Re: In the east?

David L. Moore (
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 14:49:53 -0500

At 01:11 PM 12/20/96 EST, John T Stevenson wrote:
>Regarding the Magi of Matthew 2...
><<< Perhaps they in their homeland had
> prophecies that spoke of a "new star" that would
> arise to signal the birth of the Christ child, and
> that this child would be born in the region
> around Jerusalem>>>
>Since this took place at a time when the Jews of the Diaspora extended to
>the east (and had done so for hundreds of years), it is also possible
>that they had read the words of Balaam as recorded in the Torah:
> "A star shall come forth from Jacob,
> And a scepter shall rise from Israel" (Numbers 24:17).
>Thus, it would only be natural that, having seen the star, they would
>make their way to the capital city of Israel and inquire of her King
>where this newborn Monarch was to be found.
>It was only when they inquired that they learned the prophecy of the
>Scriptures which forefold of Bethlehem as the birthplace of the One "from
>of old."

Suetonius reports the following in his _The Twelve Caesars_: "An
ancient superstition was current in the East, that out of Judea at this time
would come the rulers of the world" (Suetonius, Vespasian). He concluded
that the prophecy must refer to one of the Roman emperors who went to Judea
and then, came from there to Rome. This is, in part, an adaptation of some
things Josephus said, but shows that the rest of the world was not ignorant
of traditions having to do with the Messiah.

David L. Moore Director
Miami, Florida, USA Department of Education Southeastern Spanish District of the Assemblies of God