How do the Jewish scriptures shape these sections of the narrative? Obviously, the giving of the gifts showed the great respect the wise men had for the birth of the Savior and what that meant.
The Annunciation to Joseph Having delineated the Savior's genealogy, Matthew now begins his narrative of the birth of Christ.
In so doing, they miss a wonderful insight into one of the purposes of Matthew's gospel which is to prove to his Jewish readers that Jesus is the Messiah. Unlike Luke's gospel, his focus is not on the Savior and Mary but on Joseph.
To validate his claim, Matthew selects a variety of stories which he feels verifies his thesis. Maria St. Hendrickx, Herman.
Borg, Marcus J. For these I set no limits, world or time, But make the gift of empire without end" Aeneid 1. Similarly Hill has noted that the story of the wise men "is the means of affirming a that the place of Messianic origin is Bethlehem, and b that the appearance of the Messiah of the Davidic tribe of Judah on the stage of history provoked hostility on the part of the leaders of his own people, but was acknowledged by representatives of the non-Jewish world; their search for and worship of Jesus prefigure the conversion of the pagan nations to Christ cf.
It seems clear that Matthew attached great importance to the numbers 3 and 14, finding mystical meaning in their significance. But when an opportunity to leave Babylon and return to Jerusalem was offered the Jews, most stayed in Babylon and her sinful trappings.
Though often symbolism has been attached to these gifts gold represented the Savior's royalty, frankincense used in the cultic sacrifices represented the Savior's sacrifice, and myrrh used as an incense in burials represents his future death for mankind's sinsMatthew makes no comment about the gifts.