Who were the three wise men?

The wise men of the east were wise men who came to worship Jesus when he was born, guided by a star. His story appears only once in the Bible, in Matthew 2: 1-12 . The Bible does not say that there were three or that they were kings.

The wise men of the east saw a star that indicated that the king of the Jews was born, so they went to the Jewish capital, Jerusalem, to look for him ( Matthew 2: 1-2 ). When King Herod heard this, he was very upset, because he did not want a rival. The priests and teachers of the law explained that Christ should be born in Bethlehem.

The magicians left and followed the star, which stopped over the place where Jesus was. They fell down and worshiped the boy and offered him gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh ( Matthew 2: 9-11 ). Then an angel warned them not to return to Herod and they went home the other way.

Look here: where was Jesus born?

What was a magician?

In countries east of Israel, such as Persia, a magician was a wise man who had knowledge of astrology . They were men with a lot of education about the stars and nature and also with knowledge of magic and divination.

Daniel, being a prophet of God, was appointed chief of the magicians of Babylon ( Daniel 5:11 ). This indicates that the magicians were not just wizards. Probably some studied magic more, others philosophy and still others scientific knowledge.

Since there were still many Jews in Babylon (which was in the east) at the time of Jesus, it is possible that the magicians had access to the Scriptures. They knew that the star indicated the birth of the great king of the Jews.

See also: what is the meaning of Christmas?

Three kings?

The Bible does not say that there were three. This number comes from the three gifts they gave to Jesus. Tradition associated each gift with a magician but there is no indication of how many there were. We just know that there were more than one.

Being important people, who were even received by King Herod, the magicians probably came with a procession of servants. It was unusual for two or three people to travel long distances alone, because it was dangerous.

The Bible also does not say that they were kings. There is nothing to indicate that they were kings; it is just a tradition that emerged later. We don’t know their names, their country of origin, or what happened to them after they went home. We only know that they were magicians from the east who followed a star to Jesus.

How many there were or whether or not they were kings are just details. There is no problem in representing them in this way, because it does not change the story or the message. Most importantly, Jesus was recognized as the Christ even by people from other peoples. He came to save the whole world, not just the Jews ( Galatians 3: 26-28 ).

 

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