Discover the Book - Sept. 12, 2008

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Stars Declaring God’s Glory

 

The Signs of the Zodiac

The most important of the star symbols are, of course, the twelve signs of the Zodiac, the mazzaroth of Job 38:32. Each sign corresponds to a given month of the year and is referenced to the group of stars which is located on the sun’s “ecliptic” (its apparent path through the sky) during that month. These continually change, of course, as the earth makes its annual revolution around the sun.

As a matter of fact, because of the slight “wobble” of the earth’s axis, the equinoctial points (the “equinox” is one of the two points during the year when the ecliptic crosses the celestial equator and the days and nights are equal) gradually shift from one year to the next. This “precession of the equinoxes” causes the months corresponding to the respective signs likewise to change very gradually.

If the purpose of the Zodiac is to relate a story in the stars, it would, therefore, be important to know the point at which to begin the story. There is no reason to suppose, for example, that the present-day sign corresponding to the month of January would be the starting-point.

Furthermore, there are many other constellations that may have been utilized along with the twelve major signs. The Zodiacal system has been in use since the dawn of history, and usually the ancient Zodiacs (whether in Egypt, India, Greece, Israel, China, or elsewhere) not only exhibit the same twelve major signs, but also thirty-six additional “decans,” or “side-pieces,” three secondary constellations accompanying the major constellation for each month.

For reference purposes, these 48 constellations are listed in the table below. 

Constellations

Zodiacal Sign

Decans

Virgo, the Virgin

Coma, the Infant (or Berenice’s Hair)

Centaurus, the Horse-Man

Bootes, the Shepherd

Libra, the Scales

Crux, the Southern Cross

Victima, the Slain Victim

Corona, the Northern Crown

Scorpio, the Scorpion

Serpens, the Serpent

Ophiuchus, the Serpent-Fighter

Hercules, the Serpent-Crusher

Sagittarius, the Demi-God Archer

Draco, the Dragon

Ara, the Burning Altar

Lyra, the Harp-Eagle

Capricornus, Half-Goat, Half-Fish

Sagitta, the Arrow

Aquila, the Pierced Eagle

Delphinus, the Dolphin

Aquarius, the Water-Pourer

Piscis Australis, the Southern Fish

Pegasus, the Flying Horse

Cygnus, the Swan

Pisces, the Fishes

The Band, or Bridle

Cepheus, the King

Andromeda, the Chained Queen

Aries, the Ram

Cassiopeia, the Enthroned Queen

Cetus, the Sea-Dragon

Leviathan Perseus, the Breaker

Taurus, the Bull

Orion, the Huntsman

Eridanus, the Fiery Stream

Auriga, the Charioteer

Gemini, the Twins

Lepus, the Hare

Sirius, the Dog, or Prince

Procyon, the Second Dog, or Redeemer

Cancer, the Crab

Ursa Major, the Great Bear, or Fold

Ursa Minor, the Lesser Bear, or Fold

Argo, the Ship

Leo, the Lion

Hydra, the Fleeing Serpent

Crater, the Bowl of Wrath

Corvus, the Raven

Four Reasons for Suggesting that the Narrative in the Heavens Was Intended to Begin Each Year With the Sign of the Virgin:

1.  Since the primeval promise of the Gospel was contained in Genesis 3:15, it would be appropriate to begin the story with a symbol of the Woman whose miraculous seed would some day crush the Serpent.

2.  In the key reference to the Zodiac in Job 38:32, God had asked the rhetorical question: “Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?” This seems to be a case of Hebrew parallelism in which “bringing forth Mazzaroth (the Zodiac) in his season” is essentially synonymous with “guiding Arcturus.” It is, therefore, significant that the star Arcturus is one of the brightest in the sky and is adjacent to Virgo, in one of her decans.

3.  The symbol of the Sphinx is frequently encountered in ancient cultures, and is found on certain ancient Zodiacs. It seems always to be represented as a creature with the body of a lion and the head of a woman. It is shown inside the Zodiacal circle, with the woman’s head facing toward Virgo and the lion’s tail pointing toward Leo.

4.  If the story begins with Virgo, it must end with Leo, the Lion. This also is appropriate; the Lion represents the King (in the Bible, Christ is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah), and the Zodiacal figures show Leo as springing on the head of Hydra, the great fleeing Serpent, to destroy him.

However, on the other hand, Satan has historically always worked as a corrupter of religion, rather than an innovator. The tragic story of man’s decline from the true knowledge of God to abominable idolatries is summarized in Romans 1:21-32. It is thus much more probable that astrology is essentially a Satanic corruption of an original representation in the heavens of God’s true message to man.

If so, it may still be possible to discern the outlines of that primeval revelation, even after millennia of pagan distortions. It is obvious, for example, merely from a glance at the names of the 48 constellations above, that the story of the cosmic conflict between the Serpent and the Deliverer is the keynote of the entire narrative. It appears again and again in various ways, and this can hardly be a naturalistic accident.

The most ancient Zodiacs are probably closest to the original. Certain important differences are noted on some of these. For example, Gemini may originally have been a united man and woman, rather than two male twins. Similarly, Cancer, the Crab, seems originally to have been an enclosure into which people came from all sides. No doubt there have been many such modifications from the original symbols.

To try to recover the original story, we must, of course, adhere firmly to later written revelation, knowing that God would not contradict Himself. Also, we should in so far as possible, try to think in terms of what would be meaningful to the antediluvian patriarchs who presumably first received and transmitted this information.

With appropriate reservations, therefore, a narrative such as the following might be inferred from the twelve main signs and their respective decans.

1.  Virgo. “A Deliverer will come into the human family someday, born as a man, yet supernaturally conceived of a virgin, seed of the woman, yet son of God.”

2.  Libra. “Since man is a sinner and under the curse, an adequate price must be paid to redeem him and balance the scales of divine justice.”

3.  Scorpio. “The price of redemption must be the death of the Deliverer, since man is under the condemnation of death, and yet, in dying, He must also destroy the Serpent who led man into sin.”

4.  Sagittarius. “To prevent the coming of the Deliverer in the human family, the great Dragon will seek to corrupt mankind into a race of demon-possessed monsters and murderers.”

5.  Capricornus. “Man will finally become so sinful as to leave no remedy but complete inundation of his entire world.”

6.  Aquarius. “The floodgates of heaven will pour forth waters to cleanse an evil world, but representatives of the land animals will survive to fill the earth again.”

7.  Pisces. “From the waters will emerge the true people of God, as God retains His kingly throne despite all the attacks of Satan.

8.  Aries. “In the fullness of time, the seed of the woman will come, ready to die as the sacrifice for man’s sins, paying the great price to redeem His Bride and destroy the works of the Dragon.”

9.  Taurus. “Having paid the price, the slain Ram will rise as the mighty Bull, to execute judgment on all ungodliness and to rule supreme.”

10. Gemini. “As both Son of God and Son of Man, the second Adam will claim His bride as did the first Adam, taking her to Himself forever.”

11. Cancer. “All the redeemed will come to Him from all times and places, secure eternally in His presence, enjoying His love and fellowship.”

12. Leo. “As eternal King and Lord of Lords, He will utterly vanquish and destroy the Serpent and all his followers, reigning forever and ever.”

This suggested original message of Mazzaroth is not, of course, considered to be certain, but in view of all the unknown factors involved, seems to be a reasonable reconstruction, consistent both with what is known of primeval revelation and with later Scripture. In any case, there seems to be sufficient correlation to indicate the divine origin of this “Gospel in the stars.”

 

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

 
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