The Visitors of the Messiah
The Disconcerting Arrival of Eastern Magi in Jerusalem
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east 1 arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
The Prophecy Concerning the Place of His Birth
4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:
6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For out of you shall come forth a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
The Duplicitous Instructions of Herod
7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.”
The Joyful Journey to Bethlehem
9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the placewhere the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
The Worship of the Magi
11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The Discreet Return to the East
12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
1 Matt. 2:1 - magi from the east: The term is the plural mágoi from mágos (3097), in turn, from the Persian magus (great), plural magi, the high priestly caste of Persia; wise man of the Magian religion (Matt. 2:1) (excerpted and adapted from Friberg). It is possible that these men were Persian astrologers who, having observed a remarkable star in the heavens, somehow knew that it indicated a remarkable birth in the land of Israel (adapted from Thayer).
Return to Christology