Cheap honeymoon packages for Whether in the daily reports or the monthly summaries, records of comets were apparently entered only on the following occasions irst sighting; heliacal setting; heliacal rising; any stationary points; and last visibility. In light of this, it is noteworthy that in Matthew the Magi are portrayed as having made a record of the first appearance of the Star and its heliacal rising. Tenth, in the ancient Near East around the turn of the ages, a cometary apparition was sometimes interpreted as a sign of a great ruler's birth. Justinus writing in the second century AD, but no doubt relecting opinion from the second and irst centuries BC emphasized that the future excellency of Mithridates VI Eupator? BC, king of Pontus and Armenia Minor and formidable foe of Rome, was signaled in the heavens on the occasion of his birth in BC by a brilliant, iery, long-tailed comet that lasted for successive days and at one stage took four hours to rise and set.
There is therefore precedent for the idea that a great comet could function as a celestial announcement of the birth of a great leader.
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Since the Star of Bethlehem was a heavenly sign marking the birth of the messianic King of the Jews, a comet is an ideal candidate for the role. Eleventh, the proposal that the Star of Bethlehem was a comet has in its favor that it is the earliest explicit identiication of the Star of which we know and is the only astronomical explanation of the Star that is suggested by Christian descriptions of the Star in the irst three centuries AD.
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