“Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades?” (Job 38:31). Here is a statement of deep scientific import. Pleiades is the name given by the ancient Greeks to what is known as the seven stars, from the Greek word pleein—meaning “to sail,” and was supposed to be a favorable time for sailors to begin their voyages; and supposed to usher in the spring of the year. Beyond this, nothing was known until recent years.
The original Chaldaic word for Pleiades is chimah—“a hinge or pivot.” The astronomer, Mr. Bradley, in 1748, and more recently, Mr. Madler and others, discovered that Alcyone, the brightest star in this constellation, is, so far as known, the center of our whole solar system—the hinge or pivot around which our sun, with all its attendant planets, is believed to revolve.
When we remember that our sun is more than three billion miles distant from Alcyone, we get some idea of the marvelous influence of the Pleiades, which swings these planets—our world included—around it at the rate of more that 150 million miles a year, in an orbit so vast that one circuit would require thousands of years to complete. It is also worthy of note that this influence is said to be sweet—the very word which engineers use to describe perfectly smooth-working machinery.