Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pleiades and Orion Plus Q&A

Coming across this little reading from Amos at Daytime Prayer today reminded me of this old post.
And since I have another article deadline coming up, it all fits into my present week.

It's weekly Q&A time--ask your Divine Office question here.

Here I am going back on my word about not posting until a magazine article was done. But I can't help commenting on a snippet from today's Daytime Prayer, the Midday reading from the book of Amos:

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
  who turns darkness into dawn,
  and darkens day into night;
Who summons the waters of the sea,
  and pours them out upon the surface of the earth;
  whose name is Lord. (Thursday, week I)

Every time I read this, I visualize Amos looking at the stars, maybe with his children, pointing out the constellations, just as Bill and I have done with our own children. Then I get wondering: didn't the Israelites have their own names for the constellations? (Guess not) Wouldn't they have thought it borderline idolatry to use the names of these pagan goddesses and  demi-god?  (Guess not. Looks like ancient Israel was a little more tolerant and cosmopolitan than one would have thought. Or maybe they were at this period a little too cosmopolitan, and were worshiping Greek gods. Certainly idolatry is one of the many sins of Israel which God mentions to Amos.)

So, each time I get taken aback by reading about Orion and the Seven Sisters in the Old Testament, I remind myself not to fall into the mindset that Dorothy Sayers says she had as a child. That is, to think about "Bible Characters" as somehow separate and removed from the rest of history. They are real, they are history, and very much enmeshed with all the other history that was going on at the time.

Okay. Back to the article.