I. Background

 

On Av 29, 5759 (August 11, 1999), there will be a total eclipse of the sun, visible over Jerusalem. This is just two days before the beginning of the month of Elul. On Elul 1, we begin a forty (40) day period of repentance, culminating in Yom HaKippurim, The Day of Atonement. The last ten days are known as the awesome days, or Days of Awe. These ten days begin with Rosh Hashanah (Yom Teruah), The Feast of Trumpets. So, HaShem[1] is going to warn the nations, concerning Jerusalem, just before we begin the intense time of repentance. Recall that the eclipse of the sun is a bad omen for the Gentiles, the nations:

 

Succah 29a It was taught: R. Meir said, Whenever the luminaries are in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel since they are inured to blows. This may be compared to a school teacher who comes to school with a strap in his hand. Who becomes apprehensive? He who is accustomed to be daily punished. Our Rabbis taught, When the sun is in eclipse it is a bad omen for idolaters; when Lavanah (Moon) is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel, since Israel reckons by Lavanah (Moon) and idolaters by the sun. If it is in eclipse in the east, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the east; if in the west, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the west; if in the midst of heaven it is bad omen for the whole world. If its face is red as blood, [it is a sign that] the sword is coming to the world; if it is like sack-cloth, the arrows of famine are coming to the world; if it resembles both, the sword and the arrows of famine are coming to the world. If the eclipse is at sunset calamity will tarry in its coming; if at dawn, it hastens on its way: but some say the order is to be reversed. And there is no nation which is smitten that its gods are not smitten together with it, as it is said, And against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments. But when Israel fulfill the will of the Omnipresent, they need have no fear of all these [omens] as it is said, Thus saith HaShem,' Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the nations are dismayed at them, the idolaters will be dismayed, but Israel will not be dismayed.

 

So, on Elul one, I’d suggest that you begin repenting. Go to your neighbors and brothers and confess your wrongs against them, and beg them for forgiveness. We can expect HaShem to forgive us only when we have made things right between ourselves and our fellow man. The only way to be ready for the judgment of Yom Teruah is to repent and return to HaShem.

 

Yom Teruah is the birthday of the world and day six of creation. It is the day when Adam was created. As such, this day contains the spiritual energy of creation. If we prepare ourselves correctly, and behave as we should on this day, then we have the opportunity to be born again. We have the opportunity to begin a new year infused with the energy of creation! This day is also known as Judgment Day. The whole world will be judged on this day, for the coming year. The books of the living and the dead will be opened. This is truly an awesome day!

 

Revelation 12:1 has fascinated Bible scholars for many years. A few years ago, I was examining the stars in the heaven with an astronomy software program which allows me to simulate what the stars will look like at any day, at any time, and at any place. I set the date for Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets, September 12, 1999. I set the place to be Jerusalem, and I set the time to be just after sunset. The following picture was presented to me:


 

 

The constellation of Bethulah (Virgo) on September 12, 1999

 


Revelation 12:1-5 "A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days."

 

When I first saw the above picture, I immediately thought of the Revelation 12 sign. This celestial picture is for Yom Teruah, The Feast of Trumpets in 1999, which is 5760 on the Biblical Anno Mundo (A.M.) scale. This sign occurs on Shabbat, the Sabbath (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown). The above picture does not show Draco, the Dragon, because it would make the picture curved and hard to relate to. If you had a larger picture you would see that Draco is poised above the woman, waiting to snatch the man-child. The moon is poised in the "birth canal" of the young woman who is lying down with her feet in the air. The word "Bethulah" is in the location where her head should be. The constellation of Coma Bernice is the crown of twelve stars above the young woman's head.

 

REMEMBER:

 

Remember that God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Bereshit (Genesis) 1:14

 

This sign, as depicted above, is how it looks from Jerusalem! Remember that HaShem's view is always from Jerusalem. Notice that the Chamah (Sun) is below the horizon so that this sign can be seen. This sign would not be visible if the sun were to be above the horizon. Because the sun is below the horizon, the constellation is literally clothed with the sun!

 

CONSIDER:

 

Please consider this paper as interesting speculation. Not as gospel truth. I do not yet know if this is how God will display this sign. It does seem to suggest that it might be the sign spoken of in Revelation 12:1-5. Those who celebrate Rosh Chodesh (the new moon) have learned that Messiah is represented by Lavanah (Moon) – Be aware, though, that the moon is also an Islamic symbol prominently displayed on many of their flags. The celebration for Rosh Chodesh, the new moon, includes the announcement of the new moon with the words:

 

David, King of Israel lives, lives and endures!

 

Lavanah, the moon, represents Mashiach, Messiah in this unique astronomical event. This particular positioning of the mazzaroth (constellation) Bethulah, the young woman, about to give 'birth' to the moon (the Mashiach), has never occurred before, and will never occur again, due to the precession of the equinoxes. Actually, if you believe that the earth is older than 26,000 years, then that is when this sign would have last occurred. If you believe that the earth will endure for another than 26,000 years, then that is when this sign will next occur.

 

The sun is just below the horizon such that Bethulah is 'clothed' with the sun. The sun must be below the horizon in order to have any possibility of seeing this 'sign'. The moon is 'new' and after 'birth', the moon will move directly to the feet of Bethulah (Virgo, the young woman) within 24 hours. Over Bethulah's head is the mazzaroth (constellation) known as 'Bernice's hair'. This is the crown of twelve stars! Higher and above her legs, we will find Draco, the Dragon, poised to devour Bethulah's child.

 

Yom Teruah, The Feast of Trumpets, 5760, falls on Shabbat (Sabbath). This means that if the Temple is standing, or the altar is built, then we will be offering the following korbanot (sacrifices):

 

The Morning sacrifice.

The Shabbat (Sabbath) sacrifices.

The Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) sacrifices.

The Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) festival sacrifices.

The Evening sacrifice.

 

On this day, and this day alone is it possible to offer all of these sacrifices!

 

Yom Teruah is the only festival that no man knows the day or the hour in which it begins. This is due to the fact that it begins on Rosh Chodesh (The New Moon). The new moon was sanctified when two witnesses see the new moon and attest to it before the Bet Din Gadole (Sanhedrin) in the Temple. This sanctification could happen during either of two days, depending on when the witnesses come. Since no one knew when the witnesses would come, no one knew when the Yom Teruah would start.

 

So, what does this sign mean? I think that it is important to note that the emphasis is on the woman, not on the man child. The sign seems to be telling us what the woman is going to do. The obvious question, then, is: Who is the woman?

 

For at least 2000 years, Jews have been reading special Torah readings with an accompanying reading from the Prophets called the Haftorah. The Torah Reading which is read when Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbat is Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:9-15. The Haftorah is:

 

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 66:1-24 This is what HaShem says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares HaShem. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a man, and whoever offers a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig's blood, and whoever burns memorial incense, like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations; So I also will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring upon them what they dread. For when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened. They did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me." Hear the word of HaShem, you who tremble at his word: "Your brothers who hate you, and exclude you because of my name, have said, 'Let HaShem be glorified, that we may see your joy!' Yet they will be put to shame. Hear that uproar from the city, hear that noise from the temple! It is the sound of HaShem repaying his enemies all they deserve. "Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says HaShem. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God. "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance." For this is what HaShem says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem." When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of HaShem will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown to his foes. See, HaShem is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword HaShem will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by HaShem. "Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable things--they will meet their end together," declares HaShem. "And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory. "I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations--to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to HaShem--on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels," says HaShem. "They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of HaShem in ceremonially clean vessels. And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites," says HaShem. "As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares HaShem, "so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says HaShem. "And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."

 

From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says HaShem.[2]

 

This passage from Yeshayah (Isaiah) 66, seems to be the closest match, in all of the Scriptures, to our passage in Revelation 12. I think that it is more than a coincidence that HaShem (HaShem is a Hebrew word meaning "The Name", it is how pious Jews refer to the yod-hay-vav-hay, the tetragrammaton, Name of God) chose this reading from the Prophets to be read specifically when Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbat; as it will on Yom Teruah 5760 (September 12, 1999). HaShem, obviously, chose the readings so that His people would be informed before He takes any action. For those who are doing the right things, at the right time, and in the right way, this event will be no surprise. As the people finish reading the Torah portion, the Haftorah portion, and the readings from the Tehillim (Psalms), they will all be standing outside, looking at the moon as they recite the following blessing:

 

Kiddush Levanah (The Blessing Over the New Moon):

 

Blessed are You, HaShem our God, King of the universe whose word created the heavens, whose breath created all that they contain. Statutes and seasons He set for them, that they should not deviate from their assigned task. Happily, gladly they do the will of their Creator, whose work is dependable. To the moon He spoke: renew yourself, crown of glory for those who were borne in the womb, who also are destined to be renewed and to extol their Creator for His glorious sovereignty. Blessed are You, Lord who renews the months.

 

David, King of Israel, lives and endures.

 

The worshippers will then exchange these greetings:

 

Shalom Alechem (peace be with you!)

Alekhem shalom (peace be unto you!)

 

The Torah portion, with it's haftorah from the prophets, that is read on this days is:

 

September 12, 1999 corresponds to: Sunday, Tishri 2, 5760

 

Torah: Bereshit (Genesis) 22:1-24 and Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:1-6

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 22:1-24 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you." Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of HaShem called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place HaShem Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of HaShem it will be provided." The angel of HaShem called to Abraham from heaven a second time And said, "I swear by myself, declares HaShem, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba. Some time later Abraham was told, "Milcah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor: Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel (the father of Aram), Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel." Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milcah bore these eight sons to Abraham's brother Nahor. His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also had sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maacah.

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:1-6 "'On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets. As an aroma pleasing to HaShem, prepare a burnt offering of one young bull, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect. With the bull prepare a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; with the ram, two-tenths; And with each of the seven lambs, one-tenth. Include one male goat as a sin offering to make atonement for you. These are in addition to the monthly and daily burnt offerings with their grain offerings and drink offerings as specified. They are offerings made to HaShem by fire--a pleasing aroma.

 

Haftorah: Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 31:1-19

 

Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 31:1-19 "At that time," declares HaShem, "I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be my people." This is what HaShem says: "The people who survive the sword will find favor in the desert; I will come to give rest to Israel." HaShem appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Young woman Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit. There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, 'Come, let us go up to Zion, to HaShem our God.'" This is what HaShem says: "Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, 'HaShem, save your people, the remnant of Israel.' See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son. "Hear the word of HaShem, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: 'He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.' For HaShem will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of HaShem--the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty," declares HaShem. This is what HaShem says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more." This is what HaShem says: "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded," declares HaShem. "They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your future," declares HaShem. "Your children will return to their own land. "I have surely heard Ephraim's moaning: 'You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return, because you are HaShem my God. After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.'

 

Conclusions

 

I think it will be impossible for HaShem’s people to miss the obvious sign which will be right in front of their eyes! It won't be a matter of not noticing it, or forgetting to look up at the proper time. No, His people will be obeying His command! This will put His people, His Torah and Haftorah, and His sign all together at just the right time, in just the right way, with all the right words to make this sign communicate His plan. All of HaShem’s plans are communicated this way. Those who are obedient will know and understand.

 

So, I think this portion from Yeshayahu (Isaiah) is indicating that the woman represents the people who come forth from Zion, her true citizens. The child is probably the Messiah because He will be ruling with a rod of iron (when we talk about “under her feet, we may see the anti-messiah being initially dominated by the woman). The child, though, is in heaven while the woman flees into the wilderness to be protected for 1260 days.

 

This sign, in Revelation 12, seems to be the signal that the children of HaShem, living in Judea, are to flee into the wilderness to begin a period of 1260 days of nourishment and protection by HaShem. Be aware that there is no immediate time when things must start, though things should start soon after this sign.

 

It is extremely important for us to be in right standing before HaShem. I can not emphasize this enough. We must do teshuva (repentance, returning to the state we had in the Garden of Eden). We must beg forgiveness from our brothers and from HaShem. If we are not in the right state, we will be ashamed when we stand before HaShem for judgment. It is the mark of HaShem’s people that they do teshuva before Yom Teruah so that they can stand tall when we crown the King of Kings!

 

NOTE:

For more information on the liturgy of Rosh Chodesh, look at the Artscroll Siddur. This publication is available from your local library, or from Mesorah Publications at 1-800-MESORAH.

 

For more information on the liturgy of Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashana), look at the Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashana. This publication is available from your local library, or from Mesorah Publications at 1-800-MESORAH.

 

 


This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address: gkilli@aol.com

Web page: http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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Send comments to Greg Killian at his email address: gkilli@aol.com

 



[1] HaShem is Hebrew for “The Name”. It is how pious Jews refer to the YHVH name of God.

[2] Haftarah Rosh Chodesh - Yeshayahu 66 : 1-24

 

When Rosh Chodesh occurs on Shabbat, the regular Haftorah is replaced by a special Haftorah - the last chapter of the Book of Yeshayahu (Isaiah). This chapter was chosen because of its penultimate verse which links Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh: "And it shall be that, from New Moon to New Moon, and from Shabbat to Shabbat, all flesh shall come and prostrate themselves before Me, said HaShem. (66:23) This verse is also repeated after concluding the reading of the Haftorah.

 

Every New Moon is a summons to Israel to renew and rejuvenate itself. Every Shabbat is a call to show practical proof of our homage to HaShem by ceasing from melacha (prohibited work). But there will come a time when not only Israel will be called to offer their willing service to HaShem..."And I will establish a distinctive sign amongst them and send refugees from them to the nations to ...Yavan, to the most distant lands that have not heard My Fame, nor have seen My Glory, and they will inform the nations of My Glory." (66:19)