Our Biblical understanding of the Magi comes mostly from Matthew 2. We are aware that the Magi came from the east, and were questioned by King Herod, who, as a paranoid despot, was greatly troubled by the possibility of a rival claimant to his throne.
Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
Thus, the Three Wise Men arrived to Jerusalem “after” Jesus was born. King Herod gathered “all the chief priests and scribes of the people” who in turn, told him that the Messiah was ought to be born in “Bethlehem of Judea” (Matthew 2:4-6). Herod assembled the Three Kings in secret and inquired them when did the star appear and asked them to go find Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is evident that the Wise Men could by no means be in Bethlehem when Jesus was born in a manger at the same time the Shepherds arrived, as the tradition teaches.
Matthew 2:11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.
As we can see, Jesus was not in a manger but in a “house”. From this, it can be concluded that, by now, Joseph and Mary were living in a “house” with their son.
They were in awe of the young Christ and offered gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and then departed to their lands using a different route, “being warned in a dream not to return to Herod” (Matthew 2:12).
Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.
Why would King Herod kill all male children who were two years old or under in Bethlehem? During his encounter with the Magi, they told him exactly when the star appeared in the east, indicating Jesus’s birth, and accordingly, he assigned the age limit of the Slaughter of the Innocents.
So according to the Bible, when the Magi visited Jesus, he was in a “house”, not a manger, and could have been up to 2 years old. The Wise Men’s names were never mentioned nor was their number too.
Watch the the Wise Men Visiting Young Christ in a House
At our workshop, we have many Bethlehem olive wood hand carved religious pieces which are produced to help Christians in the Holy Land and around the world share their faith and glory to God in the highest with the best quality. Almost all of our hand carved olive wood Nativity scenes and sets include the Three Wise Men or the Magi.
We, the Bethlehem Handicrafts’ team, are so proud to put the Holy Land in your hand by giving you a variety of the best and the most outstanding original Bethlehem’s olive wood carvings with the best quality made in the Holy Land.