On the Star by Pseudo-Eusebius of Caesarea

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Category: Infancy Gospels

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Status: in progress by Brent Landau.

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The Magi know about the star because it was revealed to them via the prophecy of Balaam (“A star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel,” Num. 24:17) which made its way to the east. When the star appears, the king of Persia gathers the gifts and sends the Magi on their way. They come to Jerusalem and the people there (“the kings, priests, and chiefs of the people”) cannot perceive the star “because they were not worthy.” Another star leads the Magi home, and their story is written down in and stored “among the records of the deeds of their kings.” At the end of the text, some sixteen or seventeen lines of the Syriac text have been purposely erased, probably on account of some statement which a later reader considered heretical.



3.1 Manuscripts and Editions

Manuscripts: Syriac (British Library, Add. 17,142)

English translation and edition: W. Wright, “Eusebius of Caesarea On the Star,” The Journal of Sacred Literature, 4th series vol. 9 (1866) p. 117; vol. 10 (1867), pp.150-164 (available HERE), audio (available HERE).