The Magi, Who Were They?

The Midianites were merchantmen, who traveled from Gilead to Egypt at the time when Joseph’s brothers sold him to them and to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. They took Joseph captive into the country of Egypt, where he served the country as a slave. Also, it was in Midian where Moses found a place of refuge when running away from Pharaoh. He was a guest at the Midian’s priest’s house, called Jethro, who welcomed him and later gave him his daughter Zipporah for a wife. (Gen. 2:15-21). Ephah city which was named after Midian’s son, Ephah, formed part of Midian with its surrounding territories on the east shore of the Dead Sea. The place abounded with dromedaries and camels.

These wisemen who came to honor YAHSHUA, were men of great political and religious powers; they lived in Persia, today’s the country of Iran. They were astronomers, who watched the heavens for signs of great significance to them based on their knowledge of astronomy. They became familiar with the Jews in captivity, especially Daniel, who influenced their lives greatly. It was through him that these Magi came to know about the future coming Messiah. They also adopted Judaism for their religion and their system of worship was influenced by it. They took seriously the prophecy concerning the coming Jews’ Messiah to the point of making a long trip to honor Him, when they saw the specific star, announcing His birth. It was at that time when the heavens displayed the conjunction of Jupiter and Regulus, and a total eclipse of the sun and the blood moon.  These were the signs in heaven bringing great joy to the world! The heavens declared the glory of God. Their declaration was loud and clear, in that they demonstrated greater beauty, like no other time before, as they shone the glory of their Maker, announcing His coming to earth.

These descendants of Abraham were men of faith. Their gifts confirmed their respect and belief in the Son of God as the new born King.  The Bible gives us this account in Matthew 2:10-12: When they saw the star, they rejoiced. And on going to the house, they saw the Child with Mary, His mother, and they fell down and worshipped Him. Then opening their treasure bags, they presented to Him gifts- gold, frankincense and myrrh; and receiving an answer to their asking, Where is He, Who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east at its rising and have come to worship Him (Matt. 2:2). Not only did they want to meet the new-born King YAHSHUA, they wanted to worship Him; to give Him the homage due to a king. They worshipped Him the best that they could with gifts and with their faith in adoration. Their gifts were gold, symbolic of monarchy; frankincense, the functions of Levitical priesthood and myrrh used for embalming rituals; it is connected with death and burial and many other functions. Myrrh spoke of our Lord’s redemption to save mankind through His death. The reverential fear they displayed for King YAHSHUA was clearly seen. The Magi did not go to the stable where YAHSHUA had been born, as it has been taught, but they went to Joseph’s house, guided by the star. At that time YAHSHUA was about two years old. After it was all over, they were divinely instructed and warned in a dream not to go back to Herod; so, they departed to their own country by a different way. Frantic, for having the Magi misled him, Herod had all Bethlehem’s male children who were two years old and under be put to death (Matt. 2:16).  The Shekinah glory of God was visible in the heavens; the glory of the Lord had shined on the nation of Israel, but blindness prevented them from seeing it to the point of years later desiring Him dead. The Gentiles however, believed Isaiah’s prophecy, and were given the sign in the heavens when the time came of His arrival.

Herod’s action was the work of the devil trying to thwart God’s plan of salvation for the human race. Many babies died that day and the prophecy from Jeremiah was fulfilled: A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they were no more (Jer. 31:15). But the King YAHSHUA was saved from Herod when an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, Get up! Take unto you the young Child and His mother and flee to Egypt; and remain there till I tell you, for Herod intends to search for the Child in order to destroy Him (Matt. 2:13). Herod died a miserable death on the day when he arrayed himself in his royal robes, took his seat upon [his] throne, and addressed an oration to them and the assembled people shouted, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man! And at once an angel of the Lord smote him and cut him down, because he did not give God the glory; and he was eaten by worms and died (Acts 12:21-23). According to the researches diagnose of Herod’s death, they concluded that King Herod died of a chronic kidney disease, complicated by a very uncomfortable case of maggot- infested gangrene of the genitals. After Herod’s death, an angel of the Lord again came to Joseph in a dream and told him to go back home, for those who sought the Child’s life is dead (Matt. 2:20).

The Magi went back home, rejoicing with the fact that they had seen the King of kings, YAHSHUA, Israel’s King. The trip that they had made of many days, perhaps of 4 to 5 months long was more than worthy their time. These three kings representing the Gentile world, celebrating the One in whom they believed. While Bethlehem slept, that night of YAHSHUA’S birth, there was a heaven celebration shared with the shepherds, who were on the fields watching their flocks. Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terribly frightened, but the angel said to them, So not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is will pleased (Luke 9-14). And we too rejoice with them saying, amen! The shepherds and the Magi, two very different people in their social positions, symbolized at that time Jews and Gentiles accepting the Son of God in the future to come.


The Prophecy Watcher Magazine Dec. 2015

Web-Bible Encyclopedia

Author: Jacinta da Cruz Rodgers

I have been committed to teaching the truth of the Word of God beginning with Trans World Radio on Bonaire, N.A and Swaziland, Africa (1969-1980), then through churches in the United States in both English and Portuguese and then through ministry in Israel (2005-2006). This ministry continues through local Bible studies and outreach to the world via the internet. I have written a book about my life from that of an orphan in Brazil to missionary in 5 countries. You can find out more on the "Book" page of our blog site.

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