When the Morning Stars Sang Together
Butts Set of Illustrations for the Book of Job
This is the Legend on the engraving which Blake later made of this image:
Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? (Job 38:31)
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7)
Let there be light (Genesis 1:3)
Let there be a firmament (Genesis 1:6)
Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear (Genesis 1:9)
And God made two great lights (Genesis 1:16)
Let the waters bring forth abundantly (Genesis 1:20)
Let the earth bring forth the living creatures . . . cattle, and creeping thing, the beasts of the earth (Genesis 1:24)
 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
19:40 - To which he replied, "I tell you that if they kept quiet, the very stones in the road would burst out cheering!"
 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
We are invited to witness with Job the bringing forth of all things. Job was reborn by passing through his nadir of despair by encountering his false God, followed by his zenith of recognition by experiencing the might of God in the whirlwind. Job's world was transformed when he acquired the ability to perceive afresh. Blake uses the occasion of Job's new ability to see the creative nature of God to picture the rejoicing of man when God's beneficence becomes visible to him.
Perhaps it is important to notice that five of the six creative events recounted in Genesis and quoted in the borders of Page 14, occur because the voice of God pronounces the event. Only the two great lights actively are made by God and they for the purpose of ruling the divisions of night and day. Creation is both the nature and work of God; it has no beginning or ending. The morning stars, the light, the sun and moon, the waters, the dry land, the creatures of water and land; all are called into existence to make manifest the creative power of the Divine.
In Blake's image on Page 13 of Illustrations of the Book of Job, God holds the central position. Below his right arm is Apollo in his chariot pulled by four horses. Associated with Apollo are the physical sun, the reasoning mind called Urizen by Blake, and the dynamics of division into four functions called Zoas by Blake. Below God's left arm is Artemis the twin sister of Apollo, representing the moon, nature and the physical side of humanity called by Blake both Vala and Enion. Her chariot is pulled not by horses but by serpents or dragons.
Jerusalem, Plate 62, (E 213) "I know that in my flesh I shall see God: but Emanations Are weak. they know not whence they are, nor whither tend. Jesus replied. I am the Resurrection & the Life. I Die & pass the limits of possibility, as it appears To individual perception. Luvah must be Created And Vala; for I cannot leave them in the gnawing Grave. But will prepare a way for my banished-ones to return Come now with me into the villages. walk thro all the cities. Tho thou art taken to prison & judgment, starved in the streets I will command the cloud to give thee food & the hard rock To flow with milk & wine, tho thou seest me not a season Even a long season & a hard journey & a howling wilderness! Tho Valas cloud hide thee & Luvahs fires follow thee! Only believe & trust in me, Lo. I am always with thee! So spoke the Lamb of God while Luvahs Cloud reddening"
Inscriptions in Blake's Illustrations of The Book of Job, 1825, (E 891)
"Blake's symbolic signature on the drawing for design XIV ("When the morning Stars sang together") is in the Fitzwilliam Museum.
John Beer begins to recognize the duality of the symbolism by noting that the central symbol both is and is not a "B"; it is also a thumb. Preceding it is a hand which is also a "W". Following these initials, B.W., is an eye, the "I" of Imagination. The first and last hieroglyphs are, respectively, a line which is the graver or pencil with which Blake draws his line of text and design, and a sun (flanked by two marks that imply a sphere in motion, notes Beer) which supplies the Illumination of his pages."