Psalm 104:2

Hebrew Bible

1 Praise the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are magnificent. You are robed in splendor and majesty. 2 He covers himself with light as if it were a garment. He stretches out the skies like a tent curtain 3 and lays the beams on water in his upper rooms3. He makes the clouds his chariot and travels on the wings of the wind. 4 He makes the winds his messengers and the flaming fire his attendant.

Isaiah 40:22

Hebrew Bible

21 Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told to you since the very beginning? Have you not understood from the time the earth’s foundations were made? 22 He is the one who sits on the earth’s horizon; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers before him. He is the one who stretches out the sky like a thin curtain, and spreads it out like a pitched tent. 23 He is the one who reduces rulers to nothing; he makes the earth’s leaders insignificant. 24 Indeed, they are barely planted; yes, they are barely sown; yes, they barely take root in the earth, and then he blows on them, causing them to dry up, and the wind carries them away like straw.

 Notes and References

"... The verses quoted in both the Apostolic Constitutions and the Christian Topography to describe the structure of the universe are taken from the books of Psalms, Isaiah, and Job rather than from the account of the Creation in Genesis, giving them a homiletic application to articulate and illustrate a specific physical shape of the cosmos. Both texts refer to the heavens as a curtain creating a tentlike structure above the earth and above the fi rmament, as in Isaiah 40:22,29 “... who stretcheth out the heavens like a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in,” and in Psalms 104:2, “Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment, Who hast stretched out the heavens like a tent.” Both describe the earth as suspended over nothingness and surrounded by oceans, as in Job 26:7, “He stretcheth out the north over the void, and hangs the earth upon nothing.” In both, the dust of the earth is gathered into a square box, as in Job 38:38, “When the dust runneth into a mass and the clods cleave fast together?,” which relies on the Septuagint translation used by Constantine of Antioch: “He has inclined heaven to earth and it has been poured out as the dust of the earth I have welded it as a square block of stone.” The use of the same verses suggests a common homiletic understanding of the biblical text as well as a shared conception of the structure of the universe ..."

Laderman, Shulamith "Cosmology, Art, and Liturgy" in Revel-Neher, Elisabeth, et al., editors. Between Judaism and Christianity: Art Historical Essays in Honor of Elisheva (Elisabeth) Revel-Neher (p. 124) Brill, 2009

 User Comments
No comments currently available.

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.