2015 Haziran ayında peygamberimizin 1400 yıl önce haber verdiği bir olay gerçekleşti. Jupiter ve Venüs tek bir parlak yıldız olarak birleşti ve Betlehem Yıldızı görüldü! Bakın gerçekleşen bu olay da Hz. Mehdi'nin zuhur alametidir. Hadiste peygamberimiz şöyle bildiriyor:
(Hz. Mehdi geldiğinde) Doğudan bir yıldız doğar ve ayın ışık verdiği gibi ışık verir. Daha sonra iki ucu neredeyse birleşinceye kadar sarkar. Gökte bir renk oluşur ve ışık her iki ufkuna da yayılır.(Nuaym Bin Hammad, Kitab-ül Fiten, Mehdi ve Ahir zaman Bölümü)
Betlehem yıldızı olarak görülen yıldız aslında bir yıldız değil, Venüs ve Jüpiter'in dünyadan görülebilecek gibi yakınlaşması sonucunda tek bir yıldız olarak görülüyor. Önce iki ayrı küçük parça gibi gözüküyor, sonra birleşiyor ve tek nokta halinde gözüküyor.
Hadiste "doğudan bir yıldız (Betlehem yıldızı) doğar ve ayın ışık verdiği gibi ışık verir" diye bildiriliyor. Ayın kendi ışığı yoktur. Güneşin ışığını yansıtır. Gezegenler de tıpkı ay gibidir. Işıkları yoktur, ışığı yansıtırlar. Demek ki hadiste bahsedilen bir yıldız değil, gezegendir.
Yine hadiste "daha sonra iki ucu neredeyse birleşinceye kadar sarkar" ifadesi geçmektedir. Hadiste bu iki gök cisminin neredeyse birleştiği bildirilmiş ve iki uç, yani iki ufuktan bahsedilmiştir.
Betlehem Yıldızı tek bir gök cismi gibi telaffuz edilir. Fakat bu gök cismi Venüs ve Jupiter gezegenlerinin dünyadan görülebilecek şekilde birbirlerine yakınlaşması ile oluşur. Bu iki gezegen dünyadan giderek birbirlerine yaklaşan iki yıldız gibi gözükür.
Yine hadiste ". Gökte bir renk oluşur ve ışık her iki ufkuna da yayılır" ifadesi geçmektedir. Yıldızlar kendi ışığını ürettiği için ufuk çizgileri yoktur. Gezegenlerin ufuk çizgileri vardır.
Hadiste bildirilen tüm bu özellikler Betlehem yıldızını anlatmaktadır. Betlehem Yıldızı Hz. İsa'nın doğumunda da görülmüş, İsa Mesih'in doğumunun müjdesi olarak İncil'de yer almıştır. Hz. İsa'nın Kral Hirodes devrinde, Yahudiye'nin Betlehem kentinde doğmasından sonra bazı yıldızbilimciler DOĞUDAN YERÜŞALİM (Kudüs)'e gelip şöyle dediler: Yahudilerin kralı olarak doğan çocuk (Hz. İsa) nerede? Doğuda onun yıldızını (Betlehem Yıldızını gördük. (Matta, 1)
Yıldızbilimciler kralı dinledikten sonra yola çıktılar. Doğuda görmüş oldukları yıldız (Betlehem yıldızı) onlara yol gösteriyordu, çocuğun (Hz. İsa'nın) bulunduğu yerin üzerine varınca durdu. (Matta, 9)
İsa Mesih'in doğumunun müjdesi olan Betlehem Yıldızı Roma dönemine ait Tunç sikkelerinde ve duvar resimlerinde ve tarihi tablolarda da sıkça görülmektedir.
Açıkça görüldüğü gibi peygamberimiz bundan 1400 yıl önce Betlehem yıldızının vasıflarını tüm detaylarıyla anlatmış, Betlehem Yıldızının çıkışının Hz. Mehdi'nin gelişini haber verdiğini söylemiştir. Peygamberimizin söylediği yüzlerce alametin arka arkaya gerçekleşmesi çok büyük bir mucizedir. Betlehem yıldızı 2000 yılda bir çıkan bir yıldızdır. Peygamberimizin söylediği gibi Hz. Mehdi'nin zuhur alameti olarak 2000 yıl sonra tekrar çıkmıştır. Hem Hz. Mehdi'nin hem de Hz. İsa'nın zuhuru çok yakındır.
Kuran’ı anladığınız dilde okuyun…
Hz. Mehdi’nin zuhur alametlerinden biri daha gerçekleşti!
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.
Many modern scholars do not consider the story to be describing a historical event but a pious fiction created by the author of the Gospel of Matthew.
The subject is a favorite at planetarium shows during the Christmas season, although the Biblical account describes Jesus with a broader Greek word, which can mean either "infant" or "child" (paidon), rather than the more specific word for infant (brephos), possibly implying that some time has passed since the birth. The visit is traditionally celebrated on Epiphany (January 6) in Western Christianity.
- 1 Matthew's narrative
- 2 Explanations
- 3 Religious interpretations
- 4 Determining the year Jesus was born
- 5 Depiction in art
- 6 Popular culture
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Matthew's narrativeIn the Gospel of Matthew account, the Magi (usually translated as "wise men" but in this context meaning "astrologer") arrive at the court of Herod in Jerusalem and tell the king of a star which signifies the birth of the King of the Jews:
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 [or at its rising] and have come to worship Him. When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also. When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.Matthew's account suggests that the magi knew from the star that the "king of the Jews" had been born even before they arrived in Jerusalem. They present Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In a dream, they are warned not to return to Jerusalem, so they leave for their own country by another route. When Herod realizes he has been tricked, he orders the execution of all male children in Bethlehem two years old and younger, based on the information the magi had given him concerning the time the star first appeared.[nb 2] Joseph, warned in a dream, takes his family to Egypt for their safety. The Gospel links the escape to a verse from scripture, which it interprets as a prophecy: "Out of Egypt I called my son." This was a reference to the departure of the Hebrews from Egypt under Moses, so the quote suggests that Matthew saw the life of Jesus as recapitulating the story of the Jewish people, with Judea representing Egypt and Herod standing in for pharaoh. After Herod dies, Joseph and his family return from Egypt, and settle in Nazareth in Galilee. This is also said to be a fulfillment of a prophecy ("He will be called a Nazorean," (NRSV)) for which no scriptural reference is known.[nb 3]
Pious fictionMany scholars, seeing the Gospel Nativity stories as later apologetic accounts created to establish the Messianic status of Jesus, regard the Star of Bethlehem as a pious fiction. Aspects of Matthew's account which have raised questions of the historical event include: Matthew is the only one of the four gospels which mentions either the Star of Bethlehem or the magi. The author of the Gospel of Mark, considered by modern text scholars to be the oldest of the Gospels, does not appear to be aware of the Bethlehem nativity story. A character in the Gospel of John states that Jesus is from Galilee, and not Bethlehem. The Gospels often described Jesus as "of Nazareth," but never as "of Bethlehem". Scholars suggest that Jesus was born in Nazareth and that the Bethlehem nativity narratives reflect a desire by the Gospel writers to present his birth as the fulfillment of prophecy. The Matthew account conflicts with that given in the Gospel of Luke, in which the family of Jesus already live in Nazareth, travel to Bethlehem for the census, and return home almost immediately.
Fulfillment of prophecyThe ancients believed that astronomical phenomena were connected to terrestrial events. Miracles were routinely associated with the birth of important people, including the Hebrew patriarchs, as well as Greek and Roman heroes.
The Star of Bethlehem is traditionally linked to the Star Prophecy in the Book of Numbers:
Although clearly intended to refer to a time that was long past, since the kingdom of Moab had long ceased to exist by the time the Gospels were being written, this passage had become widely seen as a reference to the coming of a Messiah. It was, for example, cited by Josephus, who believed it referred to Emperor Vespasian. Origen, one of the most influential early Christian theologians, connected this prophecy with the Star of Bethlehem: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.
If, then, at the commencement of new dynasties, or on the occasion of other important events, there arises a comet so called, or any similar celestial body, why should it be matter of wonder that at the birth of Him who was to introduce a new doctrine to the human race, and to make known His teaching not only to Jews, but also to Greeks, and to many of the barbarous nations besides, a star should have arisen? Now I would say, that with respect to comets there is no prophecy in circulation to the effect that such and such a comet was to arise in connection with a particular kingdom or a particular time; but with respect to the appearance of a star at the birth of Jesus there is a prophecy of Balaam recorded by Moses to this effect: There shall arise a star out of Jacob, and a man shall rise up out of Israel.Origen suggested that the magi may have decided to travel to Jerusalem when they "conjectured that the man whose appearance had been foretold along with that of the star, had actually come into the world".
The magi are sometimes called "kings" because of the belief that they fulfill prophecies in Isaiah and Psalms concerning a journey to Jerusalem by gentile kings. Isaiah mentions gifts of gold and incense. In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament probably used by Matthew, these gifts are given as gold and frankincense, similar to Matthew's "gold, frankincense, and myrrh." The gift of myrrh symbolizes mortality, according to Origen.
While Origen argued for a naturalistic explanation, 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."
Astronomical objectAlthough magi (Greek μαγοι) is usually translated as "wise men," in this context it probably means "astronomer" or "astrologer". The involvement of astrologers in the story of the birth of Jesus was problematic for the early Church, because they condemned astrology as demonic; a widely cited explanation was that of Tertullian, who suggested that astrology was allowed 'only until the time of the Gospel'.
Planetary conjunctionIn 1614, German astronomer Johannes Kepler determined that a series of three conjunctions of the planets Jupiter and Saturn occurred in the year 7 BC. He argued (incorrectly) that a planetary conjunction could create a nova, which he linked to the Star of Bethlehem. Modern calculations show that there was a gap of nearly a degree (approximately twice a diameter of the moon) between the planets, so these conjunctions were not visually impressive. An ancient almanac has been found in Babylon which covers the events of this period, but does not indicate that the conjunctions were of any special interest. In the 20th century, Prof. Karlis Kaufmanis, an astronomer, argued that this was an astronomical event where Jupiter and Saturn were in a triple conjunction in the constellation Pisces.
In 3–2 BC, there was a series of seven conjunctions, including three between Jupiter and Regulus and a strikingly close conjunction between Jupiter and Venus near Regulus on June 17, 2 BC. "The fusion of two planets would have been a rare and awe-inspiring event", according to Roger Sinnott. Archaeologist and Assyriologist Simo Parpola has also suggested this explanation. Another Jupiter/Venus conjunction occurred earlier in August, 3 BC. These events however occurred after the generally accepted date of 4 BC for the death of Herod. Since the conjunction would have been seen in the west at sunset it could not have led the magi south from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. It also does not fit with an event seen at rising that might have started them on the journey.
CometOther writers suggest that the star was a comet. Halley's Comet was visible in 12 BC and another object, possibly a comet or nova, was seen by Chinese and Korean stargazers in about 5 BC. This object was observed for over seventy days with no movement recorded. Ancient writers described comets as "hanging over" specific cities, just as the Star of Bethlehem was said to have "stood over" the "place" where Jesus was (the town of Bethlehem). However, this is generally thought unlikely as in ancient times comets were generally seen as bad omens.
SupernovaA recent (2005) hypothesis is that the star of Bethlehem was a supernova or hypernova occurring in the nearby Andromeda Galaxy. Although it is difficult to detect a supernova remnant in another galaxy, or obtain an accurate date of when it occurred, supernovae remnants have been detected in Andromeda.
Heliacal risingThe magi told Herod that they saw the star "in the East," "at its rising", which may imply the routine appearance of a constellation, or an asterism. One theory interprets the phrase in Matthew 2:2, "in the east," as an astrological term concerning a "heliacal rising." This idea was first proposed by Heinrich Voigt in 1911, a view rejected by Franz Boll (1867–1924). Two modern translators of ancient astrological texts insist that the text has nothing to do with either a heliacal or an acronycal rising of a star.
Double occultationAstronomer Michael R. Molnar points out that “in the east” refers to a technical term in Greek mathematical astrology to describe a planet that would rise above the eastern horizon just before sunrise. This would make a "star in the east" an astronomical event with astrological significance in the context of ancient Greek astrology.
Molnar has proposed a link between the Star of Bethlehem and a double occultation of Jupiter by the moon on March 20 and April 17 of 6 BC in Aries, particularly the second occultation on April 17. Occultations of planets by the moon are quite common, but Firmicus Maternus, an astrologer to Roman Emperor Constantine, wrote that an occultation of Jupiter in Aries was a sign of the birth of a divine king.
Based on numismatic considerations Molnar believes that Aries the Ram, rather than Pisces the Fish, was the zodiac symbol for Judea, a fact that would affect previous interpretations of astrological material. Molnar’s theory was debated by scientists, theologians, and historians during a colloquium on the Star of Bethlehem at the Netherlands’ University of Groningen in October 2014. Harvard astronomer Owen Gingerich supports Molnar’s explanation but noted technical questions. “It is being fairly widely accepted,” he said, "but not necessarily all of the details."  Astronomer David A. Weintraub says, "If Matthew’s wise men actually undertook a journey to search for a newborn king, the bright star didn’t guide them; it only told them when to set out."
The events were quite close to the sun and would not have been visible to the naked eye. But a growing consensus confirms that the Star of Bethlehem was not a bright object, like a supernova or a comet, as others have argued. "The gospel story is one in which King Herod was taken by surprise," said Gingerich. "So it wasn’t that there was suddenly a brilliant new star sitting there that anybody could have seen [but] something more subtle."
In Orthodox icons, the Star of Bethlehem is often depicted not as golden, but as a dark aureola, a semicircle at the top of the icon, indicating the Uncreated Light of Divine grace, with a ray pointing to "the place where the young child lay" (Matt 2:9). Sometimes the faint image of an angel is drawn inside the aureola.
MormonismMormons believe that the Star of Bethlehem was an actual astronomical event visible the world over. In the Book of Mormon, which they believe contains writings of ancient prophets, Samuel the Lamanite prophesies that a new star will appear as a sign that Jesus has been born, and Nephi later writes about the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Jehovah's WitnessesAmong Jehovah's Witnesses the Star of Bethlehem is seen as a product of Satan, rather than a sign from God, since the star led the astrologers to Jerusalem where they met King Herod's plan to kill Jesus.
Seventh-day AdventistIn The Desire of Ages, Ellen White states "That star was a distant company of shining angels, but of this the wise men were ignorant."
Determining the year Jesus was born
See also: Chronology of JesusIf the story of the star was describing an actual event, it might identify the year Jesus was born. The Gospel of Matthew describes the birth of Jesus as taking place when Herod was king. According to Josephus, Herod died after a lunar eclipse. This is usually identified as the eclipse of March 13, 4 BC. The narrative implies that Jesus was born sometime between the first appearance of the star and the appearance of the Magi at Herod's court. That the king is said to have ordered the execution of boys two years of age and younger, implies that the star made its appearance within the preceding two years. Modern scholars date the birth of Jesus as 6–4 BC.
The Gospel of Luke on the other hand, while it implies that the birth took place when Herod was alive, also says that Jesus was born during the census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria, which took place in AD 6, nine years after Herod died. The Luke account also says that the family of Jesus left Bethlehem shortly after the birth.
Depiction in artPaintings and other pictures of the Adoration of the Magi may include a depiction of the star in some form. In the fresco by Giotto di Bondone, it is depicted as a comet. In the tapestry of the subject designed by Edward Burne-Jones (and in the related watercolour), the star is held by an angel.
The colourful star lantern known as a paról is a cherished and ubiquitous symbol of the holiday for Filipinos, its design and light recalling the star. In its basic form, the paról has five points and two "tails" that evoke rays of light pointing the way to the stable, and candles inside the lanterns have been superseded by electric illumination.
IntroductionAttempting to decisively date the birth of Christ or his crucifixion is a formidable task for any chronologist; and trying to ascertain the nature of the so-called Christmas Star is just as formidable to the astronomer. This paper reviews the current ideas surrounding the Star of Bethlehem and it also attempts to date the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ using a variety of evidence. It is a shortened and updated version of the paper which is presented in full in The Geocentric Papers.
To avoid confusion from the outset, the B.C. (before Christ) years do not include the mythical year zero. Many popular commentators to the contrary, there properly should not be a zero year in a calendrical system referring to any historical event. The first year of Christ's stay on earth would be, by definition, the year A.D. 1; the year before his birth would by the same definition be the year 1 B.C. Hence there is no room for a year zero. The question arises, what year was it 2,000 years ago from this year, 1998? Arithmetically, 1998 - 2000 = -2, but that includes the year zero. The year zero is the same as 1 B.C. So 1998 years ago it was 1998-1998=0, that is, 1 B.C.; 1999 years ago it was 2 B.C.; and 2,000 years ago it was 3 B.C. As we'll see below, the Lord Jesus Christ was born in the late summer or early fall of 2 B.C., which at that time of year next year (1999) will be 2,000 years ago.
There are many naturalistic explanations for the Star of Bethlehem, and most of them can easily be dismissed. In order, though, to ascertain the validity of any and all naturalistic explanations for the star, we need to collect all that is actually and reliably known about the star. For that we need to turn to the Bible.
The Biblical EvidenceThe only direct reference to the star occurs in Matthew chapter 2 where we read in the second verse that the wise men ask Herod the king:
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.Earlier they had seen the star in their native land (presumably Babylon), but evidently the star was no longer visible by the time they arrived at Jerusalem, for verses 9 and 10 relate that:
9 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.
10 When they saw the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.Herod questioned the wise men, asking them when they first saw the star. The Bible does not report when they first saw the star, but we do know from Matthew 2:16 that on the basis of the wise men's report, Herod slew all the children about Bethlehem:
from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.This passage seems to allow for a delay of as much as two years between the appearance of the star and the visit of the wise men. Jewish Talmudic tradition holds that there would be a two-year delay between the appearance of the star and the actual birth of the Messiah.(1) If this were a common belief in Herod's day, then no doubt Herod was not taking any chances by executing all children two years old and under.
The only other possible mention of the star occurs in Numbers 24:17 where Balaam, in blessing the nation of Israel as it is about to enter the promised land, says:
... there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.The passage relates that a Star will rise out of Jacob. But what is meant by the term "Star out of Jacob?" Some evidence is found in Joseph's dream in Genesis 37:9-11, where Joseph is the star about whom Jacob (who is Israel), his wife, and eleven of his sons do obeisance. That passage identifies Israel with the sun, and Joseph is a star "out of Jacob." Now Joseph is a type of Christ, and Jesus Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of Balaam's prophecy. Now if Numbers 24:17 refers to the Star of Bethlehem in addition to referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, then either the wise men saw a star ascending into the sky from the very land of Israel; or else a part of the sun was torn loose and was observed as a star by the wise men in the east.
Apocryphal ReferencesIn addition to the Biblical references, there are also three apocryphal references to the star. One of these appears in the blasphemous Protoevangelion, where it is reported that the wise men said unto Herod:
We saw an extraordinary large star shining among the stars of heaven, and so out-shined all the other stars, as that they became not visible, and we knew thereby that a great king was born in Israel, and therefore we are come to worship him.(2)A second reference is found in the Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians and it is like unto the first:
A star shone in heaven beyond all the other stars, and its light was inexpressible, and its novelty struck terror into men's minds. All the rest of the stars, together with the sun and moon were the chorus to this star; but that sent out its light exceedingly above them all. And men began to be troubled to think whence this new star came so unlike all the others. Hence all the power of magic became dissolved; men's ignorance was taken away; and the old kingdom abolished; God himself appearing in the form of a man, for the renewal of eternal life.(3)Both of these passages claim that the star was supremely bright; but if that were the case, then why is there no record of the star in any other culture? There are other cultural accounts of Joshua's long day and of Hezekiah's sign, but none of this star which is here reported to have exceeded the combined brightness of the sun, moon, and stars. This star was somehow missed by the Romans, Chinese, Mayans, Babylonians, and even the Jews themselves. All things considered it becomes obvious that these two apocryphal accounts are fabrications.
The third apocryphal account is found in the extremely blasphemous First Infancy Gospel.
And at the same time there appeared to [the wise men] an angel in the form of that star which had before been their guide in their journey; the light of which they followed till they returned into their own country.(4)This passage is interesting only in that it attributes the star to an angel, a consideration to which we shall turn our attention later.
We conclude that all that is reliably known about the Star of Bethlehem is what is recorded in the Holy Bible: it was a single star; that it was not particularly bright (since it had not been noticed by Herod or the Rabbis); it disappeared after its original sighting until the wise men saw it again en route from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, a distance of a little more than six miles. Furthermore, it went ahead of them until it stood over the house wherein the young child was. Finally, the visit of the wise men may have been as much as two years after the appearance of the star, possibly, even, two years after the birth of the Lord.
Some Spurious Naturalistic ExplanationsWe are now ready to consider the naturalistic explanations which have been put forth in order to account for the star. Some of the proposed phenomena may be quickly disposed of. One claim is that the star was actually the planet Venus which can take people by surprise with its brilliance. It can even be seen in daylight, and it is the most commonly reported "UFO" today. But if Venus had been the star, then it would have been recognized by the wise men who undoubtedly were aware of its position and motion.
A second spurious suggestion is that the star was a meteor or fireball. Such "shooting stars," which are little particles of rock or nickel-iron ranging in size from a grain of sand to many tons, are short-lived, common phenomena. They are so common, in fact, that it hardly seems likely that any fireball or bolide (an exploding meteor) could have spurred the wise men on to a 450-mile journey to Jerusalem. After all, most meteors last less than ten seconds.
A third spurious suggestion, that the Star of Bethlehem was an early sighting of the planet Uranus.(5) Uranus was "discovered" by Sir William Herschel in 1781. It is barely below the detectability of the naked eye and it was located in the constellation of Pisces (Figure 1) during the time of Christ's birth. But even though Pisces is made up of faint stars, it is doubtful that the slow-moving, exceedingly faint Uranus would have been detected. Even if it had been seen, there is nothing compelling in its appearance that would urge the wise men toward Jerusalem.
Some More Plausible Naturalistic SuggestionsA more feasible possibility for the star is the suggestion that it was an exploding star a nova or supernova. Far eastern records do record two "temporary stars" around the time of Christ's birth.(6)
The first appeared some time in the second month (March 10 to April 7) of the second year of the Ch'ien-p'ing period (5 B.C.) near the stars Alpha and Beta Capricorni. This star was observed for seventy days and there is some question as to whether or not motion was recorded for it. If it did move, then most likely it would have been a comet. At its appearing it would have risen 4.5 hours before sunrise; hardly an early morning or "eastern" object.
The second report of a nova or supernova hails from Korea. It is not too reliable, however, as its date may have been improperly recorded.(7) This object reportedly appeared late in winter or early spring in the year 4 B.C. in the constellation of Aquila. Some have suggested that the 5 B.C. and the 4 B.C. objects may have been one and the same,(8) but Morehouse(9) has suggested that the 4 B.C. object was a supernova which can now be identified with the binary pulsar, PSR 1913+16b. Be that as it may, there is nothing particularly unique about either of the two objects that would provoke the wise men into traveling to Jerusalem.
Another weak suggestion is that the Star of Bethlehem was a comet. Outside of the possibility that one or both of the above objects may have been comets, there is no known record of any comet around the time of the birth of Jesus. Mention is sometimes made of the 11 B.C. appearance of Halley's comet, but that date is far too early for the birth of Jesus.
Of course, there is the unbeliever's conclusion, most unlikely of all, that the star was merely a legend or a fabrication on Matthew's part. It fails on three counts. First, if as some claim, Matthew concocted the star in order to fulfill the prophecy of Balaam in Numbers 24:17, we are left to wonder why he would do that since there is no reason to concoct such a star, for the passage does not require a literal star for its fulfillment. Second, had Matthew felt it necessary to invent the story of the star as a fulfillment of Balaam's prophecy, then why did he not mention the fulfillment? Third, his star is far too subdued. Truly fantastic stars are such as we encountered in the first two apocryphal writings mentioned above, not as we find in Matthew.
Some Lesser SuggestionsSeiss(10) proposed a peculiar star as a candidate for the Star of Bethlehem. He referred to the Arab historian Gregory Abulfaragus (1226-1286), who claimed that the wise men were Zoroastrians, and that in their bible, the Zend Avesta, it is written that the appearance of a new star in the constellation of Virgo would herald the birth of the Messiah. Abulfaragus further claimed that Zoroaster was a student of Daniel, whence he learned of the star. Now we have already seen that there is no record of a new star in Virgo anytime near 1 B.C.
As a second possibility, Seiss notes that the word coma, which in Hebrew signifies "to long for" (Psalm 63:1), is also the name of a constellation north of Virgo. Seiss concludes that the constellation of Coma must be the one wherein the Star of Bethlehem appeared. Seiss's account is confusing. He reports a flare-up of a star in the constellation of Coma in the year 125 B.C. Seiss identifies that star which, upon becoming visible in daylight, caused Hipparchus to recognize the transience of the stars and thus to draw up his famous star catalog. Seiss then mentions a Chinese report of a flare-up of the same star about the time of Christ's birth; but he has either confused this with one of the two novae reports mentioned previously, or he had access to an account which is now lost. He continues that Ptolemy wrote that the same star was barely visible in his day (A.D. 150). Seiss identifies the star as 5 Comae which he claims was the Christmas star and which also passed overhead at Jerusalem and was seen by the wise men when they looked down the well.
According to the tale of the well, the wise men traveled by day from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and, when they looked into the well by the inn, they saw the reflection of the star. Now stars are reputedly visible in daytime when seen from the bottom of a long shaft; but there are several flaws with this story. First of all, the wise men would have had to take elaborate precautions to avoid having their heads in the way of the star's light when looking down the well. Second, the star must still be fairly bright, and third, contrary to the Biblical report, they could not have seen it going ahead of them on their journey to Jerusalem. Last, the star's visibility in the well would not have uniquely pinpointed the place but would only have indicated the proper latitude, not the longitude.
None of these naturalistic explanations satisfy the Biblical record of the Star of Bethlehem. Neither does Seiss's candidate star which apparently lasted for 275 years and would thus hardly be considered special, having started 125 years before Christ's birth.
There is one other naturalistic phenomenon commonly associated with the star of Bethlehem and that is that it was one or more planetary conjunctions. In order to evaluate those we need to accurately know when Christ was born.
When Was Jesus Christ Born?Luke 3:1 reports that John the Baptist started his ministry in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. There is little doubt that Caesar Augustus died in A.D. 14, the date being attested to by coins and historians of the era. So the first year of Tiberius' reign started August 19, A.D. 14 and went through August 18, A.D. 15. So his fifteenth year ran from August 19, A.D. 28 to August 18, A.D. 29.
Now John was six months older than Jesus, and since the priests could not serve until age thirty, John, whose father was a priest, was thirty when he started his ministry. Thus the year of John's birth was between August 3 B.C. and August 2 B.C. Presumably, Jesus started his work six months later. Traditionally, (perhaps as with Ussher,(11)who based his conclusion on a comparison of Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 26:28), Christ's ministry on earth is taken as having lasted three and a half years. The crucifixion would then have been in A.D. 33.
In support of this conclusion, Luke 3:23 states that at the time of his baptism by John:
... Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age.(12)This would then have been late in the fourteenth or in the fifteenth year of Tiberius.
All these considerations pinpoint the year 33 for the crucifixion. Most likely Jesus' ministry thus began in the fall of A.D. 29, early in the sixteenth year of Tiberius; with John having started some six months earlier, perhaps in time for the Passover (Leviticus 23:21).
All this serves to date the birth of Christ as the fall or late summer of 2 B.C.; the birth of John being more specifically datable as about 25 March, 2 B.C., that day being the first day of spring and nine months after the first course of Abia (Luke 1:5, 8, 23).
It is interesting to compare the various dates for Christ's birth. Whereas most modern commentators place it in 5 B.C. or earlier, most ancient authorities quote a date of 3 to 2 B.C. (that is, corresponding to the Jewish year ending in late September). Those who do include Julius Africanus, Hyppoletus of Rome, Hyppoletus of Thebes (first fragment), Jerome, Origen, Photius of Constantinople, Zonares, Eusebius of Caesaria, Bar Hebraeus, Chrysostom, Basilides, Tertullian (who thought the spring of 2 B.C. at which time Saturnius instead of Cyrenius who was mentioned in Luke 2:2, was governor of Syria), the Paschal Chronicle and the Chronicon Cyrianicum.
Opting for a birth date of 2 B.C. are Epiphanius and the early Syrian historical treatise, the Chronicum Edessenum.
Roman MattersGiven the historical opinions and evidences, why do modern scholars insist on a birth date for Jesus of 4 B.C. or earlier? The answer to that question lies in the date usually affixed to the death of king Herod. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that Herod died shortly after an eclipse of the moon. There was a partial eclipse of the moon in the early morning hours of March 13, 4 B.C., which reached its maximum phase about 2 a.m. But there are a number of serious problems associated with identifying Herod's death with the 4 B.C. eclipse.(13)
There is another candidate eclipse, however. On January 9-10, 1 B.C., there was an eclipse of the moon which was a total eclipse and which was visible to all Jerusalem in the early evening hours rather than being a partial eclipse late at night.
If the 1 B.C. eclipse is the right eclipse, then we can construct a chronology for the governorship of Syria, which Luke says was Cyrenius (Luke 2:2). Now Quintilius Varus was governor of Syria from 7 to 4 B.C. A stone inscription found near the Anio River outside Rome refers to Varus, who, according to the inscription, was twice governor of Syria.
Josephus reports (Antiq. 17, 58) that Varus succeeded Sentius Saturnus as Governor of Syria shortly before the death of Herod. Josephus further indicates that Saturnius was governor that previous spring. Now either this was in 7 B.C. (which means that Herod died no later than 6 B.C. with no eclipse) or else Josephus was referring to the second time that Varus was governor of Syria, namely, 2 B.C. Furthermore, Josephus also noted that Syria had several governors during the rule of Saturnius (Antiq. 16, 280, 285, 357, 361).
Now the year 2 B.C. was also the silver jubilee of the rule of Augustus. It was a year in which there were great celebrations in Rome as the Senate conferred the title of Pater Patriae on Augustus Caesar. Apparently, there was a special taxation of the Roman world in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Augustus' rule. This was the taxation referred to in Luke 2:1-5. It was a special tax, as noted in Luke 2:1, by the very fact that it was decreed rather than automatic. The yearly taxes were more or less automatic; they required no special proclamation, but the Bible reports that this taxation was by proclamation.
Indications are, then, that Caesar Augustus proclaimed a special, unscheduled tax as part of his silver jubilee (February 2 B.C. to February 1 B.C.) and that Joseph went to Bethlehem to pay said tax toward the onset of the rainy season (at the last possible moment, in other words) thus finding no room at the inn.
It is common today to confuse the taxing mentioned by Luke with one of the censuses. The last Roman census before the birth of Christ occurred in 8 B.C. The next census did not occur until A.D. 14. The censuses were scheduled to occur every 20 years with updates every five years. The update nearest the birth of Christ was thus in 3 B.C. These, like annual taxes, were more or less automatic, requiring no special decree, violating Luke 2:1.
Armenian sources, as well as Josephus, report that in 3 B.C. the census also entailed an oath of fidelity to Caesar, but the oath was to be administered at the temples, not the home towns of the participants. So this oath of allegiance could not have been the taxation referred to by Luke.
Now Luke 2:2 reports that:
... this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria,indicating that Cyrenius was sole governor of Syria, not a co-regent. Josephus reports that Saturnius was governor of Syria in the spring of 2 B.C., and that Varus replaced him in the autumn of 2 B.C., but it seems likely that both of these regents would have been in Rome for the summer festivities, thus leaving Cyrenius in charge as governor of Syria from the early summer until the early fall of 2 B.C. The indications thus are that Jesus was born between late August to early October of 2 B.C. Now the new moon that year fell about September 26. Had Jesus been born on the 29th, then 40 days later his presentation at the temple would have fallen on the Day of Atonement. Five days later would have been the Feast of Tabernacles when all Jewish males were legally required to be in Jerusalem. Luke 2:39 reports that after this, they returned to Nazareth.
What of the wise men? When did they arrive? There are two possible times. First, they could have arrived at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles (October) and may have found Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem, at the house of friends or relatives. Second, it is not at all inconceivable that the wise men came later in 2 B.C., happening upon Joseph and Mary when they were visiting family and friends at the Feast of the Dedication (Hanukkah) in December. Old traditions indeed do report the visit of the wise men to have happened on December 25. If that were the case, then we can date the flight into Egypt as starting in late December of 2 B.C., and Jesus, Joseph and Mary would not have stayed in Egypt for more than about 40 days, for Herod would have died on January 18 of 1 B.C.
If, then, the birth date of Jesus is established at 2 B.C., what of the usual interpretations for the Star of Bethlehem, namely the planetary conjunctions?
The Triple Conjunction TheoryThe most popular of those interpretations is that the star was the 7 B.C. triple conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces. A tremendous amount of mythology has been embroidered around the event since Kepler noted it in the late sixteenth century. The scenario of the 7 B.C. conjunction is reported below.
On May 27 of 7 B.C., Jupiter and Saturn approached each other and came as close as 0.99 degree apart. This is twice the apparent diameter of the moon which is about 0.5 degree. The planets then proceeded apart, only to reverse direction, approach each other again until coming to within 0.98 degree of each other on October 5. Eventually, on December 5, they again conjoined at a separation of 1.05 degrees.
One of the mythological embellishments which has been affixed to the triple conjunction has to do with the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement fell on October 3, in 7 B.C. This has led many to report that the middle conjunction fell on the Day of Atonement, but more accurate planetary positions show the conjunction to have happened two days after the Day of Atonement, on October 5.(14)
September 30 is sometimes also erroneously given as the date of the middle conjunction.
A second myth oft repeated about the triple conjunction states that the two planets fused into one brilliant star. Actually, they never came any closer than about two apparent lunar diameters; hardly noteworthy at all. Furthermore, even had they fused, they would not have been significantly brighter than Jupiter by itself. Also, an even close triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn had occurred some 59 years earlier. It, too, was in the constellation of Pisces and would have afforded an even more spectacular and significant herald of Christ's birth; but no wise men are reported as having showed up at Jerusalem seeking a new king at that time.
A third myth associated with the 7 B.C. conjunction is the story that it was Kepler who first associated the conjunction with the birth of Christ. Actually, the Annals of the Abbey of Worchester, in reporting on the 0.17 degree approach between Jupiter and Saturn during their triple conjunction in Pisces in 1285, noted that such an event had not happened since the birth of Christ.(15)
All in all, it seems unlikely that the triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 7 B.C. was any portent to the Lord's birth.(16) Martin(17) claims that the star referred to by the wise men was none other than the planet Jupiter, but if that is so, then there would be negative significance in addressing Herod with the words: "We have seen his star in the east" (Matthew 2:2) since such an event occurs regularly as clockwork every 13 months. Martin thus claims Jupiter as the Star of Bethlehem, but others(18) have, by the same type of argument, selected Saturn as the star.
Planetary Configurations in 3-2 B.C.Although the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction was not that significant, there were a number of significant and unusual planetary configurations in the years 3 and 2 B.C. Sequentially, they start with a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus on the 12th of August, 3 B.C. At that time these two brightest of the planets came within 0.23 degree of one another, about half the apparent angular diameter of the moon. That conjunction was followed by another on the first of September when Venus and Mercury approached each other to within 0.36 degree.
On the 14th of September, 3 B.C., Jupiter had the first of three conjunctions with the star Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo, the lion. This could mark the starting date of the star and could be the date given Herod by the wise men. Evidently Herod added a year when he slew the childrenjust to be "safe." At that time it passed about 0.63 degree from the star. The following 17th of February, the second of the triple conjunctions took place at a separation of 1.19 degrees. The last conjunction was on May 9 of 2 B.C. when Jupiter and Regulus were 1.06 degrees apart.
The following month, on June 17, 2 B.C., Jupiter again came in conjunction with Venus. This time the conjunction was truly spectacular as the two brightest objects in the sky outside of the sun and moon merged together into what, to most human eyes, appeared as a single object. At their closest they were only 0.05 degree apart.
Finally, on the 27th of August of 2 B.C., Mars and Jupiter passed within 0.14 degree of each other. At that time all of the major planets, except for Saturn, were in the constellation of Leo, being massed within 10 degrees of each other. We see, then, that the most spectacular planetary configurations all occurred in the year preceding the historic date of Christ's birth.
Spectacular and intriguing though such conjunctions may be, yet they cannot possibly be the Star of Bethlehem. Matthew plainly states that there was one star, not a couple. Hence all speculations which involve planetary configurations must be ruled out from the start. Besides, had the star been a planet, then Matthew could have used that word (planetos) instead of star (astros), for our very word "planet" comes from the Greek word which Matthew did not use (compare Jude 13). This is not to say that the above planetary configurations did not possibly have significance, for the very purpose of their creation was that they be for signs (Genesis 1:14). All I'm saying is that the Star of Bethlehem itself could not have been a planet or a planetary configuration.
What, Then, Was the Star?What of the star? The wise men originally saw it in an eastern land and in the eastern sky, in the light of dawn, as the Authorized Version clearly states in Matthew 2:25:
For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.Then there is the requirement of Matthew 2:9 that the star definitely moved:
and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.Not only that, but the star had to either be close enough to the ground or else had to move fast enough that the wise men could see it "before them." Strictly speaking, there is no natural phenomenon known which can do this unless it be ball lightning, but ball lightning is too transient a phenomenon to have led the wise men for six miles. In any case, ball lightning is not a star.
That leaves us with only one alternative. The Star of Bethlehem was a miracle; and angel. Angels are referred to as stars in the Bible. One such reference can be found in Revelation 1:20 where we read:
The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches.Other references could be cited.(19)
This resolves all difficulties about the nature and behavior of the star, since angels can move and stay at will. Perhaps the angel first appeared in the constellation of Virgo, while the sun was yet in that constellation, even as the Zend Avesta reported. If so, then it could have appeared about the first day of autumn in 4 B.C., some two years before the actual birth of Jesus, as the Talmud reports.
ConclusionHeralding the birth of Jesus the Christ, there was a sequence of close encounters between the planets Mars, Jupiter, and Venus as well as Regulus, the chief star in the constellation of Leo which is associated with Judah. The events started a year before Jesus' birth. Jesus himself was most likely born late September of 2 B.C. at which time Caesar Augustus had decreed a taxation in honor of his silver jubilee on the throne of Rome.
None of these events, indeed no natural event, can match the Bible's account of the star. Those characteristics can only be satisfied by an angel or special miracle. It seems that the wise men saw the angel or miraculous star first in their native land, in the eastern sky, probably in the morning. Possibly the star came from the sun (arising out of Jacob) a year or two before the actual birth of Jesus. The wise men visited the child Jesus in December a year or two later, being led from Jerusalem to Bethlehem by the star they'd seen in the east. At the time of their visit, Jesus was in a house (not a stable). The reason for their visit was to worship Jesus, but in the process they financed the family's flight to and return from Egypt.
We conclude that the most likely candidate for the star was a special miracle, an angelic star.
References1. H. W. Montefiore, 1960. Novem Testamentum, II, (Leiden: E. J. Brill), p. 211.
2. Protoevangelion 15:7 in The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotton Books of Eden,Collins-World, 1977, p. 35.
3. Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 4:11-12. Ibid., p. 171.
4. The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ 3:3. Ibid., p. 40.
5. G. W. Bunton, 1977. The Star of Bethlehem, (Honululu: Bernice P. Bishop Museum Press), pp. 7 & 10.
6. D. H. Clark, J. H. Parkinson and F. R. Stephenson, 1977. "An Astronomical Re-appraisal of the Star of Bethlehem A Nova in 5 B.C.," Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society,18(4):443-449.
7. Ibid., p. 445.
8. Ibid., p. 445.
9. A. J. Morehouse, 1978. "The Christmas Star as a Supernova in Aquila," Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, 72(2):65-68.
10. J. A. Seiss, 1882. The Gospel in the Stars, (Philadelphia: E. Claxton and Co.). Reprinted in 1972 by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids. Pp. 28-29 and 161-162.
11. James Ussher, 1658. The Annals of the World, (London: E. Tyler), p. 820.
12. Bible critics claim that the Greek here does not say that Jesus "began to be about" 30 years old but that, instead, the Greek "actually" says that Jesus was about 30 years old "when he began his ministry." In fact, however, no Greek manuscript had the word "ministry" in it at all, it being purely a fabrication of the imagination of the critics.
13. W. E. Filmer, 1966. "The Chronology of the Reign of Herod the Great," The Journal of Theological Studies, XVII (2):283-298.
14. B. Tuckerman, 1962. "Planetary, Lunar and Solar Positions 601 B.C. to A.D. 1," Mem. of the Am. Philosophical Soc.,56. (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society).
15. H. R. Luand, ed., 1869. Ann. Monastici, IV, London, p. 447.
16. The last triple conjunction of these two planets was in 1980.
17. E. L. Martin, 1976. "The Celestial Pageantry Dating Christ's Birth," Christianity Today,December 3, pp. 16-22.
18. D. W. Hughes, 1977. "Matters Arising," Nature, 268(5620):565.
19. Num 24:17; Jg 5:20; Jb 38:7; Ps 104:4; Dn 12:3; He 1:7; 2Pe 1:19; Jude 13; Re 2:28; 9:1; 12:24.
Gerardus D. Bouw, Ph.D.
By Walid Shoebat
When it comes to tomorrow, Christians need to think while watching the Star of Bethlehem which will appear after an absence of roughly 2000 years. Tomorrow (June 30th, 2015) the Star of Bethlehem will be making a return. Will this mean that the signs of the end is beginning to unfold? And what did this sign mean? Is it a time of joy or suffering or both?
So lets start first in Matthew 2, it speaks of when Christ was a threat to the Edomite king and the Anti-Messiah of his day, Herod:
“When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Judah, in the days of King Herod, 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 adore him…” Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”But this star was foretold in the Old Testament Numbers regarding Messiah’s first coming and also included another major incident to take place regarding His second coming as well:
“A star shall rise out of Jacob and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel: and shall strike the chiefs of Moab, and shall waste all the children of Seth. And he shall possess Idumea: the inheritance of Seir shall come to their enemies, but Israel shall do manfully. Out of Jacob shall he come that shall rule, and shall destroy the remains of the city.” (Numbers 24:15-19)To understand the Star of Bethlehem, we need to think like the three wise men. Motivated by this “star in the east,” they first traveled to Jerusalem and told King Herod the prophecy that a new ruler of the people of Israel would be born. King Herod was alarmed at this star and worried about Christ’s first coming and was seeking to kill him and defeat God’s plan by persecuting God’s little children where Rachel wept all the way to Ramah:
“This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” (Jeremiah 31:15)Few think, and it is time they do as the wise men. While the beginning signs of the star was joy for the wise men and shepherds in my village near Bethlehem in the Shepherd’s Fields (today is called Beit Sahour where I was born and raised), it was also tears for the children of God. And so will it be when the star appears again, tomorrow, two millennium later, it says that soon, the children born of Idumea will seek to destroy the children born of spiritual Israel.
Such persecution is also recorded in detail by St. John who saw how the woman (Mary) “she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Revelation 12:5), this is no doubt Christ, and therefore is this woman John speaks of signifies the hatred of Mary (the woman), the Church and also to be redeemed, Israel:
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17)The beginning of the prophecy by both Jeremiah and John was great persecution where in Jeremiah the children of God were massacred with the new born Israelites.
It is time therefore to embrace ourselves for the wave of persecution against the Church first, then just as after Mary’s birth pangs came, the Messiah was delivered, and so it will be, that after the coming birth pangs, the Star will come and defeat Idumea and Messiah shall “possess Idumea” as foretold in Numbers 24.
Most fail to focus, the references to Mount Seir and the land of Seir (or Idumea) are real places and not some pie in the sky allegory. These references to the land where Esau and his descendants, the Edomites, made their home. This would embrace a great part of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of not just Islam, but the Antichrist it produced: Muhammad, the world’s leading heresiarch.
Ezekiel stresses that the whole of Idumea (“all Idumea, even all of it”) will be caught up in this massive conflict and will be made desolate by the Messiah which will stretch from Teman, in today’s Yemen, to Dedan, an ancient city in central Saudi Arabia:
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them; Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword. (Ezekiel 25:12-13)And what do we see today? The stage is set where Iran is set against Saudi Arabia (see Isaiah 21) and in Yemen a revolution is brewing. Everything is working in accordance to the clock of God which even His cosmos reminded the wise men long ago and it reminds the wise men of today, embrace yourselves and be ready.
Note that Ezekiel 35 mentions their “perpetual hatred” against Israel. This hatred of the Church and the Jewish people, which is so characteristic of Islam, extends back to the earliest times – a truly perpetual hatred. The Messiah will eventually come to slaughter vast numbers of the army of the Antichrist in this region because they tried to take “these two nations” or “these two countries” which belonged to the LORD, a reference to Israel (northern kingdom) and Judah (southern kingdom).
Ezekiel says also that the LORD heard all the blasphemies that the people of Idumea had directed against Him, how they had “multiplied” their blasphemies and their boasts against the LORD. Such endless stream of blasphemies came in particular from one city in Saudi Arabia – Mecca, the city where the black stone is worshipped by millions of Muslims from around the world and from which endless invective is poured out upon Israel. It is the city of seven towers which was constructed this decade while the Bible every time mentions Babylon in end times context, it gives the names of cities and vicinities within Arabia, not Iraq. This is truly amazing. For folks who want to examine the difficult to refute argument and read more (see below at the end I included a whole study Why Is Arabia Mystery Babylon)
Isaiah takes up this theme, the total destruction of Saudi Arabia, in a remarkable passage in chapter 63:
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. (Isaiah 63:1-4)Bozrah is south east of the Dead Sea, a town one would normally pass through when travelling from Saudi Arabia into Judea. Isaiah depicts the Messiah coming north out of Saudi Arabia, his clothes drenched with the blood of his victims, whom he has trodden down in his “anger” and “fury.”
The modern born-again Christians have focused so much on God’s love that they have largely forgotten that it is bound up with his judgment and righteousness. The LORD has stated categorically that he will come and defend his people. The church is uncomfortable with the Messiah in his role as King and Conqueror. They confuse the meekness of Christ in his First Coming with the judgment of Christ in his Second Coming. They find it hard to accept that the Lamb will dispense bloody judgment on a truly grand scale. As a result they fail to see what ought to be obvious, that the intense anti-semitism and hatred by the Islamic nations, the descendants of Ishmael and Esau, will ultimately culminate in the appalling attempt on the destruction of Israel which they have long promised to carry out.
Everything I write here is consistent in what we know is happening in the Middle East. The other part of Christ’s campaign against the confederacy of the Antichrist will be conducted in Egypt.
The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. (Isaiah 19:1-2)These passages from Isaiah suggest that the Israeli airforce, led by the Messiah, will fly over Gaza (“the shoulders of the Philistines”) and attack Egypt, where they will wreak devastation. The chaos will be so great that the Egyptians will even turn upon themselves. Isaiah also includes in his description a reference to the Nile delta which will all dry up. The Euphrates River and the Nile, both on the news and both are predicted to dry up causing cataclysmic events on the nations that depend on them. The Bible predicts that the Euphrates will stop the flow of water so that 200 million man army enters to make its way to invade Jerusalem and how the Aswan Dam in Egypt will be completely destroyed. We have written on a coming major drought and hunger that will also take place.
But they [Judah and Ephraim] shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. (Isaiah 11:14-15)
Also, expect Lebanon to fall and the Christians there to nearly be annihilated. The following passages from Isaiah show that the Antichrist will invade Lebanon and deal savagely with the Christian population of that country. The references to “after the manner of Egypt” and the slaughter of Midan would suggest that the attack upon Lebanon takes place after the above-mentioned events in Saudi Arabia and Egypt:
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian [i.e the Antichrist]: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction. And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. (Isaiah 10:24-26)So it is persecution first (yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease), then the second coming where this “mighty one” in verse 34 is a reference to the Messiah as King, vanquishing the enemies of the Church. Similar references may be found elsewhere in Isaiah:
Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one. (Isaiah 10:33-34)
Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: (Isaiah 24:1)The Muslims will eat the flesh of other Muslims and turn into cannibals out of hunger. It should be remembered that the slaughter that the Messiah will visit upon these various Muslim nations is in recompense for the awful crimes which they will have committed against the Jews of Israel and the Christians of Egypt and Lebanon. For example, Joel says:
And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. (Isaiah 49:26)
And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompence me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head (Joel 3:3-4)Note that Tyre, Zidon (Lebanon) and Philistia (Gaza) are the very places where Hezbollah and Hamas are based today.
Jeremiah 25 and Ezekiel 28-32 gives a chilling inventory of the nations which the Messiah, in person, will either destroy or subjugate in these cataclysmic End Time events and they are all Muslim.
So remember tomorrow, to go outside as instructed:
Tomorrow, Christians need to reflect, right after the sun sets (9:26pm eastern time, 8:26pm Central Time and 7:26 Mountain Time) head outside and look west. Just above the horizon, you’ll see a bright object in the night sky as Jupiter and Venus come within 1/3 of a degree of each other. This is what they call “The Star of Bethlehem” conjunction because Jupiter and Venus did something similar near the star Regulus in 3/2 BC, more than 2000 years ago. Many astronomers say that this ancient celestial event is the one recorded in the Bible’s Gospel of Matthew.
Indeed, Jesus’s second coming is around the corner. How many years from now, no one can tell for certain, but it seems to be getting closer by the day. Until then, embrace yourselves and have joy for persecution is at hand.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal”.CONSIDER DONATING TO RESCUE CHRISTIANS
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Special thanks to zephaniah.eu in summarizing my analysis (here)
WHY ARABIA IS MYSTERY BABYLON
The reference “Babylon is fallen, is fallen” is not only in Revelation, but is also in Isaiah:
“The burden against Dumah” (Isaiah 21:11)
“The burden against Arabia” (Isaiah 21:13)
“All the glory of Kedar will fail” (Isaiah 21:16)
These are all in Arabia, which is destroyed by Iran “Elam” (Isaiah 21:2).
And again, a few chapters before, the destruction of Babylon is described as being absolute. Isaiah speaks of this event:
“For I will rise up against them, says the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon its name and remnant, and offspring and prosperity, says the Lord … I will sweep it with the broom of destruction” (Isaiah 12:15).The broom of destruction! Anyone who has seen footage of a nuclear explosion has seen the fury and the power of the ominous cloud that sweeps up everything in its path and is why we have been correct the last two decades; Iran will gain the nuke and everyone else wrong.
So why do folks skip the name “Arabia” in Isaiah 21 when they read Scripture? To mythically superimpose an imaginative “Rome” on top of the text says one thing; prejudice is more powerful in the heart of a sinner than truth and no matter how much they say that they “love Jesus”, they don’t.
Why has there been an immense oversight by many in the field of biblical eschatology; that when it comes to the destruction of end-days Babylon, Scripture makes no mention of any of the ancient Babylonian cities: Nineveh, Ur, Babel, Erech, Accad, Sumer, Assur, Calneh, Mari, Karana, Ellpi, Eridu, Kish, or Tikrit. All of the literal references in Scripture are in Arabia?
Why is it that they still insist on accusing Rome, regardless that the use “MOTHER OF HARLOTS”, while it is commonly attributed to the Vatican’s Mariology with the worship of Ishtar, they ignore that history records that the worship of Ishtar “Kilili”, or “Queen of Harlots” originated from Arabia, not Rome?
In fact, when Muslims roam roundabout the black stone, it is a throwback to the worship of Ishtar, whom they called Athtar and Allat. (see Patricia Turner and Charles Russell Coulter, Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Page 242, Ishtar, Oxford University Press US, 2001.)
When it comes to the Harlot woman, the Kaaba is a perfect match. The black tarp is considered by Muslims to be a woman’s dress (Kiswa) as Edward Gibbons elaborated:
“…the kuswa of the magnificent Kaaba, is what is used for clothing of a [virtuous] covering, on top of it, it is written, the Kaaba’s dressing, meaning ‘we have dressed her her dress.” (see Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, Volume 6, Chap. 1, Page 211., Little, Brown, and Company, 1855.)Everything that the harlot is described it fits the Ka’ba; dress, pearls, jewels, gold, silver and even the blasphemies etched in silver threads with golden inlays across her attire. Just the doors of the Ka’ba alone has 280 kilograms of pure gold.
The reference to a prostitute in Revelation 17 regarding the “Whore of Babylon” is no coincidence:
“And the woman (whore) was arrayed in purple and scarlet color” (v. 17)……resembles the near copulating with the Ka’ba’s Black Stone, which historically was dedicated to Aphrodite, the prostitute goddess that was called “Aphrodite Porne” (Aphrodite the Prostitute), “the goddess adorned in purple”, similar to the depictions given in Revelation 17:4, which the Ka’ba has a scarlet-colored inner garment. John of Damascus notes:
“After the Hajj was preformed by Muhammad, the ‘rubbing and kissing the [of the Black Stone]…was extremely passionate.’”Muslim tradition even perpetuates the blasphemy that:
“Abraham had sexual intercourse with Hagar on it” (Sahas. Heresy, Pages 88-89).Francis Burton writes regarding the Ka’ba:
“the part of the cover (Kiswa), covering the door, is called [a Burka] just like the veil the Arabic women are wearing in front of their face…in fact, Arab mystics even compare the Ka’ba to a virgin, adorned with her finest wedding dress.” (Vol 3, page 295)Even today during their Hajj pilgrimage, Muslims kiss, rub and caress the Black Rock.
Furthermore, it is impossible to even consider that Isaiah 21 was referring to an historic battle between Persia and ancient Babylon since the multiple references throughout are not connected to ancient Iraq but to Kedar, Tema, Dedan and Dumah (all referenced prophetically), which are all in Saudi Arabia near Yathrib (Medina), and today is known as “Dumat el-Jandal.” Dumah, one of the sons of Ishmael, is also associated with Edom and Seir in Isaiah 21:11. It is believed by many that Kedar, Ishmael’s son, is the line from which Muhammad descended.
Even Muslims recognize when they read Isaiah 21, they see Isaiah 21:14-15 as the story of Muhammad when the Muslims emigrated from Mecca to Medina (Tema) in which they were fed and rescued from the sword. No westerner was able to interpret:
“The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled. For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war.” (Isaiah 21:14-15)The Bible depicts that in this time, it will not be like the time when Muhammad fled; all Arabia – including the Glory of Kedar (Mecca) – will be destroyed. How else can anyone interpret:
“No Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there” (Isaiah 13:20)Arabs pitch tents in Arabia, not Rome. The ultimate fulfillment of this verse is the destruction of the Last-Days Babylon. We know this because the passage speaks about: “the day of the Lord” (v. 9) with the “heavens not giving light” (v. 10). This is not historical, but End-Times related.
Then we have the Red Sea:
“The earth is moved at the noise of their fall, at the cry the noise thereof was heard in the Red sea.” (Jeremiah 49:21)The Red Sea is a geographic indicator as to where the Last-Days Babylon will be located. Look at Mecca on any map and you will see that it sits near the Red Sea. Some may object, saying that Jeremiah 49 is speaking about Edom, which was primarily located in modern day Jordan. Yet, in Ezekiel 25, “Edom” stretches from Teman (Yemen) to Dedan (Saudi Arabia)” (v. 13). Greater Edom included all of the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
Notice the description of her destruction:
“‘As Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown, along with their neighboring towns,’ says the LORD, ‘so no one will live there; no man will dwell in it,’” (Jeremiah 49:18).It is no surprise that Iran is focused on Saudi Arabia, since the Bible predicted that the harlot is destroyed by the beast she rides, that is, the nations she deceieved with her spiritual harlotry—Islam.
Our latest finding here is infinitesimal. We have gathered much to shed a new light to show the differences between Vatican and Mecca; the evidence is overwhelming, Mecca fits biblical Babylon and Vatican doesn’t. For example (out of hundreds), where in Vatican do we have “Mount Babel” which is also an observatory to monitor the movement of the moon and is called “Seven Towers of the House” reminiscent to the ancient name of Babel, which was called “The house of the seven lights of the earth”?
Where in the Vatican did they erect the largest tower on earth topped with a crescent and has observatories to monitor the planets and the moon? Where on Vatican hill, do they have an edifice decked with gold and silver, littered with statements that are biblically considered blasphemous, treated as if it was a woman, and has a massive gate made of pure gold that is literally called Bab-Illah (Babel) “The Gate to God”?
There is no place on earth that matches such requirements than Mecca.
In what is probably the least examined sources in Islam by westerners, that discusses the Ka’ba as Babel “The Gate to God,” or Bab-Illah in Arabic, and is mentioned in the highest authority in Islam, the Hadith:
“… the Kaaba is the house of God and God’s sanctuary is Bab-Illah (the gate to God), so when they went there, they stood by the door in supplication …”Babel, the English pronunciation, and Bab-Illah are identical in meaning. The difference is simply in the accent.
This Bab-Illah (Babel) is also depicted as a woman in Islam, exactly as John stated in Revelation 17:3. One Muslim writes a poem depicting as if the Ka’ba is a lover and is literally Bab-Illah (Babel) “the Gate to Allah”. He titles it “Look at my lover and your lover as she changes her dress”:
“I tremble in Thy beauty
Yearning to Thy black silk
Thy excellent belt a verse included
From the Quran a splendid writ
Granting Thee from Allah’s throne a high esteem
Which should suffice
He named Thee His Gate
He even loosened from Thy splendid robe pride
To dress Thee in splendor and majesty”
*http://www.startimes.com/?t=32625937 translated by Walid Shoebat*
Another Muslim describes a Turkish pilgrim’s experience in the Hajj:
“Ahmed says that he had an eerie feeling when he saw the Kaaba in Mecca at first glance: “This is the house of Allah!”, These words were on his mind as he looked to the Black Stone and beside it was the door of the house of Allah: “Is there any door besides Bab-Illah (Gate to God)”The most famous of Muhammadan poetry by Al-Bosayri in the eleventh century and then the most prominent poet in Arab history, Ahmad Shawqi, who is considered the Prince of poetry, describes Muhammad as “owning the key to Bab-Illah (the gate of Allah)”.
Muslim scholar Muhammad Said Ramadan Al-Buti, prior to his assassination by the Free Syrian Army explained the Hajj Pilgrimage as following:
“You go around the house of Allah, and you are in His hospitality. You are standing at His door, floating around on the doorstep. You are not on the door of the king, nor a great man. You are at the door of the Lord of kings. You are standing before the door of the creation in humiliation and indignity. You stand at Bab-Illah (the door of Allah’s) pride and His dignity. Weep since weeping is joyful there, but you do not cry, beg to creature, nor weep in humiliation in front of a creature. It’s difficult for the man that cringes to a brother or to anyone else. But on Bab-Illa (the door of Allah) what is the most enjoyable is to seclude myself and drench my forehead on the cusp of Allah Almighty, because my soul in his hand, and my whole self is his and my breath is in his hand and I’m on His doorstep, I tour around his home saying: “There is no god but Allah alone …”For years, I had to endure listening to lectures on why Rome is the Harlot since it sits on seven hills, when truth is that Vatican City—the city where the Catholic Church is headquartered—is not built on seven hills, but on a hill separate from the seven hills of Rome: Vatican Hill, which is not even one of the seven upon which ancient Rome was built. Those hills are on the east side of the Tiber river; Vatican Hill is on the west.
Other cities are known for having been built on seven hills as well. Istanbul is known as the City on the Seven Hills, which – consciously following the model of Rome – was built on seven hills too. There are about seventy cities that claim to be on seven hills, some of which are Jerusalem, Amman, Tehran, Brussels, Kiev, Moscow and Madrid.
Yet none of these (including Rome) were destined for destruction in the Bible, yet Arabia is (Isaiah 21).
The Bible is also precise and pinpoints a geographic location for this “Babylon” as was predicted in Jeremiah 49:21, literally, “the Red Sea” which confirms Arabia’s destruction. This is also confirmed in Revelation 18 regarding the harlot city:
“And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning” (Revelation 18:9). “And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What [city is] like unto this great city!” (Revelation 18:18).And once one studies Isaiah 34, there should be no doubt. In nearly identical language concerning Mystery Babylon in Revelation 17, 18:
“Its streams shall be turned into pitch and its dust into brimstone; its land shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night or day; its smoke shall ascend forever” (Isaiah 34:8-10).Incredibly, almost three millennia before the discovery of fuel oil, Isaiah predicted the burning of the very thing that was used in Babel to build a name for the rebellious ones – the pitch. Pitch is bitumen and tar, which technically is simply crude oil.
This judgment is not against Rome but “Edom” which extends from Teman to Dedan:
“Thus Says the Lord GOD; ‘Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them. ‘Therefore thus Says the Lord GOD; ‘I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cutt off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword’” (Ezekiel 25:12-13).The Lord vindicates Rome, but does that mean she will not be chastised? It is likely just as Israel will or even the United States. But one cannot use the Scripture and twist it just to sell books. Here on Shoebat.com we explain it free of charge.
God has made the geographical location of Mystery Babylon quite clear for anyone who would seek it out.
This destruction of Arabia is complete and fits the description made by several prophets whose prophecies correlate with Isaiah 34:
“Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning, and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come! … Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’” (Revelation 18:8-10, 17-18).Apart from Sodom and Gomarrah, this type of utter destruction has never been seen in any other city, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “After her destruction, Babylon will merely be a home for demons, evil spirits, and scavenging desert creatures” (Revelation 18:1-2).
This is in line with the ancient Eastern perception that desolate desert wastelands were the dwelling place of demons and unclean spirits. The point being emphasized is that after Babylon is destroyed, there will be absolutely no human life ever found there again. Jeremiah agrees; he describes this:
So desert creatures and hyenas will live there, and there the owl will dwell. It will never again be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation” (Jeremiah 50:39). Isaiah confirms a similar fate: “It shall be a habitation of jackals” (Isaiah 34:14).