God Prophetically Named the Stars--Part 4
Sep 29, 2009
Pisces, the Fishes
The Hebrew name for Pisces is Dagim, "the fishes." The Egyptian name is Pi-cot Orion or Pisces Hori, "the fishes of Him who comes," showing that the fish belong to the Messiah. The Syriac name isNuno, "lengthened out" (in posterity), having to do with immortality.
One fish is portrayed heading toward the North Pole Star, while the other is facing parallel to the Sun's path across the ecliptic (east-west). The two fish are bound together by a large band that is also connected to Cetus, the Sea Monster. The band is one of the three decans of Pisces:
1. The Band (binding the fish to each other and to Cetus)
2. Andromeda (the chained woman)
3. Cepheus (the king-deliverer)
Pisces portrays the two fish held captive to Cetus. In the book of Jonah, Cetus is the sea monster who swallowed up the prophet. Nineveh, the "city of fish," swallowed up the house of Israel.
This is one of the constellations that show us the distinction between Judah and Israel as well as the New Testament Church and the Overcomers. Yet they are united by the Band, which Hosea refers to in Hosea 11:4 as "bands of love." The Church and the Overcomers are bound by love to each other, of course. But perhaps more importantly, since the fish are also bound to Cetus, the sea monster, we must realize that even this is something that God has done through Love. Israel's judgment at the hand of Assyria was done in love in order to turn the hearts of the people through much tribulation.
Zechariah 11:14 speaks about the two fish in terms of Israel and Judah in regard to divine judgment upon them:
"Then I cut my second staff, Union (or bands), to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel."
This refers primarily to the breach between Israel and Judah, which began when Jacob gave Judah the scepter and Joseph-Israel the birthright. The breach emerged politically when the kingdom split into two nations many centuries later. Finally, when God sent Israel into Assyria and later sent Judah into Babylon, each to a different location in a different captivity, this cut the band between them and fully broke the union ("brotherhood") between the scepter and the birthright.
The New Testament, then, is the story of Jesus Christ, "the Repairer of the Breach," prophesied in Isaiah 58:12. Israel and Judah were to be regathered under one Head (Hos. 1:11), the Messiah who delivers them from captivity. And so the nearby constellation of Aries, the Ram, is pictured reaching out and putting its paw upon the band.
God's people are the "fish," some merely believers, and others overcomers, but all united by the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The second decan, Andromeda, is the chained woman who is being delivered by Cepheus, the Messiah-King. It is plain, then, that the people of God are also to be seen as the captive bride. She is the one held captive by the sea-monster, Cetus.
The Hebrew name for Andromeda is Sirra, "the chained." In the Zodiac of Denderah she is called Set, which means "set up (seated) as a queen." Various stars in this constellation are Al Phiratz, "the broken down," Miroch, "the weak," Al Maach, "struck down," and Adhil, "the afflicted." Isaiah 52 identifies Andromeda as Jerusalem, saying in verse 2,
"Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion."
The Apostle Paul enlarges upon this theme in Galatians 4, telling us that Hagar and Sarah represent two brides, or two covenantal relationships with God. In Gal. 4:25, 26 we read,
(25) Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. (26) But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.
Those who remain under the Old Covenant, Paul says, are the chained woman. Those who come into the New Covenant are set free. These are the two Jerusalems of Scripture and the reason why the Hebrew name for Jerusalem is plural (Ierushalayim). To get the full picture of Andromeda, we must see her in contrast to Cassiopeia, the woman set free, but she appears as a different constellation which we have yet to study.
Cepheus is the Greek form of the Hebrew, Zemach, "the branch," which is one of the titles of the Messiah. In Zechariah 3:9 we are given his title, his office, and his personal name:
"Now listen, Joshua [Yeshua, or Jesus] the high priest, you and your friends who sitting in front of you--indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch [Zemach]."
This is confirmed by the same prophet in Zechariah 6:11, 12, saying,
(11) And take silver and gold, make an ornate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. (12) Then say to him, "Thus says the Lord of Hosts, Behold, a man whose name is The Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the Temple of the Lord. (13) Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, andHe who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices [i.e., high priest and king].
His name is Joshua, or Yeshua (Jesus), and He is the high priest. Because He came of the tribe of Judah, however, He was not of the Old Testament priesthood of Aaron (Levi), but was rather of the Order of Melchizedek (Heb. 7:21), an older order of King-Priests dating back to Shem, the original king of Jerusalem who was also "the priest of the Most High God" (Gen. 14:18).
Cepheus is the King, dressed in a royal robe, having a scepter. His foot stands over the Pole Star. Recall that one of the fish, representing the Overcomers, appears to be swimming toward the Pole Star, picturing their obedience to His law. The other is swimming away, for it represents those who are believers and yet are rebellious against the law of God. Their rebellion resulted in captivity, so they are enchained and in need of deliverance.
The brightest star in Cepheus is Al Deramin, "coming quickly." Other stars are Al Phirk, "the Redeemer and Al Rai, "who bruises or breaks." The constellation of Cepheus, then, pictures the Messiah coming to redeem the captive bride by means of the New Covenant. He comes to rule as Cepheus, or Zemach, "The Branch," prophesied in Scripture by the name of Joshua, or Yeshua, to unite the King with the Priest as a royal priesthood of the Order of Melchizedek.
This is the fourth part of a series titled "God Prophetically Named the Stars." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones