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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

There are only two passages in which the word ‘star’ occurs outside its frequent symbolical use in the book of Revelation. The first is in St. Stephen’s defence, where he quotes a passage from the prophet Amos ( Amos 5:25-27), speaking of the idolatry of the Israelites and mentioning ‘the star of the god Rephan’ ( Acts 7:43). It is admittedly a difficult passage, but the probable reference is to the Assyrian star-god. The other is in St. Paul’s well-known argument on the resurrection of the body: ‘One star differeth from another star in glory’ ( 1 Corinthians 15:41). As in nature we observe identity of substance with diversity of form, so will it be in the risen bodies of God’s people.

Turning to the use of the word ‘star’ in the Book of Revelation, we find in the vision of the Son of Man that ‘he had in his right hand seven stars’ ( Revelation 1:16) and that ‘the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches’ ( Revelation 1:20). According to one view, the angels of the churches are their pastors or rulers; according to another, they are superhuman beings standing in some intimate relation to the churches. The latter is the ordinary use of ἄγγελος in the Apocalypse (see Angels; see also  Revelation 2:1;  Revelation 3:1).

In the message to the church of Thyatira the promise to those who overcome is: ‘I will give him the morning star’ ( Revelation 2:28), i.e. the conqueror is to possess Christ. ‘Christus est stella matutina qui nocte saeculi transacta lucem vitae sanctis promittit et pandet aeternam’ (Bede). In  Revelation 22:16 Christ says of Himself: ‘I am … the bright, the morning star.’ ‘If the churches are λυχνίαι and their angels ἀστέρες, the Head of the Church may fitly be the ἀστὴρ ὁ πρωινός, (H. B. Swete, Apocalypse2, London, 1907, p. 47). See articleMorning Star.

At the sounding of the third trumpet ‘there fell from heaven a great star … and the name of the star is called Wormwood’ ( Revelation 8:10 f.). This is a symbol of Divine visitation. Hence the name ‘Wormwood,’ which is associated with Divine chastisement. The waters are changed into wormwood, and many who drink of them die. This may represent the bitterness of the water with which men seek to quench their thirst, instead of partaking of the water of life. In  Revelation 9:1 the Seer sees a star already fallen (πεπτωκότα) and lying on the ground, representing the fall of some person, perhaps Satan.

Lastly, the Woman in the vision ( Revelation 12:1) ‘has a crown of twelve stars’ (see articleSun).

Morley Stevenson.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [2]

1: Ἀστήρ (Strong'S #792 — Noun Masculine — aster — as-tare' )

"a star,"  Matthew 2:2-10;  24:29;  Mark 13:25;  1—Corinthians 15:41;  Revelation 6:13;  8:10-12;  9:1;  12:1,4 , isused metaphorically, (a) of Christ, as "the morning star," figurative of the approach of the day when He will appear as the "sun of righteousness," to govern the earth in peace, an event to be preceded by the rapture of the Church,  Revelation 2:28;  22:16 , the promise of the former to the overcomer being suggestive of some special personal interest in Himself and His authority; (b) of the angels of the seven churches,  Revelation 1:16,20;  2:1;  3:1; (c) of certain false teachers, described as "wandering stars,"  Jude 1:13 , as if the "stars," intended for light and guidance, became the means of deceit by irregular movements.

2: Ἄστρον (Strong'S #798 — Noun Neuter — astron — as'-tron )

practically the same as No. 1, is used (a) in the sing. in  Acts 7:43 , "the star of the god Rephan," RV, the symbol or "figure," probably of Saturn, worshiped as a god, apparently the same as Chiun in  Amos 5:26 (Rephan being the Egyptian deity corresponding to Saturn, Chiun the Assyrian); (b) in the plur.,   Luke 21:25;  Acts 27:20;  Hebrews 11:12 .

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [3]

This word is used as a type of great people. Sometimes these are evil persons, sometimes they are good persons. Sometimes they are real people, and sometimes they are heavenly persons as angels. Sometimes they are used to represent good, and sometimes evil. We shall consider some of these places. Christ Jesus also is typified by a star.

 Genesis 37:9 (a) The explanation of this type is that the eleven stars were the eleven brothers of Joseph, while the sun and moon represented Joseph's father and mother. This dream was a prophecy, and it was fulfilled in  Genesis 42:6, and four times following this. These eleven brethren bowed down to their brother Joseph just as he had dreamed.

 Numbers 24:17 (b) The Lord Jesus is represented by this type. He will one day arise with power, He will come with glory, and He will take charge of the destinies of men.

 Daniel 8:10 (b) Alexander the Great was the horn. The stars he cast down were the great generals of opposing armies. He destroyed kings and great powerful leaders in his rapid march from nation to nation.

 Daniel 12:3 (a) These are symbols of the honor and glory that will be given to those who are engaged in GOD's service, and who are used of the Lord to turn men to the Lord. They receive this wonderful position of honor in eternity.

 Amos 5:26 (b) Each idol was represented by a high priest or a chief priest who had charge of the worship of that idol. This dignitary is called a "star." (See  Acts 7:43).

 2 Peter 1:19 (a) The meaning is that the heart is to become phosphorescent. The light of GOD is to shine out and reveal the presence of the Spirit of GOD in the soul.

 Revelation 2:28 (b) The Lord JESUS is undoubtedly this beautiful orb. He calls Himself by that name. He shines in the heavens, He shines in the darkness, He himself heralds the coming of that day when He will rule and reign.

 Revelation 8:12 (b) Since there is rebellion in Heaven among the angels and against GOD, it seems that in this passage we are told that one-third of those great angelic leaders will be cast down from their exalted position because of their enmity to our Lord. The great star that fell in verse10 is another angelic dignitary who has power to bring bitterness, hatred and evil upon men.

 Revelation 12:1 (b) This woman is a type of Israel and the twelve stars represent the twelve patriarchs for whom the twelve tribes are named.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [4]

I should not have paused over this word which we meet with in the bible, had it not been that among the numberless names, by which the Lord Jesus is distinguished in Scripture, he condescended to be called the bright and morning Star. It is always profitable to eye the Lord Jesus Christ under any, and every name, by which the Holy Ghost reveals him. And there is somewhat very gracious and interesting in this similitude of a star, and particularly in that of the bright and morning star. The Hebrews called the Star Chocab. And that memorable prophecy the Holy Ghost extorted from the mouth of Balaam, no doubt had an allusion to Jesus the bright and morning star. And so again in the instance of Caiaphas. Let the reader compare  Numbers 24:17 with  John 10:39-42. Those united views of Balaam and Caiaphas will shew how the Holy Ghost, by his sovereign power, overrules the minds of men to say and predict sometimes the very reverse of what they intend, and makes them the unwilling instruments of proclaiming his precious truths.

It is very blessed to behold how the Lord Jesus is distinguished in Scripture by his different names, and offices, and characters. And it is doubly blessed to behold how Jehovah delights to hold him forth to his church's view under every sweet and endearing manifestation, by which he may be brought home to the warmest affections of the heart of his redeemed, and formed in them the hope of glory. All, and every name, and perfection and grace, ascribed to the person of the Lord Jesus, shews that JEHOVAH'S great intention hath been from everlasting to exalt and glorify his dear Lord. And if the reader, as he reads his Bible, would remark it, he would discover that whenever the Lord speaks of any thing of eminency, or greatness, or glory, it is by way of introducing the Lord Jesus. Hence, he speaks of himself as the light and the life of men, the light of the world, the sun of righteousness, the bright and morning star. Hail! I would say for myself and readers, hail the blessed brightness of thy Father's glory, and the express image of his person! Do thou in mercy arise, morning by morning, upon my soul, to chase away all the remaining darkness of my poor wintry, cold, and cheerless heart, and give me grace to be%hold thee, and accept thee, as the sure pledge of that everlasting day, whose sun shall no more go down, but the Lord himself will be "my everlasting light, and my God, my glory." ( Isaiah 60:19)

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

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

King James Dictionary [6]

STAR, n.

1. An apparently small luminous body in the heavens, that appears in the night, or when its light is not obscured by clouds or lost in the brighter effulgence of the sun. Stars are fixed or planetary. The fixed stars are known by their perpetual twinkling, and by their being always in the same position in relation to each other. The planets do not twinkle, and they revolve about the sun. The stars are worlds, and their immense numbers exhibit the astonishing extent of creation and of divine power. 2. The pole-star. A particular application, not in use. 3. In astrology, a configuration of the planets, supposed to influence fortune. Hence the expression, You may thank your stars for such and such an event.

A pair of star-crossd lovers.

4. The figure of a star a radiated mark in writing or printing an asterisk thus* used as a reference to a note in the margin, or to fill a blank in writing or printing where letters are omitted. 5. In Scripture, Christ is called the bright and morning star, the star that ushers in the light of an eternal day to his people.  Revelation 22 . Ministers are also called stars in Christs right hand, as, being supported and directed by Christ, they convey light and knowledge to the followers of Christ.  Revelation 1 . The twelve stars which form the crown of the church, are the twelve apostles.  Revelation 12 . 6. The figure of a star a badge of rank as stars and garters.

The pole-star, a bright star in the tail of Ursa minor, so called from its being very near the north pole.

Star of Bethlehem, a flower and plant of the genus Ornithogalum. There is also the star of Alexandria, and of Naples, and of Constantinople, of the same genus.

STAR, To set or adorn with stars or bright radiating bodies to bespangle as a robe starred with gems.

Webster's Dictionary [7]

(1): ( n.) Specifically, a radiated mark in writing or printing; an asterisk [thus, *]; - used as a reference to a note, or to fill a blank where something is omitted, etc.

(2): ( n.) That which resembles the figure of a star, as an ornament worn on the breast to indicate rank or honor.

(3): ( v. i.) To be bright, or attract attention, as a star; to shine like a star; to be brilliant or prominent; to play a part as a theatrical star.

(4): ( v. t.) To set or adorn with stars, or bright, radiating bodies; to bespangle; as, a robe starred with gems.

(5): ( n.) A person of brilliant and attractive qualities, especially on public occasions, as a distinguished orator, a leading theatrical performer, etc.

(6): ( n.) One of the innumerable luminous bodies seen in the heavens; any heavenly body other than the sun, moon, comets, and nebulae.

(7): ( n.) The polestar; the north star.

(8): ( n.) A planet supposed to influence one's destiny; (usually pl.) a configuration of the planets, supposed to influence fortune.

(9): ( n.) A composition of combustible matter used in the heading of rockets, in mines, etc., which, exploding in the air, presents a starlike appearance.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [8]

in Hebrew, בוכב . Under the name of stars, the ancient Hebrews comprehended all the heavenly bodies, constellations, and planets; in a word, all the luminaries, the sun and moon excepted. The number of the stars was looked upon as infinite. And the Psalmist, to exalt the power and magnificence of God, says, that he numbers the stars and calls them by their names; and so are they put to express a vast multitude,  Genesis 15:5;  Genesis 22:17;  Exodus 33:13 .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [9]

( בּוֹכָב , Kokab ; Ἀστήρ or Ἄστρον ; but "seven stars" in  Amos 5:8 is כַּמָה , Kinmah, the "Pleiades,", as rendered in  Job 9:9;  Job 38:31; and "day star" in  2 Peter 1:19 is Φωσφόρος , Venus in the morning). The ancient Israelites knew very little of the starry heavens, if we may judge from the indications of the Bible, which contains no trace of scientific astronomy. We find there only the ordinary observations of landsmen ( Amos 5:8), especially shepherds ( Psalms 8:3), for instance, such as nomads would observe on open plains (see Von Hammer in the Fundgruben, 1, 1 sq.; 2, 235 sq.). The patriarchs observed the stars ( Genesis 37:9); and metaphors drawn from the stellar world, either with reference to the countless number of the stars ( Genesis 22:17;  Exodus 32:13;  Nahum 3:16, etc.), or to their brightness ( Numbers 24:17;  Isaiah 14:12;  Revelation 22:16), were early in frequent use (see Lengerke, Daniel , p. 377 sq.). The sun and moon, of course, were readily distinguished from the other celestial luminaries ( Genesis 1:16;  Psalms 136:7;  Jeremiah 31:35) on account of their superior size and brilliancy; and from the name as well as period of the latter ( יָרֵחִ ) the earliest form of monthly designation of time was taken. (See Month). The Phoenicians, Babylonians (Chaldaeans), and Egyptians, whose level country as well as agricultural or naval interests, and especially the intense brilliancy of their sky by night (Hackett, Illust. Of Script. p. 30), inclined them to an observation of the heavens, far surpassed the Hebrews in astronomical knowledge (see Diod. Sic. 1, 50, 69, 81; 2, 31; Strabo, 17, 8, 16; Macrob. Sat. 1, 19); and the Egyptians were the first to ascertain the true length of the solar year (Herod. 2:4). (See Year).

Under the name of stars the Hebrews comprehended all constellations, planets, and heavenly bodies, with the exception of the sun and moon. No part of the visible creation exhibits the glory of the Creator more illustriously than the starry heavens ( Psalms 8:3;  Psalms 19:1). The Psalmist, to exalt the power and omniscience of Jehovah, represents him as taking a survey of the stars as a king taking a review of his army, and knowing the name of every one of his soldiers ( Psalms 147:4). Among the Hebrews stars were frequently employed as symbols of persons in eminent stations. Thus "the star out of Jacob" designates king David, the founder of the Hebrew dynasty, according to others the Messiah ( Numbers 24:17; see Georgi, De Stella Ex Jacob [Regiom. 1701]; Cotta, Ibid. [T Ü b. 1750]); the eleven patriarchs are called "stars" ( Genesis 37:9); so also "stars" denote the princes, rulers, and nobles of the earth ( Daniel 8:10;  Revelation 6:13;  Revelation 8:10-11;  Revelation 9:1;  Revelation 12:4). Christ is called the "Morning Star," as he introduced the light of the Gospel day, and made a fuller manifestation of the truths of God than the ancient prophets, whose predictions were now accomplished ( Revelation 22:16). In allusion to the above prophecy in Numbers, the infamous Jewish impostor Bar-cocab, or, as the Romans called him, Bar-cocheba (q.v.), who appeared in the reign of Hadrian, assumed the pompous title of "Son of a star," as the name, implies, as if he were the star, out of Jacob; but this false Messiah was destroyed by the emperor's general, Julius Severus, with an almost incredible number of his deluded followers. Stars were likewise the symbols of a deity "The star of your god Chiun" ( Amos 5:26). Probably the figure of a star was fixed on the head of the image of a false god. (See Chiun).

The study of the stars very early in the East (as eventually in the West likewise, Caesar, Bell. Gall. 6, 21) led to star worship (Wisdom 13, 2); in fact, the religion of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Assyrians, and ancient Arabians was nothing else than astrolatry (Mishna, Aboda Sara, 4, 7), although at first this relation is not so apparent (see Wernsdorf, De Cultu Astrorum [Gedan. 1746]). Hence the Mosaic law sternly warned the Israelites against this idolatry ( Deuteronomy 4:19;  Deuteronomy 17:3); yet they at length. (in the Assyrian period) fell into it (1 Kings 23:5, 12;  Jeremiah 14:13;  Ezekiel 8:16;  Zephaniah 1:5). The account given of it by Maimonides is both curious and instructive. "In the days of Enos, the son of Seth, the sons of Adam erred with great error, and their error was this; and the counsel of the wise men became brutish, and Enos himself was of them that erred. They said, Forasmuch as God hath created these stars and spheres to govern the world, and hath set them on high, and imparted honor unto them, and they are ministers that minister before him, it is meet that men should laud and magnify and give them honor.... So, in process of time, the glorious and fearful Name was forgotten out of the mouth of all living, and out of their knowledge, and they acknowledged him not. And the priests and such like, thought there was no God, save the stars and spheres, for whose sake, and in whose likeness, they made their images; but as for the Rock Everlasting, there was no man that did acknowledge him or know him, save a few persons in the world, as Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Shem, and Heber; and in this way did the world walk and converse till that pillar of the world, Abraham our father, was born." (See Star Gazer).

A brief allusion to a few, modern discoveries respecting the astral bodies may not be uninteresting here, especially their inconceivable extent. Astronomers tell us that the nearest of the fixed stars is distant from us twenty millions of millions of miles; and to give us some idea of that mighty interval they tell us that a cannon ball flying at the rate of five hundred miles an hour would not reach that star in less than four million five hundred and ninety thousand years; and that if the earth, which moves with the velocity of more than a million and a half miles a day, were to be hurled from its orbit, and to take the same rapid flight over that immense tract, it would not have arrived at the termination of its journey after taking all the time which has elapsed since the creation of the world. The velocity of light is one hundred and ninety-two thousand miles in a second of time; so that in coming from a fixed star of the first magnitude it would take from three to twelve years, but in coming from. one of the twelfth magnitude it would be four thousand years before the light reached the earth. They tell us, further, what the reason of every man must dispose him to admit, that every star is probably a sun irradiating its own system of worlds; that the distance. between one star and another may be presumed to be as great as the distance between the nearest of them and our earth; and that their instruments enable them to compute not less than one hundred millions of those radiant orbs. But that number may form but an insignificant fraction of the whole; and thus our earth and the system to which it belongs may bear no more proportion to the universe at large than a drop of water or a particle of sand to the whole terraqueous globe. (See Nichols, Architect. of the Heavens.) (See Astronomy).