I hope after reading this series your appreciation of the night sky will be all the more, knowing from man's earliest days the Lord told the story of salvation in the stars. We conclude with the last set of 4 constellations, which show our union with Christ and His return.
Taurus the bull
He is known as the Bull in Hebrew, Arabic, Latin and Greek, though this is not a domesticated bull. His long horns are down in a charge, and the main star is in his eye, called Al Debaran or 'the Captain' or 'the Governor'. In the cycle of the zodiac Taurus rises to be seen just as Scorpio sets out of view.
In mythology Taurus is pure white for he is righteous and pure. In his shoulder is the 7 star cluster known as the Pleiades, called 'the doves', and mentioned in Job with obvious references to the 7 churches of The Revelation 1:16 and 2:1. "He had in His right hand the seven stars, and in His mouth a two edged sword, and His appearance is as the sun at full strength." Also: "He who holds the seven stars in His right hand..." In mythology the Pleiades were the 7 daughters of Atlas who holds up the earth and heaven. Here, a type of the church, securely on Taurus' shoulder.
The first decan of Taurus is my favorite constellation and easily found in the sky, found by the 3 stars in a row that make up his belt: Orion, the glorious one, the hunter. Countless times I've sat out and looked at Orion and given thanks and worship for the Lord as a sign in the sky He is watching over me and mine. It is a picture of a man with an upraised club in his right hand, the skin of a dead lion in his left, and his left foot is crushing the head of Lepus the hare.
The name Orion means 'He who comes as the light'. The 'Brilliant one'. He is mentioned in Job 9:9 along with The Pleiades and Arcturus. The main stars are Betelgeuse on his right shoulder, which means 'the Branch (is) coming'. Rigel is another star in his lifted left foot, and means 'the foot that crushes'. The 3 bright stars in his belt are called 'the 3 kings'. In his left chest area is Bellatrix which means 'swiftly coming' and also 'sudden destroying'. In Arabic his name is Al Giauza the Branch, Al Mirzam the Ruler, or Al Nagjed, the Prince.
We see Orion holding the skinned lion slain, the imposter who walked around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). His left foot is also where the second decan of Taurus starts, Eridanus the river. Eridanus means 'the river of the judge'. In Daniel 7:9-11 he says from the Ancient of Days (the Father) flows 'a fiery stream' of judgment. Eridanus touches Cetus the sea monster and is between Taurus and Orion, showing us the Judge is both the charging bull coming in judgement with the church in his shoulders, and the hunter bringing it all to conclusion.
The third decan of Taurus is Auriga the Shepherd. The shepherd is seated with a mother goat on his lap and her two young goats. The mother goat has its front legs affectionately on his shoulders as he cradles it in his left arm. The band or ribbon in his right hand is we saw earlier which held Pisces (the church). Auriga means 'the holder of the reins' in Latin. The main star is in the mother goat and called Capella, which means 'chapel' or in music, 'in the style of a chapel'. (to sing without instruments is 'a cappella', you may recall). The mother goat and her children are held so tenderly by the shepherd is the church in his arms, 'the church' or chapel. In Greek, ekklesia. In his right arm is a bright star, menkalinon, which means 'flock of goats (or ewes)'. Again we see the Lord as the Author of our salvation, and the 2 goats can be understood as Jewish and Gentile believers.
The summary of Taurus: In Taurus we see the returning Lord with the church 'on his back', safely in His control. To this agrees The Revelation 19:5-14, which describes the saints already in heaven during the Tribulation, clothed in 'fine linen clean and white' having come from the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, returning with the Lord on white horses with Him.
This agrees with Jesus saying in Matthew 24:29-31 that at His coming He will command the angels to 'gather the saints from one end of heaven (not earth) to the other'. We see His glory in Orion with 'the job' complete, the church safely on His lap - a church that has been active making disciples, now in heaven at peace forever.
Gemini, the twins
In the Egyptian zodiac (Dendara) Gemini is not a set of twins but a man and woman, hand in hand, and called 'Adam and Eve'. Though being in heaven this would mean not the original Adam but the 'last Adam', the Christ who as the 'last Adam' brought salvation to mankind. (I Corinthians 15:45). The Egyptian Greek (Coptic) name of the constellation is 'Pi Mahi' or 'the United' or 'the completely joined together'.
In the left foot of the male figure we find the star Al Henah, the wounded one. The star in his head is Pollux which means 'the Ruler' or 'the Judge'. In his mid-section is the star Wasat which means 'Seated' or 'Put in his (rightful) place.' The Egyptians called him Horus or Hor which means 'the son of light' or 'the coming one, and also 'the restorer of dominion'.
In mythology the two figures are known as Castor and Pollux, the ones who sought the Golden Fleece, so we see both a bride and groom but also being made one Man in Christ. I find it amazing how much of mythology is the corrupted original intent of the Creator, yet still demonstrates elements of the true story of salvation. In Gemini the twins we see that we are made one with Christ, in Him and He in us, while on the other hand the constellation also speaks of a bride and groom made one....amazing grace.
Lepus the hare is the first decan in Gemini. In Egyptian and Persian zodiacs this is a snake not a hare. It is under the foot of the victorious hunter Orion. Its star names are Nibal, Rakis, Sugia, which mean 'the Mad (crazy)', the Caught', and 'the Deceiver'.
Canis Major and Canis Minor are decans two and three in Gemini, big dog and little dog, the dog stars, originally known as wolves, hunters of the hare (snake). Like the two fish, the two goats, we can see Jew and Gentile believers untied as one in Him, and perhaps the Lord and believers united as one.
The star Sirius in the 'big dog' is the brightest star in the night sky and easily found. The name Sirius comes from Sir or Seir meaning Prince, Guardian, Victorius. Hebrew for 'the branch' is the word 'netzer' or naz-seir', so one coming from the branch is a naz-seir-ene. So the star Sirius or in Egyptian, Naz-seir, shows the 'big dog' is the Nazarene.
Because the 2 dog stars are decans of Gemini which also has twins or a bride and groom, so too we see another element of the dual nature of the constellation. As the 'big dog' or 'big wolf' relates to the Lord with the main star Sirius, the 'little wolf' is its companion. In Egyptian zodiac the 'little dog' is a human body with an eagle's head, showing mankind lifted to royalty in heaven (the sky). The main star in the 'little wolf/dog' is Sebak, 'conquering' or 'victorious'. Another star is Al Gomeiza which means 'once burdened' and also 'endured for the sake of others'.
The summary of Gemini
In Gemini we see two made one, having defeated the enemy, and in the dog stars we once again see the Lord and the church, united forever in victory. There is so much that can be drawn from this and the pages of the NT. I've shared before there are over 100 references in the NT to us being 'in Him' or 'He in us" - Christ in us. We are One. We this in the two of Gemini, in the two fish of Pisces, in the two baby goats in Auriga, the two dogs in Gemini...and on and on...confirmed over and over for those who struggle, we are one in Him, and He in us.
Cancer the crab
Taurus the retuning one, Gemini being one in Christ, and now Cancer the crab - what? A crab? A crab grows by molting, shedding its outer shell as it grows from within, to reveal a new shell that is a bit larger than the last. This answers to Galatians 4:19: "My little children, I travail in birth again for you, until Christ be formed in you."
A crab is a born of water, so is the church by the water of the Holy Spirit and the answer of a clean conscience as Peter says, is water baptism. Peter said the water doesn't bring new birth, it is the answer of a clean conscience after being born again of the Spirit. In the middle of the crab is a cluster of stars called in ancient times 'Prasepe', meaning in Hebrew and Arabic, 'the multitude or the innumerable seed' or 'the offspring'. (I Peter 3:21)
The word 'cancer' comes from 'khan' which means 'resting place'. The word 'cer' or 'ker' means 'embraced' or 'encircled' as one held by strong arms, thus 'can-cer' means 'rest securely' or 'rest secured'. This sign shows the resting place of the church, firmly encircled in His arms, a multitude now at rest and peace.
Star names include Acubens which means 'the place of shelter or rest'. Also Ma'alaph and Al Himarein which mean 'multitude gathered' and 'the lambs'. And we see the head of the snake under the feet of the Crab.
The first two decans of Cancer the Crab are what we know as the Big Dipper and Little Dipper - Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. In the same way Gemini shows the Lord and the church united, and the Canis Major and Canis Minor show who is the 'big dog' and 'little dog' united as one, so too do the two bears.
These are probably the first constellations you learned how to find in the night sky, for the two front stars in the Big Dipper point at the Little Dipper, whose handle ends with the Pole Star, the North Star. It is the North Star that all the other constellations seem to rotate around, and as mentioned earlier, has been the main star used for navigation for centuries because of that fact.
It should come as no surprise that originally these were not a big and little bear. The main star is Dubheh or Dubah, and in Greek the word 'Dob' means bear, which is where we get the name. But in the original Hebrew meaning the star name Dubheh means 'sheepfold', 'pen' or 'corral', a place to keep flocks. (Dober)
This is proven by the star names which include; Al Pherkadain, 'the calves', Al Gedi 'the chosen of the flock' or 'the kid', and Al Kaid 'the assembled together'. In the tail of the Big Dipper or big bear (bears don't have long tails) is the star Mizar which means 'the guarded' or the 'enclosed place'. Other stars are Merach, 'the flock', and Cab d al Asad, 'the multitude assembled'. So we see like Gemini and the dog stars, so too do the bears (the corrals) show us safe in Christ as He is the Chief Shepherd and protector of the flock.
The third decan of Cancer the Crab is Argo, the Ship. Some may recall their mythology of Jason and the Argonauts, who included Pollux and Castor (the twins) on their journey to find the Golden Fleece - yes we can see the corrupted story of salvation and heaven in some of that. But a ship does carry people, and Argo compliments Gemini and the other decans similarly.
The main star is said to be the navigator and helmsman of the ship, Canopus or Canobus. It means 'the possession of him who comes (to us)' - as one would expect a ship to come for a person. Other star names are Sephina which means 'abundance' and Tureis which means 'firmly in control' or 'firmly in hand'. Asmidiska which means 'travelers released', and Soheil which means 'that which was desired'.
The summary of Cancer the Crab: We see the flock gathered and at rest. The bears are really a shepherd and sheepfold, or heavenly sheepfold and earthly one, but one in each other, and on a journey on the ship - awaiting the arrival of the ship to gather us as one.
The last of our study is Leo the Lion
Leo stands in perfect alignment with the ecliptic (path of the sun), and ends the year as a sign of His return and His final victory. We immediately associate the Lion of the Tribe of Judah with the Lord so this is easily understood. The main star, which is in his chest, is Regel or Regulus. It means 'the feet which crush'. The next star is Denebola which means 'the Judge'. A third is Al Giebha, meaning 'the exalted one'. Other star names are Al Defera, 'the putting down of the enemy', Deneb al Eced, 'the coming Judge', and Minchir al Asad, 'the punishing of him who destroys'.
The three decans of Leo are together almost as one figure. They are Hydra the snake, Crater the cup of judgement, and Corvus the raven - both the cup and raven are on the back of Hydra the snake.
In the Egyptian zodiac Leo is standing directly on the snake. In our zodiac Leo's front paws are on Hydra's head. Hydra means 'the abhorred'. Its main stars include 'Al Phard' meaning 'the excluded' or 'one put away' or 'the separated'. Another is Minchir al Sugia meaning 'the punishing of the deceiver'.
Crater is the cup of wrath poured out on Hydra the snake/serpent, sitting directly on its back. Corvus the Raven stands directly on his back as well, claws holding tight, as he picks at his flesh. The same stars that mark the bottom of the cup of wrath also make up the back of Hydra, showing that wrath and Hydra are forever united. A raven is not only the enemy of snakes, but a scavenger of the dead.
The summary of Leo: Leo is the soon coming King, the Conquering King who will once and for all pour out His wrath on the enemy, who will never bother anyone again.
I realize this has been a long study, but I've written it in such a way that it can be printed and studied for a house church, Bible study or one's own study. Forgive some of the spelling for auto-correct was continually trying to correct new spellings for much of the Arabic star names.
When I first taught this in the late 1999's in Bible school, I had a student from Egypt who confirmed the Arabic star names mentioned in this series (and also helped with the pronunciation). For me, when I step outside at night and see all those stars, I see the story of salvation, as the Lord said at the beginning, for signs, seasons, days and years.
The whole gospel story is played out above us day and night - we only see the stars at night, but they are there all through the bright day as well. He watches over us and will one day bring us all home, gathered together at last. New subject next week, blessings,
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