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wise men

wise men in Culture

Wise Men definition


Gentile sages who visited Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in Bethlehem shortly after the birth of Jesus. According to the Gospel of Matthew, they were guided by a star and brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Because three gifts were given, the traditional story is that there were three wise men. (See Magi.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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wise men in the Bible

mentioned in Dan. 2:12 included three classes, (1) astrologers, (2) Chaldeans, and (3) soothsayers. The word in the original (hakamim) probably means "medicine men. In Chaldea medicine was only a branch of magic. The "wise men" of Matt. 2:7, who came from the East to Jerusalem, were magi from Persia or Arabia.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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