Where did the wise men come from?
Q: Where did the wise men come from, and how did they know that the star they were following would lead them to Jesus? And did they ride camels? I am 10 years old, and I've always wondered about them. -- D.McF.
A: The Bible doesn't tell us exactly where they came from; it only tells us that they were from a country to the east of Israel (where Jesus was born). Nor does it tell us if they rode camels -- although they probably did, since they would have had to cross long sections of desert to reach their destination.
Many Bible scholars believe they probably came from the ancient country of Persia, hundreds of miles away. If so, they might have become familiar with the Old Testament's prophecies about the coming Messiah, through Jews who had been forced to settle there centuries before. They may, for example, have known of the prophet Isaiah's words: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders" (Isaiah 9:6).
What is certain, however, is that God revealed to them that the long-awaited Messiah had now been born, and they were determined to find Him and honor Him. When they finally arrived in Jerusalem, they asked where He could be found, and were told of the prophet Micah's words that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. The sign God had given them in the heavens went before them, and they discovered Jesus. Immediately, the Bible says, "they bowed down and worshiped him" (Matthew 2:11).
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As Christmas approaches this year, I pray that you will be like those wise men -- seeking Jesus with your whole heart, and then by faith committing your life to Him. He is the greatest gift you will ever receive.
(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.)(c)2017 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.