For Signs, and For Seasons
The Ancient Witness
Psalm 147:4 tells us, " He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names." It would appear that God has given names to the stars in the heavens.
Modern astronomers have preserved and use over 100 ancient names for principle stars today. No one can dispute the names of the zodiac or many of the constellations because they have been preserved for us in the ancient zodiacs; nor can they dispute the accuracy of the ancient star names as they have been handed down because they are still preserved for us in celestial atlases.
We can safely say that for 2,500 years of man’s history, he was without the written word of God. Does that mean that God did not reveal Himself?
Paul mentions in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” He then asks in verse 18, Have they not heard?” Then he answers, “Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” How were the words spoken? Through the heavens. Paul is quoting from Psalm 19:4, so let us go there.
The Heavens Declare
Let us put the verse in context beginning at verse one. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork (verse one). Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge (verse two). There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard (verse three). Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (verse four).
Verse one is rather clear-cut. The heavens themselves point to God’s glory. The firmament (expanse) demonstrates His supernatural ability as seen in creation. Commentator Albert Barnes points out the following concerning the firmament –“Rakeea, from raka, to stretch out, the expanse, not only containing the celestial bodies, but also the air, light, rain, dews, etc., all of which display the infinite power and wisdom of their Almighty Creator.” 1 (Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible, 1834).
In verse two we see that the mere fact that day turns into night turns into day speaks volumes. Verse three points to the universal language of the heavens. The same message is spoken everywhere. As we come to verse four we see that their words go to the end of the world.
Paul says in Romans 1:20, “. . . so that they are without excuse.” When it comes to understanding the message of God all men are without excuse. God’s message is written in the invisible things, but more than that, God’s message, the Gospel, is written in the heavens. It is spoken in the universal language that all can understand. It is literally written in the stars.
Star Names and Star Signs
Think about the meaning and the implications of Isiah 40:26, "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth." Again Psalm 147:4, "He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names."
Clearly Scripture teaches that God named each and every star. Remember Abram. We learn in Genesis 17:5 that Abram gets a name change. Abram receives a name change because he was to become the father of many nations. The name change had meaning. We see in Genesis 32:28 that Jacob also is given a name change - ". . . Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men . . . ." Once again, there was meaning behind the name. Jacob became a prince because he had power with both men and God. The point is not that the names were changed, but rather the names given had meaning. Consider the name of the Saviour in Matthew 1:21 - "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."
Names were given in ancient times for specific purposes. The names had meaning. The question now becomes, if God named the stars, can we know them and what can we learn from them?
The Witness of the Stars by E. W. Bullinger
The Witness of the Stars
With that in mind I want to recommend the book, The Witness of the Stars by E. W. Bullinger. The basic premise of the book is that the stars and constellations tell a story - the story of the birth, life, death, resurrection, and soon coming again of our Lord. In no way can I go into all the details here, but Bullinger does a remarkable job of highlighting the stars ancient names along with the constellations of the Zodiac.
In the book, Bullinger draws parallels between the star signs and Scripture showing how the written Word of God is reflected in the Word of God written in the stars. He draws on a wealth of knowledge of ancient zodiacs and delves into the meanings of the original names and their original meanings.
Go to the link below to read the book online.
The Witness of the Stars
The Star Signs
When I refer to the Zodiac, I am not referring to astrology. I am referring to the twelve major constellations of the heavens. These names have been preserved for us from ancient times in ancient manuscipts. We cannot fully put our faith in ancient manuscripts unless there is Scripture to back them up. Bullinger uses a wealth of Bible verses connecting them to the star signs.
The Star Signs of Job 38
In Job 38:31 and 32 we read, "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?" What are we to make of these verses?
First let us look at Mazzaroth. This word could rightfully be translated as Zodiac.- the 12 star signs. Although the universe is literally scoured with trillions of stars, twelve main constellations make up the Zodiac. Within each star sign are three related secondary constellations that help to tell the story.
Orion - The Light of the World
For instance, the constellation Virgo represents the Virgin birth of Christ, but the story continues in its secondary constellations of Coma (Mother and Child). Included next in this star sign group is Centaurus a figure possessing the body of a horse and the head of a man representing two natures. The last constellation in the star sign Virgo is Bootes. He is pictured as a man walking rapidly with a spear in his right hand and a sickle in his left. The name originates from the Hebrew word bo which means, he cometh. We see the bright star Arcturus in his left knee which also means he cometh. The first star sign tells the story of a virgin woman (Virgo). She gives birth to a son (Coma). This son has two natures. He is both human and divine (Centaurus). The two-natured son comes in righeous judgment (Bootes).
Back to Job, we see one of the major star signs mentioned in Orion, the Light Bearer- Jesus Christ. We see the constellations Pleiades and Arcturus mentioned. Arcturus is also the constellation the Great Bear. Pleiades is not a constellation, but an important part of the constellation Taurus.
Leo - The Lion of the Tribe of Judah
In the Zodiac, we also see Leo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. We see Scorpio inflicting a wound in the heel of Ophiuchus as he steps on the scorion's head. Sound familiar? If not, read Genesis 3:15. Ophiuchus is a secondary constellation in the star sign Scorpio, Notice too, the picture to the right. Ophiuchus is in control of a serpent depicting the battle between Jesus and satan. Of course, Jesus throws the deciding blow by stepping on the evil one's head (Scorpio). We have two depictions of evil in the same constellation. Ophiuchus (Christ) wins them both.
The constellation Libra pictures a pair of balances or a scale; a representation of our sin being balanced out by the blood of Christ in redemption.
This article is only meant to stir your curiosity. i hope it has. You can find much more on the topic by reading the book, The Witness of the Stars by E. W. Bullinger. You can read it for free by going to the link mentioned. Be sure to check out the three videos above. You can learn much on the subject by investing only a half hour of your time.