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Archive for January 6th, 2009

The Three Wise Men Were Ethiopians

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on January 6, 2009


The story of the Three Wise Men has been retold and embellished countless times during the past 2,000 years.

Contrary to the widespread assumption about them coming from Asia, Europe and Ethiopia, Ethiopians believe that the Three Wise Men are all of Ethiopian origin. The reasons for this claim are the following:

  • During the time of Jesus’ birth, and until Jesus Christ begun preaching the Gospel, the only two nations who knew the Almighty God were Ethiopians and Israelites. Therefore, the Wise men who came to see baby Jesus must, at least, be Men who knew God. (not some Persian or Indian magicians who were pagans at that time) . So, if the Wise men came from other than Israel, as it is stated in the Bible, the only country which is qualified to be their origin is Ethiopia.
  • According to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo tradition we are reminded of the Holy Ancestors of God and the Holy Fathers, Patriarchs, and Prophets who played a role in the coming of the Messiah. The Church reads extensively from the Holy Prophets who by Divine Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote of the coming of the Saviour. These “Messianic” Prophets are Daniel, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.Prophecies of these Prophets foretold us about the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus, and the wise men will come from Ethiopia to bow before him and bring him presents:

Ethiopians shall bow before him….the Kings of Sheba and Seba (Ethiopia) shall offer gifts” [Psalms 72: 9-10]

In that time shall the present be brought unto the LORD of hosts of a people scattered and peeled…” [Isiah 18:7]

  • The type of present that the wise men brought with them; that is: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh (one for each of the Wise Men, as a representation of the Holy Trinity, and, perhaps, as a symbolical incorporation of the three Sons of Noah: Shem, Ham and Japhet) has been mentioned earlier in the Bible in connection with Ethiopia. Ethiopian merchants used to send these precious goods to Jerusalem and the surrounding area.

And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.” [1Kings 10:10]

….all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.” [Isiah 60:6]

The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold.” [Ezekiel 27:22]

  • The Ethiopian book, written in Ethiopic (Ge’ez), “Mahl’ete Ts’ge”, a detailed depiction of the Star which lead the wise men up to the birth place of Jesus, Bethlehem. No other book in the world has given a detailed description on the nature of the Star which was only mentioned in short sentence in the Gospel of Matthew. It’s known that Apostle St. Matthew went to Ethiopia to preach the Gospel, where he probably died as a Martyr. So, it is possible that he knew about The Star during his stay in Ethiopia.
  • Another source of information which tells us about the Ethiopian origin of the Three Wise Men is the Ethiopian Book of Enoch. Prophet Enoch was the only person whom the Archangel Uriel revealed the secrets of the true Calendar to.Many people mistakenly assume that Ethiopian calendar is Julian. The Gregorian calendar is actually the revisions of Julian calendar, which Pop Gregory edited or decided according to certain calculations. Ethiopians calculate the years according to the divine evaluation of Prophet Enoch.

    Nowadays, many scholars believe that the Ethiopian calendar is much closer to the birth of Jesus Christ than others. Ethiopians were able to anticipate earlier the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, because of the precise calculation that was revealed to them by God.

O Almighty God, who makest us glad with the yearly Expectation of the Birth of Thine Only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: grant that as we joyfully receive Him for our Redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold Him when He shall come to be our Judge. Thou Who liveth and reigneth now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen!



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