Wise men visit

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Wise men from the east, called Magi, came to Jerusalem in search of Jesus.

Herod the Great

The wise men first visited Herod, who was king over Judea. They told Herod they sought the king of the Jews, whose star they had seen.

Intending to kill this new king, Herod lied by saying he wanted to worship the child. Herod asked the men to report to him when they found Jesus.

Three gifts

The wise men found Jesus and Mary at Bethlehem in a house. They worshipped Jesus, and offered gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

An angel warned the men not to return to Herod. So they left for their own country.

Escape to Egypt

An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, and warned him to flee to Egypt. So to protect Jesus from Herod, Joseph took his family to Egypt.

When Herod learned the wise men had tricked him, he became very angry. Herod ordered the execution of all males in Bethlehem who were 2 years old and younger.

Return to Nazareth

Herod died in the spring of 4 BC. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, and told him to return to Israel. So Joseph brought his family out of Egypt, and settled in Nazareth.

Did you know?

  • Wise men worshipped Jesus in a house, not at the manger, as is commonly depicted.
  • The Bible does not say how many wise men there were.
  • Frankincense is a resin that is burned for its aroma.
  • Myrrh was used for incense, perfume, and medicine.


God blesses the faithful, even through adversity. Consider the wise men's gifts. They may have been sold to sustain Joseph's family while in Egypt.


Matthew 2:1-23

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