What do stars in the Bible represent?

BibleAsk Team

Stars in the Bible

There are quite few references in the Bible that can help us understand the meaning of stars.

Stars can refer to literal heavenly bodies: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Matthew 24:29 also Psalm 8:3-4; Mark 13:24-25). And they can be symbolic: “Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.…” (Genesis 37:9,10 also Revelation 1:16, 20; Isaiah 13:1,9-10).

They can refer to good angels. “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches” (Revelation 1:20). And they can refer to evil angels: “His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born” (Revelation 12:4).

They can point to leaders in the church: “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1). Here, Bible commentators have applied the symbol of the 12 stars to either the 12 patriarchs or the 12 apostles or to both. Since the main focus in Revelation 12 is on the New Testament church, the focus is without a doubt on the 12 apostles.

Back in Bible times, people used stars to guide them in their travels, especially at sea because the heavenly bodies were constant. Likewise, stars in the Bible represent divine leadership. The Lord sends His messengers to help guide the people in their spiritual journeys and travels. These spiritual messengers are especially important in the dark times of trial and persecution.

Also, these heavenly bodies are used in relation to the signs of the end. “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25). https://bibleask.org/is-the-darkening-of-the-sun-and-falling-of-stars-in-matthew-2429-literal-or-symbolic/

Astrology

Some erroneously use astrology, which is the study of the positions and motions of the heavenly bodies believing that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs. They think that astrology will actually predict the future and help them make decisions in their lives.

While Astronomy, which deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe, is a valid branch of science, astrology is a forbidden evil that the Bible warns us against. The Lord declares, “You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons make known what shall come upon you. Behold, they are like stubble; the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame…” (Isaiah 47:13,14 also Jeremiah 10:2,3; Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

For this reason, God commands His people not to worship the host of heaven or look for it for guidance. “And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them…” (Deuteronomy 4:19).

And God identifies astrologers as among those who will be lost in the Day of Judgment (Isaiah 47:13-14). No one knows the future but the Almighty God. The astrologers of the Babylonian empire failed to reveal the future to king Nebuchadnezzar. But Daniel through the Spirit of the Lord did reveal the future events that would come to the world (Daniel 1:20; 2:27).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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