The Magi Earrings are named after the three kings, wise men, or magi that we find in Scripture at the time of Jesus Christ's birth. Those of you following me on Instagram actually helped me to name these earrings and I am so glad that out of the three options (Three Kings, Wise Men, or Magi) the name "Magi" won!
It is still somewhat of a mystery as to who the Magi actually were, how many there were, and what they looked like. However, we can find a few hints in Scripture. In Matthew 2 we read about the magi coming to see the newborn Jesus. "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ' Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.'" Matthew 2:1-2.
The Magi actually fulfilled a lot of prophesies in the Old Testament. We see these prophesies in Numbers 24, Psalm 72, and Isaiah 60. In Numbers 24 Balaam prophesied the coming of the Messiah by a sign, which was a star. "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: a star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel" Numbers 24:17.
In Psalm 72 we see that kings come to worship the Messiah. "May the kings of Tarshish and of the Isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him" Psalm 72:10-11.
In Isaiah 60 we find many hints about the Magi including: the sign of a star or light, kings coming to worship the Messiah, where these kings came from, how the kings traveled, and even the gifts the kings brought.
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you" Isaiah 60:1. "And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you" Isaiah 60:3-4. "A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord" Isaiah 60:6.
So we have a hint that the Magi came from three countries: Midian, Ephah, and Sheba. Midian and Ephah were middle eastern countries and Sheba was in Ethiopia. This means that these magi would have had differing tones of skin, with the king from Ethiopia probably having the darkest skin tone. These Magi will also bring gold and frankincense to the newborn Messiah according to Isaiah 60:6. This is interesting because these gifts appear in the New Testament when Jesus is born!
"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh" Matthew 2:10-11. The three gifts that are presented to the newborn Christ are actually quite significant.
Gold was a costly metal that was typically given to those of royalty or nobility. Gold represents the kingship of Jesus. Frankincense was an incense that was used by a Jewish priest during prayer offerings and sacrifice offerings. Frankincense represents the priesthood of Jesus. Lastly myrrh was used as an anointing oil for those in the temple and as an embalming oil for the dead. Myrrh is significant as it predicts the death our Lord would face in His future.
In the seventh century the three kings were given names.The three names given were Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. Each of these three kings represented a different aspect of the humanity. Caspar is usually represented as a young man without a beard. Melchior is usually represented as an old man with a white beard. Then Balthasar is represented as a middle aged man with a beard and dark skin. What is quite interesting about these representations of the Magi the connection they have in Scripture. Multiple times in Scripture we see that all nations shall come to Christ and serve Him. "May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him" Psalm 72:12. "And nations shall come to your light" Isaiah 60:3. The Lord calls all of us to Himself.
No matter our age, ethnicity, skin tone, or wealth (kings and shepherds were present at Christ's birth), we are all called to follow Christ. I wanted to represent this in these earrings in a special way. The three arches represent the three kings and look similar to arrows. This shows that the three kings are traveling to the star (the gold stud). This also represents the kings of the world coming to Christ our true King. The three colors of the arches represent the differing skin tones of those around the world as well as the different ages of those around the world. When we are first born we tend to have darker or more pigmented hair colors and then as we age our hair starts to turn grey or white. Truly, we are all called to Christ!
I also wanted to share that there is a special Epiphany Blessing that you can receive each year on the Feast of the Epiphany. Kendra Tierney does an amazing job of teaching us about the Epiphany House Blessing as well as other Epiphany traditions. I highly encourage you to read more about these Epiphany traditions!
Epiphany House Blessing: https://catholicallyear.com/blog/epiphany-house-blessing/
Epiphany Traditions: https://catholicallyear.com/blog/how-and-when-we-celebrate-epiphany-and/I hope you have a wonderful Epiphany this year!
"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy" Matthew 2:10.