Witness of the Stars
E. W. Bullinger
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--
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
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
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
"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
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
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,
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),
(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
(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
In Isaiah 40:26 (RV) we
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).
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,
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.)
"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.,
* Note the structure of
A. The seven stars,
A. The twelve signs,
..."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
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
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.
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.,
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.'"
observations were made in towers called 'ziggurats'" (p. 106).
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:
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
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
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.
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
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--
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
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 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:--
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.
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:--
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."
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!
1. Virgo (the