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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Heavenly Host

Zodiac on Ceiling of Temple in Dendera, Egypt

Psalms 19:1-4
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their utterance has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

These awe inspiring words of King David, a man raised as a simple shepherd boy of the tribe of Judah, reveal how widespread was the knowledge among the ancients of the messenger role of the heavens. These words set down by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and preserved for our generation in the pages of Scripture, declare plainly that the luminaries in the heavens are carrying forth their task of declaring to every creature under the heavens the glory of God. Though the starry hosts make no sound audible to the ear of man, they are uttering forth speech. They are declaring the message of Yahweh’s plan of redemption and the ultimate defeat of the great serpent.

From the earliest days of man, the testimony of the heavens was heard. As we read in the preceding chapter, Yahweh arranged the starry hosts on day four of creation to serve as “signs” and to mark His appointed times. The Hebrew word translated as “signs” is “owth” (pronounced oth). Strongs’ Concordance defines the word in the following manner.

owth; (in the sense of appearing); a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.

The next occurrence of this Hebrew word occurs in chapter 4 of Genesis.

Genesis 4:15
And Yahweh set a mark (owth) on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.

We are not told what sort of mark was placed upon Cain, but it is obvious that the mark conveyed a message. Everyone who saw the sign upon Cain would recognize that it was placed there by Yahweh, and they would perceive its meaning - that it was not God’s will that this son of Adam should be slain.

We can deduce from the way this word “owth” is used throughout the Scriptures that the lights in the heavens serve a similar role in providing a divine testimony that can be read by all mankind. David was born about 3,000 years after Adam was created. David has testified in the 19th Psalm that he understood the role of the heavens as Yahweh’s message board. We live another 3,000 years removed from David. The heavens are still pouring forth speech, but tragically the people of God who comprise the body of Christ are some of the least informed about this function of the starry host.

On the 4th day of creation Yahweh further stated regarding the heavenly luminaries, “let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” We would err if we discerned in these words only a natural application. All men recognize that the Sun, Moon, and stars provide a natural light to the earth. What few perceive is that they also provide spiritual light.

Consider what light represents to humanity. When someone experiences a revelation it may be said that “a light went on in their head,” or we may declare that they had a “bright idea.” It is very common to speak of someone with insight as being “illumined.” There is a very clear association between light and the concepts of knowledge and understanding. This is a correlation that is frequently made in the Bible as well.

Job 12:22
He reveals mysteries from the darkness, and brings the deep darkness into light.

Job 12:24-25
He deprives of intelligence the chiefs of the earth's people, and makes them wander in a pathless waste. They grope in darkness with no light...

Ecclesiastes 2:13
Then I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.

John 12:44-46
Then Yahshua cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”

Yahweh has always used light as a symbol of truth, wisdom, and righteousness. It is fitting that in setting lights in the heavens Yahweh would have them serve not only as natural lights, but as spiritual lights to provide insight, instruction, and revelation to the sons of men. To those who understand the language of the heavens, their speech can reveal things of great specificity. An example is the message which was discerned by the wise men from the East who read in the heavens that the King of the Jews had been born.

It may be reasonably suggested that Yahweh imparted an understanding of the message of the heavens to the very earliest men. If God created the Sun, Moon and stars for “signs,” which is to say, “to serve as heavenly messengers,” it would be reasonable to assume that Yahweh schooled mankind in how to read this celestial form of communication. What would be the value of the heavens pouring forth speech if no one understood what was uttered?

I Corinthians 14:6
Yet even in the case of lifeless things which give out a sound, whether it be a wind instrument or a harp, if it does not make a difference in the sounds, how will the music which is played by the wind instrument or the harp be understood? For if a military trumpet gives an indistinct sound, who shall put himself in readiness for war? Thus also in your case, if by means of the tongue you do not give a word which is clear and definite, how will that which is being spoken be understood? For you will [otherwise] be speaking into the air. So many kinds of voices [languages], it may be, exist in the world, and not one is without its particular significance. Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the voice, I shall be to the one who is speaking a person who utters confused and unintelligible sounds, mere jargon, and the one who is speaking will be to me just such a person too.
(The New Testament: An Expanded Translation by Kenneth S. Wuest)

When the Holy Spirit gave the gift of tongues to the body of Christ, He also gave the gift of the interpretation of tongues. If He had not done so, tongues could not edify the people of God. So too, when Yahweh chose to use the heavens to display knowledge and pour forth divine speech, He had to give men the ability to understand the celestial language. The apostle Paul affirms this to be true in his epistle to the Romans.

Romans 10:14-18
How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!" However, they did not all heed the glad tidings; for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; "Their utterance has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world."

The apostle Paul is quoting David’s words from Psalm 19. Let us look at this passage again and compare it to the statement made by Paul.

Psalms 19:1-4
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their utterance has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

Is it not remarkable that the apostle Paul when positing the question of whether humanity has heard the gospel message proclaimed, answers the matter by quoting from this Psalm? The message to which Paul is specifically referring is that which we call “the Gospel.” Paul writes, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!” The word Gospel means “good news,” or “glad tidings.” Paul asserts that mankind has had the glad tidings of the Gospel of Christ proclaimed to them, “However, they did not all heed the glad tidings; for Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’”

Lest we wonder when, or in what manner, Yahweh has declared to mankind the gospel of Christ, Paul leaves us no doubt. He cites the Psalm of David that declares that “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” Is there anything more glorifying to God than the message of humanity’s redemption accomplished by the Son of God?

John 12:23-29
And Yahshua answered them, saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name." There came therefore a voice out of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."

In the Gospel message the glory of God is revealed. His divine attributes; His selfless love, His holiness, His justice, His mercy, His patience, His power, etc., are all revealed in the divine plan of redemption and reconciliation through the cross of Christ. From the earliest days of mankind, the plan of salvation has been declared by God in many ways, and one of those modes of communication is through the testimony of the starry hosts.

Romans 1:16
For there is revealed God's wrath from heaven upon every lack of reverence and upon every unrighteousness of men who in unrighteousness are holding down the truth. Because that which is knowable concerning God is plainly evident in them, for God made it clear to them; for the things concerning Him which are invisible since the creation of the universe are clearly seen, being understood by means of the things that are made...
(The New Testament: An Expanded Translation by Kenneth S. Wuest)

The words of Paul above declare that all men are without excuse when they fail to show proper reverence to God and when they give themselves over to the practice of unrighteousness. They are without excuse because God has made clear to mankind His presence and character through the things which are made. These created things that give testimony to God include the heavenly luminaries for day to day they pour forth speech, and night after night they reveal knowledge.

The Bible reveals that the fall of man under the curse of sin and death had barely occurred when Yahweh began to set before mankind the promise of their deliverance. How grieved must the heart of Yahweh been to observe the man and his wife hiding from His presence, filled with shame at the knowledge of their nakedness, desperate to cover over their sinful condition? In the act of providing for Adam and Eve garments of skins Yahweh was providing a testimony of an atoning sacrifice that would one day be made to cover the sin of all humanity. Even before this testimony was given, Yahweh prophesied that the Seed of the woman would one day crush the serpent’s head and bring deliverance to mankind. To the serpent Yahweh declared:

Genesis 3:15
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”

It is marvelous to note that Yahweh’s grace and mercy were immediately revealed to the man and woman in the Garden of Eden. He did not make mankind’s first parents experience a long season of despair before He revealed to them that He would one day redeem them and their offspring. His promise of a coming Savior was immediate. Much more was communicated to Adam and his sons in coming days. This is revealed by the act of Cain and Abel bringing a sin offering to Yahweh. How did these sons of Adam know to bring before Yahweh a sin offering? The principle of the offering must have been revealed to them by God.

That these sons of Adam were bringing a sin offering is revealed in the fact that Cain’s offering was rejected, for it was a bloodless offering. Yahweh did receive freewill offerings of grain and other produce of the ground under the Law of Moses, but all sin offerings had to be blood offerings. The life (literally “soul”) is in the blood (Genesis 9:4). Yahweh would accept the soul of a living creature as a substitute for the soul of the man that the man might live. We are given insight into the offerings of Cain and Abel in the following New Testament passage.

Hebrews 11:4
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.

In what way was Abel’s offering one of faith? The Scriptures tell us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the spoken word (rhema) of God.” Yahweh had to have disclosed to man that He would accept the blood of a lamb as an atonement (a merciful covering) for their sins. The ultimate and perfect sacrifice would be that of Yahshua, the Passover Lamb of God. Yet, until Yahshua came, Yahweh would accept the offering of the lambs of the flock, of goats, and bulls, and birds. These served as temporal substitutions for the life of man and looked forward by faith to Christ’s death on the cross. Abel made an offering from the flock.

Genesis 4:4
And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And Yahweh had regard for Abel and for his offering...

Constellation Ara - the Altar

There is nothing in the passages preceding this event that describe Yahweh instructing Adam and his sons in the law of offerings. We are able to infer that such instruction was given as we observe the action of the sons of Adam and Yahweh’s response to their offerings. Abel brought an offering of faith. He brought firstlings of the flock and their fat portions and Yahweh had regard for his offering. From the time of man’s fall into sin Yahweh began to instruct Adam and his descendants about His plan of redemption. Yahweh did not leave man to despair in his condition, but immediately set hope within his heart.

The antediluvians, those men and women who lived before the flood of Noah, understood much about
the hope of salvation to come. Yet, as the apostle Paul declared, “they did not all heed the glad tidings.” Nevertheless, they were without excuse. The things which were created gave silent testimony of the glory of God. The stars in their courses proclaimed the Gospel of the coming Savior.

A tremendous source of information on this subject is the book published by Frances Rolleston in 1862. This Christian woman spent decades researching all the ancient sources she could find. She was in her 80s when she publishedMazzaroth: or the Constellations (Mazzaroth is the Hebrew word for the Zodiac). This book is available freely on the Internet. Three other books that I have in my library are:

The Gospel in the Stars; or Primeval Astronomy by Joseph A. Seiss
The Witness of the Stars by E. W. Bullinger
The Heavens Declare by William D. Banks

All three of these men cite Frances Rolleston’s work heavily, for she did a tremendous job of compiling together a wide array of sources, many of them of great antiquity, on the subject of the constellations. Rolleston reported that the images associated with the heavenly constellations, the signs of the zodiac and their associated decans, always are found mentioned wherever ancient sources speak of astronomy. She, along with many others, assert that there was no time in human history when the science of astronomy existed apart from the knowledge of the constellations. The evidence points to the conclusion that astronomy and the zodiacal images were developed concurrently by the same individuals.

Many of the ancient sources declare that the images in the heavens that we recognize as constellations of the zodiac are traceable back to Adam, Seth, and Enoch. Frances Rolleston shares the following thoughts.

In whatever obscurity the origin of the emblems of astronomy may appear to be enveloped, in the traditions of the nations where they are preserved, no such doubts hang over that of the science itself. It has always and every where been traced back to the earliest race of man. The Hebrews, Chaldeans, Persians, and Arabs imputed its invention to Adam, Seth, and Enoch...

The learned Jew Josephus, who, living at the time of the destruction of the Temple by Titus, refers for his authorities to ancient writers whose names alone remain to us. He attributes the invention of the science to "the family of Seth the son of Adam," when, the life of man then extending to near a thousand years, they were enabled to ascertain from actual observation the return of the heavenly bodies to the same positions in cycles and periods, which in after ages it has required the labour of successive generations to verify.

Adam, divinely led to give names to what he saw, must have had such for the sun and moon, and probably for the planets whose movements would attract his notice. Those celestial splendours shone in the far-off and inaccessible heaven, the abode or the path to the abode of his Creator and Redeemer, whence Divine instruction and yet more Divine mercy had descended upon him. Thither his eyes would reverently and most habitually turn: the starry world on high would be, if not the first, the most absorbing object of his contemplation; and astronomy would naturally be, as tradition declares, the earliest study, the first science of mankind. Seth, the son of his consolation and heir of his promises, the traditional father of astronomy, is said to have commenced its arrangement with that of the twelve signs. To Seth is also attributed the great period of the relative positions of sun and moon, the cycle of six hundred years, by modern computation found so wonderfully exact. In this no use is made of the fixed stars beyond the zodiac.

Enoch, his descendant, with whom he was long contemporary, is said by tradition to have given names to the stars: the further development of prophecy that appears among the constellations annexed to the signs, above and below them, may then be referred to him. "The family of Seth" thus devised, carried on, and completed this great work, which remains to us an unchanged memorial of their piety, their intellect, and the revelation which they were endeavouring to perpetuate...
[Frances Rolleston, Mazzaroth]

It cannot be Biblically proven that Adam, Seth, or Enoch were the originators of the symbolic astronomy that has been present throughout all great civilizations of mankind. Historical evidence from an array of ancient civilizations reveals that the same heavenly symbols were used among them more than two millennia before Christ. There is such a great similarity worldwide, whether one looks at the ancient astronomical records of the Chinese, or the heavenly signs and symbols of early civilizations in Mexico, that it might fairly be argued that the heavenly symbols were known before the confusion of the languages of man at the Tower of Babel so that the message of the heavenly hosts was carried to the ends of the earth when mankind was dispersed. Speaking of the signs of the zodiac, Frances Rolleston writes:

These signs were known among all nations in all ages. From the almost antediluvian chronologies of China, India, and Egypt, to the traditions of the recently discovered islands of the South Sea, traces of them are discerned, most clearly among the most ancient and earliest civilized nations. In the remains of Assyria they are recognized; in those of Egypt that are perfectly preserved; in those of Etruria and Mexico they are traceable.

This wide diffusion indicates a common origin, both of the race of man and of the symbols of astronomy...

If Adam caused to be transmitted to his descendants, either by writing or by memory, the words of the first promise, the ideas of it were repeated in the emblems of the constellations. That promise announced that the seed of the woman was to come to bruise the serpent’s head, and to be Himself bruised in the heel... The fulfilled part of the prediction is delineated in action in several of the starry emblems, as in Virgo, in Ophiuchus, in Capricornus: the unfulfilled in Leo, in Hercules, and in Aries.
[Source: Ibid]

The premise set forth by Frances Rolleston and other teachers of the Gospel in the stars is that Yahweh established His testimony in the heavens, showing forth the plan of man’s redemption through Christ. Over time Satan corrupted this testimony and man imagined many vain things as the apostle Paul declared.

Romans 1:21-23
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

The original message of God has been corrupted as men have turned aside to myths and fables, but the emblems of the Gospel message can yet be discerned in that which has been profaned.

Should the tradition of the Divine yet woman-born Conqueror of the serpent, crushing His foe, but suffering from its venom, be met with among all nations, it is only what might have been anticipated among the descendants of one common father. From the Grecian Hercules, half human and half divine, subduing the hydra and dying from its poison; from the Indian incarnation of the Divinity, the virgin-born Krishna, slaying a serpent and wounded by it in the heel, to the serpent-worship of Mexico, and that of the woman-born and unfathered deity Mexitli, this image is every where present, pointing to one origin of the tradition and of the race.
[Source: Ibid]

Hercules Slaying Hydra

It is asserted by many, and with a great amount of evidence to substantiate the claim, that the zodiacal images were antediluvian in origin, that is to say, before the flood of Noah. Frances Rolleston writes:

Bailly and others have asserted that astronomy must have been invented when the summer solstice was in the first degree of Virgo, and that the solar and lunar zodiacs were of a similar antiquity. This would have been about 4,000 years before the Christian era.
[Source: Ibid]

One of the reasons for this conclusion by Bailly is that “The Persians in their books assert, that in remote periods four stars were so placed as to form the four colures.” Bailly is referring to those points in the sky that the celestial poles align with at the time of the equinox and solstice. The stars that the Persians referred to are considered to be Al Debaran in Taurus, Regulus in Leo, Antares in Scorpio, and Fom al Haut in the Southern Fish which is in Aquarius. These stars only aligned with the colures during antediluvian times.

Another argument for the great antiquity of “the emblems of astronomy” is based upon the most ancient complete zodiacs that are extant today. The Zodiac found on the ceiling of the Temple of Osiris at the temple complex in Dendera, Egypt, is among the oldest preserved zodiacs. It is estimated to be about 2,100 years old, placing it slightly before the Christian era. It is described as “the only complete map of the ancient sky.” However, the Zodiac itself is believed to be a copy from a much older time. The star constellations are arranged in such a way that it argues for a date nearly 3,000 years earlier.

Sir W. Drummond, in his Essay on the Zodiacs of Esne and Dendera, says of these zodiacs, “It seems generally agreed that they represent the heavens at the commencement of the Sothaic period..., which might be 2782 BC.”
[Source: Ibid]

Another Argument is set forth by Bailly.

Bailly says the zodiac must have been first divided when the summer solstice was in 1̊ Virgo, where the Woman’s head joins the Lion’s tail.
[Source: Ibid]

For many long years the Sphinx in Egypt remained a great mystery. The Sphinx was not an image of any known god that the Egyptians worshiped, yet it was a prominent and majestic figure that assuredly was of great importance to the people of this ancient civilization. What could it possibly represent?

The Sphinx has the head of a woman (some would say the head is of a youth, but this too could point to the Seed of the woman) and the body of a lion. The riddle of the Sphinx might be solved as it is compared to an image found at the Egyptian temple complex at Esne. Esne was located on the Upper Nile close to Dendera. At Esne, there is a different type of depiction of the zodiac. In this relief the images are set out in two lines, one above the other.

The image of the Sphinx is in red to aid in locating it on this image. Just to the right of the Sphinx is the image of the Virgin (Virgo). Directly above the Sphinx is an image of the Lion (Leo). You can note many other Zodiacal images familiar to this day. There is the Scarab or Crab of Cancer, the Bull of Taurus, the Ram of Aries, the Fish of Pisces, the Scales of Libra, the Scorpion of Scorpio, and the Centaur of Sagittarius.

In all of the Zodiacs, the Virgin (Virgo) and the Lion (Leo) are adjacent to one another on the circle of the sky.

If a person were to turn back the clock to 4,000 B.C. at the time of the Summer Solstice, they would find that “this solstice took place where the junction of Leo and Virgo is marked by the bright star Denebola” (a name meaning “The Lord who comes quickly,” - Frances Rolleston, Mazzaroth). What better way to denote the entire panoply of heavenly figures than with the image of the Sphinx? This imaginary creature has the head of a woman signifying the Virgin who would one day give birth to humanity’s redeemer. The Sphinx’s hind parts are the image of a Lion signifying the Lion of the tribe of Judah come back to reign upon the earth. Thus, the entire heavenly testimony, the glorious work of God, is represented in the image of the Sphinx. That first prophecy of the Seed of the woman crushing the serpent’s head, establishing His rule over the creation, is observed in the image of the Sphinx and in the zodiac that it represents.

One question that might arise in the mind of a person who considers Yahweh’s heavenly testimony is how did the constellations and the individual stars in them, come to be named. Frances Rolleston was stirred to begin her monumental study of the starry hosts when she was reading the following verse of Scripture.

Psalms 147:4
Appointing the number of the stars; He [Yahweh] gives names to all of them.

This same statement that Yahweh has given names to the stars is repeated in the writings of the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 40:26
Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing.

From ancient times, the visible stars have had names assigned to them. Each of these names has a specific meaning. Frances Rolleston has provided a great service in this regard. She was a scholar of ancient languages, and has provided much evidence for the original names of the stars and their meanings. She has demonstrated that the names of the stars bear a strong correlation with the symbolism of the constellations in which they are found. The names may vary among ancient empires due to the divisions of the languages, but for millennia there has been a remarkable consistency in what the stars’ names mean.

The two verses cited above declare that Yahweh has given names to the stars. This begs the question of whether the ancient names that men recognize the stars by are the names Yahweh assigned to them.
In the opening chapters of Genesis we are told that God assigned to Adam the task of giving names to all of the animals.

Genesis 2:19-20
And out of the ground Yahweh God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field...

Yahweh gave man dominion over all the creatures upon the earth. It is fitting therefore that man should be given the task of naming these creatures. Assigning a name to something is an act denoting rule and authority. The starry heavens were NOT placed under Adam’s dominion. They were under Yahweh’s dominion. Yahweh assigned to Adam the task of giving names to all the terrestrial animals, but the stars of the heavens He named. Did God teach man these names?

One way we might test this is to look for any Scripture passages where Yahweh speaks of the stars by name. We might reasonably conclude that Yahweh would call the stars by the names He assigned to them. If these names are the same used by ancient civilizations, or carry the same meaning as the names used by ancient peoples, an argument might be made in support of the idea that mankind was taught the names God assigned to the stars. I admit that this argument is not unassailable, but I do find it to be plausible.

There are, in fact, such passages in the Bible. Two of these passages are found in one of the oldest books of the Bible, the book of Job. Another passage is in the book of Amos.

Job 9:8-9
Who alone stretches out the heavens, and tramples down the waves of the sea; Who makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the chambers of the south...

“The Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the chambers of the south” are references to stars. Depending upon which English Bible translation you read from, these names may vary.

Job 9:8-9
Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.

Job 9:8-9
Stretching out the heavens by Himself, and treading on the heights of the sea, making Osh, Kesil, and Kimah, and the inner chambers of the south.

The New American Standard and King James Version Bibles have used Greek and Latin equivalents of the original Hebrew names of these stars. The Old Testament of the Bible was written in Hebrew. In the original text these stars would have borne the names that the Hebrews knew them by. A few centuries before Christ the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek. One of the earliest Greek versions is known as the Septuagint. The Septuagint did not preserve the Hebrew names, but attempted to assign to these stars the names by which the Greeks knew them. Later the Old Testament was translated into Latin, and once again the Hebrew names were replaced with equivalent names.

Young’s Literal Translation has preserved the Hebrew names. What the NAS lists as “the Bear” and the KJV as “Arcturus,” is in the Hebrew language “Ash,” or “Osh.” The word “Ash” means “the assembled.” The Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate did not agree on what star was identified by the Hebrew name “Ash.” The Septuagint identified it as the Pleiades, while the Vulgate chose Arcturus.

“Kesil” or “Chesil” in the Hebrew means “the bound.” This star name is listed as Hesperus in the Greek Septuagint and Orion in the Latin Vulgate. In this instance both the NAS and KJV followed the Latin Vulgate.

Similarly “Kimah,” or “Chima” in the Hebrew is translated as Arcturus by the Septuagint and Hyades by the Vulgate, yet both the NAS and KJV chose Pleiades as the name of the star. The Hebrew Word “Chima” means “the accumulated.” These star names are repeated later in the book of Job.

Job 38:31-32
Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades (Kimah/Chima), or loose the bands of Orion (Kesil/Chesil)? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus (Ash/Osh) with his sons?

If you take time to do the comparison you will find that neither the Greek Septuagint or the Latin Vulgate rendered these names consistently. It would have been better had these translators done as Robert Young in his Bible translation and kept the Hebrew names. To replace the Hebrew names with names derived from Greek and Roman mythology is destructive in that it obscures the divine message of these stars. I would compare it to the egregious error of supplanting the Biblical name Passover with the pagan name Easter. Much confusion is sown as the name of a female goddess of fertility is used as a substitute for the Hebrew Pesach, a word that means “Passover.” No such meaning is conveyed by the name Easter.

This presents a challenge as the student of Biblical astronomy must seek to distinguish between the original divine names accorded to the stars and the substitutions of men and fallen angels. The task is a worthy one, however, for it will provide much evidence of the divine message ordained by Yahweh in the heavens and will help the saints to discern those heavenly messages that are prophesied to be manifested in this hour at the end of the age. In the next chapter we will look at the constellations, the names of the stars, and the testimony they bring forth.

Credit to Joseph Herrin

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