A star is already full risen from the tribe of Judah


A STAR is already full risen from the tribe of Judah, and acknowledging it, kings of the east are making their journey; and they press on to reach their goal, that they might look upon Christ, born in the flesh in Bethlehem.

At Matins on December 20. Source.


THE wise men who came to Bethlehem were Gentile astrologers, who had read signs in the heavens and interpreted them to mean that a royal child was being born in Israel.

That is why they went first to Jerusalem and King Herod (Mt 2:1-2). When they realised their mistake, they followed their star to the nearby town of Bethlehem. 

Their journey fulfils a prophecy of Isaiah.

ARISE, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.

Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord.

Isaiah 60:1-6.


An icon in mosaic of the Adoration of the Magi, in the Vatopaidi Monastery, Mount Athos.

An icon in mosaic of the Adoration of the Magi, in the Vatopaidi Monastery, Mount Athos.


IN Isaiah’s prophecy, the Gentiles shall bring gold and incense only, and not myrrh.

Myrrh was used for burials, a new and baffling development in the coming of the ‘Messiah’, the Anointed King, and one that even St Peter struggled with (Mk 8:31-33).

NOW when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 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. […]

AND, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11.


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