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Coming of the Magi

CHAPTER 6

 

Noble Magi, having seen the celestial signs of the birth of the “King of Light,” come to pay tribute. They inquire of King Herod of Judea as to the location of the infant, but on the council of his advisers, Herod mistakenly sends them to Bethlehem. When the Magi do not find him there, a skipping ball of light appears which they follow to the home of Miryam and Yosef in Nazareth. After paying homage, the Magi open their treasures and offer the infant Yeshua gifts of gold, silver, spices, perfumes, and other tributes. An angel appears to Yosef in a dream and warns him that they must flee to Egypt and remain until the death of Herod. Elizabet also receives a vision that she must flee with her son Yochanan. King Herod demands the death of Yochanan and all children, under the age of two with special signs around their births.

 

 1 Now when Yeshua had passed his first year, behold, noble Magi and their retinue appeared from lands beyond Judea and came to Jerusalem.

 2 And the Magi came before King Herod of Judea and asked, “Where is the King of Light that has just been born? For we have journeyed far to pay tribute to him.”

 3 When Herod, the king, heard this, he was troubled, and thinking to mask his motives, he inquired of the wise men how they, being foreigners, knew of the king that was born.

 4 And the Magi said unto King Herod, “We have seen an unusual conjunction of the stars in the sky foretelling the birth in this land upon the summer solstice, at the time of greatest light, of a king of light that shall rule all the world.

 5 We have therefore journeyed to Jerusalem to see for ourselves the king that the very stars bear witness of, that we might honor him, but we know not exactly where in this vicinity to find him, and therefore make inquiry of you.”

 6 Herod was astounded at what they said, and assembling all the chief priests and scribes, he inquired of them in private where the Anointed One was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet Micah, ‘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.’”

 7 Then Herod summoned the Magi secretly, 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.”

 8 Following the directions of the king, the Magi proceeded forth, but arriving in Bethlehem, they found no sign of the infant king and thinking Herod had deceived them, they looked again to the stars for direction.

 9 As they were thus engaged, a small ball of shimmering light appeared before them, skipping above the ground in momentary flashes; only to disappear and then reappear again as they traveled in the direction it beckoned them.

 10 When they saw this sign, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy, and they followed it both night and day until it led them to the very door of the humble house of Yosef and Miryam, in the town of Nazareth of Galilee.

 11 Entering into the house, they saw the child with Miryam, his mother, and they each touched a knee to the ground and paid homage to him and related to Yosef and Miryam all the miraculous occurrences that had led them to their home.

 12 And the Magi opened their treasures and offered Yeshua gifts of gold, silver, spices, perfumes, and other tributes. Then being warned in dreams not to return to Herod, and feeling no obligation because of his deception, they departed by another way to their own country.

 13 From that time forth, Yosef and Miryam were barrenly poor no more, but using the treasures of the Magi frugally, they were able to increase their stature.

 14 Nevertheless, being told by an angel in a dream, they buried most of the gifts in the ground that they might be brought forth at another time to serve God.

 15 Now when the Magi had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Yosef in a dream and said, “Rise, and use a part of the gifts of the Magi to take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Remain there until I come again to you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”

 16 Then Yosef rose and took Yeshua and Miryam and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was the first fulfillment of what the Lord had spoken by the prophet Hosea, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

 17 That same evening, Miryam’s relative Elizabet received a vision of an angel at her bedside, warning her to flee with her infant son Yochanan, and without a word to her husband Zekaryah who was in the temple; she went up into the hills and hid him.

 18 When Herod realized that he had been tricked by the Magi, he was in a furious rage and jealous that any other should be regarded as a king in the land of Judea or have the audacious honor to be called the king of the world.

 19 His priests had told him that the scriptures foretold of the king to be born in Bethlehem, and uncertain as to whether the Magi had spoken of the most recent summer solstice or the previous, he inquired of his priests if there were any children born in Bethlehem or all of Judea, in the last two years, which had been noticed of the people or shown signs of wonder.

 20 His priest told unto him of the son of the priest Zekaryah and of the many signs that had accompanied his birth and of the prophecies of his father. Then Herod gave specific instructions that the son of Zekaryah should be destroyed and that any other children under two years of age in all of Judea, which had great signs about their birth, should also be killed. And because of this evil decree, twelve children returned to God.

 21 With grim resolve, the soldiers of Herod went forth upon their mission to destroy the son of Zekaryah, and having searched his house and finding it empty, they appeared at the temple and, standing before Zekaryah, demanded to know the whereabouts of his infant son, whom the people already proclaimed.

 22 Zekaryah held forth his empty palms and professed ignorance, noting he was serving the Lord in the temple and knew not the things that were transpiring without.

 23 Then Herod’s soldiers were wroth with Zekaryah and threatened him with their weapons, saying, “Tell us in truth, where is your son? Know you not that your life is in our hands?”

 24 But Zekaryah again disavowed knowledge of the whereabouts of Yochanan and told the soldiers that if they spilled the blood of an innocent man in the service of God, they would have no forgiveness in the world to come.

 25 But the guards regarded not his words and slew him at that moment, spilling his blood upon the temple court.

 26 As punishment for his evil, the Lord cursed Herod with a sore curse, and from that day forth until his death, his body was consumed from within by worms, which caused him great pain and agony.

 27 And the evil he did fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.”

 28 When Herod died and his son Herod Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Yosef in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and return to the land of Israel, for he who sought the child’s life is dead.”

 29 Then he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel to the town of Nazareth of Galilee, which was his family’s home, and there raised Yeshua in humble surroundings so that what had been spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

 

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