Wise Men From The East

by Dody Gibson

Even the youngest Bible students are well familiar with the story of the birth of Jesus. The Matthew account tells of the visit of the wise men from the East. Their belated arrival came at a time when Mary and Joseph had found more suitable accommodations in a house (Matt 2:1-11).

Who were these men? From where did they come? How did they know to look for the star? How did they know what it meant?

It may surprise some, but the ‘men from the East’ are mentioned several times in the Bible. References are made to their great wealth and wisdom. Job’s substance was said to excel even the ‘men of the East’ (Job 1:3). Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, surpassed even the wisdom of all the children of the East country (I Kgs 4:30). Their economical and intellectual fame spread far beyond their borders.

The Medes, the Persians, the Chaldeans, the Babylonians and others are included in the list. This is the area that we refer to as the Middle East today: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.

How did the wise men know the significance of the star when it appeared that night of Christ’s birth? That is the more difficult question. Certain factors must be present. Somewhere in the past in this general area there must be an inspired prophet. One that would prophesy the birth of the Son of God and of the star that would announce, “A King is born. ” A country whose custom it was to keep an accurate account of written history and conscientiously preserving it for successive generations.

Let us consider, for a moment, ancient Persia. It was here that Esther, a Jewish girl, became queen. She was well favored of God and was the heroine who saved her people from a brutal plot meant to annihilate the Jews. It’s possible that the wise words of this queen were recorded for posterity in the king’s chronicles that are mentioned several times in this book (Est 2:23; 6:1; 10:2). We can also read about the ‘wise men’ in this book (Est 1:13).

Of course this is all speculation regarding a collection of facts and we may never know what actually took place to bring these events about so many years ago. But there is one bit of very interesting information that we would be amiss not to mention here. In the ancient language of Persia, Esther’s name means a ‘star.’

And that’s the Amazing Truth!

Millstadt, IL 62260

Dody Gibson See other articles by Dody Gibson