The Witness of the Stars by: E. W Bullinger
We see the true Issachar bowing his shoulder to bear. He could say, "My soul is bowed down" (Psa 57:6). They look for a heavenly home, and in the many mansions of the Father's house they shall find eternal rest.
Here we see that sheltering home to which the names of these stars point; where the assembled thousands (Ma'alaph) shall be received into the true Klaria, even the "everlasting habitations."
Cancer (the Crab)
With regard to the sign of CANCER, one thing is certain, that we have not got the original picture, or anything like it. It does not agree with the names either of its three constellations which have come down to us, or of its stars. In the ancient Denderah Zodiac it is represented as a Scarabaeus, or sacred beetle. * In the Zodiac of Esneh and in a Hindu Zodiac (400 BC) it is the same. * The Scarabaeus, passing its early existence as a worm of the earth, and thence issuing as a winged denizen of heaven, was held sacred by the Egyptians as an emblem of the resurrection of the body.The Denderah name is Klaria, or the cattle-folds, and in this name we have the key to the meaning of the sign, and to the subject of this chapter. The Arabic name is Al Sartan, which means who holds or binds, and may be from the Hebrew to bind together (Gen 49:11). There is no ancient Hebrew word known for the crab. It was classed with many other unclean creatues, and would be included in the general term "vermin." The Syriac, Sartano, means the same. The Greek name is Karkinos, which means holding or encircling, as does the Latin, Cancer, and hence is applied to the crab. In the word Khan, we have the traveller's rest or inn; while Ker or Cer is the Arabic for encircling. The ancient Akkadian name of the month is Su-kul-na, the seizer or possessor of seed. The sign contains 83 stars, one of which is of the 3rd magnitude, and seven are of the 4th magnitudeand the remainder of inferior magnitudes. 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. Modern astronomers have called it the Beehive. But its ancient name has come down to us as Praesepe, which means a multitude, offspring. The brightest star, z (in the tail), is called Tegmine, holding. The star a (or a1 and a2), in the lower large claw, is called Acubene, which, in Hebrew and Arabic, means the sheltering or hiding-place. Another is named Ma'alaph (Arabic), assembled thousands; Al Himarein (Arabic), the kids or lambs. North and south of the nebula Praesepe are two stars, which Orientalists speak of by a name evidently of some antiquity. Asellus means an Ass, and one was called Asellus Boreas, the northern Ass; while the other, Asellus Australis, is the southern Ass. * * The Ass was the emblem of Typhon, the king who smites or is smitten.This connects it with the Tribe of Issachar, who is said to have borne upon the Tribal standard the sign of two asses. This is doubtless the reference in Jacob's blessing (Gen 49:11, RV):
"Issachar is a strong ass, Couching down between the sheepfolds; And he saw a resting-place that it was good; And the land that it was pleasant; And he bowed his shoulder to bear, And became a servant under task work."
Have we not here the gathering up of the teaching of this sign--
Messiah's redeemed possessions held fast.