The Birth of Abraham - by Bob Wadsworth
Introduction by Bob Schlenker
This presentation was copied from the April 2003 Online Newsletter Biblical Astronomy, by Bob Wadsworth. (www.atlbible.org/astronomy/03apr.htm)
THE BIRTH OF ABRAHAM
In The Book of Jasher there is a certain celestial event mentioned which occurred at the birth of Abraham.
(The Book of Jasher is not a canonical book of the Bible, but is referred to in Joshua 10:13 and II Samuel 1:18. The translation that I have in my possession was published by M.M. Noah & A.S. Gould in 1840).
Jasher 8:1-4 reads:
And it was in the night that Abram was born, that all the servants of terah, and all the wise men of Nimrod, and his conjurors came and ate and drank in the house of Terah, and they rejoiced with him on that night.
2) And when all the wise men and conjurors went out from the house of terah, they lifted up their eyes toward heaven that night to look at the stars, and they saw, and behold one very large star came from the east and ran in the heavens, and he swallowed up the four stars from the four sides of the heavens.
3) And all the wise men of the king and his conjurors were astonished at the sight and the sages understood this matter, and they knew its import.
4) And they said to each other, this only betokens the child that has been born to Terah this night, who will grow up, and be fruitful, and multiply, and possess all the earth, he and his children for ever, and he and his seed will slay great kings, and inherit their lands.
The questions arise, what was the very large star that came from the east and ran in the heavens? What were the fours stars from the four sides of the heavens? And what are the four sides of the heavens?
The four sides of the heavens are the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, and the Summer and Winter Solstices. At the creation these were located in the constellations Taurus (the Bull), Leo (the Lion), Scorpio (associated with the Eagle), and Aquarius (the Man). These constellations are 90 degrees apart from one another. When looking into the heavens at night, they cannot be all seen at the same time, since when some are visible in the night sky, the other or others are in the day sky on the opposite side of Earth. So how could the four stars of all four sides of the heavens be seen this night in question?
The only possible answer is that the four stars are planets that travel through the four sides of the heavens in their journey through the Zodiac. These are the four stars from the four sides. The focus here is on the four stars not the four sides.
There are five planets that are visible to the naked eye. Venus (the brightest), Jupiter (the next brightest), Mercury, Mars and Saturn (all which vary in being brighter than the other). Venus appears much brighter and larger than the other four planets. The four planets from the four sides of the heavens are most likely Jupiter, mercury, Mars and Saturn. Venus is also a planet that travels through the four sides of the heavens – “runs through the heavens” – and is a good candidate for the very large star that came from the east and ran in the heavens. It is possible that this could also be a comet.
A very rare celestial event (once in every 100,000 years) occurred in late February 1953 BC, which fits the description of the event written of in Jasher. This event occurred over a six-day period, in which Venus passed over (swallowed) the other four planets. On the sixth day the planets Mercury, Mars and Saturn were so close to each other that they appeared as one very bright star with Venus right next to and touching the grouping. It must have been a marvelous sight to behold.
The “wise men” of the time, most likely observed the development of this event over the 6 days. The night that they looked toward heaven to look at the stars (Jasher 8:2) may very well have been the climax of this event, and the description of the large star which came from the east and ran in the heavens, and swallowed up the four stars may have described the whole event over a period of days with the climax this particular night.
This event occurred in the morning sky and was very visible over an hour before sunrise, while it was dark, and in the predawn.
Taking the definition of night and day from Genesis 1:5, the timing of this event would be considered to have occurred at night, when it was dark. It is very possible that Abraham was born late at night and they ate and drank through the night, leaving Terah's house an hour or so before sunrise.
The planets were seen rising from the east. The planets and the stars as well as the sun, rise in the east and set in the west.
In their forward movement through the zodiac and against the background stars, the planets move in the opposite direction, from the west to the east. But Venus would have been seen here in the moment as coming from the east, since it is from the east that it was seen rising into the heavens. This is very similar to the description given of the star from the east seen at or around the time of Yahshuah's birth.
The picture below shows the positions of the planets Venus, Jupiter, mercury, Mars and Saturn in the sign Aquarius on February 21, 1953 bC. This view is zoomed in to a 23-degree field of view in order to label and show the positions of the planets. To a naked eye View, they would appear much closer to one another. This is to give reference to where the planets are relative to one another, since in the following charts I did not use labels or show the constellation figure for better clarity.
|February 21, 1953 BC|
The following charts display how the planets appeared in their distance from one another from a naked eye view. The stars are turned off for better clarity. These charts display the sky over the east-southeast horizon as seen from Basra, Iraq (near the birthplace of abraham) about an hour before sunrise, in late February 1953 BC. Tto convert to the proleptic corrected Gregorian calendar, which is what we now use, subtract 19 days .
|The positions of the planets on February 22, 1953 BC, as Venus is about to “swallow” Jupiter. Venus is the planet on the top, the largest dot.|
|February 23, 1953 BC, after Venus “swallowed” Jupiter.|
|February 24, 1953 BC, as Venus is about to “swallow” Mercury.|
|February 25, 1953 BC as Venus “swallows” Mercury.|
|February 26, 1953 BC as Venus “swallows” Mercury and Mars.|
February 27, 1953 BC as Venus “swallows” Saturn. |
All four planets, Venus, Mercury, Mars and Saturn are in the lower clump. Jupiter is above.
These events occurred in the water being poured forth from aquarius. This water represents the blessings of Yahueh being poured forth to the redeemed. It is very appropriate that these events should occur in this area of this constellation at the birth of abraham. It is through Abraham that all families in the earth will be blessed according to Genesis 12:1-3.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
For further information on this celestial event and the birth of Abraham, see A Voice Crying in the Heavens, Second Edition, 1997, p. 64.