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THE ENSIGN MESSAGE

STAR OF BETHLEHEM

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The Christmas festival is acknowledged every year in the Christian  west  to a greater or lesser  degree of understanding as  to the  truth  of its message.   Our Christmas cards when depicting the nativity show the star as having at least  eight  points,  if  not twelve,  or even sixteen. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not an amazing event  occurred two thousand or so years ago heralded by the appearance of a star which hung around for close  on two years.  The Bible does not tell us whether the shepherds saw  it or not.   If they  did  they may  not  have appreciated  its significance. Nonetheless they had the privilege of a visit by the Angel Gabriel together with an entire  host of angels praising God; a night they would remember for the rest of their lives. Whilst there were those who were  very well qualified  astronomers others  would have  been  stargazers at  a  more  elementary  level. Many people would have been aware of this particular star being too bright to ignore.  John Elliot Page in his book Signs in the Sky writes that it was an ‘exploding star’ which   took  place   in  the  small  constellation named  Coma,  associated with Virgo becoming one million times  brighter  than  our sun  in which  case  it would have been  very difficult to ignore.

There were wise men from the east who not only saw this star, along with fellow astronomers, but who understood its meaning. They were  called  the magi; a class  of priests  among the ancient Persians. (1) As it was only Israel who had ever received  word from the Lord  God  Almighty through  His  prophets, it  is inevitable  these wise men were of the lost ten tribes.

In II Esdras 13 vv 39-45 we read these words  being the interpretation of a dream.

And  whereas thou sawest that he  gathered another  peaceable multitude unto him, these are the ten tribes which were carried away  prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king whom Salmanasar, King of Assyria, led away captive and he carried them  over the waters and so came they into another  land.

But , they took counsel  amongst themselves that they would leave the multitude of the heathen  and go forth  into  a further country  where never  mankind dwelt; that they might there keep their statutes which they never kept in their own land, ……… for through that country there was a great way to go, namely of a year and a half, and the same  region is called Asareth”

These verses confirm that the ten tribes were taken captive  into the Far East making  it plausible that the wise men were of Israelite descent.

Steven M Collins in his book “The ‘lost’ Ten Tribes of Israel …. Found” reports that the magi came from the  region  of Parthia.   He states that  the  Parthians were,  in fact, descendants of Israel from the captives of both the northern kingdom of Ephraim-Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah.  They were influential people including priests descended from Levi, of non­ royal lineage.  Collins further goes on to state  that the magi party may have  been  escorted by hundreds of troops which  also incorporated a large entourage of animal-handlers, cooks  and servants.

Indeed, Flavius  Josephus records that  wealthy Jews  would  travel  with  treasures from  the  Parthia region with tens of thousands of soldiers as guards. This would  be quite credible as Matthew  2.3 tells us that “all  Jerusalem was troubled” by the visit of the magi.   This caravan must  have  been  fairly large  to cause such  a disturbance.  Had the party consisted of only three or four wise men visiting King Herod not many people would have known about it. They were very  bold  men  indeed to come to the  incumbent monarch asking  for information of a new baby born to be a future  king of the  Jews!    King Herod  must have experienced some trepidation from this large company of travellers, secretly wondering the  real purpose of their visit.

For the wise men  to have understood the hidden meaning of the appearance of this star we must look to the prophets as well  as  to the  astronomers.  As Israelites the magi would  have read and studied the prophecies concerning the first advent.

Isaiah  11:1 ”And  there shall come forth a rod out  of the  stem of Jesse and  a branch shall  grow out  of his  roots”.

Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold the  days  come, saith the  Lord, that I will  raise  unto David  a righteous Branch, and  a King shall reign  and  prosper, and shall  execute judgement andjustice in the earth”

Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the  Lord himself  shall give you a sign; Behold,  a virgin  shall  conceive, and  bear a son, and  shall call  his name Immanuel”.

This very special star was observed in a small constellation known  as  Coma  which  is associated with the greater constellation known  as Virgo. This sign shows  a woman bearing  a branch in her  right hand,  and  an  ear  of corn  in her  left.   The  Hebrew name  of this sign is “A Virgin”, and  the  meaning in Arabic is “A Branch”.     The bright star  in the ear  of corn is called in Arabic “the branch”.  This star is also called “Vindemiatrix” a Chaldee word meaning “the son” or “one  who cometh”.(2)

In the light of the foregoing  it would  appear that any Star of David would be that wonderful star which must have been  visible to some  extent  to the naked eye for about two years.  As II Esdras states  that some of  the  children of  Israel had  eighteen months ‘ travelling to do to reach a country “where never man dwelt” it would  have  been  a similar  journey for the wise men travelling from Parthia to Palestine.  As they took many soldiers with them  it must  have  been treacherous country through which to travel at times. It is not inconceivable to imagine the wise men, being masters in astronomy, becoming aware of this star from its inception and,  therefore, hasting  to their scrolls to find the meaning. Evidently they were  not disappointed and  made  plans  accordingly for the long  journey,  selecting their  gifts appropriate for a king who would sacrifice himself for the sake of his people.

Further evidence of a long journey  of at least eighteen months to two years  is that when they eventually  arrived  in Bethlehem, still guided  by the star, they found,  not a baby, but a young child in the house  where  Mary and  Joseph were  living; hence, King Herod ‘s instruction  to his soldiers to kill all male children  two years of age and under.

The symbol  we  know  today as the Star of David may  not  be  all we  believe  it to be.   According  to Richard Kelly Hoskins in his book ‘In the  Beginning…. the  Story of  the  International Trade Cartel’ (p40) this sign is, in fact, an ancient Tibetan  Hindu sign.  On page 84 he elaborates further in that it is the most ancient of Hindu sex symbols,  the two merging triangles representing the union of female  and male, the upper for the female  and the lower for the male. It will also be noted  that the gematria for this symbol is 666 having six outer  points,  six inner  triangles and a hexagon in the centre, ie a six sided plane.  Rev.13:18 gives this number as the mark of the beast and is a symbol of Satan.

The red hexagram sign was used in 1 744 by Moses Amschel Bauer to celebrate the birth of his son, Mayer Amschel on 23 February. Moses Bauer had a counting house in Frankfurt, Germany, from where he loaned money.  This symbol was placed above  the front door of his business.(3)  After his father’s death, Meyer Amschel Bauer returned to Frankfurt – having left the Openheimer’s bank  in Hanover – to take  over  the family business.  He recognised the significance of the  red  hexagram and  changed his  name to Rot(h)schild, being German  for red, ‘rot’ and shield, ‘schild’.(4)

W H Bennett in his book Symbols of our Celtic­ Saxon Heritage (p102) states that  this six pointed star in the shape of a hexagram is called  the Star of David as well as the Seal of Solomon.  He believes, however,  that its correct name  is the Shield of David. He bases his authority on the common Jewish use of the name the Star of David. The name of this emblem as used by the Rabbis and the more educated Jews is the  Shield  of David and  on  a  Masonic tradition  in which it is called  the Seal of Solomon.

Regrettably this  does not  appear to be in agreement with  biblical  teaching as there is no mention of any of these titles anywhere in the word of God; the Old Testament, the Apocrypha, or the New Testament.  Therefore we should be careful  in our acceptance of such a claim.  The only emblems used by the House of David are the lion rampant, the three lions couchant and  the harp of David.  The emblem for  the  tribe  of Judah has  always been the  lion (Genesis 49:9).

Judah is a lion’s whelp:   from the prey, my son, thou  art gone up:  he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?  One of Judah’s sons,  Zara, used as his personal standard the lion rampant while  his twin brother, Pharez,  used  the lion couchant.

Jesus said, “Ye shall know  them by their  fruits.” Matthew 7:16

(Footnotes)

1 Collins dictionary

2 Signs in the Sky by John  Elliott Page p.21

3 Synagogue of Satan  p.30

4 Synagogue of Satan  p.31

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