Matthew 2:2

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
In Luc., iii, 41: It is said, that some Idumaean robbers coming to Ascalon,brought with them among other prisoners Antipater. He was instructed in the law and customs of the Jews, and acquired the friendship ofHyrcanus, king of Judaea, who sent him as his deputy to Pompey. He succeeded sowell in the object of his mission, that he laid claim to a share of the throne. He was put to death, but his son Herod was under Antony appointed king of Judaea, by a decree of the Senate; so it is clear that Herod sought the throne of Judaea without any connection or claim of birth. ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
After the miraculous Virgin-birth, a God-man having by Divine power proceeded from a virgin womb; in the obscure shelter of such a cradle, a narrow stall, wherein lay Infinite Majesty in a body more narrow, a God was suckled and suffered the wrapping of vile rags - amidst all this, on a sudden a new star shone in the sky upon the earth, and driving away the darkness of the world, changed night into day; that the day-star should not be hidden by the night. Hence it is that the Evangelist says, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.” Jesus then was manifested neither to the learned nor the righteous; for ignorance belonged to the shepherds, impiety to the idolatrous Magi. Yet does that Corner-stone attract them both to Itself, seeing He came to choose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, and not to call the righteous, but sinners; that nothing great should exalt himself, none weak should despair. Many kings of Judaea had been born and died before, yet had Magi ever soug...

Eusebius of Caesarea

AD 339
CONCERNING THE STAR; SHOWING HOW AND THROUGH WHAT THE MAGI RECOGNIZED THE STAR, AND THAT JOSEPH DID NOT TAKE MARY AS HIS WIFE.: I WILL write and inform thee, our dear brother, concerning the righteous of old, and concerning the handing down of the histories of their deeds ; and how, and through what, the Magi recognized the Star, and came and worshipped our Lord with their offerings ; partly from the Holy Scriptures, and partly as we have found in the true chronicles, which were written and composed by men of old in various cities. The ancient scribes testify, that everything which was written by the care of Jason in five large books,1 from the year 88 of the kingdom of the Greeks till the year 177 (B.C. 223----134), they themselves abridged hastily in two books, from the year 137 (B.C. 174), omitting also the things that were done within the space of fifty years. But as regards other things, with the care that they took, they entered into the repository of the archives of their f...
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
We have seen his star. They knew it to be his star, either by some prophecy among them, or by divine revelation. This star was some lightsome body in the air, which at last seemed to point to them the very place where the world's Redeemer lay. We know not whether it guided them during the whole course of their journey form the East to Jerusalem. We read nothing more in the gospel, but that it appeared to them in the East, and that they saw it again, upon their leaving Jerusalem to go to Bethlehem. (Witham) The wise men, in the Syrian tongue maguscha, are supposed to have come from Stony Arabia, near the Euphrates. They might have preserved in this country the remembrance of the prophecy of Balaam, which had announced the coming of the Messias by the emblem of a star, (Numbers xxiv. 17.) which was to arise from Jacob. The star which appeared then, was the symbol of the star which Balaam had predicted. (Haydock) ...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Ord.: There are two Bethlehems; one in the tribe of Zabulon, the other in the tribe of Judah, which was before called Ephrata. These Magi were kings, and though their gifts were three, it is not to be thence inferred that themselves were only three in number, but in them was prefigured the coming to the faith of the nations sprung from the three sons ofNoah.Or, the princes were only three, but each brought a large company with him. They came not after a year’s end, for He would then have been found in Egypt, not in the manger, but on the thirteenth day. To show whence they came it is said, “from the East.”. Or, they had dromedaries and Arabian horses, whose great swiftness brought them to Bethlehem in thirteen days. interlin.: ‘His star,’ i.e. the star He created for a witness of Himself. ord.: To the Shepherds, Angels, and the Magians, a star points out Christ; toboth speaks the tongue of Heaven, since the tongue of the Prophets was mute. The Angels dwell in the heavens, the stars ado...

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
M. in Evan., i. 10. n. 4: It should be known that the Priscillianists, heretics who believe every man to be born under the aspect of some planet. cite this text in support of their error; the new star which appeared at the Lord’s birth they consider to have been his fate. But far be it from the hearts of the faithful to call any thing, ‘fate.’. Nyss.: How vain moreover is prayer for those who live by fate; Divine Providence is banished from the world together with piety, and man is made the mere instrument of the sidereal motions. For these they say move to action, not only the bodily members, but the thoughts of the mind. In a word, they who teach this, take away all that is in us, and the very nature of a contingency; which is nothing less than to overturn all things. For where will there be freewill? but that which is in us must be free. And the small interval between their births is not enough to account for the great difference between their fates. Some give the name of fate not o...


AD 420
We think the Evangelist first wrote, as we read in the Hebrew, ‘Judah,’ not 'Judaea.’ For in what other country is there a Bethlehem, that this needs to be distinguished as in ‘Judaea?’ But ‘Judah’ is written, because there is another Bethlehem in Galilee. They knew that such a star would rise by the prophecy of Balaam, whose successors they were. But whether they were Chaldaeans, or Persians, or came from the utmost ends of the earth, how in so short a space of time could they arrive at Jerusalem? ...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Let us see to what serves this designation of time, “In the days of Herod theking.” It shows the fulfilment of Daniel’s prophecy, wherein he spake that Christ should be born after seventy weeks of years. For from the time of the prophecy to the reign of Herod, the years of seventy weeks were accomplished. Or again, as long as Judaea was ruled by Jewish princes, though sinners, so long prophets were sent for its amendment; but now, whereas God’s law was held under the power of an unrighteous king, and the righteousness of God enslaved by the Roman rule, Christ is born; the most desperate sickness required the better physician. “Herod the king,” mentioning his dignity, because there was another Herod who put John to death. “When He was born . behold wise men,” that is, immediately on His birth, hewing that a great God existed in a little one of man. Or, they had set out two years before the Saviour’s birth, and though they travelled all that time, neither meat nor drink failed in their s...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And wherefore, one may ask, did He not reveal this to all the wise men of the East? Because all would not have believed, but these were better prepared than the rest; since also there were countless nations that perished, but it was to the Ninevites only that the prophet was sent; and there were two thieves on the cross, but one only was saved. See at least the virtue of these men, not only by their coming, but also by their boldness of speech. For so that they may not seem to be a sort of impostors, they tell who showed them the way, and the length of their journey; and having come, they had boldness of speech: for we have come, that is their statement, to worship Him: and they were afraid neither of the people's anger, nor of the tyranny of the king. Whence to me at least they seem to have been at home also teachers of their countrymen. For they who here did not shrink from saying this, much more would they speak boldly in their own country, as having received both the oracle from th...

Leo of Rome

AD 461
Serm. 33, 2: Christ Himself, the expectation of the nations, that innumerable posterity once promised to the most blessed patriarch Abraham, but to be born not after the flesh, but by the Spirit, therefore likened to the stars for multitude, that from the father of all nations, not an earthly but an heavenly progeny might be looked for. Sermon 34, 3: Besides that star thus seen with the bodily eye, a yet brighter ray of truth pierced their hearts; they were enlightened by the illumination of the true faith. What they knew and believed might have been sufficient for themselves, that they needed not to seek to see with the bodily eye, what they saw so clearly with the spiritual. But their earnestness and perseverance to see the Babe was for our profit. It profited us that Thomas, after the Lord’s resurrection, touched and felt the marks of his wounds, and so for our profit the Magians’ eyes looked on the Lord in His cradle. ...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
Otherwise, he mentions the foreign king to show the fulfilment of the prophecy. "The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come.” . The Magi are men who enquire into the nature of things philosophically, but common speech uses Magi for wizards. In their own country, however, they are held in other repute, being the philosophers of the Chaldaeans, in whose lore kings and princes of that nation are taught, and by which themselves knew the birth of the Lord. ...
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Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
In the beginning of this passage of the Gospel he puts three several things; the person, “When Jesus was born,” the place, “in Bethlehem of Judaea,” and the time, “in the days of Herod the king.” These three circumstances verify his words. It should be known that opinions vary respecting the Magi. Some say they were Chaldaeans, who are known to have worshipped a star as God; thus their fictitious Deity showed them the way to the true God. Others think that they were Persians; others again, that they came from the utmost ends of the earth. Another and more probable opinion is, that they were descendants of Balaam, who having his prophecy, “There shall rise a Star out of Jacob,” as soon as they saw the star, would know that a King was born. Some used to answer, ‘No marvel if that boy who was then born could draw themso speedily, though it were from the ends of the earth.’ Yet was not the Lord born there; thus they knew the time but not the place of His birth. Jerusalem being the royal ci...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
It is said that these Magi were descendants of Balaam the soothsayer; and that when they discovered Balaam’s oracle, "A star shall arise out of Jacob" (Num. 24:17), they understood the mystery concerning Christ, and so they came desiring to see Him that had been born. "For we have seen His star in the east." When you hear "star," do not think that it was a star such as we see, but a divine and angelic power that appeared in the form of a star. The Magi were astrologers, and so the Lord used what was familiar to them to draw them to Himself. In the same manner, the Lord astonished Peter the fisherman by the multitude of fish which he caught by the name of Christ. That the star was an angelic power is apparent from the fact that it shone even by day, and that it moved as they moved, and stood still as they rested; also, that it moved from Persia in the north to Jerusalem in the south. For a star never moves from north to south. "And are come to worship Him." These Magi are seen to posses...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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