Venus The Star Of
YouTube 1: The Bible Reveals the Star of
YouTube 2: The Wise men follow the Star to Jesus— youtu.be/tLjGUHRpwcQ
Two 23 minute YouTube talks covering some of the material presented here.
of Leo just before sunrise from
(view is the same from
Numbers after star names are the relative brightness; lower numbers are brighter, negative numbers are very bright. Star size represents its brightness
3 planets form a picture of a gold
Scepter in the hind feet of the lion (Leo)
Extinction makes planets golden or red.
The Star of Bethlehem was Venus, the brightest star in the
sky. This star guided the magi by pointing to a picture in the sky of a lion
with a golden scepter, indicating the Jewish Messiah, the Lion of the Tribe of
Judah, the one to rule all the earth was coming and then led them towards
Every Christmas season we read the story in Matthew 2:1-15
of the magi (wise men) visiting Jesus finding Him by following a star. Why did
the magi (wise men) go to
Why identify Venus as the Star of Bethlehem? In the last chapter of the Bible, Jesus called Himself “the bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16). Venus is ‘the bright morning star’. How can the ‘bright morning star’ be identified as Venus? The morning stars are Mercury and Venus. The ancients referred to exactly two planets as ‘morning stars’, they were called morning stars because when they are visible in the morning they were normally only visible for a few hours before dawn. This is a result of their orbits being closer to the sun than the earth. Venus can rarely be seen during the day and is the brightest natural object in the sky after the sun and moon. It is the brightest object that can be called a star. All other heavenly bodies are further from the sun than they earth and are therefore visible throughout the night. Mercury and Venus are also the evening stars. Again they are the evening stars because when they are visible in the evening they are only visible for a few hours after sunset. Since Jesus called Himself the bright morning star or Venus and the magi saw His star as it rose, it is likely Venus was the star the magi saw and we call the Star of Bethlehem. Venus rises as both the morning and the evening star. Since Jesus is ‘the bright morning star,’ it had to be Venus rising in the morning not in the evening. Venus spends about half of its cycle as a morning star. Once every 1.6 years (584 days), Venus rises for the first time with the sun in the morning. Venus rose to mark Jesus’ resurrection Sunday 5 April 33 A.D. These Venus rises always appeared as resurrections, because Venus was gone for 8 days. When Venus rose near Jesus’ birth, the magi had to spot Venus on the first day it rose to observe these signs. The magi were professional astronomer-astrologers so they would be able to spot Venus at the earliest possible time. Since Venus is the brighter of the two morning stars and Jesus is ‘the bright morning star’, it is logical to conclude that Venus is His stars. The magi observed His star at its rising, therefore the day they observed Venus rise for the first time in a particular cycle would be the time to which they referred.
How can we identify the specific time the star rose? In Matthew 2:2 the phrase ‘en te anatole’ (ἐν th anatolh) (in its rising) because it is in the singular, with the article and in contrast to apo anatolwn (from east) Matthew 2:1 probably is not a geographical expression, but an astronomical expression; simultaneously with its rising [near the horizon] also Matthew 2:9. The term appears to refer to a star simultaneously rising with the sun (a heliacal rising). The verb εἴδομεν we saw is in the aorist tense meaning punctiliar action (at a point in time). So they came because of a particular event, not because of an event that endured for weeks or months. This verse is frequently mistranslated, if Matthew meant ‘we have seen’, then he would have used the pluperfect tense. The standard word for the rising of a heavenly object anatello is discussed later.
Using a free downloadable astronomy program it is possible to determine the date and times Venus rose. Venus rises with the sun every 1.6 years. Two dates Venus rose are 24 August 2 B.C. and 27 March 1 A.D. the latter date was a Passover, which proves to be significant. If Venus is Jesus’ star and we know when Venus rose in the morning, we can see what the magi observed. The scene they saw is pictured on the first page. It is easy to look at this scene and not realize its significance, but it will be explained. It took the author a year to start to understand it, because the picture needs to be linked to the Scriptures.
One possible depiction of the banner of the
The Bible explains the purpose of the sun, moon
and stars in the first chapter of the Bible. God said, "Let there be
lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let
them be for signs, seasons, days and years (Genesis 1:14). The Bible groups the
sun, moon, stars, planets, comets, etc. together, generally their purpose is to
be lights and to order time, but one of their purposes is to be for signs.
The word sign in the Bible in its simplest form is used synonymously with our
word picture. The
stars form pictures that we call constellations, in a connect-the-dots fashion.
The Bible mentions constellations, some by name: the Bear, Orion, Pleiades. The sign for the tribe of
Jesus’ birth appears to be unrelated to this
rising of Venus, except that it follows the sign of the Messiah, the Lion of
Judah with His scepter, and precedes the following rising of Venus. Jesus was
born 25 December 1 B.C. this
is the traditional date. This is near the latest date the modern scholarship
can support. It led to the finding of the Star of Bethlehem. In 70 A.D. when
general Titus (later Caesar), conquered
There were two Christmases between the time the
magi saw the first sign in the heavens and the second sign in the heavens, the
other reasons for selecting this date will be developed under the section on
the sun and the moon because there was another sign in the heavens marking His
birth. The shepherds kept watch in the fields during the winter months starting
about mid December, because it was the lambing season. Newborn lambs could be
trampled in the sheep pens where the sheep spent the night most of the year.
His birth did not occur during Passover or Tabernacles or the shepherds would
have been in
More than five centuries earlier, the prophet
Daniel was the chief of the magi (Daniel 2:48) so the magi learned of God and
the Bible. The most important discovery was connecting the dawning sky with the
rising of His star on 24 August 2 B.C. to Jacob’s well known prophesy in
Genesis 49:9-10. Jacob (also called
A picture of a lion superimposed over the constellation Leo. To allow visualization of the scepter between the feet and His star.
←Regulus (called by other authors the king star) probably the only visible star at this event.
The scepter stars from top to bottom:
24 August 2 B.C.
Extinction at the horizon made planets red or gold in color.
The planets formed a line, picturing a ruler’s staff or scepter on 18 August 2 B.C. and the stars remained in line gradually pivoting and shortening until the scepter was vertical. The scepter length was about 3.5º and Orion’s belt is about 3º, but the scepter was much brighter (Orion is the brightest constellation). This passage is in Hebrew poetry; the ruler’s staff and the scepter have a related meaning. Hebrew poetry repeats or contrasts objects, actions, ideas, etc. rather than rhyming words. On the day Venus rose, the line of stars was about to go out of alignment. Venus was ‘He that comes’ to mark the scepter in Leo, Venus represented Jesus, the scepter belongs to Jesus. By the next day August 25, the planets no longer formed a scepter, the scepter had departed. August 24 was the only day that fits the prophecy and one had to have excellent visibility conditions and one had to be alert to spot it then. This date is significant because before 24 August the scepter was visible, but His star was not visible and so had not come, after 24 August the line of stars no longer formed a scepter.
Because the magi studied the heavens, they would
be most familiar with the Scripture passages mentioning astronomical objects,
like sun, moon and stars. The magi were familiar with another prophecy that
helped them to understand Jacob’s prophecy. Balaam said, "I see him,
but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of
Jacob; a scepter will rise out of
The magi recognized the ‘sign’ in the heavens
announced a king of the Jews, but why did they journey to ‘worship’ this king?
The angel Gabriel revealed to the prophet Daniel the year the Christ would come
(Daniel 9:24-27). The magi knew the year of the Christ coming neared, as did
Why did the magi come to
Saint Peter identified the morning star as the day star, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star (φωσφόρος, phōsphoros) arise in your hearts: (2 Peter 1:19 KJV)”. This was the time in Venus’ orbit when it can be seen throughout the day, even at noon, if Venus is sufficiently separated from the sun. H. B. Curtis describes Venus as being visible throughout much of the day. This phenomena occurs when Venus is near the inferior conjunction (that is between the Sun and Earth) when Venus has sufficient ecliptical latitude (separation from the sun), Curtis viewed Venus with an ecliptical latitude of 9.4 degrees. He states that anyone with normal vision could see Venus with unaided eyes during the day. The heliacal rising of Venus occurs on the first day of visibility after the inferior conjunction. Some ancients refer to the horns of Venus, apparently indicating that they could recognize the phases of Venus. Here is a link to an account of one person who saw the horns of Venus in modern times. Horns in the Bible indicate power, e.g. altars had horns. The magi saw the star rise in the east, but it set in the west fifty minutes before sunset pointing the direction they were to go.
Two views of Venus the crescent is what it appears like near its inferior conjunction, later it appears smaller and more nearly spherical as it moves further from the earth. The crescent is brighter as viewed from earth because Venus is so much closer to the earth. The crescent Venus like the crescent moon looks like horns, but to most people in most situations, Venus appears as a point of light..
In the two heliacal rising views of the bright morning star cited by the magi, Venus rises less than 3 degrees before the sun, but Venus had an ecliptic latitude (horizontal separation from the sun) over 9.5 degrees. Better conditions than Curtis experienced when he said anyone with normal vision was able to view Venus throughout the day. For Venus to be seen, one must have excellent visibility, but God who put the planets in orbit, controlled the weather.
Venus is also called the Dayspring (anatole, anatolh) in the canticle of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, gave a prophesy about Jesus “through the tender mercy of our God when the Dayspring shall dawn upon us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the road of peace” (Luke 1:78-79). Observe what the text says, this light comes up with the sun, but can be seen in the darkness as a great light, so it is not the sun and can guide our feet (something stars are not known to do). All of these features will be shown to be important. Because the Dayspring was visible with the dawn and after dark so this means only Venus qualifies.
The Vulgate also identifies the Messiah with the
day star in Psalm 110:3 and also associates it with a scepter. This Psalm is
the most quoted Old Testament passage in the New Testament at twenty-five times.
The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand: Until I make thy
enemies thy footstool. The Lord will send forth the sceptre of thy power out of
Sion: rule thou in the midst of thy enemies. With thee is the principality in
the day of thy strength: in the brightness of the saints: from the womb before
the day star I begot thee (Psalm 110 (109):1-3
This star also appears in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (called the Septuagint or LXX) as the anatole (the same word Zechariah used in Luke 1:78) as the translation of the Hebrew word tsamach (צמח) which is used as a Messianic term for Branch but means 'a shoot' (of a plant) or 'to rise up'. This translation occurs in Zechariah 3:8; 6:12; and Jeremiah 23:5. In each of these cases the word anatole is used in the LXX for the bright morning star. See also Isaiah 4:2. In each case it is reasonable that Zechariah would refer to this because two of the references are in the book of the prophet Zechariah who he was named after. So the use of anatole in the Greek Bible referring to the Messiah could explain why the magi called Venus, 'His star' long before Revelation 22:16 was written. Zechariah links darkness and the shadow of death, morning and evening are the times when there are shadows of darkness. There are passages in the Old Testament that link the coming of a great light with the Messiah. Isaiah says, The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. … For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever (Isaiah 9:2, 6-7).
This great light was not the sun, because it appears in several other Bible passages directly linked to Jesus. John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Matthew 4:16 the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." Matthew quoted Isaiah 9:1-2. 2 Peter 1:19 And we have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. So this was a light that could shine in darkness (so it was not the sun), appear at dawn, but it was a great light that could guide.
There is another word in Greek, anatello (ἀνατέλλω) that was used when one refers to a heavenly object rise. Anatello is used of the rising of the sun, moon, stars and even clouds, but it does not have the distinction of being linked with the rising of the sun, (unless it was the sun that was rising). It helps to clarify that the anatole refers to rising with the sun, while anatello refers to any heavenly body rising whether it is with the sun or not. 
When Venus rose over
Matthew 2:9 does not say the star led the magi,
rather that the star went before them and stood (that is stopped or waited)
over the house that was their destination. Stars are constantly moving and the
magi had watched this star move from horizon to horizon with the sun. In the
evening after sunset, it arrived low over the ridge to the west of
A year and seven months earlier, The star led the
magi west by rising in the east on 24 August 2 B.C. the Bright Morning Star
rose in the east about 4 minutes before sunrise about 12.5 degrees south of
where the sun rose. It rose and was visible in the sky and throughout the day
as the day star and preceded the sun until about 50 minutes before sundown, it
set in the west at the horizon in the direction of
But there was a difference on that day, because Venus was in a different point in its orbit, Venus slowly appeared to fall behind the sun so that when the sun set almost due west, Venus was still about 10 degrees above the horizon and northwest of the location where the sun set (if the horizon was flat, but it wasn't so the time between sunset and Venus set, was longer still). It would be 24 minutes before Venus set, if the magi did not move, but a few minutes longer if they climbed the ridge spur to the saddle in the ridge toward the Hebron-Jerusalem road on the ridge.
We are told that the star went before them until it stopped over the place where they were (Matthew 2:9). Went before them means that it went ahead of them in the direction they were to go, and they strived to follow it. Many do not believe that this could be a real star, because stars cannot 'go before' to 'lead' and they cannot 'stop' over a town much less a particular house. Those with this belief tend to view the star as an angel (angels are sometimes called stars Job 38:7) that led the magi or something that was impossible to do, so a contradiction in logic.
The following map is cropped from this 1912 map
The following charts depict how the magi were able to follow a star and how it stopped.
Depiction of the position of Venus at sunset and when it set 24 minutes later. The red arrow shows the direction of the descent of Venus.
Depiction of Venus seen above ridge as magi move toward saddle. Top picture first bottom picture last.
As the His Star descended, the magi climbed the hill so the star appeared stationary verses the horizon just above the hills. Because as they ascended the ridge, Venus descended so it appears at the same height above the apparent horizon.
The star also had no apparent motion along the horizon because its slow northward vector was cancelled by the magi's slight southward vector as they followed the star, ending at His house. Note: that there is nothing for perspective so Venus, like the moon, may have seemed closer and bigger when it was near the horizon.
When Venus is viewed from above the horizon if straight down is 180 degrees it appeared to descend at an angle of 165 degrees to the north while the magi were moving to the WSW but veering slightly to the north, so it appeared that Venus was fixed on the horizon at the point that the magi were moving toward. The magi ascend the road in what happened to be the direction of Joseph and Mary's house. Because they followed the road their position relative the Jesus' house can be directly determined, if the position of the ancient road can be located.
It is much more reasonable for the star to lead
them during the evening rather than at night, because they could travel without
the danger of accident and injury. And as Zechariah prophesied the Dayspring
would guide our feet on the road of peace. The road they followed was the side
The magi came at least forty days after Jesus was
born. This is evident because when Jesus was presented in the
Is there any Biblical evidence that Jesus’ house
was on this ridge? Yes, in several indirect ways. One it would be outside the
town proper so it would be easier to hide a newborn baby. (Mary like Moses'
mother hid him for three months until she could no longer hide him).[i] In
From these signs, seen by the magi, the gospel
was announced because the Bible linked the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the
Passover Lamb. In Revelation 22:16 where Jesus identified the Bright Morning Star
with Himself, He also identifies Himself as the Root of David a phrase that
only occurs in one other passage, Revelation 5:5-6 … See, the Lion of the tribe
of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. … Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if
it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne.
This is the only passage Jesus is identified as the Lion of the tribe of
Josephus, a Jewish general and historian,
writing c. 90 A.D. recorded a lunar eclipse, which occurred shortly before
the death of King Herod the great.
This eclipse is a key to the dating of the year of his death. The correct
eclipse was 29 December 1 B.C. not 15 March 4 B.C. The eclipse of 4 B.C. was
too close to Passover for all the events recorded by Josephus to reasonably
occur in that year. The other possible eclipse 10 Jan 1 B.C. was only visible
from 2 to 4 AM when few would see it, while in 29 December 1 B.C. the moon
has half eclipsed when it rose twenty minutes after sunset. Many more people
would have observed the eclipse and its significance as a sign/omen would be
more widely recognized. The moon eclipsed at the horizon would appear red
increasing its significance as an omen because of extinction. Josephus recorded
the eclipse because it was interpreted as a sign. This moves the death of
King Herod from 4 B.C. to 1 A.D.
Josephus recorded Herod died before Passover. Herod slew the babes of
Eclipsed moonrise 29 December 1 B.C.
Here is a similar picture but not the actual picture because time travel is challenging:
The Temple officials interpreted the Scriptures to
say Passover fell on the evening of the fourteenth day of the lunar month in
which the Vernal Equinox preceded the full moon (so by Jewish reckoning on the
fifteenth day of Nisan). The Vernal equinox was on 25 March 1 A.D. The first
full moon following this would be Passover. Therefore, Passover fell on Sunday March
27 starting at sundown. In Herod's last months he was afflicted with unclean
sores, so he may have deferred when he celebrated Passover choosing to
celebrate it one month later as permitted in the law. This would make it
possible for Venus to first be visible on Passover yet have Herod die before his
Passover celebration the same year. The magi visited Herod in
In those days a decree went out from Caesar
Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment,
when Quirinius was governor of
The eclipse to many appears to put the birth of Jesus four or more years earlier while the census places His birth about four or more years after this. Those arguing for the earlier date don’t successfully deal with the census date.
On Sunday 24 August 2 B.C., Venus rose in the
constellation of Leo to mark the Lion of the tribe of
On 27 March 1 A.D., Venus rose in the
constellation of Aries. Aries means slain Ram or Lamb. Jesus was born in
During Jesus’ public ministry, Venus rose 15 August 31 A.D rose in the constellation of Leo. At Jesus’ resurrection Venus rose in the constellation of Pisces. Pisces represents two fish and the link to the fisherman who led a new Church is not a coincidence. (E. W. Bullinger indicates the Hebrew name of Pisces is closely connected with growing as fish do into multitudes. Pisces is also connected with the mystery of the Church.). This was not the first day Venus rose, as there were no magi to see it. Most observers would be unlikely to see Venus for about two weeks after its first appearance. This is approximately the date it would be visible to all observers under normal visibility conditions. Venus actually rose on 19 March 33 A.D.
During each of these risings of Venus (24 August
2 B.C., 27 March 1 A.D., 15 August 31 A.D. and 5 April 33 A.D.), Mercury was
also a morning star with Venus. God said, the morning stars ‘sang together’
during the laying of the foundation of the earth (Job 38:4-7). It appears the
morning stars ‘sang together’ to announce Jesus’ conception and resurrection.
Another link to the ancient plan of God, the Bible says the names in the book
of life of the Lamb that was slain were
written before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). The signs in the sky were in motion before
the earth was formed. The planets were in orbit at the creation of the
earth as a sign of the Lamb and signaled His coming in
There is one place Isaiah 14:12 that refers to a morning star (halal, הילל or Lucifer, son of the morning (KJV) הילל בן־שחר), but this is not the bright morning star because it refers to Satan, so this reference is to Mercury the other morning star.
In several related articles the author discusses the date of the birth of Jesus. The simple answer is that Jesus was born on 25 December 1 B.C. Julian; this date was confirmed by Roman census records, by the priestly course timing of Zechariah, and by astronomical signs in the sun and the moon.
Jesus was born 25 December 1 B.C. four days later
29 December 1 B.C. the moon rose just after sundown partially eclipsed. An
eclipsed moon at the horizon would be red an ominous sign indeed. We have the
witness of Josephus that this eclipse near his birth was seen. Jesus’
crucifixion occurred on Friday 3 April 33 A.D. after sundown on that day, the
moon visible from
The full moon was low on the eastern horizon (with Jupiter) while the star led the magi to the house where Jesus’ lived.
During the watch kept by Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane during the three hours starting after they left the Last Supper at midnight, the nearly full moon shown, but at 3:30AM, the moon set so it became much darker. The Seder (last Supper) is supposed to last until about midnight then they crossed the Kidron Valley to the Mount of Olives then in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus kept watch, praying for three hours. The timing is quite precise for a population without clocks. Jesus said to those arresting him, "This is your hour, and the power of darkness" Luke 22:53). So it looks as if those arresting Jesus waited until moon set to arrest Jesus. This seems very reasonable because Jesus had escaped many attempts to arrest Him, so the cohort of soldiers (about 600 men) attempted to surprise Jesus in the darkness.
At Jesus' resurrection the moon again was full but shortly before dawn, the moon was at the horizon in the west, and it was under the feet of the woman (Virgo, the only female constellation the moon passes through) very similar in circumstance to Revelation 12:1-2. In this instance, Virgo's head pointed down in worship.
According to the Mishnah (Jewish oral law written
c. 200 A.D.), sacrificial lambs had to be born within the immediate vicinity of
wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger was a ‘sign’ to these
shepherds—their job description included certifying potential sacrifices were
without defect. The shepherds visited to certify the Lamb of God was without
defect as required by the law. In the days of Jesus, one could not bring a lamb
from ones own flock, all the lambs needed to be purchased from these
The Star of Bethlehem rose to mark the one-year anniversary of Jesus’ conception. He was conceived on Passover and announced by the Star of Bethlehem on Passover. The scepter in Leo marked by Venus appeared about one year before the birth of John the Baptist. The scepter was a sign timed to herald the birth of the one who would prepare the way for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Because Jesus’ birthday was December 25, we can observe new insights. Throughout Jesus’ lifetime, December 25 was the winter solstice. The winter solstice marks the longest night of the year and the point that days start to get longer. The Romans recognized the solstice as the birthday of the sun. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John ). God had prepared the Roman world to celebrate this day. The sun dawned on the day the Son dawned. During each of these signs, the sun was involved. The sun ‘clothes’ (Revelation 12:5) all of these astronomical events because they occur immediately before sunrise or in the case of the moon after sunset. Also all planets shine by reflected sunlight.
Jesus was born during the night, and the shepherds visited him during the night. It was the longest night of the year and Jesus is the light of the world, no day better symbolizes His role of coming into the world to be the light of the world. Another Scripture links the sun and righteousness, “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings” (Malachi 4:2). The sun is the main source of light to the earth. Without the sun, our planet would be dead. Without the sun our planet would have no life, without Jesus we have no life.
Since Genesis 1:14 Says the first purpose of the lights (referring to the sun moon and stars is to be for signs, … The sun, moon, and the brightest stars were all are signs to witness to the birth (ministry, death and resurrection) of the great light (Matthew 4:16) Jesus who did many signs witnessing to His light. There are hints that the night of Jesus’ birth was overcast as well as being the solstice. We are told after the announcement to the shepherds suddenly there was visible a multitude of the heavenly host (likely referring to the stars), so the clouds at that point cleared so that the shepherds would have light to find their way to Jesus’ manger.
Many falsely assume the date of Christmas was chosen because of the Roman feast Sol Invictus. Hippolytus of Rome (c. 202-211 A.D.) spoke of Christmas long before the cult and festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti developed.
Why did the star disappear over Jesus’ house? A little humidity was all it took, an invisible cloud behind His house. Joel 2:31 not only associates the sun darkening and the moon turning to blood but clouds and Saint Peter in refers to this (Acts 2:20-21), so it is likely that clouds played a part in the signs in the heavens at Jesus’ birth, the coming of the magi, the sign in the heaven that linked to the start of His ministry and to His death and resurrection. To this we can add His transfiguration. So that Christmas was darker yet because clouds obscured the sky.
We are commanded not to worship the lights in the heavens lest perhaps lifting up your eyes to heaven, you see the sun, and the moon, and the stars of heaven, and being deceived by error you worship and serve them, which the Lord your God created for the service to the nations that are under heaven (Deuteronomy 4:19). The heavenly bodies do service to the nations by being lights and day after day giving glory to God, but they can and do worship. Since God gives the dream and its interpretation, we learn they heavenly bodies, can worship Him. Joseph had a dream where the sun, moon and eleven stars bowed down to worship him (Genesis 37:11).
How could the sun, moon and stars bow before Joseph or Jesus? If the sun were visible the eleven stars would not be visible so the sun bowed by hiding itself (but coloring the sky), either in an eclipse or below the horizon. It is proposed that the sun, moon, and stars bowed before Jesus by hiding their light while still revealing their presence. A second way they bow is by being low that is low to the ground on the horizon. It also appears that they bow by being at the feet of the one they worship.
In most cases when the planets or a constellation form a sign mentioned in this article, the stars were as low in the sky as they could be and still be seen, and the duration of their visibility was short. When the stars formed a scepter in the constellation of Leo, the planets were low in the sky as low as they could go and still be barely visible. Extinction reddened and dimmed their light. When the sun light played a part into the sign, the sun was darkened, it light was hidden (or Venus was a competitor). At Jesus’ birth it was the winter solstice so the sun’s light was at a minimum and it was at midnight so the sun’s light was hidden for the maximum length of time. At Jesus’ death God hid the sun’s light from noon when it was normally at its strongest. The moon can only be eclipsed when it is full. The moon bowed to worship in two of these signs by being eclipsed. So the sun and moon, bowed in their strength. In both cases the moon was only visible on the horizon and then only briefly. In both cases, the moon was partially eclipsed. (At the time of Christ’s death, (3PM) the moon was fully eclipsed, but it was not yet visible above the horizon). When the moon did reveal itself, after sundown, it was just above the horizon. It is interesting as well that the order of the sun being darkened and then the moon turned to blood occurred in each of these instances (rather than moon then sun). At both His birth and death the sun, moon, and stars did not shine. They did reveal their presence after He was born and after He died.
The dream of Joseph links the sun to the father, the moon to the mother, and the stars to children. Jesus as the most important Son is represented by the brightest of the Stars. Jesus referred to Himself as the bridegroom (Matthew 9:15). Psalm 19:4-5 refers the sun as a bridegroom coming forth from his chamber—it appears that when the sun was darkened during Jesus’ crucifixion the sun represented Jesus as being in the bridal chamber and when Jesus said it is finished (Τετέλεσται) or it is consummated; it was His marriage covenant to the church that was consummated. So when it was consummated the sun representing the bridegroom came forth from its chamber. In the Law the color red represents sin or uncleanness, though your sins be as scarlet, you shall be white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). When a woman gave birth to a son, she was unclean for seven days. So the moon appears to be unclean after the birth of Jesus. When a marriage was consummated, both the husband and wife were unclean until the evening, so the redness of the moon indicating consummation. It is reasonable to conjecture that the sun and the moon are not only worshipping Jesus and witnessing His birth, but announcing it. Now Jesus did not become unclean at His birth or death, but remained holy, see the “Immaculate Conception”. So if there were any doubt, God had the sun and moon witness twice to Jesus and worship Him.
Another way the heavens worship Jesus is they allow the glory of His creation to be discovered. The apparent size in the sky of the sun and the moon are nearly equal, which is unique to our planet in our solar system. This means the sun and the moon can eclipse each other and this fact has greatly aided our discovery and understanding of our universe.
Luke 1:26-39 records the conception of Jesus in
Midnight would mean Mary was keeping the Passover
watch commanded for all Israelites (Exodus 12:42). Mary left in haste for
Zechariah and Elizabeth’s home, so she left that night. On that night, before
dawn Venus was high and bright, Mercury was bright, and they were together in
the constellation of Pisces. Thirty-three years later Jesus and his disciples
kept this watch in the
There was a dramatic sign in the stars alluded to
in John 1:51 that inaugurated Jesus’ ministry. At the commencement of Jesus’
ministry He told his disciples "Amen, Amen I tell you all shall see heaven
open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
This was fulfilled the next evening 4 March 31 A.D., as they returned to
It should be noted that Venus and the planets in the scepter might be beyond the limit of visibility ‘today’. There has been an increase of light pollution, moisture, and particles in the air. Factors that affect visibility of Venus besides clouds are the latitude (about 31 degrees north, the total astronomical extinction coefficient (which can vary a lot), the magnitude of Venus (-4.1 very bright), the visual acuity of the magi, and the additional azimuth difference (9.5 degrees, substantial for a planet) and the amount of particles in the air. Modern programs that determine the visibility of planets at their heliacal rising generally take an average visibility. Visibility can vary a lot and is not an exact science. The Star of Bethlehem was viewed in ideal conditions. The same God, who placed the planets in their orbits before the foundation of the world, controlled the weather, atmosphere and visibility of these planets. “The calculation of visibility phenomena is plagued by uncertainties that will only be resolved by a body of reliable observations that does not yet exist.” Besides extinction, there are three other factors that affect visibility the amount of light from earthbound sources (which dilutes the light), the amount of moisture (which scatters the light) and amount of particles (which absorb the light). These observations were done long before light pollution hindered sighting, there was no light pollution. The humidity would be minimal, they were long before autos and contrails added moisture to the atmosphere. They were also done long before the industrial age increased the amount of particulate matter in the air. God organized the picture so that the brightest planets were closest to the horizon and would most be able to seen. The planets all have about the same visibility because extinction reduces the visibility of the lowest planets, except Mars which because of its red color is less absorbed by the atmosphere. Extinction would change the color of the planets near the horizon. Besides the weather God also controlled the solar weather. The Forbush decrease refers to a decrease in cosmic rays due to the suns activity. The decrease in cosmic rays dramatically clears the earth’s atmosphere of particles further increasing visibility. The Forbush decrease events occur sporadically with no apparent pattern. Venus’ visibility at Jesus’ resurrection was much more visible so it did not need magi to be able to see Venus at this time.
Venus Tablets of Assisaduqa
Both the Babylonians and Maya tracked and recorded many years of the various phases of Venus and both of these groups recorded the invisibility phase at the inferior conjunction as lasting seven or eight days. Modern recorders set this period as being about twelve to fourteen days, which means that we can no longer see the heliacal rise of Venus with the clarity the ancients viewed it. Today Venus is not considered visible for about the last three days before it drops below the horizon and for the first three days after it rises above the horizon, while both the Maya and the Babylonians recorded that they saw Venus on the last day before it set and the first day after it rose for decades. This indicates that whatever the extinction coefficient was, the magi were able to see these signs.
The heavens declare the glory of God to all (Psalms 19:1). The sun, moon, clouds, fixed and wandering stars all announced His glory. The stars announced that His glorious Son would soon be conceived. The sun and moon gave Him glory by diminishing themselves when He was born and when He died. He was uniquely identified as the one to whom the signs in the heavens referred to when the magi arrived at His house. God made pictures in the sky that everyone could interpret. One does not have to be a professional astrologer to interpret them, but one did have to observe them. Venus rose in the constellation of Leo on 24 August 2 B.C. Julian, preceding the birth of John the Baptist by about one year. This sign, the golden scepter in the lion, announced the King comes. Venus rose in the constellation of Aries on 27 March 1 A.D.; it marked the first anniversary of Jesus’ conception. Venus was visible from before dawn until early evening 24 minutes after sunset standing over His house and waiting for the magi to arrive, then it faded from sight. This sign announced the Lamb of God comes. Venus rose on 5 April 33 A.D. in Pisces and coincided with Jesus’ resurrection. This sign announced the Church comes. A second picture in the sky in the early evening of Sunday 4 March 31 A.D., at the start of Jesus’ ministry announced Him as the Lamb of God, the Way to heaven and foreshadowed the crucifixion of the Lamb.
The morning stars witnessed the foundation of the earth. God’s plan to redeem us was in progress before Adam walked the earth. Will you ever look at the sky with the same casualness again? Our epoch starts on Sunday 1 January 1 A.D., the day Jesus was named and circumcised. This is the day Jesus entered the family of God. Every time you date something, you are witnessing to the birth of the Son of God.
This sign was unique, a bright vertical scepter
at dawn between the feet of Lion of Judah at a heliacal rising of Venus with
the brightest stars near the horizon where extinction was the greatest. 1.6
years later that same star guided the magi in
Scepter forms in Leo
Venus marks picture of a scepter in Leo
Jesus conceived—Passover midnight
John the Baptist born
Jesus born—Winter solstice
January 1, 1 A.D.
February 3, 1 A.D.
Jesus presented in the
March 22, 1 A.D.
Magi visit Herod in
March 27, 1 A.D.
Magi see Star of Bethlehem Passover (Nisan 14), The follow it on Nisan 15
August 30 A.D.
Start of the ministry of John the Baptist
January 8, 31 A.D.
Jesus’ baptism by John
March 4, 31 A.D.
Picture—Ladder to Heaven—Lamb of God
April 3, 33 A.D.
Jesus’ Crucifixion—Moon turned to Blood
April 5, 33 A.D.
· “The Good Shepherd” was inspected by good shepherds; Levites certified Jesus was without defect.
· “The Light of the World” was born on the festival of lights and the day the Sun was born.
“The Bread of Life” was born in the house of
· “The Lamb of God” was discovered in a town of sheep by a star marking the constellation of the lamb. Selected as the Passover Lamb but not found until too late to be offered that year.
· “The Bright Morning Star” led the magi to Jesus and they found the Bright Morning Star on the day the Bright Morning Star was born.
· “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah” had come to receive His scepter of world rule.
· The Lamb Crucified as the Ladder to Heaven.
· The Great Light in the Darkness rose to be a light in the day.
· The Great Light waited over Jesus' house for the gentiles who sought the light
Before dawn on the winter solstice, 12 December
1531 A.D. Venus rose just before sunrise, and with Mercury and Jupiter formed a
straight line of planets low in the eastern sky, a sign of kingly authority or
rule. Virgo (Virgin) was in the center of the sky. As the magi climbed the hill
to the west to find Mary and Jesus' house, so Juan Diego climbed Tepeyac hill
to the west (the opposite side from the other encounters) where our Lady of
Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego and miraculously left her image on his tilma
(a serape like outer garment). Two of the astronomical signs that marked Jesus’
birth, the winter solstice (or the birth of the sun) and the rising of Venus
with Mercury in a line of three stars just before dawn marked the Blessed Virgin
Mother’s appearance. The image shows many of the stars present in that sky on
Mary’s mantle. As the resurrection was the key event in the evangelization of
the world, Mary’s appearance was the key event in the evangelism of the
The constellations are turned inside out as if viewed from the outside
Stars cover the outer surface of Our Lady's blue mantel
The eastern sky before dawn, 12 December 1531 A.D. The line of three planets (Venus, Mercury and Jupiter) marked by the rising of Venus on the day The Blessed Virgin Mary left her picture on the tilma of St. Juan Diego.
While Venus rose with the sun, this is not the first day of morning visibility, but he last day Venus was visible in the morning. This is also the winter solstice the longest night and shortest day of the year.
The author has written a second article that looks at this subject briefly www.scripturescholar.com/StarOfBethlehem.htm. There two YouTube power point proposals linked in the top of this article as well.
The author has an article that details the whole life an ministry of Jesus that includes the eight signs in the heavens of Jesus life see www.scripturescholar.com/ChronologyJesus.pdf This article shows that it was not just Jesus’ conception and flight into Egypt that were linked to the Passover, but practically every aspect of His life and ministry as well.
Not all Star of Bethlehem theories can answer the facts the Bible presents about this star see www.scripturescholar.com/StarOfBethlehemNotes.pdf for a list of answers that star must be able to provide.
For the great sign that marked the beginning of Jesus’ Ministry see The Ladder to Heaven —The Lamb of God www.scripturescholar.com/LambofGod.pdf
For a fuller understanding of the woman and the dragon in Revelation 12 see http://www.scripturescholar.com/ApocalypseKey.htm.
The most popular estimates of what the star of
The oft-proposed stopping of a planet over
Why would Mary and Jesus hide? The shepherds were
told, born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord
(Luke 2:11), and they spread this message (Luke 2:17). If Mary had not hidden
Jesus, then all of
A general problem with all Star of Bethlehem theories besides the one presented here, is that they don't advance our knowledge and or understanding of God. Here we see God controls the brightness and period of not only the planets, but also the fixed star. He controls the terrestrial weather and the solar weather. Most depend to a greater or lesser extent on astrology which the Bible condemns as an offense punishable by death. How could God condemn one for astrology and honor another for using the same black art? The theory on the star presented here also links Jesus' early life to the Jewish calendar and clarifies the meaning of several obscure passages. This Star of Bethlehem proposal reveals a succinct telling of the gospel in the sky, something only the almighty is able to pull off.
Michael R. Molnar an astronomer in The Star of Bethlehem; Legacy of the Magi, said the magi did not see the star Jupiter as it rose, but calculated it, because Jupiter was occulted by the moon. This is a problem because Matthew says the magi said we “saw” his star rise. If the star was occulted or obscured it could not be seen. A second problem with his theory is the magi needed to know Roman astrology to interpret it. Molnar has a long section on interpreting Roman horoscopes, not something that the Scriptures or Christianity can condone. Jupiter the largest of the planets, but it was not the brightest or most important star to the ancients.
Fredrick Larson has presented what is the most
widely accepted theory of the Star of Bethlehem and has made an excellent video
The Star of Bethlehem to
back up his theory. He is a lawyer (not an astronomer or Biblical scholar) and he
does an excellent job of "selling" the misidentification of the Star
of Bethlehem. Fredrick glosses over many things that would weaken his theory. He
identifies the Star of Bethlehem as Jupiter. He notes Jupiter is the largest of
the planets, but it is the second most bright, and the ancients would have
considered Venus as the most important because it was the brightest. There are
phases to his theory, the conception of the child where Venus and Jupiter come
near each other, the month long crowning of Regulus by Jupiter (shallow loop
near star), Virgo in the daytime sky giving birth on Rosh Hashanah, the
crowns one star and then stops in its retrograde motion over
Colin R. Nicholl proposes that the star of
This is a diagram of what the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn look like when observed from earth, as one can see they look like spirographs; Jupiter is regularly stopping and looping. Not something that the magi or modern astronomers were likely to take special note of. But something a person unfamiliar with planetary motion like a lawyer, might observe think was unusual.
An angel or miracle—many believe the star that guided the magi was simply a miracle or an angel (and angels are occasionally called stars). The Bible clearly called the Star of Bethlehem a star. Today we live at a time that airplanes and helicopters fly over head all the time, God could have done this but why say a star guided them, rather than an angel. It is clear from the information presented in this article that God was able from the foundation of the world to use the lights He set in the sky as signs to guide the magi. I believe that most who hold this view do not recognize the special attributes of the planet Venus and how well it fits the requirements necessary to guide the magi. Venus could be seen by many people, but it was faint, one would only see it if they paid close attention, apparently only the magi did so. Why would the Designer, use an angel to guide the magi, when He could show off His divine capability and use Venus? If an angel guided the magi, why did not many curious people follow and a crowd arrived at the house of Mary and Jesus? By using a planet God made it so we can know the year, the day of the year, the time between the stars first and second rise, the time between Jesus’ birth and the stars second rise and the location of Jesus’ house, all things that would be impossible with an angel the magi. We also would not see the connection of the heavens bowing to worship Jesus. Most theories do not allow these connections to be made.
Some say that the magi came to
I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve [worship, pay reverence to] him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
All dates are Julian. At this time Gregorian dates are 2 days earlier 22 August 2 B.C.
 Some say extinction made these planets invisible, for a rebuttal see planetary visibility section.
John Pratt, “Venus Resurrects this Easter,” Meridian
 Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, Chicago Press, 1979, p. 62.
 Earlier heliacal rising dates are 15 January 3 B.C. and 15 June 5 B.C.
 Genesis 1:14 … for signs, seasons, days and years. Luke 21:25 There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.
 This is a simplification sign can mean many things, but picture is one of the primary meanings.
 Job 9:9, 38:3, 31-32. Isaiah 13:10; Amos 5:8; Wisdom 7:29.
 Numbers 2:3, 10:14 Standard— http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Lion-of-Judah.
 E.W. Bullinger, The Witness of the Stars, 1893, p. 163.
 In Hebrew the word for sign is אוֹת (ōth), a word that starts with the first and ends with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet connected by the letter that means 'and' like "alpha and omega" in Greek. This sign is revealed in the first and last chapters of the Bible, it is the sign of signs.
 Learned from Leo Bauer LtCdr, USN, a WWII aviator in the South Pacific on a reconnaissance mission, his navigation aids said a fix could be taken off Venus that day and it was visible.
 Campbell, W. W., “Is the Crescent Form of Venus Visible to the Naked Eye?,” 1916, p. 85, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1916PASP...28...85C.
 Dayspring or anatole appears to be a proper name for Venus in the Septuagint.
 Venus could be seen as the messenger that Jesus sends as a testimony for the churches.
 In contrast Psalm 110:3 in the RSV Your people will offer themselves freely on the day you lead your host upon the holy mountains. From the womb of the morning like dew your youth will come to you. What does that mean?
 There are other references to this Sirach 39:31 & 50:6 (refers to Simon the high priest) 2 Peter 1:19; Job 11:17; Job 38:32; Rev 2:28; eosphorus (morning star); phosphorus (day star); Hesperus (evening star); anatole (dayspring).
 ἀνατέλλω is an another word in Greek used to rise of sun, moon, stars or clouds, Matt 4:16; Matt 5:45; Matt 13:6; Mark 4:6; Mark 16:2; Luke 12:54; Heb 7:14; James 1:11; 2 Peter 1:19 only in Hebrews 7:14 it is used of Jesus not rising from a line of priests. This is the word one would use of the rising of a star that was not a heliacal rising.
 Isaiah links a rising star in the dark and into the day with specific gifts being brought to the Messiah. Isaiah 60:2-3, 6 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Yahweh rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. … 6 Herds of camels will cover your land, …, bearing gold and frankincense and proclaiming the praise of the Yahweh.
 A second reference uses the Ark of the Covenant as a
type of Mary. The times of the wandering of the
 There is a similar phrase 'the root of Jesse' used only in Isaiah 11:1 and 11:10 also in association with branch, so these verses might point to Venus as His Star. It may be that some the words translated branch (multiple Hebrew words) may have multiple meanings, meaning both sprout and Dayspring. For example the lamp in the Tabernacle had both branches and lights (the word in Hebrew used for stars in Genesis 1:15, 17 and Exodus 25:37).
 Josephus, Jewish
Antiquities XVII, 167. wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/josephus/ant-17.htm.
Book XVII, Chapter 6.4 Viewed as a sign in the heaven in the context of killing
a leader of a sedition attempting to stop King Herod's desecration of the
 Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, New Testament, 2010, Ignatius Press, p. 109.
 John A. Rhodes, “Josephus Misdated the Census of Quirinius,” JETS 54.1 (March 2011) 65–87 http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/54/54-1/JETS_54-1_65-87_Rhoads.pdf
 Venus rose an hour before sunrise and may have marked the moment of Jesus’ resurrection.
John Pratt, “Dating the First Easter,” The Ensign 15, No. 6 (June 1985), pp. 59-68. www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/easter/dating.html.
 Bruce Killian, "Chronology of Jesus," link http://www.scripturescholar.com\ChronologyJesus.pdf.
 Prediction one year before the birth of a miraculous son occurs several other times in the Bible, Genesis 17:21, 18:10-14; 2 Kings 4:16-17. See also “The Chronology of Jesus’ Life” http://www.scripturescholar.com/ChronologyJesus.pdf.
 Bruce A. Killian, “The Immaculate Conception,” 2008, http://www.scripturescholar.com/ImmaculateConception.pdf
keeping a night watch with another on a sailboat 25 miles off the west coast of
George Sarton, Ancient Science Through the Golden Age of Greece, 1993, p.77-8 link.
 Note in this case Venus has been the morning star and this is the last day it will appear as the bright morning star.
 This also explains why God did not have Jesus born in the inn, then there would be people able to identify Mary and Joseph so they could not hide. This also reveals that there could not have been a midwife at Jesus’ birth because the midwife would have been able to indentify the holy family.
 Fredrick Larson, www.bethlehemstar.net, CD available for purchase.
[i] There are many links between Moses and Jesus the
prophet like Moses Deut 18:15-19, for instance both were under a death sentence
because they were a male child. Both survived the threat by crossing water into