Where were the wise men from? What is known about their belief regarding the star and how it was to identify our Lord?


Matthew 2:1 - 23

ESV - 1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. 2 Saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.

Clarify Share Report Asked August 11 2013 Mini Sandee Clement

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My passport new Arun Kumar Engineer, Chennai, India
The wise men were evidently from the contemporary parts of Babylon since the greek Bible reads it "Magi", which refers to experts in astronomy and other scientific areas. They fourished well in the reign of king Nebuchadnezzar. (refer book of Daniel). Since the Bible refers it "East", I suspect it might also refer India as well, since we have manuscripts of great Indian sage named "Bogar" in his book called "Bogar sattha gaandam" song number 219, he refers that he had visited Judea and the child Jesus and finally he refers Jesus as God, in that song. 

Now coming to the understanding about the star, Im quoting from the website http://biblecommenter.com/matthew/2-2.htm where Barne states that it was not to be supposed to be a mere star, but a meteor or something else.

"His star - Among the ancients the appearance of a new star or comet was regarded as an omen of some remarkable event. Many such appearances are recorded by the Roman historians at the birth or death of distinguished men. Thus they say that at the death of Julius Caesar a comet appeared in the heavens and shone seven days. These wise men also considered this as an evidence that the long-expected Prince was born. It is possible that they had been led to this belief by the prophecy of Balaam, Numbers 24:17, "There shall come a star out of Jacob," etc. What this star was is not known. There have been many conjectures respecting it, but nothing is revealed concerning it. We are not to suppose that it was what we commonly mean by a star. The stars are vast bodies fixed in the heavens, and it is absurd to suppose that one of them was sent to guide the wise men. It is most probable that it was a luminous appearance, or meteor, such as we now see sometimes shoot from the sky, which the wise men saw, and which directed them to Jerusalem. It is possible that the same thing is meant which is mentioned by Luke 2:9; "The glory of the Lord shone round about them;" i. e., (see the note on this place), a great light appeared shining around them. That light might have been visible from afar, and might have been seen by the wise men in the East."

The greek Bible translates star as "astera" which means "to gleam". "Gleam" means "Brief light". Therefore we might conclude that they should have lost sight of it as soon as they had set journey to Bethlehem. Because if the star was more apparent, they might have pursued right to it, but, they perhaps reached the king's court instead (ch 2:2,3). Another evidence is that they were all excited to see the star they had seen when they started departing (vrs 10). When they saw the star for the second time, the star was moving (vrs 9), because the Bible says it was leading them the CEV version states that it "stopped" over the placed where the child was born. 

Concluding, there was difference between the star that appeared before they set to Bethlehem and the star which lead them after they had left Herod's palace. They did not recognize the child as "God the saviour", but some special king was born, so they wanted to humble themselves before Him, since the Greek Bible traslates the word "Worshipped", "proskunesai" which means a sort of humbling oneself before some royal king and perhaps not the form of worshipping God.

Comments invited.

August 12 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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