What gifts did the 3 kings bring to baby jesus
Which of the three kings gave which gift?
The three wise men brought gifts for the newborn king, including gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold, of course, was extremely valuable as a kind of payment. Frankincense is a highly prized fragrance. During the burial process, myrrh is a valuable ointment that is frequently utilized.
How many gifts did the Three Magi give to the infant Jesus?
According to Eastern belief, there were twelve Magi, although Western tradition believes there were only three. This is most likely due to the three presents of ″gold, frankincense, and myrrh″ (Matthew 2:11) that were brought to the newborn.
What was frankincense and myrrh used for in biblical times?
According to the Biblical story, which is described in Matthew 2:1-12, a newborn Jesus of Nazareth was visited in Bethlehem on the eve of his birth by three wise men with presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh who brought him gifts of wisdom. The essential oil of frankincense was often used as an incense, whereas myrrh was used in medicine and perfumery.
What do gold frankincense and myrrh represent Catholic?
The presents that the magi deliver to Jesus are always described as being made of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, according to tradition. These three gifts were precious goods that were typically delivered to a god in ancient times, and they represent the magi’s ideas about the identity of the Christ child and his future in the world.
What gift did Balthasar give to Jesus?
Among the Magi who visited the child Jesus after his birth were Saint Balthazar, also known as Balthasar, Balthassar, and Bithisarea, according to legend. He was one of three biblical Magi, along with Caspar and Melchior, who paid him a visit after his birth. Balthazar is generally described to as the King of Macedonia, and it was he who presented Jesus with the gift of myrrh.
Which star did the Three Kings follow?
In order to comprehend the Star of Bethlehem, we must think in the manner of the three wise men. Inspired by this ″star in the east,″ they headed to Jerusalem first, where they informed King Herod of the prophesy that a new ruler of the people of Israel would come into existence.
What religion are magi?
Zoroastrianism and the ancient faiths of western Iran were both served by Magi (/meda/; singular magus /mes/; from Latin magus), who were priests in both religions. On the Behistun Inscription, which was written by Darius the Great in trilingual script and is known as the Behistun Inscription, the term magi is first recorded.
Was there a 4th Wise Man?
Artaban resided in the highlands of ancient Persia, and it was through his study of the planets and the stars that he was able to anticipate the arrival of the King of Kings.
How did the shepherds find baby Jesus?
The shepherds were calmly going about their job when an angel appeared in front of them and told them to be still. When the angel spoke to them, he informed them about Jesus and his miraculous birth, and he explained how they could recognize him in such a populous town as theirs.
Why did Jesus get frankincense?
According to scholars, in addition to the honor and status implied by the monetary value of the gifts of the magi, these three items were chosen for their special spiritual symbolism about Jesus himself—gold representing his kingship, frankincense representing his priestly role, and myrrh representing the foreshadowing of his death.
What are the 7 Holy herbs?
Parsley, chives, chervil, watercress, salad burnet, sorrel, and borage are among the herbs used in this recipe. Richters carries all of these plants in their inventory. To view the complete response, please click here. What are the therapeutic plants mentioned in the Bible, taking this into consideration?
What is the difference between frankincense and myrrh?
Frankincense is derived from the dried sap of Boswellia trees, whereas myrrh is derived from the sap of the Commiphora tree’s lifeblood. The process of extracting the sap is a delicate balancing act; you must harm the tree without killing it. Myrrh was formerly used as an embalming fluid, which explains Hapshetsut’s obsessive fascination with the plant.
What is the purpose of frankincense and myrrh?
For centuries, in the Western world, frankincense and myrrh have been used to enhance the spiritual atmosphere of religious and cultural activities. However, in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, they are primarily employed in the treatment of chronic ailments. The terpenoids and essential oils found in frankincense and myrrh are the most important chemical ingredients.
What is myrrh used for in the Bible?
In the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud, myrrh was a component of Ketoret, which was used in the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem to sanctify incense at the time of the Temple’s construction. Also included in the holy anointing oil is myrrh, which is used to anoint the tabernacle, the high priests, and the rulers of the people.
What was frankincense used for in biblical times?
Both of these compounds, which have been shown to have demonstrated antibacterial and inflammatory qualities, were long thought to be good cures for anything from toothaches to leprosy, despite the fact that they are most commonly associated with incense and old ceremonies.
Meet the 3 Wise Men Who Visited Jesus
The Three Kings, often known as the Magi, are only referenced once in the Gospel of Matthew, in verses 2-12.Because so little information is provided in the Bible concerning these guys, we have to rely on oral tradition and guesswork to form our understanding of them.The Bible does not specify how many wise men came to visit, but it is usually accepted that there were three since they brought three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh, all of which were given to the infant Jesus.
The Three Kings
- The Magi were both real and symbolic at the same time. As actual beings, the three kings validated old prophesies about Jesus being the Messiah, and as symbols, they demonstrated that he had come to redeem all people, wealthy and poor, educated and uneducated, from all parts of the world, including their own. These affluent travelers were on the other extreme of the social and economic spectrum from the shepherds who had seen Jesus shortly after his birth
- many persons in the Bible are not identified by their first names. Ultimately, they all point to Jesus Christ, who is the physical incarnation of God’s love for humanity. The Bible is a book about Jesus, and the title ″Wise Men″ conveys a message to the reader. Wise individuals see their need for a Savior and actively strive to discover him in their lives. Some individuals, such as Herod the Great, are foolish enough to reject Jesus and even strive to destroy him.
Even when Jesus Christ was only a kid, the three Kings recognized him as the Messiah, and they went hundreds of miles to honor him.The only thing Matthew tells about these people is that they arrived from ″the east.″ Scholars have theorized that they may have originated in Persia, Arabia, or perhaps India, although there is no evidence to support this.They steadfastly pursued a star that eventually brought them to Jesus.It’s possible that they encountered Jesus while he was already in a house and was a kid rather than a baby, meaning that they had come a year or more after his birth.
Three Gifts From Three Kings
Symbolizing Christ’s identity and purpose, the gifts of the Three Kings are made of gold for a king, incense for God, and myrrh, which was used to anoint the dead.However, the Gospel of John records that Nicodemus brought 75 pounds of aloe and myrrh to anoint Jesus’ corpse after the crucifixion, which is ironic given the circumstances.God showed his appreciation for the wise men by sending them a dream instructing them to take a different path home and not to report back to King Herod.Some Bible historians believe that Joseph and Mary sold the wise men’s presents in order to pay for their journey to Egypt in order to avoid Herod’s wrath.
The Three Kings were considered to be among the most intelligent individuals of their day. When they learned that the Messiah was about to be born, they arranged an expedition to track him down. They followed a star that led them to Bethlehem. Despite the fact that they were in a distant place with a different culture and religion, they embraced Jesus as their Savior.
When we search for God with true resolve, we shall eventually come across him.He is not concealing himself from us, but rather desires to establish a personal connection with everyone of us.These wise men treated Jesus with the reverence and adoration that only God deserves, kneeling before him and offering him gifts.Not only is Jesus the Son of the Living God, as many people now claim, but he is also a brilliant teacher and a wonderful person to be admired.
Following their encounter with Jesus, the Three Kings did not return the way they had come.When we come to know Jesus Christ, we are irrevocably transformed and are unable to return to our previous lives in the same way.
Names of the Three Kings
Matthew does not tell anything about the ancestry of these guests.Gaspar, or Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar are among of the names that have been given to them by mythology over the years.The name Balthasar has a Persian ring to it.When Daniel prophesied about the Messiah or ″Anointed One,″ it is likely that these men were familiar with Daniel’s prophesy concerning the Messiah or ″Anointed One.″ Daniel 9:24-27 (New International Version).
The name ″Magi″ refers to a religious caste in Persian culture, but at the time of the writing of this Gospel, the term was used more broadly to apply to astrologers, seers, and fortunetellers.They are not referred to as kings in Matthew; that title was added afterwards, in stories.Nonbiblical sources began referring to them as kings about 200 AD, probably in response to a promise in Psalm 72:11, which states, ″May all kings knee down to him, and all nations serve him.″ (NIV) Because they were following a star, it is possible that they were royal astronomers and advisors to kings.
Matthew 2:1-2 (KJV) Following Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, Judea, during the reign of King Herod, Magi from the East traveled to Jerusalem and inquired, ″Who is this child?″ ″Where has the one who was born king of the Jews vanished to? We came to him because we spotted his star in the east and wanted to adore him.″ (NIV)
GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MYRRH – Why Those Three Gifts?
2:11 11 MATTHEW 2:11 11 After entering the house, they saw the tiny Child with Mary His mother and immediately dropped to their knees and worshiped Him, as did everyone else.And after they had opened their treasure boxes, they gave presents to Him, including gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which He graciously accepted.What kind of presents did the three wise men give to Jesus?″Gold, frankincense, and myrrh″ were the three gifts given to the three wise men.
(See Matthew 2:11 for more information.) What exactly are frankincense and myrrh, and why are they considered precious?In its most basic form, Frankincense is the dried sap of Boswellian trees that grow in the region surrounding the Gulf of Aden, which is a body of water that connects the Horn of Africa (Somalia) with the Middle East (Yemen and Oman).Incense made from Frankincense has a lemony aroma and may be used to produce perfume or to burn as incense.
- Herbal myrrh is derived from the sap of the Commiphora tree, which is likewise indigenous to the region surrounding the Gulf of Aden.
- Myrrh may be utilized to manufacture perfume, transformed into oil, or even used as a medicinal ingredient in some cases.
- As for the frankincense and myrrh, these would have been brought to Jesus in the form of incense and oil, respectively.
- Why did they offer presents to Jesus in the form of gold, frankincense, and myrrh?
- There are at least three justifications for this.
- The usual presents back then for honoring a monarch, whom they had come to worship, were gold, frankincense (incense), and myrrh (oil).
- ″Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?″ they wondered.
- It is for this reason that we have come to worship Him after having seen His star in the East.″ (Matthew 2:2; Mark 1:15) Another indication of Jesus’ divinity (see Abraham was, I AM) and myrrh represented the anointing His body would get after He had given Himself on the cross for our sins.
- The wise men were presumably unaware of this symbolism until after they arrived at the Christ child’s birth (see crucify Him).
- Third, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus’ flight to Egypt will be financed by the sale of expensive commodities like as gold, frankincense, and myrrh (see below).
- Did the three wise men come face to face with Jesus shortly after His birth?
- At the time of His birth, Jesus was placed in a manger outside since there was no room for them in the ″guest chamber″ (see Joseph and Mary), and both Joseph and Mary were present to witness His birth.
- When the three wise men came to see Jesus, they did so in a ″house.″ (See Matthew 2:11 for more information.) What was the length of time between the wise men’s visit and Jesus’ birth?
- Given what King Herod did to the boys in Bethlehem (see Slaughter of the Innocents), it seems likely that the wise men came to see Jesus when He was 1 or 2 years old, indicating that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus had established a home in Bethlehem by that time.
- According to the fact that when they came to Israel from Egypt, they sought to settle in Judea, which is where Bethlehem is located, they were encouraged in their decision (see Archelaus).
What about those wisemen?
Soon after the birth of the Baby Jesus, heavenly hosts came to local shepherds, bringing them good news that they would never forget.According to the tradition of those who have ever possessed a nativity scene, the shepherds came to the manger and honored Jesus the Christ Child.After then, according to Luke, the shepherds returned to their sheep, worshiping and praising God for everything they had heard and seen during their journey.Following that, according to Matthew’s account, Wise Men from the East came in pursuit of the infant Messiah.
Did they, however, discover Him in a manger?Peter Paul Rubens’s The Adoration of the Magi is included in this artwork.
The Bible doesn’t say!
In Matthew’s account of the Wise Men’s visit, there is no mention of the manager or of a stable.We do know that Jewish law mandated that the baby Jesus be circumcised eight days after his birth, just as every other male Israelite from the time of Abraham had been since the time of Abraham.The Bible says that it was at this event that He was given the official name Jesus, which means ″Deliver″ in Greek.Luca Signorelli’s The Circumcision of Christ is shown in this artwork.
Visiting the Temple
Following Jewish tradition, Joseph and Mary brought their newborn son to Jerusalem to be presented at the Temple, which took place a short time later.Because they were destitute, they did not offer a lamb as a sacrifice.Instead, they presented a pair of doves as a gift.This was taking place at the same time that an old man called Simeon, who was upright and devoted, heard a communication from the Lord.
According to the Bible, he had been ″waiting for the comfort of Israel,″ and the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Deliverer, the Messiah – the Christ – before dying.By Rogier van der Weyden, ″Jesus Presented in the Temple″ is shown in art.
Simeon in the Temple
Following the Spirit’s prompting, he entered the temple courtyard.Then, when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus into the house, Simeon embraced Him and thanked God, declaring that he could now die in peace because ″my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.″ Mary and Joseph were talking about how surprised they were by what the old man had stated about their child.Simeon blessed them and told Mary, ″This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.″ ″This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed,″ Simeon said.In addition, a blade will penetrate your own soul.
Simon Vouet’s painting, Simeon greets Jesus in the Temple, is an example of religious art.
Anna the prophetess
There was also an ancient prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, who ″never left the temple but worshiped day and night, fasting and praying.″ She was described as ″never leaving the temple but worshiping night and day, fasting and praying.″ As she approached Mary and Joseph, she expressed her gratitude to God and shared information about the child with everyone who was looking forward to the restoration of Jerusalem.Rembrandt’s painting Hannah and Simeon at the Temple is an example of this.
Then, back home
Mary and Joseph, according to the Bible, then returned to Bethlehem.
Visiting a corrupt king
After some time had passed – and we have no way of knowing how much time had passed – those illustrious professors from the East came in Jerusalem and presented themselves to the corrupt King Herod, who had been assigned by the Romans to rule Judea.Herod was asked a question by the unexpected guests ″Where has the one who was born ruler of the Jews vanished to?We came to him because we spotted his star in the east and wanted to adore him.″ When Herod learned about this, he became concerned.The word spread like wildfire across Jerusalem.
Was it true that a new monarch had been born?Is he the long-awaited Messiah we have been waiting for?In response to Herod’s disapproval of the prospect of a usurper, he gathered the top priests and teachers of the law and inquired as to the location of the Messiah’s conception.
- In response, they quoted to him from the Old Testament prophets Micah and Isaiah, telling him that he would be born in Bethlehem, Judea.
Go find the child …
When Herod called the academics to his court, they told him that the star had appeared at a certain hour.Herod was pleased with their information.He dispatched them to Bethlehem and instructed them, ″Go out and conduct a thorough search for the kid.As soon as you locate him, please notify me so that I may go and offer my respects to him.″ Then they set off, following the star until it came to a standstill above the location where the youngster was hiding.
They were pleased by the news.The family recognized the infant with Mary as soon as they entered the house where they were staying.They immediately bent their heads and worshiped Him.
- Fray Juan Bautista Maino’s The Adoration of the Kings is depicted in this artwork.
Then they lavished him with lavish presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh on his birthday.However, according to the Bible, God cautioned them in a dream not to return to Herod, prompting them to take a different way back home.The guests’ names are not mentioned in the text, however Melchior, Baltazar, and Gaspar are said to have been among them according to tradition.In addition, there is no indication in the Bible that they were kings.
No mention is made of where they came from.What makes us believe there are three scholars?This is based on the three presents that were given.
- However, the number might have been two, ten, or any other combination of numbers.
- Simply put, the Bible does not state.
- The Magi are shown at the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Antoni Gaudi.
They went to a house!
Also, since the Bible states they arrived to ″the home″ where He was living – rather than a stable – on the night of His birth, it is thought that they were not there at His birth. So, it’s safe to assume that time has passed and that Joseph has found a home for his growing family.
Six weeks later?
Traditionally, it is believed that the Three Wise Men did not come until six weeks after the birth of Jesus — and others believe they may have arrived as late as one year and a half after the birth of Jesus.That’s based on the awful incident that happened after that – when the cruel King Herod ordered the execution of every male child under the age of two in the Bethlehem region – Something must have led Herod to believe that the birth may have occurred as much as two years earlier than it actually did.Was this based on what he had been informed by the scholars about the star’s first entrance on the scene?We are completely at a loss for words.
We do know that after the visiting professors had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, admonishing him to awaken from his slumber and take the infant and His mother to Egypt, where they would be safe.Stay put, the Lord instructed him, ″until I tell you, since Herod is on his way to look for the infant in order to murder him.″ As a result, Joseph sprang from his bed, grabbed the kid and His mother through the night, and they traveled to Egypt, where they remained.How did a low-wage carpenter manage to fund such a journey?
- Did the presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh provide as financial support for the journey?
- William Hole’s painting, The Flight into Egypt, is seen here.
A furious king
The fact that the eastern experts were not returning to tell what they had discovered infuriated Herod, who became enraged.He gave instructions to execute all of the boys two years old and younger in Bethlehem and the surrounding area.He was killed.Jeremiah’s prophesy had been realized hundreds of years earlier: ″A cry is heard in Ramah, weeping and profound sadness, Rachel sobbing for her children and refusing to be comforted since they are no longer with her,″ the prophet said.
Giotto di Bondone’s painting, The Massacre of the Innocents, is seen here.So, when exactly did the three wise men arrive?We’re not sure what to make of it.
- Although the Bible does not explicitly state that the shepherds and Wise Men appeared simultaneously, it does state that it is exceedingly unlikely.
- Tradition has it that they appeared on the feast day of ″Epiphany,″ which is observed by the Eastern Orthodox churches in January.
- The first written mention of Epiphany as a Christian festival dates back to A.D.
- 361 and was written by Ammianus Marcellinus.
- Henry Siddons Mowbray’s painting, ″The Magi,″ is included here.
What Are the Three Gifts Given to Baby Jesus?
Photograph by Marilyna/iStock/Getty Images One of the most well-known biblical Christmas tales tells of three kings, sometimes known as magi or wise men, who traveled for 12 days in search of the infant Jesus in Bethlehem after being guided there by the star known as the North Star.According to the Gospel of Matthew, this story served as the inspiration for Three Kings Day, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany, which is celebrated on January 6th by Christians across Spain and Latin America.
1 Three Prophetic Gifts
According to the book of Matthew, the three magi, later named as Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, presented the Christ infant with three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which were later recognized as gold, frankincense, and myrrh.In this case, gold indicated a recognition of Jesus’ monarchy, while frankincense represented his future function as priest.As a funeral ointment, myrrh alluded to Jesus’ death on the cross and, hence, his role as the Redeemer of the world.
About the Author
Since beginning her professional journalism career in 2007, Nathalie Alonso has covered a wide range of issues for newspapers and publications in New York City, including arts, culture, and travel. She has also worked as a freelance writer. She graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in American Studies and currently resides in Queens with her two kitties.
Why did the Magi bring gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus?
Answer to the question The magi, also known as wise men, are said to have traveled from the East in quest of the Christ child, according to Matthew 2.They approached King Herod and questioned as to where they could locate Him, stating, ″What happened to the man who was born king of the Jews?We have come to revere him because we witnessed his star when it first appeared ″ (Matthew 2:2).When they discovered the newborn Jesus, ″they bent their heads and adored him.″ When they had finished, they uncovered their treasures and presented him with presents of gold, myrrh, and incense″ (Matthew 2:11).
Gold is a precious metal, and as such, it used to be a very valuable commodity in ancient times.Its monetary worth might very well have provided the funds for Joseph and Mary’s journey to Egypt.The Bible does not teach us anything further about the importance of these three presents; nonetheless, tradition holds that each of the three gifts has a deeper meaning.
- Gold is a universally recognized emblem of god, and it is referenced several times in the Bible.
- Gold was frequently used in the creation of pagan idols, and the Ark of the Covenant was heavily embellished with gold (Exodus 25:10-17).
- The presentation of gold to the Christ child was indicative of His divinity as God shown in the form of a human being.
- Frankincense is a resin or gum that is white in color.
- A tree’s gum may be harvested by creating small holes in its bark and allowing the gum to seep out.
- It is quite fragrant when burned, and as a result, it was commonly employed in religious ceremonies, when it was offered up as a pleasing tribute to God (Exodus 30:34).
- Frankincense is considered to be a sign of purity and righteousness.
- Gifting the Christ child with frankincense represented His desire to offer Himself as a sacrifice, akin to making a burned offering, which symbolized His willingness to completely give Himself up.
- Like frankincense, myrrh was a product of Arabia that was harvested from a tree in the same way as frankincense was.
- It was a spice that was also utilized in embalming practices.
- A drink made from it was also occasionally combined with wine to produce an item of libation.
- When our Savior was ready to be crucified, a drink like this was offered to him as a stupefying concoction to keep him calm (Mark 15:23).
- It is referred to as ″gall″ in Matthew 27:34.
- Myrrh is a plant that represents bitterness, misery, and affliction.
- While still a child, Jesus would grow up to be a man who suffered terribly and paid the ultimate price when He surrendered His life on the cross to save the souls of those who would believe in Him.
- Return to the topic: Christmas-related questions.
- Why did the Magi send gifts to Jesus in the form of gold, frankincense, and myrrh?
Who were the three kings in the Christmas story?
- People in the Bible
The wise men from the East, while only making a brief appearance in the narrative of Jesus’ birth, had a lasting effect on the Christian imagination.As part of our coverage of the history of the Bible and the hunt for sacred books, National Geographic investigates important biblical personalities in our ongoing series People in the Bible.Many Christmas songs make mention of the three kings, who go to Bethlehem in the company of a star to pay their respects to the newborn Jesus.In the Bible, they are not referred to as kings, nor is their number given; rather, they are referred to as ″wise men from the East.″ The art of magic was performed by knowledgeable astrologers in several courts in the east, including ancient Babylon and Persia.
These astrologers were typically appointed as priestly counsellors at these courts.As a result of this interpretation, the three magi have come to be known as kings.A brilliant star guided the magi from the east until it came to rest ″over the area where the child was,″ at which point they entered the home and ″began to see the infant with his mother,″ according to the Book of Matthew (Matthew 1:24).
- The magi bowed down to the newborn Jesus and ″presented him with presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh,″ according to the Bible.
- A possible parallel is made by their contributions to Isaiah’s prophecy of countries paying tribute to Jerusalem, which states: ″A multitude of camels shall cover you.″ It is they who will bring gold and frankincense, and they will sing the praises of the Lord″ (Matthew 2:11, Isaiah 60:6).
- (Read on to find out the difference between Arabian Camels and Bactrian Camels.
- ) King Herod had heard tales about the birth of a new ″king,″ and he was enraged enough to go in search of the child.
- It is recorded in the Book of Matthew that on their route to Bethlehem, the magi stopped at King Herod’s palace, where he requested that they inform him as to where the newborn infant was, so that ″I may also go and do him honor.″ However, the magi were cautioned not to return to Herod in a dream, and as a result, they ″went for their own country via another path″ and were never seen or heard from again″ (Matthew 2:12).
Building a backstory
Later versions of the narrative named the magi by their given names as well as their respective countries of origin: Melchior was from Persia, Gaspar (also known as ″Caspar″ or ″Jaspar″) was from India, and Balthazar was originally from Arabia.Their gifts also had unique symbolic significance: gold reflected Jesus’ title as ″King of the Jews,″ frankincense represented the infant’s divinity and identification as the Son of God, and myrrh alluded to the infant’s death.In this article, you will learn what archaeology has to say about the historical Jesus.Popular portrayals of Christmas tend to shorten the nativity story, making it look as though the three kings arrive in Bethlehem on Christmas, although traditional celebrations place their arrival in Bethlehem 12 days after the holiday season begins.
As the formal celebration of the advent of the Magi (also known as Three Kings Day), Epiphany (also known as Three Kings Day) is one of Christianity’s earliest festivals and is celebrated on January 6th.Epiphany is celebrated on January 6 by Roman Catholics, while it is celebrated on January 19 by Orthodox Christian sects.
Lucas The Adoration of the Magi by Emil Vorsterman, after Sir Peter Paul Rubens, 1620, engraving on lay paper.The Adoration of the Magi by Emil Vorsterman, after Sir Peter Paul Rubens, 1620, engraving on laid paper.The National Gallery of Art is located in Washington, D.C.Ailsa Mellon is a woman who lives in Ireland.
Bruce Fund is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to low-income individuals and families.The Magi, also known as wise men, are mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew (2:1–12) as having traveled from the East to Bethlehem in pursuit of a newborn king.They discovered Mary and the newborn Jesus in the place and presented him with presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
- The Magi, who were gentiles who recognized Christ’s divinity, say that they played a crucial part in the Epiphany, the manifestation of God to the world, and that they deserve to be remembered as such.
- However, because Matthew’s brief description of the story includes so few data about them, biblical scholars have had to make educated guesses regarding their number, appearance, and origins.
- During the Middle Periods, the vast majority of people thought that three Magi came to see the Christ child and that they were monarchs who represented the three ages of mankind.
- Written speculation first claimed that the kings were Persian, in accord with Matthew’s narrative of the Magi’s trip from the East to Bethlehem.
- Later observers speculated that they represented the three known continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa, which they claimed to have depicted.
- Gaspar (or Caspar), Melchior, and Balthasar were among the many names that were offered for the Magi, and they were finally chosen as the most appropriate.
- However, the names, like the countries of origin, were never continuously allocated to a single ruler over a period of time.
- The religious importance of the myth of the Magi, along with the imagined pomp of the kings’ exotic garb, lavish presents, and enormous retinues, guaranteed that they were prominently depicted in art throughout Europe.
- Although the coming of the Magi to honor the infant Christ was the most popular scene from the Gospel of Matthew, artists sometimes mixed the event with the account of Jesus’ birth in the Gospel of Luke, which does not feature the Magi but does have the attractive detail of a manger.
- The National Gallery of Art has a number of representations of the Adoration of the Magi on display.
What the Gifts of the Magi Tell Us about Jesus
The journey of the Magi to adore Jesus is commemorated on the feast of the Epiphany.It symbolizes the arrival of Jesus to all people — Gentiles and Jews alike – in one body.The Magi, who had traveled from afar to adore the Christ Child, had seen a star and decided to come.It was they who gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh – each of which reveals something about Jesus’ true nature to us.
What the Bible Tells Us about the Magi
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, asking, ″Where is the newborn king of the Jews?″ According to the biblical story, We caught a glimpse of his growing star and have come to pay our respects to him.″ Following their meeting with the king, they set out on their journey.When they got there, they noticed that the star that they had seen at its rise had preceded them all the way to the spot where the youngster was hiding.They were pleased when they saw the star, and when they entered the home, they were surprised to find the infant with Mary, his mother.They bowed their heads in reverence and paid him tribute.
Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, among other things.And, after receiving a warning in a dream not to return to Herod, they decided to take a different route back to their homeland.– Matthew 2:1-2, 9-12; 2:1-2, 9-12
Gold – the Kingship of Jesus
The magi’s gifts were more than just a show of riches; they also had a deeper significance.Jesus’ reign is symbolized by the gold.When the visions during the night proceeded, I saw one who looked like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven, as recorded in Daniel 7:13-14: His presentation before the Ancient of Days resulted in his receiving dominion, grandeur, and kingship; all peoples, countries, and tongues will serve him as a result.His dominion is an immortal dominion that will never be destroyed, and his monarchy is a kingship that will never be destroyed.
The Magi saw that Jesus’ reign extended beyond all earthly rulers, and they came to adore him as a result of their recognition.
Frankincense – the Deity of Jesus
The frankincense is a symbol of Jesus’ divinity.As a gift to God, frankincense was typically burnt in the temple throughout the time of the Old Testament (Leviticus 2:2).By presenting this gift, the Magi demonstrated that Jesus is more than just a normal man; he is totally human and fully divine.As stated in Colossians 2:9-10, ″For in him lives all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you share in this fullness in him, who is the head of every principality and power″ (every principality and power).
Myrrh – the Death of Jesus
The present of myrrh, which is commonly used to embalm bodies, foreshadows the death of Jesus.Nicodemus supplied myrrh to Jesus’ burial, according to John 19:38-40.Following this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, approached Pilate and requested if he might have the corpse of Jesus removed from the tomb.And Pilate gave his approval.
As a result, he arrived and seized his body.Nicodemus, the man who had initially approached him in the middle of the night, returned the next day with a combination of myrrh and aloes weighing around one hundred pounds.In accordance with Jewish burial ritual, they tied the corpse of Jesus with burial linens and spices, and laid it in a tomb.
- The complete story of Jesus’ arrival is presented in this manner.
- So that we can be saved, Jesus was born into this world.
- We have eternal life as a result of Jesus’ death on the cross.
The Magi’s Gifts: Pointing to the Ultimate Gift
The gifts of the Magi shed light on the various facets of Christ’s personae and mission.Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and in his great generosity, he died in order that we could live.As the Magi aggressively sought Jesus, so too should we follow Christ without hesitation, allowing him to serve as our guiding star as we go through life.Like Pope Francis stated: ″Knowing where Jesus was born, as the scribes did, is not enough if we do not go to the place where Jesus was born.″ Like Herod, knowing that Jesus was born is insufficient if we do not come into direct contact with him.
When his location becomes our place, when his time becomes our time, when his person becomes our life, then the predictions come to fruition in us and we become the fulfillment of them.Then, within us, Jesus is birthed.For me, he takes on the nature of a living God.
- Today, we are being urged to follow in the footsteps of the Magi.
- They do not engage in dispute; instead, they proceed.
- They don’t even bother to look around before entering the house of Jesus.
- They do not place themselves as the focus of attention, but instead bow down before the One who is the center of attention.
- The Magi are pictured in the Nativity Chapel of the Great Upper Church, as well as on a column capital in the North Apse of the Crypt Church, both of which are located within the Basilica.
THE LEGEND OF THE THREE KINGS
″This is an opera for children,″ composer Gian Carlo Menotti has said of his opera ″Amahl and the Night Visitors,″ in part because it attempts to recreate his own childhood memories of the character.We didn’t have a Santa Clause while I was growing up in Italy.I’m guessing that Santa Claus was far too busy with American children to be able to deal with Italian youngsters on the same day as them.The Three Kings, on the other hand, delivered us our presents instead.″ Christmas in Cadegliano, a tiny village near Lake Lugano where Menotti grew up, was a festive occasion for getting the extended family together and eating on turkey and panettone, the traditional Italian holiday cake, among other things.
The youngsters did not get their gifts until the following day, on January 6, which was the Feast of the Three Kings.This was the day that the Three Kings were reported to have arrived in Bethlehem after traveling thousands of miles following a bright light across a vast expanse of territory.We, the three kings of the Orient, are traveling far and wide, bearing presents as we pass through fields and fountains, moors and mountains, and following yonder star.
- – In the traditional carol, ″We Three Kings of Orient Are,″ the three kings are identified as follows: The gospels of Matthew and Luke, the two apostles who wrote about the birth of Christ, have been twisted into a single Christmas tale, which has become popular custom.
- Only Matthew, on the other hand, made any mention of the distinguished guests.
- They are referred to as ″wise men from the east″ in the King James Version of the Bible.
- When they arrive in Jerusalem, they inquire as to ″where is he who has been born King of the Jews?
- for we have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him.″ In fact, Matthew referred to them as Magi, which were members of a priestly class – scholarly men, advisors to kings, diviners, and astrologers – among the ancient Medes and Persians who served as diviners and astrologers.
- The prophesy of the coming Messiah had been heard by these specific Magi, who were most likely descended from Jewish ancestors.
- The star, in their opinion, was the sign they had been looking for.
- They followed it first to Jerusalem, where they were brought before the cunning King Herod to tell what they had learned, and then to Bethlehem, where they discovered the baby Jesus was born.
- The star was hovering over the house of Mary and Joseph, as well as over the infant Jesus at that time.
- After the Magi ″dropped down,″ according to Matthew’s account, ″and they worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasuries, they offered presents unto him; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh,″ respectively.
- This moment of adoration, nicknamed ″The Adoration of the Magi,″ would go on to become a favorite topic for painters, with Botticelli, da Vinci, and Rubens among those who represented the image of dignified visitors in their finery kneeling down before the infant of lowly beginnings as a favored subject.
- They is no indication in Matthew as to how many Magi there were; for generations, people have numbered them anywhere from three to twelve in number.
- In the 6th century, the number was established at three – probably because of the three presents they delivered – and they were dubbed ″kings″ to distinguish them from other rulers.
- Their names were provided to them in an Armenian book, and they were Gaspar (or Caspar), Balthasar, and Melchior.
- Throughout history, the characters of the Three Kings have been expanded with embellishments.
- Gaspar, king of Tarsus, the kingdom of merchants, was a young man of twenty years old when he arrived with myrrh in a gold-mounted horn.
- Balthasar, king of Ethiopia or Saba, the kingdom of spices, was 40 years old when he arrived with a censer full of frankincense.
- His typical appearance is that of a black man.
- Melchior, the king of Arabia, was 60 years old when he arrived with a gold box in the shape of a shrine.
- As a result, they represented the centuries of mankind as well as the known regions of the ancient globe, despite being from three separate countries and belonging to various generations.
- The presents were extremely valuable and unusual goods during the time period.
- Frankincense was an aromatic resin derived from Arabic and East African plants that was used to make incense in ancient times.
- Another resin, myrrh, was discovered in Arabia and brought to Europe.
- Aromatics and embalming fluids were employed to preserve the bodies of the dead, with myrrh being utilized in the anointing of kings.
Early Christians interpreted these gifts in a variety of ways, each with its own meaning.″They present myrrh to him who is to die, gold to him whose dominion will not end, incense to the God of the Jews who has now shown himself to the Gentiles,″ wrote St.Irenaeus in the second century.
- According to another view, the gifts represented representations of what Jesus was to become – gold represented a king, frankincense symbolized a high priest, and myrrh represented a renowned physician – respectively.
- The star of wonder, the star of night, the star of royal beauty, shining brightly westward and still continuing, guide us to thy complete light; we beseech thee.
- And what happened to the star that the Magi followed?
- In 1604 the astronomer Johannes Kepler hypothesized that the ″Star of Bethlehem″ was a supernova, which is defined as a star that explodes in the sky with great force.
- However, there is no mention of such a brilliant event, which would have lasted for several weeks, in any of the historical sources.
Was it a comet, or something else?The apparition of Halley’s comet in 12-11 B.C.was recognized by the Chinese, who had been keeping track of comet occurrences for a long time.On the other hand, comets were often seen to herald doom, and the year 12 BCE is too early, given that 6 BCE is now considered to be the year of Jesus’ birth, according to modern scholarship.It might have been caused by a triple conjunction of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, which happened between 7 and 6 B.C.That However, there is no conclusive evidence to support this interpretation, as there is no indication that the ancients would have considered such an extremely unusual phenomena a ″star.″ There is still another possibility, but no definitive solution.
- It is sufficient to state that the ancients frequently believed that the births of prominent persons were accompanied by tremendous celestial activity, which is still true today.
- In addition, it is paradoxical that while the Magi’s discovery of the Christ child was a major confirmation of Jesus’ divine character, it was also they who warned King Herod of his impending arrival, so arousing Herod’s envy and leading to his death.
- Due to a dream that the Magi experienced after they paid their visit to the Christ child, they decided to take an alternate route home instead of passing through Jerusalem, saving them the trouble of going through Jerusalem.
- Unfortunately, according to Matthew, Herod was so desperate to destroy the prophesy of a new ″King of the Jews″ – after all, he was meant to be the King of the Jews – that he ordered the massacre of all male children under the age of two in Bethlehem and on all of its surrounding shores.
Following their return to their homeland, the Three Kings are said to have given away all of their worldly belongings to the needy and then went about preaching Christianity in simple clothing.When St.Thomas the apostle came across them in India 40 years later, he baptized them in the name of Jesus Christ.And it is stated that they were martyred in that nation for their religious beliefs.In one of those weird tales of relic robbery that were so common in early Christianity, the relics of the Three Kings journeyed farther than the Magi did when they were still alive, according to tradition.After their deaths, Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, had their corpses brought to the Basilica of St.
Sophia in Constantinople, which was built three hundred years after their deaths.In the course of the First Crusade, their corpses were transported to the Cathedral of Milan.The relics of the Three Kings were ultimately handed to Raynaldus, Archbishop of Cologne, Germany, when Emperor Barbarossa captured Milan in 1164 and presented them to him.
They were eventually interred in Cologne Cathedral, where they still rest today, ensconced in a reliquary that has been exquisitely adorned.For many years, it was believed that wearing rings engraved with the names of the Three Kings would prevent cramping, and that everything that came into contact with their skulls would become protective charms.Thus, they came to be recognized as the patron saints of travels.
The Three Kings were initially encountered by the young Gian Carlo Menotti as creche figurines during the Christmas season.Every year, he and his family would put together an elaborate Nativity scene, populating it with figures that stood eight inches tall and were hand-painted.″We all had a personal king,″ Menotti recalls warmly in a recent interview.
″We all had a special monarch.″ ″Melchior was my given name.It was my imagination that he had a big white beard and was kind and good – and I was a really good youngster!″ Because he felt he was slightly insane – and deaf, because he never brought all of the things that my little brother had requested″ ″Gaspar was chosen by my little brother because he thought he was slightly insane and deaf.″ Menotti based Gaspar’s appearance in ″Amahl and the Night Visitors″ on his brother’s vision of him, transforming him into an eccentric and hard-of-hearing character.Before the Feast of the Three Kings, the Menotti children would offer their parents a list of things they wished the Three Kings would bring them for the holiday.
On the eve of Epiphany, they prepared hay and water for the kings’ camels and then retired to their beds early.Menotti recalls attempting to stay up late in order to catch a sight of the kings and queens.When I went to bed, I had the distinct impression that they were approaching.Walking in the snow, the tinkling of their bells – I always pictured bells hanging from their clothing – it was all so magical.″I had a pretty exotic imagination!″ he exclaims with a grin.The little children would congregate in the hall joyfully in the morning after bathing and dressing and eating espresso’ latte and leftover panettone for breakfast, as they had done for years.
The gifts from ″Jesus Bambino″ – the Infant Jesus – that had been brought by the Three Kings from afar would be distributed by their mother at this location.It wasn’t until many years later, in 1951, that the Three Kings came to the rescue of the adult Menotti.He had been commissioned by NBC to create a television opera for Christmas, but he had been frustrated by a lack of creative ideas.Menotti stumbled encountered the picture ″The Adoration of the Magi″ by Hieronymus Bosch while on a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art a month before his deadline.″As I was staring at it,″ he has said, ″the strange song of the Three Kings could be heard again, this time coming from the far blue hills.″ I suddenly knew that they had returned to me and that they had given me a present.″ Amahl’s gift served as inspiration for the television special ″Amahl and the Night Visitors,″ which was developed in a spurt of creative energy over a few weeks just in time for a Christmas Eve broadcast to youngsters and their parents all throughout the country.
What are frankincense and myrrh, anyway?
The information in this post has been updated.It was first published on December 23, 2020, in the year 2020.During her 3,500-year reign over Egypt, the pharaoh Hatshepsut completed a slew of impressive achievements.She was one of the rare female monarchs, then and today, who managed to consolidate power despite enormous difficulties.
She constructed temples and obelisks that were unsurpassed in terms of scale, technical mastery, and sheer quantity.And, according to legend, her explorers, who were experts in botanical espionage, were able to obtain the empire’s first myrrh tree.Myrrh and its relative frankincense are only vaguely familiar to most people in the United States because of the Biblical story of the three wise men.
- According to the Book of Matthew, three Magi followed the Star of Bethlehem to the birth of Jesus, and they presented him with three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which he accepted.
- However, Douglas Daly, a curator at the New York Botanical Garden and a specialist in the frankincense and myrrh families, claims that the compounds have a long and illustrious history that extends far beyond the confines of a single Bible verse.
- And they continue to reveal fresh insights now, despite millennia of usage and investigation.
- In your hand, frankincense would have the appearance of golden raisins or petrified popcorn, depending on how it was processed and packaged.
- It’s a little, dry, somewhat sparkly golden globule with a faint sheen to it.
- ″I liken it to the process of grading diamonds,″ Daly explains.
- ″It’s all about the color, it’s all about the clarity, it’s all about the shape,″ says the artist.
- Myrrh, on the other hand, is rougher, browner, and maybe more scatological in nature, yet it is basically comparable in size and shine.
- However, it takes a great deal of effort to bring the botanicals to this point.
- Frankincense and myrrh are both resins derived from trees belonging to the Burseraceae family, which is often known as the torchwood or incense family.
- Frankincense and myrrh are both used in the production of incense.
- Frankincense is derived from the dried sap of Boswellia trees, whereas myrrh is derived from the sap of the Commiphora tree’s lifeblood.
- The process of extracting the sap is a delicate balancing act; you must harm the tree without killing it.
- It’s possible that the wound may trigger a process known as ″gummosis,″ which is precisely what it sounds like: the tree will attempt to gum up the harm, and you will be able to carve off the ensuing slime for your own use if done properly.
- ″Over millennia, individuals have discovered precisely how far they can push themselves,″ Daly explains.
- Although the family Burseraceae is linked with the ancient world, it may still be found in tropical locations around the world, from Africa and Asia to Central and South America.
- The same thing happens everywhere Daly goes, he says: ″They’re all being used for the same reason…
- by people with whom I’ve never had any interaction.″ Everything about the tree, from the bark to the sap within, is aromatic, which is why frankincense and myrrh are used as incense and perfume in religious ceremonies.
- Myrrh was formerly used as an embalming fluid, which explains Hapshetsut’s obsessive fascination with the plant.
- Both had sacred significance; they were melted in order to honor the gods and fend off bad spirits, among other things.
- But, as Daly points out, they also have extremely practical applications, even now.
- ″You’ll find that people utilize the frankincense and myrrh plant for dozens, if not hundreds, of different purposes, ranging from assisting in conception to assisting in the production of milk in cows,″ he explains.
- When combined with other compounds, the resin can even be used to repair a boat’s cracked hull.
- ″It’s mind-boggling how many different applications they have,″ Daly adds.
Gold, frankincense, and myrrh appear to be unequal presents in today’s world.However, in ancient times, plant extracts were valued the same amount, if not more, than gold.According to Daly, the Roman Empire was running a deficit in expenditures during the first century A.D.
- because it was importing hundreds of tons of the stinky substance every year.
- Daly compares the feverish pursuit of frankincense to the oil wars that have raged throughout recent history.
- It seems unlikely that Hapshetsut’s spies, who traveled to the ″Land of Punt,″ which is modern-day Eritrea, were just hunting for attractive flowers.
- According to Daly, they were attempting to obtain their own locally sourced sources of frankincense and myrrh because they were ″weary of paying through the nose″ for the products.
- If cultivation failed to produce results, acquiring the territory on which these plants naturally flourished would not have been beyond the reach of any of these ancient kings.
Despite thousands of years of recorded use, the plants continue to hold a number of mysteries from botanists and other scientists.At the time, ″the frankincense and myrrh family was a genuine mess, in that members of the species were either unnamed or misdiagnosed,″ Daly says from his early days of collecting specimens.Although genetic research has enabled for more exact taxonomy, new members of the Burseraceae are still being discovered on a regular basis, even in areas that were previously assumed to be well-explored.Despite the fact that the price has reduced since the days of Rome, it has not completely dropped.Frankincense and myrrh are two essential oils that are widely used in aromatherapy and have recently become popular again.While additional study is needed to determine if and how these scents function on the brain to ease tension or anxiety, a 0.34 ounce bottle of frankincense oil and a 0.34 ounce bottle of myrrh oil can be purchased for upwards of $8 on Amazon.
- And what is the cost of a gold ring, you ask?
- For a nugget of the same weight, you’d be looking at a cost of around $604.
How Three Kings’ Day Is Celebrated Around the World
- Three Kings’ Day is celebrated on January 6, and it commemorates the day when it is believed that the three wise men came to visit Jesus after his birth.
- Three Kings’ Day is also known as Epiphany in various cultures
- the event is extensively observed in Spanish-speaking countries and is associated with the celebration of Christmas.
This holiday, also known as Epiphany, commemorates the journey of three individuals known variously as the three wise men, the three magi, or the three kings, who journeyed to Bethlehem to pay respect to the newly born Jesus Christ and proclaim him to be the King of the Jews.It takes place on January 6th.When the magi arrived, it was recorded in the Bible’s Gospel of Matthew, where it is stated that Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar traveled for 12 days to reach Jesus.They each brought a unique present to share with the group.
In honor of the occasion, the song ″We Three Kings″ was written, and the three kings are frequently shown in parades all over the world, from New York City to Madrid and Uruguay, to name a few.We chatted with Miriam Ortiz, a catechist at the Church of the Ascension in Manhattan, who provided an overview of Three Kings’ Day, including its history and how it is commemorated.
The holiday celebrates the three kings who visited with Jesus at his birth.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the three kings, also known as the three wise men or the magi, are claimed to have traveled to Bethlehem in order to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ and to celebrate him as a king.According to El Museo del Barrio, which is noted for its big Three Kings’ Day procession in New York, they first visited with Herod, then-governor of Judea, who instructed the trio to travel to Bethlehem, according to the museum.The museum also asserted that, based on where they were going from, ″it may be deduced that they originated from either Asia or Africa,″ albeit the way the narrative is recounted varies depending on who is telling the story at the time.According to the museum, Melchor is generally shown as Arab or descended from Northern Africa, whilst Caspar is occasionally depicted as Asian in appearance.
They point out that Balthazar is frequently shown as an Ethiopian.’The celebration of Three Kings’ Day commemorates the arrival of Jesus,’ explains Ortiz.″After the birth of Jesus was prophesied, the three wise men came together to celebrate.
- And that’s what’s crucial, the example of faith that has allowed them to travel thousands of miles because they truly believed in their cause.
- ″I believe that’s what the three kings represent: faith, hope, and charity,″ says the author.
- It is featured in a variety of artworks, including paintings by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, and Hieronymus Bosch, and nativity scenes by painters such as Jacob Epstein and Hans Holbein, among others.
- Catherine Leblanc is a French actress and singer.
- It has been suggested by Ortiz that various artistic representations depicting the arrival of the three kings have contributed to errors, including the idea that Jesus was a baby when they first arrived at the scene.
- ″There’s a popular belief that when they arrived, Jesus was still a baby, but that’s not quite correct.
- That’s only for the purpose of artistic expression.
- We are aware that it took months for the three kings to complete their journey.
- In addition, she points out that the Bible specifies that they visited the home rather than the stable when they visited Jesus at the time of his birth.
- ″I believe they depict Jesus as a baby for aesthetic purposes, but in reality, he was much older.
January 6 is an important date for Christians in countries around the world.
NurPhoto courtesy of Getty Images According to The New York Times, Three Kings’ Day, often known as Epiphany, is a holiday observed in various civilizations across the world.The Czech Republic, for example, has parades and a ritual in which people plunge themselves into the extremely cold Vltava River in search of a wooden crucifix, which has been around for centuries.That same article mentions that jumping into bodies of water is a practice that is also widespread in Russia and Greece, as well as among Greek Orthodox in Australia, where it is known as Blessing of the Waters (Blessing of the Waters Ceremony).According to the museum, ″the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches″ all commemorate the feast of the Epiphany.
According to the BBC, numerous Orthodox Christian groups observe the Feast of the Epiphany on January 19.The day of