KINGDOMS HONORED JESUS AS KING
Mat 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Many religious traditions add a Christmas star and three wise men (Maggi) with Jesus at the Nativity scene in Bethlehem. That’s an error. There was no star at Bethlehem and there was no Maggi. The episode of the star and the Maggi happened two years later. I have a lot to say about the star, but not now.
Mat 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem…
Were The Wise Men Astrologers or Magicians?
Some translations say the Maggi were astrologers. That doesn’t seem likely, as the bible has warnings against astrologers, who were listed among the soothsayers and magicians.
Dan 2:27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king.
Many translations use the word Magi which means magician. That seems inappropriate, as the Word of God speaks against magicians and those who counseled with them.
The Message Bible calls them scholars. I like that. But they were more likely kings or the proxies of kings (ambassadors).
Isaiah Says They Were Kings
Isa 60:3 And the Gentiles (plural) shall come to thy light, and kings (plural) to the brightness of thy rising.
More Than Three Wise Men
The Catholic and the Protestant tradition holds that there were three wise men. The Eastern Orthodox tradition holds there were twelve wise men. We can’t be certain, but it was more than three, and maybe more than twelve. Look at these messianic prophecies. Five kingdoms are mentioned by name: Egypt, Ethiopia, Tarshish, Sheba, and Seba. However, some are referred to in the plural.
The Psalmist Called Them Princes From Egypt and Ethiopia
Ps 68:31 Princes (plural) shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.
Kings From Tarshish, Island Kingdoms, Sheba, and Seba Paid Obeisance to King Jesus
Ps 72:10 The kings (plural) of Tarshish and of the isles (plural) shall bring presents: the kings (plural) of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
Tarshish – A Phoenician Colony in Present Day Spain
The group from Tarshish sailed 2,500 miles in Phoenicians ships to reach Israel. It was a dangerous journey of more than 90 days. 1 Kings 10:22 says the crossing took place once every three years. History says the Phoenicians traveled in convoys of fifty merchant ships, protected by military ships.
Fleets From Tarshish Were Large
1 Kings 10:22 For the king had a Tarshish fleet on the sea, along with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years, the Tarshish fleet came in, bearing gold and silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
The Phoenician fleet crossed the Mediterranean in convoys of fifty large, merchant ships protected by military ships.
Queen of Sheba Came With a Large Caravan to Pay Obeisance to King Solomon
1 Kings 10:2 – NIV Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind.
The Hebrew word for caravan or train is Ahyl. It means a force of men, army, soldiers, host, power, substance, strength, might, efficiency, wealth, valour… The Queen of Sheba had a very great caravan!
The logistics of crossing a great expanse with a movable court were enormous. It was a 1,500 mile journey that normally took seven years. However, the Queen of Sheba made the same journey in three years. Doubtless, she had a well-trained army and well-planned logistics to accomplish that fete.
The Queen of Sheba came in a movable palace, protected by a host of soldiers, accompanied by footmen and draft animals, livestock, and provisions, and attended to by administrators and servants of every station.
Mat 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon…
Picture the Queen of Sheba’s enormous host encamped on the outskirts of Jerusalem, with tents, pavilions, kitchens, camels, horses, livestock, servants, soldiers … Now move forward to the appearance of the wise men who came to honor Jesus and multiply the spectacle by twelve! No wonder Herod and all of Jerusalem were greatly troubled.
Here’s a question for you: If the epiphany was as tradition says, how could three old dudes on camels terrorize Herod and all of Jerusalem?