Wise men from a distant country from the east saw a bright star in the heavens and believed it meant the new king of the Jews was born. Read about it for yourself in Matthew 2:1-2.
Who were these wise men and where did they come from? The Bible only tells us they came from eastern lands. Many scholars speculate that they may have come from the country of Babylon, the country where the Jewish people lived in captivity for 70 years. Their knowledge of the promised Messiah may have been passed down from the time of their captivity in Babylon more than 500 years before the birth of Christ. The Israelite prophet Daniel, who had been made head of the royal wise men in Babylon, often wrote about the promised Messiah.
Several hundred miles of the Arabian Desert extends between Bethlehem and Babylon and the other countries east of the Israelite lands. When these wise men started out on their trip they knew they had to prepare for many months of travel. They probably followed the trade routes that went around the northern edge of the desert.
Written for younger children: The First Christmas, by Janice D. Green, illustrated by Violet Vandor.