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The wise men found the babe, Jesus, on December 25 long after His day of birth

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  • The wise men found the babe, Jesus, on December 25 long after His day of birth

    I ordered the DVD of the Star of Bethlehem to give to my whole family as a Christmas present and watched it yesterday to make sure it wasn't something lame or strange...lol. I won't say I understood it all since I don't know my constellations very well.(constellations are mentioned in the bible)..but I did understand this...the starry sky is a map and moves like clockwork...does pretty much the same thing all the time and through historical records they know when unusual things happened such as comets and figuring out there patterns...like how many years apart before they appear again..that kind of thing. So through computer software they can literally go back in time and see what happened on certain dates in history.

    This DVD is about a Christian man that started to study the Star of Bethlehem and through the use of one of these computer programs was able to go back in time during certain events, such as the birth of Christ...even His conception...and His death on the cross and find certain very unusual signs in the stars and planets that matched up with scripture.

    While there is quite a bit to this study which I will give you a link too...I wanted to stick to one topic on this since so many posts come up constantly over the concern of December 25th being a pagan holiday and why the church put the celebration of the birth of Christ on that day. From my studies the intentions were to stamp out the pagan holiday..as the bible says, over come evil with good...

    Now with this new added information it makes me wonder if the church leaders then didn't know something more about this date...that it was more then just overcoming a pagan day...

    Most of us know Jesus was probably born in the fall sometime and the magi didn't find Him until He was a toddler...it took them about two years in following the 'star' (which was really a certain planet alignment) in which by then He was living in a house. This was the first 'birthday' celebration that involved worship and presenting of presents...even though it wasn't technologically on His day of birth.

    ok from the site of the Star of Bethlehem:

    http://www.bethlehemstar.net/dance/dance.htm

    To qualify as the Star, Jupiter would have to have been ahead of the Magi as they trekked South from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. Sure enough, in December of 2 BC if the Magi looked south in the wee hours, there hung the Planet of Kings over the city of Messiah's birth.

    On December 25 of 2 BC as it entered retrograde, Jupiter reached full stop in its travel through the fixed stars. Magi viewing from Jerusalem would have seen it stopped in the sky above the little town of Bethlehem.


    The site explains the Jews went by a lunar calendar...we go by a solar calendar...so figuring out these dates was no easy task.

    Also how did the star stop?:


    The problem with a planet stopping is not what you might think. The problem is not that planets can't stop. Just the opposite. The problem is that all planets are always stopped to the eye of a human observer. The sky moves above Earth at half the speed of the hour hand on a common clock. Its movement is imperceptible to the naked eye. So, if all stars are always stopped, what can Matthew have meant?

    Perhaps you have already anticipated the key to this final mystery: retrograde motion. An astronomer tracking the movement of planets through the star field watches not so much on the scale of minutes, but on the longer scale of days, weeks and months. On this scale of time, Jupiter did stop. On December 25 of 2 BC as it entered retrograde, Jupiter reached full stop in its travel through the fixed stars. Magi viewing from Jerusalem would have seen it stopped in the sky above the little town of Bethlehem.


    I thought it was pretty stunning they arrive to worship Him on December 25th like that.

    You can read more on this at the link above. Also here is the home page to this website. http://www.bethlehemstar.net/

    Quite a few 'signs' in the sky happened during these other major events I mentioned. Its quite amazing actually!

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  • #2
    post deleted.........
    Last edited by moonglow; Dec 22nd 2008, 04:14 PM.
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by moonglow View Post
      I ordered the DVD of the Star of Bethlehem to give to my whole family as a Christmas present and watched it yesterday to make sure it wasn't something lame or strange...lol. I won't say I understood it all since I don't know my constellations very well.(constellations are mentioned in the bible)..but I did understand this...the starry sky is a map and moves like clockwork...does pretty much the same thing all the time and through historical records they know when unusual things happened such as comets and figuring out there patterns...like how many years apart before they appear again..that kind of thing. So through computer software they can literally go back in time and see what happened on certain dates in history.

      This DVD is about a Christian man that started to study the Star of Bethlehem and through the use of one of these computer programs was able to go back in time during certain events, such as the birth of Christ...even His conception...and His death on the cross and find certain very unusual signs in the stars and planets that matched up with scripture.

      While there is quite a bit to this study which I will give you a link too...I wanted to stick to one topic on this since so many posts come up constantly over the concern of December 25th being a pagan holiday and why the church put the celebration of the birth of Christ on that day. From my studies the intentions were to stamp out the pagan holiday..as the bible says, over come evil with good...

      Now with this new added information it makes me wonder if the church leaders then didn't know something more about this date...that it was more then just overcoming a pagan day...

      Most of us know Jesus was probably born in the fall sometime and the magi didn't find Him until He was a toddler...it took them about two years in following the 'star' (which was really a certain planet alignment) in which by then He was living in a house. This was the first 'birthday' celebration that involved worship and presenting of presents...even though it wasn't technologically on His day of birth.

      ok from the site of the Star of Bethlehem:

      http://www.bethlehemstar.net/dance/dance.htm

      To qualify as the Star, Jupiter would have to have been ahead of the Magi as they trekked South from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. Sure enough, in December of 2 BC if the Magi looked south in the wee hours, there hung the Planet of Kings over the city of Messiah's birth.

      On December 25 of 2 BC as it entered retrograde, Jupiter reached full stop in its travel through the fixed stars. Magi viewing from Jerusalem would have seen it stopped in the sky above the little town of Bethlehem.


      The site explains the Jews went by a lunar calendar...we go by a solar calendar...so figuring out these dates was no easy task.

      Also how did the star stop?:


      The problem with a planet stopping is not what you might think. The problem is not that planets can't stop. Just the opposite. The problem is that all planets are always stopped to the eye of a human observer. The sky moves above Earth at half the speed of the hour hand on a common clock. Its movement is imperceptible to the naked eye. So, if all stars are always stopped, what can Matthew have meant?

      Perhaps you have already anticipated the key to this final mystery: retrograde motion. An astronomer tracking the movement of planets through the star field watches not so much on the scale of minutes, but on the longer scale of days, weeks and months. On this scale of time, Jupiter did stop. On December 25 of 2 BC as it entered retrograde, Jupiter reached full stop in its travel through the fixed stars. Magi viewing from Jerusalem would have seen it stopped in the sky above the little town of Bethlehem.


      I thought it was pretty stunning they arrive to worship Him on December 25th like that.

      You can read more on this at the link above. Also here is the home page to this website. http://www.bethlehemstar.net/

      Quite a few 'signs' in the sky happened during these other major events I mentioned. Its quite amazing actually!

      God bless
      I don't have time to watch your video (which I'm sure is very good) or check out the links yet, but what you have presented sounds very interesting and exciting. Thank you very much for sharing this.

      Comment


      • #4
        An interesting hypothesis. My only issue is to wonder why the magi would suddenly now consider Jupiter (or whatever their name for it was) was heralding the birth of a king? The astrologers of the day new the movements of the planets quite well although they could not properly understand why they retrograded. You would think that it would be something more unusual than a planet.
        Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
        Ecc 7:10

        John777 exists to me only in quoted form.


        Comment


        • #5
          Luke 2:14 Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God.

          Let's show respect when we post. SofTy.
          1 Corinthians 1:12-13 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos: and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

          Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptised in the name of Paul?

          KJV

          May the power of the Spirit of our God unite us. SofTy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Luke 2:8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

            Consider, what season of the year was it possible for shepherds to stay out in the fields at night? Winter, fall, spring, summer?

            The five day forecast for Tel Aviv is pretty chilly this week.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BroRog View Post
              Luke 2:8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

              Consider, what season of the year was it possible for shepherds to stay out in the fields at night? Winter, fall, spring, summer?

              The five day forecast for Tel Aviv is pretty chilly this week.
              The shepherds were around the time of his actual birth and Moonglow already agreed that that was in early fall, so they would've been in their fields then. Moonglow was referring to when the wise men showed up, a long time after Jesus actual birth and it had nothing to do with the shepherds.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't know if this is the same thing I saw a few weeks ago, but if I recall there was an alignment of the planets that occurred around that time where jupiter, mercury, and another planet, who's name escaped me were lined up as if like a scepter? I wish I'd saved that website now, because it had so much good information about the movement of Stars at the time. Also, that if they were following a particular star (planet), it would have only been over the stable where Mary and Joseph were likely on one night because of the way the stars move X number of degrees each night.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GitRDunn View Post
                  The shepherds were around the time of his actual birth and Moonglow already agreed that that was in early fall, so they would've been in their fields then. Moonglow was referring to when the wise men showed up, a long time after Jesus actual birth and it had nothing to do with the shepherds.
                  I think Jesus was born in the Spring.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's funny when people complain about posts they didn't even read!

                    In any case, interesting post moonglow. There are a lot of assumptions, it seems to me, that must be right for this to be true (where the wise men came from, when they came, that the star was a natural phenomenon, etc). Also, I think the timing of Herod's death could cause some problems for this view.

                    But an interesting possibility. Thanks.
                    The Matthew Never Knew
                    The Knew Kingdom

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by teddyv View Post
                      An interesting hypothesis. My only issue is to wonder why the magi would suddenly now consider Jupiter (or whatever their name for it was) was heralding the birth of a king? The astrologers of the day new the movements of the planets quite well although they could not properly understand why they retrograded. You would think that it would be something more unusual than a planet.
                      It was ...it was three planets involved. But as he points out on this site, to the average person who didn't study this or know what to look for, it only appear as a very bright 'star'. Herod didn't know about it and has to ask the magi when it first appeared. Only those who knew what to look for, such as the magi, realized how important it was. I think we need to remember while the bible speaks about 'signs in Heaven' for certain major events, some very obvious and some not so obvious such as this...there were people (such as Herod) that wanted the baby Jesus killed. If he had known and see this 'star' before the magi came...he would have already hunted Him down and had Him killed. Its the same thing we saw with the shepherds. Why announce the birth of Christ to them and not too the worldly kings all over the world? Because Christ came for the lowly first..the humble.


                      http://www.bethlehemstar.net/dance/dance.htm
                      The planets move against the field of fixed stars. From Earth, they appear to be "active." For example, were you to watch Jupiter each night for several weeks, you would see that it moves eastward through the starry field. Each night Jupiter rises in the east (satisfying a second Star qualification). Each night it appears to be slightly farther east in the field of fixed stars. All of the planets move like this.

                      But the wandering stars exhibit another, stranger motion. Periodically, they appear to reverse course and move backward through the other stars. This may seem odd, but the reason is simple enough: we watch the planets from a moving platform—Earth—hurtling around the Sun in its own orbit. When you pass a car on the freeway, it appears to go backward as it drops behind. For similar reasons, when the Earth in its orbit swings past another planet, that planet appears to move backward against the starry field. Astronomers call this optical effect retrograde motion.

                      In 3/2 BC, Jupiter's retrograde wandering would have called for our magus' full attention. After Jupiter and Regulus had their kingly encounter, Jupiter continued on its path through the star field. But then it entered retrograde. It "changed its mind" and headed back to Regulus for a second conjunction. After this second pass it reversed course again for yet a third rendezvous with Regulus, a triple conjunction. A triple pass like this is more rare. Over a period of months, our watching magus would have seen the Planet of Kings dance out a halo above the Star of Kings. A coronation.

                      Westward Leading

                      By the following June, Jupiter had finished crowning Regulus. The Planet of Kings traveled on through the star field toward another spectacular rendezvous, this time with Venus, the Mother Planet. This conjunction was so close and so bright that it is today displayed in hundreds of planetaria around the world by scientists who may know nothing of Messiah. They do it because what Jupiter did makes such a great planetarium show. Jupiter appeared to join Venus. The planets could not be distinguished with the naked eye. If our magus had had a telescope, he could have seen that the planets sat one atop the other, like a figure eight. Each contributed its full brightness to what became the most brilliant star our man had ever seen. Jupiter completed this step of the starry dance as it was setting in the west. That evening, our Babylonian magus would have seen the spectacle of his career while facing toward Judea.


                      God bless
                      "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BroRog View Post
                        Luke 2:8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

                        Consider, what season of the year was it possible for shepherds to stay out in the fields at night? Winter, fall, spring, summer?

                        The five day forecast for Tel Aviv is pretty chilly this week.
                        GitRDunn :

                        The shepherds were around the time of his actual birth and Moonglow already agreed that that was in early fall, so they would've been in their fields then. Moonglow was referring to when the wise men showed up, a long time after Jesus actual birth and it had nothing to do with the shepherds.
                        GitRDunn is right...the shepherds DID see Jesus right after He was born...but it took a very long time for the magi to travel to see Christ and as I said, by then He was living in a house and a toddler...not a new born. The nativity scenes are wrong in showing shepherds and the wise men together at the same time. That has been discussed on the board several times too actually. If Jesus was a new born, Herod wouldn't have had all male's under the age of two killed, but just the new borns.

                        matthew94 It's funny when people complain about posts they didn't even read!

                        In any case, interesting post moonglow. There are a lot of assumptions, it seems to me, that must be right for this to be true (where the wise men came from, when they came, that the star was a natural phenomenon, etc). Also, I think the timing of Herod's death could cause some problems for this view.

                        But an interesting possibility. Thanks.
                        On Herod's death...this is addressed on the site and in the DVD too.

                        http://www.bethlehemstar.net/stage/stage.htm

                        The Bible recounts that Herod learned of the Messiah's birth from astronomers who had seen the Star of Bethlehem. He tried to kill the child, so, obviously, the Bible records that Herod was alive at Jesus' birth. Remember that this mattered to Kepler, because historians of his time apparently inferred from Josephus' history that Herod died in 4 BC (9). Necessarily, Kepler assumed Christ was born before that date, perhaps 5 BC or earlier. So, those are the years for which he scanned the skies for the Star. Even with the power of his newly discovered laws of planetary motion, he didn't find the phenomena we will examine here. He searched the skies of the wrong years.

                        But modern scholarship has deepened our understanding of Josephus' manuscripts. A recent study was made of the earliest manuscripts of Josephus' writings held by the British Library in London, and the American Library of Congress. It revealed a surprise that allows us to target our mathematical telescopes better than could Kepler (10). It turns out that a copying error was a primary cause of the confusion about the date of Herod's death. A printer typesetting the manuscript of Josephus' Antiquities messed up in the year 1544. Every single Josephus manuscript in these libraries dating from before 1544 supports the inference that Herod passed in 1 BC. Excellent scholarship confirms that date (11). Knowing this, and since Herod died shortly after Christ's birth, our investigation turns to the skies of 3 and 2 BC.

                        So, we have the second factor allowing us to "find" the Star today. We newly know for which years we should examine the skies.


                        Veretax I don't know if this is the same thing I saw a few weeks ago, but if I recall there was an alignment of the planets that occurred around that time where jupiter, mercury, and another planet, who's name escaped me were lined up as if like a scepter? I wish I'd saved that website now, because it had so much good information about the movement of Stars at the time. Also, that if they were following a particular star (planet), it would have only been over the stable where Mary and Joseph were likely on one night because of the way the stars move X number of degrees each night.
                        Yes he talked about that on the DVD but I can't recall what he said...and so far I haven't been able to find anything on this scepter on the site. But he did talk about it...I just have a bad memory...

                        God bless
                        "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by moonglow View Post
                          It was ...it was three planets involved. But as he points out on this site, to the average person who didn't study this or know what to look for, it only appear as a very bright 'star'. Herod didn't know about it and has to ask the magi when it first appeared. Only those who knew what to look for, such as the magi, realized how important it was. I think we need to remember while the bible speaks about 'signs in Heaven' for certain major events, some very obvious and some not so obvious such as this...there were people (such as Herod) that wanted the baby Jesus killed. If he had known and see this 'star' before the magi came...he would have already hunted Him down and had Him killed. Its the same thing we saw with the shepherds. Why announce the birth of Christ to them and not too the worldly kings all over the world? Because Christ came for the lowly first..the humble.


                          http://www.bethlehemstar.net/dance/dance.htm
                          The planets move against the field of fixed stars. From Earth, they appear to be "active." For example, were you to watch Jupiter each night for several weeks, you would see that it moves eastward through the starry field. Each night Jupiter rises in the east (satisfying a second Star qualification). Each night it appears to be slightly farther east in the field of fixed stars. All of the planets move like this.

                          But the wandering stars exhibit another, stranger motion. Periodically, they appear to reverse course and move backward through the other stars. This may seem odd, but the reason is simple enough: we watch the planets from a moving platform—Earth—hurtling around the Sun in its own orbit. When you pass a car on the freeway, it appears to go backward as it drops behind. For similar reasons, when the Earth in its orbit swings past another planet, that planet appears to move backward against the starry field. Astronomers call this optical effect retrograde motion.

                          In 3/2 BC, Jupiter's retrograde wandering would have called for our magus' full attention. After Jupiter and Regulus had their kingly encounter, Jupiter continued on its path through the star field. But then it entered retrograde. It "changed its mind" and headed back to Regulus for a second conjunction. After this second pass it reversed course again for yet a third rendezvous with Regulus, a triple conjunction. A triple pass like this is more rare. Over a period of months, our watching magus would have seen the Planet of Kings dance out a halo above the Star of Kings. A coronation.

                          Westward Leading

                          By the following June, Jupiter had finished crowning Regulus. The Planet of Kings traveled on through the star field toward another spectacular rendezvous, this time with Venus, the Mother Planet. This conjunction was so close and so bright that it is today displayed in hundreds of planetaria around the world by scientists who may know nothing of Messiah. They do it because what Jupiter did makes such a great planetarium show. Jupiter appeared to join Venus. The planets could not be distinguished with the naked eye. If our magus had had a telescope, he could have seen that the planets sat one atop the other, like a figure eight. Each contributed its full brightness to what became the most brilliant star our man had ever seen. Jupiter completed this step of the starry dance as it was setting in the west. That evening, our Babylonian magus would have seen the spectacle of his career while facing toward Judea.

                          God bless
                          Thanks for the info Moonglow. I was curious what the magi might call the star since Regulus is Latin which the magis likely did not speak although may have been aware of. The Arabic term for the star is Qalb Al Asad meaning 'the heart of the lion' (from Wiki), but again, this may not have the same name for the people of the time.

                          I wonder if the Jewish people did not look to the sky for omens since, IIRC, this was forbidden in the law - but maybe someone more familiar with that can comment.

                          The magi, presuming they were from the Persian-Babylonian region may have had some forwknowledge of the birth of the Messiah through the time the Jews were dispersed through this area. Several Jews such as Esther, Mordecai, Daniel etc. held extremely high ranks within these nations and may have influenced the astrologers and wise men of these areas who kept watch of the stars for signs.
                          Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
                          Ecc 7:10

                          John777 exists to me only in quoted form.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by teddyv View Post
                            Thanks for the info Moonglow. I was curious what the magi might call the star since Regulus is Latin which the magis likely did not speak although may have been aware of. The Arabic term for the star is Qalb Al Asad meaning 'the heart of the lion' (from Wiki), but again, this may not have the same name for the people of the time.

                            I wonder if the Jewish people did not look to the sky for omens since, IIRC, this was forbidden in the law - but maybe someone more familiar with that can comment.

                            The magi, presuming they were from the Persian-Babylonian region may have had some forwknowledge of the birth of the Messiah through the time the Jews were dispersed through this area. Several Jews such as Esther, Mordecai, Daniel etc. held extremely high ranks within these nations and may have influenced the astrologers and wise men of these areas who kept watch of the stars for signs.
                            The man that did this...did stop his studies for awhile on trying to understand what the Star of Bethlehem was, out of concern he was crossing the line from astronomy to astrology and did a deep study on the difference in the bible to make sure he was sinning. This is the conclusions he came too:
                            http://www.bethlehemstar.net/stage/stage.htm
                            The Stars and the Bible

                            Even if you are not of a traditional Christian or Jewish faith, you might feel a bit uneasy searching for signs in the stars. Many people have concluded that there isn't anything to astrology—or if there is something to it, it's a "something" they want no part of. So, are we doing astrology here?

                            A reasonable question with a short answer. No. That's not what we're doing here. Astrology holds that stars exert forces on men. Astrology is a:

                            "...form of divination based on the theory that the movement of the celestial bodies—the stars, the planets, the sun and the moon—influence human affairs and determine the course of events." (13)


                            By contrast, the Bible refers to the celestial objects as carrying signs from the Almighty. But it prohibits worship of what we see above or even holding such things in too high regard. For example, we read in the Book of Job, Chapter 31:

                            26 if I have regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon moving in splendour, 27 so that my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage, 28 then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.

                            The Old Testament even decrees the death penalty for star worship (14).

                            Still, the Bible does make a surprising number of references to signs in the heavens. Both Old and New Testaments assume that what happens up there matters. If we are interested in following the counsel of the Bible, we must hold a distinction in mind. Astrology assumes that stars are causes of earthly events. The Bible assumes that they can be messages about earthly events. It may be useful to think of this as a thermometer distinction. A thermometer can tell you if it's hot or cold, but it can't make you hot or cold. There is a big difference between a sign and an active agent. This is the difference between "astrology" and what the Bible holds forth.

                            Scholars believe that the Book of Job is the oldest Biblical text, likely originating before the time of Abraham and the founding of the Jewish nation. It's interesting, then, to find that this oldest book speaks of the stars and the constellations with respect. It states that God set them in place. And it references the same constellations we know today. Even considering ancient literature other than the Bible, it appears that the configurations of the constellations and what they represent may be older than the oldest surviving texts of any language (15).

                            In the Book of Job, Chapter 9, Job credits God with creation of the stars and constellations:

                            9 He is the Maker of the Bear [Ursa Major] and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.

                            And in Job Chapter 38, God makes much the same point. He, not man, is sovereign over the creation, particularly the constellations:

                            31 "Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? 32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons...

                            Many other Biblical writers in many other passages state that God arranged the stars. For example, says the Book of Isaiah in Chapter 40:

                            26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

                            Several striking passages on this issue were written by David, son of Jesse. David is a towering Biblical figure. A fierce warrior, a revered king who was himself deeply reverent. Highly intelligent and wonderfully poetic, he wrote much of the Book of Psalms and some of the most beautiful passages of scripture. Among these is Psalm 19, where David extols God's handiwork in the stars. But he doesn't only extol, he tells us that the stars bear a message. Watch his choice of verbs [emphasis added]:

                            1 ...The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world...

                            David chose verb after verb which says that the stars communicate. An intriguing passage. But isn't it just poetry? Isn't David just speaking with a poet's elegant symbolism?

                            The apostle Paul didn't think so.

                            In The Book of Romans, Chapter 10, Paul is addressing the question: had the Jews of Christ's day heard that Messiah had come? He answers the question by saying that of course they had heard. He then quotes David to make his point!

                            17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they [the Jews] not hear? Of course they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

                            Note the structure of Paul's argument. Paul is taking the position that something has happened in the stars which indicated to the Jews of his time that the Messiah had come. As we shall see, the apostle Peter elsewhere forcefully makes the same argument. Of course, this argument has exactly no force unless something had happened in the stars. The fact that both men employed this line of reasoning shows they are making the same assumption. They assumed that their listeners were aware of celestial phenomena associated with Christ. It's our quest to determine what those phenomena were.

                            For those who revere the Bible, we've probably seen enough to set us at ease about looking for meaning in the stars. We're not doing something that the Bible condemns. Just the opposite. But there is one more authority who can put the most devout Christian at ease about looking up after dark. Jesus himself. In the Book of Luke, Chapter 21, Jesus tells us:

                            25 "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars..."

                            So, it is Biblically legitimate to look for signs in the stars, but always remembering the thermometer distinction. The Book of Deuteronomy warns at Chapter 4:

                            19 ...when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars--all the heavenly array--do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshipping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.

                            At numerous times in Biblical history, the Jewish nation ignored this warning. Rather than looking to the stars for signs, they slipped over the forbidden line into assuming the stars influenced human affairs. They began to worship created things instead of the Creator. In the Second Book of Kings, Chapter 23, we find King Josiah leading a revival of spirituality among the Jews and a return to worship of God alone. One of the things Josiah had to do was clear out astrological objects which had been brought in to the very temple itself:

                            4 [Josiah] ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the LORD all the articles made for...all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem...

                            The bottom line on the Bible and the stars: we may look to the stars for signs from God, but we are not to revere the stars themselves.
                            more on the magi on the next post.

                            God bless
                            "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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                            • #15
                              teddyv: The magi, presuming they were from the Persian-Babylonian region may have had some forwknowledge of the birth of the Messiah through the time the Jews were dispersed through this area. Several Jews such as Esther, Mordecai, Daniel etc. held extremely high ranks within these nations and may have influenced the astrologers and wise men of these areas who kept watch of the stars for signs.
                              http://www.bethlehemstar.net/stage/stage.htm
                              Magi from the east came to Jerusalem

                              Who are these magi? The word, 'magi,' which is sometimes translated 'wise men,' is the root from which we get our word 'magic.' This doesn't make them all magicians, in the present sense of the word. Some of them were learned men in general, who studied the physical world and were knowledgeable about many things, including the stars. Magi were often court astronomers who were consulted by the rulers of the day for guidance in affairs of state. This was also true in much earlier times. For example, during the Babylonian captivity of the Jews, some 500 years earlier, King Nebuchadnezar kept a stable of court magi. Nebuchadnezer made the Jewish prophet Daniel Chief Magus of his court when Daniel was able to interpret a dream the other magi could not (16).

                              There were magi of various schools, and some were more respected than others. We know something of a particularly prestigious school of magi from the writings of Philo. Philo was a Jewish philosopher and contemporary of Jesus who lived in the large Jewish community of Alexandria, Egypt. Philo wrote in praise of an Eastern school of magi and their great learning and understanding of the natural world (17). This school may have descended from the Babylonian magi of Daniel's day. Matthew does report that the Wise Men were from the East, and Babylon is east of Judea. It was at one time part of the Persian Empire, which ties in with Philo. So it is possible the Wise Men were of this prestigious Eastern school. This would account for Herod giving them an audience, and for his strong reaction to the news they brought.

                              2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?


                              The Magis' question gives us three points for our list of qualifications for the Star. Whatever happened in the sky indicated 1) birth, 2) kingship and 3) Jews. It also gives us a clue about the Magi. They were interested in things Jewish.

                              2 (cont'd) We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

                              When the wise men said "we saw his star in the east," they didn't mean "we saw his star while we were in the East." The Greek text here says the Star was "en anatole," meaning they saw his star rising in the east. That's what all but polar stars do, because of the rotation of the Earth. Stars rise in the east, but not all celestial objects do that. So, that's another qualification for the Star: 4) it must rise in the east like most other stars.

                              The motive of the Magi in coming to Jerusalem tells us a great deal more about them. They wanted to worship a Jewish king. It can't be proven from the text, but it is quite possible that some of the Magi were of Jewish descent, perhaps a Jewish remnant from Daniel's day. This would help explain why a Jewish philosopher, Philo, would admire them, why they were watching the sky for things Jewish, why they wanted to worship a Jewish king, and why they were taken so seriously by Herod and Jewish chief priests. If they were not Jews, then they must have been most impressive magi indeed, as Jews of the time were deeply disdainful of pagans and their beliefs (18).

                              3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

                              You must know more to understand just how very troubled Herod and Jerusalem became at the Magis' news. Historians tell us that respect for the stars and guidance derived from them was at a peak (19). Both ancient historians and the Bible make it clear that the Jews of this period expected a new Jewish ruler to arise, based upon Jewish prophecy (20). And it was accepted that the stars could announce such an arrival.


                              Looks like you were right on your assessment.

                              God bless
                              "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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