Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Four Corners of the Earth

An expression which is often said to refer to early maps which tended to fade away around the edges. However the term 'the four corners of the Earth' dates from much earlier, it is found in the Coverdale Bible, translated from Revelations 7:1 as "And after that sawe I foure angels stode on ye foure corners of the earth, holdinge ye foure wyndes of ye earth." Similarly found in Isaiah 11:12 with "And he shal set vp a toke amonge the Gentiles, and gather together ye dispersed of Israel, yee and the outcastes of Iuda from the foure corners of ye worlde." Not that these truly refer to the world being flat, although many would have found it difficult to believe otherwise, although flat or spherical it was always seen as round and thus there were no corners. Hence here the reference can only be to compass points.

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