After Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem of Judea during the reign of King Herod, astrologers from the east arrived one day in Jerusalem inquiring, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have observed his star at its rising and have come to pay him homage.” At this news King Herod became greatly disturbed, and with him all Jerusalem. Summoning all of the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they informed him. “Here is what the prophet has written:
‘And you, Bethlehem, land of
Judah, are by no means least among the princes of Judah,
Herod called the astrologers aside and found out from them the exact time of the star's appearance. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, after having instructed them: “Go and get detailed information about the child. When you have found him, report it to me so that I may go and offer him homage too.”
After their audience with the king, they set out. The star, which they had observed at its rising went ahead of them until it came to a standstill over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house, found the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their coffers and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
They received a message in a dream not to return to Herod, so they went back to their own country by another route.
Matthew 2:1-12 (NAB)