The Witness of the Stars
18. Aquarius (the Water
The Atonement being made, the blessings have been procured, and now they can be bestowed and poured forth upon the Redeemed. This is the truth, whether we think of Abel's lamb, of patriarchal sacrifices, the offerings under the Law, or of that great Sacrifice of which they all testified. They all with one voice tell us that atonement made is the only foundation of blessing.
This was pictured and foreshown in the heavens from the beginning, by a man pouring forth water from an urn which seems to have an inexhaustible supply, and which flows forth downwards into the mouth of a fish, which receives it and drinks it all up.
In the ancient Zodiac of Denderah it is the same idea, though the man holds two urns, and the fish below seems to have come out of the urn. The man is called Hupei Tirion, which means the place of him coming down or poured forth.
In some eastern Zodiacs the urn alone appears.
This agrees with its other names--Hebrew, Deli, the water-urn, or bucket (as in Numbers 24:7); the Arabic Delu is the same.
There are 108 stars in this Sign, four of which are of the 3rd magnitude. Their names, as far as they have come down to us, are significant.
The star a (in the right shoulder) is called Sa'ad al Melik, which means The record of the pouring forth.
The star b (in the other shoulder) is called Saad al Sund, who goeth and returneth, or the pourer out.
The bright star d (in the lower part of the right leg) is well-known today by its Hebrew name Scheat, which means who goeth and returneth.
The bright star in the urn has an Egyptian name--Mon or Meon, which means simply an urn.
Aquarius is the modern Latin name by which the sign is known. It has the same meaning, the pourer forth of water.
Can we doubt what is the interpretation of this sign? The Greeks, not knowing Him of whom it testified, were, like the woman of Samaria, destitute of that living water which He alone can give. They therefore invented some story about Deucalion, the son of Prometheus; and another, saying he is Ganymede, Jove's cup-bearer! But, as an astronomer says, "We must account otherwise for the origin of this name; for it is not possible to reconcile the symbols of the eleventh sign (because everyone begins to reckon from Aries, and not as we have done from Virgo) with Grecian mythology." No! we must go further back than that, and not cramp our vision, and distort the Scriptures, by confining our thoughts to "the Church." The Church is nowhere seen in these Signs, as it is nowhere revealed in the Old Testament. This we shall enlarge on when we come to the sign Pisces. Meanwhile we must read the witness of the stars as if there had been no Church!
Christ is first. Yea, He is all in all. The Scriptures testify of Him; and the very stars in this Sign tell of His going away and His coming again. These prophetic signs have to do with Him, with the Atonement He wrought, with the conflict He endured, with the blessings He secured, with the victory He shall win, and the triumph He shall have. For it is written:
"He shall pour the water out of His
It tells of that glorious day when
"A King shall reign in
It speaks of that glorious time when Israel shall be restored, and their "eyes shall see the King in His beauty"; when the peace of Zion shall be no more disturbed, "but there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams" (Isaiah 33:17,20,21). Then
"The wilderness and the solitary
place shall be glad for them;
"I will open rivers in high places,
"Fear not, O Jacob, My servant;
This is the meaning of the Sign. The MAN Christ Jesus, who was humbled in death will yet be seen to be the pourer forth of every blessing. Physically pouring forth literal waters, removing the curse, and turning this world into a paradise:
"Making her wilderness like Eden,
And morally pouring forth His Spirit in such abundance as to fill the whole earth with peace, and blessing, and glory, "as the waters cover the sea."
Upon Israel restored He will pour out His blessing. They will be sprinkled with clean water, and possess a new heart and a new spirit (Eze 36:24-28; Joel 2:28-32).
Such are some of the Scriptures which tell of this glorious Water-pourer. We need not rob Christ of His glory, or Israel of her blessing, in order to see in all this Pentecost or the Church. These are quite independent of the great line of prophetic truth. They are parenthetical, and distinct, and true, quite apart from the glorious prophecies of Israel's scattering and gathering. The physical marvels referred to in the texts above can never be satisfied or exhausted by any spiritual fulfilment. We may make an application of them as far as is consistent with the teaching of the epistles; but the interpretation of them belongs to the Person of Christ, and the nation of Israel. That interpretation is pictured for us in the Sign, and in its three constellations.
18. Aquarius (the Water
This first constellation is one of high antiquity, and its brilliant star of the first magnitude was a subject of great study by the Egyptians and Ethiopians. It is named in Arabic Fom al Haut, the mouth of the fish There are 22 other stars.
The constellation is inseparable from AQUARIUS. In the Denderah Zodiac it is called Aar, a stream.
It sets forth the simple truth that the blessings procured by the MAN--the coming Seed of the woman, will be surely bestowed and received by those for whom they are intended. There will be no failure in their communication, or in their reception. What has been purchased shall be secured and possessed.
19. Pegasus (the Winged Horse)
Not only shall they be received, but they shall be brought near. They will not have to be fetched, but they will be caused to come to those for whom they are procured, and will yet be brought by Him who has procured them.
In the Denderah Zodiac there are two characters immediately below the horse, Pe and ka. Peka or Pega, is in Hebrew the chief, and Sus is horse. So that the very word (Pegasus) has come down to us and has been preserved through all the languages.
The names of the stars in this constellation declare to us its meaning. There are 89 altogether; one of the 1st magnitude, two of the 2nd, three of the 3rd, nine of the 4th, etc. And, as astronomers testify, "they render Pegasus peculiarly remarkable."
The brightest a (on the neck of the horse at the junction of the wing), comes down to us with the ancient Hebrew name of Markab, which means returning from afar. The star b (in the near shoulder) is called Scheat, i.e., who goeth and returneth The star g (at the tip of the wing) bears an Arabic name--Al Genib, who carries. The star e (in the nostril) is called Enif (Arabic), the water The star h (in the near leg) is called Matar (Arabic), who causes to flow.
These names show us that we have to do with no mere horse. A winged horse is unknown to nature. It must therefore be used as a figure; and it can be a figure only of a person, even of Him who is "the Branch," as the star Enif shows, who said, "If I go away I will come again," as the star Scheat testifies.
He who procured these blessings for the redeemed by His Atonement, is quickly coming to bring them; and is soon returning to pour them forth upon a groaning creation. This is the lesson of Pegasus.
"Come, blessed Lord, bid every
Lord, Lord! thy fair creation
Thine was the Cross with all its
20. Cygnus (the Swan)
This constellation repeats, emphasises, and affirms this glorious truth. It has to do with the Great Blesser and His speedy return, as is testified by all the ancient names connected with it.
In the Denderah Zodiac it is named Tes-ark, which means this from afar.
It is a most brilliant and gorgeous asterism of 81 stars; one of the 1st or 2nd, six of the 3rd, twelve of the 4th magnitude, etc. It contains variable stars, five double stars, and one quadruple. The star marekd "61 Cygni" is known as one of the most wonderful in the whole heavens. It consists of two stars which revolve about each other, and yet have a progressive motion common to each!
This mighty bird is not falling dead, like Aquila, but it is flying swiftly in mid-heaven. It is coming to the earth, for it is not so much a bird of the air, but a bird peculiarly belonging to both the earth and the waters.
Its brightest star a (between the body and the tail), is called Deneb (like another in CAPRICORNUS), and means the judge. It is also called Adige, flying swiftly, and thus at once it is connected with Him who cometh to judge the earth in righteousness.
The star b (in the beak) is named Al Bireo (Arabic), flying quickly.
The star g (in the body) is called Sadr (Hebrew), who returns as in a circle.
The two stars in the tail, now marked in the maps as p I and p II, are named Azel, who goes and returns quickly; and Fafage, gloriously shining forth.
The teaching, then, of the whole sign of AQUARIUS is clear and complete. The names of the stars explain the constellations, and the names of the constellations explain the sign, so that we are left in no doubt.
By His atoning death (as set forth in CAPRICORNUS) He has purchased and procured unspeakable blessings for His redeemed. This sign (AQUARIUS) tells of those blessings being poured forth, and of the speedy return of Him who is to bring "rivers of blessing," and to fill this earth with blessing and glory "as the waters cover the sea."
"Then take, LORD, thy kingdom, and
come in Thy glory;