Those who study the history of the Three Kings will quickly understand that it is above all about myths, sagas and religious legends transmitted.
The Catholic Church venerates the “Three Kings” as saints and celebrates them with the feast of the Appearing of the Lord on January 6. But who were these wise men of the East?
Here is everything you need to know…
Wise Men in the Bible
According to Matthew 2: 1-12, the Magi are a star in Bethlehem and began to learn about this King of the Jews whom they seemed convinced was just born.
This made a lot of noise, mainly with King Herod, who gathered all the monks and intellectuals and asked to understand why so many people had come to see this mysterious child.
They explained the prophecy and Herod advised the sages to strike him on the way home, but they had been “warned in a dream” that he was drawing. After they dropped off their gifts, they took a different route home and out of The Good Book forever.
Who were the three wise men?
Because there is so little information about wise men in the Bible, people have tried to fill out as many documents as possible on these three wise men.
Their names are by no means given, but due to the fact that they are so closely characteristic of the nativity story that is told over and over again in Christian culture, they had to give them a name.
According to Western tradition, the three wise men of Persia, India and Babylonia are respectively called Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar.
In Syria, the sages are called Larvandad, Hormisdas and Gushnasaph, while other Christian cultures call them Kagba, Badadakharida and Badadilma.
It is no longer known how the Magi, who were originally called Magos (a caste of monks and, yes, sane men), became kings.
They were probably star astrologers (i.e. priests), simple court servants other than rulers.
Between the 3e and 8e for centuries, however, new translations of the Bible imbued them with this royal designation, especially the line “May all kings fall before him.”
Thanks to this aggregate of mysticism and significant advice, the Magi have become saints and martyrs in some traditions.
Several churches have even claimed to house their remains, however, it is incredibly difficult to perceive the body of anyone whose identity is unknown.
How many wise men were there in the Christmas story?
The Bible in no way says how many magi there were.
There had been at least two, however, there is no other indication than that. The notion of three sane guys probably stems from the fact that they brought three gifts.
The traditions of the early church clearly suggested that there were twelve magi, but we have no idea.
What are these gifts?
Surely we don’t even know that there were three wise men.
All we know is there was more than one, but we assume there were three as they brought three items which upon closer inspection you will find unsuitable for one. baby.
Biblical scholars have also observed it and have developed various theories on the significance of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The most primary theory is that the gifts are what they are: myrrh is an anointing oil, frankincense is a perfume, and gold is gold (Everyone loves gold).
Others believe the gifts are metaphorical, for example, gold represents “royalty,” frankincense is pious, and myrrh symbolizes death due to its use for embalming.
Another possibility is that gold represents virtue, frankincense symbolizes prayer, and myrrh replaces suffering. Yet any other possibility is that all of this is a reminder to Isaiah’s prophecy that “They shall bear gold and frankincense and proclaim the reward of the Lord.”
They didn’t even arrive at Christmas
If you go to see a manger today, you will see all the people showing off right after Jesus was born, but if you think about it, it is unlikely that even those who had to travel from exotic lands managed to do so. to do. before the Virgin Mary could even leave the manger.
This is because they did not: the sages actually arrived 12 days after the birth of Christ. The nativity play truncates the timeline to keep size to a minimum, as no one wants to watch a 12-day play.
Today the day of the arrival of the Magi is known as Epiphany, and depending on your Christian denomination, you will have a great time somewhere between January 6 for Catholics and January 19 for Orthodox Christians.