The Witness of the Stars
The Sign Gemini (The Twins)
Messiah's reign as Prince of Peace
32. Gemini (the Twins)
All the pictures of this sign are confused. The Greeks claimed to have invented them, and they called them Apollo and Hercules. The Latins called them Castor and Pollux, and the name of a vessel in which Paul sailed is so called in Acts 28:11.
The name in the ancient Denderah Zodiac is Clusus, or Claustrum Hor, which means the place of Him who cometh. It is represented by two human figures walking, or coming. The second appears to be a woman. The other appears to be a man. It is a tailed figure, the tail signifying He cometh.
The old Coptic name was Pi-Mahi, the united, as in brotherhood. Not necessarily united by being born at the same time, but united in one fellowship or brotherhood. The Hebrew name is Thaumim, which means united. The root is used in Exodus 26:24 "They (the two boards) shall be coupled together beneath." In the margin we read, "Heb. twinned" (RV double). The Arabic Al Tauman means the same.
We need not trouble ourselves with the Grecian myths, even though we can see through them the original and ancient truth. The two were both heroes of peculiar and extraordinary birth--sons of Jupiter. They were supposed to appear at the head of armies; and as they had cleared the seas of pirates, they were looked upon as the patron saints of navigation. (Hence the name of the ship in Acts 28:11). They were held in high esteem both by Greeks and Romans; and the common practice of taking oaths and of swearing by their names has descended even to our own day in the still surviving vulgar habit of swearing "By Gemini!"
The more ancient star-names help us to see through all these and many other myths, and to discern Him of whom they testify; even Him in His twofold nature--God and Man--and His twofold work of suffering and glory, and His twofold coming in humiliation and in triumph.
There are 85 stars in the sign: two of the 2nd magnitude, four of the 3rd, six of the 4th, etc.
The name of a (in the head of one) is called Apollo, which means ruler, or judge; while b (in the head of the other) is called Hercules, who cometh to labour, or suffer. Another star, g (in his left foot), is called Al Henah, which means hurt, wounded, or afflicted. Can we have a doubt as to what is the meaning of this double presentation? In Ophiuchus we have the two in one person: the crushed enemy, and the wounded heel. But here the two great primeval truths are presented in two persons; for the two natures were one Person, "God and man in one Christ." As man, suffering for our redemption; as God, glorified for our complete salvation and final triumph. A star, e (in the centre of his body), is called Waset, which means set, and tells of Him who "set His face like a flint" to accomplish this mighty Herculean work; and, when the time was come, "steadfastly set His face to go" to complete it.
He bears in his right hand (in some pictures) a palm branch. Some pictures show a club; but both the club or bow are in repose! These united ones are neither in action nor are they preparing for action, but they are at rest and in peace after victory won. The star e (in the knee of the other, "Apollo") is called Mebsuta, which means treading under feet. The names of other stars have come down to us with the same testimony. One is called Propus (Hebrew), the branch, spreading; another is called Al Giauza (Arabic), the palm branch; another is named Al Dira (Arabic), the seed, or branch.
The day has here come to fulfil the prophecies concerning Him who is "the Branch," "the Branch of Jehovah," "the man whose name is the Branch."
"In that day shall the Branch of
Jehovah be beautiful and glorious;
"Behold, a king shall reign in
"Behold, the days come, saith the
"Behold, the days come, saith the
This is what we see in this sign--Messiah's peaceful reign. All is rest and repose. We see "His days," in which "the righteous shall flourish; and abundance of peace, so long as the moon endureth" (Psa 72).
But, for this blessed time to come, there must be no enemy! All enemies must be subdued.
This brings us to the first section of the book.
33. Lepus (the Hare) or Enemy
The names of the three constellations of this Sign, as well as the pictures, are all more or less modern, as is manifest from the names being in Latin, and having no relation to the ancient names of their stars. To learn their real meaning, therefore, we must have recourse to the ancient Zodiacs. In the Persian planisphere the first constellation was pictured by a serpent. In the Denderah (Egyptian) Zodiac it is an unclean bird standing on the serpent, which is under the feet of Orion. Its name there is given as Bashti-beki. Bashti means confounded, and Beki means failing.
"Below Orion's feet, the Hare
It is a small constellation of 19 stars (all small), three of which are of the 3rd magnitude, seven of the 4th, etc.
The brightest, a (in the body), has a Hebrew name, Arnebo, which means the enemy of Him that cometh. The Arabic, Arnebeth, means the same. Other stars are Nibal, the mad; Rakis, the bound (Arabic, with a chain); Sugia, the deceiver.
There can be no mistaking the voice of this united testimony. For this enemy is under the down-coming foot of Orion, and it tells of the blessed fact that when the true Orion, "the Sun of Righteousness, shall arise," and "the true light" shall shine over all the earth, He "shall tread down the wicked" (Mal 4), and every enemy will be subdued under His feet. "It is He that shall tread down our enemies" (Psa 60:12), as He has said:
"I will tread
them in Mine anger,
34. Canis Major (the Dog)
This second constellation carries on the teaching, and tells of the glorious Prince who will thus subdue and reign.
In the Denderah Zodiac he is called Apes, which means the head. He is pictured as a hawk (Naz, caused to come forth, coming swiftly down). The hawk is the natural enemy of the serpent, and there it has on its head a pestle and mortar, indicating the fact that he shall crush the head of the enemy.
In the Persian planisphere it is pictured as a wolf, and is called Zeeb, which in Hebrew has the same meaning. Plutarch translates it Leader. In Arabic it means coming quickly.
Its ancient name and meaning must be obtained from the names of its stars which have come down to us. There are 64 altogether. Two are of the 1st magnitude, two of the 2nd, four of the 3rd, four of the 4th, etc. Of these a (in the head) is the brightest in the whole heavens! It is called Sirius, the Prince as in Isaiah 9:6.
Sirius (our English "Sir" is derived from this word) was, by the ancients, always associated with great heat. And the hottest part of the year we still call "the dog days," though, through the variation as observed in different latitudes, and the precession of the equinoxes, its rising has long ceased to have any relation to those days. Virgil says that Sirius
"With pestilential heat infects the sky."
Homer spoke of it as a star
"Whose burning breath
It is not, however, of its heat that its name speaks, but of the fact that it is the brightest of all the stars, as He of whom it witnesses is the "Prince of princes," "the Prince of the Kings of the earth."
Though this "Dog-Star" came to have an ill-omened association, it was not so in more ancient times. In the ancient Akkadian it is called Kasista, which means the Leader and Prince of the heavenly host. While (as Mr. Robert Brown, Jr, points out) "the Sacred Books of Persia contain many praises for the star Tistrya or Tistar (Sirius), 'the chieftain of the East.'" (Euphratean Stellar Researches)
The next star, b (in the left fore foot), speaks the same truth. It is named Mirzam, and means the prince or ruler. The star d (in the body) is called Wesen, the bright, the shining. The star e (in the right hind leg) is called Adhara, the glorious.
Other stars, not identified, bear their witness to the same fact. Their names are--Aschere (Hebrew), who shall come; Al Shira Al Jemeniya (Arabic), the Prince or chief of the right hand! Seir (Egyptian), the Prince; Abur (Hebrew), the mighty; Al Habor (Arabic), the mighty; Muliphen (Arabic), the leader, the chief.
Here there is no conflicting voice; no discord in the harmonious testimony to Him whose name is called "Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God...the Prince of Peace" (Isa 9:6).
The names of the stars have no meaning whatever as applied to an Egyptian Hawk, or a Greek Dog. But they are full of significance when we apply them to Him of whom Jehovah says:
"Behold, I have given Him for a
witness to the people,
This is "the Prince of princes" (Dan 8:23,25) against whom, "when transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance...shall stand up," "but he shall be broken without hand," for he shall be destroyed "with the brightness of His coming" (2 Thess 2:8). This is He who shall come forth "King of kings and Lord of Lords" (Rev 19:16).
But Sirius has a companion, and this brings us to--
34. Canis Major (the Dog)
The same facts are to be remembered concerning the Greek picture, and Latin name of this constellation.
The Egyptian name in the Denderah Zodiac is Sebak, which means conquering, victorious. It is represented as a human figure with a hawk's head and the appendage of a tail.
This small constellation has only 14 stars according to the Britannic catalogue. One of the 1st magnitude, one of the 2nd, one of the 4th, etc.
The brightest star, a (in the body), is named Procyon, which means REDEEMER, and it tells us that this glorious Prince is none other than the one who was slain. Just as this chapter begins with two persons in one in the Sign (GEMINI), one victorious, the other wounded; so it ends with a representation of two princes, one of whom is seen triumphant and the other as the Redeemer. This is confirmed by the next star, b (in the neck), which is named Al Gomeisa (Arabic), the burthened, loaded, bearing for others. The names of the other stars still further confirm the great truth; viz., Al Shira or Al Shemeliya (Arabic), the prince or chief of the left hand, answering to the star in Sirius. One right, the other left, as the two united youths are placed. Al Mirzam, the prince or ruler; and Al Gomeyra, who completes or perfects.
This does, indeed, complete and perfect the presentation of this chapter: Messiah's reign as Prince of Peace; the enemy trodden under foot by the glorious "Prince of princes," who is none other than the glorified Redeemer.
This is also what is written in the Book:
"Shall the prey be taken from the
"When the enemy shall come in like
"And He shall divide the spoil with