The legend of Artaban, the fourth wise man who did not meet Jesus

The Kings Dayin which the illusion of children is reborn waiting for the visit of the three wise men with their expected gifts, many remember the story of Melchior Caspar and Balthazarwho came to bring incense, gold and myrrh to the Child Jesus.

Although it is known that there were three kings who they arrived at belen on their camels, legends suggest that there could be a fourth member of the group that did not transcend in the story because it did not arrive at its destination with them.

Why is Three Kings Day celebrated?

Is about artabanthat would have been another Wise Man. According to a theory by astronomer Mark Kidger, the fourth of the religious who carried presents for the Child Jesus did not arrive for his birth because it was lost before reaching the city of Bethlehem.

The Magi met Jesus in Bethlehem.

What does the theory say about Artaban, the fourth wise man

Kidger, who works for the European Space Astronomy Center (ESAC), explained years ago that when Artabán went to Bethlehem on his own, he finally lost the point of reference. The European scientist stated that Artaban traveled from the Caspian Sea – 1,300 kilometers from Bethlehem – guided by “a new star” that “when it stopped shining disoriented him”. This was because a week before the birth of Jesus, the moon was conjunct the new star that followed, so it “lost light”.

In addition, Kidger recounted that the wise men were priests who studied the signs from heaven. According to the scientific publicationMelchior Caspar and Balthazar they left before Artaban, guided by the big christmas star, also known as “Star of Bethlehem”. This phenomenon aroused differences with other astronomers who say that it was actually Halley’s Comet, although it appeared in the year twelve BC.

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Artaban would have been the fourth wizard king.

A comet, the moon or a supernova: theories about the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Magi

The reasons why Artabán did not know the Child Jesus, according to a story from the 19th century

On the other hand, according to a Christmas story written at the end of the 19th century, Artabán would have spent thirty years of his life looking for the Messiah to give him three precious jewels: a sapphire, a ruby ​​and a pearlwhat finally could not offer the Child Jesus the day of his birth.

The author of the account, the American theologian Henry Van Dyke, described Artabán as “a man with long beard and noble deep eyes who lived on Mount Uchita”. Thanks to an oracle, a person with the gift of learning about the most important events of the time, Artabán learned about the arrival of someone who was described as “a great being of light who would bring forgiveness and redemption to all the sins of mankind.”

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Representation of the three wise men, who arrived with myrrh, gold and incense for Jesus.

The story tells that Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar invited the religious to travel to meet the Child Jesus. This is how they agreed to meetings in the town of Borsippa to begin the tour, guided by the star of resplendent light.

The Magi were four

However, on the way, Artabán helped a man who had been beaten and upon reaching the meeting point, where they were to meet with the other three kings, he only found a note from them in which they informed him that I couldn’t wait any longer and that they had continued their journey. When he finally arrived at the manger where Jesus was born, he no longer found anyone since, according to this story, Joseph and Mary had already fled to Egypt to protect their son, who was at risk in Bethlehem.

Legend says that on the way, Artabán was delivering the gifts he had for the son of God to help, assist and save other people. When he gave up – not having found him for more than 30 years and after his crucifixion – he was disappointed and asked Jesus for forgiveness.

Before dying, says the story, he heard a voice that told him: “Everything you did for others you have done for me, but today you will be with me in the kingdom of heaven.”


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