Astrology and the ‘Wise Men’ who visited Jesus

Question 126 from Matt, United Kingdom
Astrology is wrong… God said it, Daniel was shouted at for it. Why then did the wise men, when looking for the baby Jesus, follow the stars to where he was?

Although astrology, as a form of divination, is specifically condemned in the Old Testament (eg in Leviticus chapter 19, verse 26), this prohibition only extended to the Israelites, as the chosen people who had received the divine law.

The nation of Israel was forbidden to practice astrology because it was closely linked to worship of the stars and other heavenly bodies, which made it a form of idolatry. It also detracted from the divine Law entrusted to Israel, and the fact that Yahweh dwelt among the Israelites in the Temple at Jerusalem. The Old Testament writers placed an emphasis on how Yahweh – and the worship of Yahweh – was meant to be the focus of the Israelite people.

However, there are two important things to be drawn from the story of the wise men visiting Jesus. Firstly, (more…)