It’s winter here in New Zealand and Matariki, the Maori New Year. Matariki is marked by the appearance of the Pleiades Star Cluster. In the night sky, the Pleiades can be spotted with the naked eye as a dim cluster of stars above Orion’s left shoulder.
For the Maori, Matariki literally means “eyes of God” (Mata Ariki) or “little eyes” (Matariki.) They’re not far wrong, for the prophet Zechariah, writing about his vision of a lampstand with seven lamps, tells of the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth.
“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” Zechariah 4:10
Job 38:31-32 declares that only the Lord can ‘bind the chains of the beautfiul Pleiades’ and bring them forth in their season.
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion’s belt? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Job 38:31-32
Interestingly, the Pleiades are gravitationally bound together in a cluster. How did Job know that?
The Pleiades star cluster means ‘the congregation of the judge or ruler.’
In the first chapter of Revelation, the Pleiades are not mentioned – but Jesus reveals himself holding seven stars in His right hand whilst standing amongst seven churches, which are portrayed as the seven lampstands.
“He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” Revelation 1:16
He explains the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
“The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:20
One star in the Pleiades is sometimes not visible leaving only six to be seen by the naked eye. Another interesting thing is that the Lord threatened to remove the Church of Ephesus’s lampstand from it’s place if it doesn’t repent and do the things it did at first. Revelation 2:5
The seven stars are in the constellation of Taurus. They roughly correspond to the shape of the seven churches which lay in front of the Taurus mountain range, a great mountain chain running parallel to the Mediterranean coast in what is now Turkey.
That might explain why the Lord wrote the letter to those churches and not the others. The seven churches include two comparatively small towns, Thyatira and Philadelphia, while larger churches are passed by.
Like the sanctuary Moses made, are the seven stars and seven churches a type and shadow of the congregations in heaven?
The stars are there to reveal light, to give knowledge. Each constellation tells us a story.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Silently, the night sky pours forth speech; night after night the constellations and stars reveal knowledge. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4
Although much meaning has been lost, the ancient language of the stars and constellations is still there, buried and fragmented in the legends of the world. It’s like a forgotten song which far off voices still sing.
The Pleiades and Orion are mentioned three times in the Bible – in Job 9:9, Job 38:31, and Amos 5:8. If they’re mentioned three times, it’s meant to get our attention.
Jesus is holding the seven stars, and God tells us in Amos 5:8 to seek Him.
“Seek him that made the seven stars and Orion, and turned the shadow of death into the morning, and made the day dark with night: that called for the waters of the sea, and poured them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name …” Amos 5:8 KJV