What Is the Significance of the Three Wise Men and Their Gifts?
A church service might easily be dismissed as merely another location to “get” something in our consumerist society in the United States of America. Moreover, this frame of mind is not surprising, considering that church facilities and worship services are well-known for providing refreshments, free childcare, beautiful music, positive messages, and much more in a climate-controlled, safe, and aesthetically attractive setting. There is nothing wrong with delicious coffee, children’s ministries, music, and everything else; yet, if we are not cautious, we can end up thinking of ourselves as consumers in our spiritual lives, rather than going to God with our offerings of worship and “sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15).
Following the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, many Magi journeyed to visit him, each of whom followed a different star or light in the sky.
They were a special class of priests who had been around for a very long time (Daniel 5).
During Daniel’s time in charge of these Magi, it is extremely plausible that he instructed them about the prophesies concerning the future Messiah (such as inNumbers 24:17andMicah 5:2).
Their education and authority allowed them to function as political consultants and even “king-makers” — which is an odd link to draw given that the Book of Matthew (in which Jesus is presented as the true king in the line of Judah) is the only gospel narrative that cites this incident.
“They rejoic[ed] greatly with great pleasure” when they eventually arrived at the house where the Christ Child was residing, and they “went down on their faces before Jesus and Mary and worshipped him” (an appropriate reaction to being in the presence of the King of Kings).
These were not just any old presents that they happened to have sitting around; each one was meaningful at the time it was given and continues to hold great significance for us now.
What Was the Significance of Each of the Magi’s Gifts?
The hue and sheen of gold have made it a valuable precious metal throughout history, and it has been used to make jewelry, decorations, coinage, and idols. 2. Frankincense is a pricey aroma or perfume that is derived from plants found in India and Saudi Arabia. 3. Myrrhis is a unique type of expensive perfume manufactured from rare thorn plants in Arabia and Ethiopia that is used as an antiseptic anointing oil and embalming fluid, as well as an antiseptic anointing oil. While these gifts would have been unusual and expensive for the Magi to send to Jesus’ family in first-century Palestine, they were not unheard of in the ancient world.
- They “honored the King.
- In a similar vein, the fact that these gifts were pricey indicated the depth of their selfless love and devotion for the newborn King.
- The Magi did not spend their gifts on anything; instead, they were praising one another.
- is not the hope of becoming wealthy via your service to others.
- So, in order to enjoy you more, rather than things, I am intensifying and demonstrating this desire by giving up things in the intention of enjoying you more rather than things.
- God, on the other hand, makes it very plain in his word that he does not require anything that we have to offer.
As the apostles preached in the Book of Acts: “The God who created the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples built by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he required anything, because he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” The God who created the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples built by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though Moreover, he created from a single man every country of people to live on every continent of the planet, having defined allotted periods and the bounds of their living place, in order that they may seek God and, if they were lucky, discover him.
Even yet, Jesus is genuinely very close to everyone of us, for “in him we live, move, and have our being” (John 10:10). (Acts 17:24-28, ESV).
What Is the Deeper Spiritual Meaning Behind These Gifts?
The ancient church believed that the three sorts of gifts clearly symbolized three fundamental characteristics of Christ’s personality, and therefore they were divided into three categories. In this case, the gold represents Jesus’ monarchy, the frankincense represents his divinity, and the myrrh represents his humanity. As a matter of fact, some have argued that the Magi “preached” the gospel in a concrete sense through the gifts they bestowed upon the infant Jesus. Whether they realized it or not, their presents represented the tale of God himself, who descended from Heaven in the form of our King (gold) to perform his priestly responsibilities (frankincense) and finally die for our sins (frankincense) (myrrh).
At the beginning of Jesus’ life, as well as at the conclusion of his life, when he was hanging on the cross (Mark 15:23) and subsequently being buried in the tomb, this element was given to him here (John 19:39).
And, as a result of his resurrection, we have the opportunity to have eternal life.
First and foremost, we must understand that the central message of the Magi tale, gift-giving, and the remainder of the Christmas (or Advent) holiday is that Jesus Christ came to earth to die in order to provide salvation for sinners — meaning people like you and me — who have fallen away from God (1 Timothy 1:15;Luke 19:10).
- Second, just as the Three Wise Men replied to the heavenly light above them by going to Jesus and worshipping him, the Christmas season calls on all of us to respond to Jesus in one way or another during this season of giving.
- This is due to the fact that Christmas provides us with the gospel, and the gospel demands that we respond to it.
- We must, however, make a decision about what we will worship.
- When we bow our hearts to him and put our precious “gifts” in front of him, we are expressing that he alone can fulfill our hearts, and this is because Jesus is the one true King.
- Whoever goes in search of him will find him every time.” iStock/Getty Images Plus/Gama5 are credited with this image.
- The couple has been married since 2008 and have three children, Brooklyn, Bryson, and Abram.
- After completing his undergraduate studies at North Greenville University in South Carolina, Robert went on to complete his Masters at Liberty University in Virginia.
- He has worked in a number of roles including worship pastor, youth pastor, family pastor, church planter, and presently Pastor of Worship and Discipleship at Cheraw First Baptist Church.
To serve God and His Church, he has set himself a life purpose of reaching the unreached with the gospel, discipling and inspiring others to go even farther in their spiritual journeys, and establishing a culture of multiplication for the glory of God. More information on him may be found here.
Why Did the Wise Men Give Jesus Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh?
This post was written by the BMC Team on December 21, 2017 and was first published on NoWhy392Gold Frankincense and Myrrh by Marilyn Barbone through Adobe Stock. As the scriptures say, “Behold, he offers himself as a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, to those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto no one else can the ends of the law be replied” (Isaiah 53:6).
Shortly after Jesus’ birth, three “wise men from the east” came to see Him and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1). It is important to note that all of these presents were incredibly costly and expensive, and they were acceptable gifts for the “king of the Jews,” as the wise men referred to Jesus (v.2). Many people, however, have demonstrated that these presents may also serve as a symbolic gesture. gold was considered to signify Christ’s reign since crowns were customarily made of gold in ancient times.
3Moreover, because myrrh was used in the embalming of Jesus, it was believed to be a foreshadowing of Christ’s death.
Christ as King
In the Book of Mormon, the concept of Christ as King comes on a number of occasions. Many people, however, are unaware of this since the Book of Mormon frequently use the term “king” in ways that modern readers equate with other things. The term Christ, for example, comes from the Greek phrase meaning “anointed one,” and it is frequently used to refer to monarchs who were anointed when they were crowned as rulers (see 2 Samuel 2:4). 5 ‘Messiah’ is the Greek term that corresponds to the Hebrew word of the same name, which has the same meanings.
Christ as Priest
In 2 Nephi 2:7, the Book of Mormon refers to Christ’s role as a priest, which is one of the few instances where this is mentioned. As the scriptures say, “Behold, he offers himself as a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, to those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto no one else can the ends of the law be replied” (Isaiah 53:6). 8 The offering of a sacrifice is mentioned 49 times in the Old Testament, and it is mentioned 5 times in the Book of Mormon. 10 Offering a sacrifice refers to the practice of offering sacrifices in accordance with the Law of Moses in all cases.
Christ’s Death and Resurrection
In the Book of Mormon, the power of Christ’s death and resurrection is exemplified, and it demonstrates that Christ’s death is necessary for all humanity: “Behold, they will crucify him; and after he has been laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days, he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 25:13).
12 When it comes to “redeeming the people,” the Book of Mormon is unequivocal in its assertion that “the redemption of the people” is brought about “by the power, and afflictions, and death of Christ, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven” (Mosiah 18:2).
Knowing that Christ is the ruler of the universe can provide solace to our troubled lives in a world where chaos sometimes reigns supreme. 13Christ reigns supreme over all that exists, and he will ultimately prevail over evil, no matter how much evil we may be subjected to on a daily basis. 14Because Christ is king, we may have peace with one another. Knowing that Christ is, in the words of the author of Hebrews, “an high priest of good things to come,” (Hebrews 9:11), may also be of assistance to us as we navigate through life’s challenges.
- 16However, Christ has “entered once into the holy place, having gained eternal redemption for us” through the shedding of his own blood (Hebrews 9:12).
- 17 Finally, because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we may all triumph over death and agony in our lives.
- 18Especially during the Christmas season, we may all reflect on the power of Christ’s Atonement and resurrection, as well as the strength He possesses to assist us in our own lives and struggles.
- 19These gifts, provided by the three wise men, serve as a reminder to us all of the treasures that Christ has given to us.
A Conference on Third Nephi is being planned by scholars, according to the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship’s Insights newsletter, which appears in issue 28, number 6, (2008), pages 3–4. Book of Mormon Symposium Series, Volume 9, edited by Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate, Jr. (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1995), pp. 133–146. Daniel K. Judd, “The Spirit of Christ: A Light Among the Darkness,” in Fourth Nephi Through Moroni, From Zion to Destruction, Book of Mormon Symposium Series, Volume 9, edited by Monte S.
- Tate, Jr.
- Matthews, “Two Ways in the World: The Warfare Between God and Satan,” in The Book of Mormon, Part 1: 1 Nephi to Alma 29, Studies in Scripture: Volume 7, ed.
- Jackson (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1987), 146–161.
- Matthews, “Two Ways in the World: The Warfare Between God and Satan,” in The Book of Mormon, Part 1: 1 Nephi
- “Strata: The Magi’s Gifts—Tribute or Treatment?” asks the first question. Biblical Archaeology Review38, no. 1 (2012): 24
- 2 “The Magi’s Gifts,” 24
- 3 “The Magi’s Gifts,” 24
- 4 “The Magi’s Gifts,” 24
- 4 “The Gifts of the Magi,” See, for example, Roland K. Harrison, “Myrrh,” in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 4 vols., ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1986), 3:450–451
- 5.Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Friedrich (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1971), 9:510
- 6.See Book of A brief synopsis of the talk may be found in ” Scholars Focus Conference on Third Nephi,” “Insights: Third Nephi,” and ” Scholars Focus Conference on Third Nephi.” The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship28, no. 6 (2008): 3–4
- The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship28, no. 6 (2008): 3–4
- The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001), 628–633
- Eldin Ricks’ Thorough Concordance of the LDS Standard Works (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1995), 546
- 11.For another priestly function Christ performed in the Book of Mormon, see Book of Mormon Central, “Why Did Jesus Allude to the Priestly Blessing in Numbers 6?(3 Nephi 19:25),”K Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, in The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 6 (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 1988), 162–163
- 16. Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, in The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 6 (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2007), 2:39
- 17. Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 4 volumes (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1987–1992), 1:192–193
- See also 18: See, for example, Robert J. Matthews, “Jesus Christ,” in Book of Mormon Reference Companion, ed. Dennis Largey (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2003), 452–453
- And 19 Gary P. Gillum, “Christology,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., ed. Daniel H. Ludlow (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1992), 1:272–273
- Gary P. Gillum, “Christology,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., ed. Daniel H. Ludlow (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1992), 1:272–273
- Gary P. Gillum, “Christology,” in Encyclopedia of
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Here’s What History Can Tell Us About the Magi
Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25, but the tale of Christmas does not end there. In many Western Christian traditions, Christmas is celebrated over 12 days, with the feast of the Epiphany falling on January 6, the culmination of the season. Many people think that’s when the “Magi,” or “wise men,” or “three kings,” came to view the newborn infant Jesus for the first time. But were any of these individuals influenced by real-life historical figures? It is difficult to link their depictions to specific individuals, but their descriptions in the Gospel of Matthew, which are only a few sentences long, do correspond to current understandings of the world at the time the Gospel was written, which is thought to have occurred sometime between 70 CE and 85 CE.
Also absent from the record is any indication of the number of males in attendance.
Immediately after Jesus’ birth at the town of Bethlehem in Judea, which was then under the reign of the Roman King Herod, according to Matthew’s Gospel, “certain men who studied the stars came from the East to Jerusalem and inquired, ‘Where is the infant born to be the king of the Jews?'” Our attention was drawn to his star as it rose in the East, and we have come to adore him.” They arrived at Jesus and Mary’s home after following the light of a star, and they brought presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh to them, as described in the Gospel.
Gold was then, as it is now, a symbol of riches and power.
According to Kristin Swenson, an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of the forthcomingA Most Peculiar Book: The Inherent Strangeness of the Bible, myrrh is a “outlier” in the Bible.
Swenson explains that Jesus is served wine with myrrh before his crucifixion because it is a painkiller in Mark 15:23, and this is because myrrh is a natural analgesic.
It is clear from the lavish presents that these Eastern guests are “people of immense money and power,” as Swenson puts it, since they “bring things that are kind of evident based on the things they bring.” “They are referred to as Magi in Greek, which was a title that referred to a category of Persian priests at the time of the Greek invasion.
“Their orientation was considerably more in the direction of what we would today characterize as scientific.” Looking to a star is “very much in keeping with the religious tradition of this place at the time of looking to the heavens, the stars, and the planets for information about the gods’ wishes and doings, and some stars or planets were identified with God.” Looking to a star is “very much in keeping with the religious tradition of this place at the time of looking to the heavens, the stars, and the planets for information about the gods’ wishes and doings” The author of the Gospel of Matthew also points out that the Gospel of Matthew portrays a prophecy from hundreds of years earlier, found in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, in which the nations of the world recognize Israel as the light of the world and celebrate this recognition with gifts of gold, frankincense, and other valuable gifts.
TIME magazine’s cover article “Secrets of the Nativity,” published on December 13, 2004, highlighted decades of efforts to make sense of the Magi, as well as the numerous futile searches for tangible proof of the nativity scene: After all, from whence exactly in the Orient (which literally translates as “East”) were they coming from?
- It is possible that the presents they carried–gold, frankincense, and myrrh–were brought by camel trains from Arabia, as described in unrelated Bible accounts from Sheba and Midian, both of which are located on the peninsula.
- The most fortunate of all the guesses turned out to be the one made in the 4th century by the designers of the Church of the Nativity in Palestine, whose golden entrance mosaic showed the Magi clothed as Persians, who were also well-known stargazers at the time.
- The Magi enjoyed a long and fruitful postbiblical existence.
- Their number, which fluctuated from two to twelve in different tales, finally settled on three, most likely as a result of their three gifts.
- This is how a medieval Irish account of the guy described him: “The first is supposed to have been.
- beardless and ruddy-complexioned.
- Researchers have speculated that the combination was either intended to emphasize Christianity’s global ambitions or pointed back to an earlier varied threesome, Noah’s sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, as a point of reference.
Melchior died on January 1st, at the age of 116; St.
Gaspar died on January 11th, at the age of 109.” Many modern Christmas customs depict these three wise men in a way that is influenced by medieval art.
In popular imagination, paintings by painters such as Botticelli, Peter Paul Rubens, and Hieronymus Bosch (as seen above) contributed to solidifying the idea of the Magi as a varied bunch of men.
in 1857, is perhaps the most famous musical depiction of the three men.
And, just as interpretations of the Magi evolved over time in response to events in the world, so too will current events influence how individuals find meaning in the Bible in order to make sense of their own lives.
While doing so, it is critical to remember and acknowledge that we are reimagining for our times texts that, in some cases, defy our expectations, at times confound us with contradictions, and, unless we read them in their ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek originals, rely on translations that are themselves interpreted.” TIME Magazine has more must-read stories.
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Write to Olivia B. Waxman at the following address: [email protected].
Why Did the Magi Bring Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh?
The medicinal properties of frankincense may provide some insight on the gifts of the Magi. Staff of the Biblical Archaeology Society Posted on January 06, 2022114 comments received 205983 views Were the gifts of the magi intended to alleviate Jesus’ arthritis-related discomfort? According to academics at Cardiff University in Wales who have been examining the medicinal benefits of frankincense, it is achievable. They say this is based on their findings. Biblical historians and theologians have proposed several interpretations of the meaning and importance of the gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the magi delivered to Jesus, according to Matthew’s Gospel, from the early days of Christianity (2:11).
In fact, these identical three objects were reportedly among the presents that King Seleucus II Callinicus presented to the deity Apollo at the temple of Miletus in 243 B.C.E., according to ancient records.
In addition to their utilitarian significance, the magi’s usual gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh may have held symbolic as well as practical significance.
The magi’s gifts were chosen, scholars believe, because they contained special spiritual symbolism about Jesus himself—gold representing his kingship, frankincense representing his priestly role, and myrrh representing his death and embalming—an interpretation that was popularized by the well-known Christmas carol “We Three Kings.” Another school of thought holds that the gifts of the magiwere a little more practical—perhaps even therapeutic in nature.
In a study conducted at Cardiff University, researchers discovered that frankincense has an active element that can help treat arthritis pain by suppressing the inflammation that causes cartilage tissue to break down and produce arthritis pain.
Is it possible that the magi “from the East” were aware of the medicinal virtues of frankincense when they brought it to the baby Jesus?
– “The Magi’s Gifts—Tribute or Treatment?” is a question based on Strata. The Biblical Archaeology Review published an article in January/February 2012 titled This Bible History Daily piece was first published in December 2011 and has since been updated.
Related reading in Bible History Daily:
Was Jesus a real person? Lawrence Mykytiuk’s complete essay from the January/February 2015 edition of BAR, which includes extensive endnotes, may be found here: Searching for Evidence Beyond the Bible Andrew McGowan’s complete essay from the December 2002 edition of Bible Review on how December 25 became Christmas may be seen here. Author Robin M. Jensen has written a book titled Witnessing the Divine: The Magi in Art and Literature. Tony Burke’s Christmas Stories from the Christian Apocrypha is available online.
Who Was Jesus’ biological father, and how did he come to be?
A variety of resins, including frankincense, were used in Roman burials throughout Britain.
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The Christmas Story – All About The Wise Men
The arrival of the Three Wise Men; trips, political intrigue, and not a stable in sight.
The Story in the Bible
“Where is he who is born King of the Jews?” they inquired after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea during Herod the king’s reign. Look, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem to inquire. Because we saw his star in the east and have came to adore him,” says the author. And when King Herod learned of it, he was concerned, as was the entire city of Jerusalem. And after collecting all of the top priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them as to where the Messiah would be born. “In Bethlehem of Judea, for it is stated via the prophet, ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are in no way least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come out a ruler who will shepherd my people, Israel,'” they explained.
When they arrived in Bethlehem, he told them to go and look for the tiny boy with diligence, and when they found him to bring me news so that I too might come and adore him.
And when they saw the star, they were filled with a tremendous amount of happiness.
They then presented him with presents, which included gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which they had opened from their riches. After receiving a warning in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they decided to take a different route back to their home country. Matthew 2:12 – 12:12
The History behind the Three Kings/Wise Men/Magi in the Christmas Story
Wise Men traveled to find Jesus after His birth, most likely from a territory that is now either Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia or Yemen, or from an area that is now southern Turkey and northern Syria, to seek for Him after His birth. Despite the fact that they are commonly referred to as the “Three Kings,” the Bible does not specify how many there were or that they were kings. One possibility is that they were the Kings of Yemen, which would make sense given that the Kings of Yemen were Jews at the period.
- They were, without a doubt, guys of considerable intellect.
- ‘ Magos is derived from the ancient Persian term ‘Magupati,’ which means “magupati’s throne.” A priest of a sect of ancient Persian faiths such as Zoroastrianism was known by this title, which was awarded to him by his peers.
- In those days, both astronomy and astrology were considered to be part of the same overarching study (and’science,’ as it were), and they went hand in hand with one another.
- They would have also been extremely wealthy and well-regarded in their own community as well as by individuals from other countries and religions who did not share their beliefs.
- The origin of the new star in the sky is still a mystery, and there are several possibilities, including comets, supernovae, planets colliding, and even something supernatural!
- The Magi would have become familiar with the predictions of an unique Jewish Savior (also known as the Messiah) from their time as captives in ancient Babylon some hundred years before the birth of Jesus.
- They are frequently described in the following ways:
- He has brown hair and a brown beard (or no beard!) and wears a green robe with green gems on it. Gaspar (or Caspar) also has brown hair and a brown beard (or no beard!) He is known as the “King of Sheba.” Gaspar represents the Frankincense that was given to Jesus, and Melchior, who has long white hair and a white beard and wears a gold mantle, represents the frankincense that was presented to Jesus. He is known as the “King of Arabia.” Melchior represents the gold that was presented to Jesus, while Balthazar, who has dark complexion, a black beard (or no beard!) and a purple cloak, depicts the silver that was brought to Jesus. He is the King of Tarsus/Macedonia as well as the King of Egypt. When Balthazar is presented before Jesus, he represents the gift of Myrrh that was delivered to Jesus.
Herod requested that the Wise Men locate Jesus and inform him of his whereabouts, not so that he might go and honor him as he had stated, but so that he could murder him! He interpreted Jesus’ words as if he were a new King who could come and usurp his position of authority. Because Jesus would have been between the ages of one and two when the Wise Men discovered them, it is likely that they were living in a typical dwelling, most likely in Bethlehem or Jerusalem, when the Wise Men discovered them.
Then they presented him with their presents. Although the presents appear to be weird to give to a baby, Christians believe that they had the following symbolic meanings:
- Historically, gold has been connected with kings, and Christians believe that Jesus is the King of Kings. Frankincense is a fragrant oil that is occasionally used in church services to indicate that people are willing to worship Jesus. It is a perfume that is applied to dead bodies in order to make them smell pleasant. According to Christian belief, it demonstrated that Jesus would suffer and die.
All of the presents are also from the Arabian Peninsula, which is located east of Israel. A dream forewarned the wise men that they should not go to Herod and inform him where Jesus was, preventing Herod from carrying out his heinous plot to kidnap and kill Jesus.
Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh – The Truth About Their Significance
Everywhere you look this month, you’ll see children acting out the nativity scene, and at the conclusion of the star-guided journey, you’ll see the Three Wise Men, dressed in dazzling dress-up robes and bearing a gift for each child. The Magi are a part of our Christmas customs, but there is a lot to learn about their role in the birth, particularly regarding the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh they brought with them. What is the importance of the gold, frankincense, and myrrh in the New Testament?
Biblical Account of the Magi
Biblical academics and theologians have proposed a variety of interpretations on the significance of the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the magi brought to Jesus, according to the Gospel of Matthew, since the early days of Christianity” (2:11). In the ancient world, rich commodities such as gold as a precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as anointing oil were traditional presents to be given to a monarch or a god as a mark of respect. In fact, these identical three objects were reportedly among the presents that King Seleucus II Callinicus presented to the deity Apollo at the temple of Miletus in 243 B.C.E., according to ancient records.
- (See Isaiah 60:6 for further information).
- Since then, academics have pondered and argued the issues surrounding them.
- What was the meaning of the presents given to the children?
- The fact of the matter is that we will never know (for certain) the truth regarding gold, frankincense, and myrrh, nor why the Magi traveled half-way across the world to honor the Christ Child with their gifts of these precious substances.
- The Magi (which can be rendered as “magician” but is most commonly translated as “wise man”) come in Matthew 2 after traveling from “the east” in quest of the Baby King.
- When they arrived in Jerusalem, they immediately rushed to Herod to inquire as to the whereabouts of the Baby.
- We don’t know when the visit took place, but we do know that they had been following the star for an extended period of time — maybe as long as two years.
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Three Gifts from the East – Gold, FrankincenseMyrrh
The Magi, in contrast to the imagery we have in mind of three men each bearing a gift, are not numbered. The tale has been embellished by church history and custom to include the names of the men who actually brought the presents – Melchior giving gold, Caspar bringing frankincense, and Balthasar delivering myrrh. (2) Despite this, portrayals of the Magi have changed significantly since their initial iterations, and no one can agree on the exact number of visitors in total. Their gifts to the young Jesus were described as “opening their riches” in Matthew’s narrative.
We aren’t talking about a handful of birthday presents here — regardless of the exact names and quantities, these were definitely affluent men traveling in a caravan with a lot of reputation and a lot to give the world.
The Magi were on their way to congratulate the newly crowned king, thus gold makes sense as a recognition of royalty. Gold was a precious metal that was also attractive and long-lasting. Gold, according to most scholars, symbolized Jesus’ status as a king who would reign forever on an endless throne of glory. That relic belonged in the possession of royalty, even if that royalty resided in the house of a young, impoverished family. Some feel that the gold was something altogether else, which is a fascinating notion that is a little on the edge.
Unless it was a gold-en spice like turmeric, as some people believe it was, gold appears out of place — one of these things is not like the other – This line of reasoning may even be traced back to the production of balsam oil, which is obtained from the resin of balsam trees that grow in the same climate and location as the origins of frankincense and myrrh.
It has a component “renowned for its anti-inflammatory, local anesthetic, and antifungal activities,” and it was formerly called the Balm of Gilead.
There’s no big surprise here, and there’s no outlandish notion that implies something surprising. Only an antique incense that is still useful now may be described as such. Traditionally, the gift of frankincense was seen as an affirmation of Jesus’ priesthood, distinguishing him from a conventional king and establishing him as a unique figure. Frankincense was employed in the temple’s rituals, and priests would burn it in a ceremonial fire. Because it was not indigenous to that region, acquiring frankincense from the east was a time-consuming and expensive endeavor.
Because we now have the ability to evaluate the qualities and modes of action that substances such as frankincense resin and its essential oil maintain, we can discover benefits that go beyond aroma and ceremonial purposes.
Traditional medicine recommends frankincense because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. Our understanding has expanded to include immune regulating properties, which might explain why it is used for both inflammatory sickness and antibacterial reasons. (4)
Myrrh, the most bittersweet of the presents, had been introduced to Egypt in large quantities for funeral ceremonies, and the practice had spread across the region. Myrrh was associated with death and burial even if it was not used in the mummification process. A depressing present for a new mother to grasp, but one that is lovely when viewed through the lens of her comprehension of his mission. But was it all that themyrrhwas meant to do? While myrrh was traditionally used for ceremonial purposes in the Middle East, it was also utilized for therapeutic purposes in the Far East.
- Myrrh was utilized in ancient China for similar purposes, including wound healing and hemorrhage control.
- In the same way that prophetic statements frequently had both immediate and long-term implications, it is possible that these talents followed a similar dual pattern.
- Whatever the case, it’s entertaining to be entertained — the subtleties of Scripture never fail to astound me!
- (6) While both the temple and Jesus’ improvised cradle were packed with fragrant compounds, they were also working to battle sickness and protect the people who lived in the vicinity.
- The three Magi, according to certain early church history documents, reunited years later to celebrate Christmas with one another, soon before they died.
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Magi are used in the singular. In Christian belief, the Magus, also known as the Wise Men, were aristocratic travellers “from the East” who followed a miraculous guiding star to Bethlehem, where they paid respect to the infantJesus, who was proclaimed king of the Jews. (Matthew 2:1–12; Mark 2:1–12). As part of its long-standing theological tradition, Christians have always emphasized that Gentiles as well as Jews were invited to worship Jesus, an event commemorated at Christmas in the Eastern church and at Epiphany in the Western church (January 6).
TheGospel According to Matthew, when the Magi arrived in Jerusalem to announce Jesus’ birth, they piqued the attention of King Herod Iof Judaea, who inquired, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?” For we have been watching his star as it rises, and we have come to pay him honor” (Matthew 2:2).
- He then dispatched them to view the child Jesus, with the condition that they report back to him with the whereabouts of the baby Jesus.
- After being warned not to return to Herod in a dream, “they fled for their own land along a different way” (Matthew 2:12).
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- The tradition of the Magi, who were referenced in the Gospel of Matthew, is a popular folklore.
- Traditions passed down over the generations have enriched the story.
- A chronicle known as theExcerpta latina barbari (Latin for “Battle of the Magi”) has the names of three Magi who lived around the time of the 8th century: Bithisarea, Melichior, and Gathaspa.
- According to Western church tradition, Balthasar is frequently shown as a king of Arabia or occasionally Ethiopia, Melchior as a king of Persia, and Gaspar as a king of India, with Melchior being the most frequently depicted.
- Three and a half by two and a half metres.
- Three of the three are frequently honored as saints and martyrs, and their purported remains were moved from Constantinople (now Istanbul) to Milan, and then to Cologne Cathedral, probably as early as the late 5th century.
- This is referred to as the Adoration of the Magi (i.e., their adoration to the newborn).
As a result, in medieval times, the Adoration of the Magi was frequently associated with two other significant events in Jesus’ life: his baptism, during which the voice of God publicly declared Jesus to be his son, and the wedding at Cana, during which he demonstrated his divinity by turning water into wine.
Adoration of the Three Wise Men This panel is the center panel of a triptych by the Antwerp Mannerist painter Jan de Beer, which was completed about 1520 and is now at the Brera Museum in Milan.
In Western Christianity, the Feast of the Three Kings, also known as Epiphany, is traditionally observed as the final of the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Children wake up to modest presents in their shoes in honor of the Magi’s gifts to the newborn, which they received the night before after leaving a bowl of water and some grass or other plants for the camels of the Three Kings.
Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica Melissa Petruzzello was the author of the most recent revision and update to this article.
What is the Significance of the Wise Men’s Gifts? And, Were These Men Kings (or Magi)?
Don’t forget to check out the video at the end of the article! “WHO WERE THE WISDOM MEN?” has already been discussed. Then we responded with, “HOWDID THEY KNOW?” “Did the Three Wise Men Make Their Appearance?” At the end of the discussion, we’ll talk about “WHAT ISN’T THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WISE MEN’S GIFT?” and “Was It Really These Men Who Were Kings?” The presents that the Three Wise Men delivered to Jesus are recounted in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:1). The Wise Men are likely to have had more than three presents, despite the fact that only three were named.
We Three Kings?
A well-known Christmas carol about three kings and the presents they brought to Christ’s birth is performed every year in our church. Due to the fact that the Bible does not mention them as kings, the hymn is not literally valid. This belief is most likely based on the monetary worth of the presents that they gave to Jesus, as well as a misunderstanding of the meaning of the words in Isaiah 60 that talk of the Millennium Kingdom. These persons are referred to as “wise men” in the Bible (Matthew 2:1).
They inquired about the whereabouts of the King of the Jews, who had been born there.
Matthew 2:11 (KJV) And when they entered the home, they saw the small boy with Mary his mother, and they dropped on their knees and worshipped him; and when they had opened their treasures, they brought presents to him, including gold, frankincense, and myrrh, as well as other gifts as well.
They donated their time, talents, wealth, and testimony, among other things:
- They had traveled a long distance to see this Child—a gift of time
- They had followed His star—a gift of talent (read:How did the wise men know to follow His star? )
- And they had given their lives for this Child. It was their desire to worship Him that drove them to bring Him gifts—a present of wealth. When they arrived before Jesus, they “dropped down and worshipped Him.” They acknowledged both His Lordship and His Kingship in the process, which was a gift of evidence. In this article, you will learn what it means to live your life as a testament for Jesus. 3 Easy Steps! )
Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
The treasures that the three wise men brought were both valuable and significant in terms of prophetic significance. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh are all presents fit for a king, according to the Bible. As a sign of Christ’s divinity as King, frankincense represents His purity as a Priest of God, and myrh depicts His anointed labor as a Prophet and the event of His death, gold is used to indicate His deity as King. Look at what the Bible says about these gifts and what we sing about in the Christmas hymn “We Three Kings” to have a better understanding.
Gold = Kingship of God
In the Bible, gold is used to represent God. It is the most precious of all metals, and it is incredibly uncommon in its purest form, making it the most valuable. Since ancient times, the inherent worth of gold has been recognized, and gold has traditionally been used to honor rulers. King Solomon sat on an ivory throne that was lavishly decorated with the finest gold (1 Kings 10:18). The gold used in the Tabernacle’s furnishings is a sign of Christ’s divinity, and it is used to decorate the interior of the Tabernacle.
The mercy seat and two cherubim on either side of the mercy seat were constructed entirely of pure gold (Exodus 25:10-21).
The purity and value of gold are also connected with God’s laws, principles, and promises—all of which are perfect and pure, and which exceed any standards established by man.
The present of gold, given by one of the three wise men, alluded to the born Son, who was appointed by God to be King of His people and who was given this role by God. The gift of the wise man announced Jesus’ status as King at His birth (Matthew 2:2), as did the gifts of others throughout His life:
Jesus proclaimed Himself as King:
Matthew 27:11 (KJV) Jesus was now standing in front of the governor. As a result, the governor approached Him and inquired, “Are You the King of the Jews?” As a result, Jesus told him, “It is as you claim.”
Some of the people proclaimed Jesus King:
John 12:12-13 (NIV) When the people who had gathered for the feast learned that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem the following day, they were enraged. Taken palm branches in their hands, they walked out to meet him and shouted out, “Hosanna!” meaning “Blessed is the King of Israel who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Pilate proclaimed Jesus King:
18:39 (John 18:39) But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover: would you agree that I should release the King of the Jews to you? Then he says to the Jews, “Behold your King!” (John 19:14). 19:19 (John 19:19) Pilate then inscribed a title on the cross and nailed it to it. The inscription on the wall read, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE. During His earthly career, Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God 60 times in different contexts. That Kingdom is present on this planet and may be found in the hearts of people who are followers of Jesus.
Verse 2: “We Three Kings” (We Three Kings) King on Bethlehem’s plain gold, I bring Him back to reign over us all as King forever and never ceasing to be a King.
Frankincense = High Priest of God
Frankincense is a fragrant, transparent resin derived from plants in northern India and Arabia that has a strong perfume (Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20). It is used in incense and fragrances, and it was highly prized for its scent and medicinal abilities in ancient times. A component of the meat offering (Leviticus 2:16, 16; 6:15; 24:7) and a sweet savor, Frankincense was used in the Lord’s sanctuary (Exodus 30:34). It was also employed as a sweet savor in the temple of Solomon (incense). Frankincense is often used as a religious symbol (Psalm 141:2; Luke 1:10; Revelation 5:8; 8:3).
It also serves as a representation of the priest’s role in bringing the prayers of the people before the Lord (Luke 1:10, Revelation 8:3-5).
Mark 10:45 a.m.
3rd verse – We, the Three Kings I have Frankincense to present; Incense is the property of a Deity close by; prayer and praise, voices raised, Worshipping God from on high.
Myrrh = Prophet of God
Myrrh was a spice that was utilized in medicine, cosmetics, and anointing oil in ancient times. It was added to the oil that was used to anoint prophets before they began their divinely assigned task of exposing God and expressing His will and messages to His people on behalf of the people of God. As a Prophet, Jesus came to the country of Israel (Matthew 15:24), and He did so in fulfillment of a prophesy of Moses that read: Deuteronomy 18:15 is a biblical verse. The LORD thy God will raise up for thee a Prophet from among thee, one of thy brethren, who will be similar unto me; and unto Him you shall pay attention.
He claimed to be a Prophet in His own right, stating, “I am the Prophet.” Luke 13:33 (NIV) Nevertheless, I must walk today, tomorrow, and the day after that, for it is not possible for a prophet to expire outside of Jerusalem’s city walls.
13:57 (Matthew 13:57) They were angered by him, and they expressed their feelings to him. “But a prophet is not without honor, save in his own nation and in his own family,” Jesus responded to their question. In addition, Jesus’ actions as a Prophet verified His prophetic office:
- As a Prophet, Jesus carried out the Father’s instructions: 4:34 (John 4:34) ‘My flesh and blood are to execute the will of him who sent me and to complete his job,’ Jesus said to them. As a Prophet, Jesus carried out the will of the Father, which was as follows: 11:27 (Matthew 11:27) Every single item has been handed to me by my Father. As a Prophet, Jesus spoke the words of the Father, which were as follows: 8:28 (John 8:28) Then Jesus addressed them, saying. I do nothing on my own initiative
- Rather, following the example set by my Father, I utter these words.
12:49 (John 12:49) In fact, I haven’t spoken anything about myself; rather, the Father who sent me gave me specific instructions on what I should say and how I should say it. Another picture of the gift of myrrh is provided by the book of Revelation. Additionally, oil was utilized in the anointing of the dead, in addition to anointing prophets. In the presence of Jesus at His birth, myrrh was handed to him, alluding to His future life as a Prophet, and it was used at His death to prepare His body for burial.
So, after that day had passed, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome had gone out and purchased pleasant spices so that they may come and anoint him with them.
John 19:40 (NIV) Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, as was the Jewish custom for burying a body.
Breathes a life of accumulating darkness; sobbing, moaning, bleeding, dying, and so forth I was sealed up in the ice cold grave.
King, Priest and Prophet
As King of Israel (Messiah), Priest of God (to atone for human sins), and Prophet of God (saying God’s words), Jesus came into the world to fulfill his mission. The gifts of the three wise men symbolized each of those duties in prophetic typology, and they pointed to everything that Jesus would do in His incarnation and exaltation as the Son of God. In the same way that the Wise Men gave of their time, skill, and riches, so should we give of ours as well. Let’s not forget one more “t” before we wrap things up: testimony!
Our testimony of His love and faithfulness, together with everything He has done and given to us.makes us smart men as well!
O star of wonder, star of night,Star of royal beauty shining bright,Westward leading, still proceeding,Guide us to thy flawless Light, O star of wonder, star of night, *}}} Please keep in mind that each of these three talents has a future prophetic type associated with it.
Only the prophetic character of these gifts, which were given to Jesus at His birth and which were realized in His incarnation, was discussed in this article.
We’ve seen the near fulfillment, and we’re keeping our eyes peeled for our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13) and the distant fulfillment of His rule and reign on the earth, which we believe is still a long way off (Revelation 11:15). *}}}