Star of Bethlehem

  • Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. …(Matthew 2:1-2)

We serve a very mysterious God.  I sometimes think, “Oh Lord, what does this mean?  You have so many symbols, colors, numbers, and oh so many meanings and each applicable only to certain circumstances!”

I believe that it’s well worth our time to seek out and search His word, His meanings, His symbols, His intent–to get to His will for our lives.

Well, that’s no less an expectation to the Magi (translated means either astrologer or astronomer) studying the heavens and the Word of the Lord for years on end, expecting something to happen in the skies, as a sign leading them to the promised Messiah.  And, once recognizing the sign of  a particular Star, can you imagine that they would be willing to drop everything, climb on their camels, packed with treasures fit for the King of all Kings, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, high-end quality spices,  travel across the desert, for an opportunity to see and worship God’s son, the King of the Jews?

“Many Christians see the star as a miraculous sign to mark the birth of the Christ (or messiah).  Some theologians claimed that the star fulfilled a prophecy, known as the Star Prophecy. Astronomers have made several attempts to link the star to unusual astronomical events, such as a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, a comet or a supernova.” (source: Wikipedia)

The Star of Prophecy is linked to the Book of Numbers:

  • “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult.  (Numbers 24:17)

Note:  This prophecy also is also linked to Israel’s the Star of King David, part of the root leading to Jesus Christ.

However, the Star of Bethlehem is special, unique.  This Star is of a particular color, bright, shining and large enough to be distinct enough to stand out and have the Magi follow it as it moved across the heavens acting as a compass to lead the Magi to the home of Jesus Christ, deliver their gifts, and worship Him as they were initially inspired to do.

I had an artist friend of mine draw the Star of Bethlehem on a canvas for a project I was involved in.  When the Star was completed, trembling, I simply gasped because instantly, I recognized the Star as a Sign of the Cross! Oh how prophetic! Here’s a traditional image that closely resembles the Star of Bethlehem:

Star of Bethlehem

Star of Bethlehem

“John Chrysostom viewed the star as purely miraculous: “How then, tell me, did the star point out a spot so confined, just the space of a manger and shed, unless it left that height and came down, and stood over the very head of the young child? And at this the evangelist was hinting when he said, “Lo, the star went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.” (source: wikipedia)

I am going to agree with Evangelist, John Chrysostom, … that Star was magnified and bright enough to light the black night to the extent that the Magi’s couldn’t ignore or miscalculated that they were heading in the right direction.  It was a supernatural event–one that God would make sure it would take place so that generations would talk about it, ponder on it, be mystified about it, but accept it nonetheless as a true occurrence announcing the birth of Christ.

This also means Christ today still lights our pathways to Him:

  • Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
  • …and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. (Revelation 1:13)

If anyone wants or needs structural evidence that these events did take place,

Star of Bethlehem DVD

Star of Bethlehem DVD
Click on Image to Purchase

I highly recommend the DVD documentary starring attorney, Frederick A. Larson, who does an incredible and outstanding job of tracing time, applying historical data of astronomy using a computer software program and presenting “evidence,” to God’s creativity.  This DVD should make a believer out of anyone who still needs more before accepting that Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God, the world’s anticipated Messiah.

Blessings,

____________________________________

SeashoreMary

Abide In Me, Corpus Christi Website Designs, YouTube – ‪SeashoreMary, Christianchirp, Twitter

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10 thoughts on “Star of Bethlehem

  1. Truly our God is a God of many mysteries and no man can know the mind of God, but it does not stop one from wondering about Him, His thoughts, ways, His very being. He is the great I AM! The way He introduced the world to His only begotten Son is unique and we will or have already been invited to know Him as our Savior. Praise God! Thank you for a wonderful tribute to the Father and His Son, Mary.

    • Hi Lily! Just like you said, we don’t stop from wondering about the One whom we serve in an effort to get to know Him better.

      I wonder what a grand, majestic night it was when Christ was born!

      Blessings,
      Mary

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  5. This has been a popular documentary about the Star of Bethlehem it seems, but there are significant flaws that undo the the hypothesis, from dating the events to the astrological interpretation of the conjunctions to fitting what the Gospel of Matthew describes. You may enjoy considering those issues when viewing the documentary in the future:

    https://gilgamesh42.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/the-star-of-bethlehem-documentary-a-critiical-view-index/

    • Thank you Aaron for your point of view.

      I’m unsure how to respond because you really didn’t specify what the discrepancies are…

      Perhaps you could outline your concerns for me to review your commentary and reply appropriately.

      Thanks,

      Mary

      • Hi, yes. My comment was probably too terse to get across what seems to be the issues. But there are three basic points that work against the hypothesis the documentary proposes.

        One is the time line of events (Herod was dead before they happened, unlike what Matthew describes, and the arguments to change the date of Herod’s death do not work). The arguments for the new date require numerous ad-hoc additions (including people making up dates for when they started to reign as kings, co-rulerships of which there is no good evidence), as well as contradict the most straight-forward reading of the evidence we have from decent sources. There is a reason the view is fringe among historians.

        Another is that no evidence is provided that any of the alignments or movements of the planets would be interpreted as being about Jewish kings or even anything good (I point out ancient texts that had the exact opposite interpretation). While the conjunctions would have been bright events, that means little about how the Magi would have interpreted them; same with Jupiter traveling back and forth around Regulus.

        Lastly, the details don’t fit the movement of the Star in Matthew’s Gospel, at least when one reads the details of the story. i.e.: the Star “went before” (implying motion) instead of “was before/in front of them” (no movement) as the documentary suggests.

        Those three points would seem to be fatal flaws to the hypothesis, and they cannot be easily patched-up, at least in my estimation. There are more details in the link if you care to consider, critique, or share.

        Thanks for conversing!

        • Aaron is right about the fact that Larson does not tell why the magi should have interpreted the signs in the way he suggests. Actually both events mean that the King of Akkad will die and the dynasty change. However, the aggressor in this is “the King of Amurru”, and Amurru is the area from Syria down to Israel and Jordan. So it is true that the sign actually points to the coming of a new king from the west, and since the Jews were the dominant people among the “Amurru” at that time, it would be natural to look for the new king in Jerusalem. Aaron, in his book also points out how impossible how it is for a star to be observed as standing still at a certain moment, and yet the diviners in Babylon did it on a regular basis. Obviously they had a rule for telling when a star stood. If they followed the same path as the road Deret Beit Lechem they would have had Jupiter in front of them in the morning all the way down to Bethlehem, if they travelled at a speed higher than walking. An what does the manual tell them if they found that Jupiter had stopped? Well, “kings will be reconciled”, and the Akkadian word for reconciliation is actually the same as peace. So the star standing in the morning means peace on earth, and what do you think the manual told when Venus entered Jupiter? That the king will die, the dynasty change and suggested that a soldier should be sent to the enemy asking for peace… So Larson has made some errors, but the signs do work extremely well with the Christian tradition. I develop this more at http://www.starofbethlehem.com

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