@john deeb Re: No three & no kings
In hebrew thought 3 is one of several "perfect numbers", along with 7 and nine. I have forgotten why.
Incidentally, the most likely candidate for the "star of Bethlehem" wasn't a star at all, but a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces. A conjunction of the two was interpreted as the passing of leadership from an old king (Saturn) to a new (Jupiter), and a conjunction taking place in Pisces associated the events with Israel. Israel of the day was important to the Persians as a close ally, granting access to the Mediterranean coast and serving as a locus of trade routes between Africa, Europe and Asia, so their astrologers (the magi) would have been keen to see what events might take place there.
In fact, in 7BC there was a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces (that magic number again), which gives us a pretty firm date for when the events would have taken place. Herod the Great died in 4BC, which sets a boundary for the other end of the period in question.
Israel of the day was also in a "great tumult" about whether the nation should strengthen its ties with their historical ally of Persia, or whether they should throw their lot in with the Romans. Herod was of course a Roman client and would have favoured them, but many in Israel favoured the Persians. It goes without saying that Herod's court would have been aware of the conjunction in 7BC, and it could just as easily have been interpreted as a validation of Herod's links to Rome or a harbinger of the restoration of Israel's links with Persia. When the magi came along and declared that a new king had been born in Israel, well, you can imagine what that would have done to the political situation.
And then in the late 20s AD, when Israel has been informally occupied by Rome in order to "support" the government against the insurgent Persian faction, this man Jesus appears and starts talking about purifying the temple and fulfilling the laws of Moses and all sorts of things that echo the Maccabbean revolt against the Greeks of a few generations earlier. With Jesus having a fairly supportable claim to being the true "king of Israel", the political seeds planted by those magi start to bear fruit: Israel begins to resist the Roman occupation, only to be destroyed 30 years later when Rome decides it's had enough of rebellious client states and absorbs Israel into the empire properly.