What Gift Did Melchior Bring?

According to the Venerable Bede, a Christian scholar of the eighth century A.D., Melchior brought the gift of gold to the baby Jesus. Melchior is the traditional name of one of the three Magi, or Wise Men.

The Bible says that after Jesus was born, wise men from the east came to visit him bearing three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Over time, the story of the Three Wise Men developed, and they received names: Melchior, Balthasar and Caspar. Bede states that Melchior was an old man, Balthasar was a middle-aged man and Caspar was a young man. Other traditions assign other identities and gifts to the names. For example, the J. Paul Getty Trust website states that in Andrea Mantegna's masterful painting "Adoration of the Magi," Melchior is the middle-aged visitor bearing frankincense.