Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Star Shall Step Forth Out Of Jacob

Most researchers who are trying to solve the mystery of the origin of Magen David relate to the enigmatic verse in Numbers 24:17 "There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel"` That’s why I thought it will be useful to collect a few sources which can shed light on this matter:

Shall step forth means rule, govern
Dr. Zvi Betzer says:
In Ugaritic the verb darakh appears in the sense of 'to rule, govern'.

Ayelet-Hashachar Hareuveni says :
the star is a shield in the shape of a star and the soldier stepped upon the part of the shield that was between two triangles and thus the shield had been stuck into the ground

Balaam is Laban the Aramean
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin says:
…the classic Targum (Aramaic interpretation) of Yonatan ben Uziel, identifies Balaam with none other than Laban the Aramean, uncle of Jacob-Israel

The star in the verse refer to King David
I see him but not now ((Num. 24:17), this refers to David; I behold him but not nigh (ibid.) this refers to King Messiah; A star shall step forth out of Jacob (ibid.) this refers to King David; A star shall step forth out of Jacob (ibid.), this refers to David; and a scepter shall rise out of Israel (ibid.) this refers to King Messiah…

Uri Ofir:
The first time in the Bible that reveals any connection between the word "star", the word "David" and the words "nation of Israel" is in Bilam's speech. When Bilam sees the nation of Israel he says:
"There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel" (Numbers 24:17). Rashi and Iben Ezra comment that Bilam's prediction is about King David. This is only a speculative connection that does not point on the shape of the Magen David (Star of David). The star in the verse refer to Bar Kochba
James Trimm says:
Bar Kosiba was renamed Bar Kochba (son of the star) and was declared the Messiah based on Num. 24:17.

The star in the verse refer to Jesus
Early Christians did believe Jesus was born under the Star because the prophecy of Balaam (Num. 24:17) said that the Messiah would be revealed by a regal Star.


zeevveez said...

Israel Today, October 09, 2005:

"Because Yeshua (Jesus) was from the House of David, the Star of David served as a symbol to the early Christians of the link with their Jewish brothers (represented by a menorah [candelabrum]), and Gentile Christians (represented by the Ichthys [fish]). They cited Revelation 22:16:"
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”

zeevveez said...

The following paragraph is from Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in English in Jerusalem by Rubin Mass Ltd. The publication here is courtesy of Oren Mass

However, the hexagram was known to other ancient cultures, too. Balaam's words seem remarkable in this context: "There shall come a star out of Jacob.". Unfortunately, no tradition has come down to us which would indicate what kind of star he was speaking of, whether a pentagram or a hexagram. Perhaps he was simply referring to the promise made to Abraham that his seed would be multiplied as the stars of the heavens. We can only say that the hexagram, later referred to as the Shield of David, or the Star of David, was known to other cultures, and thus also to Balaam.