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The Heavenly Sign the World Awaits?

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From the Jerusalem Torah Voice

used with permission

The Heavenly Sign

the World Awaits?

Ancient Writings of Torah Sages

Predicted Change

in Constellation Kimah


If the sages of Torah are correct and Y'shua the Nazarene's predictions come to pass, the world will shortly see a dramatic sign in the Heavens above.  Two stars in the Constellation known as Kimah (a.k.a. Pleiades, the Seven Sisters and the head of the bull, Taurus) are to be moved from their place and form a Cocav David in the early pre-dawn sky. 


Exactly when this world-changing phenomenon would occur -- (maybe it has occurred already and the light of these stars in a different position has not yet reached us) -- is not certain, although we do have some clues if we go by the historic events that caused these two stars to earlier be removed from their place.

These references are found in more than a dozen places in the Jerusalem Talmud, 10 places in the Babylonian Talmud, 16 places in Rashi’s commentary to the Babylonian Talmud and 16 places in the Tosefta to the Babylonian Talmud. We also find a cryptic reference to the Constellation Kimah as the "sign of the coming of the Son of Man," in the New Testament Gospel of Matthew.

What interests us about this constellation and this "sign," is its purpose.  Especially:

  • Why was the constellation most directly related to the House of Joseph singled out?
  • If and when this sign occurs, will it be of such magnitude to persuade the Orthodox and Torah observant of the House of Judah to welcome the descendants of the non-Jewish Assimilated Northern Kingdom led by the House of Joseph, to return to their historic possessions?

The answer to both of these questions may lie in the ancient writings about Kimah and the clarification of those writings by the Prophet (to Judah) and Messiah (to the Assimilation), Y'shua.  Since Y'shua singled out this sign to an audience of JUDAH, as pertaining to him personally, JUDAH is within its rights to claim that only if and when the sign is fulfilled, is his office validated and applicable to JUDAH. On the other hand, since the more than 3,600 Greek manuscripts from which the New Testament was compiled have been found to be filled with errors rooted in theological presuppositions of the editors and translators, surely even the Christian world needs to see this sign come to pass to validate its faith. And for Orthodox "Joes," such an extra-biblical sign (alluded to in the writings of Torah sages), validates the core message of Y'shua and its continuity with Torah and Tanach as the promised "shaliah" to the Lost (Assimilated) Sheep of the House of Israel.

So much is at stake as we delve into this sign, that it behooves us to take a deep breath and ask for the help of Hashem and for wisdom, understanding and discernment before we proceed.

We begin with the two mentions of the Kimah in the Tanach. First, is Job 38:31:

Can you KASHEYR the MA'ADABOT of Kimah, or PATEY'ACH the MOSHICHOT of Orion?

The King James translates this, Canst thou "bind" the "sweet influences" of Pleiades or "loose" the "cords" of Orion. The context of the verse is Hashem's challenge to Job to know his place as part of Hashem's Creation and to understand that this "binding and loosing" of heavenly powers is the domain of Hashem alone.

But, the context (verses 32-35 below) also gives us a mini-lesson in astronomy and helps us realize that in the day of Job, the constellations, especially the Pleiades, Orion and Ursa Major were among those known.

32 Can you bring forth MAZZAROT (the 12 major constellations identified with the Zodiac) in his season? or can you guide AYISH (the Great Bear or Ursa Major) with his sons (the minor constellations)?
33 Do you know the ordinances of heaven? Can you set the dominion thereof in the earth?
34 Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover you?
35 Can you send out BARAKIM (lightnings), that they go, and say unto you, Here we are?

To understand exactly what Job 38:31 may be alluding to, we need to define -- or I should say REDEFINE -- some terms and then plug in the definitions that make the most sense in the context of this passage.  Our sources will be the authoritative Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon (BDB) and the Sefer Milim of the Targumim, Talmud Babli, Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature by Marcus Jastrow (Jastrow).

KAYSHEYR - Strongs 7194 = tie or link together (BDB) = fold (Jastrow).

MA'ADABOT - Strongs 4575 = bonds or bands or a group (BDB) = chains or things that bind (Jastrow).

PATEYACH - Strongs 6605 = open, free or loosen (BDB) = stretch out (Jastrow)

MOSHICHOT - Strongs 4189 = a cord or something used to draw items together (BDB) Jastrow agrees. We might add that an everyday item used as a MOSHICHOT is a BELT.

So you could accurately retranslate Job 38:31:

Can you FOLD the chains (that bind together) the Kimah or LOOSEN the cords (or belt) of Orion?

Some 40 years ago, my Abba, who was the commandant of an allied POW camp of Italian prisoners who rebuilt Egypt and the Sudan after World War II, told me of his first visit to the Egyptian pyramids, which always held a fascination with him.  He made that visit under a black moonless but starlit sky, and noted that the three stars of the belt of Orion hovered above the three pyramids below in the Giza plain.  What struck him as curious was that the three pyramids did not quite form a straight line.  Rather one of them was offset, he told me, REMARKABLY SIMILAR, he had observed, TO THE BELT IN THE CONSTELLATION ORION!

In recent centuries, Egyptologists have concluded that the pyramids may be much older than we have first suspected and MAY HAVE BEEN EXISTENT AT THE TIME OF THE FLOOD OF NOACH. Here is where it gets interesting because the Constellation KIMAH is associated directly with the Flood of Noach in Talmudic and Midrashic literature! So we can begin to see why Hashem quizzed Job with questions about the KIMAH and Orion contextually related to a "flood of waters" in verse 34: Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover you?

The Torah sages wrote that Hashem

"took two stars away from KIMAH and brought the flood!"

This is alluded to in at least four places in Talmud Rosh HaShana, 11b and Talmud Baba M'tzia, 106b.  It is also found in two other rabbinic writings: Ta'anith I bottom of 64a; and B'midbar Rabbah 10.  The word KIMAH itself is found in more than a dozen places in the Jerusalem Talmud, 10 places in the Babylonian Talmud, 16 places in Rashi’s commentary to the Babylonian Talmud and 16 places in the Tosefta to the Babylonian Talmud.  Every Orthodox rabbi and most non-Orthodox rabbis should be well familiar with this constellation and its relationship to the flood of Noah.

 Here are a few of the most specific references:

Talmud Rosh Hashana 11b: It has been taught: ‘In the sixth hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month. R. Joshua said: That day was the seventeenth day of Iyar, when the constellation of KIMAH sets at daybreak and the fountains begin to dry up, and because they [mankind] perverted their ways, the Holy One, blessed be He, changed for them the work of creation and made the constellation of KIMAH rise at daybreak and took two stars from the KIMAH and brought a flood on the world. R. Eliezer said: That day was the seventeenth of Heshvan, a day on which the constellation of KIMAH rises at daybreak, and [the season] when the fountains begin to fill.  FOOTNOTE TO THE TALMUD: There seems to be some confusion in the text here. To make it astronomically correct we should read (with the Seder Olam) in the dictum of R. Joshua, ‘When KIMAH rises at daybreak’, and in the dictum of R. Eliezer, ‘sets at daybreak’.

In the month of Adar, corresponding to mid-February to March, the KIMAH appears to be overhead at the time the peasant finishes his work, viz., about four in the afternoon. Thus R. Papa states that seed time is governed by Adar (and KIMAH).

Elsewhere in Talmudic literature, knowledge is compared to the KIMAH, which causes the ripening of fruits and gives them taste.  Since taste is a function of smell (try holding your nose when something tastes bad ... it works for my son) and the attribute by which the Talmud states the Torah devout will recognize the Messiah is by his smell; there is an ancient opinion that when the time of the Messiah nears, the people will look for a sign in the constellation KIMAH. B’reshit Rabbah 10.

Contextually the constellation may be related to the exiled House of Joseph, because it is alternatively called, Taurus or the constellation of the ox or bull.  This is alluded to in B'reshit (Genesis) 49:5-6 (where the rabbinim interpret the "ox" who is maimed by Simeon and Levi as Joseph); and again in the blessing of Moses on the House of Joseph, found in D'varim (Deutoronomy) 33:13-17, where Joseph is called by Moses, "the firstling of Hashem's bullock,"  who has the horns of the "re'eym." (verse 17).  The constellation itself with its box-like head and two horns, reminds one of the head of a bullock.

Deuteronomy 33:17 goes on to state that with the horns of the re'eym, HASHEM will "gore" nations together to the ends of the Land.  And these nations are the myriads of Ephraim and the thousands of Manasseh -- the House of Joseph. Moses Ben-Maimon also known as Maimomides and the Rambam, states of this verse: "the two horns represent the two branches of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh."  

In Psalm 22:22,  Hashem answers "from the horns of the Re'eym."  The next verse, verse 23 states: "I will proclaim Your Name to my brethren."  The Jewish sage Radak wrote that this meant when HASHEM raised the horn of the re'eym, that those who knew Hashem should tell what they know to their brothers, "the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel who had been exiled to Chalach and Chabur."

The Ba'al HaTanya wrote "just as the re'eym lifts its lowered horn with a single sudden jerk, so does Israel's salvation arise suddenly, without hesitation or delay."  The illustration below shows how this could happen if one of the horns (the star at bottom right) moved from position A to position G through a range of vector products, AA through GG.

This means the two horns would be linked, tied, bound or chained together jjjjjjjjjj (as is the case of the horns on a bull) and would move in sync with each other.

The Talmud, Tosefta and other rabbinic writings present this record of the KIMAH as the only constellation which has undergone any observable change since Creation.  Consequently, if there were to be a sign in the Heavens that would be accepted by the rabbinim or leaders of Judah today, especially as it pertains to validating the Return of the House of Joseph, it might be an occurrence in KIMAH that would rectify the change recorded in the earlier rabbinic writings and alluded to in Scripture

The second mention of the KIMAH in Scripture is found in Amos 5:8.

Oseh KIMAH uchsil ve hofeych laboker tzalmavet veyom lailah hechshich  Literally, "He who made the KIMAH and CHESIL (Orion) and turns darkness into morning and day He darkens as night."

This alludes to the fact that the KIMAH traverses the pre-dawn sky "turning darkness into morning" ON THE SAME PLANE AS THE SUN, whose course through the sky  turns day into night.

And then there is the mystery which has puzzled humanity as long as mankind has gazed at the stars above. The mystery is why the KIMAH is called the Constellation of Seven Sisters, when only six stars are visible with the naked eye? Is it possible that one of the stars was a doubled star? Or, was it possible that before the flood, the constellation's six stars formed a seventh, the Cocav David or Star of David? If this Cocav David will again appear in the pre-dawn sky, what does it mean?

The context in which Hashem has couched this "mystery of the Seven Sisters") is a lamentation over the House of Israel.  That means that Amos 5 pertains ONLY to the Assimilated descendants of the Northern Kingdom and NOT to the faithful and Torah observant among the Jewish people (The House of Judah).

In verse 2 of Amos 5, the prophet states that this "virgin of Israel" has fallen (abandonned the Torah and violated it by intermarriage and idolatry) and has been scattered.  Even today, there is none to raise her up, because the focus of Christian ministry has been only the latter part of  the messianic mission ... to be Hashem's salvation to the goyim or Gentiles.

But the first part of Isaiah 49:5-6, says it is a light thing that Hashem's servant (who rabbinim and pastors alike agree is the Messiah) should be Hashem's vehicle to restore the preserved of Israel, but this servant also should become Hashem's Y'shua (Salvation) to the goyim or Gentiles.

Only such a heavenly sign may convince the House of Judah to recognize that Hashem’s plan to restore Tzion (Zion) includes the non-Jewish House of Joseph and excludes the ultra-nationalist Palestinians wanting their own state in the territories given by Hashem to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and more specifically to Judah and Joseph. Otherwise, the House of Joseph mentioned by name in Amos 5:6 and 5:15 has quite a challenge ahead of them.  Hashem is calling a remnant of these "Joes"  to leave behind everything they own and move lock, stock and barrel not just to the land of Israel, but specifically to the unannexed territories in the Land of Israel currently occupied by Palestinians hostile to the Jewish state.

The Return of the descendants of Joseph to their biblical territories -- territories which comprise about two-thirds of the West Bank, which the Jewish state has not annexed and all of the Golan -- is the reward for which Rachel's weeping and intercession will be rewarded. (See exegesis of Jeremiah 31:15-18) But when they Return, this House of Joseph will be called upon to fight a war alongside Judah (Obadiah 18) against the enemies of Israel.

Amos 5:6 and 5:15 then become crucial to understanding the sign of the KIMAH sandwiched between in 5:8.

Rabbinic exegesis of 5:8 "turning day to night and night to day," contains a profound spiritual truth.  understanding will be turned upside down. Those who think they understand will be shown that they do not.  And those whose understanding has been questioned or put down by the former will be exalted.  More understanding will be added to them. But we can't lose sight of the fact that this reversal of understanding literally relates to a change in the heavens in the context of the Return of the House of Joseph. The natural conclusion to draw is that the change in KIMAH  indicates a sign in the heavens that may SIGNAL the Return or some related event.

This may be conjecture, but let us propose that the secret of the Seventh Sister IS the rising again of the degel Tzion (a banner) to regather, recall and return the House of Israel. The modern Israeli flag, under which the Jewish population in the modern Jewish state has thus far reunited is such a banner.  But the rabbinim are looking for such IN THE HEAVENLIES, as indicated by the Rambam, Radak and other sages quoted above.

In the Last Days, followers of Y'shua also are told to look into the Heavens for specific signs. This raises the question of whether the sign the rabbinim expect is the same sign that Y'shua promised would be revealed to his followers and which would validate his mission as the shaliah (one sent) to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.

Earlier we mentioned that the KIMAH in Talmudic literature "causes the ripening of fruit." Ephraim in Hebrew means "double-fruitful."  The blessings of fruitfulness associated with Joseph also are evident in Genesis 49 and again in Deuteronomy 33. SEE Blessings of Joseph.

But in Genesis 48:19, Ephraim is also called the "melo ha-goyim."  This term is translated "multitude of nations" but its literal meaning is "the fullness of the goyim or Gentiles."  The shaliah Paul in Romans 11 refers to this "fullness of the Gentiles" as triggering the "return or rescue" (Gr.. sothesetai) of ALL of (the House of) Israel. SEE Return of the House of Joseph newsletter.

This return may be alluded to again cryptically in Y'shua's multiplication of the loaves and fish. In Genesis 48:16, Ephraim and Manasseh, are told they will "multiply like fish in the midst of the land." (literal meaning of vayidgu larov b'kerev ha-aretz).  That multiplication together with the Torah (the 5 loaves) results in the return of all 12 tribes (the 12 baskets).

Most mystifying, however was Y'shua's declaration of a Heavenly sign that would signal the coming of the Son of Man, a title by which he often referred to himself.

Matthew 24 calls for signs in the Heavenlies when the REDEMPTION draweth nigh. Y'shua told his followers to “stand erect and look up” into the night skies when they see earthquakes, famines, floods and other “natural” disasters occuring on the face of the Earth.

Two especially bright objects appear in the night and pre-dawn sky. The first is the moon, whose monthly waxing and waning is observed by the Orthodox and Torah observant to commemorate and remember Hashem's promises of everlasting mercy to the House ruled by King David.  As surely as the moon increases and diminishes on a monthly cycle, Hashem will fill the flaw of the moon (representing the coming of the Son of David).  But another covenant is associated with the renewal of the moon ... one struck between King David and the Benjaminite Crown Prince Yonatan, the son of King Saul.  This covenant between Yonatan and David at the last meeting of the two before Yonatan's death, obligates David to remember the HOUSE that would have been ruled by Yonatan, the House of Joseph, when King David enters into his kingship.

David was true to his promise. He remembered Yonatan's own children including the cripple Mephibosheth and he was the only King of Judah who was able to hold together the separate monarchies under the banner of a united Israel.  This was no small feat because of the political differences between the houses of Joseph and Judah respectively, marked primarily by their geography and the resurfacing enmity and vexation between the children of Rachel and the children of Leah.  See Return of the House of Joseph newsletter. But at David's death and the reign of King Solomon the unity began to unravel primarily because of the unfair taxation of the Israelites to the north for Solomon's Temple building project.

The second bright spot in the pre-dawn sky is the constellation, KIMAH, which travels across the sky like a chariot ON THE SAME EAST-WEST COURSE AS THE SUN DOES IN THE DAYTIME, but it usually is setting in the West as the Sun is rising in the East.

With these thoughts in mind, we now turn to Y'shua's reference to a specific sign in the Heavenlies in Matthew 24:23-39.

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Messiah, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false messiahs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if possible, they shall deceive the very EKLEKTOS.

EKLEKTOS - Strongs 1588 = choice, select, that is, the best of its kind or class, excellence preeminent: applied to certain individual Christians (Thayer's).

Here we submit that Y'shua could well be referring to the Assimilation of Israel among the Gentile church.

25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as the ASTRAPE cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the PAROUSIA of the Son of man be.

ASTRAPE - Strongs 796 = Lightning or bright shining (Strongs),  = the gleam of a lamp (Thayers) = a flash such as lightning (Liddell & Scott), illumination of the sky accompanying cosmic phenomenon; also a derivative form ASTRO pertains to any star or constellation (Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich) 

PAROUSIA - Strongs 3952 presence, arrival, advent. (Thayers)

ASTRAPE is not necessarily a bolt of lightning, which strikes at random and does not necessarily light the sky from east to west.  Rather this presence, arrival or advent, Y'shua describes is likened to a cosmic phenomenon that may directly refer to a specific star or constellation.

Much of the Greek  of the next two verses is problematic and I have no idea to what Y'shua is referring. So I will resume with verse 30:

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth KOPTO, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a shofar, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

KOPTO (Strongs 2875) = beat the breasts, the implication is grief or mourning = jolted, startled or stricken in mind (Liddell Scott)

While most of verses 30-31 is written with imagery estranged from human experience, whatever this phenomenon  -- the sign of the Son of man in heaven -- shall be will JOLT, STARTLE and STRIKE in the minds of those, especially not prepared for it.

32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

The analogy to the sign of the coming of the Son of Man and the flood of Noach is again striking, especially because the change in the constellation Kimah is tied to the flood and by implication, this eschatological sign.

ben Yosef


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