Biblical Myth, Astrology & Astronomy
Biblical myth and reality are two different things
Much of what is contained in the Bible links to the sky.
Before one delves too deeply into this subject, it is important to understand the basic cosmogony of the Bible. The Bible, like any other writing regarding the cosmos, contains views on the cosmos and humanities relation to it. This presentation is not a religious tract, but an analysis of influences that caused such a book to become written. Since the New Testament received much of its influence from the Greeks, it contains the cosmological theories of Ptolemy. This is made abundantly clear in the Revelation. Therein one will find a description of the heavens that contains a great crystalline expanse, the center of which is described the holy of holies. This parallels the idea of crystalline spheres in the geocentric cosmos of the Greeks. But there is one important clue that may be a carry over from Proclus. The Holy of Holies has the description of the sun. Proclus was a Greek astrologer who held the heliocentric view as opposed to the more popular geocentric cosmology of Ptolemy and his followers. This view persisted for more than 2,000 years, holding sway over the Catholic Church until 1992. There are three main influences to the Bible. They are the Torah; the Law of Moses derived from Egypt and ancient Persia, The prophets and the Greek philosophical influence. Elsewhere in the Bible lore we find more clues about the cosmos as viewed by the writers and from their direct experience.
In the Old Testament, the first great creation event is described in discrete stages in the birth of heaven and earth.
* The Earth is formless and void in the beginning. It is dark. The Sun has not yet lit the early creation.
* Then the spirit of God (Elohim Plural, Hebrew) moves upon the waters.
* Then the light is created in the form of the Sun and Moon, day and night. Light and darkness are separated.
* Then a firmament (something that's spread out overhead) is created to divide the waters, some below and some above the firmament. The firmament becomes heaven.
* Dry land appears in the midst of the lower waters. So was born land and ocean.
* Next came the plants.
* The narrative continues with the creation of the stars that signify the times, seasons and years.
* Now we have a repetition with the creation of the Sun and Moon, as well as the stars. This is an important hint.
* Fish and animals make their appearance.
* The final creation act was the birth of the first humans.
Christians tell us that the Earth is a mere 6,000 years old. Science says it's more like 4.5 billion years. So, how can such widely divergent figures come to some sort of agreement? Reading a little further in Genesis, other creation events are described. Looking to the evolution of planets, the Earth in particular, we find a cycle of destruction and rebirth of 5,000 to 7,000 years. This is what has been found in connection with widely destructive impact events. That correlates well with the Biblical 6,000 year timing. When we hear that about 6,000 years is the extent of "this world," it further lends support to the idea. The Earth is not formed from scratch. It is described in the narrative as "being without form and void," an excellent description of the world in chaos after such an event.
Prophets, including Jesus, describe God variously as a self enfolding amber fire descending from the north, an invisible and omnipresent "force" or a character with traits expressed in animal or human terms. God is also described as something no man knows. We see only the effects of God and the so-called "backward" side. Jesus is often described as the Lamb of God, slain before the foundation of the world (Aeon from the Greek for age).
Regardless of the various attempts at describing the unknown, God always orders the universe in hours, days, seasons, years and eons. Creation takes on a discrete order. Within the Bible we find reference to astrology when we read,
"The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament showeth his handiwork Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof... "
Psalm 19:1 - 8
Elsewhere, one can read a typical description for the timing associated with astrology.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;" Ecclesiastes 3;
Astrologers use what are called houses in the division of a horoscope. When it is recorded what Jesus spoke, he described mansions, another word for houses. He describes these as being located in heaven where God dwells. Hindu astrologers still use the term mansions.
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:2,3
The Bible attributes the creation of cosmic timing to God and that these times are derived from the sun, moon and stars.
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years; And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and I was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and morning were the fourth day." Genesis 1:14-19; Genesis 17:21;18:14; 21:2
In Revelation, we read of a woman standing on the moon with twelve stars on her head, a clear reference to Virgo. There are references to Scorpio in the same book. The seven lights and candles are a reference to the known planets of the period. Then there are the terrors inspiring visions of cataclysmic destruction.
The Bible of Christianity is filled with catastrophism of, well, Biblical proportions. Consider for instance;
"And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter." Revelation 8:8 to 11.
One reference is of a comet hitting the ocean and staining the oceans by stirring up sediment and the massive killing of sea creatures. Sea transport is also described as suffering. The other is the effect of poisoning the fresh water with "wormwood" which may be a reference to cyanogens from an impacting comet or even a result of acid rain created in the aftermath of a major impact.
Consider the prophecy of Peter in 2 Peter 3:10 and 12;
"The elements shall melt with fervent heat."
"Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plains, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground." Genesis 19:24,25.
This seems to describe an impactor that is a carbonaceous chondrite due the presence of "fire and brimstone (sulfur), which is typical of such a meteorite. This is why nothing remains except sulfur as such an object would have burned almost completely up after the catastrophic impact. The "attack" came out of the sky and obliterated the cities and plains! Today, the region considered being the location of Sodom and Gomorrah is desolate and in a depression filled with salts.
Lot and his daughters fled to the mountains before the destruction event. Later the story goes on to recount that the devastation was so great that the daughters of Lot thought they were the only people left on Earth and tricked Lot into having sex with them in order to have children and perpetuate the race. Evidence exists for a major impact around the time that this story originated. This destruction could have severely decimated the human race to the point where inbreeding became necessary by widely separated pockets of survivors.
Another legend that abounds in other cultures too is the following account.
"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights." Genesis 7:11
"The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven were restrained. And the waters returned from off the earth continually:" Genesis 8:2,3.
Both of these refer to a catastrophe that generated mountain swallowing tsunamis and the subsequent continual downpour for weeks after the event. A comet or meteorite of large size struck the oceans and "broke them up". There is no other clue to the nature of the impactor. Flood legends abound across the breadth of the Earth.
"So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation." Exodus 9:24.
Here is described a peculiar, even miraculous event that results when an impactor strikes the ocean, in this case, apparently in the Atlantic Ocean. Water in the sea was either instantly vaporized in the billions of tons or disassociated into free oxygen and hydrogen depending on the distance from the impact. Away from the explosion, perhaps thousands of miles distant and safe from the tsunamis, there would be violent hailstorms, with lightening triggering the recombining of free hydrogen and oxygen from the disassociated water. This is described as a rare event at least in the time frame of Egyptian history.
"Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcasses, and the mountain shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment." Isaiah 34:3-5.
Here is a reference of a huge slaughter that resulted from an impact. This is clear from the "sword that comes down from heaven. Comets often took on the appearance of swords to those who saw them in the heavens. Even as late as the 19th century, comets were depicted as great swords in the sky, ready to hack apart the planet and bring great calamity. It is seen as a curse and a judgment from God. The streak of fire as the object burns in the atmosphere on entry, reaching down to smite the ground or sea, could very well be reminiscent of a sword dropping down from the heavens. As for the heavens rolling apart or together as a scroll, we can see this metaphoric description most clearly in large hydrogen bomb tests. Large impactors likely produce similar effects when the objects penetrate the atmosphere.
"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a great wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." Revelation 6:12-14
This describes an event that caused major earthquakes on a large scale, so much so that mountains were leveled and whole islands disappeared and new ones sprung up. The impactor in this case would have been on the scale of something like 10 kilometers in diameter or hitting at high speed. The results can obscure the sun, although the reference to the sun and moon describe eclipses, which suggest that planetary alignments figure in triggering such terrible events. The skies departing as a scroll is a beautiful description of how an impacting object would literally roll back the atmosphere, creating concentric and rapidly expanding shock fronts from the impact site. Atomic tests in the 1950s and 1960s gave us some appreciation of this.
Let us not forget Jesus' warning;
"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." Luke 21:25.
This describes a warning for the future based upon the firm knowledge of the past. With our knowledge and recent proof in 1994 with Shoemaker Levy impacting Jupiter, the evidence is overwhelming concerning our tenuous position on Earth. We need to look up, look carefully and consider the shaping influence and might of Jupiter, even now and for all time. These are just a few descriptions of sacred writings. There are others in the Bible and elsewhere. There has been much speculation from ancient times about the role of Jupiter in all this.
In early Genesis we are told that the earth was without form and void. Then creation began anew. In fact a few creation events are described in Genesis. The Bible also states that the earth will be recreated again in phrases such as a "new earth and a new heaven" described in Revelation 21:1. What can we expect of something the size of a mountain hitting the Earth? It depends on what type of material it is made of, how and where it hits, the speed of impact and the size. An Iron meteorite of such size would have devastating impact, bring the earth into ruin and chaos. These types do not dissipate, surviving through the atmosphere even in relatively small sizes. A small nickel-iron meteor about the size of an averaged sized two-story house created the crater in Arizona. If the impactor were a carbonaceous chondrite, much of it would burn up after impact and contribute to the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. Stony material will survive but may be difficult to distinguish from earth rock except for the presence of rare elements and sulfur. A comet, being made mostly of ice would leave almost no trace by way of a large crater, but other traces would be profound. Small ones would explode like an atom bomb in the atmosphere, such as the event in Tungeska Siberia on June 30th, 1908. This event left no crater or residue, but flattened trees in a radial pattern for a hundred miles wide. Larger comets, 3 km or more can do almost as much damage as the other types of impactors but may leave an insubstantial crater compared to asteroids of the same size. Any of these hitting an ocean, which has a 71 percent chance of occurring, will generate mountainous tsunamis that would wash over the highest mountains of earth with ease. So much ocean water would be vaporized and disassociated that there would be a downpour of rain and or massive hail for weeks or months planet wide and fires in the atmosphere sparked by lightening that triggers the burning of free hydrogen. The burning hydrogen of course would ignite anything that wasn't flash scorched by the initial approach of the impactor.
The angle of impact is important and determines whether or not there will be antipodal volcanic outflow on the opposite side of the planet. Large impactors hitting more or less in a radial line to the center of the earth will cause massive exploding volcanic activity on the opposite side of the Earth. In addition, the traveling supersonic atmospheric shock front will converge at the antipode creating tremendous havoc at the place of convergence, where the atmosphere crushes together in a type of implosion. Everything there would be instantly crushed. A skidding impact will cut a swath of destruction for thousands of miles, but will not create an antipodal volcanic outburst. This is why some large craters have antipodal volcanic shields and others do not. The angle of impact is important. Most impactors come in at angles near 45 degrees just by the law of averages. Antipodal volcanism is a sign of the angle of impact and/or the direction from which the earth was struck. We can thank the influence of Jupiter on the remaining solar system debris for these impacts. Since there are still a lot of leftovers out there, we can reasonably expect more impacts of all sizes for the balance of the Earth's history. There will be many more new earths and new heavens, unless, we smarten up and do something about it and prevent huge Jupiter inspired catastrophes from occurring. In the context of present profit motivated civilization, this seems unlikely. Jupiter's dominion still holds unchecked.
The Bible contains within its passages, descriptions of the grand fixed cross, not to be confused with the Roman means of punishment. This cross is in the skies consisting of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio/Aquila and Aquarius.
"Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves' feet. They sparkled like the color of burnished bronze. The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings. Their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man ; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle . Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies. And each one went straight forward; they went wherever the spirit wanted to go, and they did not turn when they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches going back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning. And the living creatures ran back and forth, in appearance like a flash of lightning. Now as I looked at the living creatures, behold, a wheel was on the earth beside each living creature with its four faces. The appearance of the wheels and their workings was like the color of beryl, and all four had the same likeness. The appearance of their workings was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel . When they moved, they went toward any one of four directions; they did not turn aside when they went. As for their rims, they were so high they were awesome; and their rims were full of eyes, all around the four of them. When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, because there the spirit went; and the wheels were lifted together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When those went, these went; when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures was like the color of an awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads. And under the firmament their wings spread out straight, one toward another. Each one had two which covered one side, and each one had two which covered the other side of the body. When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings. And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD." Ezekiel 1:4-28 NKJV
Nor is the above, the only cross in Biblical cosmogony. There are at least two others. One is that of Moses whereupon he raised up a looped serpent up to the heavens on a pole as a protection agreement provided by God in order that He would prevent death from poisonous serpents provided the Israelites looked upon the brass or fiery serpent (see Numbers 21:8,9). This was done because the Israelites had sinned and murmured against God. The other is where Jesus, the mythical Son of God is raised up on a cross as a sacrifice so that God would return the favor by the forgiveness of sins. This parallels the snake lifting of Moses that protected people from their sins and is clearly noted in John's gospel in Chapter 3, verse 14. Moses is also a parallel to the Mesoamerican equivalent of Orion. Upon this constellation is a metaphorical cross with a looped serpent. The cross is the intersection of the galactic equator and the zodiac. The Heart of sky is the intersection upon which the snake's coil is superimposed. Orion also figures prominently in Egyptology.
It is clear in the narrative that a cosmogony is involved that relates to humanity and influences them totally. This is just the "tip of the iceberg" as far as this cosmogony goes. There is much more. This is a study in its own right. Some of it also agrees to the findings of contemporary astronomy, particularly where great earth changes are involved, and humanities total dependence upon and influence by the cosmos is concerned.
This work is co-written by myself and W. F, Raymond, who provided the inspiration for this series.
Resources on Biblical myth and history
More by this Author
Isaac Newton is known for his insights into astronomy, but what is not as well known is that he wrote far more on the history of the church and the Bible. In fact, work on has Biblical studies is being completed on a...
Many people believe in reincarnation. But, is there any evidence for such an idea. There is, in a way, but not the kind that would be accepted in any court of law or by scientific peer review.
Will humanity someday find itself among the stars on new earths under new heavens? With the recent discovery of super earths tantalizingly close and in the habital zones of their stars, the attraction has suddenly...