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Called “wise men” (Matt. 2:1). Their identification is not made known in the scriptures, but it is certain that they were righteous men sent on an errand to witness the presence of the Son of God on the earth. Their spiritual capacity is evident: They saw the star, knew its meaning, brought gifts to the young child, and were warned of God in a dream to return to their home by a safe route. Their knowledge was precise and accurate. It seems likely that they were representatives of a branch of the Lord’s people from somewhere east of Palestine, who had come, led by the Spirit, to behold the Son of God and who returned to their people to bear witness that the king Immanuel had indeed been born in the flesh. We are not told how many wise men there were, but tradition usually speaks of three, because of the three gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense. If they were serving in the capacity of witnesses, there would of necessity have been two or three. See also Wise Men of the East.