Journey of the Magi: 3 Coins from the Biblical Holy Land Box


Three wise men, kings from the East, follow the Star of Bethlehem to the manger where
Mary lay with the baby J esus, and present the newborn king with gold, frankincense,
and myrrh. The story is an indelible part of Christian culture that is renewed with every
singing of “We Three Kings,” with every Nativity display on every lawn at
Christmastime, with every celebration of Twelfth Night, which commemorates the day
that the Magi arrived.
So who were the “wise men,” really? Magi is a Latin word deriving from an Old Persian
term for the Zoroastrian priestly caste; the English word m agic derives from it. Given
the significance of the star in the Gospel story, it is likely that the Magi were astrologers,
highly regarded in that era, and that they hailed from somewhere within the boundary
of the old Persian Empire, which included most of the Middle East, Central Asia, and
India. Matthew 2:1-12, the lone mention of the “wise men” in the Scriptures, tells us that
after visiting J esus, the Magi “departed into their own country,” indicating that, contrary
to popular belief, the Magi were all from the sam e kingdom, and not three different
Scholars now believe the Magi were representatives of the Indo-Scythian ruler Azes II,
king of Bactria, in what is now Afghanistan. A political descendent of Alexander the
Great, Azes would have been influenced by happenings in the West, and it was certainly
in his interests to get into the good graces of the future King of the J ews. Religious art
tends to portray one of the kings presenting J esus with a vessel made of gold, but it is
more likely that “gold” alluded to in the Gospel is shorthand for “money”—most likely
the coins of Azes II included in this collection.

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Journey of the Magi: 3 Coins from the Biblical Holy Land Box
  • Weight/Dimensions: 295 g | 5.6 x 4.6 x 1.6

Additional information

Weight 10.5 oz
Dimensions 5.6 x 4.6 x 1.6 in


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