Re: Follow the star

David L. Moore (
Wed, 18 Dec 1996 21:53:20 -0500

At 03:15 PM 12/18/96 -0600, Jack Kilmon wrote:
>Vanetten.Edward wrote:
>> Are there alternate Greek translations
>> that support the traditional view of the star
>> CONSTANTLY guiding them? And if there are why
>> did the Wise Men go to Herod?
> IF the star of Bethlehem had some historical background in
>the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 7/6 BCE, then Mt 2:9 makes

Jack Kilmon's dates for the visibility of the conjunction of Jupiter
and Saturn in 7 B.C. do check out. A program I have called Skymap has been
accurate for me in portraying eclipses of the sun reported in Antiquity back
to 1178 B.C. Setting this program to May 29, 7 B.C., I found that the
conjunction of the two named planets was visible in Iraq from about 1:30
A.M. to dawn. The conjunction was also visible on Oct. 3 and on Dec. 3 of
that year. As viewed from Jerusalem, the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
would have appeared to the south about 10 P.M. on Oct. 3 and about 6 P.M. on
Dec. 4. In both cases, over the next hour or two it would have moved some
degrees to the west.

> EN TH ANATOLH IS NOT " the east" but idiomatically,
>"at dawn" (which, of course, occurs in the east). Occurring in
>the constellation of Pisces (The House of the Jews), it would have
>been visible in the southern sky over Bethlehem as one traveled
>on the Hebron road south from Jerusalem and would appear to have
>PROHGEN AYTOYS "went before them." for about two hours in the
>early morning.

It looked to me as though it was closer to Aquarius than to Pisces,
but I'm not an astrologer and am not sure how those things are figured.

The question of the meaning of EN TH ANATOLH is not so simple.
ANATOLH can refer to the rising of the sun. It can also refer to the rising
of a star or other heavenly bodies. The phrase EN TH ANATOLH could mean,
"in ascendance" or "in its rising." One thing that does not favor of Jack
Kilmon's idea on this is the use of the word ASTHR rather than some
expression having to do with the planets. The wise men, if they studied the
heavens, surely knew the difference. But, on the other hand, this might be
a generalized usage. In Jude 13 we have the expression ASTERES PLANHTAI
which probably derives from either the planets which are not fixed in the
sky, but seem to wander on the vault of heaven or, of the so-called shooting
stars that give a bright and moving light for a time and then go out in
utter darkness (shudder: the Lord keep us by His grace!).

David L. Moore Director
Miami, Florida, USA Department of Education Southeastern Spanish District of the Assemblies of God