When one considers the references to astrology in the Bible, one must remember the context that in those times the stars were used for navigation. So, the people were aware of the constellations and the pattern of the stars in the sky. There are numerous references to astrology in the Bible verses. Even Jesus made references to astrology. The most obvious astrological reference is the Star of Bethlehem that leads the three wise men to the newborn Jesus Christ.
One must keep in mind that many of the religious practices of the time involved the worship of the heavenly bodies. There are astrological references as well as multiple warnings against the worshipping of the stars or the practice of divination or sorcery. There are multiple warnings about putting worldly arts of divination above one’s relationship with God. The Bible states that the stars in the heavens were set there by God. They should be admired and considered a marvel of God instead of being worshipped.
Astrology In Bible Verses
God The Creator Of The Heavens And Stars
The book of Genesis tells us in Chapter 1 Verses 14-18 that God created lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from night. They were to serve as signs to mark times; sacred times, and days and years. He then made two great lights that were the Sun and the Moon. The greater light was to govern the day and the lesser light was to govern the night. He made and set the stars in the vault of the sky and their purpose was to give light to the earth.
This passage tells us that the skies and the lights in them are all the work of God. It clearly states that these lights can be used to mark sacred times, days and years. Therefore the study of the stars and stargazing for the sake of astronomy as well as for the setting of calendars to mark days, year and sacred times are permitted by the Bible. The Sun and the Moon serve to govern the day and the night and not for any deeper astrological meaning or inferences.
Psalm 8:3 “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,…”
Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
There are many verses in the Bible that state that the Sun, Moon and the stars are all the creations of God and have been set in the sky by Him. There are verses that marvel at the Sun, Moon and the stars being the beautiful creations of God.
1 Corinthians 15:41 “The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.”
Amos 5:8 “He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns midnight into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land— the LORD is his name.”
Psalm 147: 4 “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.”
Isaiah 40:26 “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”
Even the distinction between the stars and the constellations as well as the names that they are called by are the creations of God. Each star has been made unique and splendorous by God. He has even named them which shows that astronomy and the learning of how the stars form constellations is encouraged.
Astrology And Christianity – Astrological Signs In Prophecies
The Bible also speaks of astrological signs in the skies. The Bible mentions many instances and prophecies where astrological and astronomical phenomena will be seen. There are verses that tell us that there will be signs in the skies when He returns. The final judgement will have astronomical events happening in the skies.
Isaiah 13:10 “The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.”
Luke 21: 25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.”
Revelation 6:12-14 “12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
Revelation 12:1 “1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.”
The Star Of Bethlehem
It is believed that the coming of the Lord was prophesied in the Old Testament, in the book of Numbers. The star prophecy reads as follows:
Numbers 24:17 ““I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth.”
The most famous astrological reference in the Bible is the Star of Bethlehem.
Matthew 2:1-3 “1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “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.”
The Magi are the three men who came looking for the newborn Jesus Christ. The word Magi is a Chaldean word that is used untranslated in most versions of the Bible. It is a word used in the scriptures that is thought to refer to wise men, teachers, prophets, physicians, astrologers, sorcerers and prophets.
Some versions of the Bible have translated the word to “wise men” or “stargazers”. So one can conclude that the study of the stars and astronomy was acceptable and was indeed what led the wise men to Jesus Christ.
The Bible On Divination And Astrological Prophecies
The Bible has very clear and strong words against the practices of sorcery and divination as well as prediction through astrology. Astrology in early Christianity was clearly seen as a practice that was against God. Most religions at that time involved the practice of worshipping heavenly bodies which Christianity saw as idolatry. The message that we get from the Bible is that one should not worship the Sun, Moon or stars which is not what astrologers do.
Deuteronomy 4:19 “And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.”
Deuteronomy 18:9-11 “9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.”
Leviticus 19:26 “ Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. Do not practice divination or seek omens.”
One is also warned not to put faith in astrologers for foretelling or divination. One should instead put one’s faith in God. In the book of Daniel, one sees how all the astrologers were put to shame by Daniel as they were unable to interpret the King’s dream correctly.
Daniel 2: 27 “Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about,…”
In some parts of the Bible, there are scathing words that describe how useless the practice of astrology and divination are in the eyes of Christianity.
Isaiah 47:13-15 “13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. 14 Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. These are not coals for warmth; this is not a fire to sit by. 15 That is all they are to you— these you have dealt with and labored with since childhood. All of them go on in their error; there is not one that can save you.”
In the Bible, we see in the book of 1 Chronicle that Saul did not rely on God for guidance. We see that in 1 Samuel 28 he instead consulted a medium. He was unfaithful to the Lord and the Lord put him to death.
1 Chronicles 10: 13 – 14 13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.
The Bible very clearly states that astronomy and the study of the stars to mark time and year is permissible. However, divination and foretelling through astrology or any other occult practices are abominable to God.