Astrology is a worldview that people have practiced for thousands of years. Not to be confused with astronomy, astrology is the belief that stars, planets, and other phenomena in the solar system determine people’s emotions, finances, relationships, health, and more. Many people want to know what the Bible teaches about astrology.
The Bible teaches that astrology is sinful because it’s a false and idolatrous belief system. The movements and positions of celestial bodies don’t govern the universe. God does. People should look to the Creator of the stars, not the stars themselves, for guidance, truth, and insight for living.
What about Zodiac Signs? What exactly does astrology get wrong? Is it a sin to study stars and constellations? Is it a sin to believe in horoscopes? Did the magi practice astrology at the time of Jesus’ birth? What Bible verses warn about astrology? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.
Astrology, Zodiac Signs, and Idolatry
Astrology, including Zodiac Signs, are idolatrous according to the Bible. Scripture encourages readers to look to the Creator of the universe to make decisions and to get insight into living.
The stars, planets, and other celestial phenomena are neither sovereign nor do they possess the attributes of personhood like love.
What does astrology get wrong? Astrology is idolatrous because people assign celestial phenomena attributes that only God possesses. Instead of viewing themselves as God’s unique creation who are made in his image (Gen. 1:26-27), they believe the signs that people were born under determine their identity.
They also believe that the stars determine a person’s future as opposed to the God of the Bible who is sovereign over all the Earth (Psa 103:19).
Is it a sin to study stars and constellations?
A constellation is a group of stars that form a recognizable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure (Oxford Languages).
Seeing patterns in the stars that resemble images isn’t inherently sinful. The images are in the eye of the beholder. People can recognize celestial shapes without assigning metaphysical importance to them. Seeing patterns in the stars is similar to imagining that clouds resemble certain images.
“Esau and Jacob were born of the same father and mother, at the same time, and under the same planets, but their nature was wholly different. You would persuade me that astrology is a true science?” – Martin Luther
Is it a sin to believe in horoscopes?
A horoscope is a forecast of a person’s future, typically including a delineation of character and circumstances, based on the relative positions of the stars and planets at the time of that person’s birth (Oxford Languages).
Using horoscopes is sinful because they promote false teachings that are contrary to the Bible’s teachings about God, people, and the future.
Why do people read horoscopes? Many people who read horoscopes lack hope and wrestle with fear. They are desperate for good news in their life, especially regarding relationships, finances, health, and work.
The forecasts found in horoscopes are deliberately ambiguous. Astrology is misleading, godless, and idolatrous, according to the Bible.
Did the magi practice astrology?
The Gospels record that the magi became aware of Jesus’ birth because of a star. “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (Matt. 2:2).
The book of Numbers in the Old Testament prophesied this event. Numbers 24:17 reads, “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.” (ESV)
Some Bible scholars speculate that the magi may have come from a people group that was aware of this prophecy from the time Israel spent in exile.
God can use stars however he wants because he created them, and they are his. He can use a star to point magi to the birth of Jesus and he can use them to help mariners navigate the sea or to help scientists understand the universe.
Bible verses related to astrology
- Deuteronomy 4:19, “And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.”
- Daniel 4:7, “Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its interpretation.”
- Daniel 2:27, “Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked”
- Jeremiah 10:2, “Thus says the Lord: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them”
- Isaiah 47:13, “You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons make known what shall come upon you.”
- Leviticus 20:6, “If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”
- Leviticus 19:26, “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes.”
- Isaiah 8:19, “And when they say to you, ‘Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,’ should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?”
- Daniel 1:20, “And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.”
- Genesis 1:14, “And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years”
“The good Christian should be aware of astrologers, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the astrologers have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of hell.” – Saint Augustine
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