The REAL Story In The Stars Part 8: The Star Of Bethlehem.

Matthew 2:1-2
2 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, 2 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.”
(The Magi visit King Herod.)

We’re going to take little side trip now and discuss the Star of Bethlehem, which is another very important part of this celestial tale.  Let’s dig in!

The Mystery Unfolds.

For two millennia, great thinkers — Astronomers, theologians, believers, and even skeptics–have pondered the mystery of the star of Bethlehem.  Was it a miraculous star that just “appeared” for this most special event?  Was it a comet or a supernova…..or was it something else entirely? 🤔 Nope!  None of the above.

In December of 1603, a 32-year old German scientist, “Johannes Kepler,” discovered something amazing.  Intrigued by the planetary conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, he began to investigate.  His findings were stunning!  He is believed to be the first to identify the Christmas “Star” that guided the Magi to where Jesus was born and is credited with having identified the most precise date of this event ever.

(Johannes Kepler)
An astronomer, mathematician, and writer, Kepler was a major figure in the scientific revolution of the 17th century.  Famous for his laws of planetary motion, he was a former assistant of Tycho Brahe, the scientist who advanced the Copernican Theory and laid the foundations for Newton’s work.

The “Star of Bethlehem” was not actually a star at all, but a conjunction of the two largest planets in our solar system in the evening sky: Jupiter and Saturn.

Planetary Conjunction.

What is a planetary conjunction?  It is simply a close approach of planets in the sky.  Nothing magical about it except for the curious timing of their alignment, as orchestrated by God.

Kepler began computing the planetary positions all the way back to the time of the birth of Jesus. His calculations showed that there was a TRIPPLE PLANETARY CONJUNCTION of Jupiter and Saturn in the presence of a full moon in 7 BC on May 27th, October 5th, and December 1st.  His calculations are shown in the picture below for those who understand such things.

(Conjunction of Kepler)

This “Conjunction of Kepler,” as it has come to be known, is THE GREATEST CONJUNCTION OF THESE PLANETS OF ALL TIME!  In fact, it is often called, “The greatest conjunction.”  His calculations, by the way, have been confirmed by the highest authorities, which only adds to their credibility.

Why a conjunction of planets and not a comet or supernova?  Because the wealthy wise men from the East were astrologers in their day and watched closely the movement  of the planets.  God knew such a conjunction would definitely get their attention and tell them that an event of monumental importance had taken place, which they realized had to be the promised King of the Jews.  Remember what they said to King Harold?  “Where is he who is born King of the Jews.”

Though born in poverty, these kings from the East, and there were probably more than 3, brought great wealth with them which they presented to Jesus’ parents when he was 2 years old.  How wonderful of our God to so bless the parents who would care for His beloved son during his formative years.

Special Significance To Israel.

This alignment of Jupiter and Saturn, according to ancient Jewish authorities {Josephus among them} has special reference to Israel.  It is a sign that is favorable to that tiny nation meaning that God is about to cause great things to happen that favor her! 😁 

These three conjunctions, occurring in the presence of a full moon, made it a very bright night.  Also worthy of note is the fact that they were aligned in the constellation of Pisces, “The Fish,” a symbol of the Church and of believers!

This is no mere coincidence!  It was all orchestrated by God Himself.  Remember, it was He Who created the stars, named them, and set them in motion.  Our enemy’s invention, astrology, was a pathetic attempt to pervert the Real story in the stars that told of Jesus and His work of redemption.  (By the way, the end of the above paragraph is written in bold GREEN color as green signifies the New Covenant.)

Guiding Star.
This “Star” appeared after Jesus was already born.  As most of you know, the wise men were not present at Jesus’ birth.  Only shepherds were there to witness that amazing event.  The wise men who came from the East, the country we know as modern day Iraq, arrived some two years afterward as the scripture below bears out.
Matthew 2:11 it says, “And when they had come into the HOUSE, they saw the YOUNG CHILD {not a baby} with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
See?  It was not a baby that they saw, but a young child.  That’s why Herod had all the children age 2 and younger killed.  Of course, he was unsuccessful in his attempt to kill Jesus. Mary and Joseph had already fled to Egypt before his plan was implemented.  God warned them in a dream to get out of town.

Pre-Nativity Appearances.

Whenever Jupiter and Saturn have appeared together down through history it has always marked some great event favorable to Israel.  Calculating back, Kepler noted that the first appearance of this conjunction was the revelation to Adam of God’s plan to send His Champion.  Astronomers can trace this all the way back because of the predictable, measurable, movements of the stars.

The second appearance was at the birth of Enoch, a righteous man who walked with God.  So pleased was God with him that he walked right into heaven one day, being instantly translated.  He did not see death.  He is a typology of the rapture generation that also will not see death.  Many of you reading this article are that very Enoch generation!

The third appearance was the revelation to Noah of the covenant He made with him after the great flood.  Then, at the birth of Moses the great deliverer of Israel, it appeared for the fourth time. 

It made an appearance at the birth of Cyrus, the good king who helped the returning Jewish exiles rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.  Many believe him to have been the son of Ahasuarus and Queen Esther.


Post-Nativity Appearances.

Down through Church history, it has appeared at very significant times, like the birth of Charlemagne, the good emperor who was favorable to Christians.  Last of all, it appeared at the birth of Martin Luther who tacked his 95 theses to the Church door restoring the truth of salvation by grace.  All these are good signs that favor both Israel and the Church.

Chinese Astronomers.

The most accurate records of celestial events in the world are found in the nation of China.  They have faithfully and painstakingly recorded the occurrences of these celestial conjunctions and preserved their findings for posterity.  They actually have on record the three hours of darkness which covered the whole earth in April the year Jesus was crucified, corroborating the Biblical account.  Though they had absolutely no idea what caused it, they nevertheless recorded it nonetheless.

What a beautiful account of the birth of our dear Savior, Jesus, told to us through signs in the night sky, the greatest of them all being THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.

You may continue this series to Part 9 by following the link below.  We’ll be talking about Sagittarius, the Archer:

The REAL Story In The Stars Part 9: Sagittarius, The Great Archer.

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