Three Wise Men - Bible Story
Bible Story of the Three Wise Men
The Bible story of the Three Wise Men, from the gospel of Matthew, is also known as the biblical Magi or the Three Kings. This Bible story regards a group of scholarly foreigners who traveled to visit Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, during the time of King Herod, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.' When King Herod learned this, he was troubled, and all of Jerusalem with him. He called together all the leading clerics and scholars of the law, and he questioned them about where Christ was to be born. 'In Bethlehem in Judea,' they answered, 'for this is what the prophet has written: "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" Then Herod summoned the Wise Men secretly and found out from them the precise time the star had emerged. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, 'Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me so that I too may go and worship him.'
As directed by King Herod, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the East went before them until it stopped over the area where the child lay. Upon arriving at the house, they observed the child with his mother, Mary, and they kneeled down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gold, incense, and myrrh gifts. They were then miraculously warned in a dream not to return to Herod, as he planned to kill Jesus to preserve his authority, and returned to their home by an alternative route.
Rejoice in the birth of Christ with a FREE Christmas Bible Story Printable!
Names & Characteristics of the Three Wise Men
Accounts have been told about the Three Wise Men, and they have been given names. This is how they are often portrayed:
- Gaspar (or Caspar) wears a green cloak and a gold crown with green jewels. He is the King of Sheba. Gaspar represents the Frankincense brought to Jesus.
- Melchior has long white hair and a white beard and wears a gold cloak. He is the King of Arabia. Melchior represents the Gold brought to Jesus.
- Balthazar has a black beard and wears a purple cloak. He is the King of Tarse and Egypt. Balthazar represents the gift of Myrrh that was brought to Jesus.
Meaning of the Gifts for Jesus
- Gold: is affiliated with Kings, and Christians believe that Jesus is the King of Kings.
- Frankincense: is used in liturgical worship in traditional Churches and represented that people would worship and praise Jesus.
- Myrrh: is a fragrance that is embedded on dead bodies to make them smell pleasant and represents that Jesus would endure persecution resulting in his death.
Discover the entire scripture text of the Three Wise Men story and find related articles, podcasts, and videos below!
This article is part of our larger Christmas and Advent resource library centered around the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!
25 Hope-Filled Advent Bible Verses
Christmas Bible Verses & Scripture Story
The Birth of Jesus: Bible Story and Scripture Verses
Who Were the Wise Men?
Who Were the Christmas Angels?
Listen to our FREE podcast! The Characters of Christmas: The Surprising People in Jesus' Family: