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Star of Bethlehem
Discover the Christmas custom, story, myth and legend associated with the Star of Bethlehem. This festive tradition and Christmas custom, with its familiar symbol and meaning, has evolved over time. But what is the history, meaning and origin of the Star of Bethlehem? The origin and history of the Star of Bethlehem is  religious and relates to the Story of the Nativity. This article provides facts and information about the history of the Star of Bethlehem as a familiar symbol, tradition and custom of our Christmas today.

Description of the Star of Bethlehem - The Christmas Star
The Star of Bethlehem (The Christmas Star) is the basis for many Christmas decorations. It is usually depicted as a five pointed star. The most popular decoration is the Christmas Star which is attached to the top of the Christmas Tree.

Homemade Christmas Star

What is the Star of Bethlehem?
The Star of Bethlehem is the special star that was followed by the Three Wise Men, also known as the Magi, which led them from the east to the place where Jesus was born, in Bethlehem. The Star of Bethlehem is also referred to as the Christmas Star.

The Magi and the Star of Bethlehem
The Star of Bethlehem relates to the the biblical story of the Magi, also known as the Three Wise Men and the part that they played in the story of the Nativity of Jesus.
The story of the Magi and the Star of Bethlehem are detailed in the Bible in Matthew 2, 1-5; 7-15; 19-23 as follows:

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled. And when he had gathered the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. They said, In Bethlehem of Judea.

Then Herod privily called the wise men, and inquired of them what time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Search diligently for the child; and when ye have found him, bring me word, that I may come and worship him also.

The wise men departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it stood over where the child was. They rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

And when they saw the child with Mary his mother, they worshipped him: and they opened their treasures, and presented unto him gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

3 Wise Men
Picture of the Magi

The Magi and the Star of Bethlehem
The Three Wise Men, or Magi, were the first to worship Jesus Christ and therefore particularly respected by many Christians. The  Greek word 'Magi' is usually translated as "wise men." The Magi had identified a star which they believed signified the birth of the King of the Jews. The Magi were therefore deemed to be "astronomers" or "astrologers". The ancients believed that astronomical phenomena were connected to important terrestrial events and the study of the stars was accorded great respect. A celestial event, such as a brilliant star in the sky, a shooting star or a comet, was believed to be the precursor to the fulfilment of a prophecy from God about a great change on the planet and for humanity in general.

The Star of Bethlehem and the fulfilment of the Star Prophecy
The Star of Bethlehem is traditionally linked to the "Star Prophecy" which is an interpretation to a Biblical text from the Book of Numbers 24:17:

I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

The 'Star' referred to in the passage has been interpreted as being the special star, now called the Star of Bethlehem, which was followed by the Magi and led to the infant Jesus in Bethlehem. 

Star of Bethlehem
Christmas is celebrated worldwide, throughout the Christian population of approximately 2275 million people, but is also celebrated by many non-Christians as a secular, cultural festival. Customs and traditions are symbolized by familiar symbols and icons, such as the Star of Bethlehem,  have come to represent the spirit and meaning of this special time of the year.

Star of Bethlehem

Star of Bethlehem

  • Star of Bethlehem
  • The history, meaning and origin of this familiar symbol
  • Old Customs, Symbols and Traditions
  • Meaning and origin of this traditional Christmas custom
  • History, Facts and information about customs, symbols and traditions
  • Meaning, history and origin of traditional symbols
  • A Religious Christian meaning, Pagan origins or a Modern custom?
  • Star of Bethlehem

Star of Bethlehem

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