The wise men (or Magi) are tightly connected to the Christmas traditions. That hasn’t yes, really seen images of the supposedly 3 wise guys worshiping, in addition to the shepherds, the infant Jesus in Bethlehem’s manger, quickly after his birth? yet are these heritages correct? that were the wise guys (Magi)? to be they three? wherein did lock come from? once did lock visit Jesus? What walk the scriptures say around them?

1. Who and also how many were the wise men (Magi)?

Concerning the surname of the wise men, these space not mentioned in the Bible. Therefore any names the you may have actually heard together supposedly being your names are just traditions.

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About their number: though words of God tells united state that the wise men lugged three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:21) , that nowhere claims that lock were additionally three. What the holy bible says is that they to be of plural number ("wise men"), which way that they were certainly an ext than one. How many more, we cannot know due to the fact that the bible does no say. However, that can very well be the they were an ext than two or three since such long journeys to be usually arranged in large caravans for security reasons.

About the identification of the wise men, the different word "Magi" seems to be an ext appropriate since it is a transliteration the the many of the Greek word the is used in Matthew 2:1, words "magos". Concerning the definition of this word, it is an initial used for the characterization the a member of a caste that priests and also wise men among the Medes, Persians and Babylonians, whose learning was chiefly astronomy astrology and also enchantment1. The LXX (ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament) provides this word v this an interpretation in the book of Daniel (see Daniel 1:20, 2:2, 10, 27, 4:7, 5:7, 11). It additionally uses for them the word “wise” (Daniel 2:12, 18, 24, 27; 5:7, 8). So, once for example Daniel 5:11 states that Daniel to be made "chief the the magicians " it method that he was made chief of this caste that learned, wise, men, the Magi. Apart from this meaning, the word "magos" is also used through the definition of a sorcerer (Acts 13:6, 8). In our case, that is clear the the wise men (Magi) that pertained to visit Jesus belonged to the first category i.e. They to be members that this caste that learned guys (a sorcerer would have actually never concerned worship the son of God).

2. To be the wise men present the night the Jesus’ birth?

We have actually all seen throughout Christmas photos of the wise men (Magi) worshiping in addition to the shepherds the infant Jesus in the manger. Together customary as this tradition may it is in it is not what yes, really happened. We an initial read about the visit the the wise guys in Matthew 2:1:

Matthew 2:1"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem the Judea in the work of Herod the king, behold, wise males native the east came to Jerusalem"

According come this passage, the wise males did no arrive at Jerusalem yet only after ~ Jesus to be born. Therefore, due to the fact that they stayed there may be time because that the occasions of Matthew 2:2-9 to occur (the way men arrived at Jerusalem and also started in search of the child; Herod to be troubled by what lock said, and called the cook priests and the scribes the the human being to asking them where the Messiah was to it is in born; Herod dubbed again the wise guys secretly, enquiring of them to tell that what time the star appeared; ultimately Herod sent the wise guys away to Bethlehem), that is obvious that they can by no method be in Bethlehem in the night the Jesus’ birth, in addition to the shepherds as legacy teaches. In addition Matthew 2:11 tells us:

Matthew 2:11"And when they had actually come into the HOUSE, they experienced the young kid with mar his mother, and also fell down and also worshipped him"

together we deserve to see once the wise men came, they didn’t find Jesus in a manger, however in A house i.e. In a location where he, Mary and also Joseph to be living regularly and properly. Obviously, this was not the night the Jesus’ birth yet "AFTER Jesus was born" (Matthew 2:1). Native this, it have the right to be concluded that after the bear of Jesus, Joseph and also Mary settled in Bethlehem in a house.

Furthermore, as Matthew 2:11 phone call us as soon as they arrived in Bethlehem Jesus to be no much longer a baby but a young child. Worrying the period of the young Jesus throughout the visit that the way men, Matthew 2:16-18 tells us that Herod ~ finding the end that the wise men had deceived him and had no come ago to report to him:

“he sent forth and put to death all the male kids who were in Bethlehem and also in every its districts, from 2 years old and also under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired indigenous the way men." (Matthew 2:16-18)

the is necessary to note below that according to this passage, Herod put the period limit the the male kids to 2 years and under "ACCORDING TO the moment WHICH HE had actually DILIGENTLY ENQUIRED indigenous THE wise MEN". In Matthew 2:7, during his interview/interrogation of the wise men, Herod had actually enquired accurately native them what time the star appeared. By this he concerned know the age of Jesus. Thus, if Jesus was born once "his star appeared" in the east", it can be break up that once the Magi saw him - after i m sorry the massacre the Bethlehem taken place - he was definitely no much more than two years old despite not also much less than it2.

To sum it up:

i) The bible does no say the the wise guys were 3 nor walk it point out their names.

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iii) The wise guys were learned human being coming from the East

iv) The wise men did no visit Jesus in the night that His birth. According to the holy bible when they visited Jesus, the was no a baby in a manger but a young child in a house and he could even it is in 2 year old.

Anastasios Kioulachoglou

Footnotes

1. See: E.W. Bullinger: "A an important Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek brand-new Testament", Zondervan posting House, MI 49530, USA, p. 887.