Birth of Jesus Christ

Biblical Astronomy of the Birth of Christ

The Blood Moon Tetrad and the Celestial Prelude

Our thesis since the first printing of the articles on The Celestial Prelude 12 years ago is based on heavenly signs leading up to the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ, relating to the idea that the Magi witnessed a previous pattern of signs in the heavens, allowing them to recognize the signs marking the birth of Christ, when they appeared. The Heavenly Father laid out a pattern of specific heavenly signs so that He could keep His Wise Men informed about critical events concerning His Purposes with the Promised Seed. If our approach adheres to the principles exhibited in the pathway blazed by the First Century Magi, staying faithful to these Principles of Biblical Astronomy that they learned from the Prophet Daniel, then perhaps it would not be presumptuous of others to desire similar success in discerning the heavenly signs leading up to the Second Coming of Christ, even as the Magi did at his birth.

As we consider the historical context that produced the Magi, and the ancient Babylonian astronomical traditions that influenced them, we take note of the case of the Babylonian Zodiac. A key part of this history includes how the 12 main signs of the Babylonian zodiac, each of 30 degrees in the 360 degree circle of the ecliptic, was transmitted to ancient Greece. Many scholars are not certain, as to the process by which this occurred, thus its engaging to realize that both the ancient Greeks and Babylonians came under the rule of the Persian empire governedby Cyrus the Great in 539 BC. It was during the rule of Darius I, “the Mede” that the Prophet Daniel presided over the Royal Court of Astronomers. Drawing on the rich astronomical traditions of the Biblical Patriarchs combined with the famous astronomical expertise of the Persian Magi, Daniel’s potent influence convinced Darius’ high Court of Royal Astronomers to adopt salient principles of Biblical Astronomy. Also key aspects of Zoroastrianism agreed with the Biblical standard practiced by the Hebrews, carried on by the Magi. These Persian astronomers of the king’s court, generally consisted of two main categories, first those following in the astronomical tradition taught by Daniel, as their leader and Rab-Mage. Secondly, those who followed the astrological influences of “Magic” and the occult, strenuously forbidden in the Hebrew Scriptures. As a result, the Magi following the Scriptural tenets, knew of the Coming Promised Seed based on the pattern and Prelude of heavenly signs that identified the Messiah when he appeared on the scene. The Magi were also familiar with Daniel’s prophecy concerning the 70 weeks judged on Jerusalem relating to the coming Messiah, [Dan. 9:2, 24-27]. Daniel’s influence had the added effect of preserving the astronomical truths of the Promised Seed, contained in the form of the zodiacal narrative, which God entrusted in the most capable hands of the time.

 

Persian Magi-Astronomers

In the Summary of the Celestial Prelude, the 12 key elements [see below] that the Magi recognized in the Jupiter-Saturn triple conjunction of 7-6 BC, were posted that had a direct application in helping them understand the heavenly signs marking the birth of Christ in 3-2 BC. The triple conjunction of Jupiter-Saturn in 7-6 BC which the Magi were best acquainted with, is covered in my article on The Specific Signs @ [www.try-god.com]. Doctor Earnest Martin agrees as he states in his writings: “The year 3/2BC was certainly an extraordinary one for visible astronomical exhibitions, as there was no year similar to it for many years on either side (a foretaste had occurred back in 7 BC, as Jupiter and Saturn had come into conjunction on 3 occasions: May 26, October 3, and December 1, and this was followed in early 6 BC with a close triangulation with Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. This occurred when the planets were in Pisces.”1 [emphasis mine]

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12 Characteristics of the Celestial Prelude

*   Jupiter was clearly marked as “his star.”

  • Jupiter was involved in a triple planetary Conjunction.
  • Jupiter was involved in a series of planetary conjunctions.
  • Jupiter’s retrograde motion would play a key role.
  • Jupiter’s triple union was followed by a massing of planets.
  • This massing of planets was followed by a Mars Conjunction.
  • The Jupiter-Mars Conjunction was followed by a series of lunar occultations, and a total lunar eclipse.
  • This series of conjunctions would last about two years.
  • The annual twenty days when the Sun is in Virgo would be a key.
  • The September 15th alignment of Jupiter, Saturn the Earth and Sun in 7 BC that occurred in the evening at sunset, directed the Magi’s attention to the end of the 20-day period when Virgo was “clothed with the Sun.”
  • The second lunar eclipse on September 15th of 5 BC established that the Magi should be watchful of lunar activity during this time. This framed the 42 minute period between Sunset and Moonset on the only day of the year when Virgo “was clothed with the Sun and the moon at her feet.” [Rev. 12:1-2]
  • The September 15th Heliacal Rising of Jupiter and Saturn foreshadowed the Heliacal Setting of Spica, located between the setting Sun and Moon in Virgo, identifying a 30-minute period when the birth of Christ happened.

As was noted above, Lunar activity, especially Lunar Eclipses were a key element in the heavenly signs marking the birth of Christ. Not only do lunar eclipses frame all the heavenly signs of the birth of Christ between 5-1 BC, but the actual birth of Christ was framed between Sunset and Moonset on September 11th 3 BC  as stated specifically in the 11th key above.  The first key noted above was that the King Planet Jupiter was involved in a triple planetary conjunction, that the Magi understood as the Jupiter-Regulus triple conjunction of 3-2 BC, in Leo.

Figure A. Leo the Lion

Leo The Lion

Leo The Lion of Judah

The major signs marking the birth of Christ on September 11th 3 BC, are not only sealed with this triple union of Jupiter-Regulus in Leo, but also by 3 Jupiter-Venus conjunctions, with the primary one in Leo on June 17th the next year. In addition, the great majority of heavenly signs marking the birth of Christ were bracketed by 2 Jupiter-Venus unions in 3 and 1 BC.  The first Jupiter-Venus Conjunction marking the birth of Christ took place on August 31st, 3 BC, in Leo with the last one occurring on August 21st, 1 BC in Virgo. Here we find an interesting variation on a Celestial Sphinx sign highlighting conjunctions of Jupiter-Venus, that took place following the 1st fulfillment the Rev. 12: 1-2 prophecy relating to the sufferings of Christ in his ministry as the Passover Lamb, to redeem Israel and all mankind. This alerts us that we might look for like Celestial Sphinx signs as a precursor to the Lord’s Second Coming. The fact that there were also 2 Venus-Mars unions framing the central Jupiter-Venus union between  March 31st, and Dec. 9th, 2 BC, marking the birth of Christ, sets a precedent that we find also in 2015, before the glory of the Lord’s Second Coming. In this light, it is with great interest that we discover between the 2 Venus-Mars conjunctions of 2015, 3 Jupiter-Venus unions will occur in Leo, followed by Jupiter-Venus unions in Virgo, in both 2016 and 2017. As we view the heavenly signs marking the birth of Christ from 3 to 1 BC below, we will point out a series of parallels between these signs, and the current period marked by the Blood Moon Tetrad of 2014-2015. By focusing on the specific planetary conjunctions that set the pattern in marking the birth of Christ and looking for these signs repeating in the modern context of the Blood Moons, we follow the Magi’s example, that should lead us to the victorious Return of the Lord Jesus Christ.


The Heavenly Signs of 3 BC to 1 BC

May 19th, 3 Before Christ Mercury-Saturn Taurus
June 12th, 3 “ Venus-Saturn Taurus
Aug. 31st, 3 “ Jupiter-Venus Leo
Sept. 9-12, 3 “ Eta-Draconid Meteor Showers [Rev. 12:1-4] Draco
Sept. 14th, 3 “ Jupiter-Regulus Leo
Feb. 17th, 2 “ Jupiter-Regulus Leo
March 31st, 2 “ Triangular massing of Venus, Mars & Saturn Taurus
May 8th, 2 “ Jupiter-Regulus Leo
June 17th, 2 “ Jupiter-Venus Leo
Aug. 27th, 2  Massing of Planets Jupiter, Venus, Mars & Mercury Leo
Aug. 28th, 2 Before Christ Alignment of Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Sun & Moon Leo
Dec. 9th, 2 “ Venus-Mars Scorpius
Dec. 25th, 2 “ “Star of Bethlehem” Virgo
Jan. 9th, 1  Total Lunar Eclipse  Blood Moon in Gemini-Herod’s Death
Aug. 21st, 1 Before Christ Jupiter-Venus Virgo

As we summarize the heavenly signs in the chart above in comparison to the signs of 2014-2016, we highlight the following points of interest:

There are 3 Jupiter-Venus Conjunctions set to take place in 2015, all in Leo, with additional Jupiter-Venus unions occurring in Virgo in 2016-17. Jupiter-the King Planet unites with Venus-the Bright and Morning Star, in Leo the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, [Rev. 5:5]. The following dates depict Jupiter-Venus conjunctions in Leo during the Hebrew Sabbatical/Jubilee year of 2015:

June 30th- July 1, 2015 [Jupiter-Venus]
July 31st, 2015 [Jupiter-Venus]
October 25-26th, 2015 [Jupiter-Venus]
October 28th, 2015 [Jupiter-Venus, Mars unite in a 1 degree triangular massing]

The Jupiter-Venus Conjunctions marking the birth of Christ in the above chart compare to the three Jupiter-Venus Conjunctions of 2015, however there were additional heavenly signs involving JupiterVenus marking his birth. On August 27th and 28th reflected in the chart above and the graphic below, there was a massing of planets including Jupiter-Venus, followed by a planetary alignment of Jupiter, Venus, Mars, with the Sun and Moon. This planetary alignment in Leo, along with the September 11th signs markingthe birth of Christ [Sun clothing Virgo with the Moon at her feet] will be repeated again on September 23rd, 2017!!

 

August 27th Massing of Planets in Leo

Once Again Dr. Martin describes this birth event of the Messiah:

On 27 August, 2 BC, the planet Mars, which had played no active part in the conjunctions, “caught up” with Jupiter and formed a very close union (Mars travels faster in its motion through the stars than Jupiter and overtakes it in a little over 2 years). At this conjunction the two were only 0.09 degrees from each other. Such nearness is not an ordinary occurrence. Besides this, there was also a convergence of Venus and Mercury into the same part of the sky as Jupiter and Mars. This means that four major planets were all positioned around one another in an exceptional longitudinal relationship. An assemblage of planets in such close proximity to one another is called in astrological circles a massing of the planets. And look at the close association they had to each other. The longitude of Jupiter was 142.6 degrees, Mars 142.64, Venus 141.67, and Mercury 143.71. This would have been an interesting sight to behold, but the visible effect would have been diminished because of the rays of the dawn, since the four planets were only 8 degrees ahead of the Sun.”2 [emphasis mine]

This Massing of Planets is mirrored on October 28th, 2015 as Mars joins Jupiter and Venus in a 1 degree triangular massing of planets. Also, just as there were two sets of Triple planetary conjunctions marking Christ’s birth, [Jupiter-Regulus/Jupiter-Venus] so, there are two sets of Triple planetary conjunctions [Jupiter-Venus/Mercury-Venus] during the two years of the Blood Moon Tetrad in 2014-2015. The following dates reflect 3 Venus-Mercury planetary unions of 2014. Here Mercury-Gabriel, the Messenger Arch-angel is unified three times with Venus-announcing Jesus Christ the Bright and Morning Star.

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Venus-Mercury Conjunctions of 2014

Jan. 7th, 2014 [1 year prior to central Blood Moon Tetrad date of 2014-2015]
October 17th, 2014
Dec. 30th, 2014

Not only do these three Mercury-Venus unions set the stage for the Jupiter-Venus conjunctions of 2015-2017, but the first union of Mercury-Venus falls 1 year before to the center date of all the celestial activity linked to the Blood Moon Tetrad of 2014-2015. In other words, the Blood Moon Tetrad of 2014-2015 falls in between two lunar triples, on the Days of Av, starting Dec. 21st, 2010 and finishing Jan. 21st, 2019. As we consider also that the first Blood Moon of this Tetrad on April 15th, 2014, with the last Blood Moon on Sept. 28th, 2015, the mid-date between these Blood Moons is also January 5th, 2015! This depicts not only the rarity of this Blood Moon Tetrad, but also its precision, from two mathematical views. As these Blood Moons of the end days are centered between the saddest days on the Hebrew Calendar, the days of Av in 2010-11 and 2018-19, they commemorate the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple on two key occasions in their history, one of which we have highlighted below, with the 69-70 AD heavenly signs, marking the Romans Destruction of their Temple. In the original work on The Celestial Prelude, I did not include a reference to Mercury-Venus conjunctions in the chart above, but in his book, The Birth of Christ Recalculated, Ernest Martin states; “On the morning of September 1, Venus and Mercury came into conjunction only .35 degrees apart...”3

Dr. Martin goes on to tell us how this Mercury-Venus conjunction set the stage for the Jupiter-Venus conjunctions around the birth of Christ, highlighted by their spectacular  June 17th union:

After the Sept. 1 meeting with Mercury, Venus journeyed back into the light of the Sun, emerging in the West as an evening star about 20 December, 3 BC, and when this happened, an observer would have noticed the planet just after sunset moving progressively higher in the sky (going more easterly) with each succeeding day. This movement placed Venus on a collision course with Jupiter which was moving westward. At the period when Venus had just passed its easternmost elongation from the Sun (the farthest east of the Sun that Venus ever reaches) on 17 June, 2 BC, the two planets “collided”. They were in 0.04 degrees away from each other. This was a most uncommon occurrence. To an observer on Earth, the luminosity that each planet displayed made them look like one gigantic star. It was as if Venus had stretched herself as far eastward as she was able, in order to join with Jupiter as he reached westward to meet her. This conjunction occurred at the exact time of the full Moon. The whole of the evening sky was being illumined from the east by the full light of the Moon, while the western quarter was being adorned with the Jupiter/Venus conjunction. Professor D.C. Morton, Senior Research Astronomer at Princeton University, said this conjunction of 17 June, 2BC, was a notable astronomical event [ZPEB, vol. I, pg. 398]. Such closeness had not been witnessed in generations. Roger W. Sinnott, writing in the astronomical journal Sky and Telescope, December, 1968, ppgs. 384-386, referred to this conjunction as a brilliant “double star” which finally gave the appearance of fusing together into a single “star” as the planets drew nearer the western horizon. He said that only the sharpest of eyes would have been able to split them and that the twinkling caused by the unsteady horizon atmosphere would have blended them into one gigantic “star” for almost all viewers. “The fusion of two planets would have been a rare and awe-inspiring event” [pg. 386]. Here were the 2 brightest planets in the heavens merging together. This was happening at the period when Venus was approaching her time of greatest brilliance.”4 [emphasis mine]

The following dates, depict similar Jupiter-Venus conjunctions in Virgo in 2016-2017:

July 27th, 2016
Aug. 26-27th, 2016  [Jupiter enters Virgo]
Feb. 26th, 2017
Sept. 23rd, 2017 [Virgo clothed
with the Sun/Moon @ feet]-Rev. 12:1-2 
Nov. 13th, 2017

These two brightest planets – Venus and Jupiter – teamed up to provide the closest planetary conjunction of 2014, and it was the closest Venus- Jupiter conjunction until August 27, 2016, noted above. In the eastern dawn, starting in mid-August, these two dazzlingly-brilliant planets moved closest together around August 18, 2014. The King Planet and the Bright and Morning Star were only about 1/3 degree apart. This notable Venus- Jupiter union was the only one of 2014, which took place between the first two Blood Moons of the 2014-2015 Blood Moon Tetrad. Interestingly we will see a 2nd Jupiter-Venus union of this Blood Moon Tetrad, on July 1, 2015, between the 3rd and 4th Blood Moons of our 2014-2015 Blood Moon Tetrad. The first Jupiter-Venus union associated with the Blood Moon Tetrad of 2014-2015 took place in the Beehive cluster in the Sign of Cancer, the Crab on August 18th, 2014. Since there is no Hebrew word for “crab” we know this is not the original star picture in the Hebrew Zodiac for this Zodiacal Sign. There are two prominent stars in this sign called the Northern and Southern Asses, linked to the Hebrew Tribe Issachar, as seen in Genesis 49.

Jupiter and Venus buzz the Beehive

August 18th, 2014 Jupiter-Venus conjunction in Beehive Cluster of Cancer

[Gen. 49:9-12]. Judah is a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people. 11 Binding his donkey to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, And his clothes in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes are darker than wine, And his teeth whiter than milk.

 

The Beehive Star cluster or nebulae in the sign Cancer, also known as Praesepe, means “multitude or offspring, indicating the redeemed coming into their place of eternal rest.”5  This is an obvious indicator of the return of Christ leading his faithful to their everlasting peaceful rest in the Lord. These modern heavenly signs of the Celestial Sphinx are manifesting before our eyes in the last days leading to the victorious Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, informing us in no uncertain terms that the end is nearDr. Martin provides some fascinating details shedding light on the rewind of the heavenly signs marking the Lord’s Second Coming.

While Jupiter was on its westward journey to link up with Venus for the spectacular 17 June, 2BC, reunion, Jupiter was showing some displays of its own. Just 33 days after the first Jupiter/Venus conjunction (12 August, 3BC), an observer would have seen Jupiter come into juxtaposition with Regulus (the principal star in the constellation of Leo, a star of the 1st magnitude). The conjunction occurred on 14 September, 3BC, and viewed from the Earth the two celestial bodies were 0.67 degrees apart. After that, Jupiter proceeded on his normal course through the heavens, and on 1 December, 3BC, the planet stopped its motion through the fixed stars to begin its annual retrogression. In doing so, it headed once again towards the star Regulus. On the 17th of February, 2BC, the two were reunited (1.19 degrees apart). Jupiter was again side by side with the star, the two bodies being 1.06 degrees from each other (for Jupiter to unite with Regulus 3 times in 1 year is not common. It occurred 12 years earlier in 15/14BC, and before that in 86/85BC. It was not to recur until 69/ 70AD). After this 3rd conjunction with Regulus, Jupiter continued moving westward for 40 days (in an apparent sense) to reunite with Venus in the rare conjunction of 17 June, 2BC.”7

As we compare these heavenly signs around the birth of Christ with the current signs of the Blood Moon Tetrad leading to 2017, we note that even as Jupiter moves in its annual retrograde motion entering Virgo in August 26-27 2016, for a total of 294 days, taking us into 2017, it only spends 40 days in Virgo’s mid-section, symbolizing the birthing of the Messianic Kingdom. Jupiter marks its entrance into Virgo with the second Jupiter-Venus union of 2016. This is worthy of our attention indicating a key event with the King Planet-Jupiter related to his virgin BrideVirgo/Israel leading to his glorious Second Coming. This alerts us to be watchful of the Sun Clothing Virgo leading us directly to the signs of 9-23-2017! Dr. Martin also mentioned that triple conjunctions of Jupiter-Regulus were uncommon, since the next one did not recur till 69/70 AD. As we may recall, this was during the Romans destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem, prophesied by Christ. Although there were no Blood Moons during this period, there were Lunar and Solar Eclipses taking place on the following Hebrew Feast and Holy days:

 

10-18-69 there was a Partial Lunar Eclipse on the Feast of Tabernacles.
3-30-70 there was a Total Solar Eclipse on Nisan 1. [as we saw on 3-20-2015]
4-14-70 there was a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse at Passover. [similar to 2014 Passover Blood Moon]
9-23-70 there was an Annular Solar Eclipse on Rosh Hashanah. [1947 years before 9-23-2017]

As this rewind of heavenly signs marking Christ Jesus’ first appearance on earth occur in the context of the current Blood Moon Tetrad, the celestial warnings of the Second Coming are undeniable to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. All these heavenly signs seem pointed towards the September 23rd, 2017  date, when we will witness the returning heavenly signs of 9/11/3BC marking the birth of Christ. These returning signs from [Rev. 12:1-2], that mark the Returning Lord, will replay in a climax of these celestial announcements as they re-appear before our eyes. We will take a closer look at the upcoming heavenly signs of September 23rd, 2017 in a post soon to follow. We are not predicting a specific date for the Lord’s return, but God would not have seeded the heavens with all these awesome signs, if He did not want us to be aware of the signs of the times. Prepare yourself and your loved ones as the end approaches quickly.

Footnotes

1. The Birth of Christ Recalculated, Ernest Martin
2. Ibid
3. Ibid
4. Ibid
5. Witness of the Stars, E.W. Bullinger
6. Picture Credit for M44 Beehive Cluster; Chris Marriott’s SkyMap
7. The Birth of Christ Recalculated, Ernest Martin

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