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The Immobile God
This section is taken from chapter 9 of Godstar
Dwardu Cardona, God Star, Trafford Publishing, Victoria, BC, Canada 2006

The Sabbath Star

In Chapter 4 we claimed[*] that the Hebrew name for the planet Saturn, that is Shabtai,[1] was responsible for the naming of the Sabbath, in Hebrew Shahhath, the Saturday of the Jews As we also noted in that same chapter, the word Shabbath is sometimes said to derive from the closely related shahath, which means "to repose" or "to rest."[2] This meaning, in turn, has been said to have arisen because Elohim rested from his work of Creation on that day.[3] What is indicated by this is that Elohim's rest came first, for which the Sabbath was then named. It seems, however, that there is more to this "resting" business than meets the eye. Or why would the planet in question have been named for that particular day. Thus also receiving the meaning of "rest"?

The connection of Saturn with the Creation is not restricted to Hebrew tradition. In Chapter 4, we also had occasion to mention a similar tradition as believed in by the Persians. We repeat that tradition here as recorded by Al-Biruni:

"On the 6th day of Farwardin, the day Khurdadh, is the great Nauroz, for the Persians a feast of great importance. On this day–they say–God finished the creation, for it is the last of the six days...On this day God created Saturn ..."[4]

What did the planet Saturn have to do with Creation or the resting of Elohim? Why was Saturn known as the Lord of the Sabbath?[5]

One of the strange things about the Sabbath is that it is the only day to which the Israelites gave a name. The rest of the days of the week were called by their ordinal numbers.[6] Why this exception? Why was Saturn of importance even to the ancient Hebrews[7]? Not that in later times, they were overly proud of this. In fact, as William Heidel informs us, they resented the identification of the Sabbath with Saturn's day for long afterwards?

That Shabtai, sometimes referred to as Kokab Sabet,[8] also called the Sabbath Star[9], meant "the resting Star or Planet" is well known.[10] In his attempt to connect the order of Creation, day by day, as described in the Book of Genesis, with the different planetary deities honored traditionally on the successive days of the seven-day week, Robert Gravy muddled the entire issue.[11] The only points of validity that he mentioned is the well known association of the Jewish Sabbath with Saturn and the fact that this planetary deity had long been known as the god of repose, that is of rest.[12] But, if we discount the derivation of the name Shabtai from the business of Elohim's rest after Creation, what can we offer by way of la explanation for this unusual characteristic? Or, why was the planet Saturn called the Resting Star or Planet?

The God of the Jews

The Israelite connection with the planet Saturn goes beyond the naming of the Sabbath after this planetary deity. Thus, for instance, when the prophet Amos was riling against the Israelites, he accused them of having carried images of a stellar deity in a tabernacle. The King James version of the passage in question is made to read:

"Have ye offered...sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves."[13]

This memory was still vivid in the days of the New Testament and is repeated in the Acts of the Apostles where the figure of Chiun is replaced with that of Remphan:

"...O ye house of Israel, have ye offered...slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them... [14]

This is in keeping with the Septuagint version of the same passage which reads:

"Have ye offered...victims and sacrifices, O house of Israel, forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Raephan, the images of them which ye made for yourselves."

The forty years in the wilderness alluded to in the above verses refer to the wandering of the Israelites following their departure, or exodus, from Egypt under Moses. Concerning the deity called Moloch we will offer nothing here, reserving the topic for a future work. Here I wish to concentrate on the god called Chiun in one version and Remphan/Raephan in the others. Who was this deity? In both Amos and Acts this god is alluded to as "the star of your god"–that is the star of the Israelites' god. But what star did Remphan personify?

In the Testament of Solomon, Remphan is rendered Raphan concerning whom Solomon was said to have built a temple in conjunction with one to Baal/Moloch.[15] The Testament of Solomon is of Jewish origin but, as Louis Ginzberg informs us, as we now have it, it is laden 'with many Christian layers."[16] This is noted here because the name Raphan (or Ramphan or Raephan) is unknown in Hebrew and must therefore have been introduced, or transliterated, by one of the Christian editors. Ginzberg was of the opinion that Raphan (or Rephaim) is a reminiscence of a Hebrew word meaning "the shades,"[17] but it is more than probable that the name Remphan is nothing but a mistransliteration into Greek of the same Chiun in the King James version of Amos.[18]

Jerome interpreted the star of Chiun as Lucifer[19] which is popularly, but erroneous believed to have stood for the planet Venus.[20] But as Martin Sieff correctly stated, Chiun was the Assyrian name for Saturn, the same as the Syriac Kewan (and the very Hebrew Khevan) [21]

One question that comes to mind at this point is: What were the Israelites doing running about the desert with the image of the Saturnian star in their tabernacle?

Let us be honest: Present Jewish and Christian sentiments notwithstanding, it has long been known that Saturn was the god of the Jews. In more recent years, for instance, Carl Jung knew very well that Saturn was the star of Israel.[22] Much earlier, Aurelius Augustin was more explicit when he informed his readers that the ancients considered the planet Saturn as the god of the Jews.[23] Throughout the Middle Ages, the Jews were largely known as the People of Saturn [24] (as so, incidentally, were the Scythians[25]). This belief, however, is much older than that since even the Roman historian Tacitus (c. A.D. 55-117) described the Jews as worshipping the planet Saturn as their god.[26]

Whether the tabernacle in question was the acclaimed one that Moses was said to have had constructed, and in which the famed ark of the covenant was housed, remains a question. This much, however, should be stated: While the tabernacle which Moses had had built is usually referred to as the Mishkan and/or the Ohel, the tabernacle mentioned in the Hebrew version of Amos is simply called sukot, the plural of suka, meaning "tents."


[1] W. A. Heidel, The Day of Yahweh (N. Y., 1929), p. 465.

[2] J. Strong, Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary (Madison, N. J., 1890), p. 112.

[3] Genesis 2:2.

[4] Al-Biruni (translated by E. C. sachau), The Chronology of Ancient Nations (London, 1879), p. 2(

[5] R. Klibansky et al., Saturn and Melancholy (London, 1964), p. 161.

[6] W. A. Heidel, op. cit., p. 437.

[7] Ibid.

[8] R. H. Stieglitz, "The Hebrew Names of the Seven Planets," Journal of Near Eastern Studio, 1980).

[9] W. A. Heidel, op. cit., p. 465.

[10] R. H. Stieglitz, loc. cit.

[11] R, Graves, The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth (N. Y., 1979),  p. 265.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Amos 5:25-26.
[14] Acts 7:42-43.

[15]  L. Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, Vol. IV (Philadelphia 1968), pp. 153-154.

[16] Ibid., Vol. VI, p. 292.

[17] Ibid.,p. 293.

[18] J. Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament (N. J., 1890), p. 63.

[19] See, I. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (N. Y., 1950), p. 176.

[20] Sec here, D. Cardona, "Morning Star," II, AEON IV:2 (August 1995), pp. 36 ff.

[21] J. Lewy, "The Old West Semitic Sun-God Hammu," Hebrew Union College Annual (Cincinnati, 1944), pp. 456-457.

[22] C. Jung, Symbols of Transformation (N. Y., 1976), p. 401.

[23] See the Index to E. Hoffman's edition of Augustine's De Civitate Dei (Vienna, 1899-1900).

[24] H. Lewy, "Origin and Significance of the Magen Dawid," Archiv Orientalni 18, Pt. 3 (1950), p. 360.

[25] I. Velikovsky, "On Saturn and the Flood," KRONOS V:1 (Fall 1979), p. 10.

[26] Tacitus, The Histories, V:iv

Site note insertions

[*] Another nocturnal feast ...is also held in some parts of India, when the thirteenth day of a  lunar fortnight  happens to fall on a Saturday. In Sanskrit the day of Saturday is called Shanivar which, Shani being Saturn, translates as "Saturn's Day."[55] Actually, Saturday was the day held sacred to Saturn among more than one ancient nation and, to this day, it continues to bear the planet's name not only in Sanskrit. To the Jews, Saturday is Shabbath (the Dabbath), which word is sometimes said to derive from the closely related Shabath, which means "to repose" or " to rest."[56]  In fact, however, the Sabbath is named in honor of Saturn which, in Hebrew, is called Shabtai.[57] The word Shabath–"to repose"–is then traceable to the same root, derived because Elohim was said to have rested from creation on that day.[58] In Italian, Saturday is rendered Sabato, derived from Hebrew through the Greek Sabbaton. In Maltese, Saturday is called Sibt, derived from the same Semitic root. The English name Saturday is itself a contraction of the Saxon Satur's day (or Daeg) from the Latin Saturni Dies. Even in Indo-China, and more specifically Cambodia, Saturday is named in honor of Prah Sau, which is the planet Saturn.[59]

[55] Hindi-English edition of Bhargavas Standard Illustrated Dictionary of the Hindi Language (Varanasi, 1960), p. 1017.   V. S. Apte, The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary. (Delhi), 1975, entry under "Shanivar."
[56] J. Strong, Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, (Madison N.J, 1890), p. 112
[57] W.A. Heidel, op. cit., p, 465.
[58] Genesis 2:2.
[59] C. H. Marchal, "The Mythology of Indo-China and Java," Asiatic Mythology, (N.Y,, 1972), p. 198.


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