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Matthew 2 Matthew 2:5-6 references Micah 5:2 The Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas Star, revealed the birth of Jesus. Numbers 24 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. In the Codex Sinaiticus uses the term 'Magi' instead of 'wise men.' 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.