Sunday, November 27, 2011


Many people don't bother asking what the Star in the East was that led the Wise Men from the East to Bethlehem. They assume it was a either an exploding star--a super nova--or simply a miraculous event. In fact, God tends to use His creation in interacting with mankind. With the exception of the last, the ten plagues on Egypt were "natural" occurrences. The miraculous element is that they began and ended on command and their specific order caused a cascade of disasters.

So if the star was a natural, as opposed to a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't miracle, what was it? You might be surprised to find that there are several possible candidates.

At that B.C./A.D. conjunction, the whole Eastern and Roman world was expecting the next great ruler to arise. The Jews had been in Babylon for 500 years at this point, waiting for the Messiah. Jewish concepts were well established in the East. As Astrologers, the Babylonian Magi equated the star with that expected king.

So, was the star;
a)  Halley’s Comet, which passed in 11 BC...
b)  The conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter which occurred three times in 7 BC...
c)  Sirius the Dog star which, from the years 5 to 2 BC, rose brightly at sunrise on the first day of the month called Mesori “Birth of a Prince..."
d)  Or, a super nova unrecorded by ancient astrologers.
Remember, the Magi were Astrologers who looked for fixed signs in the heavens, therefore the answer is "C." To the Babylonians, the star Sirius represented Israel. That, connected to the month Mesori compelled the Magi to travel to Bethlehem.

One final point. The Magi continued on even when there was no visible star to follow. This fits with both the 7 BC conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter (3 occurrences) and the 5-2 BC rise of Sirius the Dog star at sunrise on the first day of the month called Mesori. Both are plausible, but I vote for Sirius.

1 comment:

Eric said...

You can't be Sirius! j/k. Actually sounds like a great explanation. As the brightest fixed star Sirius really stands out.