How old was Jesus when the wise men found Him?
What was Jesus’ age when the three wise men discovered Him?
The conception of Jesus Christ is recorded in Luke 1:26-56, and His birth is recorded in Luke 2:1-7 in the gospel of Luke. In accordance with Mosaic tradition, Jesus was taken to the temple eight days later to be circumcised and given the name of Jesus. Afterwards, in accordance with Leviticus 12:4-5, He was brought to the temple and consecrated to God 40 days after his conception. The wise men, sometimes known as the magi, paid a visit to Christ some time later (Matthew 2:1-11). The solution to this question may be found in Matthew 2:11, and Matthew 16:13–16.
Birth of Christ In A Manger
The gospel of Luke informs us that Jesus Christ was born in a manger because His parents were unable to find lodging in the local inn where they were staying. Her firstborn son was born, and she wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn. 2:7 (Luke 2:7) (NASB) The Greek term for “manger” is isphatne, which literally translates as “a box or crib where animals are kept for feeding.” As a result, we know that Jesus was born either in a cave or on the ground level of a structure, because it was common practice in those days to put animals on the ground floor during the night, when the weather was chilly.
In Bethlehem, this was a regular occurrence.
It is suggested in the following slides that Mary and Joseph were denied admission to the pleasant guest room and that Mary gave birth in the area of the home that housed the animals.
Magi Find Jesus In A House
A few months later, according to the Gospel of Matthew, some magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem and inquired as to where the Jewish king would be born. (Matthew 2:1-3; Mark 2:1-3) The Roman governor, Herod the Great, asked the Jewish chief priests and scribes where He would be born. Following a search of the Scriptures by the Jewish top priests and scribes, they informed Herod and the magi that the Christ would be born at Bethlehem (Matthew 2:4-8). As a result, the magi traveled towards the direction of the light in the sky.
- Following their entrance into the home, they were met by the Child and Mary His mother, and they immediately dropped to the ground and worshipped Him.
- Matthew 2:11 (KJV) (NASB) In verse 11, it is stated that Jesus was residing in a residence.
- It is not true that Christ was now residing in a stable when the magi arrived, as shown in popular nativity scenes and paintings.
- When the magi came to honor Him and give Him gifts, there were no shepherds or angels to accompany them.
Between the magi’s arrival in Jerusalem and their visit to the home, it is impossible to determine how much time had gone between them. However, it is exceedingly implausible that the events occurred in a short period of time.
All Males Under Two Are Murdered
When Herod learned that the magi had not returned to give him the specific location of where the Christ was residing, Matthew 2:16 tells us that he ordered the execution of every child under the age of two years. As soon as Herod realized that he had been duped by the magi, he became extremely enraged and dispatched a squad to slaughter all of the male children who were in Bethlehem and its environs, from two years old and under, in accordance with the time that he had determined from the magi’s calculations.
As a result, Herod slaughtered all children under the age of two years old.
Continue reading “Are there any secular allusions to Herod killing kids under the age of two?” for further information.
Jesus was around two years old when the wise men, also known as magi, came to visit Him, according to the gospel of Matthew. Everything that the Bible has to say is fascinating to contemplate. In this particular instance, the age of Christ is significant because it allows us to better grasp the fulfillment of a prophesy in Jeremiah. Jeremiah 31:15 is quoted in Matthew 2:17. As a result, the prophecy of Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and profound sadness, Rachel sobbing for her children; and she refused to be consoled, for they were no longer there.” The Bible says in Matthew 2:17, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It (NASB) It is possible to comprehend why young children were slaughtered in the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:15 if we look at Matthew 2:17.
We can express our gratitude to God for the numerous specifics He has provided us in Scripture.
1. Louw and Nida’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains is a reference work on the New Testament. United Bible Societies, 1996, p. 69.2. United Bible Societies Justin Martyr, an early church priest, claims that Jesus was born in a cave (Letter to Paulinius, Chapter 58.3).3. “Luke 2, Photo Companion,” BiblePlaces.com, accessed April 19, 2019.
Jesus is born in the town of Bethlehem. The Arrival of the Three Wise Men Is it possible that Jesus was born in September? — In accordance with the arrival of the Magi Is it true that Jesus was born on December 25th? — Testimony of Historians Where was Jesus when the three wise men came upon Him and presented Him with gifts? What did the presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh have to do with Christ’s gifts? Is there any evidence that Herod killed children under the age of two in the secular world?
What was the purpose of the children who died around the time of Christ’s birth, and why did they die? Is it more likely that Jesus was born in September or on December 25? — Using the birth of John the Baptist as an example During what period of time did King Herod the Great reign and pass away?
How Old was Jesus when the Wise Men Came?
Every Christmas, it seems, someone, whether a priest, a friend, or a teacher, asserts that the Nativity scenes and the traditional Christmas tale are all incorrect because Jesus had to have been a toddler by the time the three kings arrived in Bethlehem, according to tradition. Is this something from the Bible? I’d want to provide a definitive solution to the issue, “How old was Jesus when the Wise Men came?” once and for all. There are two points of view on this issue. Traditionally, it is believed that Jesus was born as a baby.
The alternative school of thought holds that Jesus was one or two years old at the time of his death.
The Wise Men/Toddler Jesus View
The Three Wise Men/The Toddler The acts of King Herod at the time of Jesus’ birth appear to have influenced the way people regard Jesus. When the three wise men came to him in search of the Messiah, he inquired as to when the star had first shown (Matthew 2:7). The wise men traveled to visit Jesus and then returned home. When Herod saw that they did not return to him as he had requested them to, he “was extremely wroth, and sent forth, and slaughtered all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had carefully sought of the wise men.” (Matthew 2:16 King James Version) Herod evidently concluded that Jesus had to have been born sometime around the time of the appearance of the star, or perhaps later.
The Three Wise Men/The Toddler Herod’s view is supported by the majority of Jesus’ followers.
While these arguments appear to be solid, a deeper analysis of the Bible and its underlying Greek language reveals several significant flaws.
The Start of the Star
The Bible does not state that Jesus was born at the time of the first appearance of the star. Those who claim He was are only speculating. Despite the fact that Herod was a powerful ruler, he was unaware of Jesus’ birth. Just because he ordered the execution of children under the age of two does not imply that Jesus was under the age of two at the time of the execution. It appears that Herod also believed that Jesus may have been a newborn infant only a few days old, as he also ordered the execution of newborn newborns throughout his reign.
A Baby is Called a Young Child Too
Paidion is the Greek word that is used to refer to a small kid. It is not limited to children under the age of three. It’s also possible that it’s a newborn infant. When John the Baptist was eight days old, the Greek word paidion was used to describe him (Luke 1:59,66,76,80). It is used three times in the Gospel of Luke: when Jesus was born (Luke 2:17), when he was eight days old (Luke 2:21), and when he was forty days old (Luke 2:17). (Luke 2:27,40). In fact, the word paidion is used of Jesus when the shepherds were there on the night of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:17), exactly one verse after the word infant (brephos) is used to refer to Jesus.
As a result, simply though Jesus is referred to as a little kid (paidion) in the story of the wise men (Matthew) does not imply that he was younger than a newborn.
An Inn was a Room in a House
When people traveled during the time of the Bible, they remained in people’s houses as unpaid guests because hotels were extremely scarce. There were no Holiday Inns or Motel 6s to be found here. The law of Moses ordered the Jews to treat outsiders as if they were their own and not to take advantage of them in any way (Leviticus 19:33). It was unethical of them to charge money to people who wanted to stay the night. Given this, it is exceedingly doubtful that there was ever a guesthouse or a hotel in Bethlehem.
- Luke 2:7 is the only place where the Greek word for inn (kataluma) is rendered as inn.
- It is clear from those passages that it is a room in a house, not an inn, that is being referred to.
- During Israel’s three national holidays, Jews from all across the country flocked to Jerusalem and slept in residences as non-paying guests, bringing a unique flavor to the city.
- What is now referred to be an inn in Bethlehem was most likely a guest room in someone’s home prior to the time of Jesus.
- Someone in the guest room is likely to have offered to sleep in the barn so that Mary and Jesus may be able to sleep in the home when the other guests in the guest room learned that Mary had given birth to Jesus.
- The inclusion of a dwelling does not necessarily imply or imply that Jesus was not a baby when he was born.
- A hotel was located in Bethlehem, but there was no place for Jesus to stay in the inn.
- A thirty-story structure with a large illuminated sign on top that reads “Bethlehem Inn” that can accommodate thousands of people?
- In the twenty-first century, it was not the case in New York City.
- They didn’t have any skyscrapers back then.
They had their own homes. If there had been an inn in Bethlehem, it would have been in a house, and it would have been the same house that the three wise men visited. Once again, the mention of a dwelling does not imply or imply that Jesus was not a baby when he was born.
The Wise Men Arrived in Jerusalem When Jesus Was Born
Matthew 2:1 provides one another argument in favor of the Wise Men/Baby Jesus viewpoint. According to the Scriptures, “When Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem.” (KJV) In this passage, it is said that the three wise men arrived in Jerusalem “around the time of Jesus’ birth.” They didn’t show up a year later, either. They arrived shortly after he was born. In Greek, the phrase “when Jesus was born” is an aorist participle.
An aorist participle is one in which the action of the participle (Jesus’ birth) is closely followed by the action of the main verb (Jesus was born) (wise men came to Jerusalem).
Bethlehem was only a half-walk day’s away from the city of Jerusalem.
We Know When they Returned to Nazareth
One other piece of evidence supporting the Wise Men/Baby Jesus viewpoint is Joseph, Mary, and Jesus’ return to Nazareth. It only happened once, and both the wise men’s (Matthew) and the shepherd’s (Luke) accounts of the event record it as having occurred. The shepherd’s account (Luke) makes it abundantly clear that they returned to Nazareth (Luke 2:39) very close to 40 days after Jesus’ birth, “when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed,” i.e., when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed (Luke 2:22).
As a result, the visit of the wise men, Joseph and Mary’s journey to Egypt, and their return journey all had to take place within 40 days of the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Christmas Timeline
What was the relationship between these events? Here is a narrative that combines the two accounts in the order in which they were written. It was necessary for Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem in order to be taxed. As soon as they arrived, they went to the home of Joseph’s relative. His relatives had a guest room, but the guest room was completely booked, so they had to stay in the barn instead. In the barn, Jesus was born in the middle of the night. Shepherds were visited by angels who informed them of the birth of Jesus.
- When they returned, they informed everyone of what had occurred.
- That night or the next morning, a relative of Joseph’s took Mary and the infant into the house and threw away some other distant relatives who had been staying there.
- Herod inquired of the persons tasked with the task of copying the Old Testament by hand, and they said that Bethlehem was the best location.
- The three wise men set out on their several-hour journey to Bethlehem in the chill of the night to avoid being overheated.
- They entered the house and presented him with presents.
- They got up and departed.
- He, Mary, and Jesus embarked on their journey to Egypt.
Herod had seen that the three wise men had not come home.
Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were in Egypt for approximately a month when the story begins.
Joseph’s dream was interrupted once more by an angel, who assured him that it was fine to return to Israel.
Simeon and Anna identified the infant Jesus as the Messiah when he was a few days old.
Because he was concerned about the attention his Son was receiving in Jerusalem, he and his family traveled west out of Israel and then north to Nazareth.
When the wise men visited, how old was Jesus at the time? Even though the Bible does not specify how old He was, we may safely assume that He was somewhere between 0 and several days old based on what we know about Him thus far. He was not a child of one or two years.
How old was Jesus when the Magi visited him?
What age was Jesus when the Magi came to visit him? I believe it’s been a year! Perhaps a year or two younger or perhaps a year or two older! We can’t say for definite since we don’t have enough information. It is recorded in the Scriptures that following the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, the Holy Family journeyed to the town of Nazareth. The Magi would not have paid a visit to Jesus until after his presentation in the Temple, according to tradition. If they had done so sooner, Joseph and Mary would have had enough money to purchase a lamb with the gold that they received as a gift from the Magi!
- In Luke 2:39, the Bible says Based on the assumption that the Holy Family left the following day, the travel from Jerusalem to Nazareth would have lasted somewhere between 4 and 7 days, depending on the conditions involved.
- It takes around 120 kilometers to get from Narareth to Jerusalem, and another ten kilometers to travel from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
- -From Nazareth to Bethlehem (in Hebrew) And what are the aspects that might influence how quickly or slowly a travel from Jerusalem to Nazareth moves along?
- It is through Samaria that the quickest route may be taken, which is around 70 miles as the crow flies.
- Assuming an average speed of 2.5 mph and a daily distance of 20 miles, the trip would take four 8-hour days.
- I believe four days is a reasonable amount of time.
- That is, if they didn’t bother with a donkey in the first place.
Yes, Mary is depicted as being sitting on a donkey in all of the photos.
I’ve trekked with pack burros, and it is more difficult.
You may be in the lead, pulling on the lead, but the donkey is in command.
Even if they did have a donkey, I’m sure she walked the entire time.
Riding a donkey for eighty kilometers, no matter how gorgeous the route may appear to be, works up to a total of, let’s see, 80 miles on a donkey.
Traveling in the Bible: How far and how long does it take, and what about the donkey?
The Three Wise Men Pay a Visit to the Messiah “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” they inquired of the Magi from the east after Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, Judea, during the reign of King Herod, in the year 2 BC.
4 Having gathered all of the people’s leading priests and teachers of the law in one place, he inquired as to where the Messiah would be born.
7 After that, Herod summoned the Magi in secret and obtained the precise hour at which the star had appeared from them.
10 They were ecstatic when they noticed the star in the sky.
Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, among other things.
From the excerpt above, we can see that there are a number of important things that may easily be overlooked.
The Gospel of Matthew does not mention that the Magi traveled to Bethlehem; rather, it mentions that Herod had informed them that the Newborn King would be born at Bethlehem.
Alternatively, the Holy Family may have returned to Bethlehem following the presentation and sought a place to stay.
The date, time, and circumstances of their visit were discussed.
Soon after the Magi had left, an angel appeared and instructed Joseph to take the Child and its mother to Egypt (Matthew 2:13).
Another problem has arisen as a result of the presentation: the Holy Family has returned to Galilee following the presentation (Luke 2:39).
Luke skips over the events of the Magi, the flight into Egypt, the murder of the Innocents, and the Holy Family’s return from Egypt, and instead picks up the account with the Holy Family’s return to Galilee.
The time spent in Nazareth was really brief.
After that, the Magi arrived.
For we know that Archelaus, Herod’s son, succeeded as ethnarch to a portion of his father’s territory, and that he was ousted either in his ninth (Josephus, Bel.
6, during the consulship of Furthermore, the Magi visited King Herod when he was in Jerusalem (vv.
or the end of 5 B.C.
When the star appeared, Herod was informed by the Magi, who informed him of the hour.
Epiphanius, “Haer.”, LI, 9; Juvencus, “Hist.
Although their conclusion has a reasonable degree of probability, the slaying of children under the age of two could have been motivated by something else, such as Herod’s suspicion that the Magi had deceived him in the matter of the star’s appearance or that the Magi had been deceived in the matter of the star’s appearance and the birth of the Child.
- Only one early monument depicts the Child in the cradle as the Magi admire him; in others, Jesus is depicted resting on Mary’s knees and appearing to be quite fully grown at times (see Cornely, “Introd.
- in N.T.”, p.
- It appears to be most plausible that the Magi would pay a visit to the Holy Family following the Presentation.
- We also know that Mary offered “a pair of doves or two baby pigeons” in exchange for her services.
- Furthermore, Jesus is the genuine Lamb of God who atones for the sins of the entire world.
- This is the legislation that applies to any woman who gives birth, whether to a male or a female.
The priest will then atone for her sins, and she will be declared clean.” -., 7 And the priest will bring them before the LORD and atone for her sins, after which she will be ceremonially cleaned of the blood that has been flowing from her body.
- In the case of financial hardship, she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burned sacrifice, in addition to bringing the lamb.
- 7And the priest will bring them before the LORD and make atonement for her, after which she will be ceremonially cleaned of the blood that has been flowing from her veins.
- In the case of financial hardship, she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burned sacrifice, in addition to bringing the lamb.
- Ryan Erlenbus in order to demonstrate even more clearly that the Church is unsure how to explain the Biblical texts surrounding the events of Our Lord’s birth.
- The Magi had to have arrived shortly after Christ’s birth, because they were dressed in gold.
- We learned in the last article that the Child was born in a barn and that the shepherds flocked to him that night to worship him.
- It is reasonable to assume that the Magi arrived in Bethlehem at least a day or two after the birth of Jesus.
- We can therefore safely assume that the Magi arrived in Bethlehem sometime between the second and forty-fifth day after Christmas – why not accept the tradition that they arrived on the thirteenth day after Christmas?
Chrysostom (or the author of the Opus Imperfectum in Mtt.) and Augustine appear to have held opposing viewpoints on the apparition of the star seen by the Magi: they both believe that the star was first seen by the Magi two full years before the birth of Christ, and that it took these two years for the wise men to travel to Bethlehem and arrive there (on the thirteenth day after the birth).
Thomas, on the other hand, notes “those” who believe that the star appeared for the first time only when Christ was born.
This is Thomas’ own point of view (ST III, q.36, a.6, ad 3).
There is a compelling argument for maintaining that the star did not appear to the Magi until the time of Christ’s birth, given that if the Magi had received their information about the Incarnation two years before to the Nativity, they would have learnt about it even before the Blessed Virgin Mary!
- Furthermore, it appears that Christ should not have been made evident to the world until after his birth, because he remained hidden in the virginal cloister of his Mother’s womb until the Nativity.
- As a result, Christ must first openly enter the world (through his birth) before being revealed to the three wise men.
- In the same way, the birth of Christ was announced first to the Jews (via the shepherds) and subsequently to the Gentiles (to the Magi).
- This is the primary reason why some (both in the past and present) believe that the star appeared two full years before the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Two years have passed since the star first appeared on the scene, and the slaughter takes place.
- As a matter of fact, it is probable that the murder of the Innocents did not take place until almost two years after the Nativity of Jesus Christ.
In such case, the star would have arisen for the first time on the night of Christ’s birth, and Herod would have executed the infants under the age of two years (more than a year later), knowing that the Child could not have been older than the star that signified his birth.
Who Were the Three Wise Men of the Christmas Story?
Without the three wise men bringing their gifts to infant Jesus, as well as a colossal star floating over a stable, illuminating the scene, no nativity scene would be complete. I think it’s an absolutely stunning image: magnificent monarchs kneeling in the hay with the shepherds amid the oxen and livestock, all gazing lovingly at the infant in a manger. That, however, was not the case in this instance. Who exactly were the three wise men? I’m not sure where these came from. Did they ever get a glimpse of the stable?
It’s possible that the solutions are not what you expect.
What Does the Bible Say about the Wise Men and the Christmas Story?
The wise men are referenced in Matthew 2, and they are described as follows: In the years following Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, Judea, during the reign of King Herod, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem and inquired, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?’ We came to adore Jesus because we saw his star as it rose in the sky” (Matthew 2:1-2). In the following chapters, Matthew describes their quest for Jesus. Their journey took them to King Herod’s palace where they inquired as to where they may locate “the king of the Jews,” who had recently been born.
As predicted by the prophets, they discovered Jesus in Bethlehem in a home (not a stable), and they brought him presents to show their gratitude.
Herod, who was secretly scheming to kill Jesus, was unaware of their presence.
Who Were the Wise Man/Magi in the Christmas Story?
The Greek word o (mgoi) can be translated as “wise men” or “magi,” depending on how the term is rendered in the English language. According to the original meaning of the word, it was intended to allude to a class of Persian wise men who served in a similar capacity to priests in terms of interpretation of specific signs, and particularly astrology. Eventually, the term “magician” evolved to refer to anybody who possessed supernatural knowledge or aptitude, as well as to a magician himself. The same term is used in Acts 13:6 to characterize the false prophet Bar-Jesus, who is also referred to as Bar-Jesus.
The term Mgoi, as it is used to refer to the wise men, is most likely consistent with the first definition.
The magi are sometimes described to as kings, although this is not what the Bible says about them.
How Many Wise Men Were There in the Christmas Story?
The Bible does not specify how many magi were present. There were at least two of them, but there is no evidence to suggest anything else.
The notion of three wise men is most likely derived from the fact that they gave three gifts to the infant Jesus. There were twelve wise men, according to early church traditions; however, we have no way of knowing how many there were.
What Was the Star They Followed in the Christmas Story?
No one knows for certain which star the three wise men followed, or even if it was a “star” in the traditional meaning of the word. Some have speculated that it may be a supernova. Others have speculated that it may be a comet. One of the most popular hypotheses involves a specific concentration of planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn, within meaningful constellations, such as Pisces. Because of the symbolic implications that planets and constellations had for ancient astrologers, there are several astrological events that may potentially meet the description.
Some researchers believe that when these three got together in 7 B.C., they may have seen something similar to what the magi witnessed.
You may learn more about some of them by visiting this page.
The most essential point is that the star directed the wise men to Jesus, regardless of what it looked like.
Why Did the Wise Men Bring Jesus Gifts in the Christmas Story?
The wise men thought that Jesus was “the king of the Jews,” and that his birth had been foreshadowed by a great sign in the sky before his conception. They expressed a desire to come before Him and adore Him (Matthew 2:2). We don’t know enough about the wise men to be able to say with certainty why they thought a Jewish monarch was so crucial. The sky must have held a tremendous amount of power. Had they heard anything about the Messiah’s significance from Eastern Jews? The Babylonian exile in the sixth century B.C.
Since God subsequently appeared to them in a dream, did they have any other knowledge of Him before that time?
Why Did the Wise Men Bring Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh in the Christmas Story?
These three presents were extremely expensive, and as a result, they were the best possible, suited for a king. The wise men were also historically imported from the Arabian peninsula or Africa, which implies they brought the finest of their respective homelands with them to the United States. Christians today appeal to other symbolic explanations, which the wise men may or may not have meant when they made their journey. Gold is a sign of divinity, and it refers to Christ’s status as theSon of God by referring to his divinity.
This might be interpreted as a representation of Jesus’ willingness to offer Himself as a sacrifice. Myrrh was a spice that was used in the embalming process. It is a representation of bitterness and pain. This may serve as a metaphor for how Jesus would grow up to suffer and die on the cross.
How Old Was Jesus When the Wise Men Came in the Christmas Story?
According to traditional nativity scenes and Christmas pageants, the wise men did not come to view Jesus in the manger as they are depicted in these representations. The wise men came to visit Jesus when he was around a year or two old, according to the majority of academics. Given that the angelic announcement to the shepherds implies that Jesus was born at night, it is highly unlikely that the wise men obtained an audience with Herod, followed by an audience with the chief priests and teachers of the law, in the middle of the night.
Then there was the matter of traveling the six miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, where they would eventually come upon Mary and Jesus in a home.
When the three kings arrive at the home in Bethlehem, the word Luke uses to describe Jesus is “young kid,” which suggests that He may no longer have been a baby at that point in time.
The only reason Jesus was able to flee was because an angel instructed Joseph to send the family to Egypt to hide.
Why Was the Wise Men’s Visit Significant for Jesus’ Birth in the Christmas Story?
The wise men, regardless of where they came from exactly, came from a long distance away to help. Jesus’ birth was significant not just for the Jews, but also for the rest of the world as a whole. The three wise men recognized and acknowledged Jesus’ kingdom and dominion long before the majority of people knew who He was. The angels appearing to shepherds demonstrated that God was concerned about the poor; the magi from the east honored Jesus as a king, revealing a glimpse of His grandeur; and the shepherds demonstrated that God was concerned about the lowest.
- The wise guys were on the lookout.
- They searched for Him with all their hearts, and when they finally found Him, they adored Him.
- Photograph courtesy of Getty Images /kevron2001 Alyssa Roat attended Taylor University, where she majored in literature, theology, and the Bible.
- Literary Agency, as the PR manager for Mountain Brook Ink, and as a freelance editor for Sherpa Editing Services, among other positions.
- More information about her may be found here, as well as on social media at @alyssawrote.
- It is our goal that these articles will assist you in understanding the significance and historical background of major Christian festivals and events, and that they will also encourage you as you take time to think on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!
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About the wise men
The three wise men (also known as the Magi) are deeply entwined with the customs of Christmas. Who hasn’t seen photographs of the reportedly three wise men admiring the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem’s manger, together with the shepherds, immediately after his birth, and wondered what they were thinking? Are these traditions, however, correct? What was the identity of the wise men (Magi)? Were there three of them? I’m not sure where these came from. When did they come to see Jesus? What does the Bible have to say about these people?
1. Who and how many were the wise men (Magi)?
The names of the wise men are not given in the Bible, thus we cannot know who they were. Consequently, any names that you may have heard that are apparently their names are only a matter of tradition. Regarding their number: Although the Bible informs us that the three wise men presented three gifts to the infant Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:21), it never mentions that they were likewise three in number. It is stated in the Bible that they were of a plural number (“wisemen”), which implies that there were more than one of them.
- However, it is possible that there were more than two or three of them because such lengthy excursions were typically planned in huge caravans for the sake of security.
- As for its definition, it was first used to describe a member of the priestly and wise men class among the Medes, Persians, and Babylonians who were primarily knowledgeable in astronomy, astrology, and enchantment1.
- It is in the book of Daniel that this term is used with this meaning, according to the LXX (old Greek translation of the Old Testament) (see Daniel 1:20, 2:2, 10, 27, 4:7, 5:7, 11).
- As a result, when the Bible states, for example, in Daniel 5:11, that Daniel was made “chief of the magicians,” it is referring to the Magi, a caste of erudite, clever men who were elevated to this position.
- With regard to our situation, it is apparent that the wise men (Magi) who came to meet Jesus were members of the first of these categories, i.e., they belonged to the learned men’s caste (a sorcerer would have never come to worship the Son of God).
2. Were the wise men present the night of Jesus’ birth?
During the Christmas season, we have all seen depictions of the three wise men (Magi) praying with the shepherds in front of the newborn Jesus in the manger. Despite the fact that this tradition is widespread, it does not accurately reflect what occurred. The wise men’s visit is first mentioned in Matthew 2:1, where we may read: “And it came to pass after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea during the reign of Herod the king, that wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,” Matthew 2:1. It appears that the wise men did not arrive in Jerusalem until after the birth of Jesus, as stated in the preceding verses.
- Obviously, this was not the night of Jesus’ birth, but rather the night “AFTER Jesus was born,” as the saying goes (Matthew 2:1).
- Furthermore, according to Matthew 2:11, when they arrived in Bethlehem, Jesus was no longer a newborn, but rather a young kid of around three years old.
- When Herod interviewed/interrogated the wise men, according to Matthew 2:7, he inquired of them as to what time the star appeared and they responded appropriately.
- Consequently, if Jesus was born at the time of “his star appearing” in the east, “, it can be concluded that when the Magi came to visit him – following which the massacre in Bethlehem occurred – he was no more than two years old, though he was not significantly younger than that2.
- iii) The wise men were intelligent individuals who traveled from the East.
- It is stated in the Bible that when they came to visit Jesus, he was not a baby in a manger, but rather a young child in a house, possibly as young as two years old.
See, for example, E.W. Bullinger’s “A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament”, published by Zondervan Publishing House in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, on page 887.2. A different age limit would have been chosen if this had not been the case.
Did The Wise Men (Magi) Arrive 12 Days After Jesus’ Birth? Or Was It Much Later?
“WHO Were the Wise Men?” has previously been discussed. as well as “HOW Did They Know?” Let us now explore the question, “WHEN DID THE WISDOM MEN ARRIVE?” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” a classic Christmas carol, is about the twelve days of gift-giving that occur throughout the holiday season. Gifts are added to the list with each passing day, based on the day’s number. The most famous feature is the ringing chorus of “five golden rings,” which is sung on the fifth day of the festival. In addition to being a lovely tune to sing, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” also has a nice trivia question: How many gifts were given out during the song?
That is a significant number of presents.
A Theological Significance to the 12 Days of Christmas
The church has historically held that the 12 days between the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the Magi indicate the period of time between the two events. The celebrations begin on Christmas Day (or, in some traditions, the day following Christmas) and conclude with the feast of the Epiphany, which is celebrated on January 6th this year.
The Feast of Epiphany
It has long been believed by Christians that the 12 days between Jesus’ birth and the arrival of the Magi signify the period of time between those two events. During this period, the days begin on Christmas day (or in other traditions, the day after Christmas) and conclude on January 6th with the feast of the Feast of the Three Kings.
What does the Bible say?
According to the gospel of Matthew, the Three Wise Men came from the Persian Empire (see Who were the Three Wise Men? for further information). While traveling to Jerusalem in search of the Christ child, they were guided by a bright light in the sky. When they came, they approached King Herod and enquired about the location of the one and only “born King of the Jews” (Mat 2:2). Then, guided once more by the light, they ultimately discovered the infant near the spot where the star had come to rest.
Arrival After The Dedication of Jesus?
Mary and Joseph carried their kid to the temple in order for him to be dedicated to the Lord, as prescribed by the Law of Moses. 2:22 (Luke 2:22) As soon as the days of her purification stipulated by the Law of Moses were over, they carried him to Jerusalem to offer him to the Lord; the period for this dedication was expressly defined by the Law of Moses (Lev 12:2-4). After the birth of Jesus, the days of Mary’s purification were to take place at least 40 days later. A lady was considered filthy for seven days after giving birth.
After then, it was necessary to wait 33 days before a woman’s purification was complete.
12:6 (Lev 12:6) If she is expecting a son or a daughter, when the days of her purification are completed, she is required to bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove, for a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to the priest:This offering was to be made before the Lord, in order to make atonement for the woman and to cleanse her from the issue of blood.
What an appropriate offering it would be to make “a lamb of the first year” and a bird of prey (a young pigeon or a turtledove).
There was also a provision created for individuals who could not afford to make a lamb offering. This type of situation allowed the woman to carry two turtledoves or two juvenile pigeons with her.
An Offering of Birds by Mary and Joseph
It is recorded in Luke 2:24 that Mary made an offering of birds (plural). That Mary and Joseph did not have the sufficient means to purchase a lamb for their burned offering is an evidence of their financial inability. It has long been speculated that if the Three Wise Men had visited 12 days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph would have been presented with the priceless gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. If this had been the case, Mary would have been able to present a blood sacrifice in the shape of a lamb to the Lord in order to cleanse herself.
Arrival When Jesus was Two Years Old?
Some believe that the Wise Men did not visit until Jesus was two years old and was residing in a home in Nazareth, rather than when he was born. This is based on Matthew 2:11-11, to be precise. When the Three Wise Men “went into the home and saw the little boy,” we are informed that they were “astonished.” When you combine that with Herod’s command that all children under the age of two should be put to death, it’s easy to see why some believe Jesus was close to two years old when the Three Wise Men came.
- There isn’t any proof to back up this claim.
- The Greek term paidion, which is translated as “little kid,” is used by Matthew to describe a small child.
- The assumption of Jesus’ age in accordance with Herod’s order is also dubious.
- Keep in mind that the Wise Men were meant to report back to Herod on their findings (Matt 2:8).
The Wise Men “Came Into the House”
We know that Jesus was born in a stable, which was a facility that housed animals. The location may have been a stable or a cave, but the most likely location was the bottom floor of a relative’s house, where animals were housed during the colder months. The word “inn” that we translate as “upper room” comes from the Greek word for “lower level,” and it has been hypothesized that Mary and Joseph stayed in the lower level of a Bethlehem house, and that after all of the guests who had been there for the census had left, the relatives invited Mary and Joseph to the upper room where they were welcomed.
for more information on this topic).
As a result, it’s plausible that the Wise Men were guided to Nazareth by the star, but it’s improbable that their journey would have taken more than two years.
It seems undeniable that the story of the Three Wise Men arriving 12 days after Jesus’ birth is inaccurate. The time does not seem to be right. Because Mary and Joseph were devoted Jews, if they had received the beautiful gifts of great value from the Three Wise Men, they might have sold part of the gold, frankincense, or myrrh and used the proceeds to purchase a lamb to sacrifice to God. Instead, they offered birds, with the offering intended for the impoverished who did not have the financial resources to purchase a lamb on their behalf.
So, how long did it take the Wise Men to get to Bethlehem after Jesus’ birth? We simply do not know what to do. The available evidence, on the other hand, is adequate to conclude that it was not 12 days. It would have taken more than 40 days, but it would have taken less time than two years. When it comes to Jesus, we know from the Wise Men that the right reaction is to bow our heads and worship him. When the Wise Men discovered Him, they bowed down and worshipped Him, regardless of His age at the time.