3 | Table of Contents
| Book 3
The Witness of the Stars
E. W. Bullinger
The Second Book
"The result of the Redeemer's sufferings"
Sign Aries (The Ram or Lamb)
The blessings of the
redeemed consummated and enjoyed
24. Aries (the Ram)
This Second Book began with the Goat
dying in sacrifice, and it ends with the Lamb living again, "as it had
been slain." The goat had the tail of a fish, indicating that his death
was for a multitude of the redeemed. In the two middle Signs we
have had these fishes presented to us in grace, and in their conflict.
We come now to the last chapter of the book: and, as we have seen, like
each of the other books, it ends up with victory and triumph. Here we are
first shown the foundation on which that victory rests, namely, Atonement.
Hence we are taken back and reminded of the "blood of the Lamb."
This is pictured by a ram, or lamb, full
of vigour and life; not falling in death as CAPRICORNUS is.
In the Denderah Zodiac its name is Tametouris
Ammon, which means the reign, dominion, or government of
Ammon. The lamb's head is without horns, and is crowned with a circle.
The Hebrew name is Taleh, the lamb.
The Arabic name is Al Hamal, the sheep, gentle, merciful. This name
has been mistakenly given by some to the principal star, a. The
Syriac name is Amroo, as in the Syriac New Testament in John 1:29
"Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." The ancient
Akkadian name was Bara-ziggar. Bar means altar, or sacrifice;
and ziggar means right making; so that the full name would
be the sacrifice of righteousness.
There are 66 stars in this sign, one being
of the 2nd magnitude, two of the 4th, etc.
Its chief star, a (in the forehead),
is named El Nath, or El Natik, which means wounded, slain.
The next, b (in the left horn), is called Al Sheratan, the bruised,
the wounded. The next g (near to b ), is called Mesarim
(Hebrew), the bound.
How is it there is no conflicting voice?
How is it that all the stars unite in one harmonious voice in testifying
of the Lamb of God, slain, and bruised, but yet living for evermore, singing
together, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches,
and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing" (Rev 5:12)?
This rejoicing connected with the Lamb
shines faintly through the heathen perversions and myths: for HERODOTUS
tells us how the ancient Egyptians, once a year, when it opened by the
entrance of the sun into ARIES (TAURUS then marked the Spring Equinox),
slew a Ram, at the festival of Jupiter Ammon; branches were placed over
the doors, the Ram was garlanded with wreaths of flowers and carried in
procession. Now the sun entered ARIES on the 14th of the Jewish month Nisan,
and another lamb was then ordered to be slain, even "the LORD's
passover"--the type of that Lamb that should in the fulness of time be
offered without blemish and without spot. Owing to the precession of the
equinoxes, the sun, at the time of the Exodus, had receded into this sign
of ARIES, which then marked the Spring Equinox. But by the time that the
antitype--the Lamb of God, was slain, the sun had still further receded,
and on the 14th of Nisan, in the year of the Crucifixion, stood at the
very spot marked by the stars a,
El Nath, the pierced, the wounded
or slain, and b, Al Sheratan, the bruised or wounded!
God so ordained "the times and seasons" that during that noon-day darkness
the sun was seen near those stars which had spoken for so many centuries
of this bruising of the woman's Seed--the Lamb of God.
Was this design? or was it chance? It is
far easier to believe the former. It makes a smaller demand upon our faith;
yes, we are compelled to believe that He who created the sun and the stars
"for signs and for cycles," ordained also the times and the seasons, and
it is He who tells us that "WHEN THE FULNESS OF TIME WAS COME, God sent
forth His Son" (Gal 4:4), and that "in due time Christ died for the ungodly"
CASSIOPEIA (The Enthroned Woman)
The captive delivered, and preparing for her Husband, the Redeemer
25. Cassiopeia (the Enthroned Woman)
In the last chapter we saw the woman
bound; here we see the same woman freed, delivered, and enthroned.
ULUGH BEY says its Arabic name is El
Seder, which means the freed.
In the Denderah Zodiac her name is Set,
set, set up as Queen. ALBUMAZER says this constellation
was anciently called "the daughter of splendour." This appears to
be the meaning of the word Cassiopeia, the enthroned, the beautiful.
The Arabic name is Ruchba, the enthroned This is also the meaning
of its Chaldee name, Dat al cursa.
There are 55 stars in this constellation,
of which five are of the 3rd magnitude, five of the 4th, etc.
This beautiful constellation passes vertically
over Great Britain every day, and is easily distinguished by its five brightest
stars, forming an irregular "W."
This brilliant constellation contains one
binary star, a triple star, a double star, a quadruple star, and a large
number of nebulae.
In the year 1572 Tycho Brahe discovered
in this constellation, and very near the star k (under the arm of
the chair), a new star, which shone more brightly than Venus. It was observed
for nearly two years, and disappeared entirely in 1574.
The brightest star, a (in the left
breast), is named Schedir (Hebrew), which means the freed.
The next, b (in the top of the chair), likewise bears a Hebrew name--Caph,
which means the branch; it is evidently given on account of the
branch of victory which she bears in her hand.
She is indeed highly exalted, and making
herself ready. Her hands, no longer bound, are engaged in this happy work.
With her right hand she is arranging her robes, while with her left she
is adorning her hair. She is seated upon the Arctic circle, and close by
the side of Cepheus, the King.
This is "the Bride, the Lamb's wife, the
heavenly city, the new Jerusalem," the "partakers of the heavenly calling."
He who has redeemed her is "the Lamb that
was slain," and He addresses her thus:
"Thy Maker is thine husband;
The LORD of Hosts is His name;
And the Holy One of Israel is thy Redeemer;
The God of the whole earth shall He be
For the LORD hath called thee as a woman
forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Even a wife of youth when she is cast
off, saith thy God.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee;
But with great mercies will I gather thee.
In overflowing wrath I hid my face from
thee for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness will I have
mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer."
Isaiah 54:5-8, RV
"Thou shalt be a crown of beauty in the
hand of the LORD,
And a royal diadem in the hand of thy
Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken;
Neither shall thy land any more be termed
But thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah (i.e.
my delight is in her),
And thy land Beulah (i.e., married);
For the LORD delighteth in thee,
And thy land shall be married.
For as a young man marrieth a virgin,
So shall thy sons (Heb. thy Restorer)
And as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the
So shall thy God rejoice over thee."
Isaiah 62:3-5, RV
"The LORD hath appeared of old (or from
afar) unto me, saying,
Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting
Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn
Again will I build thee, and thou shalt
be built, O Virgin of Israel...
He that scattered Israel will gather him,
And keep him as a shepherd doth his flock,
For the LORD hath ransomed Jacob,
And redeemed him from the hand of him
that was stronger than he."
Jeremiah 31:3-12, RV
Can we close our eyes to the testimony
of these scriptures--that Israel is the Bride of the Lamb? When we have
all these, and more, why should we read "the Church" into thse ancient
prophecies, which was the subject of a long-subsequent revelation, merely
because (in Eph 5:25) Christ's love to His Church is compared to
a husband's love for his wife? "Husbands, love your wives, even AS Christ
also loved the Church." There is not a word here about the Church being
His wife. On the contrary, it reveals the secret that the Church of Christ
is to be the mystical "Body of Christ," part of the Husband in fact,
"One new man" (Eph 2:15)! whereas restored Israel is to be the Bride of
this "New Man," the Bride of Christ, the Lamb's wife! Blessed indeed it
is to be united to Christ as a wife to a husband, but glorious beyond all
description to be "one" with Christ Himself, part of His mystical Body.
If men had only realised the wondrous glory
of this mystery, they would never have so wrongly divided the Word
of Truth by interpreting Psalm 45 of this Mystical Christ. If we
"rightly divide" it, we see at once that this Psalm is in harmony with
all the Old Testament scriptures, which must be interpreted alike, and
can be interpreted only of Israel however they may be applied.
Having spoken of the Godhead and glory
of this King (faintly and in part foreshown by Cepheus), the Holy
Spirit goes on in the latter part of the Psalm to speak of the Bride--the
"At Thy right hand doth stand the Queen
in gold of Ophir,
Hearken, O daughter, and consdier, incline
Forget also thine own people, and thy
So shall the King desire thy beauty; *
For He is thy Lord; and worship thou Him...
The King's daugher within the palace
is all glorious;
Her clothing is inwrought with gold,
She shall be led unto the King in broidered
The virgins her companions ** that follow
her shall be brought unto thee," etc.
Psalm 45:9-17, RV
* "Thy beauty; for
it was perfect through My comeliness, when I put upon thee (Jerusalem),
saith the LORD" (Eze 16:14).
Then shall she sing her Magnificat:
** Those who interpret the
Queen here of the Church as the Bride, interpret the "Virgins" in Matthew
25 of the Bride also. But how inconsistent! If the "Virgins" be the Church
in Matthew 25, then where is the Bride? If the Queen is the Bride (the
Church) in Psalm 45, then who are the "virgins her companions"? Both cannot
be the correct interpretation. In fact, both are wrong, and hence the confusion.
The Bride must be interpreted by the Old Testament scriptures, and the
Prophecies which belong to Israel must not be robbed and given to the Church.
They cannot be thus diverted without bringing confusion into the Scripture,
and causing loss to our souls.
"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He hath clothed me with the garments
He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decketh himself
And as a bride adorneth herself
with her jewels.
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud,
And as the garden causeth the things that
are sown in it to spring forth;
So the Lord GOD [Adonai Jehovah] will
cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations."
Isaiah 61:10, 11
This, then, is the truth set forth by this
enthroned woman. The blessing founded on Atonement, and the Redemption
wrought by the Lamb that was slain, result in a glorious answer to Israel's
prayer, "Turn our captivity, O LORD" (Psa 126:4): when they that have "sown
in tears shall reap in joy," and the LORD shall loosen her bonds, and place
her enthroned by His side.
This, however, involves the destruction
of her enemy, and this is what we see in the next section.
CETUS (The Sea Monster)
The great enemy bound
26. Cetus (the Sea Monster)
When John sees the New Jerusalem, the Bride,
the Lamb's wife (Rev 21:10), Satan has been bound already: for we read,
a few veses before (20:1-3) "I saw an angel come down from heaven, having
the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid
hold of the dragon, that Old Serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and
bound him [and kept him bound] a thousand years, and cast him into the
bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should
deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled."
This is what we see in the second section
of the chapter--the second constellation in ARIES.
The picture is that of a great sea-monster,
the largest of all the constellations. It is the natural enemy of fishes,
hence it is placed here in connection with this last chapter, in which
fishes are so prominent.
It is situated very low down among the
constellations--far away towards the south or lower regions of the sky.
Its name in the Denderah Zodiac is Knem,
which means subdued. It is pictured as a monstrous head, trodden
under foot by the swine, the natural enemy of the serpent. The hawk also
(another enemy of the serpent) is over this figure, crowned with a mortar,
It consists of 97 stars, of which two are
of the 2nd magnitude, eight of the 3rd, nine of the 4th, etc.
The names of the stars interpret for us
infallibly the meaning of the picture.
The brightest star, a (in the upper
mandible), is named Menikar, and means the bound or chained
enemy. The next, b (in the tail), is called Diphda, or
Deneb Kaitos, overthrown, or thrust down. The star o
(in the neck) is named Mira, which means THE REBEL. Its names is
ominous, for the star is one of the most remarkable. It is very bright,
but it was not till 1596 that it was discovered to be variable.
It disappears periodically
seven times in six years! It continues
at its brightest for fifteen days together. M. Bade says that during 334
days it shines with its greatest light, then it diminishes, till it entirely
disappears for some time (to the naked eye). In fact, during that period
it passes through several degrees of magnitude, both increasing and diminishing.
Indeed its variableness is so great as to make it appear unsteady!
Here, then, is the picture of the Great
Rebel as shown in the heavens. What is it, as written in the Word?
The Almighty asks man:
"Canst thou draw out Leviathan with a fish
Or press down his tongue with a cord?
Canst thou put a rope into his nose?
Or pierce his jaw through with a hook?...
Shall not one be cast down even at the
sight of him?
None is so fierce that he dare stir him
Job 41:1-10, RV
But he whom man cannot bind can be bound
by the Lamb, and He is seen with "the Band" that has bound the fishes,
now in His hands, which he has fastened with a bright star to his neck,
"Behold, I have taken out of thine hand
the cup of trembling,
Even the dregs of the cup of My fury;
Thou shalt no more drink it again,
But I will put it into the hand of them
that afflict thee."
Isaiah 51:22, 23
"Behold, the LORD cometh forth out of His
To punish the inhabitants of the earth
for their iniquity...
In that day the LORD, with His sore, and
great, and strong sword,
Shall punish Leviathan, the piercing serpent,
And Leviathan, the crooked serpent;
And He shall slay the dragon that is in
"For God is my king of old,
Working salvation in the midst of the
Thou didst divide (marg. Heb., break)
the sea by Thy strength,
Thou brakest the heads of the dragons
(RV marg., sea monsters) in the waters.
Thou brakest the heads of Leviathan in
And this Second Book closes by revealing
to us this glorious "Breaker."
PERSEUS ("The Breaker")
"The Breaker" delivering the redeemed
27. Perseus (the Breaker)
Here we have set before us a mighty man,
called in the Hebrew Peretz, from which we have the Greek form Perses,
or Perseus (Rom 16:13). It is the same word which is used of Christ
in Micah 2:13. When He shall surely "gather the remnant of Israel" (v 12),
it is written--
"THE BREAKER is gone up before them...
Their King is passed on before them,
And the LORD at the head of them."
This is what is pictured to us here. We
see a glorious "Breaker" taking His place before His redeemed, breaking
forth at their head, breaking down all barriers, and breaking the heads
of Leviathan and all his hosts. In His right hand He has His "sore, and
great, and strong sword" lifted up to smite and break down the enemy. He
has wings on His feet, which tell us that He is coming very swiftly. In
His left hand He carries the head of the enemy, whom he has slain.
In the Denderah Zodiac His Name is Kar
Knem, he who fights and subdues.
It is a beautiful constellation of 59 stars,
two of which are of the 2nd magnitude, four of the 3rd, twelve of the 4th,
Their names supply us with the key to the
interpretation of the picture.
The star a (in the waist) is called
Mirfak, who helps. The next, g (in the right shoulder), is
named Al Genib, which means who carries away. The bright
star in the left foot is called Athik, who breaks!
In his left hand he carries a head, which,
by perversion, the Greeks called the head of Medusa, being ignorant that
its Hebrew root meant the trodden under foot. It is also called
Rosh Satan (Hebrew), the head of the adversary, and Al
Oneh (Arabic), the subdued, or Al Ghoul, the evil spirit.
The bright star, b (in this head),
has come down to us with the name Al Gol, which means rolling
It is a most remarkable phenomenon that
so many of these enemies should be characterised by variable stars! But
this head of Medusa, like the neck of Cetus, has one. Al
Gol is continually changing. In about 69 hours it changes from the
4th magnitude to the 2nd. During four hours of this period it gradually
diminishes in brightness, which it recovers in the succeeding four hours;
and in the remaining part of the time invariably preserves its greatest
lustre. After the expiration of this time its brightness begins to decrease
again. Fit emblem of our great enemy, who, "like a roaring lion,
goeth about seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8); then changing into
a subtle serpent (Gen 3:8); then changing again into "an angel of
light" (2 Cor 11:14). "Transforming himself" continually, to devour, deceive,
This brings us to the conclusion of the
Second Book, in which we have seen the Redeemed blessed with all blessings,
delivered out of all conflict, saved from all enemies. We have seen their
Redeemer, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," "the Conqueror,"
"the King of Kings and Lord of Lords."
This is the Revelation recorded in the
heavens. This is the prophetic testimony inspired in the Book. And this
is the heart-cry prompted by both:
"Come, Lord, and tarry not,
Bring the long-looked-for day;
Oh, why these years of waiting here,
These ages of delay?
Come, for Thy saints still wait;
Daily ascends their cry:
'The Spirit and the Bride say, Come';
Dost Thou not hear their cry?
Come, for creation groans,
Impatient of Thy stay;
Worn out with these long years of ill,
These ages of delay.
Come, for Thine Israel pines,
An exile from Thy fold;
Oh, call to mind Thy faithful word,
And bless them as of old.
Come, for thy foes are strong;
With taunting lips they say,
'Where is the promised advent now,
And where the dreaded day?'
Come, for the good are few;
They lift the voice in vain;
Faith waxes fainter on the earth,
And love is on the wane.
Come, in Thy glorious might;
Come, with Thine iron rod;
Disperse Thy foes before Thy face,
Most mighty Son of God.
Come, and make all things new,
Build up this ruined earth;
Restore our faded paradise,
Creation's second birth.
Come, and begin Thy reign
Of everlasting peace;
Come, take the kingdom to Thyself,
Great King of Righteousness."
Dr. Horatius Bonar
Chapter 3 | Table of Contents | Book 3