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Old 31st October 2010, 08:15 PM
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Third of the stars fall from heaven

Over in the Physical and Life Sciences section, there has been discussion (see here) about the passage in Revelation that talks about a third of the stars falling from heaven:

And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
(Rev 8:12)
Usually when discussing Revelation, this is one of the first passages I turn to as evidence that not everything in Revelation is literal and that much of it is symbolic. However, much to my amazement, some members on the other discussion have been arguing that this passage is literal and that yes, one third of all stars will literally fall from heaven.

According to the website of the European Space Agency, the number of stars in the universe is enormous:

For the Universe, the galaxies are our small representative volumes, and there are something like 10^11 to 10^12 stars in our galaxy, and there are perhaps something like 10^11 or 10^12 galaxies.

With this simple calculation you get something like 10^22 to 10^24 stars in the Universe. This is only a rough number, as obviously not all galaxies are the same, just like on a beach the depth of sand will not be the same in different places.

ESA - Space Science - How many stars are there in the Universe?
Some of the arguments then used to justify a literal interpretation include:
  • Maybe the calculations are wrong and stars are much smaller than astronomers claim. Response: it doesn't matter how big they are. Even 10^22-10^24 bouncing balls would cause significant damage if they fell to Earth. Regardless, the size of stars is not under dispute amongst astronomers.
  • Maybe the stars are made of 'spiritual' material and will therefore hit the earth without damaging it. Response: no scientific or Biblical evidence for this.

Quite simply, I can see no way in which you could literally have that many stars fall from heaven. Even if one star, say, Alpha Centauri, crashed into Earth, that would be enough to destroy the planet before the other many trillions of stars had a chance to get anywhere near us.

Also, in the next chapter (Rev 9:1) it talks about a star falling from heaven and this star doing stuff on earth, opening the bottomless pit, sending out a plague of locusts, taking command of the earth etc. Clearly these are not literal stars being spoken of, but are instead symbolic.

Does anyone else agree that the stars are symbolic, possibly of rulers and therefore a third of the stars is referring to a third of the rulers of earth falling from their place of authority? This seems to be how 'stars' is used symbolically throughout scripture.
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  #2  
Old 31st October 2010, 08:41 PM
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If you examine the passage more carefully, you will see that nowhere does it say that 1/3 of the stars fall from heaven. It is actually about the 24 hr day being shortened by 1/3 (see Mt. 24:22); and yes, it is literal.
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Old 31st October 2010, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Achilles6129 View Post
If you examine the passage more carefully, you will see that nowhere does it say that 1/3 of the stars fall from heaven. It is actually about the 24 hr day being shortened by 1/3 (see Mt. 24:22); and yes, it is literal.
ya kinda funny.
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Old 31st October 2010, 09:11 PM
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Oops, Revelation 12:4 is what I meant to refer to.

I think the stars must be symbolic because:
  • Revelation 6:13 - stars fall from heaven to earth. This would destroy earth, yet the action continues ...
  • Revelation 8:12 - the third part of the stars were smitten even though the stars had already fallen from heaven.
  • Revelation 9:1 - a star falls from heaven to earth. Again, one star falling from heaven would destroy earth. This has already happened though and will happen again.
  • Revelation 12:1 - a woman wearing a crown of stars. Don't know about you, but a crown of stars would kinda be awkward to wear given how big stars are. It would also burn you.
  • Revelation 12:4 - a dragon uses its tail to swish down a third of the stars of heaven to earth. A literal dragon? Literally throwing 10^22-10^24 stars down to earth? Not credible.

How can any of this be literal? Even in the first few chapters of Revelation, it makes it clear that stars are symbolic:

The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
(Rev 1:20)
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Old 31st October 2010, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Targ View Post
How can any of this be literal? Even in the first few chapters of Revelation, it makes it clear that stars are symbolic:
It seems pretty straightforward, doesn't it? And the symbology is also made clear in the fifth trumpet.
Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
There is no ambiguity about it. The star is identified with a personal pronoun here and is later identified as the angel of the bottomless pit.
Rev 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
Some will see, Tarq. Many won't. Stars are identified as angels and that symbology is repeated multiple times in Revelation.
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Old 1st November 2010, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by NightHawkeye View Post
It seems pretty straightforward, doesn't it? And the symbology is also made clear in the fifth trumpet.
Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
There is no ambiguity about it. The star is identified with a personal pronoun here and is later identified as the angel of the bottomless pit.
Rev 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
Some will see, Tarq. Many won't. Stars are identified as angels and that symbology is repeated multiple times in Revelation.


But indeed many a meteor will fall at the start of the tribulation.

But yes, this analogy refers to the fallen angels which accompany antichrist on his descent from the clouds. The masters of wisdom is what they are called this day.
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Old 1st November 2010, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Almighty's humble servant View Post
The masters of wisdom is what they are called this day.
Huh?

No master of wisdom am I ...


.
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Old 1st November 2010, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by NightHawkeye View Post
Huh?

No master of wisdom am I ...


.
As if you had fallen from heaven following lucifer and his minions.

You my brother would be a saint, or an elect. At least from what I gather reading your work.

God Bless you always my brother.
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Old 1st November 2010, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Almighty's humble servant View Post
As if you had fallen from heaven following lucifer and his minions.
OK. That clarifies.

IOW, you're referring to the intellectual elite ...

But you know that fallen angels include many more than just the intellectual elite. Any person who exalts himself above truth falls in this category. As you've pointed out in your other recent posts, AHS, pride is what builds this up.
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Old 1st November 2010, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Targ View Post
Oops, Revelation 12:4 is what I meant to refer to.
Hehe, yeah I figured you probably had the wrong verse

You think the stars must be symbolic because:


Originally Posted by Targ View Post
Revelation 6:13 - stars fall from heaven to earth. This would destroy earth, yet the action continues ...
If the earth were to be falling off of its axis, it would appear as though the stars fell to earth if you were living on the night side of the earth. This is described in Isa. 24, Zech. 14, etc., - and that is what happens. When Christ returns the earth falls off of its axis.

Originally Posted by Targ View Post
Revelation 8:12 - the third part of the stars were smitten even though the stars had already fallen from heaven.
Ah, now it becomes more complicated You see, Targ, the book of Revelation is not chronological. The sixth seal is actually the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (I had a thread on this a while back). In Rev. 8:12, the plague is actually describing the literal shortening of the 24 hour day. This plague actually comes before the sixth seal.

Originally Posted by Targ View Post
Revelation 9:1 - a star falls from heaven to earth. Again, one star falling from heaven would destroy earth. This has already happened though and will happen again.
This is describing a spiritual beginning to a literal plague. This does not mean that every time you see the word "star" in the book of Revelation it is spiritual, but only in this particular passage where it is mentioning a spiritual place (the bottomless pit).

Originally Posted by Targ View Post
Revelation 12:1 - a woman wearing a crown of stars. Don't know about you, but a crown of stars would kinda be awkward to wear given how big stars are. It would also burn you.
Yep, this is spiritual

Originally Posted by Targ View Post
Revelation 12:4 - a dragon uses its tail to swish down a third of the stars of heaven to earth. A literal dragon? Literally throwing 10^22-10^24 stars down to earth? Not credible.

How can any of this be literal? Even in the first few chapters of Revelation, it makes it clear that stars are symbolic:
In Revelation 12, it's describing Satan taking 1/3 of God's angels from the kingdom of heaven. And no, the stars are not always symbolic - sometimes they are. It depends on the context of the verse in which the stars are used.

Last edited by Achilles6129; 1st November 2010 at 01:39 PM. Reason: mistake
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