Genesis chapter 15 Star Chart: Clockwise from when Abram took "an heifer of three years old (Taurus), and a she goat of three years old (Aries), and a ram of three years old" (15:9) (Aries) "and (red radius) divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another" (15:10) "when the sun was going down" (15:12) (on the red radius horizon) in Taurus till "the (lunar crescent) fowls came down upon the carcases" and "Abram (Orion) drove them away" (15:11) is 40° minutes.
In the same way, Israelites were sacrificed like beasts until they flew away like birds after 400° years. "Three years old" are three complete centuries in which they would be afflicted, and in the fourth come out safe and whole like the undivided birds, the turtle, dove, and pigeon. "Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, (first Canaan -- Ps. 105:11-12 & then Egypt) (and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them beginning with mocking, when Ishmael, the son of an Egyptian, persecuted Isaac, who was born after the Spirit -- 21:9; Gal. 4:29. It continued in loathing; for it was an abomination to the Egyptians to eat bread with the Hebrews -- 43:32; and it finally came to murder of their new-born children) FOUR HUNDRED YEARS" (15:13; Acts 7:6), not counting from the birth of Isaac ("thy seed"), but counting from the "mocking" he received from Ishmael in 1846 B.C. -- five years later. This is because "Abraham was an HUNDRED YEARS old, when his son Isaac was born unto him" (Gen. 21:5). But "Abram was SEVENTY-FIVE years old when he departed out of Haran" (Gen. 12:4). That is 25 years' difference. But we need 30 years' difference between the 400-year period and the 430-year period. In the book of II Maccabees, 7:27, a mother mentions giving milk to her newborn son for THREE YEARS as though this was normal. If Isaac was weaned for FIVE YEARS, then we have the 400-year period beginning in Genesis 21:8-9 when Ishmael started "mocking" a five-year-old Isaac, and the 430-year period beginning in Genesis 13:14-16 when the covenant was confirmed to Abraham (Gal. 3:16-17) at age 75. Both periods end in their departure from Egypt in 1446 B.C. This is one lap (360°) plus 40° years more.
Since 405 years elapse from Isaac's birth to the Exodus, we can conclude that 505 years elapse from Abram's birth to the Exodus since "Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him" (Gen. 21:5). Thus 1446 B.C. + 505 years = 1951 B.C. for the birth of Abram. This can be confirmed independently. Terah was 205 and "died in Haran" (Gen.11:32). Then Abraham, "when his father was dead" (Acts 7:4), moved to Palestine at the age of 75 (Gen.12:4). Thus, Abraham was born when Terah was 130, so Genesis 11:26 should be paraphrased, "Terah lived seventy years, and begot the first of his three sons (not Abram)." Using the post-flood begat verses, 130 + 29 + 30 + 32 + 30 + 34 + 30 + 35 + 2 + 1 = 353. Therefore, 1656 pre-flood + 353 post-flood = 2009 years till Abram was born. In other words, 3960 B.C. - 2009 years = 1951 B.C.
Exodus 12:40-41 says, "now the sojourning (in Canaan and Egypt -- 215 years each) of the children of Israel (which here includes Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- see footnotes in both the Companion Bible and Jerusalem Bible), who dwelt in Egypt, was 430 years." Josephus says the same thing: "They left Egypt ... on the fifteenth day of the lunar month (Num. 33:3), four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan" (Ant.2:15:2). Both the Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint add "and in Canaan" in verse 40. The Septuagint, quoted by Paul in Galatians, says "the sojourning of the sons of Israel who dwelt in the land of Egypt and Canaan was 430 years" because they dwelt in Canaan before they dwelt in Egypt.
There were 215 years between Abram's entry into Canaan in 1876 B.C. and Jacob's entry into Egypt. Abraham was 75 when he entered Canaan (Gen. 12:4). He received the covenant at this time, making it year zero in the calculation. Isaac was born 25 years later when Abraham was 100 (Gen. 21:5). Isaac was age 60 when Jacob was born (Gen. 25:26) and Jacob was age 130 when he entered Egypt (Gen. 47:28). Added together, 25 + 60 + 130 = 215 years outside Egypt. With the other 215 years inside Egypt, we can construct the 430-year period till 1446 B.C. (see also Josephus' Antiquities 2:15:2)
The word "TELL" in 15:5 is the same census-taking word as used in Psalm 147:4 so the star names are in view here. Also, the Almighty made an important comment when Abraham had finished listing off the star names. He said: "So shall your seed be." Does this mean that Abraham was to have many children? Paul explains the original Hebrew in Galatians 3:16. He says: "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds (plural) as of many; but as of one, 'And to your seed (singular) WHICH IS CHRIST!"
Look Toward Heaven and Recount the Story
of the Star Names in Order;
They Will Tell You About Your Descendant
15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram (Auriga): I am thy (solar and lunar) shield, and thy exceeding great (solar golden) reward.
2 And Abram (Auriga) said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
3 And Abram (Auriga) said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed (empty black lunar womb): and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
Since it was in the daytime, before the sun was set, Genesis 15:12, when the stars could not be seen, he is not being asked to literally count.
The Arab astronomer Albumazar said that "many attributed to them (signs of the Zodiac) a divine and prophetic virtue." Cicero said that "The signs are measured out, so that in so many descriptions divine wisdom might appear." Originally the stars were intended by God to "be for SIGNS" of the Zodiac (Gen. 1:14). God calls all the stars "by their NAMES" (Ps. 147:4). He told Abraham, "Look toward heaven and recount the STORY of the star NAMES in order. They will tell you about your descendant " (Gen. 15:5). Furthermore, each of the twelve signs was associated with one of the twelve tribes of Israel (Gen. 37:9-11; Gen. 49 ; Deut. 33). This is NOT ASTROLOGY (Isa. 47:13-14). Deuteronomy 4:19 condemns astrology which is defined as "WORSHIP" of the sun, moon and stars. Psalm 19:1-4 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge (using sign language). They have no (verbal) speech, they use no (vocal) words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice (sign language) goes out into all the earth, their (picto-graphic) words to the ends of the world."
Yes, "By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent (Drago Constellation)" (Job 26:13). God made the zodiac (Job 9:9). Josephus tells us that righteous Seth invented astronomy (Ant. 1:2:3). Yes, "their sound went into all the earth" (Rom. 10:18). In Acts 17:27-28, Paul quoted from Aratus's poem Phaenomina written about the constellations around 270 B.C. It was these STAR NAMES that "preached the gospel unto Abraham" (Gal. 3:8). Ancient Egyptian zodiacs such as the one in the Tombs of the Kings at Karnak have the image of a sphinx (woman's head with lion's body whose name means "bind together" from Greek "sphiggo") between Leo and Virgo showing where the circle begins and ends. In the zodiac of Denderah (2000 B.C., a picture of a sphinx is also placed between Virgo and Leo. But how can we understand this sign language? Start reading at Virgo with the brightest star in that constellation and end with the faintest star. Then move to Libra and do the same. Etcetera. When the names are put together into a sentence in order of each star's brightness, a sentence is constructed for each constellation. The constellations begin with our Lord's birth from VIRGO (a virgin) and end with His return as the "LION of the tribe of Judah." "Thy will be done on earth as it is in (the astronomical) HEAVEN" (Matt. 6:10). We are instructed to "measure the (360-degree celestial) temple of God" (11:1) counting degrees clockwise.
The original meaning of the zodiac was that a Virgin (Virgo pregnant with sun) would give birth to a son of God pictured by the actual sun as it passed through her body. Divine scales of justice (sun in Libra) would require His death (Scorpio's sting is orange swelling sore) for the sins of humanity. But the dual-natured Savior would conquer death (Sagittarius' face shining like the sun) and give life to his followers (a living fish) by his sacrifice (Capricorn goat a burnt sacrifice) and let them drink the living waters of the Holy Spirit (Aquarius pouring out the sun) which then breaks the bands of sin (sun cutting Pisces' bands) because the Lamb was wounded for our transgression (sun wound in Aries' side). He will return (Taurus with golden sun crown on his head), this dual-natured Savior with fiery words (Gemini), and shelter his people (sun in Cancer) from the day of Wrath when this "Lion of the tribe of Judah" will destroy that old serpent the Devil (Leo pouncing on Hydra).
The word “tell” is Old English for “count,” as in Psalm 22:17, “I may tell all my bones”; Psalm 48:12, “tell the towers thereof”; Jeremiah 33:13, “And in the cities of Judah shall the flocks again pass under the hands of him that telleth them.” Cf. “And every shepherd tells his tale Under the hawthorn in the dale” (Milton, L’Allegro, 67, 68).
6 And he (Auriga) believed in the Lord (Perseus); and he counted it to him for righteousness.
7 And he (Perseus) said unto him (Auriga), I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.
8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?
Not as questioning or doubting whether he should or not; but this he asked for the further confirmation of his faith in the promise, and for the sake of his posterity, that they might more easily and strongly believe that they should inherit the land given and promised to them; nor is it culpable to ask a sign of God with such a view; good men have done it, as Gideon, Judges 6:36, and Hezekiah, 2 Kings 20:8, without being blamed for it; yea, Ahaz is blamed for not asking one, Isaiah 7:10.
9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old (Taurus), and a she goat of three years old (Aries), and a ram of three years old (Aries), and a (lunar crescent) turtledove, and a young (lunar crescent) pigeon.
Chiefly to show that they themselves would fall a sacrifice to the rage and fury of their enemies, in a land not theirs, and be used as these creatures were: and the number three may denote the three complete centuries in which they would be afflicted, and in the fourth come out safe and whole like the undivided birds, the turtle, dove, and pigeon, to which they were comparable.
The sign to Abram is the sign of the covenant, of which the ceremonial is here described. This ceremonial is evidently of great antiquity. The writer, perhaps, intends to refer the origin of the institution to the time of Abram and to this occasion. The ceremony is as follows: (1) Animals permitted for sacrifice are selected. (2) They are killed, and their carcases divided. (3) The divided portions are placed in two rows over against each other. (4) The contracting parties pass between the rows, invoking, as they do so, an imprecation upon any violator of the covenant, that he should in like manner be cut asunder.
It is this ceremonial which causes the making of a covenant to be expressed by words meaning “to cut,” e.g. Heb. karath b’rîth.
The most interesting Scriptural illustration of covenant ceremonial is afforded by Jeremiah 34:18, “the covenant which they made before me, when they cut the calf in twain and passed between the parts thereof.”
10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the (lunar white crescent) birds divided he not.
11 And when the (white lunar crescent) fowls came down upon the (Taurus and Aries) carcases, Abram (Orion) drove them away.
12 And when the sun was going down (on the red radius horizon), a deep sleep fell upon Abram (Orion); and, lo, an horror of great (lunar) darkness fell upon him (Orion).
13 And he (Perseus) said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
This persecution began with mocking, when Ishmael, the son of an Egyptian, persecuted Isaac, (Genesis 21:9,) at 1846 B.C. to 1446 B.C.
"Which began," says Mr. Ainsworth, "when Ishmael, son of Hagar, mocked and persecuted Isaac, Genesis 21:9; Galatians 4:29; which fell out thirty years after the promise, Genesis 12:3; which promise was four hundred and thirty years before the law, Galatians 3:17; and four hundred and thirty years after that promise came Israel out of Egypt, Exodus 12:41."
That thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs; this prophecy could not take place at this time, since Abram had then no seed; but at the birth of Isaac, in whom his seed was called, who sojourned, or was a stranger in Gerar, a part of the land of Canaan, as Jacob also in the same land, Genesis 36:3; as well as he and his posterity sojourned or lived as strangers in the land of Ham, in Egypt, Psalm 105:23; and neither of these countries were theirs; for though there was a grant of Canaan to Abram and his seed, yet it was not in possession; though a land of promise, it was a strange land, a land of their pilgrimage, and where all the patriarchs lived in it as such, see Exodus 6:4,
and shall serve them; the inhabitants of the land not theirs, that is, the Canaanites and the Egyptians, especially the latter; and these they served after the death of Joseph, by whom their lives were made bitter with hard bondage:
and they shall afflict them four hundred years; this term "four hundred years" is to be joined with the word "afflict"; for their affliction did last long; "thy seed shall be a stranger in the land not theirs and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years"; so long they should be strangers and sojourners, as they were partly in the land of Canaan, and partly in the land of Egypt, neither of which were in their own land, however not in possession; within which space of time they would be in a state of subjection and servitude, and be greatly afflicted and oppressed, as they were particularly by the Egyptians before their deliverance from them, see Exodus 1:11. These four hundred years, as before observed, are to be reckoned from the mocking of Isaac to the Israelites going out of Egypt, and are counted thus: From Ishmael mocking Isaac at 5 years of age till Jacob was born when Isaac was sixty years of age is 55 years. Jacob went down into Egypt when he was 130, which make 55 + 130 = 185; and the Israelites were in Egypt 215 years, which complete the sum of 400: according to Eusebius, there were four hundred and five years from the birth of Isaac to the Exodus of Israel. The sojourning of the Israelites is said to be four hundred and thirty years, Exodus 12:40, this takes in the sojourning of Abram in that land, who entered into it twenty five years before the birth of Isaac, which added to four hundred and five, the sum total is four hundred and thirty; for Abram was seventy five years of age when he left Haran and went to Canaan, and Isaac was born when he was an hundred years old, see Genesis 12:4.
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
This agrees with the genealogy in Exodus 6:16-20, where the generations are: (1) Levi, (2) Kohath, (3) Amram, (4) Moses. If the fourth generation is to be harmonized with the 400 years in Genesis 15:13, a generation must have been computed as 100 years. Isaac was born in Abram’s 100th year.
17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down(on the red radius horizon), and it was (zodiac) dark, behold a (Milky Way) smoking (black lunar) furnace, and a (solar) burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
18 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt (Eridanus -- Nile) unto the great river, the river Euphrates (Eridanus):
The ideal boundaries of the future territory of Israel are here stated in hyperbolical fashion, as extending from the Nile to the Euphrates: so Joshua 13:3, 1 Chronicles 13:5. The Eastern, i.e. the Pelusiac, arm of the Nile is meant. It was probably only in the days of Solomon that this picture of Israelite greatness was ever approximately realized; see 1 Kings 4:21, Psalm 80:11.
''This river of Egypt, or the Nile, was the southern boundary of the land of Canaan, and from hence to the river Euphrates, the eastern boundary, was the utmost extent of it in which it was ever possessed, as it was in the times of David and Solomon, 2 Samuel 8:3.
19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,
20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,
21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.