Visit Of The Magi

                                                               Matthew 2  

                                                      Visit Of The Magi

Vs 1 – Micah 5:2 – Bethlehem was about six miles southwest of Jerusalem.

           From the East – Persia or Arabia

           Wise men – gentiles. They were scholars.

           “Magi,” a term which designates an order of priests and philosophers which belonged originally to Persia and Media, and who were extensively distributed over the region of the Euphrates.

Vs 2 – They saw His star – In the East is where they were when they say it.

          His star – Among the ancients, the appearance of a star or comet was regarded as an omen of some remarkable event. Perhaps they knew the prophecy of Numbers 24:17.

          Come to worhip – not necessarily a religious worship. This was the mode in which homage was paid to earthly kings; and this they wished to pay to the new-born King of the Jews.

Vs 3 – Herod was troubled – Herod had obtained the kingdom by great crimes, and by shedding much blood. He was, therefore, easily alarmed by any remarkable appearances; and the fact that this star appeared, and since it was regarded as proof that the King of the Jews was born, alarmed him.   Besides, it was a common expectation that the Messiah was about to appear, and Herod feared that his reign was about to come to an end.

         Jerusalem was troubled – Herod, fearing rivalry, put to death three of his sons, and several other men and women.  The whole city was upset because the people knew only too well what he could do when in a rage over the thought of another rival.

Vs 4 – Chief priests and scribes – the heads of the four and twenty courses of the priests and the High priest and his deputy.

         Scribes -transcribers of the Law and they read the Law in the synagogue. Later, they became  interpreters of the law and referred to as lawyers.

Vs 5 – Written by the prophet – Micah 5:2. They answered without hesitation.   700 yrs before this, the prophecy was written and the priests and scribes knew it.  Yet, we find no evidence that these men went to Bethlehem to try and find the Messiah

Vs 6 – Bethlehem …Juda – This distinguishes it from Bethlehem, in the tribe of Zebulon

          Not the least – this distinction lifts it from the lowest to the highest rank.  Out of a small city comes a new King – the Messiah.

          Rule – to tend as a shepherd – to feed

Vs 7 – When did star appear? – This would give Herod clue as to the age of the new “King”

Vs 8 –  Herod wants to worship Him – What hypocrisy here. He only wished to find the child that he might murder him. He sent the wise men that they might actually see him, and bring him word.

Vs 8 – Wicked men often hide their evil motives under the appearance of religion. They attempt to deceive those who are really good, and to make them think that they have the same belief. But God cannot be deceived, and He will bring them to punishment.

Vs 9 – The star took them to Jerusalem on route to Bethlehem.. The wise men perhaps thought that a “King” would be born in a Palace; that’s why they went there first.   The star guided them to the house where Jesus was.

          A real or ordinary star would have stood indiscriminately over every house in Bethlehem, and would have been no aid whatever toward finding the right child.

          Stood over where … they were guided by it to the exact spot by His star.

Vs 10 When they saw starStanding over where the child was.

          They rejoiced – their search was complete – they found what they had been looking for; success. A  Saviour was found.

Vs 11 – Came into house – they place where they lived.  Jesus was now about two years old.

          They fell down and worshipped Him – (fell down) This was the usual way of showing respect or homage among the Jews.  Worshipped – paid  homage & showed reverence.

          They worshipped Him – not Mary but Jesus

          Gifts – The people of the East never approach the presence of kings and great personages, without a present in their hands. 

          Frankincense was an aromatic used in sacrificial offerings: It was fragrant when burned, and was, used in worship, where it was burned as a pleasant offering to God.

          Myrrh was used in perfuming ointments.  The name denotes bitterness, and was given to it on account of its great bitterness. It was used chiefly in embalming the dead, because it had the property of preserving them from putrefaction.

          Gold showed that the Magi were affluent & was a usual offering to a king. These offerings were made because they were the most valuable which their country produced. They were tokens of respect and homage which they paid to the new-born King of the Jews.  These offerings would be used in the long and expensive trip to Egypt, by Joseph and Mary, and to help with their living expenses in Egypt.

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