The Star of Bethlehem1. Virgo. "A Deliverer will come into the human family someday, born as a man, yet supernaturallyconceived of a virgin, seed of the woman, yet son of God."2. Libra. "Since man is a sinner and under the curse, an adequate price muse be paid to redeem him andbalance the scales of divine justice."3. Scorpio. "The price of redemption must be the death of the Deliverer, since man is under the condem-nation of death, and yet, in dying, He must also destroy the Serpent who led man into sin."4. Sagittarius. "To prevent the coming of the Deliverer in the human family, the great Dragon will seek tocorrupt mankind into a race of demon-possessed monsters and murderers."5. Capricorns. "Man will finally become so sinful as to leave no remedy but complete inundation of hisentire world"·6. Aquarius. "The floodgates of heaven will pour forth waters to cleanse an evil world, but representa-tives of his land animals will survive to fill the earth again."7. Pisces. "From the waters will emerge the true people of God, as God retains His kingly throne despiteall the attacks of Satan".8. Aries. "In the fullness of time, the seed of the woman will come, ready to die as the sacrifice for manssins, paying the great price to redeem His bride and destroy the works of the Dragon."9. Taurus. "Having paid the price, the slain Ram will rise as the mighty Bull, to execute judgement on allungodliness and to rule supreme."10. Gemini. "As both Son of God and Son of Man, the second Adam will claim His bride as did the firstAdam, taking her to himself forever".11. Cancer. "All the redeemed will come to Him from all times and places, secure eternally in His pres-ence, enjoying His love and fellowship."12. Leo. "As eternal King and Lord of Lords, He will utterly vanquish and destroy the Serpent and all hisfollowers, reigning forever".
The Star of Bethlehem"Introduction...God made the stars...for signs and times and seasons. (Genesis 1:14-16).There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out ofIsrael. (Numbers 24:17) He telleth the number of the stars; He calleththem all by their names. (Psalm 147:4)And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness ofthy rising... they shall bring gold and incense. (Isaiah 60;3,6)I am the bright and morning star. (Rev. 22:16)Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herodthe 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 seenhis star in the east, and are come to worship him...and, lo, the star,which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood overwhere the young child was. (Matthew 2:1,2,9)Surely the most appropriate time in universal history for the Creator touse celestial bodies, as a "sign" would be when God Himself becameman, incarnate in human flesh, for the redemption of mankind. Scripturecondemns the principles of astrology and Matthew was not endorsingsuch practices. While the Magi were astrologers (with its inherentpotential for misinterpretation), they were astronomers (with word-leading scientific observation of the heavens) who had been influencedby Daniel and other Old Testament prophets
I. DEATH OF HEROD...Since the nineteenth century the majority of theologians have placed the birth of Jesus before the Spring of 4 B.C., inspite of the fact that most of the church fathers within the early centuries placed his birth from 3 B.C. to 1 B.C. Thispre-4 B.C. placement was due to a reference in Josephus that King Herod died shortly after an eclipse of the moonand before a Springtime Passover of the Jews. Astronomers in the last century informed theologians that an eclipse ofthe moon, which could be seen in Palestine, occurred on the evening of March 13, 4 B.C. Herods death wasarbitrarily placed within the 29 days from that eclipse until the Passover. Thus, theologians and astronomers havelooked for celestial displays as candidates for the Star before that date. However, Ernest Martin builds a convincingcase showing that the proper eclipse occurred on January 10, 1 B.C.II. CENSUS OF CYRENIUS...Called Quirinius in Rome historical documents, this qualified leader had experience in Syria by administering thecensus Tertullian referred to in 3/2 B.C. Martin demonstrates that Cyrenius received special Roman commandsthroughout his career, especially in census-taking events, and acted as procurator. This special census was one of themost important in history.This census (or registration) in 3/2 B.C. was actually an oath of allegiance demanded by Augustus Caesar andproclaimed during the summer of 3 B.C. Since both Joseph and Mary were descendants of David, and could both beconsidered legitimate claimants of the throne of Israel, both could be required to make the trip to Bethlehem. OnFebruary 5, 2 B.C., Augustus was given the title Pater Patriae (Father of the Country) by decree of the Senate and thepeople of Rome. The festivities coincided with his 25the jubilee year of being emperor of Rome and the 750the year ofthe founding of Rome
III. ATTENTION IN THE HEAVENS...In 1605 astronomers Johann Kepler suggested that a conjunction of Saturn,Jupiter and Mars was the Star of Bethlehem. To Persian Magi Saturnrepresented Jerusalem and Jupiter represented royalty. Pisces and Virgo bothrepresented the Hebrews.On May 29, 7 B.C. a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter occurred in Pisces. OnOctober 3, 7 B.C. the same thing happened.
This normally occurs once in 804 years. In the spring of 6 B.C. they conjuncted again with Mars joining! This is the only historical occasion when a planetary "massing" has occurred at the same time as a "triple" conjunction. Certainly a celestial message was being sent! Supernovas have been suggested as candidates for the Star. Visible supernovas have been reported in A.D. 1054 (the Chinese star), A.D. 1572 (Tychos star), and A.D. 1604 (Keplers star). On a date corresponding to July 5 B.C., the Chinese astronomical records report a "guest star", a nova in the constellation Aquilla. (An excavated Roman garden wall, dating to the time of AugustusCaesar, shows a painting of a tree with fruit clustered in theconfiguration of the star constellations. An "extra" fruit is shownwhere this "nova" occurred. It is of interest to note that this "nova"(X-1 Cygnus) appeared in the Northern Cross, with star Deneb(meaning "The Lord Comes") at the head of the cross. Stars Altair("The Wounding") and Vega ("He Shall be Exalted") are nearby.Our entire Solar System is moving toward star Vega. A celestialannouncement card anticipating the birth of a king is again beingdisplayed!...
IV. MAGIS HEIGHTENED OBSERVATION...On August 12, 3 B.C. Jupiter and Venus united as a "morning star", then displayed an"evening star" reunion 10 months later... On September 14, 3 B.C. Jupiter (the royal planetstar) came into union with Regulus (the royal fixed star of the first magnitude) in theconstellation of Leo, the Lion. Regulus is situated between the feet of Leo (the Royalconstellation). After this first conjunction Jupiter continued on its normal course in theheavens. Then, on December 1, 3 B.C., the planet stopped its motion through the fixed starsand began its annual retrogression. As it did so, it once again headed toward the starRegulus. On February 17, 2 B.C. the two were reunited. Jupiter continued this backward,retrogressive motion another 40 days and then reverted to its normal motion through thestars. This movement placed the planet once again into a third conjunction with Rugulus onMay 8, 2 B.C. To an appropriate observer, it would appear that Jupiter was making acircling "crown" effect over and around Regulus. With each of these apparent changes indirection, the Planet briefly becomes "stationary" within the background of the fixed stars.On December 25 th, 2 B.C. Jupiter came to a normal stationary position DIRECTLYOVER BETHLEHEM, as viewed from Jerusalem! At precisely this time the planet"stopped" in the middle of the constellation Virgo, the Virgin. The Sun was also "standingstill" in its usual Winter Solstice.
V. ROMAN INTERPRETATION...To the secular world devoid of spiritual conscience, particularly to thosein Rome, it seemed like heaven itself was giving approval for theemperorship of Augustus and that Roman government had the divineright to world sovereignty. This was in spite of the fact that they wereaware of the prophecies made by Daniel. Suetonius and Tacitusconfirmed that Rome knew of the belief that the empire of the worldwould be given to someone from Judea.
V. JEWISH INTERPRETATION...Martin aptly notes that the spectacular astronomical signs from May, 3 B.C. toDecember 2 B.C. would have caused wonderful interpretations, by astrologers, on behalfof Augustus and the Roman Empire, but the Magi decided instead to go to Jerusalemwith gifts to a newborn Jewish king. On August 12, 3 B.C., Jupiter rose as a morningstar, which soon came into conjunction with Venus. That started Jupiter off on ajourney in which six conjunctions with other planets and the star Regulus took place.The final planetary union was the massing of the planets, which occurred with Mars,Venus, and Mercury on August 27, 2 B.C., Jupiter then became "stationary" for a brieftime over Bethlehem on December 25, 2 B.C. At the inception of this scenario, here wasJupiter (the King Planet), which had just united with Venus (the Mother), now joiningitself with the King star Regulus (the star of the Jewish Messiah) in Leo (theconstellation of Judah), while the Sun (the Supreme Father of Ruler ) Marwas thenlocated in Virgo (the Virgin).
VI. CHRONOLOGY...1) Joseph and Mary began their journey to Bethlehem for the "census" at the close of theJewish civil year in 3 B.C.2) Near this time on August 12, 3 B.C. Jupiter and Venus united as a "morning star", thenJupiter continued its phenomenal progression through the starry heavens.3) Jesus was born in a stable on the twilight period of September 11, 3 B.C., the Day ofTrumpets.4) On September 14, 3 B.C. Jupiter came into union with Regulus and began the circling"crown" effect, which took place during the early months of Jesus infancy.5) Fifteen months later, when Jesus was a "young child" in a house the Magi arrived onDecember 25, 2 B.C., when the King planet Jupiter came to its stationary point in mid-Virgo, the Virgin. The star would have been seen as "stopped" over Bethlehem, as viewedfrom Jerusalem.One conclusion that can be drawn is that that star in the east, which that Magi saw was thisprogression of Jupiter through the heavens. Thus, the star was not "standing" over themanger at the time of Jesus birth (even though it was already in its divinely-appointedhistoric progression), but instead, at the appropriate time "stood" over Bethlehem at the