star of Bethlehem

The star which led the Magi [[➝ magi]] or Wise Men to Bethlehem to pay homage to the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:1–12). In so far as the story has any basis in historical fact, the ‘star’ is more likely to have been a conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in 7 CE, which could have alerted astrologers (‘magi’ has this meaning in Greek) to an important event. It is, however, strange that the Magi should only have travelled under the stars by night over such country; if they were indeed being led, it is odd that they needed to ask the way at the court of King Herod (Matt. 2:2). It is better to regard Matt.'s narrative as a midrash based on the reference to a star in Num. 24:17 and to the coming of Gentiles to Jerusalem in Isa. 60:3.
In that case the story is an expression of the universal salvation offered by Christ, proclaimed also at the end of the gospel (Matt. 28:19). It could also be Matt.'s way of showing that the superstitious arts of astrologers yield to the truth and rationality of Christianity, which Luke has demonstrated by his account of the burning of magical books by converts at Ephesus (Acts 19:19).

Dictionary of the Bible.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Star-of-Bethlehem — Star Star (st[aum]r), n. [OE. sterre, AS. steorra; akin to OFries. stera, OS. sterro, D. ster, OHG. sterno, sterro, G. stern, Icel. stjarna, Sw. stjerna, Dan. stierne, Goth. sta[ i]rn[=o], Armor. & Corn. steren, L. stella, Gr. asth r, a stron,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • star-of-Bethlehem — [stär′əv beth′lə hem΄, stär′ev beth′lē əm] n. pl. stars of Bethlehem a bulbous plant (Ornithogalum umbellatum) of the lily family, with white, star shaped flowers and long, narrow leaves …   English World dictionary

  • star-of-bethlehem — star of bethlehem; star of Bethlehem; …   English syllables

  • star of Bethlehem — n. Bible the bright star over Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus, guiding the Magi: Matt. 2:1 10 …   English World dictionary

  • Star of Bethlehem — For other uses, see Star of Bethlehem (disambiguation). Adoration of the Magi by Florentine painter Giotto di Bondone (1267–1337). The Star of Bethlehem is shown as a comet above the child. Giotto witnessed an appearance of Halley s Comet in 1301 …   Wikipedia

  • star-of-Bethlehem — skėtinė paukštpienė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Hiacintinių šeimos vaistinis nuodingas augalas (Ornithogalum umbellatum), paplitęs šiaurės Afrikoje ir pietų Europoje. atitikmenys: lot. Ornithogalum umbellatum angl. common star of… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • star-of-Bethlehem — žiedingasis katilėlis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Katilėlinių šeimos dekoratyvinis augalas (Campanula isophylla), paplitęs Italijoje (Ligūrijoje). atitikmenys: lot. Campanula isophylla angl. falling stars; Italian bellflower; star of… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • star-of-Bethlehem — šluotelinė paukštpienė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Hiacintinių šeimos dekoratyvinis nuodingas augalas (Ornithogalum thyrsoides), paplitęs pietų Afrikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Ornithogalum thyrsoides angl. chinkerinchee; star of Bethlehem;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • star-of-Bethlehem — vištapienė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Šeima. Lelijiniai – Liliaceae Juss. atitikmenys: lot. Gagea angl. gagea; star of Bethlehem vok. Gelbstern; Goldstern rus. гагеа; гусинный лук lenk. złoć …   Dekoratyvinių augalų vardynas

  • star-of-Bethlehem — paukštpienė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Hiacintinių (Hyacinthaceae) šeimos augalų gentis (Ornithogalum). atitikmenys: lot. Ornithogalum angl. ornithogalum; star of Bethlehem vok. Milchstern; Vogelmilch rus. орнитогалюм; птицемлечник… …   Dekoratyvinių augalų vardynas

  • Star of Bethlehem — Star′ of Beth′lehem n. bib the star that guided the Magi to the manger of the infant Jesus in Bethlehem. Matt. 2:1–10 …   From formal English to slang

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.