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Author Topic: The Wise Men  (Read 2719 times)

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Olde Tymer

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The Wise Men
« on: September 29, 2018, 11:12:29 pm »
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Matt 2:1 . . Now 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.

The koiné Greek word for these particular wise men is magos (mag'-os) which roughly indicates scientists; and judging by their interest in the cosmos; I'd say they were astrologers.

Back then, science was in its infancy and there was not yet a distinct division between astrologers and astronomers like there is now, so we probably shouldn't tag those guys as mystics.

Matt 2:2 . . Saying: 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.

Now before we assume that these guys were all ethnic Persians we need to be aware that the Jews were spread out all over the world at this time; for example on the day of Pentecost:

Acts 2:5-11 . . Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. A crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard [the disciples] speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs-we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!

I think it's pretty safe to assume that ethnic Persians would not be interested in the Jews' religion so I posit that the wise guys were all Jewish men; and thus knowledgeable of the prophecies predicting a very important successor to David's throne.

So; how did those Jewish men know to follow that star? Well; first off we have to realize that their star wasn't a celestial object because it was low enough in the sky to direct people to the exact house were baby Jesus was lodged (Matt 2:9). In other words: their star was an apparition.

But how did they know their star was related to a newborn king? Well; according to Matt 2:12, they were in contact with God. In other words: the men weren't acting on their own initiative: they were on a mission; directed and supervised by divine oversight.
_
« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 11:10:56 pm by Olde Tymer »

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Olde Tymer

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Re: The Wise Men
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 12:50:50 pm »
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Matt 2:3-4 . . And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born.

Matthew, not Herod, calls Jesus the Christ. The Greek word basically refers to anointing; which is how Jewish kings were installed back in the Old Testament; for example David. (1Sam 16:1-13)

Right about here I get a bit curious. Why would Herod think the king that the wise men sought was predicted in the Bible? It seems to me that in order for Herod to be thinking that way, he'd have to be aware of Daniel's famous seventy-week prophecy. (Dan 9:24-27)

And why would the chief priests and scribes think that way too? Well; they being Old Testament experts were for sure aware of Daniel's prophecy and I'll just bet that they and their forbearers had been keeping track of Daniel's timeline all along and thus probably not all that surprised when rumors of a Messiah started cropping up in their day.

Well; anyway, Herod asked the wrong question. According to Matt 2:2, baby Jesus was already born; in fact, born even before the wise men left their country. So then, knowing where Israel's new king was to be born was a long shot that he'd still be there. The question Herod should have asked is: Where might the boy be now?


FYI: Jesus' hometown Nazareth was predicted by the prophets (Matt 2:23), but not recorded by the prophets. That's curious; but does alert us to the fact that the prophets didn't put everything down in writing.
_
« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 11:13:25 pm by Olde Tymer »
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Olde Tymer

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Re: The Wise Men
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2018, 10:07:37 am »
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After an audience with Herod, the wise men departed for Bethlehem; but I don't think they made it because their star reappeared to direct them.

Matt 2:9 . . After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them.

It was their understanding that the king they sought was already born even before they left home to seek him.

Matt 2:2 . . Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east.

There's no telling how much time had gone by before the star came to them in the east.

And then it stood right over the very place where young Jesus was lodged.

Matt 2:9 . . It stopped over the place where the child was.

The place was a house rather than a stable.

Matt 2:11a . . On coming to the house

The men didn't journey to Israel via motorized conveyances. Thy likely traveled via beasts. I don't know how long it took them to get to Jerusalem from their home towns but I strongly suspect that it was long enough for Joseph to take his family back home to Nazareth.

Also, Jesus was very likely no longer an infant; rather, older by the time they arrived.

Matt 2:11b . . They saw the child with his mother

The Greek word for "child" is somewhat ambiguous. It can refer to any underage kid from infancy to adolescence.

I won't hazard a guess as to Jesus' age by the time the men arrived to see him, but I'm thinking he was at least no longer in a bassinet.
_
« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 11:14:51 pm by Olde Tymer »
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Olde Tymer

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Re: The Wise Men
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 03:22:09 pm »
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Matt 2:11c . . and fell down, and worshipped him:

The koiné Greek word for "worship" is proskuneo (pros-koo-neh'-o). It's kind of a funny word because it basically pictures a dog licking its master's hand; i.e. homage, reverence, and/or adoration; viz: definitely subordination.

Now if these guys knew their stuff-- I think we can safely assume so --then they didn't come all the way from the east seeking another run-of-the-mill king of the Davidic dynasty, rather; a very special potentate that would one day rule not just the land of Israel; but the entire planet-- everything and everybody on it.

Dan 7:13-14 . . In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted into His presence.

. . . He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is the one that will never be destroyed.

Well; let the record show that the wise men were the very first to begin fulfilling that prophecy's prediction that "all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him"

Matt 2:11-12 . .Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Those were not only appropriate gifts for monarchs of that day, but also valuable commodities that Joseph could put to use in financing his family's pending sojourn in Egypt.

It would've been fun if Matthew had told us the weight of the gold so we could put a dollar figure on it according to today's precious metals.

Matt 2:11-12 . . And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

That was a safety measure to prevent Herod from knowing where to find the lad because rulers in that day were typically Machiavellian-- they didn't just crush potential threats to their power; they utterly annihilated it; and as subsequent events demonstrate, ol' Herod had neither conscience nor concern for child welfare.
_
« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 11:17:18 pm by Olde Tymer »

Bladerunner

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Re: The Wise Men
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2018, 12:13:45 am »
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Matt 2:11c . . and fell down, and worshipped him:

The koiné Greek word for "worship" is proskuneo (pros-koo-neh'-o). It's kind of a funny word because it basically pictures a dog licking its master's hand; i.e. homage, reverence, and/or adoration; viz: definitely subordination.

Now if these guys knew their stuff-- I think we can safely assume so --then they didn't come all the way from the east seeking another run-of-the-mill king of the Davidic dynasty, rather; a very special potentate that would one day rule not just the land of Israel; but the entire planet-- everything and everybody on it.


Dan 7:13-14 . . In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted into His presence.

. . . He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is the one that will never be destroyed.

Well; let the record show that the wise men were the very first to begin fulfilling that prophecy's prediction that "all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him"


Matt 2:11-12 . .Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Those were not only appropriate gifts for monarchs of that day, but also valuable commodities that Joseph could put to use in financing his family's pending sojourn in Egypt.

It would've been fun if Matthew had told us the weight of the gold so we could put a dollar figure on it according to today's precious metals.


Matt 2:11-12 . . And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

That was a safety measure to prevent Herod from knowing where to find the lad because rulers in that day were typically Machiavellian-- they didn't just crush potential threats to their power; they utterly annihilated it; and as subsequent events demonstrate, ol' Herod had neither conscience nor concern for child welfare.
_


If you please Olde Tymer, I would like to add something to your excellent post.

"Matt 2:11-12 . .Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. "

As throughout the Bible, different objects tells a story and prophesis all by themselves.

The Gifts these Wise men from the east (Balthasar, King of Arabia; Melchior, King of Persia; and Gasper, King of India) gave to our Lord Jesus Christ was:

GOLD: A precious metal that spoke of Royalty, Kingship for a King.

Incense: The Prayers of Saints (Rev.4). Incense was also used in the temple.

Myrrh: a product of a plant that was used in embalmment of the dead. 

All of these gifts were allusions to the trials the Baby Jesus would endure in the coming years.

 Prophecies hidden, fulfilled and unfulfilled.

Thank you Olde Tymer for an excellent post.

Blade


1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

 

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