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Wayne Kawamoto

The Christmas Gifts of the Three "Magi"

By December 24, 2012

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"We three kings of Orient are..."

This well known carol and mainstay in just about every traditional church Christmas pageant describes the three kings who traveled to Bethlehem to see the infant Jesus.

According to some sources, only the Gospel of Matthew describes the arrival of these foreigners who bore gifts. In the original Greek, the visitors were described as "magoi" (in Latin, "magi"), from which the word "magic" is derived. And apparently, there's no mention of numbers.

Somewhere along the way, the "magi," perhaps astrologers or priests, with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, became described as "kings."

So if you find yourself singing "We Three Kings," you can remind yourself of the "magicians" who played a part in the Christmas story.

Happy holidays.


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