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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: How Were the Stars to Be Used for Signs?

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Don Stewart
From the very beginning God wanted humanity to be a chronologer so that we may live orderly lives. The lights in the sky were to help humankind mark the times and seasons.

Then God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years (Genesis 1:14).

Astrological Signs?

The phrase for signs and seasons has been interpreted by some to mean astrological signs, or signs of the Zodiac. In ancient pagan thought the sun, moon, and stars were thought to control human destiny. This is not the idea here in Genesis. For one thing the use of astrological signs to guide one's life is universally condemned in Scripture. The prophet Isaiah said:

You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from these things that shall come upon you. Behold they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; it shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit beside (Isaiah 47:14,15).

Counsel Rejected

The prophet Daniel specifically rejected the counsel of the Babylonian astrologers. This is especially significant since Babylon was the cradle of ancient astrological worship.

Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days (Daniel 2:27,28).

God's Handiwork

The Bible says the stars are a testimony to the handiwork of God.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands (Psalm 19:1).

Creator Was Rejected

Unfortunately humans rejected the Creator and worshipped His creation instead. Paul, writing to the church at Rome, said that the people:

exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen (Romans 1:25).

Times And Seasons

The sun, moon and stars were given to man to regulate day and night as well as the seasons. They were signs by which a person could order his life as well as his labor. The psalmist wrote:

He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knows its going down. You make darkness and it is night, in which all the beasts of the forest creep about . . . Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening (Psalm 104:19,20,23).

In Job we read:

Do you know the ordinance of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth? (Job 38:33).


The Bible emphasizes that the lights in the sky were created to be signs. They were to mark the day from the night, to chronicle the months and the years. There is no evidence whatsoever that they were intended to refer to the astrological signs of the zodiac or to be used to control human destiny.

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