multitude."
Obviously, there were not as many camels as there is sand by the
sea side, but the camels were just as uncountable. The phrases are
thus figures of speech. Further proof of this is found in
And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in
the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them
together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the
The earth cannot hold as many people as there are actual grains of
sand (7 thousand million million million), so, again, this verse
is speaking figuratively of a countless number.
To Wax and Wane
Another fascinating phrase found multiple times in the Bible is
where it speaks of the sun "waxing hot" during the day (Exo 16:21,
1Sam 11:9, Neh 7:3). The phrase has a very clear and
understandable meaning: as the day progresses and the sun appears
higher in the sky, the local "heat" from the sun increases. This
is something everyone has experienced and when the Bible speaks of
it the meaning is instantly understood. However, the sun "waxing
hot" is a bane to the Geocentrists. They will never bring the
verses up and when confronted with them they usually become very
defensive, irrational, and even combative. The reason? If they
treat these verses as literal as they treat the sunrise verses,
they will look like blank fools.
Look at Exo 16:21,
"And they gathered it (manna) every morning, every man
according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted."
What does it mean if this verse is taken absolutely literally? It
means the sun actually, in itself, gets hotter. But that simply
can't happen because when it is noon and "hot" in one place, it is
dawn and dusk (and thus cooler) in other places, all from the same
sun. Obviously, the sun itself is NOT changing its temperature—it
does not actually get hotter. What is changing is the sun's angle
of exposure to a local area. At mid-day the sun's rays are the
most direct. At dawn and dusk they are weaker and diluted because
of the shallow angle.
Take a flashlight, for example. Turn the light on and
hold it directly over a desk so that the beam is shining
straight down. The light will be a bright circle not much larger
than the lens of the flashlight. Now hold the light almost flat
or horizontal on the desk so the beam is shooting all the way
across it. See how the light is spread across a much larger area
and the brightness is diminished? The amount of light and heat
generated by the flashlight is constant, but since it is spread
out over a wider area when held at a shallow angle its relative
intensity at any given spot is weaker. Now imaging holding a
light bulb over a basketball in a dark room. Although it is a
little harder to see, the light will be brighter on the center
of the ball facing the light that it will be on the very edges
of the light. The same goes for the sun and earth. The light and
heat reaching the edges of the earth is "thinner" than the heat
hitting it "head on."
Rational people realize the sun cannot change its temperature
every day to increase the temperature only in a very localized
area. They understand when the Bible says the sun "waxed hot," it
is speaking in a relative, local sense. However, some Geocentrists
try to "have their cake and eat it too." One insisted the sun
absolutely and literally got hotter, but only in a local sense,
but "saying doesn't make it so." This is a conflation of terms.
Something cannot be absolutely true in a local sense. As
the dictionary states, "Absolute truth is something that is true
at all times and in all places." It is something that is always
true no matter what the circumstances." Either the sun absolutely
waxed hot or it didn't, and as we have seen, the sun itself cannot
get hotter in one locale and not another.
A Key Revelation
Now the question arises, why does the Lord use relative language
in some places that is impossible to be taken literally? He could
have said "the day waxed hot" instead of the sun and there
would have been no issue...but maybe he wanted an issue! Maybe
He wanted to make it clear to Bible readers that references to
the sun in His book are to be understood from an earthly
perspective. There could be other reasons, but when it comes
to creation, the movement of the heavenly bodies, Geocentrism, and
even the Flat Earth idea, it appears the Lord wants to be
purposely vague. What do the terms "sunrise" and "sunset" tells
us? Relatively, they tell us that from the earth the sun appears
the sun is moving, but the only absolute conclusion one can arrive
at is simply there is movement.
How passages like this are dealt with will reveal ones maturity
and consistency in dealing with the scriptures. If a Geocentrist
treats the action of the sun waxing hot as absolute as he treats
the action of the sun "moving" when it sets or rises, to be
consistent he must conclude the sun itself (its body) is in some
unknown way getting hotter in a very local area. But since only an
ignoramus would contend this, the Hyper-Literal Geocentrists are
in a dilemma. They either have to confound the terms and hope no
one will notice; admit the terms are relative, perspective
language; or look like a blank fool.
The simple fact is "sunrise" no more requires the sun to move
than "waxed hot" requires it to get hotter. The Scriptures
have "thrown a monkey wrench" into the Geocentrist's whirling
contraption of Geocentrism. The honest and spiritual believer will
acknowledge what the Lord has done with this obvious relative
language and try to learn from it. The "simple," however, will
continue on in his simpleness.
A Geocentrist Answers
Since most of the verses that deal with the sun "moving" in some
way have been dealt with, the Geocentrists only have a few other
Bible passages to appeal to for support, and we will look at
them in the following chapters on Bible Cosmology. Nevertheless,
during the summer of 2017 your author posted a list of questions
for Geocentrists on Facebook. The only Geocentrist to sensibly
address them all was one of the most notable among them, Robert
Sungenis. He kindly answered every one without ridicule or
mockery and without an air of defensiveness (a bad habit of some
of the Bible-believing Geocentrists) Sungenis was quick to
admit that most Bible verses that deal with the sun moving,
etc., were what is known as "phenomenal language." That is, the
language of the senses or appearance.
When asked, about sun rising and sun setting being
relative to the observer. Sungenis replied, "Correct, since the
“sun rising” and “sun setting” is phenomenal language."
It is clear Sungenis realizes that many of the passages used by
most Bible Believing Geocentrists to prove their claims are not to
be taken in an absolute, literal sense. They speak using
phenomenal language. It is a shame that a Roman Catholic
(Sungenis) can make these obvious and necessary distinctions but
the Bible Believing Fundamentalists often cannot.
When asked about the sun waxing hot, He replied, "This is merely
When asked about Nahum 3:16 where it says says, "Thou
(Nineveh) hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of
heaven," and if he believes that to be literally and
absolutely true? He replied, "It is phenomenal and hyperbolic
language that humans uses frequently, as does Scripture."
When asked, "Were the merchants greater in number than the stars
of heaven or were they placed physically above the stars?"
Sungenis answered, "It is a figure of speech."
In the following chapters we will examine the Bible to try and
determine its "cosmology," and address most of Geocentrism's other