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I am very keen in space exploration, and have an ambition to be a pioneer in that field. However, I was thrown off-guard by this verse that I found, which appears to be forbidding space travel.

Obadiah 1:4 (NIV) (emphasis mine)

Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD

Nest would relate to dwelling place, and a nest among the stars sounds very much like a space colony. The phrase "soar like eagles" could be referring to spacecraft, which have fixed wing/no wing at all, very much like a soaring bird.

So in short, this verse appears to indicate that God really does not want us to explore His creation, and traverse the the universe and colonize space, but I am not sure.

What is the correct interpretation of the verse from Obadiah?


P.S. I have edited the question and reworded to make it more specific, please consider removing the downvotes.

  • To the downvoter: please explain the downvote. If there's something wrong with the question, I must know it, to improve in future posts. Please remember that I am not very familiar with the site yet. – user45369 May 20 at 20:55
  • @william we can't really answer the question "does God..." here because only God can answer those sorts of questions. We may be able to answer, questions like does the "Presbyterian communion support the idea that God...", but this is what is referred to as a "Truth Question". Meaning, it's a fine question, but you'll have to ask it later (when you're dead). – Peter Turner May 21 at 3:58
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    A few suggestions (which I hope will improve your future questions): "there are several other" should actually list them; "many arguments" should list the strongest ones; and "Does God ..." isn't something a secular encyclopedia would answer so shouldn't be asked here. The question should be related to specific Christian beliefs, such as "Which denominations believe that God doesn't want us to explore his creation?" or "Why does [specific denomination] believe that God ...?" – Ray Butterworth May 21 at 12:56
  • Despite your edit, I can't see anything in that verse which would even hint at God forbidding space travel. – curiousdannii May 23 at 7:21
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    The context is that the Idumeans thought themselves safe in the mountains. Verse 4 is saying, not only are they not safe in the mountains, they wouldn't even have been safe in the stars. There is no hiding place from God. It is not saying it is wrong to live in the mountains, or in the stars. Though does not mean because. If the purpose of your space travel is to avoid God it will not succeed, otherwise Bon Voyage. – davidlol May 23 at 9:50
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The Obadiah passage is a prophecy against the Idumeans (the Edomites), who were displaced from their kingdom by the Babylonians and took refuge in rocky crags, settled in southern Judah, but were eventually completely destroyed. This is because they watched as Israel suffered this fate before them, and they gloated, offered no help, and even joined in the plunder of Israel.

Most prophecies use imagery that says one thing but means another. Here making a nest among the stars refers to the nature of their new home and their eventual fate.

A second application of this verse to space travel is unwarranted, though if pride like that of the Edomites attends such an ambitious project, the result might be the same.

For references, consult Wikipedia or this commentary resource:

https://www.preceptaustin.org/obadiah_commentaries

However, if I were to have reservations about space travel, it would be because of the Tower of Babel. The heart atitude of the builders was the problem, not the fact that they were building a skyscraper.

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An intriguing question. But I’ll take a stab at it. There is no direct command not to explore space. As noted in the other comment the scripture in Obadiah is a pictorial prophecy aimed at the Edomites.

However Psalms 115:16 states...

“ As for the heavens, they belong to Jehovah, But the earth he has given to the sons of men.”

Also, considering how inhospitable space is for humans, and how much effort our creator put into making the earth wonderful for us (as recorded in Genesis) it seems reasonable we were meant to stay put.

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