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Interview with the magi, page 1: Christmas Series Part 12

For the next three days, I will post a rare interview with one of the magi who trekked to Bethlehem in search of the Christ Child. This document from antiquity has been passed down for millennia in my family. My many-times-removed, great, great, great, great, etc., forebear, Dorotheonea Fricknacius, was a young reporter for the Jerusalem Journal around the time of Christ. She, like Lydia in Paul’s day, was something of a novelty—a woman in the work world. Her journals show that she sensed the hand of God on her pen as she wrote, and she always cited Psalm 68:11, “The Lord gives the command; the women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host.

She famously tracked down one of the magi from the East who had sought out, found, and worshiped the newborn Messiah. She changed the names involved to protect the innocent. Her ancient account will appear for the next three days in the First of All, Pray blog, starting with today.

Interview with Harar, magi from the East

By Dorotheonea Fricknacius, reporter for Jerusalem Journal

[Reporter’s note: Shortly after last year’s slaughter of male children aged two and younger in Bethlehem and its environs, I became increasingly concerned about what part, if any, the mysterious royal visitors from the East might have played in this devastation. Understanding that they were connected to a “child search”, I had to know if they had any influence on Herod’s subsequent all-out attack on the baby boys of Bethlehem and throughout Judea. My sources gave me several regions in which I might find some of the eastern kings and magi, so I set out two months ago in a caravan heading east. My first stop was to be in Moab, our neighbor to the east of the Dead Sea. Here my effort was immediately rewarded for there I met a man who was the spokesman for one of the magi whom I will call Harar. He was reposing in the region of Mizpah on his way to other business when I was granted an interview. I determined that if all went well, I would have no need to continue eastward in search of more magi. Fortunately, Harar told me everything I needed to know. I praise God; I do not relish camel rides.]

Harar: My servant tells me you come from Jerusalem to obtain an interview concerning my recent Judean visit. I must first ask, however: were you sent by Herod?

Journal: No, sir. I have come seeking Truth.

H: You, a native of Judea, come to me, a Gentile astronomer, to seek truth?

J: Yes, sir. Although my people are blessed with the Holy Scripture, it seems in this case that those further from the Truth in distance and blood have searched for it more diligently than many of us to whom it has been so graciously sent. I seek to learn of your purpose for visiting Bethlehem.

H: Are you speaking in reference to the Child?

J: Yes, sir. As you surely have heard, soon after you and your party departed Bethlehem, a slaughter of the innocents was ruthlessly carried out by decree of Herod.

H: So I have been told.

J: After the slayings, Herod implicated you and your fellow magi with planting a male child from the east into a household in Bethlehem. This child supposedly would one day overthrow Jerusalem and then give control of Israel to the kings of the east. With this story he defended the massacre.

H: Such lies will not prosper! So you have come for the Truth?

J: Yes, sir. I want to tell my people your story.

H: Quite the contrary, young lady. This story belongs to the Jews. The fact that they are largely unaware of it makes it no less theirs. My fellow magi and I were merely appointed by Providence to play a small role, and now our lives will never be the same. Oh, that Israel would have recognized the dawn of her visitation!

To be continued tomorrow…

© 2015, Dorothy Frick

(The preceding has been fictionalized.)