From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Six
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
" The Star Of Bethlehem and Coma Berenices "
Map of Bethlehem and its location relative to Jerusalem

    It is written that a strange star over Bethlehem literally introduced the new-born Christ to the people of the earth, but also novae did appear from time to time, the star could well have been one.    Nova is a star that suddenly becomes much brighter and then gradually returns to its original brightness over a period of weeks to years.

Star Chart of Coma Berenice and the prophet Daniel and his association with Zoroaster
   To go to Insert for Chapter Seven Leo Star Chart regarding the tail of Leo (Coma Berenices) and the relation to the constellation of Virgo (Virgin).

In the Old Testament version, Micah between 757-699 B.C. tells of the coming King :
    Of course the above was written well before Daniel of 583 B.C. came to influence Persia.

    Magus or magi were a member of the Zoroastrian priestly caste of the Medes and Persians, after the rise of Zoroaster (Greek name), whose real name was Zarathustra (Persian) and he founded Zoroastrianism in 500 B.C.    The ancient Greeks and Hebrews knew them as astrologers, interpreters of dreams, and givers of omens.    These Magi or wise men (sages) from the East traveled to Bethlehem to pay homage to the infant Jesus.    Whatever it may have been, as you know it resulted in the story of the Wise Men (Magi), who selected one particular star and followed it to the place where the baby Jesus lay.

   Astronomers and scientists generally agree that the image or star that led the wise men (Magi) to Jesus' birthplace was probably not a supernova, or exploding star.    Such stellar catastrophes are far too spectacular to escape general notice, and with the exception of Matthew, none of the Apostles or King Herod mentions such a brilliant star near the time that Jesus was born.
   To return to Insert for Chapter Seven Leo Star Chart regarding Epiphany and the Magi.

    If the Magi had studied the Old Testament to base their decision on the stars' arrival, then they had a long journey from the land presently in Iran or Iraq, just to view a star in Bethlehem a town in the West Bank south of Jerusalem, and give homage to the infant Jesus.

    Nor does a comet seem likely to have been the Christmas star.    True, Halley's comet, which was first seen in 240 B.C., and discovered to return every 76 years, reappeared in 12 B.C.    This was several years before the earliest date on which Jesus could have been born.    In any case, neither Halleys nor any lesser comets that appeared in succeeding years would have been regarded as the bearer of tidings of great joy; to the sky watchers of that trouble time, comets were generally omens of evil.

    As mentioned the biblical text does not reference the star as being a group of planets, although there is an alternative kind of celestial display that could account for Matthew's reference to the star of Bethlehem.    Studies of early calendars and historical records of events immediately preceding and following the nativity suggest to many scholars that Jesus was probably born some time during the fall of the year 7 B.C.    That year the heavens offered a display that few who studied the stars would have failed to notice.    Three times in 7 B.C. there was a conjunction of the same two planets.

    Conjunctions, or what seem to be close approaches of planets in the sky, are common occurrences; they take place at periodic intervals as the planets orbit the sun at differing angular velocities.    In May of 7 B.C., Jupiter, which astrologers of the period considered a royal star and a lucky one, first moved close in the sky to Saturn, which was believed to influence the destiny of the Jews.    Even more significant, this conjunction occurred in the constellation Pisces, where celestial events traditionally foretold incidents of great importance to Israel.    In September of that year, Jupiter again closed in on Saturn.    Some astronomers and biblical scholars speculate that the first conjunction may have been the signal that started the Magi on their long trek to Israel; the second beacon that led them further on their journey.    Their reasoning seems to accommodate the timetable of the Christmas story, for in December the two planets came together for a third time, as if on cue, to show the final way to Bethlehem.

    The supposed three Wise Men (Magi) may have beheld in the eastern skies the auspicious conjunction of Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, shining down on the Earth like a single star.

    Also see the view by one source that on May 20th of 6 B.C., a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction which occurred in the constellation Pisces, is on a 2400 year cycle, which will occur again on May 10-11 2437 A.D. in the constellation Aquarius.

    Another source believes that in the third week of June in the year 2 B.C. there was the first conjunction of Jupiter, and Venus in the constellation of Leo, near the bright star of Regulus at the front foot of the Lion, in the early evening, just after sundown.    The conclusion is a brilliant star on the western horizon from the low to the horizon magnification of the conjunction of the three stars, lasting only a few hours.    Although it should be obvious to the magi that this was a conjunction, whether they gauged it as a sign to trek hundreds of miles is up for option.

   Then exactly one year and one month later a second conjunction of Jupiter, and Venus occurred again, except this time in the constellation of Virgo, in the southwestern sky.

   In Matthew 2:12, "But when they returned to their own land, they didn't go through Jerusalem to report to Herod, for God had warned them in a dream to go home another way."    In the mean time God sent Jesus and his parents to Egypt.    Herod known as "the Great," 73?-4 B.C. was King of Judea (40-4) who, according to the New Testament, attempted to kill the infant Jesus by ordering the death of all children under the age of two in Bethlehem.

Article: Date 12/24/2007.
Searching for the star of Bethlehem - Notre Dame professor has idea
Highlights of article by Tom Coyne, Associated Press.

    South Bend, Indiana - A professor of theoretical astrophysics, Grant Mathews from the University of Notre Dame thinks he has figured out what "the star in the East" was that led wise men to travel to Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, according to the Bible.
    After two years of research have only led him to a more ordinary conclusion: The heavenly sign around the time of the birth of Jesus Christ was likely an unusual alignment of planets, the sun and the moon.
    German astronomer Johannes Kepler proposed in 1604 that the star was a conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in 7 B.C.
    The advantage Mathews has over Kepler and others who have pondered the question is that he had access to NASA's databases.    "In principle, we can see any star that was ever made from the beginning of time if we knew where to look.    So the question is, could we find a star that could be a good candidate for what showed up then?" he said.
    When did it occur?    What were its characteristics?    Did anyone else see it?
    The Gospel of Matthew indicates Jesus was born in Bethlehem when Herod was king.    Roman historian Flavius Josephus wrote that Herod died after an eclipse of the moon before the Passover.    Mathews said among the possibilites are 6 B.C., 5 B.C., 1 B.C. or 1 A.D.    The star could have appeared up to two years before the wise men arrived in Jerusalem, he said.
    Mathews believes that means the Christmas star could have appeared anywhere from 8 to 4 B.C.
    Among the characteristics written about the star was that it appeared before sunrise and that it appeared to "rest in the sky."    Mathews also found writings from Korean and Chinese astronomers of an event about 4 B.C. that described a comet with no tail that didn't move.
    Using that set of facts, Mathews found several possibilites, including supernovas, novas and planetary alignments.
Grant Mathew's Star of Bethlehem
    Mathews found two possible supernovas in the right period but said one was probably too low on the horizon to be seen.    The other supernova is known as Kes 75.    But it was 60,000 light years away and may not have been particularly spectacular.
    He found one nova he thinks is the most likely candidate which is known as Nova Aquilae V603.    The problem with novas and comets, though, is that they were believed in ancient times to be a sign of disaster, not a portent of good things to come.
    For that reason, Mathews believes the Christmas star is most likely an alignment of planets.    He said there are three likely times for this:     Mathews believes the April 17, 6 B.C., alignment is the most likely candidate.    It makes sense because he believes the wise men were Zoroastrian astrologers who would have recognized the planetary alignment in Aries as a sign a powerful leader was born.
    "In fact, it would have even meant that (the leader was) destined to die at an appointed time, which of course would have been significant for the Christ child, and may have been why they brought myrrh, which was an embalming fluid," Mathews said.    "Saturn there would have made whoever was born as a leader a most powerful leader because Saturn had the strength to do it, in their view."
    The following is highlights from information can be found at
Monday, December 1, 2008
A Message in the Heavens
by Joseph Herrin (12-01-08)

2008 Dec 1 Conjuction

    A sign in the heavens will be observed tonight that bears much meaning for the hour we live in.    Following is a description of this sign taken from Nasa’s website.
    Nov. 24, 2008: This story ends with the best sky show of the year--a spectacular three-way conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the crescent Moon.
    It begins tonight with a sunset stroll.
    At the end of the day, when the horizon is turning red and the zenith is cobalt-blue, step outside and look southwest.    You'll see Venus and Jupiter beaming side-by-side through the twilight.    Glittering Venus is brilliant and Jupiter is nearly as bright as Venus.    Together, they're dynamite:
    Add another stick of TNT and voila!—it's tomorrow.    Go outside at the same time and look again.    You’ll be amazed at how much the Venus-Jupiter gap has closed.    The two planets are converging, not in the slow motion typical of heavenly phenomena, but in a headlong rush—almost a full degree (two full Moon widths) per night.    As the gap shrinks, the beauty increases.
    On Nov. 29th the two planets will be less than 3 degrees apart and you'll think to yourself "surely it can't get any better than this."
    And then it will.    On Nov. 30th a slender 10% crescent Moon leaps up from the horizon to join the show.    The delicate crescent hovering just below Venus-Jupiter will have cameras clicking around the world.
    Dec. 1st is the best night of all.    The now-15% crescent Moon moves in closer to form an isosceles triangle with Venus and Jupiter as opposing vertices.    The three brightest objects in the night sky will be gathered so tightly together, you can hide them all behind your thumb held at arm's length.
    The celestial triangle will be visible from all parts of the world, even from light-polluted cities.    People in New York and Hong Kong will see it just as clearly as astronomers watching from remote mountaintops.    Only cloudy weather or a midnight sun (sorry Antarctica!) can spoil the show.
    Although you can see the triangle with naked eyes--indeed, you can't miss it—a small telescope will make the evening even more enjoyable.    In one quick triangular sweep, you can see the moons and cloud-belts of Jupiter, the gibbous phase of Venus (69% full), and craters and mountains on the Moon.    It's a Grand Tour you won't soon forget.
    Finally, look up from the eyepiece and run your eyes across the Moon.    Do you see a ghostly image of the full Moon inside the bright horns of the crescent?    That's called "Earthshine" or sometimes "the da Vinci glow" because Leonardo da Vinci was the first person to explain it: Sunlight hits Earth and ricochets to the Moon, casting a sheen of light across the dark lunar terrain.
    By itself, a crescent Moon with Earthshine is one of the loveliest sights in the heavens.    Add Venus and Jupiter and … well ... it's time to stop reading and go mark your calendar:
    Dec. 1st @ sunset: Sky show of the year!
    In order to interpret a heavenly sign, each element must be understood according to its divine meaning.    From ancient times the stars and planets have been named, and the heavens divided into an orderly arrangement following the path of the sun in the heavens (the ecliptic).    This 360 degree ecliptic is divided into twelve segments corresponding to the signs of the Zodiac, which in the ancient Hebrew was called the Mazzaroth.

2BC June 17 Conjuction

    Finally, on June 17, 2 B.C., Jupiter and Venus, the two brightest objects in the night sky except for the moon, came so close that their disks appeared to touch.    This exceptionally .
    The Bible does not mention how many Wise Men there were or where they came from.    (The tradition of three Wise Men developed from the Bible's description of three gifts -- gold, frankincense and myrrh.)    It is reasonable to suppose that their journey took months, however, since they had to cross several hundred miles of desert to reach Jerusalem... By then Jesus would have been a child living with his parents in a house, not a baby in a manger.    There is a reference not to an infant (brephos in the Greek) but to a toddler (paidion), indicating that the birth itself had been some months before...
    Designating Jupiter or the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus as the Star of Bethlehem eliminates a number of problems, but probably neither is the last word on the subject.    So little is known historically about the period when Jesus was born that new information may well provide a more accurate picture of what happened.
    Although this is a very good description of this sign that occurred on June 17, 2 B.C., the author appears to be unfamiliar with the divine meaning of the planets mentioned, for he gives only the meanings understood by pagan astronomers.    Jupiter is derived from the Hebrew or Chaldean Jah, which is the name of God revealed to Moses.    Jupiter represents the King of righteousness.    The Hebrew name for Jupiter is Tzedeq, which means “righteousness.”    Thus we see Jupiter as representing the King of Righteousness, or The Righteous Ruler.    Jupiter has long been recognized as a Messianic star, being associated with the Messiah.
    Frances Rolleston wrote that “Venus in all countries and languages is feminine."    Venus is symbolic of the Virgin, and is both a reference to the virgin who was to give birth to the Son of God, as well as being symbolic of the church.

    Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”

    II Corinthians 11:2
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

    It is this union of Jupiter and Venus that I believe stands as the most plausible explanation of the sign that the wise men discerned in the heavens back in the year 2 B.C..    That this sign occurred in Leo, symbolizing the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and the tribe from which God said the ruler’s scepter would not depart, adds additional meaning to the sign.

    Micah 5:2
But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.    His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.

    Each of the twelve tribes of Israel was associated with a constellation of the Mazzaroth.    The tribe of Judah was associated with Leo.    Joseph Seiss, in The Gospel in the Stars, writes:
    And in all given particulars Judah is Leo.    His name means praise and glory and majesty of God.    His banner bore the sign of the rampant lion.    His jewel representative was the ruby, the symbol of blood-shedding unto victory.    And Jacob describes him as the lion, the tearer in pieces, the glorious victor, the same as exhibited in the sign of Leo.

    Yet we have one further testimony that surely would have been pregnant with meaning to the Magi of the East.    The conjunction of Jupiter and Venus not only occurred in Leo, but it was near the star Regulus.    The chief star in the constellation Leo is Regulus.        Joseph Seiss writes:
    The chief star embraced in this figure, situated in the Lion’s breast, whence its mighty paws proceed, bears the name of Regel, or Regulus, which means the feet which crush, as whence it was said of the Messiah that He shall tread upon the serpent and the asp, and trample the dragon under His feet (Psalm 91:13).

    The Son of God came forth of a virgin for the specific purpose of destroying the works of the Devil.

    I John 3:8
The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

    This page updated on January 10, 2008, and December 31, 2008.
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