4 Constellations in the Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation makes references (structures itself) to a pattern of constellations. I’ve been discussing the role of constellations in my audio commentary on the Book of Revelation.

The books of Ezekiel and Revelation both describe cherubim guarding God’s throne. They have the attributes of:

  1. Pasted_Image_9_1_15__10_42_AMMan’s face
  2. Bull
  3. Lion
  4. Eagle

Saint Irenaeus associated these four creatures with the four Evangelists in his book Against Heresies:

  1. Man = Matthew
  2. Mark = Lion
  3. Luke = Bull
  4. Eagle = John
WARNING: I’m about to talk about constellations, but I am not endorsing the mortal sin of astrology (Deut. 18:9-13; 2 Kings 23:3-5; Isa. 8:19-20; 44:24-25; 47:8-15). Constellations and their cycle through the year are natural occurrences set up by God at creation. The Bible often refers to constellations.

Very few are aware, however, that these four celestial cherubim are references to the four constellations at the change of each season:

661626927_jpg__1100×1118_

  1. Man = Aquarius (the human water carrier)
  2. Bull = Taurus
  3. Lion = Leo
  4. Eagle = Scorpio (Babylonians considered Scorpio to be an Eagle constellation)
For a Catholic exposition on the zodiac, see Saint John Damascene On the Orthodox Faith, Book 2. The “zodiac” are the 12 constellations through which the sun moves over our 12 month cycle of a year. God placed them there but they don’t have power over us.

These twelve constellations correspond to the way that the 12 tribes were arranged around the Tabernacle in the Old Testament (Numbers 2), because the 12 tribes were like the cherubim guarding the tabernacle of God’s presence. Each tribe corresponded to one of the 12 constellations surrounding the earth. The four principle directions were given to the following:

  1. Reuben (Aquarius)
  2. Ephraim (Taurus)
  3. Dan (Scorpio)
  4. Judah (Leo) – “Lion of Judah”

As you know there, are 12 constellations in the zodiac and these four are the “four corners” of the 12 constellations:

  1. *Aquarius – human water carrier
  2. Pisces – fish
  3. Aries – ram
  4. *Taurus – bull
  5. Gemini – twins
  6. Cancer – crab
  7. *Leo – lion
  8. Virgo – virgin
  9. Libra – scales
  10. *Scorpio – scorpion (eagle for Babylonians)
  11. Sagittarius – archer
  12. Capricorn – mountain goat

Saint John in Revelation gives the four constellations in reverse order because he is viewing them not from earth but from above in Heaven. Saint John mentions these four living creatures and the Revelation of Christ to Saint John seems to be based on a series of constellations:

  • Revelation Chs. 2-3: Seven Stars of the Pleiades (the seven stars of Pleiades in inside Taurus)
  • Revelation 5: Lion of Judah (Leo)
  • Revelation 8: Eagle flying in midheaven (Scropio)
  • Revelations 9: Scorpion warriors (Scorpio)
  • Revelation 12: Virgin Mother (Virgo)
  • Revelation 15: Pouring out Chalices (Aquarius)
  • Revelation 22: River of Life (Aquarius)

The interplay of constellations in the structure of Revelation shows us that this is a heavenly vision. Saint John is above the heavens and seeing celestial mysteries as they are revealed by Christ. Moreover, the pattern from Taurus to Aquarius is God taking us through a heavenly liturgical year as we watch the destruction of the Great City (Jerusalem in AD 70) and the consecration of the New Jerusalem (the Catholic Church – from then until now).

If you’re interested in learning more, please begin the free audio commentary of the Book of Revelation by clicking here.

 

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