What is a pillar?
At Answers.com, [https://www.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_three_pillars_of_judaism] the question is asked, and the answer given. Consider:
“A pillar is a stone cylinder supporting a portion of a building. An example can be seen in the US Capitol building. In a broader sense, the term pillar is used to describe anything that provides major structural support. So the part of a microscope that holds the lenses rigidly in place is called a pillar even though it is not made of stone and is not supporting any part of a building. The term is also used metaphorically to describe fundamental or core elements of a religion or philosophy, as, for example, in the "Five Pillars of Islam".
What are the 5 pillars of Judaism?
According to the Mishna (Avos ch.1), there are 3 things the world is based upon: 1) Torah, 2) the service of HaShem (G-d), and 3) acts of kindness. Not to be confused with the "Five pillars of Islam". Please see the related link for a more detailed explanation.
These aren’t the only pillars identified in Scripture. Consider:
The Rambam’s thirteen pillars of Judaism
The closest that anyone has ever come to creating a widely-accepted list of Jewish beliefs is Rambam's thirteen pillars of faith. These principles, which Rambam thought were the minimum requirements of Jewish belief, are:
- G-d exists
- G-d is one and unique
- G-d is incorporeal
- G-d is eternal
- Prayer is to be directed to G-d alone and to no other
- The words of the prophets are true
- Moses' prophecies are true, and Moses was the greatest of the prophets
- The Written Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) and Oral Torah (teachings now contained in the Talmud and other writings) were given to Moses
- There will be no other Torah
- G-d knows the thoughts and deeds of men
- G-d will reward the good and punish the wicked
- The Messiah will come
- The dead will be resurrected
However, consider the Four Pillars of Second Temple Judaism
- Exclusive Monotheism
- G-d is one [Devariym 6:4; Mattithayhu 12:29-30; Melekiym Ri'shon 8:60)
- G-d is holy and transcendent (Devariym 4:39; Yesha`yahu 40-55)
- G-d created the world (Yesha`yahu 40:12, 28; Yirmeyahu 27:5; The. 95:3-5; 136:4-9)
- G-d controls history (The. 136:10-22; Daniy'el 2:20-21)
- G-d selected Avram and the patriarchs (Yovheliym 2:21-24; Bere’shiyth 12,15,17,22)
- G-d’s good gift
- Israel’s privileged possession (The. 19:7-14)
- Israel’s national and foundational story
- The very words of G-d (Baruch Ri’shon 3:36-4:4)
- G-d’s holy space
- The focal point of Jewish life
- The place where G-d’s glory was revealed (Divrei Hayamiym Ri’shon 7:1-16; Sirach 36:18-19; 4 Ezra 10:21-22)
The Four Pillars of the Earth
Shemu’el Ri’shon (1 Samuel) 2:8
He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne salvation of glory: for the pillars of the earth are YAHUAH’S, and he has set the world upon them.
Iyov (Job) 9:4-6
He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who has hardened himself against him, and has prospered? 5 Which removes the mountains, and they know not: which overturns them in his anger. 6 Which shakes the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.
So, let us ask the question: What are these pillars?
- Shanah (Year)
- Mo’ediym (Seasons)
- Chodesh (Monthly cycles)
- Yomiym (Days)
Yesha`yahu (Isaiah) 40:22
It is he that sits (yashab – establishes) upon the circle (chug – circuit) of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretches out the heavens as a curtain (doq – crumbling powder), and spreads them out as a tent (ohel – tabernacle) to dwell in:
The word interpreted as circle is the word chug (חוּג) (Strong’s 2329), which is interpreted as a circle, or a circuit, or a compass.
Now, let’s take a look at the word for curtain. In the Ivriyt (Hebrew), the word in this passage is doq (דֹּק) (Strong's H1852), which is typically translated into the English as something crumbling, i.e. fine (as a thin cloth). In the last instance, it is also interpreted as a curtain. However, if we look at the root for doq, we find the word daqaq (דָּקַק) (Strong's H1854. (dâqaq). We see that the word doq in the first instance means something crumbling, and we see now that its root daqaq means to crumble, to make dust, to make into powder.
So, at this point, this passage could easily read as follows:
Yesha`yahu (Isaiah) 40:22
It is he that sits upon the orbit of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as locusts; that stretches out the heavens as a crumbling powder, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in:
Finally, let’s review the last word for tent. In the Hebrew, the word is ohel (אֹהֶל) (Strong's H168) which is generally interpreted as a tent, but also means a covering, a dwelling place, a home, or even a tabernacle. Let’s use tabernacle instead of tent in this instance:
Yesha`yahu (Isaiah) 40:22
It is he that establishes the circuit of the earth, and establishes the inhabitants thereof as locusts; that stretches out the heavens like a crumbling powder, and spreads them out as a tabernacle in which to dwell:
Pillar Number One: YEARS. (Shanayim) – established by the orbit of the earth.
The year is achieved with the arrival of the earth at its starting point along its circuit. This moment is called the New Year (Rosh Ha’Shanah) and has been celebrated by every culture on earth since the beginning of recorded history (although the date of such completion varies from culture to culture).
Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 1:14
And ELOHIYM said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for appointed feasts, and for days, and years:
This begs the question, doesn’t it? What is a year? Answer: It is the annual renewed cycle of the orbit of the earth. In a geocentric model, (assuming a planet and a separate sun), the sun orbits the earth daily. Therefore, an annual cycle appears irrelevant, unless you are somehow marking the abnormalities found in the pathways of the sun. And for what purpose would such anomalies exist?
Pillar Number Two: SEASONS. (Mo’ediym) – established by the tilt of the earth.
Shemoth (Exodus) 13:5-10
And it shall be when YAHUAH shall bring you into the land of the Kena`aniym, and the Chittiym, and the Emoriym, and the Chivviym, and the Yevuciym, which he swore unto your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep את eth-this service in this month. 6 Seven days you shall eat matstsah, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to YAHUAH. 7 Matstsah shall be eaten את eth seven days; and there shall no chamets be seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen with you in all your quarters. 8 And you shall show your son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which YAHUAH did unto me when I came forth out of Mitsrayim. 9 And it shall be for a sign unto you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that YAHUAH’S Torah may be in your mouth: for with a strong hand has YAHUAH brought you out of Mitsrayim. 10 You shall therefore guard את eth-this ordinance in his appointed time from year to year.
We not only find that years appear which are irrelevant to an earth-orbiting sun, but also that seasons (mo’ediym) appear, and are calculated and called appointed times in Scripture.
Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes) 3:1-2
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
The seasons also do not appear in an earth-orbiting sun schedule, unless such a schedule suffers from anomalies and inordinances that have no rhyme or reason. Why should the days get longer and the nights shorter in the northern countries (again, northern is a term which cannot exist except on a spherical earth), and the days get shorter and the nights longer in the southern countries?
Yet such a question is easily answered when we recognize the tilt of the earth, the north pole leaning toward the sun in the summer and leaning away from the sun in the winter. The seasons have been regularly calculated since the construction of the pyramids (and possibly earlier) as they are indented in the middle and facing exactly due north (again, a concept that only exists on a spherical earth) which yields equidistant shadows on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, which again only exist if there are seasons, which have no logical impetus in a geocentric model.
Pillar Number Three: MONTHS. (Chodesh) – established by the renewed cycle of the moon in orbit around the earth.
The cycles of the moon called chodesh in the Ivriyt (Hebrew) (renewing cycle – the moon is called yire’ach) also evidences a spherical earth, an orbiting moon around the earth, and a heliocentric model demonstrating the shadow of the earth on the moon throughout its semi-regular cycle of orbit. It is the regular cycle which occurs every 28-30 days that gives us months (moon’ths). Why would such a cycle exist in a model which has the sun orbiting the earth? It would be irrelevant. Day unto day; night unto night. Months and years would factor as nothing.
Pillar Number Four: DAYS. (Yomiym) – established by the daily rotation of the earth.
Bere’shiyth 1:14 states that the stars, the sun and the moon are also given to us for days (yomiym). We see that in Bere’shiyth 1:5 that the evening and the morning were the first day. This calculation is made based on the setting of the sun. Simply: the sun goes down, the day has ended. But because it is a renewing cycle, the day also begins when the day ends. This is best understood when looking at a circle (in two dimensions) or a sphere (in three dimensions). In a circle, the starting point is also the ending point.
Some may say that the day should begin with sunrise, in which case the day would also end at sunrise. Yet Scripture gives us evening first. Nowhere in Scripture can you find that the day should begin in the middle of the night.
The Four Pillars of the Earth are principals upon which we locusts rely to live on this earth. How many can say I live without regard to years, seasons, months and days? Yet, these principals are set forth very early in Scripture – in the first chapter of Bere’shiyth (Beginnings).
Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 31:44-48
Now therefore come, let us cut a covenant, I and you; and let it be for a witness between me and you. 45 And Ya`aqov took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46 And Ya`aqov said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made a heap: and they did eat there upon the heap. 47 And Lavan called it Yegar Sahadutha: but Ya`aqov called it Gal`ed. 48 And Lavan said, This heap is a witness between me and you this day. Therefore was the name of it called Gal`ed;
Maybe the four pillars are four witnesses between me and you this day.