The King Extends His Golden Scepter to Esther

 

Copyright 2018-2020AD Bruce Alan Killian February 04, 2019 A.D.† Email: bakillian at earthlink.net

Updated July 28, 2020

To Home Page††††††††††††††††††††††† file: http://www.scripturescholar.com/EstherScepter.htm .pdf

This article is an addendum to www.scripturescholar.com/VenusStarofBethlehem.htm

 

An awe inspiring series of Biblical signs in the sky

The book of Esther[1] tells a story echoed by a series of signs in the heavens witnessed by the magi. This series of signs immediately followed and confirmed the Star of Bethlehem signs of August 24, 2 B.C.,[2] where the Christ received His golden scepter of world rule that brought the magi to Jerusalem. The signs described here occurred over the next five days.[3] These signs, along with the Bibleís description, can help answer questions like: Did the magi interpret the line of planets as a scepter? Could the magi see the signs in the morning sky? Does the Bible have anything more to say about that sign? It also shows how the signs were viewed as the conception of the first royal son of the king and queen.

Some have expressed doubt that Venus and some or all the other planets could be seen until a day after August 24, 2 B.C. because the sunís glare or atmospheric extinction would prevent them from being seen with unaided eyes. To these skeptics, God gave a series of confirming signs. Esther gives additional Bible passages[4] to the ones already studied, where the word star (here Esther) and scepter appear together. There is an excellent chance at least some of the magi were from Susa, the Medio-Persian capital in the time of Esther.

At the end of this article, there is a series of dated dawn sky pictures for this series of signs.

 

The Story of Esther

Here briefly are the key points of Estherís story. Afterward, I will detail the corresponding signs in the pre-dawn sky. Esther, the name of the heroine, is a Persian name for the star Venus,[5] the bright morning and evening star. Esther was an orphaned Jewish girl adopted by her cousin Mordecai, a palace doorkeeper in Susa, the capital.

King Ahasuerus the great,[6] of the Persian Empire, threw a lavish 180-day party in his garden, followed immediately by a seven-day party. During this second party, Queen Vashti held a party for the women in the kingís palace. On the seventh day, the king asked Queen Vashti to come wearing her crown and show her beauty to his guests. The queen refused to appear, so the king in anger divorced her and banned her from his presence. The king removed Vashti from her royal position, and later Esther would take over that position.

To choose a new queen, Ahasuerus held an empire-wide beauty pageant, and Esther was among the virgins chosen as a potential queen. For a year, Esther went through a series of beauty treatments to prepare her for the king. Then, Esther went in with the king in the evening from one harem (virgin) and, in the morning, returned to another (concubine) harem. Then, the king chose Esther from his concubines to become his wife and queen.

Later, Mordecai learned of a plot to assassinate the king, and he told Esther. Esther told the king, who thwarted the plot, and they recorded Mordecaiís act in the chronicles of the king.

Then Haman, the evil villain, was elevated as the kingís highest official. Haman hated the palace doorkeeper Mordecai because he refused to bow down to him, and he hated the Jews because Mordecai was Jewish.

Haman devised a scheme to destroy every Jew in the empire, and he bribed the king 10,000 talents of silver (75,000 pounds) to allow that plot to go forward. In the first month by lot, the twelfth month and the thirteenth day of the month was chosen for the extermination of the Jews. That date would become the feast of Purim. When Mordecai learned of Hamanís scheme, he put on sackcloth and persuaded Esther to intercede for her people with the king.

To make her request, Esther must appear before the king. The problem was no one could appear uninvited before the king except at the risk of death. It had already been a month since she had been summoned. The only exception to immediate execution was if the king extended his golden scepter to the uninvited party, then they would live.

Before Esther went uninvited into the kingís presence, whom she called the lion (Esther 14:13), she requested the Jews in Susa, fast, and pray for her for three days. She took off her royal robes, put on clothes of mourning, fasted, and lay on the floor with her maidens for three days.

Then Esther put on her splendorous royal apparel, and went and stood before the king in his inner court (Esther 5:1-2). He extended his golden scepter toward her so that she would live. She invited King Ahasuerus and Haman to a private banquet that day. At that banquet, after the king was cheered with wine, she invited them both to a banquet the following day. On the way out of the palace courtyard, Mordecai again refused to bow to Haman. In wrath, Haman had a fifty cubit (75 feet or 25m) high gallows built on which to hang Mordecai.

That night the king could not sleep, so he had the royal chronicles read where he was reminded that Mordecai had saved his life. When he learned Mordecai was not rewarded, he decided to honor him, and he asked who was outside the kingís court. He learned Haman was there, so he invited him in and asked how he would honor someone the king desired to honor?

Haman, thinking the king wished to honor him, said dress the honoree in the kingís royal robes, crown, and steed, and let the first of the kingís nobles lead him around the city announcing this is how the king honors one he wishes to honor. The king said to Haman, immediately honor Mordecai in this way, leave nothing out. Haman, in humiliation, led Mordecai around the city arrayed as the king announcing him.

The next day at the second banquet, Esther revealed she was Jewish and pleaded with the king for her people against Hamanís diabolical plot. The king went into the garden to consider what to do and when he returned, Haman was on top of Queen Esther. In a rage, the king ordered Haman to be hanged on the gallows Haman had built to hang Mordecai. The Jews were given the right to defend themselves and did not suffer any loss when they were to be exterminated.

The king gave Mordecai Hamanís official position. The people celebrated Godís deliverance and instituted the joyous annual winter festival of Purim (lot).

 

Planetary Visibility

To understand the visibility of the various stars/planets in the picture, one must be aware of the attenuation of light near the horizon called extinction and atmospheric attenuation of light due to dust and water in the air and the effect of these on sunís glare. Generally, what this means is that within about 10 degrees of the horizon, the light of the stars is dimmer (or invisible) than they would be higher in the sky. Second, the nearness of the object to the risen sun reduces its visibility. Only the sun, moon, and Venus can be seen directly on the horizon at sunrise. Venus can also be seen throughout the day within a few weeks of the inferior conjunction. The atmosphere must be clear, and the sun is not too close to it, say more than 9.4 degrees apart. Extinction causes the sun, moon, and some stars to redden at the horizon[7] and to turn golden somewhat above the horizon, so for instance, Esther was said to have a rosy face when she entered at the horizon, and the scepter of planets was golden.

Related imageThe Esther story reveals Godís control of the changing visibility of the planets day by day. For instance, when Mordecai (represented by Mars) put on sackcloth, then Mars became darkóso invisibleówhile when Esther put on splendid attire, Venus becomes splendidly visible. From the text of Esther, we can figure out the approximate atmospheric clarity on the various days. Further, we can see on 8/28 that Venus was visible from the moment it came to the horizon because it says that Estherís train reached to the earth and that Venus was reddened because her face appeared rosy, but as she rose higher into the sky, she turned white, because her color turned pale. We can also see that, at one point, Mars (Mordecai) and Jupiter (the king) appeared to merge, because Mordecai was clothed with the kingís raiment, crown, and steed.

The planets like the moon can also turn golden near the horizon or even red right on the horizon.

Venus, at the inferior conjunction, just before it would do a heliacal rise with the sun, according to the Babylonian and Mayan records, would disappear for eight days. During this time, Venus could not be seen on the horizon (but it may be able to be seen as the day star if there was sufficient separation from the sun. Today, increased particles of dust, pollution, and water in the atmosphere cause the period of invisibility to be extended by about six days.

Components of Estherís heavenly scene

1.      Heliacal riseóa light came, and the sun rose (Esther 1:1k) the lowly were exalted.

2.      The constellation of LeoóAhasuerus, the lion king

3.      The kingís court (and garden)óis the dark area before the feet of the constellation Leo. A court was a walled or fenced area open to the sky, so from above, one could watch the action.

4.      The door to the kingís inner courtóthe horizon at the feet of Leo

5.      Inside the palace or in either haremóInvisible

6.      Jupiter and Venus set with the sun together in VirgoóEsther went in to ďknowĒ the king. Venus exited Virgo [Virgin] and returns in Leo to the chamber of the king.

7.      The Jews of the city were in sackcloth, so most stars not visible, same for Mordecai and Esther. Notably, Mars and Venus were not yet as bright as Mercury and Jupiter.

8.      Jupiteróthe king; (or Mordecai dressed as the king).

9.      MercuryóHamanóthe second greatest man after the king (Esther 3:1).

a.       Led Mars arrayed with JupiteróHaman led Mordecai dressed as the king.

10.  MarsóMordecaióa doorkeeper stood near the entrance to the kingís court.

a.       He never visibly dropped below Mercury unless the Jupiter was also above Mars.

b.      He became a great man in the kingís courtóit didnít bow to Mercury.

11.  VenusóEstheróthe bright morning star (previously Vashti)[8]

a.       Vashti was Venus before Esther

b.      Before Esther was queen she was Hadassah

c.       (2) six-month-long beauty treatments; Venus brightened as it approaches the sun.

d.      Visible at the horizonóher train reached the earth.

e.       Visible near the horizonórosy color.

f.       Visible higher, but before the scepterópale color.

g.      Accompanied by two handmaids, she leaned on one. The other carried her train flowing to the ground. The minor stars were eventually visible in the dawning sky. (Esther 15:5-7)

h.      The king permitted Venus to enter at any timeóVenus brightest star.

12.  MoonóWoman because Genesis 37:9-10

a.       The moon represents the mother also Revelation 12:1 the woman has the moon under her feet.

b.      As man and woman rule the earth (Genesis 1:26), the sun rules the day, and the moon rules the night (Genesis 1:16).

c.       Song 6:10 who is she fair as the moon?

d.      The moon rose near full in the west on 8/13/2B.C.

13.  The line of Planets Jupiter-Mars-Mercuryóthe kingís golden scepter was vertical.

a.       The rulerís staff formed at the heliacal rise of Jupiter.

b.      The planet order changed when the scepter extended.

14.  Mercury rose ten minutes after Jupiter, so it was in doubt for ten minutes if the scepter would extend to Esther. The scene rose for thirty minutes before sunrise.

15.  Lionís heartóRegulus (Esther 14:13 or 4:17y)

16.  The king hanged Hamanís ten sons (Esther 9:9-14). Ten minor stars around Haman. Could be a comet tail swept through their vicinity.

17.  Heliacal rise stars about this timeóVenus, Jupiter, Mercury, and Mars

18.  Sackclothóno one wearing sackcloth could come into the kingís presence.

19.  All six of the brightest heavenly objects are together at the horizon, a very bright dawn.

20.  Persian gallows was a pole on which they impaled a person. A comet tail points away from the sun. So a comet near the sun would look like a pole to impale Haman.

21.  Drinking or cheered with wineóthe sky coloring the participants the color of wine.

22.  Speculation, do the planets have a second meaning, and the triangle represents the trinity with the moon appearing as a dove, Venus as Jesus and Jupiter as the Father.

Many details are only in the Greek version of Esther, confirming all of Esther is canonical.

 

The Story of Esther Depicted in the Sky

This picture was the scene the magi saw in the east at dawn on August 28, 2 B.C. First, the constellation of Leo was upright, entirely above the horizon at dawn. Leo, the lion, represented the lion king and this happens annually for a few weeks. The presence of these planets near their heliacal rising with those positions is unique. The sign of the scepter started longer and more staff like on August 18, 2 B.C., with the heliacal rising of Jupiter. These events were centered on the heliacal rising of Venus, which occurs just after the inferior conjunction when Venus passes between the earth and the sun. Notice the scepter appears golden. The moon should appear as a waning crescent.

Venus depicted beautiful Queen Vashti. The first two signs presented in the series are subtle, and accepting them is not essential to understand the story. While the kingís party was in the garden, Vashti was visible in the evening sky, and for the whole 180 days, Jupiter remained in the vicinity of Leo. Then Vashti disappeared into the palace for the next seven days; this was the period at the inferior conjunction when Venus is invisible for eight days, so the king wanted Vashti to appear one day too early in the kingís garden for Venus to appear.

After the king deposed Vashti, there was an empire-wide search for beautiful women (about six months because of the distance) and then the year-long preparation for each woman before coming to the king and the wait for Esther to get her turn, occupied the full nineteen months between two successive heliacal rises of Venus.

Since Esther went out from one location in the evening and came back to another location in the morning, she went from being the evening star to disappearing into the kingís harem, where she was unseen. When she was selected as queen, and given her royal position, she became visible as the bright morning star, which happened first at the heliacal rise. This is going in with the king and disappearing, and the heliacal rise would mark the first possible day when the queen could become pregnant with her first child, one who could also only be the child of the king, so a future king.

When Mordecai learned of Hamanís plot to exterminate the Jews, he put on sackcloth. Esther put on mourning clothes for three days; these three days immediately follow the original appearance of Venus and the golden scepter on August 24. During this period, because of clouds or other sky obscuring circumstances, at least Mars and Venus could not be seen.

During those three days, August 25-27, the golden scepter reformed, the top and bottom stars traded places, and the top of the scepter extended away from the constellation Leo toward Venus. Mars then does not drop below Mercury, so Mordecai did not bow to Haman. Haman and the king came to Estherís first banquet (Esther 15:8). Haman, in anger, built a fifty cubit high gallows.

After the king commanded him to do so, on August 27, Haman (Mercury) led Mordecai (Mars) arrayed as the king (Jupiter) (Esther 6:7-11) afterward, Haman covered his head (Esther 6:12). At that time, Mars was only about one minute of arc from Jupiter, so Mars being arrayed with Jupiterís raiment and being led by Mercury was an appropriate description. At this time, Mordecai became an official in the kingís court.

On the next day, August 28, 2 B.C., the sky cleared dramatically, and the scene on the eastern horizon could be observed. The empty place in the sky before the feet of the lion represented the kingís courtyard, garden, etc. Most important, the kingís golden scepter was extended toward Esther/Venus. Esther was clothed in splendid attire (Esther 5:1-2; 15:1), so Venus was very bright. Since Estherís train reached the earth (Esther 15:7), Venus can be seen from the moment it came from the earth at the horizon. As she entered, Venus was rosy, but as the extinction lessened as Venus rose, she becomes pale (Esther 15:8-10). Esther came and stood before the king in his inner court, so Esther and the king were at the same level when the gold scepter tipped to Esther (Esther 4:11). The sign was still low in the sky, so extinction caused the planets to change color to golden, much as the moon does when it is at the horizon. King arrayed in gold and precious gems (Esther 15:6) and called the lion (Esther 14:13). Leo represented the lion, and Jupiter represented the top of the scepter as the top of his scepter. The relief at the left depicts king Ahasuerus on his throne with a scepter in hand.

†Also, the waning crescent moon had descended to its last day of visibility and was just above, as an extension to the top of the scepter.[9] It also says Esther approached and touched the top of his scepter. So Venus came as high as the top of the scepter. This is also echoed in Esther 8:3-5.

On the next day at the second banquet, Haman was condemned to death, and Hamanís head was covered, so Mercury disappeared. Mercury was rapidly dropping toward the horizon and limited visibility, caused Mercury to disappear suddenly. A fifty cubits high gallows points to Mercury disappearing much higher in the sky than expected.

Summary of Signs in the Sky Interpreted

When Vashti was deposed from her royal position as the planet Venus, Esther took over in that position, changing the personality of Venus.

The royal position Vashti had was represented by the planet Venus when she was requested to come before the king and the people after being hidden for seven days, and she did not, she lost her royal position, and it would pass to Ether. The reasonable minimum recorded time of Venus invisibility was eight days, so Vashti would not be visible on the seventh day.

The magi knew the book of Esther was a type or shadow of the coming world-ruling king. So this series of signs in the sky reveals a new, more important king and queen than Ahasuerus and Esther. This story implies at least some of the magi were from Susa, where they would be more likely to be familiar with the story of Esther. This heavenly sign displayed long after Esther had died, depicted a king greater than King Ahasuerus the great.

 

Date

all B.C.

The scene on the eastern horizon or western horizon

Interpretation of the sky scene from the book of Esther

Sky clarity

8/11/2 to 8/13/2 Œ

Jupiter and Venus heliacally set together with the sun in the constellation of Virgo

Esther goes in with the king from the virgin harem. Earliest concept-tion of King Jesus (2:11-16[10])

extremely clear

8/18/2 ć

The heliacal rise of Jupiter a kingís staff forms in Leo

A scepter or rulerís staff forms in Leo by Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury

extremely clear

8/23/2

The sun rose with Venus, so maybe a heliacal rising of Venus. Scene same as 8/24/2

Estherís first possible appearance before the people (2:17)

unknown

8/24/2 Ž

Venus rises before the sun, vertical golden scepter forms before Leo in the kingís court

Queen Esther Venus, king with a scepter (Genesis 49:9-10; Numbers 24:17; Psalm 110:2-3)

extremely clear

8/25/2

day 1

Scepter breaks up; Mercury down; Jupiter up; Mars & Venus dark (they are fainter)

Mordecai in sackcloth (4:1)

Venus in mourning clothes (14:2)

Jews of Susa in sackcloth (4:3)

overcast

8/26/2

day 2

Jupiter & Mercury trade places Venus & Mars dark

Mordecai did not bow to Haman (3:2-6) Esther mourns

overcast

8/27/2

day 3 Ź

Mercury leads Mars touching and arrayed with Jupiter; then Mercury hides

Haman leads and honors Mordecai dressed as king in the city square (6:7-11), Haman covers his head (6:12)

clear to less clear

8/28/2

day 4 ź

Jupiter tops the kingís golden scepter extended toward Venus; Jupiter-Venus-Crescent moonóequilateral triangle,

king called lion (14:13) moon-woman;

Golden scepter extended (4:11), king in gold, and gems (15:6). Esther splendid attire (5:1-2; 15:1 ), Esther and king at the same level; Estherís train reached earth (15:7),

Estherís color rosy to pale (15:8-10), Estherís first banquet (15:8)

extremely clear

8/29/2 to 9/3/2

Mercury vanished impaled on a pole a comet tail appeared

Haman and king to a second feast (7:1-9) Haman impaled on a high gallows (pole) (7:10).

less clear

Purim was/is celebrated in the middle of the twelfth and usually the last Jewish/Persian month (Adar) about February. If a thirteenth month was/is added (Veadar). The second to the last month and Adar would be celebrated about January.

If the magi left Susa right after Purim, the feast that celebrates the victory won by Esther, they could arrive in Jerusalem shortly before Passover, as previously described. If the magi left Susa after Purim 1 A.D., so about Adar 15, then they could arrive in Jerusalem by 10 Nisan, the first month, shortly before Passover. It was about 800 miles from Susa to Jerusalem 26, days elapsed at 31 miles per day =806 miles. Magi from Persia probably rode horses. Calvary could travel up to 100 miles per day.

Magi starting in Susa, would likely pass through Babylon on the way and could well join with one or more other magi desiring to make the same journey. So magi could easily have come from both Susa and Babylon. Esther 1:13-14 describes the wise men of the Medes and Persians as the seven men who stand first in the kingdom and who had access to the king. Ezra 7:12 describes Artaxerxes as the king of kings, so the magi who were first in rank below the king. They could rightly be designated as kings.

Now the signs in heaven are long after the time of Esther, so they cannot be signs from her time, so how can they have anything to do with Esther? They donít have anything to do with Esther, but they are telling a similar story to the Esther story. The Bible has types or shadows of earlier events reflected in later events, so God had the heavens signal a more significant event than Estherís story.

So if Ahasuerus the great had a vast empire, then the empire predicted here is grander yet. This is because types or shadows point to greater future realities. If the threat to the Jews was significant in Estherís time, then the current threat was yet more significant, perhaps the extermination of all humanity. A Bible type or shadow is always less than the reality it points to, so the story of Esther was a type of the later story.

Haman had tried to destroy the Jews, so Satan would try to destroy the Jews. Jesus, the king, would ultimately defeat Satan.

As Esther was depicted as conceiving after she went in the evening with the king at the inferior conjunction and coming out as queen in the morning at the heliacal rise, so Jesus the future king conceived no sooner than Venus changing between evening and morning star during the inferior conjunction ending with the helical rise on 23 or 24 August 2 B.C.

How can Venus change from being His (Christís) star to being Estherís star? First, Esther would be replaced by a new woman, Jesusí mother, Mary. Second, Esther/woman could be or was now pregnant with the Christ, so the star Venus would then represent both the mother and the now conceived son destined to rule the world. Venus had also recently changed from Vashti to Esther. Jupiter could be either the king or Mordecai dressed as the king.

The following inverted color pictures are zoomed in snapshots of the scepter area of these signs for eight days from the heliacal rise of Venus on. The area focused on is believed to represent the kingís courtyard.

Venus and Jupiter are about to set in the western horizon just after sundown. They are exiting the constellation of Virgo.

The heliacal rise of Jupiter forms a rulers staff in the feet area of Leo the king's court.

8/13 King and Queen retreat together at sunset earliest conception Œ[11]

8/18 Jupiterís Heliacal riseóthe kingís scepter forms, long and staff-like at this dawn. ć

Two somewhat cloudy Days 8/25 and 8/26

days

8/24 Heliacal rise of Venus, vertical gold scepter Ž[12]

8/27 sky less clear, Mars and Venus invisible Ź

8/28 golden scepter ex-tended to Venus & moon ź

 

8/29 not clear, Mercury and Moon invisible

8/30 sky not clear, Mercury invisible

 

8/28 Hamanís ten sons & Estherís two maids

 

 



[1] There are two versions of Esther, the shorter one accepted by the Protestants and the longer one accepted as canonical by Catholics and Orthodox. The longer version gives more details and was in the LXX the apostles used.

[2] This is briefly presented ďThe Glory of the Star of Bethlehem,Ē www.scripturescholar.com/StarOfBethlehem.htm.

[3] These signs were rediscovered between December 5-7, 2018 A.D.

[4] Esther 5:1-2; Esther 8:4; Esther 15:12-14; where Esther is the star.

[5] H.W.F. Gesenius, Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, 1979, pp. 68-69, אֶסְתֵּר Esther http://blb.sc/002zMY. Esther is akin to the Hebrew Astaroth meaning the planet Venus.

[6] Ibid. p. 34, Greek Xerxes or Artaxerxes, a title from cuneiform meaning lion-king, http://blb.sc/003aBd.

[7] My brother and friend, sailing about thirty miles west of the coast of Baja California Sur during a night watch, both saw Jupiter rise and confused it for a time with the port running light of another boat.

[8] Saturn high in the morning sky may represent a rival to Esther as the Queen of Medio-Persia.

[9] I donít yet know what it means and the moon is precisely the same distance from Jupiter as Venus was. But the picture of a staff with a crescent moon on the top looks interesting.

[10] All References without a book are from Esther.

[11] The Āƒ etc. link to the table of the days in Estherís story. The picture is best on 8/11 but works on each day through 8/13.

[12] Star Charts by Cartes du Ceil, www.astrosurf.com/astropc.