When scientists announced the discovery of a “golden asteroid”, their interests were in how this could open up the field of asteroid mining. But people who look to the heavens for more spiritual rewards saw different, more Redemptive implications for the discovery.
Discovered in 1852, Psyche 16, as it is named, is relatively close, parked in orbit between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid is exceptional in several respects. It is one of the ten most massive asteroids in the asteroid belt with an average diameter of approximately 140 miles, making it the most massive M-type (metallic) asteroid discovered to date. Psyche is so massive enough that its gravitational effect on other asteroids can be observed, which enables scientists to measure its mass. The results indicated that Psyche was incredibly dense. Unlike most other asteroids that are rocky or icy bodies, scientists think the M-type (metallic) asteroid 16 Psyche is comprised mostly of metallic iron and nickel similar to Earth’s core.
What it’s worth
Scientists at NASA are now planning a mission that will be the first stage in a program to mine the minerals of Psyche 16. Targeted to launch in August of 2022, the Psyche spacecraft would arrive at the asteroid in early 2026, orbiting for 21 months to do a complete study of the space rock. This will be NASA’s first mission to a metal planet. This may sound fantastic with the astronomical costs far outweighing the results however experts estimate the asteroid’s worth at $700 quintillion. For those who have never had a quintillion dollars, one quintillion is a one followed by 18 zeroes. To put that into perspective, it is feared that a sudden influx of such wealth could crash the global economy which is valued at a paltry $75.5 trillion.
This mission to Psyche 16 was intended as a first step in a larger initiative to mine the asteroid belt but several other missions are already underway. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx is orbiting an asteroid called Bennu, which has an estimated value of $700 million. The Japanese have sent a probe to another asteroid, Ryugu, with an estimated worth of $82.86 billion. Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources each plan to mine the 2011 UW158 asteroid, worth up to $5.7 trillion.
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, was pleasantly surprised when he heard of the discovery. But his amusement turned to shock when he heard of NASA’s response which, he explained, did not relate to the asteroid’s place in the final redemption.
“The Bibles explicitly describes an astronomical phenomenon, the Star of Jacob, that will presage the Messiah,” Rabbi Berger said, citing a verse from the section of the Torah in which the non-Jewish prophet, Balaam, blessed the Children of Israel.
What I see for them is not yet, What I behold will not be soon: A star rises from Yaakov, A scepter comes forth from Yisrael; It smashes the brow of Moab, The foundation of all children of Shet. Numbers 24:17
“Jewish sources, most notably the Zohar, describe stars and other things that happen in the heavens before the Messiah comes,” Rabbi Berger said. He suggested a reason behind this, referring to the copper serpent Moses was commanded to make as a cure for anyone who was bitten by a snake in the desert.
“They were not praying to the snake, but when they turned their eyes upward, they were reminded to pray to heaven,” Rabbi Berger explained. “In the end-of-days, we will all be looking up at the heavens because of these stars. Some people will only be able to see gold and silver, or their own intellect and their own glory, while others will be looking for God.”
A promise of redemption
Rabbi Berger went on to explain that according to Jewish sources, the final Geula (redemption) will mirror the Exodus from Egypt. The rabbi cited a verse from the Bible in which God described the period of slavery in Egypt, while promising that the Jews will be rewarded with great wealth for their suffering.
And He said to Avram, “Know well that your offspring shall be strangers in a land not theirs, and they shall be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years; but I will execute judgment on the nation they shall serve, and in the end they shall go free with great wealth. Genesis 15:14
Just as the Jews left Egypt with great wealth, precisely as God promised, the period of the final Geula will be part of that same promise and will be marked by unprecedented wealth,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. “Some of Israel took this gift and used it to make the Golden Calf. Others used it for the Tabernacle. We are blessed to live in a period of unprecedented wealth and are being given the same choice.”
The rabbi suggested that this wealth and the potential for wealth that exceeds what is currently available on earth may suggest what form the final Geula will take.
“Some people mistakenly believe that the Messiah will result from a difficult process of suffering. That is not accurate,” Rabbi Berger said. He explained that if we do not merit the Messiah, the final redemption could come in a terrifying manner characterized by horrific wars, plagues, and natural disasters. The other possibility, the rabbi explained, is that the Messiah would be incredibly pleasant.
“This is what we call achishena,” Rabbi Berger said. “If we merit it, the Messiah will come before its appointed time in a gradual, drawn-out process accented by miracles. This is the Messiah that will be accompanied by heavenly signs, perhaps even asteroids made of solid gold.”