Questions From Readers
● What is meant by ‘binding the sweet influences of the Pleiades’ or ‘loosing the bands of Orion’ or ‘bringing forth Mazzaroth in his seasons’ or ‘guiding Arcturus with his sons,’ as mentioned at Job 38:31, 32?—W. S., New York.
Some attribute striking qualities to these constellations or star groups and on the basis of such they then offer private interpretations of Job 38:31, 32 that amaze their hearers. Their views are not always sound from the standpoint of astronomy, and when viewed Scripturally they are completely without foundation. Why? Because we do not know which stars or groups of stars are being referred to in these Job 38 verses 31, 32. The names Pleiades, Orion and Arcturus are not the names given in the Bible. Some translations make Mazzaroth refer to the signs of the Zodiac. English translators have merely adopted these pagan names given to constellations or star groups and have inserted them in their translations in the place of the original names that appear in the Hebrew Scriptures, namely, Kimah, Kesil, Mazzaroth and ‘Ayish. To just what stars or star groups these names refer we do not know today. Hence it is useless to indulge in unprofitable speculations. Incidentally, Pleiades can no longer be considered the center of the universe and it would be unwise for us to try to fix God’s throne as being at a particular spot in the universe. Were we to think of the Pleiades as his throne we might improperly view with special veneration that cluster of stars.—Deut. 4:19; 2 Chron. 2:6; 6:18.
It is not necessary for us to know the particular star groups that the original words of Job 38:31, 32 refer to in order to grasp the point of instruction being given. Jehovah is here raising a number of questions to show the inferiority of the man Job when compared with his Creator. Can Job control the heavens? Can he govern the visible celestial bodies? Can he bind together in a cluster this group of stars so that they comprise a permanent constellation? Or can he loose the bands of that group of stars so that they fly apart and no longer appear as a fixed constellation? Or can he bring forth this group at its proper season, or guide that constellation in its prescribed heavenly course? No, of course he cannot do so, and he would have to admit it and at the same time acknowledge the supremacy of the great Jehovah God, recognizing that Jehovah rules all creatures in the universe and can dispose of all animate and inanimate creations according to His pleasure and no intelligent creation in heaven or earth has any right to question any of his actions. That is the point of Job 38:31, 32.
It has particular application to Jehovah’s people now. In the prophetic drama of Job he represents the faithful followers of Christ on earth at the end of this system of things, specially from 1918 onward. He represents the anointed remnant of the body of Christ, how at that time they were afflicted, in captivity to Satan’s organization, Babylonish Christendom in particular. They could not understand why Jehovah permitted this affliction from the world, and particularly from Christendom. They did not appreciate just what Jehovah’s purposes were concerning them, and so it was appropriate for God to specially reveal himself to them as the Supreme One of the universe and that the big issue was his universal domination over all creation, animate and inanimate. From and after 1918 Jehovah has made these points stand out. He has restored his people to a beautiful condition, theocratically speaking, where their flesh has been restored to the days of their youth, and he has opened their eyes to see his supreme position, the issue before all creation, his universal sovereignty. They appreciate that he has all power in heaven and earth, that he can dispose of anyone just as he pleases, and none has a right to complain or question him, even if the creature does not understand at the time why God permits certain afflictions to come. But thank God that Jehovah’s people now appreciate the issue and understand why they are permitted to suffer in this system of things!