©Kerrie O'Hearn Marquart

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©Kerrie O'Hearn Marquart

Monday, December 13, 2010

GIFTS OF THE MAGI...

Matthew 2:3-12  "When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the christ was to be born.  They told him. 'In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: "and you O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'"
   Then Herod summoned the wisemen secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, :Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him."  When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was.    When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.  Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.  And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way."
   The king would have wished the baby Jesus harm and so they were warned in a dream not to report to Herod.  God is so good!  He reveals many things through dreams.  Have you ever had anything revealed through a dream? 
   Some meanings for you:
Frankincense:  A fragrant gum resin imported into Palestine from Arabia.
Myrrh: A general term for fragrant gums or resins from various trees and shrubs, most frequently the rockrose, the ladanum.   It was an article of commerce as early as the 2nd millennium B.C.  (Source:  Holy Bible with Helps, The Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible revised Standard Version.

Please Note that the following is quoted from Why Christmas by James Cooper 2010 and his link is at the end of this post.
"Legends are told about the wisemen and they have been given names. This is how they are often described:
  • Gaspar, who has brown hair and a brown beard (or no beard!) and wears a green cloak and a gold crown with green jewels on it. He is the King of Sheba. Gaspar represents the Frankincense brought to Jesus.
  • Melchior, who has long white hair and a white beard and wears a gold cloak. He is the King of Arabia. Melchior represents the Gold brought to Jesus.
  • Balthazar,who has black skin and a black beard (or no beard!) and wears a purple cloak. He is the King of Tarse and Egypt. Balthazar represents the gift of Myrrh that was brought to Jesus.
  • They were definitely men of learning. They were certainly men of great learning. The word Magi comes from the greek word 'magos' (where the english word 'magic' comes from). Magos itself comes from the old persian word 'Magupati'. This was the title given to priests in a sect of the ancient persian religions such as Zoroastrianism. Today we'd called them astrologers. Back then astronomy and astrology were part of the same overall studies (and 'science') and went hand in hand with each other. The magi would have followed the patterns of the stars religiously. They would have also probably been very rich and held high esteem in their own society and by people who weren't from their country or religion. "
  • (Source: James Cooper 2010 author of http://www.whychristmas.com/ )  Thanking James Cooper for all this great information!

1 comment:

Ginny said...

I knew that they were wealthy and respected astrologers, but did not know that those two studies went hand in hand. Today they have been split up and certainly have entirely different meanings, this fact is very interesting to me! I also never heard about the descriptions. A very good and also informative post!