Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Magi.

Below is the text from Mathew chapter 2, describing the three magi, or wise men. They were likely Zoroastrian priests schooled in astrology from central Persia. Zoroastrianism dates back to about 600 years before the birth of Christ and was a dominant religion in the Holy Lands until the time of Alexander the Great, and still exists as a minority faith in Iran today. Herod, a king of Israel died in 4 AD. He was to order the death of all male infants up to two years of age in the Bethlehem area in an attempt to kill Christ. There are no records of this massacre other than in the Bible, however there are records that he killed his wife and two of his sons, so he was probably capable of it. Christ's family flees into Egypt until after Herod's death. In 2007 an Israeli archaeological team discovered Herods tomb.

1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also 9When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.11And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh 12And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.


art from the top; Rembrandt, Fabriano, Tintoretto.


Unknown said...

Merry Christmas, Stape!
My favorite Christmas verse:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Some scholar once told me the word "dwelt" is the same as "tabernacle" and could really be interpreted as "he pitched his tent among us". I like that.

Karla said...

Merry Christmas Everyone!! And God bless us, one and all.

Manatee Writers said...

Merry Christmas Stape and everyone!

Teresa Cowley said...

Stape, thank you for posting all the masterful artworks depicting different parts of H-I-S story -- Merry Christmas! (Deb, that is one of my fav Christmas verses, too.)

Stapleton Kearns said...

Merry Christmas, are you healing? I hope you aren't typing with your nose.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Merry Christmas!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Merry Christmas to you too!

Stapleton Kearns said...

You are welcome. Merry Christmas!