The Visit of the Magi
1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the Great was born into a prominent, wealthy family in Idumea (the area formerly known as Edom, the land of Esau’s descendants) and some archeological evidence indicates he considered himself Jewish.Herod the king (Herod the Great), Gr magoi; these were educated men who specialized in astronomy, astrology, and the natural sciences.Gr magoi; these were educated men who specialized in astronomy, astrology, and the natural sciences. The magi were witnesses to the miraculous events surrounding the birth of Jesus.magi (wise men) from the east came to Jerusalem, asking,
2“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star Or at its rising.in the east and have come to worship Him.”
3When Herod the king heard this, he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
4So he called together all the chief priests and Teachers and professional scholars specializing in the Law (Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament) and writings of the prophets.scribes of the people and [anxiously] asked them where the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) was to be born.
5They replied to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what has been written by the prophet [Micah]:
6‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are not in any way least among the leaders of Judah;
For from you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”
7Then Herod secretly sent for the magi and learned from them Lit the time of the appearing star.the [exact] time the star [had first] appeared.
8Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.”
9After hearing the king, they went their way; and behold, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them [continually leading the way] until it came and stood over the place where the young Child was.
10When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
11And after entering the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, after opening their treasure chests, they presented to Him gifts [fit for a king, gifts] of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12And having been warned [by God] in a dream not to go back to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
The Flight to Egypt
13Now when they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod intends to search for the Child in order to destroy Him.”
14So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt.
15He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet [Hosea]: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
Herod Slaughters the Babies
16Then Herod, when he realized that he had been tricked by the magi, was extremely angry, and he sent [soldiers] and put to death all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that area who were two years old and under, according to the date which he had learned from the magi.
17Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
18“A voice was heard in Ramah was located five miles north of Jerusalem, this city was a staging point for the deportation of Jews to Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 b.c.Ramah,
Weeping and great mourning,
A reference to Jacob’s (Israel’s) wife Rachel as the mother of the children of Israel. Here, her grief over the slaughter of babies by Herod parallels the grief of Israel when they were conquered and deported by the Babylonians. The image is that of Rachel weeping for the children of Israel from her grave. Matthew takes Jeremiah’s words, which originally referred to grief over Babylonian captivity, and applies them to Herod’s slaughter of the babies. Rachel weeping for her children;
She refused to be comforted,
Because they were no more.”
19But when Herod the Great died sometime between March 29 and April 11, 4 b.c.Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said,
20“Get up! Take the Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.”
21Then Joseph got up, and took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea Following Herod’s death Israel was partitioned between three of his sons: Archelaus, Antipas, and Philip II.in place of his father Herod [the Great], he was afraid to go there. Then being warned by God in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee,
23and went and settled in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a The Nazarenes may have been looked on with disfavor by other Jews because Roman soldiers, whose presence was greatly resented, were housed near Nazareth, perhaps causing the Nazarenes to be identified with them.Nazarene.”