When Israel was a child, I loved him,and out of EgyptI called my son.(Hos.11:1)
Page1Matthewnotes/ImperatoRoman context for this infancy narrative:Celestial bodies (stars/comets:Julius Caesar’s comet of 44 BCE and the star of Venus) were used by Romans to support Augustus Caesar’sreign: “It is a strong proof of the popular bias at that time, as well as of the political tact of Augustus, that he was so far able to dissipate the apprehensions usually entertained on the appearance of a comet, as to convert the phenomenon into a prognostic of especial good to his government; and to associate with it”( Pliny [77-79 CE] History of NatureBook 2.65,)(“These Stars which the Greeks call Cometas” Pliny book 2 ch.25, h_djvu.txt)(For other references to stars in Roman literature see Williams, Mary Frances.“The Sidus Iulium, the divinity of men, and the Golden Age in Virgil’s Aeneid”Leeds International Classical Studies2.1 (2003),lics.leeds.ac.uk/2003/200301.pdf)Julius Caesar died and his deification was authenticated by the appearance of a comet for seven days : LXXXVIII. [44 B.C.] He died in the fifty-sixth year of his age, and was numbered among the gods, not only by a formal decree, but also in the conviction of the common people. For at the first of the games which his heir Augustus gave in honor of his apotheosis, a comet shone for seven successive days, rising about the eleventh hour [about an hour before sunset] and was believed to be the soul of Caesar, who had been taken to heaven; and this is why a staris set upon the crown of his head in his statue. It was voted that the curia in which he was slain be walled up, that the Ides of March be called the Day of Parricide, and that a
Page1Matthewnotes/Imperatomeeting of the senate should never be called on that day. ( SuetoniusDe Vita Caesarum, Divus Iulius, The Lives of theCaesars, The Deified Julius,)Williams writes: “The Iulian clan had a long connection with Venus before Caesar. The star of Venus (the goddess Venus herself) was believed to have guided Aeneas,the son of Venus, from Troy to Italy (Serv. ad Aen. 1.382; 2.801). Caesar claimed that his family descended from Venus (Suet. Iul. 6.1) and he always honored the goddess.”(p.5)Roman coins with rays of light of comets, associated with Caesar Augustus are not uncommon:17 BCE Jewish background for star: Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptreshall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.