"I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh; there shall step forth a star out of Yakov, and a scepter shall rise out of Yisrael, and shall smite through the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of Seth.." –Numbers 24:17, The Israel Bible
WASHINGTON – A prominent Israeli rabbi says an ancient collision of stars that will be visible on earth in 2022 will provide a celestial sign referred to in the Bible, ushering in the age of the Messiah.
Five years from now, the light from the collision of two stars will reveal a new star in the night sky, referred to in Numbers 24:17 as a messianic prophecy by Balaam, says Rabbi Yosef Berger, of King David's Tomb in Mount Zion.
The new star, is expected by astronomers to appear in 2022 in a blaze of light called a nova, will be the brightest heavenly body visible in the nighttime sky for six months. It will be the first time in recorded history that a celestial event of this kind will be witnessed by the naked eye.
Berger cites Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, known by the acronym Rambam, the foremost Torah authority of the 12th century, whose rulings are still used as the basis for much of Jewish law.
"The Rambam brings this verse about a star appearing as proof that the Messiah will come one day," Berger told Breaking Israel News. "But he says it will come from Jacob, and not from Esau. More specifically, from the tribe of Judah."
The Zohar, the foundational work of Jewish mysticism also predicts the color and type of stars which will appear, says Berger.
"The Zohar states explicitly that the Messianic process will be accompanied by several stars appearing. The Zohar goes into great depth, describing how many stars, and which colors they will be," he said.
The new star, announced last week by Larry Molnar, a professor of astronomy at Calvin College in Michigan, will certainly be unusual. It is a binary star, or two stars orbiting a central point. Molnar described it as "two peanuts sharing a single shell."
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Molnar predicts light from collision would be seen in five years, though it happened some 1,800 years ago.
"[The collision] will release as much energy as the sun releases in its entire lifetime," Molar said in a video about the discovery. When the two finally collide, it will create a new star, a red nova. The star's brightness will increase ten-thousandfold, making it one of the brightest points in the heavens for six months, after which it will fade and remain as a smaller dot in the sky. It will be the first time in history that the creation of a new star will be visible with the naked eye.
"It's a one-in-a-million chance that you can predict an explosion," Molnar said. "It's never been done before."
For stargazers, the nova will be visible as part of the constellation Cygnus, adding a star to the Northern Cross star pattern.