A nice review of the messianic "Star of Jacob" tradition within Judaism.
As I've said before, I think it's plausible that Matthew's star of Bethlehem is a messianic midrashic commentary on Numbers 24:17. That does not, of course, exclude astrological connections as well. I doubt that there was a real star or other astronomical phenomenon involved. But who knows? Some good science fiction has been written about that possibility.
Other past posts on the Star of Bethlehem are here and links.
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