A couple of years ago I went for a camping holiday to North Norfolk (I live in England) where I was able to experience the great array of stars at night in an unadulterated way. This was a fabulous experience for me as a city dweller where so much of the night sky is made invisible by light pollution. I would have been happy to have stared at the night sky for the whole of the dark night with my mind recounting YHWH’s heavenly creation; the stars/lights in the sky are in the second heaven otherwise known as the firmament. We read: God said, ₁₄Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth; and it was so. Genesis Chapter One
YHWH, I note, only made lights/stars in the night sky. There is no mention of planets – in case any of you were wondering about this, please do take a walk through your bible and see what you find is written there…The only other heavenly bodies mentioned are the sun and the moon. Jude mentions the wandering stars though (these move their positions in the night sky): “Wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever” Jude 1:13. These wandering stars are referred to as planets these days, but I have in my mind that they are, as Jude says, wandering stars as I can find no biblical reference to planets – again dear reader take a look in your trusty, Holy Spirit inspired bible…
If you do a cursory search on your chosen video media outlet, you will find some brilliant videos showing close-ups of the wandering stars taken through the lens of a Nikon P900 (950, 1000) camera. There are also some experiments which show how stars could be formed by various frequencies. These might help you to expand your thinking on what I am illustrating in this post. Actually, why not go and make a search now before you read on…
Further researching into what the bible tells us about the stars and what the significance of the stars is, I propose that we look at Genesis1: 14-15 again: ₁₄Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth; and it was so.
Now, let us dissect the verses to show the ‘jobs’ which YHWH gave to the stars:
- The lights were to divide day from night (remembering that the sun and moon are not mentioned at this point but will play a significant role in this ‘job’);
- They will be used for signs (think of them forming YHWH’s great mind-map in the sky, more of that later);
- They will be used to show seasons (we may have lost this skill but Early man also knew that what stars could be seen and how they appeared to move during the night depended on where he was on the earth: the further north one travels, the higher the North star appears in the sky and stars appear to move closer to parallel to the horizon.);
- They will be used to show days and years (early astronomers were able to create calendars by viewing the stars together with the sun and moon);
- They were to give light to the earth (even on a moonless night, we can see for ourselves that the stars give us a good amount of light).
Returning to verse 14: let them be for signs, this brings to mind other verses in the bible which show this star-role most clearly. Significantly, we can see that the stars have been giving, and are even now giving, warnings to mankind. We read in Daniel’s vision of the ram and goat that: It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. Isaiah speaks of the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises and the moon will not shed its light. Yeshua himself tells us in the gospel of Mark that the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (also seen in Matthew 24:29). Then in the apocalyptic book of Revelation we see that the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The stars have been given a truly awesome role and perhaps we should pay more attention to them!
Looking further into the roles of the stars, and particularly their job of showing signs and seasons. We will start with seasons to get a bit of background.
The Hebrew word for seasons is Moedim which is taken from the Hebrew root Moed meaning appointed time, place, or meeting (4150 Moed Strong’s Concordance). So that when YHWH says let them be for signs and seasons, He is speaking about seasons reflecting times which are of importance and significance to Him (and should therefore be significant to us too). The NAS Exhaustive Concordance refers to appointed feasts which is even more specific; the word seasons is not just referring to seasonal times of the year such as summer or winter but is rather more explicit when the word feasts is used. The Moedim (moe-eh-DEEM – Appointed Times), are typically called Jewish holidays but in the Bible are referred to as Yah’s feast days. The Moedim are spoken of throughout Scripture but presented as a group in Leviticus chapter 23. Furthermore, it is most probable that in Genesis 1:14, where ׳מ אֹתֹת is, the reference is to the sacred seasons as fixed by moon’s appearance.
We learn about YHWH’s feasts and appointed times later in the bible when we read:
These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons (KJV)
These are the LORD’s appointed festivals and sacred assemblies that you are to declare at their appointed time. (ISV)
The following are the LORD’s appointed festivals with holy assemblies, which you must announce at their appointed times. (God’s Word Translation)
All from: Leviticus chapter 23 v 4
From Hebrew for Christians online we read that Leviticus 23 is the single chapter of the entire Tanakh that sums up everything. Yah’s eternal plan—from chaos to eternity—is ingeniously revealed through the nature and timing of the Seven annual Feasts of the Lord…Believers in Mashiach (Yeshua/Jesus) are not responsible to keep these feasts [hmmm, I beg to differ, we are], but knowledge of them enhances our faith. Our Lord kept every one of them without fail, even celebrating Pesach (Passover) on His last earthly night. If you read on, you will learn about the importance of acknowledging these feasts and can make your own mind up about whether we should as Christians still be keeping these feasts. My personal belief is that we should honour these feasts as Yeshua himself showed in His walk on earth and that as Yeshua is the ultimate sacrificial lamb we do not need to actually sacrifice any creature anymore as part of the feasts. As we follow the pattern and seasons of these feasts, we find that Yeshua’s life on earth and the future times to come are all mirrored in the feasts.
Moving on, we will take a look at the stars as Yah’s sign posts.
A sign of YHWH’s works and plans
Chuck Missler writes: Satan and his followers have high-jacked the stars when it comes to the writing in the skies through the use of astrology. Satan has even misplaced the order of the zodiac to confuse us as we try to read what YHWH has written. Thankfully, Hebrew scholars have studied this by way of the Mazzaroth which is interpreted as the constellations of the zodiac. The book of Job, which is thought to be the oldest book in the Bible, goes back to approximately 2,150 B.C.,and in this we read in Job 38v32: Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? (KJV) Can you bring out constellations in their season? Can you guide the Bear with her cubs? (ISV). The names of these stars, Virgo, Pisces, Capricorn, Leo etc., are familiar to us today, because they are used by astronomers and navigators to designate various areas of the sky. Sadly, they have also been exploited by astrologers for occultic purposes which are so very far from the truth. The 12 signs have nothing to say about man, however they do have a great deal to say about God’s plan of redemption for mankind – from the virgin birth (Virgo) to the triumph of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Leo)!
Furthermore, from Luke810.com we read: while Adam was given the privilege of naming the animals, God named the stars (Psalms 147:4, Isaiah 40:26, Genesis 1:14). In astrology, Aries is the first sign and Pisces is the last. But astrology is a counterfeit. In reality Virgo is the first sign and Leo is the last. The order of signs from Virgo through Leo is confirmed by the ancient Egyptian Sphinx, which portrays the head of a woman (Virgo) and the body of a lion (Leo).
From research, scholars have come to understand that what the zodiac signs are actually saying to us (and they are most certainly saying even more than this, but their message is yet to be discovered). We have an interpretation from 17Fish-The Bible and the Stars as follows:
The Redeemer. “The sufferings of Christ.”
- VIRGO (A) The prophecy of the promised seed.
- (= The desired). The woman and child the desired of all nations (in the most ancient Zodiacs).
- CENTAURUS (with two natures). The despised sin-offering.
- The coming One with branch.
- LIBRA (B) The Redeemer’s atoning work.
- The Cross endured.
- The Victim slain.
- The Crown bestowed.
- SCORPIO (B) The Redeemer’s conflict.
- Assaulting the man’s heel.
- The man grasping the serpent.
- The mighty man victorious.
- SAGITTARIUS (A) The Redeemer’s triumph.
- Praise prepared for the Conqueror.
- Fire prepared for His enemies.
- The dragon cast down.
- CAPRICORNUS (C) The result of the Redeemer’s sufferings.
- The arrow of God sent forth.
- The smitten One falling.
- The dead One rising again.
- AQUARIUS (D) The Blessings assured.
- PISCIS AUSTRALIS. The blessings bestowed.
- The blessings quickly coming.
- The Blesser surely returning.
- PISCES (D) The Blessings in abeyance.
- THE BAND. The great enemy, “Cetus.”
- The redeemed in bondage.
- The Deliverer coming to loosen.
- ARIES (C) The Blessings consummated.
- The captive delivered.
- The great enemy bound.
- The “Breaker” delivering.
“The glory that should follow.”
- TAURUS (E) Messiah coming to rule.
- The Redeemer breaking forth as Light.
- Wrath breaking forth as a flood.
- Safety for His redeemed in the day of wrath.
- GEMINI (F) Messiah as Prince of princes.
- The enemy trodden under foot.
- CANIS MAJOR. The coming glorious Prince.
- CANIS MINOR. The exalted Redeemer.
- CANCER (F) Messiah’s redeemed possessions.
- URSA MINOR. The lesser sheepfold.
- URSA MAJOR. The fold and the flock.
- The pilgrim’s arrival at home.
- LEO (E) Messiah’s consummated triumph.
- HYDRA. The old serpent destroyed.
- CRATER. The cup of wrath poured put.
- CORVUS. The birds of prey devouring.
Here we see that the stars show us YHWH’s great Creation Plan right from the very beginning: we would need a Saviour, Yeshua the redeemer, who would conquer death (and satan) through His death on the cross and resurrection and He would promise us that if we believed in Him and trusted Him to guide our lives, we too would have eternal life:
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. John 10:28-30
STARS as SIGN POSTS: a pointer to YHWH’s Throne
The position of YHWH’s throne – We are told in Job 23:9 : On the left hand, where he does work, but I cannot behold him: he hides himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him. This is made clearer in the following translations when we learn that the words On the left hand – in Hebrew smo’wl (sem-ole’ Strong’s 8040) can be interpreted as dark (as enveloped), i.e. the north; hence (by orientation), the left hand — left (hand, side)[Bible Hub]. So, we can read: When He is at work to the north, I cannot see Him; when He turns south, I cannot find Him (Holman Christian standard Bible). If he’s working in the north, I can’t observe him; If he turns south, I can’t see him. (ISV)
We read in Isaiah 14:13: You said in your heart, ‘I’ll ascend to heaven, above the stars of God. I’ll erect my throne; I’ll sit on the Mount of Assembly in the far reaches of the north (ISV). For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north (KJV). Here Isaiah speaks of the King of Babylon (probably Nimrod) and his desire to rise above YHWH, towards His throne in the north.
From these passages it appears that YHWH’s throne is in a northern position and it is helpful to view a Hebrew cosmology diagram to be able to clearly see where YHWH’s throne is situated in relation to the earth:
Wherever YHWH’s throne is, it is in such a position that He can look down upon the people of His creation as we read in the following verses:
Isaiah 40: 22: It is he that sits on the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in:
Job 22: 14: ‘Clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see; And He walks on the vault of heaven.’
Psalm 18:11: He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.
But of course, we are looking at the stars and their role as sign posts and how they might point to YHWH’s throne. We know that there is one amazing star called Polaris and this star is an immovable star which stays in the same position at all times (hence the name given of the North Star – for centuries sailors have used it for guidance as it is fixed and trustworthy for navigational purposes). What is most amazing about this star is that, when using time lapse photography, all the other stars appear to travel around Polaris which remains in the centre.
Could it be that Polaris is a pointer to YHWH’s throne and that it is above this star that YHWH has his residence? When I gaze at the stars, I like to think so.
In the Book of Enoch Chapter 14 we read: ₁₀They elevated me aloft to heaven. I proceeded, until I arrived at a wall built with stones of crystal. A vibrating flame surrounded it, which began to strike me with terror. ₁₁Into this vibrating flame I entered… Could the “vibrating flame” be a star such as Polaris?
Having seen that time lapse photography shows how the stars move around Polaris – why do they do this? Perhaps what we think we know is not what is really the truth… But there is more to explore.
Reading Enoch Chapter 14 fully, I would like to highlight further phenomenon; it is worth a read:
₁₀They elevated me aloft to heaven. I proceeded, until I arrived at a wall built with stones of crystal. A vibrating flame surrounded it, which began to strike me with terror. ₁₁Into this vibrating flame I entered; ₁₂And drew nigh to a spacious habitation built also with stones of crystal. Its walls too, as well as pavement, were formed with stones of crystal, and crystal likewise was the ground. Its roof had the appearance of agitated stars and flashes of lightning; and among them were cherubim of fire in a stormy sky. A flame burned around its walls; and its portal blazed with fire. When I entered into this dwelling, it was hot as fire and cold as ice. No trace of delight or of life was there. Terror overwhelmed me, and a fearful shaking seized me.₁₃Violently agitated and trembling, I fell upon my face. In the vision I looked.₁₄And behold there was another habitation more spacious than the former, every entrance to which was open before me, erected in the midst of a vibrating flame.₁₅So greatly did it excel in all points, in glory, in magnificence, and in magnitude, that it is impossible to describe to you either the splendour or the extent of it.₁₆Its floor was on fire; above were lightnings and agitated stars, while its roof exhibited a blazing fire.₁₇Attentively I surveyed it, and saw that it contained an exalted throne;₁₈The appearance of which was like that of frost; while its circumference resembled the orb of the brilliant sun; and there was the voice of the cherubim.₁₉From underneath this mighty throne rivers of flaming fire issued.₂₀To look upon it was impossible.₂₁One great in glory sat upon it: ₂₂Whose robe was brighter than the sun, and whiter than snow.”
From the highlighted sections we read “its portal blazed with fire” a connection can be made with this and the idea of Polaris being the star as it were in front, as a marker, of YHWH’s throne in the sky. Also, the fact that Enoch speaks of the crystal floor and walls and of the flames, “lighnings and agitated stars” – it is from these images that my imagination leads me to wonder if the crystal floor could reflect the colour from around the throne onto the earth below.
From the Book of Daniel, Chapter 7:9, we read: I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire.
And then from Revelation Chapter 4: 2-3: Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. In this passage from Revelation, we can see some wonderful colours mentioned including a rainbow.
We have all heard about the phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis, sometimes called the Northern Lights, and some will have been lucky enough to have seen this wonderful sight. What if this spectacular display is YHWH’s presence being reflected onto earth through the crystal floor?
And furthermore: Ezekiel in describing his vision of the “Throne of God” says–Above the Firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a Throne, as the appearance of a Sapphire Stone: and upon the likeness of the Throne was the likeness as the appearance of a MAN above upon it. And I saw as the colour of Amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of His loins even upward, and from the appearance of His loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the Bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the GLORY OF THE LORD. Ez. 1:26-28.”
Zen Garcia writes [paraphrased]: Now there are two things in Ezekiel’s Vision that correspond with John’s Vision of the “throne of Yah.” First that the form of the one who sat on the Throne could not be clearly distinguished or described, but that it was resplendent with light, which veiled the form or person; and secondly, that there was a rainbow around about the throne. The person of Yah then, as He sits upon His Throne, is veiled in a Glory that can only be compared to the shining of some beautiful gem. But one of the remarkable things about the Throne of Yah is that it is surrounded by a “rainbow” that is emerald in colour.
When the image of the stars rotating around Polaris and the colours of the Aurora Borealis coincide, this makes a most marvellous picture as we see here:
Yah’s stars are truly playing their parts showing signs and seasons but most especially they seem to be dancing around the throne of Yah and giving glory to the Most High!