We could spend our entire lifetimes drinking in the evidence for the creative GOD of the Bible within the finite basin of our universe and still never find it dry – the fingerprint of an infinite Designer, no doubt! Are you not impressed by the design of the giraffe, that can bow and raise its long neck quickly without losing consciousness? Look to the bombardier beetle, with its built in arsenal of chemical weaponry. Not impressed? Look to the smallest unit of living matter, the cell. Not impressed? Look to the complex symbolism within the Hebrew and Chinese languages. Look to the precise chemistry of the atmosphere, the way a fish breathes under water, the way the immune system fights like a trained army, and the way a mammal nurses its young. Still not impressed? Look to the heavens.
Behold a system so mathematically precise that you can fast forward and rewind an image of its motions with modern software.
~ Psalm 19:1-4
The actual Hebrew words in those sentences that are often translated as “declaring” or “telling” are çâphar (ספד) and nâgad (נגד). The meaning of çâphar is
“to score with a mark as a tally or record, i.e. (by impl.) to inscribe, and also to enumerate; intens. to recount, i.e. celebrate: – commune, (ac-) count, declare, number, + penknife, reckon, scribe, shew forth, speak, talk, tell (out), writer.” Strong’s Concordance.
Ah, doesn’t that sound astronomical?
The word çâphar is the same word used in Job 12:8, 28:27 (“Then He saw it and declared it; He established it and also searched it out”), 1 Chronicles 16:24, Psalm 78:6 (“That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children…”) and many other verses.
The meaning of nâgad is
“to front, i.e. stand boldly out opposite; by impl. (causat.) to manifest; fig. to announce (always by word of mouth to one present); spec. to expose, predict, explain, praise: – bewray, x certainly, certify, declare (-ing), denounce, expound, x fully, messenger, plainly, profess, rehearse, report, shew (forth), speak, x surely, tell, utter.” Strong’s Concordance.
The word nâgad is used in Genesis 41:24 (when Pharaoh told Joseph about his dream, “I told it to my magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me”), Esther 4:8, Job 31:37, Isaiah 3:9, 21:6, 41:22 (“Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; as for the former events, declare what they were, that we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce what is coming…”), and many other passages.
Read Psalm 19 with this fuller understanding of the beautiful Hebrew words çâphar (ספד) and nâgad (נגד) and no longer does it simply mean that the starry sky is an impressive display to reflect GOD’s glory. The celestial bodies have been placed there with a mission to communicate and verify the entire saga of salvation.
“Then GOD said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years…'”
~ Genesis 1:14
The Hebrew word in that passage often translated as “signs” is ‘ôwth (אות), which means
“a signal (lit. or fig.), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.: – mark. miracle, (en-)sign, token.” Strong’s Concordance
Before I delay any longer, I really must let you see what one Christian lawyer on a quest to understand the Star of Bethlehem discovered along the way.
Hint: Remember that YAHWEH named the stars, not man (see Job 9 and Amos 8 ) – different cultures have told stories to go along with the stars, but they haven’t changed the names and their meanings. Then recall the great sign that appeared in heaven in Revelation 12 about the woman clothed with the sun; the moon at her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. Now prepare to realize that there is something historically significant about December 25th, and no, it has nothing to do with pagans, Santa Clause, or even a manger.
Introducing, Frederick A. Larson…