In Part 2 of the video series I shared in my last post (The Christmas Story), Dr. Chuck Missler mentioned the Hebrew Mazzaroth. I thought I’d explain what that is.
I tend to ask for memorable experiences for my birthdays so a few years ago (2006?) I asked for a trip to a planetarium at Michigan State University. I love star-watching and hadn’t gone to a planetarium since I was a young child. So we went, and afterwards drove to another location where the astronomers watched the stars with a large telescope. We were able to look through that telescope and also through smaller ones that astronomers had set up outside. It was a wonderful experience!
That night at the planetarium, we saw a similation of the sun running through the twelve constellations of the zodiac. I had never realized that the sun went, month by month, year after year, through the zodiac. I’ve never looked into the zodiac because I’ve always associated it with astrology, which the Scriptures commands against. As I sat in the planetarium that night, however, I wondered why the God who created the stars made the sun to run through the zodiac. “What does it all mean?” I wondered.
Not long afterward, I began reading Brock and Bodie’s series, A.D. Chronicles, which describes the Hebrew meaning of the stars and constellations. (They have posts about the stars on their site. A link is at left in my Favorite links.) I had never heard of such a thing, but it peaked my interest in the subject so I began to do research on the Internet. I found sources that said that the message of the gospel is written in the stars.
As I studied the Tabernacle, I found a few sources that said that each of the twelve tribes had one of the Mazzeroth, or Hebrew zodiac, symbols associated with it. If a person were to proceed through the order of the camp, the story of the gospel would be told, just as they are in the stars. I thought I’d share some of my research with you. The following are bits and pieces from several different sources. If you want to do more research on this subject, the following website has a lot of information about the Hebrew meanings. I haven’t researched the site’s views on other Scriptural matters, but thought they gave a thorough explanation of the Gospel in the stars.
Zodiac Signs and Bible Truth
The twelve major constellations of the Zodiac are referred to in the bible as the “Mazzaroth.” The word zodiac comes from the Greek zodiakos meaning a circle. It is often assumed that the connection is with animals (living creatures, from the Greek zoe “to live” and the English zoo). However, the root meaning of zodiakos has nothing to do with living creatures, but instead comes from the primitive root zoad, meaning a path or way or going by steps. In this connection, it is used to denote the way along which the sun appears to move through the stars in the course of the 12 months. This course is repeated every year as the apparent position of the sun returns to almost the exact spot that it occupied on the same date a year before. So the path through the sky along which the sun travels (or appears to travel) is called the zodiac and is divided into 12 segments.
Each of these segments is marked by a group of stars which is easily recognized. These 12 groups of stars (constellations) have names that are familiar to most people and are known as the “signs” of the zodiac. Each of the 12 signs pictorially represents a prophetic event in relation to the unfolding story of salvation in the history of the world. Please keep in mind that the star groups (constellations) do not necessarily look like the objects for which they are named, but each is associated with the picture of the object.
The fact that the signs of the zodiac bear little resemblance the pictures associated with them should be of great interest to observers of the night-time sky. Every ancient culture with any knowledge or tradition concerning the stars recognizes the same 12 star groups and the same names or meanings of names. Examine the star knowledge of whatever ancients you choose (Babylonia, China, India, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Central America…..) and everywhere the same constellations are identified and associated with the identical or similar meanings and names. The only explanation for this fact is that there was one original Source who identified the constellations with their meanings before the dispersion of the peoples of the earth. God is that Source.
The 12 signs as originally given by God were a prophetic outline of the purpose of God in the history of salvation. They are understood, however, only if they are seen in their proper order. Since they form a circle, the problem is in knowing where to begin and finish. Astrologers begin with Aries, but this does not correspond with Biblical revelation. A comparison of the prophecies in the heavens with the prophecies in the Bible clearly shows that the starting point is the divine promise concerning the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15), and the ending point clearly coincides with the climax of Scripture in the triumph of the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Jesus Christ) – (Revelation 5:5). So the outline begins with Virgo and ends with Leo. Confirmation of this is found in one of the very old zodiacs dating back to 2000 B.C. or before. It is called the zodiac of Dendereh and was found on the ceiling of the portico of the temple of Esneh in Egypt. In this zodiac there is placed between the signs of Virgo and Leo a picture of the Sphinx. The Sphinx (with the head of a woman and the tail of a lion) confirms the starting and finishing points for the zodiac. Many scholars think that this was in fact the main purpose of the Sphinx and thus solves its “riddle.”
The saga in the stars begins with Virgo (a virgin) bringing forth a son. Libra (balance) follows, an indication that man does not possess the power to save himself. The price is deficient. A scorpion and an archer appear together, symbolizing the battle between Satan (Scorpio the Scorpion) and Jesus Christ (Sagittarius the Archer). The intent of Satan is to sting (and thereby kill) Christ in order to thwart God’s plan of salvation. The archer has his bow drawn toward Satan and the half-man half-horse depicts the dual nature of Jesus Christ: God and man. Next, comes Capricorn, an animal which is part-goat and part-fish. The goat was often used in sacrificial ceremonies to cleanse sins on the day of atonement. Christ was, in effect, that perfect sacrifice, adopting the sins of the world. A water-bearer (Aquarius) is next to enter the arena, pouring out an endless supply of water. Within that water are the fish (Pisces) which personify Jesus Christ as one who died to save the human race. Pisces Australia (the southernmost fish) dwells in the flow. As the fish cannot survive outside the water, so this symbolism states that an individual is unable to survive outside the pouring of the Holy Spirit. Pisces is a twofold constellation, representative of both Jew and Gentile who will be bound to Satan until the return of Jesus Christ. Satan, of course, is engaged in constant battle with the Church. Early believers used the sign of Pisces to secretly identify themselves.
A ram (Aries) appears, depicting the reign of Jesus who will soon return, heralding the triumph of the Church over Satan. In the guise of a bull (Taurus), Christ will return to lead the charge and “gore” the evil before setting up his rule on earth. Gemini the Twins presents a picture of the newly-acquired dual role of the savior: the suffering servant and the righteous judge. A crab (Cancer) depicts a place of safety for those believers who will escape the Day of Judgment. In the form of a lion (Leo) will the victory of Christ be complete and the defeated Satan cast down. Thus in glorious triumph, does Leo step upon the head of Hydra the Serpent.The Incarnate Son (Virgo – Virgin)…Isaiah 7:14 The Redeemer (Libra – Scales)…1 Corinthians 6:20 The Sufferer (Scorpio – Scorpion)…1 Corinthians 15:55-56 The Conqueror (Sagittarius – Archer)…Revelations 6:2 The Sacrifice (Capricorn – Goat)…Romans 3:25 The Living Water (Aquarius – Water-Bearer)…John 7:38 The Liberator (Pisces – Fishes)…Genesis 48:19; Mark 1:17 The Crowned Lamb (Aries – Ram)…Revelations 5:6 The Judge (Taurus – Bull)…John 5:22 The King (Gemini – Twins)…Romans 1:3 The Protector (Cancer – Crab)…Isaiah 4:5-6 The Victor (Leo – Lion)…Revelations 5:5
Here is another interesting article about the stars:
What did King David know of the Heavens?
“The heavens declare the glory of God.” With these words begins the magnificent 19th Psalm. What did King David know of the heavens and how they express the glory of God? He knew nothing of the immensity of space which modern science has discovered; light years, pulsars, and super novae were completely unknown in his day. But there were astronomical facts which David knew, facts with which many people today are familiar.
David knew that God created the stars (Genesis 1:14-19). He also understood that it was God, not chance, who set them in their specific places (Psalm 8:3). Even more important, he knew that God gave names to the stars (Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26). David, like most of his contemporaries, also knew the meanings of the names of the stars. In his native language of Hebrew, the names of the stars were commonly used in the Messianic prophecies and aspirations of God’s ancient people.
David could point to the well-known bright stars of the sky and meditate on their significance. Spica means “The Branch”. Arcturus means “He Comes”. Pollux means “Who Comes to Suffer”. Antares means “The Wounded”. Sirius means “The Prince”. Elnath means “Slain”. Procyon means “The Redeemer”. Vega means “He Shall Be Exalted”.
Not only did David know that the names of individual stars had meanings, but he also knew that the stars (plural) had a Divine purpose: “They shall be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Genesis 1:14). The stars were to be for signs to indicate happenings. I am convinced that these “signs” comprised a pictorial presentation of what God was going to do in history, especially concerning the suffering and glory of the coming Saviour.
David knew, like Job, that God caused the 12 signs to appear in their regular order during the course of a year (Job 38:31-32). The first sign is that of Virgo, which spoke of the coming Seed of woman, who would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). The prophetic revelation continued through all the other signs, depicting the atonement, the suffering Redeemer, the Messiah coming to rule, and the final overthrow of the serpent-enemy. The final sign is Leo, which speaks of Christ as the Lion of the tribe of Judah which has prevailed. The prophecy in the signs of the heavens follows the same order as that in the Word of God. David knew this and exulted, “The heavens declare the glory of God!”
Comments: The pseudoscience of astrology is nothing more than a cleverly disguised satanic corruption of the pure story of the coming Redeemer. I am fully aware that the Scriptures contain the full and final revelation of God for man today. However, there is some encouragement for the Believer who discovers that the same Biblical message is to be seen in the signs in the sky.
Here are other heavenly bodies and their Hebrew meanings that I’ve come across:Moon, Holy Spirit Mercury, Messenger Star Venus, Splendor Sun, Holy Fire Mars, The Adam Jupiter, Righteous Saturn, Sabbath
Is the Gospel message written in the stars? I came across some sites of people who declared it was so. Others said that Christians who believed so are playing with pagan beliefs. It seems to me that the God who created the universe and named the stars could very well have placed His message in the constellations. However, I believe that those who argue about this are getting their focus wrong. The most important thing is not about whether or not the stars display the Gospel, but on what the message is. We are to focus on God and His truth. Whether or not the Gospel is actually in the stars, I think it would be wonderful to look up in the heavens and see God’s message there rather than pagan beliefs. When EJ, JJ, and I look at the night sky these days, we point out not Jupiter (named for the Roman god), but “The Righteous.” We look at the moon and see the “Holy Spirit.” We see the Messenger Star and Splender. We look up and see God.
How cool is that?