Christmas is coming soon and I figure that now is the perfect time to air a grievance of mine.
I mean, it’s bad enough that people so frequently impose modern stereotypes on ancient stories like this one. It’s worse, in my opinion, when they do it to say that, in a sense, “God chose wrong” and/or “Men aren’t as great as women are.”
So, even though I imagine I’m going to get under a few collars with this one, I’m going to take it apart piece by piece and explain why it’s wrong. Here we go.
- Three Wise Women would have asked for directions: Uh, the wise men did ask for directions, when they reached the Holy Land. They asked King Herod. They wouldn’t have been able to get better directions until they got to Jerusalem in the first place.
- Three Wise Women would have arrived on time: How? The wise men only had the scriptures, which told them to look for a new star in the sky. Also, they lived in the east. The scriptures don’t say exactly how far east or even where in the east. They just say east. So, even if they left right when they saw the star, and the odds are good that they probably left not long thereafter, they still wouldn’t have been on time. The star had probably stopped shining by the time they got there, too. You try finding where you’re supposed to go on time when you have no idea even where to find the right city. It’s not like you’re going to pull the camels over at a friendly gas station where you can stop and say, “Excuse me, would you tell us where Israel is?”
- Three Wise Women would have helped deliver the baby: The scriptures say that Jesus was born in a stable, but they don’t say his mother and father didn’t have any help with the delivery. I don’t doubt for a second that the stable which Mary and Joseph used was probably convenient to the inn which had been too full to receive them. Also, it’s traditional for all Jewish men to get married, so who is to say that a wise woman didn’t help deliver the baby? You know, like the innkeeper’s wife?
- Three Wise Women would have brought practical gifts: So, we’re saying now that gold, frankincense and myrrh aren’t practical? Think about this for a minute. Shortly after the wise men left Israel, King Herod decided that all children ages two and under should die. That included Jesus, or it would have if Joseph hadn’t been previously warned by an angel to take Mary and the baby and move to Egypt where nobody Jewish would ever think to look for them. What are they going to need in order to accomplish this move? That’s right! Money! No doubt the gold, frankincense and myrrh were found to be very practical when the holy family sold them to cover their moving expenses. Also, gold, frankincense and myrrh were highly symbolic. Presenting the holy child with these things meant that they were testifying to the family of their belief that this child was the same person that commanded them to build their first temple. You can read about it in Exodus. Gold, frankincense and myrrh were all used extensively.
- Three Wise Women would have cleaned the stable: First of all, generally speaking, stables in the holy lands are kept pretty clean. Otherwise it would be utterly ridiculous to expect a new mother to give birth in one, don’t you agree? Second, when the wise men finally arrived, Jesus was closer to two years old, so the chances of the holy family still being in that stable are pretty slim. Remember, Joseph was a carpenter. If nothing else, he could have built himself and his family a house well before the wise men arrived. Anyway, the scriptures don’t say that the wise men visited the holy family in a stable. It says they came “into the house.” So, no stable to clean. Lastly, the scriptures say that the wise men stayed the night and then, warned in a dream, left the next morning by another way. Who is to say that they didn’t help around the house with some of the necessary chores? After all, don’t the scriptures refer to them as “wise” men?
- Three Wise Women would have made a casserole: Surprise! Casseroles weren’t invented until 1866, so no they wouldn’t either have made one. Do your research, people!
- …and there would be peace on earth: This is just my opinion, but if both men and women spent more of their time in earnest communication and less time in coming up with stupid sexist jokes like this one, the world would definitely be a more peaceful place. Don’t you think so?
Question Time: Do you agree or disagree with my arguments? What’s your opinion of this poem? Please, tell me. I’m anxious to read your answers. Only, no flaming, please. I won’t keep those kind of comments.