Psalm 19:4-6 describes the sun as a warrior running a distance. How does the sun get back to its tent in the east? What route does it take?

  • Where does the Bible say the sun goes when it sets ? - It doesn't. – Lucian Dec 20 '17 at 20:48

It is important to keep the general picture in mind. Perhaps the graphic by Ralph V. Chamberlin in "The Early Hebrew Conception of the Universe" (from the Wikipedia page on biblical cosmology) can help:

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The sun moves along the heavens during the day. As far as I know, the Bible doesn't talk about what happens to the sun during the night.

However, the first part of Ps 19 is, if I remember correctly, probably an ancient sun hymn, that is, from a related culture in which sun, moon and stars were deities. We know from these cultures that the idea is that the sun makes a same half circle under the earth during the night. In some cultures, this brings daylight into the netherworld.

Whether that concept still existed in biblical theology is hard to tell. It may also have been something that people simply didn't think about. But I may be overlooking some relevant passage.

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    The idea that the sun went under the earth and through the underworld to light this area during the night was likely the cosmogony and interpretation that was brought out of Egypt with the Hebrews. We have very little evidence to believe that the Hebrew people had a differing cosmology and most modern reputable scholarship is in consensus on this point. Numerous other scholars and published works have similar diagrams. – James Shewey Dec 21 '17 at 4:12
  • @JamesShewey thanks for that additional background info! – user2672 Dec 21 '17 at 6:54
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    I sense that the biblical writers really had little curiosity about where the sun went at night. They were content to use the sun as a poetic image evoking the order, power, and beauty of God's creation. – John H. Williams Dec 25 '17 at 3:49

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