Modern mankind typically has been taught to believe that ancient mankind was ignorant and unaware of the scientific nature of the world and Universe around them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The ancient civilizations were far more advanced technologically than we have been taught to believe. One reason for this mistaken belief is the persistent dogma in the modern educational system that no one anywhere on earth could have known anything until the Greeks and Romans first came to understand something. This intense and irrational Greco Roman-centric bias about ancient history has led to a very mistaken view of the ancient world. It is true that the Greeks and Roman had strong points. The Romans especially excelled in engineering projects such as aqueducts, buildings and roads. However, both the Greeks and Romans were quite ignorant and benighted compared to some of their adversaries when it came to understanding the earth, its geography and the cosmos.
When the Greek civilization was flourishing, its enemy was what modern historians call the “Phoenician” empire. The maritime Phoenicians controlled Gibraltar and kept the Greeks out of the Atlantic Ocean which prevented the Greeks from knowing about the rest of the world that was accessible via oceanic travel. For centuries, the Romans were forbidden by the Carthaginians to sail into the Atlantic Ocean and were even told where they could sail in the Western Mediterranean Sea because Carthage was stronger than Rome. It was not until after Rome won the Punic Wars that Rome finally overthrew Carthaginian dominance of Gibraltar and gained access to the Atlantic Ocean.
As my books document, the Phoenician and Carthaginian Empires were composed of the ten tribes of Israel and their allies. Neither empire called themselves by those names, and we know them as Phoenicians and Carthaginians because that is what the Greco-Romans called them. The Greeks called the territory of the kingdom of Israel “Phoenicia” as much as they gave that same name to the city-states of Tyre and Sidon, who were allied to the Israelites (II Samuel 5:11-12, I Kings 5:1-18, 9:26-27, 10:22). The Bible is actually an excellent source of information about the Phoenician Empire as the kings of Israel were the leaders of the Phoenician Empire. The smaller city-states of Tyre and Sidon were junior partners in the alliance. When the Israelite kingdom fell circa 721 BC, its people scattered all over the world. Many went into captivity to the Assyrians, but others escaped from the Assyrians via an overland route and migrated into what later became known as Scythia by the Black Sea (II Esdras 13:39-46). Since the “Phoenician” Empire had an immense maritime fleet, many Israelites escaped via ships to Phoenician/Israelite colonies in Spain, the British Isles, Carthage, etc. The original name of “Carthage” was Kirjath Hadeshath, a Hebrew name for a “New City,” and Carthage’s language was Hebrew although they developed a distinctive script of their own. Many historians called the Carthaginians the “Western Phoenicians.”
Because the Israelites of Phoenicia and Carthage controlled Gibraltar for so long, they had a monopoly on the resources and trade of all Atlantic Ocean regions. Their inscriptions and some artifacts have been found in the Americas, as my books document. A recent post discussed an ancient Carthaginian coin which accurately depicted the major river systems of North America on it, proving they knew about the geography of the New World almost two millennia before Columbus set sail for the Americas. There is so much information about the Phoenician and Carthaginian presences in ancient North America in my books that I encourage interested readers to obtain the printed 4-book series or buy the E-book.
Let’s now look at conclusive biblical evidence that the ancient Israelites knew the earth was round a very long time before the Greeks or Romans realized this fact. Isaiah 40:22 occurs in a passage exalting the Creator God (Elohim) of Israel and it states (KJV): “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers…(emphasis added).” Note the book of Isaiah, circa 690 BC, referred to the earth as a “circle” (i.e. a circular object or sphere). This is smoking gun evidence that the ancient Israelites knew the earth was a circular sphere. They couldn’t help but know this as their great fleets sailed the earth’s oceans and knew it was round. Job 26:7 documents that the ancient Hebrew culture knew the earth was an orb in the vastness of outer space. It states that “he (God) stretcheth the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing” (emphasis added). It was known in Job’s time that the earth was “hung upon nothing” in the vastness of space. Modern science didn’t rediscover this fact until just a few centuries ago.
Job is reputed by some sources to be the oldest book in the Bible and refers to a character who lived around 2000 BC. Other sources believe it dates to the middle of the first millennium BC. In either case, the Bible records that ancient Hebrews/ Israelites knew the proper place of the earth in outer space long before the Greeks and Romans and far before modern mankind rediscovered this fact after the long Dark Ages during which so much ancient knowledge was lost. Job 26:7 also stated that the “north” portion of the earth was “an empty place.” That is a correct description of the north polar regions where there are no land masses–only frozen sea ice. How would the Hebrew/Israelites have known about this unless their ships traveled to the far northern latitudes and learned this fact? Further evidence that this happened is found in Job 38:29-30 (KJV). It states concerning “ice” that there was a place where “the waters are hid as with a stone and the face of the deep is frozen (emphasis added).” The RSV version is very much the same. The ancient writer of Job knew that there was an “empty place” in the far north part of planet earth, and that there was a place where the ocean water was hard as “stone” and “frozen.” They couldn’t have known this unless their fleets sailed to the polar ice regions.
Again, the Bible’s accounts are absolutely accurate descriptions of the surface of planet earth and the Israelite fleets would have known this as they explored all the oceans and continents. The Bible even refers to Israelite fleets which took long voyages of three years and came back with cargoes which included wildlife from other continents (I Kings 10:22). One of these long-range fleets must have sailed as far north as they could and found the Arctic sea ice. They could have found it via sailing from the Israelite ports past Gibraltar and north to the polar regions via the Atlantic Ocean. This would have been very likely as the Israelite/Phoenicians had major colonies in the British Isles and could have sailed northward from there. However, the Israelites also could have sailed from their Red Sea port at Aqaba and sailed through the Indian Ocean and northward through the Pacific Ocean until they encountered the polar sea ice near Alaska. The account in I Kings 10: 22 actually implies the latter option as the animals the fleet returned with were native to Africa and Asia.
The Greeks and Romans didn’t learn the earth was round until long after the Israelites had known it for many centuries. The next time someone tells you the Bible is unscientific, send them (or give them a copy of) this post. The Bible is extremely accurate in its accounts about the natural world, the earth and the cosmos, and it was millennia ahead of modern mankind in documenting key elements of the physical world and Universe. Finally, if someone tells you the Bible teaches the earth is only 6000 years old, tell them they’re badly mis-educated about the Bible. The Bible allows for an earth and a Universe that is billions of years old. You may read a detailed discussion about this fact in my article: Is the Earth 6000 Years Old? You will find that the Bible is not only very compatible with the discoveries of modern science, but it also predated the discoveries of modern science by millennia. Only its inspiration by the Creator God (Elohim) could have caused such stunning accuracy to be found in the Bible.