2 occurrences in 2 dictionaries

Reference: Stars


The eleven stars (Ge 37:9); the seven (Am 5:8); wandering (Jude 1:13); seen in the east at the birth of Christ, probably some luminous meteors miraculously formed for this specific purpose (Mt 2:2-10); stars worshipped (De 4:19; 2Ki 17:16; 21:3; Jer 19:13); spoken of symbolically (Nu 24:17; Re 1:16,20; 12:1). (See Astrologer.)

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The stars form part of the Divine creation in Ge 1. They are invisible in the sunlight, but begin to appear about sunset (Ne 4:21). In poetical passages hyperbolical expressions are used concerning them. At the creation 'the morning stars sang together' (Job 38:7); at the battle between Barak and Sisera 'the stars in their courses fought against Sisera' (Jg 5:20): in the former passage it may be that the angels are described as stars (cf. Re 1:20 'the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches'). The difference of magnitude in the stars is recognized by St. Paul: 'one star differeth from another star in glory' (1Co 15:41). The stars were looked upon as innumerable: 'tell the stars, if thou be able to tell them' (Ge 15:5). The appearance of a bright particular star was supposed to portend some great event. Thus Balaam prophesied 'There shall come forth a star out of Jacob' (Nu 24:17), and this was afterwards interpreted as applying to the Epiphany star (Mt 2:2; see Star of the Magi); and so in 2Pe 1:19 we read of the day-star arising in men's hearts. Caution is given against the worship of the stars, in the legislation of Deuteronomy (De 4:19), and the punishment of death assigned for the convicted worshipper (see Host of Heaven). In Apocalyptic literature (Re 22:16) our Lord describes Himself as 'the bright, the morning star'; whilst 'they that turn many to righteousness' are to shine 'as the stars for ever and ever' (Da 12:3). The day of the Lord is to be heralded by signs in the stars as well as in the sun and moon (Lu 21:25). The appearance of shooting stars, which come out of the darkness and go back into it, is alluded to in Jude 1:13 'wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness hath been reserved for ever.' Special numbers of stars are mentioned; in Rev (Re 1:16; 12:1), the seven stars and twelve stars illustrate a conventional use of those numbers common in apocalyptic literature. In the OT the seven stars of the AV of Am 5:8 are the Pleiades; and the 'eleven stars' which made obeisance to Joseph in his dream are simply a conventional number to correspond with that of his brethren.

Of individual stars or constellations, the Bear (AV Arcturus), Orion, and the Pleiades occur; all three in Job 9:9; 38:31-32, the last two also in Am 5:8. The mazzaroth (Job 38:32) are most probably the signs of the Zodiac (Revised Version margin; cf. 2Ki 23:5. margin). In 2Ki 23:5 the Heb. form of the word mazzaloth is different, and RV (text) renders it 'the planets.' The chambers of the south (Job 9:9) are probably the stars of the southern hemisphere.

Of worship connected with the stars we have two notable instances. That of 'the queen of heaven' was popular in Jerusalem (Jer 7:18) immediately before the Captivity, and to the neglect of it the captives in Egypt ascribed their disasters, in an address to Jeremiah (Jer 44:15-23) at Pathros. This worship consisted of the offering of incense and drink-offerings, and the making of cakes, with her figure, apparently, upon them. This Queen of Heaven seems to have been without doubt Venus, or Istar, whose star was considered the most beautiful in the heavens. This goddess is identical with Ashtoreth or Astarte. The second instance of star-worship is one that presents some difficulty. In Amos (Am 5:26) we meet with an image of Chiun, if the word be a proper name, who is called 'the star of your god.' This passage is quoted by St. Stephen (Ac 7:43), where the expression is rendered 'the star of the god Rephan.' There seems little reason to doubt that Chiun is the same as the Assyrian Kaiw

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