Which maketh Arcturus
By which is meant not a single star, but a collection of stars, as Bar Tzemach and Ben Melech, a constellation; hence we read of Arcturus and his sons, ( Job 38:32 ) . Aben Ezra understands it of the seven stars, but these are thought to be meant by the Pleiades, later mentioned; this constellation is about the Arctic or northern pole, in the tail of the Bear, appears in the beginning of September, and brings stormy weather, when winter is at hand F8:
Orion and Pleiades;
the former of these also is not a single star, but a constellation; by the help of a telescope no less than two thousand are numbered, and in Hebrew it is called "Cesil"; hence the month "Cisleu" has its name, which answers to part of November and part of December, at which time this constellation is seen, and is attended with stormy weather; hence Virgil calls it Nimbosus Orion F9: and the latter are what we call the Seven Stars, sometimes by writers called Vergiliae, because they appear in the spring; and have their name of Pleiades from sailing, because at this time of year mariners go out with their ships; though some say this constellation is not favourable to them, causing rains and tempests F11; these three divide the whole year:
and the chambers of the south:
the stars in the southern hemisphere, about the Antarctic, or southern pole; and called "chambers", as Aben Ezra observes, because hidden, and are not seen by those in the other hemisphere, as if they were in a chamber: now the making of these is rightly ascribed to God, who made all the stars, ( Genesis 1:16 ) ; though this may rather regard the continuance of them in their being, who calls them by name, brings out their host by number, directs their course, keeps them in their orbs, and preserves their influence.
F8 Sophoclis Oedipus, Tyran. ver. 1147.
F9 Aeneid. l. 1. Vid. Horat. Carmin. l. 3. Ode 27. Epod. 15.
F11 "----pleiadum choro Scindente nubes". Horat. Carmin. l. 4. Ode 14.