By J.R. Church
“By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens…Lo, these are parts of his ways” (Job 26: 13,14)
The Book of Job predates Genesis by several hundred years. Though it is part of the Bible, it was written about a man who lived at least four centuries before Moses composed Genesis. Job had no written Bible. The Bible this ancient pilgrim read consisted of a series of constellations that appeared in the night skies high above the earth.
There are references to these constellations in the Book of Job, along with an explanation of why they appear as they do in the heavens. Our defining statement in Job 26 tells us that the “crooked serpent” is one of God’s leading characters in this drama of the ages and that these constellations-these “pillars of heaven”-make up the “parts” of God’s “ways”:
“The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.”
“By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.”
“Lo, these are parts of his ways…” (Job 26: 11,13-14).
These verses explain that the constellations were devised to teach early man about God’s plan for redemption. In the writings of five famous books, Moses noted that the sun, moon, planets and stars were given for “signs” (Genesis 1:14).
In The Gospel in the Stars, Joseph Seiss wrote, “For ages this whole field has been almost entirely left to a superstitious and idolatrous astrology, which has befouled a noble and divine science and done immeasurable damage to the souls of men. But we here find it claimed to be a sacred domain laid out of God in the original intent of Creation itself.”
Cicero, in translating the account of the constellations by Aratus, says, “The signs are measured out, that in so many descriptions divine wisdom might appear.”
Dr. Adam Clarke says of the ancient Egyptians, “They held the stars to be symbols of sacred things.” It is well known that “astronomy was the soul of the Egyptian religious system. The same is equally true of the Chaldeans and Assyrians.”
Albert Barnes once wrote: “There can be no doubt that Job refers here to the constellations,” and that “the sense in the passage is, that the greatness and glory of God are seen by forming the beautiful and glorious constellations that adorn the sky.”
The constellations were known and studied as far back as the earliest civilizations known to exist. The Sphinx that guards the Great Pyramid of Giza, with its woman’s head and lion’s body, testifies to the ancient existence of the constellations. The Zodiac is part of every ancient culture-the Romans, Greeks, Babylonians and Egyptians. Yet, before them all, Job confirmed that God had garnished the heavens with “pillars” – including the “crooked serpent” – and that they represent the “parts of his ways.”
The Characters in the Drama
The “serpent” mentioned in Job 26:13 is one of the leading characters noted in the Zodiac. The various constellations that refer to the serpent are:
Draco – a dragon curled around the northern polar star and whose tail covers a third of the circle of the heavens.
Cetus – the Leviathan or sea dragon.
Scorpio – the seed of the serpent.
Hydra – the many-headed dragon, whose tail also covers a third of the ecliptic path of the sun.
The Hebrew term used for “crooked” actually refers to a “fleeing” serpent. Among the various serpent figures in the Zodiac, Hydra is the only one seen trying to get away from the lion, who pounces on his head; the bird, who eats his flesh; and the bowl of wrath being poured out upon him. Therefore, Hydra appears to be the “fleeing serpent” referred to in this most ancient of Old Testament books.
Job knew about the story God had placed in the stars. It is the story of the conflict between the Seed of the virgin (Virgo) and the seed of the serpent (Scorpio). The son of Virgo is none other than the Son of God, while Scorpio points to the Antichrist.
Christ is depicted in the constellations in various ways. The constellations that tell the story of the Savior are:
Virgo – who bears the Son of God.
Centaurus – the Son of both God and the virgin – the one with two natures, divine and human.
Boötes – The Coming One – who holds the Sickle of judgment in his hand, which Sickle is also seen in the mouth of Leo.
Crux – the Southern Cross.
Lupus – the Victim Slain upon the Cross.
Ophiuchus – the Serpent Holder who restrains the Serpent from snatching the Northern Crown.
Hercules – the Mighty One, who clubs the many-headed Serpent seen lurking in the branches of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Sagittarius – the Conquering Centaur whose bow prepares an arrow pointed at the heart of Scorpio.
Capricorn – the head of a Sacrificial Goat, with the body of a Fish that represents the Church.
Aquarius – the Water-Bearer who pours out the Holy Spirit upon the fish – an ancient reference to Pentecost.
Pegasus – the Winged Horse upon which Christ will return.
Cephus – the Crowned King who comes to free Andromeda, the chained woman, and makes her his queen.
Aries – the Sacrificial Ram who conquers Cetus, the Sea Dragon and rescues Pisces, the two fish.
Perseus – the Breaker who destroys Medusa, the head of Serpents, and elevates Cassiopeia, the Enthroned Woman.
Taurus – the Coming Judge that introduces the “day of the Lord.”
Orion – the Glorious One who comes to judge the wicked.
Gemini – the Groom and Bride, not twin boys as depicted in modern Zodiacs.
Leo – the Conquering Lion who comes to destroy Hydra, the many-headed Dragon.
The above list does not give the complete story, by any means, but does show enough to convince any open-minded seeker of truth that the constellations tell the story that begins in Bethlehem and ends with the King of kings returning to conquer the old serpent who brought such ruin to the human race.
Job does not give a detailed account of the Zodiac, but refers briefly to those constellations that deal with the final judgment. He is asked about certain objects in the constellation of Taurus. It is quite remarkable that the conversation lands on this particular series of stars and sidereal sidepieces in Taurus because this is the constellation that deals with the “Day of the Lord.” Note that God refers to a group of stars called the Pleiades and the constellation of Orion, both found in and around Taurus. Then moving across the heavens, He refers to Arcturus, the keeper of the sheepfold and finally to the “Chambers of the south”:
“Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.”
“Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.”
“Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.”
(Job 9: 8-10).
Arcturus is a reference to the brightest star in the knee of Boötes. The Greeks called the constellation Boötes, the ploughman, but also referred to him as Arcturus, the keeper of the sheepfold. In Hebrew, the word Bo means “coming.” His sheepfolds are depicted in Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, today shown as bears (also as the big dipper and little dipper), but in ancient Zodiacs as sheepfolds. The “chambers of the south” are thought to be references to those constellations that deal with Virgo, Libra and Scorpio.
Before we look at these, let us note one other passage that deals with these same constellations. Note that the ancient Bible is called by its Hebrew term, “Mazzaroth,” rather than the modern term, Zodiac:
“Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
“Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
“Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
(Job 38: 31-33)
This is a powerful statement that connects the last four constellations with a future designated time in which Arcturus, who was born of the virgin in the first constellation, shall return as the mighty Orion to judge the world – as seen in the four concluding constellations of Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and Leo. These are the “ordinances of heaven” that, evidently, Job did not understand. The constellations of Arcturus and Orion teach that the Savior will come twice – once born of a virgin to die on the Cross and a second time as the mighty Orion to destroy the wicked.
The seven stars of Pleiades may be a reference to the seven churches of Asia. In ancient Greek mythology, Pleiades were seven sisters loved by Orion. Their astronomical positions in relation to each other are similar to the various locations of the seven cities of ancient Asia. The “sweet influences” may be a reference to the impact Christianity has had upon the world over the past two millennia.
The “bands of Orion” refers to the mighty belt of which he is invincibly girded, whose bands no one can loose. In the corrupted mythology of the Greeks, Orion walked on Water; was stung in the heal by Scorpio; prepared a lake of fire for the god of fire; and out of love for the Pleiadic maiden, ridded the earth of all noxious beasts. The corruption of the original message is obvious. Christ displayed all of the attributes of Orion.
Taurus, depicted in the heavens as a raging bull, means “the Coming Judge.” Over a century ago, Joseph Seiss titled his chapter on Taurus as “The Day of the Lord.” The twelve major constellations, beginning with Virgo and ending with Leo, are divided into three groups of four constellations. The first four, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius, present the first advent of Christ. The next four, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries, tell the story of the Church Age. The final four, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, and Leo, tell of the Second Advent of Christ.
What is so interesting about these constellations in Job is that in May 1941, the year the United States was drawn into World War II, there was a massing of the planets in Taurus that led Rudolph Hess, Hitler’s close friend, to defect to England. He was convinced that Hitler would lose the war. Now, 54 years later, the planets were again reunited in Taurus in the Month of May.
Sky and Telescope magazine listed nine previous groupings or massings in history. The last two occurred in 1941 and 2000. The next massing of planets will occur in Virgo on Rosh Hashanah, September 8, 2040.
Like Job, however, we must admit ignorance when it comes to the question that God put to the ancient pilgrim:
“Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth”
We can only speculate. We know very little about the “ordinances of heaven”; nor can we set the time for the coming “dominion” of our Lord in the earth.