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Planet X, the Magi and the Star of Bethlehem....

User ID: 973323
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12/22/2010 01:52 PM
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Planet X, the Magi and the Star of Bethlehem....
Though much has been written on the Magi by many different sources in antiquity, only some of these sources, such as Herodotus, are reliable enough to use in any in-depth discussion of the Magi.

Questions of who they were, and what role they played in ancient Near Eastern history arise in our quest to understand why their appearance at the Nativity was accorded such a place of prominence in the Gospels.

Understanding who the Magi were will then serve as a prelude to a more in-depth study of the "Star of Bethlehem" phenomenon, as we come to understand how the Magi form the link between the Creation, the Nativity, and the mysterious Planet X.

The Magi in the Bible

Representations of the Magi and the Star of the Nativity are among the most popular Christian symbols come Christmas time. Yet, understandings of whom the Magi were and what they truly represented are often confusing, oversimplified, or factually inaccurate. For example, John MacArthur points out that "...most of the popular notions about the Magi are misleading. It is doubtful that they were anything like the camel-riding travelers we usually see portrayed in pictures and Christmas pageants.

Even the old standard Christmas song 'We Three Kings of Orient Are' may be wrong on several counts. There's no evidence that there were three of them - only that they brought three kinds of gifts (Matt. 2:11). Furthermore, Scripture does not say that they were kings; in fact, they almost certainly were not."1

David Haag also debunks some of the mythology that has arisen around the story of the Magi over the centuries, pointing out that much of it appears to have been embellished. "Folklore has even given names to the 'three wise men', calling them Melchior, Balthasar, and Caspar - making them kings from Egypt, India, and Greece. Some even say that they were later baptized by Thomas and that Helena, the mother of Constantine, discovered their bones and had them placed in the church of Saint Sophia at Constantinople."2

Interestingly, the Magi represent the only significant Gentile authority in the Gospels to affirm that Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah. It could be that Matthew intended to convince the Jews of the divinity of Christ by including with the genealogy of Christ in his Gospel an account of Gentile authority that corroborated his witness. Certainly King Herod held the Magi in high esteem (Matt. 2:1-7), enough so to execute all the newborn babes in Bethlehem upon the affirmation of the Magi that the Messiah had just been born there (Matt. 2:16, 18; cf. also Micah 5:2 and Jeremiah 40:1).

An understanding of who the Magi truly were, then, as seen from the perspective of their historical and cultural context, could shed more light on their importance as a witness to the Nativity.

The Magi in History

According to our most reliable records and archaeological findings, the Magi have been identified definitively as being the priestly class of ancient Persia, with a level of authority just a step below the royalty. As priests they were primarily responsible for maintaining good communications between the gods and men, keeping careful track of the stars and planets and how their interactions determined the destiny of the state. Edwin Yamauchi explains that "the Magi ... functioned as priests and diviners under the Achaemenian Persians (600 to 400 B.C.). Herodotus (1.132) wrote that 'no sacrifice can be offered without a Magian'. The Magi also interpreted dreams (Herodotus 1.107, 120, 128).... The Persians continued to use derivations from the word magus as a word for 'priest' down to the end of the Sasanian era around 650 b.c."3

Gnoli confirms this observation, explaining, "The Magi were technicians of and experts on worship: it was impossible to offer sacrifices without the presence of a Magus. During the performance of a ritual sacrifice, the Magus sang of the theogony ... and was called upon to interpret dreams and to divine the future."4 The Magi were the ubiquitous priestly class of Media-Persian society, a tribe of holy men like the Israelite Levites in social function, who were the only ones whom, it was believed, could effectively commune with the state gods of Persia.

Scholars are divided on exactly what sort of relationship the Magi had with Zoroastrianism, the state religion of Persia inaugurated by Cyrus the Great, but what is certain is that they were the inheritors of a tradition of sacred poetry: a "theogony", or a song about the creation of the gods.

This song was probably heavily influenced by Enuma Elish, which was, besides being a creation story, also a story about the creation of the gods of the Babylonians. Moreover, the fact that the ancient Persians had conquered and subjugated the ancient Babylonians makes it certain that they did indeed inherit the ancient Creation tradition, and had made it a crucial part of their understanding of how the Earth had been created as the result of the combat between the most high God and a dragon, which symbolized Earth and another planet in our solar system.

[link to www.raidersnewsupdate.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 973323
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12/22/2010 01:55 PM
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Re: Planet X, the Magi and the Star of Bethlehem....
The Magi and the Stars

Unfortunately, after the collapse of the Persian Empire, not much direct evidence concerning the Magi can be found. However, secondary accounts of their involvement with astronomy and astrology are not uncommon. For example, Aus explains, "Herodotus notes that the Magi not only interpreted dreams. They also interpreted celestial phenomena for King Xerxes.

The Greek historian states that while the Sun is the prophet of the Greeks, for the Magi it is the Moon. That is, they deal primarily with the nocturnal heavens.

When the Magi from the East in Matt. 2:2 state that they have seen (at night) the Star of him born king of the Jews and then follow it (at night) to Bethlehem in verses 8-9, it thus belonged to a normal realm of their concern."5 The Magi were considered the astrologers of the court of Xerxes, astrological knowledge being one of their major attributes.

However, exactly when in the evolution of Magian beliefs this happened is open to conjecture. Moulton believes that it occurred when "The Persians and Magi reached Babylon before the end of the sixth century B.C. and there they became acquainted with Babylonian astrology and astronomy."6

Over time, during the later Seleucid and Sasanian periods of Persian history, through practice and gradual improvement of technique, their astronomy no doubt became more and more scientific. This would correspond to the scientific trend in Mesopotamia at the time where, as Yamauchi points out, "The development of 'Chaldeans' in a professional as well as an ethnic sense derived from the interest in astronomy/astrology developed by priestly scholars among the Chaldeans of Mesopotamia."7

The Magi and the Star of Bethlehem

When the Magi came into contact with the Babylonian priesthood after the Persian conquest of Babylon, the Magi also picked up the knowledge of Enuma Elish, the creation epic/theogony of the Babylonians, which tells the story about how Earth was created when a mysterious planet struck it with a heavenly "wind", dividing it into heaven and Earth. It was also from the Babylonians that the Persians adopted the worship of the planets as gods. Thus, since their gods were the planets, then any story about the creation of the gods must also be a description of the creation of the planets.

This would make sense in the context of their predominantly astral theology, and would explain their great interest in the appearance of the "new Star" that appeared at the Nativity. This "new Star", as the Magi had learned from the Babylonians, was actually a very old planet with a very ancient history, having been worshiped as the throne of the most high God of heaven for many thousands of years previous to the birth of Christ. And when it appeared at the birth of Christ, it was a clear affirmation to all the nations that the true Son of God, the "Ancient of Days" had been born into flesh, His Great White Throne appearing once again in heaven to mark His advent.

Thus, when you think of the Bethlehem Star at Christmas time, remember that it is not merely a mysterious apparition, or mere transitory astrological conjunction, but the return of an ancient planet which appears during major turning points in the history of God's chosen people.

And do not focus solely on the wonder of the birth of the Son of God, but also look forward to His soon coming, when the mysterious Great White Throne, Planet X, will herald His return.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/22/2010 02:02 PM
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Re: Planet X, the Magi and the Star of Bethlehem....

The sixth seal deals with "Cosmic Disturbances". Compare the words of the chapter addressing the sixth seal, Rev 6:12-15, with what is predicted during Planet X’s passage.

Rev 6:12-15

"I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains."

In analyzing this:

"There was a great earthquake". 9-15 Richter scale quakes could occur during a pole shift.

"The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair". The ash from the many spewing volcanoes could block out the light of the sun.

"The whole moon turned blood red" The planet's comet-like tail is comprised of much red dust which may make the moon appear to be red when viewed through it.

"The stars in the sky fell to earth" Asteroids, space debris, boulders, gravel, and dust are held in the suns giant magnetic field and follow along in Niburu's comet like tail. There is much ecological evidence that this has swept the earth before. The earth could also become highly charged due to increased solar flaring. Both earth’s electromagnetic charge and its gravity could pull some of this debris into it again. An alternate perspective might be, that during a possible shifting crust, the stars would look like they are rapidly moving or falling, when viewed from earth’s surface