The three gifts had a spiritual meaning: gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of deity, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death. This dates back to Origen in Contra Celsum: “gold, as to a king; myrrh, as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to a God.”
The wise men brought gold , frankincense and myrrh to the newborn king. Gold , of course, was valuable as currency. Frankincense is a valuable perfume. Myrrh is a precious ointment often used in the burial process.
In the Gospel of Mathew, the three Kings find baby Jesus by following the path of a star across the desert for twelve days. According to the Gospel, the three Kings , named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar traveled to Bethlehem to bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus.
The gifts which the magi bring to Jesus are consistently described as gold , frankincense and myrrh . These three gifts were valuable items traditionally offered to a god in ancient times and symbolize the magi’s beliefs about the Christ child’s identity and his future.
He felt that people had forgotten the meaning of Christmas and wanted a visual reminder for people of the importance of Jesus birth . The stable reminds us that Jesus came into the world with nothing. The shepherds represent us – the people that Jesus came to serve.
Saint Balthazar; also called Balthasar, Balthassar, and Bithisarea, was according to tradition one of the biblical Magi along with Caspar and Melchior who visited the infant Jesus after he was born. Balthazar is traditionally referred to as the King of Macedonia and gave the gift of myrrh to Jesus.
The magi knelt down for the baby Jesus and “offered him gifts of gold , frankincense , and myrrh .” Their gifts are possibly an allusion to Isaiah’s vision of nations rendering tribute to Jerusalem: “A multitude of camels shall cover you.
To understand the Star of Bethlehem , we need to think like the three wise men. Motivated by this “star in the east,” they first traveled to Jerusalem and told King Herod the prophecy that a new ruler of the people of Israel would be born.
Magi (/ˈmeɪdʒaɪ/; singular magus /ˈmeɪɡəs/; from Latin magus) were priests in Zoroastrianism and the earlier religions of the western Iranians. The earliest known use of the word magi is in the trilingual inscription written by Darius the Great , known as the Behistun Inscription.
In the mountains of ancient Persia, lived Artaban, whose study of the planets and the stars led him to predict the birth of the King of Kings.
The Virgin Mary, pregnant with the son of God, would hence have given birth to Jesus nine months later on the winter solstice. From Rome, the Christ’s Nativity celebration spread to other Christian churches to the west and east, and soon most Christians were celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25 .
Myrrh was an ingredient of Ketoret: the consecrated incense used in the First and Second Temples at Jerusalem, as described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. Myrrh is also listed as an ingredient in the holy anointing oil used to anoint the tabernacle, high priests and kings.
It has also been suggested that, In addition to the honor and status implied by the value of the gifts of the magi, scholars think that these three were chosen for their special spiritual symbolism about Jesus himself—gold representing his kingship, frankincense a symbol of his priestly role, and myrrh a prefiguring of
As per the Biblical tale, as recounted in Matthew 2:1-12, an infant Jesus of Nazareth was visited in Bethlehem on the eve of his birth by Magi bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. To our modern sensibilities, these three gifts don’t seem quite even. Gold, then as now, is a highly valuable treasure.
In the West, frankincense and myrrh have been used as incense in religious and cultural ceremonies since ancient times; in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, they are used mainly for the treatment of chronic diseases. The main chemical constituents of frankincense and myrrh are terpenoids and essential oils.