God's intentions written in the heavens?
Psalm 147:4 says, “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” It is the Lord who has named the stars, so the names and their meanings that have been handed down tell the eternal stories of God’s great love towards us and His sacrifice. As already discussed, their purpose is spelled out in the very first chapter in Genesis. Verse 14 (KJV) tells us, “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:”
Also from Genesis, we know that God walked in the Garden (of Eden) in the cool of the evening. What follows is hypothesis, but hypothesis that is based upon reasonable conjecture. Adam had named the animals, indicating the dominion which God had given him. We get to name whatever we have dominion over e.g. we name our children, our pets etc. Because God has named the stars, it indicates that He has retained dominion over them. It’s not too hard to imagine that during the Lord’s evening walks, He and Adam and Eve had wide-ranging conversations. They might have spoken about the beauty of the Creation, and that the Lord in a very Fatherly fashion taught His children about the wonders about them and above them. The names of the stars, constellations and the meanings of the imagery would almost certainly have been passed on directly by God to Adam and Eve.
We are told in Psalm 19:1-4 (Amplified Bible) “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork. Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge. There is no speech nor spoken word [from the stars]; their voice is not heard. Yet their voice [in evidence] goes out through all the earth, their sayings to the end of the world.”
Such were the life-spans of those who lived before the Flood that several generations co-existed, with oral traditions being passed on with great reliability. Archaeology demonstrates that writing wasn't developed until about the middle of the third millenium B.C.. By the time of Noah, his ancestors Lamech who died prior to the Flood, and Methuselah, who died just prior to the Flood and had access to some who had known Adam first-hand, passed on his knowledge. There was no Chinese Whisper effect that would have or could have filtered down to Noah. The principles in the stars were passed to him and his sons Ham, Shem and Japheth from a source who got it directly from Adam, who had received it from God.
Nimrod and his treachery
Genesis 9:28 (KJV) says,“And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.” His family were obedient to God’s instruction to “be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.” Gen. 9:7 (KJV). Within a few generations, they had increased to many tens of thousands of people. Noah’s son Ham had a son named Cush who had a son named Nimrod, who according to Gen. 10:8-10 “began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.”
Starting out as a hunter whose skill lay in controlling the numbers of wild beasts that oppressed the people, Nimrod translated his leadership of the hunt into a kingship. The Lord’s instruction was for the people to disperse and to multiply in the earth, but Nimrod influenced the people to resist being scattered. Following is God’s response.
Genesis 11:1-8 (Amplified Bible)
“And the whole earth was of one language and of one accent and mode of expression. And as they journeyed eastward, they found a plain (valley) in the land of Shinar, and they settled and dwelt there. And they said one to another, Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly. So they had brick for stone, and slime (bitumen) for mortar. And they said, Come, let us build us a city and a tower whose top reaches into the sky (heaven), and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered over the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, Behold, they are one people and they have [a]all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do, and now nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confound (mix up, confuse) their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from that place upon the face of the whole earth, and they gave up building the city.”
Some early commentators speculate that the intention of these descendants of Noah was to build a tower that would literally reach to heaven as depicted by the famous Pieter Breughel painting. On the contrary, the tower, although substantial, was intended to be somewhere between 2-7 stories high, 7 being the perfect number. If one was to make any real attempt to reach the sky, one would not start construction on a flat plain or valley. Secondly, the construction materials i.e. bricks and bitumen, limit the height that can be achieved.
The word‘tower’ is a generic word and in the original Hebrew is umigdal. In non-Biblical texts, that same word is used to describe structures called ziggurats. These were towers used as astrological observatories, the purpose of which was to metaphorically “reach unto heaven” through celestial alignments marked out on the top and on the various levels. The descendants of Noah were intelligent people, but they were misdirected by a corrupt leader.
These people received instruction about the godly intention of the knowledge of the stars from Noah and his sons who were only a few degrees of separation from the source being God Himself. After the Flood, Satan found a disciple in Nimrod who he trained in the corrupt use of the knowledge that had been handed down. Earthly power was insufficient for him. He wanted to also access the secrets in the stars. If this was of no real concern, why would God say “this is only the beginning of what they will do, and now nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible for them.” - Gen. 11:6. Reason dictates that the efforts of Nimrod and his followers could have resulted in access to power and authority that was never intended to be put into the hands of men. As noted earlier, everything that God made is good, including the principles that guide the stars and planets. Nevertheless, any form of power or energy that can be used for good can also be redirected towards evil purposes e.g. fire, electricity, nuclear energy etc. As asked in Job 38:33, “Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven?
Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?” These questions are obviously rhetorical, and the source of these issues is God Himself. It appears that Nimrod had ambitions to appropriate these powers that are reserved for God alone. Deuteronomy 29:29 (KJV) tells us“The secret things
belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” The construction design of Nimrod’s ziggurat was intended to give access to the mysterious forces that come to those who understood how to apply the knowledge that had been handed down through the line of righteous men starting with Adam.
http://www.wayfaring.info- “It has been suggested that the ziggurat was a symbolic representation of the primeval mound upon which the universe was thought to have been created. Ziggurats may have been built as a bridge between heaven and earth. The temples of the Sumerians were believed to be a cosmic axis, a vertical bond between heaven and earth, and the earth and the underworld, and a horizontal bond between the lands. Built on seven levels the ziggurat represented seven heavens and planes of existence, the seven planets and the seven metals associated with them and their corresponding colours.”
Mystery Babylonian Religion– Nimrod’s Legacy
It isn't possible for every detail of every story to appear in the Bible, but many gaps in the narrative are available through secular Babylonian writings and mythologies that have survived to this day. Such was the self-deception that appears to have afflicted Nimrod that he married his own mother whose name was Ashtoreth. It is written that an enemy (some say Shem) who took offence to Nimrod’s example, killed him and cut his body into several pieces. The pieces were sent to the leaders of the cities as an example of what would happen to those who defile the principles of God.
Nimrod’s wife/mother declared that Nimrod was the Sun god, known to us as Baal, and she was the Moon goddess, two of her titles being Queen of Heaven and the Mother of God. In other cultures, she was known as Ishtar from which we get the word ‘Easter’. Ishtar’s major festival was at the time of the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere which approximately corresponds to the time of the Jewish Passover each year. It appears that the Sumerian-Babylonian Ishtar was the counterpart of the Egyptian Isis and the model for the Grecian Aphrodite, Roman Venus, Assyrian Nina, Phrygian and Roman Cybele, Phoenician Astarte, and Astarte of Syria. In essence they were the same mother-goddess.
After Nimrod’s death, Ishtar/Ashtoreth soon became pregnant and claimed that it was the rays of the sun-god Baal that caused her to conceive. (It seems hard to believe that anyone could be gullible enough to buy that story!) The son that she brought forth was named Tammuz. In various cultures, there is imagery and sculpture that shows a holy mother and child. This is always a parallel of Ashtoreth and Tammuz. One version has Ashtoreth claiming that Tammuz was the reincarnation of Baal, the sun-god. His birthday is celebrated on the fourth day after the winter solstice (northern hemisphere Dec. 21) because “it takes three days for the Sun to be reborn.” The fourth day is thus December 25th. Sound familiar? This Babylonian abomination has found it’s way into nearly every Mediterranean culture. When the Emperor Constantine marched his armies through rivers and declared that they’d been baptised into the Christian faith, they brought into their adopted religion their pagan beliefs. It was a simple matter to simply cast Mary and the child Jesus into the roles of the pagan mother and child folklore, December 25th being adopted to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
King Solomon, famous for his great wisdom, was said to have had 700 wives, many of whom were from neighbouring pagan tribes. To accommodate their religions, he built for them temples to their Gods, including a sanctuary to Ashtoreth in Jerusalem -2 Kings 23:13. Jehovah, known far and wide for His jealousy, couldn’t tolerate this and judged Solomon's disobedience (1 Kings 11).
Nimrod and Kesil (Orion)
In the various cultural and religious traditions, Nimrod/Baal became associated with the Sun. However, in the Hebrew tradition, he became identified with the constellation that we know as Orion. The Hebrew name is Kesil which literally means “the fool”. The same word can also be translated as fat, gross or stupid. Orion is “the Mighty Hunter” which was the title of Nimrod in the days prior to his rebellion against God. – Gen. 10:9. Anyone arrogant enough to attempt to misuse the Creator’s power and authority deserves to be called a fool.
We know that Orion also represents Jesus. This is another example of how a symbol can be paradoxical. The great king in his pride knew no boundaries of decency or reverence towards God. Such is the fate of those whose hearts have become corrupted by their own self-importance.
The Place of the Stars in the Bible
In Job 38:31-33 (Amplified Bible) we read:
“Can you bind the chains of [the cluster of stars called] Pleiades,
or loose the cords of [the constellation] Orion?
Can you lead forth the signs of the zodiac in their season?
Or can you guide [the stars of] the Bear with her young?
Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule upon the earth?”
Orion is symbolic of Christ. He is known as “The Hunter”. In his right hand, he holds a mighty club. In his left hand , he holds in front of him the head and skin of a lion, which is symbolic of the fate of the one who goes about like a roaring lion, “seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8. His left foot is raised above the head of the serpent which he is in the process of crushing. Many of the stars of Orion speak of the person of Christ.
The star in the right shoulder is named Betelgeuse, which means the hand of the Central One.
The star in the left shoulder is called Bellatrix, which means the conqueror, quickly coming, or swiftly destroying.
In Egyptian, his name is given as Ha-ga-t, which means this is he who triumphs. The hieroglyphic characters 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. The Chaldean name for Orion is Niphla which means the mighty.
From the graphic showing Orion and Taurus, Orion/Christ appears to be staring into the eye of the Bull. His gaze is actually in the direction of the Pleiades, (meaning the congregation of the judge) so it is that Christ is always mindful of his Bride, the Church. The eye of Taurus is a star named Aldebaran which means “the follower” because it follows the Pleiades when it rises above the horizon. Aldebaran is grouped with the Hyades which means “rain-bringers” and is also representative of Christian believers.
This star grouping is representative of the Church. Pleiades is translated as “the congregation of the judge or ruler”. It is no accident that the Pleiades are referred to as being bound together with chains. With the invention and development of the telescope came the revelation that the Pleiades is in fact a group of about 250 blazing suns all travelling together in the same direction. >From Lick Observatory came this statement from Dr. Robert J. Trumpler:
The Pleiades stars may thus be compared to a swarm of birds, flying together to a distant goal. This leaves no doubt that the Pleiades are not a temporary or accidental agglomeration of stars, but a system in which the stars are bound together by a close kinship.
Let’s look at a statement in Revelation 1:20 “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” The Pleiades are often referred to as The Seven Stars (or the Seven Sisters). How did Job know that there were “sweet influences” that bind that grouping of stars so closely together? Is this a picture of how the angels who are given charge over the churches are to keep “the congregation of the judge” together in one accord?
Philippians 2:2 “Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
Acts 8:6 “And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.”
Acts 2:46 “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”
Acts 2:1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
The Bear and its Young (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor)
Even from ancient times, it has been proverbial that that there is no creature in nature that is more protective of its young than the bear. The Syrian Brown Bear, Ursus Syriacus, which could reach a standing height of 1.8 metres and weigh 230 kilograms, is the bear referred to in The Bible.
(2 Samuel 17:8 RSV) tells us, "Hushai said moreover, "You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field."
(Proverbs 17:12 RSV) further tells us, "Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly"
In the star map produced here, the Bear (Ursa Major) and its young (Ursa Minor) are highlighted. Of particular note is the position of Draco (the Dragon) between the bear and its cub. The fate of the Dragon is sealed in two ways, for his head is under the feet of the constellation of the mighty hero Hercules. He has also foolishly come between the Bear and her cub. The serpent and the dragon are two celestial symbols of Satan. It is God’s perfect planning that sees both having their heads
crushed by mighty men who are both symbols of Christ.
The Bear’s parental instinct is a symbol for Christ’s intention towards those who would be a threat to His Church. We saw with Orion and the Pleiades that Christ’s eyes are constantly on His Church. The inclusion of the Bear and her young in two passages in Job is intended to underline the Lord’s loving concern for His Church and the ferocity with which He will dispatch those who would come against it.
As well as the symbolism of the Bear, Ursa Major is an important landmark in the heavens, pointing the way to three important and significant stars. By drawing a line through the two stars farthest from the handle of “big dipper”, the Pole Star Polaris is found. Polaris is the first star in the handle of “the little dipper” or at the end of the long tail of the little bear. This is a wonderful tool for finding true north. Incidentally, there is speculation that the tail of the little bear is so long because it’s been stretched from swinging around the North Pole.
Arcturus: The Bear Keeper:
“Can you guide [the stars of] the Bear with her young?” – Job 38:32 The answer to that question is no, I can’t, but the stars do have an answer for one who can. It’s also represented by a star which can be located by using a traditional mariners’ adage, “Arc to Arcturus…” using the curve on the handle of the Big Dipper. This is seen demonstrated in the graphic. In one Greek myth, the star Arcturus represented the guardian, Arcturus, who kept the bears from straying from their path.
Arcturus is in the Constellation of Boötes, translated as “the Coming One”. In Homer's Odyssey Boötes is referred to as "The Bear Driver," but the Arabs referred to Arcturus as "Lance Bearer" and "Keeper of Heaven," The star Arcturus is always associated with Ursa Major, following along behind the Dipper or the Bear at a safe distance as if driving, herding, guarding or tending. Thus the constellation Boötes and its bright star Arcturus are shepherd of Arabian pastures in the sky and guardsman of the Great Bear of Heaven. They are constant in their vigil over the most prominent stars that circle round the celestial pole.
In Revelation 22, Jesus says on 3 occasions, “Behold, I come quickly.” Boötes is pictured as a man walking rapidly, with a crook in his right hand and a sickle in his left hand. The image of The Coming One who has a sickle in one hand is reminiscent of Joel 4:13 (KJV) which says “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.” There is an argument that most of the prophecy in Revelation was satisfied by 70 AD. However, there are many prophecies from Revelation that refer to much later events. The reaping/harvesting of the children of the wicked is at the end of the world (Matthew 13:40).
The crook in Boötes left hand is also related to the reaping at the end times. The wheat (the righteous) and the tares (the unrighteous) are to be reaped together. The crook speaks of the righteous who will be separated out with a loving attitude, like that of a shepherd. Matthew 13:30, 36, 38 - 40, “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.”
Looking at Arcturus, it is apparent that this star is an important part of the puzzle that is the study of end-time events. Jesus has emphasised that He is coming quickly. That was the message to the Christians of the first century, but it is also a message for our times. Arcturus incidentally is the fastest moving object in the Milky Way Galaxy. It is now at it’s closest proximity to our solar system. It is here! Arcturus is proclaiming that the Coming One is at hand. Formerly, Boötes was known as the Constellation of Arcturus, so the imagery of the constellation can also be attributed to the star. A few paragraphs back is a star map showing the stars that will be dealt with in this article.
Facts about Arcturus:
·It is the brightest star in the northern heavens;
·It is the fastest moving star that we know of;
·It is now at it’s closest point to our solar system;
·It is believed to be one of the oldest stars in the galaxy, having been in existence from the beginning of the Milky Way Galaxy.
·It’s distance is 37 light years (actually 36.7) - 37 is the bible number for “the word of God”. From John 1, we know that Jesus is the Word made flesh.
·It’s total power output is about 180 times that of the Sun;
·Arcturus has a mass of 1.5 times that of Sol.