I am debating some people about whether the ancient Hebrews thought the earth was spherical or not.
I was wondering if anyone has any information - that isn’t verses from the Bible - that suggests that they knew that the earth was spherical. i.e. that the earth has no ends - that it has a continuous surface - that’s shaped like a ball where people and water can stick on its sides and even upside-down on the bottom.
Also, information about other early cultures would be helpful.
e.g. History of Astronomy - “In around 500 BC another philosopher, Anaximander (Pythagorus’s teacher), suggested, possibly for the first time, that the world was round…”
Are there any earlier dates for this discovery? I mean did any of the Babylonians or Egyptians ever suspect the earth was spherical?
So having a good idea of the beliefs of other ancient cultures (including Aztecs, etc) about the shape of the earth would give a good idea about the possible beliefs of the ancient Hebrews.
And again, no Bible verses please. I’ve discussed this with many people and I don’t think there are any Bible verses which say that the earth is spherical with land and water all around it including on the sides and bottom. It does talk about the “circle of the earth” but there is a Hebrew word for ball and this word can’t be translated to mean ball (according to Strongs’ at least). The rest of the passage shows fairly clearly that it isn’t talking about a spherical earth. There is also a passage about a circular shadow on the sea. This was used by the Greeks to show the earth was spherical but it doesn’t prove that the Hebrews knew the earth was spherical. So I don’t think the Bible is clear enough about what the Hebrews believed. In fact there are many verses that seem to imply a flat earth, but that link shows that it is possible to explain them away - that they are figurative or bad translations.