The Seven Star-Angels of Revelation

When John gets a prophetic glimpse of Jesus, He’s seen holding seven stars in his hand, which John tells us are seven angels. This is actually a pretty easy connection to follow in ancient culture. While it sounds weird to us because we know more of the science behind stars, ancient cultures often understood stars to be spiritual beings because, (A) they lived “up there” in the heavens and (B) they moved around from night to night, which appeared to be evidence of life.

So to ancient cultures, each star was considered to be a god or a spiritual being of sorts, each with their own name. Their movements therefore communicated divine messages to humans on the earth (think of the general idea of astrology and horoscopes). Because of all of these religious associations, you rarely see the Bible mention any stars by name in order to avoid all of the religious confusion that comes with it. When God is seen creating the world in Genesis, the Hebrew writers call the sun and the moon “the greater light” and “the lesser light.” The only Bible writer you really see mention constellations by name is Job, perhaps because he was not a Hebrew, but a cultural outsider who had given his life to the follow God (this would explain many of the cultural oddities and references throughout Job’s book).

But though the Bible writers were cautious when mentioning heavenly objects so as to not confuse people religiously, they too believed that the stars were spiritual beings. To them the stars were spiritual beings known as, “the heavenly host.” When God created the world, the “morning stars,” which are the “sons of God” shouted for joy (Job 38:7). Satan is pictured by Isaiah as a star attempting to ascend higher into the heavens in attempts to overthrow higher level spiritual beings and usurp the throne of God (Is 14:12-14).

All of this being said, when Jesus is seen holding seven stars in his hand in Revelation, one takeaway is that Jesus doesn’t serve the angels, but the angels serve Jesus—or, the gods don’t hold Jesus, but Jesus holds the gods. The Heavenly Host are subject to Him, not the other way around.

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