Biblical Astronomy

January 1998

Editor - Robert Scott Wadsworth <> P.O. Box 5772, Oregon City, OR 97045-8272

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In Psalms 19:1-4 it is written:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.

What is the meaning of "Their line is gone out through all the earth?" The following is from E.W. Bullinger's "The Witness of the Stars," pg. 6, concerning "Their line" in Psalms 19:4.

"Their line, qav, i.e., their measuring line. By the figure metonymy the line which measures is put for the portion or heritage which is measured as in many other places. See Psalms 16:6, "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage." (See also Psalms 78:55, &c.) Here, (Ps. 19:4) it means that "Their measuring line has gone forth unto all the earth (erets); i.e., All the earth inherits this their testimony (i.e., has this testimony for its heritage), and to the ends of the world (tebel, the inhabited world) their instruction has gone forth. With this agrees in sense, the LXX. here, and Romans 10:18, which has phthoggos, a sound, or voice; i.e., a sound in relation to the hearer, rather than to that which causes it. The meaning of the passage is, "All the earth has their sound or testimony as its heritage, and the ends of the world hear their words."

According to Deuteronomy 4:19 the sun, moon, stars, and the host of heaven were, and are, not to be worshiped, but were divided (imparted) by God unto all nations under heaven.

Deut. 4:19 - And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and we have this testimony as our heritage.


The most dominant constellation in the winter sky is Orion. It shines forth brilliantly in the early evening skies of December, January, and February. The brightest star (other than the planets Jupiter and Venus) in the heavens also shines brilliantly during these winter nights; it is the star Sirius in the constellation Canis Major. The star is located south and west of Orion. If you can find Orion, Sirius is easy to locate since it is the brightest star in the heavens (see Chart 47).

In its perverted form, the constellation to which Sirius belongs is shown in the form of a dog, and the star is associated with burning heat, pestilence, and disaster to the earth and the children of men. It is from this star and constellation that we get the saying "the dog days of summer." When this star was first seen in its rising in ancient Egypt, it signified that the dreadfully hot summer days would soon begin. Because of the precession of the equinoxes and other factors, the rising of the star has no longer any association with the hot days of summer. I believe that the true meaning of this constellation can be found in its more ancient form. The following is from Joseph A. Seiss' "The Gospel in the Stars," (1882), pp. 116-117.

"In the Dendera Zodiac the figure is the Eagle or Hawk (not a dog), the particular enemy of the Serpent, having on his head a double mark of crownings with power and majesty, and standing on the top of a great mace as the triumphant royal Breaker and Bruiser of the powers of evil. The principal star in this constellation is the most brilliant and fiery in all the heavens.

This star is called Sirius, from sir or seir, which means Prince, Guardian, the Victorious. Taken in connection with the name of the figure in the Egyptian sphere, as often given, we have Naz-Seir or Nazir; and we know who it was to be called Naz-seir-ene. Naz-Seir means the Sent Prince. So the Rod promised to come forth from the stem or stump of Jesse is called Netzer in the Hebrew Bible, there translated the Branch, the princely Scion, who should "smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and slay the wicked with the breath of His lips." Not, then, only because Christ spent His earlier years at an obscure village by the name of Nazareth, but, above all, because He was the sent Prince, the Messiah, the Branch, at once the Netzer of Isaiah and the Naz-Seir of these equally prophetic constellations. From the earliest ages of Christianity till now interpreters and defenders of the Scripture have been at a loss to explain by what prophet or in what sacred prophecy it was said, as claimed by the Apostle, that Christ should be called a Nazarene; but here, from a most unexpected quarter, we find the nearest and most literal foreshadowing of that very name, given in place as a designation of the Seed of the woman, and describing Him as the Sent Prince, the lordly Eagle, the appointed tearer in pieces of the extirpirator of the whole serpent brood. And in this Naz-Seir, or Naz-Sirius, we are to see Him of whom Matthew said, "He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called NAZ-SEIR-ENE" (Matt. 2:23).

It would verily seem as if we were selecting a list of scriptural expressions concerning our Redeemer when we thus give the sense of these astronomic names. Their meaning is most truly significant when understood of Christ, but they are worse than absurd if we are to understand them of an Egyptian dog."

This is something to contemplate when you look at the star Sirius. And give praise to God; for the triumphent return of His son Jesus Christ (the Nazerene) in all His glory will soon be here.


Chart 48 displays the close conjunction of Jupiter and Mars which took place on January 20/21 in the constellation Capricornus. The chart is shown at 3:00 a.m. Jerusalem local time, January 21, which was the time of actual conjunction. The planets could not be seen from Jerusalem at this time, but were visible shortly after sunset on January 20. The two planets were also close together and visible from Jerusalem after sunset on the following evening, Jan. 21. The actual conjunction could be seen from the United States on January 20 at 6:00 p.m. Mountain time. I regret that I did not get this info to you before the conjunction. There was also a conjunction of Venus and Mercury in Sagittarius in the morning sky on January 26, though there was a good amount of separation between the two. The moon passed between the two planets while they were very near conjunction. There is a list of all planetary conjunctions for 1998 on page 139 of "A Voice Crying in the Heavens", second edition.


ARAFAT THREATENS (Arutz-7 News, January 11) - Yasser Arafat is threatening to renew the intifada. In a meeting of the Palestinian Authority leadership recently, he warned that a failure of the Clinton-Netanyahu-Arafat talks in Washington next week would lead to a renewal of Palestinian violence. Both Arafat and Jordan's King Hussein separately told a European diplomat that in their opinion, Netanyahu will manage to overcome David Levy's resignation and his government will not fall before the next scheduled elections.

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PREPAR-ING FOR WAR (IINS News, January 22) - According to a report published in today's e-mail edition of Jane's Defense Weekly, the PLO Authority (PA) is preparing for war against Israel, in the event Yasser Arafat feels the diplomatic route has failed. The report states that PA forces are preparing for Israeli troops "to re-occupy" areas throughout Judea and Sameria, currently under the control of Arafat's PA. Jane's reports that the PA offensive will most likely be larger than the one seen in 1996, following Israel's opening of the Hashmonean Tunnel in Jerusalem.

NETANYAHU: WE WILL NOT TOLERATE THREATS OF VIOLENCE (Arutz-7 News, January 25) - Prime Minister Netanyahu briefed the government this morning on his trip to the U.S. The bottom line appears to be that the Americans would like a 12% withdrawal, while Israel is prepared for a joint second and third withdrawal of 9%, contingent upon fulfillment of Palestinian commitments. Netanyahu related to recent threats voiced by senior Palestinian Authority leaders concerning the resumption of intifada violence. He said, "These threats are very grave, and Israel will react sharply to violence and threats of violence. We will not agree to conduct a peace process under the threat of violence."

PALESTINIAN PLANS (Arutz-7 News, January 26) - Palestinian Authority head Yasser Arafat asked the United States to recognize an independent state of Palestine during his meet-ing with U.S. President Bill Clinton last week, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat divulged at a press conference yesterday. Erekat did not say what the American response had been, but Palestinian cabinet secretary-general Ahmed Abdel Rahman said on Palestinian radio, "We will be declaring a state soon." Rahman called on the Arab world to take economic and diplomatic action against Israel, and said that the PA might request the convention of an Arab summit in light of the failure of the Washington talks, to decide whether there was any point in continuing the peace process with Israel.

IRAQ CAN ARM 25 BIO WEAPONS (Associated Press, January 28) - Iraq reportedly has enough biological weapons to arm 25 long-range missiles -- an amount in line with the chief U.N. weapons inspector's assessment that Iraq can "blow away Tel Aviv."

Israel in on the edge after today's report in Haaretz and another in Yediot Ahronot that said the CIA has warned Israel that a U.S. -led attack on Iraq likely would prompt Baghdad to fire missiles with non-conventional warheads at Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu convened his security Cabinet today to discuss the escalating crisis in the Persian Gulf. During the session, security officials recommended that Israel avoid provocations that could send it into direct conflict with Iraq, Israel army radio said. "We are watching, alert and preparing for every possibility as needed," Netanyahu told army radio after the Cabinet meeting. Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordechai said after the Cabinet meeting that Israel was following developments in the gulf, but that no special action was required at the moment.

The Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported today that the CIA has warned Israeli officials that an attack on Iraq likely would lead Saddam to use non-conventional weapons against Israel.

NETANYAHU: WE ARE PREPARED (Arutz-7 News, January 28) - The security mini-cabinet - Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defence Minister Mordechai, and Infrastructures Minister Sharon - convened today for its weekly meeting, and on its agenda: the explosive Iraq situation. The Prime Minister said today that Israel is prepared for any eventuality. The United States is continuing to prepare for a possible attack on Iraq, and top American cabinet officials are making efforts to form an international coalition against Saddam Hussein. A senior American official said last night regarding the chances for an attack, "the train has already left the station." Spain and Russia announced today that they prefer a diplomatic solution. President Weizmann issued a call to the public not to panic in light of the rising tensions. The public appears to have heeded the call, as not many persons have come to the gas mask centers to replace their outdated chemical-weapons defense equipment.