On January 20 there will be a total lunar eclipse that will be visible in its entirety throughout the United States. The eclipse will not be visible in Israel. Charts 127 and 128 show the eclipse at its peak around 8:30 p.m. as seen from Portland, Oregon. The eclipse will be at its peak in the eastern U.S. around 11:30 p.m. The moon will be in the constellation Cancer during the eclipse. The lighter shown on Chart 128 is the penumbral shadow of the earth and the darker shadow is the earth’s numbral shadow.
The moon was also in Cancer during the beginning of the solar eclipse on August 11, 1999, (see the July 1999 issue of Biblical Astronomy). The main theme of the sign of Cancer is Messiah’s redeemed possessions held fast. The following is from E.W. Bullinger’s work The Witness of the Stars, pp. 146-148, concerning the sign Cancer.
“With regard to the sign Cancer, one thing is certain, that we have not got the original picture or anything like it. It does not agree with the names either of its three constellations which have come down to us, or of its stars.
In the ancient Denderah Zodiac it is represented as a Scarabaeus, or sacred beetle. (The Scarabaeus, passing its early existence as a worm of the earth, and thence as a winged denizen of heaven, was held sacred by the Egyptians as an emblem of the resurrection of the body). In the Zodiac of Esneh and in a Hindu Zodiac (400 B.C.) it is the same.
According to the Greeks, Jupiter placed this Crab amongst the signs of the Zodiac.
In Sir William Jones’s Oriental Zodiac we meet with a crab, and an Egyptian Zodiac found at Rome bears also the crab in this sign.
The more ancient Egyptians place Hermanubis, or Hermes, with the head of an ibis or hawk, as the symbol of the sign now allotted to Cancer.
The Denderah name is Klaria, or the cattlefolds, and in this name we have the key to the meaning of the sign, and to the subject of this chapter.
The Arabic name is Al Sartan, which means who holds or binds, and may be from the Hebrew to bind together (Gen. 49:11). There is no ancient Hebrew word known for the crab. It was classed with many other unclean creatures, and would be included in the general term “vermin.”
The Syriac, Sartano, means the same. The Greek name is Karkinos, which means holding or encircling, as does the Latin, Cancer, and hence is applied to the crab. In the word Khan, we have the traveler’s rest or inn; while Ker or Cer is the Arabic for encircling. The ancient Akkadian name of the month is Su-kul-na, the seizer or possessor of seed…
The brightest star (in the tail) is called Tegmine, holding. The star in the lower large claw is called Acubene, which, in Hebrew and Arabic, means the sheltering or hiding-place. Another is named Ma’alaph
(Arabic), assembled thousands; Al Himarein (Arabic), the kids or lambs.
North and south of the nebula Praesepe are two stars, which Orientalists speak of by a name evidently of the some antiquity. Asellus means an Ass, and one was called Asellus Boreas, the northern Ass, while the other, Asellus Australis, is the southern Ass.
The sign was afterwards known by the symbol, which stands for these two asses.
(The Ass was the emblem of Typhon, the king who smites or is smitten).
This connects it with the Tribe of Issachar, who is said to have borne upon the Tribal standard the sign of two asses.
This is doubtless the reference in Jacob’s blessing (Gen. 49:11, R.V.):
“Issachar is a strong ass,
Couching down between the sheepfolds;
And he saw a resting-place that it was good;
And the land that it was pleasant;
And he bowed his shoulder to bear,
And became a servant under task work.”
At the peak of the lunar eclipse the Moon will be near conjunction with the star Tegime (Chart 128) which means holding – see above.
The following report was compiled by Nehemia Gordon and Magdi Shamuel.
“On Wednesday January 5, 2000 the Old Moon was last sighted at 06:15 by Magdi from Ashdod; at 06:20 from Ma’ale Adumim.
There were heavy clouds at both locations and the time of last visibility was affected by this. Thus these observations can not be used to determine the limit of visibility.
On Saturday January 8, 2000 the New Moon was first sighted at 17:00 by Isaac Sergani from Arad; 17:05 by Musa from Ofakim; 17:13 from Ma’ale Adumim; 17:40 by Magdi from Ashdod and the moon remained visible until 17:50. There was heavy cloud coverage over Ashdod and the moon was only visible when a section of the cloud coverage opened up and only remained visible until that section of sky was covered again by clouds.”
According to my calculations, the next New Moon should be visible around sunset on February 6, as observed from Jerusalem.
The following is from a Sky & Telescope news bulletin released on January 20.
“A chunk of interplanetary debris slammed into Earth’s atmosphere over western Canada on January 18th, exploding with what impact specialist Alan Hildebrand (University of Calgary) calls “one of the largest ever airbursts detected over land.” The daylight event occurred at 16:43:26 Universal Time (8:43 a.m. Pacific Standard Time) at 60.25 degrees north, 134.65 degrees west – a little south of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Sensors aboard defense satellites suggest that the airburst unleashed energy equivalent to at least 2,000 – 3,000 tons of TNT about 25 kilometers (~15 miles) above the ground. Residents of Whitehorse observed a lingering dust cloud for 2 hours. According to Hildebrand, the impactor was most likely a stony object. He asks eyewitnesses of the event to contact him at 403-220-2291 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Later that day, amateur astronomers in the surrounding region noticed an unusual display of noctilucent clouds hanging low in the western sky after sunset. A “webwork of interwoven strands” formed a cloud band that was about 15 degrees across, notes Michael Hoskinson of Edmonton, Alberta, creating “a silvery radiance that far outshone the dying sky light.” The meteoric dust particles left in the stratosphere apparently served as condensation nuclei for the dramatic cloud formation. “Noctilucent clouds normally occur in June or July only,” explains meteorologist Alan Whitman, who observed the band while driving to his home in Penticton, British Columbia.”
Any speculation on “Whitehorse” here?
There are no notable foreseeable celestial events for the month of February. It’s the driest month in the last 4 years, unless I am missing something.
The following is from an Associated Press release written by Mark Lavie on January 28.
JERUSALEM – “A rare snowstorm dumped at least 15 inches of snow on Jerusalem today and covered the northern Negev Desert for the first time in half a century, toppling trees, closing roads and isolating cities throughout Israel.
In the Arab section of Jerusalem a house collapsed under the weight of the snow, trapping two Palestinians inside. One was extracted with minor injuries. Rescue workers managed to talk to the other on a cellular telephone as they dub their way in, Israel radio reported.
Elementary schools and been scheduled to reopen after a 12-day teachers strike, but were kept closed for another day when the snowstorm hit.
In neighboring Jordan, the storm dumped two feet of snow on Amman, the capital of the desert nation, and nearly three feet in other regions, including the usually arid south and east.
The Jerusalem municipality deployed 60 tractors to clear main streets, but buses were not running. The city’s central bus station was covered with snow, and buses parked there rested under thick blankets of white.
With temperatures just below freezing, the wet snow stuck to trees, creating beautiful but dangerous scenes. Falling trees knocked down electricity lines in some places.
Residents of Beer Sheba, the largest city in the Negev Desert, rubbed their eyes in disbelief this morning when they awoke to find their city blanketed in white. The last snowstorm there was about 50 years ago, residents said. A reporter for Israel radio said the snow in his Beer Sheba front yard was 4 inches deep.
Heavy snow fell over the hills of the West Bank, stranding hundreds of cars on the road south from Jerusalem to Hebron. The army sent heavy vehicles to extract Palestinian and Israeli drivers.
As the snow continued to fall, the highway authority ran road graders up and down the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, clearing the way and allowing some cars to creep in and out of the city. Jerusalem is about 2,600 feet above sea level. Tel Aviv, 45 miles away, is on the Mediterranean seashore.
The storm dumped heavy rain on Tel Aviv and other low-lying places. Dozens of Families were evacuated from flooded houses, and streets were blocked by rivers of water as drainage systems overloaded.
Ski operators at Mt. Hermon, Israel’s only ski resort, were happy about the storm. The mountain at the northern edge of the Golan Heights was closed last year, when almost no snow fell. But operators said 23 feet of snow were already on the ground at the upper level…”
The following is a commentary by Gary M. Cooperberg who is an observant Jew who resides in Hebron, Israel. I had the privilege of meeting Gary at his speaking engagement in Portland, Oregon last October.
Surrender by any other name is still Surrender – January 16, 2000
“We still hear arguments that claim we will find real peace if we are willing to give up the Golan Heights to Syria. This fairy tale is further augmented by those who claim willingness to remain in the Golan under Syrian sovereignty. Certainly, should we gain real peace with Syria, there should be no problem for Jewish communities to be established peacefully anywhere in Syria. Once we give Syria the Golan Heights certainly the Syrians will immediately stop hating Jews and be delighted to have them come and live as neighbors in Syria.
Today we have peace with Egypt. Do you remember how we dealt with the Jewish community in Yamit? Certainly, had we given away this part of Israel in return for real peace, all of the Jews who had lived in Yamit should have been able to continue to live there under Egyptian sovereignty. Yet the Israeli government, under Menachem Begin, not only forcibly removed Jews from their homes there, but they ploughed down the entire city! This was how much they really believed in peace. Yet we continue to lie to ourselves. We all know that Jews cannot live in thriving Jewish communities in Egypt today, even with the wonderful peace that we allegedly have. We do not have real peace with Egypt. But Egypt now has a rebuilt and much more powerful army than ever before, as well as the Sinai…for peace of course.
And who would deny that we have a true and warm peace with the fictitious fairytale Kingdom of Jordan? Who would like to visit the many Jewish communities in the alleged country? There is not one! Jews can make peace with Jordan and visit there, and spend their money, but they cannot make their homes in that part of Israel today. Have we forgotten the Jordanian soldier who brutally gunned down our schoolgirls during a class outing in Jordan? And we still insist upon calling this peace.
And, the best example of all of “true peace” is the wonderful peace we have with the PLO! Since we agreed to let them govern themselves in Jericho and Gaza first, as a test, not only did they completely fail the test, they took over those two towns and called it “Palestine”. This was an outright violation of the concept of limited autonomy. Yet both right and left-wing governments accepted the violations and actually helped the PLO create a defacto sovereignty on Jewish soil! And we call this peace. Today Arafat has his own country within Israel from where he plots our destruction. He is recognized not only by major world powers, but by the Israeli government as well! He smuggles arms through underground tunnels from our “peace” partner in Egypt and has virtually turned his limited “police force” into an army. Now we seem to be negotiating where Arafat’s new capital will be located as we continue to surrender more of our homeland to his terrorist organization. All of this, you understand, is for peace. This will prevent Arab and Jewish mothers from seeing their sons go off to war again.
Whatever game Mr. Barak is playing with Syria, it is important for all of us to recognize that peace is certainly not one of the outcomes. If Barak is truly an honest man, then we have nothing to worry about. He clearly stated that he is not willing to depart from any of the Golan Heights without a full peace. If we do not have true peace with Egypt and the East Bank of Israel, then we certainly will never achieve such a peace with Syria. But the problem is that we are all participants in self-deception.
Abraham Lincoln once asked one of his aides to tell him how many legs a cow had. Perplexed at the question the aide replied that a cow has four legs. The president was pleased with the answer and then asked him how many legs the cow would have if we called its tail a leg. The aide replied that, in such a case it would have five legs. President Lincoln quickly responded that this was a big mistake. To call a cow’s tail a leg does not make it one.
We are calling the process of successive surrender to our enemies peace. But calling surrender such a name doesn’t change the fact that it really isn’t and never will be peace.”
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The following is from an Arutz-7 news release on February 3, 2000.
“The Golan continues to welcome guests, in its campaign to strengthen a consensus around its importance to the State of Israel. Following a visit yesterday by former Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira and other rabbis, the four shas party government ministers – Yeshai, Suissa, Benizri, and Cohen – toured the area today. Benizri told Arutz-7 today that the official Shas position on the Golan is far from uniform.
Other visitors yesterday included a group of Four-Star generals from the United States, who are visiting Israel this week as part of an initiative by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). ‘Peace between Israel and Syria is greatly dependent on Israel maintaining control of the Golan Heights,’ one of them – General (ret.) John Foss – told Arutz-7’s Ron Meir today. Foss said that he has had an interest in the Golan Heights since 1984, when he first visited there with now-Centrist party leader Yitchak Mordechai, who then served as an IDF General in charge of the army’s infantry and paratroopers. ‘We went to a training exercise up there, but we also had an opportunity to look and see what an important piece of ground that is,’ Foss said. ‘There are tremendous advantages to Israel keeping the Golan Height militarily, it is obviously the high-ground and provides access for the intelligence information…’
The main focus of the group’s visit is the prospect of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Foss was asked about Ehud Barak’s statement during the Shepherdstown talks that the ballistic capabilities of Middle Eastern states have rendered much of the Golan Heights’ security value obsolete. Foss disagrees: ‘As an infantry officer, I will tell you that it is very much the soldiers on the ground that will stop an invading force and protect the people, because we’ve had missile for years and years. They were used in World War II – and they don’t change the overall equation of the importance of a piece of ground like that.’ Correspondent Meir proposed a scenario in which Syria initiates a missile attack on central Israel: ‘In such a case, wouldn’t the main threat be the heart of the country as opposed to its northern border?’ Foss answered, ‘A tremendous number of missiles would have to be used [by Syria to overcome Israel in that manner]. And if you look at recent operations such as Kosovo – even NATO forces were unable to unleash that many missiles in a short period of time. It took 77 days of air operation to cause Milosevich to withdraw his forces out of Kosovo.’
Gen. Foss has also been an outspoken opponent on stationing of U.S. troops on the Golan in the framework of an Israeli-Syria peace deal. He was one of the 11 high ranking signatories of an October 1994 study entitled, ‘U.S. Forces on the Golan Heights: An Assessment of the Benefits and Costs.’ In that study, Gen. Foss noted that U.S. Forces on the Golan would differ appreciably from American experience fielding a peacekeeping Multilateral Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai: ‘The MFO is a small international command, remote from the Egyptian-Israeli border, manning small monitoring outposts distant from any civilian population centers and lightly armed. By contrast, a U.S. Golan deployment would be located in a confined geographic area, directly in the path of any military action between Israel and Syria, between two heavily armed military forces and close to population centers dominated by fanatical terrorist groups, committed to harming American citizens and interests,’ Foss explained.
GALLUP: LESS THAN 20% THINK DEAL WITH SYRIA WOULD IMPROVE SECURITY
Israel Wire – Feb. 2, 2000 – A Gallup Israel poll of adult Israeli Jews found only 19.8% believe that a peace agreement with Syria as currently envisaged would improve Israel’s security while almost twice as many (38.1%) think Israel’s security would be worse that today. Among those who voted for Ehud Barak in 1999, 34.4% thought Israel’s security would be improved, while 22.2% replied that Israel’s security would be worse. The results indicate that at present the Israeli public remains unconvinced as to the validity of the principle argument made by withdrawal supporters.
ANOTHER COMMENTARY BY GARY M. COOPERBERG (A VOICE FROM HEBRON)
The Reign of the Chamberlain Umbrella – December 15, 1999
“It truly amazes me to listen to newscasters and commentators on Israeli radio and television trying to analyze the peace negotiations with Syria. Nearly all of them seem to find the need to note that it will be impossible for Israel to achieve peace unless we give Syria the Golan Heights. Thus, they reason, if Barak sincerely wants peace he will have no choice but to give Assad the Golan Heights. We then are subjected to carefully chosen representatives of people who live on the Golan Heights who love living there but who are prepared to make the bitter sacrifice to leave their homes for peace.
Clearly the media in this country is working closely with the leftist government to convince the general population of the wisdom of making ‘painful’ sacrifices in order to achieve real peace. The fact is that we should be prepared to make painful sacrifices to achieve real peace. But shooting yourself in the foot is just not the kind of sacrifice that will produce that result. Surrendering to sworn enemies in advance of war will not bring peace, rather it will reduce the likelihood of your surviving the next war.
Just because our enemies refuse to make any territorial compromise on lands that are not even in their possession is no reason for Israel to feel obligated to do so with lands that belong to us. Yet it seems that, purely in reaction to Syria’s consistent refusal to as much as consider yielding one inch on her claim to the Golan Heights, Israel feels that it has an obligation to give it away! How is it that our leaders can convince themselves that peace can be achieved with such a partner? Upon what precedent dare they assume that such a surrender would result in peace?
As he was departing for Washington, Barak declared that the rainfall that accompanied him was an indication of Divine Blessing for his mission. Watching him on television it seemed to me to be more of a Divine Joke. With David Levy holding the black umbrella for his Prime Minister, the picture evoked a clear reminder of another pursuer of peace…Neville Chamberlain. Giving away territory for peace is nothing less than an attempt at appeasement. And history has taught us that appeasement never results in peace, rather it encourages war. The only way Israel can hope to achieve peace is to strengthen herself. The stronger Israel is the less chance that our enemies will try to attack us. And as we deliberately weaken ourselves on all fronts, those ‘painful’ sacrifices will not only fail to achieve peace, but will invite our peace partners to another attempt to destroy the Jewish State.
As for referendums and Rabbinical approval of the concept of territories for peace, this too is futility. When our fathers were redeemed from Egyptian slaver and were brought to Mount Sinai, every man, woman and child was endowed with the wisdom and perception of prophets. Each one heard the Voice of G-d issuing the ten commandments. Every infant in that generation was on a far greater spiritual level than the greatest Torah sages in our generation. Yet, just a short time later, Moses selected leaders from every tribe, the cream of the crop, to scout out the Land of Israel prior to our intended homecoming. Yet ten out of twelve of these leaders declared that we could not liberate our homeland. They preferred to give up all of Israel for peace!!! It was only a tiny minority, two out of twelve, who stood up and declared that we are well able to defeat our enemies and redeem our homeland. And, in the end, it was proved that the Truth was with the minority. Caleb and Joshua had to share the punishment of being exiled from our homeland for forty years as a result. But, unlike the others, they lived to inherit the land. So if we have leaders today whose spiritual level is far below that of the generation of the spies, we should not be surprised that they are capable of being wrong by looking for peace in the wrong place.
Referendums, especially should it include Arabs, should not be the guage by which we decide whether or not to yield to our enemies. No self-respecting government would consider surrendering land to a weaker enemy. The Jewish People has an even greater obligation than defending its territorial integrity. It has an obligation to recognize the fact that all of the wars we fought and won against enemies who sought our destruction, were miracles. Had it been G-d’s Will that the Golan Heights remain in Syria’s hands we never would have been able to take it.
Therefore, for us to deliberately give to our enemies that which was redeemed for us by G-d and with Jewish blood, is to attempt to negate Divine miracles and to desecrate the memory of our fallen soldiers. Such behavior will never bring peace. Not only will it encourage war, but it will weaken the spirit of our fighting soldiers who will question the reason for fighting if after winning our leaders will simply give everything away. Why not just surrender and save lives?
War is always bad and peace is always good. Nobody wants to send their sons to die on the battlefield. But evil and tyranny do exist. Surrendering to them will not prevent war nor bring peace. It will only encourage more evil and tyranny. In our imperfect world, unfortunately, there are times and conditions which necessitate war in order to overcome evil. There are those who suggest that war is no longer necessary. That all problems can be solved by negotiation. This is simply not true. The new born Jewish State never wanted war. Had she chosen not to go to war in 1948 or 1967 or at any other of the wars we fought in this country, there would be no Jewish State today. Does this make it rational for us to pursue a futile hope by deliberately giving our enemies military advantages by overtly surrendering and calling it a peace process?
The concept of ‘territories for peace’ is an evil deception. It is exactly the same thing that the mafia used to call ‘protection’. Hoodlums would break windows and destroy property. Then a mafia representative wold offer to protect the store owner from future vandalism for a monthly payment. Here we have Arab nations telling us that they will stop trying to murder us if we give them some of our homeland. It is nothing less than extortion which is self perpetuating. That any thinking individual cannot see this is hard to fathom.
Clinton does not seek peace. He seeks glory. Barak knows that yielding to our enemies will not bring peace, but he fears Clinton and the possibility of loss of American financial support. And Assad, Arafat and all the others do not seek peace. They seek the destruction of the Jewish State and are using Clinton’s desire to undo his tarnished image as a tool to destroy Israel.”
My comments: The last paragraph brings to mind Psalm 83. The only true peace will come to Israel when they turn to their Messiah and trust in the strong arm of God. But until then, all prophecy must be fulfilled.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (Yahshuah HaMashiach) be with you.