Matthew 24:29.....and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: The Bible's use of the stars of heaven to illustrate illustrious or notable people, places or things.


       Back to Revelation 12 first as it seems to be the most fitting for Jesus's prophecy. The crown of stars the woman, ancient Israel is wearing illustrates the 12 tribes of Israel. Then we have the dragon the represents the Roman Empire empowered by Satan. It uses stars to illustrate the Roman Empire casting down people; or as it says a few verses later those stars could represent the spiritual  powers behind people in high places, the devil's messengers or angels. Whatever the exact meaning of the metaphors in this vision  is.  It renders the idea of the stars of heaven in Jesus's prophecy speaking of literal stars ridiculous.

      Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up to God, and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days. 7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.


     In this part of Johns vision seven stars illustrate angels. This is a direct reference to the powers of the unseen world behind the world we can see. In this case seven churches.  Just exactly the same way Matthew 24 is using the language: 29...... and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

      Revelation 1:16 And he, (Jesus)  had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength......20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches.


     Here Jude is using stars to describe false Christians.  

     Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.....13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.


     This prophecy in Daniel follows a timeline that occurs immediately after a prophecy about Herod the Great plus Octavian, Augustus Caesar's conquering of the last remaining section of the Greek empire. It is a prophecy of the first century in Ancient Israel and the one of the prophecies Jesus is quoting in his prophecy about the end of the Old Covenant Age. Verse two uses resurrection metaphorically the same way it is often used in the New Testament to illustrate salvation and judgment. Verse three represents the soul winners, the apostles and other believers reaching the lost. They are illustrated as stars.

      Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.


      This is Isaiah's prophecy about the fall of  Babylon; that incidentally had not even risen against the kingdom of Judah yet.  Notice how, just like the book of Revelation states about Rome, which metaphorically is referred to as Babylon. That it is Satan, his evil intent, his manipulative power that is behind the empire of Babylon. Stars here are being used to illustrate Gods people, the prophets, Moses. Or they are being used to illustrate the angels of God in the unseen world behind Israel. One might also ascertain stars are being used to illustrate Gods creation here.

      Isaiah 14:4 That you shall take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How has the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! 5 The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, and the scepter of the rulers. 6 He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hinders. 7 The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. 8 Yes, the fir trees rejoice at you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since you are laid down, no feller is come up against us. 9 Hell from beneath is moved for you to meet you at your coming: it stirs up the dead for you, even all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. 10 All they shall speak and say to you, Are you also become weak as we? are you become like to us? 11 Your pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of your viols: the worm is spread under you, and the worms cover you. 12 How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.


    God metaphorically uses stars to describe the people of God when speaking to Job.  

     Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2 Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Gird up now your loins like a man; for I will demand of you, and answer you me. 4 Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if you have understanding. 5 Who has laid the measures thereof, if you know? or who has stretched the line on it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?


      In Deborah's song about the defeat of Sisera the general of Jabin. She lustrates the Barak and the children of Israel as stars.

      Judges 5:1Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, 2 Praise you the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves. 3 Hear, O you kings; give ear, O you princes; I, even I, will sing to the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel. 4LORD, when you went out of Seir, when you marched out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water. 5 The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.......20 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.


     The fact that the past few generations of western Christians take these metaphors about the stars in the heavens in Jesus's prophecy and Johns Revelation as literal shows how un\mis-educated we are as a people. Any qualified English teacher in high school or college. Anyone with a doctorate in the reading and writing of literature, if they were not infected with this strange religious bias would immediately be able to tell you Jesus's words about stars were being used metaphorically. If some secular institution were to use Matthew 24 or Mark 13 as part of a grammar\literature class  on a test to identify subject matter, context, writing styles. Then if some Christian student answered on that test that the stars of heaven falling was meant to be literal; they would fail the test. The student may object but the teacher would simply answer. "This was not a test on what your Christian denomination believes. It is a literature test and by all the applicable rules of literature this is descriptive writing using metaphors and not expository writing using literal language to describe an event. 

      We can see just how great a spiritual battle this is for the hearts and minds of people by the fact that there are 100's of teachers with doctorates in the language arts in Christian universities and ministerial training schools who teach their students otherwise! People who should by all accounts know better but are spiritually unable to use what their own education correctly taught them to properly identify the way in which the language is being used. They seem to miss the entire subject matter of the discourse which is when the buildings and city they were looking at would be destroyed.  The spiritual battle to properly understand scripture and Bible prophecy is so great that I can easily imagine confusion entering into the minds and hearts of people that are reading this. Bad feelings, a fearful heart,  even a grieving in the spirit when confronted with the reality of these words being metaphorical which is contrary to what you always believed. But feelings, no matter how strong do not dictate the truth! That is the devil attempting to use your own feelings to get you to hold to the misinformation you have always held to be true.....because the truth will set you free.

All scripture references were AKJV

© Daniel Martinovich 2012-2017