Wise men, kings, Magi? Who were they, where did they come from, and when did they visit Jesus?
Lots of questions, and some theories from research.
So, were they kings or wise men?
According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi “The Magi are popularly referred to as wise men and kings.”
Who were they and where did they come from can be taken as one question… in my mind anyway. Although there are many theories of where they came from, I favour this one.
“The Bible states that they were from “the East,” which would be in the direction of Babylon and ancient Persia. Of all the peoples of “the East,” the Babylonians had many opportunities to learn of the Jewish Scriptures, which contain multiple promises of the coming Messiah. Daniel was an influential government official in Babylon about 600 years earlier, and he foretold the coming of the Messiah (Daniel 9:24–26). Also, tens of thousands of Jews lived in Babylon during the time of the Exile (605–536 BC), and they maintained a large presence there for the following centuries.” https://answersingenesis.org/holidays/christmas/we-three-kings/
The Magi were ‘wise men.’
It says in the quote above that tens of thousands of Jews lived in Babylon…. And they maintained a large presence there for the following centuries.
So many centuries that it is mentioned that the Apostle Peter went to Babylon.
“The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.”
1 Peter 5:13, KJV
This raises a number of issues and many theories, most of which I have studied, but this is not the purpose of this post. Let’s just take it at its word.
This next quote explains ‘magi.’
The word magi is the plural of Latin magus, borrowed from Greek μάγος (magos), as used in the original Greek text of the Gospel of Matthew (in the plural: μάγοι, magoi). Greek magos itself is derived from Old Persian maguŝ from the Avestan magâunô, i.e., the religious caste into which Zoroaster was born (see Yasna 33.7: “ýâ sruyê parê magâunô” = “so I can be heard beyond Magi”). The term refers to the Persian priestly caste of Zoroastrianism. As part of their religion, these priests paid particular attention to the stars and gained an international reputation for astrology, which was at that time highly regarded as a science. Their religious practices and use of astrology caused derivatives of the term Magi to be applied to the occult in general and led to the English term magic. The King James Version translates the term as wise men; the same translation is applied to the wise men led by Daniel of earlier Hebrew Scriptures (Daniel 2:48).
When did the wise men (Magi) visit Jesus?
The traditional view presented in films, such as The Nativity Story, is that the wise men saw Jesus on the night of His birth, but this is highly unlikely. Matthew 2:1 reveals that the magi came to Jerusalem and subsequently visited with Herod after Jesus had been born.
It is highly implausible that the wise men would arrive in Jerusalem at night and immediately obtain an audience with Herod. The king then gathered “all the chief priests and scribes of the people” (Matthew 2:4) so he could determine where the Messiah was to be born. The experts told Herod that the Messiah needed to be born in Bethlehem, which was predicted in Micah 5:2. So, the wise men departed and made their approximately six-mile journey to Bethlehem.
Continuing from another source…
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. Matthew 2:11 (NASB)
Verse 11 states that Jesus was living in a house. This reveals that Jesus’ parents had moved to a house. Contrary to popular nativity scenes and paintings, Christ was now living in a house when the magi visited Him. His parents had moved from the location of the manger to this house. There were no shepherds or angels when the magi stopped to worship Him and give Him gifts.
See previous post…
Traditional Nativity Scenes Are Often Wrong
The Slaughter of the Innocents
King Herod ordered the execution of all male children under two years old.
Much of this post is comprised of quotes from other sources. They are to demonstrate that these are not wild theories of mine. Just food for thought for you to explore and make up your own mind.