Astronomy in the Bible: 666 is positive
July 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
The wisdom of the Egyptians, what was it but principally astronomy?
~ (St. Augustine, “City of God,” bk. xviii., ch. 39)
According to the old Egyptian system, the earth stood in the centre, the sun was supposed to occupy the earth’s orbit, while Mercury and Venus revolved round the sun as satellites. Even modern astronomers, with all their appliances are uncertain as to the exact distance of the earth from the sun. It has been computed to be from 108 to 110 of its own diameters. Galileo called it 110, and the ancients seem to have usually taken it at this amount.
“If one wished to obtain means for a profounder contemplation of the entrance of souls into divine things…let him peruse at the end of Ezekiel’s prophecies the visions…and let him peruse also from the Apocalypse of John what is related of the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and of its foundations and gates. And if he is capable of finding out also the road, which is indicated by symbols…, let him read the book of Moses entitled ‘Numbers,’ and let him seek the help of one who is capable of initiating him into the meaning of the narratives concerning the encampments of the Children of Israel…He will distinguish in the encampments certain things relating to the numbers that are enumerated, and which are especially adapted to each tribe, of which the present does not appear to be the proper time to speak.”
The vision referred to at the end of Ezekiel’s prophecies is the mystical description of the land of Canaan (Ezekiel, ch. xlviii). The city of Jerusalem is there described as being surrounded by a four-square figure, called the Holy Oblation, which is said to be 25,000 reeds on every side.
The suburbs of the city are enclosed by a square whose sides are 5,000 reeds, and the city in the middle measures 4,500 reeds on every side. Beyond the suburbs on the north and south a space of 25,000 x 10,000 reeds was alloted to the priests and Levites. Now, if the sides of the three squares be divided by 12 – the number of the tribes [which are the number of Jesus’ disciples and, consequently, the number of the most common constellations within the Zodiac]-
(25,000/12 = 2,083 1|3 : 5,000/12 = 416 2|3 : and 4,500/12 = 375),
it will be found that the city exactly contains the sun’s orbit, together with the orbit of Venus, shown in the four quarters according to the Egyptian system, and probably represents the wheels of the four living creatures, seen in the first vision of Ezekiel.
The orbit of Saturn, being about 2,046 diameters of the sun, is contained within the outer square, whose sides are 2,083 1|3. The square surrounding the suburbs of the city has no direct affinity with the orbits of the planets, but a circle whose area is equal to this square has a circumference of 1,480.
For various reasons it would seem that the measure 2,083 1|3 is a mean between the numbers 2,093 and 2,073. Let it therefore be taken for granted that the Holy Oblation is a square enclosed by two lines, which are represented by the mean dimension 2,083 1|3. The outer line, which measures 2,093, is the side of a square having an area double that, which has a side of 1,480. That is to say, a circle inscribed within the square 2,093 exactly contains a square whose sides are 1,480; and this circle will be assumed to be the sphere of the zodiac or firmament [Genesis 1:1-8].
The side of the inner square, again, measuring 2,073, is 1|12th of the earth’s circumference measured in miles. The numerical value of the name CHRISTOS is 1,480, and the mystery of this number appears to be that it supplies the measure of God’s body extending crosswise throughout the whole universe.
The wisdom of the number 666 conveys the same [positive] theological secret, for 666 is the diameter of a circle having a circumference of 2,093.
The Greeks appear to have concealed a similar knowledge in the names of the planets, as recorded in the Epinomis of Plato, who calls the five planets ΧΡΟΝΟΣ – [KRONOS, Time, Saturn, Saturday] – 1,090; ΖΕΥΣ – [ZEUS, Air, Jupiter, Thursday] – 612; ΑΡΗΣ – [ARES, Blood, Mars, Tuesday] – 309; ΑΦΡΟΔΙΤΗ – [APHRODITE, Desire, Venus, Friday] – 993; and ΕΡΜΗΣ – [HERMES, Knowledge & Wisdom, Mercury, Wednesday] – 353; if the sun [ΗΛΙΟΣ, HELIOS, Light or Fire, Sunday] – 318, and the moon [ΣΕΛΗΝΗ, Selene, Balance or Measure, Monday] – 301, be included, the sum of the numbers obtained from the seven names is 3,976, a number which is one less than the radius of a circle 25,000 in circumference.
Now the side of the Holy Oblation, according to Ezekiel, is 25,000 reeds (25,000/12 = 2,083 1|3).
But a far more striking coincidence arises from the addition of the numbers deduced from the names ΕΜΠΥΡΕΙΟΝ [Empyreion or Empyrean] – 760, ΑΙΘΗΡ [Ether] – 128, and ΣΤΟΙΧΕΙΑ [Details] – 1,196, for the sum of these amounts to 2,084, or the mean length of the side of the Holy Oblation.
In the same way, the geometrical figure called the New Jerusalem, in the Apocalypse [Revelation], will be found to contain the sun’s orbit and that of Mercury.
Francis Potter, who published a book on “the number 666” in 1647, alludes to the mysteries of this celestial city. He tells us, that the 144 cubits ascribed to the wall are to be taken as the area of its section – the wall being 12 cubits high and 12 cubits broad. The other measurement given is that in ch. xxi., v. 16 [Revelation 21: 16]:
“And the city lieth four square, and the length is as large as the breadth; and he measured the city with the reed 12,000 furlongs. The length and the breadth, and the height of it are equal.”
Francis Potter explains, that the 12,000 furlongs are to be taken as the contents of a cube, but his calculations as to its size are obscure. However, 12,000 furlongs = 7,920,000 feet (12,000 x 660 = 7,920,000), and the cube root of this number is about 199 1|3, or roughly 200, which gives the length of one side of the cube.
The area of the city is therefore a square nearly 200 feet on every side, surrounded by a wall 12 cubits, or 18 feet wide, which increases the outside dimensions to 235 1|3 feet. This figure appears to be a Christian variation of the Hebrew city of Ezekiel, and so it is interpreted by Francis Potter. For it will be found, that it incloses the sun’s orbit together with that of Mercury, drawn in each of the four corners of the square.
It is well known that the four beasts, which appear in the midst of the four wheels in Ezekiel’s vision, are identical with the four symbols of the Evangelists, and the devices upon the four standards of the Camp of the Israelites, where they stand for the four corner signs of the Zodiac – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius.
In a thirteenth century manuscript of the Apocalypse [Revelation – which means “an uncovering” or “a revealing”] in the British Museum, there is a miniature of the city of the New Jerusalem, showing the three persons of the Trinity, in the midst of a square having the four symbols of the Evangelists depicted in the four corners, corresponding to the four orbits of Mercury. This peculiar arrangement constantly recurs in early Christian art. Usually the Christ is surrounded by the Vesica, and it is a remarkable fact, that a Vesica, whose length is equal to that of the city in the preceding diagram, coincides with the four circles of Mercury’s orbit, and consequently produces a geometrical figure exactly resembling the common method of representing Christ in Glory.
The circumferences of the two circles which form the Vesica being nearly 360, they may be taken to represent the two intersecting circles of the equator and the ecliptic.
Some interpreters, according to Francis Potter, take the 12,000 furlongs to be the area of the city, and therefore he says, “that the perimeter or compass of such an area must be 436 furlongs at the least,” the side being about 109 furlongs. And since 109 is roughly the radius of the sun’s orbit measured by the sun’s diameter, the New Jerusalem is doubly shadowed forth as a vision of the city of the Sun.
In ch. xxi., v. 9 [editor’s note: it’s not verse 9, but verse 10], “that great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of Heaven,” is called “the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.”
The bride of the Cabala was called ADNI or THORA, and it is evidently she whom St. John is describing under the figure of the heavenly city.
The name Tarot has been derived from the Hebrew word THORA, the law; and it is a further confirmation of the cosmic import of this diagram that the hieroglyph of the twenty-second card of the Tarot-pack, called “Le Monde [The World],” represents the four symbols of the Evangelists surrounding a Vesica, inclosing the figure of a young virgin. Moreover, the circle which surrounds the city has a circumference of 888, the numerical value of the name Jesus [ΙΗΣΟΥΣ].
Again, Francis Potter constantly connects the New Jerusalem with the number 666, and this may be explained by the fact that its diagonals measure (333 x 2 =) 666, and the cross thus formed symbolized what he calls the Antichrist. [anti->ante-: editor’s note – it is worthwhile to mention that the most common definition of the term “Antichrist” is not the only way to define it. Anti- also means “in support of”, or “coming before”, or “towards”, therefore, alternative comprehensions of the term become highly positive and glorious.]
If the inferences just drawn from the numbers ascribed to the Holy Oblation and the New Jerusalem be correct, it is obvious that these diagrams afford a positive evidence of the knowledge possessed by the Hebrews and Christians concerning the magnitude and distances of the heavenly bodies.
The position of these figures in the Canonical Scriptures also conclusively demonstrates a connection between theology and cosmic science [the convergence and harmony of Science & Religion].
For while the extent of the ancient knowledge of astronomy has still to be proved, no one can reasonably doubt that the old theological systems were largely concerned with, if not actually founded upon, the order of the universe, which, in its entirety, supplies the only comprehensible manifestation of the Deity evident to the senses of mankind.
~ excerpt from “The Canon: the Pagan Mystery as the Rule of all the Arts” by W. Stirling (1897) ~