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32612 least among the leaders of Judah

Matthew 22:1/12


After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, “some wise man came to Jerusalem from the east. Where is the infant king of the Jews?’ they asked. We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage. When King Herod heard this he was perturbed, and so was the whole of Jerusalem. He called all together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people and enquired of them where the Christ was to be born. At Bethlehem in Judaea they told him for this is what the prophet wrote:        And you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah


             You are by no means least among the leaders of Judah,


             For out of you will come a leader


             Who will shepherd my people Israel.


Then Herod summoned the wise men to see him privately. He asked them the exact date on which the star had appeared, and sent them to Bethlehem. Go and find out all about the child, he said and when you have found him let me know, so that I too may go and do him homage. Having listened to what the King had to say, the set out. And there in front of them was the star they has seen rising; it went forwards and halted over the place where the child was. The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. But they were warned in a dream no to go back to Herod, and returned to their own country by a different way.


This indication of the point in the Bible is relatively brief, in the Gospel of Matthew there is told of their worship. However, their exact origin, their names, their numbers are never mentioned. It is said that the wise men "from the east" came to Jerusalem because of the star they had seen. From the appearance of the star they had seen that the long-awaited, true "King of the Jews" had just been born. This was the then king of Judaea, Idumaea and Samaria under the protection of Rome, King Herod I , coming to ears. The unstable situation of that time made it that king Herod was very afraid of pretenders to the throne, he even had his own sons Alexander and Aristobulus and Antipater executed for fear that they would enthrone him at some stage. The birth of another king was therefore bad news to him. He called the scribes and priests to his court (matthew2:4) to find out where the Messiah would be born. According to the prophecy (Matthew 2:6) that was in Bethlehem. Then he summoned the wise men and gave them the command to go find and look at the newborn Messiah in Bethlehem. He wanted them to report back as he said he would pay homage himself to the newborn king. In reality, he wanted the same for the newborn king as he had done to his own sons, as he wanted no one to be threat to him.


The wise men after leaving King Herod did see the star again in the sky. The star went before them and stood over where the child was born. In this way, the wise men found Mary and the newborn king Jesus. They fell on their knees and offered him gold, frankincense and myrrh. However, God warned the wise men in a dream not to go back to Herod out of fear for their life. They therefore returned by another route to their own country. When Herod found out that he was betrayed, he had all the boys in Bethlehem until the age murdered (the infanticide of Bethlehem) to ensure that the predicted newborn king Jesus, never would be a threat to him. God also warned Joseph and he took the new born King Jesus and his wife Mary and fled to Egypt.


From the story as told by Matthew, you might conclude that Joseph was originally from Bethlehem and it was there where he was living, however that was not the case. Because he did not trust the Herod's successor Archelaus, he decided after their flight to Egypt, to return to Judea in Galilee in a place called Nazareth. The history of the wise men would explain how Jesus was born in Bethlehem religiously important but grew up in the relatively unimportant Nazareth. However, in the story of Luke 1:26/27 we read “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgins name was Mary”. They moved to Bethlehem because of the by Herod given order for a census.


The names given in the New Testament for the three wise men were Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar. However the names were only established in the 8th century, before this they were known as Bithisarea, Melichior and Gathasp in the chronicle Excerpta Latina Barbari. In other Christian traditions they are called different names of which the most popular were by the Syrian Christians there the three wise men were called Larvandad example, Goesjnasap and Hormisdas. In the Greek writings of the Book of Matthew, the wise men from the east were indicated with the names/word Magoi. This word indicates that the names of the wise man and the meaning of wise man came from the Zoroastrian priests and could indicate that those three wise men were Zoroastrian priests. There is also an clear indication in the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus which states that the point Jesus would be born was long before predicted by the Zoroaster prophet. However, in Western scientific comments there is doubt to this Zoroastrian relationship. This can be seen as a. Western scientific believes indicate that the wise man were an represented of all nations in the world and no relation to the Zoroastrian can be made and b. No other religion could be predicting the new king to be born. This comes forth out of the belief that this would be in a general sense used by magicians and astrologers who say they can see in the future and point to the rather dubious fact that the East actual means the East.


However, once more we disagree, as it is said that only magicians and astrologers would say that they could predict, they over look Matthew 2:6 where it was predicted that the new born king would be born in Bethlehem, as they confirmed to King Herod Matthew 2:5. That the three wise man were called later the Three Kings is because Pope St. Damasus 1 started the commission for the translation of the bible into an adapted version for the Church (the Vulgate). During this translation they took the prophecy in Psalm 27:11: "Let all kings bow down before him". The Gospel of Matthew does not say when the wise men visited Jesus (Matthew 2:16). In Western Christianity, this is however celebrated on 6 January, the feast of Epiphany.


Epiphany , Epiphany or Revelation of the Lord ( Solemnitas Epiphaniae Domini in Latin) is a Christian holiday that every year on January 6 is celebrated and which one the Biblical event ( Matt. 2:1-18) commemorates the Wise Men from the East who were searching for the new born king and found Jesus, the new born king after they arrived in Bethlehem. They arrived in Bethlehem and found there Jesus, the newborn king of the Jews. The re-writers of the bible were probably alluded to the vision of Balaam, the soothsayer in Moab that did see a star from Jacob takes the leadership. Numbers 24:17.


In the Christian liturgy in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, the Solemnity of the Revelation of the Lord on the first Sunday after January 1st is celebrated on January 6 if on a business day. In many south European countries is a religion day free and Epiphany is celebrated on the day itself. The Revelation of the Lord is the first of three parties, together with the Baptism of the Lord and the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple (February 2). The relics of the Three Kings in a reliquary kept in the Cathedral of Köln. When it was founded somewhere in the early 4th century as a result of the Bible translation(Vulgate) it was originally intended to reduce the appearance of the incarnate Son of God on earth to celebrate (πιφάνεια, epiphaneia is Greek for "appearance"). In addition, the signs of Jesus' divinity commemorated the birth of the Virgin Mary, the visit and adoration of the Three Wise Man, events of Jesus' childhood and baptism by John the Baptist.


The Church of the Latin rite celebrated the birth of Jesus, however, always on 25 December. With the acquisition of the feast of the Epiphany on January 6 by the Latin Church was therefore only the Adoration of the Three Wise Men remembered that disclosure of Christ to the world is celebrated. Nowhere the evangelist Matthew in his birth story mentioned what exactly three Magi or Kings are; Matthew 2:1-18 does mention the story of the Wise (μαγοι ') who came to visit the Christ Child. In the later Christmas stories the three made offer gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. The Wise are part of the folk tales are the folk tales and the Wise Men became kings because the text from Matthew is a reminder of the word of Isaiah 60:3+6 "Nations come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness. C in throngs will cover you, and dromedaries of Midian a Sinai Peninsula tribe and Ephah a tribe from the Saudi, gulf of Akkaba; everyone in Sheba or Mareb in Yemen and Felix in Arabia will come, bringing gold and incense and singing the praise of God.


Under the influence of this text (and Psalm 72.10) are the Wise become Kings, who traveled by camel. In Ravenna is probably the oldest representation of the three Wise Men to be found on a mosaic from the 6th century, the three with name Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar shown, three blacks from the east. See also Wise Men from the East, and here we enter the scene in which the Wise Man become Kings and then become in the Protestant version again becomes the Wise Men again.


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