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The Story of the Other Wise Man

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,279 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
"I do not know where this little story came from--out of the air, perhaps. One thing is certain, it is not written in any other book, nor is it to be found among the ancient lore of the East. And yet I have never felt as if it were my own. It was a gift, and it seemed to me as if I knew the Giver."
--Henry Van Dyke

Long, long ago, a wise man named Artaban, a priest of the Ma
Paperback, 112 pages
Published November 5th 1996 by Ballantine Books (first published 1895)
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Dec 31, 2015 Mohammad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
داستان سه خردمند ایرانی که از طریق ستاره شناسی و پیش گویی انبیای پیشین دریافتند که کودکی(عیسی مسیح) از قوم بنی اسرائیل به دنیا آمده و پس از روئیت ستاره مشرق به سمت اورشلیم حرکت کردند،در فرهنگ مسیحیت بسیار معروف است.
کتاب "آن خردمند دیگر"داستان خیالی چهارمین خردمند ایرانی است که قصد پیوستن به آن سه خردمند دیگر دارد

کتاب نثری شعرگونه دارد و کنار صفحه ها پر از نقاشی های قدیمی از صحنه ی پرستش مغان -همان سه خردمند- است.مقدمه ی مترجم طولانی ولی مفید بود،به خصوص چند شعری که مترجم برای شناخت بیشتر نویسند
Debbie Zapata
Mar 14, 2015 Debbie Zapata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pg
I love this little story. I read it every year on Christmas Eve, but since I have not had my fragile old copy of the book with me for the past few years, I jumped the calendar a bit since discovering it on Project Gutenberg.

The Three Wise Men gave gifts to a newborn King in his humble birthplace. And then they disappeared. The Other Wise Man was supposed to be with them, but circumstances delayed him. However, he spent his life in service to others while continuing to hope for an eventual royal
Dec 11, 2013 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars of love. What a great little story. This was written over 100 years ago, but I had never heard about it until I went looking for some classic Christmas stories to read to my daughter and found this one available as a free e-book download.

The book seemed like it was going to be a little slow in the first chapter, but then in the middle and end I fell totally in love with the story, the journey, and the message.

This one is going to be a keeper for me. I might even have to see if I can
Dec 13, 2007 John rated it it was amazing
The Other Wise Man is a wonderful story. It is written in a beautiful and simple style. I only had to run to the dictionary once (am I the only one out there who has never come across the word “jerboa” before?)

It is sweet, it is beautiful. It’s the kind of book you want to own, not just borrow from the library. Concerning the story's inspiration, the author, Henry Van Dyke, said that he felt the story was given to him as a "gift" and it came to him all at once.

Dhanaraj Rajan
This is a well known story. I have heard it narrated in many sermons or spiritual retreats. But I had never read the original work. So when I saw the book in the library by a pure accident, I chose to have a first hand experience of it.

The story is simple and lovely. The language is beautiful. I loved reading it. And this being the season of Advent, the book served also the other purpose of aiding my spiritual preparation for the Christmas. It is a good Christmas read.

On the flyleaf of the book,
Wayne S.
Jun 25, 2012 Wayne S. rated it it was amazing
Nearly everyone is familiar with the story of the Wise Men who brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus. Tradition numbers them at three and names them Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthazar. But did you know the story of “The Other Wise Man”? Artaban, a leader of the Persian Magi, learns from heavenly signs that the time is at hand for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy about the birth among the Hebrews of a holy Prince and Deliverer of Man. Hastening to join three fellow M ...more
Van Dycke’s story isn’t the most charming. It’s more along the lines of those big biblical epics that Hollywood use to make – Ben Hur and such. It’s not bad, but not really engrossing.
Jithin James
Mar 14, 2014 Jithin James rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Rating: 4.6*
"For when saw I thee a hungered and fed thee? Or thirsty and gave thee drink? When saw I thee a stranger and took thee in? When saw I thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee? Three-and-thirty years have I looked for thee; but I have never seen thy face, nor ministered to thee, my King"
"...inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me."

Take out: The entire story is hinged on these words - a plea to consider the needs of our br
Dec 18, 2015 Wanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
15 DEC 2015 - a Christmas story! I will be starting this one soon - very soon!

Project Gutenberg -

18 DEC 2015 - I loved this little story.

“Verily I say unto thee, inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me."

And the Other Wise Man found his King.
D.M. Webb
This story has more than one single meaning. It has more than three. Layers and layers of symbolism and of allegories really set this small book apart from any other. The foreshadowing shows how much we accomplish when we live for Jesus and how much our lives really impact others.

Not many greats are left that compare to Henry van Dyke, and I can truly say this is a book that I will pass down to my children since I own the 1899 edition.
Joseph Fountain
Dec 24, 2015 Joseph Fountain rated it it was amazing
The title is the synopsis. VanDyke says about the story …I have never felt as if it were my own. It was a gift. It was sent to me; and it seemed as if I knew the Giver, though His name was not spoken.

Of the hero of the tale, Artaban, VanDyke writes …there are some kinds of failure that are better than success.


In all this populous and intricate world of anguish, though he found none to worship, he found many to help.

A friend that I shared this story with called it a luminous gem.

That’s about
Nov 29, 2014 TK421 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religious
This is a beautiful story of a man who sought the greatest King of Kings only to find that the King is more than flesh and blood and resides in all of us. A timely tale that reminds the reader that we can all do glory for His sake. The least of us is represented, truly something to rejoice and be thankful for.

To all who read this:

May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord shine his face on you and be gracious to you,
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Peace to
Dec 06, 2008 Christina rated it it was amazing
I love the poetic style of the writing. It is hard to get into at first, but beautiful once you get used to the flow of the words.

The first chapter is full of fascinating prophecies that the magi has learned. I wonder how much research the author did into the religious teachings of the magi - did he make the chants and prophecies up, or are they based on history? I've heard some of the traditions from other sources, so it makes me wonder about the rest of them. It makes the first chapter pretty
Scott Jeffries
Jan 27, 2014 Scott Jeffries rated it liked it
Perhaps nothing is more mysterious in scripture than the story of the Magi who come to visit baby Jesus. Who were these people and where did they come from? Why make such a long journey? Couldn't they have just been satisfied with the knowledge that they had received from the stars?

In The Story of the Other Wise Man, Henry Van Dyke attempts to answer these questions. With scholarship and style he makes a fascinating fictional case for what the wise men were up to. In Artaban, the "other wise man
Sarah Gutierrez
Apr 03, 2016 Sarah Gutierrez rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-the-children
Since its first publication in 1895, Henry van Dyke’s novella, The Story of the Other Wise Man, has been an annual Christmas favorite and has been reprinted in a new binding nearly every year.
Often considered a story for children, but enjoyed by adults as well, this poignant tale follows the adventures of Artaban, “the fourth wise man," as he searches for the One foretold by the star he has seen, and how in not finding—he finds.
The book was well researched and as a result, is rich with the f
Nov 21, 2013 Tom rated it it was amazing
"Who seeks for Heaven alone, to save his soul,
May keep the path, but will not reach the goal;
While he who walks in love may wander far:
Yet God will bring him where the blessed are."

This brief poem by Henry van Dyke, with which his tale of Artaban, "the other Wise Man," begins, really encapsulates the meaning of this story, which I first read as a young adolescent. The Story of the Other Wise Man is an account of the fourth Magus — imagined here as a Persian Zoroastrian priest-philosopher, astro
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Artaban plans to join the Magi when it is time to visit Jesus in the stable where he is born. Artaban sells everything he owns so that he may buy jewels to take as his gift. However, as he journeys to meet with the other Magi he finds he must help a very sick man, using one jewel to do so and he must save a child from certain death when the soldiers of Herod come to kill all the young males, another jewel is used as a bribe. For 33 years Artaban searches for Jesus and when he finally discovers h ...more
Jan 30, 2011 Cathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
I went looking for another Van Dyke novel that President Monson made reference to in his Christmas Devotional as a yearly holiday read and it was not available in the library so I picked this one up instead. It was written in 1896 and tells the story of another wise man who was not able to meet up with the original three and so followed on his own bearing his own gifts.

It is a short (70 pages) quick read rich in imagery and details and references to people and places in the Mid-East. It is a li
Dec 29, 2008 Robin rated it really liked it
I actually read the hardback copy given to my grandfather in 1960. This is the story of a 4th Magi that never quite caught up to the other 3. Three days behind he missed the Christ child and never did find the Savior until the day he was crucified, even then he never physically saw him or was able to worship him as was the plan. He spent 33 yrs looking for him to give him the treasures he had brought but along the way he ended up giving them to others in need and out of love. Hearing the voice o ...more
Dec 18, 2015 Jacquline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kem White
Dec 03, 2014 Kem White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Christmas story (and Advent and Easter story, for that matter) of all time. Van Dyke's little gem seems to have long been forgotten among the Scrooges, Potters, Grinches, and Wars on Christmas of today. The Other Wise Man is Artaban, a Magus, who was to have joined up with three friends - three other Magi - to follow a star rising in the East. Their purpose? To visit a king whose coming had been foretold to them. But, as often happens, Artaban is delayed for good reason and his three ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Sep 08, 2008 ♥ Ibrahim ♥ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
I would read the book and also watch the movie that was based on it,

I was crying and crying. It is one of the sweetest stories I have ever raedin my whole life!
Very quick read. Some parts were a little flowery for my taste - I found myself wanting to skip ahead. The personal note in the front and the fact that it was a gift from my dad are probably influencing my rating :)
Dec 14, 2009 Jana rated it liked it
I really didn't like the style of writing as well as I thought I would. But, the story in itself is beautiful. I don't say this often, but I liked the movie better than the book.
Jun 04, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it
Wise words about a seeker who continually sacrifices his search for God in order to help his fellow man.
Sharon Zink
Nov 02, 2015 Sharon Zink rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Beautiful writing about a fourth companion of the legendary Three Wise Men, who was detained from meeting the others and traveling to Bethlehem because he met someone who was in need of physical care. All through his life this man kept searching for the King who had been born that night, and he always finds someone who needs his care and has to spend his treasure that he was saving to present to the King. After 33 years he ends up in Jerusalem, but he can't even make it to the Spectacle of the C ...more
Dec 26, 2014 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
I brought this with my to Houston, hoping to read it after I finished my other books. Christmas Day arrived and I had finished the other books, so I dove in. Since it is at heart a Christmas story, I started & finished it the same day (it's only 72 pages long).

I read this a few years ago, and may make it a tradition. This story was written in 1895 and tells the tale of a fictional fourth wise man who became separated from the others and journeyed to find the Christ on his own. It really is a
J. Benjamin
Mar 11, 2016 J. Benjamin rated it really liked it
A great little story about the 4th wise man and how he gets lost on the way to welcome the newborn king. The wise man spends his life spreading the news of God's Son, thus, doing more than the other wise men without knowing it. (The bible says there were 3 gifts from the wise men, the Magi - probably men whose lineage were trained by Daniel in biblical astrology - not that there were only 3 wise men. So, this story is more parable than anything else. Still, it's a sweet tale and spins an old sto ...more
Dec 09, 2014 Elaine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holiday-reading
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The idea of a fourth Wise Man who had to set out alone to see the baby born in Bethlehem, was extremely poignant.
His generosity in giving away those precious gems he had saved to give to the newborn child, demonstrated his capacity to “feel” for others who were in need. He was the true wisest of Wise Men!
How often do we forget that good actions, as those performed by Artaban, are truly what the meaning of Christmas is all about
I found it to be a wonderf
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Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933) was an American Presbyterian clergyman, educator, and author. He graduated from Princeton in 1873, and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1874. He was pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church, New York City (1883-99), professor of English literature at Princeton (1899-1923), and U.S. minister to the Netherlands (1913-16).

Among his popular inspirational writings is th
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“But this I know. Those who seek Him will do well to look among the poor and the lowly, the sorrowful and the oppressed.” 16 likes
“He knew that all was well, because he had done the best that he could, from day to day. He had been true to the light that had been given to him. He had looked for more. And if he had not found it, if a failure was all that came out of his life, doubtless that was the best that was possible. He had not seen the revelation of "life everlasting, incorruptible and immortal." But he knew that even if he could live his earthly life over again, it could not be otherwise than it had been.” 3 likes
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