In a predictably condescending article on North Dakota in a recent New Yorker (February 18-25), Mark Singer quoted Doug Burgum of Microsoft Great Plains: “We have this deep-seated Scandinavian, Teutonic outlook—a combination of dark Lutheranism and German Catholicism, which adds up to a primal sense that somehow we’re not worthy.” Dakotans are losers?
Matthew is not the first one to imagine three rich wise guys from the East coming to Jerusalem. His story line and plot come from Isaiah 60, a poem recited to Jews in Jerusalem about 580 b.c.e. These Jews had been in exile in Iraq for a couple of generations and had come back to the bombed-out city of Jerusalem. They were in despair.