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The Visit of the Magi
2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of [a]Herod the king (Herod the Great), [b]magi (wise men) from the east came to Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star [c]in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 So he called together all the chief priests and [d]scribes of the people and [anxiously] asked them where the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) was to be born. 5 They replied to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what has been written by the prophet [Micah]:
‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are not in any way least among the leaders of Judah;
For from you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod secretly sent for the magi and learned from them [e]the [exact] time the star [had first] appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and behold, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them [continually leading the way] until it came and stood over the place where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And after entering the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, after opening their treasure chests, they presented to Him gifts [fit for a king, gifts] of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned [by God] in a dream not to go back to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
- Matthew 2:1 Herod the Great was born into a prominent, wealthy family in Idumea (the area formerly known as Edom, the land of Esau’s descendants) and some archeological evidence indicates he considered himself Jewish.
- Matthew 2:1 Gr magoi; these were educated men who specialized in astronomy, astrology, and the natural sciences. The magi were witnesses to the miraculous events surrounding the birth of Jesus.
- Matthew 2:2 Or at its rising.
- Matthew 2:4 Teachers and professional scholars specializing in the Law (Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament) and writings of the prophets.
- Matthew 2:7 Lit the time of the appearing star.