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Author Topic: The Magi and the star of Bethlehem  (Read 1154 times)

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ZekeSr

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The Magi and the star of Bethlehem
« on: January 31, 2021, 11:33:34 AM »

The Magi and the star of Bethlehem

Did Ray ever address this topic? I suppose it certainly isn’t the most important issue to focus on, but it definitely wets my curiosity. It’s an enigma that I know has been examined, postulated and debated by religious and secular factions throughout the centuries.
 
Mat 2:1  Now after Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, Magi from the east arrived at Jerusalem,
Mat 2:2  Saying, "Where is the One Who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and have come to worship Him."

Who were these Magi and how did they know this “star” was referring to the birth of the King of the Jews? I couldn’t find any prophetic scripture referring to a star heralding His birth. Have I overlooked something?  Moreover, it seems apparent that these were gentiles from the east and knew more than the Jews at large. Also, it’s obvious the Magi assumed the Jews did know, as they expected Herod to be acquainted with our Lord’s whereabouts. Perhaps they may have even expected Him to be in Herod’s palace.

Mat 2:3  But when Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Mat 2:4  And after gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ should be born.
Mat 2:5  Then they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written by the prophet:
Mat 2:6  'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judea, in no way are you least among the princes of Judea; for out of you shall come forth a Prince, Who shall shepherd My people Israel.' "
Mat 2:7  Then Herod secretly called for the Magi and ascertained from them the exact time of the appearing of the star.
Mat 2:8  And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the little Child; and when you have found Him, bring word back to me, so that I also may go and worship Him."


Personally, I don’t think the star was a celestial body such as a comet or conjunction of planets as has often been suggested. I think it was most likely an angel in some brilliant star-like form. Especially since I know that stars are often used as a metaphor for angels.
Matthew two verse nine strongly indicates they saw the star in the east, but I’m not necessarily convinced that it was seen all during their journey to Jerusalem, at least not in it's later form. Otherwise, they could have followed it straight to Bethlehem.

Mat 2:9  And after hearing the king, they departed; and behold, the star that they had seen in the east went in front of them, until it came and stood over the house where the little Child was.

In my opinion, it apparently reappeared when they left for Bethlehem in order to lead them directly to the specific house which it “stood over.” The words “went in front of them” and “stood over” causes me to believe that the “star” was no longer high up in the sky as may have been the case when they originally saw it in the east.

I welcome your thoughts and opinions.

Mike
« Last Edit: January 31, 2021, 11:38:11 AM by ZekeSr »
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Musterseed

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Re: The Magi and the star of Bethlehem
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 12:10:22 PM »

Hi Zeke
I think , but not absolutely sure that these Magi are a symbol for the shepherds of Luke 2:8-20
which also sound like the elect.

In Matt 2:2 they came to worship Him.
How did they know about Him? Matt 2:5, Mic.5:2, Isa.9:6-7

How did they worship Him.? With gifts of worship, gold, sweet smelling sacrifice, anointing oil
In Matt 2.11 of the KJB they fell down and worshipped this child in the house. Christ was first
worshipped outside of a temple made  not with hands by people who followed a star of Bethlehem
which I think is the morning star , Jesus Himself. I’m not quite sure but it’s worth a study
that’s for sure. Compare Matt’s account of the wise men with Luke’s Birth of Jesus announced
to shepherds.  Sorry I couldn’t post a lot of scriptures.  Very stiff fingers, but here is the last one
of Luke 2:20........ And the Shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things
that they had heard and seen, and it was told unto them.😁

Could it be possible that these shepherds were the first of the Elect? I don’t know any timelines.
Still learning and it’s awesome. Our Lord God is Amazing, praise and glory to our Mighty God.

Let me know if any of this rings true. Ray said if it’s true, then the more you dig the more you
find to be true. God be with you Zeke and all of our BT family.

In Christ , Pamela
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Joel

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Re: The Magi and the star of Bethlehem
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2021, 04:29:52 PM »

The way I see it GOD made special provisions the same way he did in Exodus 13:21.

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.

Joel
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ZekeSr

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Re: The Magi and the star of Bethlehem
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2021, 06:54:14 PM »

Hi Zeke
I think , but not absolutely sure that these Magi are a symbol for the shepherds of Luke 2:8-20
which also sound like the elect....

Could it be possible that these shepherds were the first of the Elect? I don’t know any timelines.
Still learning and it’s awesome. Our Lord God is Amazing, praise and glory to our Mighty God.

Let me know if any of this rings true. Ray said if it’s true, then the more you dig the more you
find to be true. God be with you Zeke and all of our BT family.

In Christ , Pamela

Hello Pamela,
I would have to say that the shepherds must have been decent God-fearing individuals in order to be visited and informed in such a manner. But I don’t believe they were the Magi. The angel told the shepherds where to find the Baby Jesus. So, they certainly wouldn’t have gone to Jerusalem to inquire of Herod. However, I must say that your thoughts have opened my eyes to other considerations. Until you mentioned the manifestation with the shepherds, I hadn’t connected them with the whole picture, especially when considering the Scriptures are loaded with types and symbols. Who better to be informed of the birth of our Lord and Savior (our Shepherd) than some lowly shepherds keeping watch over their flock by night? I think the fact that they were tending their flock in darkness until “the glory of the Lord shone round about them” has a definite significance of ‘type and symbols.

Luk 2:8  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luk 2:9  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
Luk 2:10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luk 2:12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luk 2:13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luk 2:15  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
Luk 2:16  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.


It seems as though the Magi were most likely astronomers/astrologers (there was no difference between the two in those days). I doubt if they were three actual kings as per tradition and the Christmas Carol, or even just three. Who knows how many there were?

Mat 2:1  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Mat 2:2  Saying, 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.
Mat 2:7  Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
Mat 2:8  And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.


The way I see it GOD made special provisions the same way he did in Exodus 13:21.

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.

Joel

Good point Joel. It's somewhat along the same line of what I was thinking. But it still begs me the question, where did they get the knowledge of the "star" being a representative announcement of the birth of Jesus the King of the Jews?


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Tim Krantz

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Re: The Magi and the star of Bethlehem
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2021, 06:19:27 PM »

   Maybe the Magi were looking for the King of the Jews because of the interactions between the Magi of Babylon and the Prophet Daniel? Seems the gifts were large in value, maybe enough to support a small family in Egypt until Herod died?
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ZekeSr

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Re: The Magi and the star of Bethlehem
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2021, 11:35:18 AM »

   Maybe the Magi were looking for the King of the Jews because of the interactions between the Magi of Babylon and the Prophet Daniel? Seems the gifts were large in value, maybe enough to support a small family in Egypt until Herod died?

That’s an interesting point, Tim. There is no Scripture that I know of which directly connects them. But Daniel was a prominent figure and his prophecies along with other Scripture and prophecies may have been well known to the Magi of his day. It would have very likely been passed down through the generations of Magi. I did look around and find some speculation on this very idea. Also, the notion of the gifts helping to “bankroll” Jesus and his parents' time in Egypt is kind of interesting. As far as the star is concerned, I’m still thinking of it as being a miraculous occurrence simply because of its ability to lead them to a specific house.

Mike
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 01:37:45 PM by ZekeSr »
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Joel

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Re: The Magi and the star of Bethlehem
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2021, 02:01:51 PM »

Matthew 12:42
The queen of the south shall rise in judgement with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

People came from various lands bringing gifts to the king and received God given wisdom from Solomon. They no doubt went back to their home land and told their people the things they had heard, and that could have been done for generations. ( Solomon lived about 990 years before Jesus birth in Bethlehem.)
 The ancestors of the Magi may have passed information Solomon told them to the wise men in their land, The great things GOD did with and for the children of Israel wasn't all done in secret.

Joel
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indianabob

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Re: The Magi and the star of Bethlehem
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2021, 12:21:00 AM »

Thanks folks,
Very interesting commentary and helpful.
I think that Matt 2:16 helps to establish that the visit of the Magi was most likely about a year after the visit by the shepherds in September/October. Especially the last part of the verse stating that Herod had inquired diligently as to the time of Jesus birth. Add to that that the Magi had traveled a long distance which may put their time of visit into the following spring or summer by which time Joseph and Mary were lodged in their own house in Bethlehem.
Also, God knowing that Herod was jealous and cruel may have sent the symbolic gifts and the treasure to finance the coming trip to Egypt.
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