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Who Were the Three Wise Men From the East? Magi

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Matthew 2

 

2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, in the time of King Herod, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem

 

2:2 saying, “Where is the one who is born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

 

2:3 When King Herod heard this he was alarmed, and all Jerusalem with him.

 

2:4 After assembling all the chief priests and experts in the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.

 

2:5 “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they said, “for it is written this way by the prophet:

 

2:6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are in no way least among the rulers of Judah,

for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

 

2:7 Then Herod privately summoned the wise men and determined from them when the star had appeared.

 

2:8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and look carefully for the child. When you find him, inform me so that I can go and worship him as well.”

 

2:9 After listening to the king they left, and once again the star they saw when it rose led them until it stopped above the place where the child was.

 

2:10 When they saw the star they shouted joyfully.

 

2:11 As they came into the house and saw the child with Mary his mother, they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their treasure boxes and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

 

2:12 After being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back by another route to their own country.

 

Matthew 2:5-6 references Micah 5:2

 

5:2 As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah –

from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf,

one whose origins are in the distant past

 

The Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas Star, revealed the birth of Jesus.

 

kitty-christmas-stars-shine-31000.gif

 

Numbers 24

 

24:15 Then he uttered this oracle:

“The oracle of Balaam son of Beor;

the oracle of the man whose eyes are open;

 

24:16 the oracle of the one who hears the words of God,

and who knows the knowledge of the Most High,

who sees a vision from the Almighty,

although falling flat on the ground with eyes open:

 

24:17 ‘I see him, but not now;

I behold him, but not close at hand.

A star, will march forth out of Jacob,

and a scepter will rise out of Israel.

He will crush the skulls of Moab,

and the heads of all the sons of Sheth.

 

24:18 Edom will be a possession,

Seir, his enemies, will also be a possession;

but Israel will act valiantly.

 

24:19 A ruler will be established from Jacob;

he will destroy the remains of the city.’

 

 

After the birth of Jesus, "wise men from the East" visited Herod the Great, the Roman appointed king of the Jews, to inquire the whereabouts of "the one having been born King of the Jews", because they had seen his star in the east and therefore wanted to pay him homage.

 

wisemen.came.bearing.jpg

 

In the Codex Sinaiticus uses the term 'Magi' instead of 'wise men.'

 

2:1 But after Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem,

 

2 saying: Where is he that has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star at its rising, and have come to worship him.

 

3 And hearing it, king Herod was alarmed, and all Jerusalem with him.

 

4 And he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people, and inquired of them where the Christ should be born.

 

5 And they said to him: In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet:

 

6 And thou, Bethlehem, land of Judah, art by no means the least among the princes of Judah; for out of thee shall come a Governor, who shall rule my people Israel.

 

7 Then Herod having secretly called the Magi, inquired of them strictly the time at which the star appeared;

 

8 and sending them to Bethlehem, said: Go, make strict inquiry for the young child: and when you have found him, bring me word, that I also may go and worship him.

 

9 And after hearing the king, they departed; and lo, the star which they had seen at its rising, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

 

10 And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with very great joy.

 

11 And coming into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother; and falling down they worshiped him; and having opened their treasures they offered to him gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

 

12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they withdrew into their own country by another way.

 

The word magi is derived from Old Persian magus from the priestly caste of Zoroastrianism.

 

According to Herodotus, the Magi were the sixth tribe of the Medians who appear to have been the priestly caste of the Mesopotamian-influenced branch of Zoroastrianism today known as Zurvanism, and who wielded considerable influence at the courts of the Median emperors.

 

As part of their religion, these Magi paid particular attention to the stars and gained an international reputation for astrology, which was at that time highly regarded as a science. Later the term Magi was considered an occult in general and led to the English term magic.

 

 

The Journey of the Magi

T.S. Eliot

 

'A cold coming we had of it,

Just the worst time of the year

For a journey, and such a long journey:

The ways deep and the weather sharp,

The very dead of winter.'

And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,

Lying down in the melting snow.

There were times we regretted

The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,

And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

Then the camel men cursing and grumbling

and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,

And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,

And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly

And the villages dirty and charging high prices:

A hard time we had of it.

At the end we preferred to travel all night,

Sleeping in snatches,

With the voices singing in our ears, saying

That this was all folly.

 

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,

Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;

With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,

And three trees on the low sky,

And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.

Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,

Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,

And feet kiking the empty wine-skins.

But there was no information, and so we continued

And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon

Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.

 

All this was a long time ago, I remember,

And I would do it again, but set down

This set down

This: were we led all that way for

Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly

We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was

Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,

But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,

With an alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.

 

This somber poem reflects an uncomfortable understanding for the magi. The birth of Jesus was the death of old religion.

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Guest Ma. Kh.

The names of the Magi were Bithisarea, Melichior and Gathaspa. According to Western church tradition, Balthasar is often represented as a king of Arabia, Melchior as a king of Persia, and Gaspar as a king of India.

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Zoroastrian

 

UIG-917-05-0390003886.jpg

 

Marco Polo (traveling in 1272) tells their story in detail, and he claims to be relating the narrative he heard at the “Castle of the Fire worshipers” in the vicinity of Kashan.

 

The Travels of Marco Polo

Aldo Ricci

 

Translated into English from the text of L.F. Benedetto

 

In Persia is the city called Sava, whence the three Magi set out when they came to adore Jesus Christ. In the city there are three very large and most beautiful tombs, in which the three Magi are buried. Above each tomb is a square edifice, surmounted by a round structure of excellent workmanship. The three Magi lie one beside the other, and their bodies are still whole, with their hair and beard. One of them was call Beltasar, another Gaspar, and the third Melchoir. Messer Marco Polo questioned many people of the city concerning these three Magi, but there was no one who could tell him anything; all they said was that they were three kings, buried in ancient times. But he ultimately got to know what I will now tell you.

 

At the days journey from Sava, he found a town called Cala Ataperistan, which, in our language, means the town of fire-worshipers. And it is quite rightly named, for the people there do worship fire. And I will tell you why they do so. The inhabitants relate that once, in the days of old, three Kings of that country went to adore a Prophet who had just been born, and took with them three offerings - gold, frankincense, and myrrh - to ascertain whether that Prophet were God or an earthly kink or a physician. For they said, if he takes gold, he is an earthly king; if he takes frankincense, he is God; if he takes myrrh, he is a physician.

 

When they reached the birth-place of the Child, the youngest of the three Kings went in alone to see it; and it seemed to him the Child was like him, seemingly of the same agae and aspect; whereat he came away marveling greatly. After him, the middle aged entered; and Child appeared to him, as to the first, of his age and aspect; he too came away all amazed. Then the third and oldest went in, and the same happened to him as the others; he too came away all pensive.

 

When the three Kings were all together again, they told one another what they had seen. They marveled very much, and decided to go in all three together. Thus they all entered at the same time into the presence of the Child, and found it with the aspect of its real age, namely 13 days. Then they adored the Child, and offered it the gold and frankincense and the myrrh. The Child took all three offerings, and gave them a closed box. Whereupon the three Kings went away to return to their own land.

 

After riding several days, they resolved to see what the Child had given them. So they opened the box, and found a stone in it. They wondered greatly what it might be. The Child had given it to them as a token that they should abide firm as a rock in the faith that they had just accepted. For, when they had seen the Child take all three offerings, they had concluded that he was God and earthly king and physician, and the Child, knowing well that this faith was born in them, had given the stone to signify that should remain firm and constant in their faith.

 

The three Kings took the stone and threw it into a well, for they knew not wherefore it had been given to them. As soon as the stone was thrown into the well, a flame descended from Heaven and came straight to the well into which the stone had been thrown. Seeing this great marvel, the three Kings were all amazed, and repented having thrown the stone into the well, fully realizing now that it had great meaning. They straightway took some of that fire and carried it to their country, placing it in a very fine and rich Church of theirs. And they ever keep that fire alight, and adore it as a God; and all the sacrifices and holocausts that they offer, they burn with that fire.

 

If at any time the fire should by chance go out, they have recourse to others of the same faith, who also fire-worshipers, and, obtaining from them some of the fire that burns in their Church, they return to their own; nor would they ever rekindle itwith any other fire than that I have told you of. Often, in order to find it, they have to go on a ten days' journey.

 

This is why the inhabitants of this country worship fire, And I assure you that they are very numerous.

 

All these things were told Messer Marco Polo by the people of the town. And they are all truth. I will add, too, that one of the three Magi came from Sava, another from Ava, and the third from Cashan.

 

The-Travels-of-Marco-Polo.jpg

 

Sāveh (Persian: ساوه‎, also transliterated as Sāva) is a city in the Markazi Province of Iran.

 

Ava means "voice, sound" in Persian.

 

Kashan (Persian: کاشان‎, also Romanized as Kāshān and Kachan) is a city in and the capital of Kashan County, in the province of Isfahan, Iran.

 

Odoric of Pordenone (real name Odorico Mattiussi or Mattiuzzi; c. 1286 – 14 January 1331) was an Italian late-medieval traveler.

 

Seventy-three manuscripts of Odoric's narrative are known to exist in Latin, French and Italian: of these the chief, of about 1350, is in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris

 

http://dsr.nii.ac.jp...ge/0325.html.en

 

FRIAR ODORIC. 51

 

Sir T. Herbert alludes to the story of the Magi coming from Kashan, but as he quotes Odoric I suspect his knowledge was derived from him only. For it is remarkable that in the Palatine and Minor Ramusian versions of Odoric, it is at SABA, and not at Kashan that he speaks of the Magi. And this agrees with Marco Polo, who places at Sava the origin and sepulchres of the three kings. One he says was King of Sava, another of Ava, the third of the castle of the fire-worshippers. Both Saba and Ava still exist between Sultania and Kashan, or at least their names and remains do. They retain no traditions now about the kings.

 

OUTLINES OF ISLAMIC CULTURE

 

VOLUME I

HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL ASPECTS

 

 

 

BY

A. M. A. SHUSHTEBY

 

Professor of Iranian Language and Literature

The University of Mysore

 

WITH A

 

FOREWORD

 

BY

 

SIK ABDUL QADIE, KT.

 

Member, His Majesty's Council of India

 

As early as the 16th century, a Muslim family ruled in North Sumatra. Ibn-Batuta, the famous Muslim traveller, gives us glimpses of Muslim colonies in China and the Malay Islands. In ava, the progress of Islam was slow, but in course of time it spread everywhere in New Guinea, Borneo, Sambava, Celebes, Molluccas, Phillippines, Sulu and other islands of the Pacific.

 

Ava, the former name for modern Inwa, the ancient capital of Burma formally known as Myanmar. Some Chinese and Japanese scholars have in recent years have started researching East Asian history of Zoroastrianism from antiquity to thhe present (Ito 1980; Guangda 1994, 2000; Baiqin 2004; Aoki 2006a).

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Medan was the son of Abraham and Keturah. I am looking for a connection Medan to the Madan people of Iran and Iraq.

 

1 Chronicles 1

 

1:32 The sons to whom Keturah, Abraham’s concubine, gave birth:

Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, Shuah.

The sons of Jokshan:

Sheba and Dedan.

 

1:33 The sons of Midian:

Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah.

 

 

Isaiah 7

 

25:1 Abraham had taken another wife, named Keturah.

 

25:2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

 

25:3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. The descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites.

 

25:4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.

 

Rabbinical Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391–1271 BC.

 

JETHRO (Heb. יֶתֶר ,יִתְרוֹ), Midianite priest and father-in-law of Moses. Jethro had seven daughters who served as his shepherdesses. When Moses fled from Egypt he came to the well in Midian where he witnessed local shepherds mistreating the girls. He saved them and watered their flocks for them. In return, Jethro welcomed Moses into his home and gave him one of his daughters, *Zipporah, as a wife. He also appointed Moses as shepherd of his flocks (Ex. 2:16–21; 3:1). Jethro is next mentioned after the incident of the burning bush when Moses, having decided to return to Egypt, asked and received his father-in-law's permission to do so (4:18).

 

 

Hittite_Empire.png

 

This map gives the extent of the Egyptian (green) and Hittite (red) empires during the time of Moses.

 

Exodus 2

 

2:21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.

 

2:22 When she bore a son, Moses named him Gershom, for he said, “I have become a resident foreigner in a foreign land.

 

Moses knew that Midian was not where he is supposed to be.

 

Exodus 3

 

3:1 Now Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb.

 

3:2 The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from within a bush. He looked – and the bush was ablaze with fire, but it was not being consumed!

 

3:3 So Moses thought, “I will turn aside to see this amazing sight. Why does the bush not burn up?”

 

3:4 When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to look, God called to him from within the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”

 

3:5 God said, “Do not approach any closer! Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

 

3:6 He added, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

 

 

Median_Empire.jpg

 

The Medes (from Old Persian Māda) were an ancient Iranian people who lived in Iran in an area known as Media and spoke a northwestern Iranian language referred to as the Median language.

 

2 Kings 17

 

17:1 In the twelfth year of King Ahaz’s reign over Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria for nine years.

 

17:2 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not to the same degree as the Israelite kings who preceded him.

 

17:3 King Shalmaneser of Assyria threatened him; Hoshea became his subject and paid him tribute.

 

17:4 The king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was planning a revolt. Hoshea had sent messengers to King So of Egypt and had not sent his annual tribute to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria arrested him and imprisoned him.

 

17:5 The king of Assyria marched through the whole land. He attacked Samaria and besieged it for three years.

 

17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea’s reign, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the people of Israel to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, along the Habor (the river of Gozan), and in the cities of the Medes.

 

Daniel 8

 

9:1 In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, who was of Median descent and who had been appointed king over the Babylonian empire

 

9:2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, came to understand from the sacred books 6 that, according to the word of the LORD disclosed to the prophet Jeremiah, the years for the fulfilling of the desolation of Jerusalem were seventy in number.

 

 

Isaiah 13

 

13:1 The Lord Will Judge Babylon

This is a message about Babylon that God revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz:

13:2 3 On a bare hill raise a signal flag, shout to them,

wave your hand, so they might enter the gates of the princes!

13:3 I have given orders to my chosen soldiers; I have summoned the warriors through whom I will vent my anger,

my boasting, arrogant ones.

13:4 7 There is a loud noise on the mountains – it sounds like a large army! There is great commotion among the kingdoms – nations are being assembled!

The Lord who commands armies is mustering forces for battle.

13:5 They come from a distant land, from the horizon.

It is the Lord with his instruments of judgment, coming to destroy the whole earth.

13:6 Wail, for the Lord’s day of judgment is near; it comes with all the destructive power of the sovereign judge.

13:7 For this reason all hands hang limp, every human heart loses its courage.

13:8 They panic – cramps and pain seize hold of them like those of a woman who is straining to give birth.

They look at one another in astonishment; their faces are flushed red.

13:9 Look, the Lord’s day of judgment is coming; it is a day of cruelty and savage, raging anger, destroying the earth and annihilating its sinners.

13:10 Indeed the stars in the sky and their constellations no longer give out their light; the sun is darkened as soon as it rises, and the moon does not shine.

13:11 24 I will punish the world for its evil, and wicked people for their sin. I will put an end to the pride of the insolent, I will bring down the arrogance of tyrants.

13:12 I will make human beings more scarce than pure gold,

and people more scarce than gold from Ophir.

13:13 So I will shake the heavens, and the earth will shake loose from its foundation, because of the fury of the Lord who commands armies, in the day he vents his raging anger.

13:14 Like a frightened gazelle or a sheep with no shepherd,

each will turn toward home, each will run to his homeland.

13:15 Everyone who is caught will be stabbed, everyone who is seized will die by the sword.

13:16 Their children will be smashed to pieces before their very eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives raped.

13:17 Look, I am stirring up the Medes to attack them; they are not concerned about silver, nor are they interested in gold.

13:18 Their arrows will cut young men to ribbons; they have no compassion on a person’s offspring, they will not look with pity on children.

13:19 Babylon, the most admired of kingdoms, the Chaldeans’ source of honor and pride, will be destroyed by God just as Sodom and Gomorrah were.

13:20 No one will live there again; no one will ever reside there again. No bedouin will camp there, no shepherds will rest their flocks there.

13:21 Wild animals will rest there, the ruined houses will be full of hyenas. Ostriches will live there, wild goats will skip among the ruins.

13:22 Wild dogs will yip in her ruined fortresses, jackals will yelp in the once-splendid palaces. Her time is almost up, her days will not be prolonged.

14:1 The Lord will certainly have compassion on Jacob; he will again choose Israel as his special people and restore them to their land. Resident foreigners will join them and unite with the family of Jacob.

 

The Medes had an Ancient Iranian Religion (a form of pre-Zoroastrian Mazdaism or Mithra worshipping) with a priesthood tribe named "Magi". Magi would be considered similar to the priestly tribe of Levi in Judaism designated for a special role of Divine service. The name Magi implies a link with the Sumerians, who called their language Emegir, over time becoming simplified to Magi. Hungarian tradition also traces pre-European Magyar (Hungarian) ancestry back to the Magi. In time, the Sumerian-influenced religion of the Magi was suppressed in favor of a more purely Iranian form of Zoroastrianism, itself evolved from its somewhat dualist beginnings into the monotheistic faith that it is today (also known as Parsi-ism).

 

Other Median tribes were the Busae, Paretaceni, Struchates, and Arizanti, Budii.

 

By 549 B.C.E., Cyrus the Great removed the Mede Astyages, who was his maternal grandfather, from power and conquered the Medes, establishing the Achaemenid Empire in its place.

 

Persian Jews claim descent from the Tribe of Ephraim. Persian Jews (also called Iranian Jews) are members of Jewish communities living in Iran and throughout the former greatest extent of the Persian Empire.

 

The Pashtuns are a predominantly Muslim people, native to Afghanistan and Pakistan, who adhere to their pre-Islamic indigenous religious code of honor and culture Pashtunwali. A thirteenth century Persian book, the Tabaqat-i-Nasiri, states that in the 7th century a people called the Bani Israel settled in Ghor, southeast of Herat, Afghanistan, and then migrated south and east. These Bani Israel references are in line with the commonly held view by Pashtuns that when the twelve tribes of Israel were dispersed, the tribe of Joseph, among other Hebrew tribes, settled in the region. Hence the tribal name 'Yusef Zai' in Pashto translates to the 'sons of Joseph'. This is also described extensively in great detail by Makhzan-i-Afghani, a historical work from the 17th Century by Nehamtullah, an official in the royal court of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. A similar story is told by Iranian historian Ferishta.

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The Midianites were the descendants of Midian, who was a son of Abraham through his wife Keturah. Historically, the Medanites dwelt alongside the Mitanni and they formed a kingdom in the 10th and 9th centuries BC. It is for this reason that historians call the Mitanni the "early Medes". The empire of the Medanites or Medes is often referred to in textbooks as the Amadai-Mada-Medes empire (Madai, Midian, and Medan were closely associated with each other). The Amadai were descendants of Madai who were subject to the Medes, the ruling class of the Empire.

 

 

Judges

 

7:9 That night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up! Attack the camp, for I am handing it over to you.

 

7:10 But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with Purah your servant

 

7:11 and listen to what they are saying. Then you will be brave and attack the camp.” So he went down with Purah his servant to where the sentries were guarding the camp.

 

7:12 Now the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people from the east covered the valley like a swarm of locusts. Their camels could not be counted; they were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore.

 

7:13 When Gideon arrived, he heard a man telling another man about a dream he had. The man said, “Look! I had a dream. I saw a stale cake of barley bread rolling into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent so hard it knocked it over and turned it upside down. The tent just collapsed.

 

7:14 The other man said, “Without a doubt this symbolizes the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God is handing Midian and all the army over to him.”

 

7:15 When Gideon heard the report of the dream and its interpretation, he praised God. Then he went back to the Israelite camp and said, “Get up, for the Lord is handing the Midianite army over to you!

 

7:16 He divided the three hundred men into three units. He gave them all trumpets and empty jars with torches inside them.

 

7:17 He said to them, “Watch me and do as I do. Watch closely! I am going to the edge of the camp. Do as I do!

 

7:18 When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, you also blow your trumpets all around the camp. Then say, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’”

 

7:19 Gideon took a hundred men to the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guards. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars they were carrying.

 

7:20 All three units blew their trumpets and broke their jars. They held the torches in their left hand and the trumpets in their right. Then they yelled, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”

 

7:21 They stood in order all around the camp. The whole army ran away; they shouted as they scrambled away.

 

7:22 When the three hundred men blew their trumpets, the Lord caused the Midianites to attack one another with their swords throughout the camp. The army fled to Beth Shittah on the way to Zererah. They went to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.

 

7:23 Israelites from Naphtali, Asher, and Manasseh answered the call and chased the Midianites.

 

7:24 Now Gideon sent messengers throughout the Ephraimite hill country who announced, “Go down and head off the Midianites. Take control of the fords of the streams all the way to Beth Barah and the Jordan River.” When all the Ephraimites had assembled, they took control of the fords all the way to Beth Barah and the Jordan River.

 

7:25 They captured the two Midianite generals, Oreb and Zeeb. They executed Oreb on the rock of Oreb and Zeeb in the winepress of Zeeb. They chased the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was now on the other side of the Jordan River.

 

8:1 The Ephraimites said to him, “Why have you done such a thing to us? You did not summon us when you went to fight the Midianites!” They argued vehemently with him.

 

8:2 He said to them, “Now what have I accomplished compared to you? Even Ephraim’s leftover grapes are better quality than Abiezer’s harvest!

 

8:3 It was to you that God handed over the Midianite generals, Oreb and Zeeb! What did I accomplish to rival that?” When he said this, they calmed down.

 

8:4 Now Gideon and his three hundred men had crossed over the Jordan River, and even though they were exhausted, they were still chasing the Midianites.

 

8:5 He said to the men of Succoth, “Give some loaves of bread to the men who are following me, because they are exhausted. I am chasing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”

 

8:6 The officials of Succoth said, “You have not yet overpowered Zebah and Zalmunna. So why should we give bread to your army?”

 

8:7 Gideon said, “Since you will not help, after the Lord hands Zebah and Zalmunna over to me, I will thresh your skin with desert thorns and briers.”

 

8:8 He went up from there to Penuel and made the same request. The men of Penuel responded the same way the men of Succoth had.

 

8:9 He also threatened the men of Penuel, warning, “When I return victoriously, I will tear down this tower.”

 

8:10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their armies. There were about fifteen thousand survivors from the army of the eastern peoples; a hundred and twenty thousand sword-wielding soldiers had been killed.

 

8:11 Gideon went up the road of the nomads east of Nobah and Jogbehah and ambushed the surprised army.

 

8:12 When Zebah and Zalmunna ran away, Gideon chased them and captured the two Midianite kings, Zebah and Zalmunna. He had surprised their entire army.

 

8:13 Gideon son of Joash returned from the battle by the pass of Heres.

 

8:14 He captured a young man from Succoth and interrogated him. The young man wrote down for him the names of Succoth’s officials and city leaders – seventy-seven men in all.

 

8:15 He approached the men of Succoth and said, “Look what I have! Zebah and Zalmunna! You insulted me, saying, ‘You have not yet overpowered Zebah and Zalmunna. So why should we give bread to your exhausted men?’”

 

8:16 He seized the leaders of the city, along with some desert thorns and briers; he then “threshed” the men of Succoth with them.

 

8:17 He also tore down the tower of Penuel and executed the city’s men.

 

8:18 He said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “Describe for me the men you killed at Tabor.” They said, “They were like you. Each one looked like a king’s son.”

 

8:19 He said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. I swear, as surely as the Lord is alive, if you had let them live, I would not kill you.”

 

8:20 He ordered Jether his firstborn son, “Come on! Kill them!” But Jether was too afraid to draw his sword, because he was still young.

 

8:21 Zebah and Zalmunna said to Gideon, “Come on, you strike us, for a man is judged by his strength.” So Gideon killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and he took the crescent-shaped ornaments which were on the necks of their camels.

 

8:22 The men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us – you, your son, and your grandson. For you have delivered us from Midian’s power.

 

8:23 Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.”

 

8:24 Gideon continued, “I would like to make one request. Each of you give me an earring from the plunder you have taken.” (The Midianites had gold earrings because they were Ishmaelites.)

 

8:25 They said, “We are happy to give you earrings.” So they spread out a garment, and each one threw an earring from his plunder onto it.

 

8:26 The total weight of the gold earrings he requested came to seventeen hundred gold shekels. This was in addition to the crescent-shaped ornaments, jewelry, purple clothing worn by the Midianite kings, and the necklaces on the camels.

 

8:27 Gideon used all this to make an ephod, which he put in his hometown of Ophrah. All the Israelites prostituted themselves to it by worshiping it there. It became a snare to Gideon and his family.

 

8:28 The Israelites humiliated Midian; the Midianites’ fighting spirit was broken. The land had rest for forty years during Gideon’s time.

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Guest Thomas

I found this legend

 

 

According to this legend the Medes lived quiet lives of peace such as Zoroaster had taught them, dwelling in little farming villages. Even among these simple farm folk, quarrels sometimes arose, which were usually brought for decision to the wisest and most peaceful man of the community. In this capacity as umpire, Deioces, a peculiarly grave and moderate villager, became noted and honored through all the country, until finally many of the Medes urged him to act as their permanent leader or king.

 

At first Deioces refused; then he asked if they would give him a guard of soldiers to enforce his judgments. This being promised, he asked if they would build him a strong castle where he would be secure against the revenge of any he must punish. When he had thus obtained both soldiers and a fortress, Deioces assumed a very different, more commanding tone. He told the Medes of the weakness of other nations and bade them set out to seize by force that leadership of the world which was theirs by reason of their strength and courage. They obeyed with eagerness, and the Aryan career of victory began.

 

Read about Medes and Persians in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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I will have to study more about the Medes. I bet they relate to the Assyrian Church of the East

 

The Church of the East originally developed during the 1st century in the Aramaic speaking regions of Assyria, Babylonia, and northwestern Persia (today's Iraq, southeast Turkey, northeast Syria and western Iran), to the east of the Roman-Byzantine empire. It is an Apostolic church, established by the apostles St Thomas (Mar Toma), St Thaddeus (Mar Addai), and St Bartholomew (Mar Bar Tulmay). St Peter (Mar Shimun Keapa), the chief of the apostles added his blessing to the Church of the East at the time of his visit to the see at Babylon.

 

1 Peter 5

 

5:12 Through Silvanus, whom I know to be a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, in order to encourage you and testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

 

5:13 The church in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you, and so does Mark, my son.

 

5:14 Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

 

http://news.assyrianchurch.org/

 

I think Christians here in the United States sometimes forget about their religious brothers and sisters in Persia and the Middle East.

 

St. George Parish in Damascus, Syria has offered the Holy Eucharist in celebrating the Holy Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

The Eucharistic Liturgy, held on Friday 6 January, was offered by Rev. Toma Asitivo accompanied by Rev. Archdeacon Toma Oraham and many deacons and faithful.

 

The service was held at the Ibrahim Al-Khalil Monastery in Jaramana, Damascus.

 

Further prayers were offered to our Lord God to send His Holy Spirit aiding and healing the wounds of all the people residing in the Middle East throughout these rough times.

 

http://news.assyrian...e-epiphany/3331

 

The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Saviour (The Syriac Infancy Gospel)

 

7. And it came to pass, when the Lord Jesus was born at Bethlehem of Judaea, in the time of King Herod, behold, magi came from the east to Jerusalem, as Zeraduscht had predicted; and there were with them gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And they adored Him, and presented to Him their gifts. Then the Lady Mary took one of the swaddling-bands, and, on account of the smallness of her means, gave it to them; and they received it from her with the greatest marks of honour. And in the same hour there appeared to them an angel in the form of that star which had before guided them on their journey; and they went away, following the guidance of its light, until they arrived in their own country.

 

The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Saviour is one of the texts among the New Testament apocryphaal writings concerning the infancy of Jesus. It may have been compiled as early as the sixth century, and was based on the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

 

 

At his point my theory is that Abraham knew Ahura Mazda. His sons Medan and Midian stayed in Iran and Iraq and formed the Median kingdoms. Moses married a Midian woman and her father was a Midianite priest of the tribe of Magi and learned about Ahura Mazda. But, Moses was adopted Egyptian and later realized that he was from the priestly tribe of Levi. When Moses left Egypt with Israelites, he passed by the tribe of Magi and they thought he would be their spiritual leader, but (Yahweh/Allah/Ahura Mazda) told me that was not the plan. A violent conflict followed as a consequence between the Medians and Israelites. It was later when Isreal was conquered and moved to Babylon that they once again were settled once again with the Midians. The Magi explained Israels great heritage and there downfall was forsaking the one true God that had blessed and made a covenant with them for many. The Jewish people evolved their concept of Sheol with Heaven and Hell, God vs. Satan, a physical resurrection of the dead, and a final judgment day of the world. The Jews that accepted this belief and intermarried with the Persians where called Pharisees.

 

The key I see is the the time together in Babylon, family links and the mention of fire from the burning bush. This fire is known as Ahura Mazda to Zoroastrians.

 

Lastly the coming of a Messiah was given by both Magi and Jewish prophets

 

The Zend Avesta, Part II

 

XXVIII

 

129. Whose name will be the victorious SAOSHYANT and whose name will be Astvat-ereta. He will be SAOSHYANT (the Beneficent One), because he will benefit the whole bodily world; he will be ASTVAT-ERETA (he who makes the bodily creatures rise up), because as a bodily creature and as a living creature he will stand against the destruction of the bodily creatures, to withstand the Drug of the two-footed brood, to withstand the evil done by the faithful.

 

The Magi from the East who visited Christ as baby were from the family of Abraham.

 

I am in no way stating this is true, but my search has given me some light that the one God Almighty has many names to people of many different languages.

 

I wanted to complete this by Epiphany, January 6, the feast day that celebrates the biblical visitation of the Magi who had the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ

 

I dedicate this work to my two little cherubs, Lyra and Luke. I hope they read this later in life to better understand their father. I love them very much.

 

I pray for tolerance between the the people of Zoroastrian, Islamic, Jewish and Christian faiths. There are many branches on the Tree of Life.

 

 

No man can deny the fact that Jesus existed, nor that his sayings are beautiful. - Albert Einstein

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