Persian magi

By He Qi Persia has a story of 3 magi who went to give gifts to a new-born king in a different country. As recorded here by Marco Polo. Here is an excerpt:

“... three kings of that country went to adore a certain king who was newly born, and carried with them three offerings, namely, gold, frankincense, and myrrh: gold, that they might know if he were an earthly king; frankincense, that they might know if he were God; and myrrh, that they might now if he were a mortal man”Persian tradition - Marco Polo

This story comes from non-Christian sources. Also, the word ‘magi’ in the Bible has a Persian origin

Eloi eloi lama sabachthani

Jesus said this on the cross. It means ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’ Why would Jesus say God has abandoned him?

In those days, chapters weren’t numbered. Psalms were quoted by their opening sentence. The opening sentence of Psalm 22 is “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me.” So Jesus was potentially refering to this Psalm — here are some excerpts:

  • They have pierced my hands and feet. I can see each one of my bones.
  • They say, “Call to the Lord for help. Maybe he will save you.
    If he likes you so much, surely he will rescue you!”
  • My bones have separated... My tongue is sticking to the roof of my mouth. You have left me dying in the dust.
  • My enemies are looking at me; they just keep staring.
    They divide my clothes among themselves, and they throw lots for what I am wearingPsalm 22

Crucifixion is a horrific way to die. A small part of that is the shoulder bones dislocating My bones have separated... My tongue is sticking to the roof of my mouth

And John tells us why Jesus’ tounge might stick to the top of his mouth: Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty”

It seems strange to both divide the clothes up, and throw lots for them. But both Matthew and Mark tell us this is what the soldiers did with Jesus’ clothes. John however tells us why:

  • When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
  • “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”
  • This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment”John 19
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