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There are some fascinating facts written in scripture which not only do people pass over without much thought as to what they are reading. Genesis chapter 1 verses 14 and 15 read thus: Let there be lights in the vaults of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark to mark sacred times, days and years. Let them be lights in the vaults of the sky to separate the day from the night and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, years and days.

Let there be lights in the sky to give light on the earth. It was so, God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars, God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came, the fourth day.

He made the moon and the stars as lights in heaven to illuminate the sky by night and to indicate times and seasons. The prophet Daniel was taken to Babylon when so many were deported to Babylon so that the land of Israel could bring forth its Sabbath years, just as God had ordained. Babylon is a very long way from Jerusalem, it is in the extreme east, not far from the border with China and forms modern day Iraq.

Festivals in the day of Moses were based on a certain number of moons having passed, there are a number of scriptures that show this, one of these is in Exodus chapter 12 verses 1 to 3. In it God sets out a particular time when the Passover is to be celebrated. "The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt: "This month is to be for you the first month of your year.

Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. There were no printed calendars in those days, they would have to watch the night sky very closely to keep an accurate record of the position of the stars. They kept count of the years by recording the number of times the layout of the stars had completed its full circle, thus marking a whole year.

There is a discrepancy between the Jewish year and the years that we have today, this is easily explained by the fact that in the Jewish calendar there are only 360 days to our 365. This is because the Jewish calendar is based on the Lunar year, which means it records a certain number of moons, each New Moon indicating the beginning of a new month. Daniel was a very clever man there is no doubt that he would have been able to read the times and the seasons through the stars.

Matthew chapter 2 and verse 2 tells of Wise Men arriving from the Far East, having made a hugely long journey from the place where they had first seen the star of Bethlehem. "Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him. In all likelihood Daniel had passed on his ability to read the signs in the heavens and they in turn had passed that knowledge down through the generations.

How did they know that this was the star of the one born to be King of The Jews? Probably Daniel had told them the star to be looking for. When the Wise Men arrived in Jerusalem they angered King Herod when they told him that they were looking for the star of a new king of Israel, in those days Kings and Emperors made themselves out to be Gods, people whom others should worship. Herod was aroused to Jealousy when they told him this and insisted that when they found the new King they were to come back and tell him where he is.

Herod did not want to worship the King but to kill him. When the Wise Men returned home by another route he realised that he had been tricked and immediately gave orders that every male under the age of two years should be slaughtered. Then that which was said by the Prophet Isaiah came true: - "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

Today computer technology can do amazing things, and a short while ago a scientist programmed a computer to produce a print out of the sky at the time of this King's birth. The computer faithfully printed it out and we were able to know for certain that the Star of Bethlehem was a rare combination of planets lining up together and forming an exceptionally bright light in the sky.

Complicated details of the arrangement of the other planets could tell you that the stars were predicting a birth that would soon take place and the Wise Men knew that this was the one who would be King of the Jews, the promised Messiah. Actually, the closest scientists could establish a date for this birth was somewhere between 3 and 6 BC. The Star of Bethlehem is no longer a myth; it is now a provable fact. Christmas is not wishful thinking but the season when we celebrate the greatest gift of all, the birth of the one and only Messiah.

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