Biblical Astronomy

September 1999

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

Phone (503) 655-7430 <> e-mail - <> website -



The following is the New Moon report for the month of Tishri from observers in Jerusalem and other areas in Israel. Magdi Shamuel and Nehemia Gordon compiled this report. "On Friday, September 10, 1999, despite excellent weather conditions, the moon was NOT seen as we predicted. The conditions were so good that the sun was seen setting in its entirety from Ashod. On Saturday, September 11, 1999 the New Moon was seen from: Ofra and was first sighted at 17:42; Ramla and was first sighted at 17:45; Ashdod by Magdi and was first sighted at 17:47; Ofakim and was first sighted at 17:48; Ptah Tikvah and was first sighted at 17:50; Jerusalem and was first sighted at 17:52; Arad and was first sighted at 17:53."

According to these observations, Rosh Hashanah began at sunset on September 11, 1999. There is a very good possibility that this was also the beginning of the Seventh Millennium. This may prove to be a very interesting year.

I intended to get this newsletter out by September 1, but I was in a car accident in late August. My car was totaled when a Jeep Cherokee struck it in the rear as I was stopped at a traffic signal. I have a good case of whiplash from the accident and am in a bit of pain, but am fine otherwise. Dan Stockemer, the co-author of A Voice Crying in the Heavens, was in a serious car accident in early August. Dan's wife, Mary, suffered broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and a broken shoulder blade. She is now out of the hospital and recovering at home. Dan and his two children received some big bruises from the accident, but are now doing well. Praise the Lord and thank you for your prayers.


Charts 113 and 114 show the planet Mars and the star Antares in the constellation Scorpius as they come into conjunction on September 16, 1999 as seen from Jerusalem. Mars is representative of the warrior archangel Michael, and also of blood. (One point that I forgot to mention in the last issue of Biblical Astronomy is that as Mars was in the constellation Libra (the Sacred Alter) at the time of the solar eclipse in August, it was representing blood on the Sacred Alter, which has all to do with the atoning sacrifice of the Messiah.)

Ares is the ancient Roman name for the planet Mars. Antares literally means rival of Mars, in this case, the rival of Michael. Antares in the ancient Arabic means the wounding. The scorpion is the enemy of the woman's seed and of the Messiah. It is Michael who goes to war against this enemy. The Hebrew name for the constellation Scorpius is Akrab, which means the conflict, or war.

The moon also passes conjunction with Mars and Antares on September 16. Such was also the case at the time of the crucifixion of the Messiah on April 28, 28.


The following is from the October issue of the online version of Astronomy Magazine. "This month Cetus appears to have a new star. Saturn is in the region and acts as a guide to find the variable star Mira. Mira is another prototypical star, but instead of an eclipse causing changes in brightness, Mira's size physically changes with semiregular pulsations. At roughly magnitude 9 in July, Mira has been brightening steadily during the past few months. It is predicted to peak around November 5. It typically reaches magnitude 3.4, but the star has been known to exceed this by a magnitude or more. Watch Mira carefully this month and next to see what surprises it has in store this year."

The constellation Cetus is representative of the beast from the sea (Rev. 13:1-10) and Saturn is representative of Satan; here acting as a guide to find the variable star Mira which means the Rebel. Joseph Seiss wrote of this star in his book The Gospel in the Stars, which was first published in 1882. The following is from page 95 of that book, speaking on the constellation Cetus.

"The picture is that of a great sea-monster (Cetus), the true Leviathan of Job and Isaiah, which covers the largest space of any one figure in the sky. It is a vast scaly beast, with enormous head, mouth, and front paws, and having the body and tail of a whale. It is generally called "the Whale" on our planispheres. It is an animal of water and marshes, and the natural enemy and devourer of the fishes. It is the same which the sea-god sent to devour Andromeda, and hence the particular foe and persecutor of the Church. It is a downward constellation, bordering on the lower regions. One of its characteristic stars Mira, situated in the neck of the scaly monster, is the most wonderfully variable and unsteady in the heavens. From a star of the second magnitude it dwindles away so as to become invisible once in about every three hundred days, and Hevelius affirms that it once disappeared for a space of four years. It is a striking symbol of the arch-Deceiver, and, singularly enough, its name means the Rebel."


Venus will shine at its greatest brilliancy for the year as the bright and morning star (magnitude -4.6) on September 26 (first day of the Feast of Tabernacles). It will be very brilliant in the early morning sky between 5:00 and 6:00 local daylight savings time, and will lie due East about 15 to 22 degrees above the horizon, depending on your location. Venus at that time will be between the feet of Leo, or Arieh in the Hebrew (the Lion of the Tribe of Judah) and the head of Hydra (the Serpent).

Venus started in retrograde motion in late July and came to a stop and turned back to its forward motion on September 12 (Rosh Hashanah). Venus is performing a triple conjunction with the star Regulus (the King star of the Lion of Judah) from July 12 to October 9. The first conjunction was on July 12; the second on August 11; and the third will be on October 8/9. At the time of the birth of the Messiah, Jupiter performed a triple conjunction with Regulus.


Part of the good news on Comet Lee is that it will not strike the planet Earth. There are now stories going around that it has broken into two pieces and that one piece is headed toward Earth. The false hype seems to be thickening on this comet. Putting all of the false rumors aside, Comet Lee may have some prophetic significance. It is now the brightest comet in our neighborhood, though it is dimming and can not be seen with the naked eye. The path of the comet is of interest. From August 1, to September 11, the comet moved through the constellation Auriga (the Great Shepherd) which is representative of the Great Shepherd protecting his sheepfold and safety for the redeemed in the day of wrath. Comet Lee left Auriga on September 12 (Rosh Hashanah) and is now moving above the constellation Perseus ("The Breaker" delivering the redeemed) and between Perseus and Cassiopeia. The comet will enter the constellation Cassiopeia (the Bride) on September 27 (second day of Tabernacles). The Arabic for Cassiopeia is El Seder, which means the freed. Comet Lee's closest approach to the earth will occur on September 30, at which time the comet will be about 77 million miles from the earth. Charts 115 and 116 show the position of Comet Lee on September 30. Comet Lee will remain in Cassiopeia until October 5 (two days after the Last Great Day of Tabernacles.


Two thousand prophetic years from the Ascension of the Messiah (June 10,28) is September 23, 1999 which lies between the Day of Atonement and Tabernacles. There are some that believe that the transfiguration written of in Matthew 17 occurred some time between the Day of Atonement and Tabernacles and that it was a preview of the rapture.

Two thousand prophetic years from Pentecost on June 20, 28 is October 3, 1999 which is the Last Great Day of Tabernacles. Many believe that there will be a second great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Last Days, though I am not convinced of this. Plenty of fuel to ponder upon. We'll see what happens.


Astronomers are puzzled by a discovery of an object located in the northern sky in the constellation Serpens Caput (the serpent located with the constellation Ophiuchus; the struggle between the woman's seed and the serpent and the serpent's seed). The object has a light spectrum that has not been seen before. Most likely there are many objects in the universe that have not yet been discovered, but as technology improves , more new discoveries will be made. Such has been the case throughout history. This object has most likely been around since the creation, and is seen now for the first time.

I have had many e-mails and phone calls inquiring about this object. Some have speculated that this is the New Jerusalem. This is highly unlikely. The dimensions of the New Jerusalem given in Revelation are no larger than the moon. Though the dimensions of this object have not yet been determined, it is most likely larger than our solar system. It is believed that this object may be a type of quasar. Quasars are huge in size. Besides, I just cannot imagine the New Jerusalem coming out of a serpent. The following is from a press release by Sky and Telescope on August 20.

Overhyped "Mystery Object" - "The popular press was abuzz this week over a 'mystery object' in the sky. Unfortunately, there isn't much to say about it yet. S. George Djorgovski (Caltech) first announced the unusualness of the object - designated PSS 1537+1277 - at a press conference on May 31st at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Chicago. The Object was found in the course of creating the Digital Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, an ongoing project that has been using the 48-inch Oschin Schmidt telescope atop Palomar Mountain to map the entire northern sky. The survey has turned up about 70 new quasars and this one oddball. 'It has a spectrum unlike anything else I have ever seen,' Djorgovski said. The object is 19th magnitude in the constellation Serpens Caput. Djorgovski suspects that it is an unusual quasar and notes the mystery could be solved soon when an infrared spectrum is taken.


Well, there weren't any earthquakes at the "ninth hour" on August 11, but there were more that a few that occurred within hours before the eclipse. The following is from an Associated Press release on August 11.

"A series of earthquakes and aftershocks jolted large parts of the Mideast and western Mediterranean islands today, killing at least one person. A woman was killed and another person injured in Iran, where the Islamic Republic News Agency reported the quake struck in the northeastern village of Moaminabad. Preliminary estimates put the magnitude at 5.1

Police had no immediate reports of casualties on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where quakes with preliminary magnitudes of 4.2 and 5.8 were reported by the Cypress Seismological Center."

The larger quake that hit Cyprus also rocked areas in northern Israel, Lebanon, and Egypt. There was a moderate quake that hit Algeria that morning as well as a magnitude 4.2 that hit Tokyo. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck western Turkey five days later. I am sure that you saw this one on the news. It was the worst earthquake to hit Turkey in over a century. Athens, Greece had its worst earthquake in over a century three weeks later which was a magnitude 5.9.

It is in and around these areas that the early church was formed. Check out the map of Paul's second missionary journey, which is found in the back of most bibles. The path goes just past Cyprus, then on to western and northwestern Turkey, and from there to Greece (Athens included). All of these areas were shaken by the recent quakes in that order. Another interesting factor. The following is a list of earthquakes that occurred since August 11.

August 11 - 5.1 in Iran
- 5.8 in Cyprus
- 4.1 in Algiers
- 4.2 in Tokyo
August 12 - 6.0 in central Indonesia
August 16 - 7.8 in western Turkey
August 20 - 5.5 in Japan
- 6.7 in Costa Rica
August 26 - 6.0 in Philippines
September 7 - 5.9 in Greece
September 13 - 5.8 in western Turkey
September 14 - 4.5 in Iran
September 15 - 6.0 in Bolivia


The following is from the International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem news release on September 5.

"Last night in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheik, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat signed a modified version of the Wye Memorandum - known as Wye-II - as US Secretary Madeleine Albright, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and Jordan's King Abdullah II looked on.

Wye II contains a number of revised provisions than those negotiated by the previous Israeli government last October. Under the new accords, the two sides will begin final-status negotiations immediately towards establishing within five months a framework for final-status talks. After the framework is established, talks will continue towards a final peace settlement, to be completed no later than September 13, 2000.

The agreement establishes an 11 percent territorial withdrawal, to be carried out in three stages. The first to be executed in the next few days, will transfer 7 percent of the land from Israeli military and civilian control - designated as Area C to Area B, respectively - and release 200 Palestinian prisoners. A further 150 prisoners will be freed on October 8, with negotiations resuming in December for the possibility of more Palestinian prisoner releases.

On November 14, a 2% withdrawal from Judean territory will be made from Area B to Area A - full Palestinian military and civilian control - and 3% from Area C to Area B. The last withdrawal will occur on January 20, and will transfer 1% from Area C to Area A, and 5.1% from Area B to Area A.

Israel agreed to release pre-Oslo PLO prisoners with "some blood on their hands," meaning those who have wounded Israelis or murdered Palestinian collaborators, or have been indirectly involved in terror acts.

A southern "safe passage" route for Palestinian travel is to open October 1, while construction of the Gaza seaport is to commence on the same day. The second phase of the opening of Shuhada Street in Hebron will take place no later than October 30, while the wholesale market there is to be open by November 1.

The final-status talks will tackle complex issues such as Palestinian statehood, the status of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the future of settlements. Palestinians have again promised not to unilaterally declare a state until either and agreement is reached or September 2000.

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that should an agreement not be forthcoming within one year, the Palestinians may unilaterally declare statehood

Erekat said "I do not think we can declare a Palestinian state now between the period [of] September 13, 1999 and September 13, 2000. If we fail to reach an agreement, then we have the full right to declare a state after that."

The United States, seeking to calm Palestinian anxieties regarding independence, attached a "letter of guarantee," reiterating its support for the Palestinian people "to determine their future on their own land."

All of this spells disaster for Israel. Shortly after the 200 terrorists were released early this month, they were given a hero's welcome in Gaza and given arms, including submachine guns. There's something wrong with this picture. This goes against the articles of the Wye Agreement and displays the fact that the PLO has no intention of honoring any part of the agreement.

Expert on Israeli-Arab relations warns of an upcoming 'storm'

Arutz-7, September 8 - "Former MK Atty. Ammon Lin, author of a book on Israeli-Arabs entitled "Before the Storm," explained today that increased Israeli-Arab hostility towards Israel could have been easily foreseen, and will likely get worse. "I am surprised that [GSS head] Ayalon said that he is surprised," he told Arutz-7 today. "Everyone who knows anything about this issue could have foreseen it. We are in the beginning of a major crises, and it will get worse as the final-status talks go into high gear."

Lin said from the beginning: "Since the early days of the State, up until, I would say, Oslo, Israeli-Arabs for the most part were careful to define themselves as Israeli-Arabs. They did not want to be counted as Palestinians. Since Oslo, however, they more and more define themselves as 'Palestinians upon whom Israeli citizenship was forced… There are still all those among them who are more moderate, mostly the older people… but let there be no mis-understanding: When the struggle begins for Jerusalem, and for the right of return [for the Arabs who left in 1948], and for the borders of the Palestinian state, and over the fate of the Jewish settlements - and then there will be calls for autonomy for the Arabs of the Galilee, etc. - we will then see the extremist elements attempt to drag everyone along with them in a violent wave against Israel."

Lin described the following scenario: "Just picture to yourself how Arafat, as he has promised to do, calls upon the Arab-Palestinians in Jordan and Lebanon to 'return to the homeland' - and hundreds of thousands of people start marching on Israel's borders. And then he calls upon the Arabs living in Palestine/Israel to 'go out and greet your brethren.' Will any of the moderate elements be able to stand in their way? We stand now at the beginning of a big storm…"

It has also been reported that Arafat intends to call 3.5 million Palestinians back to their "homeland."


ICEJ News, Sept. 1 - "The Clinton Administration went public in recent days with American intelligence reports that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has resumed production of illicit arms-development programs, a year after UN weapons inspectors left the country.

In a report to Congress, US intelligence sources were alarmed about the resumption of activity at Iraqi facilities "capable of producing WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and long-range ballistic missiles.

The report contrasts sharply with earlier assertions by US Officials that there is "no evidence" Iraq is resuming WMD development.

US Congressional representatives have been critical of the administration's muted response to the Iraqi threat, saying US policy toward Iraq has been markedly reduced since the beginning of this year.

Senators Richard Shelby and Robert Kerrey, the Republican Chairman and the lead Democrat respectively of the Senate Intelligence Committee, were among six Senators who sent a letter to Clinton saying, "The last six months have been notable for what has not happened rather than what has been achieved… There is considerable evidence that Iraq continues to seek and develop weapons of mass destruction."

An administrative official defended Clinton, saying, "The situation is viewed seriously, and it has definitely not fallen off anyone's radar scope."

Hussein's efforts to "reconstitute" prohibited weapons programs breaches one of Clinton's "red lines" - set following the December 1998 Anglo-American air campaign - which calls for the resumption of US military action against Iraq.