Click here for the dates these ancient writings were written.
BACKGROUND FOR THIS EPISODE
(In Order of Appearance)
NEW TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Matthew 2:1-2 – Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town in Judea, during the time of King Herod the Great. Look, some wise men from the east traveled to Jerusalem. 2They asked, “Where is the one who was born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east, and we have come to worship him.”
- Luke 2:9, 13 – An angel of the Lord God stood in front of the shepherds. The glory of the Lord shined around them. They were very frightened…13Suddenly, a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel. They were all praising God:
- The primary government advisors were the magicians (magi) who analyzed livers of sacrificial sheep, and astrologers who analyzed the heavens. Sometimes these functions were combined. These were the earliest of all astrologers (the sky was the playground and battlefield of the gods) and the forerunners of astronomers (the sky was a part of all creation and to be studied in the same way).
- Matthew 2:16 – When Herod realized that the wise men had made a fool out of him, he was very angry. He ordered his men to kill all the little boys in and around the town of Bethlehem—the boys who were two years old or younger (the exact time which Herod had figured out from the wise men).
- Because Herod had all the boy babies in Bethlehem under the age of two killed, this indicates about how long it took the wisemen to arrive in Palestine.
OLD TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Esther 4:11 – “All the royal officers and the people of the royal provinces know this rule: No man or woman may go to the king in the inner courtyard unless he or she is summoned! There is no exception to this one rule—anyone who enters there must be executed! However, if the king holds out his gold scepter,f then that person will live. For 30 days, even I have not been summoned to go to the king!”
- Daniel 2:11-13 – The king is asking for something that is too difficult! Only the gods could tell this to the king! But the gods do not live among human beings!” 12When the king heard that, he became very angry. He flew into a rage. He gave the command for all the wise men of Babylon to be executed. 13So, the king’s order was announced that all the wise men were to be put to death. And, some men were looking for Daniel and his friendsg to kill them.h
- Ezra 5:17 – “Now, if the king wishes, let there be an investigation. Search the royal records of Babylon to see if King Cyrus gave such an order.k See if he gave such an order to rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem. Then let the king write us and tell us what he has decided.”
- Ezra 6:1-2 – So King Darius gave a command to search the public records.a They were kept in the treasury-vault in Babylon.b 2A scroll was found in Ecbatanac in the palace in the province of Media.d This is what was written on it:
WRITINGS OF ZOROASTRONISM:
- THE YASHT: “WORSHIP, INCLUDING SACRIFICE,” – MITHRA, the sun god, the god of truth 10, 1); TISHTRYA, the rain god (8, 52ff); ARAMAITI, god of the earth (33, 11); KHSHATRA, god of metals (45, 9); ASHA, god of best righteousness (53, 3); VAYU, god of the air (53, 6f); SRAOSHA, guardian god of dead souls (57, 4). [BUT NO MENTION OF A STAR]
- THE ZEND-AVESTA: “SACRED BOOK OF THE PARSIS” [PERSIANS], “The Vendidad” Section – Vohu-Mano, god of good mind and guardian of sheep and cattle (8,19 and 19,22); Atar, god of fire (18:27). [BUT NO MENTION OF A STAR]
- Zoroastronism did not become monotheistic until 1278 AD in “Zaratusht-Mamah.”
- PERSIA: The capital under Darius in the sixth century BC was Ecbatana. When the Parthians took control of Persia 250 BC, the capital was moved to Ctesphon in what today is Iran. An ancient tribe of what would become Media and later Persia was the Magi Tribe, as recorded by HERODOTUS about 450 BC (i:132). Darius the Great, Emperor of Persia in 522 BC, described a revolt by the Magi tribe which he put down speedily. Beginning about 300 BC, the Magi became the priestly advisors to the kings. From about 250 BC the Parthians (located between Iran and India) ruled Persia/Iran for several centuries. The king at the time Jesus was born was Phraattes IV, followed when Jesus was four years old by his son, Phraattes V.
- MAGI: The Magi, originally a tribe of the Medes, was a priestly caste during the Seleucid (BC 300), Parthian (BC 250) and Sasanian (4 AD) periods. HERODOTUS spoke of the Magi Tribe in i:101.
- MAGI: The Persian Magi were credited with profound religious knowledge while the Babylonian Magi were often considered impostors. It was not until the first century AD that “magi” applied to magicians and soothsayers primarily from Babylon.