Coming of the Magi
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
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
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
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
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.”