Only Matthew in the New Testament (Matthew 3:13–17) mentions the Three Magi or The Three Kings.
John of Hildershein, in his Historia Trigum Regnum, declares that the Three Magi followed a star which seemed to appear out of nowhere in the heavens. Three is a sacred number. Remember the Trinity - Trimurthi in Sanskrit. There are three races according to the Torah, Semite, Canaanite and Japhetic, all descendants of Noah, Sem, Cam, and Jafef. In ancient Egypt the sacred three represented the lunar Khem - The Transcendent One.
According to the calculations of Johannes Kepler, the conjunctions between the planets Jupiter and Saturn occurred three times – in the Pisces constellation. The 28th of May, the 1st of October and the 5th of December between 4 and 7 BC, as we now know it.
Most likely the Three Magi or Magoi were practitioners of Zoroastrianism, a monotheistic religion that still exists today in India. They are the Parsis who were forced to abandon Persia and fled to India after the Muslim Arabs conquered Persia/Iran in the eighth century A. D.
Marco Polo describes a city in Persia called Saba from where the Three Kings supposedly departed to adore the newborn God - King. Today scholars believe that Marco Polo’s city may have been Sawah, not Saba. The confusion arose because one of the Kings - Gasparre (from the Greek Galgaleth) hailed from Saba. Melchorre comes from the Babylonian Melech, which signifies King. King Balthazar is also Babylonian. The name Bal or Bel is a dead giveaway as to its Assyrian - Babylonian origins.
The Kings perforce were astronomers and astrologers. In those days, astrology was a science and had not suffered debasement as it did through the centuries in Europe. Most probably all were High priests in their respective cities of Ahura Mazda – The Universal Savior - Sashyant.
So the Magi arrived in Bethlehem thirteen days after the birth of Jesus. Until the 13th century the number thirteen was sanctified. Jesus had thirteen Apostles until Judas betrayal. The saintly Matthias quickly replaced him. The Knights of King Arthur’s round table comprised thirteen. Alas! Mordred had death in his heart for his King and therefore deserted Camelot.
In our household there is great joy on the feast of the Epiphany. Our six-year-old grandson Niccolo believes in the Three Magi. We leave three bowls of water in the garden for their thirsty camels to drink. He receives gifts that are considered enhancing to the cerebral cortex. Books on the stars and constellations, a set of calligraphic pens, a miniature collection of sailing ships and a beautifully illustrated set of books on the travels of Ibn Batuta and Marco Polo.
No commemoration of the Magi would be complete without the passionate story of love and sacrifice of Della and Jim. In the short story by O. Henry, Della sells her long locks, one of the treasures of the house in order to buy Jim the platinum chain he had longed for to place on his grandfather’s gold watch. Jim sells his prized gold watch, the second family treasure so that he could gift Della with the most beautiful set of tortoise shell combs with which to adorn her glorious hair.
In closing I quote O. Henry. “The Magi as you know, were wise men wonderfully wise men - who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones. Here I have related to you the uneventful chronicles of two foolish children in a flat, who most universally sacrificed for each other their greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of this days - let it be said that of all who give gifts, Della and Jim were the wisest. O, all who give and receive gifts such as they are the wisest. Everywhere they are the wisest. THEY ARE THE MAGI.”