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1 And it came to passe in those dayes, that there went out a decree from Cesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made whē Cyrenius was gouernor of Syria)

3 And all went to bee taxed, euery one into his owne citie.

4 And Ioseph also wēt vp frō Galilee, out of the citie of Nazareth, into Iudea, vnto the citie of Dauid, which is called Bethlehem, (because he was of the house and linage of Dauid,)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that while they were there, the dayes were accomplished that she should be deliuered.

7 And she brought foorth her first borne sonne, and wrapped him in swadling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no roome for them in the Inne.

8 And there were in the same countrey shepheards abiding in þe field, keeping watch ouer their flocke by night.

9 And loe, the Angel of the Lord came vpon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.

10 And the Angel said vnto them, Feare not: For behold, I bring you good tidings of great ioy, which shall be to all people.

11 For vnto you is borne this day, in the citie of Dauid, a Sauiour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a signe vnto you; yee shall find the babe wrapped in swadling clothes lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heauenly hoste praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good wil towards men.

15 And it came to passe, as the Angels were gone away from them into heauen, the shepheards said one to another, Let vs now goe euen vnto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to passe, which the Lord hath made knowen vnto vs.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary and Ioseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seene it, they made knowen abroad the saying, which was told them, concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it, wondered at those things, which were tolde them by the shepheards.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepheards returned, glorifying & praising God for all the things that they had heard and seene, as it was told vnto them.

21 And when eight dayes were accomplished for the circumcising of the childe, his name was called Iesus, which was so named of the Angel before he was conceiued in the wombe.

22 And when the dayes of her purification according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they brought him to Hierusalem, to present him to the Lord,

23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Euery male that openeth the wombe, shalbe called holy to the Lord)

24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the Law of the Lord, a paire of turtle doues, or two yong pigeons.

25 And behold, there was a man in Hierusalem, whose name was Simeon, and the same man was iust and deuout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the holy Ghost was vpon him.

26 And it was reuealed vnto him by the holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seene the Lords Christ.

27 And hee came by the spirit into the Temple: and when the parents brought in the child Iesus, to doe for him after the custome of the Lawe,

28 Then tooke hee him vp in his armes, and blessed God, and said,

29 Lord now lettest thou thy seruant depart in peace, according to thy word.

30 For mine eyes haue seene thy saluation.

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 Ioseph and his mother marueiled at those things which were spoken of him.

34 And Simeon blessed them, and said vnto Marie his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising againe of many in Israel: and for a signe which shall be spoken against,

35 (Yea a sword shall pearce thorow thy owne soule also) that the thoughts of many hearts may be reuealed.

36 And there was one Anna a Prophetesse, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser; she was of a great age, and had liued with an husband seuen yeeres from her virginitie.

37 And she was a widow of about fourescore and foure yeeres, which departed not from the Temple, but serued God with fastings and prayers night and day.

38 And she comming in that instant, gaue thankes likewise vnto the Lord, and spake of him to al them that looked for redemption in Hierusalem.

39 And when they had performed all things according to the Lawe of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their owne citie Nazareth.

40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit filled with wisedome, and the grace of God was vpon him.

41 Now his parents went to Hierusalem euery yeere, at the feast of the Passeouer.

42 And when he was twelue yeeres old, they went vp to Hierusalem, after the custome of the feast.

43 And when they had fulfilled the dayes, as they returned, the childe Iesus taried behind in Hierusalem, and Ioseph and his mother knew not of it.

44 But they supposing him to haue bene in the company, went a daies iourney, and they sought him among their kinsefolke and acquaintance.

45 And when they found him not, they turned backe againe to Hierusalem, seeking him.

46 And it came to passe, that after three daies they found him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the Doctours, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

47 And all that heard him were astonished at his vnderstanding, and answeres.

48 And when they sawe him, they were amazed: and his mother said vnto him, Sonne, why hast thou thus dealt with vs? Behold, thy father and I haue sought thee sorrowing.

49 And he said vnto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist yee not that I must bee about my fathers businesse?

50 And they vnderstood not the saying which he spake vnto them.

51 And he went downe with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subiect vnto them: But his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

52 And Iesus increased in wisedom and stature, and in fauour with God and man.

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Commentary for Luke 2

The birth of Christ. (1-7) It is made known to the shepherds. (8-20) Christ presented in the temple. (21-24) Simeon prophesies concerning Jesus. (25-35) Anna prophesies concerning him. (36-40) Christ with the learned men in the temple. (41-52)1-7 The fulness of time was now come, when God would send forth his Son, made of a woman, and made under the law. The circumstances of his birth were very mean. Christ was born at an inn; he came into the world to sojourn here for awhile, as at an inn, and to teach us to do likewise. We are become by sin like an outcast infant, helpless and forlorn; and such a one was Christ. He well knew how unwilling we are to be meanly lodged, clothed, or fed; how we desire to have our children decorated and indulged; how apt the poor are to envy the rich, and how prone the rich to disdain the poor. But when we by faith view the Son of God being made man and lying in a manger, our vanity, ambition, and envy are checked. We cannot, with this object rightly before us, seek great things for ourselves or our children.

8-20 Angels were heralds of the new-born Saviour, but they were only sent to some poor, humble, pious, industrious shepherds, who were in the business of their calling, keeping watch over their flock. We are not out of the way of Divine visits, when we are employed in an honest calling, and abide with God in it. Let God have the honour of this work; Glory to God in the highest. God's good-will to men, manifested in sending the Messiah, redounds to his praise. Other works of God are for his glory, but the redemption of the world is for his glory in the highest. God's goodwill in sending the Messiah, brought peace into this lower world. Peace is here put for all that good which flows to us from Christ's taking our nature upon him. This is a faithful saying, attested by an innumerable company of angels, and well worthy of all acceptation, That the good-will of God toward men, is glory to God in the highest, and peace on the earth. The shepherds lost no time, but came with haste to the place. They were satisfied, and made known abroad concerning this child, that he was the Saviour, even Christ the Lord. Mary carefully observed and thought upon all these things, which were so suited to enliven her holy affections. We should be more delivered from errors in judgment and practice, did we more fully ponder these things in our hearts. It is still proclaimed in our ears that to us is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord. These should be glad tidings to all.

21-24 Our Lord Jesus was not born in sin, and did not need that mortification of a corrupt nature, or that renewal unto holiness, which were signified by circumcision. This ordinance was, in his case, a pledge of his future perfect obedience to the whole law, in the midst of sufferings and temptations, even unto death for us. At the end of forty days, Mary went up to the temple to offer the appointed sacrifices for her purification. Joseph also presented the holy child Jesus, because, as a first-born son, he was to be presented to the Lord, and redeemed according to the law. Let us present our children to the Lord who gave them to us, beseeching him to redeem them from sin and death, and make them holy to himself.

25-35 The same Spirit that provided for the support of Simeon's hope, provided for his joy. Those who would see Christ must go to his temple. Here is a confession of his faith, that this Child in his arms was the Saviour, the salvation itself, the salvation of God's appointing. He bids farewell to this world. How poor does this world look to one that has Christ in his arms, and salvation in his view! See here, how comfortable is the death of a good man; he departs in peace with God, peace with his own conscience, in peace with death. Those that have welcomed Christ, may welcome death. Joseph and Mary marvelled at the things which were spoken of this Child. Simeon shows them likewise, what reason they had to rejoice with trembling. And Jesus, his doctrine, and people, are still spoken against; his truth and holiness are still denied and blasphemed; his preached word is still the touchstone of men's characters. The secret good affections in the minds of some, will be revealed by their embracing Christ; the secret corruptions of others will be revealed by their enmity to Christ. Men will be judged by the thoughts of their hearts concerning Christ. He shall be a suffering Jesus; his mother shall suffer with him, because of the nearness of her relation and affection.

36-40 There was much evil then in the church, yet God left not himself without witness. Anna always dwelt in, or at least attended at, the temple. She was always in a praying spirit; gave herself to prayer, and in all things she served God. Those to whom Christ is made known, have great reason to thank the Lord. She taught others concerning him. Let the example of the venerable saints, Simeon and Anna, give courage to those whose hoary heads are, like theirs, a crown of glory, being found in the way of righteousness. The lips soon to be silent in the grave, should be showing forth the praises of the Redeemer. In all things it became Christ to be made like unto his brethren, therefore he passed through infancy and childhood as other children, yet without sin, and with manifest proofs of the Divine nature in him. By the Spirit of God all his faculties performed their offices in a manner not seen in any one else. Other children have foolishness bound in their hearts, which appears in what they say or do, but he was filled with wisdom, by the influence of the Holy Ghost; every thing he said and did, was wisely said and wisely done, above his years. Other children show the corruption of their nature; nothing but the grace of God was upon him.

41-52 It is for the honour of Christ that children should attend on public worship. His parents did not return till they had stayed all the seven days of the feast. It is well to stay to the end of an ordinance, as becomes those who say, It is good to be here. Those that have lost their comforts in Christ, and the evidences of their having a part in him, must bethink themselves where, and when, and how they lost them, and must turn back again. Those that would recover their lost acquaintance with Christ, must go to the place in which he has put his name; there they may hope to meet him. They found him in some part of the temple, where the doctors of the law kept their schools; he was sitting there, hearkening to their instructions, proposing questions, and answering inquiries, with such wisdom, that those who heard were delighted with him. Young persons should seek the knowledge of Divine truth, attend the ministry of the gospel, and ask such questions of their elders and teachers as may tend to increase their knowledge. Those who seek Christ in sorrow, shall find him with the greater joy. Know ye not that I ought to be in my Father's house; at my Father's work; I must be about my Father's business. Herein is an example; for it becomes the children of God, in conformity to Christ, to attend their heavenly Father's business, and make all other concerns give way to it. Though he was the Son of God, yet he was subject to his earthly parents; how then will the foolish and weak sons of men answer it, who are disobedient to their parents? However we may neglect men's sayings, because they are obscure, yet we must not think so of God's sayings. That which at first is dark, may afterwards become plain and easy. The greatest and wisest, those most eminent, may learn of this admirable and Divine Child, that it is the truest greatness of soul to know our own place and office; to deny ourselves amusements and pleasures not consistent with our state and calling.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Luke 2

  • Tolasek
    I believe that Jesus Christ was born on the Feast of the Trumpets! The first day of Tishri, Rosh Hashana!
  • Andrew Chinyama
    My comment on luke 2:52, If Jesus increased we as well we need to grow in all corners..
  • I wonder why God chose shepherds as the first to know of Jesus. I know it says the shepherds made it known 17 but who do they see out in the pastures day by day?
  • Tony
    I just love luke chapter 2. Because it talks about the birth of my lord and savior.
  • Juancho for verse 14
    Didn't know the gospel acclamation originated with THAT verse.
  • Robert Downey for verse 2
    One needs to keep in mind that the birth of Christ divided time between BC and AD, so he can 't be born in BC. In 1582 Pope Gregory didn 't do us any favors in not making the correction to God 's reckoning and that of J. Caesar. Luke has given us the correct clues, and Zumpt has it right.

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