Do You Know The Story Of The Fourth Wise Man?

Henry Van Dyke, The Story of the Other Wise Man, The Fourth Wise Man, Artaban, Epiphany, Magi

As you know, the Feast of the Epiphany commemorates the magi or wise men visiting Jesus in Bethlehem and bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-12). Holy scripture does not tell us their names or how many there were. No one knows for sure. Eastern Orthodoxy says there were twelve but our tradition says there were three, probably because there were three gifts, and names them Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. But what about the fourth wise man?

His name is Artaban and he comes to us through “The Story of the Other Wise Man,” a book written by Henry Van Dyke and published in 1895. It is a beautiful story grounded in the teachings of Jesus. I don’t know if this story really happened, but I believe it is true. 

The book is available on Amazon or free online. There is also a 1985 movie of this story starring Martin Sheen available on Amazon Prime and Youtube.

Epiphany blessings to you. May we all be the fourth wise man or wise woman.



  1. Reading this story was one of the traditions of my childhood. At first my parents read it aloud to us and as we grew older we each took turns reading parts of it. I’ve either lost my copy of the book or given it away but I’m going on a search. Thank you for reminding me about it.

    Happy New Year

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was brought up beliving that Meshak , Shadrak , and Balthasar were the names . Thank you for creating a new obsession for me to look up and find in Libraries , Books on the subject from my own selection of books , and getting intouch with you , and other dedicated search people , aides , and all others with knowledge.. Truly I really enjoyed the writing , but enjoyed the reading…

    Liked by 1 person

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