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Jesus, Christmas, and the Star of David

written by Asher Intrater
December 15, 2002

Er… I mean Yeshua, the Birth of the Messiah and the Magen David. What do they have in common?

The Star of David has become the mostly widely recognized symbol of the Jewish people – even though there is no real background for it anywhere in rabbinic writings. This is another example that by the sovereignty of God, many elements in Jewish tradition point to Yeshua, even though the people using those symbols reject Yeshua Himself. (Compare the prophecy of the High Priest referring to Yeshua even at the moment that they were voting to have Him crucified – John 11:51.)

I. Messianic Prophecy
The first key to understanding the connection is the prophecy of Balaam, which likens the Messiah to a “star” that will come out of the Jewish people. (Stars are often used in the Bible to refer to angels and even to humans after the resurrection [ Job 38:7, Daniel 12:3, I Corinthians 15:41, Revelation 1:20; 9:1, Judges 5:20]).

Numbers 24:17
“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel….”

This is one of the earliest prophecies about the Messiah, and was so accepted by the Jewish people that the greatest false Messiah in history (so far), who was chosen by the famous Rabbi Akiva in 133 AD during the revolt against the Roman occupation, was called “Bar Cochba,” or “son of the star,” quoting the verse above.

So the biblical root of the Star of David is that it represents “The Star,” the King, the Messiah, the son of David.

II. Birth of Messiah
This star was seen by the wise men of the East, as they were searching for the Messiah.
Matthew 2:2; 9-10:
“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
“Behold the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced…”

Notice in verse 9 the phrase, “the star went before…” In the Hebrew this is translated as “darakh,” which is a special word for walking, meaning striding or walking forcefully. It is the same word used in Numbers 24 that the star would “come out” of Jacob. Perhaps it would be better translated as, “the star will stride forth out of Jacob.”

In other words, Matthew 2:10 is referring to Numbers 24:17. The apparition of the star at the birth of Yeshua is seen as a fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy about the “star” that would “come forth out of Jacob.” The Star of David is the star of the Messiah, which is the star that appeared at the birth of Yeshua. Yeshua is the “star” of David.

III. Second Coming
Yet the Star of David is not only to be born, but also to conquer the enemies of Israel. The prophecy of Balaam about King Messiah continues with a brutal description of warfare.
Numbers 24:17:
A Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult.”

At Yeshua’s birth, He rose and came out of Israel. At the Second Coming, He will return to complete the second half of the prophecy. At the battle of Armageddon, all the nations gathered against Israel will be destroyed (Zechariah 14:2) as well as all people who are in spiritual rebellion against Yeshua (II Thessalonians 1:8). (The nations gathered against Israel are symbolically called here “Moab,” and those in rebellion to Yeshua are called “the sons of tumult.”)

So Yeshua is the “Star of David” not only at His birth, but also at His coming in glory.

Revelation 22:16:
“I, Yeshua… am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning Star.”

Yeshua is the ancient star, envisioned by prophets and wise men. The Star of David is the symbol of the Jewish people, the long awaited Messiah – even Yeshua, now and forevermore.

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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