Sunday, January 21, 2018

Matthew - Three Wise Men

In today's study from Matthew 2:1-10, we take a look at who the wise men were, where they came from, and how they knew where to look for the Christ. 

Here are a few things about the wise men to think about. 1. We have no idea who they were or where they came from. Psalm 72:10-12 may be a hint. 2. We are not sure as to exactly how many there were. We assume three because of the gifts they brought, but the chances of such wealthy men traveling alone would be doubtful. The traditional names given to them are Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, but that is total fiction. 3. There is no mention of camels in the narrative. So much for “We Three Kings”!

How did they Know?
How did the wise men know about the birth of our Lord? I’ve studied three possible reasons.  None of which I am dogmatic about. #1. Is. 60:1-6 - While this passage specifically refers to the Second Coming of Christ, it could have been partially fulfilled at his birth. #2 The prophecy of Daniel (Dan. 9:23-27). I believe that the wise men may have very well used this prophecy to determine the date of birth of Jesus. The command to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem was given in Neh. 2 on March 14, 445. The prophecy said that from the going forth of the command on March 14, 445 that it would be sixty-nine weeks of years until the Messiah would come. That’s 483 years or 173,880 days using the Babylonian calendar. That puts us at April 6th, 32 A.D., the exact day that Jesus came through the Eastern gate. They could have back-tracked this date to his approximate birth time. #3 The Prophecy of Balaam. Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
v.11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Notice the gifts that the wise men brought: gold, Frankincense, and myrrh. Each of the gifts represents some aspect of our Lord. The gold symbolizes his kingly role. The frankincense symbolizes his priestly role. The myrrh symbolizes his death.

Interestingly, Isa 60:6 speaks of a time in the future when a multitude of camels shall cover your land, The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba shall come; They shall bring gold and incense, And they shall proclaim the praises of the LORD. Notice that there is no myrrh in this future gift. 

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