The King Extends His Golden Scepter to Esther

 

Copyright Ó2019AD Bruce Alan Killian       04 Feb 2019 A.D.  Email: bakillian at earthlink.net

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

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

 

Amazing 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 24 August 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 Bible’s 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 or two after the proposed date of 24 August 2 B.C. because the sun’s 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 Esther’s story. Afterwards, 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 seven day party. During this second party, Queen Vashti held a party for the women in the king’s palace. On the last day of the party, the king asked Queen Vashti to come with her crown on her head 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. Vashti was removed 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, and the plot was thwarted and Mordecai's act was recorded in the chronicles of the king.

Then Haman, the evil villain, was elevated as the king's 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 Haman’s scheme, he put on sackcloth and persuaded Esther to intercede for her people with the king.

To make a request for her people, 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 king’s 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 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 king’s 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 king’s royal robes, crown and steed, and let the first of the king’s 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 Haman's 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 loss on the date they were to be exterminated.

The king gave Mordecai Haman's official position. The people celebrated God's 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 sun’s 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 and Venus can also be seen throughout the day within a few weeks of the inferior conjunction, when the atmosphere is clear, and the sun is not too close to it, say more than 10 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 God’s control of the changing visibility of the planets on a day by day basis. For instance when Mordecai (represented by Mars) put on sackcloth, then Mars became dark—so  invisible—while when Esther put on splendid attire Venus become 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 Esther’s 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 king’s 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 8 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.

 

 

Here are the various components of the heavenly scene as revealed by the Bible and sky.

The king’s court—the dark area before the feet of the constellation of Leo

The door to the kings inner court—the horizon

Inside palace—Invisible

Jupiter—King Ahasuerus the great; His kingdom was from Ethiopia to India or Mordecai dressed as the king.

MercuryHaman—second greatest after only the king (Esther 3:1)

            Linked to Satan (Isaiah 14:12) the morning star

MarsMordecai— he became a great man in the kings court

VenusEsther—the bright morning star (previously Vashti)

Moon—woman?

Jupiter-Mars-Mercury—the kings golden scepter, because near horizon

Lion’s heartRegulus (Esther 14:13)

Stars that had a heliacal rise about this time—Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, and Mars

Meteors briefly flashing in the sky—likely represent maids, handmaids, and attendants

 

The Story of Esther Depicted in the Sky

This was the scene the magi saw rise in the east at dawn on August 28, 2 B.C. First, the constellation of Leo was upright, fully above the horizon at dawn. Leo the lion represented the lion king. 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 actually started off longer and more staff like on 18 August 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 king’s 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 king’s garden for Venus to appear.

After Vashti was deposed 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 king’s 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 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 Haman’s 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 Esther’s 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) afterwards, 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 Jupiter’s raiment and being led by Mercury was an appropriate description. At this time, Mordecai became an official in the king’s court.

On the next day, 28 August 2 B.C., the sky cleared dramatically and the scene on the eastern horizon could be clearly observed. The empty place in the sky before the feet of the lion represented the king’s courtyard, garden, etc. Most important, the king’s 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 Esther’s 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 become pale (Esther 15:8-10). Esther came and stood before the king in his inner court so Esther and the king were at 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. Related imageKing arrayed in gold and precious gems (Esther 15:6) and called the lion (Esther 14:13) was represented by both Leo and Jupiter as the top of his scepter. The relief at the left depicts king Ahasuerus on his throne with scepter in hand.

 Also, the waning crescent moon had descended to its last day of visibility and was just above, like an extension to the top of the scepter.[8] It also says Esther approached and touched the top of his scepter. This apparently means 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 Haman’s head was covered so Mercury disappeared. Mercury was rapidly dropping toward the horizon and limited visibility, caused Mercury to suddenly disappear. The fifty cubit 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 normal 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 is revealing 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

scene in the eastern horizon

Picture in the eastern sky— reference without book is in Esther

Sky clarity

8/14/2BC day 0

Venus sets with the sun

Venus as evening star ends

Virgin Esther goes into the king in the evening returns to a new location in morning. Earliest possible conception

extremely clear

8/22/2BC day 7.5

The sun rises before Venus so not a heliacal rising of Venus

Vashti does not appear before the people on the seventh day--deposed

unknown

8/23/2BC day 8.5

Venus rises before the sun, vertical golden scepter

Birth of Venus—conception (Gen 49:9-10; Num 24:17; Psalm 110:2-3)

extremely clear

8/24/2BC

Venus and vertical golden scepter the area before Leo is king’s court

Gen 49:9-10, last day of morning star and vertical golden scepter

extremely clear

8/25/2BC E.[9] day 1

Scepter breaks up Mercury down; Jupiter up; Mars & Venus dark

Mordecai in sackcloth (4:1)

Venus in mourning clothes (14:2)

less clear

8/26/2BC E. day 2

Jupiter & Mercury trade places Venus & Mars dark

Mordecai doesn’t bow to Haman (3:2-6) Esther mourns

less clear

8/27/2BC E. day 3

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

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

clear to less clear

8/28/2BC

E. day 4

Jupiter tops the king’s golden scepter extended toward Venus; Jupiter-Venus-Crescent Moon—equilateral triangle,[10]

King called lion (14:13)

Esther splendid attire (5:1-2; 15:1),

Esther and King at same level; gold scepter tipped to Esther (4:11), King in gold and precious gems (15:6).

Esther’s train reached earth (15:7),

Esther’s color rosy to pale (15:8-10), Haman and king to first dinner (15:8)

extremely clear

8/29/2BC E. day 5

Moon-last day woman; Moon triangle with scepter

Haman and king to second dinner (7:1-9) Haman’s face covered

clear

8/30/2 to 9/3/2 BC

Mercury rapidly drops and it disappeared before it dropped below the horizon

Haman hanged—dead (7:10). The high gallows means Mercury disappeared high in the sky.

less clear

Purim was/is celebrated in the middle of the twelfth and normally the last Jewish/Persian month (Adar) about February, or if a thirteenth month was/is added (Veadar), then the second to the last month and Adar would be celebrated about January.

If the magi left from 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 though 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, could rightly be designated as kings.

Now the signs in the 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 don’t have anything to do with Esther, but they are telling a similar story to the Esther story, so as the Bible has types or shadows of earlier events reflected in later events, so God had the heavens signal a greater event than Esther story.

So if Ahasuerus the great had a great empire, then the empire predicted here is greater yet. This is because types or shadows point to greater future realities. If the threat to the Jews was great in Esther’s time, then the current threat was greater yet, 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.

As 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 (Christ’s) star to being Esther’s star? First, Esther would be replaced by a new woman, Jesus’ 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 over a period of eight days from the heliacal raise of Venus on. The area focused on is believed to represent the king’s court yard.

8/23 Heliacal Rise of Venus, gold scepter, 1[11]

8/24 Heliacal Rise of Venus, gold scepter, 2

8/25 sky less clear, Mars & Venus invisible, 3

8/26 sky less clear, Mars & Venus invisible, 4

8/27 sky less clear, Mars and Venus invisible

8/28 sky less clear, Mars and Venus invisible

8/29 not clear, Mercury and Moon invisible

8/30 sky not clear, Mercury invisible

 



[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 “The Glory of the Star of Bethlehem,” 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] I don’t 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.

[9] E. is an abbreviation for Esther here.

[10] What is the meaning of this equilateral triangle? Email if you have a Scriptural insight.

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