Wise Men went to Nazareth

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It is assumed that the Wise Men went to Bethlehem, because Herod told them that was the predicted birthplace.

However, it appears that the star “moved” them elsewhere.

I had never questioned this before, until I read an argument given by a Jew who said the bible had contradictions in it.

He said the Luke accounts and the Matthew accounts were so different that only one could be true.

Hence, he said, the bible was wrong, and full of conflicting pious stories.

After reading both Luke and Matthew, I could see his point, and it made me think more carefully about what was actually written.

The tiniest details are important.

This is the Bible challenge by a traditional Jew (does not believe in Jesus as Messiah) :

While the Jesus of Matthew was still in Egypt, waiting for Herod to die, the Jesus of Luke was born, after eight days circumcised, on the 33rd day presented in the Temple, and immediately after these requirements of the Law, the family headed back to Galilee, and their own town of Nazareth. (Luke 2:21,22,39)

Now, bear in mind that Jesus was only 33 days old when they headed back home to Nazareth.

In the meantime, the Jesus of Matthew was still trapped in Egypt waiting for the word of the "angel" with the news that Herod had finally died. Perhaps in order to spare the embarrassment, the age of this Jesus was omitted.

Therefore, how many Jesuses were there? If there was but one, either gospel writer is lying or neither ever met each other.

**** Try reading both the Luke account and the Matthew account, and explain how in one place they go back to Nazareth, and the other place, they end up in Egypt.

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I hope I can get this right.  This is a good puzzle.

For the Bible to be consistent, the accounts of Luke and Matthew have to match somehow.

After reading carefully, this is what I came up with. See if you agree:

The order of events as I see it:


The star appears ahead of the birth, somewhere in the "east" ( Luke 2:2) which alerts the wise men that something unusual has occurred. 


Since most "star" or planetary alignments are temporary, they probably watch it for while, and then realize that it is not going away, so they see it as a sign. 

It will also "move" in the sky in the general direction of Israel, leading them there. Matthew 2:2

The birth occurs in Bethlehem.  Baby is placed in a manger.  (Luke 2;16) so they are in a cave somewhere.

Circumcision in Jerusalem at 8 days        Luke 2:21

Purification in Jerusalem at 33 days.         Luke 2:22

The family goes back to Nazareth             Luke 2:39

the wise men end up in Jerusalem asking directions.    Matt 2: 1

Herod sends them to Bethlehem      Matt 2: 8

But the star guides them to the "house" where they are now. (in Nazareth). So the baby is no longer in a manger.   Matt 2: 9, 11

Wise men were told in a dream not to return to Jerusalem – (if they did, Herod would find out where the child had moved to, that he was no longer in Bethlehem)     Matt 2: 12

Joseph told to leave for Egypt because Herod will kill the child.     Matt 2: 13

Herod kills all the 2 year olds, based on when the men first saw the star, not based on the actual age of the child     Matt 2: 16

The trip to Egypt must have been for about a year, since they were able to come to the yearly Passover feast in Jerusalem, which is required anyhow by Jewish ordinances.  Luke 2:41

If Jesus was born in the Fall, which some say, based on the astronomical calculations of planetary conjunctions and anomalies, then this meant the child and family left about Passover time, and returned about Passover time. 

The child would have been about 6 months old when the wise men visited, and both they and the family were warned.

When Herod dies, an angel tells Joseph it is safe to return home to Israel to live.   Matt 2: 19

Joseph and family end up back in Nazareth   Matt 2: 23

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Conclusion and Thoughts:

The child therefore, was only gone about a year (approximately 6 months old to 1 ½ years old, and from age 1 ½ years onwards, grew up in Nazareth.    Luke 2: 40-41 

Does this make sense?  I hope so.  I thought this was a good question.  It made me think it through.

So, from what I can tell, only the shepherds actually came to the manger scene in Bethlehem. (Luke 2:20)

We assume that the Wise Men went there also, because that is where Herod told them to go.

But that does not mean they ended up there.

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Guiding Star

The “star” led them to Nazareth, to a house where the family had just recently moved to.

This star moved over a 2 year period. It was first seen in the “east.”

It moved the wise men from where they were to Jerusalem in Israel.

But when told the baby was in Bethlehem, “the star which they had seen in the east went before them, and stood before where the young child was.” Matthew 2:9

Where the star stood was over a house, not a manger. Matthew 2:11

While many think the star was just an alignment of planets, the movement was either so miraculously, and coincidentally, aligning with every movement of the parties involved, or it was really a supernatural event, guided by a special divine intelligence.

So the wise men ended up in Nazareth.

Do you agree?


35 Responses to “Wise Men went to Nazareth”

  1. The house could have been the house belonging to the owner of the manger the morning after or a close neighbor. With all the shepherds around it may have been a public event.

    Also IF the star appeared when Christ was born originally than Baby Jesus would have been 2 when the infanticide was ordered.

    Thanks for posting this though, glad I played a part in it!

    • ha ha you are welcome.

      I am thinking that the star appeared before hand, was more visible in the eastern lands where the wise men came from, and “as the world turns” became more visible in Israel later.

      For example, people in Europe might look up at the sky and see something we don’t see. Then as the seasons or times change, we might see those stellar arrangements later, after they are no longer seen in Europe.

      Whatever the reason, Israel did not seem aware of the star until the wise men showed up and mentioned it, proving they saw it first, at an earlier time. Herod went by the 2 years they mentioned as the start time. So he was not going by the known birth time, but by the time the men first saw the star.

      The men may have needed travel time also, to show up to see the child before he left for Egypt, so it would make sense that god would allow them to see it first.

      If the child really was closer to 2 years old and not 6 months old, he still would have left for Egypt at Passover time and returned about the same time, so that his parents could observe the feast every year. This means he was one year in Egypt.

  2. While I can’t explain the discrepancies in the scriptures, I do know astronomy so here are some points to consider.
    In the summer of 2BC (generally accepted as the birth year of Jesus) there was a rare conjunction of the planets Venus and Jupiter and the bright star Regulus (the King star in the constellation Leo the lion). This alignment could have been predicted well in advance by astronomers and astrologers of the time and could have been the sign the Wise Men were looking for. The only problem is that Venus is only visible in the west, never the east so while the conjunction could have been a sign, it could not have been a guide since we know the wise men came from the east so a guide star would have to appear in the western sky.
    Now it is possible for Jupiter to appear in the eastern sky, but as he earth orbits the sun Jupiters position flips from east to west every six months so there is no heavenly object that remains in the eastern sky for two years so you can forget that theory.
    What is more plausible is that the conjunction was the event and the guide although no guide was necessary to get the wise men to Jerusalem. I believe the star of Bethlehem was not an object but a laser beam from God himself created to illuminate the birthplace of the baby Jesus. This light may indeed have been seen in the east by the wise men if they were west of the manger at the time of the birth.
    Of course there is always the possibility that since none of the apostles ere eye-witnesses to the birth, their recollections would have been from stories perhaps told by Joseph or Mary and it is likely they remembered them differently.
    Remember that the gospel of Luke was originally written as a legal brief to the Roman consul in an attempt to illustrate how Jesus was acquitted of any crimes by Pontius Pilate and was later expanded and revised and perhaps there was a degree of embellishment in the process.
    You assume that every word of every gospel came from God himself rather than being written by imperfect humans. The same goes for the translators. I think you are making a big deal over nothing here. It is all just an exercise in unnecessaryness. There is no puzzle to be solved here. Just wait a bit and it will all come out in the autobiography.

    • The “wise men” were actually astrologers? that is what I have heard…so they would have already been looking to the sky and perhaps “just noticed” something unusual…

  3. Matthew 2:11 says “when they came into the house to see the young child”. Its a house, not the place Jesus was born.

    Jesus was probably 2 yrs old by the time the wise men showed up. The more interesting question is HOW many wise men showed up?? If you say three, you need to re-read the scriptures. 🙂

  4. You never know. I have been reading and studying a lot lately, He was not born in Dec. on the 25 like people would like you to think. had to be around Sept… then why would we celebrate “Christmas”? pagan holiday, worshiping sun god… nothing about Yeshua, I have been reading Isaiah and Matthew and Luke, Much of what Yeshua has said, that he is the way , our savior, :Yahweh said in Isaiah, that He is our savior and redeemer.. one and the same… If you look at Yeshua , you see Yahweh…. You don’t give your heart to “Jesus” “not even his name, you give your heart to Yahweh! How we are being deceived… you know he said “even the elite would be deceived…you have to really study …

    • Yahweh points to his son-Yeshua while Yeshua points to his father-Yahweh while the Holy Spirit points to them both!

  5. Marianne, you are entirely correct! According to our ministry’s research, Jesus Christ was born on September 11, 3 BC. The wise men did not arrive until late December, 2 B.C., about one year and 2.5 months later. The wise men arrived near December 25. However Jesus was not born at that time. The star which they were following was the planet Jupiter, which had passed through a number of spectacular conjunctions which signified to them that a great king had been born in Judea. James also alludes to some of this in his post/

    • oh thanks. I was wondering if I was off track. I was not sure when the wise men showed up, but I figured it was before the family left for Egypt.

    • aha! very interesting if indeed Jupiter played a role…marianne has a topic on here regarding Jupiter…”jupiter signs”

  6. They left for Egypt immediately after the wise men left. Matthew 2:13. God warned both Joseph and the wise men to quickly “get out of Dodge”.

  7. I forgot one important thing about the positions of stars in the sky. They all move from east to west. Just as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west every day, all the stars and planets do the same. So Jupiter might rise in the east at sunset but by midnight it will be due south and by sunrise it would be due west. So to say you saw a star in the east means absolutely nothing without saying what time it was when it was seen. So I dint think the “star” of Bethlehem was an actual star but a light from God. Seemed like a good time for a miracle to me.
    As far as Marianne’s theory that Europeans can see star we can’t see here or in Israel, that is not true except for a few stars in the southern celestial hemisphere that barely make it above the horizon in the lower latitudes and might not rise high enough in higher latitudes to be seen. These objects are way off the ecliptic and therefore can never be planets, plus they are always only visible due south, low in the sky and could never appear in the east or west. Everyone on the same approximate latitude will see the identical sky as everyone else at that latitude (i.e. east or west of their location) but a slightly different times. Sorry Marianne.
    As for the birth year of Jesus, it is generally assumed he died in 33AD according to Roman records, the day of Passover the year he died (a Wednesday) and the prophecy of daniel, plus the fact it was a jubilee year. If all this is true then counting back 33.5 years we come to Sept 2BC. You can also count backwards 6 months from Passover to get the date of birth most likely the Feast of Trumpets – the likely day of his return in order to fulfill it.
    Sorry if that throws a wrench in your calculations. Perhaps it was all just a typographical error.

    • thanks james

      That is fine about the astronomy part. I was guessing there. My main goal was to figure out how the two accounts of Matthew and Luke actually agreed, rather than disagreeing.

  8. JUST A EXAMPLE — Joseph father was Jacob in Mattew 1.16 – In Luke 3.23 Joseph father was Heli. So you see God’s Word must be read by faith. GOD bless in Yeshua. THE SPIRIT WILL SHOW YOU WHAT IS OF GOD AND WHAT IS MAN.

    • Exactly!! that is what this verse means…John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

    • Sorry Cornish but no contradiction here. The geneology of Luke is the line of Mary, and Matthew is the line of Joseph. From David back to Abraham the line is perfect, from David on to Jesus the lines are different because one line goes through David’s son Solomon (Joesph’s) and the other is the line through David’s son Nathan (Mary’s). Joesph’s natural father was Jacob, but his father through the marriage to Mary was Heli which was most likely the natural father of Mary. When the Hebrew’s married the mothers and fathers of the spouse became the (in-law’s) parents. The lines always went through the father to son and not the father to daughter.
      Follow Mary’s lineage through and it takes you all the way back to Adam the son of God. Genesis 3 tells us that the “seed of the woman” would crush the serpent’s head. The only place where the seed passed from the woman and not through the father.
      The Lord is always good and as there is answers to this, there are answers to all supposed contradictions. Some we may only know when we get to ask Him personally, but we probably won’t care when we are standing in His glory. LORD bless ya.

  9. Facts about Yahusha:
    born September 11, 3BC died (not sure) on Passover of 30AD
    was definitely NOT white, nor black, but in between (just google the real face of Jesus neave)
    spoke Hebrew, some Greek and Latin. he didnt even know aramaic as some believe. if you believe the bible at all, you will that Hebrew is mentioned 7 times, Greek 3, and Latin 1, and Aramaic 0. Nowhere is Aramaic found in the NT. There may be some aramaic loanwords, but Hebrew occur WAY more frequently than than aramaic words NT (hosanna, sabbath, korban, amein, hallelujah) 80% of the dead sea scrolls is Hebrew. Pilate put a sign up on Yahusha’s cross in 3 languages spoken in Israel: Hebrew, Latin, Greek. Not Aramaic. Yahusha spoke to Paul in HEBREW (acts 26:14)
    And about Messiach’s name. Christians stick with Jesus, and Messianics stick with Yeshua. Jesus, a Hebrew name, was translitered into Greek, Latin translitered from that, and translitered into English from Latin, instead of Hebrew. Messianics prefer Yeshua, an Aramaic word that meant “salvation”, but Messiach’s name means “Yahuah is salvation” not just salvation. The Jews picked it up from the bablylonian exile.
    So what is His name? Just look at Yeshayahu. This name means Yahuah is salvation just like Messiach’s but is Yesha(save) + yahu(Yahuah) so His name is Yahusha
    YAHUSHA!!

    • cool. thanks. it is good to get the name right. 🙂

    • Facts corrected:

      Conception occurred during the week of Feasts of Tabernacles 3 BC (Sepember), which is one month after Gabriel visits Mary with the news ( Luke 1:26-35). 

      Mary received the news of the soon conception (verse 35) in the “sixth month” (Elel) and conception occurs in the seventh month (Tishri). The Feasts of Tabernacles – “He dwells with us.” 

      Life does begin at conception.

      Wise men (wise Hebrews) – like the wise virgins (wise Belivers in Christ – Christians) – love the LORD.

      The wise men are looking up, seeing the signs of in the heavens within Leo (king planet in conjunction with king star). 

      They recognize the event as this “star” is in Leo (King of Judah) and they await His birth.

      Yeshua’s birth occurs 9 months later on the 17th of Tammuz.

      17th of Tammuz – the king plant is in conjunction with the bright and morning star (Venus) just below Leo. The King of the Jews is born in Judah.    

      http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Summer_Holidays/Tzom_Tammuz/tzom_tammuz.html

      This is a day of sorrows turned to Joy! 

      Interesting play on words “wise men” and “wise virgins”.

      Both understand the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.

      Both prepare for Him – His first coming and His second coming to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.

      Both worship Him.

      Both are willing to purchase the requried elements to present Him. 

      The wise men bring gifts for His life/death on earth.

      The wise virgins are prepared to reign with Him with a vessel filled with oil in vessels with their lamps (Proverbs 23:23) signifing the value of His Kingdom in Heaven and His return to gather them unto Him.

      Be a wise virgin – know that He is returning very soon.

       Prepare your vessel – do not sell your oil (Proverbs 23:23) for it is as valuable as the Pearl and the Treasure in the field.

      What is it?

      The Pearl, Treasure and vessels with oil represents the Kingdom of of God – righteousness, peace and Joy in the Spirit (Romans 14:17). 

      The wise virgins comprehend His words – “Seek first the Kingdom of God (righteousness from the King of Righteousness, peace from the Prince of Peace, and Joy in the Holy Spirit) and His Righteousness (the Light of Glory as it was in the beginning ( 1 John 2:24-29).

      Prepare your lamp, vessel and remain in the house of worship – the “cry” will be heard soon (Matthew 24:15-18).  It is then – when both the wise and foolish virgins will realize that He is coming soon. The foolish are not prepared – rush to purchase what is not easily found in the world.

      Put on the Armor of Light (Romans 13:12-14). The Light is His righteousness, the Glory that renews your mind and overcomes darkness.

      Blessings

  10. Scholars have found that the original books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, and Revelation were originally written in Hebrew, later they were translated into Aramaic, and later into Greek. In this video it is explained very well.

  11. I don’t know how to post the video, but it is the link: The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus

  12. I would like to say a few things:

    First, If Jesus was in Nazareth at the time of the Slaughter of the Innocents, what danger would he have been in from Herod? Herod sent his soldiers to Beth-lehem and the surrounding towns; it was at least eighty miles away from Nazareth. There would have been no need for the Holy Family to flee to Egypt.

    Secondly, to James Giordano, I very emphatically, but calmly affirm that every single word of Scripture is written by God, through the vehicle of the human authors He selected. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “ALL scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Though one can recognize individual styles in the different authors of Scripture, this is intentional and used by God to best convey His message to the world. As for translation, the different copies of Scripture down through the ages until you get to the King James Version has a 99.9% accuracy. That 0.01% is for typographical errors.

    Thirdly, to Deb, the only difference between the names “Jesus” and “Yeshua” is the language of origin. Yeshua (abbreviated form of Yehoshua) is Hebrew, a combination of Yah, an abbreviated form of Yahweh (YHWH), meaning “I AM”, the personal name of God, and shu’a, which means “a cry for help” or “a saving cry”, from which we get the translation of “salvation.” Therefore, it means “I AM salvation” or “Yahweh is salvation.” Jesus comes from the Greek Iesous (pronounced ee-ay-soos) and is completely synonymous, as it is a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew Yehoshua. Also, you may want to visit the site http://www.seekgod.ca/htwhatsinaname.htm.

    • dear Jacob

      I see your point about the distance between the two towns and the slaughter. But what I pointed out also is relevant. See above once more.

      My opinion is that if Jesus continued to grow up in Israel, he would have eventually been detected and killed, so even though his family had moved to Nazareth, there would have still been danger.

      I could find no other way to resolve Luke and Matthew accounts. Do you have a better solution? Do you think the child went back to Bethlehem, and if so, what would be the scriptures to support this?

    • Just because Jesus was in Nazareth rather than Bethlehem, doesn’t mean that Herod couldn’t have looked deeper and found out Joseph had taken his family elsewhere.
      Scripture clearly states that Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day (Gen 17:12, Luke 2:22) according to law and then presented at the temple 40 days after Mary’s time of post birth uncleanliness (Lev 12;4) was done according to Mosaic law which would have been 33 days after Jesus circumcision.
      One that day, they were seen by Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25-39) then immediately went to Galilee to their home town of Nazareth.
      I would say that when Jesus being circumcised, presented at the temple and moving to Nazareth, the Magi were just beginning their journey across what is now Iraq.
      I would find it very hard indeed to have Joseph take his family to Egypt, then get back to Jerusalem in time for Jesus circumcision and presentation. It was not a short trip to Egypt. My question is when would Joseph have time to take his family to Egypt, if not after they had moved to Nazareth.
      Nowhere in the scripture does it tell us that the magi came to Bethlehem but they came to Jerusalem where Herod questioned them and told them to bring word of the Christ child so he could come and worship also.
      At that point, the Star led them to where Jesus was and it was not in a stable but he was a young child by this time. Herod killed all children under 2 years old according to when the star appeared.
      I would say that the star led the Magi to Nazareth not Bethlehem. The Magi would then have taken another road which was a major trade route through Jericho back to their homeland.
      When we follow traditions of men and not the word of God, we can get very messed up.
      LORD bless ya.

  13. I heartily agree with the author’s conclusion!

  14. You wrote:

    “The star appears ahead of the birth, somewhere in the “east” ( Luke 2:2) which alerts the wise men that something unusual has occurred.”

    Is Luke 2:2 the correct reference? I read Matthew 2:1-2 and from this it does not seem possible to know if the star appeared before or after the birth of Christ.

    • Jeff

      Since the family only stayed around a short time, being warned that herod would kill the child, and since it would have taken time to travel on foot from anywhere back then, I would guess that it may have appeared ahead of time, giving them time to travel and arrive before the family left for egypt.

      However, since herod was ordering all 2 year olds to be killed, it gives one the sense that it was 2 years later when the wise men got there….no matter what the travel time was.

  15. If the star is the sign of Messiah’s birth, why would appear beforehand. Also, you assume the Wise Men traveled on foot. This is very unlikely for a group of obviously wealthy men with chests of treasures to bring to a King. More likely they rode on camels, the ships of the desert. Also, the time it would take for the Wise Men to travel to Jerusalem from Babylon, Persia, or Arabia (the most likely homelands of the Magi), would only take about two months.

  16. You only assume the star appeared two years after the birth from Herod’s decree to kill all children two years old and under. First, it says he got this time period from the his conversation with the Magi. This could refer to a maximum time period, meaning that the child was possibly as old as two. If he knew for a fact that the star said the Messiah was now two years old, why kill all those under that age as well? Also, if we use your argument, how can we trust Herod’s reliability, when he told the Wise Men to go to Beth-lehem, but you say they went to Nazareth. According to your argument Herod was wrong about Jesus’ location, then he could also be wrong about His age.

  17. True, bu then we wouldn’t have this stirring speculation.

    • yes…..I like thinking about things and events and wondering what was really going on…so that is the purpose of the posts…to make people think 🙂

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