The Mystery of the Golden Calf

By on February 28, 2011

On June 8, 2011, the day the Jews observe Pentecost (Shavuot), the sun will rise at daybreak directly in the center of the horns of Taurus the Bull. Seeing this in my astronomy computer program reminded me of the Apis bull in Egyptian folklore. Then, it dawned upon me that statues of Apis can be seen with the sun disc and a Cobra snake between its horns. Can there be a connection between the Apis bull calf and Israel’s golden calf? Is the sun disc between the horns of Apis a time marker?

Did you ever wonder why the Israelites built a golden calf? Why not a golden fish? Or lamb? Or lion? Or some other symbol in the Zodiac? Why a calf? I think the answer lies in the religion of the Egyptians. Their calendar year revolved around the observance of the constellations and their order. The Egyptian Zodiac began with Virgo and ended with Leo as can be seen in their Sphinx, with its head of a woman and body of a lion. The Sphinx faces the rising sun, and is, therefore, a time marker. The fact that it faced East, fixed each month as a time when the sun would rise in a different constellation. Egypt’s year began in what we call September, when the sun would rise in Virgo. The end of the year came in August, when the sun rose in Leo. Each month would see the sun rising in one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

The Egyptian pantheon of gods included 44 male gods and 32 female goddesses.

Left to right: the Egyptian god, Osiris, lord of the underworld, the equivalent of the biblical Satan; Horus, their child, with a snake on his forehead; and Isis, his mother, sporting the horns of the Apis bull, with a sun disc between the horns and a snake on her forehead. Horus could represent the Antichrist, “seed of the serpent.”

They were generally connected to the 48 symbols in the Zodiac. They also worshipped gods who lived in the Nile River, the Great Sea that lay to their north, and the regions of hell beneath the earth. They had turned every Zodiac symbol into a god. Instead of worshipping the God of Creation, they worshipped the dark forces. Their religion was the very epitome of what the Bible calls idolatry. It is no wonder then, that God’s first two commandments were declarations against making or worshipping images like those “in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Ex. 20:2).

The Exodus

Egyptian Apis Bull Idol

The story begins with Moses and the childrenofIsraeleatingthePassovermeal on Saturday night and leaving the land of Egypt on Sunday morning, April 11, 1491 B.C. Moses appeared to the Israelites as a savior figure, and they followed the cloud that had a fiery glow about it. For all they knew, the Egyptian sun god, Ra, might be in that glowing cloud. The Egyptian counterpart to Moses was their savior god, Horus, son of Isis. The journey took about six weeks. At sunrise on the 22nd day of their journey (May 3) the sun moved to a position between the horns of Taurus the Bull. As we shall see, this was a very important occasion in the religion of the Egyptians and, perhaps, for the Israelites who had adopted the pagan practices of Egypt. After all, they had lived in Egypt for over two hundred years, and were well acquainted with the Egyptian religion. In late May, the Israelites set up camp at the foot of Mount Sinai. God called unto Moses out of a thick cloud and instructed him to have the people sanctify themselves, wash their clothes and be ready to meet with God on the third day.


On Sunday, May 31, 1491 BC, the day that later became Pentecost (Exodus 19), God came down upon Mount Sinai in a huge display of glory and verbally delivered the Ten Commandments to the people. Afterward, Moses was called up into the mountain, where he remained for forty days. During that time, the people brought their gold to Aaron and demanded that he make a golden calf. This was a direct violation of the first two commandments. So, why did they want to make a golden calf? The answer can be found in the stories of four central characters in the Egyptian pantheon — Draco, Taurus, Virgo and her newborn son.

Hathor, the Cow Goddess and Isis, Queen of Heaven

Egypt had a cow goddess by the name of Hathor. She was the mother of Apis, and the animal equivalent of Isis, who took on a human form. Isis/Hathor was worshipped as the queen of heaven and provider of the Egyptian throne, along with its authority for the pharaoh. In fact, the pharaoh was considered to be the incarnation of Horus, son of Isis and Osiris. Isis was seen in the Zodiac as Virgo, the virgin, holding her son, Horus, in her lap, and sporting the horns of the Apis bull with the sun disc on her head. She was also depicted with a large Cobra snake (representing her husband, Osiris, lord of the underworld) on her forehead. Note that her son, Horus, also has a small Cobra on his forehead. This makes Horus/Pharaoh, son of Osiris, equivalent to the “seed of the serpent.” To me, this could be a timed prophecy of when the Egyptians expected the arrival of their savior/deity. I think they expected him to come when the sun was between the horns of the bull.

The goddess, Isis, holding her son, Horus.

The Apis Bull and Horus

In Egyptian astrology, Taurus was thought to be the Apis bull. He was the animal equivalent of Horus, son of Isis by her brother/husband, Osiris. As the story goes, Osiris was the lord of the underworld, the character who represents Satan in Christian theology. The Apis bull is seen in many pictographs of ancient Egypt with a disc of the sun between his horns. A serpent (Uraeus) also sits atop the head of Apis in front of the sun disc. This serpent is also prominent on the headdress of the pharaoh, being the symbol of the pharaoh’s parent deity.

At the Egyptian temple, Apis was used as an oracle. His movements were interpreted as prophecies. His breath was believed to cure disease, and his presence blessed those around with virility. He was given a window in the temple through which he could be seen, and on certain holidays was led through the streets of the city, bedecked with jewelry and flowers.

Pentecost, 2011

This coming June 8, 2011, the day when the Jews celebrate Pentecost (Shavuot), the sun will be exactly between the horns of Taurus. So, what are we to make of all this? We can only speculate, but, in the days following their encounter with God, the Israelites made a golden representation of the Apis bull. Maybe they wanted to build the golden calf in order to bring Moses back down from Mount Sinai, or, at least, to find out if he was dead? After all, Apis represented the Egyptian king/ pharaoh. Furthermore, Moses had been raised in the palace of the pharaoh, and could have been the heir apparent of the Egyptian king, had he not killed an Egyptian and fled into the land of Midian some forty years before.

On the other hand, maybe these Egyptian icons represented the coming of the Antichrist, the “seed of the serpent.” The biblical narrative sets forth a prophetic scenario that pits the seed of the woman against the seed of the serpent. Satan intends to mimic the Divine plan by offering his son to sit upon the throne of a world government. As Jesus was born of a virgin, the Antichrist could be born of a harlot. And, who knows, the Antichrist might be revealed soon — shortly after we ascend into the heavenly counterpart of Sinai.

Just below the feet of Taurus lays Eridanus — the “river of fire,” flowing from the raised foot of Orion. It runs across the heavens toward the south. In the river are several named stars: Archernar means “the afterpart of the river;” Cursa means “bent down;” and Zourac means “flowing.” It speaks of the final judgment upon the Earth by fire. Taurus opens the final act in this great drama of the ages flowing out upon a starlit stage — the panorama of the night sky.

Close to the “river of fire” is Lepus. In modern star charts it is pictured as a rabbit, but in the most ancient Egyptian Zodiac, it was pictured as a snake. It is located just below Orion, the glorious prince who crushes the head of Lepus, the serpent. There is a star in Orion’s raised foot called Rigel, meaning “the foot that crushes.” Lepus reminds us of the Cobra centered on the foreheads of Apis, Isis and Horus. All of the characters are present to launch the Tribulation Period. The question is, “How soon will the prophecy come to pass?” Will the world be engulfed in a nuclear war soon? Will the Antichrist, seed of the serpent, be revealed in the months ahead? If so, then the Rapture must occur before Divine judgment falls. The Pleiades, a group of stars in the shoulder of Taurus meaning “congregation of the judge,” represents the Church. Be sure to read the story on The Gospel in the Stars — from Taurus to Leo on page 33 of this magazine.

In this generation, Christians have been looking and longing for the Rapture of the Church. And the Jewish rituals surrounding Pentecost certainly touch upon the concept that the Rapture could happen around that time. No one can know for sure, but, at least, we can keep looking up.