If a "Christmas Star" announced the first advent of Christ, will celestial phenomenon reveal the second advent of Christ?
We are told that when Christ was born, Magi came from the east with tales of a star that appeared in the heavens - a star which they interpreted as a divine sign of the birth of the King of the Jews. This star has been the subject of speculation over the centuries. What was it? A comet? A conjunction of planets? A supernova? An angel?
Suggestions include a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 7 B.C. and a supernova that appeared in the head of the child in the lap of Coma, a sidereal sidepiece to the constellation Virgo. It appeared in the second century B.C. and was so bright, it could be seen in the daytime. In the second century A.D., it had almost faded away.
According to THE STAR THAT STARTLED THE WORLD, by Earnest L. Martin, Jupiter and Venus were in conjunction on July 17, 2 B.C., - so close that they appeared as one light in the sky. Modern astronomers have dubbed it, "The Christmas Star."
On the night of Rosh Hashanah, September 11, 3 B.C., Jupiter was in conjunction with Regulus, the brightest star in Leo, the lion. It passed across the star, stopped around the first of December and began a retrograde movement, crossing Regulus again on February 17, 2 B.C. It continued its backward trek 40 days, then turned around again and had a third conjunction with Regulus on May 8, 2 B.C.
The remarkable thing about this triple conjunction is that the dying Jacob gave a prophecy on his deathbed concerning the coming of the Messiah from the tribe of Judah - to which he gave the sign of the celestial lion:
"Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.
"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?
"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be" (Genesis 49:8-10).
The Hebrew word used for "his feet" reglaiv, is very close to the Latin, Regulus. We get the word regal and regulation from Regulus. The Hebrew regel (foot) appears to be so similar to the name of the star, we suspect a connection.
Regulus has been known down through the centuries as the "king star." Jacob said that the "scepter [a royal rod held in the hand of a king] shall not depart from Judah ... until Shiloh [a reference to the Messiah] come."
On the other hand, Jupiter was also known as the royal planet - the king planet. It must have had some special significance to the Magi when Jupiter, the king planet had the first of three conjunctions with Regulus, the king star between the feet of Leo. Circling above Regulus, Jupiter seemed to draw a crown - perhaps signifying the arrival of the divine King.
Signs in the Heavens
If "signs in the heavens" announced the first advent of Christ, will the planets also declare the second advent of Christ? We are told in Luke 21:11:
"And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."
We do not know when Christ will return, but we are able to observe the planets over the next decade and see some remarkable things. At the outset of this report, let me make it clear that I am in no way advocating setting a date for the rapture or return of Christ based upon astronomical observation. Furthermore, this should not be construed as in any way being related to astrology. I am simply showing the various conjunctions that are coming up and considering what they would have meant to the ancient astronomer in the days of the Bible.
Conjunctions in May, A.D. 2000
Some remarkable conjunctions will occur in May of the year 2000 as all five major planets, along with the sun and moon, group together leaving the constellation, Aries, and entering Taurus around May 4.
Jupiter and Saturn will be extremely close as Venus has a conjunction with Jupiter on the morning of May 17 and with Saturn a few hours later, May 18. Jupiter and Saturn, the two largest planets in our Solar System, will meet a few days later on May 27. This is a remarkable series of events to occur in a single month.
According to THE WITNESS OF THE STARS, by E. Bullinger, published in 1893, Taurus begins the story of the second coming of Christ. Bullinger writes, "In this third and last book, we come to the concluding portion of this heavenly revelation. Its subject is redemption completed, and consummated in triumph ... the glory that should follow ... The sign in Chaldee is Tor; Greek, Tauros; Latin, Taurus. The Hebrew name is Shur, which is from a root which means both coming and ruling. It is a prophecy of Christ, the coming Judge, and Ruler, and Lord of all the earth."
Saturn is seen below Leo's sickle in this mural at the Griffith Observatory.
Saturn, the Grim Reaper
Over the next seven years, from 2000 to 2007, Saturn will travel through the constellations that tell the story of the wrath of God being poured out upon an unbelieving world. That would be Taurus, the coming Judge; Gemini, which in ancient zodiacs tells the story of the Bridegroom and his bride; Cancer, the symbol of resurrection; and Leo, the lion pouncing on Hydra, a many-headed serpent. These constellations along with their siderial sidepieces tell the story of the second coming of Christ.
Saturn, was known in ancient mythology as the reaper. He carried a sickle. From him has emerged legends of the grim reaper. He is connected with prophetic symbols that deal with the harvest of the wicked. In Revelation 14, we are told about the use of the symbolic sickle:
"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
"And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
"And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
"And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
"And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
"And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
"And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs" (Revelation 14:14-20).
This drawing of Leo, showing the sickle in his head, was published in a textbook on astronomy at what was then Yale College (today's Yale University) in 1835.
Regulus, the king star in Leo also happens to be in the handle of a sickle in the head of Leo. The point of the sickle protrudes from the lion's mouth. Could that sickle represent the sword in the mouth of Christ? Revelation 19:15 says, "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations."
In the Rotunda ceiling at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, is a mural of Saturn by Hugo Ballin. It shows Saturn below the sickle in the mouth of Leo. Will Saturn use Leo's sickle? Coming up around August 29, 2007, Saturn will have a conjunction with Regulus. It will be near its conjunction as the calendar approaches Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year on September 12, 2007. Will Saturn's conjunction with Regulus complete the story which began on the night of Jupiter's conjunction with Regulus in 3 B.C.?
Obviously, we don't know the future. But it is at least interesting to see where the planets will be in the coming decade. Would it be appropriate at this point to say, "Keep looking up"?
Questions or Comments:
JR Church firstname.lastname@example.org