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Genesis 1:14-19 DAY 4
Fixed Stars

In the ANE stars that were always seen in the sky were called "fixed stars" or "immutable or imperishable stars." Today we would call them the "circumpolar stars." These are the stars closest to the North pole axis that never set, but are always seen circling around the North star. In Job 22:12 these circumpolar stars are called the "highest stars." This assumes that the sky is dome shaped with the highest stars directly above (TDOT, VII, 81). Evening is when the first stars come out (Nehemiah 4:21).

A star can also symbolize a ruler in the ANE. Balaam’s oracle tells of a star coming out of Israel to crush Moab and Edom (Number 24:15-19). This was fulfilled by David, yet the Targum Onkelos interprets the star as the coming Messiah. The "little horn" in Daniel 8:10 most likely refers to Antiochus Epiphanes who is said to cast down some of the stars of heaven which refers to his military victories over other rulers especially the Jews.

In Egyptian the northern circumpolar stars are called "imperishable" (Breasted, 1988, II.318; III.378; IV.852; COS, 41). In Ugaritic wlkbkbm kn(m) means "and for the fixed stars" (Gibson, 126; COs, 281).

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