Luke 2 (kjv)
1 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
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
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.
Most likely this refers to the census of 8 BC which may not have been
implemented in Judea until 6-4 BC, which when correlated with other sources
appears to be the most likely date of Jesus' birth. Herod the Great died
in 4BC, so it had to be then or earlier. Recent archaeological discovery
indicates that Quirinius (Cyrenius) may have been twice governor of Syria,
the earlier date being about 6-4 B.C. and the second A.D. 6-9. The earlier
date fits well into the scheme.
8 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
15 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 us.
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
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.
Shepherds would not normally have been tending their fields in December,
due to the cold of winter so this was in summer or early fall.
The greatest event in human history to this point was about to occur.
Yet to whom is it first revealed? Quite ordinary people. The angels
did not go to the king or to those considered important by the standards
of this world. And when you read history books you read only of popular
people and popular events. But it would appear a much different story if
God wrote the book, for it would focus on ordinary people.
vs 14 There is some debate over the translation of the this. Should
it be "peace, good will toward men" or "peace toward men of good will"?
Robertson says that the genitive is undoubtedly correct, supported
by the oldest and best uncials. (RWP) And most modern translations use
this second form.
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.
22 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.
God first established circumcision under a covenant made with Abraham
in Genesis 17:12. It is also mentioned in the Law of Moses in Lev
12:3. The cutting away of the flesh symbolizes the cutting away of
the sinful nature to become holy before God. The days of her purification
refer to Leviticus 12:2-4,6-8
"Say to the Israelites: 'A woman who becomes pregnant and
gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just
as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the eighth day the
boy is to be circumcised. Then the woman must wait thirty-three
days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything
sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over.
It is apparent from this they were poor, not able to afford a lamb.
"'When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over,
she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting a
year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin
offering. He shall offer them before the LORD to make atonement for
her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood.
These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl.
If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two
young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering.
In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'"
According to the Law of Moses, a firstborn son was particularly significant,
being reckoned holy to the Lord. Thus going make the sacrifice and bringing
their son killed two birds with one stone. (or perhaps two pigeons!) Other
children didn't have to be presented before the Lord, but the firstborn
son did. Some literally gave their sons to the service of God such as Hannah
who gave Samuel to the priests and who became a prophet.
The Prophecy of Simeon
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
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
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.
The Prophecy of Anna
36 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.
39 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.
Jesus' Bar Mitzvah
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of
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
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
51 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.
Luke's account emphasizes witnesses and testifies to Jesus as a Jew
and as the Messiah.
He was of the lineage of David
He was affirmed by angels and witnessed by shephards
He was circumcised according to the Law
The prophets Simeon and Anna testified concerning him
When of age he demonstrated his understanding and adeptness in the Law.
Matthew 1:18-2:23 (kjv)
The Virgin Birth
1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his
mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was
found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing
to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 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 the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his
name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 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 with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of
the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn
son: and he called his name JESUS.
The Wise Men Visit Herod
2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days
of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that 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 these things, he was troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes
of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus
it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least
among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that
shall rule my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired
of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, 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 also.
The Wise Men Visit Jesus
9 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 stood over
where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young
child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when
they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and
frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not
return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
Escape to Egypt
13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord
appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child
and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee
word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by
night, and departed into Egypt:
15 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.
The Slaying of the Innocent
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men,
was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were
in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under,
according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the
18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping,
and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted,
because they are not.
Return to Nazareth
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth
in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother,
and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young
21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother,
and came into the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in
the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding,
being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
23 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
Matthew's account emphasizes protection and provision.
Protected from divorced and disgrace
Protected from Herod the great
Provided for by the Wise Men
Saved by an Angel
Protected from Archelaus
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