“…as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
In Ursa Major we have another picture of a much larger bear than Ursa Minor. Again, this is not like any bear in existence today as it has a very long tail, like a raccoon. Strange!
The Greater Sheepfold.
We in the West call these two constellations “The Big and Little Dippers,” similar to the kind settlers used in the days of covered wagons. Older planispheres, all except Egypt, saw it as “The Greater Sheepfold.”
In the Lesser Sheepfold, we saw a sheep enclosure where the animals were all inside the structure. In Ursa Major, there are sheep inside as well; but there are also sheep sitting just outside the doorway looking in the direction of three sheep wandering over in the direction of Boótes, the Shepherd-Guardian, sickle in hand.
Boótes, holding his sickle, is a picture of Jesus protecting the sheep as well as for harvesting souls for the Kingdom of God! These three sheep seem very interested in and attracted to Him. They door appear to be joining Jesus in spreading the Gospel. Hmmm…..Evangelical sheep!
Picture Of The Church.
Remember, we saw in the Lesser Sheepfold a picture of the nation of Israel. The Greater Sheepfold depicts the much larger non-Jewish Church. We are described by Jesus in the scripture below:
John 10:14-16 “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”
Mystery Of The Church.
The organization we know as “The Church” was something that was shrouded in mystery for centuries. It came a quite a shock to the Jewish people when Gentiles started getting saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.
John’s Gospel, which was written last of all and, being the youngest disciple while Jesus walked this earth, was the beneficiary of all the Apostle Paul’s teachings on Grace. His is the only Gospel where you find the phrase in the opening scripture: “For God SO LOVED the world…..” His Gospel includes all of us, not just the Jewish people.
You see, the Jewish people did not understand that Gentiles would not only be saved but form the organization they would ultimately understand as the Church. They thought the Messiah was only for Israel. They did not understand that God wanted to save the whole world. Aren’t you glad that we were on His mind!?
Which part of the Body of Christ is most responsible for spreading the Gospel around the globe? The non-Jewish Church!
Let’s check out, as usual, the names for the sign and its stars to see if they confirms our suspicions.
Ancient Names For The Sign.
The Hebrews called this sign, “Ash,” which means, “The Assembled.” In the KJV, Job mentions Boótes calling the Shepherd by the star located in His left knee: “Arcturus.”
Job 38:32 “Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season?
Or can you guide the Great Bear (Arcturus) with its cubs?”
The “Cubs” are the sons of “Arcturus, the Shepherd. They are the three bright stars in the handle of the Dipper. The Arabs called this constellation, “Al Naish,” or “Annaish: The ordered or assembled together (as in a Sheepfold).”
Now, let’s check out the names of the individual stars and see if they paint the same picture.
Ancient Names Of The Stars.
The brightest star in this star sign is “Dubheh,” and Arabic name meaning, “Herd of Animals,” That’s pretty descriptive! Second in order of magnitude in this constellation is a Hebrew-named star called, “Merach: The Flock.” This name in Arabic means, “The Purchased.”
The next brightest star, “Phaced, or Phacda,” is an Arabic name meaning, “Visited, Guarded, Numbered.” Hebrews 11 alludes to these two flocks of people in verse 12: “Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.”
The Jewish people are depicted as the sand on the seashore. The Church is as numerous as the stars in the heavens.
The star next in order of magnitude is “Alioth,” meaning, “The She-goat, The Ewe,” in Hebrew, same as it did in the constellation, “Auriga: the Shepherd.” It is a typology of the Church.
“Mizar,” the next star closest to Boótes is an Arabic name meaning, “Separate or small.” Right next to this Shepherd, also an Arabic name, is, “Benet Naish: The Lamb, The daughters of the Assembly,” and is also called, “Al Kaid: The Assembled.” (Arabic).
Here is a little piece of information that is VERY telling! The name of one small star in the lower right corner of this Sheepfold, is “Talita or Talitha.” It brings to mind the story of Jairus’ daughter who died just prior to Jesus’ arrival at her house at her father’s request. The whole story one cannot be fully understood until you know the actual meaning of the Aramaic words recorded by the Holy Spirit: Talitha Cúmi.
The Tallit is the Hebrew word for the prayer shawl all Hebrew men were required to wear. Jesus Himself wore one of these, pictured below:
Jesus took off His prayer shawl, a picture of His righteousness and Grace, speaking the above words, “Tallitha Cúmi,” which means, “Little girl under the tallit, Arise!”
This young 12-year-old girl is a picture of the Church. It may appear as if she is dead and gone, particularly her youngest members. But fear not! Grace has brought back to life as if raised from the dead. She was not dead; only sleeping!
(If you’d like a more complete discussion of this topic you’re welcome to follow the link below:
Here are a few more stars whose names we know, though their exact locations are not: El Acola, “The Sheepfold,” and Arabic name; Megrez: “The Separated,” as in Cut off in the fold,” from the Hebrew; Cab’d al Asad: “The wealth of The Multitude,” another Arabic name; El Kaphrah: “The Protected, The Covered,” also an Arabic name, which means, “The Redeemed, The Ransomed,” in Hebrew; and Dubheh Lachar: “The Latter Flock,” another Arabic name.
We also have four stars that were named by the ancient Greeks. They are “Helike: A company of Travellers;” “Amaza: Coming and Going;” “Arctos: Traveling Company;” and “Calisto: The Sheepfold, Set or appointed.”
The Latin name we all know, “Ursa,” meant either “The Bear,” or “The Strong.”
In any event, this Sheepfold is filled with a company of those who have been Separated (from the world and unto Jesus), have been cut off from this cursed earth, are the protected, The covered of the redeemed, the ransomed flock of the latter days, a wealthy multitude, a company of traveling companions of The Good Shepherd.
Last but not least, let’s check with the Egyptian Denderah. In this most ancient planisphere of all, they saw in this sign one they called, “Fent-Har,” the enemy of the serpent (Fent), Who terrifies (Har). Thus, He was the One Who terrifies the serpent!
They pictured this One as a female swine coming while holding a ploughshare. Swine are the natural enemy of serpents while the ploughshare is an implement for bruising. Again we see the theme of the serpent being bruised by this Champion, the enemy of the serpent.
Even more about this decan will be unveiled when we study the following one: Argo, The Ship! You may follow the link below to continues this series: