Sunday, November 17, 2013

Star of the Magi & Zarathustra

The Book of the Bee is a Nestorian Christian sacred history. According to Budge it was written ca. A.D. 1222 by a Syrian bishop named Solomon (Shelêmôn).  In the Introduction to the Book of the Cave of Treasures, Budge says that Solomon's object in writing the Book of the Bee was to present "a full history of the Christian Dispensation according to the Nestorians." 

The Book of the Bee has an interesting description of the Star of the Magi:

As touching the nature of that star, whether it was a star in its nature, or in appearance only, it is right to know that it was not of the other stars, but a secret power which appeared like a star; for all the other stars that are in the firmament, and the sun and moon, perform their course from east to west. This one, however, made its course from north to south, for Palestine lies thus, over against Persia. This star was not seen by them at night only, but also during the day, and at noon; and it was seen at the time when the sun is particularly strong, because it was not one of the stars.

Also it describes the coming of the Magi from Persia - though there are twelve of them:
WHEN Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judah, and the star appeared to the Magi in the east, twelve Persian kings took offerings - gold and myrrh and frankincense - and came to worship Him. Their names are these: Zarwândâd the son of Artabân, and Hôrmîzdâd the son of Sîtârûk (Santarôk), Gûshnâsâph (Gushnasp) the son of Gûndaphar, and Arshakh the son of Mîhârôk; these four brought gold. Zarwândâd the son of Warzwâd, Îryâhô the son of Kesrô (Khosrau), Artahshisht the son of Holîtî, Ashtôn`âbôdan the son of Shîshrôn; these four brought myrrh. Mêhârôk the son of Hûhâm, Ahshîresh the son of Hasbân, Sardâlâh the son of Baladân, Merôdâch the son of Beldarân; these four brought frankincense. Some say that the offerings which the Magi brought and offered to our Lord had been laid in the Cave of Treasures by Adam; and Adam commanded Seth to hand them down from one to another until our Lord rose, and they brought (them), and offered (them) to Him. But this is not received by the Church.

Before these items appear in the book there is an ancient prophecy connected with the destiny of Zarathustra (Zerdosht).

This prophecy was preserved from approximately the sixth century B.C.
Chapter XXXVII - The Prophecy of Zârâdôsht Concerning Our Lord

'Hear, my beloved children, for I will reveal to you a mystery concerning the great King who is about to rise upon the world. At the end of time, and at the final dissolution, a child shall be conceived in the womb of a virgin, and shall be formed in her members, without any man approaching her. And he shall be like a tree with beautiful foliage and laden with fruit, standing in a parched land; and the inhabitants of that land shall be gathered together to uproot it from the earth, but shall not be able.

Then they will take him and crucify him upon a tree, and heaven and earth shall sit in mourning for his sake; and all the families of the nations shall be in grief for him. He will begin to go down to the depths of the earth, and from the depth he will be exalted to the height; then he will come with the armies of light, and be borne aloft upon white clouds; for he is a child conceived by the Word which establishes natures.'

Gûshnâsâph says to him, 'Whence has this one, of whom thou sayest these things, his power? Is he greater than thou, or art thou greater than he?' Zârâdôsht says to him, 'He shall descend from my family; I am he, and he is I; he is in me, and I am in him.

When the beginning of his coming appears, mighty signs will be seen in heaven, and his light shall surpass that of the sun. But ye, sons of the seed of life, who have come forth from the treasuries of life and light and spirit, and have been sown in the land of fire and water, for you it is meet to watch and take heed to these things which I have spoken to you, that ye await his coming; for you will be the first to perceive the coming of that great king, whom the prisoners await to be set free.
 Now, my sons, guard this secret which I have revealed to you, and let it be kept in the treasure-houses of your souls. And when that star rises of which I have spoken, let ambassadors bearing offerings be sent by you, and let them offer worship to him. Watch, and take heed, and despise him not, that he destroy you not with the sword; for he is the king of kings, and all kings receive their crowns from him. He and I are one.' These are the things which were spoken by this second Balaam, and God, according to His custom, compelled him to interpret these things; or he sprang from a people who were acquainted with the prophecies1 concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, and declared them aforetime.
And from the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Saviour:

7. And it came to pass, when the Lord Jesus was born at Bethlehem of Judaea, in the time of King Herod, behold, Magi came from the east to Jerusalem, as Zeraduscht [Zoroaster] had predicted; and there were with them gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.



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