Preface | Table of Contents | Chapter
The 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--
The Structure* of the Psalm as a whole.
A. 1-4. The Heavens.
B. 4-6. "In them" the Sun.
A. 7-10. The Scriptures.
B. 11-14. "In them" Thy Servant.
* For what is meant by
"Structure," see A Key to the Psalms, by the late Rev. Thos. Boys, edited
by the present author.
In the Key to the Psalms, p. 17, it is pointed out
that the terms employed in A and B are astronomical, * while in A and
B they are literary Thus the two parts are significantly connected and united.
* Vis., in A (vv 7,8),--
"Converting," from to return, as
the sun in the heavens.
"Testimony," from to repeat, hence, a witness, spoken of the sun
in Psalm 89:37.
"Sure," faithful, as the sun (Psa 89:37).
"Enlightening," from to give light, as the sun (Gen 1:15,17,18; Isa
60:19; Eze 32:7).
In B (vv 11-13),--
"Warned," from to make light,
hence, to teach, admonish.
"Keeping," from to keep, observe, as the heavens (Psa 130:6; Isa 21:11).
Or as the heavenly bodies observe God's ordinances.
"Errors," from to wander, as the planets.
"Keep back," to hold back, restrain.
"Have dominion over," from to rule. Spoken of the sun and moon in Genesis
1:18. "The sun to rule the day," &c. (Psa 136:8,9).
Ewald and others imagine that this Psalm is made up of two
fragments of separate Psalms composed at different periods and brought together by a later
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
A. 1-4. Eight lines
B. 4-6. Six lines = 14 lines
A. 7-10. Eight lines
B. 11-14. Six lines = 14 lines.
If we confine ourselves to the first half of the Psalm *
(A and B, verses 1-6), with which we are now alone concerned, we see a still more minute
proof of Divine order and perfection.
The Structure of A and B.
A&B. C. 1. The heavens.
D. 2. Their testimony: incessant. (Pos.)
E. 3. Their words inaudible. (Neg.)
D. 4. Their testimony: universal. (Pos.)
C. 4-6. The heavens.
* The other half of the Psalm is just as
perfectly arranged. For example, there are six words used (vv 7-9) to describe the fulness
of the Word of God, and they are thus placed, alternately:
F. Two feminine singulars. (Law and Testimony.)
G. One masculine plural. (Statutes.)
F. Two feminine singulars. (Commandment and Fear.)
G. One masculine plural. (Judgments).
Here we have an introversion, in which the extremes
(C and C) are occupied with the heavens; while the means (D, E and D)
are occupied with their testimony.
The following is the full expansion of the above, with
original emendations which preserve the order of the Hebrew words and thus indicate
the nature of the structure:
C. a. The heavens
b. are telling (1)
c. the glory (2) of God:
c. and the work of his hands
b. is setting forth (3)
a. the firmament.
D. d. Day after day (4)
e. uttereth (5) speech,
d. And night after night
e. sheweth knowledge.
E. f. There is no speech (what is articulate)
g. and there are no words; (what is audible)
g. and without being audible, (what is audible).
f. is their voice (what is articulate).
D. h. Into all the earth (as created)
i. is their line (6) gone forth;
h. And into the ends of the world (as inhabited)
i. Their sayings.
C. j. For the sun He hath set a tent (an abode) in them;
k. l. and he as a bridegroom (comparison)
m. is going forth from his canopy, (motion: its rising)
l. he rejoiceth as a mighty one (comparison)
m. to run his course. (Motion: its rapid course.)
k. n. From the end of the heavens (egress)
o. is his going forth, (egress)
o. and his revolution (regress)
n. unto their ends: (regress)
j. and there is nothing hid from his head (i.e. from him (7))
(1) From to cut into, or grave,
hence, to write. It has the two senses of our English verb tell, which means
to count, and also to narrate. The first occurrence is Genesis 15:5, "Tell
the stars, if thou be able to number them." Genesis 24:66, "The servant told
Isaac all things that he had done." Psalm 71:15, "My mouth shall show forth
(tell of, RV) thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers
(i.e., the accounts) of them," i.e., all the particulars.
(2) From to be heavy, weight, the context
determining whether the weight spoken of is advantageous or not. The first occurrence is
Genesis 12:10, "The famine was grievous in the land." The next, 13:2,
"Abram was very rich." It is often applied to persons who are of
weight and importance, hence, glorious and honourable. It is used of the glory
of the Lord, and of God Himself, as we use Majesty of a person. See Isaiah 3:8, 4:2,
11:10, 43:20; Haggai 2:8; Exodus 16:7, 24:17; 1 Samuel 4:21; Psalm 26:8 (honour),
(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,
(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
(7) [It] means that which is hot,
and is a poetical name of the sun itself.
Surely there is something more referred to here than a
mere wonder excited by the works of the Creator! When we read the whole passage and mark
its structure, and note the words employed, we are emphatically told that the heavens
contain a revelation from God; they prophesy, they show knowledge, they tell of God's
glory, and set forth His purposes and counsels.
It is a remarkable fact that it is in the Book of Job,
which is generally allowed to be the oldest book in the Bible, * if not in the world, that
we have references to this Stellar Revelation. This would be at least 2,000 years before
Christ. In that book the signs of the Zodiac and the names of several stars and
constellations are mentioned, as being ancient and well-known.
* Job is thought by some to be the Jobab
mentioned in Genesis 10:29, the third in descent from Eber.
In Isaiah 40:26 (RV) we read:--
"Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who hath created these,
That bringeth out their host by number:
He calleth them all by name;
By the greatness of His might,
And for that He is strong in power,
Not one is lacking."
We have the same evidence in Psalm 147:4 (RV).
"He telleth the number of the stars;
He giveth them all their names."
Here is a distinct and Divine declaration that the great
Creator both numbered as well as named the stars of Heaven.
The question is, Has he revealed any of these names? Have
any of them been handed down to us?
The answer is Yes; and that in the Bible itself we have
the names (so ancient that their meaning is a little obscure) of Ash (a name still
connected with the Great Bear), Cesil, and Cimah.
They occur in Job 9:9: "Which maketh Arcturus (RV the
Bear), Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south." (Marg., Heb., Ash,
Cesil, and Cimah.)
Job 38:31,32: "Canst thou bind the sweet influences
(RV cluster) of the Pleiades (marg., the seven stars, Heb. Cimah), or loose
the bands of Orion (marg. Heb. Cesil)? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth (marg., the
twelve signs. RV, "the twelve signs": and marg., the signs of the Zodiac)
in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons (RV, the Bear with her train;
and marg., Heb., sons)."*
* Note the structure of this verse:
A. The seven stars,
A. The twelve signs,
Isaiah 13:10: ..."the stars of heaven and the
Amos 5:8: "Seek him that maketh the seven stars (RV,
the Pleiades) and Orion."
Then we have the term "Mazzaroth," Job 38:32,
and "Mazzaloth," 2 Kings 23:5. The former in both versions is referred to the
Twelve Signs of the Zodiac, while the latter is rendered "planets," and in
margin, the twelve signs or constellations.
Others are referred to by name. The sign of
"Gemini," or the Twins, is given as the name of a ship: Acts 28:11, Castor &
Most commentators agree that the constellation of
"Draco," or the Dragon (between the Great and Little Bear), is referred to in
Job 26:13: "By His Spirit He hath garnished the heavens; His hand hath formed the
crooked serpent (RV swift. Marg. fleeing or gliding. See Isaiah 27:1,
43:14)." This word "garnished" is peculiar. The RV puts in the margin, beauty.
In Psalm 16:6, it is rendered goodly. "I have a goodly heritage." In
Daniel 4:2, it is rendered, "I thought it good to show," referring to "the
signs and wonders" with which God had visited Nebuchadnezzar. It appears from this
that God "thought it good to show" by these signs written in the heavens
the wonders of His purposes and counsels, and it was by His Spirit that He made it known;
it was His hand that coiled the crooked serpent among the stars of heaven.
Thus we see that the Scriptures are not silent as to the
great antiquity of the signs and constellations.
If we turn to history and tradition, we are at once met
with the fact that the Twelve Signs are the same, both as to the meaning of their names
and as to their order in all the ancient nations of the world. The Chinese,
Chaldean, and Egyptian records go back to more than 2,000 years BC. Indeed, the Zodiacs in
the Temples of Denderah and Esneh, in Egypt, are doubtless copies of Zodiacs still more
ancient, which, from internal evidence, must be placed nearly 4,000 BC, when the summer
solstice was in Leo.
Josephus hands down to us what he gives as the traditions
of his own nation, corroborated by his reference to eight ancient Gentile authorities,
whose works are lost. He says that they all assert that "God gave the antediluvians
such long life that they might perfect those things which they had invented in
astronomy." Cassini commences his History of Astronomy by saying "It is
impossible to doubt that astronomy was invented from the beginning of the world; history,
profane as well as sacred, testifies to this truth." Nouet, a French astronomer,
infers that the Egyptian Astronomy must have arisen 5,400 BC!
Ancient Persian and Arabian traditions ascribe its
invention to Adam, Seth, and Enoch. Josephus asserts that it originated in the family of
Seth; and he says that the children of Seth, and especially Adam, Seth, and Enoch, that
their revelation might not be lost as to the two coming judgments of Water and Fire, made
two pillars (one of brick, the other of stone), describing the whole of the predictions of
the stars upon them, and in case the brick pillar should be destroyed by the flood, the
stone would preserve the revelation (Book 1, chapters 1-3).
This is what is doubtless meant by Genesis 11:4, "And
they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto
heaven." The words "may reach" are in italics. There is nothing in
the verse which relates to the height of this tower. It merely says, and his top with
the heavens, i.e. with the pictures and the stars, just as we find them in the ancient
temples of Denderah and Esneh in Egypt. This tower, with its planisphere and pictures of
the signs and constellations, was to be erected like those temples were afterwards, in
order to preserve the revelation, "lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the
This is corroborated by Lieut.-Gen. Chesney, well known
for his learned researches and excavations among the ruins of Babylon, who, after
describing his various discoveries, says, "About five miles S.W. of Hillah, the most
remarkable of all the ruins, the Birs Nimroud of the Arabs, rises to a height of
153 feet above the plain from a base covering a square of 400 feet, or almost four acres.
It was constructed of kiln-dried bricks in seven stages to correspond with the planets to
which they were dedicated: the lowermost black, the colour of Saturn; the next orange, for
Jupiter; the third red, for Mars; and so on. * These stages were surmounted by a lofty
tower, on the summit of which, we are told, were the signs of the Zodiac and other
astronomical figures; thus having (as it should have been translated) a representation
of the heavens, instead of 'a top which reached unto heaven.'"
* Fragments of these coloured glazed bricks
are to be seen in the British Museum.
This Biblical evidence carries us at once right back to
the Flood, or about 2,500 years BC.
This tower or temple, or both, was also called "The
Seven Spheres," according to some; and "The Seven Lights," according to
others. It is thus clear that the popular idea of its height and purpose must be
abandoned, and its astronomical reference to revelation must be admitted. The tower was an
attempt to preserve and hand down the antediluvian traditions; their sin was in keeping
together instead of scattering themselves over the earth.
Another important statement is made by Dr. Budge, of the
British Museum (Babylonian Life and History, p. 36). He says, "It must never
be forgotten that the Babylonians were a nation of stargazers, and that they kept a body
of men to do nothing else but report eclipses, appearances of the moon, sunspots, etc.,
"Astronomy, mixed with astrology, occupied a large
number of tablets in the Babylonian libraries, and Isaiah 47:13 refers to this when he
says to Babylon, 'Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now thy
astrologers (marg. viewers of the heavens), the star-gazers, the monthly
prognosticators stand up.' The largest astrological work of the Babylonians contained
seventy tablets, and was compiled by the command of Sargon of Agade thirty-eight hundred
years before Christ! It was called the 'Illumination of Bel.'"
"Their observations were made in towers called
'ziggurats'" (p. 106).
"They built observatories in all the great cities,
and reports like the above [which Dr. Budge gives in full] were regularly sent to the
King" (p. 110).
"They were able to calculate eclipses, and had
long lists of them." "They found out that the sun was spotted, and they knew of
comets." "They were the inventors of the Zodiac." (?) There are fragments
of two (ancient Babylonian) planispheres in the British Museum with figures and
calculations inscribed upon them. "The months were called after the signs of the
Zodiac" (p. 109).
We may form some idea of what this "representation of
the heavens" was from the fifth "Creation Tablet," now in the British
Museum. It reads as follows:
"Anu [the Creator] made excellent the mansions
[i.e. the celestial houses] of the great gods [twelve] in number [i.e. the
twelve signs or mansions of the sun].
The stars he placed in them. The lumasi [i.e. groups of
stars or figures] he fixed.
He arranged the year according to the bounds [i.e. the
twelve signs] which he defined.
For each of the twelve months three rows of stars [i.e. constellations]
From the day when the year issues forth unto the close, he
marked the mansions [i.e. the Zodiacal Signs] of the wandering stars [i.e. planets]
to know their courses that they might not err or deflect at all."
Coming down to less ancient records: Eudoxos, an
astronomer of Cnidus (403 to 350 BC), wrote a work on Astronomy which he called Phainomena.
Antigonus Gonatas, King of Macedonia (273-239 BC), requested the Poet Aratus to put the
work of Eudoxus into the form of a poem, which he did about the year 270 BC. Aratus called
his work Diosemeia (the Divine Signs). He was a native of Tarsus, and it is
interesting for us to note that his poem was known to, and, indeed, must have been read
by, the Apostle Paul, for he quotes it in his address at Athens on Mars's Hill. He says
(Acts 17:28) "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of
your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." Several translations of
this poem have been made, both by Cicero and others, into Latin, and in recent times into
English by E. Poste, J. Lamb, and others. The following is the opening from the
translation of Robert Brown, jun.:
"From Zeus we lead the strain; he whom
Ne'er leave unhymned: of Zeus all public ways,
All haunts of men, are full; and full the sea,
And harbours; and of Zeus all stand in need.
We are his offspring: and he, ever good and mild to man,
Gives favouring signs, and rouses us to toil.
Calling to mind life's wants: when clods are best
For plough and mattock: when the time is ripe
For planting vines and sowing seeds, he tells,
Since he himself hath fixed in heaven these signs,
The stars dividing: and throughout the year
Stars he provides to indicate to man
The seasons' course, that all things duly grow," etc., etc.
Then Aratus proceeds to describe and explain all the Signs
and Constellations as the Greeks in his day understood, or rather misunderstood, them,
after their true meaning and testimony had been forgotten.
Moreover, Aratus describes them, not as they were seen in
his day, but as they were seen some 4,000 years before. The stars were not seen from
Tarsus as he describes them, and he must therefore have written from a then ancient
Zodiac. For notwithstanding that we speak of "fixed stars," there is a constant,
though slow, change taking place amongst them. There is also another change taking place
owing to the slow recession of the pole of the heavens (about 50" in the year); so
that while Alpha in the constellation of Draco was the Polar Star when the
Zodiac was first formed, the Polar Star is now Alpha in what is called Ursa
Minor. This change alone carries us back at least 5,000 years. The same movement which
has changed the relative position of these two stars has also caused the constellation of
the Southern Cross to become invisible in northern latitudes. When the
constellations were formed the Southern Cross was visible in N. latitude 40o,
and was included in their number. But, though known by tradition, it had not been seen in
that latitude for some twenty centuries, until voyages to the Cape of Good Hope were made.
Then was seen again The Southern Cross depicted by the Patriarchs. Here is another
indisputable proof as to the antiquity of the formation of the Zodiac.
Ptolemy (150 AD) transmits them from Hipparchus (130 BC)
"as of unquestioned authority, unknown origin, and unsearchable antiquity."
Sir William Drummond says that "the traditions of the
Chaldean Astronomy seem the fragments of a mighty system fallen into ruins."
The word Zodiac itself is from the Greek zoidiakos,
which is not from zoe, to live, but from a primitive root through the Hebrew Sodi,
which in Sanscrit means a way. Its etymology has no connection with living
creatures, but denotes a way, or step, and is used of the way or path
in which the sun appears to move amongst the stars in the course of the year.
To an observer on the earth the whole firmament, together
with the sun, appears to revolve in a circle once in twenty-four hours. But the time
occupied by the stars in going round, differs from the time occupied by the sun. This
difference amounts to about one-twelfth part of the whole circle in each month, so that
when the circle of the heavens is divided up into twelve parts, the sun appears to move
each month through one of them. This path which the sun thus makes amongst the stars is
called the Ecliptic. *
* Besides this monthly difference,
there is an annual difference; for at the end of twelve months the sun does not
come back to exactly the same point in the sign which commenced the year, but is a little
behind it. But this difference, though it occurs every year, is so small that it will take
25,579 years for the sun to complete this vast cycle, which is called The precession of
the Equinoxes; i.e., about one degree in every 71 years. If the sun came back to the
precise point at which it began the year, each sign would correspond, always and
regularly, exactly with a particular month; but, owing to this constant regression,
the sun (while it goes through the whole twelve signs every year) commences the year in
one sign for only about 2,131 years. In point of fact, since the Creation the commencement
of the year has changed to the extent of nearly three of the signs. When Virgil sings--
"The White Bull with golden horns
opens the year,"
he does not record what took place
in his own day. This is another proof of the antiquity of these signs.
The Ecliptic, or path of the sun, if it could be
viewed from immediately beneath the Polar Star, would form a complete and perfect circle,
would be concentric with the Equator, and all the stars and the sun would appear to
move in this circle, never rising or setting. To a person north or south of the Equator
the stars therefore rise and set obliquely; while to a person on the Equator they rise and
set perpendicularly, each star being twelve hours above and twelve below the horizon.
The points where the two circles
(the Ecliptic and the Equator) intersect each other are called the Equinoctial
points. It is the movement of these points (which are now moving from Aries to Pisces)
which gives rise to the term, "the precession of the Equinoxes."
Each of these twelve parts (consisting each of about 30
degrees) is distinguished, not by numbers or by letters, but by pictures and names, and
this, as we have seen, from the very earliest times. They are preserved to the present day
in our almanacs, and we are taught their order in the familiar rhymes:--
"The Ram, the Bull, the heavenly Twins,
And next the Crab, the Lion shines,
The Virgin and the Scales;
The Scorpion, Archer, and Sea-Goat,
The Man that carries the Water-pot,
And Fish with glittering scales."
These signs have always and everywhere been preserved in
this order, and have begun with Aries. They have been known amongst all nations, and in
all ages, thus proving their common origin from one source.
The figures themselves are perfectly arbitrary. There is
nothing in the groups of stars to even suggest the figures. This is the first thing which
is noticed by every one who looks at the constellations. Take for example the sign of
Virgo, and look at the stars. There is nothing whatever to suggest a human form; still
less is there anything to show whether that form is a man or a woman. And so with all the
The picture, therefore, is the original, and must
have been drawn around or connected with certain stars, simply in order that it might be
identified and associated with them; and that it might thus be remembered and handed down
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:--
Dan-The Scorpion (Scorpio)
Ephraim-The Bull (Taurus)
Judah-The Lion (Leo)
Manasseh-The Bull (Taurus)
Reuben-The Man (Aquarius)
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
These pictures were designed to preserve, expound, and
perpetuate the one first great promise and prophecy of Genesis 3:15, that all hope for
Man, all hope for Creation, was bound up in a coming Redeemer; One who should be
born of a woman; who should first suffer, and afterwards gloriously triumph; One who
should first be wounded by that great enemy who was the cause of all sin and sorrow and
death, but who should finally crush the head of "that Old Serpent the Devil."
These ancient star-pictures reveal this Coming One. They
set forth "the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow."
Altogether there are forty-eight of them, made up of twelve SIGNS, each sign containing
These may be divided into three great books, each
book containing four chapters (or Signs); and each chapter containing three sections (or
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!
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