Archive for December, 2017

Birth of Jesus Christ

The Feast of Hannukah and the Magi

In our previous December blog post for 2017, we looked at the astronomical heritage of the Magi going back to Abraham. This final post for 2017 will focus more on this heritage through Daniel, as we compare some of the celestial signs that brought the Magi to Jerusalem during Hannukah week in 2 BC, to current heavenly signs in 2017.

“The truth regarding “his star” became accessible knowledge to the Magi going back to when the Persians took over the Babylonian Empire {Daniel 5:31}. As recorded in Daniel 6, at the time of transition, Daniel retained the high position he had held under Babylonian rule. According to Daniel 6:3, Daniel was again set over the Magi, and therefore could fully instruct them in the accurate knowledge of Biblical prophecy written in the stars. Thus, Daniel and his Judean companions in the courts of Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian, and Darius the Persian passed their knowledge of the history and spiritual significance of the Constellations to the Magi who preserved it and hence were aware of the promise of the birth of the Judean King.” 

In the context of Daniel’s many Messianic prophecies, he founded and lead the Magi as the legitimate group of astronomers, preserving the principles of the Bible Patriarchs, that would play a key spiritual and historical role in recognizing and presenting gifts at the birth of the Messiah. As Gentile astronomers in recognition of the promised seed, the Magi were some of the first non-Judeans to realize the coming glory of the Son of God, as the prophecy of the Magi in Isaiah 60:3-6 indicates: “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

Around 600 years before the birth of Christ, Daniel as Rab-mag, and chief of the Magi, proved to be an exceptional man of God. Daniel’s distinguished career not only included being a principal administrator in two world empires-the first two empires prophesied in King Necbuchadnezzar’s dream of the Great image [Dan. 2:31-47], but also wielded great political power as “ruler over the whole province of Babylon,” with his Judean companions, [Dan. 2:48-49].  The ancient Magi formed a Priesthood of the Medes known for their profound spiritual knowledge, with special expertise in interpreting dreams. Darius the Great empowered them over the state religion of Persia, [Dan. 6:1-3]. In this capacity, where both civil and political counsel was invested with religious power, the Magi became the supreme priestly caste of the Persian empire, continuing their prominence into the Seleucid and Parthian empires. Their duties even included the choice and election of the king of the realm.

Figure 1. Daniel interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, [Dan. 2:31-47].
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Since the times of Daniel, the fortunes of both the Persian and the Jewish nations were closely related. Both the Persian and Israelite nations fell under Seleucid domination following the conquests of Alexander the GreatIsrael regained its independence under Maccabean leadership, as the Persians became the ruling group within the Parthian Empire.

From the book of Daniel and historical sources, the meaning of the “abomination of desolation” in one sense is the desecration of the Temple when Antiochus IV set up a statue of Zeus in the Jerusalem Temple and sacrificed a pig on the altar on December 25, 167 BC, honoring the birth of the Sun god. With this act of desolation Antiochus is seen as a forerunner of the future anti-Christ, who will also defile the third Temple. This desolation of the temple motivated the Jews into a revolt resulting in their political independence for the first time since the Babylonian Captivity. As Judah Maccabee marched into Jerusalem to purify the Temple, idols were torn down and the defiled temple altar was dismantled with a new altar and holy vessels to replace them. The first day of a new feast was set to re-dedicate the Temple on the 25th of Kislev, the same day when, three years earlier, Antiochus issued his decree. This end of foreign rule has been celebrated in the current Jewish festival of Hanukkah, meaning “dedication” (of the sanctuary) from 164 B. C. until today. This feast however is not recognized as one of the main seven feasts on the Hebrew Calendar starting with Passover. Even though Hannukah was not a feast sanctioned in the OT Law, the Jews honored this feast with much esteem.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

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Tradition tells us however, when Judah offered prayers of dedication in the Temple in 165 BC, only one vessel of sanctified oil was found—enough for one day. Miraculously, it burned for eight days! This is remembered by the kindling of lights for eight days, in the lighting of the Menorah Lamp. With this miraculous spiritual recognition, the Feast of Dedication [John 10:22], not only memorialized the removal of idols and idolatry from the Temple during this period of the Maccabees, but Jesus Christ also honored this feast celebration during his ministry. In 27 AD when Jesus opened his ministry to Israel, there were 9 weeks from the end of the Feast of Tabernacles on Oct. 11th, [Tishri 22] to the start of the Feast of Dedication on Dec. 13th 27 AD [Kislev 25] in the late fall and early Winter of 27 to 28 AD, during which time Jesus sent out the 70, [Lk. 10:1-24].

John 10:22-25

22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

Reverting back to the time of the Magi’s trek to Jerusalem, “The Star of Bethlehem,” as it has been known in tradition for centuries, has caused untold confusion with regards to the birth-date of Jesus Christ. Much of this confusion is due to the fact that the Magi actually presented their gifts to the child Jesus on Dec. 25th, 2 BC who was about 15 and 1/2 months old by this time. This holiday via Roman Catholic tradition, related to the pagan holiday Saturnalia, on the Winter Solstice that was celebrated as “Christ-mass,” once Christianity became the official state religion of Rome. However believer’s with any knowledge of this subject realize this was not Christ’s birthday. Dr. Earnest Martin documents the many reasons why the Eclipse of 4 BC, which many historians have favored, does not qualify as the sign marking the death of Herod. Instead, Dr. Martin makes a very strong case for the Jan. 9, 1 BC Blood Moon Eclipse as the one marking Herod’s Death. This provides a temporal framework for the birth of Christ on Sept 11th, 3 BC one hand, with this January 1 BC Eclipse on the other, when Jupiter was observed in the skies over Jerusalem and Bethlehem by the Magi.

Upon leaving the massing of planets in August of 2 BCJupiter continued in its westerly retrograde motion observed by the Magi in their normal early morning observations. It entered Virgo by December 4th of that year, shortly before dawn, where it took up a Meridian position during the conjunction of Venus-Mars. The eclipse that shortly preceded Herod’s death occurred on January 9, of the same year. Thus it was sometime during this five week period from December 4th to January 9th that the Magi journeyed from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and saw the star of Matt. 2:9.

As Dr. Earnest Martin relates:

“…This apparent westward motion of Jupiter each day would have indicated to the Magi to proceed in the same westward direction toward Jerusalem. During their visit with Herod, the Magi were directed to Bethlehem by the input of the Judean Scribes.” 


Figure 2. The Caravan of the Magi entering Jerusalem.

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Matthew 2:2
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

This question from the Magi is the first question in the NT, and very pointed one directed at Herod, who had secured the title of “King of the Jews” from Augustus Caesar, but was not able to secure Jerusalem for another three years, until after five months of Roman siege. History has no problem recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital city although the UN today and the Palestinian’s are unwilling to do so. Herod gained the throne of a thorny buffer state situated between two dominating world empires of Rome and Parthia, and as then, this continues to show Jerusalem and Israel as perhaps the most contested and important piece of real estate in the world

Herod and his scribes had directed the Magi to Bethlehem because of a scriptural prophecy. Now the star confirmed this location by appearing directly before them as they approached the city of David. Both Scripture and the Heavens were directing them. Interestingly, their journey brought them to Jerusalem in December, at which time a joyous festival called the Feast of Dedication, Hanukkah, took place. The significance of this time is apparent when one considers that the Feast of Dedication marked the restoration of worship in the Temple after a period of foreign occupation. Now, the Magi were coming to pay respect to, or worship, the young King of the Judeans, who was the true Temple. [emphasis mine]

On December 25th, 2 BC, from our website study; “The Stars over Bethlehem,” Jupiter became stationary for six days in Virgo, due to its annual retrograde motion during the Feast of Dedication, at the time of the Winter Solstice. Although Hannukah is a joyous time for Israel, and a time for gift giving, this was the opposite theme of Solstice festivals celebrated by the pagan Gentiles. Since the start of the eight day celebration of Hannukah began on December 23rd, the Magi presented their gifts on the 3rd day of this festival. The Jews viewed Hanukkah as a 2nd feast of Tabernacles symbolizing their redemption with and the entire world to God. No fast, or mourning was allowed during the eight days of this time of joy and festivity. From the Jewish perspective, there was no better time for the Magi to present their gifts to a child in Israel than at the time of Hanukkah. Here all of Israel commemorated their triumph over the idolatry of the Gentiles and the renewal of their lives to the God of Abraham.

In a previous blog post last month we referenced the truth that the Gentile Magi arrived during Hannukah-the festival of lights, as a 2nd Feast of Tabernacles, allowing for those who missed the first one in September. It is fitting that the initial Gentile recognition and response to the light of the world took place during the festival of lights, showing God’s Grace to all mankind, [Hag. 2:7]. The timing of the winter Solstice is also key here because the Gentile Magi appeared at the expected birth of the heathen sun-god, but honored the true Son of God instead, marking a much needed transition from the heathen world’s idol practices, to the true veneration of the Promised Seed-Jesus Christ.

With both Mars and Venus in Ophiuchus, during this sign in December of 2 BC, we can see the archangel Mars-Michael, standing to protect the ascendant Morning star-the young toddler Jesus, during this time of the enemy’s attack. A noteworthy point here is Jupiter was standing still in the heavens for about six days during the Hanukkah celebration, near the intersection of the ecliptic and the Meridian in Virgo. This focuses our attention on the path of Jupiter intersecting the ecliptic; the Sun’s path, pointing out the celestial relationship between Jupiter and the Sun, not to mention their kindred symbolism.

Martin states that:

… while Jupiter was in its “standing still” position in Virgo over Bethlehem, so the Sun was also “standing still.” All know that December 25th is in the usual period of the Winter Solstice. The word Solstice means “Sun stands still.” These stationary coincidences of Jupiter and the Sun are quite related, and would have appeared significant… 5  

Both the King Planet and the Sun were standing still during the week of Hannukah the Festival of Lights in 2 BC! This brings us to Hannukah from 12/13 to 12/21 in 2017, where the heavens are alive with follow-up celestial signs in the wake of the Rev. 12 sign of 9/23/2017. We see Jupiter in Libra moving towards the first of a triple union with Zuben El Genubi, seen below.

Figure 3. 12/21/2017 union of Jupiter-Zuben El Genubi in Libra, with Mars near Spica in Virgo. 6

The significance of Libra not only refers to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but also includes the judgement of God on mankind. The ONLY way man can be weighed in Libra’s balances and NOT found wanting, is believing in Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God who bought our redemption by spilling his innocent blood at the cross, [Rom. 10:9-10]. This truth is embodied in Libra’s star, Zuben Al Chemali-the Price that Covers! 7

Jesus is the only one ever who was not only qualified, but actually laid down his life for all mankind, making him the only Way of Salvation, the Alpha and Omega-the first and last way God made available for the redemption of all humanity. Last month in our Nov. 15th blog, I supplied the Christ-centric interpretation of the Saturn-Venus union in Sagittarius which follows. In this blog we will see an alternative view of this sign based on the first of the four riders of the Apocalypse. [Rev. 6]

To brighten our holiday season this year, there is a Christmas Day conjunction of Saturn and Venus in Sagittarius! On Dec. 25th, 2017 Venus the bright and Morning Star unites with Saturn, displaying Christ’s victory over the evil one, as seen in Sagittarius where our quickly returning Lord Jesus Christ is portrayed in triumph, conquering to conquer! Here the star picture of the mounted Archer has his arrow aimed at the red heart of the ScorpionAntares, while the foot of Ophiuchus crushes the Scorpion’s heart. As we noted in our previous blog post, Saturn has just completed its triple union with Saiph, the star in Ophiuchus’ other foot which was stung by the Scorpion, bruising the heel of the 1st and 2nd Adam’s, [Gen. 3:15]. This shows Satan’s persistent evil to obstruct God’s purposes any way he can, even though he knows he is defeated. This planetary conjunction near the conqueror’s Bow, shows the deadly accuracy of our Lord’s aim [Figure 4] to destroy the works of the enemy, [I John 3:8b].

The Hannukah feast and celebration is founded upon the defiling of the Jerusalem Temple by Antiochus IV. As a forerunner of the future anti-Christ who will declare himself-God in the third Jerusalem Temple [2 Thess. 2:3-12], the celestial signs surrounding Hannukah week deserve closer scrutiny. We find during the week of Hannukah on 12/17/2017 a massing of planets in Ophiuchus, [Fig. 4] and Venus in union with the star Saiph in the Serpent-bearer’s bruised foot. This planetary alignment in Ophiuchus includes the presence of Mercury, and the Sun. Also both the Moon and Venus are located in Ophiuchus’ wounded leg. This takes place eight days prior to the Christmas day union of Venus and Saturn in Sagittarius. Sagittarius like certain other Mazzaroth signs can have a dual meaning depending on the planets occupying its space. In the classic sense of the Sun moving in the 12 houses of the Mazzaroth [Ps. 19], each sign carries a specific meaning regarding the Sun of God-Jesus Christ, [Mal.4:2]. However, when a planet like Saturn-Satan enters a sign of the zodiac, it carries a darker significance related to the enemy. Normally, the 12 Mazzaroth signs tell of the Christ, but when we see Saturn in Sagittarius we may also be viewing signs related to the anti-Christ, especially during Hannukah for the reasons stated above. As we shared in some recent blogs, the Saturn-Saiph triple union in Ophiuchus occurred while Jupiter was in Virgo’s womb. These concurrent triple conjunctions resulted from the retrograde motions of the planets involved. This also included the Mercury’s retrograde around Regulus in Leo, as Jupiter was exiting the womb of Virgo. Mercury’s retrograde during this time occurred from Aug 13 to September 5, 2017. As Jupiter departed Virgo’s birth canal, Saturn was moving towards the bow of  Sagittarius. It is interesting that one of Sagittarius‘ brightest stars is named Nunki-meaning the prince of the earth, which also relates to the anti-Christ. We find an example of this in [Dan. 9:25-27] where the first prince refers to the Messiah in v.25, but the second prince comes with his army to destroy the city and the sanctuary, not something the Messiah will ever do. This prince was Titus the future Roman Emperor, who like Antiochus VI was a forerunner of the Antichrist. 8

Figure 4. Massing of Planets in Ophiuchus during Hannukah Week in Dec. 2017. 9

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As stated above, Venus the bright and morning star in its lead up to the Christmas day union with Saturn, is in conjunction with the star Saiph in Ophiuchus’ foot. This is a follow-up to the previous triple union between Saturn and Saiph, which completed Sept. 6th 2017. As Venus joins Saturn in Sagittarius we can see elements of Rev. 6 coming to life.

Rev. 6:1-2

1. And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. +And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

Sagittarius is pictured below as a mythical beast called a Centaur-which forms the combined bodies of a horse and a man. So we have a bowman riding a horse, unified with his steed, with his crown [Corona Australis] going forth conquering to conquerDaniel spoke about “beasts” in his prophecies [Dan. 7:17, 23] in reference to kings that would arise out of the earth. John in the book of Revelation [13:18] also refers to the number of the beast. 10

Figure 5. Sagittarius and Scorpius-Jamieson

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As a follow -up to the Mercury retrograde concluding the first week of September 2017Mercury’s next retrograde, according to NASA began in Sagittarius on December 3rd, encompassing the entire week of Hannukah 2017. A result of Mercury’s final retrograde of 2017 includes a triple union with Saturn in Sagittarius. The first conjunction of Mercury-Saturn on November 28 is the first in this series of three Mercury-Saturn conjunctions. A triple conjunction is when two planets, or a planet and star, appear together in close proximity on three different occasions in a short time-frame. The second Mercury-Saturn conjunction occurs on Dec. 6, 2017, when Mercury moves less than 1.5o under Saturn. After the 2nd meeting of Mercury with Saturn, the messenger planet in retrograde unites with Venus, heralding the bright and morning star on December 15. The third union in this triple conjunction will be the closest of this series, with Mercury swinging about 0.7o (seven-tenths of a degree) south of Saturn on January 13, 2018.  This Jan. 13th conjunction next year will be easily visible [Fig. 6], in the morning sky since the shining Crescent Moon will spot-light Mercury and Saturn together.

Figure 6. The third of three unions of Mercury-Saturn from Nov. 28th 2017, to Jan. 13th, 2018.  

 

The fall and winter of 2017 has been a beehive of triple planetary conjunctions leading up to and surrounding the Rev. 12 sign on 9/23/2017. I have linked many of the studies that tell this story in this final blog post of 2017, especially for the many new friends we have welcomed into the Biblical Astronomy Fellowship this year! If you take the time to check out the details of these linked studies, it will bless you in getting a fuller picture of what the Heavenly Father has set in the heavens for our edification for a time such as this. It is a genuine pleasure to meet you all, and I’m enjoying all the comments and feedback with all of your individual contributions!

Its a joy to share with such a fun and sharp bunch of folks, and I wish all of you the best of Holiday Seasons and the opportunity to help each other into a prosperous and blessed New Year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

God Bless each and every one of you and your families…

 Amen!!

 

Footnotes

1. Jesus Christ our Promised Seed, American Christian Press, p. 17.

2. THE STAR THAT ASTONISHED THE WORLD, Dr. Earnest Martin

3. IBID, Dr. Earnest Martin p. 47.

4. Jesus Christ our Promised Seed, American Christian Press, p. 63-64

5. THE STAR THAT ASTONISHED THE WORLD, Dr. Earnest Martin

6. Picture credit on Plate 3: https://jeffreylhunt.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/2017-2018

7.  Witness of the Stars, E.W. Bullinger p. 46

8. The Abomination of Desolation and other Prophetic terms of Biblical Eschatology [ppg. 4,8] Jon Nessle

9. Stellarium Ophiuchus Planetary Alignment Hannukah 2017.

10. The Abomination of Desolation and other Prophetic terms of Biblical Eschatology [ppg. 4,8] Jon Nessle

 

 

 

 

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Birth of Jesus Christ

Abraham and the Prophecy of the Magi


Among the Old Testament Prophecies concerning the Gentiles coming to the Lord, perhaps the most noteworthy are from Isaiah. This holiday season it seems appropriate to point out that one of these prophecies refers specifically to the Magi. These prominent Gentile astronomers from ancient Persia, were faithful to accurately recognize and pursue the celestial signs revealing the Birth of Christ, and we can find precious few other examples of God’s faithful servants at the end of the OT Law Administration who walked at this critical time in history, with such resilient believing. In Isaiah 60 we find beautiful examples of Messianic prophecies:

Isaiah 60:1-3,

Isa. 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

The word “arise” in verses 1-3, is not only used of the Sun and light in general, but it and two of it’s derivatives occur in [Isaiah 60:1-3, Jer. 23:5]. As we have seen in regards to Jer. 23:5, the planet Jupiter, the sedeq planet is linked with the Messiah, Jesus Christ the righteous zemach-branch, and is one of five primary Old Testament prophecies pertaining to this Branchas the coming promised seed.

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

The rising of Israel referred in a great sense to the birth of the Promised seed, who embodied the rising spiritual light in Israel. Included in the Gentiles coming to this rising light in Israel were the Magi. When the Magi came to Jerusalem and Joseph Mary in Nazareth they presented gifts of Gold, Frankincense and myrrh, [Matt. 2:11]. The record from Matt. 2 below reveals the context where the Magi followed the Star [Jupiter] to where it stood over where the young child was. Another aspect shedding light on the first 3 verses of this record concerns its structure based on Introversion, as seen below:

Isaiah 60:1-3 Israel’s rising is come. 1

A/v. 1 The Rising of Israel
 B/ v. 1 The light shining
   C/ v. 1 The Glory of Jehovah
     D/ v. 2 Darkness covering the earth
     D/ v. 2 Darkness covering the people
   C/ v. 2 The Glory of Jehovah
 B/  v. 3 The light reflected
A/ v. 3 The Rising of Israel 

The central part of the structure above shows how the darkness covering the earth and its inhabitants was chased away by the light of the Messiah shining from Israel. As the Gentile nations were drawn to this spiritual light of the ages, lead by the Magi’s response, those nations responding in service to the Almighty will not only see the Glory of Jehovah, they will share in it. God has made provision for the nations through His New Covenant of salvation, via Jesus Christ. Thus the people of the world have the open door and freewill choice to share in God’s riches, but those who refuse God’s Mercy, will suffer His Judgment.

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Matt. 2:9-11

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

 Isaiah’s Prophecy not only refers to the Caravan of the Gentile Magi with their train of camels, but also their gifts of gold, and frankincense along with their most heartfelt gift of joyful homage in praise of the child messiah. Nowhere else do we find this singular description of key elements in reference to the Magi as seen here in Isaiah 60.

Isa. 60:5-7

Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LordAll the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.

Only this particular band of Persian Magi astronomers, were singled out in their faithful 800-mile caravan across enemy territory, in recognition of the heavenly signs of their long awaited and prophesied Messiah. With their royal gifts fit for a king that abundantly supplied the need for Joseph and Mary to protect and care for their special young son, the intrepid Magi have highlighted the annals of Biblical history sent by God as pathfinders of the Messiah.

The roots of the astronomical practices and expertise of the Magi can be traced back to Abraham, who was called out of Ur of the Chaldees in ancient Babylon. This record not only sets the basis for the history of Biblical astronomy going back to the Patriarchs, here in reference to Abram before he became the Father of many nations, but also details the relationship between God’s Covenant with man and the seed of Abraham. As this record details how God ordered this relationship, a distinction must be made in two categories of numerical order. The first is Cardinal Numbers and the second is Ordinal Numbers. To get a clearer idea of this distinction from a Biblical viewpoint let’s look at a discourse God had with Abraham. The record we will scrutinize is Genesis 15, [cp. Gen. 13:16, 22:17, 32:12]

Genesis 15:1-6 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. 2 And Abram said, Lord God what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me Thou hast given no seed: and lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness.

When God told Abraham to “tell the stars, if thou be able to number them,” do you think He wanted him to get out his abacus and parchment and start counting the stars one by one? Or perhaps God was referring to the promise of the innumerable abundance of Abraham’s posterity, since he was to be the father of many nations? Another possibility is God might have been referring to the inherent celestial order that He first revealed to Adam, who taught it to the rest of the Biblical Patriarchs that followed him. Or maybe God wanted Abram to pay attention to the timekeeping aspects of the stars as he numbered them. There is certainly much more to this record than what tradition holds, as we consider it thoughtfully, from its various aspects. The main key to unlocking the truth in this record lies in avoiding private interpretation and allowing God’s Word to speak for itself. In this process of allowing God to speak through His revealed Word in this record, we should take note of the figure of speech polysyndeton, or many (12) “ands,” that emphasizes each aspect of the verses above, separated by the connective “and.”2

The word for “tell” in verse 5, is the Bible’s first usage of the Hebrew word caphar [H5608], meaning to “inscribe, celebrate, narrate, tell, make known, or praise.” It also carries the meaning of “a scribe, or writerwhen used in reference to a person.”3 This word is used in Psalm 19:1; rendered “declare” in the KJV; as The Heavens declare the glory of God… [Psalm 97:6]. God was telling Abram to look up at the heavens and recount, declare, or narrate the truth revealed in the celestial gospel, if he could. Abram not only did this accurately and well enough to please God, He was assuring Abram that although he is of advanced age and without heirs, he would, nevertheless, have many descendants, seeing that the promised seed, prophesied in the stars would come out of his own loins. For Abram’s acts of believing, God counted [H2803] it to him for righteousness. This is the foundation for salvation by faith in the N.T. [Rom. 4:17-22], because God not only mercifully spares us of the wrathful judgement we deserve due to sin, but He also freely shares the Grace of His righteousness with us, which we do not deserve.

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The Word for “counted” in verse 6 above is chashab in Hebrew meaning to reckon or esteem, meditate, combine or devise.It is also an accounting term used in the context of the 7th Sabbath of years and the sacred 50-year Jubilee system of timekeeping in ancient Israel [Lev. 25:27, 50-52, 27:18, 23]. The Levitical Law shows us both cardinal and ordinal applications of “counting,” in this record, but it does not portray them as inter-changable terms. As we will see from its Biblical usage in this record, the ordinal meaning of a number includes much more than just the numerical sequence, or where a particular number occurs in a series. We can see numerous examples of this especially where God utilizes the phi ratio in His organization of Creation.

God’s statement to Abram builds on an earlier promise in Genesis 13:16, where God would make his “seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.” This earlier promise from God to Abram established a relationship between Abram’s seed, or offspring, in the earth, while this later promise in Gen. 15:5 connects Abram’s seed with the stars.

The Hebrew word for “number“-(ed), “manah” [*H4487], means to “divide into parts, or arrange, allot or assign, appoint, or order.”5 Here we can begin to see the difference between what mathematics categorizes as the function of Ordinal Numbers, that specify the order and succession in the elements or hierarchy of a group, as opposed to Cardinal Numbers, that refer simply to counting individual parts. In our recognition of both mathematical categories here, related to the Bible’s first usage of the Hebrew words “caphar” and “manah,” we find on one level, regarding the innumerable posterity of his seed, God was showing Abram, simple counting of parts with Cardinal Numbers, compared to the organization of Abram’s seed in groups related to the celestial order, in Ordinal Numbers. As we consider the context of both promises to Abram in Genesis 13 and 15, we find God showing Abram, the Sexegesimal numerical order he applied numbering the stars, would also apply to ordering his seed!

This is the basis of the relation between the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 signs of the zodiac, recorded later in [Genesis 49, Num. 2], regarding the 12 sons of his grandson Jacob.

The Genesis 15 record tells us that Abram was fully aware of these implications of God’s revelation to him, as he affirmed the story of the promised seed written in the heavens, along with God’s promise to him regarding his seed, with believing. God thus credited him with righteousness. Abram was successful because he didn’t try to invent his own celestial order, by counting all the innumerable stars of the heavens, or alter the 12-fold order of the zodiac God revealed to him, on the contrary, he faithfully received the celestial order set up by God, and looked for the wisdom and blessings contained therein, that God graciously pointed out to him. This powerful truth is what set Abram apart from his Sumerian neighbors back in his home town of Ur of the Chaldees, whose fame still persists for their idolatrous practices in Astrology. God found a faithful man in Abram, who trusted and gave the Almighty the proper praise for His Omniscient Wisdom, that He established in the Order of Creation. As a result, God rewarded him with a new name; “Abraham” and made him the “Father of Many Nations.” As he honored the Creator, Abraham accepted the divine numerical and mathematical order contained in God’s promises to him, not as his own idea, but he acknowledged that the basis of God’s Wisdom is found beyond the category of human wisdom, and its roots reside with the Almighty.

As we have seen above in God’s promise to Abram regarding his seed, the Hebrew word “manah,” denotes the Ordinal function of numbers. “Manah” is the root for a related Latin word used in the context of a unit of currency, or “money,” and was also “unit of weight called a ‘mina;’ or pound that was divided into 60 shekels.”6 The ancient talent was indeed divided into 50 minas of 60 shekels. There is another related Hebrew root of this word, which carries nuances for divisions of time, seen in the division of the Israel’s calendar into the sacred and civil, on Nisan and Tishri 1. This example is also detailed in our website [www.try-god.com] article “The Calendar of the Biblical Patriarchs,” showing how the divine mathematical standard was adopted in the classical world and handed down to us today. A key to the temporal order is found in the celestial time-keepers, whose orbits, rule over the order of all terrestrial temporal cycles. In this way the stars shed the physical light of their mathematical order upon the Earth, in the universal temporal order of our planet. There is more Biblical evidence of the standard division of currency reflected above in the book of Ezekiel, where Hebrew currency: “maneh” was measured according to a 60 shekel Sexegesimal standard, as a sub-division of the shekel of the sanctuary. God’s divine system is always right “on the money.”

Ezekiel 45:12 And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs: twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh. (15+ 20+ 25 =60)

Here Ezekiel depicts a pattern of regular counting (3,4,5) of Cardinal Numbers whose totals (multiplied by 5), yield the base 60 Ordinal Number system, which is found consistent throughout multiple levels of Creation and was a dominant Ordinal standard in ancient cultures, from Babylon, to India and Greece, even ancient Mexico. The mathematical organization of this ordinal system is found in the idea that the shekel, as a building block of a Sexegesimal order, was subdivided itself according to a pattern of 20 gerahs. We have already seen this numerical pattern reflected in the celestial order, in the cycle of Jupiter-Saturn Conjunctions every 20 years, forming a larger cycle of 60-year unions, in the temporal order of our solar system. This celestial order relating to Jupiter and Saturn is one reason they were deemed the rulers of the temporal world (cronocraters) in many an ancient cosmology. Ultimately, this planetary Conjunction cycle opens a window unto the master base 60 cycle ruling the firmament, the precession of the equinoxes, [25,920/60 yrs=432] gives us an example of God marking the Intelligent Design of His creation with His mathematical Symmetry. God illustrates this principle by His use of the phi ratio, or the mathematics of the golden section, on successively larger scales in Creation, from the micro to the macro [Eph. 2:18-22]. For a detailed treatment of the phi ratio in the Creator’s Intelligent Design of the solar system and many other aspects of Creation, please refer to (www.spirasolaris.ca/sbb4c.html).

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There are other scriptural accounts comparing Israel’s multitude to the innumerable stars and the sands of the sea which are good subjects for further study;  (Gen. 16:1-16, 21:1-3, Gen. 22:17, Gen. 32:4-13)

The Prophet Jeremiah also was inspired with these ancient metaphors conveying God’s assurance that the kingship of David’s family and the service of the priesthood would continue. “Like the host of heaven which cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea which cannot be measured, so will I multiply the offspring of my servant David, and of the Levites who minister to Me.” (Jer. 33:1, 22)

As we claim our place in God’s eternal inheritance, we should never forget that our pathway through the Stars to God’s own Right Hand was mapped out for us in eternity past in the foreknowledge of the Almighty, [Eph. 1:4].

Thanks Be to God for His abundant Grace and Mercy to the Faithful in Christ Jesus this Holiday Season…

 

Footnotes

1. Companion Bible, E.W. Bullinger -Marginal notes on [Isa. 60:1-3]. 

2. Figures of Speech used in the Bible,- Polysyndeton E.W. Bullinger

3. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon. note on #H5608.

4. IBID note on #H2803.

5. IBID note on #H4487.

6. The Heritage of the Past, from the Earliest Times to 1500. p.93. Stewart C. Easton.


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