¶ And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree
from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
.7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
| 1 -
"Registered" is a more precise translation of the Greek
The registration generally included property and thus became the basis
for taxation. The issue of tax and tax collectors was certainly a major
grievance of the Jewish people in Jesus' time mt1119.
4 - Bethlehem David's birth is recorded in 1sa1712. It is south of Jerusalem. See map. Now known as Beit Lahm and the home of many Arabs.
5 - Wife Or "betrothed" wife. NKJV.
6 - Days The angel promised Elizabeth a baby lu0131. John the Baptist had been born six months earlier. Both began their ministry at about the age of thirty lu0323, Then John had been preaching for only a short time when he baptized Jesus. For the time of year, see lu0157, and v8.
7 - Swaddling clothes Actually a "swathing band" This was a cloth on which the baby was laid diagonally with three corners folded up to cover him and the fourth turned back under his head. A lose cloth was wrapped around the bundle. See ez1604.
¶ And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
.10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
.11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
.13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
.14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
- Shepherds The sheep would not likely
have been in the field on December 25. This winter date was chosen as the
church sought to be popular with the pagans who believed that the sun started
then to come back to bless them with fertile crops. It was defined as the
first day their solar observations showed the days to be getting longer
after the winter solstice. So the "birth" or "rebirth" of the sun became
the day to celebrate the birth of Christ. The legend of the Christmas tree
has a similar background.
10 - All people mt2819.
11 - This day in the city of David He was born at the specified time ga0404 and place mi0502. The wording draws attention the promise in is0906.
12 - Swaddling clothes See on v7 above.
14 - Peace on earth Since the fall, our earth has been in trouble. Soon Satan's way will be obviously wrong to all and we will be ready for eternal peace. We may have it in our hearts now ph0407. The verse may read, ". . . peace among men of good will." That is, among people who are ready to please God. The promise of peace had been predicted hg0209. The Jewish leaders rejected the Prince and did not receive the peace!
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven,
the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and
see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto
.16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
.17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
15 - Let us now go I love this part of the story. The choir of angels didn't go to the priests who would not have accepted the idea that the Messiah would be born in a place for cattle. Our God loves all people no matter what color or position in life. This little band of shepherds were honored. They would have studied the prophecies and loved God. They recognized "the Lord" as having sent them the good news. They probably ran judging by v16.
19 - Pondered them Literally "brought them together."
|.21 ¶ And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.|| Eighth
day See on lu0159,
Circumcising See ge1710. It was a sign or pledge to keep the covenant. Jesus was born under the law ga0404.
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were
accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
|24 - Sacrifice The turtledoves, a kind of pigeon, were offered. This indicates the family's small financial strength. le1206, le1208, le0114.|
25 ¶ And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
.27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
.29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
.33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
.34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
.35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
29 - Lord Here from despotes, meaning absolute ruler. The English word "Despot" derived from it and means an evil absolute ruler. From the context we see that Simeon is addressing God. The Greek does not specify good or bad. For a secular supervisor, in general, the word is kurios.
32 - Gentiles Although Jesus ministered primarily to the Jews, the expansion of His ministry through others was to the Gentiles which had been largely neglected by the nation.
33 - Joseph Or "father" apparently depending on the manuscript used. This does not deny the divine origin of Christ lu0126ff. Joseph was not the birth father but many texts refer to him as "father" including words of Mary v48. His genealogy is traced by Matthew mt0116.
34 - Fall and rising again We come to Christ in humility as He was humble. This is falling on the rock mt2144. We fall before we rise. The word "again" helps clarify Simeon's statement.
35 - Sword The Greek word indicates a large sword.
And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe
of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years
from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
|36 - Hearts ... revealed Many who seem righteous and faithful to the Lord when all goes well turn away when a faithfulness issue or persecution arises. Not only people but the hearts of Father and Son would be revealed in the sacrifice of Christ.|
And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord,
they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
- The return to Galilee is described in more detail at mt0219ff.
40 - Grew ... strong His good physical development. His wisdom would have come from his parents because He didn't attend the schools of the rabbis who considered him uneducated jn0715. He had God's grace or "approval." Compare v52. To this point his development was like that of His cousin, John the Baptist lu0180.
¶ Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
.46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
.48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
.49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
42 - Twelve years old This meant in his twelfth year of life mt0532, 2ti0316. At the end of that year, boys were required to keep the religious ordinances and were considered no longer a boy but a youth. According to Jewish tradition and not the laws of Moses (given him by God), they were to wear tephillin (phylacteries) ex3309. Jesus would not have followed this man-made rule mr0707.
43 - Jesus tarried This was not disobedience but, in realizing the divine mission of His life, He took this opportunity to discuss the role of the Messiah with the "doctors" of the law.
43 - Joseph and his mother Or, according to many manuscripts, "his parents"
46 - Found him not They were probably very anxious and would not have forgotten Herod's attempt to kill Jesus as a boy mt0216.
49 - My Father's business The Holy Spirit would have helped Him understand His mission as certainly as the Spirit guides us, at the right times, to use the gifts we have received from God in fulfilling the purpose of our lives ro0814, mt2515.
The picture shows a camp as when Jesus was missed and His parents hearing His voice in the temple.
And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto
them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
.52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
51 - Subject to them His new sense of mission did not keep him from being an obedient teenager and youth.
52 - Increased in These four dimensions define a complete education. Compare v39.
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