- Posted January 6, 2013 by
Team iReport featured this story
Three Kings Balthazar, Gaspar, Melchior.
This iReport was featured on the January 2013 iReport for CNN program on CNN International.
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
An 8th century saint, Bede the Venerable, described the kings this way: "The first was called Melchior; he was an old man, with white hair and long beard; he offered gold to the Lord as to his king. The second, Gaspar by name, young, beardless, of ruddy hue, offered to Jesus his gift of incense, the homage due to Divinity. The third, of black complexion, with heavy beard, was called Baltasar; the myrrh he held in his hands prefigured the death of the Son of man."
The Bible, however, does not describe the kings or reveal their names. In fact, it does not call them kings at all, but simply Magi, or Wise Men. The Magi were a Median priestly caste who rose to power in ancient Persia (today's Iran). Their religion, Zoroastrianism, was founded around the 6th century BC by a Median man named Zoroaster. The Magi were held in awe as highly educated scientists and scholars who could interpret dreams and even control demons.