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Bethulah and Her Son
Witnessing Tools
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Wendy Wippel

Textbooks say that the structure of our modern 12-symbol zodiac originated in Babylon about 6000 years ago, but that the mythology associated with it we owe to Greece and Rome. As usual, they’re very confident, and as usual, they’re very wrong.  And two biblical characters will prove it.

Encyclopedia Britannica goes a little further, telling its readers that,

“The history of the symbols is unknown; they seem to appear first in Greek manuscripts of the late Middle Ages.”

“Seems” being the critical word there.  Because it only “seems” that way if you are completely ignorant of Scripture.

Starting with the oldest book of the Bible, Job. 

Job lived not too long after the Great Flood, evidenced by the accusation of Eliphaz, who asked Job,

“Will you keep to the old way which wicked men have trod, Who were cut down before their time, Whose foundations were swept away by a flood?” (Job 22:15-16 ESV)

The fact that Job is recorded to have lived 140 years more, after God gave him more sons and daughters and restored his wealth, also hints at an early post-flood life. As does (since geologically the flood was followed by the ice age) the fact that nearly all the references to snow and ice in the Bible occur in the book of Job.

And Job talks a lot about the zodiac. Let’s start with its origin:

“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth? (Job 38:31-33)

Blueletter Bible offers the meaning of the Hebrew word, chuqqah, as things “appointed”.

What God is saying is that He leads forth the Mazzaroth (the zodiac, a derivation of the word meaning “the way”)  Implying by the next two sentences that, by that Mazzaroth that he established, he was revealing the things appointed to happen on the earth, and he would also bring them to pass.

The Mazzaroth symbols, then, would work kind of like a mnemonic device, helping people to remember the promises of God.

Which would become really critical when only one family would survive the flood, and that family would have to make sure that succeeding generations would remember the nature of the enemy, the heavenly battle that rages still, and the promise of a Redeemer to come. Josephus recorded that Seth, Adam’s third son, constructed the sequence of promises associated with each constellation (and fleshed it out with the three associated decans).  And to make absolutely sure we don’t miss the hand of God in what we see in the sky, Job says it twice:

"By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; the early His hand pierced the fleeing serpent. Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways” (Job 26:13-14)

God laid out that “way” back to God in the heavens, as He spread the details across the sky in the Mazzaroth. And interestingly, the earliest post flood cultures  (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Chaldean, etc.) unanimously perceived its origin to be far before the flood, and unanimously identified some combination of Adam, Seth, Enoch, and Noah as its originators. 

The plan God laid out was a plan that one particular nation on earth would be charged with carrying out. Which leads me to the first of my “proofs” Jacob, who recorded prophetic charges to each of his 12 sons, in the order of their birth, in Genesis 49.

"Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, And listen to Israel your father “Reuben, you are my firstborn, My might and the beginning of my strength, …Unstable as water, you shall not excel."

“Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place….I will divide them in Jacob And scatter them in Israel.

Judah is a lion’s whelp; …And as a lion, who shall rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.

“Zebulun shall dwell by the haven of the sea;,

“Issachar is a strong donkey,  …He bowed his shoulder to bear a burden, Dan shall be a serpent by the way,

For Gad, “a troop shall tramp upon him, but he shall raid at their heels.

“Bread from Asher shall be rich ( some translate the Hebrew as “Asher will be a weigher of bread”.

“Naphtali is a deer let loose; “Joseph is a fruitful bough, The archers have bitterly grieved him, …. But his bow remained in strength, And the arms of his hands were made strong By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob By the God of your father who will help you, And by the Almighty who will bless you.

“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he shall devour the prey,”

All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them. And he blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing. (Genesis 49:2-28)

An interesting thing happens, however, if you compare the tribes with the specific things that they are identified with.  Each identification matches correlates with one of the traditional zodiac signs:.

"Reuben, you are my firstborn, My might and the beginning of my strength, Unstable as water, you shall not excel": Aquarius, the water bearer”,

“Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place….
I will divide them in Jacob And scatter them in Israel.: Gemini, the twins.

"Judah is a lion’s whelp; And as a lion, who shall rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people": Leo, the Lion

“Zebulun shall dwell by the haven of the sea": Pisces, the fishes

“Issachar is a strong donkey,  crouching between the sheepfolds; He bowed his shoulder to bear a burden": Taurus the bull

"Dan shall be a serpent by the way": Scorpio, the stinging scorpion.

For Gad, “ a troop shall tramp upon him, but he shall raid at their heels: Aries as the  first sign of the existing Zodiac, he has a troop tramping behind him but he chomps at their heels.

“Bread from Asher shall be rich (some translate the Hebrew as “Asher will be a weigher of bread.”): Libra, the scales,.

"Naphtali is a deer let loose": Capricorn, the deer.

“Joseph is a fruitful bough, The archers have bitterly grieved him, But his bow remained in strength": Sagittarius, the archer.

By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob.  By the God of your father who will help you, And by the Almighty who will bless you.

“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he shall devour the prey”: Cancer, the Crab. (not the original sign; the significance of the sign being more the idea of grasping and holding tight.) (Genesis 49:3-27)

Each identification accurately relaying the human sons’ faults but nonetheless also identifying the way that God would use them, as the progneitors of Israel, to achieve His purposes for Israel.

Twelve tribes and twelve signs. Coincidence?

But wait, we’ve only covered eleven of them.

Why? The boring answer is this: because Simeon and Levi were the twins.  So there’s one left.

The not so boring answer is because the twelfth was not assigned to one of the sons of Jacob, but to the one and only mother of the son of God. Mary. (My other proof)

Virgo, the virgin who would nonetheless bear a child. 

(In Hebrew Bethulah).

The Mazzaroth, God’s revelation of the salvation appointed for all men, was certainly corrupted to some extent in Babylon (and, then in Greece and then in Rome). Names and symbols sometimes changed.

But the meanings really didn’t.  Because it didn’t start there.

The encyclopedias will tell you that the ancients saw pictures in the stars and made up stories. They’ve got it backwards. . Adam & Son(s) had a story to tell about a coming Redeemer, and they wanted to be sure that the promises of God weren’t lost to future generations. So they used the Mazzaroth, which God created, to make sure the world would remember the way of salvation. A way that would someday be embodied by a son of Israel that would announce that He was “the way and the truth and the life”. A  little boy prophesied to be born of a virgin. .

We’ll talk about Virgo in more detail next time we pick the Mazzaroth back up.  (I meant to do it today but got lost in the fascinating history. Sorry).  Till next week…

About Wendy Wippel

Last week: The Gathering Storm



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