Proof in the Stars
There is nothing more amazing and wondrous than the dark canopy of night sky lit up with twinkling stars. It is God's handiwork and testifies to our awesome Creator. But the nighttime sky has additional meaning. God has given us a nighttime storyboard illustrating the past, present & future. What I have learned has been such a blessing, I can no longer keep quiet. It is the study of the original names and groupings of the stars as given to men long ago.
What Does The Bible Say About Stars?
God's Purpose for the Stars
In ancient times, signs were used as a witness of a special covenant either between God and mankind or between different peoples on the earth. In Genesis 9:12-13, God put a special sign in the sky.
Observing the Sabbath was a sign of the covenant relationship between Israel and God (Exodus 31:16-17). On several occasions, a stone was a sign or witness of a promise (see Joshua 24:25-27; 1 Samuel 7:12).
The constellations are also referred to as signs. (See Gen. 1:14-15, above.) They are somewhat abstract in form. In other words, they don't look exactly like what they represent. For example, the rainbow after a rain is a sign that God promises to not destroy the world again by water. In like manner, the constellations bring to mind God's wonderful promises concerning the Messiah, His redeeming work, and his Bride, the Church.
What's In A Name?
The ancient constellations (48 in all) are picture prophecies of Jesus, the Word or Logos, and are in harmony with the written Word of God. In fact, many individual star names are recorded in the Bible as appellations or attributes of Jesus. Just to get us started, here are a few: Arm of the Lord, Isa. 51:9,10; Chief Shepherd, 1 Pet. 5:4; Desired of all nations, Hag. 2:7; Governor, Matt. 2:6; Great shepherd of the sheep, Heb. 13:20, 27:24; King, Matt. 21:5; Lamb, Rev. 5:6,8; 6:16; 7:9,10,17; Light, John 8:12; Lion of the tribe of Judah, Rev. 5:5; Prince, Acts 5:31; Redeemer, Isa. 59:20; Scepter, Num. 24:17; Shepherd, Mark 14:27. These names are components of larger pictures or constellations which tell a story.
Their Meaning from Ancient Times
There are 12 major constellations. Their modern names, which tell us nothing of their original meanings, are in parenthesis. Each major constellation has three other constellations associated with it which modify or complete its meaning. They are called decans. Because of space, I will list only the major signs.
As mentioned previously, the names of the stars themselves give definition to each of the constellations. These names are preserved from the most ancient of times. In world history, we find the major signs of the constellations are the same in the meaning of their names and their procession in the major civilizations of the world. These 12 major constellations (or Mazzaroth, Job 38:32 KJ) mark a continuous circle (ecliptic) or line around the earth which today is called Zodiac, from the Greek word zoad and meaning The Way or A Path (John 14:6; Psalm 119:105).
A Closer Look
I have chosen to illustrate Orion, Taurus and Eridanus. Orion is well known and can be identified by most people. It is visible in North America from October through March and dominates the evening sky with its brilliance. Since Orion and Eridanus are decans of Taurus and work as a group, we will look at all three.
Orion, The Coming Light
Orion (see illustration) is a mighty man with a club in his raised right hand and the skin of a slain lion in his left hand. His left foot is crushing the enemy. He wears a girdle around his waist from which hangs a sword. In the oldest illustrations of Orion, the hilt and handle of the sword are drawn as the head and body of a lamb. From his raised foot flows a river (of fire).
Orion means The Coming Light (John 8:12; John 1:4-5; Isaiah 9:2). The brilliant star in his right shoulder is Betelgeuse and means The Coming Branch (Isaiah 11:1; Jer. 23:5). The star in his left shoulder is Bellatrix and means swiftly coming or suddenly destroying (Rev. 22:7). Rigel, the star in his raised foot means the foot that crusheth (Psalm 91:13-15; Romans. 16:20). A star in his belt means The Wounded One (Isaiah 53:5). Saiph, in his leg, means Bruised (Isaiah 53:5).
Taurus, The Judge
Taurus is not just a bull, it is the wild ox of long ago, a fierce, mighty and untamable creature (Job 39:9-10). With horns lowered, he is in the act of charging the enemy. Taurus portrays the power and glory of Christ coming as The Judge (Deut. 33:17; John 5:26-27).
The bright, reddish star in the bull's eye is Aldeberan and means The Governor (Psalm 22:28), Captain, or Leader. The bright star at the tip of the left horn is Elnath, The Wounded. Riding on the shoulder of the wild ox is the beautiful Pleiades, a circlet of stars meaning Congregation of the Judge (1 Cor. 6:1-3).
Eridanus, River of The Judge
Issuing from the foot of Orion, is a river of Judgment. This is an immense constellation. Star names include the after part of the river, flowing, and bent down. It has always been associated with fire (Daniel 7:10).
Putting It All Together
Look at the three constellations together and compare it to the following scripture:
The Message Corrupted
All God's creation is good. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good (Gen. 1:31). It is also true that anything good can be used for evil. Satan's distortion of truth is evident through all ages. He is the Accuser and Deceiver. He has done his job well. In the Patriarchal age, nation after nation took the shapes (or images) from the stars, reproduced them in either stone or wood and worshipped them rather than our Creator. The Greeks corrupted the constellations into the legends and fables of their famous Mythology. Astrology today is another corruption of the original prophetic messages. Astrologers claim the stars influence your future; psychics claim to know your future. All such things are condemned in the Bible (Isaiah 47:13). There is only One who knows the future. It is not surprising that Satan is pictured in the constellations just as he is in the written Word. He is the Serpent, The Great Dragon, a Scorpion, a Lion, and Cetus, a horrible creature attending the fiery river of judgment. In every picture, he is conquered by the Redeemer. (See Rev. 12:9; 1 Cor. 15:56; 1 Peter 5:8.)
While helping my daughter research a report on religions of the Bronze Age (the timeframe of the Israelite nation), I was struck by the number of idols (from many nations) that were duplicates of images from the starry heavens. There is no doubt that the prophecies associated with the constellations were understood by nations at some point, but had been changed into self-made religions (idolatries). God Most High had been completely forgotten and ignored. Maybe this is why it seemed so easy for Israel to fall back into the ways of the idolatrous nations surrounding them (Isaiah 40:18-26).
I was intrigued to find this quotation from an ancient Egyptian scribe, Ipuwer, from the reign of Amenemhet I (c. 1990 BC, approximately the time of Abraham). He speaks of an even then ancient hope of a Great One:
Yet, this same nation revered their Pharoah as a god-king and practiced all kinds of idolatries and fornications as part of their worship. They and countless other nations suppressed the truth that was once known from the beginning (Romans 1:19-23).
A Christian Evidence
Scientists dig in the dirt of civilizations past, and Christians rejoice when the archeological and scientific records confirm the Biblical record. It doesn't matter whether you look through a microscope or a telescope, the facts of science will never disprove the Bible -- nature and the Bible have the same Creator and Author. Instead, the Bible shines as a light on the past (no matter how ancient) as well as the future. Should we be surprised that God's signature is written across the vastness of space as well as the tiniest of atoms? The starry evidence is circling continuously above us night after night. Not only is God's power displayed, but his purpose, too, from before the creation of the world (1 Pet. 1:20).
My hope for writing is to encourage others to learn the truth about God's heavens. Astrology is everywhere today -- in the newspapers, magazines -- whole shelves of books are devoted to it in bookstores. It is not a science; it is an invention of men, and idolatrous to those who put their trust in it rather than God (Matt. 22:37). How much better to point to the nighttime sky and say, "That is Orion - this group of stars reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the World . . . "
Psalm 19: 1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; The skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; Night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, Their words to the ends of the world.
I encourage you to read one of the many books that is available on this subject. As with any subject, search the Bible for final authority. These books are available in most Christian bookstores.
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