Our Great Seal, All Seeing Eye, Book by E Raymond Capt
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3) “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”(Ephesians 4:13) “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2) “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1Peter 2:9) “judgment must begin at the house of God:” (1 Peter 4:17)
Our Great Seal of the United States of America
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“Our Great Seal”
The following is taken from portions of “Our Great Seal” by E. Raymond Capt M.A., A.I.A. (Archaeological Institute of America), F.S.A. (Fellow-Society of Antiquaries (Scotland).
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During this time of confusion I thought you might like this information. My name is Jim
Take out of your wallet, or go find a $1 bill. Put it if front of you so that the Great Seal is facing you. During these times of mass confusion around the world, use this to remind yourself that God is in control.
The Great Seal of the United States of America is the symbol of our Nation’s Independence. Its design constitutes our National Arms. As the National Arms, the Seal states symbolically the principles which animated the founders of our Republic. Today those principles are being forgotten. Because they have been neglected, America is fast losing sight of the two greatest forces that motivated our Founding Fathers – Christianity and Patriotism. From these two principles sprang our national constitutional laws, freedom of speech and worship, equality and fraternity.
Without Christianity and Patriotism, America can lose her place of leadership in the family of nations – perhaps, even her freedom. To avert that danger, we must go back to the fundamentals of true Americanism, clearly set forth in the symbolism of the Great Seal of the United States. America has a Destiny and to fully understand this Destiny one must recognize that our nation and its armorial insignia were not evolved by chance.
A “Coat of Arms” of a family or a nation is never taken lightly. Much thought is given to the design and every detail is considered at length; the rich traditions of the past, the hopes of the future, ancestry, and Faith. All these things and more, play a part in its design. The Great Seal of the United States is no exception. Its emblazoned facts bristle with symbolic significance. Symbolism in not only natural and general, but Christ Himself taught by symbols – to quote the Scriptures, “…without a parable (or symbol) spoke He not to them.”
Our ancestors chose emblems for our Coat of Arms that were natural and of immediate significance to them, as well as their hopes for the future. They envisioned a “New World Order” (God’s Order) based on the principles of Christian brotherhood, where all people have equal rights to, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” They planned well and wisely and were undoubtedly influenced to no small degree (whether they knew it or not) by the All-wise, overruling Divine Providence.
Glossary of Terms
The following glossary of heraldic terms are used in the description of the Great Seal of the United States of America. Argent – silver or white.
Armorial achievement – a (whole) coat of arms. Azure -blue.
Banded – encircled with a band or riband.
Bearing – applicable to any single charge or heraldic device.
Charges – the bearings and emblems of Heraldry.
Chief – upper part of a shield, occupying 1/3 thereof.
Crest – an ornament for the head.
Dexter – right hand side of the design (not of the observer).
Displayed – applied to any bird of prey with its wings expanded.
Escutcheon – shield.
Field – whole surface of the escutcheon or shield upon
which the charges or bearings are depicted.
Glory – a series of rays surrounding or issuing from a
charge or ordinary (a common bearing bounded by strait
Gules – red.
Motto – a word, saying or sentence borne on a scroll under the coat of arms and sometimes over the crest.
Or – metal gold.
Paleway (Paly) – bands placed vertically on the face of a shield.
Pileus – cap of Liberty.
Proper – applicable to all animals, trees, vegetables,
etc., when borne of their natural color.
Scroll – one of the ornaments which may accompany the
shield, usually bearing a motto.
Sinister – left hand side of the design (not of the observer).
Supporter – a figure of a living creature (although it may be mythical) represented as holding up or standing
beside the shield.
The national Arms displays, as its central figure, the American bald eagle with a shield of 13 red and white paleways banded across the top with a blue chief (band). From the eagle’s beak flutters a scroll bearing, in 13 letters, the motto, “E. Pluribus Unum.” in the eagle’s right talon is an olive branch with 13 leaves and 13 berries. In the left talon is carried 13 arrows with 13 feathers. 13 in Biblical numerics denotes rebellion. Here we have the 13 colonies that rebelled against the tyranny of the king of England.
The devises making up our National Arms, are in order of their importance, as follows: 1. The Eagle, 2. The Escutcheon, 3. The Scroll, 4. The Motto, 5. The Olive-branch, 6. The bundle of Arrows. We shall examine these six heraldic elements separately.
1. The Eagle.
The American Bald Eagle or white-headed eagle is the strongest and most courageous member of the Aquila (Leucocephalus) family of Falcons. Full grown, its height is about 3 feet. It is of a glossy brown-ash color with head and tail white; iris white, over which is a prominence covered with yellow skin; its beak and cere are a deep yellow, as are the legs and feet; talons black. Nature has endowed the Bald Eagle with great strength and powerful wings, extending seven feet, more or less. The eagle (in heraldry) is accounted one of the most noble figures in armory and according to authorities in this science, “ought to be given to one but such greatly excel in the virtues of generosity and courage…” (C.A.L. Totten) The eagle on metals (and so on dies) is a symbol of Divinity and Providence.” It was also an ancient symbol of spiritual vision.
In American heraldry, the Eagle symbolizes the “people of the United States, ” who, speaking with sovereign voice in the Preamble to their Constitution, expressly show themselves to constitute the government with power inherent in themselves alone to “ordain and establish” its form. (Preamble: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”)
The Eagle first appears in American heraldry upon the flag of Washington’s Life Guard, with the shield upon its breast. It was employed by William Barton (son of Rev. Thomas Barton, Rector of St. James Episcopal Church of Philadelphia) in one of his early designs for the Seal. It owes its central prominence, Upon the arms, to Secretary Thomson’s genius in associating all the best elements into one harmonious whole, whose heraldic accuracy was finally completed by Barton.
In Scriptures, the eagle is declared one of the loftiest emblems of nationality. (Ezek. 17:3-7). Deut.28:49 refers to its swiftness. According to Audubon (the American naturalist) the eagle can sail along with broad extended wings and then ascend until it disappears from view without any apparent motion, then from the greatest height, descend upon its quarry with a rapidity which cannot be followed by the eye.
Job. 39:29. refers to the eagle’s piercing eye. The eagle has a little eye but very quick sight and discerns its prey afar off. It is also supposed to be the only creature that can look directly into the sun. Job 39:30 refers to the eagle’s courage. Although formidable to all birds, the eagle does not prey on small birds and often leaves a part of its kill for other birds that follow. However, it does not permit other birds of prey to gain a tenure in the vicinity of its eyrie (nest). Thus it has its own peculiar doctrine against foreign encroachment, and is unrelenting in its strict enforcement. (Compare this with the principles of the “Monroe Doctrine.”)
Eagles usually mate once and build one eyrie that serves them for the remainder of their lives. Their eyries are built most frequently on some flat surface upon the highest and most precipitous rocks. (See Job 39:28.) It is with remarkable solicitude that the eagle protects the young eaglets, and teaches them to fly. In so doing, if the young birds become weary or fearful, it takes them upon its back, and carries them to safety.In allusion to this most beautiful trait we have the story of how God delivered His People out of Egypt and bore them upon “Eagles’ wings.” Ex.19:4)
Revelation 12:14 tells of the “woman” (Israel) fleeing into the wilderness and being given “Two wings of a great eagle.” Thus we find the eagle is a glowing emblem of Divine Providence that in so many instances prospered our undertakings. This unrivaled King of the Air is a worthy representation of the genius of American liberty. Self-reliant, he needs of heraldry no supporters and is most fittingly given the chief place upon our “Coat of Arms.”
2. The Escutcheon.
In heraldry there can be no coat of arms without a shield. It is the shield upon the existence of which everything else hangs or depends, and it is the shield which is of first and greatest importance. The shield or Escutcheon of the Great Seal carries 13 pale-ways, banded across the top in blue. Each stripe is of equal width – 7 of them white and 6 red. The official explanation of the shield’s symbolism is that the red and white stripes represent the original 13 colonies – supported by the blue chief which unites the whole and represents Congress. Barton explains: “The pales in the arms are kept closely united by the chief, and the latter depends on that union, and the strength resulting from it, for its support, to denote the Confederacy of the United States, and the preservation of their union through congress….The Escutcheon is borne on the breast of an American Eagle, without any Supporter, to denote that the United States of America ought to rely on their own virtue.”
The colors of the pale-way on the Escutcheon are taken from the American Flag – White, signifying “Purity and Innocence,” Red, signifying “Vigilance, Preservation and Justice.” It is to be noted that the colors as used on the Escutcheon are reverse from the order of the Flag, which begins in Red and ends in Red, showing an incomplete task. The Escutcheon begins in White and ends in White, showing a task completed. In symbolism, the Flag portrays National interests while the Escutcheon portrays spiritual interest.
The Scriptural significance of the colors used on the Escutcheon are: Red, the color of blood and signifies “Justice” or “Judgment,” reminding us of the blood of Christ shed for us. White, the color of snow, signifies “Purity” or “Holiness.” Blue, the color of the sky, signifies “Love” and because this is the color of the heavens it is also representative of God. Blue is also given in remembrance of Law. (Num.13:38,39)
From the earliest times the shield has been the most honored of defensive arms. In modern times, though its distinctive use has all but passed away, its deep significance has continued to remain among all peoples as the emblem of supreme protection. The Scriptures give glowing similes to shields withdrawn: “…who is like unto you O People saved by the LORD, the shield of your help” (Deut.33:29); “Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward;” (Gen.15:1) “For You, LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor will You compass him as with a shield;” (Psalms 5:12) “He shall cover you with His feathers and under his wings shall you trust: His truth shall be your shield and buckler.(Psalms 91:4) The Escutcheon of America is her glorious “Constitution,” but in a spiritual sense, symbolizes the “Shield of Faith” which protects our nation from the evil designs of our enemies: “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you all shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Eph.6:16). It is this “Shield” only, in a symbolical sense, the self reliant Eagle needs to guard its offspring.
3. The Scroll.
The placing of the Scroll in the beak of the Eagle was Secretary Thomson’s idea. This arrangement is not only unique but solitary in national heraldry. Generally they are placed either below the Escutcheon, or over the crest. Although the Statute makes no mention of its color, in the official blazonry of the State Department its tincture is gold and the motto is lettered thereon in a nondescript neutral tint.
Scrolls were originally the books of the ancients, and in heraldry this devise is the emblem of a “Book”. In former times all books were written upon rolls of linen papyrus, parchment or prepared lamb’s skins. In latter days when heraldry selected its symbols, the whole record of life was supposed to be worthily transcribed when on his Scroll a knight wrote his motto only. Often they were rolled up, for better preservation, and frequently, were of great import, as in prophetic writings, they were sealed and stored in a case. From this practice of rolling scrolls is derived the word “volume”, from the Latin word “volvere” meaning “to roll”. The Scroll borne by the American eagle is an unsealed one, rolled out, and its sentiments openly displayed.
4. The Motto – E. Pluribus Unum.
Mottoes in heraldry had their origin in the war cries of knights. They were also honorably borne in times of peace, and their sentiment was made a rule of life. So the National Motto of the Great American People, “E. Pluribus Unum”, born in the beak of the Eagle, is its war cry as well as its lofty guide to higher life.
Our now famous Motto was first proposed by Thomas Jefferson and was formally adopted by the committee of 1776. Inspiration for the Motto may have been the Continental Silver Dollar and the design upon one of the Colonial Bills then in circulation. Both carried the word, “We are One” more appropriately designed “One Out of Many” (made of constructed out of many). This gives National testimony to the fact that as a nation, we sprang out of many nations or tribes.
The theme of our National Motto can be readily seen in several noted passages in the Bible, where almost the exact phraseology is employed. One of them is particularly remarkable, not only for its use of this expression, but from its Anglo-Israelite sentiments, it refers to the stars of heaven so beautifully chosen for our Crest. It occurs in the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews from which we extract the following: “By faith Abraham, when he was called out to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing to which place he went….Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful Who had promised….Therefore sprang there even one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable….By faith, Jacob when he was dying blessed both sons of Joseph.” (Heb.11:8,11,12,21).
In the above passages, St.Paul informs us from whom “the many” who form his posterity (Abraham, the “one” and father of the faithful) are all descended. To make the reference clearer, he brings Ephraim and Manasseh into the promise by special mention. This is even clearer when the LORD appeared to Jacob, the second time at Bethel; blessing him and changing his name to “Israel”: “And God said to him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of you, and kings shall come out of your loins” (Gen.35:11).
Later, in the land of Egypt, the dying patriarch, Israel, blessed the sons of Joseph, transmitting intact to them, though they were merely children by adoption (his own sons Simeon and Reuben lost their birthright), the whole of the glorious promise: “The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth” (Gen.48:16). Jacob went out to prophetically bless the children of Manasseh that they should become the one “great” people and the children of Ephraim, “the multitude of nations” (Gen.48:19).
5. The Olive Branch.
The Olive Branch held in the Eagle’s dexter (right) talon consists of 13 leaves and 13 berries and the official explanation is that it signifies peace. This is taken from the Scriptures where the dove sent out by Moses returned with an olive leaf in its beak (Gen.8:11). The Statute is not quite explicit in regards to the arrangement of leaves and fruit; only stating it to be “all proper”. However, a letter from Tiffany & Co. shows there was a definite intention in the number of leaves and berries: The letter reads:
“We have used the classical olive and decided not to introduce the flowers; the fruit (13) and the 13 leaves speak for themselves in a very clear and positive manner, but the flowers, while they suggest a growing and fruitful future, would, as no special number could be used, give an uncertainty not desirable, as it would always be supposed that the particular number of flowers used must have a meaning while that meaning is not there”.
This shows that in making the final designs for the Obverse Seal, great care was taken to introduce nothing not truly significant. Another letter from Tiffany & Co. confirms this view, for it reads: “Mr. James H. Whitehouse was for many years prior to 1900 the chief designer of our House, and the details of the present seal were perfected and carefully drawn under his personal direction…The original details of the design were arranged and decided in 1782.”
In the Scriptures, the olive tree is one of the earliest and most sacred symbols of Nationality (Jer.11:16). Israel is likened to an “olive tree”, (Rom.11:1-36) its fruit that of “fatness” (Judg.9:9). Jeremiah speaks of the ten-tribed kingdom of Israel, after they were cast out of the land for sin and before they had found grace in the wilderness, in these words: “The LORD called your name, A green olive tree, fair and of goodly fruit…” (Jer.11:16). Hosea speaks of the Joseph-Israelitish nation: “I will be as the dew to Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon” (Hos.14:5,6). This prophetic blessing of “branches shall spread” is a continuation of Jacob’s blessing of Joseph which reads: “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall” (Gen.49:22). The founding of America is the fulfillment of this promise. Our people landed on these shores, as “branches running over a wall”, as they were guided and led by Divine Providence.
6. The Bundle of Arrows.
The bundle of arrows in the Eagle’s sinister (left) talon consists of 13 arrows fledged with 13 feathers and was first proposed by Secretary Thomson. As the case of the Olive Branch, the Statute is not specific as to details. No mention is made as to color or the direction the arrows should point. Since the Statute only states, “all proper”, they have universally been represented on the Arms with “points upward” and outward. This is their “proper” mode of display as (on the Seal) they represent the war power of the country, which is thus shown to be in a state of readiness and preparation.
The arrows are most appropriately given the secondary or sinister place in the grasp of the Eagle’s talon. America prefers peace to war. We offer first, the right hand of friendship. However, we are prepared for conflict; self reliant, possessed of inexhaustible resources and confident in Him Who “prospered our beginnings”. But arrows are more than emblems of power and war. They are symbols of “aim” denoting purpose, will and intention. By combining these ideas with those of the Olive Branch, we may read the symbolism of the arrows as meaning that it is the cardinal principle of true Americanism that recourse to arms shall be for no other purpose than the maintenance of a just cause having for its object the establishment and preservation of unity and love.
Arrows are also intimately connected with our tradition as Anglo-Saxon people. The English archers were most feared in every battlefield of the Middle Ages. It was their distinctive weapon, whose flight in deadly clouds decimated the ranks of their adversaries. The Saxon (=Isaac’s sons) archers could deliver his arrows with such force as to penetrate a two-inch oak board at a distance of over 200 yards.
Further back in history, the bow and arrow was Israel’s weapon. The little tribe of Benjamin alone had an army of 280,000 men of valor that “bare shields and drew the bow” (2 Chron14:8). These men possessed such skill that they could use alike “both the right hand and the left hand in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow…”(1 Chron.12:2). In this blessing of Joseph, Jacob expressly says that, “The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Almighty God of Jacob…” (Gen.19:23,24).
Manasseh, as well as his father Joseph, was well versed in this method of warfare, for we read that “The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skillful in war, were 40,760, that went to the war” (1 Chron.5:18).
In Scriptural symbolism, the Bundle of Arrows represent the weapon of the Almighty. It is the wounding, convicting of sin, “Arrow of the Word”, described by the Psalmist: “Your arrows stick fast in me, and your hand presses me sore” (Psalm 38:2). This same arrow is the celestial arrow of Sagitta (minor constellation of Capricornus) seen having left the bow and its speeding to its aim and He Who shoots it is invisible.
THE CREST. In Heraldry, the Crest was an ornament for the head. It was usually fastened to the helmet and was a distinctively personal or hereditary devise. Warriors among the classical ancients bore insignia peculiar to themselves in this manner. Our National Crest, however, represents America, like a new Constellation, taking its place on high. With its light, dispelling the clouds and darkness round about its ever expanding limits.
The Crest is composed of three essential parts. These are, in the order enumerated by the Statute, as follows: 1. “The Glory”, 2. “The Cloud”, 3. “The Constellation”. Each of these elements depicts self reliance as does the Arms below the Crest. The Glory, the Cloud and the stars in nature need no supporters. On our National Crest they float above the Eagle, with no need of resting upon any wreath or crown of maintenance. We shall consider each component separately:
1. The Glory.
The primary significance of a “glory” is to denote the presence of God (Psalm 63:2). It is directly from Scripture that heraldry has borrowed this resplendent symbol of self-radiance: “…and the Glory of the LORD shone round about them” (Luke 2:9). This same Glory, in the form of a pillar of Fire at night, gave evidence to the Children of Israel in the Wilderness that the presence of Yehovah was with them: “And the LORD went before them…to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light;…” (Ex.13:21). In choosing the Glory as part of our National Crest, we have denoted the presence of the LORD, over, and in the midst of our Nation.
The Statute is silent as to the tincture of the “Glory”. Because its designation is “proper”, it has been universally accepted as “Gold”. Its arrangement, although approved by Congress, has, however, been criticized as a misconception of the Statute which plainly reads: “…a glory or, breaking through a cloud.” The Cloud should surround the Stars, but the Glory breaking through it should surround the Cloud spreading its rays downward and into the field beyond. In practice, every die cut of the Seal has represented the Glory as surrounded by the Cloud, through which not a single ray has been allowed to break. This violation is not found upon our coinage or the Great Seal Metal.
Julia Ward Howe sang of this “Glory” in the inspiring “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, in the following words: “Mine eyes have seen the Glory of the coming of the LORD.” She, like the founders of our Republic, visioned the future establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. She voiced this vision in the last stanza of her hymn, which is generally never sung and is almost unknown: “He is coming like the Glory of the morning on the wave, He is wisdom to the mighty, He is succor to the brave, So the world shall be His footstool and the soul of time His slave,”
2. The Cloud.
The Cloud which surrounds the Constellation in American heraldry is to be represented, according to the Statute, as “proper”. It is therefore designed to be blazoned sable with its inner linings lightened (argent) and illuminated (in roseate and sunset hues – “gules, purpure”, ect.) by effulgence of the stars that it surrounds. The Cloud is represented as rolling back, that other stars may be in time revealed and added to that group.
In symbolism, the Cloud in rolling back, indicates the breaking up of the storm of ignorance, injustice and oppression before the dawning light of a new and potent constellation. But, this emblem has deeper significance – that of covering and protecting. The Lord “seals up the stars”, explains Job – using the Hebrew idiom – “He covers or compasses them with Clouds” (Job 9:7). “He spread a cloud for a covering:” (Psalm 105:39).This same idea of “protecting” is expressed by Moses, just before taking leave of the chosen people.
In Scripture and in nature, the clouds also denote the presence of Yehovah: “And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses toward the Tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared,” (Num.16:42). A cloud guided those that had just escaped from bondage: “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way…” (Ex.13:21).
It was a cloud that stood between the Israelites and the Egyptians, “And it stood between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them (i.e. the Egyptian), but it gave light by night to these; so that one came not near the other all night.” (Ex.14:20). The motions of a cloud directed their wanderings and their camps, “and when the cloud was taken up from the Tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.” (Num.9:17)
Upon special occasions, the Cloud, generally thick and impenetrable by day, was broken by the Glory of God appearing in it,”And it came to pass, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.” (Ex.16:27)
3. The Constellation.
The Constellation of 13 stars in the midst of the Glory Cloud is composed of pentagrams, or 5-pointed stars, so arranged that their groupings form a hexagram, or 6-pointed star. This hexagram is composed of 2 equilateral triangles and in each triangle are exactly 10 stars. The Statute is silent as to the arrangement of the stars. For this reason, Professor Totten suggests the arrangement of the stars in the Crest to be heraldically correct, should be “proper” (according to nature and not in any way confined to the regularity of a circle or to a regular distribution).
A natural arrangement of the stars (in Constellation) was evidently in the minds of the Committees of 1779 and 1780, as evidenced by the designs they submitted. Charles Thompson’s original design also shows a natural arrangement of the stars. Notwithstanding, the final version approved by Congress for our National Seal has the Constellation arranged in the form of a six-pointed star. This arrangement seems to have been fixed and warranted by the earlier seal of the President of the Continental Congress, and may be accounted for by the possibility of the same artist having cut both seals.
It will be noted that the stars of the Constellation were originally designed as six-pointed. As such, Professor Totten points out, “their aggregation into a six-pointed constellation was not incongruous, but as soon as the stars upon the Crest received their true heraldtic shape (from adjustment to the Flag) it became so, and the pentalphate form was a natural corollary to the improved conception.”
The American, radiant, five-pointed, silver star is believed to have constituted the seal or signet of King Solomon (circ. 1000 B.C) and in early time it was in use among the Hebrew people as a symbol of safety. In Scriptural heraldry we are taught, such a star (five-pointed) was always a more ancient way of hieroglyphically representing “Divine Providence”. In Biblical numerics the number 5 = Grace.
The Constellation of 13 stars was meant particularly to symbolize this nation formed of 13 independent States. However, In Scriptural symbolism, they also represent the 13 tribes of Israel. This is shown in the prophetic dream of Joseph in which we find the 13 heavenly bodies; the eleven stars, the sun and the moon making abeisance to him. The interpretation given in Scriptures is that the 11 stars represent the 11 other sons of Jacob, or tribes of Israel (Gen.37:5-11).
Joseph, the one receiving homage, later gave up his tribal-ship in favor of his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Jacob, in adopting the two sons, placed the younger son, Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. Consequently, Ephraim took Joseph’s place (the 11th tribe), leaving Manasseh, who came after Benjamin to become the 13th tribe. Levi was removed from being numbered among the tribes, so the Bible continues to speak of the “12 tribes of Israel.”
Ephraim and Manasseh, together, form the two branches of the tribe of Joseph and are the recipients of Jacob’s blessing of Joseph: “His glory is like the first-ling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of the unicorns (=the rhinoceros): with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.” (Deut.33:17)
THE REVERSE SEAL. The true object of a reverse seal is to guard against its falsification. In former times, to accomplish this, a “counter-seal” was used. The custody of the two seal were then given to to different guardians. Usually, the reverse seal was used only on documents of the highest importance. Today, the Statute gives the custody of the entire Seal (Reverse as well as Obverse) into the hand so the same individual, the Secretary of State.
The Reverse face of the Great Seal consist of six essential elements: 1 “The Unfinished Pyramid”, 2. “The Mystical Eye”, 3. “The radiant Triangle” (constituting the “Reverse Crest”), 4. The Words “Annuit Coeptis”, 5. The Motto “Novus Ordo Seclorum”, 6. The numerical letters “MDCCLXXVI”. We shall examine each element separately.
1. The Unfinished Pyramid.
The unfinished Pyramid is the most prominent devise on the Reverse Seal; the counterpart, so-to-speak, of the Arms (Obverse). It is composed of 13 courses of masonry. The official explanation is that it represents the Great Pyramid of Giza, in Egypt, and symbolizes “strength” and “duration”.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the most gigantic building ever erected upon the face of the earth. It is over 4500 years old and still a masterpiece of architecture. Built of stone and literally found both in and on the rock, it is preeminently the emblem of lasting stability. Students of the Pyramid have come to the conclusion that it is the “pillar” to which Isaiah 19:19 refers: “in that day shall be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar (monument) at the border thereof to the LORD.”
The seemingly mathematical, impossibility of the monument of Isaiah being located at the center and the border of the land of Egypt at the same time was solved by the great American geographer, Henry Michell (chief hydrographer to the United States Coast Survey – 1868). Michell, discovered that the Great Pyramid was mathematically located at the center of the circular section forming Lower Egypt or the Delta of the Nile. It was thus at once upon the center and the border of Lower and Upper Egypt. Occupying the central point of the mutual and central borders of both Egypts, the Pyramid therefore stands at the center of all Egypt. The location thus fits Isaiah’s description and establishes the structure as the “sign and a witness to the LORD of Hosts.”(Isaiah 19:20)
The study of the Great Pyramid over the past 100+ years, has established its claim to being that monument beyond all doubt. It is our privilege and our duty to re-explore this structure and to unravel its teachings and recognize its relevance to America and its people.
As a student I believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza is the “Bible Written in Stone”. God has left a second and a third witness to His Word. The other being the “Word Written in the Stars”. If you are interested in knowing more about this feel free to ask. “Oh how wonderful are the works of the LORD”!!!
It is significant that the Unfinished Great Pyramid was one of the great national monuments of the country were Joseph married and his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh were born. The Great Pyramid was also a reminder of the Children of Israel’s long sojourn in the land of Egypt. Again we find, as with many other aspects of the Great Seal, Israelitish origins.
2. The Mystical Eye.
The “Eye of Providence” was first proposed by Du Simitiere and the conception of surrounding it with the “Radiant Triangle” was Thomas Jefferson’s suggestion. Both Barton and Thomson retained the idea and Congress adopted it. The Statute of June 20th, 1782, reads as follows: “In the Zenith an Eye in a Triangle surrounded with a Glory, proper”: The tincture of the Glory is, of course “Or” (gold) but the “proper” heraldic blazonry of the All-Seeing Eye is not clearly defined. The “Eye”, being an Emblem of God, Himself – who can assign a special “color” to the Eye of the Omniscient? Totten suggests: “This symbol can be blazoned ‘Properly’ only as of argent (white). The laws of Correspondence, Heraldry, and Harmony all conspire in this selection. White, ineffable, clear as the firmament above….heraldry that dares not stain such an emblem with any arbitrary color (white is not a color but is every color combined)…”
The Emblem of the “Eye” is one of the most ancient symbols of “Divine Providence” and is found among the earliest nations of the earth. The Greeks swore by the “Eye of Jove” and this worship spread over the Roman world. The “Solar Eye” as it was known, became a religious badge in all the ancient world. But the devise has an older origin. It was the symbol of the Arabian god of Jethro (the father-in-law of Moses) and was a resplendent sun inscribed with the Arabic motto, “Allah” or “I am that I am”. The earliest use of the “Eye of Providence” appears to have been in ancient Chaldea, the early homeland of the Hebrew people.
In our American Heraldry, the Eye symbolizes the watchful God of Israel watching over the destiny of this nation and illustrating the prophetic words: “Behold, He that keeps Israel, shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalms 121:4). Concerning Israel, the Lord has said, “I will set My eyes upon them for good…” (Jer.24:6). In Psalms 32:8 God promises Israel: “…I will guide you with My eye.” In the book of Deuteronomy we find this reference to the “Divine Eye” with Israel: “He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.” (Deut.32:10).
3. The Radiant Triangle.
The mystical triangle that encases the Eye is also an emblem of great antiquity. The solar triangle of the Egyptians was a symbol of Osiris, Isis, and Orus and was inscribed with the mystic motto, “I am all that was, that is and that shall be”. Among the aboriginal coins of America (described in Dickerson’s Numismatic Manuel), there is a very interesting one of terra cotta bearing the exact representation of the mystic triangle.
Allusion to this triangle is found in most of the ancient religious and secret societies. Ancient Freemasonry employed the triangle, generally in connection with the All-Seeing Eye. Throughout the whole system of modern Masonry, there is no symbol more important in its significance, or more various in its application than the triangle. It is held in the highest esteem by all Royal Arch Masons, whose altar is triangular, whose jewels are triangular, ect. The triangle, in connection with the All-Seeing Eye, is the Masonic symbol of the “Grand Architect of the Universe.”
In heraldry, when a triangle is placed within and surrounded by a circle of rays, the circle is called a “Glory” (Christian). When, however, this Glory is distinct from the triangle (as is the case of the Reverse Seal) it is then an emblem of “God’s Eternal Glory”, The Triune God-head. This is the usual form in religious uses.
The Radiant Triangle making up part of the Crest of the Reverse Seal forms the Cap-Stone or “Corner Stone” of the Unfinished Pyramid. In the Scriptures, Jesus Christ is symbolized by just such a “stone”, “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the LORD’S doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Matt.21:42) – quoted from Psalms 118:22,23). And, “…Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; In Whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto a holy temple in the LORD.” (Eph.2:20,21).
4. The Motto – Annuit Coeptis.
Above the Reverse Crest, in 13 letters, is the motto, “Annuit Coeptis”, meaning, “He has prospered our undertakings (or beginnings)”. These beautiful sentiments upon the Seal refer directly to the “All-Seeing Eye” in the “Radiant Triangle”, as an emblem of Him Who prospered our undertakings. In a secondary sense, it refers to the Unfinished Pyramid below, whose 13 courses of stone grow up in lasting stability toward the Cap-Stone descending from the Sky.
Barton’s earlier and more complicated design contained the motto “Deo Favente” (with God’s favor) placed over the Eye. Although it meant essentially the same thing, Secretary Thomson changed to the present and even more deeply significant motto, “Annuit Coeptis”. Although it may have been suggested in total blindness to its mystic Anglo-Israelite significance, the change displays more clearly America’s Israel birthright.
The fact that the present motto possesses 13 letters adds intensity to this important reference. Its hidden meaning has reference primarily to the children of Manasseh. As the 13th tribe of Israel, they were particularity set apart to have their undertakings prospered as a separated People, whose greatness in the latter times was prophetically assured.
This birthright of TEMPORAL blessings was but a continuation of the prosperity promised Manasseh’s father Joseph: “And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man”; and “the LORD made all that he did prosper in his hand” (Gen.39:2,3). “And of Joseph He said, Blessed of the LORD by his land, for the precious thing of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that couches beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon. And for the chief things of ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills” (Deut.33:13-15).
5. The Motto – Novus Ordo Seclorum.
The Motto, “Novus Ordo Seclurum”, written in Latin word is an intentional altered quotation from Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue. It was borrowed, in turn, by Virgil from the mystic Sibylline records (The Sibylline Books). These books were a collection of prophetic writings; one is supposed to contain the fate of the Roman Empire. The original books date back to around 1000 B.C. Copies are believed to have been in existance as late as the fourth century A.D. and destroyed by the Emperor Honorus. The books derive their name from “Sibylla”, a female Daniel of those early days who became a mythical figure. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that the Sibylline Books were of Semitic origin, written at a time when prophets abounded in Greece and Asia Minor.
It is these ancient Hebrew prophecies and heroes of early Israel from which is derived the fascinating mythology of ancient Greece. But they were colored so fantastically that they were considered by the scholars to be only pagan myths. Few scholars are aware that the Greek Hercules is the Biblical Samson. The Roman god Saturn is the Greek god Krones, and the latter was the Greek name for Israel or Jacob (according to the Phoenician writer Sanchonianthon, who was contemporary of Homer).
Although many Jewish forgeries have appeared from time to time, fragments of the Sibylline writings believed to be the original writings contain many remarkable prophecies that have certainly met with accurate fulfillment. Some of them seem to have looked forward to our own times and country.
“Ultima Cumaei venit jam carmins aetas; Magnus ab intergro saeclorum nascitur ordo. Jam redit et Virgo, reduent Saturnia regna; Jam nova progenies caelo demittitur alto; Tu mondo nascenti puero, quo ferrea primun Desinet ac toto surget gens aurea mundo, Casta, fave, Lucina,…”
“The last age of Cumean song now comes. Novus ordo seclurum-a mighty Order of Ages is born Anew. Both the prophetic Virgin, and the Saturnian kingdoms now return. Now a new progeny is let down from the lofty heavens. Favor, chaste Lucina, the boy soon to be born. In whom the Iron age shall come to end. And the Golden one rise again in the whole earth…”
Translation application to America:
“The last age of Cumean song now comes (the seventh or last, or perfect cycle). Novus ordo Seclorum (the Sabbatic age of Rest- the Age of Freedom) a mighty order of Ages is born Anew. Both the Prophetic Virgin (Goddess of Liberty) and the Saturnian kingdoms (the new Rebublis – Kingdom of Israel) now return (in the latter days). Now a new progeny (a progeny among nations, diverse from all predecessors – a government “of the People, by the People, and for the People: – nation of independent States, and yet the union of a multitude of individuals) is let down from the lofty heavens (the sign od Divine Providence in our behalf). Favor, chaste Lucina, the boy (young America) soon to be born. In whom the Iron age (Old World ideas and bondage) shall come to end. And the Golden one (individual liberty, freedom, and progress) rise again in the whole earth.”
It is evident that whatever may have been the reason proposed to himself by the designer of this motto, “Novus Ordo Seclorum”, he purposely altered it from the original “magnus saeclorum ordo” in three essential particulars; the “magnus” was changed to “novus”; the spelling of “saeclorum” was altered to the more modern form of “seclorum”, and the order of the words was likewise altered. Nevertheless the derivation of the motto from the Sibylline books through the Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue is clear.
This Sibylline Motto not only harmonizes intimately with the Reverse of the Seal itself but most fittingly complements the symbolism of the Obverse face of the Seal. The Motto also is particularly pointed in its reference to the birth and genius of American institutions that are firmly established and whose full development no hand can now stay from reaching the final goal of their most perfect realization.
6. The Date – MDCCLXXVI.
The date (1776) on the base of the Unfinished Pyramid is the date of our Independence. It tells when Divine Providence “prospered our beginnings” (Annuit Coeptis); the beginning of a new nation (Novus Ordo Seclorum) established upon new principles – the nucleus of the Kingdom of on earth, with all its glorious promises to long-oppressed humanity.
It is most appropriate that the date 1776 is placed upon the base of the symbol of our great national structure that holds the central place upon the Reverse face of the Seal. This date not only marks the beginning of the “New Order of the Ages”, but also marks the prophetic date when the children of Manasseh were to be separated from their father’s house (Jacob’s) to become the “Great People”. A.D. 1776 is exactly (7 x 360 years) or 2520 years from the captivity of the Tribe of Manasseh by the Assyrians in 745 B.C.
In Biblical numerics (not secular, and don’t make a religion out of it, use it as a witnessing tool):
3= Divine perfection. 7= Spiritual perfection. 10= Numerical perfection. 12= Governmental perfection. 3 x 7 x 10 x 12 = 2520. OUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS IN CONTROL !!!!!!
Next time someone tells you that there is no God or that this nation was NOT founded as a Christian nation, just smile and say to yourself, “Thank you Father, but except for Your grace, there go I.”
The (2520 years) punishment period was prophesied against each of the tribes of Israel for their sins:
“Then will I also smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and He shall root up Israel out of this good land which He gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the River (Euphrates) because they have made their groves (Idols), provoking the LORD to anger” (1 Kings 14:15). This prophecy was fulfilled between 745 B.C. and 721 B.C. when all the Northern Kingdom of Israel were carried away by the Assyrians, to Media and Northern Mesopotamia. Later, most of the Southern Kingdom of Judah (Jews) were captured by the Assyrians, under Sennacharib, and united with their fellow Israelites in captivity. There they all became known as the so-called “Lost Tribes of Israel”. (God didn’t lose them, but we have lost track of our ancestry. Manasseh in Hebrew means forgetful).
The inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem, that has escaped deportation to Assyria were later captured by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (Babylon = confusion. See any confusion these days?), and taken to Babylon. in 539 B.C., after Cyrus, king of the Persians, overthrew the Babylonian empire, he permitted the remnant of Judah (Jews) in Babylon to return to their homeland. It is this “remnant”, together with the Edomites (who had settled in Jerusalem during the Babylonian captivity) and the Babylonians who returned with the Israelites, that collectively became known as the Nation of the Jews. The name “Jew” (which means “remnant of Judah”) had never been applied to any branch of the Semitic peoples prior to the Babylonian captivity, nor can it properly be utilized to designate any of the other “Lost Tribes of Israel”. (Failure to recognize this distinction is why there is so much confusion among students of the Bible interpreting the prophetic Scriptures concerning “Israel” or the “Jew”).
The theory (generally held in disrepute) that the Lost Tribes of Israel migrated west from the lands of their captivity to settle in Western Europe, the Isles in the West and many on to America, the “land in the Wilderness”, has in recent years been found by archaeologist to be factual. These amazing findings are based on Assyrian cuneiform tablets identifying the same changes of the Israelites till they became both the “Cimmerians” and he “Scythians”. It is common knowledge that the Cimmerians and the Scythians became Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, Gemanic, Lombardic, Celtic and kindred peoples. This is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel: “Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd does his flock” (Jer.31:10).
“Lost Israel” being found fulfills yet another Bible prophecy concerning Israel. “Moreover, I will appoint a place for My People Israel and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more, neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as before-time” (2 Sam.7:10). Since the Israelites were then in Palestine, it follows that the “appointed place” had to be somewhere else.
To the Israelites this must have been a strange saying. They had a place – they had the land of Palestine – they were established there in peace and power. Nothing seemed less probable than that they should ever move. Yet here was a plain declaration that Israel should be moved to a new place outside of Palestine, from which they should be moved no more.
Another characteristic “mark” whereby Israel could be identified in the latter days is its form of government. “And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them ” (Jer.30:21). What Jeremiah is prophesying is a nation, of the People – by the People – and for the People – a nation in which the people are supreme – a Republic. “And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning: afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city” (Hosea 1:26,27). Ancient Israel being a “theocratic” republic, the promise in the passage of Hosea is, that the officers necessary to constitute a republican form of government would be restored, and the elective franchise would be free. The people would possess the sovereign right of choosing their own rulers and judges. The Divine right of kings find no authority here, for the power invested in the people allows for no monarchy, limited or absolute.
Our Pilgrim Fathers called themselves the “Seed of Abraham”, “God’s Servant’s”, “Children of Jacob”, His Chosen”; they followed after the council of Moses, the lawgiver of Israel and in all their undertakings asked for guidance and the blessings of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The evidence blazoned on the Great Seal is that the founders of this nation came from the tribe of Manasseh. The name “Manasseh”, means “forgetfulness”, and if there has ever been a people forgetful of all their past, it is the last, this 13th, this Manasseh-Israel people of the United States. However, America, as prophesied of Manasseh, did become the great nation “E. Pluribus Unum” (One Out of Many) and took her place in the appointed time in the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.
Be careful about what you say about our brother Judah (“Jews”).
The 13 tribes of Israel (Israel = the prince that fights with [not against] God), and the meanings of their names.
1. Reuben = behold a son. 2. Simeon = heard. 3. Levi = joined. 4. Judah = praised, celebrated. 5. Zebulun = a habitation. 6. Issachar = reward. 7. Dan = a judge. 8. Gad = a troop. 9. Asher = blessed. 10. Naphtali = wrestling, fallen. 11. Benjamin = son of the right hand, fortunate. Sons of Joseph = increase. 12. Ephraim = double fruitfulness. 13. Manasseh = forgetful.
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