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Who The Magi Really Were - And Their Gifts - And The Star

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posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 11:17 AM
The "three kings" who traveled to give gifts to baby Jesus, weren't really kings. They were Zorastrian Priests:
"The story of the Magi in the New Testament, told by Jews who had become Christians, is spun from elements in the Old Testament, which are used to prove that Jesus is the Messiah, King not only of the Jews but of the whole world. As the "messianic" passages of the Old Testament were read, they "predicted" that the non-Jewish nations of the world would come to adore the Jewish messiah (or nation) and would bring international treasures.

"Some of the relevant passages that were alluded to in the Magi story are Isaiah 60:5-6: "...The riches of the sea will flow to you, the wealth of nations come to you; camels in throngs will cover you, and dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; everyone in Sheba will come, bringing gold and incense and singing the praise of the Lord."

"Another passage is in the Psalms, 72:10-11: "The kings of Tarshish and of the islands will pay him tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts; all kings will do him homage..." Other prophetic texts mention trade in incense and spices, such as Jeremiah 6:20 and Ezekiel 27:22.

"The gifts themselves have symbolism for Christians: frankincense is for Christ's divinity, gold is for his royalty, and myrrh is a symbol of his eventual Passion and death, since it was used to anoint corpses. The number of the Magi is never specified in the Gospel, though it was assumed they were three, since there are three gifts mentioned. In the Psalm 72 passage three kings appear, which was one origin of the "We Three Kings" concept.

"What about the Star that the Magi were following? The Christian story is intended to recall the "star of Jacob" mentioned in Numbers 24:17 : "A star from Jacob takes the leadership..." A star was symbolic of a god, or a deified king, in the ancient Middle East - stars appear on carved signature seals and wall-carvings.

"There are Zoroastrian legends about the Star of the Magi, that identify it as Tishtrya, or Sirius, the star whose rising heralds the coming of rain. Sirius first rises in late summer, just before dawn, and in winter nights around the solstice and Christmas it blazes in the sky in the early and middle evening. Tishtrya is a yazata or guardian spirit, now known as "Tir," whose festival, Tirgan, is celebrated in the summer with much splashing of water."
"These valuable items were standard gifts to honor a king or deity in the ancient world: gold as a precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as anointing oil.

"In fact, these same three items were apparently among the gifts, recorded in ancient inscriptions, that King Seleucus II Callinicus offered to the god Apollo at the temple in Miletus in 243 B.C.E. The Book of Isaiah, when describing Jerusalem’s glorious restoration, tells of nations and kings who will come and “bring gold and frankincense / and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord” (Isaiah 60:6)."
"From ancient times, gold has been associated with rarity and royalty. Because of its endurance, gold also became associated with immortality. In the time of Jesus gold was an essential gift for a king or deity.

"Frankincense, also known as olibanum, was also considered precious. The plant-derived, resin-like substance was used for medicinal purposes and in incense. In presenting frankincense to Jesus, the magi recognized Jesus's role as a priest.

"Myrrh was, in Jesus's time, more valuable than gold. It is obtained from trees which grow in southern Arabia and other parts of the African continent. Its ancient use was as an analgesic and an embalming element. Myrrh symbolized pain, death and the afterlife. As a gift of the magi, it foretold of Jesus's suffering and death."

(NOTE: No one argues over the exact three gifts brought to baby Jesus. But the interpretation of those gifts, as you can see, varies. I have also read other accounts - which I now can't find - That the Magi actually arrived when Jesus was 6-9 months old, and could sit up and grasp things.

This account says that the three gifts were really a Test for the divine babe: If he reached first for Gold, it would confirm his Royal Divinity. If he reached first for Myrrh, it would confirm he would be a Healer. If he reached first for Frankincense, it would confirm he was to be a Prophet or Priest. In fact, the babe reached for all three - and confirmed to the Zoraster Magi that the babe was indeed the foretold Son of God.)

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 11:54 AM
After reading the first few lines in your op I have to ask you where in the NT does it say 3 kings or 3 wise men ? now back to finish the op . a reply to: MKMoniker eta.. it would seem that 3 people riding camels would not stir up the whole city and would hardly be noticed but a rather large contingent might raise attention even to the King at that time which it did .. eta is more likely that the star was actually the planet jupiter the king star . eta . the gifts were symbolic but they may have had a value that would pay the cost for the family to flee what was going to come down on the 2 year olds and younger . Jesus may have fit into that Age group as a young lad .

edit on 24-12-2014 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)

edit on 24-12-2014 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)

edit on 24-12-2014 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 12:02 PM
a reply to: MKMoniker

Yahweh was a Magen.

2 Samuel 22:3 my Elohim, my rock in whom I take refuge, my Magen, the strength of my salvation, my stronghold, my refuge, and my Savior who saved me from violence.

All Magen References from the Bible

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 12:15 PM
a reply to: the2ofusr1

Yes, it does not say how many and it does not say they were Kings. They seem to be more like astrologers and priestly wise men. If they were noble they would have travelled with a caravan and being so oriental a crowd like that would have caused a right old stir in Jerusalem. For Herod to entertain them and the message they brought they must have been important people. Also, the gifts they brought would place them as having come from Sheba. Ethiopia royals were practising the Torah before the birth of Christ. We know this from Ethiopian history. The Ethiopian royalty believed they descended from Solomon and the Queen of Sheba; Haile Selassie claimed this lineage as Conquering Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah. They took on Christianity just as quickly as Judaism. Judaism was very highly respected and practised in a sense in many areas out side Israel.

If there is any reality to this tale it sounds to me like they had seen the birth in the stars, figured by the appearance of the star. There was Messiah fever around this era. I have read that Daniel's prophesy pointed to this time for the coming of the Messiah.

EDIT; Sorry this is a bit garbled. Old Sheba was Yemen and stretched well into east Africa. Ethiopia is descended from this region. Here is an interesting article discussing the theories:

Where Did the Wise Men Come From?

From the article:

"Why Yemen? Archaeologists are increasingly agreed that the ancient and powerful kingdom of Sheba was located at the Southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, and that it’s reach extended deep into Eastern Africa. The three gifts of the magi indicate an origin in Sheba since the kingdom was known firstly for its vast wealth from the gold mines of Africa, secondly, the Boswellia tree–from which the gum that is used to make frankincense is tapped–is native only to the Arabian peninsula and Somalia. Thirdly, the commiphora tree–from which the resin to make myrrh is derived–also grows only in the Arabian peninsula."

edit on 24-12-2014 by lonesomerimbaud because: clarification.

edit on 24-12-2014 by lonesomerimbaud because: inclusion of quote.

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 12:25 PM
It would also seem that Daniel may have taken a position with the group after Persia conquered Babylon . Him having spent many years in that Govt. at a high level may have given him a good egg nest and he may have passed on some of his savings for that day in the future . a reply to: lonesomerimbaud Daniels prophecy can be shown to be from the going forth of the declaration to rebuild the city to the time when Christ made his entry into the city on palm sunday . I think it works out to the day .

edit on 24-12-2014 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 01:06 PM
a reply to: the2ofusr1

"After reading the first few lines in your op I have to ask you where in the NT does it say 3 kings or 3 wise men ?"

There is a reference in Matthew, according to my OP link:

"The story is in the Gospel according to Matthew, 2:1-12, and goes as follows: "After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, some wise men 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."

"King Herod interviews the wise men, hoping to have them lead him to the newborn Jesus, whom he regards as a threat to his reign. The miraculous Star leads the wise men directly to the child. "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..."
"The fact that Mark, Luke, and John are entirely silent about this, and the fact that Matthew’s Gospel does record it, is surely proof positive that this first Gospel presents Christ in a distinctively Jewish relationship. The evidence for this is cumulative: there is first the peculiar expression with which Matthew opens — "the book of the generation of," which is an Old Testament expression, and met with nowhere else in the New Testament; there is the first title which is given to Christ in this Gospel — "Son of David"; there is the Royal Genealogy which immediately follows; and now there is the record of the visit of the wise men, saying, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?""
edit on 24-12-2014 by MKMoniker because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 01:22 PM
a reply to: MKMoniker

the2ofusr1 was meaning the number (as being 3). You are right about Matthew. That is the only gospel to mention it and that gospel is more Jewish in tone.

It is so frustrating that we can't find any more out about this. That one appearance in Matthew is all we have to go on.

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 01:31 PM
Curious how you both are more willing to argue geography - and ignore the Zoraster Magi (priests) and their gifts. This helps perpetuate the myth of "three kings", by ignoring the interwoven history of both the Jews and Zorastrian priests.
"Zoroaster (the Greek name by which the Iranian prophet Zarathustra has become known) is traditionally believed to have lived and taught in the early part of the 6th century BC. His home is probably in the region to the east of the Caspian Sea.

"The main theme of Zoroaster's teaching is to replace the numerous ahuras or gods of the traditional Indo-Iranian religion with just one ahura, the supreme God or 'Wise Lord', Ahura Mazda.

"Zoroaster's original concept of Ahura Mazda is found in what are believed to have been his own discourses, the Gathas, which form the opening section of the Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrianism. Ahura Mazda, he says, created a pair of twin spirits as his sons. One, Spenta Mainyu, chose truth, light and life; the other, Angra Mainyu, preferred deceit, darkness and death.

"Human history, according to Zoroastrian belief, reflects the struggle between these eternal opposites, Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu, good and evil, light and darkness, truth and deceit. Zoroaster rejects all but one of the forms of sacrifice practised by the Indo-Iranians, and keeps only sacrifice by fire. So fire becomes, in Zoroastrianism, the sacred symbol of truth."

(NOTE: These advanced spiritual beliefs are still with us:
~ Belief in one Supreme/Creator God
~The Asian concept of Yin/Yang, (or the endless dance for balance between Good and Evil.)
~ The purifying aspect of fire, (from releasing the soul of sacrificed animals, to the necessary disease microbe eradication by burning the dead).

"As the religion of Zoroastrianism develops, after its founder's death, Ahura Mazda himself (sometimes now shortened to Ormazd) tends to take over from his good son the responsibility for thwarting Angra Mainyu.

(NOTE: When Evil threatens to overtake the naive Good Son, the Father steps in to battle the Evil Son himself. This hints that it is the older generations, more experienced and wiser, who are usually the first to recognize evil - and be willing to stand up and battle it - since they can remember the horrors rained on mankind by unchecked evil.)

These Zoraster priests were highly spiritual - especially given the Times. They weren't motivated by power, wealth or jealousy; only the Truth. Who better to "verify" and "celebrate" Christ's birth?
edit on 24-12-2014 by MKMoniker because: correction

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 01:38 PM
It must not have been a lot of gold, didn`t jesus have to work as a carpenter to support himself?

The 3 gift givers weren`t very generous,considering that allegedly they believed jesus was a king they didn`t even give him enough gold so that he could live comfortably without having to work.

I wonder what mary and joseph bought with the gold,i hope joe didn`t blow it all on booze and broads.

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 01:39 PM
a reply to: MKMoniker

Thanks for the crash course in Zoroastrianism. Your theory is as good as any. The main evidence in support of your theory is the use of the term Magi. It seems this has a link with Zoroastrianism. The Yemen/Sheba connection comes from the 3 gifts. There are also ideas that they came from India or China.

Matthew!!! Wish he had written more on this subject.

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 01:44 PM
a reply to: MKMoniker

Thinking about this there has to be more to this story. The Words in the gospels were very carefully chosen. Inclusion of this story of the wise men in Matthew has to have a significance and meaning. Whether it is a true story in some way or whether it specifies some significance for the people Matthew was writing for remains to be answered.

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 01:57 PM
a reply to: lonesomerimbaud

"It is so frustrating that we can't find any more out about this. That one appearance in Matthew is all we have to go on."
"Since the magi presumably had access to the Hebrew Scriptures, they could have known about the promises of the coming Messiah. Some scholars believe that the book of Numbers informed the magi of the child who would be preceded by a star.

“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17). Perhaps they were told in a dream about the Messiah’s birth. After all, God warned them in a dream not to return to Herod after they had seen the baby Jesus and presented their gifts to Him (Matthew 2:12)."

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 02:00 PM
There is problems when you try and harmonize the Gospels too much .The fact that they were in a hose says nothing about the shepherds seeing Him first at the manger ,or that it was a angel that brought the event to their attention and not the star . The star that lead the wise men may not have been the star telling them of the time at which point they may have started their journey . There is a good vid done by someone who used the star/planet movements back to the time of His birth that showed Jupiter's movement within the Virgo consolation that fits the narrative . I will have a look and see if I can find it . a reply to: MKMoniker

So the wise men inquired with Herod as to where the new born king was . Herod inquires as to where he was supposed to be born and learns that it would be Bethlehem according to scripture . After the birth and the senses Joseph and Mary would have went home . They were not living in Bethlehem . What was the star that took them to their home ?
OK I found the best one I have seen thus far .

edit on 24-12-2014 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)

edit on 24-12-2014 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 02:12 PM
a reply to: Tardacus

"The 3 gift givers weren`t very generous,considering that allegedly they believed jesus was a king they didn`t even give him enough gold so that he could live comfortably without having to work."

Jesus was born to be a Spiritual King - not royalty ruling over land or a territorial kingdom. And to be a Spiritual King, he had to walk among the people, preaching and teaching. His only "territory" was human souls thirsty for understanding, for verification of an Ultimate Goodness that could guide their miserable lives - and prove that they had been born for a purpose, and were part of God's Plan.

The three gifts the highly spiritual Zorastarian priests gave to baby Jesus, worked on many levels. In numerology, three is the number representing "Creativity." The three Magi gave three gifts to the small family of three - Joseph, Mary and Jesus. This adds up to nine, or the highest spiritual number, as the last single digit.

And the gifts themselves were to test the baby, and verify to the Magi (and ultimately Herod) that Jesus was the foretold Son of God come down to Earth. Three tests, and three positive answers to those tests. Herod was the only evil one of the mix, so the Magi simply left after seeing Jesus, and never "reported" their findings to Herod.

Which may have saved baby Jesus' life, by giving the small family time to get out of jealous Herod's kingdom,before he decreed that all children under 3 had to be murdered. (Per an angelic dream by Joseph, after the visit by the Magi, the family was already on their way to Egypt.)

And each of the three gifts symbolized something important to Jesus, something to guide him in his tumultuous life. He was born a Spiritual King (gold), who was also a Healer and a Teacher. Many of his "miracles" combined all three.

edit on 24-12-2014 by MKMoniker because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 02:14 PM
a reply to: lonesomerimbaud

Spot on with your post. Ethiopia is a good example of the Lord bringing the gentiles into the fold. Your post also correctly answer this Op's title/question. The Ethiopian royals did actually descend from Solomon and Sheba and do constitute one of the tribes as well. Their wisdom and knowledge was great due to knowledge and teachings from the Solomon himself and Sheba and blessings of the Lord. The gifts given have three fold symbolism and also equate the trinity father,son,spirit. The gifts also connected the OT with the coming NT principles and salvation brought by Jesus on the cross for our sins by also this duality:

1. The three gifts signify OT completion and coming of the Christ fulfilling the word, law and the promise given to the world showing the truth of God the mystery the Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end, God's will made manifest.

2. The gifts also in deeper meaning show the need for gentile and Jew alike to accept Jesus as their savior and receive their crown. By gifts gifts trying OT and NT together, the deeper meaning is shown one of the most profound and life-changing knowledge: "Whoever honors the Son honors the Father and the Father honors those who honor the Son." This phrase is found throughout the Bible and clearly shows God's desire for mankind to seek his face through his son Jesus Christ... Once again for-filling God's will made manifest

Just my 2 cents and I enjoyed your post, merry Christmas to all and God Bless everyone

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 02:30 PM
a reply to: the2ofusr1

"There is problems when you try and harmonize the Gospels too much."

Hardly! Those were tumultuous times, with competing religions and prophets even before Christianity. And moving to another kingdom could mean being forced to give up one's beliefs for that of the current King. Most people (at least in public) accepted the new Religion - but quietly kept their old beliefs. Throughout Time, wise rulers have even encouraged people to cling to the best of all their religious teachings, for the filtered Truth which spoke to every individual the strongest.

I've even read where Jesus was really born in the summer - the optimal time for a baby-who-would-be-a-Spiritual-King to be born. Jesus would have been about 6 months old by December (or the winter solstice), perhaps when the Magi were sent to find him. There was also a powerful pagan ceremony in December. So down thru Time, Jesus' "birth" (or formal recognition of his Divinity by the Magi' arrival to test him) possibly melded with the pagan ceremony in December.

The Bible, like all Religious Texts, works best on the level of presenting a Behavioral Code of Conduct, between mankind and God, and mankind to each other. As a Historical document it is accurate at its core, but many times misinterpreted and edited in its later editions. And Historically it couldn't possibly convey all the political turmoil, evil monarchs and endless suffering of the Time.

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 02:32 PM
a reply to: BlessedLore

Have a great Texan Christmas! God bless.

The Ethiopian history fascinates me. I have read both volumes of Haile Selassie's autobiography. I admire him very much for his faith and world view. Few people realise that little Ethiopia has such an amazing Hebrew and Christian history. The fall of royalty in the early 1970s when Haile Selassie was toppled by the communists brought to an end a Kingdom that had existed for almost 3 thousand years. Ethiopia was the oldest Christian Kingdom, too.

Also they had a version of the Book of Enoch that had been passed down separately to the Slavic version. Then was discovered the Dead Sea version and they all read pretty much exactly the same. This gives me great faith in these scribes and I view the OT, NT and surrounding literature as being very accurate as they have been copied and handed down.

edit on 24-12-2014 by lonesomerimbaud because: spelling.

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 02:44 PM
a reply to: MKMoniker

"In fact, the babe reached for all three - and confirmed to the Zoraster Magi that the babe was indeed the foretold Son of God.)" Quote MKMoniker

Did Jesus have 3 hands?


posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 03:29 PM
Hi Everyone,

For what I have read the New Testament has been manipulated and changed many times over the centuries and evn single Gospels were adjusted to appease the religious or political leadership of the time.
So I would be very careful with numbers, and unfortunately I didn't get change to read from the original language yet.
The concept of priests or kinds of wise men visiting a newborn is not so outrageous, especially if everyone know who Jesus really was... in this case, how many of them really went to see him, becomes secondary to WHY did they actually went see him

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 03:40 PM

originally posted by: lonesomerimbaud
a reply to: MKMoniker

the2ofusr1 was meaning the number (as being 3). You are right about Matthew. That is the only gospel to mention it and that gospel is more Jewish in tone.

It is so frustrating that we can't find any more out about this. That one appearance in Matthew is all we have to go on.

You should remember that Matthew was a tax collector, and therefore accustomed to keeping records. The royal genealogy would have been a part of the records he could get through the tax records among other places.

Matthew 9:9-13New International Version (NIV)

The Calling of Matthew

9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

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