What does Scripture mean, “[God] sitteth upon… the earth?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

What does Scripture mean when it says Godsitteth upon the circle of the earth?” Why is He “sitting?”

You are referring to Isaiah 40:22, which reads, “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:….” In recent years, the “Flat Earth – Spherical Earth” debate has seen a resurgence, so this has actually become a highly disputed verse (especially online). Some time ago, this author released a Bible study to address the controversy. For more information, see the study linked at the end of this article. Here in this study, though, we want to focus on why God is said to be “sitting” on the circle of the Earth.

We will start at verse 12 and continue to the end of the chapter. Remember, this is all about JEHOVAH God, the God of Israel, the God of the Bible.

“[12] Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? [13] Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? [14] With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? [15] Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. [16] And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. [17] All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

“[18] To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? [19] The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. [20] He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. [21] Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? [22] 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: [23] That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. [24] Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. [25] To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. [26] Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. [27] Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?

“[28] Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. [29] He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. [30] Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: [31] But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

This entire passage is how JEHOVAH God, or LORD God, is Creator, unmatched in magnificence, power, and wisdom. If you want to see the larger context, read chapters 40-48 of Isaiah. Here, we are getting an introduction into that section where God compares Himself to, and contrasts Himself with, Israel’s idols. The Jews have abandoned the Creator God for their own creations. They worship and serve worthless, empty idols. In other words, they have traded their relationship with the one true God to take up relations with the powerless gods of the Gentiles! Israel has separated herself from spiritual life, spiritual strength, and spiritual health. The LORD God is unparalleled, having no equal. He rules over creation as King, and thus He alone should be worshipped. Everything else is nothing compared to Him. This is what Isaiah 40:22 is communicating. JEHOVAH God sits on the Earth like a king sits on his throne to preside over his land. He alone is worthy of our praise and loyalty. Israel has (and we have) no business worshipping and serving anyone but Him!

“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:”

Also see:
» Does the Scripture teach a flat Earth or a spherical Earth?
» Was God “bored” before creation?
» Who are God’s family in heaven and on earth?

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