Clarence Larkin :: Chapter 32. The Dispensational Teaching of the Great Pyramid
In the midst of Egypt, on the west side of the River Nile, almost opposite Cairo, and a short distance north of ancient Memphis, stands the only remaining one of the “Seven Wonders of the World”- “THE GREAT PYRAMID.” Of the many pyramids of Egypt it was the first built, and the largest of them all, and served as a pattern for the others. It was not built for a Tomb, as were the others, but embodies in its construction such a wonderful knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, and Scriptural information as to clearly show that the Architect and Builder was especially endowed with Divine wisdom.
The Great Pyramid, as originally constructed, was built of granite overlaid with white limestone, and its exterior surface was smooth and unmountable, and it appeared like a building let down from Heaven. But it has been robbed of its white casing stones for building material, and you can mount on the layers of stone, as on steps, to the summit, from which the top stone is missing. Up to the year A.D. 825 its interior was a mystery, its entrance being closed by an accurately-fitted, pivot-working stone whose location was unknown.
At that time the Mohammedan Caliph, Ali Mamoun, came to Cairo to reside. He was so wrought upon by the stories that reached his ears of the fabulous wealth that was locked up in the Pyramid that he decided to break into its interior. According to tradition the entrance was on the North side, and naturally supposing that it was in the centre of the North side, Ali Mamoun set his laborers to work at that point; but it was afterward discovered that for Astronomical reasons the entrance was 24 feet to the Fast of the centre line. Ali Mamoun’s workmen started in about 30 feet above the ground. The tunnel was driven in about 100 feet with no signs of a hollow interior, when, as the workmen, discouraged, were about to give up the undertaking, a sound was heard in the interior, and not far away, as of a stone falling. This fired them with new zeal, and shortly they came to a passageway on the floor of which they found a beautifully-chiseled prismatic stone, which evidently had fallen from above and disclosed an upward passage, whose entrance, however, was closed by an immense granite “Port-cullis,” with a hole bored through it, but the hole was filled with wedge-shaped granite blocks impossible to remove. To overcome this obstacle the workmen tunneled around the granite “Port-cullis” in the softer stone, only to find another stone filling the passageway. After this was removed, and several others that came sliding down, the passageway was clear for an upward ascent, which let them into the passageways and chambers of the interior of the Pyramid. But to the disgust of Ali Mamoun the interior contained no riches, no furniture of any kind, except an empty “Coffer,” and there were no inscriptions or hieroglyphics on the walls to bear witness to its being a tomb.
For over 10 centuries the Great Pyramid remained as to its construction comparatively unknown. In A.D. 1865, Prof. Piazzi Smyth, Astronomer Royal of Scotland, with his wife, encamped on the site of the Great Pyramid and began to make exterior and interior measurements. He found that the Pyramid was located on the 30th degree of North Latitude, and that its triangular sides faced exactly the four points of the compass. The Pyramid covers 13 acres of ground, equal to about 4 city squares, and is located in about the land centre of the earth. See Diagram “A.”
The Great Pyramid is built on the solid rock. The rock was leveled around the base lines, and cornerstones (X), sunk 8 inches in the rock, were placed in position. The cubit of measurement is the Hebrew cubit of 25 025 inches. The length of each side of the base is 365 2422 cubits, the exact number of days in the SOLAR year, including the extra day every 4 years, and also allowing for the periodical dropping of a leap year at intervals. The slope of the sides of the Pyramid is of such an angle that they meet at the apex at the predetermined height of 232 52 cubits. Why this fraction of a cubit? So that if twice the length of a side at the base, be divided by the height of the Pyramid, we shall have the figures 3 14159, (365 242 × 2 ÷ 232 52 = 3 14159), which, when multiplied by the diameter of a circle, gives its circumference. Now the perimeter of the base of the Pyramid (365 242 × 4 = 14009 68) is exactly equal to the circumference of a circle whose diameter is twice the height of the Pyramid (232 52 × 2 × 3 1416 = 14609 68). So we see in the equality of these figures the solution of the mathematical problem of how to SQUARE THE CIRCLE. See Diagram “B.”
The angle of the slope of the sides is as 10 to 9. That is, for every 10 feet you ascend up the slope of the Pyramid you rise in altitude 9 feet, and if you multiply the altitude of the Pyramid by 10 raised to the 9th power, you have 91,840,000, which in miles, gives the exact distance of the sun from the earth.
There is a twofold year, the “Sidereal,” or year of the stars, and the “Equinoctial,” or year of the seasons. They differ by about 50 seconds each year. That is, the stars in their rising and setting are retarded about 50 seconds a year, so that for the “Sidereal” and “Equinoctial” years to come around and again coincide, will take 25,827 years, which is known as a “CYCLE,” and when we add together the diagonals of the Pyramid’s base, in Pyramid inches, we have 25,827 inches, or as many inches as the Cycle has years.
In 1839 Sir John Herschel, assuming that the long, narrow, polished, descending passage, marked B B on Diagram “C,” was meant to be levelled at the “Polar Star” of the date of the construction of the Pyramid, made a calculation and found that such was the case. That star has since been proven to be “ALPHA DRACONIS,” the Polar Star of the year B.C. 2170. But “Alpha Draconis” by itself does not fix the date, but its combination with another star does. For a long time it was supposed that the sun of our Solar System was stationary, and that the planets and comets circled around it. But now we know that it is not stationary, but that it is circling, with all the members of our Solar System, around some central point in the Universe. This central point is now believed to be the Star “ALCYONE,” the central star of the Pleiades. And it was to this star that the apex of the Pyramid pointed on the meridian at midnight of the year B.C. 2170. This combination of these two stars (“Alpha Draconis” and “Alcyone”) will not occur again until the “PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOXES,” or until 25827 years have rolled around,
But as at the time of the date of the building of the Pyramid (B.C. 2170) the “Polar Star” was a trifle to the East of the centre of the North side of the Pyramid, it was necessary to put the entrance passage at that point, and that accounts for why the tunnel driven in from the centre of the North side by the workmen of Ali Mamoun failed to hit the descending passage.
Entering the Pyramid we find that the descending entrance passage leads in a straight line down to a chamber marked “H” (Diagram “C”), which has been cut out of the solid rock, and is about 100 feet below the base of the Pyramid. This chamber appears to be unfinished, as it has a passageway leading out from the opposite side that stops short, and the bottom of the chamber is rough and unfinished.
The entrance passage is not quite 4 feet high, and a trifle over 3 feet 5 inches wide.
Descending this entrance passage, about 985 inches from the entrance an upward passage of the same size (D), leads upward at about the same angle as the descending passage, a distance of 1542 inches, when it opens out into a Grand Gallery 1882 inches long, that is 28 feet high, 6 feet wide at the bottom and narrows toward the top, the narrowing above the base sides being produced by 7 courses of stones, each course overhanging the one below.
About 3 feet from the entrance to the “Grand Gallery,” on the West side, is a torn and ragged opening that leads into a well (W), that passes through the masonry of the Pyramid and solid rock in a serpentine manner, down to the chamber marked “H.” Midway of this well is a cavern-shaped opening (S) made in the solid rock. Just above the mouth of this well a horizontal passageway (J) leads to a chamber (Q) called the Queen’s Chamber. This chamber is 205 inches wide, 226 inches long, and has a triangular-shaped ceiling, and a vertical line let fall from the apex of the Pyramid passes through its centre.
At the top of the sloping floor of the “Grand Gallery” there is a vertical step (E) 3 feet high, the top of which leads to a low passageway (T) that opens into an “Ante-Chamber” (M), from which, by another low passageway (P), entrance is had into a large chamber (K), twice the size of the “Queen’s Chamber.” This chamber, called the “King’s Chamber,” is constructed of polished red granite, and is 412 inches long, 206 inches wide, and 230 inches high. It contains the only piece of furniture in the Pyramid, a stone “Coffer” (C), lidless and empty and cut from a solid block of red granite, polished within and without. It is an oblong rectangular trough, without inscription or ornament, and of a size that it could not possibly have been taken in or out of its place since the Pyramid was built. The King’s Chamber has two ventilating tubes (VV), that connect with openings on the outside of the Pyramid, and keep the Chamber at the standard temperature of 68° Fahrenheit all the year round. The roof of the King’s Chamber is composed of 9 heavy blocks of granite supported on the side walls, and above the roof are 5 hollow spaces (G), covered with massive stones, and so arranged as to carry the weight of the superincumbent mass of masonry. The “King’s Chamber” is on the 50th layer of masonry, and the “Queen’s Chamber” on the 25th. That the so-called King’s and Queen’s Chambers were not intended as Mortuary Chambers is seen when we, examine the Second and Third Pyramids (Diagram “C”), for in those pyramids, built for tombs, the Mortuary Chambers are built in the foundation of the Pyramid, as if those who built them knew nothing about the chambers and passageways in the centre of the Great Pyramid.
Now why all this interior arrangement of passageways and chambers? There was no architectural need for them unless the Great Pyramid was intended for a storehouse of historical or material treasure, or a mausoleum of the dead, of which it gives no evidence, for there are no interior decorations or hieroglyphics upon its walls or passageways, which are to be found in all the other pyramids that were built for tombs. It will not do to say that it had not reached the stage in its construction for ornamentation, for it was completely finished on the outside, and then sealed up and left, the purpose of its construction evidently having been completed. Could it be that the Great Pyramid was built for the purpose of embodying in its construction not only mathematical and astronomical knowledge, but also chronological and Scriptural knowledge? Let us see:
In Isaiah 19:19-20 there is a remarkable prophecy that most commentators fail to notice
“In THAT DAY shall there be an ALTAR to the Lord in the MIDST of the Land of Egypt, and a PILLAR at the BORDER thereof to the Lord. And it shall be for a SIGN and for a WITNESS unto the Lord of Hosts in the Land of Egypt.”
That this prophecy has not as yet been fulfilled is clear from the date mentioned-“THAT DAY,” which is 3 times repeated in the context (verses 21, 23, 24), and which refers to the “Day of Lord” which is still future.
The prophecy declares that in “That Day” there shall be an “ALTAR” and a “PILLAR” in the MIDST of the LAND OF EGYPT (not Palestine), and at the BORDER thereof, and “IT” shall be for a SIGN and a WITNESS. The word “IT” conveys the idea that the “ALTAR” and “PILLAR” are not two different objects but are one and the same. While the word “Altar” in the Hebrew means the “Lion of God,” and could refer to the “Sphinx,” which is nearby, the “Great Pyramid” is pre-eminently the “lion” in massiveness and strength among buildings, and its shape also answers to the description of a “PILLAR,” or mammoth pyramidal obelisk.
Then the position of the “Great Pyramid” harmonizes with the location of the “Altar and Pillar,” which was to be in the MIDST of Egypt and at the BORDER thereof. In 1868 Professor H. Mitchell, of the United States Survey, was sent by the Government to report on the progress of the Suez Canal. Struck with the peculiar curvature of the shore line of the Delta of the Nile, he took a good map and drew a curved line touching all the prominent points of the coast, and found that it formed an arc of a sector whose centre was located at the site of the Great Pyramid. See Diagram “D.” Thus, without any knowledge of the Biblical prophecy, he confirmed the fact that the Great Pyramid was located at the centre or in the MIDST of Egypt, and as the Delta, or Lower Egypt, comprised the section of Egypt included in the sector, and the Great Pyramid stands ‘on the BORDER between Upper and Lower Egypt. therefore the Great Pramid is both in the MIDST of Egypt, and on its BORDER. It would seem then that beyond question the Great Pyramid is the “Altar and Pillar” that the Prophet Isaiah declared should in the last days of this Dispensation be a “SIGN” and a “WITNESS” unto the Lord. If this be true then it becomes us to prayerfully, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, who spake through the Prophet, try to discover what the Great Pyramid as a “WITNESS” has to reveal to us.
In a remarkable passage in Job the earth is compared to a building. The question is asked Job
“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
thereof; when the ‘Morning Stars’ sang together, and all the ‘SONS OF GOD’
Now we know that the earth has no foundations, for it is a sphere and hung upon nothing, as Job well knew. Job 26:7. The building referred to in the above passage must therefore be one with which Job was familiar. And to what can it better refer than to the Great Pyramid of which, as we shall see, Job was the probable builder, for what other form of building is there that has FOUR FOUNDATION STONES, and a CAPSTONE, or HEAD CORNER-STONE, but a pyramid? In the above passage the “Foundations” are distinct from the “Corner-Stone,” and it was not until the building was completed by the laying of the chief “CORNER” or “CAPSTONE,” that the “SONS OF GOD,” the angels, shouted for joy, as doubtless did the builders of the “Great Pyramid” when it was finished and dedicated.
The Great Pyramid is the only form of building that conforms to the symbolic description of the “SPIRITUAL BUILDING,” spoken of in Scripture, of which Christ is said to be the “CHIEF CORNER-STONE.”
“Ye are built upon the FOUNDATION OF THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, Jesus Christ Himself being the
in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an ‘HOLY TEMPLE’ in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together, for an
There is no “CHIEF CORNER-STONE” in architectural construction but in a building of Pyramidal form, and in shape it is exactly like the building it tops out. To its angles is “ALL THE BUILDING FITLY FRAMED TOGETHER.” Being five-sided there is no place for it in the building until the finishing touch is given, and therefore the builders rejected it until needed. So we read of Christ-“The stone, which the builders DISALLOWED (REFUSED Psa. 118:22), the same is made the HEAD OF THE CORNER (“Chief Corner-Stone” Verse 6), and a ‘STONE OF STUMBLING,’ and a ‘ROCK OF ‘OFFENCE.'” 1 Pet. 2:7-8. Rom. 9:32-33. The “Capstone” of a pyramid until needed would be in the way, and a “Stone of Stumbling,” and “Rock of Offence” to the workmen. So with Christ. Paul says-“We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a ‘STUMBLING BLOCK,’ and unto the Greeks ‘FOOLISHNESS,’” or a “Rock of Offence.” 1 Cor. 1:23.
The “Capstone” of a pyramid is 5 sided and 5 pointed, with one sharp point always sticking up. Anyone falling on it would be “broken” or injured, and when on its way to its lofty position, were it to fall on anyone, it would “GRIND HIM TO POWDER.” Matt. 21:42-44. From what has been said we see that the Great Pyramid is symbolic of the Spiritual Building of which Christ is the “Chief Capstone.”
Here we must tread softly lest we be charged with “Time Setting” and subject ourselves and our subject to ridicule. The interior measurements, while carefully and accurately made, can only be used approximately, for there are other things to be taken into account in drawing conclusions from them. All we shall essay to do is in broad outlines to suggest what the interior arrangement of passageways and chambers may be intended to teach Dispensationally, leaving to others who may come after to verify them.
As the polished descending passageway (B B) pointed in B.C. 2170, the date of the building of the Pyramid, to “ALPHA DRACONIS,” the “chief star” in the Constellation of the “DRAGON” or “GREAT SERPENT,” we see that the Pyramid reveals the existence of the “DEVIL,” and as the passageway continues downward to an unfinished Chamber (H), which may, be intended to represent “Hell,” we see that mankind, marching down that passage, would be under the sign and dominion of the Dragon with “Hell” as their destination.
About quarter way down the descending passageway we come to an ascending passage (D). This seems to indicate an upward trend of a part of the human race, and is believed by many to represent the period from the Exodus to the Birth of Christ.
The “Grand Gallery” is supposed to represent the Dispensation from the Birth of Christ to the Rapture of the Church. Measured in Pyramid inches the length of the Grand Gallery is 1882 inches, and if each inch stood for a year, that would make this Dispensation 1882 years long. But it is already 1920+ years long, and this shows us that we have not yet discovered the unit of measurement if we are going to use the measurements of the interior passageways and chambers to set dates. There are, however, several striking things connected with the “Grand Gallery.” If the commencement of the “Grand Gallery” indicates the Birth of Christ, we have to measure but about 30 inches before we come to the mouth of an open well, that leads downward by a serpentine passage to the chamber “H.” At “S” this well opens into a wide cavern.
The edges of the mouth of the well are ragged, as if its cover had been violently forced upward from below. The well then may represent the grave, and the open and ragged month the Resurrection of Christ, who could not be “holden of death,” and the cavern (“S”) the “UNDERWORLD,” where His soul and spirit went to meet the penitent thief in its Paradise compartment. See the chapter on “The Spirit World.” The seven overhanging courses of stone that form the sides of the “Grand Gallery” may represent the “Seven Church Periods.” If the “Grand Gallery” represents the present Dispensation, and the low horizontal passageway (“T”), in which it ends, represents the “Tribulation,” then we would naturally expect some outlet from the “Grand Gallery” for the “Rapture of the Church.” Upon investigation, such an opening was found in a corner of the ceiling leading into the open spaces over the ceiling of the “King’s Chamber.” See (“R”). This opening was tilled with the remains of bats, showing that only winged beings could find an exit there.
The end wall of the “Grand Gallery” at this point leans inward as if to indicate that the Rapture of the Church will precede by some years the “Tribulation Period.” That the “Grand Gallery” was constructed with such grand proportions, out of all harmony with the ‘”Tomb Theory.” seems to indicate that it was constructed with special reference to the Present Dispensation.
If the low passageway (“T”) represents the “Tribulation,” and the “Ante-Room” the “Millennium,” the low passageway represents the Apostasy of Gog and Magog at the close of the Millennium, and the “King’s C hamber” (“K”) the New Heavens and the New Earth, or the Eternal State.
The “King’s Chamber” is so called because it was supposed to have been built to contain the body of the King, and the “Queen’s Chamber” to hold the body of the Queen. But as we have seen the Great Pyramid was not constructed for a tomb. In the “King’s Chamber” we find the only article of furniture in the Pyramid, a “COFFER.” It is a lidless, empty box, cut from a solid block of red granite, and polished within and without, but without ornamentation or inscription. Its inside length and width is large enough to receive the Sarcophagus of a man 6 feet tall, but there is no indication of its ever being used for that purpose. The remarkable thing about it is, that its interior capacity is exactly equal to that of the Ark of the Covenant of the Tabernacle, or one-fiftieth of Solomon’s molten sea. Here again we note an agreement between the Pyramid and the Scriptures, as if the “Coffer” and the “Ark of the Covenant” were designed by the same Divine Architect.
Says Dr. Seiss, “If the Pyramid was built to symbolize spiritual things, we would naturally, look for some chamber or room representing the ‘NEW JERUSALEM’.” No such chamber has as yet been found, though there is evidence of the existence of an as yet undiscovered chamber. Among the debris of building material fragments of a green and white “DIORITE” stone have been found, and no stone of that kind has as yet been found anywhere in the Pyramid. If such a chamber exists it will probably be found on the 100th layer of masonry, on the vertical line of the Pyramid (“N”), and cubical in form with 3 entrances on a side.
From the mouth of the well (“W”) a horizontal passageway (“J”) leads to the chamber (“Q”), called the “Queen’s Chamber.” One-seventh of the way from the “Queen’s Chamber” it drops to a lower level and forms the unfinished floor of the “Queen’s Chamber.” This horizontal passageway is supposed to represent the Jews in their present dispersed condition. and the beginning of the passageway about 70 inches from the commencement of the “Grand Gallery,” the date of their dispersion, A.D. 70. The fact that this low horizontal passageway terminates in the “Queen’s Chamber” seems to confirm the teaching of Scripture that the Jews will again become a great and leading nation.
Paul tells us in Rom. 11:25, that “BLINDNESS IN PART is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in,” and a remarkable thing, connected with the “Queen’s Chamber,” is that it was noted for its foul air and noisome smell for lack of ventilation, but in the year 1872 a visitor to the Pyramid noticed in the south wall of the Queen’s Chamber a crack, into which he inserted a piece of wire that met no obstruction. A workman was sent for who, with a hammer and chisel, cut into the wall and disclosed an air tube (Y), evidently purposely made, and extending back about 7 feet, and then turning upward. The mouth of this tube, for 5 inches back from the side of the chamber, for some mysterious reason, had been tilled up, and the existence of the tube left unknown. At the same location, on the opposite wall of the Chamber, a similar tube was discovered hidden behind the surface of the wall. Why were these tubes thus hidden if it were not with some symbolic intent? How beautifully then do they symbolize the blindness of the Jews that is to remain as Scales upon their eyes until they are converted, and as their conversion is not to be until after they have been restored to their land, symbolized by the “Queen’s Chamber,” we see how the removal of the scales from the mouth of the tubes beautifully symbolizes the removal of Israel’s blindness. The “Queen’s Chamber” might therefore well be called the “JEWS’ CHAMBER.”
The position of the “Queen’s Chamber,” almost directly under the ending of the “Grand Gallery,” would seem to teach that the gathering back of the Jews would begin about the time of the ending of this Present Dispensation, which harmonizes with the teaching of the Scriptures.
The strange thing about the “Great Pyramid” is, that, if it were simply built for the sepulchre of a king and his wife, why does it record so many mathematical and astronomical facts, and why were the interior passageways and chambers so constructed and arranged as to harmonize with the prophetic teachings of the Scriptures?
The “Great Pyramid” was built during the reign of Cheops, and Herodotus tells us that it took the labor of 100,000 men 20 years to build it, and that during its building the idol temples of Egypt were closed. Manetho, an Egyptian priest, records how at that time-“the Deity was displeased with us; and there came up from the East in a strange manner, men of an ignoble race, who had the confidence to invade our country and easily subdued it by their power without a battle. And when they had our rulers in their hands they demolished the temples of the gods.” This state of things continued during the reign of Cheops and his successor, but when Mycerius, or Mencheres, began to reign, he re-opened the temples, and restored the worship of the gods. Manetho styled these kings, “HYKSOS” or “Shepherd Kings,” who were reputed to be Arabians, that afterward left Egypt in large numbers and went up to Judea and built a city named Jerusalem.
Herodotus tells us that they called the pyramids after “PHILITION,” a shepherd who at that time fed his flocks about the place. This “PHILITION,” or “PHILITIS,” appears to have been the Architect of the Great Pyramid. He was an Arabian, but went up to Philistia in Judea with those who went up, and was known in Manetho’s time as “PHILITION,” the Philistine. Who then was “PHILITION”? Some have identified him with Shem, others with Melchisedec, but the writer believes he was “JOB.” Job was the greatest man in the East, or Arabia. Job 1:3. His age (he lived to be nearly 250 years old) places him back before the days of Abraham (B.C. 2000), who lived to the age of 175 years, and locates him as living at the time when the Great Pyramid was built. And in the 38th chapter of Job, the Almighty speaks to Job as if he was the identical person who built the Great Pyramid, laying its foundations, and placing its “Capstone” in position, while the people shouted for joy. That Job had great meteorological and astronomical knowledge is clear from the way God spoke to him about the snow (vs. 22), and the rain vs. 25-28). and the ice (vs. 29:30). and the heavenly bodies (vs. 31-32), and the weather probabilities (vs. 33-34), and electricity (vs. 35), and there can be no question but what God would impart to such a man as Job, who was so God-fearing and spiritual, that he was both a prince and a priest, all the Scriptural and prophetical knowledge that is embodied in the arrangement of the passageways and chambers of the Great Pyramid. It does not follow. however, that Job knew the symbolic meaning of the construction of the Great Pyramid any more than the Prophets understood their prophecies. 1 Pet. 1:10-12. The Almighty may have given to Job the plan of the Great Pyramid, as Moses was given the plan of the Tabernacle and its furnishings on Mount Sinai.
There is no question but what the people of Job’s day were well versed in the mechanic arts. It was not long after the Flood, and the skill of the artizans of Noah’s day, and of the Babel builders had not been lost. This is evident from the Temples and Palaces of Egypt that were built in those days. But the Great Pyramid was unlike any of them. It was a new kind of Architecture, the first of its kind, and such as the world had never seen before. The plainness of its outlines, and the slope and smoothness of its sides. and the absence of all ornamentation, was a striking contrast to the Egyptian style of Architecture. Whence came it? It must have come from some source not Egyptian. Why? Because there was a purpose in its building. It was built to record mathematical, astronomical, and Scriptural knowledge, that should bear witness to the inspiration of the Scriptures in these last days. That accounts for its peculiar architectural shape, and the character of its inferior construction. To that end it was sealed up that in the closing days of this Dispensation it might disclose its message to an unbelieving world.