The Antipas Foundation and Faithful Witness Ministries-Proclaiming the Gospel of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus and announcing His soon return.
Inspiration And Information For A Biblically Oriented, Christian World-View
#17 - WERE THERE REALLY 3 "KINGS" OR 3 "WISE-MEN" OR 3 "MAGI"?
WHERE WERE THEY AT?
WHO AND WHAT WERE THEY?
WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?
WERE THERE REALLY THREE OF THEM?
WHEN DID THEY ARRIVE IN BETHLEHEM?
WHAT WAS THE STAR THAT THEY FOLLOWED?
WHY DIDN'T THE WHOLE WORLD SEE THE STAR?
Click Here - Read - Matthew, Chapter 2 --- About The Wise Men
The actual words of the Gospel narratives
differ greatly from popular "Religious" myths:
The words of the Gospels also differ greatly from many other unscriptural "Religious" practices,
traditions, customs, and fanciful beliefs in fables or folklore that have been built up around
the original, God-given Bible stories.
It is highly speculative (suppositional conjecture)...
for one to assume that the "wise men" were some type of NON-Hebrew mystical holy men.
Myths, fables, traditions and outright lies surround all of the Bible stories, and the application of folklore or fantasy is especially pervasive relative to those Bible stories about the birth of Messiah.
THE SO-CALLED 3 "KINGS" OR 3 "WISE-MEN" OR 3 "MAGI"
About two thousand years ago, during the Hebrew year 3757...
During the ninth Hebrew month of Kislev, in what we (today) refer to as BCE 5...
THEY FIRST SAW THE STAR WHILE THEY WERE EAST OF ISRAEL
The star first appeared to them once Christ Jesus, The Messiah, was conceived in December of 5 BC.
They were in Babylon, directly East of Jerusalem.
From their Eastern perspective, the star appeared toward their Western horizon.
A lack of other distractions assured that people were quite familiar with the night sky.
A NEW star-like object appearing on the Western horizon would be noticed by those facing West.
Especially since the new star did NOT set below the Western horizon throughout the night.
And especially since the star had NOT first risen in the East, and had NOT traversed the entire sky at night to end-up on the Western horizon only near dawn.
God provided them time to prepare for a trip, and time to travel for several months.
God alerted them early enough for them to arrive at the same time as the birth.
THEY WERE ETHNIC HEBREW RABBIS
The so-called "Kings" or "Wise-Men" actually were ethnic Hebrew Rabbis, descended from the millions of Hebrews taken captive by Assyria and Babylon more than 500 years previous, for only about 80 thousand Hebrews ever returned to eretz Israel (and only to the environs of Judea) back in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah.
The ethnic Hebrew population in the Persian/Assyrian/Babylonian region was much more than 100 times that of Israel's ethnic Hebrew population, as the Samaritans peopled the northern part of eretz Israel.
More ethnic Hebrews were in the massive metropolis of Babylon, alone, than in all of Israel.
In the Diaspora, piously devout and faithful Hebrews faced toward Jerusalem in prayer.
During their evening devotions, Hebrews would have easily noticed a NEW celestial object that appeared toward Jerusalem.
Babylon was a Rabbinical headquarters and had numerous Hebrew seminaries, a magnet for piously devout and faithful ethnic Hebrews.
Babylon's royal treasure-house still possessed the objects looted from the Hebrew's Jerusalem temple about 500 years earlier, including the Holy Scripture scrolls.
Babylon's Rabbis had been the source of Jerusalem's new copies of the Holy Scripture scrolls.
Babylon's Rabbis had been the source of the Talmud (Torah commentaries).
Who ELSE would care to study the Hebrew's Holy Scriptures?
Who ELSE would even have access to the Hebrew's Holy Scriptures?
Who ELSE would care to travel to Jerusalem, for months, across desert terrain?
Who ELSE would care about (or even know about) a prophesied Hebrew Messiah?
Who ELSE would care to WORSHIP a long forgotten, unanticipated, Hebrew Messiah?
Who ELSE would care to search-out a newborn, infant, babe-in-arms "King-Of-The-Jews"?
Certainly NOT the bogus, Hebrew, religious hierarchy occupying (haunting) the Jerusalem Temple.
And, the pagan heathens of that day did not have one whit of concern about the Hebrew's Holy Scriptures.
Since the Jews had been conquered by Assyria and Babylon, the pagan heathens considered the God of the Hebrews to be a defeated, powerless, worthless God.
The pagan heathens had no respect for, and would not feel moved to worship, a Hebrew Messiah who represented what they saw as a helpless and totally ineffectual God.
The pagan heathens were clueless concerning God's judgments on Israel, of permitting the Jews to be conquered and enslaved.
This lack of awareness, concerning God's judgments on Israel, indicates that the pagan heathens had never studied the Hebrew's Holy Scriptures for information about a prophesied Hebrew Messiah or about a star announcing His birth.
For if the pagan heathens had been studying the Hebrew's Holy Scriptures, they certainly would have developed an understanding of God's judgments on Israel and why He permitted the Jews to be conquered and enslaved.
Because, both the middle-eastern pagan heathens and the Roman pagan heathens were "men-of-action" who had admiration for those who proved that they could exercise power and determination to see their will accomplished.
And those pagan heathens would have been greatly impressed (awed and amazed) by a God who could, first, issue prophetic warning and, then, later bring about the eventual outcome of national defeat and enslavement as a form of judgment or punishment.
That the "wise men" were Hebrew Rabbis makes MUCH! more sense than do any of the various non-Biblical, Roman Catholic-inspired myths, fables, traditions and lies surrounding this issue.
This fact is illustrative of the weight of 2,000 years of non-Biblical traditions and customs preventing sensible people from considering the MOST! likely possibility, that the "wise men" actually were Hebrew Rabbis.
THEY TRAVELED WEST, TO JERUSALEM, BECAUSE THEY CAME FROM THE EAST
They most likely joined-up with a merchant caravan for safety and traveled the fertile crescent trade routes.
Their entourage could have numbered many hundreds, with potentially many dozens of Rabbis along with many more Hebrew seminary students, and along with many other piously devout and faithful ethnic Hebrews making their own pilgrimage to Jerusalem for one of the three Scripturaly commanded High Holy Days.
Being Hebrew Rabbis, they would have longed to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, especially for a High Holy Day, for an Annual High Sabbath celebrated at the rebuilt Hebrew temple.
A great many Hebrew pilgrims from outside of Israel often came to Jerusalem for one of the 3 Annual High Sabbaths, to celebrate one of the 3 High Holy Days, along with the attendant ceremonies, feasts and festivals.
THE ARRIVAL IN JERUSALEM
They arrived in Jerusalem at the same time that Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem, right at sundown.
They arrived in Jerusalem at the same time as the beginning of the 7-day-long Feast Of Tabernacles, the first night and day of which is an Annual High Sabbath, a High Holy Day, in early Fall, of BCE 4 - Tishri 15, 3758 on the Hebrew calendar.
Christ Jesus, The Messiah, was born a little later-on that very same night!
Ye-shu'a (Jesus) was NOT born in a barn, a stable, a grotto or a cave, but rather in a temporary dwelling called a tabernacle (sukk'ah or booth) which had been built (in the tens-of-thousands throughout the region surrounding Jerusalem) especially for the Feast Of Tabernacles (Sukk'ot) celebration.
Any place where animals are kept (barn, stable, etc.) is an extremely unsanitary place to give birth, risking the life of both the mother and the child by contamination from animal wastes.
He was placed in a "manger" (a food crib), demonstrating in a "Type" that He is the Bread of Life from heaven.
The shepherds, who heard the angelic announcement of the birth, were abiding outdoors with their flocks atnight during the Hebrew's seventh month. They would NOT be outside, at night, during late December due to stormy, wet and freezing weather conditions during the Hebrew's ninth month.
INQUIRING ABOUT THE NEW-BORN MESSIAH
THREE Rabbis (or 3 so-called "Kings" or "Wise-Men" or "Magi") inquiring about some obscure, new-born "King-Of-The-Jews" would NOT have caused even a ripple of interest in an exceedingly over-crowded and pre-occupied Jerusalem during the tumult of Annual High Sabbath (High Holy Day) religious services, celebrations and festivities.
But a unified MOBOFHUNDREDS of foreign Hebrews with dozens of highly respected, Babylonian, ethnic Hebrew Rabbis, all with a common cause, raised the type of stir and buzz that got the notice and the rapt attention of an extremely paranoid King Herod.
King Herod the Great did not reside in Jerusalem, but only came for the eight major Feasts/Festivals of the Jews.
The Jews were not fond of Herod so, following any given Holy Day, to avoid all of the animosity, strife and intrigue in Jerusalem, Herod would always hastily retreat to one of his many palaces or fortresses scattered throughout his realm.
Herod was in Jerusalem, most especially, for all of the three annual "Pilgrimage" Sabbaths (High Sabbaths), of which the first day of The Feast Of Tabernacles (15 Tishri) is one.
This is the best proof that, since Herod WAS in Jerusalem, it HAD to be during a major Feast/Festival of the Jews.
And the timing of the birth of Christ Jesus dictates that, on this occasion when Herod met with travelers from the east inquiring about the birth of a "King" of the Jews, Herod was in Jerusalem for the fall Feasts/Festivals of the Jews.
THEY FOLLOWED THE STAR SOUTH TO BETHLEHEM
It is obvious that the so-called "Kings" or "Wise-Men" actually were ethnic Hebrew Rabbis, from Babylon, seeking local directions in an unfamiliar land.
They followed the star from Jerusalem, South 5 miles (8km), to Bethlehem.
The star then stood still, directly over the location of the Messiah.
For the star to first lead them West to Jerusalem over a 9 month period since its sighting, then for the star to make a sharp left-turn and lead them South toward Bethlehem for one night, and then for the star to stand still directly over the location of the Messiah, means the star HAD to be supernatural.
The star has NO logical explanation in the physical universe - it was NOT an alignment or grand conjunction of planets - it was NOT a comet - it was NOT a super-nova - etc., for the star did NOT rise in the East, it did NOT traverse the night sky, and it did NOT set below the Western horizon, as DO natural physical objects in the celestial heavens.
The star MIGHT? even have been visible during daylight hours.
Today, people who do not accept the Bible as entirely truthful or believable, including lame astro-physicists, astronomers, astrologers, liberal theologians and even (laughably) art critics, argue and quibble on TV documentaries about the timing of its appearance and the likely celestial source for this star.
It is quite possible that no one else either saw or reported the star because God has a sneaky way of doing some things, where ONLY those people He chooses can either observe or comprehend a particular supernatural event. (e.g. Christ Jesus ONLY spoke to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, while the others present heard a voice but did NOT hear any meaningful conversation - Acts 9:7; e.g. The angel of the LORD that was at first seen by ONLY Balaam's ass, but was NOT seen by Balaam himself until the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam - Num. 22:23-34)
The star was most likely The Angel Of The Lord, an entirely supernatural event not meant for general consumption or observation.
For IF the star HAD been a natural physical object visible in the celestial heavens, why didn't the WHOLEWORLD see the star?
One would think that the Hebrew's own religious hierarchy, in Jerusalem, would have (should have) been aware of the prophecies concerning the coming of Messiah, and would have (should have) been camped-out at Bethlehem, en masse, by the time the Babylonian Hebrew Rabbis arrived?
THE ARRIVAL IN BETHLEHEM
After the "Pilgrimage" Sabbath, the Rabbis departed Jerusalem and arrived in Bethlehem during the very next evening after Messiah's overnight birth.
The baby Christ Jesus was, by then, inside a house. The "Pilgrimage" Sabbath had ended, many pilgrims had departed, and lodgings were now available indoors.
After being warned by God (in a dream) to flee Herod, Joseph took the family and departed for Egypt very late that same (2nd) night and never returned to Bethlehem.
From birth to departure for Egypt, the family of Jesus spent no more than a scant 36 hours in Bethlehem.
THAT one (1) early October night was the ONLY chance for the Rabbis to honor the Messiah inBethlehem.
Today, you should refuse to believe the folklore based upon Roman Catholic myths and fables that falsely claim January 6th is "3 Kings Day" or "Epiphany".
The Rabbis brought three (3) distinct types of gifts - gold, frankincense and myrrh.
They paid homage to Christ Jesus, giving Him the gifts fit for a King.
If EVER Mary was intended by God to be honored, adored and venerated, THIS was THE time!
They bowed-to and worshipped ONLY the newborn Messiah, the baby Christ Jesus, NOT Mary!
HEROD WOULD SOON HEAR OF THE BIRTH
The overly paranoid King Herod had spies all throughout his dominion.
Herod certainly would have quite soon heard the news of Messiah's birth at Bethlehem, due to the shepherds who noised the event throughout the nearby region, even unto Jerusalem, 5 miles to the North.
THE FAMILY FLEES TO EGYPT
Christ Jesus' family took Him and fled to the closest part of Egypt on the next night after His birth. Most likely to either the nearby Gaza or Sinai areas, not very far, just far enough away to be both IN Egypt and OUT of Israel, OUT of King Herod's legal reach.
NOT into Heliopolis, NOT Alexandria, NOT Memphis, NOT Goshen, NOT the location of today's Cairo; NOT near the pyramids; NOT way down South upon the Nile River; no matter what the ancient Coptic fables and traditions or the modern Egyptian folklore falsely claim.
Many opportunists in the Middle-East (Most especially Muslims!) actively claim their local share of the many legends and myths that have grown-up around the various Bible stories. There are numerous competing and duplicate shrines or pilgrimage sites in Egypt, all vying for a piece-of-the-action, claiming "Jesus Slept Here!", some are even located South of Cairo, up the Nile River all the way to Luxor and Karnak. All such claims are BOGUS!
CIRCUMCISED ON THE 8th DAY
Christ Jesus was circumcised and named on His eighth day of life, as was the routine Hebrew custom, completing an "official" birth for a male Hebrew.
Circumcised on a special Sabbath day that has always been referred to as "The Eighth Day", because that day was the eighth day from the High Holy Day (the Annual High Sabbath) which is the first day of the 7-day-long Feast Of Tabernacles, the same High Holy Day of Christ Jesus' birth.
His circumcision would have been accomplished anywhere they happened to be at that time, and performed by anyone, while reciting the prayers of the "Bris" (Brit Mila) ceremony even without a Mohel, Rabbi or Priest to officiate.
THE FAMILY RETURNS FROM EGYPT
King Herod was dead within 3 weeks of Messiah's birth, by late October, BCE 4, dated according to mostly Roman records of when Archelaus assumed the vacant throne of his father, Herod.
The family of Christ Jesus returned from Egypt less than a month after Messiah's birth.
The family of Christ Jesus first returned to Nazareth, avoiding Jerusalem. They never returned to Bethlehem.
Forty (40) days after His birth, the family of Christ Jesus presented Him at the Hebrew Temple, in Jerusalem, to officially record His birth and to dedicate Him to God, as this 40 day period was when His mother was considered by Mosaic Law to be ritually cleansed and eligible to enter into the temple, again, after giving birth to a male child.
THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE SO-CALLED "MAGI"
The original mythological stories of 3 so-called "Kings" or "Wise-Men" gave them imaginary Persian, Syrian and Babylonian names, while much more recent folklore cobbled-together from Roman Catholic fables and Eastern Orthodox traditions have given them the imaginary Greek names Melcheor, Balthazar and Gaspar.
Today, all throughout the regions of Muslim Iraq and Iran (ancient Persia, Assyria and Babylonia), all towns, great and small, have their own myths, fables, traditions and outright lies falsely claiming that at least one of the 3 so-called "Kings" or "Wise-Men" or "Magi" originated from their very own locales.
THE RABBIS WERE ETHNIC HEBREWS FROM BABYLON
The Hebrew Rabbis were NOT priests of Mithras, or Zoroaster, or Zarathushtra, or Ahura Mazda or some other type of mystical holy-men.
The Hebrew Rabbis were NOT astronomers, astrologists, kings, magi, sorcerers, magicians, wise-men or wizards.
They WERE Jews from Babylon, who WERE ethnic Hebrew Rabbis!
Those Hebrew Rabbis turned-out to be the first Messianic Jews.
Most people, including most Hebrews, know very little about the Hebrew's Holy Scriptures. Also, too many people know very little about the Christian Bible and, so, know nothing of the information about the birth of Christ Jesus, the Star Of Bethlehem or the visitors from the East detailed above.
Even many (most) genuine Christian believers do not fully understand the Hebrew orientation of the Holy Scriptures and never make the theological connection between the Judaism of Christ Jesus and its Christian applications.
Mankind's customs and traditions, even if pious and heartfelt, are not recognized by God as true worship: In Mark 7:6-7 and Matthew 15:7-9, Christ Jesus stated:
"Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites... in vain do they worship me... teaching as doctrines the traditions of men... thus making the word of God of none effect."
FORGET CHRISTMAS CAROLS! KNOW THE SCRIPTURES!
There is always a danger of NOT understanding Bible stories when one knows
the Christmascarols (folklore based upon Roman Catholic myths and fables)
BETTER than one knows...
THE BIBLE ITSELF !
Today's Wisest Men Still Seek HIM
Click Here - Read - Matthew, Chapter 2 --- About The Wise Men
Click Here - View A Chart Of Easter, Passover and Pentecost Dates
For Years 2000 -thru- 2050