[[File:Three-Wise-Men-Kupelwieser.jpg|thumb|upright=1.4|alt=The Three Wise Men on horseback looking up to the star|''The Journey of the Three Kings'' (1825)]]
The '''Three Wise Men''' described in the present at the birth of [[Jesus]]<ref>Matt. 2:1–12.</ref> probably were not kings but dubbed that by later tradition to fit the prophecy in Psalm 72:11, “All kings will do him homage.” Rather, the “wise men from the East” were Magi, the priest class of Persia who were the “keepers of the sacred things, the learned of the people, the philosophers and servants of God,” who also practiced the art of divination, soothsaying and astrology. During the Persian empire, they were advisers of kings, educators of princes, and were held in highest reverence.
The names of the three wise men are not mentioned in the Bible but appear to have arisen or been passed down through tradition. Eighth-century British historian Bede was the first to record their names as we know them today. [[Melchior]] signifies “king of light”; Caspar may come from the name of the Indian king Gondophares whom the apostle Thomas converted; Balthazar is the Chaldean name for Daniel.