During the reign of Herod the Great, a royal caravan came from foreign lands east of Palestine. Sages, soldiers, and slaves. Gentiles like Job, bringing precious gifts for an infant king of the Jews–a king greater than Herod, greater even than Solomon.
When the expedition arrived in Jerusalem, they said that they had been studying the exquisite, clockwork dance of celestial bodies. “We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matt. 2:2).
The whole city was disturbed by their announcement. The zeal in their eyes did not fail to impress. But Herod smiled (he was always pretending, always hard to read). “Well then find him, and tell me where he is so I can worship him too.”
Today, these stargazing dreamers of old are known as the “wise men,” and in Eastern tradition this mysterious event is called the Epiphany–the “revelation.”
The people walking in darkness will see a great light…–Isaiah 9:1 TLV
Nations will come to your light, kings to the brilliance of your rising.–Isaiah 60:3 TLV
Revelation and resurrection are like a subtle undercurrent in the Book of Job.
Job, like Abraham and other ancient men, didn’t have a Bible. But he knew somehow that a savior was coming and that the dead would live, and his faith, however vague, was credited to him as righteousness. “Yet I know that my Redeemer lives,” he proclaimed by divine inspiration, “and in the end, He will stand on the earth. Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God” (Job 19:25-26).
Without this prophetic moment, the Book of Job would be little more than a story about a bunch of men sitting around contradicting themselves. That is to say, it would be nonsense.
The central figure in the Judeo-Christian scriptures is “the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2)–and he made many cameo appearances throughout the Old Covenant era. He isn’t mentioned by name in the book of Job, but he is there in spirit if not in flesh. He emerges from the canvas, stroke by stroke, over millennia, through no human design. And we see Job’s mediator–the Lamb, the Light of the Gentiles, the suffering servant, the “brother born for adversity.” God incarnate. God with us. God for man, and man for God. God and man, reconciled.
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things which angels desire to look into. Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ..–1st Peter 1:10-13 NKJV
Job was a wise man of the East, and I love it that over a thousand years after God pointed him to the constellations (“Can you bind the chains of Pleiades or loosen the belt of Orion?”) wise men from the East followed a star to Bethlehem to worship the Redeemer that Job had prophesied about with such fervent desire.
I also love this article about the wise men in “Christianity Today.”