At this time of year, much of Christendom is celebrating Christmas, and one of the enduring themes about the birth of Jesus Christ is the visit of the Three Wise Men (or “Magi”) to the very young Christ-child. The usual image of this event are depictions of three kings atop treasure-laden camels traveling all alone in their royal regalia and coming over a hill near Jerusalem as they follow a huge star in the sky. While this image has inspired many for centuries, it is an unrealistic depiction from any historical perspective. Royalty (or commoners for that matter) did not travel alone in ancient times on trade routes due to the ever-present danger of robbers and robber barons with private armies waiting to prey on passing travelers and caravans. People typically traveled in large caravans for mutual protection. The Parthian Wise Men would have traveled, as did all royalty and nobility, with a huge entourage of armed escorts, body-servants, cooks, animal-handlers, etc. My books, Parthia–The Forgotten Ancient Superpower and my E-book, The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found!, both examine how the “Three Wise Men” would have actually traveled in ancient times.
Also, the Bible does not limit the number of Wise Men/Magi to only three persons. How many Wise Men might there really have been? The biblical account in Matthew 2 of the Wise Men’s arrival in Jerusalem, their meeting with King Herod and their eventual coming into the presence of the “young child” Jesus (verse 11) has very interesting inferences of what was really happening during their visit to Jerusalem that are easily missed if one does not know the “back-story” of events involving the two ancient superpower empires of that time: Rome and Parthia. Herod represented Rome while the Wise Men and their entire entourage represented Parthia. These empires often were at war with each other, but the Wise Men arrived at a time of delicate peace between the two empires. Why does Matthew 2:3 report that King Herod and the entire city of Jerusalem was so troubled by the arrival of the Wise Men? The arrival of three people from the far east would not have created even a ripple in the fabric or awareness of the people of Jerusalem as they were used to receiving caravans of many thousands of people from the east on a rather frequent basis. Once you understand who these Wise Men really were, the biblical question is answered. Also, what was the “star” that led the Wise Men from Parthia all the way to an actual physical home inside which which they found the young child, Jesus? How could any heavenly object in the skies above the Holy Land identify one individual child who was inside a house (verse 11)? Obviously, no such thing could have occurred.
The answers to the above questions are all given in my above-cited books; however, I have below what I hope readers will receive as my gift to them. It is a link to a PDF of the entire first third of the ninth chapter of my E-book, The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found! This portion of my book examines the birth of Jesus Christ, the arrival of the Wise Men, the nature of the “star” that guided them, why the entire city of Jerusalem became frightened when the Wise Men arrived there, etc. I think you will appreciate the biblical accounts about Jesus Christ’s birth at a much deeper level when you combine pertinent secular historical accounts with the scriptural narratives to understand the entire story of what Matthew 2 records for its readers.
I hope that the information will be enlightening and interesting to you, and I trust that it will boost your faith in the accuracy of the scriptural accounts about the many events that occurred at and just after the birth of Jesus Christ. The endnote numbers in the cited text refer to historical sources that are listed in my actual book.