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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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Under the name of stars, the Hebrew comprehended all the constellations, planets, and heavenly luminaries, except the sun and moon. The psalmist, to exalt the power and omniscience of God, says, "He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names," Psalm 147:4 ; God being described as a king taking a review of his army, and knowing the name of every one of his soldiers. Christ is called "the Morning Star," which is the brightest of the heavenly train, and ushers in the day, Revelation 22:16 . Compare Numbers 24:17 . To express increase and multiplication, Scripture uses the similitude of the stars of heaven, or of the sands of the sea, Genesis 15:5 22:17 26:4 Exodus 32:13 . In times of disgrace and public calamity, it is said the stars withhold their light; they fall from heaven, and disappear. These figurative and emphatic expressions, which refer to the governing powers of nations, are only weakened and enervated by being explained.

In the pure atmosphere of Judea and the East the stars shine with peculiar brilliancy, and seem as if hanging midway in the heavenly canopy, while the eye penetrates the ether far beyond them. The beauty and splendor that men observed in the stars; the great advantages they derived from them; the wonderful order apparent in their return, in the production and preservation of animals, fruits, plants, and minerals, have induced almost all heathen nations to impute to them life, knowledge, power, and to pay them a sovereign worship and adoration. The Israelites also needed to be warned against this sin. "Learn not the way of the heathen," says God, "and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them," Jeremiah 10:2 . See IDOLATRY.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Star'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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Star in the East
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