‘The Kings from the East were descendants of Isma’il, what was their purpose in coming to Israel?
Whom did they come to worship?
Dear reader, in every age Allah has had His ‘Mutaqeen’ (pious and righteous ones) who were used as servants by Allah to do His bidding. Most often He chooses the common people who are in submission to Allah, but at times others as is the case in this story, we find that ‘wisemen’ or ‘royalty’ from the East were the ones chosen by Allah for
a special work. Throughout the history of Allah’s people, we often find descendants of Isma’il who were the ones chosen for special tasks for Allah. This story is no exception.
We must remember how in mercy Allah spared Hagar and Isma’il so long ago when they were dying of thirst in the wilderness after they were driven out from Ibrahim’s home. The Angel of the Lord came to Hagar to sustain her and her son Isma’il. To those
of the faithful ones from the offspring of Isma’il, Allah had a purpose and mission. We can think of great ones like, the Prophet Job, of Jethro the Midianite, of Caleb, even the Queen of Sheba, and many others who were faithful to Allah whom were used in a mighty way. This story of the wisemen taken from the Holy Books (Taurat and Injeel) tells how they were used for the special work of announcing to the Jews in Jerusalem the coming of the King, the Anointed One. They also had special gifts which they brought for Maryam and her husband Yusef and Maryam’s newborn son Isa al-Masih (Christ the Messiah).
Our story today is taken from the Injeel, Matthew chapter two. I invite the reader to begin with a private prayer (du’a) to Allah for guidance, as without the presence and guidance of Allah all our seeking is vain. We need Heaven’s wisdom and the aid of the Spirit (Ruh) of Allah before opening the Holy Books, that we may discern truth.
There came a time when Allah was about to send Isa al-Masih into this world to be the ransom and sacrifice for sin. While most of the Jews in Israel were totally unaware of what Allah was about to do, there were some of the “Children of the East”, the descendants of Isma’il who were studying the ancient prophets which made mention of a “Star” which would come. It was written long ago by another descendant of Isam’il whose name was Balaam. Balaam at one time was called to be a prophet of Allah. Balaam was the son of a king of Edom by the name of Beor. (Taurat) Numbers Chapters 22-24 especially Numbers 24:17 KJV) “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel…” The Injeel doesn’t say much about these ‘Wisemen’ from the East, nor exactly where they were from. We do know from the account that they were in earnest and obviously had a mission to complete. Injeel Matthew 2 tells the complete story. “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.” Matthew 2:1-2
By their gifts which they brought, we may at least have a good idea as to where they came from. They brought rich gifts to present to Isa al-Masih. These gifts we are told were: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When royalty comes from another land to meet with other royalty, they usually bring gifts from their own land. We know that frankincense grows in present day Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Also gold and myrrh are both present there.
The Prophecy of Daniel Nine!
That the Prophecy of Taurat Daniel chapter nine was at least somewhat understood by these men of the East there can be no doubt. For many even in Israel were expecting something to happen based upon this prophecy. But because of the Jews negligence of searching and knowing the Holy Books most in Israel failed at knowing what Allah was about to do during this time. It clearly stated in this chapter that the Messiah, the Saviour of men would be sent into the world. Yet men of Israel were so occupied with their own selves that most were unaware of the person (Isa al-Masih) which was being sent down right on time. For the readers benefit we include the prophecy of Daniel
Daniel 9:24-27 “Seventy weeks [490 days / years
in prophecy] are determined upon thy people [Jews] and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and
to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy [Isa al-Masih]. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [Isa] shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks [62 weeks] shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he [Isa the Messiah] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [7 years in prophecy]: and in the midst of the week [3.5 years] he [Isa] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease [ by His own sacrifice], and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
This “Star” which would come to Palestine and which would be the sin offering for this world was Isa al-Masih. The predicted time fully came, which had been prophesied in the book of (Taurat) Daniel chapter 9 and those in Israel who should have been anxiously waiting for and longing for the coming of the Messiah the ‘Anointed’. But most were unconcerned with the exception of a few shepherds and others. But from among the “Children of the East” among the descendants of Isma’il where those who were believers in the coming of the Messiah the ‘Anointed’. They were studying and praying for light and Allah directed these special praying ones to the land of Judah (Israel). So they went in search of this “Anointed One” and they were led by a mysterious ‘star’ to Jerusalem. However when they arrived at Jerusalem, they were perplexed in that no one knew of the coming of this special person. Finally someone told them that the “Anointed One” was to be born in a small village called Bethlehem of Judea. So leaving Jerusalem they went in search of the Messiah. This star guided them until they came to Bethlehem and found the home where the young child (Isa) was.
The account in the Holy Books tells us that they brought their gifts, gifts fit for a King. For truly this was a King, yet more than a king, He was the “Saviour” one who would die as the ransom for man.
The gifts the wisemen brought were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts would provide the necessary means needed to allow the family of Isa al-Masih to make their escape, their Hijra (flight) into Egypt to escape the wicked King Herod who sought to take the young child’s life. Herod was ruler in Jerusalem at that time. It was the descendants of Isma’il, not someone from the Jews of Israel who provided this favor to Isa al-Masih and his family. Allah’s promise to Isma’il still holds true today, all those who believe, those whose ear is open to Allah, to receive truth would also be blessed of Allah Taurat Genesis 17:20. These magi were among those who believed. The account says they came to worship. What those in Israel failed to see was that this “Anointed One” was the One whom these “Children of the East” came to worship. Injeel Matthew 2. They came to seek, worship, and to bring deliverance. Only Allah is to be worshipped, how is it that these folks worshipped before the young child? Were they mislead? The Honored Qur’an says that Isa al-Masih is to be obeyed and followed.
‘When Jesus came with Clear Signs, he said: “Now have I come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which ye dispute: therefore fear Allah and obey me.’
Sura 43:63 Az-Zukhruf
These wisemen, perhaps little realizing that about 33 years later this “Anointed One” would lay down His life for the sins of the world. The “Messiah” would give His life, a sacrifice for the sins of the entire world. Thus all who believe can be eternally blessed. The Holy Books say that all who will may come, and find in the Isa al-Masih salvation from sin. What would it take for someone to lay down his life for someone else? It would take love, supreme love. That is what Allah is all about. Love so supreme that He would provide a sacrifice for our sins. That we could live eternally and not die. Today, you hold in hour hands a small tract, which brings glad tidings of salvation to you if you believe. Allah of Heaven is interested in all His people who He created. He longs to bring salvation to you! Dear friend of Allah will you accept the sacrifice (ransom) made for you in the life of Isa al-Masih?