The Sign of Cancer, in the centre of the Sign there is a remarkably bright cluster of stars, so bright that they can be sometimes seen with the naked eye. It looks like a comet, and is made up of a great multitude of stars. Its ancient name has come down to us as Praesepe, which means a multitude, offspring. The brightest star is called Tegmine, means holding. The star in the lower large claw, is called Acubene, means the sheltering or hiding-place.
In Cancer we see it with reference to his redeemed. The three constellations develop the truth. What is now called Ursa Minor is the Lesser Flock; Ursa Major gives us The Sheepfold and the Sheep; while Argo, The Ship, shows the travelers and the pilgrims brought safely home, all conflict over.
Ursa Minor. The Little Bear - the lesser sheep-fold. A grievous mistake, or ignorant perversion of primitive truth, as shown in the ancient names of these two constellations. No bear was ever seen with such a tail! No one who had ever seen a bear would have called attention to a tail, such as no bear ever had, by placing in its very tip the most important, wondrous, and mysterious Polar Star, the central star of the heaven, round which all others revolve.
The brightest star, at the point of the tail, is the most important in the whole heaven. it is named Al Ruccaba, which means the turned or ridden on, and is today the Polar or central star, which does bnot revolve in a circle as does every other star, but remains, apparently, fixed in its position. But though the star does not revolve like the others, the central point in the heaven is very slowly but steadily moving. When these constellations were formed, the Dragon possessed this important point, and the star in Draco, marked this central point. But, by its gradual recession, that point is sufficiently near this star Al Reccaba, in the Lesser Sheepfold, for it to be what is called the Polar Star. The Polar Star has been removed from the Dragon, and is now in the Lesser Fold.
But, how could this have been known five or six thousand years ago? How could it have been known when it received its name, which means the turned or ridden on? That it was known is clear; so likewise was it made known in the written Word that the original blessing included not merely the multiplication of the seed of faithful Abraham, but it was then aded, “And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies” (Genesis 22:17).
Is not this the primitive truth of the Revelation? Will not this Lesser Fold be high, yea, the highest in position? The Polar Star has been removed from the Dragon, and is now in the Lesser Fold; and when the Dragon shall be cast down from the heaven, the Lesser Fold will be safely folded there. But this is the Lesser Sheepfold, which is compared “to the stars of heaven,” but there is the seed that is compared to “the sand of the sea”, the larger flock who will enjoy the earthly blessing also. Ursa Major (The Great Bear) The fold and the flock.
It is a large and important constellation, and it always presents a splendid appearance, and is perhaps, therefore, the best know of all the constellations. In the Book of Job 9:9; 38:31-32 it is mentioned under the name of Ash. “Canst thou guide Ash and her offspring?” which is rendered in the AV, “Arcturus and his sons.” The brightest star is named Dubhe, which means a herd of animals, or a flock, and gives its name to the whole constellation. The ancient Israelite commentators interpreted Ash as the seven stars of this constellation. There is not one discordant voice in the rich abundance of this testimony. We see only the innumerable seed gathered by him who scattered (Jeremiah 31:10). The prophecies of this gathering are as conspicuous in the Word of God as the “Seven Stars” in the sky. It is difficult even to make a selection from the wealth of such promises (Ezekiel 34:12-16). It is of this judgment with which this book, and indeed the whole Revelation, ends, in the next Sign, and final chapter, Leo.
But before we come to Leo, we have one more picture in the third constellation of this Sign, which combines the first two in one. Argo (The Ship) The pilgrims safe at home. Argo, it tells of that blessed home coming (Isaiah 35:10; 51:9-11; Jeremiah 31:11-12). The return of the great emigrant-ship (Argo) and all its company of travelers, for this is the meaning of the word Argo. It will indeed be a large vessel, the true Argo, with its company of travelers, “a great multitude which no man can number.” Its brightest star is called Canopus which means the possession of him who cometh. Is not all this exactly in harmony with the rest of this sign? Jeremiah 30:10-11; the whole chapter of Isaiah 60 should be read if we wish to understand the great teaching of this Sign of Cancer.