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just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was disposed to put her away 20 privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of 21 the Holy Spirit. And she shall bear a son, and
thou shalt call his name JESUS;† for he shall 22 save his people from their sins. (Now all this
was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,‡ 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall
bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which, (being interpreted) is, God 24 with us.) Then Joseph, being raised from
sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had direct25 ed him, and took unto him his wife and knew her not till she had brought forth her first born son; and he called his name JESUS.
* Some say this should be translated worthy or merciful. The word is correctly rendered just or righteous; and being of this character he would not be disposed to disgrace Mary upon mere suspicion or appearance.
† Joshua or Jesus signifies a savior or deliverer. # See Isaiah vii. 14.
NOW, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod* the king, behold, there came wise ment from the east to 2 Jerusalem, saying, Where is he who is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard it, he was 4 troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.¶ And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes** of the people together, he inquired of 5 them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea : 6 for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou,
This was the first prince of the name of Herod who reigned over the Jews. He was made king by the Romans, who had conquered the country. Herod was not a native Jew. This event, among many others, served to point out the time of the Messiah's coming: For it was early predicted, that the sceptre should not depart from Judah tiil Christ should come.
† Probably the Magi of Persia, or the Eramims of India. Some, however, suppose they were from Arabia, a country not so far distant.
At and before the time of Christ's birth, there was a general expectation of the appearance of an extraordinary person among the eastern nations, derived probably from the Jewish prophecies which they had seen.
§ Chalcidius, a pagan historian, relates the extraordinary star, and the visit of the wise men from the east.
That is, to honor or do him obeisance.
Herod is represented as a very jealous, ambitious and cruel prince. The Jewish historian calls him an usurper. He was troubled, lest this Jewish Prince, as Christ was supposed to be, should assume the civil power.
**That is, religious teachers.
Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the cities of Juda: for out of thee shall come a prince who shall rule my 7 people Israel.† Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, inquired of them 8 particularly what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, Go, and search diligently for the young child and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him 9 also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and 10 stood over where the young child was. And when they saw the star they were exceedingly glad.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down, and worshipped him : And when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts of gold, and 12 frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream, that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own 13 country another way. And when they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise,
* That is, province or district.
† See Micah v. 2. It is there said, not only that Christ shall rule, but that he is from everlasting, or from ancient time.
That is, pay him respect and obeisance. § This verse is wanting in some ancient MSS.
and take the young child, and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and remain there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young 14 child to destroy him. Then he arose, and tock the young child and his mother by night, 15 and departed into Egypt: and was there until the death of Herod that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.*
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceedingly wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children which were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thercof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had 17 ascertained of the wise men. Then was ful
filled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the 18 prophet, saying, In Rama a voice was heard, even lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning; Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they
19. But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in 20 Egypt, saying, Arisc, and take the young child,
*This was spoken originally of the Israelites-Hosea xi. 1. We have here an instance of scripture being quoted by way of accommodation. See also the 18th and 23d verses of this chapter.
† Or deceived.
This circumstance is mentioned by some Roman writers.
Those entering on their second year.
and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead who sought the young child's 21 life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of 22 Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus* reigned in Judea, in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither; and being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside 23 into the country of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.†
1 IN those dayst John the Baptist came; 2 preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Josephus represents this prince also as jealous and
+ None of the prophets have expressly called Christ a Nazarene But many have described him as such; that is, one devoted to God and religion. See Judges xiii. 5. Acts xx. Num. vi. Some consider it as a term of reproach, proverbially applied, Nazareth being an obscure place.
That is, after the events took place mentioned in the former chapter; for our Savior was nearly thirty years old
5 This evangelist often uses the phrase, "kingdom of heaven," to denote the gospel dispensation. The expression is meant to designate the Messiah's kingdom or reign; which was then about to commence; which the devout Jews were then expecting, and which their holy prophets had long before described.