Bible verses that strongly suggest that the
Universe is Finite in size

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Last Updated Thursday, February 23, 2012


  When discussing the size of the universe, two issues must be considered.
     
  1. Does the matter that exists within space have a boundary or is there infinite matter (i.e. is there a finite or infinite number of stars)?
  2. Is the void or empty part of space that the matter resides in infinite in size? In other words, if there was a limit to matter in space, how far beyond that limit does the void extend?
     
  There are several Bible verses that directly or indirectly address both issues, and it appears that they support the idea that both the boundary for matter and the void are finite.

 

The material Universe in Finite in size

 

  1. There are a finite number of stars. God knows how many there are, and he's given each one it's own name.

He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by [their] names.
Psalms 147:4

     
  2. The universe was stretched out from it's original size after God created it. A couple verses that describe this stretching compare it to a curtain being stretched. A curtain is clearly a finite object. See also 17 verses in the Bible say God expanded the universe from its original size.

[It is] he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof [are] as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
- Isaiah 40:22

Who coverest [thyself] with light as [with] a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
Psalms 104:2

     
  3. God will ultimately destroy the universe. Near the very end, He said He'll roll it up like a scroll. A scroll is a finite object.

And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree.
Isaiah 34:4

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Revelation 6:14

     
  4. A large 'gulf' between Heaven and Hell prevents anyone who is in one from passing to the other. How could a 'fixed' gulf like this exist in the universe if the universe were infinite in size?

And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence.
Luke 16:24-26

  .  
  5. When Jesus died on the cross, he descended into Hell as part of his payment for our sins. When He arose from the dead, He ascended into Heaven. Note that in the verse below, He is said to have ascended above "all heavens". That would not be possible of the universe were infinite in size.

(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Ephesians 4:9-10

     
  6. Disclaimer: This particular argument is a tricky one that's a bit controversial. At first, I wasn't going to put it on our web site because it seemed just too bazaar. But after carefully reading Dr. Russell Humphreys explanation of why these verses should be interpreted the way he interprets them, it does seem to make a lot of sense. This particular argument is not being presented with the same certainty as some of the previous ones were. Still, I think it's worth considering Dr. Humphreys arguments on this issue.

The entire physical universe may be surrounded by a layer of water (perhaps it's now ice) of unknown thickness. This layer of water is referred to in the account of the creation week in Genesis. It was originally close to the early earth. But according to Dr. Humphreys interpretation of Genesis, interstellar space was sandwiched between the water that made up the early Earth, and the water above it. Here are the actual verses from the KJV Bible:

------------------------------- Genesis 1:-9 ---------------------------------
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
(Step 1: At this point, the Earth was made of just water. It did not have a water canopy above it.)

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
(Step 2: The Earth is still just water, but now it has a "firmament" separating its water from a canopy of water above it. The big question at this point is whether or not this "firmament" is referring to Earth's atmosphere, or to all of interstellar space. Read on.)

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so.
(Again, we see a clear indication of a "firmament" separating the water canopy from the water that makes up the early Earth)

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
(Step 3: The firmament is given a name: "Heaven".

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so.
(Step 4: The waters under the firmament (Heaven) are gathered together and dry land appears. The waters above "Heaven" are still there, but we still don't have the answer to how big the firmament is at this point. Read on).

------------------------------- Genesis 1:-14-17 ---------------------------------
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.
(Step 5: God creates the Sun, Moon and stars.)

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
(Step 6: He puts the Sun, Moon and stars "in" the "firmament of the heaven". This verse seems to rule out the possibility that "heaven" or the "firmament" could be referring to Earth's atmosphere in these verses, because God clearly put the Sun, Moon and stars outside of our atmosphere. There are other verses that have been used by many creationists to suggest that this water canopy stayed close to the earth and contributed to Noah's flood. However, Dr. Humphreys makes some pretty compelling arguments against interpreting those verses that way. So what we seem to be left with is that we still have a water canopy above the firmament, which has now been defined as interstellar space. Does the Bible support this idea anywhere else? It seems that it does. Consider this next verse.)

Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that [be] above the heavens.
Psalms 148:4

(On the surface, this verse may not look that compelling. One commentary I read suggested that 'heavens of heavens' was referring to the upper atmosphere. I spoke to a meteorologist and asked him how high rain clouds can go. He said they can go 60,000 feet up, an area that is considered to be in the lower part of the 'upper atmosphere'. He also said that some rare clouds that don't produce rain can be present as high as 80,000 feet. The problem I have with interpreting this to mean water in the atmosphere is that it clearly says the waters are 'above', not within the 'heavens'. So it seems to make more sense that this verse is talking about the same water canopy that surrounds the universe as what the above verses in Genesis were referring to.)

For a much more in-depth look at this argument, see Appendix B of the book Starlight and Time by Nuclear Physicist Dr. Russell Humphreys. You may also listen to his June 20, 2000 radio interview where he discusses this in more depth.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

 

The Void is Finite in size

 

 

 


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