In answer to a question that no one else thought to ask before, Robert Parham at Ethics Daily writes:
When the Persian astronomers found Jesus in Bethlehem, “they fell down and worshipped him,” reads Matthew 2:11. “Opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”
The word “treasures” means “treasure chests,” according to a dusty commentary on Matthew written by John A. Broadus, who noted the “Oriental custom” of giving gifts to a superior, especially “gold and costly spices.”
Treasure chests suggest to me lots and lots of wealth.
Sermons, Sunday school lessons, movies, Christmas cards, paintings and manger scenes have reinforced a mental image of real gold, and a goodly amount.
Until last year, however, I had never thought about what happened to the wise men’s gold. I had never heard a sermon on the topic. I had never read an article about it.