Matthew 1-2: the magi entered the "house"?


#1

Matthew 2:10-11: "They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 11 and on entering the house they saw the child and Mary his mother."

I used to think that the nativity scene and the wise men coming were the same event. Matthew sets them side by side with a similar shining star.

My dad believes they are separate events. According to him, Jesus was born in the manger, but it took a year for the wise men to travel from Persia to Jerusalem, then five miles to Bethlehem, into a house to find Jesus and Mary.

But if they started in Jerusalem, he's stumped because it wouldn't take a year to get to Bethlehem. King Herod heard of this, and he assembled all the chief priests and scribes, which might take time too depending where they're from.

I looked into the Greek word of the English word "House" found in our bible, and it means "dwelling place." This can either mean a real house or the dwelling place of the Lord, wherever he may be.

They also follow a star, and the author makes us think it's the same star enough to believe it "is" the same star.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. If it's a merge that came over time, it reminds me of Julius Caesar who really died in the Pompeii Theatre, but Shakespeare put him to death in the Senate House to save time and money. So I'm wondering which has more weight: if the wise men came at the same time period or a year later.

I'm curious if the church has taught anything on this?


#2

[quote="philv, post:1, topic:349074"]
Matthew 12:10-11: "They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 11 and on entering the house they saw the child and Mary his mother."

I used to think that the nativity scene and the wise men coming were the same event. Matthew sets them side by side with a similar shining star.

My dad believes they are separate events. Jesus was born in the manger, but it took a year for the wise man to travel from Persia to Jerusalem, then five miles to Bethlehem, into a house to find Jesus and Mary. But if they started in Jerusalem, he's stumped because it wouldn't take a year to get to Bethlehem.

I looked into the Greek word of the English word "House" found in our bible, and it means "dwelling place." This can either mean a real house or the dwelling place of the Lord, wherever he may be.

They also follow a star, and the author makes us think it's the same star enough to believe it "is" the same star.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. If it's a merge that came over time, it reminds me of Julius Caesar who really died in the Pompeii Theatre, but Shakespeare put him to death in the Senate House to save time and money. So I'm wondering which has more weight: if the wise men came at the same time period or a year later.

I'm curious if the church has taught anything on this?

[/quote]

From what I understand the Magi must have been already in route or were already in or close to the Holy Land when the star came.

By all accounts they arrived in time to see the infant Jesus newly born.


#3

It is my understanding that they followed the star and by the time they came to Jerusalem and then onto Bethlehem where they found the Holy Family and the infant Jesus would have been a few months old by this time. It has even more impact when you consider that this sign appeared int he sky and the scribes (whom Herod consulted) knew where the King was to be born and presumably had seen the star and done nothing. It took pagans to notice.

God Bless


#4

[FONT=Georgia]7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; 8 and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men.

Mt 2:7-16

Herod determined the age of the child and used that in selecting the ages to be killed. My guess is that he decided Jesus was one year old and killed all within a year of that to be safe. The Holy Family had probably been in Bethlehem a year at that point.
[/FONT]


#5

^
What he said. :thumbsup:


#6

[quote="philv, post:1, topic:349074"]
Matthew 2:10-11: "They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 11 and on entering the house they saw the child and Mary his mother."

I used to think that the nativity scene and the wise men coming were the same event. Matthew sets them side by side with a similar shining star.

My dad believes they are separate events. According to him, Jesus was born in the manger, but it took a year for the wise men to travel from Persia to Jerusalem, then five miles to Bethlehem, into a house to find Jesus and Mary.

But if they started in Jerusalem, he's stumped because it wouldn't take a year to get to Bethlehem. King Herod heard of this, and he assembled all the chief priests and scribes, which might take time too depending where they're from.

I looked into the Greek word of the English word "House" found in our bible, and it means "dwelling place." This can either mean a real house or the dwelling place of the Lord, wherever he may be.

They also follow a star, and the author makes us think it's the same star enough to believe it "is" the same star.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. If it's a merge that came over time, it reminds me of Julius Caesar who really died in the Pompeii Theatre, but Shakespeare put him to death in the Senate House to save time and money. So I'm wondering which has more weight: if the wise men came at the same time period or a year later.

I'm curious if the church has taught anything on this?

[/quote]

yes, you point out something interesting. While most of the time, the magi are depicted as visiting baby Jesus in the manager, where he was born. The sequence of events are not exactly clear and the Holy Family could have moved into a home after His birth in a stable when the Magi came. Herod killed all infant boys 2 years and under so either the star came about 2 years before his birth giving the magi enough time to get to Bethelehem in time for this birth or there was more of a time gap between His birth in a manger and when the magi did finally arrive. It isn't exactly clear. Like another poster said, it could have been a month to up to 2 years and Mary and Joseph started to settle down in Joseph's anceisteral home before having to leave in the night due to Herod. We will never know for sure.


#7

From the Haydock Commentary;

“And going into the house. Several of the Fathers in their homilies, represent the wise men adoring Jesus in the stable, and in the manger. yet others, with S. Chrys. take notice, that before their arrival, Jesus might be removed into some little house in Bethlehem.”

In Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Catenal Aurea, none of the fathers’ comments in this regard is mentioned. I would guess that, from the original wording, the manger was not a dwelling place, and the “house” was indeed a different location.


#8

It could have been a house that the baby Jesus was in. A picture of a house in that area shows an upper house built over a stable below the upper house. It could be that Jesus was in the stable part as there was no room in the inn or the upper house.


#9

Case closed… thanks for the thoughts!

I talked to my deacon today at our bible study; we went over the very same chapters. He said this is actually really confusing. In Matthew’s gospel, John brings Mary into his house and Jesus is born. The magi come into the house. In Luke’s gospel, there is no house but the manger, and there are shepherds. The problem comes in when trying to merge both stories and make sense of it with pointless hours. It’s easy to confuse the two. So, now it makes sense. They’re just different accounts.


#10

Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem for the census as do others which results in overcrowding and thus Jesus is born in a stable. Once this fact became known among the locals it is possible that someone arranged a more suitable place to stay. They probably tarried in Bethlehem for a while for Jesus’ circumcision and also they did go to the temple to perform the ritual of purification [Luke 2]. They then left for Egypt after the maggi arrived.

We do not know how long the maggi followed the star. Apparently it was for an extended period of time but that does not mean the star appeared at Jesus’ birth. It might have appeared some time before causing the maggi to begin their trek to arrive in bethlehem around the time of Jesus’ birth or shortly thereafter. Herod’s killing of infants two years and younger seems to be based on when the maggi first saw the star and not on when Jesus was born. So the whole sequence of events from the birth to the departure to Egypt could have occurred in a short period of time.

The one big seemingly contradiction between Matthew’s account and that of Luke is what happened after the maggi left. Mathew has them going to Egypt then on to Nazareth but Luke has them going to Nazareth and doesn’t mention Egypt. That could be explained by the different audiences the writers were addressing. Luke just skipped over the part about Egypt because it held no meaning for his mostly Greek gentile audience but Matthew, writing for a Jewish audience, would include it to show a fulfillment of a messianic prophecy.


#11

It seems likely that most poor people in Bethlehem (and there is no evidence Joseph’s relatives were wealthy) probably had a home with an attached barn, close enough to keep an eye on them but no so close thieves cold steal the produce or animals or that the smell would be too bad.


#12

I agree with your Dad philv. Reading the nativity accounts, it would appear that the visit of the Magi came well after the birth of Jesus, but it is ambiguous. Matthew talks of Jesus’ birth and then has the line “After this time” before telling us of the Magi.

Strictly speaking though, even if Matthew wrote of the Magi arriving at the time of the birth, it need not be contradictory with Luke because he used the word ‘house’ or ‘dwelling place’ as fred conty has already mentioned.

Many houses of that time were apparently dug into hillsides, There were two levels, one for the members of the house (upstairs) and one for the animals (downstairs) separated by only a handful of steps. In this way the writings and traditions of the Holy family being in a ‘house’, ‘stable’ and ‘cave’ could all be accurate.

The difficulty arises because we do not think of a house and cave as being the same and we also think of a house and stable being separate buildings.

Regards.


#13

The most obvious thing comes out when you compare Matthew's account with Luke's is that the visit of the Magi and the subsequent trek to Egypt had to be at least 40 days after the birth, because they were still in the area for the Presentation in the Temple, which, according to the Law, had to take place 40 days after the birth of a first-born son. It could have been as much as two years later (Herod's calculation, based on what the Magi told him), but there had to be at least 40 days in there somewhere.

One would think that in the period of a month and a half they would have been able to move out of the stable/cave/whatever-it-was and into a house.


#14

Well I thought that your dad may have point. In the moment that the Holy Spirit overshadows Mary and she conceived, in that moment the star appear. Therefore the Magi had nine months to arrive to Bethlehem:rolleyes:

But it does not says that the story, says this: "16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under""
Then Herod only makes sure he was not going to miss it. **All babies were killed from birth **to 2 years of age!:eek:

This sounds quite reasonable, because as someone point out:

So as soon as the people occupying the upper part of the house went to register, surely they left the place and Mary and Joseph and Jesus could have moved up, to wait until the time of the purification in the temple.

When the Magi arrived probably it has passed already the purification period (33 days after the circumcision on the 8th day Leviticus 12:1-4) and Mary and Joseph have presented the child already in the temple. That will put the age of Jesus in about one month and 10 days. Then the Magi left their presents and went their way, different of the one they came from, to avoid Herod.
Herod not seeing them back sent immediately to kill the babies, and the Holy Family escaped to Egypt (warned by the angel), until Herod’s death.:thumbsup:

In the love of Christ,
Gloria

.


#15

For some reason, this has been bugging me more this year than previous years, but it drives me NUTS **when people keep saying that Jesus was born in a **MANGER. :banghead:

A manger is a wooden box filled with hay or straw that animals eat out of.

A stable is a place, usually a structure but in this case probably a cave, where animals are kept.

Mangers are usually found inside of stables. Jesus was born in a stable and (as the Scriptures explicitly say) he was laid in a manger.

So Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger.

End of rant. Thank you. :tiphat:


#16

[quote="Fidelis, post:15, topic:349074"]
For some reason, this has been bugging me more this year than previous years, but it drives me NUTS **when people keep saying that Jesus was born in a **MANGER. :banghead:

A manger is a wooden box filled with hay or straw that animals eat out of.

A stable is a place, usually a structure but in this case probably a cave, where animals are kept.

Mangers are usually found inside of stables. Jesus was born in a stable and (as the Scriptures explicitly say) he was laid in a manger.

So Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger.

End of rant. Thank you. :tiphat:

[/quote]

Dear Fidelis, it is clear that Mary and Joseph were not poor. Joseph was a carpenter and in those days people with these skills will be quite well off.

So they went to Bethlehem to a hotel, an Inn in those days. There were not places where they could stay and in one, they finally offer them to stay in the stable and probably in two days time the In will be free and they will be able to received a place. So they stay there and it happen that in the evening she had her baby!!!! So she put him on top of the hay that was in the manger. Nothing wrong in those days I am sure, for people that were travelling like them and did not have the 21 century facilities that we do!!!

Happy Christmas....:christmastree1: :snowing: :winter:

In the love of Jesus,
Gloria

.


#17

Mary and Joseph were the working poor. The sacrifice in the temple was two doves, which was the sacrifice of the poor, not the well off or the rich. You make a number of assumptions here that are not exactly supported by scripture and scripture isn’t clear at all. Jesus obviously was laid where he was born which was a stable (which in reality a cave). We don’t have the exact time frame of when they were able to move from there to some kinds of house where the magi saw him. It really doesn’t matter because the main point is that Jesus was born in the humblest of circumstances and it took gentile astrologers looking at a star to find him and the people that should have been aware of His birth and coming were asleep at the wheel.


#18

There's a popular movie called
"The Bethlehem Star" which attempts to explain the astronomical occurrences at the of Jesus' birth. In that DVD there is mention of the Magi finding Jesus much later...like when He would have been around 2 yrs. old. I got the impression after viewing the movie that the speaker (Larsen) was not Catholic, but the science of the night sky around Bethlehem was fascinating. Off topic, a b t, but an interesting film. :coffeeread:


#19

[quote="Gloria_de_G, post:16, topic:349074"]
Dear Fidelis, it is clear that Mary and Joseph were not poor. Joseph was a carpenter and in those days people with these skills will be quite well off.

So they went to Bethlehem to a hotel, an Inn in those days. There were not places where they could stay and in one, they finally offer them to stay in the stable and probably in two days time the In will be free and they will be able to received a place. So they stay there and it happen that in the evening she had her baby!!!! So she put him on top of the hay that was in the manger. Nothing wrong in those days I am sure, for people that were travelling like them and did not have the 21 century facilities that we do!!!

Happy Christmas....:christmastree1: :snowing: :winter:

In the love of Jesus,
Gloria

.

[/quote]

A manger is a feeding trough for animals. According to Merriam's & Webster's the word comes from Middle English mangeour, manger, from Anglo-French mangure, from manger to eat, from Latin manducare to chew, devour, from manducus glutton, from mandere to chew. The word was first used in the 14th century.


#20

[quote="ezeekl, post:19, topic:349074"]
A manger is a feeding trough for animals. According to Merriam's & Webster's the word comes from Middle English mangeour, manger, from Anglo-French mangure, from manger to eat, from Latin manducare to chew, devour, from manducus glutton, from mandere to chew. The word was first used in the 14th century.

[/quote]

Do not tell me that you did not know this???!!! :bigyikes: But I do not understand the point of making that was first use in the 14th century. You want to mean that there were no mangers for the animals before that????:D

That is why I said that there was hay in the manger, because the hay is to be eaten by the animals, that were there in the stable where they stay for the night. But animals do not eat at night when she had her baby! So they put him on the hay in the manger, but rapped around!

Happy Christmas!!
Gloria

.


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