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Bethlehem's star

Matthew 2: 1 - 2: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

King Herod died in B.C. 1, so Jesus would have been born in B.C. 3 or B.C. 2.

The three wise men are likely to have been descendants of the Babylonian magi from the time of Daniel; their desire to come and worship the new-born Jewish King may give further confirmation as to their Jewish descent and to the reasoning that they were a Jewish remnant from the time of Daniel.

The mysterious star indicated a birth, kingship and the Jewish people. The star was seen rising in the East; this is what polar stars do due to the rotation of the earth.

Matthew 2: 7 - 9: Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

The star was not an obvious phenomenon because Herod had to enquire as to the time of the appearing of the star.

Any person can glance up at the sky and see the planets and stars, but it takes a trained eye to see and know the meaning of celestial phenomena.

Jupiter is the King planet. Magi watching the skies from the Middle East in B.C. 3 would have seen two objects moving so close that they appeared to touch. This close approach of celestial bodies is sometimes called a “conjunction”. The viewer would have seen Jupiter coming into a close conjunction with the star “Regulus’, which takes its name from the word “regal”. The Babylonians called Regulus “Sharu”, which means, “King”, thus the planet of kings met the star of kings and formed the brightest star that mankind has ever seen.


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