The Witness of the Stars by E. W. Bullinger 1893

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

The First Book

The Redeemer

(His First Coming)

"The sufferings of Christ"


Chapter I


The Prophecy of the Promised Seed of the Woman

VIRGO (The Virgin. A woman bearing a branch in her right hand

and an ear of corn in her left). The Promised Seed of the woman.

1. COMA (The Desired. The woman and child). The Desired of all

nations.

2. CENTAURUS (The Centaur with two natures, holding a spear

piercing a victim). The despised sin offering.

3. BOOTES (a man walking bearing a branch called ARCTURUS,

meaning the same). He cometh.


Chapter II

The Redeemer's Atoning Work

LIBRA (The Scales). The price deficient balanced by the price

which covers.

1. CRUX, The Cross endured.

2. LUPUS, or VICTIMA, The Victim slain.

3. CORONA, The Crown bestowed.


Chapter III

The Redeemer's Conflict

SCORPIO (The Scorpion) seeking to wound, but itself trodden

under foot.

1. SERPENS (The Serpent struggling with the man).

2. O-PHI-U-CHUS (The man grasping the serpent). The struggle

with the enemy.

3. HERCULES (The mighty man. A man kneeling on one knee, humbled

in the conflict, but holding aloft the tokens of victory, with

his foot on the head of the Dragon). The mighty Vanquisher

seeming to sink in the conflict.


Chapter IV

The Redeemer's Triumph

SAGITTARIUS (The Archer). The two-natured Conqueror going forth

"Conquering and to conquer."

1. LYRA (The Harp). Praise prepared for the Conqueror.

2. ARA (The Altar). Consuming fire prepared for His enemies.

3. DRACO (The Dragon). The Old Serpent--the Devil, cast down

from heaven.

The Second Book

The Redeemed

"The result of the Redeemer's sufferings"



Chapter I

Their Blessings Procured

CAPRICORNUS (The fish-goat). The goat of Atonement slain for the

Redeemed.

1. SAGITTA (The Arrow). The arrow of God sent forth.

2. AQUILA (The Eagle). The smitten One falling.

3. DELPHINUS (The Dolphin). The dead One rising again.


Chapter II

Their Blessings Ensured

AQUARIUS (The Water-Bearer). The living waters of blessing

poured forth for the Redeemed.

1. PISCIS AUSTRALIS (The Southern Fish). The blessings bestowed.

2. PEGASUS (The Winged Horse). The blessings quickly coming.

3. CYGNUS (The Swan). The Blesser surely returning.


Chapter III

Their Blessings in Abeyance

PISCES (The Fishes). The Redeemed blessed though bound.

1. THE BAND--bound, but binding their great enemy Cetus, the sea

monster.

2. ANDROMEDA (The Chained Woman). The Redeemed in their bondage

and affliction.

3. CEPHEUS (The King). Their Redeemer coming to rule.


Chapter IV

Their Blessings Consummated and Enjoyed

ARIES (The Ram or Lamb). The Lamb that was slain, prepared for

the victory.

1. CASSIOPEIA (The Enthroned Woman). The captive delivered, and

preparing for her husband, the Redeemer.

2. CETUS (The Sea Monster). The great enemy bound.

3. PERSEUS (The Breaker). Delivering His redeemed.

The Third Book

The Redeemer

(His Second Coming)

"The glory that should follow"


Chapter I

Messiah, The Coming Judge of All the Earth

TAURUS (The Bull). Messiah coming to rule.

1. ORION, Light breaking forth in the person of the Redeemer.

2. ERIDANUS (The River of the Judge). Wrath breaking forth for

His enemies.

3. AURIGA (The Shepherd). Safety for the Redeemed in the day of

that wrath.


Chapter II

Messiah's Reign as Prince of Peace

GEMINI (The Twins). The twofold nature of the King.

1. LEPUS (The Hare), or THE ENEMY trodden under foot.

2. CANIS MAJOR (The Dog), or SIRIUS, the coming glorious Prince

of Princes.

3. CANIS MINOR (The Second Dog), or PROCYON, the exalted

Redeemer.


Chapter III

Messiah's Redeemed Possessions

CANCER (The Crab). The possession held fast.

1. URSA MINOR (The Lesser Bear). The lesser sheepfold.

2. URSA MAJOR (The Great Bear). The fold and the flock.

3. ARGO (The Ship). The redeemed pilgrims safe at home.


Chapter IV

Messiah's Consummated Triumph

LEO (The Lion). The Lion of the Tribe of Judah aroused for the

rending of the Enemy.

1. HYDRA (The Serpent). That old Serpent--the Devil, destroyed.

2. CRATER (The Cup). The cup of Divine wrath poured out upon

him.

3. CORVUS (The Crow, or Raven). Birds of prey devouring him.

For Signs and For Seasons

Such are the contents of this wondrous book that is written in

the heavens. Thus has God been speaking and emphasizing and

developing His first great prophetic promise of Genesis 3:15.

Though for more than 2,500 years His people had not this

Revelation written in a book as we now have it in the Bible,

they were not left in ignorance and darkness as to God's

purposes and counsels; nor were they without hope as to ultimate

deliverance from all evil and from the Evil One.

Adam, who first heard that wondrous promise, repeated it, and

gave it to his posterity as a most precious heritage--the ground

of all their faith, the substance of all their hope, the object

of all their desire. Seth and Enoch took it up. Enoch, we know,

prophesied of the Lord's coming, saying, "Behold the Lord cometh

with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgment upon all"

(Jude 14). How could these "holy prophets, since the world

began," have recorded their prophecies better, or more

effectually, or more truthfully and powerfully, than in these

star-pictures and their interpretation? This becomes a certainty

when we remember the words of the Holy Spirit by Zacharias (Luke

1:67-70):

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel;

For He hath visited and redeemed His people,

And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us

In the house of His servant David;

As He spake by the mouth of HIS HOLY PROPHETS

WHICH HAVE BEEN SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN."

The same truth is revealed through Peter, in Acts 3:20, 21: "He

shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you;

whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of

all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all HIS HOLY

PROPHETS SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN."

These words have new meaning for us, if we see the things which

were spoken "since the world began," thus written in the

heavens, which utter speech (i.e. prophecy), and show forth this

knowledge day after day and night after night, the heritage of

all the earth, and their words reaching unto the ends of the

world.

This Revelation, coinciding as it does in all its facts and

truths with that afterwards recorded "in the Volume of the

Book," must have had the same Divine origin, must have been made

known by the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit.

We now proceed to compare the two, and we shall see how they

agree at every point, proving that the source and origin of this

Divine Revelation is one and the same.

If you know of any books on a similar topic that are in the

public domain and have not been converted for online viewing on

the internet, please contact: [email protected]

[email protected]

Special thanks to Moza, a research member of Philologosand the

Bible Prophecy Research and Study List, for providing this

electronic copy. THIS BOOK HAS BEEN EDITED. Any corrections or

questions may be directed to the address below:

[email protected]

http://www.mv.com/ipusers/butterfly/witness/00index.htm

December, 1997

The Witness of the Stars by E.W. Bullinger

Revised: Thursday, March 18, 1999

"... freely ye have received, freely give." (Mat 10:8)


The Witness of the Stars

E. W. Bullinger

Preface

Some years ago it was my privilege to enjoy the acquaintance of

Miss Frances Rolleston, of Keswick, and to carry on a

correspondence with her with respect to her work, Mazzaroth or,

the Constellations. She was the first to create an interest in

this important subject. Since then Dr. Joseph A. Seiss, of

Philadelphia, has endeavored to popularize her work on the other

side of the Atlantic; and brief references have been made to the

subject in such books as Moses and Geology, by Dr. Kinns, and in

Primeval Man; but it was felt, for many reasons, that it was

desirable to make another effort to set forth, in a more

complete form, the witness of the stars to prophetic truth, so

necessary in these last days.

To the late Miss Rolleston, however, belongs the honor of

collecting a mass of information bearing on this subject; but,

published as it was, chiefly in the form of notes, unarranged

and unindexed, it was suited only for, but was most valuable to,

the student. It was she who performed the drudgery of collecting

the facts presented by Albumazer, the Arab astronomer to the

Caliphs of Grenada, AD 850; and the Tables drawn up by Ulugh

Beigh, the Tartar prince and astronomer, about AD 1450, who

gives the Arabian astronomy as it had come down from the

earliest times.

Modern astronomers have preserved, and still have in common use,

the ancient names of over a hundred of the principal stars which

have been handed down; but now these names are used merely as a

convenience, and without any reference to their significance.

This work is an attempt to popularize this ancient information,

and to use it in the interest of truth.

For the ancient astronomical facts and the names, with their

meaning, I am, from the very nature of the case, indebted, of

course, to all who have preserved, collected, and handed them

down; but for their interpretation I am alone responsible.

It is the possession of "that blessed hope" of Christ's speedy

return from heaven which will give true interest in the great

subject of this book.

No one can dispute the antiquity of the signs of the Zodiac, or

of the constellations. No one can question the accuracy of the

ancient star names which have come down to us, for they are

still preserved in every good celestial atlas. And we hope that

no one will be able to resist the cumulative evidence that,

apart from God's grace in Christ there is no hope for sinners

now; and apart from God's glory, as it will be manifested in the

return of Christ from heaven, there is no hope for Israel, no

hope for the world, no hope for a groaning creaton. In spite of

all the vaunted promises of a religious world, and of a worldly

church, to remove the effects of the curse by a social gospel of

sanitation, we are more and more shut up to the prophecy of

Genesis 3:15, which we wait and long to see fulfilled in Christ

as our only hope. This is beautifully expressed by the late Dr.

William Leask:

And is there none before? No perfect peace

Unbroken by the storms and cares of life,

Until the time of waiting for Him cease,

By His appearing to destory the strife.

No, none before.

Do we not hear that through the flag of grace

By faithful messengers of God unfurled,

All men will be converted, and the place

Of man's rebellion be a holy world?

Yes, so we hear.

Is it not true that to the Church is given

The holy honor of dispelling night

And bringing back the human race to heaven,

By kindling everywhere the Gospel light?

It is not true.

Is this the hope--that Christ the Lord will come,

In all the glory of His royal right,

Redeemer and Avenger, taking home

His saints, and crushing the usurper's might?

This is the hope.

May the God of all grace accept and bless this effort to show

forth His glory, and use it to strengthen His people in waiting

for His Son from Heaven, even Jesus which delivered us from the

wrath to come.

Ethelbert W. Bullinger

Introduction

For more than two thousand five hundred years the world was

without a written revelation from God. The question is, Did God

leave Himself without a witness? The question is answered very

positively by the written Word that He did not. In Romans 1:19

it is declared that, "that which may be known of God is manifest

in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible

things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,

being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal

power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." But how was

God known? How were His "invisible things," i.e., His plans, His

purposes, and His counsels, known since the creation of the

world? We are told by the Holy Spirit in Romans 10:18. Having

stated in v. 17 that "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the

Word (the thing spoken, sayings) of God," He asks, "But I say,

Have they not heard? Yes, verily." And we may ask, How have they

heard? The answer follows--"Their sound went into all the earth

and their words (their teaching, message, instruction) unto the

ends of the world." What words? What instruction? Whose message?

Whose teaching? There is only one answer, and that is, THE

HEAVENS! This is settled by the fact that the passage is quoted

from Psalm 19, [one] part of which is occupied with the

Revelation of God written in the Heavens, and the part with the

Revelation of God written in the Word.

This is the simple explanation of this beautiful Psalm. This is

why its two subjects are brought together. It has often

perplexed many why there should be that abrupt departure in

verse 7--"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul."

The fact is, there is nothing abrupt in it, and it is no

departure. It is simply the transition to the second of the two

great Revelations which are thus placed in juxtaposition. The

first is the Revelation of the Creator, El, in His works, while

the second is the Revelation of the Covenant Jehovah in His

Word. And it is noteworthy that while in the first half of the

Psalm, El is named only once, in the latter half Jehovah is

named seven times, the last being threefold (Jehovah, Rock, and

Redeemer), concluding the Psalm.

Let us then turn to Psalm 19, and note first--

The Structure* of the Psalm as a whole.

A. 1-4. The Heavens.

B. 4-6. "In them" the Sun.

A. 7-10. The Scriptures.

B. 11-14. "In them" Thy Servant.

* For what is meant by "Structure," see A Key to the Psalms, by

the late Rev. Thos. Boys, edited by the present author.

In the Key to the Psalms, p. 17, it is pointed out that the

terms employed in A and B are astronomical, * while in A and B

they are literary Thus the two parts are significantly connected

and united.

* Vis., in A (vv 7,8),--

"Converting," from to return, as the sun in the heavens.

"Testimony," from to repeat, hence, a witness, spoken of the sun

in Psalm 89:37.

"Sure," faithful, as the sun (Psa 89:37).

"Enlightening," from to give light, as the sun (Gen 1:15,17,18;

Isa 60:19; Eze 32:7).

In B (vv 11-13),--

"Warned," from to make light, hence, to teach, admonish.

"Keeping," from to keep, observe, as the heavens (Psa 130:6; Isa

21:11). Or as the heavenly bodies observe God's ordinances.

"Errors," from to wander, as the planets.

"Keep back," to hold back, restrain.

"Have dominion over," from to rule. Spoken of the sun and moon

in Genesis 1:18. "The sun to rule the day," &c. (Psa 136:8,9).

Ewald and others imagine that this Psalm is made up of two

fragments of separate Psalms composed at different periods and

brought together by a later editor!

But this is disproved not only by what has been said concerning

the structure of the Psalm as a whole, and the interlacing of

the astronomical and the literary terms in the two parts, but it

is also shown by more minute details.

Each half consists of two portions which correspond the one to

the other, A answering to A, and B to B. Moreover, each half, as

well as each corresponding member, consists of the same number

of lines; those in the first half being, by the caesura, short,

while those int he last half are long (or double).

A. 1-4. Eight lines

B. 4-6. Six lines = 14 lines

A. 7-10. Eight lines

B. 11-14. Six lines = 14 lines.

If we confine ourselves to the first half of the Psalm * (A and

B, verses 1-6), with which we are now alone concerned, we see a

still more minute proof of Divine order and perfection.

The Structure of A and B.

A&B. C. 1. The heavens.

D. 2. Their testimony: incessant. (Pos.)

E. 3. Their words inaudible. (Neg.)

D. 4. Their testimony: universal. (Pos.)

C. 4-6. The heavens.

* The other half of the Psalm is just as perfectly arranged. For

example, there are six words used (vv 7-9) to describe the

fulness of the Word of God, and they are thus placed,

alternately:

F. Two feminine singulars. (Law and Testimony.)

G. One masculine plural. (Statutes.)

F. Two feminine singulars. (Commandment and Fear.)

G. One masculine plural. (Judgments).

Here we have an introversion, in which the extremes (C and C)

are occupied with the heavens; while the means (D, E and D) are

occupied with their testimony.

The following is the full expansion of the above, with original

emendations which preserve the order of the Hebrew words and

thus indicate the nature of the structure:

C. a. The heavens

b. are telling (1)

c. the glory (2) of God:

c. and the work of his hands

b. is setting forth (3)

a. the firmament.

D. d. Day after day (4)

e. uttereth (5) speech,

d. And night after night

e. sheweth knowledge.

E. f. There is no speech (what is articulate)

g. and there are no words; (what is audible)

g. and without being audible, (what is audible).

f. is their voice (what is articulate).

D. h. Into all the earth (as created)

i. is their line (6) gone forth;

h. And into the ends of the world (as inhabited)

i. Their sayings.

C. j. For the sun He hath set a tent (an abode) in them;

k. l. and he as a bridegroom (comparison)

m. is going forth from his canopy, (motion: its rising)

l. he rejoiceth as a mighty one (comparison)

m. to run his course. (Motion: its rapid course.)

k. n. From the end of the heavens (egress)

o. is his going forth, (egress)

o. and his revolution (regress)

n. unto their ends: (regress)

j. and there is nothing hid from his head (i.e. from him (7))

(1) From to cut into, or grave, hence, to write. It has the two

senses of our English verb tell, which means to count, and also

to narrate. The first occurrence is Genesis 15:5, "Tell the

stars, if thou be able to number them." Genesis 24:66, "The

servant told Isaac all things that he had done." Psalm 71:15,

"My mouth shall show forth (tell of, RV) thy righteousness and

thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers (i.e., the

accounts) of them," i.e., all the particulars.

(2) From to be heavy, weight, the context determining whether

the weight spoken of is advantageous or not. The first

occurrence is Genesis 12:10, "The famine was grievous in the

land." The next, 13:2, "Abram was very rich." It is often

applied to persons who are of weight and importance, hence,

glorious and honourable. It is used of the glory of the Lord,

and of God Himself, as we use Majesty of a person. See Isaiah

3:8, 4:2, 11:10, 43:20; Haggai 2:8; Exodus 16:7, 24:17; 1 Samuel

4:21; Psalm 26:8 (honour), 63:3.

(3) From to set before, to set forth, to shew. First occurrence,

Genesis 3:11, "Who told thee that thou wast naked." Psalm 97:6,

"The heavens declare His righteousness"; 111:6, "He hath shewed

his people the power of his works."

(4) This is the English idiom for the Hebrew "Day to day." The

lamed is used in its sense of adding or superadding to, as in

Isaiah 28:10, "precept to precept"; i.e., precept after precept,

line after line. Genesis 46:26, "All the souls that came with

Jacob" (to Jacob; i.e., in addition to Jacob. So here, "Day to

day"; i.e., Day in addition to day, or, as we say, Day after

day).

(5) From to tell forth, akin to to prophesy, from root to pour

forth. Literally, here, poureth forth discourse. Psalm 145:9,

"abundantly utter."

(6) Their line, i.e., their measuring line. By the figure of

metonymy the line which measures is put for the portion or

heritage which is measured, as in many other places. See Psalm

16:6, "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I

have a goodly heritage." (See also Psalm 78:55, &c.) Here, it

means that "Their measuring line has gone forth unto all the

earth"; i.e., All the earth inherits this their testimony (i.e.,

has this testimony for its heritage), and to the ends of the

world (the inhabited world) their instruction has gone forth.

With this agrees, in sense, the LXX here, and Romans 10:18,

which each has a sound, or voice; i.e., a sound in relation to

the hearer, rather than to that which causes it. The meaning of

the passage is, "All the earth has their sound or testimony as

its heritage, and the ends of the world hear their words."

Symmachus has a sound, or report. Compare Deuteronomy 4:19,

"divided."

(7) [It] means that which is hot, and is a poetical name of the

sun itself.

Surely there is something more referred to here than a mere

wonder excited by the works of the Creator! When we read the

whole passage and mark its structure, and note the words

employed, we are emphatically told that the heavens contain a

revelation from God; they prophesy, they show knowledge, they

tell of God's glory, and set forth His purposes and counsels.

It is a remarkable fact that it is in the Book of Job, which is

generally allowed to be the oldest book in the Bible, * if not

in the world, that we have references to this Stellar

Revelation. This would be at least 2,000 years before Christ. In

that book the signs of the Zodiac and the names of several stars

and constellations are mentioned, as being ancient and

well-known.

* Job is thought by some to be the Jobab mentioned in Genesis

10:29, the third in descent from Eber.

In Isaiah 40:26 (RV) we read:--

"Lift up your eyes on high,

And see who hath created these,

That bringeth out their host by number:

He calleth them all by name;

By the greatness of His might,

And for that He is strong in power,

Not one is lacking."

We have the same evidence in Psalm 147:4 (RV).

"He telleth the number of the stars;

He giveth them all their names."

Here is a distinct and Divine declaration that the great Creator

both numbered as well as named the stars of Heaven.

The question is, Has he revealed any of these names? Have any of

them been handed down to us?

The answer is Yes; and that in the Bible itself we have the

names (so ancient that their meaning is a little obscure) of Ash

(a name still connected with the Great Bear), Cesil, and Cimah.

They occur in Job 9:9: "Which maketh Arcturus (RV the Bear),

Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south." (Marg.,

Heb., Ash, Cesil, and Cimah.)

Job 38:31,32: "Canst thou bind the sweet influences (RV cluster)

of the Pleiades (marg., the seven stars, Heb. Cimah), or loose

the bands of Orion (marg. Heb. Cesil)? Canst thou bring forth

Mazzaroth (marg., the twelve signs. RV, "the twelve signs": and

marg., the signs of the Zodiac) in his season? or canst thou

guide Arcturus with his sons (RV, the Bear with her train; and

marg., Heb., sons)."*

* Note the structure of this verse:

A. The seven stars,

B. Orion,

A. The twelve signs,

B. Arcturus.

Isaiah 13:10: ..."the stars of heaven and the constellations

thereof"...

Amos 5:8: "Seek him that maketh the seven stars (RV, the

Pleiades) and Orion."

Then we have the term "Mazzaroth," Job 38:32, and "Mazzaloth," 2

Kings 23:5. The former in both versions is referred to the

Twelve Signs of the Zodiac, while the latter is rendered

"planets," and in margin, the twelve signs or constellations.

Others are referred to by name. The sign of "Gemini," or the

Twins, is given as the name of a ship: Acts 28:11, Castor &

Pollux.

Most commentators agree that the constellation of "Draco," or

the Dragon (between the Great and Little Bear), is referred to

in Job 26:13: "By His Spirit He hath garnished the heavens; His

hand hath formed the crooked serpent (RV swift. Marg. fleeing or

gliding. See Isaiah 27:1, 43:14)." This word "garnished" is

peculiar. The RV puts in the margin, beauty. In Psalm 16:6, it

is rendered goodly. "I have a goodly heritage." In Daniel 4:2,

it is rendered, "I thought it good to show," referring to "the

signs and wonders" with which God had visited Nebuchadnezzar. It

appears from this that God "thought it good to show" by these

signs written in the heavens the wonders of His purposes and

counsels, and it was by His Spirit that He made it known; it was

His hand that coiled the crooked serpent among the stars of

heaven.

Thus we see that the Scriptures are not silent as to the great

antiquity of the signs and constellations.

If we turn to history and tradition, we are at once met with the

fact that the Twelve Signs are the same, both as to the meaning

of their names and as to their order in all the ancient nations

of the world. The Chinese, Chaldean, and Egyptian records go

back to more than 2,000 years BC. Indeed, the Zodiacs in the

Temples of Denderah and Esneh, in Egypt, are doubtless copies of

Zodiacs still more ancient, which, from internal evidence, must

be placed nearly 4,000 BC, when the summer solstice was in Leo.

Josephus hands down to us what he gives as the traditions of his

own nation, corroborated by his reference to eight ancient

Gentile authorities, whose works are lost. He says that they all

assert that "God gave the antediluvians such long life that they

might perfect those things which they had invented in

astronomy." Cassini commences his History of Astronomy by saying

"It is impossible to doubt that astronomy was invented from the

beginning of the world; history, profane as well as sacred,

testifies to this truth." Nouet, a French astronomer, infers

that the Egyptian Astronomy must have arisen 5,400 BC!

Ancient Persian and Arabian traditions ascribe its invention to

Adam, Seth, and Enoch. Josephus asserts that it originated in

the family of Seth; and he says that the children of Seth, and

especially Adam, Seth, and Enoch, that their revelation might

not be lost as to the two coming judgments of Water and Fire,

made two pillars (one of brick, the other of stone), describing

the whole of the predictions of the stars upon them, and in case

the brick pillar should be destroyed by the flood, the stone

would preserve the revelation (Book 1, chapters 1-3).

This is what is doubtless meant by Genesis 11:4, "And they said,

Go to, let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach

unto heaven." The words "may reach" are in italics. There is

nothing in the verse which relates to the height of this tower.

It merely says, and his top with the heavens, i.e. with the

pictures and the stars, just as we find them in the ancient

temples of Denderah and Esneh in Egypt. This tower, with its

planisphere and pictures of the signs and constellations, was to

be erected like those temples were afterwards, in order to

preserve the revelation, "lest we be scattered abroad upon the

face of the whole earth."

This is corroborated by Lieut.-Gen. Chesney, well known for his

learned researches and excavations among the ruins of Babylon,

who, after describing his various discoveries, says, "About five

miles S.W. of Hillah, the most remarkable of all the ruins, the

Birs Nimroud of the Arabs, rises to a height of 153 feet above

the plain from a base covering a square of 400 feet, or almost

four acres. It was constructed of kiln-dried bricks in seven

stages to correspond with the planets to which they were

dedicated: the lowermost black, the colour of Saturn; the next

orange, for Jupiter; the third red, for Mars; and so on. * These

stages were surmounted by a lofty tower, on the summit of which,

we are told, were the signs of the Zodiac and other astronomical

figures; thus having (as it should have been translated) a

representation of the heavens, instead of 'a top which reached

unto heaven.'"

* Fragments of these coloured glazed bricks are to be seen in

the British Museum.

This Biblical evidence carries us at once right back to the

Flood, or about 2,500 years BC.

This tower or temple, or both, was also called "The Seven

Spheres," according to some; and "The Seven Lights," according

to others. It is thus clear that the popular idea of its height

and purpose must be abandoned, and its astronomical reference to

revelation must be admitted. The tower was an attempt to

preserve and hand down the antediluvian traditions; their sin

was in keeping together instead of scattering themselves over

the earth.

Another important statement is made by Dr. Budge, of the British

Museum (Babylonian Life and History, p. 36). He says, "It must

never be forgotten that the Babylonians were a nation of

stargazers, and that they kept a body of men to do nothing else

but report eclipses, appearances of the moon, sunspots, etc.,

etc."

"Astronomy, mixed with astrology, occupied a large number of

tablets in the Babylonian libraries, and Isaiah 47:13 refers to

this when he says to Babylon, 'Thou art wearied in the multitude

of thy counsels. Let now thy astrologers (marg. viewers of the

heavens), the star-gazers, the monthly prognosticators stand

up.' The largest astrological work of the Babylonians contained

seventy tablets, and was compiled by the command of Sargon of

Agade thirty-eight hundred years before Christ! It was called

the 'Illumination of Bel.'"

"Their observations were made in towers called 'ziggurats'" (p.

106).

"They built observatories in all the great cities, and reports

like the above [which Dr. Budge gives in full] were regularly

sent to the King" (p. 110).

"They were able to calculate eclipses, and had long lists of

them." "They found out that the sun was spotted, and they knew

of comets." "They were the inventors of the Zodiac." (?) There

are fragments of two (ancient Babylonian) planispheres in the

British Museum with figures and calculations inscribed upon

them. "The months were called after the signs of the Zodiac" (p.

109).

We may form some idea of what this "representation of the

heavens" was from the fifth "Creation Tablet," now in the

British Museum. It reads as follows:

"Anu [the Creator] made excellent the mansions [i.e. the

celestial houses] of the great gods [twelve] in number [i.e. the

twelve signs or mansions of the sun].

The stars he placed in them. The lumasi [i.e. groups of stars or

figures] he fixed.

He arranged the year according to the bounds [i.e. the twelve

signs] which he defined.

For each of the twelve months three rows of stars [i.e.

constellations] he fixed.

From the day when the year issues forth unto the close, he

marked the mansions [i.e. the Zodiacal Signs] of the wandering

stars [i.e. planets] to know their courses that they might not

err or deflect at all."

Coming down to less ancient records: Eudoxos, an astronomer of

Cnidus (403 to 350 BC), wrote a work on Astronomy which he

called Phainomena. Antigonus Gonatas, King of Macedonia (273-239

BC), requested the Poet Aratus to put the work of Eudoxus into

the form of a poem, which he did about the year 270 BC. Aratus

called his work Diosemeia (the Divine Signs). He was a native of

Tarsus, and it is interesting for us to note that his poem was

known to, and, indeed, must have been read by, the Apostle Paul,

for he quotes it in his address at Athens on Mars's Hill. He

says (Acts 17:28) "For in Him we live, and move, and have our

being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are

also his offspring." Several translations of this poem have been

made, both by Cicero and others, into Latin, and in recent times

into English by E. Poste, J. Lamb, and others. The following is

the opening from the translation of Robert Brown, jun.:

"From Zeus we lead the strain; he whom mankind

Ne'er leave unhymned: of Zeus all public ways,

All haunts of men, are full; and full the sea,

And harbours; and of Zeus all stand in need.

We are his offspring: and he, ever good and mild to man,

Gives favouring signs, and rouses us to toil.

Calling to mind life's wants: when clods are best

For plough and mattock: when the time is ripe

For planting vines and sowing seeds, he tells,

Since he himself hath fixed in heaven these signs,

The stars dividing: and throughout the year

Stars he provides to indicate to man

The seasons' course, that all things duly grow," etc., etc.

Then Aratus proceeds to describe and explain all the Signs and

Constellations as the Greeks in his day understood, or rather

misunderstood, them, after their true meaning and testimony had

been forgotten.

Moreover, Aratus describes them, not as they were seen in his

day, but as they were seen some 4,000 years before. The stars

were not seen from Tarsus as he describes them, and he must

therefore have written from a then ancient Zodiac. For

notwithstanding that we speak of "fixed stars," there is a

constant, though slow, change taking place amongst them. There

is also another change taking place owing to the slow recession

of the pole of the heavens (about 50" in the year); so that

while Alpha in the constellation of Draco was the Polar Star

when the Zodiac was first formed, the Polar Star is now Alpha in

what is called Ursa Minor. This change alone carries us back at

least 5,000 years. The same movement which has changed the

relative position of these two stars has also caused the

constellation of the Southern Cross to become invisible in

northern latitudes. When the constellations were formed the

Southern Cross was visible in N. latitude 40o, and was included

in their number. But, though known by tradition, it had not been

seen in that latitude for some twenty centuries, until voyages

to the Cape of Good Hope were made. Then was seen again The

Southern Cross depicted by the Patriarchs. Here is another

indisputable proof as to the antiquity of the formation of the

Zodiac.

Ptolemy (150 AD) transmits them from Hipparchus (130 BC) "as of

unquestioned authority, unknown origin, and unsearchable

antiquity."

Sir William Drummond says that "the traditions of the Chaldean

Astronomy seem the fragments of a mighty system fallen into

ruins."

The word Zodiac itself is from the Greek zoidiakos, which is not

from zoe, to live, but from a primitive root through the Hebrew

Sodi, which in Sanscrit means a way. Its etymology has no

connection with living creatures, but denotes a way, or step,

and is used of the way or path in which the sun appears to move

amongst the stars in the course of the year.

To an observer on the earth the whole firmament, together with

the sun, appears to revolve in a circle once in twenty-four

hours. But the time occupied by the stars in going round,

differs from the time occupied by the sun. This difference

amounts to about one-twelfth part of the whole circle in each

month, so that when the circle of the heavens is divided up into

twelve parts, the sun appears to move each month through one of

them. This path which the sun thus makes amongst the stars is

called the Ecliptic. *

* Besides this monthly difference, there is an annual

difference; for at the end of twelve months the sun does not

come back to exactly the same point in the sign which commenced

the year, but is a little behind it. But this difference, though

it occurs every year, is so small that it will take 25,579 years

for the sun to complete this vast cycle, which is called The

precession of the Equinoxes; i.e., about one degree in every 71

years. If the sun came back to the precise point at which it

began the year, each sign would correspond, always and

regularly, exactly with a particular month; but, owing to this

constant regression, the sun (while it goes through the whole

twelve signs every year) commences the year in one sign for only

about 2,131 years. In point of fact, since the Creation the

commencement of the year has changed to the extent of nearly

three of the signs. When Virgil sings--

"The White Bull with golden horns opens the year,"

he does not record what took place in his own day. This is

another proof of the antiquity of these signs.

The Ecliptic, or path of the sun, if it could be viewed from

immediately beneath the Polar Star, would form a complete and

perfect circle, would be concentric with the Equator, and all

the stars and the sun would appear to move in this circle, never

rising or setting. To a person north or south of the Equator the

stars therefore rise and set obliquely; while to a person on the

Equator they rise and set perpendicularly, each star being

twelve hours above and twelve below the horizon.

The points where the two circles (the Ecliptic and the Equator)

intersect each other are called the Equinoctial points. It is

the movement of these points (which are now moving from Aries to

Pisces) which gives rise to the term, "the precession of the

Equinoxes."

Each of these twelve parts (consisting each of about 30 degrees)

is distinguished, not by numbers or by letters, but by pictures

and names, and this, as we have seen, from the very earliest

times. They are preserved to the present day in our almanacs,

and we are taught their order in the familiar rhymes:--

"The Ram, the Bull, the heavenly Twins,

And next the Crab, the Lion shines,

The Virgin and the Scales;

The Scorpion, Archer, and Sea-Goat,

The Man that carries the Water-pot,

And Fish with glittering scales."

These signs have always and everywhere been preserved in this

order, and have begun with Aries. They have been known amongst

all nations, and in all ages, thus proving their common origin

from one source.

The figures themselves are perfectly arbitrary. There is nothing

in the groups of stars to even suggest the figures. This is the

first thing which is noticed by every one who looks at the

constellations. Take for example the sign of Virgo, and look at

the stars. There is nothing whatever to suggest a human form;

still less is there anything to show whether that form is a man

or a woman. And so with all the others.

The picture, therefore, is the original, and must have been

drawn around or connected with certain stars, simply in order

that it might be identified and associated with them; and that

it might thus be remembered and handed down to posterity.

There can be no doubt, as the learned Authoress of Mazzaroth

conclusively proves, that these signs were afterwards identified

with the twelve sons of Jacob. Joseph sees the sun and moon and

eleven stars bowing down to him, he himself being the twelfth

(Gen 37:9). The blessing of Jacob (Gen 49) and the blessing of

Moses (Deut 33) both bear witness to the existence of these

signs in their day. And it is more than probable that each of

the Twelve Tribes bore one of them on its standard. We read in

Numbers 2:2, "Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by

his own STANDARD, with the ENSIGN of their father's house" (RV

"with the ensigns of their fathers' houses"). This "Standard"

was the Degel on which the "Sign" (oth) was depicted. Hence it

was called the "En-sign." Ancient Jewish authorities declare

that each tribe had one of the signs as its own, and it is

highly probable, even from Scripture, that four of the tribes

carried its "Sign"; and that these four were placed at the four

sides of the camp.

If the Lion were appropriated to Judah, then the other three

would be thus fixed, and would be the same four that equally

divide the Zodiac at its four cardinal points. According to

Numbers 2 the camp was thus formed:--

North

Dan-The Scorpion (Scorpio)

Asher (Sagittarius)

Naphtali (Capricorn)

West East

Ephraim-The Bull (Taurus) Levi (Libra) Judah-The Lion

(Leo)

Manasseh-The Bull (Taurus) The Scales Issachar

(Cancer)

Benjamin (Gemini) Zebulun (Virgo)

South

Reuben-The Man (Aquarius)

Simeon (Pisces)

Gad (Aries)

If the reader compares the above with the blessings of Israel

and Moses, and compares the meanings and descriptions given

below with those blessings, the connection will be clearly seen.

Levi, for example, had no standard, and he needed none, for he

kept "the balance of the Sanctuary," and had the charge of that

brazen altar on which the atoning blood outweighed the nation's

sins.

The four great signs which thus marked the four sides of the

camp, and the four quarters of the Zodiac, are the same four

which form the Cherubim (the Eagle, the Scorpion's enemy, being

substituted for the Scorpion). The Cherubim thus form a

compendious expression of the hope of Creation, which, from the

very first, has been bound up with the Coming One, who alone

should cause its groanings to cease.

But this brings us to the Signs themselves and their

interpretation.

These pictures were designed to preserve, expound, and

perpetuate the one first great promise and prophecy of Genesis

3:15, that all hope for Man, all hope for Creation, was bound up

in a coming Redeemer; One who should be born of a woman; who

should first suffer, and afterwards gloriously triumph; One who

should first be wounded by that great enemy who was the cause of

all sin and sorrow and death, but who should finally crush the

head of "that Old Serpent the Devil."

These ancient star-pictures reveal this Coming One. They set

forth "the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should

follow." Altogether there are forty-eight of them, made up of

twelve SIGNS, each sign containing three CONSTELLATIONS.

These may be divided into three great books, each book

containing four chapters (or Signs); and each chapter containing

three sections (or Constellations).

Each book (like the four Gospels) sets forth its peculiar aspect

of the Coming One; beginning with the promise of His coming, and

ending with the destruction of the enemy.

But where are we to begin to read this wondrous Heavenly Scroll?

A circle has proverbially neither beginning nor end. In what

order then are we to consider these signs? In the heavens they

form a never-ending circle. Where is the beginning and where is

the end of this circle through which the sun is constantly

moving? Where are we to break into this circle? and say, This is

the commencement. It is clear that unless we can determine this

original starting point we can never read this wondrous book

aright.

As I have said, the popular beginning today is with Aries, the

Ram. But comparing this Revelation with that which was

afterwards written "in the Volume of the Book," Virgo is the

only point where we can intelligently begin, and Leo is the only

point where we can logically conclude. Is not this what is

spoken of as the unknown and insoluble mystery--"The riddle of

the Sphinx"? The word "Sphinx" is from to bind closely together.

It was therefore designed to show where the two ends of the

Zodiac were to be joined together, and where the great circle of

the heavens begins and ends.

The Sphinx is a figure with the head of a woman and the body of

a lion! What is this but a never-ceasing monitor, telling us to

begin with Virgo and to end with Leo! In the Zodiac in the

Temple of Esneh, in Egypt, a Sphinx is actually placed between

the Signs of Virgo and Leo...

Beginning, then, with Virgo, let us now spread out the contents

of this Heavenly Volume, so that the eye can take them in at a

glance. Of course we are greatly hindered in this, in having to

use the modern Latin names which the Constellations bear today.

* Some of these names are mistakes, others are gross perversions

of the truth, as proved by the pictures themselves, which are

far more ancient, and have come down to us from primitive times.

* It is exactly the same with the books of the Bible. Their

order and their names, as we have them in the English Bible, are

those which man has given them, copied from the Septuagint and

Vulgate, and in many cases are not the Divine names according to

the Hebrew Canon. See The Names and Order of the Books of the

Old Testament, by the same author.

After the Revelation came to be written down in the Scriptures,

there was not the same need for the preservation of the Heavenly

Volume. And after the nations had lost the original meaning of

the pictures, they invented a meaning out of the vain

imagination of the thoughts of their hearts. The Greek Mythology

is an interpretation of (only some of) the signs and

constellations after their true meaning had been forgotten. It

is popularly believed that Bible truth is an evolution from, or

development of, the ancient religions of the world. But the fact

is that they themselves are a corruption and perversion of

primitive truth!

The Witness of the Stars, The First Book, Chapter I

The First Book

The Redeemer

(His First Coming)

"The sufferings of Christ"

The First Book is occupied with the PERSON of the Coming One. It

covers the whole ground, and includes the conflict and the

victory of the Promised Seed, but with special emphasis on His

Coming. The book opens with the promise of His coming, and it

closes with the Dragon cast down from heaven.

Chapter I

The Sign Virgo

The Promised Seed of the woman

Here is the commencement of all prophecy in Genesis 3:15, spoken

to the serpent: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman,

and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and

thou shalt bruise His heel." This is the prophetic announcement

which the Revelation in the heavens and in the Book is designed

to unfold and develop. It lies at the root of all the ancient

traditions and mythologies, which are simply the perversion and

corruption of primitive truth.

VIRGO is represented as a woman with a branch in her right hand,

and some ears of corn in her left hand. Thus giving a two-fold

testimony of the Coming One.

The name of this sign in the Hebrew is Bethulah, which means a

virgin, and in the Arabic a branch. The two words are connected,

as in Latin--Virgo, which means a virgin; and virga, which means

a branch (Vulg. Isa 11:1). Another name is Sunbul, Arabic, an

ear of corn.

In Genesis 3:15 she is presented only as a woman; but in later

prophecies her nationality is defined as being of the stock of

Israel, the seed of Abraham, the line of David; and, further,

she is to be a virgin. There are two prominent prophecies of her

and her seed: one is connected with the first coming in

incarnation, Isaiah 7:14 (quoted in Matthew 1:23).

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

And shall call his name Immanuel."

The other is connected with His second coming, leaping over the

sufferings and this present interval of His rejection, and

looking forward to His coming in glory and judgment, Isaiah 9:6,

7 (quoted in Luke 2:11 and 1 :32, 33).

"For unto us a child is born,

Unto us a son is given; *

And the government shall be upon His shoulder;

And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,

The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government there shall be no end.

Upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom,

To order it, and to establish it

With judgment and with justice

From henceforth even for ever.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."

* Here, the fact of His humiliation, together with this long

period of His rejection, is leaped over, and the prophecy

passes on at once--over at least a period of 1893 years--to this

"glory which should follow."

It is difficult to separate the Virgin and her Seed in the

prophecy; and so, here, we have first the sign VIRGO, where the

name points to her as the prominent subject; while in the first

of the three constellations of this sign, where the woman

appears again, the name COMA points to the child as the great

subject.

Virgo contains 110 stars, viz., one of the 1st magnitude, six of

the 3rd, ten of the 4th, etc.

ARATUS thus sings of them:

"Beneath Bootes feet the Virgin seek,

Who carries in her hand a glittering spike.

Over her shoulder there revolves a star

In the right wing, superlatively bright;

It rolls beneath the tail, and may compare

With the bright stars that deck the Greater Bear.

Upon her sholder one bright star is borne,

One clasps the circling girdle of her loins,

One at her bending knee; and in her hand

Glitters that bright and golden Ear of Corn.

Thus the brightest star in VIRGO (a) * has an ancient name,

handed down to us in all the star-maps, in which the Hebrew word

Tsemech is preserved. It is called in Arabic Al Zimach, which

means the branch. This star is in the ear of corn which she

holds in her left hand. Hence the star has a modern Latin name,

which has almost superseded the ancient one, Spica, which means,

an ear of corn. But this hides the great truth revealed by its

name Al Zimach. It foretold the coming of Him who should bear

this name. The same Divine inspiration has, in the written Word,

four times connected it with Him. There are twenty Hebrew words

translated "Branch," but only one of them (Tsemech) is used

exclusively of the Messiah, and this word only four times (Jer

33:15 being only a repetition of Jer 23:5). Each of these

further connects Him with one special account of Him, given in

the Gospels.

* The stars are known by Greek letters and sometimes by numbers,

&c. Alpha (a) denotes a star of the first magnitude; Beta (b),

the second, and so on. This plan was originated by Bayer in his

Uranometria, 1603. The star Alpha, as seen in the New Great

Equatorial Telescope recently set up at Greenwich, is now

discovered to be really a double star, though it had hitherto

always appeared to be one.

(1) Jeremiah 23:5 --"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, That

I will raise unto David a righteous BRANCH (i.e., a Son), And a

KING shall reign and prosper." The account of His coming as King

is written in the Gospel according to Matthew, where Jehovah

says to Israel, "Behold thy KING." (Zech 9:9; Matt 21:9)

(2) Zechariah 3:8--"Behold I will bring forth my SERVANT the

BRANCH." In the Gospel according to Mark we find the record of

Jehovah's servant and His service, and we hear Jehovah's voice

saying, "Behold my SERVANT." (Isa 42:1)

(3) Zechariah 6:12--"Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying,

Behold the MAN whose name is the BRANCH." In the Gospel

according to Luke we behold Him, presented in "the MAN Christ

Jesus."

(4) Isaiah 4:2--"In that day shall the BRANCH of JEHOVAH be

beautiful and glorious." So that this Branch, this Son, is

Jehovah Himself; and as we read the record of John we hear the

voice from heaven saying, "Behold your GOD." (Isa 40:9)

This is the Branch foretold by the star Al Zimach in the ear of

corn.

The star b is called Zavijaveh, which means the gloriously

beautiful, as in Isaiah 4:2. The star e, in the arm bearing the

branch, is called Al Mureddin, which means who shall come down

(as in Psa 72:8), or who shall have dominion. It is also known

as Vindemiatrix, a Chaldee word which means the son, or branch,

who cometh.

Other names of stars in the sign, are--

Subilah, who carries. (Isa 46:4)

Al Azal, the Branch. (As in Isa 18:5)

Subilon, a spike of corn. (As in Isa 17:5)

The Greeks, ignorant of the Divine origin and teaching of the

sign, represented Virgo as Ceres, with ears of corn in her hand.

In the Zodiac in the Temple of Denderah, in Egypt, about 2000 BC

(now in Paris), she is likewise represented with a branch in her

hand, but ignorantly explained by a false religion to represent

Isis! Her name is called Aspolia, which means ears of corn, or

the seed, which shows that though the woman is seen, it is her

Seed who is the great subject of the prophecy.

Passing to the three constellations anciently assigned to the

sign VIRGO, we come to what may be compared to three sections of

the chapter, each giving some further detail as to the

interpretation of its teaching.

1. COMA (The Woman and Child)

The desired of all nations

The first constellation in VIRGO explains that this coming

"Branch" will be a child, and that He should be the "Desire of

all nations."

The ancient name of this constellation is Comah, the desired, or

the longed for. We have the word used by the Holy Spirit in this

very connection, in Haggai 2:7--"The DESIRE of all nations shall

come."

The ancient Zodiacs pictured this constellation as a woman with

a child in her arms. ALBUMAZAR * (or ABU MASHER), an Arabian

astronomer of the eighth century, says, "There arises in the

first Decan **, as the Persians, Chaldeans, and Egyptians, and

the two HERMES and ASCALIUS teach, a young woman whose Persian

name denotes a pure virgin, sitting on a throne, nourishing an

infant boy (the boy, I say), having a Hebrew name, by some

nations called IHESU, with the signification IEZA, which in

Greek is called CHRISTOS."

* A Latin translation of his work is in the British Museum

Library. He says the Persians understood these signs, but that

the Indians perverted them with inventions.

** The constellations are called Decans. The word means a part,

and is used of the three parts into which each sign is divided,

each of which is occupied by a constellation.

But this picture is not found in any of the modern maps of the

stars. There we find today a woman's wig! It appears that

BERENICE, the wife of EUERGETES (PTOLEMY III), king of Egypt in

the third century BC, when her husband once went on a dangerous

expedition, vowed to consecrate her fine head of hair to Venus

if he returned in safety. Her hair, which was hung up in the

Temple of Venus, was subsequently stolen, and to comfort

BERENICE, CONON, an astronomer of Alexandria (BC 283-222), gave

it out that Jupiter had taken it and made it a constellation!

This is a good example of how the meaning of other

constellations have been perverted (ignorantly or

intentionally). In this case, as in others, the transition from

ancient to more modern languages helped to hide the meaning. The

Hebrew name was COMA (desired). But the Greeks had a word for

hair, Co-me. this again is transferred to the Latin coma, and

thus "Coma Berenice" (The hair of Berenice) comes down to us

today as the name of this constellation, and gives us a woman's

wig instead of that Blessed One, "the Desire of all Nations."

In this case, however we are able to give absolute proof that

this is a perversion.

The ancient Egyptian name for this constellation was Shes-nu,

the desired son!

The Zodiac in the Temple of Denderah, in Egypt, going back at

least 2000 years BC, has no trace of any hair, but it has the

figure of a woman and child.

Even Shakespeare understood the truth about this constellation

picture, which has been so long covered by modern inventions. In

his Titus Andronicus he speaks of an arrow being shot up to

heaven to the "Good boy in Virgo's lap."

The constellation itself is very remarkable. Others contain one

or two stars of the first or second magnitude, and then a

greater or less variety of lesser stars; but this is peculiar

from having no one very bright star, but contains so many stars

of the 4th and 5th magnitudes. It contains 43 stars altogether,

ten being of the 4th magnitude, and the remainder of the 5th,

6th, etc.

It was in all probability the constellation of Coma in which

"the Star of Bethlehem" appeared. There was a traditional

prophecy, well-known in the East, carefully preserved and handed

down, that a new star would appear in this sign when He whom it

foretold should be born.

This was, doubtless, referred to in the prophecy of Balaam,

which would thus receive a double fulfilment, first of the

literal "Star," and also of the person to whom it referred. The

Lord said by Balaam (Num 24:17),

"There shall come * a star out of Jacob,

And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel."

* I.e., come forth (as in the RV). At is rendered in Genesis

3:24 "There shall come forth a star at or over the inheritance

or possessions of Jacob," thus indicating the locality which

would be on the meridian of this star.

Thomas Hyde, an eminent Orientalist (1636-1703), writing on the

ancient religion of the Persians, quotes from ABULFARAGIUS (an

Arab Christian Historian, 1126-1286), who says that ZOROASTER,

or ZERDUSHT, the Persian, was a pupil of Daniel the Prophet, and

that he predicted to the Magians (who were the astronomers of

Persia), that when they should see a new star appear it would

notify the birth of a mysterious child, whom they were to adore.

It is further stated in the Zend Avesta that this new star was

to appear in the sign of the Virgin. Some have supposed that

this passage is not genuine. But whether it was interpolated

before or after the event, it is equally good evidence for our

purpose here. For if it was written before the event, it is

evidence of the prophetic announcement; and if it was

interpolated after the event it is evidence of the historic fact

The Book of Job shows us how Astronomy flourished in Idumea; and

the Gospel according to Matthew shows that the Persian Magi, as

well as others, were looking for "the Desire of all nations."

New stars have appeared again and again. It was in 125 BC that a

star, so bright as to be seen in the day-time, suddenly

appeared. It was this that caused HIPPARCHUS to draw up his

catalogue of stars, which has been handed down to us by PTOLEMY

(150 AD).

This new star would show the latitude, passing at that time

immediately overhead at midnight, every twenty-four hours; while

the prophecy would give the longitude as the land of Jacob.

Having these two factors, it would be only a matter of

observation, and easy for the Magi to find the place where it

would be vertical, and thus to locate the very spot of the birth

of Him of whom it was the sign, for they emphatically called it

"His Star." There is a beautiful tradition which relates how, in

their difficulty, on their way from Jerusalem to find the actual

spot under the Zenith of this star, these Magi sat down beside

David's "Well of Bethlehem" to refresh themselves. There they

saw the star reflected in the clear water of the well. Hence it

is written that "when they saw the star they rejoiced with

exceeding joy," for they knew they were at the very spot and

place of His appearing whence He was to "come forth."

There can be little doubt that it was a new star. In the first

place a new star is no unusual phenomenon. In the second place

the tradition is well supported by ancient Christian writers.

One speaks of its "surpassing brightness." Another (IGNATIUS,

Bishop of Antioch, AD 69) says, "At the appearance of the Lord a

star shone forth brighter than all the other stars." IGNATIUS,

doubtless, had this from those who had actually seen it!

PRUDENTIUS (4th century AD) says that not even the morning star

was so fair. Archbishop TRENCH, who quotes these authorities,

says "This star, I conceive, as so many ancients and moderns

have done, to have been a new star in the heavens."

One step more places this new star in the constellation of COMA,

and with new force makes it indeed "His star"--the "Sign" of His

"coming forth from Bethlehem." will it be "the sign of the Son

of Man in heaven" (Matt 24:30) when He shall "come unto" this

world again to complete the wondrous prophecies written of Him

in the heavenly and earthly Revelations? *

* It ought also to be noted that in the preceding year there

were three conjunctions of the planets Jupiter and Saturn, at

the end of May and October, and at the beginning of December.

Kepler (1571-1631) was the first to point this out, and his

calculations have been confirmed by the highest authorities.

These conjunctions occurred in the sign of PISCES: and this

sign, according to all the ancient Jewish authorities (Josephus,

Abarbanel, Eliezer, and others), has special reference to

Israel. The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, they hold, always

marked the occurrence of some even favourable to Israel; while

Kepler, calculating backwards, found that this astronomical

phenomenon always coincided with some great historical crisis,

viz.: the Revelation to Adam, the birth of Enoch, the Revelation

to Noah, the birth of Moses, the birth of Cyrus, the birth of

Christ, the birth of Charlemagne, and the birth of Luther.

Thus does the constellation of COMA reveal that the coming "Seed

of the woman" was to be a child born, a son given.

But He was to be more: He was to be God and man--two natures in

one person! This is the lesson of the next picture.

2. CENTAURUS (The Centaur)

The despised sin-offering

It is the figure of a being with two natures. Jamieson, in his

Celestial Atlas, 1822, says, "On the authority of the most

accomplished Orientalist of our own times, the Arabic and

Chaldaic name of this constellation is Bezeh." Now this Hebrew

word Bezeh (and the Arabic Al Beze) means the despised. It is

the very word used of this Divine sufferer in Isaiah 53:3, "He

is DESPISED and rejected of men."

The constellation contains thirty-five stars. Two of the 1st

magnitude, one of the 2nd, six of the 3rd, nine of the 4th,

etc., which, together with the four bright stars in the CROSS

make a brilliant show in southern latitudes.

The brightest star, a (in the horse's fore-foot), has come down

to us with the ancient name of Toliman, which means the

heretofore and hereafter, marking Him as the one "which is, and

which was, and which is to come--the Almighty" (Rev 1:8). Sir

John Herschell observed this star to be growing rapidly

brighter. It may be, therefore, one of the changeable stars, and

its name may be taken as an indication of the fact that it was

known to the ancients.

Another name for the constellation was in Hebrew, Asmeath, which

means a sin-offering (as in Isaiah 53:10).

The Greek name was Cheiron, which means the pierced, or who

pierces. In the Greek fables Cheiron was renowned for his skill

in hunting, medicine, music, athletics, and prophecy. All the

most distinguished heroes of Greece are described as his pupils.

He was supposed to be immortal, but he voluntarily agreed to

die; and, wounded by a poisoned arrow (not intended for him)

while in conflict with a wild boar, he transferred his

immortality to Prometheus; whereupon he was placed amongst the

stars.

We can easily see how this fable is the ignorant perversion of

the primitive Revelation. The true tradition can be seen dimly

through it, and we can discern Him of whom it spoke,--the

all-wise, all-powerful Teacher and Prophet, who "went about

doing good," yet "despised and rejected of men," laying down His

life that others might live.

It is one of the lowest of the constellations, i.e. the farthest

south from the northern centre. It is situated immediately over

the CROSS, which bespeaks His own death; He is seen in the act

of destroying the enemy.

Thus these star-pictures tell us that it would be as a child

that the Promised Seed should come forth and grow and wax strong

in spirit and be filled with wisdom (Luke 2:40); and that as a

man having two natures He should suffer and die. Then the third

and last section in this first chapter of this First Book goes

on to tell of His second coming in glory.

3. BOOTES (The Coming One)

He cometh

This constellation still further develops this wondrous

personage.

He is pictured as a man walking rapidly, with a spear in his

right hand and a sickle in his left hand.

The Greeks called him Bo-o-tes, which is from the Hebrew root Bo

(to come), meaning the coming. It is referred to in Psalm 96:13:

"For He cometh,

For He cometh to judge the earth;

He shall judge the world in righteousness,

And the people with His truth."

It is probable that his ancient name was Arcturus * (as referred

to in Job 9:9), for this is the name of the brightest star, a

(in the left knee). Arcturus means He cometh. **

* The ancient name could not have been Bootes! though it is

derived from, and may be a reminiscence of the Hebrew.

** ARATUS calls him Arctophylax, i.e., the guardian of Arctos,

the flock of the greater fold, called today the Great Bear:

"Behind, and seeming to urge on the Bear,

Arctophylax, on earth Bootes named,

Sheds o'er the Arctic car his silver light."

By some moderns he is mistakenly called The Waggoner. Hence the

allusion of Thompson:

"Wide o'er the spacious regions of the North,

Bootes urges on his tardy wain."

This perversion scarecely does justice even to human common

sense, as waggoneers do not use a sickle for a whip!

The ancient Egyptians called him Smat, which means one who

rules, subdues, and governs. They also called him Bau (a

reminiscence of the more ancient Bo), which means also the

coming one.

The star m (in the spear-head) is named Al Katurops, which means

the branch, treading under foot.

The star e (just below the waist on his right side) is called

Mirac, or Mizar, or Izar. Mirac means the coming forth as an

arrow; Mizar, or Izar, means the preserver, guarding.

The star h is called Muphride, i.e. who separates.

The star b (in the head) is named Nekkar, i.e. the pierced (Zech

12:10), which tells us that this coming judge is the One who was

pierced. Another Hebrew name is Merga, who bruises. *

* The constellation is a very brilliant one, having 54 stars,

viz., one of the 1st magnitude, six of the 3rd, eleven of the

4th, etc.

The constellation of the Canes Venatici (the Greyhounds), i.e.,

the two dogs (Asterion and Chara), which Bootes holds by a

leash, is quite a modern invention, being added by Hevelius

(1611-1687). The bright star of the 3rd magnitude in the neck of

Chara, was named "Cor Caroli" (the heart of Charles) by Sir

Charles Scarborough, physician to Charles II, in honour of

Charles I, in 1649. This is a good example of the almost

infinite distance between the ancient and modern names. The

former are full of mysterious significance and grandeur, while

the latter are puerile in the extreme, almost approaching to the

comic! e.g., the Air Pump, the Painter's Easel, the Telescope,

the Triangle, the Fly, the Microscope, the Indian, the Fox and

Goose, the Balloon, the Toucan (or American Goose), the

Compasses, Charles' Oak, the Cat, the Clock, the Unicorn, &c.

The vast difference can be at once seen between those designed

by the ancients and those added by astronomers in more recent

times.

These new constellations were added, 22 by Hevelius; and 15 by

Halley (1656-1742). They were formed for the purpose of

embracing those stars which were not included in the ancient

constellations. This shows that the old constellations were not

designed, like the modern ones, merely for the sake of enabling

astronomers to identify the positions of particular stars. In

this case all the stars would have been included. The object was

exactly the opposite! Instead of the pictures being designed to

serve to identify the stars, only certain stars were used for

the purpose of helping to identify the pictures!

This is another important proof of the truth of our whole

argument.

This brings us back again to Genesis 3:15, and closes up this

first chapter of the First Book (VIRGO). It shows us the Person

of the Promised Seed from the beginning to the end, from the

first promise of the birth of the Child in Bethlehem, to the

final coming of the great Judge and Harvester to reap the

harvest of the earth. This was the vision which was afterwards

shown to John (Rev 14:15,16), when he says, "I looked; and

behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the

Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a

sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying

with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy

sickle and reap; for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the

harvest of the earth is ripe. And He that sat on the cloud

thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped."

This is the conclusion of the first chapter of this First Book.

Here we see the woman whose Seed is to bruise the serpent's

head, the Virgin-Born, the Branch of Jehovah, perfect man and

perfect God, Immanuel, "God with us," yet despised and rejected

of men, and yielding up His life that others may have life for

evermore. But we see Him coming afterwards in triumphant power

to judge the earth.

This is only one chapter of this First Book, but it contains the

outline of the whole volume, complete in itself, so far as it

regards the Person of the Coming One. Like the Book of Genesis,

it is the seed-plot which contains the whole, all the rest being

merely the development of the many grand details which are

included and shut up within it. It is only one chapter out of

twelve, but it distinctly foreshadows the end--even "the

sufferings of Christ and the glory which should follow."

The Witness of the Stars, The First Book, Chapter II

The First Book

The Redeemer

(His First Coming)

"The sufferings of Christ"

Chapter II

The Sign Libra

The Redeemer's atoning work, or the price deficient

balanced by the price which covers

In the first chapter of this book we saw that this Coming Seed

of the woman was, among other things, to give up His life for

others.

The second chapter is going to define and develop the manner and

object of this death.

The name of the Sign, together with its three constellations and

the names of the stars composing them, give the complete picture

of this Redemption.

The Sign contains 51 stars, two of which are of the 2nd

magnitude, one of the 3rd, eight of the 4th, etc.

The Hebrew name is Mozanaim, the Scales, weighing. Its name in

Arabic is Al Zubena, pruchase, or redemption. In Coptic, it is

Lambadia, station of propitiation (from Lam, graciousness, and

badia, branch). The name by which it has come down to us is the

Latin, Libra, which means weighing, as used in the Vulgate (Isa

40:12).

Libra contains three bright stars whose names supply us with the

whole matter. The brightest a (in the lower scale), is named

Zuben al Genubi, which means the purchase, or price which is

deficient. This points to the fact that man has been utterly

ruined. He is "weighed in the balances and found wanting."

"None of them can by any means redeem his brother,

Nor give to God a ransom for him;

For the redemption of their soul is costly,

And must be let alone for ever."

Psalm 49:7, RV

"Surely men of low degree are vanity (Heb. a breath),

And men of high degree are a lie;

In the balances they go up;

They are altogether lighter than vanity" (Heb. a breath).

Psalm 42:9, RV

This is the verdict pronounced and recorded by this star Zuben

al Genubi.

Is there then no hope? Is there no one who can pay the price?

Yes; there is "the Seed of the woman." He is not merely coming

as a child, but He is coming as an atoning sacrifice.

He is coming for the purpose of Redemption! He can pay the price

which covers! Hence in the upper scale we have another bright

star with this very name Zuben al Chemali--THE PRICE WHICH

COVERS! Praised be God! "They sang a new song, saying, Thou art

worthy...for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed...to God by thy

blood" (Rev 5:9). This is the testimony of b, the second

brightest star! It has another name, al Gubi, heaped up, or

high, telling of the infinite value of this redemption price.

But there is a third star, g, below, towards Centaurus and the

Victim slain, telling, by that and by its name, of the conflict

by which that redemption would be accomplished. It is called

Zuben Akrabi or Zuben al Akrab, which means the price of the

conflict!

There is, however, some reason to suppose that Libra is a very

ancient Egyptian corruption, bringing in human merit instead of

Divine righteousness; "the way of Cain" instead of the way of

God. In the more ancient Akkadian the months were called after

the names of the signs, and the sign of the seventh month is the

sign that we now call Libra. The Akkadian name for it was Tulku.

Tul means mound (like dhul and dul), and ku means sacred; hence,

Tulku means the sacred mound, or the holy altar.

Not only is the name and its meaning different, but the teaching

is infinitely greater and more important, if we may believe that

the original picture of this sign was not a pair of scales, but

the representation of an holy altar. This would agree still

better with the three constellations which follow.

The names of the stars would also be more appropriate, for it is

the Sacrifice of Christ which they foreshadowed, and here it was

that the price which covered was paid, and outweighed the price

which was deficient. What that price was to be, and how it was

to be paid, and what was to be the result in the Person of the

Redeemer, is set forth in detail in the three sections of this

chapter by the constellations of The Cross endured, The Victim

slain, and The Crown bestowed.

1. CRUX (The Cross)

The cross endured

The Hebrew name was Adom, which means cutting off, as in Daniel

9:26 "After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off."

The last letter of the Hebrew alphabet was called Tau, which was

anciently made in the form of a cross. This letter is called

Tau, and means a mark; especially a boundary mark, a limit or

finish. And it is the last letter, which finishes the Hebrew

alphabet to this day.

The Southern Cross was just visible in the latitude of Jerusalem

at the time of the first coming of our Lord to die. Since then,

through the gradual recession of the Polar Star, it has not been

seen in northern latitudes. It gradually disappeared and became

invisible at Jerusalem when the Real Sacrifice was offered

there; and tradition, which preserved its memory, assured

travellers that if they could go far enough south it would be

again seen. Dante sang of "the four stars never beheld but by

the early race of men." It was not until the sixteenth century

had dawned that missionaries and voyagers, doubling the Cape for

the first time, and visiting the tropics and southern seas,

brought back the news of "a wonderful cross more glorious than

all the constellations of the heavens."

It is a small asterism, containing only about five stars, viz.,

one of the 1st magnitude, two of the 2nd, one of the 3rd, and

one of the 4th. Four of these are in the form of a cross.

Long before the Christian Era this sign of the Cross had lost

its true meaning, and had been perverted in Babylon and Egypt as

it has since been desecrated by Rome. The Persians and Egyptians

worshipped it. The cakes made and eaten in honour of the Queen

of Heaven were marked with it. This heathen custom Rome has

adopted and adapted in her Good Friday cakes, which are thus

stamped. But all are alike ignorant of what it means, viz., "IT

IS FINISHED."

In Egypt, and in the earliest times, it was the sign and symbol

of life. Today, Romanists use it as the symbol of death! But it

means life! Natural life given up, and eternal life procured.

Atonement, finished, perfect, and complete; never to be

repeated, or added to. All who partake of its benefits in Christ

now, in grace, by faith "ARE made nigh by the blood of Christ"

(Eph 2:13), and of them Jesus says, "He that heareth my voice,

and believeth on Him that sent me HATH everlasting life, and

shall not come into judgment; but IS PASSED from death unto

life" (John 5:24). So perfect and complete is the work which

Jesus finished on the Cross that we cannot seek to add even our

repentance, faith, tears, or prayers, without practically

asserting that the work of Christ is not finished, and is not

sufficient!

The Hebrew names of this constellation--Adom and Tau--rebuke our

Pharisaic spirit, which is the relic and essence of all false

religions, and points to the blessed fact that the Sacrifice was

offered "once for all," and the atoning work of Redemption

completely finished on Calvary.

"Tis finished! the Messiah dies!

Cut off for sins, but not His own;

Accomplished is the sacrifice,

The great redeeming work is done."

In the ancient Egyptian Zodiac of Denderah this first Decan of

LIBRA is represented as a lion with his tongue hanging out of

his mouth, as if in thirst, and a female figure holding a cup

out to him. Under his fore feet is the hieroglyphic symbol of

running water. What is all this but "the Lion of the tribe of

Judah" brought down "into the dust of death," and saying "I am

poured out like water...my strength is dried up" (Psa 22:13-18)

"I thirst" (John 19:28) "and in my thirst they gave me vinegar

to drink" (Psa 69:21)?

The Egyptian name of this Lion, however, points to his ultimate

triumph, for it is called Sera, that is, victory!

This brings us to--

2. LUPUS or VICTIMA (The Victim)

The victim slain

Its modern name is Lupus (a wolf), because it looks like one. It

may be any animal. The great point of this ancient constellation

is that the animal has been slain, and is in the act of falling

down dead.

Its Greek name is Thera, a beast, and Lycos, a wolf. Its Latin

name is Victima, or Bestia (Vulg. Gen 8:17), which sufficiently

indicates the great lesson. This is confirmed by its ancient

Hebrew name, Asedah, and Arabic Asedaton, which both mean to be

slain.

More than 22 of its stars have been catalogued. None of them are

higher than the 4th magnitude; most of them are of the 5th or

6th.

True, He was "by wicked hands crucified and slain," but He is

slain here by the Centaur, i.e. by Himself! To make it perfectly

clear that it was His own act (without which His death would

lose all merit), He uttered those solemn words "I lay down my

life for the sheep...No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down

of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take

it again" (John 10:15-18). He "offered Himself without spot to

God." "He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Heb

9:11,26).

In the ancient Zodiac of Denderah He is pictured as a little

child with its finger on its lips, and He is called Sura, a

lamb! In other pictures He has, besides, the horn of a goat on

one side of His head. All this pointed to one and the same great

fact, viz., the development and explanation of what was meant by

the bruising of His heel! It meant that this Promised Seed of

the woman should come as a child, that He should suffer, and die

upon the Cross, for

"He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter;

And as a sheep before her shearers is dumb;

SO HE opened not his mouth."

Isaiah 53:7

Hence, the constellation prefigures a silent, willing

sacrifice--Christ Jesus, who, "being found in fashion as a man,

humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death

of the Cross" (Phil 2:5-8).

3. CORONA (The Crown)

The crown bestowed

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a

name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every

knee should bow."

This is what is foreshown by this concluding section of the

second chapter. Each chapter ends with glory. As in the written

Word of God, we frequently have the glory of the Second Coming

mentioned without any allusions to the sufferings of the First

Coming, but we never have the First Coming in humiliaton

mentioned without an immediate reference to the glory of the

Second Coming.

So here, the CROSS is closely followed by the CROWN! True, "we

see not yet all things put under Him, but we see Jesus...for the

suffering of death crowned with glory and honour" (Heb 2:9).

Yes, "the crowning day is coming," and all heaven shall soon

resound with the triumphant song, "Thou art worthy...for Thou

wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood" (Rev 5:9).

The shameful Cross will be followed by a glorious crown, and

"every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the

glory of God the Father."

"Mighty Victor, reign for ever,

Wear the crown so dearly won;

Never shall Thy people, never

Cease to sing what Thou hast done.

Thou hast fought Thy people's foes;

Thou wilt heal Thy people's woes!"

The Hebrew name for the constellation is Atarah, a royal crown,

and its stars are known today in the East by the plural,

Ataroth!

Its Arabic name is Al Iclil, an ornament, or jewel.

It has 21 stars: one of the 2nd magnitude and six of the 4th. It

is easily known by the stars J, b, a, g, d and e, which form a

crescent.

Its brightest star, a, has the Arabic name of Al Phecca, the

shining.

Thus ends this solemn chapter of LIBRA, which describes the

great work of Redemption, beginning with the Cross and ending

with the Crown. The Redeemer's work of Atonement is most

blessedly set forth, and He alone is seen as the substitute for

lost sinners.

"What wondrous love, what mysteries

In this appointment shine!

My breaches of the law are His,

And His obedience mine."

The Witness of the Stars, The First Book, Chapter III

The First Book

The Redeemer

(His First Coming)

"The sufferings of Christ"

Chapter III

The Sign Scorpio

The Redeemer's conflict

We come now right into the heart of the conflict. The

star-picture brings before us a gigantic scorpion endeavouring

to sting in the heel a mighty man who is struggling with a

serpent, but is crushed by the man, who has his foot placed

right on the scorpion's heart.

The Hebrew name is Akrab, which is the name of a scorpion, but

also means the conflict, or war. It is this that is referred to

in Psalm 91:13--

"Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder.

The young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet."

David uses the very word in Psalm 144:1, where he blesses God

for teaching his hands to war.

The Coptic name is Isidis, which means the attack of the enemy,

or oppression: referring to "the wicked that oppress me, my

deadly enemies who compass me about" (Psa 17:9).

The Arabic name is Al Akrab, which means wounding him that

cometh.

There are 44 stars altogether in this sign. One is of the 1st

magnitude, one of the 2nd, eleven of the 3rd, eight of the 4th,

etc.

The brightest star, a (in the heart), bears the ancient Arabic

name of Antares, which means the wounding. It is called by the

Latins Cor Scorpii, because it marks the scorpion's heart. It

shines ominously with a deep red light. The sting is called in

Hebrew Lesath (Chaldee, Lesha), which means the perverse. The

stars in the tail are also known as Leshaa, or Leshat. (Antares

seems also to have been known as Lesath).

The scorpion is a deadly enemy (as we learn from Revelation 9),

with poison in its sting, and all the names associated with the

sign combine to set forth the malignant enmity which is "set"

between the serpent and the woman's Seed.

That enmity is shown more fully in the written Word, where we

see the attempt of the enemy (in Exodus 1) to destroy every male

of the seed of Abraham, and how it was defeated.

We see his effort repeated when he used Athaliah to destroy "all

the seed royal" (2 Kings 11), and how "the king's son" was

rescued "from among" the slain.

We see his hand again instigating Haman, "the Jews' enemy," to

compass the destruction of the whole nation, but defeated in his

designs.

When the woman's Seed, the virgin's Son, was born, we are shown

the same great enemy inciting Herod to slay all the babes in

Bethlehem (Matt 2), but again he is defeated.

In the wilderness of Judea, and in the Garden of Gethsemane the

great conflict is renewed. "This is your hour and the power of

darkness," He said to His enemies.

The real wounding in the heel was received at the Cross. It was

there the scorpion struck the woman's seed. He died, but was

raised again from the dead "to destroy the works of the devil."

To show us this; to prevent any mistake; to set forth the fact

that this conflict only apparently ended in defeat, and that it

did not really so end, we have the first two constellations

belonging to this sign presented in one picture! Indeed, the

picture is threefold, for it includes the sign itself!

If these pictures had been separated, then the conflict would

have been separated from the victory; the deadly wound of the

serpent's head from the temporary wound in the Victor's heel.

Hence, three pictures are required, in which the scorpion, the

serpent, and the man, are all involved, in order to present at

the same time the triumphant issue of the conflict.

Hence, we must present, and consider together, the first two

sections of this mysterious chapter.

1. and 2. SERPENS and OPHIUCHUS

The struggle with the enemy

Here, Serpens, the serpent, is seen struggling vainly in the

powerful grasp of the man who is named O-phi-u-chus. In Latin he

is called Serpentarius. He is at one and the same moment shown

to be seizing the serpent with his two hands, and treading on

the very heart of the scorpion, marked by the deep red star

Antares (wounding).

Just as we read the first constellation of the woman and child

Coma, as expounding the first sign VIRGO, so we have to read

this first constellation as expounding the second sign LIBRA.

Hence, we have here a further picture, showing the object of

this conflict on the part of the scorpion.

In Scorpio we see merely the effort to wound Ophiuchus in the

heel; but here we see the effort of the serpent to seize THE

CROWN, which is situated immediately over the serpent's head,

and to which he is looking up and reaching forth.

The contest is for Dominion! It was the Devil, in the form of a

serpent, that robbed the first man of his crown; but in vain he

struggled to wrest it from the sure possession of the Second

Man. Not only does he fail in the attempt, but is himself

utterly defeated and trodden under foot.

There are no less than 134 stars in these two constellations.

Two are of the 2nd magnitude, fourteen of the 3rd, thirteen of

the 4th, etc.

The brightest star in the Serpent, a (in the neck), is named

Unuk, which means encompassing. another Hebrew name is Alyah,

the accursed. From this is Al Hay (Arabic), the reptile. The

next brightest star is b (in the jaw), named, in Arabic, Cheleb,

or Chelbalrai, the serpent enfolding. The Greek name, Ophiuchus,

is itself from the Hebrew and Arabic name Afeichus, which means

the serpent held. The brightest star in Ophiuchus, a (in the

head), is called Ras al Hagus (Arabic), the head of him who

holds.

Other Hebrew names of stars, not identified, are Triophas,

treading under foot; Saiph (in the foot * of Ophiuchus),

bruised; Carnebus, the wounding; Megeros, contending. ** In the

Zodiac of Denderah we have a throned human figure, called

Api-bau, the chief who cometh. He has a hawk's head to show that

he is the enemy of the serpent, which is called Khu, and means

ruled or enemy.

* In 1604 a new star appeared in the eastern foot of Ophiuchus,

but disappeared again in 1605.

** There is an ancient Greek fable which calls Ophiuchus

Aesculapius, the son of Apollo. Having restored Hippolytus to

life, he was everywhere worshipped as the god of health, and

hence the serpent entwined around him is, to this day, the

symbol of the medical art! This, however, is, doubtless, another

perversion of the primitive truth that the Coming One in

overcoming the serpent, should become the great healer of all

the sorrows of the world, and cause all its groanings to cease.

All these combine to set before us in detail the nature of the

conflict and its final issue. That final issue is, however,

exhibited by the last of the three constellations of this

chapter. The Victor Himself requires a whole picture to fully

set forth the glorious victory. This brings us to--

3. HERCULES (The Mighty One)

The mighty vanquisher

Here the mighty one, who occupies a large portion of the

heavens, is seen bending on one knee, with his right heel lifted

up as if it had been wounded, while his left foot is set

directly over the head of the great dragon. In his right hand he

wields a great club, and in his left hand he grasps a

triple-headed monster (Cerberus). And he has the skin of a lion,

which he has slain, thrown around him. *

* Cerberus, or the serpent with three heads, was placed by

Hevelius (1611-1687) by the side of Hercules. Bayer had

previously placed the apple branch in his hand. This was

symbolical of the golden apples of Hesperides, which he obtained

by killing this three-headed hydra, by whom they were guarded.

In our picture these are combined, and a bow and quiver added

from other ancient authorities.

In the Zodiac of Denderah we have a human figure, likewise with

a club. His name is Bau, which means who cometh, and is

evidently intended for Him who cometh to crush the serpent's

head, and "destroy the works of the devil."

In Arabic he is called Al Giscale, the strong one.

There are 113 stars in this constellation. Seven are of the 3rd

magnitude, seventeen of the 4th, etc.

The brightest star, a (in his head), is named Ras al Gethi, and

means the head of him who bruises.

The next, b (in the right arm-pit, is named Kornephorus, and

means the branch, kneeling.

The star k (in the right elbow) is called Marsic, the wounding.

The star l (in the upper part of the left arm) is named Ma'asyn,

the sin-offering.

While w (in the lower part of the right arm) is Caiam, or Guiam,

punishing; and in Arabic, treading under foot.

Thus does everything in the picture combine to set forth the

mighty works of this stronger than the strong man armed!

We can easily see how the perversion of the truth by the Greeks

came about, and how, when the true foreshadowings of this Mighty

One had been lost, the many fables were invented to supply their

place. The wiser sort of Greeks knew this perfectly well.

ARISTOTLE (in his Metaphysics, x. 8) admits, with regard to

Greek mythology, that religion and philosophy had been lost, and

that much had been "added after the mythical style," while much

had come down, and "may have been preserved to our times as the

remains of ancient wisdom." Religion, such as it was (POLYBIUS

confesses), was recognised as a "necessary means to political

ends." NEANDER says that it was "the fragments of a tradition,

which transmitted the knowledge of divine things possessed in

the earliest times."

ARATUS shows the same uncertainty as to the meaning of this

constellation of Hercules. He says:

"Near this, and like a toiling man, revolves

A form. Of it can no one clearly speak,

Nor what he labours at. They call him simply

'The man upon his knees': In desperate struggle

Like one who sinks, he seems. From both his shoulders

His arms are high-uplifted and out-stretched

As far as he can reach; and his right foot

Is planted on the coiled Dragon's head."

Ancient authorities differ as to the personality of Hercules,

and they disagree as to the number, nature, and order of what

are sometimes called "the twelve labours of Hercules." But there

is no doubt as to the mighty foretold works which the woman's

Seed should perform.

From first to last Hercules is seen engaged in destroying some

malignant foe: now it is the Nemean lion; then it is the slaying

of the boar of Erymanthus; again, it is the conquest of the bull

of Crete; then the killing of the three-headed hydra, by whose

venom Hercules afterwards died. In the belly of the sea monster

he is said to have remained "three days and three nights." This

was, doubtless a perversion of the type of Jonah, introduced by

LYCOPHRON, who (living at the court of PTOLEMY PHILADELPHUS,

under whose auspices the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into

Greek) would have known of that Divine miracle, and of its

applicaiton to the Coming One. Bishop Horsley believed that the

fables of the Greek mythology could be traced back to the

prophecies of the Messiah, of which they were a perversion from

ignorance or design. This is specially true of Hercules. In his

apparently impossible tasks of overthrowing gigantic enemies and

delivering captives, we can see through the shadow, and discern

the pure light of the truth. We can understand how the original

star-picture must have been a prophetic representation of Him

who shall destroy the Old Serpent and open the way again, not to

fabled "apples of gold," but to the "tree of life" itself. He it

is who though suffering in the mighty conflict, and brought to

His knee, going down even to "the dust of death," shall yet, in

resurrection and advent glory, wield His victorious club, subdue

all His enemies, and plant His foot on the Dragon's head. For of

Him it is written--

"Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder;

The young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under foot."

Psalm 91:13

"Come, Lord and burst the captives' chains,

And set the prisoners free;

Come, cleanse this earth from all its stains,

And make it meet for Thee!

Oh, come and end Creation's groans--

Its sighs, its tears, its blood,

And make this blighted world again

The dwelling-place of God."

The Witness of the Stars, The First Book, Chapter IV

The First Book

The Redeemer

(His First Coming)

"The sufferings of Christ"

Chapter IV

The Sign Sagittarius

The Redeemer's triumph

This is the concluding chapter of the first great book of this

Heavenly Revelation; and it is occupied wholly with the triumph

of the Coming One, who is represented as going forth "conquering

and to conquer."

The subject is beautifully set forth in the written Word (Psa

45:3-5)--

"Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O most mighty,

[Gird Thyself] with Thy glory and Thy majesty,

And in Thy majesty ride propserously,

Because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness;

And Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things.

Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies;

Whereby the people fall under Thee."

John, in his apocalyptic vision, sees the same mighty Conqueror

going forth. "I saw (he says) a white horse, and He that sat on

him had a bow,...and He went forth conquering and to conquer"

(Rev 6:2).

This is precisely what is foreshadowed in the star-pictured sign

now called by the modern Latin name Sagittarius, which means the

Archer.

The Hebrew and Syriac name of the sign is Kesith, which means

the Archer (as in Genesis 21:20). The Arabic name is Al Kaus,

the arrow. In Coptic it is Pimacre, the graciousness, or beauty

of the coming forth. In Greek it is Toxotes, the archer, and in

Latin Sagittarius.

There are 69 stars in the sign, viz., five of the 3rd magnitude

(all in the bow), nine of the 4th, etc.

The names of the brightest stars are significant:

Hebrew, Naim, which means the gracious one. This is exactly what

is said of this Victor in the same Psalm (45), in the words

immediately preceding the quotation above:

"GRACE is poured into Thy lips;

Therefore God hath blessed Thee for ever."

Hebrew, Nehushta, the going or sending forth.

We see the same in the Arabic names which have come down to us:

Al Naim, the gracious one; Al Shaula, the dart; Al Warida, who

comes forth; Ruchba or rami, the riding of the bowman.

An ancient Akkadian name in the sign is Nun-ki, which means

Prince of the Earth.

Again we have the picture of a Centaur as to his outward form,

i.e. a being with two natures. Not now far down in the south, or

connected with His sufferings and sacrifice as man; but high up,

as a sign of the Zodiac itself, on the ecliptic, i.e. in the

very path in which the sun "rejoiceth in his going forth as a

strong man."

According to Grecian fable, this Sagittarius is Cheiron, the

chief Centaur; noble in character, righteous in his dealings,

divine in his power.

Such will be the coming Seed of the woman in His power and

glory:

"The sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre.

Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness;

Therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of

gladness above thy fellows."

Psalm 45:6, 7

In the ancient Zodiac of Denderah he is called (as in Coptic)

Pi-maere, i.e. graciousness, beauty of the appearing or coming

forth. The characters under the hind foot read Knem, which means

He conquers.

This is He who shall come forth like as an arrow from the bow,

"full of grace," but "conquering and to conquer."

In all the pictures he is similarly represented, and the arrow

in his bow is aimed directly at the heart of the Scorpion.

Thus ARATUS said of Cheiron:

"'Midst golden stars he stands refulgent now,

And thrusts the scorpion with his bended bow."

In this Archer we see a faint reflection of Him who shall

presently come forth, all gracious, all wise, all powerful;

whose arrows shall be "sharp in the heart of the King's

enemies."

"God shall shoot at them with an arrow;

Suddenly shall they be wounded.

So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves;

All that see them shall flee away.

And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God;

For they shall wisely consider of His doing.

The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in Him;

And all the upright in heart shall glory." Psalm 64:7-10

"Christ is coming! let Creation

From her groans and travail cease;

Let the glorious proclamation

Hope restore, and faith increase.

Christ is coming,

Come, thou blessed Prince of peace."

This brings us to the first of the three constellations or

sections of this chapter, which takes up this subject of praise

to the Conqueror.

1. LYRA (The Harp)

Praise prepared for the conqueror

"Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Zion" (Psa 65:1). And when

the waiting time is over, and the Redeemer comes forth, then the

praise shall be given. "We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the

Almighty, which art, and which wast, because thou hast taken to

Thee Thy great power, and didst reign" (Rev 11:17, RV). "Let us

be glad and rejoice and give honour unto Him" (Rev 19:7). The

Twenty-first Psalm should be read here, as it tells of the

bursting forth of praise on the going forth of this all-gracious

Conqueror.

"The King shall rejoice in Thy strength, O LORD;

And in Thy salvation how greatly shall He rejoice!...

Thine hand shall find out all Thine enemies;

Thy right hand shall find out all that hate thee...

Their fruit shalt Thou destroy from the earth;

And their seed from among the children of men.

For they intended evil against Thee;

They imagined a mischievous device which they are not able to

perform,

Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back

(Heb. Margin, "set them as a butt"),

When Thou shalt make ready Thine arrows upon Thy strings

[And shoot them] against the face of them.

Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength;

SO WILL WE SING AND PRAISE THY POWER."

Psalm 21:1, 8, 10-13

Beautifully, then, does the harp come in here, following upon

the going forth of this victorious Horseman. This Song of the

Lamb follows as naturally as does the Song of Moses in Exodus

15:1--"I will sing unto the LORD, for He hath triumphed

gloriously."

Its brightest star, a, is one of the most glorious in the

heavens, and by it this constellation may be easily known. It

shines with a splendid white lustre. It is called Vega, which

means He shall be exalted. Its root occurs in the opening of the

Song of Moses, quoted above. Is not this wonderfully expressive?

Its other stars, b and g, are also conspicuous stars, of the 2nd

and 4th magnitude. b is called Shelyuk, which means an eagle (as

does the Arabic Al Nesr); g is called Sulaphat, springing up, or

ascending, as praise.

In the Zodiac of Denderah, this constellation is figured as a

hawk or an eagle (the enemy of the serpent) in triumph. Its name

is Fent-kar, which means the serpent ruled.

There may be some confusion between the Hebrew Nesher, an eagle,

and Gnasor, a harp; but there can be no doubt about the grand

central truth, that praise shall ascend up "as an eagle toward

heaven," when "every creature which is in heaven, and on the

earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that is in them,"

shall send up their universal song of praise: "Blessing, and

honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the

throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. Amen" (Rev 5:13,14).

And for what is all this wondrous anthem of praise? Listen once

again. "Alleluia *: Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power,

unto the Lord our God; for TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS ARE HIS

JUDGMENTS...And again they said Alleluia" (Rev 19:1-3).

With "that blessed hope" before us,

Let no HARP remain unstrung;

Let the coming advent chorus

Onward roll from tongue to tongue,

Hallelujah,

"Come, Lord Jesus," quickly come.

* This is the first time that the word "Alleluia" occurs in the

New Testament, and it is praise for judgment executed.

Where is its first occurrence in the Old Testament? In Psalm

104:35, where we have the very same solemn and significant

connection:

"Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth,

And let the wicked be no more.

Bless thou the LORD, O my soul,

HALLELUJAH (Praise ye the LORD)."

This brings us to--

2. ARA (The Altar)

Consuming fire prepared for his enemies

Here we have an altar or burning pyre, placed significantly and

ominously upside down! with its fires burning and pointing

downwards towards the lower regions, called Tartarus, or the

abyss, or "outer-darkness."

It is an asterism with nine stars, of which three are of the 3rd

magnitude, four of the 4th, etc. It is south of the Scorpion's

tail, and when these constellations were first formed it was

visible only on the very lowest horizon of the south, pointing

to the completion of all judgment in the lake of fire.

In the Zodiac of Denderah we have a different picture, giving us

another aspect of the same judgment. It is a man enthroned, with

a flail in his hand. His name is Bau, the same name as Hercules

has, and means He cometh. It is from the Hebrew Boh, to come, as

in Isaiah 63:1--

"Who is this that cometh from Edom,

With dyed garments from Bozrah."

This is a coming in judgment, as is clear from the reason given

in verse 4--

"For the day of vengeance is in Mine heart,

And the year of My redeemed is come.

And I looked, and there was none to help;

And I wondered that there was none to uphold;

Therefore Mine own arm brought salvation,

And My fury, it upheld Me."

Isaiah 63:4, 5

The completion of judgment, therefore, is what is pictured both

by the burning pyre and the Coming One enthroned, with his

threshing instrument.

In Arabic it is called Al Mugamra, which means the completing,

or finishing. The Greeks used the word Ara sometimes in the

sense of praying, but more frequently in the sense of

imprecation or cursing.

This is the curse pronounced against the great enemy. This is

the burning fire, pointing to the completion of that curse, when

he shall be cast into that everlasting fire "prepared for the

devil and his angels." This is the allusion to it written in the

midst of the very Scripture from which we have already quoted,

Psalm 21, where we read in verse 9 (which we then omitted)--

"Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of Thine

anger:

The LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath;

And the fire shall devour them."

This brings us to the final scene, closing up this first great

book of the Heavens.

3. DRACO (The Dragon)

The old serpent, or the Devil, cast down from Heaven

Each of the three great books concludes with this same

foreshowing of Apocalyptic truth. The same great enemy is

referred to in all these pictures. He is the Serpent; he is the

Dragon; "the great dragon, that old serpent, called the Devil

and Satan" (Rev 12:9). The Serpent represents him as the

Deceiver; the Dragon, as the Destroyer.

This First Book concludes with the Dragon being cast down from

heaven.

The Second Book concludes with Cetus, the Sea Monster,

Leviathan, bound.

The Third Book concludes with Hydra, the Old Serpent, destroyed.

Here, at the close of the First Book, we see not merely a

dragon, but the Dragon cast down! That is the point of this

great star-picture.

No one has ever seen a dragon; but among all nations (especially

in China and Japan), and in all ages, we find it described and

depicted in legend and in art. Both Old and New Testaments refer

to it, and all unite in connecting with it one and the same

great enemy of God and man.

It is against him that the God-Man--"the Son of God--goes forth

to war." It is for him that the eternal fires are prepared. It

is he who shall shortly be cast down from the heavens

preparatory to his completed judgment. It is of him we read,

"The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the

Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast

out and his angels with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in

heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of

our God, and the power of His Christ; for the accuser of our

brethren is cast down" (Rev 12:9,10).

It is of him that David sings--

"God is my king of old,

Working salvation in the midst of the earth...

Thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.

Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces." Psalm 74:12-14

Of him also the Spirit causes Isaiah to say, "In that day, shall

this song be sung in the land of Judah";

"In that day the LORD, with his sore, and great, and strong

sword,

Shall punish leviathan the piercing (RV, swift) serpent,

Even leviathan that crooked serpent;

And he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." Isiah 26:1;

27:1

This is exactly what is foreshadowed by this constellation of

Draco. Its name is from the Greek, and means trodden on, as in

the Septuagint of Psalm 91:13--"The dragon shalt thou trample

under feet," from the Hebrew Dahrach, to tread.

In the Zodiac of Denderah it is shown as a serpent under the

fore-feet of Sagittarius, and is named Her-fent, which means the

serpent accursed!

There are 80 stars in the constellation; four of the 2nd

magnitude, seven of the 3rd magnitude, ten of the 4th, etc.

The brightest star a (in one of the latter coils), is named

Thuban (Heb.), the subtle. Some 4,620 years ago it was the Polar

Star. It is manifest, therefore, that the Greeks could not have

invented this constellation, as is confessed by all modern

astronomers. It is still a very important star in nautical

reckonings, guiding the commerce of the seas, and thus "the god

of this world" is represented as winding in his contortions

round the pole of the world, as if to indicate his subtle

influence in all worldly affairs.

The next star, b (in the head), is called by the Hebrew name

Rastaban, and means the head of the subtle (serpent). In the

Arabic it is still called Al Waid, which means who is to be

destroyed.

The next star, g (also in the head), is called Ethanin, i.e.,

the long serpent, or dragon.

The Hebrew names of other stars are Grumian, the subtle;

Giansar, the punished enemy. Other (Arabic) names are Al Dib,

the reptile; El Athik, the fraudful; El Asieh, the bowed down.

And thus the combined testimony of every star (without a single

exception) of each constellation, and the constellations of each

sign, accords with the testimony of the Word of God concerning

the coming Seed of the woman, the bruising of His heel, the

crushing of the serpent's head, "the sufferings of Christ, and

the glory which should follow."

"From far I see the glorious day,

When He who bore our sins away,

Will all His majesty display.

A Man of Sorrows one He was,

No friend was found to plead His cause,

As all preferred the world's applause.

He groaned beneath sin's awful load,

For in the sinner's place He stood,

And died to bring him back to God.

But now He waits, with glory crowned,

While angel hosts His throne surround,

And still His lofty praises sound.

To few on earth His name is dear,

And they who in His cause appear,

The world's reproach and scorn must bear.

Jesus, Thy name is all my boast,

And though by waves of trouble tossed,

Thou wilt not let my soul be lost.

Come then, come quickly from above,

My soul impatient longs to prove,

The depths of everlasting love."

The Witness of the Stars, Book Two, Chapter I

The Second Book

The Redeemed

"The result of the Redeemer's sufferings"

In the First Book we have had before us the work of the Redeemer

set forth as it concerned His own glorious person. In this

Second Book it is presented to us as it affects others. Here we

see the results of His humiliation, and conflict, and

victory--"The sufferings of Christ" and the blessings they

procured for His redeemed people.

In Chapter I, we have the Blessings procured.

In Chapter II, their Blessings ensured.

In Chapter III, their Blessings in abeyance.

In Chapter IV, their Blessings enjoyed.

Chapter I

The Sign Capricornus (The Sea Goat)

The goat of atonement slain for the redeemed

It is most noteworthy that this Second Book opens with the Goat,

and closes with the Ram: two animals of sacrifice; while the two

middle chapters are both connected with fishes. * The reason for

this we shall see as we proceed.

* There is a fish tail here. The third Decan of CAPRICORNUS is a

fish (Delphinus). There is again a fish (Piscis Australis) in

the next sign (AQUARIUS), and then the following sign is PISCES,

or the Fishes. So that the Redeemed Multitudes are presented

throughout this Second Book.

Both are combined in the first chapter, or "Sign" of

Capricornus.

In all the ancient Zodiacs, or Planispheres, we find a goat with

a fish's tail. In the Zodiacs of Denderah and Esneh, in Egypt,

it is half-goat and half-fish, and it is there called Hu-penius,

which means the place of the sacrifice.

In the Indian Zodiac it is a goat passant traversed by a fish.

There can be no doubt as to the significance of this sign.

In the Goat we have the Atoning Sacrifice, in the Fish we have

the people for whom the atonement is made. When we come to the

sign PISCES we shall see more clearly that it points to the

multitudes of the redeemed host.

The Goat is bowing its head as though falling down in death. The

right leg is folded underneath the body, and he seems unable to

rise with the left. The tail of the fish, on the other hand,

seems to be full of vigour and life.

The Hebrew name of the sign is Gedi, the kid or cut off, the

same as the Arabic Al Gedi. CAPRICORNUS is merely the modern

(Latin) name of the sign, and means goat.

There are 51 stars in the sign, three of which are of the 3rd

magnitude, three of the 4th, etc. Five are remarkable stars, a

and b in the horn and head, and the remaining three g, d and e,

in the fishy tail. The star a is named Al Gedi, the kid or goat,

while the star d is called Deneb Al Gedi, the sacrifice cometh.

Other star-names in the sign are Dabih (Syriac), the sacrifice

slain; Al Dabik and Al Dehabeh (Arabic) have the same meaning;

Ma'asad, the slaying; Sa'ad al Naschira, the record of the

cutting off.

Is not this exactly in accord with the Scriptures of truth?

There were two goats! Of "the goat of the sin-offering" it is

written, "God hath given it to you to bear the iniquity of the

congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD" (Lev

10:16,17): of the other goat, which was not slain, "he shall let

it go into the wilderness" (Lev 16:22). Here is death and

resurrection. Christ was "wounded for our transgressions, and

bruised for our iniquities." "For the transgression of MY PEOPLE

was He stricken" (Isa 53). He laid down His life for the sheep.

In the first chapter of the First Book we had the same Blessed

One presented as "a corn of wheat." Here we see Him come to

"die," and hence not abiding alone, but bringing forth "much

fruit" (John 12:24). The living fish proceeds from the dying

goat, and yet they form only one body. That picture, which has

no parallel in nature, has a perfectly true coutnerpart in

grace; and "a great multitude, which no man can number," have

been redeemed and shall obtain eternal life through the death of

their Redeemer.

Astronomers confess that the perverted legends of the Greeks

give but "a lame account" of this sign, "and it offers no

illustration of its ancient origin."

Its ancient origin reveals a prophetic knowledge, which only He

possessed who knew that in "the fulness of time" He would send

forth His Son.

We now come to the three constellations which give us three

pictures setting forth the death of this Sacrifice and of His

living again.

1. SAGITTA (The Arrow)

The arrow of God sent forth

It is not the Arrow of Sagittarius, for that has not left his

bow. That arrow is for the enemies of God. This is for the Son

of God. It was of this that He spoke when He said, in Psalm

38:2--

"Thine arrows stick fast in me,

And Thy hand presseth me sore."

He was "stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted, He was wounded

for our transgressions" (Isa 53:4,5). He was "pierced," when He

could say with Job, "The arrows of the Almighty are within me"

(6:4).

Here the arrow is pictured to us in mid-heaven, alone, as having

been shot forth by an invisible hand. It is seen in its flight

through the heavens. It is the arrow of God, showing that

Redemption is all of God. It was "the will of God" which Jesus

came to do. Not a mere work of mercy for miserable sinners, but

a work ordained in eternity past, for the glory of God in

eternity future.

This is the record of the Word, and this is what is pictured for

us here. The work which the arrow accomplishes is seen in the

dying Goat, and in the falling Eagle.

There are many other stars in the heavens in a straighter line,

which would better serve for an arrow. Why are these stars

chosen? Why is the arrow placed here? What explanation can be

given, except that the Revelation in the stars and in the Book

are both from the inspiration of the same Spirit?

There are about 18 stars of which four are of the 4th magnitude.

Only g and d are in the same line, while the shaft passes

between a and b.

The Hebrew name is Sham, destroying, or desolate.

2. AQUILA (The Eagle)

The smitten one falling

Here we have an additional picture of the effect of this arrow,

in the pierced, wounded, and falling Eagle, gasping in its dying

struggle. And that pierced, wounded, and dying Saviour whom it

represents, after saying, in Psalm 38:2 "Thine arrows stick fast

in Me," added, in verse 10--

"My heart panteth, My strength faileth Me,

As for the light of Mine eyes it is gone from Me."

(see also Zechariah 13:6)

The names of the stars, all of them, bear out this

representation. The constellation contains 74 stars. The

brightest of them, a (in the Eagle's neck), is a notable star of

the 1st magnitude, called Al Tair (Arabic), the wounding. The

star b (in the throat) is called Al Shain (Arabic), the bright,

from a Hebrew root meaning scarlet coloured, as in Joshua 2:18.

The star g (in the back) is called Tarared, wounded, or torn. d

(in the lower wing) is named Alcair, which means the piercing,

and e (in the tail), Al Okal, has the significant meaning

wounded in the heel.

How can the united testimony of these names be explained except

by acknowledging a Divine origin? even that of Him who

afterwards foretold of the bruising of the Virgin's Son in the

written Word; yea, of Him "who telleth the number of the stars

and giveth them all their names."

3. DELPHINUS (The Dolphin)

The dead one rising again

This is a bright cluster of 18 stars, five of which are of the

3rd magnitude. It is easily distinguished by the four brightest,

which are in the head.

It is always figured as a fish full of life, and always with the

head upwards, just as the eagle is always with the head

downwards. The great peculiar characteristic of the dolphin is

its rising up, leaping, and springing out of the sea.

When we compare this with the dying goat and falling eagle, what

conclusion can we come to but that we have here the filling in

of the picture, and the completion of the whole truth set forth

in CAPRICORNUS?

Jesus "died and rose again." Apart from His resurrection His

death is without result. In His conflict with the enemy it is

only His coming again in glory which is shown forth. But here,

in connection with His people, with the multitudes of His

redeemed, Resurrection is the great and important truth. He is

"the first-fruits of them that slept"; then He, too, is here

represented as a fish. He who went down into the waters of death

for His people; He who could say "All thy waves and thy billows

are gone over me" (Psa 42:7), He it is who rises up again from

the dead, having died on account of the sins of His redeemed,

and risen again on account of their justification (Rom 4:25).

This is the picture here. In the Persian planisphere there seems

to be a fish and a stream of water. The Egyptian has a vessel

pouring out water.

The ancient names connected with this constellation are Dalaph

(Hebrew), pouring out of water; Dalaph (Arabic), coming quickly;

Scalooin (Arabic), swift (as the flow of water); Rotaneb or

Rotaneu (Syriac and Chaldee), swiftly running.

Thus, in this first chapter of the Second Book we see the great

truth of Revelation set forth; and we learn how the great

Blessings of Redemption were procured. This truth cannot be more

eloquently or powerfully presented than in the language of Dr.

Seiss (Joseph A. Seiss, The Gospel in the Stars):

This strange goat-fish, dying in its head, but living in its

afterpart--falling as an eagle pierced and wounded by the arrow

of death, but springing up from the dark waves with the

matchless vigour and beauty of the dolphin--sinking under sin's

condemnation, but rising again as sin's conqueror--developing

new life out of death, and hearlding a new springtime out of

December's long drear nights--was framed by no blind chance of

man. The story which it tells is the old, old story on which

hangs the only availing hope that ever came, or ever can come,

to Adam's race. To what it signifies we are for ever shut up as

the only saving faith. In that dying Seed of the woman we must

see our sin-bearer and the atonement for our guilt, or die

ourselves unpardoned and unsanctified. Through His death and

bloodshedding we must find our life, or the true life, which

alone is life, we never can have."

"Complete atonement Thou hast made,

And to the utmost farthing paid

Whate'er Thy people owed:

Nor can His wrath on me take place,

If sheltered in His righteousness,

And sprinkled with the blood.

If my discharge Thou hast procured,

And freely in my room endured

The whole of wrath divine,

Payment God cannot twice demand,

First at my bleeding Surety's hand,

And then again at mine.

Turn, then, my soul, unto Thy rest;

The merits of Thy great High Priest

Have bought thy liberty;

Trust in His efficacious blood,

Nor fear thy banishment from God,

Since Jesus died for thee."

The Witness of the Stars, Book II, Chapter II

The Second Book

The Redeemed

"The result of the Redeemer's sufferings"

The Sign Aquarius (The Water Bearer)

Their blessings ensured, or the living waters of

blessing poured forth for the redeemed

The Atonement being made, the blessings have been procured, and

now they can be bestowed and poured forth upon the Redeemed.

This is the truth, whether we think of Abel's lamb, of

patriarchal sacrifices, the offerings under the Law, or of that

great Sacrifice of which they all testified. They all with one

voice tell us that atonement made is the only foundation of

blessing.

This was pictured and foreshown in the heavens from the

beginning, by a man pouring forth water from an urn which seems

to have an inexhaustible supply, and which flows forth downwards

into the mouth of a fish, which receives it and drinks it all

up.

In the ancient Zodiac of Denderah it is the same idea, though

the man holds two urns, and the fish below seems to have come

out of the urn. The man is called Hupei Tirion, which means the

place of him coming down or poured forth.

In some eastern Zodiacs the urn alone appears.

This agrees with its other names--Hebrew, Deli, the water-urn,

or bucket (as in Numbers 24:7); the Arabic Delu is the same.

There are 108 stars in this Sign, four of which are of the 3rd

magnitude. Their names, as far as they have come down to us, are

significant.

The star a (in the right shoulder) is called Sa'ad al Melik,

which means The record of the pouring forth.

The star b (in the other shoulder) is called Saad al Sund, who

goeth and returneth, or the pourer out.

The bright star d (in the lower part of the right leg) is

well-known today by its Hebrew name Scheat, which means who

goeth and returneth.

The bright star in the urn has an Egyptian name--Mon or Meon,

which means simply an urn.

Aquarius is the modern Latin name by which the sign is known. It

has the same meaning, the pourer forth of water.

Can we doubt what is the interpretation of this sign? The

Greeks, not knowing Him of whom it testified, were, like the

woman of Samaria, destitute of that living water which He alone

can give. They therefore invented some story about Deucalion,

the son of Prometheus; and another, saying he is Ganymede,

Jove's cup-bearer! But, as an astronomer says, "We must account

otherwise for the origin of this name; for it is not possible to

reconcile the symbols of the eleventh sign (because everyone

begins to reckon from Aries, and not as we have done from Virgo)

with Grecian mythology." No! we must go further back than that,

and not cramp our vision, and distort the Scriptures, by

confining our thoughts to "the Church." The Church is nowhere

seen in these Signs, as it is nowhere revealed in the Old

Testament. This we shall enlarge on when we come to the sign

Pisces. Meanwhile we must read the witness of the stars as if

there had been no Church!

Christ is first. Yea, He is all in all. The Scriptures testify

of Him; and the very stars in this Sign tell of His going away

and His coming again. These prophetic signs have to do with Him,

with the Atonement He wrought, with the conflict He endured,

with the blessings He secured, with the victory He shall win,

and the triumph He shall have. For it is written:

"He shall pour the water out of His buckets,

And His seed shall be in many waters,

And His king shall be higher than Agag,

And His knogdom shall be exalted." Numbers 24:7

It tells of that glorious day when

"A King shall reign in righteousness;

And princes shall rule in judgment;

And a MAN shall be as an hiding place from the wind,

And a covert from the tempest;

As RIVERS of WATER in a dry place." Isaiah 32:1, 2

It speaks of that glorious time when Israel shall be restored,

and their "eyes shall see the King in His beauty"; when the

peace of Zion shall be no more disturbed, "but there the

glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and

streams" (Isaiah 33:17,20,21). Then

"The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them;

And the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose,

For in the wilderness shall waters break out,

And streams in the desert." Isaiah 35:1, 6

"I will open rivers in high places,

And fountains in the midst of the valleys;

I will make the wilderness a pool of water,

And the dry land springs of water." Isaiah 41:18

"Fear not, O Jacob, My servant;

And thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen,

For I will POUR WATER upon him that is thirsty,

And floods upon the dry ground;

I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed,

And My blessing upon thy offspring.

Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel,

And his Redeemer the LORD of hosts." Isaiah 44:2, 3, 6

This is the meaning of the Sign. The MAN Christ Jesus, who was

humbled in death will yet be seen to be the pourer forth of

every blessing. Physically pouring forth literal waters,

removing the curse, and turning this world into a paradise:

"Making her wilderness like Eden,

And her desert like the garden of the LORD." Isaiah 51:3

And morally pouring forth His Spirit in such abundance as to

fill the whole earth with peace, and blessing, and glory, "as

the waters cover the sea."

Upon Israel restored He will pour out His blessing. They will be

sprinkled with clean water, and possess a new heart and a new

spirit (Eze 36:24-28; Joel 2:28-32).

Such are some of the Scriptures which tell of this glorious

Water-pourer. We need not rob Christ of His glory, or Israel of

her blessing, in order to see in all this Pentecost or the

Church. These are quite independent of the great line of

prophetic truth. They are parenthetical, and distinct, and true,

quite apart from the glorious prophecies of Israel's scattering

and gathering. The physical marvels referred to in the texts

above can never be satisfied or exhausted by any spiritual

fulfilment. We may make an application of them as far as is

consistent with the teaching of the epistles; but the

interpretation of them belongs to the Person of Christ, and the

nation of Israel. That interpretation is pictured for us in the

Sign, and in its three constellations.

1. PISCIS AUSTRALIS (The Southern Fish)

The blessings bestowed

This first constellation is one of high antiquity, and its

brilliant star of the first magnitude was a subject of great

study by the Egyptians and Ethiopians. It is named in Arabic Fom

al Haut, the mouth of the fish There are 22 other stars.

The constellation is inseparable from AQUARIUS. In the Denderah

Zodiac it is called Aar, a stream.

It sets forth the simple truth that the blessings procured by

the MAN--the coming Seed of the woman, will be surely bestowed

and received by those for whom they are intended. There will be

no failure in their communication, or in their reception. What

has been purchased shall be secured and possessed.

2. PEGASUS (The Winged Horse)

The blessings quickly coming

Not only shall they be received, but they shall be brought near.

They will not have to be fetched, but they will be caused to

come to those for whom they are procured, and will yet be

brought by Him who has procured them.

In the Denderah Zodiac there are two characters immediately

below the horse, Pe and ka. Peka or Pega, is in Hebrew the

chief, and Sus is horse. So that the very word (Pegasus) has

come down to us and has been preserved through all the

languages.

The names of the stars in this constellation declare to us its

meaning. There are 89 altogether; one of the 1st magnitude, two

of the 2nd, three of the 3rd, nine of the 4th, etc. And, as

astronomers testify, "they render Pegasus peculiarly

remarkable."

The brightest a (on the neck of the horse at the junction of the

wing), comes down to us with the ancient Hebrew name of Markab,

which means returning from afar. The star b (in the near

shoulder) is called Scheat, i.e., who goeth and returneth The

star g (at the tip of the wing) bears an Arabic name--Al Genib,

who carries. The star e (in the nostril) is called Enif

(Arabic), the water The star h (in the near leg) is called Matar

(Arabic), who causes to flow.

These names show us that we have to do with no mere horse. A

winged horse is unknown to nature. It must therefore be used as

a figure; and it can be a figure only of a person, even of Him

who is "the Branch," as the star Enif shows, who said, "If I go

away I will come again," as the star Scheat testifies.

He who procured these blessings for the redeemed by His

Atonement, is quickly coming to bring them; and is soon

returning to pour them forth upon a groaning creation. This is

the lesson of Pegasus.

"Come, blessed Lord, bid every shore

And answering island sing

The praises of Thy royal Name,

And own Thee as their King.

Lord, Lord! thy fair creation groans--

The earth, the air, the sea--

In unison with all our hearts,

And calls aloud for Thee.

Thine was the Cross with all its fruits

Of grace and peace divine:

Be Thine the Crown of glory now,

The palm of victory Thine."

3. CYGNUS (The Swan)

The Blesser surely returning

This constellation repeats, emphasises, and affirms this

glorious truth. It has to do with the Great Blesser and His

speedy return, as is testified by all the ancient names

connected with it.

In the Denderah Zodiac it is named Tes-ark, which means this

from afar.

It is a most brilliant and gorgeous asterism of 81 stars; one of

the 1st or 2nd, six of the 3rd, twelve of the 4th magnitude,

etc. It contains variable stars, five double stars, and one

quadruple. The star marekd "61 Cygni" is known as one of the

most wonderful in the whole heavens. It consists of two stars

which revolve about each other, and yet have a progressive

motion common to each!

This mighty bird is not falling dead, like Aquila, but it is

flying swiftly in mid-heaven. It is coming to the earth, for it

is not so much a bird of the air, but a bird peculiarly

belonging to both the earth and the waters.

Its brightest star a (between the body and the tail), is called

Deneb (like another in CAPRICORNUS), and means the judge. It is

also called Adige, flying swiftly, and thus at once it is

connected with Him who cometh to judge the earth in

righteousness.

The star b (in the beak) is named Al Bireo (Arabic), flying

quickly.

The star g (in the body) is called Sadr (Hebrew), who returns as

in a circle.

The two stars in the tail, now marked in the maps as p I and p

II, are named Azel, who goes and returns quickly; and Fafage,

gloriously shining forth.

The teaching, then, of the whole sign of AQUARIUS is clear and

complete. The names of the stars explain the constellations, and

the names of the constellations explain the sign, so that we are

left in no doubt.

By His atoning death (as set forth in CAPRICORNUS) He has

purchased and procured unspeakable blessings for His redeemed.

This sign (AQUARIUS) tells of those blessings being poured

forth, and of the speedy return of Him who is to bring "rivers

of blessing," and to fill this earth with blessing and glory "as

the waters cover the sea."

"Then take, LORD, thy kingdom, and come in Thy glory;

Make the scene of Thy sorrows the place of Thy throne,

Complete all the blessing which ages in story

Have told of the triumphs so justly Thine own."

The Witness of the Stars, Book II, Chapter III

The Second Book

The Redeemed

"The result of the Redeemer's sufferings"

Chapter III

The Sign Pisces (The Fishes)

The blessings of the redeemed in abeyance

In this third chapter of the Second Book we come to the results

of the Redeemer's work enjoyed, but in connection with conflict,

as is seen in the last of the three sections (the constelation

of Andromeda, the chained woman), which leads up to the last

chapter of the book, and ends it in triumph over every enemy.

The Sign is pictured as two large fishes bound together by a

Band, the ends of which are fastened separately to their tails.

One fish is represented with its head pointing upwards towards

the North Polar Star, the other is shown at right angles,

swimming along the line of the ecliptic, or path of the sun.

The ancient Egyptian name, as shown on the Denderah Zodiac, is

Pi-cot Orion, or Pisces Hori, which means the fishes of Him that

cometh.

The Hebrew name is Dagim, the Fishes, which is closely connected

with multitudes, as in Genesis 48:26, where Jacob blesses

Joseph's sons, and says, "Let them grow into a multitude in the

midst of the earth." The margin says, "Let them grow as fishes

do increase." It refers to the fulfilment of Genesis 1:28, "Be

fruitful and multiply." The multitude of Abraham's seed is

prominent in the pronouncement of the blessings, where God

compared his future posterity to the stars of the sky, and the

sand upon the sea shore. "A very great multitude of fish," as in

Ezekiel 47:9.

The Syriac name is Nuno, the fish, lengthened out (as in

posterity).

The sign, then, speaks of the multitudes who should enjoy the

blessings of the Redeemer's work.

And here we must maintain that "the Church," which is "the Body

of Christ," was a subject that was never revealed to man until

it was made known to the Apostle Paul by a special revelation.

The Holy Spirit declares (Rom 16:25) that it "was kept secret

since the world began." In Ephesians 3:9 he declares that it

"from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God"; and in

Colossians 1:26, that it "hath been hid from ages and from

generations, but now is made manifest to His saints." In each

scripture which speaks of it as "now made manifest," or "now

made known," it is distinctly stated that it was "a mystery,"

i.e. a secret, and had, up to that moment, been hidden from

mankind, hidden "in God." How, then, we ask, can "the Church,"

which was a subsequent revelation, be read into the previous

prophecies, whether written in the Old Testament Scriptures, or

made known in the Heavens? If the Church was revealed in

prophecy, then it could not have been said to be hidden or kept

secret. If the first revelation of it was made known to Paul, as

he distinctly affirms it was, then it could not have been

revealed before. Unless we see this very clearly, we cannot

"rightly divide the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15). And if we do

not rightly divide the word of truth, in its subjects, and

times, and dispensations, we must inevitably be landed in

confusion and darkness, interpreting of the Church, scriptures

which belong only to Israel.

The Church, or Body of Christ, is totally distinct from every

class of persons who are made the subject of prophecy. Not that

the Church of God was an after-thought. No, it waws a Divine

secret, kept as only God Himself could keep it. The Bible

therefore would have been complete (so far as the Old Testament

prophecies are concerned) if the Epistles (which belong only to

the Church) were taken out. The Old Testament would then give us

the kingdom prophesied; the Gospels and Acts, the King and the

kingdom offered and rejected; then the Apocalypse would follow,

showing how that promised kingdom will yet be set up with Divine

judgment, power and glory.

If these Signs and these star-pictures be the results of

inspired patriarchs, then this Sign of PISCES can refer to "His

seed," prophesied of in Isaiah 53 "He shall see His seed." It

must refer to

"The nation whose God is the LORD,

And the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance."

Psalm 33:12

"Such as be blessed of Him shall inherit the earth."

Psalm 37:22

"The LORD shall increase you more and more,

You and your children,

Ye are blessed of the LORD."

Psalm 115:14, 15

"Their seed shall be known among the Gentiles.

And their offspring among the people;

All that see them shall acknowledge them,

That they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed."

Isaiah 61:9

"They are the seed of the blessed of the LORD,

And their offspring with them."

Isaiah 65:23

The prophecy of this Sign was afterwards written in the words of

Isaiah 26:15--the song which shall yet be sung in the land of

Judah:

"Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD,

Thou hast increased the nation."

And in Isaiah 9:3 (RV), speaking of the glorious time when the

government shall be upon the shoulder of the coming King:

"Thou hast multiplied the nation,

Thou hast increased their joy."

Of that longed-for day Jeremiah sings (30:19):

"I will multiply them

And they shall not be few;

I will also glorify them,

And they shall not be small."

Ezekiel also is inspired to say:

"I will multiply men upon you,

All the house of Israel, even all of it:

And the cities shall be inhabited,

And the wastes shall be builded;

And I will multiply upon you man and beast,

And they shall increase and bring fruit."

Ezekiel 36:10, 11

"Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them;

It shall be an everlasting covenant with them!

And I will place them, and multiply them,

And will see My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore."

Ezekiel 37:26

Indeed, this sign of PISCES has always been interpreted of

Israel. Both Jews and Gentiles have agreed in this. ABARBANEL, a

Jewish commentator, writing on Daniel, affirms that the Sign

PISCES always refers to the people of Israel. He gives five

reasons for this belief, and also affirms that a conjunciton of

the planets Jupiter and Saturn always betokens a crisis in the

affairs of Israel. Because such a conjunction took place in his

day (about 1480 AD) he looked for the coming of Messiah.

Certain it is, that when the sun is in PISCES all the

constellations which are considered noxious, are seen above the

horizon. What is true in astronomical observation is true also

in historical fact. When God's favour is shown to Israel, "the

Jew's enemy" puts forth his malignant powers. When they

increased and multiplied in Egypt, he endeavoured to compass the

destruction of the nation by destroying the male children; but

their great Deliverer remembered His covenant, defeated the

designs of the enemy, and brought the counsel of the heathen to

nought. So it was in Persia; and so it will yet be again when

the hour of Israel's final deliverance has come.

There can be no doubt that we have in this Sign the foreshowing

of the multiplication and blessing of the children of promise,

and a token of their coming deliverance from all the power of

the enemy.

But why two fishes? and why is one horizontal and the other

perpendicular? The answer is, that not only in Israel, but in

the seed of Seth and Shem there were always those who looked for

a heavenly portion, and were "partakers of a heavenly calling."

In Hebrews 11 we are distinctly told that Abraham "looked for a

city which hath foundaitons, whose builder and maker is God" (v

10). They were "strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (v 13).

Strangers are those without a home, and pilgrims are those who

are journeying home: "they seek a country" (v 14). They desired

"a better country, that is, an HEAVENLY: wherefore God is not

ashamed to be called their God; for He hath prepared for them a

city" (v 16). It is clear, therefore, that what are called the

"Old Testament Saints" were "partakers of THE HEAVENLY CALLING"

(Heb 3:1), which included a heavenly portion and a heavenly

home; and all through the ages there have been "partakers of the

heavenly calling." This is quite distinct from the calling of

the Church, which is from both Jews and Gentiles to form "one

body," a "new man" in Christ (Eph 2:15). It must be distinct,

for it is expressly stated at the end of that chapter (Heb

11:40) that God has "PROVIDED (marg. foreseen) SOME BETTER THING

FOR US." How can this be a "better thing," if it is the same

thing? There must be two separate things if one is "better" than

the other! Our calling in Christ is the "beter thing." The Old

Testament saints had, and will have, a good thing. They will

have a heavenly blessing, and a heavenly portion, for God has

"prepared for them a city," and we see that prepared city, even

"the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of

HEAVEN, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev 21:2).

This is the "heavenly" portion of the Old Testament saints, the

Bride of Christ. The Church will have a still "better" portion,

for "they without us should not be made perfect" (Heb 11:40).

The fish, shooting upwards to the Polar Star, exquisitely

pictures this "heavenly calling"; while the other fish, keeping

on the horizontal line, answers to those who were content with

an earthly portion.

But both alike were divinely called, and chosen, and upheld. The

names of two of the stars in the sign are Okda (Hebrew), the

united, and Al Samaca (Arabic), the upheld. These again speak of

the redeemed seed, of whom, and to whom, Jehovah speaks in that

coming day of glory in Isaiah 41:8-10 (RV):

"But thou, Israel, My servant,

Jacob, whom I have chosen,

The seed of Abraham My friend;

Thou whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth,

And called thee from the corners thereof,

And said unto thee, Thou art My servant;

I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away;

Fear thou not, for I am with thee;

Be not dismayed, for I am thy God!

I will strengthen thee;

Yea, I will help thee;

Yea, I will UPHOLD thee with the right hand of My

righteousness."

This is the teaching of the Sign; and the first constellation

takes up this thought and emphasises it.

1. THE BAND

The redeemed bound, but binding their enemy

The band that unites these two fishes has always formed a

separate constellation. The Arabian poems of ANTARAH frequently

mention it as distinct from the Sign with which it is so closely

connected. ANTARAH was an Arabian poet of the sixth century.

Its ancient Egyptian name was U-or, which means He cometh. Its

Arabic name is Al Risha, the band, or bridle.

It speaks of the Coming One, not in His relation to Himself, or

to His enemies, but in His relation to the Redeemed. It speaks

of Him who says:

"I drew them with cords of a man,

With bands of love;

And I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws."

Hosea 11:4, RV

But it speaks also of His unloosing the bands with which they

have been so long bound.

One end of the band is fastened securely round the tail of one

fish, and it is the same with the other. Moreover, this band is

fastened to the neck of Cetus, the sea monster, while

immediately above is seen a woman chained as a captive. These

both tell the same story, and, indeed, all are required to set

forth the whole truth. The fishes are bound to Cetus; the woman

(Andromeda) is chained; but the Deliverer of both is near.

Cepheus, the Crowned King, the Redeemer, "the Breaker," the

Branch, is seen coming quickly for the deliverance of His

redeemed. These are the three constellations of this sign, and

all three are required to set forth the story.

Israel now is bound. The great enemy still oppresses, but

deliverance is sure. ARIES, the Ram, is seen with his paws on

this band, as though about to loosen the bands and set the

captives free, and to fast bind their great oppressor.

2. ANDROMEDA (The Chained Woman)

The redeemed in their bondage and affliction

This is a peculiar picture to set in the heavens. A woman with

chains fastened to her feet and arms, in misery and trouble; and

bound, helpless, to the sky. Yet this is the ancient foreshowing

of the truth.

In the Denderah Zodiac her name is Set, which means set, set up

as a queen. In Hebrew it is Sirra, the chained, and Persea, the

stretched out.

There are 63 stars in this constellation, three of which are of

the 2nd magnitude, two of the 3rd, twelve of the 4th, etc.

The brightest star, a (in the head), is called Al Phiratz

(Arabic), the broken down. The star b (in the body) is called

Mirach (Hebrew), the weak. The star g (in the left foot) is

called Al Maach, or Al Amak (Arabic), struck down.

The names of other stars are Adhil, the afflicted; Mizar, the

weak; Al Mara (Arabic), the afflicted. ARATUS speaks of Desma,

which means the bound, and says--

"Her feet point to her bridegroom

Perseus, on whose shoulder they rest."

Thus, with one voice, the stars of Andromeda speak to us of the

captive daughter of Zion. And her coming Deliverer thus

addresses her:

"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted,

Behold,...in righteousness shalt thou be established:

Thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear:

And from terror; for it shall not come nigh thee."

Isaiah 54:11-14

"Hear now this, thou afflicted...

Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion;

Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem...

Shake thyself from the dust;

Arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem:

Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of

Zion.

For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought;

And ye shall be redeemed without money."

Isaiah 51:21-52:3

"The virgin daughter of My people is broken with a great breach,

with a very grievous blow" (Jer 14:17).

The picture which sets forth her deliverance is reserved for the

next chapter (or Sign), where it comes in its proper place and

order. We are fist shown her glorious Deliverer; for we never,

in the heavens or in the Word, have a reference to the

sufferings without an immediate reference to the glory.

3. CEPHEUS (The Crowned King)

Their Redeemer coming to rule

Here we have the presentation of a glorious king, crowned, and

enthroned in the highest heaven, with a sceptre in his hand, and

his foot planted on the very Polar Star itself.

His name in the Denderah Zodiac is Pe-ku-hor, which means this

one cometh to rule.

The Greek name by which he is now known, Cepheus, is from the

Hebrew, and means the branch, and is called by EURIPIDES the

king.

An old Ethiopian name was Hyk, a king.

There are 35 stars, viz., three of the 3rd magnitude, seven of

the 4th, etc.

The brightest star, a (in the right shoulder), is called Al

Deramin, which means coming quickly. The next, b (in the

girdle), is named Al Phirk (Arabic), the Redeemer. The next g

(in the left knee), is called Al Rai, which means who bruises or

breaks.

It is impossible to mistake the truth which these names teach.

The Greeks, though they had lost it, yet preserved a trace of

it, even in their perversion of it; for they held that Cepheus

was the father of Andromeda, and that Perseus was her husband.

Yes; this is the glorious King of Israel, the "King of kings,

and Lord of lords." It is He who calls Israel His "son," and

will yet manifest it to all the world.

In Jeremiah 21, after speaking of Israel's restoration, Jehovah

says:

"At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the

families of Israel,

And they shall be My people...

For I am a father to Israel,

And Ephraim is My firstborn."

As He said to Moses: "Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son,

even my firstborn" (Exo 4:22).

Here is the foundation of Israel's blessing. True, it is now in

abeyance, but "the LORD reigneth," and will in due time make

good His Word, for

"The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever.

The thoughts of His heart to all generations."

Psalm 33:11

This leads us up to the last chapter of the Second Book, which

shows us the fulfilment of all the prophecies concerning the

Redeemed and the sure foundation on which their great hope of

glory is based.

The Witness of the Stars, Book II, Chapter IV

The Second Book

The Redeemed

"The result of the Redeemer's sufferings"

Chapter IV

The Sign Aries (The Ram or Lamb)

The blessings of the redeemed consummated and enjoyed

This Second Book began with the Goat dying in sacrifice, and it

ends with the Lamb living again, "as it had been slain." The

goat had the tail of a fish, indicating that his death was for a

multitude of the redeemed. In the two middle Signs we have had

these fishes presented to us in grace, and in their conflict. We

come now to the last chapter of the book: and, as we have seen,

like each of the other books, it ends up with victory and

triumph. Here we are first shown the foundation on which that

victory rests, namely, Atonement. Hence we are taken back and

reminded of the "blood of the Lamb."

This is pictured by a ram, or lamb, full of vigour and life; not

falling in death as CAPRICORNUS is.

In the Denderah Zodiac its name is Tametouris Ammon, which means

the reign, dominion, or government of Ammon. The lamb's head is

without horns, and is crowned with a circle.

The Hebrew name is Taleh, the lamb. The Arabic name is Al Hamal,

the sheep, gentle, merciful. This name has been mistakenly given

by some to the principal star, a. The Syriac name is Amroo, as

in the Syriac New Testament in John 1:29 "Behold the Lamb of God

which taketh away the sin of the world." The ancient Akkadian

name was Bara-ziggar. Bar means altar, or sacrifice; and ziggar

means right making; so that the full name would be the sacrifice

of righteousness.

There are 66 stars in this sign, one being of the 2nd magnitude,

two of the 4th, etc.

Its chief star, a (in the forehead), is named El Nath, or El

Natik, which means wounded, slain. The next, b (in the left

horn), is called Al Sheratan, the bruised, the wounded. The next

g (near to b ), is called Mesarim (Hebrew), the bound.

How is it there is no conflicting voice? How is it that all the

stars unite in one harmonious voice in testifying of the Lamb of

God, slain, and bruised, but yet living for evermore, singing

together, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power

and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and

blessing" (Rev 5:12)?

This rejoicing connected with the Lamb shines faintly through

the heathen perversions and myths: for HERODOTUS tells us how

the ancient Egyptians, once a year, when it opened by the

entrance of the sun into ARIES (TAURUS then marked the Spring

Equinox), slew a Ram, at the festival of Jupiter Ammon; branches

were placed over the doors, the Ram was garlanded with wreaths

of flowers and carried in procession. Now the sun entered ARIES

on the 14th of the Jewish month Nisan, and another lamb was then

ordered to be slain, even "the LORD's passover"--the type of

that Lamb that should in the fulness of time be offered without

blemish and without spot. Owing to the precession of the

equinoxes, the sun, at the time of the Exodus, had receded into

this sign of ARIES, which then marked the Spring Equinox. But by

the time that the antitype--the Lamb of God, was slain, the sun

had still further receded, and on the 14th of Nisan, in the year

of the Crucifixion, stood at the very spot marked by the stars

a, El Nath, the pierced, the wounded or slain, and b, Al

Sheratan, the bruised or wounded! God so ordained "the times and

seasons" that during that noon-day darkness the sun was seen

near those stars which had spoken for so many centuries of this

bruising of the woman's Seed--the Lamb of God.

Was this design? or was it chance? It is far easier to believe

the former. It makes a smaller demand upon our faith; yes, we

are compelled to believe that He who created the sun and the

stars "for signs and for cycles," ordained also the times and

the seasons, and it is He who tells us that "WHEN THE FULNESS OF

TIME WAS COME, God sent forth His Son" (Gal 4:4), and that "in

due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Rom 5:6).

1. CASSIOPEIA (The Enthroned Woman)

The captive delivered, and preparing for her Husband, the

Redeemer

In the last chapter we saw the woman bound; here we see the same

woman freed, delivered, and enthroned.

ULUGH BEY says its Arabic name is El Seder, which means the

freed.

In the Denderah Zodiac her name is Set, which means set, set up

as Queen. ALBUMAZER says this constellation was anciently called

"the daughter of splendour." This appears to be the meaning of

the word Cassiopeia, the enthroned, the beautiful. The Arabic

name is Ruchba, the enthroned This is also the meaning of its

Chaldee name, Dat al cursa.

There are 55 stars in this constellation, of which five are of

the 3rd magnitude, five of the 4th, etc.

This beautiful constellation passes vertically over Great

Britain every day, and is easily distinguished by its five

brightest stars, forming an irregular "W."

This brilliant constellation contains one binary star, a triple

star, a double star, a quadruple star, and a large number of

nebulae.

In the year 1572 Tycho Brahe discovered in this constellation,

and very near the star k (under the arm of the chair), a new

star, which shone more brightly than Venus. It was observed for

nearly two years, and disappeared entirely in 1574.

The brightest star, a (in the left breast), is named Schedir

(Hebrew), which means the freed. The next, b (in the top of the

chair), likewise bears a Hebrew name--Caph, which means the

branch; it is evidently given on account of the branch of

victory which she bears in her hand.

She is indeed highly exalted, and making herself ready. Her

hands, no longer bound, are engaged in this happy work. With her

right hand she is arranging her robes, while with her left she

is adorning her hair. She is seated upon the Arctic circle, and

close by the side of Cepheus, the King.

This is "the Bride, the Lamb's wife, the heavenly city, the new

Jerusalem," the "partakers of the heavenly calling."

He who has redeemed her is "the Lamb that was slain," and He

addresses her thus:

"Thy Maker is thine husband;

The LORD of Hosts is His name;

And the Holy One of Israel is thy Redeemer;

The God of the whole earth shall He be called.

For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in

spirit,

Even a wife of youth when she is cast off, saith thy God.

For a small moment have I forsaken thee;

But with great mercies will I gather thee.

In overflowing wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment;

But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith

the LORD thy Redeemer."

Isaiah 54:5-8, RV

"Thou shalt be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,

And a royal diadem in the hand of thy God,

Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken;

Neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate;

But thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah (i.e. my delight is in her),

And thy land Beulah (i.e., married);

For the LORD delighteth in thee,

And thy land shall be married.

For as a young man marrieth a virgin,

So shall thy sons (Heb. thy Restorer) marry thee:

And as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride,

So shall thy God rejoice over thee."

Isaiah 62:3-5, RV

"The LORD hath appeared of old (or from afar) unto me, saying,

Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love;

Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

Again will I build thee, and thou shalt be built, O Virgin of

Israel...

He that scattered Israel will gather him,

And keep him as a shepherd doth his flock,

For the LORD hath ransomed Jacob,

And redeemed him from the hand of him that was stronger than

he."

Jeremiah 31:3-12, RV

Can we close our eyes to the testimony of these scriptures--that

Israel is the Bride of the Lamb? When we have all these, and

more, why should we read "the Church" into thse ancient

prophecies, which was the subject of a long-subsequent

revelation, merely because (in Eph 5:25) Christ's love to His

Church is compared to a husband's love for his wife? "Husbands,

love your wives, even AS Christ also loved the Church." There is

not a word here about the Church being His wife. On the

contrary, it reveals the secret that the Church of Christ is to

be the mystical "Body of Christ," part of the Husband in fact,

"One new man" (Eph 2:15)! whereas restored Israel is to be the

Bride of this "New Man," the Bride of Christ, the Lamb's wife!

Blessed indeed it is to be united to Christ as a wife to a

husband, but glorious beyond all description to be "one" with

Christ Himself, part of His mystical Body.

If men had only realised the wondrous glory of this mystery,

they would never have so wrongly divided the Word of Truth by

interpreting Psalm 45 of this Mystical Christ. If we "rightly

divide" it, we see at once that this Psalm is in harmony with

all the Old Testament scriptures, which must be interpreted

alike, and can be interpreted only of Israel however they may be

applied.

Having spoken of the Godhead and glory of this King (faintly and

in part foreshown by Cepheus), the Holy Spirit goes on in the

latter part of the Psalm to speak of the Bride--the Queen:

"At Thy right hand doth stand the Queen in gold of Ophir,

Hearken, O daughter, and consdier, incline thine ear;

Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;

So shall the King desire thy beauty; *

For He is thy Lord; and worship thou Him...

The King's daugher within the palace is all glorious;

Her clothing is inwrought with gold,

She shall be led unto the King in broidered work;

The virgins her companions ** that follow her shall be brought

unto thee," etc.

Psalm 45:9-17, RV

* "Thy beauty; for it was perfect through My comeliness, when I

put upon thee (Jerusalem), saith the LORD" (Eze 16:14).

** Those who interpret the Queen here of the Church as the

Bride, interpret the "Virgins" in Matthew 25 of the Bride also.

But how inconsistent! If the "Virgins" be the Church in Matthew

25, then where is the Bride? If the Queen is the Bride (the

Church) in Psalm 45, then who are the "virgins her companions"?

Both cannot be the correct interpretation. In fact, both are

wrong, and hence the confusion. The Bride must be interpreted by

the Old Testament scriptures, and the Prophecies which belong to

Israel must not be robbed and given to the Church. They cannot

be thus diverted without bringing confusion into the Scripture,

and causing loss to our souls.

Then shall she sing her Magnificat:

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,

My soul shall be joyful in my God;

For He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation,

He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,

As a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments,

And as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud,

And as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to

spring forth;

So the Lord GOD [Adonai Jehovah] will cause righteousness and

praise to spring forth before all the nations."

Isaiah 61:10, 11

This, then, is the truth set forth by this enthroned woman. The

blessing founded on Atonement, and the Redemption wrought by the

Lamb that was slain, result in a glorious answer to Israel's

prayer, "Turn our captivity, O LORD" (Psa 126:4): when they that

have "sown in tears shall reap in joy," and the LORD shall

loosen her bonds, and place her enthroned by His side.

This, however, involves the destruction of her enemy, and this

is what we see in the next section.

2. CETUS (The Sea Monster)

The great enemy bound

When John sees the New Jerusalem, the Bride, the Lamb's wife

(Rev 21:10), Satan has been bound already: for we read, a few

veses before (20:1-3) "I saw an angel come down from heaven,

having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his

hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, that Old Serpent, which is

the Devil, and Satan, and bound him [and kept him bound] a

thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut

him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the

nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled."

This is what we see in the second section of the chapter--the

second constellation in ARIES.

The picture is that of a great sea-monster, the largest of all

the constellations. It is the natural enemy of fishes, hence it

is placed here in connection with this last chapter, in which

fishes are so prominent.

It is situated very low down among the constellations--far away

towards the south or lower regions of the sky.

Its name in the Denderah Zodiac is Knem, which means subdued. It

is pictured as a monstrous head, trodden under foot by the

swine, the natural enemy of the serpent. The hawk also (another

enemy of the serpent) is over this figure, crowned with a

mortar, denoting bruising.

It consists of 97 stars, of which two are of the 2nd magnitude,

eight of the 3rd, nine of the 4th, etc.

The names of the stars interpret for us infallibly the meaning

of the picture.

The brightest star, a (in the upper mandible), is named Menikar,

and means the bound or chained enemy. The next, b (in the tail),

is called Diphda, or Deneb Kaitos, overthrown, or thrust down.

The star o (in the neck) is named Mira, which means THE REBEL.

Its names is ominous, for the star is one of the most

remarkable. It is very bright, but it was not till 1596 that it

was discovered to be variable. It disappears periodically seven

times in six years! It continues at its brightest for fifteen

days together. M. Bade says that during 334 days it shines with

its greatest light, then it diminishes, till it entirely

disappears for some time (to the naked eye). In fact, during

that period it passes through several degrees of magnitude, both

increasing and diminishing. Indeed its variableness is so great

as to make it appear unsteady!

Here, then, is the picture of the Great Rebel as shown in the

heavens. What is it, as written in the Word?

The Almighty asks man:

"Canst thou draw out Leviathan with a fish hook?

Or press down his tongue with a cord?

Canst thou put a rope into his nose?

Or pierce his jaw through with a hook?...

Shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?

None is so fierce that he dare stir him up."

Job 41:1-10, RV

But he whom man cannot bind can be bound by the Lamb, and He is

seen with "the Band" that has bound the fishes, now in His

hands, which he has fastened with a bright star to his neck,

saying,

"Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling,

Even the dregs of the cup of My fury;

Thou shalt no more drink it again,

But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee."

Isaiah 51:22, 23

"Behold, the LORD cometh forth out of His place

To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity...

In that day the LORD, with His sore, and great, and strong

sword,

Shall punish Leviathan, the piercing serpent,

And Leviathan, the crooked serpent;

And He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."

Isaiah 26:21-27:1

"For God is my king of old,

Working salvation in the midst of the earth.

Thou didst divide (marg. Heb., break) the sea by Thy strength,

Thou brakest the heads of the dragons (RV marg., sea monsters)

in the waters.

Thou brakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces."

Psalm 74:12-14

And this Second Book closes by revealing to us this glorious

"Breaker."

3. PERSEUS ("The Breaker")

"The Breaker" delivering the redeemed

Here we have set before us a mighty man, called in the Hebrew

Peretz, from which we have the Greek form Perses, or Perseus

(Rom 16:13). It is the same word which is used of Christ in

Micah 2:13. When He shall surely "gather the remnant of Israel"

(v 12), it is written--

"THE BREAKER is gone up before them...

Their King is passed on before them,

And the LORD at the head of them."

This is what is pictured to us here. We see a glorious "Breaker"

taking His place before His redeemed, breaking forth at their

head, breaking down all barriers, and breaking the heads of

Leviathan and all his hosts. In His right hand He has His "sore,

and great, and strong sword" lifted up to smite and break down

the enemy. He has wings on His feet, which tell us that He is

coming very swiftly. In His left hand He carries the head of the

enemy, whom he has slain.

In the Denderah Zodiac His Name is Kar Knem, he who fights and

subdues.

It is a beautiful constellation of 59 stars, two of which are of

the 2nd magnitude, four of the 3rd, twelve of the 4th, etc.

Their names supply us with the key to the interpretation of the

picture.

The star a (in the waist) is called Mirfak, who helps. The next,

g (in the right shoulder), is named Al Genib, which means who

carries away. The bright star in the left foot is called Athik,

who breaks!

In his left hand he carries a head, which, by perversion, the

Greeks called the head of Medusa, being ignorant that its Hebrew

root meant the trodden under foot. It is also called Rosh Satan

(Hebrew), the head of the adversary, and Al Oneh (Arabic), the

subdued, or Al Ghoul, the evil spirit.

The bright star, b (in this head), has come down to us with the

name Al Gol, which means rolling round.

It is a most remarkable phenomenon that so many of these enemies

should be characterised by variable stars! But this head of

Medusa, like the neck of Cetus, has one. Al Gol is continually

changing. In about 69 hours it changes from the 4th magnitude to

the 2nd. During four hours of this period it gradually

diminishes in brightness, which it recovers in the succeeding

four hours; and in the remaining part of the time invariably

preserves its greatest lustre. After the expiration of this time

its brightness begins to decrease again. Fit emblem of our great

enemy, who, "like a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he

may devour" (1 Peter 5:8); then changing into a subtle serpent

(Gen 3:8); then changing again into "an angel of light" (2 Cor

11:14). "Transforming himself" continually, to devour, deceive,

and destroy.

This brings us to the conclusion of the Second Book, in which we

have seen the Redeemed blessed with all blessings, delivered out

of all conflict, saved from all enemies. We have seen their

Redeemer, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,"

"the Conqueror," "the King of Kings and Lord of Lords."

This is the Revelation recorded in the heavens. This is the

prophetic testimony inspired in the Book. And this is the

heart-cry prompted by both:

"Come, Lord, and tarry not,

Bring the long-looked-for day;

Oh, why these years of waiting here,

These ages of delay?

Come, for Thy saints still wait;

Daily ascends their cry:

'The Spirit and the Bride say, Come';

Dost Thou not hear their cry?

Come, for creation groans,

Impatient of Thy stay;

Worn out with these long years of ill,

These ages of delay.

Come, for Thine Israel pines,

An exile from Thy fold;

Oh, call to mind Thy faithful word,

And bless them as of old.

Come, for thy foes are strong;

With taunting lips they say,

'Where is the promised advent now,

And where the dreaded day?'

Come, for the good are few;

They lift the voice in vain;

Faith waxes fainter on the earth,

And love is on the wane.

Come, in Thy glorious might;

Come, with Thine iron rod;

Disperse Thy foes before Thy face,

Most mighty Son of God.

Come, and make all things new,

Build up this ruined earth;

Restore our faded paradise,

Creation's second birth.

Come, and begin Thy reign

Of everlasting peace;

Come, take the kingdom to Thyself,

Great King of Righteousness."

Dr. Horatius Bonar

The Witness of the Stars, Book III, Chapter I

The Third Book

The Redeemer

(His Second Coming)

"The glory that should follow"

In this Third and Last Book we come to the concluding portion of

this Heavenly Revelation. Its subject is Redemption completed,

and consummated in triumph. No more sorrow, suffering, or

conflict; no more the bruising of the heel of the Redeemer. We

have now done with the prophecies of "the sufferings of Christ,"

and have come to those that relate to "the glory that should

follow."

No more reference now to His first coming in humiliation. No

more coming "forth" to suffer and die, a sacrifice for sins; the

reference now is only to His second coming in glory; His coming

"unto" this earth is not to suffer for sin (Heb 9:28), but it

will be a coming in power to judge the earth in righteousness,

and to subdue all enemies under His feet.

Like the other two books, it consists of four chapters.

The first chapter is the prophecy of the coming Judge of all the

earth.

The second sets before us the two-fold nature of the coming

Ruler.

The third shows us Messiah's redeemed possessions--the Redeemed

brought safely home, all conflict over.

The fourth describes Messiah's consummated triumph.

The Sign Taurus (The Bull)

Messiah, the coming Judge of all the earth

The picture is that of a Bull rushing forward with mighty energy

and fierce wrath, his horns set so as to push his enemies, and

pierce them through and destroy them.

It is a prophecy of Christ, the coming Judge, and Ruler, and

"Lord of all the earth."

The Egyptian Zodiac of Denderah already, 4,000 years ago, had

forgotten the truth to which the prophecy had referred, and

called him Isis, i.e., who saves or delivers, and Apis, i.e.,

the head or chief. The Bull is clearly represented, and in all

the zodiacs which have come down to us is always in the act of

pushing, or rushing.

The name of the sign in Chaldee is Tor. Hence, Arabic, Al Thaur;

Greek, Tauros; Latin, Taurus, etc. The more common Hebrew name

was Shur, which is from a root which means both coming and

ruling. There are several Hebrew words for bulls and oxen, etc.

But the common poetical term for all is Reem, conveying the idea

of loftiness, exaltation, power, and pre-eminence. We find the

root in other kindred languages (Etruscan, Sanscrit, etc.), and

it can be traced in the name of Abram, which means pre-eminent

or high father; Ramah, high place, etc.

The stars in Taurus present a brilliant sight. There are at

least 141 stars, besides two important groups of stars, which

both form integral parts of the sign.

The brightest star, a (in the bull's eye), has a Chaldee

name--Al Debaran, and means the leader or governor. The star b

(at the tip of the left horn) has an Arabic name--El Nath,

meaning wounded or slain. Another prophetic intimation that this

coming Lord should be first slain as a sacrifice.

Then there is the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades. This

word, which means the congregation of the judge or ruler, comes

to us through the Greek Septuagint as the translation of the

Hebrew kimah, which means the heap or accumulation, and occurs

in Job 9:9; 38:31, 32, and Amos 5:8.

It consists of a number of stars (in the neck of Taurus) which

appear to be near together. The brightest of them, marked h in

all the maps, * has come down to us with an Arabic name--Al

Cyone, which means the centre, and has given the idea to some

astronomers that it is the centre of the whole universe. The

Syriac name for the Pleiades is Succoth, which means booths.

* The others have names, but they were given by the Greeks from

the names of the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. The

Hyades were their sisters. Together they tell us that the saints

will be secure with this mighty Lord when he comes to rule.

Another group of stars (on the face of the Bull) is known as The

Hyades, * which has the similar meaning of the congregated.

* The Pleiades and Hyades are sometimes spoken of as

constellations, but this is a mistake; they are integral parts

of Taurus.

Other stars are named Palilicium (Hebrew), belonging to the

judge; Wasat (Arabic), centre or foundation; Al Thuraiya

(Arabic), the abundance; Vergiliae (Latin), the centre (Arabic,

vertex) turned on, rolled round.

Every thing points to the important truth, and all turns on the

fact that the Lord is COMING TO RULE! This is the central truth

of all prophecy. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of

prophecy." All hope for Creation, all hope for the world, all

hope for Israel, all hope for the Church, turns on this, that

"Jesus is coming again," and that when He comes His saints, "the

daughters of the King" (like the Pleiades and Hyades), will be

with Him.

There is nothing of "the Church" revealed here. The Church will

be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, to be for ever with

the Lord (1 Thess 4:17) before He thus comes unto the world in

judgment. He will come forth to receive the members of His Body

unto Himself, before He thus comes with them to destroy all His

enemies and "judge (or rule) the world in righteousness." When

we read this Sign of Taurus, therefore, we are to understand

that His Church will be with Him, safe from all judgment.

There is very much in the Scripture of the Book, (as there is in

the prophecies in the heavens) about the coming of the Lord in

judgment; and about this time of His indignation. For Enoch, who

doubtless was used in arranging these prophetic signs, uttered

the prophetic words, "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands

of His saints to execute judgment upon all and to convict all

that are ungodly" (Jude 14,15).

At a very early period these signs were appropriated to the

Twelve Tribes of Israel, and borne upon their "standards." This

may be traced in the Blessing of Jacob (Gen 49), and in the

Blessing of Moses (Deut 33). Taurus was assigned to Joseph, or

rather to his two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, like the two

powerful horns:

"The firstling of his bulllock (marg. his firstling

bullock)--majesty is his,

And his horns are the horns of the wild-ox (Reem).

With them he shall PUSH (marg. gore) the peoples, all of them,

even the ends of the earth.

And they are the ten thousands of Ephraim,

And they are the thousands of Manasseh."

Deuteronomy 33:17, RV

It is not, however, merely by men alone that this will be done,

for David sings:

"Thou art my King, O GOD...

Through Thee will we PUSH down our enemies;

Through Thy Name will we tread them under that rise up against

us."

Psalm 44:5

"I will punish the world for their evil,

And the wicked for their iniquity;

I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease,

And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible...

Every one that is found shall be THRUST THROUGH."

Isaiah 13:11-15

Speaking of that day, the Holy Spirit says by Isaiah:

"For the LORD hath indignation against all the nations,

And fury against all their host:

He hath utterly destroyed them,

He hath delivered them to the slaughter...

The LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah,

And a great slaughter in the land of Edom,

And the wild oxen [Reem] shall come down with them,

And the bullocks with the bulls;

And their land shall be drunken with blood,

And their dust made fat with fatness.

For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance,

The year of recompense in the controversy of Zion."

Isaiah 34:2-8, RV

"Behold, the LORD cometh forth out of His place

To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity:

The earth also shall disclose her blood,

And shall no more cover her slain."

Isaiah 26:21

This is the united testimony of the two Revelations. It is

pictured in the heavens, and it is written in the Book. It is

the prophecy of a coming Judge, and of a coming judgment.

It is, however, no mere Bull that is coming, It is a man, a

glorious man, even "the Son of Man." This is the first

development, shown in the first of the three constellations

belonging to the sign.

1. ORION (The Coming Prince)

Light breaking forth in the Redeemer

This picture is to show that the coming one is no mere animal,

but a man: a mighty, triumphant, glorious prince.

He is so pictured in the ancient Denderah Zodiac, where we see a

man coming forth pointing to the three bright stars (Rigel,

Bellatrix, and Betelguez) as his. His name is given as Ha-ga-t,

which means this is he who triumphs. The hieroglyphic characters

below read Oar. Orion was anciently spelt Oarion, from the

Hebrew root, which means light. So that Orion means coming forth

as light. The ancient Akkadian was Ur-ana, the light of heaven.

Orion is the most brilliant of all the constellations, and when

he comes to the meridian he is accompanied by several adjacent

constellations of great splendour. There is then above the

horizon the most glorious view of the celestial bodies that the

starry firmament affords; and this magnificent view is visible

to all the habitable world, because the equinoctial line (or

solstitial colure) passes nearly through the middle of Orion.

ARATUS thus sings of him:

"Eastward, beyond the region of the Bull,

Stands great Orion. And who, when night is clear,

Beholds him gleaming bright, shall cast his eyes in vain

To find a Sign more glorious in all heaven."

The constellation is mentioned by name, as being perfectly well

known both by name and appearance, in the time of Job; and as

being an object of familiar knowledge at that early period of

the world's history. See Job 9:9; 38:31, and Amos 5:8 (Heb.

Chesil, which means a strong one, a hero, or giant).

It contains 78 stars, two being of the 1st magnitude, four of

the 2nd, four of the 3rd, sixteen of the 4th, etc.

A little way below i (in the sword) is a very remarkable

nebulous star. A common telescope will show that it is a

beautiful nebula. A powerful telescope reveals it as consisting

of collections of nebulous stars, these again being surrounded

by faint luminous points, which still more powerful telescopes

would resolve into separate stars.

Thus beautifully is set forth the brilliancy and glory of that

Light which shall break forth when the moment comes for it to be

said, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come."

The picture presents us with "the Light of the world." His left

foot is significantly placed upon the head of the enemy. He is

girded with a glorious girdle, studded with three brilliant

stars; and upon this girdle is hung a sharp sword. Its handle

proves that this mighty Prince is come forth in a new character.

He is again proved to be "the Lamb that was slain," for the hilt

of this sword is in the form of the head and body of a lamb. In

his right hand he lifts on high his mighty club; while in his

left he holds forth the token of his victory--the head and skin

of the "roaring lion." We ask in wonder, "Who is this?" and the

names of the stars give us the answer.

The brightest, a (in the right shoulder), is named Betelgeuz,

which means the coming (Mal 3:2) of the branch.

The next, b (in the left foot), is named Rigel, or Rigol, which

means the foot that crusheth. The foot is lifted up, and placed

immediately over the head of the enemy, as though in the very

act of crushing it. Thus, the name of the star bespeaks the act.

The next star, g (in the left shoulder), is called Bellatrix,

which means quickly coming, or swiftly destroying.

The name of the fourth star, d (one of the three in the belt),

carries us back to the old, old story, that this glorious One

was once humbled; that His heel was once bruised. Its name is Al

Nitak, the wounded One. * Similarly the star k (in the right

leg) is called Saiph, bruised, which is the very word used in

Genesis 3:15, thus connecting Orion with the primeval prophecy.

Like Ophiuchus, he has one leg bruised; while, with the other,

he is crushing the enemy under foot.

* The star z (in the belt) is called Mintaka, dividing, as a

sacrifice (Lev 8:2).

This is betokened by other stars named Al Rai, who bruises, who

breaks (as in Cepheus); and Thabit (Hebrew), treading on.

Other (Arabic) names relate to His Person: Al Giauza, the

branch; Al Gebor, the mighty; Al Mirzam, the ruler; Al Nagjed,

the prince; Niphla (Chaldee), the mighty; Nux (Hebrew), the

strong. Some names relate to His coming, as Betelgeuse and

Bellatrix, as above; Heka (Chaldee), coming; and Meissa

(Hebrew), coming forth.

Such is the cumulative testimony of Orion's stars, which, day

after day, and night after night, show forth this knowledge.

That testimony was afterwards written in the Book. The Prince of

Glory, who was once wounded for the sins of His redeemed, is

about to rise up and shine forth for their deliverance. Their

redemption draweth nigh; for--

"The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man,

He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war;

He shall cry, yea, roar;

He shall prevail against His enemies.

I have [He says] long time holden my peace;

I have been still, and refrained myself:

Now will I cry like a travailing woman;

I will destroy and devour at once."

Isaiah 42:13, 14

Then it will be said to His people (and the setting of the

prophecy in its beautiful introverted structure shows us the

beauty and glory of the truth it reveals): *

a: Arise,

b: Shine; for thy light is come,

c: And the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

d: For, behold, the darkness shall cover the

earth,

d: And gross darkness the people;

c: But the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory

shall be seen upon thee.

b: And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,

a: And kings to the brightness of thy rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3)

* Note that--

In a and a, we have the rising of Israel;

In b and b, the light that is come upon her;

In c and c, the glory of the LORD; and

In d and d, the darkness of the world.

This is "the glory of the God" which the heavens constantly

declare (Psalm 19:1). They tell of that blessed time when the

whole earth shall be filled with His glory (Num 14:21; Isa

11:9); when "the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all

flesh shall see it together" (Isa 40:5), as all see now the

beauty of Orion's glory.

But side by side with the glory which the coming Light of the

world shall bring for His people, there is "that wicked," whom

the Lord "shall destroy with the brightness of His coming."

Hence, as in the concluding chapter (4) of the First Book (of

which this Third Book is the expansion) we had in LYRA (the

harp), as 1, Praise prepared for the Conqueror; and in ARA (the

burning pyre), as 2, consuming fire prepared for His enemies: so

in the first chapter of this book, we have in ORION, as 1, Glory

prepared for the Conqueror; and in ERIDANUS, as 2, the River of

wrath prepared for His enemies. This brings us to--

2. ERIDANUS (The River of the Judge)

The river of wrath breaking forth for His enemies

It issues forth, in all the pictures, from the down-coming foot

of Orion. While others see in it, from the ignorance of fabled

story, only "the River Po," or the "River Euphrates," we see in

it, from the meaning of its name, and from the significance of

its positon, the river of the Judge.

In the Denderah Zodiac it is a river under the feet of Orion. It

is named Peh-ta-t, which means the mouth of the river.

It is an immense constellation.

According to the Britannic catalogue, it consists of 84 stars;

one of the 1st magnitude, one of the 2nd, eight of the 3rd, etc.

The brightest star, a (at the mouth of the river), bears the

ancient name of Achernar, which is in, as its name means, the

after part of the river.

The next star, b (at the source of the river), is named Cursa,

which means bent down. The next, g (at the second bend in the

river), is called Zourac (Arabic) flowing. Other stars are

Pheat, mouth (of the river); and Ozha, the going forth.

Here, then, we have a river flowing forth from before the

glorious Orion. It runs in a serpentine course towards the lower

regions, down, down, out of sight. In vain the sea monster,

Cetus, strives to stop its flow. It is "the river of the Judge,"

and speaks of that final judgment in which the wicked will be

cast into the lake of fire. It was evidently originally

associated with fire; for the Greek myths, though gross

perversions, stil so connect it. According to their fables,

something went wrong with the chariot of the sun, and a

universal conflagration was threatened. In the trouble, Phaeton

(probably a reference to the star Pheat) was killed and hurled

into this river, in which he was consumed with its fire. The

whole earth suffered from such a burning heat that great

disasters ensued. We see from this myth two great facts

preserved in the perverted tradition, viz., judgment and fire.

ARATUS also preserves the connection,

"For yonder, trod by heavenly feet,

Wind the scorched waters of Eridanus' tear-swollen flood,

Welling beneath Orion's uplifted foot."

Is not this the testimony afterwards written in the Book? Daniel

sees this very river in his vision of that coming day, when the

true Orion shall come forth in His glory. He says, "I beheld

till the thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days

did sit:...His throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof

burning fire. A FIERY STREAM ISSUED AND CAME FORTH FROM BEFORE

HIM." This is the River of the Judge; for he goes on to say,

"the judgment was set, and the books were opened" (Dan 7:9-11,

RV).

We have the same in Psalm 97:3-5 (RV), which describes the scene

when the Lord shall reign:

"A FIRE GOETH BEFORE HIM,

And burneth up His adversaries round about.

His lightnings lightened the world:

The earth saw and trembled,

The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD,

At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth."

So again in Psalm 50:3, we read:

"Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence,

A FIRE SHALL DEVOUR BEFORE HIM,

And it shall be very tempestuous round about Him."

By Habakkuk the coming of the Lord is described; and it is

written:

"His brightness was as the light,...

Before Him went the pestilence,

And burning coals went forth at His feet."

Habakkuk 3:5

What is this but Orion and Eridanus!

Again, it is written in Isaiah 30:27-33 (RV):

"Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far,

Burning with His anger, and in thick rising smoke:

His lips are full of indignation,

And His tongue is as a DEVOURING FIRE:

And His breath is as AN OVERFLOWING STREAM [of fire]...

For a Topheth is prepared of old;

Yea, for the King [Moloch] it is made ready;

He hath made it deep and large;

The pile thereof is FIRE and much wood;

The breath of the LORD, LIKE A STREAM OF BRIMSTONE, doth kindle

it."

So, again, we read in Nahum 1:5, 6:

"The mountains quake at Him,

And the hills melt;

And the earth is burned up at His presence,

Yea, the world and all that dwell therein.

Who can stand before His indignation?

And who can abide in the fierceness of His anger?

His fury is POURED OUT LIKE FIRE."

In Isaiah 66:15, 16, we read:

"For, behold, the LORD will come with fire,

And with His chariots like a whirlwind,

To render His anger with fury,

And His rebuke with FLAMES OF FIRE,

For BY FIRE, and by His sword, will the LORD plead with all

flesh."

With this agree the New Testament scriptures, which speak of

"the Day of the Lord," "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed

from heaven with His mighty angels, IN FLAMING FIRE taking

vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the

Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess 1:7,8).

This is the true Eridanus. It is no mere "picture." It is a

dread reality! It is written in stars of fire, and words of

truth, that men may heed the solemn warning and "flee from the

wrath to come"!

But we ask, "Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall

stand when He appeareth" (Mal 3:2)? "Who can stand before His

indignation," when "His fury is poured out like fire" (Nahum

1:6)?

The answer is given in the next picture!

3. AURIGA (The Shepherd)

Safety for the redeemed in the day of wrath

Here is presented to us the answer to the question, "Who may

abide the day of His coming?"

"Behold, the Lord GOD (Adonai Jehovah) will come as a mighty

one,

And His arm shall rule for Him:

Behold, His reward is with Him,

And His recompense before Him.

He shall feed His flock like a shepherd,

He shall gather the lambs in His arm,

And carry them in His bosom,

And shall gently lead those that give suck."

Isaiah 40:10, 11, RV

This is exactly what is presented before us in this last section

of the chapter, which tells of the coming judgment. We have had

the picture of a mighty Bull rushing forth; then the fiery river

of the Judge; and now we see a Great Shepherd. He is seated upon

"the milky way," holding up on his left shoulder a she goat. She

clings to his neck, and is looking down affrighted at the

terrible on-rushing Bull. In his left hand he supports two

little kids, apparently just born, and bleating, and trembling

with fear.

ARATUS says,

"She is both large and bright, but they--the kids--

Shine somewhat feebly on Auriga's wrist."

Is not this the Great Shepherd gathering the lambs in His arm?

and carrying them in His bosom? Is He not saying:

"I will save My flock,

And they shall no more be a prey."

Ezekiel 34:22

"And David my servant shal be king over them,

And they shall have one shepherd."

Ezekiel 37:24

"And they shall fear no more,

Nor be dismayed,

Neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD."

Jeremiah 23:4

AURIGA is from a Hebrew root which means a shepherd. It is a

beautiful constellation of 66 stars; one of the 1st magnitude,

two of the 2nd, nine of the 4th, etc.

The brightest star, a (in the body of the goat), points her out

as the prominent feature of the constellation, for its name

Alioth (Hebrew) means a she goat. It is known by the modern

Latin name Capella, which has the same meaning.

The next star, b (in the shepherd's right arm), is called

Menkilinon, and means the band, or chain of the goats, and

points out the truth that they are never more to be lost again,

but to be bound, with the bands of love, to the Shepherd for

evermore.

The name of another star is Maaz, which means a flock of goats.

Can there be any mistake as to who this Shepherd is? for the

bright star in his right foot is called El Nath (like another in

ARIES), which means wounded or slain. This is He, then, who was

once bruised or wounded in the heel. He is "the GOOD Shepherd,"

who gave His life for the sheep (John 10:11), but He was "the

GREAT Shepherd" brought again from the dead (Heb 13:20); and is

now the CHIEF Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4) seen in the day of His

coming glory. Another star emphasises this truth, for it is

named Aiyuk, which also means wounded in the foot.

The star marking the kids is called Gedi (Hebrew), kids.

In Latin, the word Auriga means a coachman or charioteer, the

band in his right hand being taken as his reins. But the

incongruity of a charioteer carrying a she-goat, and nursing two

little kids, never struck them; nor did the fact that he has no

chariot and no horses! When man blunders in the things of God,

he does it thoroughly!

In the Zodiac of Denderah the same truth was revealed more than

4,000 years ago; but the Man, instead of carrying the sheep, is

carrying a sceptre, and is called Trun, which means sceptre or

power. But this is a strange sceptre, for at the top it has the

head of a goat, and at the bottom, below the hand that holds it,

it ends in a cross! With the Egyptians the cross was a sign of

life. they knew nothing of "the death of the cross." Here, then,

we see life and salvation for the sheep of His flock when He

comes to reign and rule in judgment. The truth is precisely the

same, though the presentation of it is somewhat varied.

The connected teaching of the two constellations, Eridanus and

Auriga, is solemnly set forth in Malachi 4:1-3 (RV):

"Behold, the day cometh,

It burneth as a furnace;

And all the proud, and all that work wickedness, shall be

stubble:

And the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of

hosts,

That it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

BUT UNTO YOU that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness

arise with healing in His wings;

And ye shall go forth and gambol as calves of the stall.

And ye shall tread down the wicked;

For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet

In the day that I do make (marg. do this), saith the LORD of

hosts."

In Psalm 37 this day is repeatedly referred to, the day when

"the wicked shall be cut off"; and it concludes by summarizing

the same great truth (vv 38-40, RV):

"As for transgressors, they shall be destroyed together;

The latter end of the wicked shall be cut off,

But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD:

He is their stronghold in the time of trouble,

And the LORD helpeth them, and rescueth them;

He rescueth them from the wicked and saveth them,

Because they have taken refuge in Him."

Oh, that all who read these pages may heed the solemn warning,

and flee for refuge to Him who now, in this day of grace, is

crying, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, O all ye ends of the

earth" (Isa 45:22).

The Witness of the Stars, Book III, Chapter II

The Third Book

The Redeemer

(His Second Coming)

"The glory that should follow"

Chapter II

The Sign Gemini (The Twins)

Messiah's reign as Prince of Peace

All the pictures of this sign are confused. The Greeks claimed

to have invented them, and they called them Apollo and Hercules.

The Latins called them Castor and Pollux, and the name of a

vessel in which Paul sailed is so called in Acts 28:11.

The name in the ancient Denderah Zodiac is Clusus, or Claustrum

Hor, which means the place of Him who cometh. It is represented

by two human figures walking, or coming. The second appears to

be a woman. The other appears to be a man. It is a tailed

figure, the tail signifying He cometh.

The old Coptic name was Pi-Mahi, the united, as in brotherhood.

Not necessarily united by being born at the same time, but

united in one fellowship or brotherhood. The Hebrew name is

Thaumim, which means united. The root is used in Exodus 26:24

"They (the two boards) shall be coupled together beneath." In

the margin we read, "Heb. twinned" (RV double). The Arabic Al

Tauman means the same.

We need not trouble ourselves with the Grecian myths, even

though we can see through them the original and ancient truth.

The two were both heroes of peculiar and extraordinary

birth--sons of Jupiter. They were supposed to appear at the head

of armies; and as they had cleared the seas of pirates, they

were looked upon as the patron saints of navigation. (Hence the

name of the ship in Acts 28:11). They were held in high esteem

both by Greeks and Romans; and the common practice of taking

oaths and of swearing by their names has descended even to our

own day in the still surviving vulgar habit of swearing "By

Gemini!"

The more ancient star-names help us to see through all these and

many other myths, and to discern Him of whom they testify; even

Him in His twofold nature--God and Man--and His twofold work of

suffering and glory, and His twofold coming in humiliation and

in triumph.

There are 85 stars in the sign: two of the 2nd magnitude, four

of the 3rd, six of the 4th, etc.

The name of a (in the head of one) is called Apollo, which means

ruler, or judge; while b (in the head of the other) is called

Hercules, who cometh to labour, or suffer. Another star, g (in

his left foot), is called Al Henah, which means hurt, wounded,

or afflicted. Can we have a doubt as to what is the meaning of

this double presentation? In Ophiuchus we have the two in one

person: the crushed enemy, and the wounded heel. But here the

two great primeval truths are presented in two persons; for the

two natures were one Person, "God and man in one Christ." As

man, suffering for our redemption; as God, glorified for our

complete salvation and final triumph. A star, e (in the centre

of his body), is called Waset, which means set, and tells of Him

who "set His face like a flint" to accomplish this mighty

Herculean work; and, when the time was come, "steadfastly set

His face to go" to complete it.

He bears in his right hand (in some pictures) a palm branch.

Some pictures show a club; but both the club or bow are in

repose! These united ones are neither in action nor are they

preparing for action, but they are at rest and in peace after

victory won. The star e (in the knee of the other, "Apollo") is

called Mebsuta, which means treading under feet. The names of

other stars have come down to us with the same testimony. One is

called Propus (Hebrew), the branch, spreading; another is called

Al Giauza (Arabic), the palm branch; another is named Al Dira

(Arabic), the seed, or branch.

The day has here come to fulfil the prophecies concerning Him

who is "the Branch," "the Branch of Jehovah," "the man whose

name is the Branch."

"In that day shall the Branch of Jehovah be beautiful and

glorious;

And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely

For them that are escaped of Israel."

Isaiah 4:2

"Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness,

And princes shall rule in judgment;

And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind."

Isaiah 32:1, 2

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD,

That I will raise unto David a righteous Branch,

And He shall reign as King and deal wisely,

And shall execute judgment and justice in the land.

In His days Judah shall be saved,

And Israel shall dwell safely:

And this is His name whereby He shall be called,

The LORD is our Righteousness."

Jeremiah 23:5, 6, RV

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD,

That I will perform that good word which I have spoken

Concerning the house of Israel and concerning the house of

Judah.

In those days, and at that time.

Will I cause a Branch of Righteousness to grow up unto David;

And He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land."

Jeremiah 33:14, 15, RV

This is what we see in this sign--Messiah's peaceful reign. All

is rest and repose. We see "His days," in which "the righteous

shall flourish; and abundance of peace, so long as the moon

endureth" (Psa 72).

But, for this blessed time to come, there must be no enemy! All

enemies must be subdued.

This brings us to the first section of the book.

1. LEPUS (The Hare), THE ENEMY

The enemy trodden under foot

The names of the three constellations of this Sign, as well as

the pictures, are all more or less modern, as is manifest from

the names being in Latin, and having no relation to the ancient

names of their stars. To learn their real meaning, therefore, we

must have recourse to the ancient Zodiacs. In the Persian

planisphere the first constellation was pictured by a serpent.

In the Denderah (Egyptian) Zodiac it is an unclean bird standing

on the serpent, which is under the feet of Orion. Its name there

is given as Bashti-beki. Bashti means confounded, and Beki means

failing.

ARATUS says,

"Below Orion's feet, the Hare

Is chased eternally."

It is a small constellation of 19 stars (all small), three of

which are of the 3rd magnitude, seven of the 4th, etc.

The brightest, a (in the body), has a Hebrew name, Arnebo, which

means the enemy of Him that cometh. The Arabic, Arnebeth, means

the same. Other stars are Nibal, the mad; Rakis, the bound

(Arabic, with a chain); Sugia, the deceiver.

There can be no mistaking the voice of this united testimony.

For this enemy is under the down-coming foot of Orion, and it

tells of the blessed fact that when the true Orion, "the Sun of

Righteousness, shall arise," and "the true light" shall shine

over all the earth, He "shall tread down the wicked" (Mal 4),

and every enemy will be subdued under His feet. "It is He that

shall tread down our enemies" (Psa 60:12), as He has said:

"I will tread them in Mine anger,

And trample them in My fury...

For the day of vengeance is in Mine heart,

And the year of My redeemed is come."

Isaiah 63:3, 4

2. CANIS MAJOR (The Dog), or SIRIUS (The Prince)

The coming glorious Prince of Princes (Sirius)

This second constellation carries on the teaching, and tells of

the glorious Prince who will thus subdue and reign.

In the Denderah Zodiac he is called Apes, which means the head.

He is pictured as a hawk (Naz, caused to come forth, coming

swiftly down). The hawk is the natural enemy of the serpent, and

there it has on its head a pestle and mortar, indicating the

fact that he shall crush the head of the enemy.

In the Persian planisphere it is pictured as a wolf, and is

called Zeeb, which in Hebrew has the same meaning. Plutarch

translates it Leader. In Arabic it means coming quickly.

Its ancient name and meaning must be obtained from the names of

its stars which have come down to us. There are 64 altogether.

Two are of the 1st magnitude, two of the 2nd, four of the 3rd,

four of the 4th, etc. Of these a (in the head) is the brightest

in the whole heavens! It is called Sirius, the Prince as in

Isaiah 9:6.

Sirius (our English "Sir" is derived from this word) was, by the

ancients, always associated with great heat. And the hottest

part of the year we still call "the dog days," though, through

the variation as observed in different latitudes, and the

precession of the equinoxes, its rising has long ceased to have

any relation to those days. Virgil says that Sirius

"With pestilential heat infects the sky."

Homer spoke of it as a star

"Whose burning breath

Taints the red air with fevers, plagues, and death."

It is not, however, of its heat that its name speaks, but of the

fact that it is the brightest of all the stars, as He of whom it

witnesses is the "Prince of princes," "the Prince of the Kings

of the earth."

Though this "Dog-Star" came to have an ill-omened association,

it was not so in more ancient times. In the ancient Akkadian it

is called Kasista, which means the Leader and Prince of the

heavenly host. While (as Mr. Robert Brown, Jr, points out) "the

Sacred Books of Persia contain many praises for the star Tistrya

or Tistar (Sirius), 'the chieftain of the East.'" (Euphratean

Stellar Researches)

The next star, b (in the left fore foot), speaks the same truth.

It is named Mirzam, and means the prince or ruler. The star d

(in the body) is called Wesen, the bright, the shining. The star

e (in the right hind leg) is called Adhara, the glorious.

Other stars, not identified, bear their witness to the same

fact. Their names are--Aschere (Hebrew), who shall come; Al

Shira Al Jemeniya (Arabic), the Prince or chief of the right

hand! Seir (Egyptian), the Prince; Abur (Hebrew), the mighty; Al

Habor (Arabic), the mighty; Muliphen (Arabic), the leader, the

chief.

Here there is no conflicting voice; no discord in the harmonious

testimony to Him whose name is called "Wonderful, Counsellor,

the Mighty God...the Prince of Peace" (Isa 9:6).

The names of the stars have no meaning whatever as applied to an

Egyptian Hawk, or a Greek Dog. But they are full of significance

when we apply them to Him of whom Jehovah says:

"Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people,

A LEADER and commander to the people."

Isaiah 55:4

This is "the Prince of princes" (Dan 8:23,25) against whom,

"when transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce

countenance...shall stand up," "but he shall be broken without

hand," for he shall be destroyed "with the brightness of His

coming" (2 Thess 2:8). This is He who shall come forth "King of

kings and Lord of Lords" (Rev 19:16).

But Sirius has a companion, and this brings us to--

3. CANIS MINOR (The Second Dog)

The exalted Redeemer (Procyon)

The same facts are to be remembered concerning the Greek

picture, and Latin name of this constellation.

The Egyptian name in the Denderah Zodiac is Sebak, which means

conquering, victorious. It is represented as a human figure with

a hawk's head and the appendage of a tail.

This small constellation has only 14 stars according to the

Britannic catalogue. One of the 1st magnitude, one of the 2nd,

one of the 4th, etc.

The brightest star, a (in the body), is named Procyon, which

means REDEEMER, and it tells us that this glorious Prince is

none other than the one who was slain. Just as this chapter

begins with two persons in one in the Sign (GEMINI), one

victorious, the other wounded; so it ends with a representation

of two princes, one of whom is seen triumphant and the other as

the Redeemer. This is confirmed by the next star, b (in the

neck), which is named Al Gomeisa (Arabic), the burthened,

loaded, bearing for others. The names of the other stars still

further confirm the great truth; viz., Al Shira or Al Shemeliya

(Arabic), the prince or chief of the left hand, answering to the

star in Sirius. One right, the other left, as the two united

youths are placed. Al Mirzam, the prince or ruler; and Al

Gomeyra, who completes or perfects.

This does, indeed, complete and perfect the presentation of this

chapter: Messiah's reign as Prince of Peace; the enemy trodden

under foot by the glorious "Prince of princes," who is none

other than the glorified Redeemer.

This is also what is written in the Book:

"Shall the prey be taken from the mighty,

Or the lawful captives be delivered?

But thus saith the LORD,

Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,

And the prey of the terrible shall be delivered:

For I will contend with him that contendeth with thee,

And I will save thy children.

And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh;

And they shall be drunken with their own blood as with sweet

wine;

And all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour,

And thy REDEEMER--the Mighty One of Jacob."

Isaiah 49:24-26, RV

"When the enemy shall come in like a flood,

The Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him,

And the REDEEMER shall come to Zion."

Isaiah 59:19, 20

"And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,

Because He hath poured out His soul unto death."

Isaiah 53:12

The Witness of the Stars, Book III, Chapter III

The Third Book

The Redeemer

(His Second Coming)

"The glory that should follow"

Chapter III

The Sign Cancer (The Crab)

Messiah's redeemed possession held fast

With regard to the sign of CANCER, one thing is certain, that we

have not got the original picture, or anything like it.

It does not agree with the names either of its three

constellations which have come down to us, or of its stars.

In the ancient Denderah Zodiac it is represented as a

Scarabaeus, or sacred beetle. * In the Zodiac of Esneh and in a

Hindu Zodiac (400 BC) it is the same.

* The Scarabaeus, passing its early existence as a worm of the

earth, and thence issuing as a winged denizen of heaven, was

held sacred by the Egyptians as an emblem of the resurrection of

the body.

According to the Greeks, Jupiter placed this Crab amongst the

signs of the Zodiac.

In Sir William Jones's Oriental Zodiac we meet with a crab, and

an Egyptian Zodiac found at Rome bears also the crab in this

sign.

The more ancient Egyptians placed Hermanubis, or Hermes, with

the head of an ibis or hawk, as the symbol of the sign now

allotted to CANCER.

The Denderah name is Klaria, or the cattle-folds, and in this

name we have the key to the meaning of the sign, and to the

subject of this chapter.

The Arabic name is Al Sartan, which means who holds or binds,

and may be from the Hebrew to bind together (Gen 49:11). There

is no ancient Hebrew word known for the crab. It was classed

with many other unclean creatues, and would be included in the

general term "vermin."

The Syriac, Sartano, means the same. The Greek name is Karkinos,

which means holding or encircling, as does the Latin, Cancer,

and hence is applied to the crab. In the word Khan, we have the

traveller's rest or inn; while Ker or Cer is the Arabic for

encircling. The ancient Akkadian name of the month is Su-kul-na,

the seizer or possessor of seed.

The sign contains 83 stars, one of which is of the 3rd

magnitude, and seven are of the 4th magnitude, and the remainder

of inferior magnitudes.

In the centre of the Sign there is a remarkably bright cluster

of stars, so bright that they can be sometimes seen with the

naked eye. It looks like a comet, and is made up of a great

multitude of stars. Modern astronomers have called it the

Beehive. But its ancient name has come down to us as Praesepe,

which means a multitude, offspring.

The brightest star, z (in the tail), is called Tegmine, holding.

The star a (or a1 and a2), in the lower large claw, is called

Acubene, which, in Hebrew and Arabic, means the sheltering or

hiding-place. Another is named Ma'alaph (Arabic), assembled

thousands; Al Himarein (Arabic), the kids or lambs.

North and south of the nebula Praesepe are two stars, which

Orientalists speak of by a name evidently of some antiquity.

Asellus means an Ass, and one was called Asellus Boreas, the

northern Ass; while the other, Asellus Australis, is the

southern Ass. *

* The Ass was the emblem of Typhon, the king who smites or is

smitten.

This connects it with the Tribe of Issachar, who is said to have

borne upon the Tribal standard the sign of two asses.

This is doubtless the reference in Jacob's blessing (Gen 49:11,

RV):

"Issachar is a strong ass,

Couching down between the sheepfolds;

And he saw a resting-place that it was good;

And the land that it was pleasant;

And he bowed his shoulder to bear,

And became a servant under task work."

Have we not here the gathering up of the teaching of this sign--

Messiah's redeemed possessions held fast.

Here we come to the completion of His work. In CANCER we see it

with reference to His redeemed, and in the next (the last) Sign,

LEO, with reference to His enemies.

The three constellations develop the truth. What is now called

Ursa Minor is the Lesser Flock; Ursa Major gives us The

Sheepfold and the Sheep; while Argo, The Ship, shows the

travellers and the pilgrims brought safely home--all conflict

over.

To accomplish this, we see the true Issachar bowing his shoulder

to bear. He could say, "My soul is bowed down" (Psa 57:6). He

became a servant, and humbled Himself to death. He undertook the

mighty task of saving His people from their sins. "Their

Redeemer is strong" (Jer 50:34); for help was laid on "One that

was mighty" (Psa 89:19). And His redeemed shall come to a

resting-place that is good, and to a land that is pleasant. No

earthly Khan on earth affords them a home. They look for a

heavenly home, and in the many mansions of the Father's house

they shall find eternal rest.

Here we see that sheltering home to which the names of these

stars point; where the assembled thousands (Ma'alaph) shall be

received into the true Klaria, even the "everlasting

habitations."

These are now to be shown to us.

1. URSA MINOR (The Little Bear)

The lesser sheepfold

Here we come to another grievous mistake, or ignorant perversion

of primitive truth, as shown in the ancient names of these two

constellations.

It is sufficient to point to the fact that no Bear is found in

any Chaldean, Egyptian, Pesian, or Indian Zodiacs, and that no

bear was ever seen with such a tail! No one who had ever seen a

bear would have called attention to a tail, such as no bear ever

had, by placing in its very tip the most important, wondrous,

and mysterious Polar Star, the central star of the heavens,

round which all others revolve. The patriarchal astronomers, we

may be sure, committed no such folly as this.

The primitive truth that there were two, or a pair of

constellations is preserved; and that of these two, one is

larger, and the other smaller. But what were they? We have the

clue to the answer in the name of the brightest star of the

larger constellation, which is called Dubheh. Now Dubheh means a

herd of animals. In Arabic, Dubah means cattle. In Hebrew,

Dohver, is a fold; and hence in Chaldee it meant wealth. The

Hebrew Dohveh, means rest or security; and certainly there is

not much of either to be found or enjoyed with bears! The word

occurs in Deuteronomy 33:25 "As thy days so shall thy strength

be." The Revised Version gives in the margin, "So shall thy rest

or security be." This accords with what we have already seen

under CANCER: "Couching down between the sheepfolds, he saw a

resting-place that it was good."

Here are the two Sheepfolds, then; the Greater fold, and Lesser;

and here is the rest and security which the flocks will find

therein.

But in Hebrew there is a word very similar in sound, though not

in spelling--dohv, which means a bear! So we find in Arabic dub;

Persian, deeb and dob. We can see, therefore, how the Hebrew

Dohver, a fold, and Dohv, a bear, were confused; and how the

Arabic Dubah, cattle, might easily have been mistaken by the

Greeks, and understood as a bear.

The constellation, which we must therefore call THE LESSER

SHEEPFOLD, contains 24 stars, viz., one of the 2nd magnitude,

two of the 3rd, four of the 4th, etc.

The brightest star, a (at the point of the tail), is the most

important in the whole heavens. It is named Al Ruccaba, which

means the turned or ridden on, and is today the Polar or central

star, which does not revolve in a circle as does every other

star, but remains, apparently, fixed in its position. But though

the star does not revolve like the others, the central point in

the heavens is very slowly but steadily moving. When these

constellations were formed the Dragon possessed this important

point, and the star a, in Draco, marked this central point. But,

by its gradual recession, that point is sufficiently near this

star Ruccaba, in the Lesser Sheepfold, for it to be what is

called "the Polar Star." But, how could this have been known

five or six thousand years ago? How could it have been known

when it received its name, which means the turned or ridden on?

That it was known is clear: so likewise was it made known in the

written Word that the original blessing included not merely the

multiplicaiton of the seed of faithful Abraham, but it was then

added, "And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" (Gen

22:17).

This star was called by the Greeks the "Cynosure." ARATUS seems

to apply this term to the whole of the seven stars of the Lesser

Bear. Mr. Robert Brown, Jr., shows that this word once supposed

to be Hellenic, is non-Hellenic, and possibly Euphratean in

origin, from a word which he transliterates An-nas-sur-ra, and

renders it, "as it literally means, high in rising, i.e., in

heavenly position." (Euphratean Stellar Researches). Is not this

the primitve truth of the Revelation? Will not this Lesser Fold

be high, yea, the highest in heavenly position?

The Polar Star has been removed from the Dragon, and is now in

the Lesser Fold; and when the Dragon shall be cast down from the

heavens, the heavenly seed will be safely folded there. But this

is the Lesser Sheepfold. These are they who all through the ages

have been "partakers of the heavenly calling," who desired a

better country, that is, a heavenly; wherefore God "hath

prepared for them a city," the city for which Abraham himself

"looked." This was no earthly city, but a city "whose builder

and maker is God" (Heb 11:10-16). These have always been a

smaller company, a "little flock," but the kingdom shall be

theirs, even the kingdom of God, for which they now look and

wait. They have not yet "received the promises; but, having seen

them afar off" by faith, they "were persuaded of them, and

embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and

pilgrims on the earth" (Heb 11:13). Their Messiah has

accomplished "the redemption of the purchased possession," and

in due time the redeemed will inherit it, "unto the praise of

His glory" (Eph 1:13).

The bright star b is named Kochab, which means waiting Him who

cometh. Other stars are named Al Pherdadain (Arabic), which

means the calves, or the young (as in Deut 22:6), the redeemed

assembly. Another, Al Gedi, means the kid. Another is Al Kaid,

the assembled; while Arcas, or Arctos (from which we derive the

term Arctic regions), means, according to one interpreter, a

travelling company; or, according to another, the stronghold of

the saved.

But there is not only the heavenly seed, which is compared "to

the stars of heaven," but there is the seed that is compared to

"the sand of the sea"--the larger flock or company, who will

enjoy the earthly blessing.

This brings us to--

2. URSA MAJOR (The Great Bear)

The fold and the flock

Of these it is written--

"But in Mount Zion there shall be those that escape,

And it shall be holy:

And the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions."

Obadiah 17-19, RV

It is a large and important constellation, containing 87 stars,

of which one is of the 1st magnitude, four of the 2nd, three of

the 3rd, ten of the 4th, etc. It always presents a splendid

appearance, and is perhaps, therefore, the best known of all the

constellations.

In the Book of Job (9:9, and 38:31,32) it is mentioned under the

name of Ash. "Canst thou guide Ash and her offspring?" which is

rendered in the AV, "Arcturus and his sons," and in the RV, "The

Bear with her train" (marg., "sons"). The Arabs still call it Al

Naish, or Annaish, the assembled together, as sheep in a fold.

The ancient Jewish commentators interpreted Ash as the seven

stars of this constellation. They are called by others

Septentriones, which thus became the Latin word for North.

The brightest star, a (in the back), is named Dubhe, which, as

we have seen, means a herd of animals, or a flock, and gives its

name to the whole constellation.

The star b (below it) is named Merach (Hebrew), the flock

(Arabic, purchased).

The star g (on the left of b) is called Phaeda, or Phacda,

meaning visited, guarded, or numbered, as a flock; for His

sheep, like the stars, are both numbered and named. (See Psalm

147:4)

The star e is called Alioth, a name we have had in Auriga,

meaning a she goat.

The star z (in the middle of the tail) is called Mizar, separate

or small, and close to it Al Cor, the Lamb.

The star h (at the end of the so-called tail) is named Benet

Naish (Arabic), the daughters of the assembly. It is also called

Al Kaid, the assembled.

The star i (in its right foot) is called Talitha.

The names of other stars all give the same testimony: El Alcola

(Arabic), the sheepfold (as in Psa 95:7; and 100:3); Cab'd al

Asad, multitude, many assembled; Annaish, the assembled; Megrez,

separated, as the flock in the fold; El Kaphrah, protected,

covered (Heb. redeemed and ransomed); Dubheh Lachar (Arabic),

the latter herd or flock; Helike (so called by HOMER in the

Iliad), company of travellers; Amaza (Greek), coming and going;

Calisto, the sheepfold set or appointed.

There is not one discordant voice in the rich abundance of this

testimony. We have nothing to do here with the Grecian myths

about bears or wild boars. We see only the innumeralbe seed

gathered by Him who scattered (Jer 31:10).

Many are the Scriptures we might quote which speak of this

gathering and assembling of the long scatterd flock. It is

written as plainly in the Book, as it is in the heavens. The

prophecies of this gathering are as conspicuous in the Word of

God as the "Seven Stars" in the sky. It is difficult even to

make a selection from the wealth of such promises; but few are

more beautiful than that in Ezekiel 34:12-16:

"As a shepherd seeketh out his flock

In the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered;

So will I seek out my sheep,

And will deliver them out of all places where they have been

scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

And I will bring them out from the people,

And gather them from the countries,

And will bring them to their own land,

And feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers

And in all the inhabited places of the country.

I will feed them in a good pasture,

And upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be:

There shall they lie in a good fold,

And in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of

Israel.

I will feed my flock,

And I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD (Adonai

Jehovah).

I will seek that which was lost,

And bring again that which was driven away,

And will bind up that which was broken,

And will strengthen that which was sick:

But I will destroy the fat and the strong;

I will feed them with judgment."

It is of this judgment with which this book, and indeed the

whole Revelation, ends, in the next and final chapter.

But before we come to that we have one more picture in the third

constellation of this Sign, which combines the first two in one.

3. ARGO (The Ship)

The pilgrims safe at home

This is the celebrated ship of the Argonauts, of which HOMER

sung nearly ten centuries before Christ. Sir Isaac Newton puts

the expedition of the Argonauts shortly after the death of

Solomon (about 975 BC). While Dr. Blair's chronology puts it at

1236 BC.

Whatever fables have gathered round the story there can be no

doubt as to its great antiquity. Some think that the story had

its origin in name, as well as in fact, from the Ark of Noah and

its mysterious journey. All that is clear, when divested of

mythic details, is that the sailors in that ship, after all

their dangers, and toils, and battles were over, came back

victorious to their own shores. The "golden fleece," for which

the Argonauts went in search, tells of a treasure that had been

lost. "Jason," the great captain, tells of Him who recovered it

from the Serpent, which guarded it with ever-watchful eye, when

none else was able to approach it. And thus, through the fables

and myths of the Greeks, we can see the light primeval shine;

and this light, once seen, lights up this Sign and its

constellations, so that their teaching cannot be misunderstood.

ARATUS sings of Argo:

"Stern-foremost hauled; no mark of onward-speeding ship.

Sternward she comes, as vessels do

When sailors turn the helm

On entering harbour: all the oars back-water,

And gliding backward, to an anchor comes."

It tells of that blessed home-coming, when--

"The ransomed of the LORD shall return

And come to Zion with songs,

And everlasting joy upon their heads;

They shall obtain joy and gladness,

And sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

Isaiah 35:10

It tells of the glorious Jason (the Graeco-Judean equivalent of

Joshua or Jesus), of whom it is asked:

"Art thou not it which hath cut Rahab,

And wounded the dragon?

Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the

great deep;

That hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to

pass over?

Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return,

And come with singing unto Zion," etc.

Isaiah 51:9-11

"For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob,

And ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.

Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion,

And shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD."

Jeremiah 31:11, 12

This is the return of the great emigrant-ship (Argo) and all its

company of travellers (for this is the meaning of the word

Argo).

In Kircher's Egyptian Planisphere Argo, is represented by two

galleys (as we have two sheepfolds), whose prows are surmounted

by rams' heads; and the stern of one of them ends in a fish's

tail. One of the two occupies four segments of the sphere (from

TAURUS to VIRGO), while the other occupies the four from LEO to

CAPRICORNUS. One half of the southern meridians is occupied with

these galleys and their construction and decoratons. Astronomers

tell us that they carry us back, the one to the period when the

Bull opened the year (to which time VIRGIL refers); and the

other to the same epoch, when the summer solstice was in

LEO--"an era greatly antecedent to the Argonautic expedition.

How else, they ask, do we account for the one ship having her

prow in the first Decan of TAURUS, and her poop in the last

decan of LEO? or for one galley being freighted with the

installed Bull, and the other with the solstitial Lion?"

(Jamieson's Scientific Display, &c.)

These are the words of an astronomer who knows nothing whatever

of our interpretation of the heavens which is set forth in this

work.

It will indeed be a large vessel, the true Argo, with its

company of travellers, "a great multitude which no man can

number." All this is indicated by the immense size of the

constellation, as well as by the large number of its stars.

There are 64 stars in Argo (reckoning by the Britannic

catalogue); one of the 1st magnitude, six of the 2nd, nine of

the 3rd, nine of the 4th, etc. Only a small part of the ship's

poop is visible in Britain.

Its brightest star, a (near the keel), is called Canopus or

Canobus, which means the possession of Him who cometh. Other

star-names are--Sephina, the multitude or abundance; Tureis, the

possession; Asmidiska, the released who travel; Soheil (Arabic),

the desired; and Subilon, the Brach.

Is not all this exactly in harmony with the rest of this sign?

And is not this what is written in the Book?

"Therefore, fear thou not, O My servant Jacob, saith the LORD;

Neither be dismayed, O Israel:

For, lo, I will save thee from afar,

And thy seed from the land of their captivity;

And Jacob shall return and be in rest,

And be quiet, and none shall make him afraid,

For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee."

Jeremiah 30:10, 11

"Lift up thine eyes round about, and see;

All they gather themselves together, they come to thee;

Thy sons shall come from far,

And thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side,

Then thou shalt see, and flow together,

And thine heart shall fear and be enlarged;

Because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee...

Who are these that fly as a cloud?

And as doves to their windows?

Surely the isles shall wait for me,

And the SHIPS of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far."

Isaiah 60:4, 5, 8, 9

The whole chapter (Isa 60) should be read if we wish to

understand the great teaching of this Sign, which tells of

Messiah's secured possessions, the safe folding of His

blood-bought flock, the blessed return of His pilgrims, and

their abundant entrance into everlasting rest.

"There is a blessed home

Beyond this land of woe,

Where trials never come,

Nor tears of sorrow flow;

Where faith is lost in sight,

And patient love is crowned,

And everlasting light

Its glory throws around.

O joy, all joys beyond,

To see the Lamb who died,

And count each sacred wound

In hands, and feet, and side;

To give to Him the praise

Of every triumph won,

And sing through endless days

The great things He hath done.

Look up, ye saints of God,

Nor fear to tread below

The path your Saviour trod

Of daily toil and woe;

Wait but a little while

In uncomplaining love,

His own most gracious smile

Shall welcome you above."

The Witness of the Stars, Book III, Chapter IV

The Third Book

The Redeemer

(His Second Coming)

"The glory that should follow"

Chapter IV

The Sign Leo (The Lion)

Messiah's consummated triumph

Here we come to the end of the circle. We began with VIRGO, and

we end with LEO. No one who has followed our interpretation can

doubt that we have here the solving of the Riddle of the Sphinx.

For its Head is VIRGO and its Tail is LEO!

In LEO we reach the end of the Revelation as inspired in the

Word of God; and it is the end as written in the heavens.

BAILLY (Astronomy) says, "the Zodiac must have been first

divided when the sun at the summer solstice was in 1o Virgo,

where the woman's head joins the Lion's tail."

As to its antiquity there can be no doubt. JAMIESON says, "the

Lion does not seem to have been placed among the Zodiacal

symbols, because Hercules was fabled to have slain the Nemean

Lion. It would seem, on the contrary, that Hercules, who

represented the Sun, was said to have slain the Nemean Lion,

because Leo, was already a Zodiacal sign. Hercules flourished

3,000 years ago, and consequently posterior to the period when

the summer solstice accorded with Leo" (Celestial Atlas, p. 40).

There is no confusion with this sign. In the ancient Zodiacs of

Egypt (Denderah, Esneh) and India we find the Lion. The same

occurs on the Mithraic monuments, where Leo is passant, as he is

in Moor's Hindu, and Sir William Jones's Oriental Zodiacs. In

Kircher's Zodiacs he is courrant (running); in the Egyptian

Zodiacs he is couchant (lying down).

In the Denderah Zodiac he is treading upon a serpent, as shown

in Mr Edward Cooper's Egyptian Scenery.

Its Egyptian name is Pi Mentekeon, which means the pouring out.

This is no pouring out or inundation of the Nile, but it is the

pouring out of the cup of Divine wrath on that Old Serpent.

This is the one great truth of the closing chapter of this last

Book. It is

THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH AROUSED FOR THE RENDING OF THE

PREY.

His feet are over the head of Hydra, the great Serpent, and just

about to descend upon it and crush it.

The three constellations of the Sign complete this final

picture:

1. Hydra, the old Serpent destroyed.

2. Crater, the Cup of Divine wrath poured out upon him.

3. Corvus, the Bird of prey devouring him.

The Denderah picture exhibits all four in one. The Lion is

presented treading down the Serpent. The Bird of prey is also

perched upon it, while below is a plumed female figure holding

out two cups, answering to Crater, the cup of wrath.

The hieroglyphics read Knem, and are placed underneath. Knem

means who conquers, or is conquered, referring to the victory

over the serpent. The woman's name is Her-ua, great enemy,

referring to the great enemy for which her two cups are prepared

and intended.

The Hebrew name of the sign is Arieh, which means the Lion.

There are six Hebrew words for Lion, * and this one is used of

the Lion hunting down his prey.

* 1. Gor, a lion's whelp.

2. Ciphir, a young lion when first hunting for himself.

3. Sachal, a mature lion in full strength.

4. Laish, a fierce lion.

5. Labia, a lioness.

6. Arieh, an adult lion, having paired, in search of his prey

(Nahum 2:12; 2 Sam 17:10; Num 23:24).

The Syriac name is Aryo, the rending Lion, and the Arabic is Al

Asad; both mean a lion coming vehemently, leaping forth as a

flame!

It is a beautiful constellation of 95 stars, two of which are of

the 1st magnitude, two of the 2nd, six of the 3rd, thirteen of

the 4th.

The brightest star, a (on the Ecliptic), marks the heart of the

Lion (hence sometimes called by the moderns, Cor Leonis, the

heart of the Lion). Its ancient name is Regulus, which means

treading under foot. The next star, b, also of the 1st magnitude

(in the tip of the tail), is named Denebola, the Judge or Lord

who cometh. The star g (in the mane) is called Al Giebha

(Arabic), the exaltation. The star d (on the hinder part of the

back) is called Zosma, shining forth.

Other stars are named Sarcam (Hebrew), the joining; intimating

that here is the point where the two ends of the Zodiacal circle

have their joining. Another star has the name of Minchir al Asad

(Arabic), the punishing or tearing of the Lion. Another is Deneb

Aleced, the judge cometh who seizes. And another is Al Dafera

(Arabic), the enemy put down.

What can be more expressive? What can be more eloquent? All is

harmony, and all the names unite in pointing us to what is

written of "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah."

And why is Messiah thus called? Because it is applied to Him in

Revelation 5:5 in connection with His rising up for judgment:

and because the Lion is known to have been always borne upon the

standard of Judah, whether in the wilderness (Num 2) or in

aftertimes.

In Israel's dying blessing the prophetic words foretold of

Judah:

"Thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies;...

Judah is a lion's whelp;

From the prey, my son, thou art gone up.

He stooped down, he couched as a lion,

And as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?"

Genesis 49:8, 9

In the prophecy of Balaam (Num 24:8,9), we read:

"He shall eat up the nations his enemies,

And shall break their bones,

And pierce them through with his arrows,

He couched, he lay down as a lion,

And as a great lion; who shall stir him up?"

The same testimony is borne by the Prophet Amos:

"Will a lion roar in the forest when he hath no prey?

Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he hath taken

nothing?...

The lion hath roared, who will not fear?"

Amos 3:4, 8

When "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" is roused up for the

reading, the Spirit describes the scene in Isaiah 42:13:

"The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man,

He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war;

He shall cry, yea, roar;

He shall prevail against His enemies."

And this is what is meant and included when the Elder says for

John's comfort, "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah hath prevailed,"

and hence, is "worthy...to receive power, and riches, and

wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing" (Rev

5).

Whether we look, therefore, at the primeval Revelation in the

heavens, or at the later Revelation in the Word, the story is

one and the same.

And what we see of Leo and his work in both, we find developed

and described in the three constellations of the Sign.

1. HYDRA (The Serpent)

The old serpent destroyed

The time has at length come for the fulfilment of the many

prophecies pictured in the heavens: and in its three final

constellations we see the consummation of them all in the

complete destruction of the Old Serpent, and all his seed, and

all his works.

It is the special work of the Messiah, as "the Lion of the tribe

of Judah," to trample it under foot.

It is pictured as the female serpent (Hydra), the mother and

author of all evil. Hydra has the significant meaning, he is

abhorred!

It is an immense constellation extending for above 100 degrees

from east to west, beneath the Virgin, the Lion, and the Crab.

It is composed of 60 stars; one of the 2nd magnitude, three of

the 3rd, twelve of the 4th, etc.

The brightest star, a (in the heart of the Serpent), is

sometimes called by the moderns Cor Hydrae on that account. Its

ancient name is Al Phard (Arabic), which means the separated,

put away. Another is called Al Drian, the abhorred. Another star

is named Minchar al Sugia, the piercing of the deceiver.

There can be no doubt as to what is taught by the constellation

of Hydra, nor is it necessary to quote the Scriptures concerning

the destruction of the Serpent. We pass on to consider the

second.

2. CRATER (The Cup)

The cup of divine wrath poured out upon Him

"God is the Judge.

He putteth down one, and setteth up another,

FOR IN THE HAND OF THE LORD THERE IS A CUP,

And the wine is red; it is full of mixture,

And He poureth out of the same:

But the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring

them out and drink them."

Psalm 75:8

"Upon the wicked he shall rain snares,

Fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest:

THIS SHALL BE THE PORTION OF THEIR CUP."

Psalm 11:6

This is no fabled wine-cup of Bacchus; but it is "The cup of His

indignation" (Rev 14:10); "The cup of the wine of the fierceness

of his wrath" (Rev 16:19). This is what we see set forth in this

constellation. The Cup is wide and deep, and fastened on by the

stars to the very body of the writhing serpent. The same stars

which are in the foot of the Cup form part of the body of Hydra,

and are reckoned as belonging to both constellations.

This Cup has the significant number of thirteen stars (the

number of Apostacy). The two--Al Ches (a), which means the Cup,

and (b)--determine the bottom of the Cup.

3. CORVUS (The Raven)

The birds of prey devouring the serpent

Here is the final scene of judgment. We have had Zeeb, the Wolf;

now we have Oreb, the Raven. Her-na is its name in the Denderah

Zodiac. Her, means the enemy; and Na, means breaking up or

failing. That is to say, this scene represents the breaking up

of the enemy.

There are nine stars (the number of judgment) in this

constellation. The bright star a (in the eye) is called Al

Chibar (Arabic), joining together, from the Hebrew Chiba (Num

23:8), which means accursed. This star, then, tells of the curse

inflicted. The star b (in the right wing) is called Al Goreb

(Arabic), from Hebrew Oreb, the Raven. A third star is named

Minchar al Gorab (Arabic), and means the Raven tearing to

pieces.

This brings us to the end. There is nothing beyond this. Nothing

remains to be told. We know from the Word of God that--

"The eye that mocketh at his father,

And despiseth to obey his mother,

The ravens of the valley shall pick it out."

Proverbs 30:17

We remember how David said to the Giant Goliath--a type of this

enemy of God's people--"I will smite thee, and take thy head

from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the

Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild

beasts of the earth" (1 Sam 17:46).

When the great day of this judgment comes, an angel standing in

the sun will cry "to all the fowls that fly in the midst of

heaven, Come, and gather yourselves together unto the supper of

the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh

of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of

horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men,

both free and bond, both small and great" (Rev 19:17,18).

And after these awful words shall be fulfilled, in the closing

words of the prophecy of Isaiah, Jehovah foretells us how--

"They shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that

have transgressed against Me;

For their worm shall not die,

Neither shall their fire be quenched;

And they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."

This is the teaching of the whole Sign of LEO! It is all summed

up in Jeremiah 25:30-33

"Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and say unto

them,

The LORD shall roar from on high,

And utter His voice from His holy habitation;

He shall mightily roar upon His habitation;

He shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes,

Against all the inhabitants of the earth.

A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth;

For the LORD hath a controversy with the nations,

He will plead with all flesh;

He will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD.

Thus saith the LORD of hosts,

Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation,

And a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the

earth.

And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of

the earth

Even to the other end of the earth;

They shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried;

They shall be dung upon the ground."

Here is the conclusion of the whole matter! Here is the final

triumph of the Son of Man in the consummated victory of the Seed

of the woman: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive

power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and

glory, and blessing" (Rev 5:12).

"O what a bright and blessed world

This groaning earth of ours will be,

When from its throne the tempter hurled,

Shall leave it all, O Lord, to Thee!

But brighter far that world above,

Where we, as we are known, shall know;

And, in the sweet embrace of love,

Reign o'er this ransomed earth below.

O blessed Lord! with longing eyes

That blissful hour we wait to see;

While every worm or leaf that dies

Tells of the curse, and calls for Thee.

Come, Saviour! Then o'er all below

Shine brightly from Thy throne above,

Bid heaven and earth Thy glory know,

And all creation feel Thy love."

Man has ever sought to rob Christ of His glory. He has long

since done his best to obliterate His name and His work from the

Revelation which had been written in the stars of light. When He

humbled Himself, and came as the promised Seed of the woman, men

"saw no beauty in Him that they should desire Him." And these

were religious men. It was religious men, not the common rabble,

whom the Old Serpent made use of to wound Him in the heel. The

Devil could not touch Him himself; he must use them as his

instruments; and it was only religious men that could be so

used.

It was the "chief priests and scribes," men learned in the

Scriptures, whose very knowledge of the Word was used to compass

His death amongst the babes at Bethlehem (Matt 2:4-6).

It was the same priests and scribes who were used to put Him to

death, and give the long-prophesied wound in the heel.

Religion without Christ is enmity against God! Knowledge of the

Scriptures where the heart is not subject to Christ, and where

Christ is not seen in them, is powerless and lifeless. It is

true of the Scriptures, as it will be of the heavenly

Jerusalem--"THE LAMB IS THE LIGHT THEREOF" (Rev 21:23).

The Church of Rome has been used of the great enemy to rob the

Lamb of God of His promised glory. JEROME, in his Latin

translation of the Bible (405 AD), wrote "ipse," HE, in Genesis

3:15, as the "bruiser of the serpent's head." And, in spite of

the fact that JEROME himself so quotes it in his commentary, and

that it is masculine in all the other ancient translations of

the Bible, Rome has first corrupted JEROME's Vulgate by changing

the "e" into "a," and putting "ipsa" (she) instead of "ipse"

(He); then she has so translated this corruption and perpetuated

this perversion in various languages! So that in all her

versions, in her pictures and statues, in the decree of Pope

Pius IX, which promulgated the dogma of the "immaculate

conception of the Virgin Mary," this lie of the Old Serpent has

been foisted on unnumbered thousands of deluded souls, who have

thereby been deceived into putting Mary in the place of Jesus;

the "co-Redemptress" in the place of the Redeemer; the creature

in the place of the Creator; the woman in the place of the

woman's Seed;--until the outcome is reached by emblazoning, in

huge gilt letters, on the outside of a large church in

Rathmines, Dublin, "MARIAE PECCATORUM REFUGIUM," to Mary the

Refuge of Sinners!

So complete has been the success of the subtlety of the Serpent,

that he has beguiled thousands of Protestants to unite in

circulating these corrupted versions as the Word of God, thus

giving currency to the Devil's lie. This is done on the plea of

expediency, in order that these versions might come to many as

Protestant truth instead of Popish error; but thus misleading

those who were seeking for light, while confirming Papists in

their darkness.

But through all the "wisdom of the Serpent" we can detect his

lie. It is very thinly veiled, and the Old Serpent has not

succeeded in blinding the eyes which the Spirit of God has

opened. True, we see in all Rome's pictures and statues the foot

of Mary on the Serpent's head, but the foot is not coming down,

nor is the head crushed! Rather is the woman's foot resting on

its head; and the woman herself supported by the Serpent.

The whole system of Mary-anity is thus seen to be the outcome of

the Serpent's wisdom in opposition to the true Christ-ianity.

How different are the primeval star-pictures of the heavens.

There, the club is lifted up, the foot is coming down, yea, the

foot is actually planted upon the enemy, treading the Scorpion

under foot.

Rome may corrupt the words of the Book, but she cannot touch the

stars of heaven! The Devil himself cannot move them from their

places. He may choose and use his servants and agents for

corrupting the Scriptures written in the Book, but he cannot

change the Revelation of the stars.

There,--no woman's foot is seen upon the Serpent's head!

There,--no woman usurps the place of the all-glorious Redeemer!

In Ophiuchus we see HIM in dread conflict with the Serpent, and

we see HIS foot upon the Scorpion's heart (SCORPIO). We see HIM,

the Risen Lamb (ARIES), binding Cetus, the great Monster of the

Deep; we see HIM in the glorious Orion, whose foot is coming

down on the enemy's head (Lepus); we see HIM in the Lion of the

Tribe of Judah (LEO), about to tread down that Old Serpent

(Hydra) the Devil; we see HIM in the mighty Hercules, who has

His foot on the head of the Dragon (DRACO), and His up-lifted

club about to inflict the long-threatened blow; we see HIM

crowned in Cepheus, with all His enemies subdued, and His right

foot planted upon the Polar Star!

True, we do see a WOMAN in this heavenly and Divine revelation;

for there are four women. Two are connected with the REDEEMER,

and two with the REDEEMED. The Redeemer is seen in the one

(VIRGO) as the "promised Seed"; in the other (Coma), He is seen

as the child born, the Son given. The redeemed are represented

in one as a captive chained (Andromeda), with no power to wage

conflict with an enemy, but a prey to every foe; in the other

(Cassiopeia), she is enthroned, with no necessity for conflict.

For with one hand she waves the palm of a victory which another

(Perseus) has wrought on her behalf, while with her right hand

she is preparing and making herself ready for "the marriage of

the Lamb."

Thus pure and undefiled is this primeval fountain of Divine

truth. Thus harmonious is it with the written Word of God. And

He who gave them both to enlighten a dark world which lieth in

the power of this wicked one, has filled both with one

subject--"The sufferings of Christ and the glory that should

follow."

These are set forth by the Holy Spirit in a double sevenfold

expansion of the prophetic promise of Genesis 3:15, giving seven

steps in His humiliation and seven in His glorification (Phil

2:5-11 *).

* The passage consists really of two members, each of which is

arranged as an introversion, where the subject of 1 corresponds

to 7; 2 corresponds to 6; etc.

CHRIST JESUS

1. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery (a

thing to be grasped at and held) to be equal with God;

2. But made Himself of no reputation (Gr. emptied Himself).

3. And took upon Him the form of a servant.

4. And was made in the likeness of men:

5. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself.

6. And became obedient unto death,

7. Even the death of the cross.

WHEREFORE

1. God also hath highly exalted Him,

2. And given Him a name which is above every name:

3. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

4. Of things in heaven,

5. And things on earth,

6. And things under the earth;

7. And that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is

Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

"Come, then, and, added to Thy many crowns,

Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth,

Thou who alone art worthy! It was thine

By ancient covenant, ere Nature's birth;

And Thou hast made it Thine by purchase since,

And overpaid its value with Thy blood.

Thy saints procalim Thee king; and in their hearts

Thy title is engraven with a pen

Dipp'd in the fountain of eternal love.

Thy saints proclaim Thee king; and Thy delay

Gives courage to their foes, who, could they see

The dawn of Thy last advent, long desired,

Would creep into the bowels of the hills,

And flee for safety to the falling rocks."

********************

"Come, then, and, added to Thy many crowns,

Receive yet one, as radiant as the rest,

Due to Thy last and most effectual work,

Thy Word fulfilled, the conquest of a world."

Cowper

The Witness of the Stars, For Signs and for Seasons

"For Signs and For Seasons"

We have seen the great truths which are taught from the

position, and forms, and names of the heavenly bodies. There are

also truths to be learnt from their motions.

When God created them and set them in the firmament of heaven,

He said, in Genesis 1:14--

"Let them be for signs and for seasons."

Here the word "signs" is othoth (plural of oth, from the root to

come). Hence, a sign of something or some One to come. In

Jeremiah 10:2 Jehovah says, "And be not dismayed at the signs of

the heavens, for the heathen are dismayed at them." The word

"seasons" does not denote merely what we call the four seasons

of the year, but cycles of time. It is appointed time (from the

verb to point out, appoint). It occurs three more times in

Genesis, each time in connection with the promised Seed--

Genesis 17:21, "At this set time in the next year";

Genesis 18:14, "At the time appointed I will return"; and

Genesis 21:2, "At the set time of which God had spoken."

Genesis 1:14 is therefore, "They (the sun, moon, and stars)

shall be for signs (things to come) and for cycles (appointed

times)."

Here, then, we have a distinct declaration from God, that the

heavens contain not only a Revelation concerning things to come

in the "Signs," but also concerning appointed times in the

wondrous movements of the sun, and moon, and stars.

The motions of the sun and moon are so arranged that at the end

of a given interval of time they return into almost precisely

the same position, with regard to each other and to the earth,

as they held at the beginning of that interval. "Almost

precisely," but not quite precisely. There will be a slight

outstanding difference, which will gradually increase in

successive intervals, and finally destroy the possibility of the

combination recurring, or else lead to combinations of a

different character.

Thus the daily difference between the movement of the sun and of

the stars leads the sun back very nearly to conjunction with the

same start as it was twelve months earlier, and gives us the

cycle of the year. The slight difference in the sun's position

relative to the stars at the end of the year, finally leads the

sun back to the same star at the same time of the year, viz., at

the spring equinox, and gives us the great precessional cycle of

25,800 years.

So, too, with eclipses. Since the circumstances of any given

eclipse are reproduced almost exactly 18 years and 11 days

later, this period is called an Eclipse Cycle, to which the

ancient astronomers gave the name of Saros; * and eclipses

separated from each other by an exact cycle, and, therefore,

corresponding closely in their conditions, are spoken of as

being one and the same eclipse. Each Saros contains, on the

average, about 70 +/- eclipses. Of these, on the average, 42 +/-

are solar and 28 +/- are lunar. Since the Saros is 11 days (or,

more correctly, 10.96 days) longer than 18 years, the successive

recurrences of each eclipse fall 11 days later in the year each

time, and in 33 Sari will have travelled on through the year and

come round very nearly to the original date.

* General Vallancey spells Saros sin, ayin, resh, vav, tzadai,

which amounts to 666 by Gematria! Viz., sin=300 + ayin=70 +

resh=200 + vav=6 + tzadai=90 = 666.

But as the Saros does not reproduce the conditions of an eclipse

with absolute exactness, and as the difference increases with

every successive return, a time comes when the return of the

Saros fails to bring about an eclipse at all. If the eclipse be

a solar one before this takes place, a new eclipse begins to

form a month later in the year than the old one, and becomes the

first eclipse of a new series.

This is the history of one such eclipse: On May 15 (Julian), 850

AD, there was a (new) eclipse of the sun, and it occurred as a

partial eclipse. On August 20 (Julian), 1012 AD, this new

eclipse became total. From that time it has been an annular

eclipse, the latitude of the central shadow gradually shifting

southward from the north, until on December 17 (Julian), 1210,

it had reached N. Lat. 24o. It turned northward again after

1210, until March 14 (Julian), 1355, when it fell in N. Lat.

43o. Then it turned south, and has moved steadily in that

direction, until on March 18 (Greg.), 1950, its last appearance

as an annular eclipse will take place. On May 22 (Greg.), 2058,

it will fall so far from the node that a new eclipse will follow

it on June 21. It will make three more appearances as an

ever-diminishing partial eclipse, and be last seen on June 24

(Greg.), 2112. Its total life-history, therefore, will have been

1,262 years and 36 days, and will have occupied 70 Sari.

In the above life-history of an eclipse * there is not the

slightest difficulty as to its identification. The Saros shows

no break, and no interruption; nor does the character of the

eclipse suffer any abrupt change. The district over which it is

visible moves in a slow and orderly fashion from occurrence to

occurrence over the earth's surface.

* These facts are kindly supplied by Mr. E. W. Maunder, of the

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, who gives another example, as

follows:--

In AD 586 there were two solar eclipses: on June 22 (Julian) the

old and dying eclipse, and on July 22 (Julian) another (the new

one). A Saros (viz. 18 years and 11 days) earlier there was only

one, viz. on June 11 (Julian), AD 568, there being no eclipse on

July 11 of that year.

The last appearance of this new eclipse, which first appeared on

July 22, 586, was on August 28 (Greg.), 1848, so that it had a

life history of 70 Sari, amounting to 1,262 years 36 days (after

the Julian dates have been corrected to correspond to the

Gregorian). Thus the eclipse that died, so to speak, on August

28 (Greg.), 1848, first appeared on July 22 (Julian) in AD 586.

See an important article on Eclipses by Mr. E. W. Maunder in

Knowledge, for October 1893, where other life-histories of

eclipses are given, and the whole subject of eclipses clearly

explained.

Now the important point is this, that if we take the prophetic

reckoning of 360 days to the year, we have the following

significant Biblical numbers:--

In the first place, we already have the 70 +/- Sari divided into

two portions of 33 + 37.

A perfect cycle is accomplished in 33 Sari, or 595 years, when

the eclipse, by a series of unbroken Sari, has accomplished a

passage through the year of 360 days; or, if we reckon only the

whole numbers, i.e., the 18 completed years, we have for the 33

Sari the period of 594 years, while the remaining portion of 37

Sari makes 666 years (37x18); and the whole 70 +/- Sari makes

1,260 years (594+666).*

* The relations between 595 years and 1,262 years 36 days, are

the same as the relations between 594 years and 1,260 years. The

difference of the 2 years 36 days is due to the excess of 10.96

days over the 18 completed years in each Saros.

We have then the following figures:--

18 x 33 = 0594 years.

18 x 37 = 0666 years.

18 x 70 = 1260 years

Independently of this, we also know that 1,260 years is a

soli-lunar cycle, so exact that its epact, or difference, is

only 6 hours!

There must, therefore, be something significant in these

numbers, e.g., 70; in the number 1,260, with its divisions, not

into two equal parts, but into 594 and 666; as also in its

double, 2,520.

There must be something to be learned in the occurrence and

repetition of these heavenly cycles, which for nearly 6,000

years have been constantly repeated in the heavens, especially

when we find these same numbers very prominently presented in

the Word of God in connection with the fulfillment of prophecy.

We have the great "seven times" (2,520) connected with the

duration of Israel's punishment, and of the Gentiles' power. We

have in Daniel and the Apocalypse the half of this great period

presented as "days" (1,260), as "months" (42), and as "times,"

or years (3 1/2).

Futurists believe that these "days" and "months," etc, interpret

for us the purposes and counsels of God as connected with "the

time of the end," and as meaning literal "days" and "months,"

etc.

Historicists take these terms and themselves interpret the

numbers, in the sense of a "day" being put for a year, and they

believe that these "1,260 days" will be fulfilled as 1,260

years.

One party boldly and ungraciously charges the other with

teaching "The Fallacies of Futurism"; while the other might well

retort with a reference to the Heresies of Historicism.

But is there any necessity for the existence of two hostile

camps? Is it not possible that there may be what we may call a

long fulfillment in years? And is it not more than probable that

in the time of the end, the crisis, there will be also a short

and literal fulfillment in days?

We firmly believe that there will be this literal and short

fulfillment. We believe that when God says "days," He means

days; and that when He says "42 months," He means months, and

not 1,260 years. In all the passages referred to by historicists

in support of what is called "the year-day theory," the Holy

Spirit uses these words "days" and "years" in the sense of days

and years. In the two particular instances of Israel's

wanderings (Num 14:34), and Ezekiel's prophesying (Eze 4:6), He

chooses to take the number of days as denoting the same number

of years; but He does not tell us that we are to do the same in

other cases! He only asserts His sovereignty by thus acting,

while we only show our presumption in taking His sovereign act

as a general principle.

But while fully believing in the short fulfillment, we are quite

prepared to admit that there may be a long fulfillment as well;

and that, owing to the wondrous harmony, and marvellous

correspondence, and infinite wisdom of all the works and ways of

God, there may be a fulfillment, or rather a "filment," if we

may coin the word, in years, which will be only a foreshadowing

of the literal ful-filment afterwards to take place in days.

If historicists will allow us this liberty as to interpretation,

and permit us to believe that God means what He says, we will

give them some remarkable evidence in support of their views, by

way of application. In other words, if they will allow us to

interpret "days" as meaning days, we will gladly allow them, and

be at one with them, in applying them to years. So that while we

believe the interpretation to mean "days," and to teach a short

fulfillment at the time of the end, we will thankfully admit an

application which shall take these days as foreshowing a long

fulfillment in years.

In applying, then, these significant numbers (42, 70, 594, 666,

1,260, and 2,520) to years, from what point or date shall we

begin to reckon the "times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24)? That

there are such definite "times" the words of the Lord Jesus

show, when He says, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the

Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke

21:24). That there are "seven times" of Gentile dominion is more

than intimated by the symbolic episode in the life of

Nebuchadnezzar as recorded in Daniel 4; and that there are

"seven times" of Israel's punishment is clearly stated in

Leviticus 26:18. "Seven times," according to the Historicist

school of interpreters, are equal to 2,520 years.

Instead of asking where they begin, let us first note the fact

that it is duration which is emphasized in the Scriptures rather

than chronology; and look at the duration of these years

independently of, and before we attempt to fix, their beginning

and ending.

In Daniel 2 and 7 it is shown first to Nebuchadnezzar in a

"dream," and afterwards to God's servant the prophet in a

"vision," that Israel was to be put on one side and become

"Lo-Ammi" (not My people), while government was to be put into

the hands of the Gentiles. Jerusalem was the central point of

both these great and solemn facts. That is to say, during 2,520

years, while Jerusalem should remain in the power of the

Gentiles, Israel could be "no more a nation" in possession of

their land and city.

We know, as a matter of fact, that today Jerusalem is in the

hands of the Turks, and that it is still "trodden down of the

Gentiles."

If we ask how long it shall continue to be "trodden down"? how

long it will be before Israel shall again possess their city and

their land?--the answer brings us at once to the heart of our

subject.

In seeking to determine both duration and chronology, it is

necessary to plant our feet on sure ground. To do this, let us

take a point on which all are agreed.

There is one date which is universally accepted; and concerning

which the evidence is unquestioned.

Abu Obeida, the Mahommedan General, laid siege to Jerusalem

towards the close of 636 AD. The city was then occupied by the

Romans, who held out for four months. When they capitulated, the

Patriach Sophronius obtained a clause in the treaty giving

security to the inhabitants, and requiring the ratification of

Omar himself. Omar, who had therefore to be sent for, arrived

some six months afterwards, and the delay caused the actual

delivering up of the city to take place early in the autumn of

AD 637. *

* This is the date which concerns only the City of Jerusalem.

The Romans were not completely driven out from the land until

Caesarea had fallen in 638, when the conquest was finally

completed. See. Gibbon's Decline and Fall.

The year AD 636-7 is therefore the accepted date of the passing

over of Jerusalem from the Romans to the Turks.

Omar seems to have stayed in the city only about ten days,

during which he must have given his instructions for the

erection of the Mosque on the site of the Temple. This Mosque,

therefore, stands as the sign and the symbol of the treading

down of Jerusalem, and while it remains, those times of treading

down cannot be considered as fulfilled.

How steady was Israel's decadence from Nebuchadnezzar to Omar!

Nothing could exceed that darkest moment in Israel's history,

when Israel was well nigh obliterated in the mighty struggles of

her enemies who fought over her inheritance. Thus Omar becomes

the great central point of the 2,520 years, whether reckoned as

Lunar, Zodiacal, or Solar, dividing them equally into two

portions of 1,260 years. *

* This date 636-7 is a great and important central date, whether

we reckon backwards or forwards; whether we reckon them as

Lunar, Zodiacal (360 days), or Solar (365 days) years.

If we take Lunar years (=1222 1/2 Solar)--

reckoning backward, we get to 587 BC, the very date of the

destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar.

reckoning forward, we get to 1860 AD, the very date of the

European intervention in the Lebanon, which has brought the

Eastern Question into its present prominent position.

If we take Zodiacal years (=1242 Solar)--

reckoning backward we get to 608 BC, the date of the

battle of Carchemish (2 Chron 35:20), when Babylon completed the

conquest of Assyria, and became supreme; utterly shattering all

the hope which Israel had in Egypt.

reckoning forward brings us to 1879 AD, when, by the

Treaty of Berlin, Ottoman power received a blow from which it

has never recovered, and which has prepared the way for its

extinction.

If we take Solar years, then--

reckoning backward, we get to BC 624 (AM 3376), the

beginning of the Babylonian kingdom, the "head of gold."

reckoning forward we get to 1896-7 AD, which is yet

future.

These reckonings in their beginnings and endings form an

introversion, or Epanodos, thus:--

587

608

624--BC dates increasing.

1860--AD dates increasing.

1879

1896-7

The Solar reckonings are the more important dates; the Lunar are

next in significance; while Zodiacal reckonings furnish us with

dates which, to say the least, fit neatly into their places.

Having thus fixed the central date, which already points forward

to the end, let us go back and find the starting point, that we

may the better understand the end.

When Daniel was explaining to Nebuchadnezzar his mysterious

dream, he said, "Thou art this head of gold"! (Dan 2:38). This

moment is popularly, but erroneously, supposed to mark the

commencement of the Babylonian kingdom--the first of these four

great Gentile powers.

But Daniel spoke of what ALREADY existed, and was explaining the

then condition of things. He said, "God hath given thee a

kingdom, power, and strength, and glory" (Dan 2:37). The kingdom

of Babylon had already been in existence for more than thirty

years, for its king had destroyed Jerusalem and burnt the Temple

with fire, and brought away many captives, amongst whom was

Daniel and his companions. The opening words of the book make

this very clear.

The monumental history of Babylon, as now dug up, shows that

before this it had been sometimes tributary to, and sometimes

almost independent of, Assyria. In AM 3352, after a severe

struggle with Assurbanipal, the Assyrian king, Babylon was once

more subdued, and its king setting fire to his palace perished

in the flames. After that there was peace for twenty-two years,

during which time Kandalanu governed Babylon in succession to

Sumas-sum-ukin, a son of Assurbanipal.

In AM 3375 (i.e. BC 627), * another revolt broke out, and the

Assyrian king sent a general of great ability to quell it. His

name was Nabu-pal-user (which means Nebo protects his son). He

put down the rebellion with so much skill that Assurbanipal made

him governor of Babylon. He shortly afterwards, in AM 3376,

himself rebelled, and made himself King of Babylon. Associating

with him his son Nebuchadnezzar, they commenced a campaign

against Assurbanipal, which ended in the fall of Nineveh and the

complete subjugation of Assyria. The kingdom of Babylon, thus

commencing in BC 625, ** became the first great Gentile kingdom

as foretold in Daniel.

* These dates are those furnished by the Monuments, as given by

Dr. Budge, of the British Museum, in his Babylonian Life and

History, RTS, 1885. They also agree with the dates dug up by Sir

Henry Rawlinson in 1862, consisting of fragments of seven copies

of the famous "Eponym Canon of Assyria," by which the Assyrian

chronology has been definitely settled. Before this, historians

had to be content with inferences and conjectures.

** In adjusting the AM and BC dates, the latter are always

apparently one year in advance of the former, because BC 4000

was AM 1, and BC 3999 was AM 2. Hence AM 3376 is not BC 624, but

it is BC 625.

There is practically no question, now, as to this date.

The actual duration of the three kingdoms that

followed--Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece, may not perhaps be

so accurately determined. Their total duration is known, because

it is fixed by a known date at the other end, but it might

introduce controversial matter if we attempted to assign to them

their exact relative duration. Probably they were,

roughly:--Babylon about 90 years; Medo-Persia about 200 years;

Greece about 304 years.

We believe these to be fairly proportionate, * but whether they

are or not, their total amount must have been 594 years, because

the undisputed date of the battle of Actium, by which Augustus

became the head of the Roman Empire, was September BC 31. From

this date Jerusalem passed permanently under the power of Rome

until the Mahommedan conquest in AD 636-7.

* Cyrus took Babylon, according to the Monuments, in the 17th

year of Nabonidus, BC 539. 1 Maccabees i begins the first of

Alexander from the death of Darius Codomannus in AM 3672. This

would slightly vary the above distribution of the years of

separate duration.

We have, therefore, three fixed dates, and these decide for us

the duration of the intervening periods; dividing them into the

two great Eclipse Cycles of 594 years and 666 years!

Jerusalem under the Gentiles

Fixed Dates Duration of Years

Babylon (the 1st Kingdom) commenced BC 625

Battle of Actium,

ending the possession of the 3rd Kingdom BC 31

Duration of the three Kingdoms,

Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece,

together (1st Eclipse Cycle) 594

Rome (the 4th Kingdom)

became the possessor Jerusalem BC 31

Mahommedan conquest of Jerusalem,

ending the possession of Rome AD 636

Duration of Rome's possession of Jerusalem

(2nd Eclipse Cycle) *666

First Half of "the Times of the Gentiles" 1260

Date of Mahommedan conquest of Jerusalem AD 636-7

Second half of "the Times of the Gentiles" and

Duration of Mahommedan possession of Jerusalem 1260

1260

End and "fulness" of "the Times of the Gentiles" AD

1896-7 2520

* In passing from BC dates to AD dates, one year must always be

deducted, e.g., from BC 2 to AD 2 is only three years, not four!

Thus--

From Jan 1 BC 2 to Jan 1 BC 1 is one year

From Jan 1 BC 1 to Jan 1 AD 1 is one year

From Jan 1 AD 1 to Jan 1 AD 2 is one year

Making only three years.

Hence, BC 31 to AD 636 is 666 years, not 667.

From this it appears that 1896-7 AD would mark an important year

in connection with the "times of the Gentiles."

The above reckoning has the following advantages over all

previous historicist interpretations:--

1. Controverted dates are excluded.

2. The whole period of 2520 years is dealt with, instead of only

the latter half (1260), as is usually the case.

3. It confines these "times" to the one place where the Lord

Himself put them, viz., "JERUSALEM." He said, "Jerusalem shall

be trodden down of the Gentiles, till the times of the Gentiles

be fulfilled."

These "times," therefore, are confined to Jerusalem. This

"treading down" is confined to Jerusalem. It is not the city of

Rome that is to be trodden down for 1260 years. Why, then,

should these "times" be separated from what is characteristic of

their duration, and applied to Rome, papal or imperial? Why

should historicists search for some act of emperors or popes in

the early part of the seventh century in order to add it to

1260, so as to find some terminal date in or near our own

times!*

* While the premises of the Historicist school are thus

strengthened, their conclusions are shown to be erroneous.

We claim that the Lord Himself has joined these "times of the

Gentiles" with the city of "Jerusalem," and we say, "What,

therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder"

(Matt 19:6).

When Jesus spoke of this treading down, it looks as though it

were then still future; for He said, "Jerusalem shall be trodden

down," etc. The occupation of Jerusalem by Babylon, Medo-Persia,

Greece, and Rome, was for purposes of government rather than for

a wanton treading down. Government on the earth was committed

unto them. But when Jerusalem passed from the government of the

Roman Empire into the hands of the Turks, it could then be said,

in a very special sense, to be "trodden down." For of any

government worthy of the name there has been none; and of

desolation and desecration the city has been full. Under the

feeble rule of the Turks, all the Gentiles seem to have combined

in laying waste the holy city.

Though Jews are returning thither in ever-increasing numbers,

they are only strangers there. They have as yet no independent

position, nor can they make any treaties. But when these "times"

shall end, it means that they will have a position of sufficient

independence to be able to make a treaty or league with the

coming Prince (Dan 9:27); and then the course of events will

bring on another treading down of 1260 literal "days," which

will thus have had a fore-shadowing fulfillment in years! This

is written in Revelation 11:2. And to save us from any

misunderstanding, the time is given, not in days, but in

"months."

The angel, after directing John to measure the Temple of God and

the altar, adds, "but the court which is without the Temple

leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the

Gentiles; and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty

and two months."

This refers to a future treading down, which will be limited to

the brief period of "forty two" literal "months," during the

time of the coming Prince; and "in the midst" of the last week,

when he shall break His covenant with the Jews, * set up the

"abomination of desolation" (Dan 9:27; which is still future in

Matt 24:15), and "tread down the holy city."

* And cause sacrifice and oblation to cease (Dan 9:27). We know

that is referred, by historicists, to the Messiah. But they are

not entitled to so interpret this passage unless they take with

it 8:11, 11:31, and 12:11, where the same event is distinctly

referred to, and is spoken, not of Christ, but of Antichrist.

We now desire to specially emphasize the fact that all these

dates, and their termination in a rapidly approaching

fulfillment, refer ONLY TO JERUSALEM, AND THE GENTILES, AND THE

JEWS! They refer only to the end of the Gentile possession of

Jerusalem, and to the settlement of the Jews in their own city

and land.

These "times and seasons" have nothing whatever to do with "the

Church of God" (1 Thess 5:1). The mystical Body of Christ,

whenever its members are complete, "will be taken up to meet the

Lord--the Head of the Body--in the air, so to be ever with the

Lord" (1 Thess 4:15-17). This glorious event has nothing to do

with any earthly sign or circumstance, so far as the members of

this mystical Body are concerned.

Therefore we are not dealing here with the coming of the Lord;

either for His saints, or with them. We are not referring to

what is commonly and erroneously called "the end of the world."

We are merely pointing out that the end of Gentile dominion over

Jerusalem is drawing near! And we cannot close our eyes to the

marvellous manner in which the veil is being removed from Jewish

hearts: to the change which has come over the Jewish nation in

its attitude towards Christ and Christianity, chiefly, under

God, through the unparalleled circulation of more than a quarter

of a million copies of a new translation of the New Testament

into Hebrew, by the late Isaac Salkinson, published by the

Trinitarian Bible Society, and freely distributed by the Mildmay

Mission to the Jews: to the Palestine literature which has

sprung up amongst the Jews in recent years: to the persecutions

in various countries which are stirring their nest, and setting

the nation in motion: to the organized emigration to Argentina,

which its promoters avowedly speak of as "a nursery ground for

Palestine" (Daily Graphic, March 10th, 1892): to the railways

completed and in course of construction in the Holy Land: to the

numerous Societies and their branches which have permeated the

whole nation, which, while having various names, have only one

object--"the colonization of Palestine."

When we put these events side by side with the teaching of the

heavens as to the "cycles" or appointed times, we are merely

showing how wonderfully they agree with what is written in the

Book, and witnessed to by great and uncontested historic dates.

Nor are we absolutely naming a definite year or day even for

these Palestine events. After all, they can be only approximate,

for man has so misused every gift that God has ever given him,

that even with such wondrous heavenly time-keepers he cannot

really tell you what year it is! And, besides this loss of

reckoning, there is confusion as to the commencement of the AD

era, which makes absolute accuracy between the AM, BC, and AD

dates impossible.

Added to this, there is another point to be borne in mind, viz.,

that when the "times of the Gentiles" shall end, Jewish

independence need not be either immediate or complete!

For when Nebuchadnezzar began his kingdom of Babylon in AM 3376

(BC 625), the Jews, though in their land and city, were not

independent. Nebuchadnezzar went to and fro to Jerusalem, and

put down and set up whom he would; and it was not till some

thirty years afterwards that he destroyed the City and Temple

and made the people captives.

So, likewise, in the time of the end, there may be an epanodos.

There may be a similar period of possession without

independence, a quasi-independence guaranteed by the Great

Powers; and, for ought we know, it may be that, in order to gain

complete independence, they may ultimately make that fatal

league with the coming Prince.

So that while we name the dates 1896-7 as being significant, we

are not "fixing dates" in the ordinary sense of the term, but

merely pointing out some of "the signs of the times," concerning

which we ought not to be ignorant.

The true interpretation will in any case still remain, and will

surely be literally fulfilled in its own time. The Word of God

will be vindicated; its prophetic truth will be verified; God

Himself will be glorified; and His people saved with an

everlasting salvation.

Meanwhile the members of His Body will "wait for His Son from

heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which

delivered us from the wrath to come" (1 Thess 1:10). They will

live "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing

of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself

for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify

unto Himself a peculiar people (RV, a people for His own

possession) zealous of good works" (Titus 2:13,14). They will

"look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ," from heaven,

believing that there is no hope either for "the Jew, the

Gentile, or the Church of God," or for a groaning creation,

until "the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of

the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, whom the heaven must

receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God

hath spoken by the mouth of ALL HIS HOLY PROPHETS SINCE THE

WORLD BEGAN" (Acts 3:19-21).

"The world is sick, and yet not unto death;

There is for it a day of health in store;

From lips of love there comes the healing breath,--

The breath of Him who all its sickness bore,

And bids it rise to strength and beauty evermore.

Evil still reigns; and deep within we feel

The fever, and the palsy, and the pain

Of life's perpetual heartaches, that reveal

The rooted poison, which, from heart and brain,

We labour to extract, but labour all in vain.

Our skill avails not; ages come and go,

Yet bring with them no respite and no cure;

The hidden wound, the sigh of pent-up woe,

The sting we smother, but must still endure,

The worthless remedies which no relief procure,--

All these cry out for something more divine,

Which the worst woes of earth may not withstand;

Medicine that cannot fail--the oil and wine,

The balm and myrrh, growth of no earthly land,

And the all-skillful touch of the great Healer's hand.

Man needs a prophet: Heavenly Prophet, speak,

And teach him what he is too proud to hear.

Man needs a priest: True Priest, Thy silence break,

And speak the words of pardon in his ear.

Man needs a king: O King, at length in peace appear."