The Gifts of the Magi

Wise men, Gr. Magi, a common word among the Persians, whence the Persian translation of S. Matthew has here Magusan, Magi, or wise men, or astrologers, or philosophers. The word seems to be derived from the Hebrew as Genebrard, on Ps. 1., thinks, from the root haga to meditate, whence Magim, those who meditate. Cornelius à Lapide. (1887). The Great Commentary of Cornelius à Lapide: S. Matthew’s Gospel—Chaps. 1 to 9. (T. W. Mossman, Trans.) (Third Edition, Vol. 1, p. 44). London: John Hodges.


The story of the Magi raises so many questions. Why would they come all that way? Did they really understand who the king was they were seeking? We are given answers but not always in clear pictures. They see a star. It is a new star and they conclude that it is in reference to a new king and they want to see him. (It isn’t just booking a flight to Bethlehem, they have to plan an extensive trip across

New Stars Mean a Big Change is Coming

the desert.) In their minds and their understanding of the stars, this king must be very special especially if there is a new star to announce his birth. They travel the great distance and they are very politically correct because they go directly to King Herod believing that the new king would be at the palace. Herod knows nothing of this new king, but he is curious.

The Magi come to see Jesus and bring him very expensive gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They know that they have seen the king but they don’t question why he isn’t at the palace and an angel tells them not to go back to King Herod and they depart and go a different way. Herod becomes furious that he has been taken advantage of and orders the destruction of all boys two and under and he hopes to destroy the new king.

Joseph is told in a dream to leave and head for Egypt

because King Herod is going to try to find Jesus and kill him. How would a poor carpenter from Nazareth have enough money to relocate to Egypt in a spur of a moment? They have the gifts from the Magi to provide financial assistance for their move. God had a plan all orchestrated and he took care of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. The Bible says they stayed in Egypt until King Herod died.

We seldom see all God is doing behind the scenes in our life. He allows circumstances and situations to help us know his plans for our life. He is never silent but are we listening?

Author: Karen Epp

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