"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth...'"
In this verse, we observe that God has given mankind authority "over all the EARTH". However, though He has given us (understood from future scriptures) the Sun, Moon and stars (Does the term "stars" for the Hebrews include all other celestial bodies as well?) for light and for signs/seasons (Genesis 1:14-18), God never explicitly commands mankind to “subdue” or “rule” over this realm as He did for the Earth.
Therefore, are we overstepping our boundaries in exploring and utilizing space as we have since the mid 20th century? Though I do not know Hebrew myself (I only know Greek), I was discussing with another beginning/amateur Hebrew student who claimed that the term "earth" here can also refer in the Hebrew mind to what we would call the "universe" or all that is visibly around us. Is this true? Might such an assertion be supported by the fact that the "birds of the sky" are included in what mankind is told to subdue/rule? Was not the Hebrew notion of "sky" basically from the ground up? I see in LXX that the term for "earth" here is translated as "ge" (which seems to have more the sense of the land or the ground within it than, say, a word like "kosmos").
I would very much appreciate any insight you may be able to provide.
New Testament Greek
- Space Exploration