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What did the wise men give to Jesus?

q.gif (1639 bytes)   What are the three things the wise men gave Jesus for Christmas? And please explain what each of the three things are.


a.gif (1659 bytes)   Matthew 2:7-11 says, "Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."

The gifts were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We see that each of these three gifts were very valuable, because the Bible says, "...they opened their treasures..." We know that gold is very valuable. "Frankincense" is "a fragrant gum resin from a tree used in incense" (Merriam Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary). "Myrrh" is "a yellowish brown to reddish brown aromatic gum resin obtained from a tree, with a bitter slightly pungent taste" (Merriam Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary).

"Frankincense" and "myrrh" are both mentioned seventeen times each in the Bible. Exodus 30:34-36 says, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure FRANKINCENSE: of each shall there be a like weight: And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy: And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy."

Leviticus 2:1,2 says, "And when any will offer a meat offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put FRANKINCENSE thereon: And he shall bring it to Aaron's sons the priests: and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD."

Song of Solomon 3:6 uses both words, and points out the great fragrance and smell of them. "Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, PERFUMED WITH MYRRH and FRANKINCENSE, with all powders of the merchant?"

Song of Solomon 4:13,14 also uses both words, and says, "Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with ALL TREES OF FRANKINCENSE; MYRRH and aloes, with all the chief spices." Those verses bring up the matter of the trees from which these fragrances are taken.

Genesis 37:25 talks about myrrh. "And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and MYRRH, going to carry it down to Egypt." This tells us that myrrh was not locally available in Egypt, but had to be imported from other places.

Genesis 43:11 says, "And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and MYRRH, nuts, and almonds." Myrrh would be a valuable present down in Egypt.

Esther 2:12 shows that myrrh was considered an expensive fragrance fit for a king. "Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with OIL OF MYRRH, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women.)"

In Mark 15:23, a drink was given to Jesus on the cross that had myrrh mixed in with it, but Jesus would not drink it. "And they gave him to drink wine MINGLED WITH MYRRH: but he received it not."

John 19:39,40 shows us that myrrh was used in preparing bodies for burial. "And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of MYRRH and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury."

The wise men brought three precious and valuable gifts to the Lord Jesus at His birth. May our lives be of great value in the sight of the Lord when we stand before Him, because we have done His perfect will. When our works face the fire, may they come forth as gold. I Corinthians 3:10-15 says, "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation GOLD, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

And may our lives be a sweet savor and smell before the Lord. II Corinthians 2:14-17 says, "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. FOR WE ARE UNTO GOD A SWEET SAVOUR OF CHRIST, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."

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