The Biblical cosmology of the Hebrew Menorah
For those of you who were able to view the introductory flash animation to our Try-God web-site, you have already seen a symbolic representation of what the ancient Greeks thought of as their "universe," the five naked-eye planets of our solar system, our Moon and the Sun as the sixth and seventh. For those who haven't seen this animation, its a good idea to invest 60 seconds and take a look at it, to get and idea of the subject of this study. The traditional concept of the history of cosmology reads as a timeline of the “discoveries” of the greatest scientists. Men like Ptolemy, Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Einstein and Hubble are the shining lights of scientific progress, and certainly human science owes these men much. According to conventional history, the idea of a heliocentric "universe" or solar system, originated with the ancient Greeks, specifically Aristarchus of Samos back in the second century BC. This idea however, did not catch on in a big way until Copernicus, who while reviewing some of Aristarchus' ideas seized upon this concept and ran with it. He did this at his own peril due to the prevailing worldview of the time, especially that of the Roman Catholic Church, based on a geocentric view of the solar system espoused by Ptolemy, which held sway in intellectual and religious circles for over 1500 years. The graphic below from Harmonica Macrocosmica [A. Cellarius, Amsterdam 1660] depicts a Sun centered Copernican view of the cosmos.
This article on Biblical cosmology will show that the idea of a heliocentric "universe" predates the Second Century BC and Aristarchus, by at least 1300 years, and its genuine roots are found in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. From a strictly historical perspective, this is somewhat of a radical statement, sure to have many critics, however, once the following Biblical evidence is viewed in light of the principles of Biblical Astronomy, the foundations of this statement are inescapable. The subject of this article gives us an example of the potential revisionist power that Biblical Astronomy can have on the conventional view of the History of Astronomy. For Christian believers, knowledge of these truths provide an important historical perspective of the impact of the Biblical Patriarchs on the ancient world, which has been obscured by thousands of years of pagan myth and Astrology, and yes, even human science. By restoring some of the original historical luster to these heroes of the Faith, we gain a fuller perspective of their mighty stand on the truth of God's Word, as they upheld its precepts in their principles of Astronomy. As always, the key remains whether or not the general public, or the scientific community specifically, have the inclination, or will take the time to allow the Word of God to have it's say, regarding these and other matters relevant to their chosen fields of expertise. The staple argument has been that the Bible is not a science book, but a spiritual book, and the Holy Scriptures have no authority in matters of science. Those who adopt this view have never given the Creator his proper due as the Almighty Originator of All Creation, the effects of which Man merely registers with his five senses, nor have they considered the truths of God's Word, or even evidence from Creation that testifies to His Omnipotent power. This remains a primary goal of the Try-God web-site. This study examines the celestial symbolism of the sacred Hebrew candlestick instituted under Moses and the Levite priests of the Old Testament. This Menorah is a divine piece of furniture that was kept in the holy place of the Hebrew Tabernacle, which contained the Altar of Insence, and the veil through which the Holy of the Holies was accessible. As a powerful symbol from God’s Word, the Menorah embodies an extensive Biblical cosmology, including both the Hebrew zodiac of twelve major constellations, with its 36 decans, and a heliocentric concept of the solar system, centuries before Homer wrote the Illiad and the Oddessey! God revealed the divine plans of the Tabernacle to Moses in the mid-2nd millennium BC, in the 14th century. The master-pattern and blueprint of God's celestial revelation, which impacts every Biblical Administration, beginning in Original Paradise, is first seen symbolically in the two trees of the Garden of Eden.
And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
This figure of the two trees; the tree of life, and of the knowledge of good and evil, when understood in the context of the Astronomy that God revealed to Adam, the first Biblical Patriarch, puts the record of the serpent’s temptation in an entirely different light. Figuratively, these “trees” symbolized the bi-polar world axis [pictured below], that originally set the relationship between God’s three-fold light in the heavens, revealed in His Word written in the Stars. As we will see, these two trees form the root structure of the galactic cycle evident in the world monomyth that underlies all the Astronomy of the ancients. Adam knew the details of these celestial oracles better than anyone, and he taught them to his offspring after his fall, personally for over 930 years of his life, following the Original Paradise in the Garden of Eden!
Our awareness of these truths is enlightened when we consider the view of these Patriarchal astronomers regarding the God-ordained precision of the entire celestial symphony of the heavens. They viewed the poles, ecliptic and Equator all relative to the orientation of earth’s axis, showing the awesome phenomena of the precession of the equinoxes as part of the Creator’s plan to illustrate not only the figurative earth-centrism of the Earth’s symbolic central location in the firmament, but also how precession reveals the order of the Milky Way Galaxy. This is part of the truth behind the Sun’s dual year, because the solar year depicts the Sun as the center of our solar system, featuring it’s daily illumination of the Earth, while the cycle of precession of the Sun’s 25,920-year retrograde motion through the zodiac, depicts the Sun’s light with respect to ages of precession, as dictated by the Earth’s slowly shifting orientation to the equatorial pole. Thus, the spiritual relevance of the precession of the equinoxes includes, not only the ages decreed by the Sun’s residence in a particular sign of the zodiac, moving towards galactic alignment, but also our planet’s figurative earth-centrism, as the garden home of Man, the nexus and reason for Creation. To emphasize this in the Creator’s Intelligent Design, the temporal order of the celestial cycles referred to in Genesis 1:14-15 are viewed relative to the orientation of the Earth’s axis, in context of the precession of the equinoxes. In this way, the line-of-site view from our planet provides the lens through which the truths of the celestial gospel are revealed. The Creator's prevailing Symmetry becomes apparent here, because as the base 60 numbers are viewed as the foundation of the order of celestial cycles in the locality of our solar system, so they also provide the foundation of the order of the 12 signs of the zodiac and all their decans, in the prevailing context of precession. We will cite further planetary examples of the celestial order in the context of the precessional order of the Galaxy in our discussion of Venus transits. The Earth is thus the figurative center of Creation, as the object of the three-fold celestial light shed from the heavens. The purpose and beauty of this three-fold heavenly light is to illuminate the Earth, which God initiated with the two aspects of the Sun's annual and precessional cycles, as seen in Joseph’s two dreams in Genesis 37:6-11. Joseph’s dreams reveal the basic correspondence of the 12 signs of the zodiac with the 12 tribes of Israel, among other things and since the ancient view of human knowledge of the Solar cycles, celestial signs, eclipses, and asterisms were based on line-of-sight relationships, that only have meaning from an Earth-bound perspective, over time this devolved into the view that the Earth was the literal center of all Creation, forming the basis of later geocentric theories, like those of Ptolemy. Similarly, as the figurative representation of the Sun as the source of life, became literalized by the heathens, it resulted in the idolatrous Astrology of Sun worship inherent through much of ancient mythology and religion. The Earth of course is not the literal center of Creation, but God created it to lovingly house man, who is the object of God’s caring acts for His human family.
The concept of the bi-polar world axis, represented as the two trees exerting their influence over temporal domains has survived intact throughout the mythology, religions, and art and literature of the world. One example is the Yggdrasil World Ash tree of Norse Myths, which arises from the center of the Earth, with its branches forming the heavens, and its roots as the foundations of the Earth and the underworld, with a serpent's coils wrapped around the Earth's core. The premise common to most of these ancient myths is the integration of Heaven and Earth, where the various idols and ancient gods were worshipped in many aspects of tribal life and early civilization. A more modern example of this archetypal myth can be found in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, in the emblem of the tree, whose roots form the foundation of the earth, its trunk-middle earth, and branches and leaves the stars of heaven. The example we will focus on however is from the Art of the masters-Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Cistine Chapel of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden. This is pictured in Plate I below.
Plate I. Michelangelo's "Original Sin"
In Wilson Bryan Key's analysis of this Cistine Chapel fresco and its potential subliminal content, he makes very some interesting observations. First, regarding the time dimension of this painting, "On the right Michelangelo illustrated time after, or the future. The two cringing, trembling, humiliated, pathetic humans are driven from Paradise at the point of the angel’s sword. We know, this was the consequence of what happened to the couple after Eve received the “apple” from the snake. Now consider the present, the instant time was stopped by the artist as depicted in the scene on the left. The snake is represented with a human head. Just below the snake's left shoulder protrudes a female breast. The snake or the source of temptation, is female-one woman is tempting another toward destruction through sensuous indulgence. The snake is an ancient symbol of the forces of destruction, temptation, corruption and evil. In mythology, the snake often embodies female symbolism and in the language of symbols therefore, the source of forbidden fruit, the snake or the temptress of Eve-was a woman."1
Key goes on to say that: "Eve has turned away from her lover to accept a sensuous indulgence from another woman."2 This statement tells the tale of what Key thought was the true essence of "the apple," not a literal piece of fruit but the figurative images associated with human sexuality and fruitfulness, which for Eve were ultimately cursed in the pain of childbearing, as a result of her disobedience [Gen. 3:16].
Here we find the serpent entwined around the trunk of the tree of knowledge, in female form, distracting Eve from her rightful and loving heterosexual relationship with her husband, Adam. This is an artistic rendition of the scene of the serpent's temptation of Eve, from Genesis 3. Once again we find the serpent rendered symbolically in the vestiges of his original dominion, even as Draco’s coils encircled both aspects of the world axis, in the celestial poles of the ecliptic and the archaic equatorial pole star in Thuban marked in the dragon’s tail. The tree in the painting, represents the temporal division between the lush prosperity of Original Paradise, and the barren reality of the corrupted world that Adam and Eve were banished to, where their sin had activated the physical Entropy we now witness in our world. Michelangelo's classic fresco implies, that as long as Eve kept her God-ordained affinity with Adam as his wife, all was well, but when she became fixated on her own semblance in another image of a "female lover," which was really the seemingly wise and beautiful serpent in disguise, the adversary seduced Eve via his projection of her own narcissistic self-image, captivating her, followed headlong by her husband, spreading the wages of their sin on all mankind. The serpent's past attempts to destroy the second Adam, as he tempted the first, are clearly documented throughout the gospel accounts of Satan's temptation of Jesus in the wilderness in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. In both cases, Satan casts doubt on the true Word of God as Genesis 3:1 relates: Hath God Really said...? Jesus successfully defeated Satan's advances by responding with "It is written." We can certainly do no better than to follow the lord's example in defeating temptation in our own lives. The Scriptures are the key to our success. If Eve would have stayed with the truth of what God first told Adam in Genesis 2:15-17, unified with the truths written in the Heavens, that her husband Adam no doubt taught her, she would have avoided her calamity. The serpent caused the ruin of humanity and the Earthly kingdom of Original Paradise by sabotaging the Godly marriage relationship between Adam and Eve. This is a great lesson for all married couples, as the true foundations of the marriage relationship are recognized, in the face of the various temptations that arise in life.
The astronomical figure of the tree of life, seen here in Genesis, the Bible’s first book, it is established and completed in the Bible's last book, in Revelation 22.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
These twelve manner of fruits yielded every month exhibit not only to the twelve months of the luni-solar and precessional years, but also unveils the witness of the celestial Red Thread—the image of Jesus Christ the light of the world and promised redeemer, returning as shown throughout the twelve signs of the Hebrew zodiac and their related decans. The healing of the nations is dependent upon man’s alignment and harmony with the Creator, via the Jesus Christ the main branch (zemach) or vine of this tree of life, providing fellowship and access to the Heavenly Father. It was God the Father, Who wrote the story of redemption in the stars before it ever took place, as only He could have, Who sees the end from the beginning, and boldly proclaims things that are not as though they are. These and many other astronomical truths were preserved in the Patriarchal Administration, in the celestial symbols of the Old Testament Mosaic Law. This symbol of the tree of life was carried on in an important way during the Mosaic Law Administration in the furniture of the Tabernacle.
The Hebrew Tabernacle was a multifaceted celestial symbol as we have already seen in the Celestial Symbolism of the Hebrew Temple and Tabernacle article of our web-site. As the central meeting place between God and man on Earth during the Mosaic Law period, the holy of the holies, containing the Ark of the Covenant was the place where God’s presence was revealed to the High Priest once a year, on the Day of Atonement. As the Israelites traveled through the wilderness of Sinai, the presence of God sheltered them from the desert heat in the form of a cloud pillar during the day, and warmed them in the desert cold, as a pillar of fire by night. Both of these pillars were found directly over the Ark of the Covenant, carried through the wilderness by the priests of Aaron. Located in the holy place of the Hebrew shrine was the Menorah or candlestick, along with the Table of Shew-bread and the Altar of Incense. God’s instructions to Moses regarding this candlestick are set in Exodus:
31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. 32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side: 33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. 34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers. 35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick. 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. 37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it. 38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels. 40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.
Verse 37 indicates the purpose of the lamps of the Menorah, “that they may give light…’ It is noteworthy that this is the same purpose of the celestial luminaries stated in Genesis 1:14-16. Interestingly, the word for “lights” in the firmament [Gen. 1:14, 16: *H216-maor] is the same word used in reference to the lamps of the Menorah, (Exodus 20:27, 35:14). Moreover, the same Hebrew word that refers to the Menorah's individual lamps, also refers to the individual celestial lights of the Sun and Moon in Gen. 1:16. Thus we have a perfect correspondence between the purpose of the individual celestial lights and the individual lamps of the candlestick, to shed light upon the Earth. The emphasis with a Sun-centered system is placed on the Light of God. God’s Light is the Source of Life on Earth, even as God is the Source of Light. The celestial lights support this order from the Hand of the Creator.
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
Since the same Hebrew words are used in reference to both the luminaries of the firmament and the lamp-stand of the Tabernacle, we are wise to notice the details of the Menorah’s celestial symbolism. We find other hints of this celestial symbolism in the Book of Numbers.
And they shall take a cloth of blue, and cover the candlestick of the light, and his lamps, and his tongs, and his snuffdishes, and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they minister unto it.
According to some Biblical scholars the cloth of blue above, represented in part, the firmament of the heavens containing the planets of our solar system, figuratively viewed here as the lamps of the candlestick of light. As the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed, we can find evidence of this symbolism revealed in detail in the Book of Revelation, where all these things are fulfilled. Here John’s vision of the future in the Revelation Administration begins:
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Verses 12-16 above relate the description of the “Son of Man” as the one in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, shining as the Sun in his strength, [v.16]. This identifies the Sun, personified as Christ, [Mal. 4:2] holding seven stars, shining in the center of the seven branches of the candlestick. These seven celestial luminaries are associated with the angels of the seven churches in Rev. 1:20. Here God's Word draws a direct comparison, first, between the Sun in the center of the Candlestick, embodied in Christ. This sets the context wherein we can understand the symbolism of the other branches of the Menorah. Secondly, the angels of the seven churches are embodied in Seven Stars held in Christ's right hand. At this point, we should be reminded of the mythological roots of planetary symbolism, and how the planets Mercury-Gabriel, Mars-Michael, Saturn-Satan and the Sun and light of the world-Jesus Christ, also called the Covenant Angel named Wonderful [Judg 13:18],are associated with these archangels. The following quote from V.P. Wierwille, regarding the ancient Biblical symbolism of planets, establishes the basic context of our investigation of Biblical planetary symbolism:
"Writers have dealt at length with the spiritual significance of the constellations and their respective stars, but little has been said of the significance of the planets from a Biblical point of view. Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, has long been characterized as the messenger god…In Acts 14:12 Paul as the chief speaker is called Mercurius. This same characteristic of being a message-bearer is attributed to Gabriel, God’s archangel, whom God sent to Mary in Nazareth in Luke 1:26. Venus…is known in Astronomy as the Morning Star because of its prominent position and brightness in the dawn sky. Biblically it is associated with Jesus Christ the “bright and morning star” in Rev. 22:16. Mars, the first planet farther away from the Sun than Earth is in mythology associated with war. In its genuine spiritual light this characteristic is best seen in the Archangel Michael, whom God commissions to stand and fight for His people; [Dan. 12:1], and is seen fighting the Devil in Rev. 12:7. Jupiter in mythology was the father of the gods, the ruler and king who reigned over all else. Jupiter was associated with royalty. Interestingly, the Hebrew name for the planet Jupiter is zedeq, meaning “righteousness.” The Messiah who would come from David’s genetic line was to be the “righteous branch,” according to Jeremiah 23:5, who would reign as a king and execute righteousness...thus Jupiter has characteristics that would associate it with the Messiah, the Christ. Saturn’s significant associations have been obscured more than others, although Saturn is identified as the god responsible for agriculture and the harvest. In astrological lore, Saturn is an evil star signifying death and darkness. Likewise in Judean tradition, its usual signification is negative, for its associated with death, destruction, weeping, and grief. It was felt to have a hindering and inhibitive force in its negative aspect, especially when in Conjunction with another planet. Perhaps here is a clue to its association with Satan, the fallen archangel. The similarity between the names Saturn and Satan points to a possible common etymological origin. No known ancient beliefs surround Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the three remaining planets in our solar system, because being invisible to the naked eye, they were generally unknown to the ancients. The above associations and meanings proposed for the planets cannot be affirmed with finality. However they are very interesting when viewed in a Biblical light."3
This foundational understanding of the Biblical symbolism of the five major planets in ancient Astrology and mythology has been corroborated from other independent scholarly sources, and authorities in the modern study of Astronomy. For example, much of the apparent value of Mayan Astronomy is found from our perspective, in how their tzolkin cycle correlates to the cycle of Venus, in her transits and Morning/Evening Star cycles, and secondly to the other planets in their synodic returns. We have already seen the relevance of certain aspects of Mayan Astronomy related to the Draconid Meteor Showers leading up to the birth of Christ, and we will consider other elements of the Maya in the section of our web-site dedicated to their expert Astronomy. When correlated with the Solar cycle, we have a threefold spiritual witness of the Morning Star’s dual aspects, first in relation to Lucifer the archaic Morning Star, and second in relation to Christ the ascendant Morning Star. Some additional background on the planets Mercury, and Venus will be helpful here for a fuller understanding of this symbolism.
Venus is the third brightest sky object next to the Sun and Moon, this bright and Morning Star, “reaches its brightest magnitude as a Morning Star, in Virgo every 8 years. This signifies Jesus’ birth, while as an Evening star, Venus reaches its highest degree of magnitude in Capricorn, signifying his sacrifice for all mankind.”4
Here we find another illustration of the sufferings and glory of the ascendant Morning Star. The sufferings are shown in his sacrifice symbolized in Capricorn, while the glory of the Morning Star in rising, is seen in the new birth of Venus’ cycle of brightness in Virgo every 8 years. These truths come to light as we take note of the sign of the zodiac wherein the planet in question appears. When we associate the planetary symbolism with the Biblical significance of the celestial sign where the planet appears, we find a combined message contained in the separate symbols of the planet associated with the Constellations and their star names, as in a star atlas. Unlike other planets in our solar system, Venus’ 225-day orbit around the Sun is counter-clockwise, always showing the same face to the Sun. This provides an important example of mirror-rotational Symmetry in the interwoven orbits of the planets of our solar system. Like Mercury, Venus shows lunar like phases in its orbital cycle, as it transits across the face of the Sun, which has reminded some of Revelation 19:17. Venus also is seen to fit into the Galaxy alignment scenario foretold in Mayan Astronomy on the last page of the Dresden Codex. The graphic below depicts Mayan glyphs for the Sun, Moon and Venus attached to the body of a large crocodile which represents their 260-day Tzolkin Calendar. As the last page of the Mayan Long-Count Calendar, this foretells the end of the world, or their 5th Age, on December 21st, 2012.
Plate II. Dresden Codex
Here we see the massive Sky-Crocodile spewing forth a destructive flood from its mouth, aided by a black destroying spirit. Attached to the Crocodile's body, just under its forelegs and in its midsection, there are glyphs depictting a Venus transit and a Total Solar eclipse, also with destructive floods and evil spirits emanating from them. This graphic relates the celestial scene during the year 2012, when these events are scheduled to occur in Mayan Lore. What is interesting is that there is a Venus transit and Total Solar Eclipse set to occur in 2012!! In June of 2012, on the 5th & 6th, there is a Venus transit scheduled, along with a Solar eclipse on the evening of November 13th. Both of these days are sacred on the Mayan Tzolkin Calendar, which foretold these events over a thousand years ago! These Venus transits many times occur in pairs, 8 years apart. The last one happened in 2004, paired with the one coming in 2012, which will appear between the horns of Taurus, the Bull. Biblically, Taurus symbolizes the lord returning in judgment on mankind with his horns set to pierce and destroy his enemies. As the Mayan Long Count shows a symmetrical relationship between Venus and the Earth, we should also take note of some additional mathematical-geometric resonances with our sister planet. In the Almighty's Intelligent Design of Creation, examples of golden section Symmetry embodied in the phi ratio abound in our solar system. They are His geometric finger prints indicating that the pattern of natural growth-life, which only God can originate as the True Source of all living things. The Earth-the garden home of Man abounds with examples of phi Symmetry in all four of its kingdoms of life. A beautiful illustration of this is found first in a comparison of Venus-Earth orbits. The two planets orbit the Sun according to the phi ratio, because their average orbital distances conform to [1+1/phi2] :1.5 This phi ratio relationship is also found in Venus' closest and furthest distances from the earth, defined as [phi4 :1] to 99.99% accuracy, which are depicted as two 5-pointed stars, one within the other!6 Additionally, Venus forms a beautiful 5-petalled flower around the Earth every 8 years, which is equivalent to 13 Venus years, revealing the Fibonacci series [5:8:13] coupled with the phi ratio, ordering the Space-Time planetary orbits in our solar system.7 Only the Creator's Hand at work in His handiworks can account for this symmetric beauty that underlies all Creation. The mindless oafs who try to attribute this perfect Symmetry in Creation to the non-entity of chance, the unproven hypothesis of evolution, or anything else have been babbling on far too long!
Lets continue with a deeper look at the planet Mercury, symbolizing the winged-footed Mercurius, indicates the speed and urgency with which the archangel Gabriel carries the teachings and messages of God, depicted in this planet’s rapid 88-day orbit of the Sun. The range of Mercury’s orbit is compatible with the Earth’s tropical borders, delineating the rectangular borders within which the celestial light of the Sun, Moon and Stars is shed upon the circle of the Earth. The word “tropic” has its roots in the Greek word tropos; [*G5157], used in James 1:17 of a shadow cast by the turning of a heavenly body. This is understood better when we realize that the Solstice is the farthest points from Earth, for the Sun’s position, and thus the seasonal turning points of the calendar, where the days lengthen in summer, and shorten in winter. Because Mercury’s orbit takes it as much as 7 degrees North, or South of the Equator. Mercury is seen as figuratively bringing the light of God’s message to the Earth by giving us our bounds on the celestial pathway within which this threefold light is shed. This heavenly highway of fourteen degrees called the zodiacal band, distinguishes the planets and stars outside this band generally un-named, by God in the firmament, from those whose names have been with us since antiquity, within this band [Ps. 147:4] As the messenger archangel of light, Mercury symbolizing Gabriel, defines a pathway in which God’s three-fold light is shed upon the Earth. The tropical borders will also determine the two interlocking polar borders of the great circles of the ecliptic and Equator in the cycle of obliquity, relating to the varying degree of the earth’s axis tilt.
It is important to realize Mercury’s symbolic portrayal of the ministry of the archangel Gabriel, and how this translates into the science of Astronomy, relating to the boundaries of the tropics. We find here a truth and correlating principle in the revelation of God’s threefold celestial light in Biblical Astronomy, as it reveals the laws of scientific Astronomy. As this threefold celestial light is systematically unveiled on the Earth, a pattern emerges where it becomes evident that a standard for scientific astronomical truth was set in the past. Even as the orbit of the planet Mercury is compatible with the borders of the zodiacal band, so these borders will mirror the boundaries of the tropics on Earth. Thus, Mercury-Gabriel establishes the boundaries wherein the celestial light is revealed upon the Earth, not only in a spiritual sense, when Gabriel brings a message of God directly to the people, but also in a practical scientific sense. The ancient astronomers of cultures across the face of the Earth documented the extreme rising and setting points of the Sun's Solstice, as witnessed for example, in the Great Sphinx and Stonehenge. One of our goals is to uncover the roots of the Astronomy of the Biblical Patriarchs that underlie the vast reservoir of Archaeo-Astronomy, and give credit to the influence exerted by the wisdom and divine revelation of these antediluvian Men of God. In this way, the study of Biblical Astronomy, reveals an authentic fountainhead of knowledge in ancient astronomy, which was perverted in later star religions of the Old World. The three levels of revealed light; physical, natural and spiritual, are not disconnected, but light revealed on one level holds symbolic and practical truth on the other levels also. We will see more evidence of this principle in operation in The Four Kingdom's of Life study on this web-site. Let's return now to the context of our study of Revelation 1:10-20 above.
The word for “stars” in reference to the seven stars held in Jesus’ right hand in the Greek is the word "aster" [*G792]. This word is used in reference to both angels and to celestial bodies like the planet Jupiter [Matt. 2:2, 7, 9 & 10]. Matt. 2:2 is especially interesting in this light because here the Magi address the first question of the New Testament; “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him.” As we have seen in other sections of our web-site, Jupiter is proven to be the star of the Messiah, and as the King planet, it is significantly mentioned by the Magi as identifying Jesus as the King of the Jews. Another Biblical title of the Messiah which correlates to a celestial identity, is Jesus as the Morning Star, (Rev. 2:28, 22:16). This relates to the planet Venus, significant for its morning and evening star appearances. This title of the Morning Star only occurs one other place in God’s Word, (Isa. 14:12), in reference to Lucifer, while still in his first estate. As the first bright and Morning Star, Lucifer was second only to God in authority, but his dominion over the angelic realms was stripped from him when iniquity was found in him at his attempted coup’ in heaven. Christ has superseded him as the new Morning Star, and Lucifer's former authority over the archangels Michael and Gabriel was transferred to Christ, who is seated at the right hand of the Father. Since Christ Jesus supersedes Lucifer’s original ministry as the Bright and Morning Star, the planet Venus symbolizes an angelic and spiritual dominion as the “covenant angel named wonderful,” [Judges 13:18]. This Covenant Angel whose name was not revealed, but kept secret at that point in the Old Testament, because as part of Jesus’ future angelic dominion, had the princes of this world, or the operatives of the fallen Satan gotten wind of it, they never would have crucified the Lord of Glory, (I Cor. 2:8). This Hebrew word for “wonderful” [*H6382] also appears in the famous prophecy of Christ in Isaiah 9:6, describing him as a wonderful or miraculous Counselor. Those who follow his counsel will partake in the supernatural signs and wonders that are produced from belief in his Words. Even the Scribes and Pharisees called him Rabbi, [Jn. 6:25] so the Scriptures recognize Christ as a Marvelous Teacher, even as the arch-angel Gabriel is when delivering God's messages unto men.
As the heavens foretold of the lord’s arrival, so certain celestial bodies will relate aspects of spiritual history. Venus historically has taken on a dual transitional symbolism, because in the early days it aligned with the archaic Morning star--Lucifer in his first estate, but later was also associated with Christ the risen Morning Star, who supersedes the dominion of the fallen dragon. Thus the celestial significance of Venus must be determined based on the timing of her celestial movements, her associations with other celestial bodies, in the context of related planetary Conjunctions which may be occurring at that time.
Jupiter is known as the King planet and thus linked with the Messiah as the King of the Judeans, [Matt. 2:2] signifying his dominion over humanity. The Moon also carries a dual symbolism because, on the one hand, the Hebrew calendar determining the lunar months was reckoned by the phases of the light side of the Moon. However, the dark side of the Moon is manifest in its eclipse cycle and lunar occultations.
When we consider the Menorah or candlestick we are primarily concerned with the original model exhibited in the Tabernacle of the Israelites. Later, in the Temple there were 10 candlesticks utilized in a different manner than at first. In (Plate III.) below we see the first candlestick, or Menorah in the form of what James Strong has called a “stylized tree.” Strong gives his own description of Exodus 25:33 quoted below:
Ex. 25:33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick."
Strong's geometric synopsis of this verse states:
“It will be perceived that each section of the semicircles of which these lines are the radii is composed of two members: the shank (a plain tube) and the bulb (or swell), and that each has a third part or base (a circular double flange, as a means of connection, hence an actual joint) only where it is united to a different kind of piece; i.e., at the bottom and top of the central shaft and of the six arms, including the intersections of the shaft with the arms.”8 [emphasis mine]
Plate III. The Hebrew Menorah
When we apply what we have already seen in the Biblical teaching of the Sun’s dual symbolism, to the Menorah, then it takes on a new light, associating the Sun not only with the solar system, but also the circular zodiac. The very structure of the Menorah shows its central shaft as the foundation of the candle, since it holds the main light as the centerpiece of the candlestick. All the branches of the candlestick are attached to the central shaft, even as they obtain their light from the main candle. This pattern is mirrored in the solar system as the planets and moons do not generate their own light, but reflect the light of the Sun, as they orbit around it. We find not only the order of the solar system reflected here but also that of the ecliptic with 12 Constellations. This is evident in the semi-circular pattern based on the pi ratio. By expanding on Strong’s analysis of the Menorah this will come to light. In Strong’s smaller geometric model of the Menorah, we note bulbs on the six branches of the candlestick that are projections of the central bulb, from whence all the radiating lines of the central light emanate. These projections of the central light on the six branches, (five naked eye planets and the Moon) depict how these luminaries reflect the Sun’s light in their individual orbits upon the Earth. This system shines light on the temporal periods and orbits of each naked-eye planet in our solar system, in relation to the Sun’s light. This is revealed first in the context of the mathematics of the base 60 standard, a primary trait of the Creator’s celestial order. The symbolism of the candlestick also extends beyond our solar system to include the circle of 12 signs of the zodiac. Strong’s emphasis above on the geometric design of the Menorah, exhibits the Hebrew zodiac as in Genesis 49, with Jacob’s prophesies over his twelve sons. We should note that these lines noted by Strong as “the radii of the semi-circle,” reflecting the symbolic light of the world, if extended into a complete circle, the radii would divide it into 12 equal parts of 360 degrees of the circle according to the pi ratio. We can be safe in making this conceptual leap in the implied design of the Menorah, because we have already seen this pattern in the Temple pillars: Jachin and Boaz. This makes the Menorah the most complete piece of the furniture of the Temple and Tabernacle, acting as a celestial symbol of the structure of both our solar system and the zodiac. It is the most complete because it is the third aspect we have observed that utilizes the pi ratio, following on the great Brazen Sea and the Temple pillars. These aspects of The Celestial Symbolism of the Temple and Tabernacle utilize the pi ratio to depict the Hebrew calendar of 12 months of 30 days in the sacred 360-day year utilized by Noah. But the Menorah goes beyond this, embracing the planets in a heliocentric model of the ancient solar system, long before the Greek Aristarchus of Samos proposed it in the second century BC. The Menorah’s implicit use of the pi ratio incorporates the previous usage of this principle in the Brasen Sea and the Temple pillars, while adding the symbolism of the heliocentric solar system to these previous applications, all incorporated into a single model.
These original principles of “sacred geometry” are part of a Godly system of revelation in the heavens, which exhibits the mathematical relationships and geometric measures of the precession of the poles, circumscribing the “gap” in the northern sky, seen as the two interlocking 360-degree circles of the vesica or Venn Diagram [pictured below] at the north pole of the zodiac. The geometry of this image will be developed in greater detail in the article on The Biblical Astronomy of the Great Pyramid.
More evidence regarding the Menorah's semi-circular shape comes to light when we view it as an intentional ellipsis, or a figurative emphasis of a circular model of the ecliptic, where the eastern, western and southern points of the horizon are depicted on the celestial sphere, but the North is once again purposely omitted, as we have already seen in Psalm 75 & Numbers 24. This east-west axis line of the ecliptic holds all seven lamps of the Menorah, or the seven luminaries of the naked-eye solar system, showing the scientific truth that the ecliptic plane is the path in which all these planets travel in their orbits around the Sun. The east-west axis depicted in the Menorah thus relates to the basic ground-plan of the Tabernacle, exhibiting eastern access to the holy of the holies, witnessed at other articles on this web-site. Additionally, this supports the scientific truth we saw above regarding the tropical borders, within which the celestial light of the Sun, Moon and Stars is shed upon the circle of the Earth.
Another detail that should be noticed regarding the structure of this “east-west axis line” of the Menorah is that its presence causes a deviation from a perfect circular model, if the omitted Northern half of the semi-circle is supplied. In effect the model could be said to make allowances for planetary orbits that are not perfect circles, as they were conceived in the Ptolemy’s geocentric cosmic model, and would serve as a precursor to Kepler’s Laws of Planetary motion, which supported a heliocentric model of the solar system, allowing for its elliptical planetary orbits.
Symbolism of the Service of the Temple Priests
There is much to be learned from the temple service of the priests of Israel involving the Altar of Incense and the Menorah. The Priests who offered the sacrifice and cleansed the Altar of Incense and Candlestick in the Holy Place, were determined by lot. While the lamb was being sacrificed, the two priests who were designated to trim the lamps of the Menorah, and prepare the Altar of Incense, would enter the Holy Place. Edersheim tells us that:
"As the blood of the lamb was being sprinkled on the Altar of Burnt offering, the second priest ascended the three steps hewn in stone which led up to the candlestick. He trimmed and re-filled the lamps that were still burning, removed the wick and old oil from those which become extinguished, supplied fresh, and re-lit them from one of the other lamps. But the large central lamp...might only be re-lit by fire from the altar itself. Only five, however, of the lamps were then trimmed; the other two were reserved to a later period of the service."10
This gives us a clue as to why the Priest who trimmed the lamps of the Menorah, only re-lit the central lamp from fire of the altar, whereas the other lamps could be re-lit from fire of another lamp that was still burning. Spiritually, the central lamplight is embodied in Christ, the Sun of God [Mal. 4:2] from whom all the luminaries receive their light. The 5 naked-eye planets reflect the light of the Sun, even as the branches of the other candlesticks extend off of the central branch. Even so, as living epistles today, the believers of the Church embody the light of Christ in our own lives, as we let our light shine by speaking His Word, and living by the principles of this truth. [II Pet. 1:16-19]
Edersheim enlightens us to the fact that it was during the time that the Incense was being prepared to be burnt on its Altar, that the angel Gabriel probably appeared to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. Luke 1:9-11 says that: According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn Incense, when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of people were praying without at the time of Incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of Incense.
Here Gabriel delivered the prophecy to Zacharias concerning the birth of his son John. Gabriel identified himself in verse 19, as "Gabriel that stands in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings." We have already seen in Revelation 1:10-20, the association of the seven stars with the angels of the seven churches. If we look closer however, we find a further association in Gabriel's statement that he stands in the presence of God, linking him to the seven Spirits which are before the throne of God, in Rev. 1:4. The usage of the word "Spirits" here, refers to the good angels and ministering Spirits of God. They are uniquely linked with Jesus Christ in the symbolism of the Menorah, as we have seen above, and in Rev. 5:5-6, we can see further connections between these angels and the ministry of the only Begotten Son of God. Verse 5 is the famous verse that identifies Jesus as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who has prevailed to open the book and loose the seven seals thereof. Verse 6 tells of the Lamb of God, whose seven eyes are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the Earth. This imagery is further established in Rev. 8:2-3, where the seven angels which stood before God... were given seven trumpets. Verse 3 bears the context of the true Altar of Incense before the Throne of God in heaven, exhibiting the idea from Hebrews 8:5, that teaches how the symbolism of the Tabernacle serves unto the example and shadow of heavenly things... Verses 3-4 also mention the Incense which was offered along with the prayers of all the Saints upon the golden altar which was before the Throne. Once the prayers of the nation of Israel were completed, and the priest who had trimmed the candlestick earlier in the service, came once again into the Holy Place to re-light the remaining 2 candles which were left unlit earlier. As the smoke of the incense in Rev. 8:4, with prayers of the Saints ascended up before God, so our prayers arise before His presence as a sweet smelling savor unto Him. Thus we can see how God's Word teaches us the intimate links between the seven angels and the seven stars, and as we consider these truths from the perspective of Biblical Astronomy, we will find additional truths in support of what we have just seen in the temporal periods and orbits of the planets of our solar system. We can witness these truths, not only in how the planets reflect the light of the central lamp of the Sun, but also in how they associate with the seven angels that stand in the presence of God.
God created the celestial lights as a witness to the structure of His eternal Kingdom and Power, and in the careful study of His Word, amazing truths are revealed that provided the original basis of scientific Astronomy in antiquity. More than this however, we see how Jesus Christ, the light of the world embodies the essence of this truth, witnessed and prophesied in the stars long before the Scriptures were even written down.
1. Media Sexploitation, Wilson Bryan Key
3. Jesus Christ our Promised Seed, VP Weirwille
4. Biblical Astronomy Newsletter, Robert Wadsworth [see www.atlbible.org]
5. The golden section, Scott Olsen, ppg. 46-47
8. The Tabernacle of Israel, James Strong
9. Figures of Speech used in the Bible, E.W. Bullinger
10. The Temple, Alfred Edersheim