Over the years this story of the Three Wise Men has been expanded and embellished to depict an even more historical event that provides more detail than the Bible to the men This is not in conflict in any way to the Biblical interpretation but gives us an even better understanding of the men that came to worship Christ as an infant.
The following came from the Internet and is bothhistorical andlegendary supposition pertainingto the Three Wise Men.
After Jesus was born, Wise Men came to look for Him, probably from an area which is now in either Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia or the Yemen. Although they are often called the ‘Three Kings’, the Bible does not say how many there were, or that they were kings. One theory is that they might have been Kings of the Yemen, as duringthistimethe Kings of Yemen were Jews. Three is only a guess because they brought with them three gifts: but, however many there were, they probably wouldhave hadmany more servants in a large caravan winding itself through the great Arabian desert to reach Jesus.
They were certainly men of great learning. The wordMagicomesfrom the Greek word `magos’. This is also the root word for the English word, magic. Magos itself comes from the old Persian word `Magupati’. This was the title given to priests in a sect of the ancient Persian religions. Today we call them astrologers. At that time astronomy and astrology were part of the same overall studies and went hand in hand with each other. The magi wouldhave followed the patterns of the stars religiously. They would have probably been very rich and held in high esteem in their own society and by people who weren’t from their country or religion.
They had seen an unusual new star or bright object in the sky, and knew that it told of the birth of a special king. No one really knows what the new star in the sky was, and there are many theories including comets, supernovas, a conjunction of planets or something supernatural! Regardless of what the physical characteristics that caused the star are, was a announce the birth of the Christ child.
Legends are told about them and each king has been given a name. This is how they are often described:
• Gaspar (or Caspar), who has brown hair and a brownbeard or no beard and wears a green cloak and a gold crown with green jewels on it. He represents the Frankincense brought to Jesus.
• Melchior, has long white hair and a white beard and wears a gold cloak. He is the King of Arabia. Melchior represents the Gold brought to Jesus.
• Balthazar, who has black skin and a black beard or no beard and wears a purple cloak. He is the King of Tarse and Egypt. Balthazar represents the gift of Myrrh.
Herod asked the Wise Men to find Jesus and tell him where he was. He explained that he wanted to worship the Child. In fact he wanted to kill the child. He thought that Jesus sounded like a new King that could usurp Herod’s power.
When the Wise Men found Jesus and Mary, they would have been living in a normal house as the Bible identified. By this time Jesus would have been aged between one and two. Then they gave their gifts to him. The gifts seem quite strange to give to amere baby, but Christians believe that they had the following meanings:
• Gold: is associated with Kings and prized.
• Frankincense: is an incense and sometimes used in worship in Churches. It held high regard with the Jewish faith and was burned as an incense. A major supplier of ancient Frankincense was from Southern Arabia which is today Yemen.
• Myrrh: is aperfume that was put on dead bodies to make them smell nice. Like frankincense, myrrh comes from the sap of a specific tree that was found in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Ethiopia.
When the wise men were about to go to inform Herod of where Jesus was, they were warned in a dream not to do so and told of Herod’s plan to kill the child. The wise men quietly left.
Christmas is such a special time of the year. It is a time of giving and sharing. Even if the gift is not of a materialistic nature, the gift of love and caring canbe evenmore special. Long after the toys are broken and discarded, the trees are gone and the food was long-ago eaten, the memory of the magic of Christmas will remain for a lifetime.
This year has been a period of turmoil in our noble nation and our beautiful world. As harsh and wicked as 2020 has been there are glimmers of love and assurances that the world will continue to survive. For years the nativity, the essence of the true meaning of Christmas, have disappeared from courthouse squares around our country. It is gratifyingto driveby the courthouse in Farmerville and see a large nativity gracing the grounds of that building. In addition, there is a true treat for those that are Christian and believe in the Christmas story. In the early evening of December 21, on the Winter Solstice, in the Western sky the planets of Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest they have been in 800 years. It will be the brightest point of light in the sky and have led many to believe that this couldhavebeenthelight that led the Three Wise Men while traveling at night across a trackless desert to find the Christ child. This phenomenon happened in the year 6 BC, a year many scholars say Jesus was born. Also, the planet Mars joined the other two and the light would be even brighter that what we will be able to see this year.
From the Fields family to everyone, a very Merry Christmas.
Tuffy, Fields may be reached by emailing thelouisianaexplorer@ yahoo.com.