Since the time of Jesus, much has been said and misunderstood concerning his birth. I have done a fair amount of research related to his birth. While I cannot swear that what I am about to tell you is exactly correct in every detail with regard to the events that took place so many years ago, I will tell you that, based on what I have learned, I believe with all my heart that what I am about to tell you is the truth.
- Late in the night on May 19th of 3 BCE, while Zechariah, the husband of Mary's relative Elizabeth, was performing his priestly duties during the Abijah course, the planet Mercury, the messenger star, came into conjunction with the planet Saturn in the constellation Taurus. At that time, Zechariah's wife Elizabeth, who believed that she was barren and far too old to have a child, was in fact about five months pregnant.
- Upon hearing the news of Elizabeth's pregnancy, Mary went to visit Elizabeth on June 12th of that year. That event was heralded in the heavens by the conjunction of Saturn and Venus that same evening in the constellation Taurus. Mary would remain with Elizabeth for three more months.
- On August 12th of that same year, while Mary was staying with Elizabeth, Jesus was conceived. That event was heralded in the heavens by the extremely close conjunction of Jupiter and Venus on the morning of that day in the constellation Virgo. The two planets appeared to have fused together and become, what astronomers and many others throughout the region perceived, a single star glowing unusually brightly in the morning sky. It is for this reason that Jesus is called "the Morning Star".
- Two and a half weeks later, on August 31st, Mary became aware for the first time that she, like her relative Elizabeth, was with child. That event was heralded in the heavens by the conjunction of Mercury and Venus late that night.
- A decree went out from Rome at about that time that all Roman subjects must swear an oath of allegiance to Augustus Caesar and renounce their former allegiances. This was done in preparation for the granting of the title Pater Patriae to Caesar Augustus, which was to take place on February 5th, 2 BCE.
- Early in the morning of September 14th, the fourth day after the Jewish new year, during the period known as the Ten Days of Repentance, Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist. That event was heralded by the first of three conjunctions of Jupiter with the star Regulus in the constellation Leo. The planet Jupiter, known to the Jews as Tzedek or Righteousness, would eventually come into conjunction with the star Regulus two more times, and, in the process, effectively trace out a crown or halo above the star. The 14th of September was in fact the Shabbat known as Shuvah, which means "Return!". Note that Shabbat Shuvah is the Shabbat that precedes Yom Kippur, known as the "Shabbat of Shabbats" and the "Day of Atonement".
- The planet Jupiter came into conjunction a second time with the star Regulus on February 17th, 2 BCE. That took place on the Jewish holiday of Purim. The Purim holiday celebrates the deliverance of the Jews from a plot to kill them.
- On or about the time of John the Baptist's birth, Mary and her husband Joseph traveled to Bethlehem in order to comply with the decree issued from Rome. Soon after they arrived, they realized that Mary was too far along in her pregnancy to travel again, so she and Joseph decided to remain in Bethlehem until Jesus was finally born. In the evening hours of May 8th, 2 BCE (corresponding to Sivan 6 in the Hebrew calendar), 38 weeks after Jesus was conceived, the planet Jupiter passed by the star Regulus for the third and final time, heralding the day of Jesus' birth. May 8th of 2 BCE was in fact the Hebrew holiday known as Shavuot, which celebrated the day that God gave the Torah to the Israelites. Shavuot also commemorates the harvesting of the wheat in the land of Israel; it was a day when farmers would bring Bikkurim (first fruits) to the Temple. Note also that, according to tradition, King David was born and died on Shavuot, and passages from the Book of Ruth, one of his descendants, are traditionally read that day.
- On June 17th, exactly forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary presented her son at the Temple in Jerusalem. That event was heralded by the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in the late evening hours of that day. In the Hebrew calendar, the following day commemorates the destruction of the twin tablets given by God to Moses forty days after Moses ascended Mount Sinai. Eventually that day would also commemorate the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem just prior to the destruction of the Second Temple.
- On August 25th and 26th (corresponding to Elul 25-27, 3759 in the Hebrew calendar), ten weeks after the presentation of Jesus at the Temple and the Tuesday before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Venus, the Sun, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter all were in conjunction in the constellation Leo. Elul 25th was said to be the date the World was created.
- On December 25th, 2 BCE, around the time of the winter solstice, magi traveling down the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem observed the planet Jupiter directly above the town in the distance. They had been told that they would find the child they had been searching for in that town. Being astronomers and men of science, they also knew that the planet Jupiter had in fact finally stopped moving Westward and, having come to a rest, would soon be moving Eastward. It was the movements of the planet Jupiter that had captured the attention of the magi and that the magi had been watching with great interest over the past two years. And the fact that Jupiter had actually come to rest in what would have been the womb of the constellation Virgo (the virgin) made the significance of their observation that much clearer.
I am also convinced of the following:
- That on January 10th 1 BCE, there was a full lunar eclipse. That was the eclipse reported by Josephus that preceded the death of Herod.
- That the original Greek text of Luke 2:2 does not say that Quirinius was governor of the Roman province of Syria at the time of the enrollment; the original text effectively indicates that he was administering his official duties with regard to the 3 BCE enrollment from Syria. In 6 CE, Quirinius would eventually oversee a second enrollment to facilitate the taxation of the newly formed Roman province of Judaea; however, prior to 6 CE, Judea was a client kingdom ruled by Herod and his sons.
- That the triple conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the constellation Pisces in 7 BCE, along with the other celestial events of that time, heralded the Age of Pisces. It was believed that a similar triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn occurred approximately 3 years before the birth of Moses and that a similar triple conjunction would occur 3 years before the arrival of the Messiah; ending in December of 7 BCE, the conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter fulfilled that prophesy.
- That the Sun is a symbol of God's glory, and the light it radiates represents revealed truth. The Earth represents humanity, and the Earth continually turns its face from the Sun as it prefers darkness. The Moon is the obedient son who reflects the light of the Father. And after nearly 30 days, the Moon began to grow bright with the light of the Sun. But the Earth moved quickly to extinguish the light and return the Earth to darkness. The Earth, however, must eventually face the Sun, and, in the brilliant light of the Sun, all will be revealed.
While there may be many who will be quick to deny what I have just stated, it is my sincere hope that, in reading the foregoing, you, like a magi traveling down the road to Bethlehem, will ultimately come to be blessed with great wisdom.