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The Magians revolted and set up Gaumata, their chief, as King of Persia under the name of Smerdis. Still the religious influence of this priestly caste continued throughout the rule of the Achaemenian dynasty in Persia (Ctesias, "Persica", X-XV); and is not unlikely that at the time of the birth of Christ it was still flourishing under the Parthian dominion. Jerome (In Isa., xix, 1) find the same meaning in the second chapter of Matthew, though this is not the common interpretation. Patristic Evidence No Father of the Church holds the Magi to have been kings. Marcion.", III, xiii) says that they were wellnigh kings ( fere reges ), and so agrees with what we have concluded from non-Biblical evidence.Strabo (XI, ix, 3) says that the Magian priests formed one of the two councils of the Parthian Empire. Biblical Evidence The word magoi often has the meaning of "magician", in both Old and New Testaments (see Acts 8:9 ; 13:6, 8 ; also the Septuagint of Daniel ; 2:2 , , ; 4:4 ; 5:7 , , ). Justin (Tryph., lxxviii), Origen (Cels., I, lx), St. The Church, indeed, in her liturgy, applies to the Magi the words: "The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents; the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring him gifts: and all the kings of the earth shall adore him" ( Psalm ).
We may readily admit that the Magi were led by such hebraistic and gentile influences to look forward to a Messias who should soon come. The advent of the Magi caused a great stir in Jerusalem ; everybody, even King Herod, heard their quest (v. Herod and his priests should have been gladdened at the news; they were saddened.The position of a fixed star in the heavens varies at most one degree each day.