Why does prophet Isaiah believe the world is flat?

He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth. - Isaiah 11:12-13

  • If you say "quarters", that doesn't mean 4 quarters. It means like "living quarters." If you say "corners", Isaiah could be referring to an infinitely sided polyhedron, which has corners but is not flat. Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 15:03
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    Why flat? Even with a globe you have the 4 corners: Alaska, Argentina, Russia and Australia, for example. Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 15:04
  • @DannySchoemann That's on a map (centered on the prime meridian) not a globe. On a globe you could just as easily argue that the four corners are Newfoundland, Patagonia, Britain, and South Africa. (Of course this is just an idiom...)
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 15:08
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    @DoubleAA - that's why I wrote "for example"! If you want to gather in everybody, just pick them all up from any 4 corners you want. Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 15:11
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    If you will take corners literally, than you must assume he thought it was square, not just flat. and that the corners were found in the north south east and west, so diamond shaped really. Getting weird? Good.
    – user6591
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


This is not a literal meaning but the way people speak. We still speak of "sunrise" and "sunset". The idiom of "the four corners", means the farthest away that one can go in any direction.

One example can be seen in Megillas Esther when it refers to מהודו ועד קוש One of the possible explanations is that they were next to each other and he ruled from the far side of one back around to the far side of the other.

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