The Magi

On ascending the throne, Solomon asked God for a discerning mind. He didn’t ask for wealth or material gains. He already had all the wealth, all the power and all the women. His father, King David was no role model either. He had once observed, from his rooftop, a beautiful woman bathing. David summoned her and spent the night with her. She was the wife of Uriah, one of his generals. He sent the general to the front lines, knowing fully well he would be killed. David and Bathsheba were then married. Here was a man who had so much wealth, yet he stole the one precious love of a poor man.

Solomon also had a weakness for women — even if they were pagans whom God had expressly forbidden, saying to the children of Israel they shouldn’t enter into them because they would turn their hearts away from the Lord.

Solomon’s kingdom was inherited by his son, Rehoboam. He was imprudent in government affairs, made foolish decisions and unwise treaties. Fearing a civil war between Solomon’s sons, Jews left Israel to settle in Nubia — the ancient name for Ethiopia. It wasn’t long before Solomon’s kingdom was conquered and the Jewish people sent into exile. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Nubia flourished. They maintained a strict biblical code and safeguarded the Holy Books, Torah scrolls and many believe, also the Ark of the Covenant.

Prior to the acceptance of the Jewish faith, Nubia had a vast number of astrologers. They were known as inspectors of the heavens. They observed celestial objects and chartered their movements. That information was believed to be reliable and scientific. Rulers of many countries were believers in these events as strong indicators of the future. Except for the Jews there was no distinction between jugglery, astrology and magic. It was important how these celestial movements were interpreted because the heavenly bodies were God’s creations that had definite roles to play in the universe but subordinate to YAHWEH, their creator. They studied the heavens without worshiping the celestial objects.

In the meanwhile, the Savior had been born and the redemption of mankind had begun. Lucifer, now Satan who had challenged the power and majesty of God and had been cast down was livid with rage. He had lost that incredible battle for heaven. Since then he had sworn to conquer earth. He had convincingly outsmarted God the Father in the Garden of Eden. He now had to deal with the Son. His wide and wicked world had been turned upside down. He was wondering what to do about the birth of the Messiah when he noticed three men scanning the heavens. His keen and analytical mind came up with a diabolical plan. He reminded himself that he was once the most magnificent of the angelic hosts. He was Lucifer – the “Bearer of Light,” the “Shining Star of Dawn” and “Son of the Morning.” He was now the “Prince of Darkness” which he considered downright insulting. He would show them!

He knew he could appear in any form and was the master of disguises and lies. Did he not transform himself into a Serpent and enter the Garden of Eden where he made a fool of God by tempting Eve? He always appeared to be a kind and helpful person. He recalled his encounter with Job and with his power, he virtually destroyed him and everything he possessed. Job even admitted that Satan’s light was brighter than the noon day sun. He was definitely associated with light and he would use his power to transform himself into an angel of light.

The three astrologers still looking at the skies suddenly noticed something strange. A star! It was unusually bright. They observed it at its rising. They were thrilled beyond words.They had discovered something.  A great event had happened or was about to happen. They followed it and it lead them to Jerusalem and they presented themselves to Herod the Great.

Herod was a vile and wicked king. He ruled by terror. Any uprising was ruthlessly crushed. He had his opponents disarmed and backed into a narrow space where his soldiers would hack them to pieces. He murdered anyone who posed a threat – real or imagined that included his wife and two sons. With the brutal killing of his innocent wife and sons, he became a raving lunatic. He could be seen and heard screaming in his palace.

In the palace of this raving and evil king, the three astrologers presented themselves. Herod was greatly disturbed when they asked him a strange question: “Where is the Child born that is to be the King of the Jews?” He called his own wise men and they told him, that according to the Prophet Micah, it would be be Bethlehem in Judea. Herod’s wise men were perplexed. These astrologers had come from Ethiopia — a land that was part of Arabia and known in Biblical times as the “land of the East” and the Arabians were called “Men of the East.” They were totally oblivious to the fact that Herod was the King of the Jews. They had been following and exceedingly bright star and they could not believe that such a brilliant and apparently “Divine Light” would lead these men to Herod – an evil, vile and immoral person. These three men, dressed in their finest garments, looking so regal, had undertaken a long and hazardous journey, bearing expensive gifts had no legions or guards to protect them. If these men came to pay homage to Herod, they had brought no gifts for him.

Herod called the astrologers aside and after learning exactly when they had seen the star at its rising, instructed them to pay their homage to the child and return to him with all the information so that he, too could go and pay homage. Herod showed just how cunning he was. Bethlehem was barely six miles away. He could have sent soldiers to accompany the astrologers but that would terrify the people and make it more difficult to find the child.

The astrologers set out on their mission. The star mysteriously reappeared and traveled ahead of them until it stood still over the house where the child was. On entering, they paid their homage to the child and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Satan recalled the Queen of Sheba, journeying from Ethiopia to visit King Solomon, had also come, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and other expensive spices.

Satan was overjoyed. He had succeeded in leading the astrologers first to an evil king and then to the child. It was only a matter of time when the astrologers would return to Herod, giving him the location of the child. He would then have them slaughtered.

But an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and commanded him to take Mary and the child and flee to Egypt; to stay there until the danger was over because Herod would be searching for the child to destroy him. The angel also appeared to the astrologers in a dream and advised them to return to their own country by a different route.

To this day, nobody knows where the three astrologers disappeared into the pages of history.

About the Author
Originally from Mumbai, India. Studied, trained and worked in Mumbai, Munich, Germany and Toronto, Canada. For many years, Leslie owned and operated a printing company where he printed everything, except money! Currently retired. Married with four children (four too many.)