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Three Magi mosaic - Sant'Apollinare Nuovo – Ravenna (José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro/ CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Star Of Bethlehem Leading the Magi To The Cave Of Treasures

According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea at the time of King Herod and some Magi from the East arrived in Jerusalem to inquire where the new-born King of the Jews was to be found. They had seen his star and had come to worship him. Upon hearing those words, King Herod and all Jerusalem with him were disturbed. The king consulted the high priests and the scribes and he was informed that the place where the Messiah would be born, as was written by the prophet (Micah; 5: 1), was Bethlehem of Judea.

Coin of King Herod the Great 38-4 BC (CCO)

Coin of King Herod the Great 38-4 BC (CCO)

Herod secretly summoned the Magi, questioned them about the time of the star's appearance and sent them to Bethlehem, urging them to inform him where the baby was, so that he too could follow to worship him. The Magi left and the star preceded them, until it stopped over the place where the baby was, whom they saw with his mother Mary. They bowed down, worshiped him, opened their caskets and offered him their gifts: gold, incense and myrrh. The Gospel story concludes by specifying that after being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they returned to their country by taking another route.  In this short narration, no reference is made to either the year of Jesus' birth, nor to the identity of the Magi, and no detail is provided that allows anyone to know what the star consisted of.

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