The Air has Weight
Job 28:25 3000 B.C.
Torricelli 1643 A.D.
The air we breathe has weight. A column of air one inch square and as tall as the
atmosphere weighs about 14 pounds at sea level. The pressure that the
atmosphere produces is called barometric pressure. While Science discovered
barometric pressure in 1643, the Bible said that air had weight thousands of years
prior to that, even though at that time, men had no way to measure atmospheric
pressure, nor any evidence that such a thing existed.
Job 28:25 (KJV 1)
25To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.
Job 28:25 (NAS 2)
25 "When He imparted weight to the wind And meted out the waters by measure.
Job 28:25 (NIV 3)
25 "When He the established the force of the wind and measured out the waters.
1 KJV Gift & Award Bible, Revised. Grand Rapids Michigan: Zondervan Corp. 2002
2 New American Standard Bible, Text Edition Anaheim California: Foundation Publications 1995
3 The Quest Study Bible, New International Version Grand Rapids Michigan: Zondervan Corp. 1994
less hospitable world. In the other event that the atmosphere was thicker, more effort
would be required for any life form to exhale or to lift itself up. While at the extremes this
poses problems for all life, the problem of solar retention is much more severe. In a
thicker atmosphere more solar radiation would be trapped by greenhouse gasses, and
the planet warms up, much like Venus, an even more inhospitable place than Mars. Our
atmospheric density does seem precisely set to allow life to flourish.
When the Bible said that God established the weight of the wind, it made a claim that
science would not find the truth in for more than 4 thousand years, but more importantly,
it told us that the Creator set the weight. We can be very thankful that it is set at a level
that allows for the rich diversity of life that the world offers.
In the passage, we are not only told that the air has weight, but also that God set its
weight. The implication is that God set it to what He thought appropriate. Is the amount
of pressure important? The answer is yes, it is very important. Consider if the
atmosphere was thinner. In a thinner atmosphere, breathing would offer less oxygen
per breath making the lungs work harder. In an extremely thin atmosphere large
organisms would simply not be able to exist. There simply would not be enough oxygen
to support life of that size. Besides its effect on respiration, a thin atmosphere would
retain less heat from the sun, making our planet a bit more like Mars, a definitely
The Air has Weight