2 | Table of Contents
| Chapter 2
The Witness of the Stars
E. W. Bullinger
The Third Book
In this Third and Last Book we come to the
concluding portion of this Heavenly Revelation. Its subject is Redemption
completed, and consummated in triumph. No more sorrow, suffering, or conflict;
no more the bruising of the heel of the Redeemer. We have now done with
the prophecies of "the sufferings of Christ," and have come to those that
relate to "the glory that should follow."
(His Second Coming)
"The glory that should follow"
No more reference now to His first
coming in humiliation. No more coming "forth" to suffer and die, a sacrifice
for sins; the reference now is only to His second coming in glory; His
coming "unto" this earth is not to suffer for sin (Heb 9:28), but it will
be a coming in power to judge the earth in righteousness, and to subdue
all enemies under His feet.
Like the other two books, it consists of
The first chapter is the prophecy
of the coming Judge of all the earth.
The second sets before us the two-fold
nature of the coming Ruler.
The third shows us Messiah's redeemed
possessions--the Redeemed brought safely home, all conflict over.
The fourth describes Messiah's consummated
The Sign Taurus (The
Messiah, the coming Judge of all the earth
28. Taurus (the Bull)
The picture is that of a Bull rushing forward
with mighty energy and fierce wrath, his horns set so as to push his enemies,
and pierce them through and destroy them.
It is a prophecy of Christ, the coming
Judge, and Ruler, and "Lord of all the earth."
The Egyptian Zodiac of Denderah already,
4,000 years ago, had forgotten the truth to which the prophecy had referred,
and called him Isis, i.e., who saves or delivers,
and Apis, i.e., the head or chief. The Bull is clearly
represented, and in all the zodiacs which have come down to us is always
in the act of pushing, or rushing.
The name of the sign in Chaldee is Tor.
Hence, Arabic, Al Thaur; Greek, Tauros; Latin, Taurus,
etc. The more common Hebrew name was Shur, which is from a root
which means both coming and ruling. There are several Hebrew
words for bulls and oxen, etc. But the common poetical term for all is
Reem, conveying the idea of loftiness, exaltation, power, and pre-eminence.
We find the root in other kindred languages (Etruscan, Sanscrit, etc.),
and it can be traced in the name of Abram, which means pre-eminent
or high father; Ramah, high place, etc.
The stars in Taurus present a brilliant
sight. There are at least 141 stars, besides two important groups of stars,
which both form integral parts of the sign.
The brightest star, a (in the bull's
eye), has a Chaldee name--Al Debaran, and means the leader
or governor. The star b (at the tip of the left horn) has
an Arabic name--El Nath, meaning wounded or slain.
Another prophetic intimation that this coming Lord should be first slain
as a sacrifice.
Then there is the cluster of stars known
as the Pleiades. This word, which means the congregation of the
judge or ruler, comes to us through the Greek Septuagint as
the translation of the Hebrew kimah, which means the heap
or accumulation, and occurs in Job 9:9; 38:31, 32, and Amos 5:8.
It consists of a number of stars (in the
neck of Taurus) which appear to be near together. The brightest of them,
marked h in all the maps, * has come down to us with an Arabic name--Al
Cyone, which means the centre, and has given the idea to some
astronomers that it is the centre of the whole universe. The Syriac name
for the Pleiades is Succoth, which means booths.
* The others have
names, but they were given by the Greeks from the names of the seven daughters
of Atlas and Pleione. The Hyades were their sisters. Together
they tell us that the saints will be secure with this mighty Lord when
he comes to rule.
Another group of stars (on the face of the
Bull) is known as The Hyades, * which has the similar meaning of
* The Pleiades and
Hyades are sometimes spoken of as constellations, but this is a mistake;
they are integral parts of Taurus.
Other stars are named Palilicium (Hebrew),
belonging to the judge; Wasat (Arabic), centre or foundation;
Al Thuraiya (Arabic), the abundance; Vergiliae (Latin), the
centre (Arabic, vertex) turned on, rolled round.
Every thing points to the important truth,
and all turns on the fact that the Lord is COMING TO RULE! This
is the central truth of all prophecy. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit
of prophecy." All hope for Creation, all hope for the world, all hope for
Israel, all hope for the Church, turns on this, that "Jesus is coming again,"
and that when He comes His saints, "the daughters of the King" (like the
Pleiades and Hyades), will be with Him.
There is nothing of "the Church" revealed
here. The Church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, to be for
ever with the Lord (1 Thess 4:17) before He thus comes unto
the world in judgment. He will come forth to receive the members
of His Body unto Himself, before He thus comes with them to destroy all
His enemies and "judge (or rule) the world in righteousness." When we read
this Sign of Taurus, therefore, we are to understand that His Church will
be with Him, safe from all judgment.
There is very much in the Scripture of
the Book, (as there is in the prophecies in the heavens) about the coming
of the Lord in judgment; and about this time of His indignation. For Enoch,
who doubtless was used in arranging these prophetic signs, uttered
the prophetic words, "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands
of His saints to execute judgment upon all and to convict all that are
ungodly" (Jude 14,15).
At a very early period these signs were
appropriated to the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and borne upon their "standards."
This may be traced in the Blessing of Jacob (Gen 49), and in the Blessing
of Moses (Deut 33). Taurus was assigned to Joseph, or rather to his two
tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, like the two powerful horns:
"The firstling of his bulllock (marg. his
firstling bullock)--majesty is his,
And his horns are the horns of the wild-ox
With them he shall PUSH (marg. gore) the
peoples, all of them, even the ends of the earth.
And they are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
And they are the thousands of Manasseh."
Deuteronomy 33:17, RV
It is not, however, merely by men alone
that this will be done, for David sings:
"Thou art my King, O GOD...
Through Thee will we PUSH down our enemies;
Through Thy Name will we tread them under
that rise up against us."
"I will punish the world for their evil,
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will cause the arrogancy of the proud
And will lay low the haughtiness of the
Every one that is found shall be THRUST
Speaking of that day, the Holy Spirit says
"For the LORD hath indignation against
all the nations,
And fury against all their host:
He hath utterly destroyed them,
He hath delivered them to the slaughter...
The LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah,
And a great slaughter in the land of Edom,
And the wild oxen [Reem] shall
come down with them,
And the bullocks with the bulls;
And their land shall be drunken with blood,
And their dust made fat with fatness.
For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance,
The year of recompense in the controversy
Isaiah 34:2-8, RV
"Behold, the LORD cometh forth out of His
To punish the inhabitants of the earth
for their iniquity:
The earth also shall disclose her blood,
And shall no more cover her slain."
This is the united testimony of the two
Revelations. It is pictured in the heavens, and it is written in the Book.
It is the prophecy of a coming Judge, and of a coming judgment.
It is, however, no mere Bull that
is coming, It is a man, a glorious man, even "the Son of Man." This is
the first development, shown in the first of the three constellations belonging
to the sign.
ORION (The Coming Prince)
Light breaking forth in the Redeemer
29. Orion (the Glorious One)
This picture is to show that the coming
one is no mere animal, but a man: a mighty, triumphant, glorious prince.
He is so pictured in the ancient Denderah
Zodiac, where we see a man coming forth pointing to the three bright stars
(Rigel, Bellatrix, and Betelguez) as his. His name is given
as Ha-ga-t, which means this is he who triumphs. The hieroglyphic
characters below read Oar. Orion was anciently spelt Oarion,
from the Hebrew root, which means light. So that Orion means coming
forth as light. The ancient Akkadian was Ur-ana, the light of heaven.
Orion is the most brilliant of all the
constellations, and when he comes to the meridian he is accompanied by
several adjacent constellations of great splendour. There is then above
the horizon the most glorious view of the celestial bodies that the starry
firmament affords; and this magnificent view is visible to all the habitable
world, because the equinoctial line (or solstitial colure) passes nearly
through the middle of Orion.
ARATUS thus sings of him:
"Eastward, beyond the region of the Bull,
Stands great Orion. And who, when night
Beholds him gleaming bright, shall cast
his eyes in vain
To find a Sign more glorious in all heaven."
The constellation is mentioned by name,
as being perfectly well known both by name and appearance, in the time
of Job; and as being an object of familiar knowledge at that early period
of the world's history. See Job 9:9; 38:31, and Amos 5:8 (Heb. Chesil,
which means a strong one, a hero, or giant).
It contains 78 stars, two being of the
1st magnitude, four of the 2nd, four of the 3rd, sixteen of the 4th, etc.
A little way below i (in the sword)
is a very remarkable nebulous star. A common telescope will show that it
is a beautiful nebula. A powerful telescope reveals it as consisting of
collections of nebulous stars, these again being surrounded by faint luminous
points, which still more powerful telescopes would resolve into separate
Thus beautifully is set forth the brilliancy
and glory of that Light which shall break forth when the moment
comes for it to be said, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come."
The picture presents us with "the Light
of the world." His left foot is significantly placed upon the head of the
enemy. He is girded with a glorious girdle, studded with three brilliant
stars; and upon this girdle is hung a sharp sword. Its handle proves that
this mighty Prince is come forth in a new character. He is again proved
to be "the Lamb that was slain," for the hilt of this sword is in the form
of the head and body of a lamb. In his right hand he lifts on high his
mighty club; while in his left he holds forth the token of his victory--the
head and skin of the "roaring lion." We ask in wonder, "Who is this?" and
the names of the stars give us the answer.
The brightest, a (in the right shoulder),
is named Betelgeuz, which means the coming (Mal 3:2) of
The next, b (in the left foot),
is named Rigel, or Rigol, which means the foot that crusheth.
The foot is lifted up, and placed immediately over the head of the enemy,
as though in the very act of crushing it. Thus, the name of the star bespeaks
The next star, g (in the left shoulder),
is called Bellatrix, which means quickly coming, or swiftly
The name of the fourth star, d (one
of the three in the belt), carries us back to the old, old story, that
this glorious One was once humbled; that His heel was once bruised. Its
name is Al Nitak, the wounded One. * Similarly the star k
(in the right leg) is called Saiph, bruised, which is the very word
used in Genesis 3:15, thus connecting Orion with the primeval prophecy.
Like Ophiuchus, he has one leg bruised; while, with the other,
he is crushing the enemy under foot.
The star z (in the belt) is called Mintaka, dividing, as
a sacrifice (Lev 8:2).
This is betokened by other stars named Al
Rai, who bruises, who breaks (as in Cepheus); and Thabit
(Hebrew), treading on.
Other (Arabic) names relate to His Person:
Al Giauza, the branch; Al Gebor, the mighty; Al Mirzam, the ruler; Al
Nagjed, the prince; Niphla (Chaldee), the mighty; Nux (Hebrew),
the strong. Some names relate to His coming, as Betelgeuse
and Bellatrix, as above; Heka (Chaldee), coming; and
Meissa (Hebrew), coming forth.
Such is the cumulative testimony of Orion's
stars, which, day after day, and night after night, show forth this knowledge.
That testimony was afterwards written in the Book. The Prince of Glory,
who was once wounded for the sins of His redeemed, is about to rise up
and shine forth for their deliverance. Their redemption draweth nigh; for--
"The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man,
He shall stir up jealousy like a man of
He shall cry, yea, roar;
He shall prevail against His enemies.
I have [He says] long time holden my peace;
I have been still, and refrained myself:
Now will I cry like a travailing woman;
I will destroy and devour at once."
Isaiah 42:13, 14
Then it will be said to His people (and
the setting of the prophecy in its beautiful introverted structure shows
us the beauty and glory of the truth it reveals): *
for thy light is come,
c: And the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
d: For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
d: And gross darkness the people;
c: But the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen
And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,
a: And kings to the brightness
of thy rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3)
* Note that--
This is "the glory of the God" which the heavens
constantly declare (Psalm 19:1). They tell of that blessed time when the
whole earth shall be filled with His glory (Num 14:21; Isa 11:9); when
"the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together"
(Isa 40:5), as all see now the beauty of Orion's glory.
In a and a, we have
the rising of Israel;
In b and b, the light
that is come upon her;
In c and c, the glory
of the LORD; and
In d and d, the darkness
of the world.
But side by side with the glory which the
coming Light of the world shall bring for His people, there is "that wicked,"
whom the Lord "shall destroy with the brightness of His coming." Hence,
as in the concluding chapter (4) of the First Book (of which this
Third Book is the expansion) we had in LYRA (the harp), as
1, Praise prepared for the Conqueror; and in ARA (the burning pyre),
as 2, consuming fire prepared for His enemies: so in the first chapter
of this book, we have in ORION, as 1, Glory prepared for the Conqueror;
and in ERIDANUS, as 2, the River of wrath prepared for His enemies. This
brings us to--
ERIDANUS (The River of the Judge)
The river of wrath breaking forth for His enemies
30. Eridanus (the River)
It issues forth, in all the pictures, from
the down-coming foot of Orion. While others see in it, from the ignorance
of fabled story, only "the River Po," or the "River Euphrates," we see
in it, from the meaning of its name, and from the significance of its positon,
the river of the Judge.
In the Denderah Zodiac it is a river under
the feet of Orion. It is named Peh-ta-t, which means the mouth
of the river.
It is an immense constellation.
According to the Britannic catalogue, it
consists of 84 stars; one of the 1st magnitude, one of the 2nd, eight of
the 3rd, etc.
The brightest star, a (at the mouth
of the river), bears the ancient name of Achernar, which is in,
as its name means, the after part of the river.
The next star, b (at the source
of the river), is named Cursa, which means bent down. The
next, g (at the second bend in the river), is called Zourac
(Arabic) flowing. Other stars are Pheat, mouth (of the river);
and Ozha, the going forth.
Here, then, we have a river flowing forth
from before the glorious Orion. It runs in a serpentine course towards
the lower regions, down, down, out of sight. In vain the sea monster, Cetus,
strives to stop its flow. It is "the river of the Judge," and speaks of
that final judgment in which the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire.
It was evidently originally associated with fire; for the Greek
myths, though gross perversions, stil so connect it. According to their
fables, something went wrong with the chariot of the sun, and a universal
conflagration was threatened. In the trouble, Phaeton (probably
a reference to the star Pheat) was killed and hurled into this river,
in which he was consumed with its fire. The whole earth suffered from such
a burning heat that great disasters ensued. We see from this myth two great
facts preserved in the perverted tradition, viz., judgment and fire.
ARATUS also preserves the connection,
"For yonder, trod by heavenly feet,
Wind the scorched waters of Eridanus'
Welling beneath Orion's uplifted foot."
Is not this the testimony afterwards written
in the Book? Daniel sees this very river in his vision of that coming
day, when the true Orion shall come forth in His glory. He says, "I beheld
till the thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days did sit:...His
throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire. A FIERY STREAM
ISSUED AND CAME FORTH FROM BEFORE HIM." This is the River of the Judge;
for he goes on to say, "the judgment was set, and the books were opened"
(Dan 7:9-11, RV).
We have the same in Psalm 97:3-5 (RV),
which describes the scene when the Lord shall reign:
"A FIRE GOETH BEFORE HIM,
And burneth up His adversaries round about.
His lightnings lightened the world:
The earth saw and trembled,
The hills melted like wax at the presence
of the LORD,
At the presence of the Lord of the whole
So again in Psalm 50:3, we read:
"Our God shall come, and shall not keep
A FIRE SHALL DEVOUR BEFORE HIM,
And it shall be very tempestuous round
By Habakkuk the coming of the Lord is described;
and it is written:
"His brightness was as the light,...
Before Him went the pestilence,
And burning coals went forth at His feet."
What is this but Orion and Eridanus!
Again, it is written in Isaiah 30:27-33
"Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from
Burning with His anger, and in thick rising
His lips are full of indignation,
And His tongue is as a DEVOURING FIRE:
And His breath is as AN OVERFLOWING STREAM
For a Topheth is prepared of old;
Yea, for the King [Moloch] it is made
He hath made it deep and large;
The pile thereof is FIRE and much wood;
The breath of the LORD, LIKE A STREAM
OF BRIMSTONE, doth kindle it."
So, again, we read in Nahum 1:5, 6:
"The mountains quake at Him,
And the hills melt;
And the earth is burned up at His presence,
Yea, the world and all that dwell therein.
Who can stand before His indignation?
And who can abide in the fierceness of
His fury is POURED OUT LIKE FIRE."
In Isaiah 66:15, 16, we read:
"For, behold, the LORD will come with fire,
And with His chariots like a whirlwind,
To render His anger with fury,
And His rebuke with FLAMES OF FIRE,
For BY FIRE, and by His sword, will the
LORD plead with all flesh."
With this agree the New Testament scriptures,
which speak of "the Day of the Lord," "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed
from heaven with His mighty angels, IN FLAMING FIRE taking vengeance on
them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus
Christ" (2 Thess 1:7,8).
This is the true Eridanus. It is no mere
"picture." It is a dread reality! It is written in stars of fire, and words
of truth, that men may heed the solemn warning and "flee from the wrath
But we ask, "Who may abide the day of His
coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth" (Mal 3:2)? "Who can stand
before His indignation," when "His fury is poured out like fire" (Nahum
The answer is given in the next picture!
AURIGA (The Shepherd)
Safety for the redeemed in the day of wrath
31. Auriga (the Shepherd)
Here is presented to us the answer to the
question, "Who may abide the day of His coming?"
"Behold, the Lord GOD (Adonai Jehovah)
will come as a mighty one,
And His arm shall rule for Him:
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His recompense before Him.
He shall feed His flock like a shepherd,
He shall gather the lambs in His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And shall gently lead those that give
Isaiah 40:10, 11, RV
This is exactly what is presented before
us in this last section of the chapter, which tells of the coming judgment.
We have had the picture of a mighty Bull rushing forth; then the
fiery river of the Judge; and now we see a Great Shepherd.
He is seated upon "the milky way," holding up on his left shoulder a she
goat. She clings to his neck, and is looking down affrighted at the terrible
on-rushing Bull. In his left hand he supports two little kids, apparently
just born, and bleating, and trembling with fear.
"She is both large and bright, but they--the
Shine somewhat feebly on Auriga's
Is not this the Great Shepherd gathering
the lambs in His arm? and carrying them in His bosom? Is He not saying:
"I will save My flock,
And they shall no more be a prey."
"And David my servant shal be king over
And they shall have one shepherd."
"And they shall fear no more,
Nor be dismayed,
Neither shall they be lacking, saith the
AURIGA is from a Hebrew root which means
a shepherd. It is a beautiful constellation of 66 stars; one of
the 1st magnitude, two of the 2nd, nine of the 4th, etc.
The brightest star, a (in the body
of the goat), points her out as the prominent feature of the constellation,
for its name Alioth (Hebrew) means a she goat. It is known
by the modern Latin name Capella, which has the same meaning.
The next star, b (in the shepherd's
right arm), is called Menkilinon, and means the band, or
chain of the goats, and points out the truth that they are never
more to be lost again, but to be bound, with the bands of love, to the
Shepherd for evermore.
The name of another star is Maaz,
which means a flock of goats.
Can there be any mistake as to who this
Shepherd is? for the bright star in his right foot is called El Nath
(like another in ARIES), which means wounded or slain. This
is He, then, who was once bruised or wounded in the heel. He is "the GOOD
Shepherd," who gave His life for the sheep (John 10:11), but He was "the
GREAT Shepherd" brought again from the dead (Heb 13:20); and is now the
CHIEF Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4) seen in the day of His coming glory. Another
star emphasises this truth, for it is named Aiyuk, which also means
wounded in the foot.
The star marking the kids is called Gedi
In Latin, the word Auriga means
a coachman or charioteer, the band in his right hand being
taken as his reins. But the incongruity of a charioteer carrying
a she-goat, and nursing two little kids, never struck them; nor did the
fact that he has no chariot and no horses! When man blunders in the things
of God, he does it thoroughly!
In the Zodiac of Denderah the same truth
was revealed more than 4,000 years ago; but the Man, instead of carrying
the sheep, is carrying a sceptre, and is called Trun, which means
sceptre or power. But this is a strange sceptre, for at the
top it has the head of a goat, and at the bottom, below the hand that holds
it, it ends in a cross! With the Egyptians the cross was a sign of life.
they knew nothing of "the death of the cross." Here, then, we see life
and salvation for the sheep of His flock when He comes to reign
and rule in judgment. The truth is precisely the same, though the presentation
of it is somewhat varied.
The connected teaching of the two constellations,
Eridanus and Auriga, is solemnly set forth in Malachi 4:1-3
"Behold, the day cometh,
It burneth as a furnace;
And all the proud, and all that work wickedness,
shall be stubble:
And the day that cometh shall burn them
up, saith the LORD of hosts,
That it shall leave them neither root
BUT UNTO YOU that fear My name shall the
Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings;
And ye shall go forth and gambol as calves
of the stall.
And ye shall tread down the wicked;
For they shall be ashes under the soles
of your feet
In the day that I do make (marg. do this),
saith the LORD of hosts."
In Psalm 37 this day is repeatedly referred
to, the day when "the wicked shall be cut off"; and it concludes by summarizing
the same great truth (vv 38-40, RV):
"As for transgressors, they shall be destroyed
The latter end of the wicked shall be
But the salvation of the righteous is
of the LORD:
He is their stronghold in the time of
And the LORD helpeth them, and rescueth
He rescueth them from the wicked and saveth
Because they have taken refuge in Him."
Oh, that all who read these pages may heed
the solemn warning, and flee for refuge to Him who now, in this day of
grace, is crying, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, O all ye ends of the
earth" (Isa 45:22).
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