Devorah Gordon from Jerusalem, Israel compiled the following New Moon Report for the month of November, and the beginning of the 9th Hebrew month (Kislev).
“On Wednesday November 6, 2002 the New Moon was sighted by: Devorah Gordon from Jerusalem; Nehemia Gordon, Bruce Brill, Michael Rood and more than 20 observers from the Golan Heights. First sighted in the Golan Heights by Eric Draht at 16:50. Hodesh Sameach (Happy New Moon).”
This just in as I was about to go to print. Good thing I reserved a space for it in anticipation. Nehemia Gordon from Jerusalem, Israel compiled the following New Moon report for the month of December, and the beginning of the 10th Hebrew month.
“On Thursday December 5, 2002 the New Moon was sighted by Uriyah Muriel at 16:38, Roy Hoffman at 16:39, and Yosi Green at 16:41 from Ma’alei Adumim; by Musa Yosef at 16:44 from Ashdod; by Issaac Sirgani at 17:02 from Arad; by Bruce Brill and Barbary Ludewig at 17:09 from the area of Rosh Ha’ayin. Hodesh Sameach (Happy New Moon Day).
On December 4, 2002 a total eclipse of the sun occurred in the constellation Scorpio (the Scorpion). This eclipse was not visible from Israel or the United States. The eclipse was visible from the southern parts of Africa and throughout much of Australia. The following diagram shows the position of the sun (white circle) in the sign Scorpio (which in its celestial portrayal is associated to War or Conflict between the woman and the woman’s seed and the serpent and the serpent’s seed – Gen. 3:15; Rev. 12).
In the September/October 2002 issue of Biblical Astronomy I reported that Venus was at its greatest brilliancy at magnitude –4.6 on September 26. That was wrong. Venus is at its greatest brilliancy when it reaches a magnitude of –4.7. Please forgive me for the erroneous information. Venus will be shinning at its greatest brilliancy at magnitude –4.7 on December 6/7, 2002. It will remain close to this brightness to about mid December. The diagram below shows the position of Venus in Bethulah (Virgo) on December 7, 2002.
Venus (the bright and morning star), will be about 20 degrees above the southeast horizon about an hour and 20 minutes before sunrise. It will be very bright (can’t miss it, except if it is cloudy) and will appear to be landing lights for an airliner. Yes, it will be that bright. It may be worth our while to get up a bit early to see. It will be better than the Leonid Meteor “Sprinkle” last month. That turned out to be a dud and was certainly no storm. The shower (storm) last year was much more brilliant. There was cloud cover here in Oregon during the projected time for the “storm” this year. I went outside around 6 am when there was a very slight break in the clouds. I starred at that small open space for about 3 minutes, saw a meteor streak through it, and then went back inside. I guess it is back to the drawing board for experts in the field to better predict a meteor storm. But they will not be able to test their theories out (as far as the Leonids is concerned) until well into the next century.
SATURN AT OPPOSITION AND ITS BRIGHTEST IN 30 YEARS
On the evening of December 17, Saturn will be at opposition (closest approach to the earth) and will be shinning at its brightest magnitude (-0.5) in the last 30 years. It will be another 30 years before it is this bright again. The following diagram shows the position of Saturn (Satan) in the constellation Taurus when it is in opposition on December 17, 2002.
The moon will also be in Taurus on the same evening and will be almost full. The light of the moon will take away much of the apparent brilliancy of Saturn that evening. The best time to view this event is at midnight (either the beginning of the 17th or the beginning of the 18th) when Saturn will be due south and at its highest point in the sky. Saturn will be high in the sky at midnight, about 15 degrees above Orion.
You can find much more information as to the possible or co notated Biblical meanings of this event in the article “Confirming of the Covenant?” in the November 1998 issue of Biblical Astronomy. All issues of Biblical Astronomy from July 1996 to present are on the Biblical Astronomy Website at www.atlbible.org/astronomy.htm If you do not have a computer or internet access, you can find access in most public libraries.
The sun will reach Winter Solstice this year at 8:14 pm EST on December 21.
CELESTIAL EVENTS OF 722 – 719 BC
This is the article that I mentioned that I would do from the November 2002 newsletter, but I am doing it all in this one issue, rather than two or more issues.
Since the writing of the July 2002 issue of Biblical Astronomy which featured an article on the Sign Pisces and the dispersion and captivity of the ten northern tribes of Israel in 722/721 BC, I have been curious as to what celestial events took place during that time; especially events that took place in Pisces. The following is the result of my recent study of celestial events of that time.
As mentioned in my book A Voice Crying in the Heavens, and many previous newsletters, the celestial sign given in Revelation 12:1 and the figure of speech given in Revelation 12:2 is referring to a time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble (Jeremiah 30:6-7, I Thessalonians 5:3, etc.) Revelation 12 is speaking of Jacob’s time of trouble in the last days, but there have certainly been times of great trouble in past history also, such as the time of the dispersion and captivity of Israel in 722/721 BC. The celestial sign given in Revelation 12:1 occurred on September 11, 722 BC. (This date is from the proleptic Julian calendar. To convert to the proleptic corrected Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar we now use, subtract 8 days from this date and all dates given below for this time period).
September 11, 722 BC was either Elul 1 or Ethanim (Tishri) 1, depending on when the barley became abib the previous spring. Chart 294 shows the constellation Bethulah (Virgo) on this date as seen from Jerusalem. This is the galactic view (as seen from above the earth) of the constellation at that time. The local view has most of the constellation below the horizon with her feet above the horizon. The dark area in the woman’s hand is the sun and the sun’s glare. Since this is a negative of the original picture, white is black and black is white. The moon is beneath her feet and the disk is darkened on the right, which is a new crescent moon. Though Venus appears to be behind the moon here, it is actually about 1/3 of a degree from it, which is still close. And close by also to the moon is the planet Mars (represents the archangel Michael, or blood, or war). At any rate, she is clothed with the sun and the moon is beneath her feet.
Proceeding in the chronological order of celestial events, Jupiter and Saturn came into conjunction on January 25, 721 BC. As noted in the November 2002 issue of Biblical Astronomy, it is thought that a Jupiter and Saturn conjunction betokens a crisis in Israel. The writings and traditions of the Jewish Sages most likely came from observation when concerning celestial events. There was certainly a crisis here, and Jupiter and Saturn are in conjunction. Though this conjunction is nowhere near as spectacular as the conjunction that occurred a century before. The two planets did not get to within ½ a degree from one another in this conjunction. They were less than ¾ of a degree apart for only a short period, from January 23 to January 27, 721 BC. Chart 295 shows the positions of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation Sagittarius on January 25, 2002 as seen from Jerusalem.
Also according to Jewish Sages, a lunar eclipse occurring in the land of Israel is a bad omen. Perhaps it was the lunar eclipses that occurred in this period of time that fortified this belief. There were a series of lunar eclipses in the constellations Pisces and Virgo from March 722 BC through September 720 BC that were similar to the lunar eclipses of 1996 and 1997 (see A Voice Crying in the Heavens, 2nd edition, pp. 103-138, with summary on p.138).
Two lunar eclipses occurred in 722 BC, one in Virgo on March 3, and the other in Pisces on September 23. Neither of these was visible from Israel. On March 4, 721 BC there was a grazing Solar eclipse in Pisces (represents the nation of Israel) that was visible from Israel, but this would have been hardly noticeable. On March 19, 721 BC (Adar Bet 15) there was a total lunar eclipse in Virgo that was clearly visible from Israel. Chart 296 shows the position of the moon in Virgo as seen from Jerusalem during the peak of the eclipse.
Chart 297 shows the positions of the planets Venus and Mars in the northbound band of Pisces on April 15, 721 BC (Abib 12). This is of interest since the northern ten tribes (Israel) were taken north into captivity around that time (see the July 2002 newsletter).
On September 12, 721 BC (Elul 14 or 15) there was a total lunar eclipse in Pisces that was clearly visible from Israel. Due to the positions of the Sun-Earth-Moon at that time, this eclipse was a blood red eclipse. Chart 298 shows the position of the moon (white circle in the band) in Pisces as seen from Jerusalem at the peak of the eclipse.
On February 22, 720 BC there was a total solar eclipse in Pisces, but this was not visible from Israel. On March 8, 720 BC (Adar 14) there was a partial lunar eclipse in Virgo that was visible from Israel. Then on September 1, 720 BC there was partial lunar eclipse in Pisces that was visible from Israel.
On March 26, 719 BC Venus transited the planet Jupiter in the constellation Pisces. On the well noted conjunction of June 17, 2 BC around the time of the birth of Messiah, Jupiter and Venus came into a very close conjunction appearing as one star as seen with the naked eye. But during that conjunction Venus passed a little south of Jupiter as seen at great magnification. Here on March 26, 719 BC Venus passed directly in front of Jupiter. This was a very rare event indeed (See picture below). Chart 299 shows the positions of Jupiter and Venus in Pisces during this transit as seen from Jerusalem.