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Teks -- Luke 2:1-52 (NET)

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Konteks
The Census and the Birth of Jesus
2:1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes. 2:2 This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 2:3 Everyone went to his own town to be registered. 2:4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. 2:5 He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child. 2:6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
The Shepherds’ Visit
2:8 Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. 2:9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: 2:11 Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. 2:12 This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 2:13 Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!” 2:15 When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.” 2:16 So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. 2:17 When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child, 2:18 and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said. 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. 2:20 So the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told. 2:21 At the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Jesus’ Presentation at the Temple
2:22 Now when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 2:23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be set apart to the Lord”), 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves or two young pigeons.
The Prophecy of Simeon
2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who was righteous and devout, looking for the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 2:26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 2:27 So Simeon, directed by the Spirit, came into the temple courts, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law, 2:28 Simeon took him in his arms and blessed God, saying, 2:29 “Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit your servant to depart in peace. 2:30 For my eyes have seen your salvation 2:31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples: 2:32 a light, for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” 2:33 So the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him. 2:34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Listen carefully: This child is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected. 2:35 Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed– and a sword will pierce your own soul as well!”
The Testimony of Anna
2:36 There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. 2:37 She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years. She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 2:38 At that moment, she came up to them and began to give thanks to God and to speak about the child to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. 2:39 So when Joseph and Mary had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 2:40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.
Jesus in the Temple
2:41 Now Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem every year for the feast of the Passover. 2:42 When he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 2:43 But when the feast was over, as they were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 2:44 but (because they assumed that he was in their group of travelers) they went a day’s journey. Then they began to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 2:45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 2:46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 2:47 And all who heard Jesus were astonished at his understanding and his answers. 2:48 When his parents saw him, they were overwhelmed. His mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” 2:49 But he replied, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 2:50 Yet his parents did not understand the remark he made to them. 2:51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. But his mother kept all these things in her heart. 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people.
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Nama Orang, Nama Tempat, Topik/Tema Kamus

Nama Orang dan Nama Tempat:
 · Anna a daughter of Phanuel
 · Asher a tribe of Israel that came from Asher; son of Jacob and Zilpah,the man; son of Jacob and Zilpah,a tribe of Israel or its land
 · Augustus the Roman emperor named Caesar Augustus who was ruling when Christ was born,an honorary title used for Roman emperors
 · Bethlehem a town 8 km south of Jerusalem,a town of Zebulun 10 km west of Nazareth and 15 km SW of Cana SMM,a town of Judah 8 km south. of Jerusalem
 · Caesar a title held by Roman emperors
 · David a son of Jesse of Judah; king of Israel,son of Jesse of Judah; king of Israel
 · Galilee the region of Palestine north of Sameria and west of the upper Jordan River,a region west of Lake Galilee and north of the Jezreel Valley
 · Gentile a non-Jewish person
 · Israel a citizen of Israel.,a member of the nation of Israel
 · Jerusalem the capital city of Israel,a town; the capital of Israel near the southern border of Benjamin
 · Joseph the husband of Mary and foster-father of Jesus,a Jewish man from Arimathea in whose grave the body of Jesus was laid,two different men listed as ancestors of Jesus,a man nominated with Matthias to take the place of Judas Iscariot as apostle,a son of Jacob and Rachel; the father of Ephraim and Manasseh and ruler of Egypt,a brother of Jesus; a son of Mary,a man who was a companion of Paul,son of Jacob and Rachel; patriarch of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh,a tribe, actually two tribes named after Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh,father of Igal, of Issachar, who helped spy out Canaan,son of Asaph the Levite; worship leader under Asaph and King David,a man who put away his heathen wife; an Israelite descended from Binnui,priest and head of the house of Shebaniah under High Priest Joiakim in the time of Nehemiah
 · Judea a region that roughly corresponded to the earlier kingdom of Judah
 · Mary mother of Jesus and wife of Joseph,a woman from Magdala in Galilee,the mother of James and Joses,the wife of Cleophas,the sister of Lazarus and Martha in Bethany,the mother of John Mark who was a nephew of Barnabas,a Christian woman in Rome who helped Paul
 · Moses a son of Amram; the Levite who led Israel out of Egypt and gave them The Law of Moses,a Levite who led Israel out of Egypt and gave them the law
 · Nazareth a town in lower Galilee about halfway between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea
 · Passover a Jewish religious feast. It may also refer to the lamb sacrificed and eaten at the feast.
 · Phanuel the father of the prophetess Anna
 · Quirinius the governor of Syria at the time of Jesus' birth
 · Simeon a son of Jonas and brother of Andrew; an apostle of Jesus Christ,a man who was one of the apostles of Christ and also called 'the Zealot',a brother of Jesus,a man who was a well-know victim of leprosy who had been healed by Jesus (NIV note),a man from Cyrene who was forced to carry the cross of Jesus,a Pharisee man in whose house Jesus' feet were washed with tears and anointed,the father of Judas Iscariot,a man who was a sorcerer in Samaria and who wanted to buy the gifts of the Spirit,a man who was a tanner at Joppa and with whom Peter was staying when Cornelius sent for him
 · Syria the country to the north of Palestine,a country of north western Mesopotamia


Topik/Tema Kamus: Jesus, The Christ | JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF MARY | JESUS CHRIST, 4A | Mary | Joseph | Simeon | Temple | Jesus | Shepherd | Religion | ESSENES | Manger | PAPYRUS | Angel | Faith | Joy | LAW IN THE NEW TESTAMENT | Jonah, Book of | Passover | Bethlehem | selebihnya
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Catatan Kata/Frasa
Robertson , Vincent , Wesley , JFB , Clarke , Calvin , Defender , TSK

Catatan Kata/Frasa
Poole , Lightfoot , PBC , Haydock , Gill

Catatan Ayat / Catatan Kaki
NET Notes , Geneva Bible

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Maclaren , MHCC , Matthew Henry , Barclay , Constable , College , McGarvey , Lapide

Lainnya
Evidence

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Tafsiran/Catatan -- Catatan Kata/Frasa (per frasa)

Robertson: Luk 2:1 - Decree from Caesar Augustus Decree from Caesar Augustus ( dogma para Kaisaros Augoustou ). Old and common word from dokeō , to think, form an opinion. No such decree was given...

Decree from Caesar Augustus ( dogma para Kaisaros Augoustou ).

Old and common word from dokeō , to think, form an opinion. No such decree was given by Greek or Roman historians and it was for long assumed by many scholars that Luke was in error. But papyri and inscriptions have confirmed Luke on every point in these crucial verses Luk 2:1-7. See W.M. Ramsay’ s books ( Was Christ Born at Bethelehem? Luke the Physician. The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the N.T. ).

Robertson: Luk 2:1 - The World The World ( tēn oikoumenēn ). Literally, the inhabited ( land , gēn ). Inhabited by the Greeks, then by the Romans, then the whole world (Ro...

The World ( tēn oikoumenēn ).

Literally, the inhabited ( land , gēn ). Inhabited by the Greeks, then by the Romans, then the whole world (Roman world, the world ruled by Rome). So Act 11:28; Act 17:6.

Robertson: Luk 2:1 - Should be enrolled Should be enrolled ( apographesthai ). It was a census, not a taxing, though taxing generally followed and was based on the census. This word is very...

Should be enrolled ( apographesthai ).

It was a census, not a taxing, though taxing generally followed and was based on the census. This word is very old and common. It means to write or copy off for the public records, to register.

Robertson: Luk 2:2 - The first enrolment The first enrolment ( apographē prōtē ). A definite allusion by Luke to a series of censuses instituted by Augustus, the second of which is men...

The first enrolment ( apographē prōtē ).

A definite allusion by Luke to a series of censuses instituted by Augustus, the second of which is mentioned by him in Act 5:37. This second one is described by Josephus and it was supposed by some that Luke confused the two. But Ramsay has shown that a periodical fourteen-year census in Egypt is given in dated papyri back to a.d. 20. The one in Act 5:37 would then be a.d. 6. This is in the time of Augustus. The first would then be b.c. 8 in Egypt. If it was delayed a couple of years in Palestine by Herod the Great for obvious reasons, that would make the birth of Christ about b.c. 6 which agrees with the other known data

Robertson: Luk 2:2 - When Quirinius When Quirinius ( Kurēniou ). Genitive absolute. Here again Luke has been attacked on the ground that Quirinius was only governor of Syria once and ...

When Quirinius ( Kurēniou ).

Genitive absolute. Here again Luke has been attacked on the ground that Quirinius was only governor of Syria once and that was a.d. 6 as shown by Josephus ( Ant. XVIII. I.I). But Ramsay has proven by inscriptions that Quirinius was twice in Syria and that Luke is correct here also. See summary of the facts in my Luke the Historian in the Light of Research , pp. 118-29.

Robertson: Luk 2:3 - Each to his own city Each to his own city ( hekastos eis tēn heautou polin ). A number of papyri in Egypt have the heading enrolment by household (apographē kat' oiki...

Each to his own city ( hekastos eis tēn heautou polin ).

A number of papyri in Egypt have the heading enrolment by household (apographē kat' oikian ). Here again Luke is vindicated. Each man went to the town where his family register was kept.

Robertson: Luk 2:5 - To enrol himself with Mary To enrol himself with Mary ( apograpsasthai sun Mariam ). Direct middle. "With Mary"is naturally taken with the infinitive as here. If so, that means...

To enrol himself with Mary ( apograpsasthai sun Mariam ).

Direct middle. "With Mary"is naturally taken with the infinitive as here. If so, that means that Mary’ s family register was in Bethlehem also and that she also belonged to the house of David. It is possible to connect "with Mary"far back with "went up"(anebē ) in Luk 2:4, but it is unnatural to do so. There is no real reason for doubting that Mary herself was a descendant of David and that is the obvious way to understand Luke’ s genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3:23-38). The Syriac Sinaitic expressly says that both Joseph and Mary were of the house and city of David. Betrothed (emnēsteumenēn ). Same verb as in Luk 1:27, but here it really means "married"or "espoused"as Mat 1:24. shows. Otherwise she could not have travelled with Joseph.

Robertson: Luk 2:5 - Great with child Great with child ( enkuōi ). Only here in N.T. Common Greek word.

Great with child ( enkuōi ).

Only here in N.T. Common Greek word.

Robertson: Luk 2:6 - That she should be delivered That she should be delivered ( tou tekein autēn ).

That she should be delivered ( tou tekein autēn ).

Robertson: Luk 2:6 - For the bearing the child as to her. For the bearing the child as to her. A neat use of the articular infinitive, second aorist active, with the accusative of general reference. From tik...

For the bearing the child as to her.

A neat use of the articular infinitive, second aorist active, with the accusative of general reference. From tiktō , common verb.

Robertson: Luk 2:7 - Her firstborn Her firstborn ( ton prōtotokon ). The expression naturally means that she afterwards had other children and we read of brothers and sisters of Jesu...

Her firstborn ( ton prōtotokon ).

The expression naturally means that she afterwards had other children and we read of brothers and sisters of Jesus. There is not a particle of evidence for the notion that Mary refused to bear other children because she was the mother of the Messiah.

Robertson: Luk 2:7 - Wrapped in swaddling clothes Wrapped in swaddling clothes ( esparganōsen ). From sparganon , a swathing band. Only here and Luk 2:12 in the N.T., but in Euripides, Aristotle, H...

Wrapped in swaddling clothes ( esparganōsen ).

From sparganon , a swathing band. Only here and Luk 2:12 in the N.T., but in Euripides, Aristotle, Hippocrates, Plutarch. Frequent in medical works.

Robertson: Luk 2:7 - In a manger In a manger ( en phatnēi ). In a crib in a stall whether in a cave (Justin Martyr) or connected with the inn we do not know. The cattle may have be...

In a manger ( en phatnēi ).

In a crib in a stall whether in a cave (Justin Martyr) or connected with the inn we do not know. The cattle may have been out on the hills or the donkeys used in travelling may have been feeding in this stall or another near.

Robertson: Luk 2:7 - In the inn In the inn ( en tōi katalumati ). A lodging-house or khan, poor enough at best, but there was not even room in this public place because of the cro...

In the inn ( en tōi katalumati ).

A lodging-house or khan, poor enough at best, but there was not even room in this public place because of the crowds for the census. See the word also in Luk 22:11; Mar 14:14 with the sense of guest-room (cf. 1Ki 1:13). It is the Hellenistic equivalent for katagōgeion and appears also in one papyrus. See Exo 4:24. There would sometimes be an inner court, a range or arches, an open gallery round the four sides. On one side of the square, outside the wall, would be stables for the asses and camels, buffaloes and goats. Each man had to carry his own food and bedding.

Robertson: Luk 2:8 - Abiding in the field Abiding in the field ( agraulountes ). From agros , field and aulē , court. The shepherds were making the field their court. Plutarch and Strabo us...

Abiding in the field ( agraulountes ).

From agros , field and aulē , court. The shepherds were making the field their court. Plutarch and Strabo use the word.

Robertson: Luk 2:8 - Keeping watch Keeping watch ( phulassontes phulakas ). Cognate accusative. They were bivouacking by night and it was plainly mild weather. In these very pastures D...

Keeping watch ( phulassontes phulakas ).

Cognate accusative. They were bivouacking by night and it was plainly mild weather. In these very pastures David had fought the lion and the bear to protect the sheep (1Sa 17:34.). The plural here probably means that they watched by turns. The flock may have been meant for the temple sacrifices. There is no way to tell.

Robertson: Luk 2:9 - Stood by them Stood by them ( epestē autois ). Ingressive aorist active indicative. Stepped by their side. The same word in Act 12:7 of the angel there. Paul use...

Stood by them ( epestē autois ).

Ingressive aorist active indicative. Stepped by their side. The same word in Act 12:7 of the angel there. Paul uses it in the sense of standing by in Act 22:20. It is a common old Greek word, ephistēmi .

Robertson: Luk 2:9 - Were sore afraid Were sore afraid ( ephobēthēsan phobon megan ). First aorist passive indicative with cognate accusative (the passive sense gone), they feared a g...

Were sore afraid ( ephobēthēsan phobon megan ).

First aorist passive indicative with cognate accusative (the passive sense gone), they feared a great fear.

Robertson: Luk 2:10 - I bring you good tidings of great joy I bring you good tidings of great joy ( euaggelizomai hūmin charan megalēn ). Wycliff, "I evangelize to you a great joy."The active verb euaggeli...

I bring you good tidings of great joy ( euaggelizomai hūmin charan megalēn ).

Wycliff, "I evangelize to you a great joy."The active verb euaggelizō occurs only in late Greek writers, lxx, a few papyri examples, and the N.T. The middle (deponent) appears from Aristophanes on. Luke and Paul employ both substantive euaggelion and verb euaggelizō very frequently. It is to Paul’ s influence that we owe their frequency and popularity in the language of Christendom (George Milligan, The Epistles to the Thessalonians , p. 143). The other Gospels do not have the verb save Mat 11:5 and that in a quotation (Isa 61:1).||

Robertson: Luk 2:11 - Is born Is born ( etechthē ). First aorist passive indicative from tiktō . Was born.

Is born ( etechthē ).

First aorist passive indicative from tiktō . Was born.

Robertson: Luk 2:11 - Saviour Saviour ( sōtēr ). This great word is common in Luke and Paul and seldom elsewhere in the N.T. (Bruce). The people under Rome’ s rule came t...

Saviour ( sōtēr ).

This great word is common in Luke and Paul and seldom elsewhere in the N.T. (Bruce). The people under Rome’ s rule came to call the emperor "Saviour"and Christians took the word and used it of Christ. See inscriptions (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East , p. 344).

Robertson: Luk 2:11 - Christ the Lord Christ the Lord ( Christos Kurios ). This combination occurs nowhere else in the N.T. and it is not clear what it really means. Luke is very fond of ...

Christ the Lord ( Christos Kurios ).

This combination occurs nowhere else in the N.T. and it is not clear what it really means. Luke is very fond of Kurios ( Lord ) where the other Gospels have Jesus. It may mean "Christ the Lord,""Anointed Lord,""Messiah, Lord,""The Messiah, the Lord,""An Anointed One, a Lord,"or "Lord Messiah."It occurs once in the lxx (Lamentations 4:20) and is in Ps. of Sol. 17:36. Ragg suggests that our phrase "the Lord Jesus Christ"is really involved in "A Saviour (Jesus) which is Christ the Lord."See note on Mat 1:1 for Christ and note on Mat 21:3 for Lord.

Robertson: Luk 2:13 - Host Host ( stratias ). A military term for a band of soldiers common in the ancient Greek. Bengel says: "Here the army announces peace."

Host ( stratias ).

A military term for a band of soldiers common in the ancient Greek. Bengel says: "Here the army announces peace."

Robertson: Luk 2:13 - Praising Praising ( ainountōn ). Construction according to sense (plural, though stratias is singular).

Praising ( ainountōn ).

Construction according to sense (plural, though stratias is singular).

Robertson: Luk 2:14 - Among men in whom he is well pleased Among men in whom he is well pleased ( en anthrōpois eudokias ). The Textus Receptus (Authorized Version also has eudokia , but the genitive eudoki...

Among men in whom he is well pleased ( en anthrōpois eudokias ).

The Textus Receptus (Authorized Version also has eudokia , but the genitive eudokias is undoubtedly correct, supported by the oldest and best uncials. (Aleph, A B D W). C has a lacuna here. Plummer justly notes how in this angelic hymn Glory and Peace correspond, in the highest and on earth, to God and among men of goodwill. It would be possible to connect "on earth"with "the highest"and also to have a triple division. There has been much objection raised to the genitive eudokias , the correct text. But it makes perfectly good sense and better sense. As a matter of fact real peace on earth exists only among those who are the subjects of God’ s goodwill, who are characterized by goodwill toward God and man. This word eudokia we have already had in Mat 11:26. It does not occur in the ancient Greek. The word is confined to Jewish and Christian writings, though the papyri furnish instances of eudokēsis . Wycliff has it "to men of goodwill."

Robertson: Luk 2:15 - Said to one another Said to one another ( elaloun pros allēlous ). Imperfect tense, inchoative, "began to speak,"each to the other. It suggests also repetition, they k...

Said to one another ( elaloun pros allēlous ).

Imperfect tense, inchoative, "began to speak,"each to the other. It suggests also repetition, they kept saying.

Robertson: Luk 2:15 - Now Now ( dē ). A particle of urgency.

Now ( dē ).

A particle of urgency.

Robertson: Luk 2:15 - This thing This thing ( to rhēma touto ). A Hebraistic and vernacular use of rhēma (something said) as something done. See Luk 1:65. The ancient Greek use...

This thing ( to rhēma touto ).

A Hebraistic and vernacular use of rhēma (something said) as something done. See Luk 1:65. The ancient Greek used logos in this same way.

Robertson: Luk 2:16 - With haste With haste ( speusantes ). Aorist active participle of simultaneous action.

With haste ( speusantes ).

Aorist active participle of simultaneous action.

Robertson: Luk 2:16 - Found Found ( aneuran ). Second aorist active indicative of a common Greek verb aneuriskō , but only in Luke in the N.T. The compound ana suggests a se...

Found ( aneuran ).

Second aorist active indicative of a common Greek verb aneuriskō , but only in Luke in the N.T. The compound ana suggests a search before finding.

Robertson: Luk 2:17 - Made known Made known ( egnōrisan ). To others (Luk 2:18) besides Joseph and Mary. The verb is common from Aeschylus on, from the root of ginōskō (to kn...

Made known ( egnōrisan ).

To others (Luk 2:18) besides Joseph and Mary. The verb is common from Aeschylus on, from the root of ginōskō (to know). It is both transitive and intransitive in the N.T.

Robertson: Luk 2:19 - Kept Kept ( sunetērei ). Imperfect active. She kept on keeping together (sun - ) all these things. They were meat and drink to her. She was not astoni...

Kept ( sunetērei ).

Imperfect active. She kept on keeping together (sun - ) all these things. They were meat and drink to her. She was not astonished, but filled with holy awe. The verb occurs from Aristotle on. She could not forget. But did not Mary keep also a Baby Book? And may not Luke have seen it?

Robertson: Luk 2:19 - Pondering Pondering ( sunballousa ). An old Greek word. Placing together for comparison. Mary would go over each detail in the words of Gabriel and of the shep...

Pondering ( sunballousa ).

An old Greek word. Placing together for comparison. Mary would go over each detail in the words of Gabriel and of the shepherds and compare the sayings with the facts so far developed and brood over it all with a mother’ s high hopes and joy.

Robertson: Luk 2:21 - His name was called Jesus His name was called Jesus ( kai eklēthē to onoma autou Iēsous ). The kai is left untranslated or has the sense of "then"in the apodosis. The ...

His name was called Jesus ( kai eklēthē to onoma autou Iēsous ).

The kai is left untranslated or has the sense of "then"in the apodosis. The naming was a part of the ceremony of circumcision as is shown also in the case of John the Baptist (Luk 1:59-66).

Robertson: Luk 2:22 - The days of their purification The days of their purification ( hai hēmerai tou katharismou autōn ). The old manuscripts have "their"(autōn ) instead of "her"(autēs ) of ...

The days of their purification ( hai hēmerai tou katharismou autōn ).

The old manuscripts have "their"(autōn ) instead of "her"(autēs ) of the later documents. But it is not clear whether "their"refers to Mary and Joseph as is true of "they brought"or to Mary and the child. The mother was Levitically unclean for forty days after the birth of a son (Lev 12:1-8).

Robertson: Luk 2:22 - To present him to the Lord To present him to the Lord ( parastēsai tōi Kuriōi ). Every first-born son was thus redeemed by the sacrifice (Exo 13:2-12) as a memorial of th...

To present him to the Lord ( parastēsai tōi Kuriōi ).

Every first-born son was thus redeemed by the sacrifice (Exo 13:2-12) as a memorial of the sparing of the Israelitish families (Num 18:15.). The cost was about two dollars and a half in our money.

Robertson: Luk 2:23 - In the law of the Lord In the law of the Lord ( en nomōi Kuriou ). No articles, but definite by preposition and genitive. Vincent notes that "law"occurs in this chapter f...

In the law of the Lord ( en nomōi Kuriou ).

No articles, but definite by preposition and genitive. Vincent notes that "law"occurs in this chapter five times. Paul (Gal 4:4) will urge that Jesus "was made under the law"as Luke here explains. The law did not require that the child be brought to Jerusalem. The purification concerned the mother, the presentation the son.

Robertson: Luk 2:24 - A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons ( Zeugos trugonōn ē duo nossous peristerōn ). The offspring of the poor, costing about sixteen cent...

A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons ( Zeugos trugonōn ē duo nossous peristerōn ).

The offspring of the poor, costing about sixteen cents, while a lamb would cost nearly two dollars. The "young of pigeons"is the literal meaning.

Robertson: Luk 2:25 - Devout Devout ( eulabēs ). Used only by Luke (Act 2:5; Act 8:2; Act 22:12) in the N.T. Common in ancient Greek from Plato on. It means taking hold well or...

Devout ( eulabēs ).

Used only by Luke (Act 2:5; Act 8:2; Act 22:12) in the N.T. Common in ancient Greek from Plato on. It means taking hold well or carefully (eu and labein ) and so reverently, circumspectly.

Robertson: Luk 2:25 - Looking for the consolation of Israel Looking for the consolation of Israel ( prosdechomenos paraklēsin tou Israel ). Old Greek verb to admit to one’ s presence (Luk 15:2) and then...

Looking for the consolation of Israel ( prosdechomenos paraklēsin tou Israel ).

Old Greek verb to admit to one’ s presence (Luk 15:2) and then to expect as here and of Anna in Luk 2:38. Parakle4sin here means the Messianic hope (Isa 11:10; Isa 40:1), calling to one’ s side for cheer.

Robertson: Luk 2:25 - Upon him Upon him ( ep' auton ). This is the explanation of his lively Messianic hope. It was due to the Holy Spirit. Simeon and Anna are representatives of r...

Upon him ( ep' auton ).

This is the explanation of his lively Messianic hope. It was due to the Holy Spirit. Simeon and Anna are representatives of real piety in this time of spiritual dearth and deadness.

Robertson: Luk 2:26 - It had been revealed unto him It had been revealed unto him ( ēn autōi kechrēmatismenon ). Periphrastic past perfect passive indicative. Common Greek verb. First to transact...

It had been revealed unto him ( ēn autōi kechrēmatismenon ).

Periphrastic past perfect passive indicative. Common Greek verb. First to transact business from chrēma and that from chraomai , to use, make use of; then to do business with public officials, to give advice (judges, rulers, kings), then to get the advice of the Delphic and other oracles (Diodorus, Plutarch). The lxx and Josephus use it of God’ s commands. A Fayum papyrus of 257 b.c. has the substantive chrēmastismos for a divine response (cf. Rom 11:4). See Deissmann, Light From the Ancient East , p. 153.

Robertson: Luk 2:26 - Before Before ( prin ē ). Classic Greek idiom after a negative to have subjunctive as here (only example in the N.T.) or the optative after past tense as ...

Before ( prin ē ).

Classic Greek idiom after a negative to have subjunctive as here (only example in the N.T.) or the optative after past tense as in Act 25:16 (subjunctive changed to optative in indirect discourse). Elsewhere in the N.T. the infinitive follows prin as in Mat 1:18.

Robertson: Luk 2:27 - When the parents brought in the child Jesus When the parents brought in the child Jesus ( en tōi eisagagein tous goneis to paidion Iēsoun ). A neat Greek and Hebrew idiom difficult to rende...

When the parents brought in the child Jesus ( en tōi eisagagein tous goneis to paidion Iēsoun ).

A neat Greek and Hebrew idiom difficult to render into English, very common in the lxx; In the bringing the Child Jesus as to the parents. The articular infinitive and two accusatives (one the object, the other accusative of general reference).

Robertson: Luk 2:27 - After the custom of the law After the custom of the law ( kata to eithismenon tou nomou ). Here the perfect passive participle eithismenon , neuter singular from ethizō (com...

After the custom of the law ( kata to eithismenon tou nomou ).

Here the perfect passive participle eithismenon , neuter singular from ethizō (common Greek verb, to accustom) is used as a virtual substantive like to ethos in Luk 1:8. Luke alone in the N.T. uses either word save ethos in Joh 19:40, though eiōtha from ethō , occurs also in Mat 27:15; Mar 10:1.

Robertson: Luk 2:28 - Then he Then he ( kai autos ). Kai as in Luk 2:21. Autos , emphatic subject, he after the parents.

Then he ( kai autos ).

Kai as in Luk 2:21. Autos , emphatic subject, he after the parents.

Robertson: Luk 2:28 - Arms Arms ( agkalas ). Old Greek word, here only in the N.T. It means the curve or inner angle of the arm.

Arms ( agkalas ).

Old Greek word, here only in the N.T. It means the curve or inner angle of the arm.

Robertson: Luk 2:29 - Now lettest thou Now lettest thou ( nun apolueis ). Present active indicative, Thou art letting. The Nunc Dimittis , adoration and praise. It is full of rapture an...

Now lettest thou ( nun apolueis ).

Present active indicative, Thou art letting. The Nunc Dimittis , adoration and praise. It is full of rapture and vivid intensity (Plummer) like the best of the Psalms. The verb apoluō was common for the manumission of slaves and Simeon here calls himself "thy slave (doulon sou ), Lord (Despota , our despot)."See 2Pe 2:1.

Robertson: Luk 2:31 - Of all the peoples Of all the peoples ( pantōn tōn laōn ). Not merely Jews. Another illustration of the universality of Luke’ s Gospel seen already in Luk 1:...

Of all the peoples ( pantōn tōn laōn ).

Not merely Jews. Another illustration of the universality of Luke’ s Gospel seen already in Luk 1:70 in the hymn of Zacharias. The second strophe of the song according to Plummer showing what the Messiah will be to the world after having shown what the Messiah is to Simeon.

Robertson: Luk 2:32 - Revelation to the Gentiles Revelation to the Gentiles ( apokalupsin ethnōn ). Objective genitive. The Messiah is to be light (phōs ) for the Gentiles in darkness (Luk 1:70...

Revelation to the Gentiles ( apokalupsin ethnōn ).

Objective genitive. The Messiah is to be light (phōs ) for the Gentiles in darkness (Luk 1:70) and glory (doxa ) for Israel (cf. Rom 9:1-5; Isa 49:6). The word ethnos originally meant just a crowd or company, then a race or nation, then the nations other than Israel (the people, ho laos ) or the people of God. The word Gentile is Latin from gens , a tribe or nation. But the world-wide mission of the Messiah comes out clearly in these early chapters in Luke.

Robertson: Luk 2:33 - His father and his mother His father and his mother ( ho patēr autou kai hē mētēr ). Luke had already used "parents"in Luk 2:27. He by no means intends to deny the Vir...

His father and his mother ( ho patēr autou kai hē mētēr ).

Luke had already used "parents"in Luk 2:27. He by no means intends to deny the Virgin Birth of Jesus so plainly stated in Luk 1:34-38. He merely employs here the language of ordinary custom. The late MSS. wrongly read "and Joseph"instead of "his father."

Robertson: Luk 2:33 - Were marvelling Were marvelling ( ēn thaumazontes ). The masculine gender includes the feminine when both are referred to. But ēn is singular, not ēsan , the...

Were marvelling ( ēn thaumazontes ).

The masculine gender includes the feminine when both are referred to. But ēn is singular, not ēsan , the normal imperfect plural in this periphrastic imperfect. This is due to the wide space between copula and participle. The copula ēn agrees in number with ho patēr while the participle coming last agrees with both ho pater kai hē mētēr (cf. Mat 17:3; Mat 22:40). If one wonders why they marvelled at Simeon’ s words after what they had heard from Gabriel, Elisabeth, and the Shepherds, he should bear in mind that every parent is astonished and pleased at the fine things others see in the child. It is a mark of unusual insight for others to see so much that is obvious to the parent. Simeon’ s prophecy had gone beyond the angel’ s outline and it was surprising that he should know anything about the child’ s destiny.

Robertson: Luk 2:34 - Is set for the falling and the rising up of many in Israel Is set for the falling and the rising up of many in Israel ( Keitai eis ptōsin kai anastasin pollōn en tōi Israēl ). Present indicative of th...

Is set for the falling and the rising up of many in Israel ( Keitai eis ptōsin kai anastasin pollōn en tōi Israēl ).

Present indicative of the old defective verb appearing only in present and imperfect in the N.T. Sometimes it is used as the passive of tithēmi as here. The falling of some and the rising up of others is what is meant. He will be a stumbling-block to some (Isa 8:14; Mat 21:42, Mat 21:44; Rom 9:33; 1Pe 2:16.) who love darkness rather than light (Joh 3:19), he will be the cause of rising for others (Rom 6:4, Rom 6:9; Eph 2:6). "Judas despairs, Peter repents: one robber blasphemes, the other confesses"(Plummer). Jesus is the magnet of the ages. He draws some, he repels others. This is true of all epoch-making men to some extent.

Robertson: Luk 2:34 - Spoken against Spoken against ( antilegomenon ). Present passive participle, continuous action. It is going on today. Nietzsche regarded Jesus Christ as the curse o...

Spoken against ( antilegomenon ).

Present passive participle, continuous action. It is going on today. Nietzsche regarded Jesus Christ as the curse of the race because he spared the weak.

Robertson: Luk 2:35 - A sword A sword ( rhomphaia ). A large sword, properly a long Thracian javelin. It occurs in the lxx of Goliath’ s sword (1 Samuel 17:51). How little Ma...

A sword ( rhomphaia ).

A large sword, properly a long Thracian javelin. It occurs in the lxx of Goliath’ s sword (1 Samuel 17:51). How little Mary understood the meaning of Simeon’ s words that seemed so out of place in the midst of the glorious things already spoken, a sharp thorn in their roses, a veritable bitter-sweet. But one day Mary will stand by the Cross of Christ with this Thracian javelin clean through her soul, stabat Mater Dolorosa (Joh 19:25). It is only a parenthesis here, and a passing cloud perhaps passed over Mary’ s heart already puzzled with rapture and ecstasy.

Robertson: Luk 2:35 - May be revealed May be revealed ( apokaluphthōsin ). Unveiled. First aorist passive subjunctive after hopōs an and expresses God’ s purpose in the mission...

May be revealed ( apokaluphthōsin ).

Unveiled. First aorist passive subjunctive after hopōs an and expresses God’ s purpose in the mission of the Messiah. He is to test men’ s thoughts (dialogismoi ) and purposes. They will be compelled to take a stand for Christ or against him. That is true today.

Robertson: Luk 2:36 - One Anna a prophetess One Anna a prophetess ( Hanna prophētis ). The word prophētis occurs in the N.T. only here and Rev 2:20. In old Greek writers it means a woman ...

One Anna a prophetess ( Hanna prophētis ).

The word prophētis occurs in the N.T. only here and Rev 2:20. In old Greek writers it means a woman who interprets oracles. The long parenthesis into Luk 2:37 tells of her great age. Montefiore makes it 106 as she was 15 when married, married 7 years, a widow 84.

Robertson: Luk 2:37 - Which departed not Which departed not ( hē ouk aphistato ). Imperfect indicative middle. She kept on not leaving. The Spirit kept her in the temple as he led Simon to...

Which departed not ( hē ouk aphistato ).

Imperfect indicative middle. She kept on not leaving. The Spirit kept her in the temple as he led Simon to the temple (Plummer). The case of "the temple"(tou hierou ) is ablative.

Robertson: Luk 2:37 - Night and day Night and day ( nukta kai hēmeran ). Accusative of duration of time, all night and all day. She never missed a service in the temple.

Night and day ( nukta kai hēmeran ).

Accusative of duration of time, all night and all day. She never missed a service in the temple.

Robertson: Luk 2:38 - Coming up Coming up ( epistāsa ). Second aorist active participle. The word often has the notion of coming suddenly or bursting in as of Martha in Luk 10:40....

Coming up ( epistāsa ).

Second aorist active participle. The word often has the notion of coming suddenly or bursting in as of Martha in Luk 10:40. But here it probably means coming up and standing by and so hearing Simeon’ s wonderful words so that her words form a kind of footnote to his.

Robertson: Luk 2:38 - Gave thanks Gave thanks ( anthōmologeito ). Imperfect middle of a verb (anthomologeō ) in common use in Greek writers and in the lxx though here alone in th...

Gave thanks ( anthōmologeito ).

Imperfect middle of a verb (anthomologeō ) in common use in Greek writers and in the lxx though here alone in the N.T. It had the idea of a mutual agreement or of saying something before one (anti ). Anna was evidently deeply moved and repeated her thanksgiving and kept speaking (elalei , imperfect again) "to all them that were looking for (prosdechomenois , as in Luk 1:35 of Simeon) the redemption of Jerusalem (lutrōsin Ierousalēm )."There was evidently a group of such spirits that gathered in the temple either men around her and Simeon or whom she met from time to time. There was thus a nucleus of old saints in Jerusalem prepared for the coming of the Messiah when he at last appears as the Messiah in Jerusalem (John 2 and 3). These probably all passed away. But they had a happy hour of hope and joy. The late MSS. have "in Jerusalem"but "of Jerusalem"is correct. What they meant by the "redemption of Jerusalem"is not clear, whether political or spiritual or both. Simeon was looking for the consolation of Israel (Luk 2:25) and Zacharias (Luk 1:68) sang of redemption for Israel (Isa 40:2).

Robertson: Luk 2:39 - To their own city Nazareth To their own city Nazareth ( eis polin heautōn Nazaret ). See note on Mat 2:23 about Nazareth. Luke tells nothing of the flight to Egypt and the re...

To their own city Nazareth ( eis polin heautōn Nazaret ).

See note on Mat 2:23 about Nazareth. Luke tells nothing of the flight to Egypt and the reason for the return to Nazareth instead of Bethlehem, the place of the birth of Jesus as told in Mat 2:13-23. But then neither Gospel gives all the details of this period. Luke has also nothing about the visit of the wise men (Mat 2:1-12) as Matthew tells nothing of the shepherds and of Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:8-28). The two Gospels supplement each other.

Robertson: Luk 2:40 - The child grew The child grew ( ēuxane ). Imperfect indicative of a very ancient verb (auxanō ). This child grew and waxed strong (ekrataiouto , imperfect midd...

The child grew ( ēuxane ).

Imperfect indicative of a very ancient verb (auxanō ). This child grew and waxed strong (ekrataiouto , imperfect middle), a hearty vigorous little boy (paidion ). Both verbs Luke used in Luk 1:80 of the growth of John the Baptist as a child. Then he used also pneumati , in spirit. Here in addition to the bodily development Luke has "filled with wisdom"(plēroumenon sophiāi ). Present passive participle, showing that the process of filling with wisdom kept pace with the bodily growth. If it were only always true with others! We need not be troubled over this growth in wisdom on the part of Jesus any more than over his bodily growth. "The intellectual, moral, and spiritual growth of the Child, like the physical, was real. His was a perfect humanity developing perfectly, unimpeded by hereditary or acquired defects. It was the first instance of such a growth in history. For the first time a human infant was realizing the ideal of humanity"(Plummer).

Robertson: Luk 2:40 - The grace of God The grace of God ( charis theou ). In full measure.

The grace of God ( charis theou ).

In full measure.

Robertson: Luk 2:41 - Every year Every year ( kat' etos ). This idiom only here in the N.T., a common Greek construction. Every male was originally expected to appear at the passover...

Every year ( kat' etos ).

This idiom only here in the N.T., a common Greek construction. Every male was originally expected to appear at the passover, pentecost, and tabernacles (Exo 23:14-17; Exo 34:23; Deu 16:16). But the Dispersion rendered that impossible. But pious Palestinian Jews made a point of going at least to the passover. Mary went with Joseph as a pious habit, though not required by law to go.

Robertson: Luk 2:42 - Twelve years old Twelve years old ( etōn dōdeka ). Predicate genitive. Luke does not say that Jesus had not been to Jerusalem before, but at twelve a Jewish boy b...

Twelve years old ( etōn dōdeka ).

Predicate genitive. Luke does not say that Jesus had not been to Jerusalem before, but at twelve a Jewish boy became a "son of the law"and began to observe the ordinances, putting on the phylacteries as a reminder.

Robertson: Luk 2:42 - They went up They went up ( anabainontōn autōn ). Genitive absolute with present active participle, a loose construction here, for the incident narrated took ...

They went up ( anabainontōn autōn ).

Genitive absolute with present active participle, a loose construction here, for the incident narrated took place after they had gone up, not while they were gong up. "On their usual going up"(Plummer).

Robertson: Luk 2:43 - When they had fulfilled the days When they had fulfilled the days ( teleiōsantōn tas hēmeras ). Genitive absolute again, but aorist participle (effective aorist). "The days"may...

When they had fulfilled the days ( teleiōsantōn tas hēmeras ).

Genitive absolute again, but aorist participle (effective aorist). "The days"may mean the full seven days (Exo 12:15.; Lev 23:6-8; Deu 16:3), or the two chief days after which many pilgrims left for home.

Robertson: Luk 2:43 - As they were returning As they were returning ( en tōi hupostrephein antous ). The articular infinitive with en , a construction that Luke often uses (Luk 1:21; Luk 2:27)...

As they were returning ( en tōi hupostrephein antous ).

The articular infinitive with en , a construction that Luke often uses (Luk 1:21; Luk 2:27).

Robertson: Luk 2:43 - The boy, Jesus The boy, Jesus ( Iēsous ho pais ). More exactly, "Jesus the boy."In Luk 2:40 it was "the child "(to paidion ), here it is "the boy"(ho pais , no l...

The boy, Jesus ( Iēsous ho pais ).

More exactly, "Jesus the boy."In Luk 2:40 it was "the child "(to paidion ), here it is "the boy"(ho pais , no longer the diminutive form). It was not disobedience on the part of "the boy"that made him remain behind, but intense interest in the services of the temple; "involuntary preoccupation"(Bruce) held him fast.

Robertson: Luk 2:44 - In the company In the company ( en tēi sunodiāi ). The caravan going together on the road or way (sun ,hodos ), a journey in company, then by metonymy the compa...

In the company ( en tēi sunodiāi ).

The caravan going together on the road or way (sun ,hodos ), a journey in company, then by metonymy the company itself. A common Greek word (Plutarch, Strabo, etc.). The women usually went ahead and the men followed. Joseph may have thought Jesus was with Mary and Mary that he was with Joseph. "The Nazareth caravan was so long that it took a whole day to look through it"(Plummer).

Robertson: Luk 2:44 - They sought for him They sought for him ( anezētoun auton ). Imperfect active. Common Greek verb. Note force of ana . They searched up and down, back and forth, a thor...

They sought for him ( anezētoun auton ).

Imperfect active. Common Greek verb. Note force of ana . They searched up and down, back and forth, a thorough search and prolonged, but in vain.

Robertson: Luk 2:45 - Seeking for him Seeking for him ( anazētountes auton ). Present participle of the same verb. This was all that was worth while now, finding the lost boy.

Seeking for him ( anazētountes auton ).

Present participle of the same verb. This was all that was worth while now, finding the lost boy.

Robertson: Luk 2:46 - After three days After three days ( meta hēmeras treis ). One day out, one day back, and on the third day finding him.

After three days ( meta hēmeras treis ).

One day out, one day back, and on the third day finding him.

Robertson: Luk 2:46 - In the temple In the temple ( en tōi hierōi ). Probably on the terrace where members of the Sanhedrin gave public instruction on sabbaths and feast-days, so pr...

In the temple ( en tōi hierōi ).

Probably on the terrace where members of the Sanhedrin gave public instruction on sabbaths and feast-days, so probably while the feast was still going on. The rabbis probably sat on benches in a circle. The listeners on the ground, among whom was Jesus the boy in a rapture of interest.

Robertson: Luk 2:46 - Both hearing them and asking them questions Both hearing them and asking them questions ( kai akouonta autōn kai eperōtōnta autous ). Paul sat at the feet of Gamaliel (Act 22:3). Picture ...

Both hearing them and asking them questions ( kai akouonta autōn kai eperōtōnta autous ).

Paul sat at the feet of Gamaliel (Act 22:3). Picture this eager boy alive with interest. It was his one opportunity in a theological school outside of the synagogue to hear the great rabbis expound the problems of life. This was the most unusual of all children, to be sure, in intellectual grasp and power. But it is a mistake to think that children of twelve do not think profoundly concerning the issues of life. What father or mother has ever been able to answer a child’ s questions?

Robertson: Luk 2:47 - Were amazed Were amazed ( existanto ). Imperfect indicative middle, descriptive of their continued and repeated astonishment. Common verb existēmi meaning th...

Were amazed ( existanto ).

Imperfect indicative middle, descriptive of their continued and repeated astonishment. Common verb existēmi meaning that they stood out of themselves as if their eyes were bulging out. The boy had a holy thirst for knowledge (Plummer), and he used a boy’ s way of learning.

Robertson: Luk 2:47 - At his understanding At his understanding ( epi tēi sunesei ). Based on (epi ), the grasp and comprehension from suniēmi , comparing and combining things. Cf. Mar 12...

At his understanding ( epi tēi sunesei ).

Based on (epi ), the grasp and comprehension from suniēmi , comparing and combining things. Cf. Mar 12:33.

Robertson: Luk 2:47 - His answers His answers ( tais apokrisesin autou ). It is not difficult to ask hard questions, but this boy had astounding answers to their questions, revealing ...

His answers ( tais apokrisesin autou ).

It is not difficult to ask hard questions, but this boy had astounding answers to their questions, revealing his amazing intellectual and spiritual growth.

Robertson: Luk 2:48 - They were astonished They were astonished ( exeplagēsan ). Second aorist passive indicative of an old Greek word (ekplēssō ), to strike out, drive out by a blow. J...

They were astonished ( exeplagēsan ).

Second aorist passive indicative of an old Greek word (ekplēssō ), to strike out, drive out by a blow. Joseph and Mary "were struck out"by what they saw and heard. Even they had not fully realized the power in this wonderful boy. Parents often fail to perceive the wealth of nature in their children.

Robertson: Luk 2:49 - Son Son ( teknon ). Child, literally. It was natural for Mary to be the first to speak.

Son ( teknon ).

Child, literally. It was natural for Mary to be the first to speak.

Robertson: Luk 2:49 - Why Why ( Ti ). The mother’ s reproach of the boy is followed by a confession of negligence on her part and of Joseph ( sorrowing , odunōmenoi ).

Why ( Ti ).

The mother’ s reproach of the boy is followed by a confession of negligence on her part and of Joseph ( sorrowing , odunōmenoi ).

Robertson: Luk 2:49 - Thy father Thy father ( ho pater sou ). No contradiction in this. Alford says: "Up to this time Joseph had been so called by the holy child himself, but from th...

Thy father ( ho pater sou ).

No contradiction in this. Alford says: "Up to this time Joseph had been so called by the holy child himself, but from this time never."

Robertson: Luk 2:49 - Sought Sought ( ezētoumen ). Imperfect tense describing the long drawn out search for three days.

Sought ( ezētoumen ).

Imperfect tense describing the long drawn out search for three days.

Robertson: Luk 2:49 - How is it that How is it that ( Ti hoti ). The first words of Jesus preserved to us. This crisp Greek idiom without copula expresses the boy’ s amazement that ...

How is it that ( Ti hoti ).

The first words of Jesus preserved to us. This crisp Greek idiom without copula expresses the boy’ s amazement that his parents should not know that there was only one possible place in Jerusalem for him.

Robertson: Luk 2:49 - I must be I must be ( dei einai me ). Messianic consciousness of the necessity laid on him. Jesus often uses dei (must) about his work. Of all the golden dre...

I must be ( dei einai me ).

Messianic consciousness of the necessity laid on him. Jesus often uses dei (must) about his work. Of all the golden dreams of any boy of twelve here is the greatest.

Robertson: Luk 2:49 - In my Father’ s house In my Father’ s house ( en tois tou patros mou ). Not "about my Father’ s business,"but "in my Father’ s house"(cf. Gen 41:51). Common...

In my Father’ s house ( en tois tou patros mou ).

Not "about my Father’ s business,"but "in my Father’ s house"(cf. Gen 41:51). Common Greek idiom. And note "my,"not "our."When the boy first became conscious of his peculiar relation to the Father in heaven we do not know. But he has it now at twelve and it will grow within him through the years ahead in Nazareth.

Robertson: Luk 2:50 - They understood not They understood not ( ou sunēkan ). First aorist active indicative (one of the k aorists). Even Mary with all her previous preparation and brooding...

They understood not ( ou sunēkan ).

First aorist active indicative (one of the k aorists). Even Mary with all her previous preparation and brooding was not equal to the dawning of the Messianic consciousness in her boy. "My Father is God,"Jesus had virtually said, "and I must be in His house."Bruce observes that a new era has come when Jesus calls God "Father,"not Despotes . "Even we do not yet fully understand"(Bruce) what Jesus the boy here said.

Robertson: Luk 2:51 - He was subject unto them He was subject unto them ( ēn hupotassomenos autois ). Periphrastic imperfect passive. He continued subject unto them, this wondrous boy who really...

He was subject unto them ( ēn hupotassomenos autois ).

Periphrastic imperfect passive. He continued subject unto them, this wondrous boy who really knew more than parents and rabbis, this gentle, obedient, affectionate boy. The next eighteen years at Nazareth (Luk 3:23) he remained growing into manhood and becoming the carpenter of Nazareth (Mar 6:3) in succession to Joseph (Mat 13:55) who is mentioned here for the last time. Who can tell the wistful days when Jesus waited at Nazareth for the Father to call him to his Messianic task?

Robertson: Luk 2:51 - Kept Kept ( dietērei ). Imperfect active. Ancient Greek word (diatēreō ), but only here and Act 15:29 in the N.T. though in Gen 37:11. She kept tho...

Kept ( dietērei ).

Imperfect active. Ancient Greek word (diatēreō ), but only here and Act 15:29 in the N.T. though in Gen 37:11. She kept thoroughly (dia ) all these recent sayings (or things, rhēmata ). In Luk 2:19 sunetērei is the word used of Mary after the shepherds left. These she kept pondering and comparing all the things. Surely she has a full heart now. Could she foresee how destiny would take Jesus out beyond her mother’ s reach?

Robertson: Luk 2:52 - Advanced in wisdom and stature Advanced in wisdom and stature ( proekopten tēi sophiāi kai hēlikiāi ). Imperfect active, he kept cutting his way forward as through a forest...

Advanced in wisdom and stature ( proekopten tēi sophiāi kai hēlikiāi ).

Imperfect active, he kept cutting his way forward as through a forest or jungle as pioneers did. He kept growing in stature (hēlikia may mean age, as in Luk 12:25, but stature here) and in wisdom (more than mere knowledge). His physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual development was perfect. "At each stage he was perfect for that stage"(Plummer).

Robertson: Luk 2:52 - In favour In favour ( chariti ). Or grace. This is ideal manhood to have the favour of God and men.

In favour ( chariti ).

Or grace. This is ideal manhood to have the favour of God and men.

Vincent: Luk 2:1 - Decree Decree ( δόγμα ) Wyc., mandment. From δοκέω , to think. Hence, strictly, a personal opinion; and, as the opinion of one who...

Decree ( δόγμα )

Wyc., mandment. From δοκέω , to think. Hence, strictly, a personal opinion; and, as the opinion of one who can impose his opinion authoritatively on others, a decree .

Vincent: Luk 2:1 - The world The world ( τὴν οἰκουμένην ) Lit., the inhabited ( land ) . The phrase was originally used by the Greeks to denote the land...

The world ( τὴν οἰκουμένην )

Lit., the inhabited ( land ) . The phrase was originally used by the Greeks to denote the land inhabited by themselves, in contrast with barbarian countries; afterward, when the Greeks became subject to the Romans, the entire Roman world; still later, for the whole inhabited world. In the New Testament this latter is the more common usage, though, in some cases, this is conceived in the mould of the Roman empire, as in this passage, Act 11:28; Act 19:27. Christ uses it in the announcement that the Gospel shall be preached in all the world (Mat 24:14); and Paul in the prediction of a general judgment (Act 17:31). Once it is used of the world to come (Heb 2:5).

Vincent: Luk 2:1 - Be taxed Be taxed ( ἀπογράφεσθαι ) The word means properly to register or enter in a list. Commentators are divided as to whether it r...

Be taxed ( ἀπογράφεσθαι )

The word means properly to register or enter in a list. Commentators are divided as to whether it refers to an enrolment for taxation, or for ascertaining the population. Rev., enrolled, which may be taken in either sense.

Vincent: Luk 2:2 - And this taxing was first made And this taxing was first made ( αὕτη ἡ ἀπογραφὴ πρώτη ἐγένετο ) Rather, this occurred as the first enr...

And this taxing was first made ( αὕτη ἡ ἀπογραφὴ πρώτη ἐγένετο )

Rather, this occurred as the first enrolment ; or, as Rev., this was the first enrolment made; with reference to a second enrolment which took place about eleven years later, and is referred to in Act 5:37.

Vincent: Luk 2:3 - Went Went ( ἐπορεύοντο ) The A. V. and Rev. alike miss the graphic force of the imperfect tense, were going. The preparation and bustl...

Went ( ἐπορεύοντο )

The A. V. and Rev. alike miss the graphic force of the imperfect tense, were going. The preparation and bustle and travel were in progress.

Vincent: Luk 2:3 - To his own city To his own city The town to which the village or place of their birth belonged, and where the house and lineage of each were registered.

To his own city

The town to which the village or place of their birth belonged, and where the house and lineage of each were registered.

Vincent: Luk 2:4 - House and lineage House and lineage According to the Jewish mode of registration the people would be enrolled by tribe, families or clans , and h ouseholds. Co...

House and lineage

According to the Jewish mode of registration the people would be enrolled by tribe, families or clans , and h ouseholds. Compare Jos 7:16-18. Rev., house and family.

Vincent: Luk 2:5 - To be taxed with Mary To be taxed with Mary We may read either, went up with Mary, denoting merely the fact of her accompanying him; or, to enrol himself with Mary,...

To be taxed with Mary

We may read either, went up with Mary, denoting merely the fact of her accompanying him; or, to enrol himself with Mary, implying that both their names must be registered.

Vincent: Luk 2:5 - Espoused Espoused Not merely betrothed. See Mat 1:20, Mat 1:24, Mat 1:25; also see on Mat 1:18.

Espoused

Not merely betrothed. See Mat 1:20, Mat 1:24, Mat 1:25; also see on Mat 1:18.

Vincent: Luk 2:5 - Great with child Great with child ( ἐγκύῳ ) See on Luk 1:24. Only here in New Testament.

Great with child ( ἐγκύῳ )

See on Luk 1:24. Only here in New Testament.

Vincent: Luk 2:7 - Her first-born son Her first-born son The Greek reads literally, her son, the first-born.

Her first-born son

The Greek reads literally, her son, the first-born.

Vincent: Luk 2:7 - Wrapped in swaddling-clothes Wrapped in swaddling-clothes ( ἐσπαργάνωσεν ) Only here and Luk 2:12. Naturally found often in medical writings. Swaddle is sw...

Wrapped in swaddling-clothes ( ἐσπαργάνωσεν )

Only here and Luk 2:12. Naturally found often in medical writings. Swaddle is swathed, from the verb to swathe.

Vincent: Luk 2:7 - In a manger In a manger ( ἐν φάτνῃ ) Used by Luke only, here and Luk 13:15. Wyc. has a cracche, spelt also cratch. Compare French crèche , ...

In a manger ( ἐν φάτνῃ )

Used by Luke only, here and Luk 13:15. Wyc. has a cracche, spelt also cratch. Compare French crèche , a manger. Quite possibly a rock-cave. Dr. Thomson says: " I have seen many such, consisting of one or more rooms, in front of and including a cavern where the cattle were kept" (" Land and Book" ).

Vincent: Luk 2:7 - In the inn In the inn ( ἐν τῷ καταλύματι ) Only here, Luk 23:11; Mar 14:14, on which see note. In both these passages it is rendered ...

In the inn ( ἐν τῷ καταλύματι )

Only here, Luk 23:11; Mar 14:14, on which see note. In both these passages it is rendered guest-chamber, which can hardly be the meaning here, as some have maintained. (See Geikie, " Life and Words of Christ," i., 121.) In that case the expression would be, they found no κατάλυμα , guest-chamber. The word refers to the ordinary khan, or caravanserai. Tynd., hostrey. " A Syrian khan is a fort and a mart; a refuge from thieves; a shelter from the heat and dust; a place where a man and his beast may lodge; where a trader may sell his wares, and a pilgrim may slake his thirst....Where built by a great sheikh, it would have a high wall, an inner court, a range of arches or lewans, an open gallery round the four sides, and, in many cases, a tower from which the watcher might descry the approach of marauding bands. On one side of the square, but outside the wall, there is often a huddle of sheds, set apart from the main edifice, as stables for the asses and camels, the buffaloes and goats. In the centre of the khan springs a fountain of water, the first necessity of an Arab's life; and around the jets and troughs in which the limpid element streams, lies the gay and picturesque litter of the East. Camels wait to be unloaded; dogs quarrel for a bone; Bedaween from the desert, their red zannars choked with pistols, are at prayer. In the archways squat the merchants with their bales of goods....Half-naked men are cleansing their hands ere sitting down to eat. Here a barber is at work upon a shaven crown; there a fellah lies asleep in the shade....Each man has to carry his dinner and his bed; to litter his horse or camel; to dress his food; to draw his water; to light his fire, and to boil his mess of herbs" (Hepworth Dixon, " The Holy Land" ).

Vincent: Luk 2:8 - Shepherds Shepherds Luke's Gospel is the gospel of the poor and lowly. This revelation to the shepherds acquires additional meaning as we remember that she...

Shepherds

Luke's Gospel is the gospel of the poor and lowly. This revelation to the shepherds acquires additional meaning as we remember that shepherds, as a class, were under the Rabbinic ban, because of their necessary isolation from religious ordinances, and their manner of life, which rendered strict legal observance well-nigh impossible.

Vincent: Luk 2:8 - Keeping watch Keeping watch ( φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς ) Φυλακή is sometimes used of a watch as a measure of time, as in Mat 14:2...

Keeping watch ( φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς )

Φυλακή is sometimes used of a watch as a measure of time, as in Mat 14:25; Mar 6:48; Luk 12:38. So possibly here. See Rev. in margin, night-watches. There is a play upon the words: watching watches. There was near Bethlehem, on the road to Jerusalem, a tower known as Migdal Eder, or the watch-tower of the flock. Here was the station where shepherds watched the flocks destined for sacrifice in the temple. Animals straying from Jerusalem on any side, as far as from Jerusalem to Migdal Eder, were offered in sacrifice. It was a settled conviction among the Jews that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, and equally that he was to be revealed from Migdal Eder. The beautiful significance of the revelation of the infant Christ to shepherds watching the flocks destined for sacrifice needs no comment.

Vincent: Luk 2:8 - Their flock Their flock ( τὴν ποίμνην ) May not the singular number fall in with what has just been said? - the flock, the temple-flock, spec...

Their flock ( τὴν ποίμνην )

May not the singular number fall in with what has just been said? - the flock, the temple-flock, specially devoted to sacrifice. The pronoun their would furnish no objection, since it is common to speak of the flock as belonging to the shepherd. Compare Joh 10:3, Joh 10:4.

Vincent: Luk 2:9 - Behold Behold Omitted by the best texts.

Behold

Omitted by the best texts.

Vincent: Luk 2:9 - The angel The angel More correctly an angel, as Rev. The Greek has no article.

The angel

More correctly an angel, as Rev. The Greek has no article.

Vincent: Luk 2:9 - Came upon Came upon ( ἐπέστη ) The word is used in this sense in classical Greek, as well as in that of to stand by, which Rev. prefers here, a...

Came upon ( ἐπέστη )

The word is used in this sense in classical Greek, as well as in that of to stand by, which Rev. prefers here, as in Act 12:7. In Luk 2:38 of this chapter, Rev. renders coming up . The rendering to come upon has a hostile flavor, as properly in Act 17:5, where the verb is rendered assaulted; so that the Rev. rendering here is preferable.

Vincent: Luk 2:9 - They were sore afraid They were sore afraid Lit., feared with great fear.

They were sore afraid

Lit., feared with great fear.

Vincent: Luk 2:10 - I bring you good tidings of great joy I bring you good tidings of great joy ( εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην ) Wyc. is strictly literal: I ...

I bring you good tidings of great joy ( εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην )

Wyc. is strictly literal: I evangelize to you a great joy.

Vincent: Luk 2:10 - Which Which ( ἥτις ) Of a class or character which, etc.

Which ( ἥτις )

Of a class or character which, etc.

Vincent: Luk 2:10 - People People ( τῷ λαῷ ) Rev., rightly, " the people;" the article pointing specially to the people of Israel.

People ( τῷ λαῷ )

Rev., rightly, " the people;" the article pointing specially to the people of Israel.

Vincent: Luk 2:11 - Is born Is born ( ἐτέχθη ) It adds to the vividness of the narrative to keep to the strict rendering of the aorist, was born.

Is born ( ἐτέχθη )

It adds to the vividness of the narrative to keep to the strict rendering of the aorist, was born.

Vincent: Luk 2:11 - A Saviour A Saviour See on Mat 1:21.

A Saviour

See on Mat 1:21.

Vincent: Luk 2:11 - Christ Christ See on Mat 1:1.

Christ

See on Mat 1:1.

Vincent: Luk 2:11 - Lord Lord See on Mat 21:3.

Lord

See on Mat 21:3.

Vincent: Luk 2:12 - Sign Sign ( σημεῖον ). See on Mat 11:20.

Sign ( σημεῖον ).

See on Mat 11:20.

Vincent: Luk 2:12 - The babe The babe ( βρέφος ) See on 1Pe 2:2. Rev., properly, " a babe." No article

The babe ( βρέφος )

See on 1Pe 2:2. Rev., properly, " a babe." No article

Vincent: Luk 2:13 - A multitude of the heavenly host A multitude of the heavenly host Host (στρατιας ) is literally army. " Here the army announces peace" (Bengel). Wyc., heavenly knig...

A multitude of the heavenly host

Host (στρατιας ) is literally army. " Here the army announces peace" (Bengel). Wyc., heavenly knighthood. Tynd., heavenly soldiers.

Vincent: Luk 2:14 - Peace, good-will toward men Peace, good-will toward men ( εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία ) Both Tischendorf and Westcott and Hort read ε...

Peace, good-will toward men ( εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία )

Both Tischendorf and Westcott and Hort read εὐδοκίας which the Rev. follows. According to this the rendering is, unto men of good pleasure, or as Rev., among men in whom he is well pleased. Wyc., to men of good-will. For a similar construction, see Act 9:15; Col 1:13.

Vincent: Luk 2:15 - The shepherds The shepherds Some texts add οἱ ἄνθρωποι , the men; but the later texts omit.

The shepherds

Some texts add οἱ ἄνθρωποι , the men; but the later texts omit.

Vincent: Luk 2:15 - Let us go Let us go ( διέλθωμεν ) The preposition διά , through, implies through the intervening space.

Let us go ( διέλθωμεν )

The preposition διά , through, implies through the intervening space.

Vincent: Luk 2:15 - Thing Thing ( ῥῆμα ) See on Luk 1:37. The utterance of the shepherds contains a climax: " Let us go and see this saying, which has come to p...

Thing ( ῥῆμα )

See on Luk 1:37. The utterance of the shepherds contains a climax: " Let us go and see this saying, which has come to pass; which the Lord made known."

Vincent: Luk 2:16 - Found Found ( ἀνεῦραν ) Only here and Act 21:4. Ἀνά indicates the discovery of the facts in succession.

Found ( ἀνεῦραν )

Only here and Act 21:4. Ἀνά indicates the discovery of the facts in succession.

Vincent: Luk 2:16 - Mary and Joseph and the babe Mary and Joseph and the babe Each has the article, pointing to the several parties already referred to.

Mary and Joseph and the babe

Each has the article, pointing to the several parties already referred to.

Vincent: Luk 2:17 - They made known They made known See on Luk 2:8. These shepherds , having charge of flocks devoted to sacrifice, would presently be in the temple, and would meet...

They made known

See on Luk 2:8. These shepherds , having charge of flocks devoted to sacrifice, would presently be in the temple, and would meet those who came to worship and to sacrifice, and so proclaim the Messiah in the temple.

Vincent: Luk 2:19 - Kept Kept ( συνετήρει ) See on the simple verb τηρέω , on 1Pe 1:4. The word signifies not merely to guard, but to keep, as the r...

Kept ( συνετήρει )

See on the simple verb τηρέω , on 1Pe 1:4. The word signifies not merely to guard, but to keep, as the result of guarding. Hence the compound verb is very expressive: kept, σύν , with or within herself: closely. Note the imperfect tense: was keeping all the while.

Vincent: Luk 2:19 - Pondered Pondered ( συμβάλλουσα ) The present participle, ponderi ng. Lit., bringing together: comparing and weighing facts. Wyc., bearin...

Pondered ( συμβάλλουσα )

The present participle, ponderi ng. Lit., bringing together: comparing and weighing facts. Wyc., bearing together in her heart. Vulg., conferens. Compare Sophocles, " Oedipus Coloneus," 1472-4.

" Oedipus. My children, the heaven-ordained end of life has come upon him who stands here, and there is no avoiding it.

" Antigone. How dost thou know, and with what (fact) having compared (συμβαλὼν ) thine opinion hast thou this ?"

Vincent: Luk 2:22 - The days of her purification The days of her purification ( αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ αὐτῆς ) The A. V. follows the reading αὐτη...

The days of her purification ( αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ αὐτῆς )

The A. V. follows the reading αὐτῆς , her: but all the best texts read αὐτῶν , their; the plural including Joseph with Mary as partaking of the ceremonial defilement. The mother of a child was levitically unclean for forty days after the birth of a son, and for eighty days after the birth of a daughter. Women on this errand commonly rode to the temple on oxen; that the body of so large a beast between them and the ground might prevent any chance of defilement from passing over a sepulchre on the road. For details, see Edersheim, " Life and Times of Jesus," i., 195; " The Temple," p. 302; Geikie, " Life and Words of Christ," i., 127.

Vincent: Luk 2:22 - To present him to the Lord To present him to the Lord The first-born son of every household must be redeemed of the priest at the price of five shekels of the sanctuary; ab...

To present him to the Lord

The first-born son of every household must be redeemed of the priest at the price of five shekels of the sanctuary; about two dollars and fifty cents. Num 18:15, Num 18:16; Exo 13:2.

Vincent: Luk 2:23 - The law of the Lord The law of the Lord The word law occurs in this chapter five times; oftener than in all the rest of this Gospel put together. Luke emphasizes t...

The law of the Lord

The word law occurs in this chapter five times; oftener than in all the rest of this Gospel put together. Luke emphasizes the fact that Jesus" was made under the law" (Gal 4:4), and accordingly elaborates the details of the fulfilment of the law by the parents of both John and Jesus.

Vincent: Luk 2:24 - A pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons A pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons The offering of the poor. While the lamb would probably cost about one dollar and seventy-five cents...

A pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons

The offering of the poor. While the lamb would probably cost about one dollar and seventy-five cents, the doves would cost about sixteen cents. She would not bring the creatures themselves, but would drop the price into one of the thirteen trumpet-shaped chests in the Court of the Women. Young pigeons: lit., young ones of pigeons (νοσσοὺς περιστερῶν ) . Wyc. has culver-birds; culver being an old English term for dove. So Spenser:

" More light than culver in the falcon's fist."

Vincent: Luk 2:25 - Devout Devout ( εὐλαβής ) Used by Luke only. The kindred word, εὐλάβεια , godly-fear, occurs twice' Heb 5:7; Heb 12:28. From ε...

Devout ( εὐλαβής )

Used by Luke only. The kindred word, εὐλάβεια , godly-fear, occurs twice' Heb 5:7; Heb 12:28. From εὖ , well, and λαμβάνω , to take hold of. Hence of a circumspect or cautious person who takes hold of things carefully. As applied to morals and religion, it emphasizes the element of circumspection, a cautious, careful observance of divine law; and is thus peculiarly expressive of Old Testament piety, with its minute attention to precept and ceremony. Compare Act 2:5.

Vincent: Luk 2:25 - Consolation of Israel Consolation of Israel Compare hope of Israel, Act 28:20, and Isa 40:1. The Messianic blessing of the nation. Of the Messiah himself, Rest. Se...

Consolation of Israel

Compare hope of Israel, Act 28:20, and Isa 40:1. The Messianic blessing of the nation. Of the Messiah himself, Rest. See Isa 11:10. A common form of adjuration among the Jews was, So may I see the consolation

Vincent: Luk 2:26 - It was revealed It was revealed ( ἧν κεχρηματισμένον ) Lit., it was having been revealed; i.e., it stood revealed, while he waited for...

It was revealed ( ἧν κεχρηματισμένον )

Lit., it was having been revealed; i.e., it stood revealed, while he waited for the fulfilment of the revelation. The verb means primarily to have dealings with; thence to consult or debate about business matters; and so of an oracle, to give a response to one consulting it. The word here implies that the revelation to Simeon had been given in answer to prayer. See on Mat 2:12.

Vincent: Luk 2:27 - By the Spirit By the Spirit ( ἐν τῷ πνεύματι ) Lit., as Rev., " in the Spirit'" the Holy Spirit prompting him. Indicating rather his spi...

By the Spirit ( ἐν τῷ πνεύματι )

Lit., as Rev., " in the Spirit'" the Holy Spirit prompting him. Indicating rather his spiritual condition, as one who walked with God, than a special divine impulse.

Vincent: Luk 2:27 - After the custom After the custom ( κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον ) Lit., according to that which was wont to be done. Only here in New Testament; ...

After the custom ( κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον )

Lit., according to that which was wont to be done. Only here in New Testament; and the kindred words, ἔθος custom, and ἔθω , to be accustomed, occur more frequently in Luke than elsewhere. Very common in medical writings.

Vincent: Luk 2:29 - Lettest thou thy servant depart Lettest thou thy servant depart ( ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλόν σου ) Lit., thou dost release. The word is often used of ma...

Lettest thou thy servant depart ( ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλόν σου )

Lit., thou dost release. The word is often used of manumitting or setting free on payment of ransom; and as Simeon uses the word for bond-servant, it is evident that his death is conceived by him under the figure of enfranchisement from service. Godet's " release of a sentinel from duty" is fanciful.

Vincent: Luk 2:29 - O Lord O Lord ( δέσποτα ) See on 2Pe 2:1.

O Lord ( δέσποτα )

See on 2Pe 2:1.

Vincent: Luk 2:29 - In peace In peace Rev. properly puts this in its emphatic position at the end of the sentence.

In peace

Rev. properly puts this in its emphatic position at the end of the sentence.

Vincent: Luk 2:31 - Of all people Of all people ( πάντων τῶν λαῶν ) The noun is plural, the peoples, and refers equally to the Gentiles. See Introduction, on ...

Of all people ( πάντων τῶν λαῶν )

The noun is plural, the peoples, and refers equally to the Gentiles. See Introduction, on the universality of Luke's Gospel. Wyc., all peoples ; and so Rev.

Vincent: Luk 2:32 - A light A light ( φῶς ) The light itself as distinguished from λύχνος , a lamp, which the A. V. often unfortunately renders light. See o...

A light ( φῶς )

The light itself as distinguished from λύχνος , a lamp, which the A. V. often unfortunately renders light. See on Mar 14:54.

Vincent: Luk 2:32 - To lighten To lighten ( εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν ) Wrong. Rev., correctly, for revelation . Wyc., to the shewing. It may be rendered the unveil...

To lighten ( εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν )

Wrong. Rev., correctly, for revelation . Wyc., to the shewing. It may be rendered the unveiling of the Gentiles.

Vincent: Luk 2:32 - Gentiles Gentiles ( ἐθνῶν ) Assigned to the same root as ἔθω , to be accustomed , and hence of a people bound together by like habits o...

Gentiles ( ἐθνῶν )

Assigned to the same root as ἔθω , to be accustomed , and hence of a people bound together by like habits or customs. According to biblical usage the term is understood of people who are not of Israel, and who therefore occupy a different position with reference to the plan of salvation. Hence the extension of the gospel salvation to them is treated as a remarkable fact. See Mat 12:18, Mat 12:21; Mat 24:14; Mat 28:19; Act 10:45; Act 11:18; Act 18:6. Paul is called distinctively an apostle and teacher of the Gentiles, and a chosen vessel to bear Christ's name among them. In Act 15:9; Eph 2:11, Eph 2:18; Eph 3:6, we see this difference annihilated, and the expression at last is merely historical designation of the non-Israelitish nations which, as such, were formerly without God and salvation. See Act 15:23; Rom 16:4; Eph 3:1. Sometimes the word is used in a purely moral sense, to denote the heathen in opposition to Christians. See 1Co 5:1; 1Co 10:20; 1Pe 2:12. Light is promised here to the Gentiles and glory to Israel. The Gentiles are regarded as in darkness and ignorance. Some render the words εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν , above, for the unveiling of the Gentiles, instead of for revelation. Compare Isa 25:7. Israel, however, has already received light by the revelation of God through the law and the prophets, and that light will expand into glory through Christ. Through the Messiah, Israel will attain its true and highest glory.

Vincent: Luk 2:33 - And Joseph And Joseph The best texts read ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ his father .

And Joseph

The best texts read ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ his father .

Vincent: Luk 2:33 - Marvelled Marvelled ( ἦν θαυμάζοντες ) The Greek construction is peculiar. His father was and his mother wondering; the finite verb in...

Marvelled ( ἦν θαυμάζοντες )

The Greek construction is peculiar. His father was and his mother wondering; the finite verb in the singular agreeing with the father, while the plural participle agrees with both. As usual, this combination of finite verb and participle denotes continuance or progression: they were marvelling while Simeon was speaking. So Rev.

Vincent: Luk 2:34 - Them Them The parents; the child being separately and specially designated.

Them

The parents; the child being separately and specially designated.

Vincent: Luk 2:34 - Is set Is set ( κεῖται ) The verb means primarily to be laid , and so to lie: hence to be set forth or promulgated, as the law is said to...

Is set ( κεῖται )

The verb means primarily to be laid , and so to lie: hence to be set forth or promulgated, as the law is said to be laid down, and so, appointed or destined, as here.

Vincent: Luk 2:34 - The fall and rising again The fall and rising again ( πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν ) For the fall, because he will be a stumbling-block to many (Isa 8:...

The fall and rising again ( πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν )

For the fall, because he will be a stumbling-block to many (Isa 8:14; Mat 21:42, Mat 21:44; Act 4:11; Rom 9:33; 1Co 1:23). For the rising, because many will be raised up through him to life and glory (Rom 6:4, Rom 6:9; Eph 2:6). The A. V. predicates the falling and the rising of the same persons: the fall and rising again of many. The Rev., the falling and rising up of many, is ambiguous. The American Revisers give it correctly: the falling and the rising.

Vincent: Luk 2:34 - Which shall be spoken against Which shall be spoken against ( ἀντιλεγόμενον ) The participle is the present; and the expression does not voice a prophecy, but...

Which shall be spoken against ( ἀντιλεγόμενον )

The participle is the present; and the expression does not voice a prophecy, but describes an inherent characteristic of the sign: a sign of which it is the character to experience contradiction from the world. In the beginning, as a babe, Jesus experienced this at the hands of Herod; so all through his earthly ministry and on the cross; and so it will be to the end, until he shall have put all enemies under his feet. Compare Heb 12:3. Wyc., a token to whom it shall be gainsaid.

Vincent: Luk 2:35 - A sword A sword ( ῥομφαία ) Strictly, a large Thracian broadsword. Used in Septuagint of the sword of Goliath (1 Samuel 17:51). A figure of Ma...

A sword ( ῥομφαία )

Strictly, a large Thracian broadsword. Used in Septuagint of the sword of Goliath (1 Samuel 17:51). A figure of Mary's pang when her son should be nailed to the cross.

Vincent: Luk 2:36 - A prophetess A prophetess ( προφῆτις ) Only here and Rev 2:20.

A prophetess ( προφῆτις )

Only here and Rev 2:20.

Vincent: Luk 2:36 - Asher Asher That tribe was celebrated in tradition for the beauty of its women, and their fitness to be wedded to high-priests or kings.

Asher

That tribe was celebrated in tradition for the beauty of its women, and their fitness to be wedded to high-priests or kings.

Vincent: Luk 2:36 - Of great age Of great age ( προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς ) Lit., advanced in many days.

Of great age ( προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς )

Lit., advanced in many days.

Vincent: Luk 2:37 - Of about fourscore and four years Of about fourscore and four years ( ὡς ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων ) The A. V. might be supposed to be stating h...

Of about fourscore and four years ( ὡς ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων )

The A. V. might be supposed to be stating her age; but the best texts read ἕως , until, instead of ὡς about; and the statement refers to the time of her widowhood; a widow even for (or up to ) fourscore and four years. So Rev.

Vincent: Luk 2:37 - Served Served ( λατρεύουσα ) The present participle, serving. Rev., worshipping. See on Luk 1:74.

Served ( λατρεύουσα )

The present participle, serving. Rev., worshipping. See on Luk 1:74.

Vincent: Luk 2:38 - Coming up Coming up ( ἐπιστᾶσα ) See on Luk 2:9.

Coming up ( ἐπιστᾶσα )

See on Luk 2:9.

Vincent: Luk 2:38 - Gave thanks Gave thanks ( ἀνθωμολογεῖτο ) The verb originally means to make a mutual agreement; and the idea of reciprocity is retained in...

Gave thanks ( ἀνθωμολογεῖτο )

The verb originally means to make a mutual agreement; and the idea of reciprocity is retained in the expression " to return thanks" for something received. Compare Sept., Psalms 79:13.

Vincent: Luk 2:38 - Spake Spake Not a public utterance, for which the words, those that waited, etc., would be inappropriate. It was to the pious ones who were with her ...

Spake

Not a public utterance, for which the words, those that waited, etc., would be inappropriate. It was to the pious ones who were with her in the temple, waiting for the Messiah.

Vincent: Luk 2:38 - In Jerusalem In Jerusalem ( ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ ) All the best texts omit ἐν , in. Render, as Rev., the redemption of Jerusalem. Nearly equi...

In Jerusalem ( ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ )

All the best texts omit ἐν , in. Render, as Rev., the redemption of Jerusalem. Nearly equivalent to the consolation of Israel, Luk 2:25. Compare Luk 1:68, and see Isa 40:2.

Vincent: Luk 2:39 - Nazareth Nazareth See on Mat 2:23.

Nazareth

See on Mat 2:23.

Vincent: Luk 2:40 - The child grew The child grew, etc The Jews marked the stages of a child's development by nine different terms: the new-born babe (Isa 9:6); the suckling (Isa 11:8...

The child grew, etc

The Jews marked the stages of a child's development by nine different terms: the new-born babe (Isa 9:6); the suckling (Isa 11:8); the suckling beginning to ask for food (Lam 4:4); the weaned child (Isa 28:9); the child clinging to its mother (Jer 44:7); the child becoming firm and strong (Isa 7:14, of the virgin-mother); the youth, literally, he that shakes himself free; the ripened one, or warrior (Isa 31:8).

Vincent: Luk 2:41 - His parents His parents Though women were not bound to present themselves in person.

His parents

Though women were not bound to present themselves in person.

Vincent: Luk 2:42 - Twelve years old Twelve years old At which age he was known as a son of the law, and came under obligation to observe the ordinances personally.

Twelve years old

At which age he was known as a son of the law, and came under obligation to observe the ordinances personally.

Vincent: Luk 2:43 - Had fulfilled the days Had fulfilled the days Not necessarily the whole seven days of the festival. With the third day commenced the so-called half-holidays, when it ...

Had fulfilled the days

Not necessarily the whole seven days of the festival. With the third day commenced the so-called half-holidays, when it was lawful to return home.

Vincent: Luk 2:44 - The company The company ( συνοδίᾀ ) From σύν , with, and ὁδός , the way. The company that shared the journey.

The company ( συνοδίᾀ )

From σύν , with, and ὁδός , the way. The company that shared the journey.

Vincent: Luk 2:44 - Went a day's journey Went a day's journey Before they missed him.

Went a day's journey

Before they missed him.

Vincent: Luk 2:44 - They sought They sought ( ἀνεζήτουν ) From ἀνὰ , from the bottom up, and ζητέω , to seek. Thus implying a thorough search: t...

They sought ( ἀνεζήτουν )

From ἀνὰ , from the bottom up, and ζητέω , to seek. Thus implying a thorough search: they looked for him up and down.

Vincent: Luk 2:45 - Seeking him Seeking him ( ἀναζητοῦντες ) All the way as they went. Force of ἀνὰ , as above.

Seeking him ( ἀναζητοῦντες )

All the way as they went. Force of ἀνὰ , as above.

Vincent: Luk 2:46 - After three days After three days From the time of separation.

After three days

From the time of separation.

Vincent: Luk 2:46 - In the temple In the temple " We read in the Talmud that the members of the Temple-Sanhedrin, who, on ordinary days, sat as a court of appeal from the close of...

In the temple

" We read in the Talmud that the members of the Temple-Sanhedrin, who, on ordinary days, sat as a court of appeal from the close of the morning to the time of the evening sacrifice, were wont, upon Sabbaths and feast-days, to come out upon the terrace of the temple, and there to teach. In such popular instruction the utmost latitude of questioning would be given. It is in this audience, which sat upon the ground, surrounding and mingling with the doctors, and hence during, not after, the feast, that we must seek the child Jesus" (Edersheim, " Life and Times," etc., 1:247). From this, Edersheim argues that the parents set out for home before the close of the feast.

Vincent: Luk 2:46 - Sitting Sitting Not occupying a teacher's place, but sitting in the circle among the doctors and their hearers. See above. Compare Act 22:3.

Sitting

Not occupying a teacher's place, but sitting in the circle among the doctors and their hearers. See above. Compare Act 22:3.

Vincent: Luk 2:47 - Understanding Understanding ( συνέσει ) From συνίημι , to bring together. Hence that quality of mind which combines: understanding not on...

Understanding ( συνέσει )

From συνίημι , to bring together. Hence that quality of mind which combines: understanding not only of facts, but of facts in their mutual relations. See on Mar 12:33; where there is meant " the love of a well-pondered and duly considered resolution which determines the whole person; the love which clearly understands itself" (Cremer).

Vincent: Luk 2:48 - They were amazed They were amazed ( ἐξεπλάγησαν ) A very strong word; the verb meaning, literally, to strike out or drive away from; and so to...

They were amazed ( ἐξεπλάγησαν )

A very strong word; the verb meaning, literally, to strike out or drive away from; and so to drive out of one's senses. Hence in the general sense of great amazement. Amaze is to throw into a maze or labyrinth; and so is closely akin to the Greek word here, and is a faithful rendering.

Vincent: Luk 2:48 - Son Son ( τέκνον ) Lit., child. See on Mat 1:1.

Son ( τέκνον )

Lit., child. See on Mat 1:1.

Vincent: Luk 2:48 - Thy father Thy father " Up to this time Joseph had been so called by the holy child himself; but from this time never" (Alford).

Thy father

" Up to this time Joseph had been so called by the holy child himself; but from this time never" (Alford).

Vincent: Luk 2:48 - Have sought Have sought ( ἐζητοῦμεν ) Imperfect tense: were seeking; Mary is going over in mind the process of the search.

Have sought ( ἐζητοῦμεν )

Imperfect tense: were seeking; Mary is going over in mind the process of the search.

Vincent: Luk 2:49 - And he said And he said The first saying of Jesus which is preserved to us.

And he said

The first saying of Jesus which is preserved to us.

Vincent: Luk 2:49 - Must Must ( δεῖ ) Lit., it is necessary, or it behoves. A word often used by Jesus concerning his own appointed work, and expressing both the...

Must ( δεῖ )

Lit., it is necessary, or it behoves. A word often used by Jesus concerning his own appointed work, and expressing both the inevitable fulfilment of the divine counsels and the absolute constraint of the principle of duty upon himself. See Mat 16:21; Mat 26:54; Mar 8:31; Luk 4:43; Luk 9:22; Luk 13:33; Luk 24:7, Luk 24:26, Luk 24:46; Joh 3:14; Joh 4:4; Joh 12:34.

Vincent: Luk 2:49 - About my Father's business About my Father's business ( ἐν τοῖς τοῦ πατρός ) Lit., in the things of my Father. The words will bear this rendering; ...

About my Father's business ( ἐν τοῖς τοῦ πατρός )

Lit., in the things of my Father. The words will bear this rendering; but the Rev. is better, in my Father's house. Mary's question was not as to what her son had been doing, but as to where he had been. Jesus, in effect, answers, " Where is a child to be found but in his Father's house?"

Vincent: Luk 2:50 - The saying The saying ( τὸ ῥῆμα ) See on Luk 1:37.

The saying ( τὸ ῥῆμα )

See on Luk 1:37.

Vincent: Luk 2:51 - Was subject Was subject ( ἦν ὑποτασσόμενος ) The participle and finite verb, denoting habitual, continuous subjection. " Even before...

Was subject ( ἦν ὑποτασσόμενος )

The participle and finite verb, denoting habitual, continuous subjection. " Even before, he had been subject to them; but this is mentioned now, when it might seem that he could by this time have exempted himself. Not even to the angels fell such an honor as to the parents of Jesus" (Bengel). Compare Heb 1:4-8.

Vincent: Luk 2:51 - Kept Kept ( διετήρει ) Only here and Act 15:29. The preposition διά , through, indicates close, faithful, persistent keeping, throu...

Kept ( διετήρει )

Only here and Act 15:29. The preposition διά , through, indicates close, faithful, persistent keeping, through all the circumstances which might have weakened the impression of the events. Compare Gen 37:11.

Vincent: Luk 2:52 - Stature Stature ( ἡλικία ) Which Rev. rightly retains. The word may be rendered age , which would be superfluous here.

Stature ( ἡλικία )

Which Rev. rightly retains. The word may be rendered age , which would be superfluous here.

Wesley: Luk 2:1 - That all the world should be enrolled That all the inhabitants, male and female, of every town in the Roman empire, with their families and estates, should be registered.

That all the inhabitants, male and female, of every town in the Roman empire, with their families and estates, should be registered.

Wesley: Luk 2:2 - When Cyrenius was governor of Syria When Publius Sulpicius Quirinus governed the province of Syria, in which Judea was then included.

When Publius Sulpicius Quirinus governed the province of Syria, in which Judea was then included.

Wesley: Luk 2:6 - And while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered Mary seems not to have known that the child must have been born in Bethlehem, agreeably to the prophecy. But the providence of God took care for it.

Mary seems not to have known that the child must have been born in Bethlehem, agreeably to the prophecy. But the providence of God took care for it.

Wesley: Luk 2:7 - She laid him in the manger Perhaps it might rather be translated in the stall. They were lodged in the ox stall, fitted up on occasion of the great concourse, for poor guests.

Perhaps it might rather be translated in the stall. They were lodged in the ox stall, fitted up on occasion of the great concourse, for poor guests.

Wesley: Luk 2:7 - There was no room for them in the inn Now also, there is seldom room for Christ in an inn. Mat 1:25

Now also, there is seldom room for Christ in an inn. Mat 1:25

Wesley: Luk 2:11 - To you Shepherds; Israel; mankind.

Shepherds; Israel; mankind.

Wesley: Luk 2:14 - Glory be to God in the highest; on earth peace; good will toward men The shouts of the multitude are generally broken into short sentences. This rejoicing acclamation strongly represents the piety and benevolence of the...

The shouts of the multitude are generally broken into short sentences. This rejoicing acclamation strongly represents the piety and benevolence of these heavenly spirits: as if they had said, Glory be to God in the highest heavens: let all the angelic legions resound his praises. For with the Redeemer's birth, peace, and all kind of happiness, come down to dwell on earth: yea, the overflowings of Divine good will and favour are now exercised toward men.

Wesley: Luk 2:20 - For all the things that they had heard From Mary; as it was told them - By the angels.

From Mary; as it was told them - By the angels.

Wesley: Luk 2:21 - To circumcise the child That he might visibly be made under the law by a sacred rite, which obliged him to keep the whole law; as also that he might be owned to be the seed o...

That he might visibly be made under the law by a sacred rite, which obliged him to keep the whole law; as also that he might be owned to be the seed of Abraham, and might put an honour on the solemn dedication of children to God.

Wesley: Luk 2:22 - The days The forty days prescribed, Lev 12:2, Lev 12:4.

The forty days prescribed, Lev 12:2, Lev 12:4.

Wesley: Luk 2:23 - -- Exo 13:2.

Wesley: Luk 2:24 - A pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons This offering sufficed for the poor. Lev 12:8.

This offering sufficed for the poor. Lev 12:8.

Wesley: Luk 2:25 - The consolation of Israel A common phrase for the Messiah, who was to be the everlasting consolation of the Israel of God.

A common phrase for the Messiah, who was to be the everlasting consolation of the Israel of God.

Wesley: Luk 2:25 - The Holy Ghost was upon him That is, he was a prophet.

That is, he was a prophet.

Wesley: Luk 2:27 - By the Spirit By a particular revelation or impulse from him.

By a particular revelation or impulse from him.

Wesley: Luk 2:30 - Thy salvation Thy Christ, thy Saviour.

Thy Christ, thy Saviour.

Wesley: Luk 2:32 - And the glory of thy people Israel For after the Gentiles are enlightened, all Israel shall be saved.

For after the Gentiles are enlightened, all Israel shall be saved.

Wesley: Luk 2:33 - Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken For they did not thoroughly understand them.

For they did not thoroughly understand them.

Wesley: Luk 2:34 - Simeon blessed them Joseph and Mary.

Joseph and Mary.

Wesley: Luk 2:34 - This child is set for the fall and rising again of many That is, he will be a savour of death to some, to unbelievers: a savour of life to others, to believers: and for a sign which shall be spoken against ...

That is, he will be a savour of death to some, to unbelievers: a savour of life to others, to believers: and for a sign which shall be spoken against - A sign from God, yet rejected of men: but the time for declaring this at large was not yet come: that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed - The event will be, that by means of that contradiction, the inmost thoughts of many, whether good or bad, will be made manifest.

Wesley: Luk 2:35 - A sword shall pierce through thy own soul So it did, when he suffered: particularly at his crucifixion.

So it did, when he suffered: particularly at his crucifixion.

Wesley: Luk 2:37 - Fourscore and four years These were the years of her life, not her widowhood only.

These were the years of her life, not her widowhood only.

Wesley: Luk 2:37 - Who departed not from the temple Who attended there at all the stated hours of prayer.

Who attended there at all the stated hours of prayer.

Wesley: Luk 2:37 - But served God with fastings and prayers Even at that age.

Even at that age.

Wesley: Luk 2:37 - Night and day That is, spending therein a considerable part of the night, as well as of the day.

That is, spending therein a considerable part of the night, as well as of the day.

Wesley: Luk 2:38 - To all that were waiting for redemption The sceptre flow appeared to he departing from Judah, though it was not actually gone: Daniel's weeks were plainly near their period. And the revival ...

The sceptre flow appeared to he departing from Judah, though it was not actually gone: Daniel's weeks were plainly near their period. And the revival of the spirit of prophecy, together with the memorable occurrences relating to the birth of John the Baptist, and of Jesus, could not but encourage and quicken the expectation of pious persons at this time. Let the example of these aged saints animate those, whose hoary heads, like theirs, are a crown of glory, being found in the way of righteousness. Let those venerable lips, so soon to be silent in the grave, be now employed in the praises of their Redeemer. Let them labour to leave those behind, to whom Christ will be as precious as he has been to them; and who will be waiting for God's salvation, when they are gone to enjoy it.

Wesley: Luk 2:40 - And the child grew In bodily strength and stature; and waxed strong in spirit - The powers of his human mind daily improved; filled with wisdom - By the light of the ind...

In bodily strength and stature; and waxed strong in spirit - The powers of his human mind daily improved; filled with wisdom - By the light of the indwelling Spirit, which gradually opened itself in his soul; and the grace of God was upon him - That is, the peculiar favour of God rested upon him, even as man.

Wesley: Luk 2:43 - The child Jesus St. Luke describes in order Jesus the fruit of the womb, Luk 1:42; an infant, Luk 2:12; a little child, Luk 2:40; a child here, and afterward a man. S...

St. Luke describes in order Jesus the fruit of the womb, Luk 1:42; an infant, Luk 2:12; a little child, Luk 2:40; a child here, and afterward a man. So our Lord passed through and sanctified every stage of human life. Old age only did not become him.

Wesley: Luk 2:44 - Supposing him to have been in the company As the men and women usually travelled in distinct companies.

As the men and women usually travelled in distinct companies.

Wesley: Luk 2:46 - After three days The first day was spent in their journey, the second, in their return to Jerusalem: and the third, in searching for him there: they found him in the t...

The first day was spent in their journey, the second, in their return to Jerusalem: and the third, in searching for him there: they found him in the temple - In an apartment of it: sitting in the midst of the doctors - Not one word is said of his disputing with them, but only of his asking and answering questions, which was a very usual thing in these assemblies, and indeed the very end of them. And if he was, with others, at the feet of these teachers (where learners generally sat) he might be said to be in the midst of them, as they sat on benches of a semicircular form, raised above their hearers and disciples.

Wesley: Luk 2:49 - Why sought ye me? He does not blame them for losing, but for thinking it needful to seek him: and intimates, that he could not be lost, nor found any where, but doing t...

He does not blame them for losing, but for thinking it needful to seek him: and intimates, that he could not be lost, nor found any where, but doing the will of a higher parent.

Wesley: Luk 2:50 - -- It is observable that Joseph is not mentioned after this time; whence it is probable, he did not live long after.

It is observable that Joseph is not mentioned after this time; whence it is probable, he did not live long after.

Wesley: Luk 2:52 - Jesus increased in wisdom As to his human nature, and in favour with God - In proportion to that increase. It plainly follows, that though a man were pure, even as Christ was p...

As to his human nature, and in favour with God - In proportion to that increase. It plainly follows, that though a man were pure, even as Christ was pure, still he would have room to increase in holiness, and in consequence thereof to increase in the favour, as well as in the love of God.

JFB: Luk 2:1 - Cæsar Augustus The first of the Roman emperors.

The first of the Roman emperors.

JFB: Luk 2:1 - all the world So the vast Roman Empire was termed.

So the vast Roman Empire was termed.

JFB: Luk 2:1 - taxed Enrolled, or register themselves.

Enrolled, or register themselves.

JFB: Luk 2:2 - first . . . when Cyrenius, &c. A very perplexing verse, inasmuch as Cyrenius, or Quirinus, appears not to have been governor of Syria for about ten years after the birth of Christ, ...

A very perplexing verse, inasmuch as Cyrenius, or Quirinus, appears not to have been governor of Syria for about ten years after the birth of Christ, and the "taxing" under his administration was what led to the insurrection mentioned in Act 5:37. That there was a taxing, however, of the whole Roman Empire under Augustus, is now admitted by all; and candid critics, even of skeptical tendency, are ready to allow that there is not likely to be any real inaccuracy in the statement of our Evangelist. Many superior scholars would render the words thus, "This registration was previous to Cyrenius being governor of Syria"--as the word "first" is rendered in Joh 1:15; Joh 15:18. In this case, of course, the difficulty vanishes. But it is perhaps better to suppose, with others, that the registration may have been ordered with a view to the taxation, about the time of our Lord's birth, though the taxing itself--an obnoxious measure in Palestine--was not carried out till the time of Quirinus.

JFB: Luk 2:3 - went . . . to his own city The city of his extraction, according to the Jewish custom, not of his abode, which was the usual Roman method.

The city of his extraction, according to the Jewish custom, not of his abode, which was the usual Roman method.

JFB: Luk 2:4-5 - Not only does Joseph, who was of the royal line, go to Bethlehem (1Sa 16:1), but Mary too Not from choice surely in her condition, but, probably, for personal enrollment, as herself an heiress.

Not from choice surely in her condition, but, probably, for personal enrollment, as herself an heiress.

JFB: Luk 2:5 - espoused wife Now, without doubt, taken home to him, as related in Mat 1:18; Mat 25:6.

Now, without doubt, taken home to him, as related in Mat 1:18; Mat 25:6.

JFB: Luk 2:6 - while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered Mary had up to this time been living at the wrong place for Messiah's birth. A little longer stay at Nazareth, and the prophecy would have failed. But...

Mary had up to this time been living at the wrong place for Messiah's birth. A little longer stay at Nazareth, and the prophecy would have failed. But lo! with no intention certainly on her part, much less of Cæsar Augustus, to fulfil the prophecy, she is brought from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and at that nick of time her period arrives, and her Babe is born (Psa 118:23). "Every creature walks blindfold; only He that dwells in light knows whether they go" [BISHOP HALL].

JFB: Luk 2:7 - first-born So Mat 1:25; yet the law, in speaking of the first-born, regardeth not whether any were born after or no, but only that none were born before [LIGHTFO...

So Mat 1:25; yet the law, in speaking of the first-born, regardeth not whether any were born after or no, but only that none were born before [LIGHTFOOT].

JFB: Luk 2:7 - wrapt him . . . laid him The mother herself did so. Had she then none to help her? It would seem so (2Co 8:9).

The mother herself did so. Had she then none to help her? It would seem so (2Co 8:9).

JFB: Luk 2:7 - a manger The manger, the bench to which the horses' heads were tied, on which their food could rest [WEBSTER and WILKINSON].

The manger, the bench to which the horses' heads were tied, on which their food could rest [WEBSTER and WILKINSON].

JFB: Luk 2:7 - no room in the inn A square erection, open inside, where travellers put up, and whose rear parts were used as stables. The ancient tradition, that our Lord was born in a...

A square erection, open inside, where travellers put up, and whose rear parts were used as stables. The ancient tradition, that our Lord was born in a grotto or cave, is quite consistent with this, the country being rocky. In Mary's condition the journey would be a slow one, and ere they arrived, the inn would be fully occupied--affecting anticipation of the reception He was throughout to meet with (Joh 1:11).

JFB: Luk 2:7 - Wrapt in His swaddling Bands, And in His manger laid, The hope and glory of all lands Is come to the world's aid. No peaceful home upon His cradle smiled, Guests r...

Bands,

And in His manger laid,

The hope and glory of all lands

Is come to the world's aid.

No peaceful home upon His cradle smiled,

Guests rudely went and came where slept the royal Child.

KEBLE

But some "guests went and came" not "rudely," but reverently. God sent visitors of His own to pay court to the new-born King.

JFB: Luk 2:8 - abiding in the fields Staying there, probably in huts or tents.

Staying there, probably in huts or tents.

JFB: Luk 2:8 - watch . . . by night Or, night watches, taking their turn of watching. From about passover time in April until autumn, the flocks pastured constantly in the open fields, t...

Or, night watches, taking their turn of watching. From about passover time in April until autumn, the flocks pastured constantly in the open fields, the shepherds lodging there all that time. (From this it seems plain that the period of the year usually assigned to our Lord's birth is too late). Were these shepherds chosen to have the first sight of the blessed Babe without any respect of their own state of mind? That, at least, is not God's way. "No doubt, like Simeon (Luk 2:25), they were among the waiters for the Consolation of Israel" [OLSHAUSEN]; and, if the simplicity of their rustic minds, their quiet occupation, the stillness of the midnight hours, and the amplitude of the deep blue vault above them for the heavenly music which was to fill their ear, pointed them out as fit recipients for the first tidings of an Infant Saviour, the congenial meditations and conversations by which, we may suppose, they would beguile the tedious hours would perfect their preparation for the unexpected visit. Thus was Nathanael engaged, all alone but not unseen, under the fig tree, in unconscious preparation for his first interview with Jesus. (See on Joh 1:48). So was the rapt seer on his lonely rock "in the spirit on the Lord's Day," little thinking that this was his preparation for hearing behind him the trumpet voice of the Son of man (Rev 1:10, &c.). But if the shepherds in His immediate neighborhood had the first, the sages from afar had the next sight of the new-born King. Even so still, simplicity first, science next, finds its way to Christ, whom

In quiet ever and in shade

JFB: Luk 2:8 - Shepherds and Sage may find They, who have bowed untaught to Nature's sway, And they, who follow Truth along her star-pav'd way. KEBLE

They, who have bowed untaught to Nature's sway,

And they, who follow Truth along her star-pav'd way.

KEBLE

JFB: Luk 2:9 - glory of the Lord "the brightness or glory which is represented as encompassing all heavenly visions" [OLSHAUSEN].

"the brightness or glory which is represented as encompassing all heavenly visions" [OLSHAUSEN].

JFB: Luk 2:9 - sore afraid So it ever was (Dan 10:7-8; Luk 1:12; Rev 1:17). Men have never felt easy with the invisible world laid suddenly open to their gaze. It was never mean...

So it ever was (Dan 10:7-8; Luk 1:12; Rev 1:17). Men have never felt easy with the invisible world laid suddenly open to their gaze. It was never meant to be permanent; a momentary purpose was all it was intended to serve.

JFB: Luk 2:10 - to all people "to the whole people," that is, of Israel; to be by them afterwards opened up to the whole world. (See on Luk 2:14).

"to the whole people," that is, of Israel; to be by them afterwards opened up to the whole world. (See on Luk 2:14).

JFB: Luk 2:11 - unto you is born You shepherds, Israel, mankind [BENGEL]. Compare Isa 9:6, "Unto us a Child is born." It is a birth--"The Word is made flesh" (Joh 1:14). When? "This d...

You shepherds, Israel, mankind [BENGEL]. Compare Isa 9:6, "Unto us a Child is born." It is a birth--"The Word is made flesh" (Joh 1:14). When? "This day." Where? "In the city of David"--in the right line and at the right "spot"; where prophecy bade us look for Him, and faith accordingly expected Him. How dear to us should be these historic moorings of our faith! With the loss of them, all substantial Christianity is lost. By means of them how many have been kept from making shipwreck, and attained to a certain external admiration of Him, ere yet they have fully "beheld His glory."

JFB: Luk 2:11 - a Saviour Not One who shall be a Saviour, but "born a Saviour."

Not One who shall be a Saviour, but "born a Saviour."

JFB: Luk 2:11 - Christ the Lord "magnificent appellation!" [BENGEL]. "This is the only place where these words come together; and I see no way of understanding this "Lord" but as cor...

"magnificent appellation!" [BENGEL]. "This is the only place where these words come together; and I see no way of understanding this "Lord" but as corresponding to the Hebrew JEHOVAH" [ALFORD].

JFB: Luk 2:12 - a sign "the sign."

"the sign."

JFB: Luk 2:12 - the babe "a Babe."

"a Babe."

JFB: Luk 2:12 - a manger "the manger." The sign was to consist, it seems, solely in the overpowering contrast between the things just said of Him and the lowly condition in wh...

"the manger." The sign was to consist, it seems, solely in the overpowering contrast between the things just said of Him and the lowly condition in which they would find Him--Him whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting, "ye shall find a Babe"; whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, "wrapt in swaddling bands"; the "Saviour, Christ the Lord," lying in a manger! Thus early were these amazing contrasts, which are His chosen style, held forth. (See 2Co 8:9.)

JFB: Luk 2:13 - suddenly As if only waiting till their fellow had done.

As if only waiting till their fellow had done.

JFB: Luk 2:13 - with the angel Who retires not, but is joined by others, come to seal and to celebrate the tidings he has brought.

Who retires not, but is joined by others, come to seal and to celebrate the tidings he has brought.

JFB: Luk 2:13 - heavenly host Or "army," an army celebrating peace! [BENGEL] "transferring the occupation of their exalted station to this poor earth, which so seldom resounds with...

Or "army," an army celebrating peace! [BENGEL] "transferring the occupation of their exalted station to this poor earth, which so seldom resounds with the pure praise of God" [OLSHAUSEN]; to let it be known how this event is regarded in heaven and should be regarded on earth.

JFB: Luk 2:14 - Glory, &c. Brief but transporting hymn--not only in articulate human speech, for our benefit, but in tunable measure, in the form of a Hebrew parallelism of two ...

Brief but transporting hymn--not only in articulate human speech, for our benefit, but in tunable measure, in the form of a Hebrew parallelism of two complete clauses, and a third one only amplifying the second, and so without a connecting "and." The "glory to God," which the new-born "Saviour" was to bring, is the first note of this sublime hymn: to this answers, in the second clause, the "peace on earth," of which He was to be "the Prince" (Isa 9:6) --probably sung responsively by the celestial choir; while quickly follows the glad echo of this note, probably by a third detachment of the angelic choristers--"good will to men." "They say not, glory to God in heaven, where angels are, but, using a rare expression, "in the highest [heavens]," whither angels aspire not," (Heb 1:3-4) [BENGEL]. "Peace" with God is the grand necessity of a fallen world. To bring in this, and all other peace in its train, was the prime errand of the Saviour to this earth, and, along with it, Heaven's whole "good will to men"--the divine complacency on a new footing--descends to rest upon men, as upon the Son Himself, in whom God is "well-pleased." (Mat 3:17, the same word as here.)

JFB: Luk 2:15 - Let us go, &c. Lovely simplicity of devoutness and faith this! They are not taken up with the angels, the glory that invested them, and the lofty strains with which ...

Lovely simplicity of devoutness and faith this! They are not taken up with the angels, the glory that invested them, and the lofty strains with which they filled the air. Nor do they say, Let us go and see if this be true--they have no misgivings. But "Let us go and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us." Does not this confirm the view given on Luk 2:8 of the spirit of these humble men?

JFB: Luk 2:16 - with haste Compare Luk 1:39; Mat 28:8 ("did run"); Joh 4:28 ("left her water-pot," as they do their flocks, in a transport).

Compare Luk 1:39; Mat 28:8 ("did run"); Joh 4:28 ("left her water-pot," as they do their flocks, in a transport).

JFB: Luk 2:16 - found Mary, &c. "mysteriously guided by the Spirit to the right place through the obscurity of the night" [OLSHAUSEN].

"mysteriously guided by the Spirit to the right place through the obscurity of the night" [OLSHAUSEN].

JFB: Luk 2:16 - a manger "the manger," as before.

"the manger," as before.

JFB: Luk 2:17 - made known abroad Before their return (Luk 2:20), and thus were the first evangelists [BENGEL].

Before their return (Luk 2:20), and thus were the first evangelists [BENGEL].

JFB: Luk 2:20 - glorifying and praising God, &c. The latter word, used of the song of the angels (Luk 2:13), and in Luk 19:37, and Luk 24:53, leads us to suppose that theirs was a song too, probably ...

The latter word, used of the song of the angels (Luk 2:13), and in Luk 19:37, and Luk 24:53, leads us to suppose that theirs was a song too, probably some canticle from the Psalter--meet vehicle for the swelling emotions of their simple hearts at what "they had heard and seen."

JFB: Luk 2:22-24 - her purification Though the most and best copies read "their," it was the mother only who needed purifying from the legal uncleanness of childbearing. "The days" of th...

Though the most and best copies read "their," it was the mother only who needed purifying from the legal uncleanness of childbearing. "The days" of this purification for a male child were forty in all (Lev 12:2, Lev 12:4), on the expiry of which the mother was required to offer a lamb for a burnt offering, and a turtle dove or a young pigeon for a sin offering. If she could not afford a lamb, the mother had to bring another turtle dove or young pigeon; and, if even this was beyond her means, then a portion of fine flour, but without the usual fragrant accompaniments of oil and frankincense, as it represented a sin offering (Lev 12:6-8; Lev 5:7-11). From the intermediate offering of "a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons," we gather that Joseph and the Virgin were in poor circumstances (2Co 8:9), though not in abject poverty. Being a first-born male, they "bring him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord." All such had been claimed as "holy to the Lord," or set apart to sacred uses, in memory of the deliverance of the first-born of Israel from destruction in Egypt, through the sprinkling of blood (Exo 13:2). In lieu of these, however, one whole tribe, that of Levi, was accepted, and set apart to occupations exclusively sacred (Num. 3:11-38); and whereas there were two hundred seventy-three fewer Levites than first-born of all Israel on the first reckoning, each of these first-born was to be redeemed by the payment of five shekels, yet not without being "presented (or brought) unto the Lord," in token of His rightful claim to them and their service (Num 3:44-47; Num 18:15-16). It was in obedience to this "law of Moses," that the Virgin presented her babe unto the Lord, "in the east gate of the court called Nicanor's Gate, where she herself would be sprinkled by the priest with the blood of her sacrifice" [LIGHTFOOT]. By that Babe, in due time, we were to be redeemed, "not with corruptible things as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ" (1Pe 1:18-19), and the consuming of the mother's burnt offering, and the sprinkling of her with the blood of her sin offering, were to find their abiding realization in the "living sacrifice" of the Christian mother herself, in the fulness of a "heart sprinkled from an evil conscience," by "the blood which cleanseth from all sin."

JFB: Luk 2:25 - just Upright in his moral character.

Upright in his moral character.

JFB: Luk 2:25 - devout Of a religious frame of spirit.

Of a religious frame of spirit.

JFB: Luk 2:25 - waiting for the consolation of Israel A beautiful title of the coming Messiah, here intended.

A beautiful title of the coming Messiah, here intended.

JFB: Luk 2:25 - the Holy Ghost was Supernaturally.

Supernaturally.

JFB: Luk 2:25 - upon him Thus was the Spirit, after a dreary absence of nearly four hundred years, returning to the Church, to quicken expectation, and prepare for coming even...

Thus was the Spirit, after a dreary absence of nearly four hundred years, returning to the Church, to quicken expectation, and prepare for coming events.

JFB: Luk 2:26 - revealed by the Holy Ghost Implying, beyond all doubt, the personality of the Spirit.

Implying, beyond all doubt, the personality of the Spirit.

JFB: Luk 2:26 - should see not death till he had seen "sweet antithesis!" [BENGEL]. How would the one sight gild the gloom of the other! He was, probably, by this time, advanced in years.

"sweet antithesis!" [BENGEL]. How would the one sight gild the gloom of the other! He was, probably, by this time, advanced in years.

JFB: Luk 2:27-28 - -- The Spirit guided him to the temple at the very moment when the Virgin was about to present Him to the Lord.

The Spirit guided him to the temple at the very moment when the Virgin was about to present Him to the Lord.

JFB: Luk 2:28 - took him up in his arms Immediately recognizing in the child, with unhesitating certainty, the promised Messiah, without needing Mary to inform him of what had happened to he...

Immediately recognizing in the child, with unhesitating certainty, the promised Messiah, without needing Mary to inform him of what had happened to her. [OLSHAUSEN]. The remarkable act of taking the babe in his arms must not be overlooked. It was as if he said, "This is all my salvation and all my desire" (2Sa 23:5).

JFB: Luk 2:29 - Lord "Master," a word rarely used in the New Testament, and selected here with peculiar propriety, when the aged saint, feeling that his last object in wis...

"Master," a word rarely used in the New Testament, and selected here with peculiar propriety, when the aged saint, feeling that his last object in wishing to live had now been attained, only awaited his Master's word of command to "depart."

JFB: Luk 2:29 - now lettest, &c. More clearly, "now Thou art releasing Thy servant"; a patient yet reverential mode of expressing a desire to depart.

More clearly, "now Thou art releasing Thy servant"; a patient yet reverential mode of expressing a desire to depart.

JFB: Luk 2:30 - seen thy salvation Many saw this child, nay, the full-grown "man, Christ Jesus," who never saw in Him "God's Salvation." This estimate of an object of sight, an unconsci...

Many saw this child, nay, the full-grown "man, Christ Jesus," who never saw in Him "God's Salvation." This estimate of an object of sight, an unconscious, helpless babe, was pure faith. He "beheld His glory" (Joh 1:14). In another view it was prior faith rewarded by present sight.

JFB: Luk 2:31-32 - all people All the peoples, mankind at large.

All the peoples, mankind at large.

JFB: Luk 2:31-32 - a light to the Gentiles Then in thick darkness.

Then in thick darkness.

JFB: Luk 2:31-32 - glory of thy people Israel Already Thine, and now, in the believing portion of it, to be so more gloriously than ever. It will be observed that this "swan-like song, bidding an ...

Already Thine, and now, in the believing portion of it, to be so more gloriously than ever. It will be observed that this "swan-like song, bidding an eternal farewell to this terrestrial life" [OLSHAUSEN], takes a more comprehensive view of the kingdom of Christ than that of Zacharias, though the kingdom they sing of is one.

JFB: Luk 2:34-35 - set Appointed.

Appointed.

JFB: Luk 2:34-35 - fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against Perhaps the former of these phrases expresses the two stages of temporary "fall of many in Israel" through unbelief, during our Lord's earthly career,...

Perhaps the former of these phrases expresses the two stages of temporary "fall of many in Israel" through unbelief, during our Lord's earthly career, and the subsequent "rising again" of the same persons after the effusion of the Spirit at pentecost threw a new light to them on the whole subject; while the latter clause describes the determined enemies of the Lord Jesus. Such opposite views of Christ are taken from age to age.

JFB: Luk 2:35 - Yea, &c. "Blessed as thou art among women, thou shalt have thine own deep share of the struggles and sufferings which this Babe is to occasion"--pointing not o...

"Blessed as thou art among women, thou shalt have thine own deep share of the struggles and sufferings which this Babe is to occasion"--pointing not only to the continued obloquy and rejection of this Child of hers, those agonies of His which she was to witness at the cross, and her desolate condition thereafter, but to dreadful alternations of faith and unbelief, of hope and fear regarding Him, which she would have to pass through.

JFB: Luk 2:35 - that the thoughts, &c. Men's views and decisions regarding Christ are a mirror in which the very "thoughts of their hearts" are seen.

Men's views and decisions regarding Christ are a mirror in which the very "thoughts of their hearts" are seen.

JFB: Luk 2:36 - Anna Or, Hannah.

Or, Hannah.

JFB: Luk 2:36 - a prophetess Another evidence that "the last times" in which God was to "pour out His Spirit upon all flesh" were at hand.

Another evidence that "the last times" in which God was to "pour out His Spirit upon all flesh" were at hand.

JFB: Luk 2:36 - of the tribe of Aser One of the ten tribes, of whom many were not carried captive, and not a few reunited themselves to Judah after the return from Babylon. The distinctio...

One of the ten tribes, of whom many were not carried captive, and not a few reunited themselves to Judah after the return from Babylon. The distinction of tribes, though practically destroyed by the captivity, was well enough known up to their final dispersion (Rom 11:1; Heb 7:14); nor is it now entirely lost.

JFB: Luk 2:36 - lived, &c. She had lived seven years with her husband (Luk 2:36), and been a widow eighty-four years; so that if she married at the earliest marriageable age, tw...

She had lived seven years with her husband (Luk 2:36), and been a widow eighty-four years; so that if she married at the earliest marriageable age, twelve years, she could not at this time be less than a hundred three years old.

JFB: Luk 2:37 - departed not from the temple Was found there at all stated hours of the day, and even during the night services of the temple watchmen (Psa 134:1-2), "serving God with fastings an...

Was found there at all stated hours of the day, and even during the night services of the temple watchmen (Psa 134:1-2), "serving God with fastings and prayer." (See 1Ti 5:5, suggested by this.)

JFB: Luk 2:38 - coming in "presenting herself." She had been there already but now is found "standing by," as Simeon's testimony to the blessed Babe died away, ready to take it...

"presenting herself." She had been there already but now is found "standing by," as Simeon's testimony to the blessed Babe died away, ready to take it up "in turn" (as the word rendered "likewise" here means).

JFB: Luk 2:38 - to all them, &c. The sense is, "to all them in Jerusalem that were looking for redemption"--saying in effect, In that Babe are wrapt up all your expectations. If this ...

The sense is, "to all them in Jerusalem that were looking for redemption"--saying in effect, In that Babe are wrapt up all your expectations. If this was at the hour of prayer, when numbers flocked to the temple, it would account for her having such an audience as the words imply [ALFORD].

JFB: Luk 2:39 - -- Nothing is more difficult than to fix the precise order in which the visit of the Magi, with the flight into and return from Egypt (Mat 2:13-23), are ...

Nothing is more difficult than to fix the precise order in which the visit of the Magi, with the flight into and return from Egypt (Mat 2:13-23), are to be taken, in relation to the circumcision and presentation of Christ in the temple, here recorded. It is perhaps best to leave this in the obscurity in which we find it, as the result of two independent, though if we knew all, easily reconcilable narratives.

JFB: Luk 2:40 - -- His mental development kept pace with His bodily, and "the grace of God," the divine favor, rested manifestly and increasingly upon Him. See Luk 2:52.

His mental development kept pace with His bodily, and "the grace of God," the divine favor, rested manifestly and increasingly upon Him. See Luk 2:52.

JFB: Luk 2:42 - went up "were wont to go." Though males only were required to go up to Jerusalem at the three annual festivals (Exo 23:14-17), devout women, when family dutie...

"were wont to go." Though males only were required to go up to Jerusalem at the three annual festivals (Exo 23:14-17), devout women, when family duties permitted, went also, as did Hannah (1Sa 1:7), and, as we here see, the mother of Jesus.

JFB: Luk 2:42 - when twelve years old At this age every Jewish boy was styled "a son of the law," being put under a course of instruction and trained to fasting and attendance on public wo...

At this age every Jewish boy was styled "a son of the law," being put under a course of instruction and trained to fasting and attendance on public worship, besides being set to learn a trade. At this age accordingly our Lord is taken up for the first time to Jerusalem, at the passover season, the chief of the three annual festivals. But oh, with what thoughts and feelings must this Youth have gone up! Long ere He beheld it, He had doubtless "loved the habitation of God's house and the place where His honor dwelt" (Psa 26:8), a love nourished, we may be sure, by that "word hid in His heart," with which in afterlife He showed so perfect a familiarity. As the time for His first visit approached, could one's ear have caught the breathings of His young soul, he might have heard Him whispering, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go unto the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem!" (Psa 42:1; Psa 87:2; Psa 122:1-2). On catching the first view of "the city of their solemnities," and high above all in it, "the place of God's rest," we hear Him saying to Himself, "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King: Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God doth shine" (Psa 48:2; Psa 50:2). Of His feelings or actions during all the eight days of the feast not a word is said. As a devout child, in company with its parents, He would go through the services, keeping His thoughts to Himself. But methinks I hear Him, after the sublime services of that feast, saying to Himself, "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste" (Son 2:3-4).

JFB: Luk 2:43 - as they returned If the duties of life must give place to worship, worship, in its turn, must give place to them. Jerusalem is good, but Nazareth is good, too; let him...

If the duties of life must give place to worship, worship, in its turn, must give place to them. Jerusalem is good, but Nazareth is good, too; let him who neglects the one, on pretext of attending to the other, ponder this scene.

JFB: Luk 2:43 - tarried behind . . . Joseph and his mother knew not Accustomed to the discretion and obedience of the lad [OLSHAUSEN], they might be thrown off their guard.

Accustomed to the discretion and obedience of the lad [OLSHAUSEN], they might be thrown off their guard.

JFB: Luk 2:44 - sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances On these sacred journeys, whole villages and districts travelled in groups together, partly for protection, partly for company; and as the well-dispos...

On these sacred journeys, whole villages and districts travelled in groups together, partly for protection, partly for company; and as the well-disposed would beguile the tediousness of the way by good discourse, to which the child Jesus would be no silent listener, they expect to find Him in such a group.

JFB: Luk 2:45-46 - After three sorrowing days, they find Him still in Jerusalem, not gazing on its architecture, or surveying its forms of busy life, but in the temple Not the "sanctuary" (as in Luk 1:9), to which only the priests had access, but in some one of the enclosures around it, where the rabbins, or "doctors...

Not the "sanctuary" (as in Luk 1:9), to which only the priests had access, but in some one of the enclosures around it, where the rabbins, or "doctors," taught their scholars.

JFB: Luk 2:46 - hearing . . . asking The method of question and answer was the customary form of rabbinical teaching; teacher and learner becoming by turns questioner and answerer, as may...

The method of question and answer was the customary form of rabbinical teaching; teacher and learner becoming by turns questioner and answerer, as may be seen from their extant works. This would give full scope for all that "astonished them in His understanding and answers." Not that He assumed the office of teaching--"His hour" for that "was not yet come," and His equipment for that was not complete; for He had yet to "increase in wisdom" as well as "stature" (Luk 2:52). In fact, the beauty of Christ's example lies very much in His never at one stage of His life anticipating the duties of another. All would be in the style and manner of a learner, "opening His mouth and panting." "His soul breaking for the longing that it had unto God's judgments at all times" (Psa 119:20), and now more than ever before, when finding Himself for the first time in His Father's house. Still there would be in His questions far more than in their answers; and if we may take the frivolous interrogatories with which they afterwards plied Him, about the woman that had seven husbands and such like, as a specimen of their present drivelling questions, perhaps we shall not greatly err, if we suppose that "the questions" which He now "asked them" in return were just the germs of those pregnant questions with which He astonished and silenced them in after years: "What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He? If David call Him Lord, how is He then his Son?" "Which is the first and great commandment?" "Who is my neighbour?"

JFB: Luk 2:49 - about my Father's business Literally, "in" or "at My Fathers," that is, either "about My Father's affairs," or "in My Father's courts"--where He dwells and is to be found--about...

Literally, "in" or "at My Fathers," that is, either "about My Father's affairs," or "in My Father's courts"--where He dwells and is to be found--about His hand, so to speak. This latter shade of meaning, which includes the former, is perhaps the true one, Here He felt Himself at home, breathing His own proper air. His words convey a gentle rebuke of their obtuseness in requiring Him to explain this. "Once here, thought ye I should so readily hasten away? Let ordinary worshippers be content to keep the feast and be gone; but is this all ye have learnt of Me?" Methinks we are here let into the holy privacies of Nazareth; for what He says they should have known, He must have given them ground to know. She tells Him of the sorrow with which His father and she had sought Him. He speaks of no Father but one, saying, in effect, My Father has not been seeking Me; I have been with Him all this time; "the King hath brought me into His chambers . . . His left hand is under my head, and His right hand doth embrace me" (Son 1:4; Son 2:6). How is it that ye do not understand? (Mar 8:21).

JFB: Luk 2:50-51 - understood not Probably He had never expressly said as much, and so confounded them, though it was but the true interpretation of many things which they had seen and...

Probably He had never expressly said as much, and so confounded them, though it was but the true interpretation of many things which they had seen and heard from Him at home. (See on Joh 14:4.) But lest it should be thought that now He threw off the filial yoke, and became His own Master henceforth, and theirs too, it is purposely added, "And He went down with them, and was subject unto them." The marvel of this condescension lies in its coming after such a scene, and such an assertion of His higher Sonship; and the words are evidently meant to convey this. "From this time we have no more mention of Joseph. The next we hear is of his "mother and brethren" (Joh 2:12); whence it is inferred, that between this time and the commencement of our Lord's public life, Joseph died" [ALFORD], having now served the double end of being the protector of our Lord's Virgin--mother, and affording Himself the opportunity of presenting a matchless pattern of subjection to both parents.

JFB: Luk 2:52 - -- See on Luk 2:40.

See on Luk 2:40.

JFB: Luk 2:52 - stature Or better, perhaps, as in the Margin, "age," which implies the other. This is all the record we have of the next eighteen years of that wondrous life....

Or better, perhaps, as in the Margin, "age," which implies the other. This is all the record we have of the next eighteen years of that wondrous life. What seasons of tranquil meditation over the lively oracles, and holy fellowship with His Father; what inlettings, on the one hand, of light, and love, and power from on high, and outgoings of filial supplication, freedom, love, and joy on the other, would these eighteen years contain! And would they not seem "but a few days" if they were so passed, however ardently He might long to be more directly "about His Father's business?"

Clarke: Luk 2:1 - Caesar Augustus Caesar Augustus - This was Caius Caesar Octavianus Augustus, who was proclaimed emperor of Rome in the 29th year before our Lord, and died a.d. 14

Caesar Augustus - This was Caius Caesar Octavianus Augustus, who was proclaimed emperor of Rome in the 29th year before our Lord, and died a.d. 14

Clarke: Luk 2:1 - That all the world should be taxed That all the world should be taxed - Πασαν την οικουμενην, the whole of that empire. It is agreed, on all hands, that this cannot...

That all the world should be taxed - Πασαν την οικουμενην, the whole of that empire. It is agreed, on all hands, that this cannot mean the whole world, as in the common translation; for this very sufficient reason, that the Romans had not the dominion of the whole earth, and therefore could have no right to raise levies or taxes in those places to which their dominion did not extend. Οικουμενη signifies properly the inhabited part of the earth, from οικεω, to dwell, or inhabit. Polybius makes use of the very words in this text to point out the extent of the Roman government, lib. vi. c. 48; and Plutarch uses the word in exactly the same sense, Pomp. p. 635. See the passages in Wetstein. Therefore the whole that could be meant here, can be no more than that a general Census of the inhabitants and their effects had been made in the reign of Augustus, through all the Roman dominions

But as there is no general census mentioned in any historian as having taken place at this time, the meaning of οικουμενη must be farther restrained, and applied solely to the land of Judea. This signification it certainly has in this same evangelist, Luk 21:26. Men’ s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth, τῃ οικουμενῃ this land. The whole discourse relates to the calamities that were coming, not upon the whole world, nor the whole of the Roman empire, but on the land of Judea, see Luk 21:21. Then let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains. Out of Judea, therefore, there would be safety; and only those who should be with child, or giving suck, in those days, are considered as peculiarly unhappy, because they could not flee away from that land on which the scourge was to fall: for the wrath, or punishment, shall be, says our Lord, εν τῳ λαῳ τουτῳ, On This Very People, viz. the Jews, Luk 21:23. It appears that St. Luke used this word in this sense in conformity to the Septuagint, who have applied it in precisely the same way, Isa 13:11; Isa 14:26; Isa 24:1. And from this we may learn, that the word οικουμενη had been long used as a term by which the land of Judea was commonly expressed. Ἡ γη, which signifies the earth, or world in general, is frequently restrained to this sense, being often used by the evangelists and others for all the country of Judea. See Luk 4:25; Jos 2:3

It is probable that the reason why this enrolment, or census, is said to have been throughout the whole Jewish nation, was to distinguish it from that partial one, made ten years after, mentioned Act 5:37, which does not appear to have extended beyond the estates of Archelaus, and which gave birth to the insurrection excited by Judas of Galilee. See Josephus, Ant. book xx. c. 3.

Clarke: Luk 2:2 - This taxing was first made when Cyrenius, etc. This taxing was first made when Cyrenius, etc. - The next difficulty in this text is found in this verse, which may be translated, Now this first en...

This taxing was first made when Cyrenius, etc. - The next difficulty in this text is found in this verse, which may be translated, Now this first enrolment was made when Quirinus was governor of Syria

It is easily proved, and has been proved often, that Caius Sulpicius Quirinus, the person mentioned in the text, was not governor of Syria, till ten or twelve years after the birth of our Lord

St. Matthew says that our Lord was born in the reign of Herod, Luk 2:1, at which time Quintilius Varus was president of Syria, (Joseph. Ant. book xvii. c. 5, sect. 2), who was preceded in that office by Sentius Saturninus. Cyrenius, or Quirinus, was not sent into Syria till Archelaus was removed from the government of Judea; and Archelaus had reigned there between nine and ten years after the death of Herod; so that it is impossible that the census mentioned by the evangelist could have been made in the presidency of Quirinus

Several learned men have produced solutions of this difficulty; and, indeed, there are various ways of solving it, which may be seen at length in Lardner, vol. i. p. 248-329. One or other of the two following appears to me to be the true meaning of the text

1.    When Augustus published this decree, it is supposed that Quirinus, who was a very active man, and a person in whom the emperor confided, was sent into Syria and Judea with extraordinary powers, to make the census here mentioned; though, at that time, he was not governor of Syria, for Quintilius Varus was then president; and that when he came, ten or twelve years after, into the presidency of Syria, there was another census made, to both of which St. Luke alludes, when he says, This was the first assessment of Cyrenius, governor of Syria; for so Dr. Lardner translates the words. The passage, thus translated, does not say that this assessment was made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria, which would not have been the truth, but that this was the first assessment which Cyrenius, who was (i.e. afterwards) governor of Syria, made; for after he became governor, he made a second. Lardner defends this opinion in a very satisfactory and masterly manner. See vol. i. p. 317. etc

2.    The second way of solving this difficulty is by translating the words thus: This enrolment was made Before Cyrenius was governor of Syria; or, before that of Cyrenius. This sense the word πρωτος appears to have, Joh 1:30 : ὁτι πρωτος μου ην, for he was Before me. Joh 15:18 : The world hated me Before ( πρωτον ) it hated you. See also 2Sa 19:43. Instead of πρωτη, some critics read προ της, This enrolment was made Before That of Cyrenius. Michaelis; and some other eminent and learned men, have been of this opinion: but their conjecture is not supported by any MS. yet discovered; nor, indeed, is there any occasion for it. As the words in the evangelist are very ambiguous, the second solution appears to me to be the best.

Clarke: Luk 2:3 - And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city - The Roman census was an institution of Servius Tullius, sixth king of Rome. From the account...

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city - The Roman census was an institution of Servius Tullius, sixth king of Rome. From the account which Dionysius of Halicarnassus gives of it; we may at once see its nature

"He ordered all the citizens of Rome to register their estates according to their value in money, taking an oath, in a form he prescribed, to deliver a faithful account according to the best of their knowledge, specifying the names of their parents, their own age, the names of their wives and children, adding also what quarter of the city, or what town in the country, they lived in."Ant. Rom. l. iv. c. 15. p. 212. Edit. Huds

A Roman census appears to have consisted of these two parts

1.    The account which the people were obliged to give in of their names, quality, employments, wives, children, servants, and estates; an

2.    The value set upon the estates by the censors, and the proportion in which they adjudged them to contribute to the defense and support of the state, either in men or money, or both: and this seems to have been the design of the census or enrolment in the text

This census was probably similar to that made in England in the reign of William the Conqueror, which is contained in what is termed Domesday Book, now in the Chapter House, Westminster, and dated 1086.

Clarke: Luk 2:5 - With Mary his espoused wife With Mary his espoused wife - There was no necessity for Mary to have gone to Bethlehem, as Joseph’ s presence could have answered the end prop...

With Mary his espoused wife - There was no necessity for Mary to have gone to Bethlehem, as Joseph’ s presence could have answered the end proposed in the census as well without Mary as with her; but God so ordered it, that the prophecy of Micah should be thus fulfilled, and that Jesus should be born in the city of David; Mic 5:2.

Clarke: Luk 2:7 - Laid him in a manger Laid him in a manger - Wetstein has shown, from a multitude of instances, that φατνη means not merely the manger, but the whole stable, and t...

Laid him in a manger - Wetstein has shown, from a multitude of instances, that φατνη means not merely the manger, but the whole stable, and this I think is its proper meaning in this place. The Latins use praesepe , a manger, in the same sense. So Virgil, Aen. vii. p. 275

Stabant ter centum nitidi in praesepibus altis

"Three hundred sleek horses stood in lofty stables.

Many have thought that this was a full proof of the meanness and poverty of the holy family, that they were obliged to take up their lodging in a stable; but such people overlook the reason given by the inspired penman, because there was no room for them in the inn. As multitudes were going now to be enrolled, all the lodgings in the inn had been occupied before Joseph and Mary arrived. An honest man who had worked diligently at his business, under the peculiar blessing of God, as Joseph undoubtedly had, could not have been so destitute of money as not to be able to procure himself and wife a comfortable lodging for a night; and, had he been so ill fitted for the journey as some unwarrantably imagine, we may take it for granted he would not have brought his wife with him, who was in such a state as not to be exposed to any inconveniences of this kind without imminent danger

Clarke: Luk 2:7 - There was no room for them in the inn There was no room for them in the inn - In ancient times, inns were as respectable as they were useful, being fitted up for the reception of travele...

There was no room for them in the inn - In ancient times, inns were as respectable as they were useful, being fitted up for the reception of travelers alone: - now, they are frequently haunts for the idle and the profligate, the drunkard and the infidel; - in short, for any kind of guests except Jesus and his genuine followers. To this day there is little room for such in most inns; nor indeed have they, in general, any business in such places. As the Hindoos travel in large companies to holy places and to festivals, it often happens that the inns (suraies ) are so crowded that there is not room for one half of them: some lie at the door, others in the porch. These inns, or lodging-houses, are kept by Mohammedans, and Mussulmans obtain prepared food at them; but the Hindoos purchase rice, etc., and cook it, paying about a halfpenny a night for their lodging. Ward’ s Customs.

Clarke: Luk 2:8 - There were - shepherds abiding in the field There were - shepherds abiding in the field - There is no intimation here that these shepherds were exposed to the open air. They dwelt in the field...

There were - shepherds abiding in the field - There is no intimation here that these shepherds were exposed to the open air. They dwelt in the fields where they had their sheep penned up; but they undoubtedly had tents or booths under which they dwelt

Clarke: Luk 2:8 - Keeping watch - by night Keeping watch - by night - Or, as in the margin, keeping the watches of the night, i.e. each one keeping a watch (which ordinarily consisted of thre...

Keeping watch - by night - Or, as in the margin, keeping the watches of the night, i.e. each one keeping a watch (which ordinarily consisted of three hours) in his turn. The reason why they watched them in the field appears to have been, either to preserve the sheep from beasts of prey, such as wolves, foxes, etc., or from freebooting banditti, with which all the land of Judea was at that time much infested. It was a custom among the Jews to send out their sheep to the deserts, about the passover, and bring them home at the commencement of the first rain: during the time they were out, the shepherds watched them night and day. As the passover occurred in the spring, and the first rain began early in the month of Marchesvan, which answers to part of our October and November, we find that the sheep were kept out in the open country during the whole of the summer. And as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields; nor could he have been born later than September, as the flocks were still in the fields by night. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a chronological fact, which casts considerable light upon this disputed point. See the quotations from the Talmudists in Lightfoot

The time in which Christ was born has been considered a subject of great importance among Christians. However, the matter has been considered of no moment by Him who inspired the evangelists; as not one hint is dropped on the subject, by which it might be possible even to guess nearly to the time, except the chronological fact mentioned above. A late writer makes the following remark: "The first Christians placed the baptism of Christ about the beginning of the fifteenth year of Tiberius; and thence reckoning back thirty years, they placed his birth in the forty-third year of the Julian period, the forty-second of Augustus, and the twenty-eighth after the victory at Actium. This opinion obtained till a.d. 527, when Dionysius Exiguus invented the vulgar account. Learned and pious men have trifled egregiously on this subject, making that of importance which the Holy Spirit, by his silence, has plainly informed them is of none. Fabricius gives a catalogue of no less than 136 different opinions concerning the Year of Christ’ s birth: and as to his birth Day, that has been placed by Christian sects and learned men in every month in the year. The Egyptians placed it in January - Wagenseil, in February - Bochart, in March - some, mentioned by Clemens Alexandrinus, in April - others, in May - Epiphanius speaks of some who placed it in June - and of others who supposed it to have been in July - Wagenseil, who was not sure of February, fixed it probably in August - Lightfoot, on the 15th of September - Scaliger, Casaubon, and Calvisius, in October - others, in November - but the Latin Church, supreme in power, and infallible in judgment, placed it on the 25th of December, the very day on which the ancient Romans celebrated the feast of their goddess Bruma."See more in Robinson’ s Notes on Claude’ s Essay, vol. i. p. 275, etc. Pope Julius I. was the person who made this alteration, and it appears to have been done for this reason: the sun now began his return towards the northern tropic, ending the winter, lengthening the short days, and introducing the spring. All this was probably deemed emblematical of the rising of the Sun of righteousness on the darkness of this world, and causing the day-spring from on high to visit mankind.

Clarke: Luk 2:9 - The angel of the Lord came upon them The angel of the Lord came upon them - Or, stood over them, επεστη . It is likely that the angel appeared in the air at some little distance ...

The angel of the Lord came upon them - Or, stood over them, επεστη . It is likely that the angel appeared in the air at some little distance above them, and that from him the rays of the glory of the Lord shone round about them, as the rays of light are projected from the sun

Clarke: Luk 2:9 - They were sore afraid They were sore afraid - Terrified with the appearance of so glorious a being, and probably fearing that he was a messenger of justice, coming to den...

They were sore afraid - Terrified with the appearance of so glorious a being, and probably fearing that he was a messenger of justice, coming to denounce Divine judgments, or punish them immediately, for sins with which their consciences would not fail, on such an occasion, to reproach them.

Clarke: Luk 2:10 - Behold, I bring you good tidings Behold, I bring you good tidings - I am not come to declare the judgments of the Lord, but his merciful loving-kindness, the subject being a matter ...

Behold, I bring you good tidings - I am not come to declare the judgments of the Lord, but his merciful loving-kindness, the subject being a matter of great joy. He then declares his message. Unto you - to the Jews first, and then to the human race. Some modern MSS. with the utmost impropriety read ἡμιν, us, as if angels were included in this glorious work of redemption; but St. Paul says, he took not upon him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, i.e. the nature of Abraham and his posterity, the human nature; therefore the good news is to you, - and not to yourselves exclusively, for it is to all people, to all the inhabitants of this land, and to the inhabitants of the whole earth.

Clarke: Luk 2:11 - A Savior, which is Christ the Lord A Savior, which is Christ the Lord - A Savior, σωτηρ, the same as Jesus from σωζειν, to make safe, to deliver, preserve, to make alive,...

A Savior, which is Christ the Lord - A Savior, σωτηρ, the same as Jesus from σωζειν, to make safe, to deliver, preserve, to make alive, thus used by the Septuagint for החיה hecheiah , to cause to escape; used by the same for פלט to confide in, to hope. See the extensive acceptations of the verb in Mintert, who adds under Σωτηρ : "The word properly denotes such a Savior as perfectly frees us from all evil and danger, and is the author of perpetual salvation."On the word Jesus, see Joh 1:29 (note)

Which is Christ. Χριστος, the anointed, from χριω to anoint, the same as משיה Messiah , from משח mashach . This name points out the Savior of the world in his prophetic, regal, and sacerdotal offices: as in ancient times, prophets, kings, and priests were anointed with oil, when installed into their respective offices. Anointing was the same with them as consecration is with us. Oil is still used in the consecration of kings

It appears from Isa 61:1, that anointing with oil, in consecrating a person to any important office, whether civil or religious, was considered as an emblem of the communication of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. This ceremony was used on three occasions, viz. the installation of prophets, priests, and kings, into their respective offices. But why should such an anointing be deemed necessary? Because the common sense of men taught them that all good, whether spiritual or secular, must come from God, its origin and cause. Hence it was taken for granted

1.    That no man could foretell events, unless inspired by the Spirit of God. And therefore the prophet was anointed, to signify the communication of the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge

2.    That no person could offer an acceptable sacrifice to God for the sins of men, or profitably minister in holy things, unless enlightened, influenced, and directed by the Spirit of grace and holiness. Hence the priest was anointed, to signify his being divinely qualified for the due performance of his sacred functions

3.    That no man could enact just and equitable laws which should have the prosperity of the community and the welfare of the individual continually in view, or could use the power confided to him only for the suppression of vice and the encouragement of virtue, but that man who was ever under the inspiration of the Almighty

Hence kings were inaugurated by anointing with oil. Two of these offices only exist in all civilized nations, the sacerdotal and regal; and in some countries the priest and king are still consecrated by anointing. In the Hebrew language, משח mashach signifies to anoint; and המשיח ha -mashiach , the anointed person. But as no man was ever dignified by holding the three offices, so no person ever had the title ha -mashiach , the anointed one, but Jesus the Christ. He alone is King of kings, and Lord of lords: the king who governs the universe, and rules in the hearts of his followers; the prophet to instruct men in the way wherein they should go; and the great high priest, to make atonement for their sins

Hence he is called the Messias, a corruption of the word המשיח ha -mashiach , The anointed One, in Hebrew; which gave birth to ὁ Χριστος, ho Christos , which has precisely the same signification in Greek. Of him, Melchizedek, Abraham, Aaron, David, and others, were illustrious types; but none of these had the title of The Messiah, or the Anointed of God: This does, and ever will, belong exclusively to Jesus the Christ

The Lord. Κυριος, the supreme, eternal Being, the ruler of the heavens and the earth. The Septuagint generally translate יהוה Yehovah by Κυριος . This Hebrew word, from היה hayah , he was, properly points out the eternity and self-existence of the Supreme Being; and if we may rely on the authority of Hesychius, which no scholar will call in question, Κυριος is a proper translation of יהוה Yehovah , as it comes from κυρω, - τυγχανω, I am, I exist. Others derive it from κυρος, authority, legislative power. It is certain that the lordship of Christ must be considered in a mere spiritual sense, as he never set up any secular government upon earth, nor commanded any to be established in his name; and there is certainly no spiritual government but that of God: and indeed the word Lord, in the text, appears to be properly understood, when applied to the deity of Christ. Jesus is a prophet, to reveal the will of God, and instruct men in it. He is a priest, to offer up sacrifice, and make atonement for the sin of the world. He is Lord, to rule over and rule in the souls of the children of men: in a word, he is Jesus the Savior, to deliver from the power, guilt, and pollution of sin; to enlarge and vivify, by the influence of his Spirit; to preserve in the possession of the salvation which he has communicated; to seal those who believe, heirs of glory; and at last to receive them into the fullness of beatitude in his eternal joy.

Clarke: Luk 2:12 - This shall be a sign (or token) unto you This shall be a sign (or token) unto you - You shall find this glorious person, however strange it may appear, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying i...

This shall be a sign (or token) unto you - You shall find this glorious person, however strange it may appear, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a stable! It is by humility that Christ comes to reign; and this is the only way into his kingdom! Pride is the character of all the children of Adam: humility the mark of the Son of God, and of all his followers. Christ came in the way of humility to destroy that pride which is the root of evil in the souls of men. And thus, according to the old medical aphorism, "Opposites are destroyed by their opposites."

Clarke: Luk 2:13 - Suddenly there was with the angel, etc. Suddenly there was with the angel, etc. - this multitude of the heavenly host had just now descended from on high, to honor the new-born Prince of p...

Suddenly there was with the angel, etc. - this multitude of the heavenly host had just now descended from on high, to honor the new-born Prince of peace, to give his parents the fullest conviction of his glory and excellence, and to teach the shepherds, who were about to be the first proclaimers of the Gospel, what to think and what to speak of him, who, while he appeared as a helpless infant, was the object of worship to the angels of God.

Clarke: Luk 2:14 - Glory to God in the highest Glory to God in the highest - The design of God, in the incarnation, was to manifest the hidden glories of his nature, and to reconcile men to each ...

Glory to God in the highest - The design of God, in the incarnation, was to manifest the hidden glories of his nature, and to reconcile men to each other and to himself. The angels therefore declare that this incarnation shall manifest and promote the glory of God, εν ὑψιστοις not only in the highest heavens, among the highest orders of beings, but in the highest and most exalted degrees. For in this astonishing display of God’ s mercy, attributes of the Divine nature which had not been and could not be known in any other way should be now exhibited in the fullness of their glory, that even the angels should have fresh objects to contemplate, and new glories to exult in. These things the angels desire to look into, 1Pe 1:12, and they desire it because they feel they are thus interested in it. The incarnation of Jesus Christ is an infinite and eternal benefit. Heaven and earth both partake of the fruits of it, and through it angels and men become one family, Eph 3:15

Clarke: Luk 2:14 - Peace, good will toward men Peace, good will toward men - Men are in a state of hostility with Heaven and with each other. The carnal mind is enmity against God. He who sins wa...

Peace, good will toward men - Men are in a state of hostility with Heaven and with each other. The carnal mind is enmity against God. He who sins wars against his Maker; an

"Foe to God was ne’ er true friend to man.

When men become reconciled to God, through the death of his Son, they love one another. They have peace with God; peace in their own consciences; and peace with their neighbors: good will dwells among them, speaks in them, and works by them. Well might this state of salvation be represented under the notion of the kingdom of God, a counterpart of eternal felicity. See on Mat 3:2 (note).

Clarke: Luk 2:15 - Let us now go even unto Bethlehem Let us now go even unto Bethlehem - Διελθωμεν, let us go across the country at the nearest, that we may lose no time, that we may speedily...

Let us now go even unto Bethlehem - Διελθωμεν, let us go across the country at the nearest, that we may lose no time, that we may speedily see this glorious reconciler of God and man. All delays are dangerous: but he who delays to seek Jesus, when the angels, the messengers of God, bring him glad tidings of salvation, risks his present safety and his eternal happiness. O, what would the damned in hell give for those moments in which the living hear of salvation, had they the same possibility of receiving it! Reader, be wise. Acquaint thyself now with God, and be at peace; and thereby good will come unto thee. Amen.

Clarke: Luk 2:17 - They made known abroad the saying They made known abroad the saying - These shepherds were the first preachers of the Gospel of Christ: and what was their text? Why, Glory to God in ...

They made known abroad the saying - These shepherds were the first preachers of the Gospel of Christ: and what was their text? Why, Glory to God in the highest heavens, and on earth peace and good will among men. This is the elegant and energetic saying which comprises the sum and substance of the Gospel of God. This, and this only, is the message which all Christ’ s true pastors or shepherds bring to men. He who, while he professes the religion of Christ, disturbs society by his preachings or writings, who excludes from the salvation of God all who hold not his religious or political creed, never knew the nature of the Gospel, and never felt its power or influence. How can religious contentions, civil broils, or open wars, look that Gospel in the face which publishes nothing but glory to God, and peace and good will among men? Crusades for the recovery of a holy land so called, (by the way, latterly, the most unholy in the map of the world), and wars for the support of religion, are an insult to the Gospel, and blasphemy against God!

Clarke: Luk 2:19 - And pondered them in her heart And pondered them in her heart - Συμβαλλουσα, Weighing them in her heart. Weighing is an English translation of our word pondering, from...

And pondered them in her heart - Συμβαλλουσα, Weighing them in her heart. Weighing is an English translation of our word pondering, from the Latin ponderare . Every circumstance relative to her son’ s birth, Mary treasured up in her memory; and every new circumstance she weighed, or compared with those which had already taken place, in order to acquire the fullest information concerning the nature and mission of her son.

Clarke: Luk 2:20 - The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising - These simple men, having satisfactory evidence of the truth of the good tidings, and feeling a Div...

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising - These simple men, having satisfactory evidence of the truth of the good tidings, and feeling a Divine influence upon their own minds, returned to the care of their flocks, glorifying God for what he had shown them, and for the blessedness which they felt. "Jesus Christ, born of a woman, laid in a stable, proclaimed and ministered to by the heavenly host, should be a subject of frequent contemplation to the pastors of his Church. After having compared the predictions of the prophets with the facts stated in the evangelic history, their own souls being hereby confirmed in these sacred truths, they will return to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for what they had seen and heard in the Gospel history, just as it had been told them in the writings of the prophets; and, preaching these mysteries with the fullest conviction of their truth, they become instruments in the hands of God of begetting the same faith in their hearers; and thus the glory of God and the happiness of his people are both promoted."What subjects for contemplation! - what matter for praise!

Clarke: Luk 2:21 - When eight days were accomplished When eight days were accomplished - The law had appointed that every male should be circumcised at eight days old, or on the eighth day after its bi...

When eight days were accomplished - The law had appointed that every male should be circumcised at eight days old, or on the eighth day after its birth, Gen 17:12; and our blessed Lord received circumcision in token of his subjection to the law, Gal 4:4; Gal 5:3

Clarke: Luk 2:21 - His name was called Jesus His name was called Jesus - See on Mat 1:21 (note) and Joh 1:29 (note).

His name was called Jesus - See on Mat 1:21 (note) and Joh 1:29 (note).

Clarke: Luk 2:22 - Days of her purification Days of her purification - That is, thirty-three days after what was termed the seven days of her uncleanness - forty days in all: for that was the ...

Days of her purification - That is, thirty-three days after what was termed the seven days of her uncleanness - forty days in all: for that was the time appointed by the law, after the birth of a male child. See Lev 12:2, Lev 12:6

The MSS. and versions differ much in the pronoun in this place: some reading αυτης, Her purification; others αυτου, His purification; others αυτων, Their purification; and others αυτοιν, the purification of Them Both. Two versions and two of the fathers omit the pronoun, Αυτων, their, and αυτου, his, have the greatest authorities in their support, and the former is received into most of the modern editions. A needless scrupulosity was, in my opinion, the origin of these various readings. Some would not allow that both needed purification, and referred the matter to Mary alone. Others thought neither could be supposed to be legally impure, and therefore omitted the pronoun entirely, leaving the meaning indeterminate. As there could be no moral defilement in the case, and what was done being for the performance of a legal ceremony, it is of little consequence which of the readings is received into the text

The purification of every mother and child, which the law enjoined, is a powerful argument in proof of that original corruption and depravity which every human being brings into the world. The woman to be purified was placed in the east gate of the court, called Nicanor’ s gate, and was there sprinkled with blood: thus she received the atonement. See Lightfoot.

Clarke: Luk 2:24 - And to offer a sacrifice And to offer a sacrifice - Neither mother nor child was considered as in the Lord’ s covenant, or under the Divine protection, till these cerem...

And to offer a sacrifice - Neither mother nor child was considered as in the Lord’ s covenant, or under the Divine protection, till these ceremonies, prescribed by the law, had been performed

Clarke: Luk 2:24 - A pair of turtle doves, etc. A pair of turtle doves, etc. - One was for a burnt-offering, and the other for a sin-offering: see Lev 12:8. The rich were required to bring a lamb,...

A pair of turtle doves, etc. - One was for a burnt-offering, and the other for a sin-offering: see Lev 12:8. The rich were required to bring a lamb, but the poor and middling classes were required to bring either two turtle doves, or two pigeons. This is a proof that the holy family were not in affluence. Jesus sanctified the state of poverty, which is the general state of man, by passing through it. Therefore the poor have the Gospel preached unto them; and the poor are they who principally receive it

Though neither Mary nor her son needed any of these purifications, for she was immaculate, and He was the Holy One, yet, had she not gone through the days of purification according to the law, she could not have appeared in the public worship of the Most High, and would have been considered as an apostate from the faith of the Israel of God; and had not He been circumcised and publicly presented in the temple, he could not have been permitted to enter either synagogue or temple, and no Jew would have heard him preach, or had any intercourse or connection with him. These reasons are sufficient to account for the purification of the holy virgin, and for the circumcision of the most holy Jesus.

Clarke: Luk 2:25 - And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem - This man is distinguished because of his singular piety. There can be no doubt that there were many pers...

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem - This man is distinguished because of his singular piety. There can be no doubt that there were many persons in Jerusalem named Simeon, besides this man; but there was none of the name who merited the attention of God so much as he in the text. Such persevering exemplary piety was very rare, and therefore the inspired penman ushers in the account with behold! Several learned men are of the opinion that he was son to the famous Hillel, one of the most celebrated doctors and philosophers which had ever appeared in the Jewish nation since the time of Moses. Simeon is supposed also to have been the Ab or president of the grand Sanhedrin

Clarke: Luk 2:25 - The same man was just The same man was just - He steadily regulated all his conduct by the law of his God: and devout - he had fully consecrated himself to God, so that h...

The same man was just - He steadily regulated all his conduct by the law of his God: and devout - he had fully consecrated himself to God, so that he added a pious heart to a righteous conduct. The original word ευλαβης, signifies also a person of good report - one well received among the people, or one cautious and circumspect in matters of religion; from ευ, well, and λαμβανω, I take: it properly denotes, one who takes any thing that is held out to him, well and carefully. He so professed and practised the religion of his fathers that he gave no cause for a friend to mourn on his account, or an enemy to triumph

Several excellent MSS. read ευσεβης, pious or godly, from ευ, well, and σεβομαι, I worship; one who worships God well, i.e. in spirit and in truth

Clarke: Luk 2:25 - Waiting for the consolation of Israel Waiting for the consolation of Israel - That is, the Messiah, who was known among the pious Jews by this character: he was to be the consolation of ...

Waiting for the consolation of Israel - That is, the Messiah, who was known among the pious Jews by this character: he was to be the consolation of Israel, because he was to be its redemption. This consolation of Israel was so universally expected that the Jews swore by it: So let me see the Consolation, if such a thing be not so, or so. See the forms in Lightfoot

Clarke: Luk 2:25 - The Holy Ghost was upon him The Holy Ghost was upon him - He was a man divinely inspired, overshadowed, and protected by the power and influence of the Most High.

The Holy Ghost was upon him - He was a man divinely inspired, overshadowed, and protected by the power and influence of the Most High.

Clarke: Luk 2:26 - It was revealed unto him It was revealed unto him - He was divinely informed, κεχρηματισμενον - he had an express communication from God concerning the subj...

It was revealed unto him - He was divinely informed, κεχρηματισμενον - he had an express communication from God concerning the subject. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him. The soul of a righteous and devout man is a proper habitation for the Holy Spirit

Clarke: Luk 2:26 - He should not see death He should not see death - They that seek shall find: it is impossible that a man who is earnestly seeking the salvation of God, should be permitted ...

He should not see death - They that seek shall find: it is impossible that a man who is earnestly seeking the salvation of God, should be permitted to die without finding it

Clarke: Luk 2:26 - The Lord’ s Christ The Lord’ s Christ - Rather, the Lord’ s anointed. That prophet, priest, and king, who was typified by so many anointed persons under the ...

The Lord’ s Christ - Rather, the Lord’ s anointed. That prophet, priest, and king, who was typified by so many anointed persons under the old covenant; and who was appointed to come in the fullness of time, to accomplish all that was written in the law, in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning him. See the note on Luk 2:11.

Clarke: Luk 2:27 - He came by the Spirit into the temple He came by the Spirit into the temple - Probably he had in view the prophecy of Malachi, Mal 3:1, The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his...

He came by the Spirit into the temple - Probably he had in view the prophecy of Malachi, Mal 3:1, The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple. In this messenger of the covenant, the soul of Simeon delighted. Now the prophecy was just going to be fulfilled; and the Holy Spirit, who dwelt in the soul of this righteous man, directed him to go and see its accomplishment. Those who come, under the influence of God’ s Spirit, to places of public worship, will undoubtedly meet with him who is the comfort and salvation of Israel

Clarke: Luk 2:27 - After the custom of the law After the custom of the law - To present him to the Lord, and then redeem him by paying five shekels, Num 18:15, Num 18:16, and to offer those sacri...

After the custom of the law - To present him to the Lord, and then redeem him by paying five shekels, Num 18:15, Num 18:16, and to offer those sacrifices appointed by the law. See Luk 2:24.

Clarke: Luk 2:28 - Then took he him up in his arms Then took he him up in his arms - What must the holy soul of this man have felt in this moment! O inestimable privilege! And yet ours need not be in...

Then took he him up in his arms - What must the holy soul of this man have felt in this moment! O inestimable privilege! And yet ours need not be inferior: If a man love me, says Christ, he will keep my word; and I and the Father will come in unto him, and make our abode with him. And indeed even Christ in the arms could not avail a man, if he were not formed in his heart.

Clarke: Luk 2:29 - Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace - Now thou dismissest, απολυεις, loosest him from life; having lived long enough to have...

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace - Now thou dismissest, απολυεις, loosest him from life; having lived long enough to have the grand end of life accomplished

Clarke: Luk 2:29 - According to thy word According to thy word - It was promised to him, that he should not die till he had seen the Lord’ s anointed, Luk 2:26; and now, having seen hi...

According to thy word - It was promised to him, that he should not die till he had seen the Lord’ s anointed, Luk 2:26; and now, having seen him, he expects to be immediately dismissed in peace into the eternal world; having a full assurance and enjoyment of the salvation of God. Though Simeon means his death, yet the thing itself is not mentioned; for death has not only lost its sting, but its name also, to those who have, even by faith, seen the Lord’ s anointed.

Clarke: Luk 2:30 - Thy salvation Thy salvation - That Savior which it became the goodness of God to bestow upon man, and which the necessities of the human race required. Christ is ...

Thy salvation - That Savior which it became the goodness of God to bestow upon man, and which the necessities of the human race required. Christ is called our salvation, as he is called our life, our peace, our hope; i.e. he is the author of all these, to them who believe.

Clarke: Luk 2:31 - Which thou hast prepared Which thou hast prepared - Ὁ ἡτοιμασας, which thou hast Made Ready before the face, in the presence, of all people. Here salvation is...

Which thou hast prepared - Ὁ ἡτοιμασας, which thou hast Made Ready before the face, in the presence, of all people. Here salvation is represented under the notion of a feast, which God himself has provided for the whole world; and to partake of which he has invited all the nations of the earth. There seems a direct allusion here to Isa 25:6, etc. "In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things,"etc. Salvation is properly the food of the soul, by which it is nourished unto eternal life; he that receiveth not this, must perish for ever.

Clarke: Luk 2:32 - A light to lighten the Gentiles A light to lighten the Gentiles - Φως εις αποκαλυψιν εθνων - A light of the Gentiles, for revelation. By Moses and the prophe...

A light to lighten the Gentiles - Φως εις αποκαλυψιν εθνων - A light of the Gentiles, for revelation. By Moses and the prophets, a light of revelation was given to the Jews, in the blessedness of which the Gentiles did not partake. By Christ and his apostles, a luminous revelation is about to be given unto the Gentiles, from the blessedness of which the Jews in general, by their obstinacy and unbelief, shall be long excluded. But to all true Israelites it shall be a glory, an evident fulfillment of all the predictions of the prophets, relative to the salvation of a lost world; and the first offers of it shall be made to the Jewish people, who may see in it the truth of their own Scriptures indisputably evinced.

Clarke: Luk 2:33 - Joseph and his mother marvelled Joseph and his mother marvelled - For they did not as yet fully know the counsels of God, relative to the salvation which Christ was to procure; nor...

Joseph and his mother marvelled - For they did not as yet fully know the counsels of God, relative to the salvation which Christ was to procure; nor the way in which the purchase was to be made: but to this Simeon refers in the following verses.

Clarke: Luk 2:34 - This child is set for the fall This child is set for the fall - This seems an allusion to Isa 8:14, Isa 8:15 : Jehovah, God of hosts, shall be - for a stone of stumbling and rock ...

This child is set for the fall - This seems an allusion to Isa 8:14, Isa 8:15 : Jehovah, God of hosts, shall be - for a stone of stumbling and rock of offense to both houses of Israel; and many among them shall stumble and fall, etc. As Christ did not come as a temporal deliverer, in which character alone the Jews expected him, the consequence should be, they would reject him, and so fall by the Romans. See Rom 11:11, Rom 11:12, and Matthew 24. But in the fullness of time there shall be a rising again of many in Israel. See Rom 11:26

Clarke: Luk 2:34 - And for a sign And for a sign - A mark or butt to shoot at - a metaphor taken from archers. Or perhaps Simeon refers to Isa 11:10-12. There shall be a root of Jess...

And for a sign - A mark or butt to shoot at - a metaphor taken from archers. Or perhaps Simeon refers to Isa 11:10-12. There shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an Ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: - intimating that the Jews would reject it, while the Gentiles should flock to it as their ensign of honor, under which they were to enjoy a glorious rest

Clarke: Luk 2:34 - That the thoughts (or reasonings) of many hearts may be revealed That the thoughts (or reasonings) of many hearts may be revealed - I have transposed this clause to the place to which I believe it belongs. The mea...

That the thoughts (or reasonings) of many hearts may be revealed - I have transposed this clause to the place to which I believe it belongs. The meaning appears to me to be this: The rejection of the Messiah by the Jewish rulers will sufficiently prove that they sought the honor which comes from the world, and not that honor which comes from God: because they rejected Jesus, merely for the reason that he did not bring them a temporal deliverance. So the very Pharisees, who were loud in their professions of sanctity and devotedness to God, rejected Jesus, and got him crucified, because his kingdom was not of this world. Thus the reasonings of many hearts were revealed.

Clarke: Luk 2:35 - Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also - Probably meaning, Thou also, as well as thy son, shall die a martyr for the truth. But as this...

Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also - Probably meaning, Thou also, as well as thy son, shall die a martyr for the truth. But as this is a metaphor used by the most respectable Greek writers to express the most pungent sorrow, it may here refer to the anguish Mary must have felt when standing beside the cross of her tortured son: Joh 19:25.

Clarke: Luk 2:36 - Anna, a prophetess Anna, a prophetess - It does not appear that this person was a prophetess in the strict sense of the word, i.e. one who could foretell future events...

Anna, a prophetess - It does not appear that this person was a prophetess in the strict sense of the word, i.e. one who could foretell future events; but rather a holy woman; who, from her extensive knowledge and deep experience in Divine things, was capable of instructing others; according to the use of the word προφητευω, 1Co 14:3 : He that prophesieth, speaketh unto men to edification, and to exhortation, and to comfort. So we find this holy widow proclaiming Jesus to all who looked for redemption in Jerusalem, Luk 2:38

Clarke: Luk 2:36 - The tribe of Asher The tribe of Asher - This was one of the ten tribes of the kingdom of Israel, several families of which had returned from their idolatry unto God, i...

The tribe of Asher - This was one of the ten tribes of the kingdom of Israel, several families of which had returned from their idolatry unto God, in the time that Hezekiah proclaimed the passover in Jerusalem, which is mentioned 2Ch 30:1-11. Though her family might have been a distinguished one in Jerusalem, yet we find that it was her very exemplary piety that entitled her to be thus honourably mentioned in the sacred history. It is an honorable thing indeed to have one’ s name written in the sacred records; but to be written in the book of life is of infinitely greater moment

Clarke: Luk 2:36 - Seven years Seven years - She was a pure virgin when married, was favored with her husband but seven years, and was now in all, taking in the time of her virgin...

Seven years - She was a pure virgin when married, was favored with her husband but seven years, and was now in all, taking in the time of her virginity, marriage, and widowhood, eighty-four years of age. At such an age, it might be supposed she was reasonably exempted from performing the severer duties of religion; but her spirit of piety continued still to burn with a steady and undiminished fame.

Clarke: Luk 2:37 - Departed not from the temple Departed not from the temple - Attended constantly at the hours of prayer, which were nine in the morning and three in the afternoon. See Act 2:15; ...

Departed not from the temple - Attended constantly at the hours of prayer, which were nine in the morning and three in the afternoon. See Act 2:15; Act 3:1. It does not appear that women had any other functions to perform in that holy place

Clarke: Luk 2:37 - With fastings With fastings - She accompanied her devotion with frequent fastings, probably not oftener than twice in the week; for this was the custom of the mos...

With fastings - She accompanied her devotion with frequent fastings, probably not oftener than twice in the week; for this was the custom of the most rigid Pharisees: see Luk 18:12.

Clarke: Luk 2:38 - Coming in that instant Coming in that instant - Αυτῃ τῃ ὡρᾳ, at that very time - while Simeon held the blessed Redeemer in his arms, and was singing his ...

Coming in that instant - Αυτῃ τῃ ὡρᾳ, at that very time - while Simeon held the blessed Redeemer in his arms, and was singing his departing and triumphal song

Clarke: Luk 2:38 - Gave thanks likewise Gave thanks likewise - She, as well as Simeon, returned God public thanks, for having sent this Savior to Israel

Gave thanks likewise - She, as well as Simeon, returned God public thanks, for having sent this Savior to Israel

Clarke: Luk 2:38 - Spake of him Spake of him - Of the nature and design of his mission; and the glory that should take place in the land

Spake of him - Of the nature and design of his mission; and the glory that should take place in the land

Clarke: Luk 2:38 - To all them that looked for redemption To all them that looked for redemption - As Daniel’ s seventy weeks were known to be now completed, the more pious Jews were in constant expect...

To all them that looked for redemption - As Daniel’ s seventy weeks were known to be now completed, the more pious Jews were in constant expectation of the promised Messiah. They were expecting redemption, λυτρωσιν ; such a redemption as was to be brought about by an atonement, or expiatory victim, or ransom price. See on Luk 1:68 (note)

Clarke: Luk 2:38 - In Jerusalem In Jerusalem - It is probable she went about from house to house, testifying the grace of God. In the margin of our common version, Israel is put in...

In Jerusalem - It is probable she went about from house to house, testifying the grace of God. In the margin of our common version, Israel is put instead of Jerusalem, which the translators thought was nearly as eligible as the word they received into the text. This marginal reading is supported by several MSS., all the Arabic and Persic versions, the Vulgate, and most copies of the Itala. Were this reading to be received, it would make a very essential alteration in the meaning of the text, as it would intimate that this excellent woman traveled over the land of Israel, proclaiming the advent of Christ. At all events, it appears that this widow was one of the first publishers of the Gospel of Christ, and it is likely that she traveled with it from house to house through the city of Jerusalem, where she knew they dwelt who were expecting the salvation of God.

Clarke: Luk 2:39 - They returned into Galilee They returned into Galilee - But not immediately: for the coming of the wise men, and the retreat of Joseph with his family into Egypt, happened bet...

They returned into Galilee - But not immediately: for the coming of the wise men, and the retreat of Joseph with his family into Egypt, happened between this period of time, and his going to Nazareth in Galilee. - Bp. Pearce. But it is very likely, that as soon as the presentation in the temple, and the ceremonies relative to it, had been accomplished, that the holy family did return to Galilee, as St. Luke here states, and that they continued there till Herod’ s bloody purpose was discovered to them by the Lord; which probably took some time to bring it to its murderous crisis, after the departure of the magi. After which, they fled into Egypt, where they continued till the death of Herod; and it is probable that it is of a second return to Nazareth that St. Matthew speaks, Luk 2:23.

Clarke: Luk 2:40 - The child grew The child grew - As to his body - being in perfect health

The child grew - As to his body - being in perfect health

Clarke: Luk 2:40 - Waxed strong in spirit Waxed strong in spirit - His rational soul became strong and vigorous

Waxed strong in spirit - His rational soul became strong and vigorous

Clarke: Luk 2:40 - Filled with wisdom Filled with wisdom - The divinity continuing to communicate itself more and more, in proportion to the increase of the rational principle. The reade...

Filled with wisdom - The divinity continuing to communicate itself more and more, in proportion to the increase of the rational principle. The reader should never forget that Jesus was perfect man, as well as God

Clarke: Luk 2:40 - And the grace of God was upon him And the grace of God was upon him - The word χαρις, not only means grace in the common acceptation of the word, (some blessing granted by God&...

And the grace of God was upon him - The word χαρις, not only means grace in the common acceptation of the word, (some blessing granted by God’ s mercy to those who are sinners, or have no merit), but it means also favor or approbation: and this sense I think most proper for it here, when applied to the human nature of our blessed Lord; and thus our translators render the same word, Luk 2:52. Even Christ himself, who knew no sin, grew in the favor of God; and, as to his human nature, increased in the graces of the Holy Spirit. From this we learn that, if a man were as pure and as perfect as the man Jesus Christ himself was, yet he might nevertheless increase in the image, and consequently in the favor, of God. God loves every thing and person, in proportion to the nearness of the approaches made to his own perfections.

Clarke: Luk 2:41 - His parents went - every year His parents went - every year - This was their constant custom, because positively enjoined by the law, Exo 23:17. But it does not appear that infan...

His parents went - every year - This was their constant custom, because positively enjoined by the law, Exo 23:17. But it does not appear that infants were obliged to be present; and yet all the men-children are positively ordered to make their appearance at Jerusalem thrice in the year, Exo 34:23. And our Lord, being now twelve years old, Luk 2:42, accompanies his parents to the feast. Probably this was the very age at which the male children were obliged to appear before the Lord at the three public festivals - the feast of unleavened bread, of weeks, and of tabernacles. According to the Jewish canons, it was the age at which they were obliged to begin to learn a trade.

Clarke: Luk 2:43 - Had fulfilled the days Had fulfilled the days - Eight days in the whole: one was the passover, and the other seven, the days of unleavened bread. See on Mat 26:2 (note).

Had fulfilled the days - Eight days in the whole: one was the passover, and the other seven, the days of unleavened bread. See on Mat 26:2 (note).

Clarke: Luk 2:44 - Supposing him to have been in the company Supposing him to have been in the company - Some have supposed that the men and women marched in separate companies on these occasions, which is ver...

Supposing him to have been in the company - Some have supposed that the men and women marched in separate companies on these occasions, which is very likely; and that sometimes the children kept company with the men, sometimes with the women. This might have led to what otherwise seems to have been inexcusable carelessness in Joseph and Mary. Joseph, not seeing Jesus in the men’ s company, might suppose he was with his mother in the women’ s company; and Mary, not seeing him with her, might imagine he was with Joseph

Clarke: Luk 2:44 - Went a day’ s journey Went a day’ s journey - Knowing what a treasure they possessed, how could they be so long without looking on it? Where were the bowels and tend...

Went a day’ s journey - Knowing what a treasure they possessed, how could they be so long without looking on it? Where were the bowels and tender solicitude of the mother? Let them answer this question who can

Clarke: Luk 2:44 - And they sought him And they sought him - Ανεζητουν, They earnestly sought him. They are now both duly affected with a sense of their great loss and great neg...

And they sought him - Ανεζητουν, They earnestly sought him. They are now both duly affected with a sense of their great loss and great negligence

Clarke: Luk 2:44 - Kinsfolk and acquaintance Kinsfolk and acquaintance - Those of the same family and neighborhood went up to Jerusalem together on such occasions I have frequently been reminde...

Kinsfolk and acquaintance - Those of the same family and neighborhood went up to Jerusalem together on such occasions

I have frequently been reminded, says Mr. Ward, when reading this history, of the crowds going to some place in Bengal, to an idol feast. Men, women, and children, in large companies, may be seen travelling together, with their bedding, etc., on their heads. They cook and prepare their victuals in some shady place near a town, where they can purchase the necessaries they want, and, after remaining two or three days at the festival, return in companies as they went.

Clarke: Luk 2:45 - Seeking him Seeking him - Ζητουντες αυτον - or rather, seeking him diligently, αναζητουντες . This is the reading of BCDL, six othe...

Seeking him - Ζητουντες αυτον - or rather, seeking him diligently, αναζητουντες . This is the reading of BCDL, six others, Vulgate, and nine copies of the Itala. If they sought earnestly when they first found him missing, there is little doubt that their solicitude and diligence must be greatly increased during his three days’ absence, therefore the word which I have adopted, on the above authority, is more likely to be the true reading than the ζητουντες of the common text, which simply signifies seeking; whereas the other strongly marks their solicitude and diligence.

Clarke: Luk 2:46 - Sitting in the midst of the doctors Sitting in the midst of the doctors - The rabbins, who were explaining the law and the ceremonies of the Jewish religion to their disciples

Sitting in the midst of the doctors - The rabbins, who were explaining the law and the ceremonies of the Jewish religion to their disciples

Clarke: Luk 2:46 - Asking them questions Asking them questions - Not as a scholar asks his teacher, to be informed; but as a teacher, who proposes questions to his scholars in order to take...

Asking them questions - Not as a scholar asks his teacher, to be informed; but as a teacher, who proposes questions to his scholars in order to take an occasion to instruct them

In the time of Josephus, the Jewish teachers were either very ignorant or very humble: for he tells us that, "when he was about fourteen years of age, the chief priests, and the principal men of the city, were constantly coming to him to be more accurately instructed in matters relative to the law."See his Life, sect. ii. If this were true, it is no wonder to find them now listening, with the deepest attention, to such teaching as they never before heard.

Clarke: Luk 2:47 - Answers: Answers: - The word αποκρισις here seems not to mean answers only, but what Jesus said by way of question to the doctors, Luk 2:46. So in...

Answers: - The word αποκρισις here seems not to mean answers only, but what Jesus said by way of question to the doctors, Luk 2:46. So in Rev 7:13, one of the elders is said to have answered, saying - when he only asked a question. Bp. Pearce.

Clarke: Luk 2:48 - Why hast thou thus dealt with us? Why hast thou thus dealt with us? - It certainly was not his fault, but theirs. Men are very apt to lay on others the blame of their own misconduct.

Why hast thou thus dealt with us? - It certainly was not his fault, but theirs. Men are very apt to lay on others the blame of their own misconduct.

Clarke: Luk 2:49 - How is it that ye sought me? How is it that ye sought me? - Is not this intended as a gentle reproof? Why had ye me to seek? Ye should not have left my company, when ye knew I a...

How is it that ye sought me? - Is not this intended as a gentle reproof? Why had ye me to seek? Ye should not have left my company, when ye knew I am constantly employed in performing the will of the Most High

Clarke: Luk 2:49 - My Father’ s business? My Father’ s business? - Εν τοις του πατρος μου, My Father’ s concerns. Some think that these words should be translate...

My Father’ s business? - Εν τοις του πατρος μου, My Father’ s concerns. Some think that these words should be translated, In my Father’ s house; which was a reason that they should have sought him in the temple only. As if he had said, Where should a child be found, but in his father’ s house? This translation is defended by Grotius, Pearce, and others; and is the reading of the Syriac, later Persic, and Armenian versions. Our Lord took this opportunity to instruct Joseph and Mary concerning his Divine nature and mission. My Father’ s concerns . This saying, one would think, could not have been easily misunderstood. It shows at once that he came down from heaven. Joseph had no concerns in the temple; and yet we find they did not fully comprehend it. How slow of heart is man to credit any thing that comes from God!

Clarke: Luk 2:51 - Was subject unto them Was subject unto them - Behaved towards them with all dutiful submission. Probably his working with his hands at his reputed father’ s business...

Was subject unto them - Behaved towards them with all dutiful submission. Probably his working with his hands at his reputed father’ s business, is here also implied: see on Luk 2:41 (note). No child among the Jews was ever brought up in idleness. Is not this the carpenter? was a saying of those Jews who appear to have had a proper knowledge of his employment while in Joseph’ s house. See the note on Mat 13:55.

Clarke: Luk 2:52 - Jesus increased in wisdom Jesus increased in wisdom - See on Luk 2:40 (note) The following remarks, taken chiefly from Mr. Claude, on the foregoing subject, are well worth th...

Jesus increased in wisdom - See on Luk 2:40 (note)

The following remarks, taken chiefly from Mr. Claude, on the foregoing subject, are well worth the reader’ s attention

I.    The birth of Christ is announced to the shepherds

1.    God causes his grace to descend not only on the great and powerful of the world, but also upon the most simple and inconsiderable; just as the heavens diffuse their influence not only on great trees, but also on the smallest herbs

2.    God seems to take more delight in bestowing his favors on the most abject than in distributing them among persons of elevated rank. Here is an example: for while he sent the wise men of the east to Herod, he sent an angel of heaven to the shepherds, and conducted them to the cradle of the Savior of the world

3.    In this meeting of the angels and shepherds, you see a perpetual characteristic of the economy of Jesus Christ; wherein the highest and most sublime things are joined with the meanest and lowest. In his person, the eternal Word is united to a creature, the Divine nature to the human, infinity to infirmity, in a word, the Lord of glory to mean flesh and blood. On his cross, though he appears naked, crowned with thorns, and exposed to sorrows, yet at the same time he shakes the earth, and eclipses the sun. Here, in like manner, are angels familiar with shepherds; angels, to mark his majesty; shepherds, his humility

4.    This mission of angels relates to the end for which the Son of God came into the world; for he came to establish a communion between God and men, and to make peace between men and angels: to this must be referred what St. Paul says, Col 1:20, It pleased the Father, by him, to reconcile all things to himself

5.    However simple and plain the employments of men may be, it is always very pleasing to God when they discharge them with a good conscience. While these shepherds were busy in their calling, God sent his angels to them

6.    God does, in regard to men, what these shepherds did in regard to their sheep. He is the great Shepherd of mankind, continually watching over them by his providence

II.    The glory of the Lord shone round the shepherds

1.    When angels borrow human forms, in order to appear to men, they have always some ensigns of grandeur and majesty, to show that they are not men, but angels

2.    The appearance of this light to the shepherds in the night, may very well be taken for a mystical symbol. Night represents the corrupt state of mankind when Jesus came into the world; a state of ignorance and error. Light fitly represents the salutary grace of Christ, which dissipates obscurity, and gives us the true knowledge of God

III.    The shepherds were filled with great fear

1.    This was the effect of their great surprise. When grand objects suddenly present themselves to us, they must needs fill us with astonishment and fear, for the mind, on these occasions, is not at liberty to exert its force; on the contrary, its strength is dissipated, and during this dissipation it is impossible not to fear

2.    This fear may also arise from emotions of conscience. Man is by nature a sinner, and consequently an object of the justice of God. While God does not manifest himself to him, he remains insensible of his sin; but, when God discovers himself to him, he awakes to feeling, and draws nigh to God as a trembling criminal approaches his judge. See this exemplified in the case of Adam, and in that of the Israelites when God appeared on the mountain: hence that proverbial saying, We shall die, for we have seen God

3.    The shepherds had just reason to fear when they saw before them an angel of heaven, surrounded with the ensigns of majesty, for angels had been formerly the ministers of God’ s vengeance. On this occasion, the sad examples of Divine vengeance, recorded in Scripture, and performed by the ministry of angels, might, in a moment, rise to view, and incline them to think that this angel had received a like order to destroy them

IV.    Observe the angel’ s discourse to the shepherds

1.    The angels say to them, Fear not. This preface was necessary to gain their attention, which fear, no doubt, had dissipated. The disposition which the angel wishes to awaken in them comports with the news which he intended to announce; for what has fear to do with the birth of the Savior of the world

2.    The angel describes

1st, The person of whom he speaks, a Savior, Christ, the Lord; see before on Luk 2:11 (note). See

2dly, What he speaks of him; he is born unto you

3dly, He marks the time; this day

4thly, He describes the place; in the city of David

5thly, He specifies the nature of this important news; a great joy which shall be unto all people. See Claude’ s Essay, by Robinson, vol. i. p. 266, etc

Concerning Simeon, three things deserve to be especially noted: 1. His faith. 2. His song. And 3. His prophecy

I.    His faith

1.    He expected the promised Redeemer, in virtue of the promises which God had made; and, to show that his faith was of the operation of God’ s Spirit, he lived a life of righteousness and devotedness to God. Many profess to expect the salvation which God has promised only to those who believe, while living in conformity to the world, under the influence of its spirit, and in the general breach of the righteous law of God

2.    The faith of Simeon led him only to wish for life that he might see him who was promised, and, be properly prepared for an inheritance among the sanctified. They who make not this use of life are much to be lamented. It would have been better for them had they never been born

3.    The faith of Simeon was crowned with success. Jesus came; he saw, he felt, he adored him! and, with a heart filled with the love of God, he breathed out his holy soul, and probably the last dregs of his life, in praise to the fountain of all good

II.    Simeon’ s song. By it he shows forth: -

1.    The joy of his own heart. Lord, now thou dismissest thy servant; as if he had said: "Yes, O my God, I am going to quit this earth! I feel that thou callest me; and I quit it without regret. Thou hast fulfilled all my desires, and completed my wishes, and I desire to be detained no longer from the full enjoyment of thyself."O, how sweet is death, after such an enjoyment and discovery of eternal life

2.    Simeon shows forth the glory of Christ. He is the Sun of righteousness, rising on a dark and ruined world with light and salvation. He is the light that shall manifest the infinite kindness of God to the Gentile people; proving that God is good to all, and that his tender mercies are over all his works

He is the glory of Israel. It is by him that the Gentiles have been led to acknowledge the Jews as the peculiar people of God; their books as the word of God, and their teaching as the revelation of God. What an honor for this people, had they known how to profit by it

3.    He astonished Joseph and Mary with his sublime account of the Redeemer of the world. They hear him glorified, and their hearts exult in it. From this Divine song they learn that this miraculous son of theirs is the sum and substance of all the promises made unto the fathers, and of all the predictions of the prophets

III.    Simeon’ s prophecy

1.    He addresses Christ, and foretells that he should be for the ruin and recovery of many in Israel. How astonishing is the folly and perverseness of man, to turn that into poison which God has made the choicest medicine; and thus to kill themselves with the cure which he has appointed for them in the infinity of his love! Those who speak against Jesus, his ways, his doctrine, his cross, his sacrifice, are likely to stumble, and fall, and rise no more for ever! May the God of mercy save the reader from this condemnation

2.    He addresses Mary, and foretells the agonies she must go through. What must this holy woman have endured when she saw her son crowned with thorns, scourged, buffeted, spit upon - when she saw his hands and his feet nailed to the cross, and his side pierced with a spear! What a sword through her own soul must each of these have been! But this is not all. These sufferings of Jesus are predicted thirty years before they were to take place! What a martyrdom was this! While he is nourished in her bosom, she cannot help considering him as a lamb who is growing up to be sacrificed. The older he grows, the nearer the bloody scene approaches! Thus her sufferings must increase with his years, and only end with his life

3.    He foretells the effects which should be produced by the persecutions raised against Christ and his followers. This sword of persecution shall lay open the hearts of many, and discover their secret motives and designs. When the doctrine of the cross is preached, and persecution raised because of it, then the precious are easily distinguished from the vile. Those whose hearts are not established by grace, now right with God, will turn aside from the way of righteousness, and deny the Lord that bought them. On the other hand, those whose faith stands not in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God, will continue faithful unto death, glorify God in the fire, and thus show forth the excellency of his salvation, and the sincerity of the profession which they had before made. Thus the thoughts of many hearts are still revealed

The design of our blessed Lord in staying behind in the temple seems to have been twofold

1st. To prepare the Jews to acknowledge in him a Divine and supernatural wisdom: an

2dly. To impress the minds of Joseph and Mary with a proper idea of his independence and Divinity

Their conduct in this business may be a lasting lesson and profitable warning to all the disciples of Christ

1st. It is possible (by not carefully watching the heart, and by not keeping sacredly and constantly in view the spirituality of every duty) to lose the presence and power of Christ, even in religious ordinances. Joseph and Mary were at the feast of the passover when they lost Jesus

2dly. Many who have sustained loss in their souls are kept from making speedy application to God for help and salvation, through the foolish supposition that their state is not so bad as it really is; and, in the things of salvation, many content themselves with the persuasion that the religious people with whom they associate are the peculiar favourites of Heaven, and that they are in a state of complete safety while connected with them

They, supposing him to be in the company, went a day’ s journey

3dly. Deep sorrow and self-reproach must be the consequence of the discovery of so great a loss as that of the presence and power of Christ. Joseph and Mary sought him sorrowing

4thly. When people are convinced, by the light of the Lord, that their souls are not in a safe state, and that unless they find the Redeemer of the world they must perish, they are naturally led to inquire among their kinsfolk and acquaintance for him who saves sinners. But this often proves fruitless; they know not Jesus themselves, and they cannot tell others where to find him

They sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance, and found him not

5thly. When people perceive that they have proceeded in a certain course of life for a considerable time, without that salvation which God promises in his word, they should first stop and inquire into their state, and when they find that they have been posting into eternity, not only without a preparation for glory, but with an immense load of guilt upon their souls, they should turn back, and, as their time may be but short, they should seek diligently

They turned back to Jerusalem, earnestly seeking him

6thly. The likeliest place to find Jesus and his salvation is the temple. The place where his pure unadulterated Gospel is preached, the sanctuary where the power and glory of God are seen in the conviction, conversion, and salvation of sinners. They found him in the temple, among the doctors

7thly. Trials, persecutions, and afflictions are all nothing, when the presence and power of Christ are felt; but when a testimony of his approbation lives no longer in the heart, every thing is grievous and insupportable. The fatigue of the journey to Bethlehem, the flight from the cruelty of Herod, and the unavoidable trials in Egypt, were cheerfully supported by Joseph and Mary, because in all they had Jesus with them; but now they are in distress and misery because he is behind in Jerusalem. Reader, if thou have lost Jesus, take no rest to body or soul till thou have found him! Without him, all is confusion and ruin: with him, all is joy and peace.

Calvin: Luk 2:1 - The whole world Luke relates how it happened, that Christ was born in the city of Bethlehem, as his mother was living at a distance from her home, when she was appro...

Luke relates how it happened, that Christ was born in the city of Bethlehem, as his mother was living at a distance from her home, when she was approaching to her confinement. And first he sets aside the idea of human contrivance, 123 by saying, that Joseph and Mary had left home, and came to that place to make the return according to their family and tribe. If intentionally and on purpose 124 they had changed their residence that Mary might bring forth her child in Bethlehem, we would have looked only at the human beings concerned. But as they have no other design than to obey the edict of Augustus, we readily acknowledge, that they were led like blind persons, by the hand of God, to the place where Christ must be born. This may appear to be accidental, as everything else, which does not proceed from a direct human intention, is ascribed by irreligious men to Fortune. But we must not attend merely to the events themselves. We must remember also the prediction which was uttered by the prophet many centuries before. A comparison will clearly show it to have been accomplished by the wonderful Providence of God, that a registration was then enacted by Augustus Caesar, and that Joseph and Mary set out from home, so as to arrive in Bethlehem at the very point of time.

Thus we see that the holy servants of God, even though they wander from their design, unconscious where they are going, still keep the right path, because God directs their steps. Nor is the Providence of God less wonderful in employing the mandate of a tyrant to draw Mary from home, that the prophecy may be fulfilled. God had marked out by his prophet — as we shall afterwards see — the place where he determined that his Son should be born. If Mary had not been constrained to do otherwise, she would have chosen to bring forth her child at home. Augustus orders a registration to take place in Judea, and each person to give his name, that they may afterwards pay an annual tax, which they were formerly accustomed to pay to God. Thus an ungodly man takes forcible possession of that which God was accustomed to demand from his people. It was, in effect, reducing the Jews to entire subjection, and forbidding them to be thenceforth reckoned as the people of God.

Matters have been brought, in this way, to the last extremity, and the Jews appear to be cut off and alienated for ever from the covenant of God. At that very time does God suddenly, and contrary to universal expectation, afford a remedy. What is more, he employs that wicked tyranny for the redemption of his people. For the governor, (or whoever was employed by Caesar for the purpose,) while he executes the commission entrusted to him, is, unknown to himself, God’s herald, to call Mary to the place which God had appointed. And certainly Luke’s whole narrative may well lead believers to acknowledge, that Christ was led by the hand of God from his mother’s belly,” (Psa 22:10.) Nor is it of small consequence 125 to the certainty of faith to know, that Mary was drawn suddenly, and contrary to her own intention, to Bethlehem, that “out of it might come forth” (Mic 5:2) the Redeemer, as he had been formerly promised.

1.The whole world This figure of speech 126 (by which the whole is taken for a part, or a part for the whole) was in constant use among the Roman authors, and ought not to be reckoned harsh. That this registration might be more tolerable and less odious, it was extended equally, I have no doubt, to all the provinces; though the rate of taxation may have been different. I consider this first registration to mean, that the Jews, being completely subdued, were then loaded with a new and unwonted yoke. Others read it, that this registration was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria; 127 but there is no probability in that view. The tax was, indeed, annual; but the registration did not take place every year. The meaning is, that the Jews were far more heavily oppressed than they had formerly been.

There is a diversity as to the name of the Proconsul. Some call him Cyrenius, (Κυρήνιος,) and others, Quirinus or Quirinius But there is nothing strange in this;for we know that the Greeks, when they translate Latin names, almost always make some change in the pronunciation. But a far greater difficulty springs up in another direction. Josephus says that, while Archelaus was a prisoner at Vienna, (Ant. 17:13. 2,) Quirinus came as Proconsul, with instructions to annex Judea to the province of Syria, (xviii. 1.1.) Now, historians are agreed, that Archelaus reigned nine years after the death of his father Herod. It would therefore appear, that there was an interval of about thirteen years between the birth of Christ and this registration; for almost all assent to the account given by Epiphanius, that Christ was born in the thirty-third year of Herod: that is, four years before his death.

Another circumstance not a little perplexing is, that the same Josephus speaks of this registration as having happened in the thirty-seventh year after the victory at Actium, 128 (Ant. 18:2. 1.) If this be true, Augustus lived, at the utmost, not more than seven years after this event; which makes a deduction of eight or nine years from his age: for it is plain from the third chapter of Luke’s Gospel, that he was at that time only in his fifteenth year. But, as the age of Christ is too well known to be called in question, it is highly probable that, in this and many other passages of Josephus’s History, his recollection had failed him. Historians are agreed that Quirinus was Consul nineteen years, or thereby, before the victory over Antony, which gave Augustus the entire command of the empire: and so he must have been sent into the province at a very advanced age. Besides, the same Josephus enumerates four governors of Judea within eight years; while he acknowledges that the fifth was governor for fifteen years. That was Valerius Gratus, who was succeeded by Pontius Pilate.

Another solution may be offered. It might be found impracticable to effect the registration immediately after the edict had been issued: for Josephus relates, that Coponius was sent with an army to reduce the Jews to subjection, (Ant. 18:2.2) from which it may easily be inferred, that the registration was prevented, for a time, by popular tumult. The words of Luke bear this sense, that, about the time of our Lord’s birth, an edict came out to have the people registered, but that the registration could not take place till after a change of the kingdom, when Judea had been annexed to another province. This clause is accordingly added by way of correction. This first registration was made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria That is, it was then first carried into effect. 129

But the whole question is not yet answered: for, while Herod was king of Judea, what purpose did it serve to register a people who paid no tribute to the Roman Empire? I reply: there is no absurdity in supposing that Augustus, by way of accustoming the Jews to the yoke, (for their obstinacy was abundantly well-known,) chose to have them registered, even under the reign of Herod. 130 Nor did Herod’s peculiar authority as king make it inconsistent that the Jews should pay to the Roman Empire a stipulated sum for each man under the name of a tax: for we know that Herod, though he was called a king, held nothing more than a borrowed power, and was little better than a slave. On what authority Eusebius states that this registration took place by an order of the Roman Senate, I know not.

Calvin: Luk 2:7 - Because there was no room for them in the inn 7.Because there was no room for them in the inn We see here not only the great poverty of Joseph, but the cruel tyranny which admitted of no excuse, ...

7.Because there was no room for them in the inn We see here not only the great poverty of Joseph, but the cruel tyranny which admitted of no excuse, but compelled Joseph to bring his wife along with him, at an inconvenient season, when she was near the time of her delivery. Indeed, it is probable that those who were the descendants of the royal family were treated more harshly and disdainfully than the rest. Joseph was not so devoid of feeling as to have no concern about his wife’s delivery. He would gladly have avoided this necessity: but, as that is impossible, he is forced to yield, 131 and commends himself to God. We see, at the same time, what sort of beginning the life of the Son of God had, and in what cradle 132 he was placed. Such was his condition at his birth, because he had taken upon him our flesh for this purpose, that he might, “empty himself” (Phi 2:7) on our account. When he was thrown into a stable, and placed in a manger, and a lodging refused him among men, it was that heaven might be opened to us, not as a temporary lodging, 133 but as our eternal country and inheritance, and that angels might receive us into their abode.

Calvin: Luk 2:8 - And there were shepherds 8.And there were shepherds It would have been to no purpose that Christ was born in Bethlehem, if it had not been made known to the world. But the me...

8.And there were shepherds It would have been to no purpose that Christ was born in Bethlehem, if it had not been made known to the world. But the method of doing so, which is described by Luke, appears to the view of men very unsuitable. First, Christ is revealed but to a few witnesses, and that too amidst the darkness of night. Again, though God had, at his command, many honorable and distinguished witnesses, he passed by them, and chose shepherds, persons of humble rank, and of no account among men. Here the reason and wisdom of the flesh must prove to be foolishness; and we must acknowledge, that “the foolishness of God” (1Co 1:25) excels all the wisdom that exists, or appears to exist, in the world. But this too was a part of the “emptying of himself,” (Phi 2:6 :) not that any part of Christ’s glory should be taken away by it, but that it should lie in concealment for a time. Again, as Paul reminds us, that the gospel is mean according to the flesh, “that our faith should stand” in the power of the Spirit, not in the “lofty 142 words of human wisdom,” or in any worldly splendor, 143 (1Co 2:4;) so this inestimable “treasure” has been deposited by God, from the beginning, “in earthen vessels,” (2Co 4:7,) that he might more fully try the obedience of our faith. If then we desire to come to Christ, let us not be ashamed to follow those whom the Lord, in order to cast down the pride of the world, has taken, from among the dung 144 of cattle, to be our instructors.

Calvin: Luk 2:9 - And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them 9.And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them He says, that the glory of the Lord 145 shone around the shepherds, by which they perceived him t...

9.And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them He says, that the glory of the Lord 145 shone around the shepherds, by which they perceived him to be an angel. 146 For it would have been of little avail to be told by an angel what is related by Luke, if God had not testified, by some outward sign, that what they heard proceeded from Him. The angel appeared, not in an ordinary form, or without majesty, but surrounded with the brightness of heavenly glory, to affect powerfully the minds of the shepherds, that they might receive the discourse which was addressed to them, as coming from the mouth of God himself. Hence the fear, of which Luke shortly afterwards speaks, by which God usually humbles the hearts of men, (as I have formerly explained,) and disposes them to receive his word with reverence.

Calvin: Luk 2:10 - Fear not // Which shall be to all the people 10.Fear not The design of this exhortation is to alleviate their fear. For, though it is profitable for the minds of men to be struck with awe, that ...

10.Fear not The design of this exhortation is to alleviate their fear. For, though it is profitable for the minds of men to be struck with awe, that they may learn to “give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name,” (Psa 29:2;) yet they have need, at the same time, of consolation, that they may not be altogether overwhelmed. For the majesty of God could not but swallow up the whole world, if there were not some mildness to mitigate the terror which it brings. And so the reprobate fall down lifeless at the sight of God, because he appears to them in no other character than that of a judge. But to revive the minds of the shepherds, the angel declares that he was sent to them for a different purpose, to announce to them the mercy of God. When men hear this single word, that God is reconciled to them, it not only raises up those who are fallen down, but restores those who were ruined, and recalls them from death to life.

The angel opens his discourse by saying, that he announces great joy; and next assigns the ground or matter of joy, that a Savior is born These words show us, first, that, until men have peace with God, and are reconciled to him through the grace of Christ, all the joy that they experience is deceitful, and of short duration. 147 Ungodly men frequently indulge in frantic and intoxicating mirth; but if there be none to make peace between them and God, the hidden stings of conscience must produce fearful torment. Besides, to whatever extent they may flatter themselves in luxurious indulgence, their own lusts are so many tormentors. The commencement of solid joy is, to perceive the fatherly love of God toward us, which alone gives tranquillity to our minds. And this “joy,” in which, Paul tells us, “the kingdom of God” consists, is “in the Holy Spirit,” (Rom 14:17.) By calling it great joy, he shows us, not only that we ought, above all things, to rejoice in the salvation brought us by Christ, but that this blessing is so great and boundless, as fully to compensate for all the pains, distresses, and anxieties of the present life. Let us learn to be so delighted with Christ alone, that the perception of his grace may overcome, and at length remove from us, all the distresses of the flesh. 148

Which shall be to all the people Though the angel addresses the shepherds alone, yet he plainly states, that the message of salvation which he brings is of wider extent, so that not only they, in their private capacity, may hear it, but that others may also hear. Now let it be understood, that this joy was common to all people, because, it was indiscriminately offered to all. For God had promised Christ, not to one person or to another, but to the whole seed of Abraham. If the Jews were deprived, for the most part, of the joy that was offered to them, it arose from their unbelief; just as, at the present day, God invites all indiscriminately to salvation through the Gospel, but the ingratitude of the world is the reason why this grace, which is equally offered to all, is enjoyed by few. Although this joy is confined to a few persons, yet, with respect to God, it is said to be common. When the angel says that this joy shall be to all the people, he speaks of the chosen people only; but now that, the middle wall of partition” (Eph 2:14) has been thrown down, the same message has reference to the whole human race. 149 For Christ proclaims peace, not only, to them that are nigh, “but to them that are, far off,” (Eph 2:17,) to “strangers” (Eph 2:12) equally with citizens. But as the peculiar covenant with the Jews lasted till the resurrection of Christ, so the angel separates them from the rest of the nations.

Calvin: Luk 2:11 - This day is born to you 11.This day is born to you Here, as we lately hinted, the angel expresses the cause of the joy. This day is born the Redeemer long ago promised, wh...

11.This day is born to you Here, as we lately hinted, the angel expresses the cause of the joy. This day is born the Redeemer long ago promised, who was to restore the Church of God to its proper condition. The angel does not speak of it as a thing altogether unknown. He opens his embassy by referring to the Law and the Prophets; for had he been addressing heathens or irreligious persons, it would have been of no use to employ this mode of speaking: this day is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord For the same reason, he mentions that he was born in the city of David, which could serve no purpose, but to recall the remembrance of those promises which were universally known among the Jews. Lastly, the angel adapted his discourse to hearers who were not altogether unacquainted with the promised redemption. With the doctrine of the Law and the Prophets he joined the Gospel, as emanating from the same source. Now, since the Greek word Greek, as Cicero assures us, has a more extensive meaning than the Latin word Servator, and as there is no Latin noun that corresponds to it, I thought it better to employ a barbarous term, than to take anything away from the power of Christ. And I have no doubt, that the author of the Vulgate, and the ancient doctors of the Church, had the same intention. 150 Christ is called Savior, 151 because he bestows a complete salvation. The pronoun to you 152 is very emphatic; for it would have given no great delight to hear that the Author of salvation was born, unless each person believed that for himself he was born. In the same manner Isaiah says, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given,” (Isa 9:6;) and Zechariah, “Behold, thy King cometh unto thee lowly,” (Zec 9:9.)

Calvin: Luk 2:12 - And this shall be a sign to you 12.And this shall be a sign to you 153 The angel meets the prejudice which might naturally hinder the faith of the shepherds; for what a mockery is i...

12.And this shall be a sign to you 153 The angel meets the prejudice which might naturally hinder the faith of the shepherds; for what a mockery is it, that he, whom God has sent to be the King, and the only Savior, is seen lying in a manger! That the mean and despicable condition in which Christ was might not deter the shepherds from believing in Christ, the angel tells them beforehand what they would see. This method of proceeding, which might appear, to the view of men, absurd and almost ridiculous, the Lord pursues toward us every day. Sending down to us from heaven the word of the Gospel, he enjoins us to embrace Christ crucified, and holds out to us signs in earthly and fading elements, which raise us to the glory of a blessed immortality. Having promised to us spiritual righteousness, he places before our eyes a little water: by a small portion of bread and wine, he seals, 154 the eternal life of the soul. 155 But if the stable gave no offense whatever to the shepherds, so as to prevent them from going to Christ to obtain salvation, or from yielding to his authority, while he was yet a child; no sign, however mean in itself, ought to hide his glory from our view, or prevent us from offering to him lowly adoration, now that he has ascended to heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father.

Calvin: Luk 2:13 - And suddenly there was present with the angel a multitude 13.And suddenly there was present with the angel a multitude An exhibition of divine splendor had been already made in the person of a single angel. ...

13.And suddenly there was present with the angel a multitude An exhibition of divine splendor had been already made in the person of a single angel. But God determined to adorn his own Son in a still more illustrious manner, This was done to confirm our faith as truly as that of the shepherds. Among men, the testimony of “ two or three witnesses ” (Mat 18:16) is sufficient to remove all doubt. But here is a heavenly host, with one consent and one voice bearing testimony to the Son of God. What then would be our obstinacy, if we refused to join with the choir of angels, in singing the praises of our salvation, which is in Christ? Hence we infer, how abominable in the sight of God must unbelief be, which disturbs this delightful harmony between heaven and earth. Again, we are convicted of more than brutal stupidity, if our faith and our zeal to praise God are not inflamed by the song which the angels, with the view of supplying us with the matter of our praise, sang in full harmony. Still farther, by this example of heavenly melody, the Lord intended to recommend to us the unity of faith, and to exhort us to join with one consent in singing his praises on earth.

Calvin: Luk 2:14 - Glory to God in the highest // On earth peace // Among men good-will 14.Glory to God in the highest The angels begin with thanksgiving, or with the praises of God; for Scripture, too, everywhere reminds us, that we wer...

14.Glory to God in the highest The angels begin with thanksgiving, or with the praises of God; for Scripture, too, everywhere reminds us, that we were redeemed from death for this purpose, that we might testify with the tongue, as well as by the actions of the life, our gratitude to God. Let us remember, then, the final cause, why God reconciled us to himself through his Only Begotten Son. It was that he might glorify his name, by revealing the riches of his grace, and of his boundless mercy. And even now to whatever extent any one is excited by his knowledge of grace to celebrate the glory of God, such is the extent of proficiency in the faith of Christ. Whenever our salvation is mentioned, we should understand that a signal has been given, 156 to excite us to thanksgiving and to the praises of God.

On earth peace The most general reading is, that the words, among men good-will, should stand as a third clause. So far as relates to the leading idea of the passage, it is of little moment which way you read it; but the other appears to be preferable. The two clauses, Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, do unquestionably agree with each other; but if you do not place men and God in marked opposition, the contrast will not fully appear. 157 Perhaps commentators have mistaken the meaning of the preposition ἐν, for it was an obscure meaning of the words to say, that there is peace in men; but as that word is redundant in many passages of Scripture, it need not detain us here. However, if any one prefer to throw it to the last clause, the meaning will be the same, as I shall presently show.

We must now see what the angels mean by the word peace. They certainly do not speak of an outward peace cultivated by men with each other; but they say, that the earth is at peace, when men have been reconciled to God, and enjoy an inward tranquillity in their own minds. 158 We know that we are born “children of wrath,” (Eph 2:3,) and are by nature enemies to God; and must be distressed by fearful apprehensions, so long as we feel that God is angry with us. A short and clear definition of peace may be obtained from two opposite things, — the wrath of God and the dread of death. It has thus a twofold reference; one to God, and another to men. We obtain peace with God, when he begins to be gracious to us, by taking away our guilt, and “not imputing to us our trespasses,” (2Co 5:19;) and when we, relying on his fatherly love, address him with full confidence, and boldly praise him for the salvation which he has promised to us. Now though, in another passage, the life of man on earth is declared to be a continual warfare, 159 (Job 7:1,) and the state of the fact shows that nothing is more full of trouble than our condition, so long as we remain in the world, yet the angels expressly say that there is peace on earth This is intended to inform us that, so long as we trust to the grace of Christ, no troubles that can arise will prevent us from enjoying composure and serenity of mind. Let us then remember, that faith is seated amidst the storms of temptations, amidst various dangers, amidst violent attacks, amidst contests and fears, that our faith may not fail or be shaken by any kind of opposition.

Among men good-will 160 The Vulgate has good-will in the genitive case: to men of good-will. 161 How that reading crept in, I know not: but it ought certainly to be rejected, both because it is not genuine, 162 and because it entirely corruptsthe meaning. Others read good-will in the nominative case, and still mistake its meaning. They refer good-will to men, as if it were an exhortation to embrace the grace of God. I acknowledge that the peace which the Lord offers to us takes effect only when we receive it. But as εὐδοκία is constantly used in Scripture in the sense of the Hebrew word רצון , the old translator rendered it beneplacitum , or, good-will. This passage is not correctly understood as referring to the acceptance of grace. The angels rather speak of it as the source of peace, and thus inform us that peace is a free gift, and flows from the pure mercy of God. If it is thought better to read good-will to men, or towards men, 163 it will not be inadmissible, so far as regards the meaning: for in this way it will show the cause of peace to be, that God has been pleased to bestow his undeserved favor on men, with whom he formerly was at deadly variance. If you read, the peace of good-will as meaning voluntary peace, neither will I object to that interpretation. But the simpler way is to look upon εὐφοκία as added, in order to inform us of the source from which our peace is derived. 164

Calvin: Luk 2:15 - After that the angels departed // Which the Lord hath revealed to us 15.After that the angels departed Here is described to us the obedience of the shepherds. The Lord had made them the witnesses of his Son to the whol...

15.After that the angels departed Here is described to us the obedience of the shepherds. The Lord had made them the witnesses of his Son to the whole world. What he had spoken to them by his angels was efficacious, and was not suffered to pass away. They were not plainly and expressly commanded to come to Bethlehem; but, being sufficiently aware that such was the design of God, they hasten to see Christ. In the same manner, we know that Christ is held out to us, in order that our hearts may approach him by faith; and our delay in coming admits of no excuse. 166 But again, Luke informs us, that the shepherds resolved to set out, immediately after the angels had departed. This conveys an important lesson. Instead of allowing the word of God, as many do, to pass away with the sound, we must take care that it strike its roots deep in us, and manifest its power, as soon as the sound has died away upon our ears. It deserves our attention, also, that the shepherds exhort one another: for it is not enough that each of us is attentive to his own duty, if we do not give mutual exhortations. Their obedience is still farther commended by the statement of Luke, that they hastened, (ver. 16;) for we are required to show the readiness of faith.

Which the Lord hath revealed to us They had only heard it from the angel; but they intentionally and correctly say, that the Lord had revealed it to them; for they consider the messenger of God to possess the same authority as if the Lord himself had addressed them. For this reason, the Lord directs our attention to himself; that we may not fix our view on men, and undervalue the authority of his Word. We see also that they reckon themselves under obligation, not to neglect the treasure which the Lord had pointed out to them; for they conclude that, immediately after receiving this intelligence, they must go to Bethlehem to see it. In the same manner, every one of us, according to the measure of his faith and understanding, ought to be prepared to follow wheresoever God calls.

Calvin: Luk 2:16 - And found Mary 16.And found Mary This was a revolting sight, and was sufficient of itself to produce an aversion to Christ. For what could be more improbable than t...

16.And found Mary This was a revolting sight, and was sufficient of itself to produce an aversion to Christ. For what could be more improbable than to believe that he was the King of the whole people, who was deemed unworthy to be ranked with the lowest of the multitude? or to expect the restoration of the kingdom and salvation from him, whose poverty and want were such, that he was thrown into a stable? Yet Luke writes, that none of these things prevented the shepherds from admiring and praising God. The glory of God was so fully before their eyes, and reverence for his Word was so deeply impressed upon their minds, that the elevation of their faith easily rose above all that appeared mean or despicable in Christ. 167 And the only reason why our faith is either retarded or driven from the proper course, by some very trifling obstacles, is, that we do not look steadfastly enough on God, and are easily “tossed to and fro,” (Eph 4:14.) If this one thought were entirely to occupy our minds, that we have a certain and faithful testimony from heaven, it would be a sufficiently strong and firm support against every kind of temptations, and will sufficiently protect us against every little offense that might have been taken.

Calvin: Luk 2:17 - They published concerning the word 17.They published concerning the word It is mentioned by Luke, in commendation of the faith of the shepherds, that they honestly delivered to others ...

17.They published concerning the word It is mentioned by Luke, in commendation of the faith of the shepherds, that they honestly delivered to others what they had received from the Lord; and it was advantageous to all of us that they should attest this, and should be a sort of secondary angels in confirming our faith. Luke shows also that, in publishing what they had heard, they were not without success. 168 Nor can it be doubted, that the Lord gave efficacy to what they said, that it might not be ridiculed or despised; for the low rank of the men diminished their credit, and the occurrence itself might be regarded as fabulous. But the Lord, who gave them this employment, does not allow it to be fruitless.

That the Lord should adopt such a method of proceeding as this, — should employ inconsiderable men in publishing his Word, may not be quite so agreeable to the human mind. But it tends to humble the pride of the flesh, and to try the obedience of faith; and therefore God approves of it. Still, though all are astonished, no one moves a step to come to Christ: from which we may infer, that the impression made upon them by hearing of the power of God, was unaccompanied by any devout affection of the heart. The design of publishing this report was not so much for their salvation, as to render the ignorance of the whole people inexcusable.

Calvin: Luk 2:19 - Now Mary kept 19.Now Mary kept Mary’s diligence in contemplating the works of God is laid before us for two reasons; first, to inform us, that this treasure was ...

19.Now Mary kept Mary’s diligence in contemplating the works of God is laid before us for two reasons; first, to inform us, that this treasure was laid up in her heart, for the purpose of being published to others at the proper time; and, secondly, to afford to all the godly an example for imitation. For, if we are wise, it will be the chief employment, and the great object of our life, to consider with attention those works of God which build up our faith. Mary kept all these things This relates to her memory. Συμβάλλειν signifies to throw together, — to collect the several events which agreed in proving the glory of Christ, so that they might form one body. For Mary could not wisely estimate the collective value of all those occurrences, except by comparing them with each other.

Calvin: Luk 2:20 - Glorifying and praising God 20.Glorifying and praising God This is another circumstance which is fitted to be generally useful in confirming our faith. The shepherds knew with c...

20.Glorifying and praising God This is another circumstance which is fitted to be generally useful in confirming our faith. The shepherds knew with certainty that this was a work of God. Their zeal in glorifying and praising God is an implied reproof of our indolence, or rather of our ingratitude. If the cradle of Christ 169 had such an effect upon them, as to make them rise from the stable and the manger to heaven, how much more powerful ought the death and resurrection of Christ to be in raising us to God? For Christ did not only ascend from the earth, that he might draw all things after him; but he sits at the right hand of the Father, that, during our pilgrimage in the world, we may meditate with our whole heart on the heavenly life. When Luke says, that the testimony of the angel served as a rule to the shepherds in all that they did, 170 he points out the nature of true godliness. For our faith is properly aided by the works of God, when it directs everything to this end, that the truth of God, which was revealed in his word, may be brought out with greater clearness.

Calvin: Luk 2:21 - That the child might be circumcised // His name was called JESUS 21.That the child might be circumcised As to circumcision in general, the reader may consult the Book of Genesis, (Gen 17:10.) At present, it will be...

21.That the child might be circumcised As to circumcision in general, the reader may consult the Book of Genesis, (Gen 17:10.) At present, it will be sufficient to state briefly what applies to the person of Christ. God appointed that his Son should be circumcised, in order to subject him to the law; for circumcision was a solemn rite, by which the Jews

were initiated into the observance of the law. 171 Paul explains the design, 172 when he says, that Christ was

“made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law,”
(Gal 4:4.)

By undergoing circumcision, Christ acknowledged himself to be the slave 173 of the law, that he might procure our freedom. And in this way not only was the bondage 174 of the law abolished by him, but the shadow of the ceremony was applied to his own body, that it might shortly afterwards come to an end. For though the abrogation of it depends on the death and resurrection of Christ, yet it was a sort of prelude to it, that the Son of God submitted to be circumcised.

His name was called JESUS. This passage shows, that it was a general custom among the Jews to give names to their children on the day that they were circumcised, just as we now do at baptism. Two things are here mentioned by the Evangelist. First, the name Jesus was not given to the Son of God accidentally, or by the will of men, but was the name which the angel had brought from heaven. Secondly, Joseph and Mary obeyed the command of God. The agreement between our faith and the word of God lies in this, that he speaks first, and we follow, so that our faith answers to his promises. Above all, the order of preaching the word is held up by Luke for our commendation. Salvation through the grace of Christ, he tells us, had been promised by God through the angel, and was proclaimed by the voice of men.

Calvin: Luk 2:22 - And after that the days were fulfilled 22.And after that the days were fulfilled On the fortieth day after the birth, (Lev 12:2,) the rite of purification was necessary to be performed. Bu...

22.And after that the days were fulfilled On the fortieth day after the birth, (Lev 12:2,) the rite of purification was necessary to be performed. But Mary and Joseph come to Jerusalem for another reason, to present Christ to the Lord, because he was the first-born. Let us now speak first of the purification. Luke makes it apply both to Mary and to Christ: for the pronoun αὐτῶν, of them, can have no reference whatever to Joseph. But it ought not to appear strange, that Christ, who was to be, made a curse for us on the cross,” (Gal 3:13,) should, for our benefit, take upon him our uncleanness with respect to legal guilt, though he was “without blemish and without spot,” (1Pe 1:19.) It ought not, I say, to appear strange, if the fountain of purity, in order to wash away our stains, chose to be reckoned unclean. 191 It is a mistake to imagine that this law of purification was merely political, and that the woman was unclean in presence of her husband, not in presence of God. On the contrary, it placed before the eyes of the Jews both the corruption of their nature, and the remedy of divine grace.

This law is of itself abundantly sufficient to prove original sin, while it contains a striking proof of the grace of God; for there could not be a clearer demonstration of the curse pronounced on mankind than when the Lord declared, that the child comes from its mother unclean and polluted, and that the mother herself is consequently defiled by childbearing. Certainly, if man were not born a sinner, if he were not by nature a child of wrath, (Eph 2:3,) if some taint of sin did not dwell in him, he would have no need of purification. Hence it follows, that all are corrupted in Adam; for the mouth of the Lord charges all with pollution.

It is in perfect consistency with this, that the Jews are spoken of, in other passages, as “holy branches of a holy root,” (Rom 11:16 :) for this benefit did not properly belong to their own persons. They had been set apart, by the privilege of adoption, as an elect people; but the corruption, which they had by inheritance from Adam, was first in the order of time 192 We must, therefore, distinguish between the first nature, and that special kindness through a covenant, by which God delivers his own people from the curse which had been pronounced on all. And the design of legal purification was to inform the Jews, that the pollutions, which they brought with them into the world at their birth, are washed away by the grace of God.

Hence too we ought to learn, how dreadful is the contagion of sin, which defiles, in some measure, the lawful order of nature. I do own that child-bearing is not unclean, and that what would otherwise be lust changes its character, through the sacredness of the marriage relation. But still the fountain of sin is so deep and abundant, that its constant overflowings stain what would otherwise be pure.

Calvin: Luk 2:23 - As it is written in the Law 23.As it is written in the Law This was another exercise of piety which was discharged by Joseph and Mary. The Lord commanded, that all the males sho...

23.As it is written in the Law This was another exercise of piety which was discharged by Joseph and Mary. The Lord commanded, that all the males should be dedicated to him, in remembrance of their deliverance; because when the angel slew all the first-born of Egypt, (Exo 12:29,) he had spared the first-born of Israel.

“On the day that I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, I hallowed unto me all the first-born in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be:
I am the Lord” (Num 3:13.)

They were afterwards permitted to redeem their first-born at a certain price. Such was the ancient ceremony: and, as the Lord is the common Redeemer of all, 193 he has a right to claim us as his own, from the least to the greatest. Nor is it without a good reason, that Luke so frequently repeats the statement, that Joseph and Mary did what was written in the law of the Lord For these words teach us, that we must not, at our own suggestion, attempt any thing in the worship of God, but must obediently follow what he requires in his Word.

Calvin: Luk 2:24 - And that they might offer a sacrifice 24.And that they might offer a sacrifice This sacrifice belonged to the ceremony of purification; lest any one should suppose that it was offered f...

24.And that they might offer a sacrifice This sacrifice belonged to the ceremony of purification; lest any one should suppose that it was offered for the sake of redeeming the first-born. When the Evangelist mentions a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, he takes for granted that his readers will understand, that Joseph and Mary were in such deep poverty, as not to have it in their power to offer a lamb. For this exception is expressly mentioned:

“If she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall
bring two turtles, or two young pigeons,” (Lev 12:8.)

Is it objected, that the Magi had very recently supplied them with a sufficiency of gold to make the purchase? I reply: We must not imagine that they had such abundance of gold as to raise them suddenly from poverty to wealth. We do not read, that their camels were laden with gold. It is more probable that it was some small present, which they had brought solely as a mark of respect. The law did not rigorously enjoin, that the poor should spend their substance on a sacrifice, but drew a line of distinction between them and the rich, as to the kind of sacrifices, and thus relieved them from burdensome expense. There would be no impropriety in saying, that Joseph and Mary gave as much as their circumstances allowed, though they reserved a little money to defray the expenses of their journey and of their household.

Calvin: Luk 2:25 - And, lo, there was a man in Jerusalem // And the Holy Spirit was upon him 25.And, lo, there was a man in Jerusalem The design of this narrative is to inform us that, though nearly the whole nation was profane and irreligiou...

25.And, lo, there was a man in Jerusalem The design of this narrative is to inform us that, though nearly the whole nation was profane and irreligious, and despised God, yet that a few worshippers of God remained, and that Christ was known to such persons from his earliest infancy. These were “the remnant” of whom Paul says, that they were preserved “according to the election of grace,” (Rom 11:5.) Within this small band lay the Church of God; though the priests and scribes, with as much pride as falsehood, claimed for themselves the title of the Church. The Evangelist mentions no more than two, who recognised Christ at Jerusalem, when he was brought into the temple. These were Simeon and Anna. We must speak first of Simeon.

As to his condition in life we are not informed: he may have been a person of humble rank and of no reputation. Luke bestows on him the commendation of being just and devout; and adds, that he had the gift of prophecy: for the Holy Spirit was upon him. Devotion and Righteousness related to the two tables of the law, and are the two parts of which an upright life consists. It was a proof of his being a devout man, that he waited for the consolation of Israel: for no true worship of God can exist without the hope of salvation, which depends on the faith of his promises, and particularly on the restoration promised through Christ. Now, since an expectation of this sort is commended in Simeon as an uncommon attainment, we may conclude, that there were few in that age, who actually cherished in their hearts the hope of redemption. All had on their lips the name of the Messiah, and of prosperity under the reign of David: but hardly any one was to be found, who patiently endured present afflictions, relying on the consolatory assurance, that the redemption of the Church was at hand. As the eminence of Simeon’s piety was manifested by its supporting his mind in the hope of the promised salvation, so those who wish to prove themselves the children of God, will breathe out unceasing prayers for the promised redemption. For we, “have need of patience” (Heb 10:36) till the last coming of Christ.

And the Holy Spirit was upon him The Evangelist does not speak of “the Spirit of adoptions” (Rom 8:15,) which is common to all the children of God, though not in an equal degree, but of the peculiar gift of prophecy. This appears more clearly from the next verse and the following one, in which it is said, that he received a revelation 194 from the Holy Spirit, and that, by the guidance of the same Spirit, he came into the temple Though Simeon had no distinction of public office, he was adorned with eminent gifts, — with piety, with a blameless life, with faith and prophecy. Nor can it be doubted, that this divine intimation, which he received in his individual and private capacity, was intended generally for the confirmation of all the godly. Jesus is called the Lord’s Christ, because he was anointed 195 by the Father, and, at the same time that he received the Spirit, received also the title, of King and Priest. Simeon is said to have come into the temple by the Spirit; that is, by a secret movement and undoubted revelation, that he might meet Christ. 196

Calvin: Luk 2:29 - Thou now sendest thy servant away 29.Thou now sendest thy servant away From this song it is sufficiently evident, that Simeon looked at the Son of God with different eyes from the eye...

29.Thou now sendest thy servant away From this song it is sufficiently evident, that Simeon looked at the Son of God with different eyes from the eyes of flesh. For the outward beholding of Christ could have produced no feeling but contempt, or, at least, would never have imparted such satisfaction to the mind of the holy man, as to make him joyful and desirous to die, from having reached the summit of his wishes. The Spirit of God enlightened his eyes by faith, to perceive, under a mean and poor dress, the glory of the Son of God. He says, that he would be sent away in peace; which means, that he would die with composure of mind, having obtained all that he desired.

But here a question arises. If he chose rather to depart from life, was it amidst distress of mind and murmuring, as is usually the case with those who die unwillingly, that Simeon was hurried away? I answer: we must attend to the circumstance which is added, according to thy word God had promised that Simeon would behold his Son. He had good reason for continuing in a state of suspense, and must have lived in some anxiety, till he obtained his expectation. This ought to be carefully observed; for there are many who falsely and improperly plead the example of Simeon, and boast that they would willingly die, if this or the other thing were previously granted to them; while they allow themselves to entertain rash wishes at their own pleasure, or to form vain expectations without the authority of the Word of God. If Simeon had said exactly, “Now I shall die with a composed and easy mind, because I have seen the Son of God,” this expression would have indicated the weakness of his faith; but, as he had the word, he might have refused to die until the coming of Christ.

Calvin: Luk 2:30 - For my eyes have seen 30.For my eyes have seen This mode of expression is very common in Scripture; but Simeon appears to denote expressly the bodily appearance of Christ,...

30.For my eyes have seen This mode of expression is very common in Scripture; but Simeon appears to denote expressly the bodily appearance of Christ, as if he had said, that he now has the Son of God present in the flesh, on whom the eyes of his mind had been previously fixed. By saving 197 I understand the matter of salvation: for in Christ are hid all the parts of salvation and of a happy life. Now if the sight of Christ, while he was yet a child, had so powerful an effect on Simeon, that he approached death with cheerfulness and composure; how much more abundant materials of lasting peace are now furnished to us, who have the opportunity of beholding our salvation altogether completed in Christ? True, Christ no longer dwells on earth, nor do we carry him in our arms: but his divine majesty shines openly and brightly in the gospel, and there do “we all,” as Paul says, “behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord,” — not as formerly amidst the weakness of flesh, but in the glorious power of the Spirit, which he displayed in his miracles, in the sacrifice of his death, and in his resurrection. In a word, his absence from us in body is of such a nature, that we are permitted to behold him sitting at the right hand of the Father. If such a sight does not bring peace to our minds, and make us go cheerfully to death, we are highly ungrateful to God, and hold the honor, which he has bestowed upon us, in little estimation.

Calvin: Luk 2:31 - Which thou hast prepared 31.Which thou hast prepared By these words Simeon intimates, that Christ had been divinely appointed, that all nations might enjoy his grace; and tha...

31.Which thou hast prepared By these words Simeon intimates, that Christ had been divinely appointed, that all nations might enjoy his grace; and that he would shortly afterwards be placed in an elevated situation, and would draw upon him the eyes of all. Under this term he includes all the predictions which relate: to the spread of Christ’s kingdom. But if Simeon, when holding a little child in his arms, could stretch his mind to the utmost boundaries of the world, and acknowledge the power of Christ to be everywhere present, how much more magnificent ought our conceptions regarding him to be now that he has been set up as a, “standard to the people,” (Isa 49:22,) and has revealed himself to the whole world.

Calvin: Luk 2:32 - A light for the revelation of the Gentiles // A light for revelation 32.A light for the revelation of the Gentiles Simeon now points out the purpose for which Christ was to be exhibited by the Father before all nations...

32.A light for the revelation of the Gentiles Simeon now points out the purpose for which Christ was to be exhibited by the Father before all nations. It was that he might enlighten the Gentiles, who had been formerly in darkness, and might be the glory of his people Israel There is propriety in the distinction here made between the people Israel and the Gentiles: for by the right of adoption the children of Abraham “were nigh” (Eph 2:17) to God, while the Gentiles, with whom God had made no “covenants of promise,” were “strangers” to the Church, (Eph 2:12.) For this reason, Israel is called, in other passages, not only the son of God, but his first-born, (Jer 31:9;) and Paul informs us, that “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Rom 15:8.) The preference given to Israel above the Gentiles is, that all without distinction may obtain salvation in Christ.

A light for revelation 198 means for enlightening the Gentiles Hence we infer, that men are by nature destitute of light, till Christ, “the Sun of Righteousness,” (Mal 4:2,) shine upon them. With regard to Israel, though God had bestowed upon him distinguished honor, yet all his glory rests on this single article, that a Redeemer had been promised to him.

Calvin: Luk 2:33 - And his father and mother were wondering 33.And his father and mother were wondering Luke does not say, that they were astonished at it as a new thing, but that they contemplated with revere...

33.And his father and mother were wondering Luke does not say, that they were astonished at it as a new thing, but that they contemplated with reverence, and embraced with becoming admiration, this prediction of the Spirit uttered by the lips of Simeon, so that they continued to make progress in the knowledge of Christ. We learn from this example that, when we have once come to possess a right faith, we ought to collect, on every hand, whatever may aid in giving to it additional strength. That man has made great proficiency in the word of God, who does not fail to admire whatever he reads or hears every day, that contributes to his unceasing progress in faith.

Calvin: Luk 2:34 - And Simeon blessed them // Lo, this has been set // And for the resurrection 34.And Simeon blessed them If you confine this to Joseph and Mary, there will be no difficulty. But, as Luke appears to include Christ at the same ti...

34.And Simeon blessed them If you confine this to Joseph and Mary, there will be no difficulty. But, as Luke appears to include Christ at the same time, it might be asked, What right had Simeon to take upon him the office of blessing Christ? “Without all contradiction,” says Paul, “the less is blessed of the greater,” (Heb 7:7.) Besides, it has the appearance of absurdity, that any mortal man should offer prayers in behalf of the Son of God. I answer: The Apostle does not speak there of every kind of blessing, but only of the priestly blessing: for, in other respects, it is highly proper in men to pray for each other. Now, it is more probable that Simeon blessed them, as a private man and as one of the people, than that he did so in a public character: for, as we have already said, we nowhere read that he was a priest. But there would be no absurdity in saying, that he prayed for the prosperity and advancement of Christ’s kingdom: for in the book of Psalms the Spirit prescribes such a εὐλογία , a blessing of this nature to all the godly.

“Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord;
we have blessed you in the name of the Lords”
(Psa 118:26.)

Lo, this has been set This discourse was, no doubt, directly addressed by Simeon to Mary; but it has a general reference to all the godly. The holy virgin needed this admonition, that she might not (as usually happens) be lifted up by prosperous beginnings, so as to be less prepared for enduring afflictive events. But she needed it on another account, that she might not expect Christ to be received by the people with universal applause, but that her mind, on the contrary, might be fortified by unshaken courage against all hostile attacks. It was the design, at the same time, of the Spirit of God, to lay down a general instruction for all the godly. When they see the world opposing Christ with wicked obstinacy, they must be prepared to meet that opposition, and to contend against it undismayed. The unbelief of the world is—we know it—a great and serious hinderance; but it must be conquered, if we wish to believe in Christ. There never was a state of human society so happily constituted, that the greater part followed Christ. Those who will enlist in the cause of Christ must learn this as one of their earliest lessons, and must “put on” this “armor,” (Eph 6:11,) that they may be steadfast in believing on him.

It was by far the heaviest temptation, that Christ was not acknowledged by his own countrymen, and was even ignominiously rejected by that nation, which boasted that it was the Church of God; and, particularly, that the priests and scribes, who held in their hands the government of the Church, were his most determined enemies. For who would have thought, that he was the King of those, who not only rejected him, but treated him with such contempt and outrage?

We see, then, that a good purpose was served by Simeon’s prediction, that Christ was set for the ruin of many in Israel The meaning is, that he was divinely appointed to cast down and destroy many. But it must be observed, that the ruin of unbelievers results from their striking against him. This is immediately afterwards expressed, when Simeon says that Christ is a sign, which is spoken against Because unbelievers are rebels against Christ, they clash themselves against him, and hence comes their ruin This metaphor is taken from a mark shot at by archers, 200 as if Simeon had said, Hence we perceive the malice of men, and even the depravity of the whole human race, that all, as if they had made a conspiracy, rise in murmurs and rebellion against the Son of God. The world would not display such harmony in opposing the Gospel, if there were not a natural enmity between the Son of God and those men. The ambition or fury of the enemies of the Gospel carries them in various directions, faction splits them into various sects, and a wide variety of superstitions distinguishes idolaters from each other. But while they thus differ among themselves, they all agree in this, to oppose the Son of God. It has been justly observed, that the opposition everywhere made to Christ is too plain an evidence of human depravity. That the world should thus rise against its Creator is a monstrous sight. But Scripture predicted that this would happen, and the reason is very apparent, that men who have once been alienated from God by sin, always fly from him. Instances of this kind, therefore, ought not to take us by surprise; but, on the contrary, our faith, provided with this armor, ought to be prepared to fight with the contradiction of the world.

As God has now gathered an Israel to himself from the whole world, and there is no longer a distinction between the Jew and the Greek, the same thing must now happen as, we learn, happened before. Isaiah had said of his own age,

The Lord will be for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offense, to both the houses of Israel,” (Isa 8:14.)

From that time, the Jews hardly ever ceased to dash themselves against God, but the rudest shock was against Christ. The same madness is now imitated by those who call themselves Christians; and even those, who lay haughty claims to the first rank in the Church, frequently employ all the power which they possess in oppressing Christ. But let us remember, all that they gain is, to be at length crushed and broken in pieces,” (Isa 8:9.)

Under the word ruin the Spirit denounces the punishment of unbelievers, and thus warns us to keep at the greatest possible distance from them; lest, by associating with them, we become involved in the same destruction. And Christ is not the less worthy of esteem, because, when he appears, many are ruined: for the “savor” of the Gospel is not less “sweet” and delightful to God, (2Co 2:15,) though it is destructive to the ungodly world. Does any one inquire, how Christ occasions the ruin of unbelievers, who without him were already lost? The reply is easy. Those who voluntarily deprive themselves of the salvation which God has offered to them, perish twice. Ruin implies the double punishment which awaits all unbelievers, after that they have knowingly and wilfully opposed the Son of God.

And for the resurrection This consolation is presented as a contrast with the former clause, to make it less painful to our feelings: for, if nothing else were added, it would be melancholy to hear, that Christ is a stone of stumbling,” which will break and crush, by its hardness, a great part of men. Scripture therefore reminds us of his office, which is entirely different: for the salvation of men, which is founded on it, is secure; as Isaiah also says, Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread; and he shall be for a sanctuary,” or fortress of defense, (Isa 8:13.) And Peter speaks more clearly:

To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house. Wherefore also it is contained in Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion the head-stone of the corner, elect, precious, and he that believeth in him shall not be confounded. Unto you, therefore, which believe, he is precious: but unto them who are disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,” (1Pe 2:4; Isa 28:16.)

That we may not be terrified by the designation bestowed on Christ, “a stone of stumbling,” let it be instantly recollected, on the other hand, that he is likewise called the “corner-stone,” on which rests the salvation of all the godly. 201

Let it be also taken into account, that the former is accidental, while the latter is properly and strictly his office. Besides, it deserves our notice, that Christ is not only called the support, but the resurrection of the godly: for the condition of men is not one in which it is safe for them to remain. They must rise from death, before they begin to live.

Calvin: Luk 2:35 - But also a sword shall pierce thy own soul // That the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed 35.But also a sword shall pierce thy own soul This warning must have contributed greatly to fortify the mind of the holy virgin, and to prevent her f...

35.But also a sword shall pierce thy own soul This warning must have contributed greatly to fortify the mind of the holy virgin, and to prevent her from being overwhelmed with grief, when she came to those distressing struggles, which she had to undergo. Though her faith was agitated and tormented by various temptations, yet her sorest battle was with the cross: for Christ might appear to be utterly destroyed. She was not overwhelmed with grief; but it would have required a heart of stone not to be deeply wounded: for the patience of the saints differs widely from stupidity.

That the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed There are some who connect this clause with a part of the former verse, that Christ is set for the ruin and for the resurrection of many in Israel; and who include in a parenthesis what we have just now explained about the sword: but it is better, I think, to refer it to the whole passage. The particle that, ὅπως ἄν, in this passage, does not strictly denote a cause, but merely a consequence. When the light of the Gospel arises, and persecutions immediately spring up, there is, at the same time, a disclosure of affections of the heart, which had been hitherto concealed: for the lurking-places of human dissimulation are so deep, that they easily remain hidden till Christ comes. 202 But Christ, by his light, discloses every artifice, and unmasks hypocrisy; and to him is properly ascribed the office of laying open the secrets of the heart. But when the cross is added to doctrine it tries the hearts more to the quick. For those who have embraced Christ by outward profession, often shrink from bearing the cross, and, when they see the Church exposed to numerous calamities, easily desert their post.

Calvin: Luk 2:36 - And there was Anna, a prophetess // She had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity 36.And there was Anna, a prophetess Luke mentions not more than two persons who received Christ; and this is intended to teach us, that whatever belo...

36.And there was Anna, a prophetess Luke mentions not more than two persons who received Christ; and this is intended to teach us, that whatever belongs to God, however small it may be, ought to be preferred by us to the whole world. The scribes and priests, no doubt, were then surrounded by great splendor; but, as the Spirit of God, whose presence was not at all enjoyed by those rulers, 203 dwelt in Simeon and Anna, those two persons are entitled to greater reverence than an immense multitude of those whose pride is swelled by nothing but empty titles. For this reason, the historian mentions Anna’s age, gives her the designation of prophetess, and, thirdly, bears a remarkable testimony to her piety, and to the holiness and chastity of her life. These are the qualities that justly give to men weight and estimation. And certainly none are led astray by the dazzling and empty magnificence of outward show, but those who are drawn, by the vanity of their own minds, to take pleasure in being deceived.

She had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity This is intended to inform us, that she was a widow in the very prime of life. She had married young, and shortly afterwards lost her husband; and the circumstance of her not entering into a second marriage while she was in the rigor of her bodily frame, 204 is mentioned with the view of heightening the commendation of her chastity. What follows, that she was a widow of about eighty-four years, may be explained in two ways. Either that time had passed in her unmarried state, 205 or it was the whole period of her life. If you reckon the eighty-four years as the time of her widowhood, it will follow that she was more than a hundred years old: but I leave that matter doubtful. The Spirit of prophecy still shone in a very few, who served as tokens to attest the doctrine of the Law and the Jewish religion, till the coming of Christ. In a state of society so dissolute, the elect of God needed such aids to prevent them from being carried away.

Calvin: Luk 2:37 - She departed not from the temple 37.She departed not from the temple This is a hyperbolical expression; but the meaning is plain, that Anna was almost constantly in the temple. Luke ...

37.She departed not from the temple This is a hyperbolical expression; but the meaning is plain, that Anna was almost constantly in the temple. Luke adds, that she worshipped God with fastings and prayers day and night Hence we infer, that she did not visit the temple for the mere purpose of performing the outward service, but that she added to it the other exercises of piety. It deserves our attention, that the same rule is not enjoined on all, and that all ought not to be led indiscriminately to copy those performances, which are here commended in a widow. Each person ought to make a judicious inquiry, what belongs to his own calling. Silly ambition has filled the world with apes, from superstitious persons seizing, with more “zeal” than “knowledges” (Rom 10:2,) every thing that they hear praised in the saints: as if the distinction of rank did not render a selection of employments necessary, that each person may answer to his own calling. What is here related of Anna, Paul applies in a particular manner to widows, (1Ti 5:5;) so that married people act a foolish part, if they regulate their life by an unsuitable model.

But there still remains another doubt. Luke appears to make fastings a part of divine worship But we must observe, that of the acts which relate to worship, some are simply required, and, as we are accustomed to say, are in themselves necessary; while others are accessory, and have no other design than to aid the former class. Prayers belong strictly to the worship of God. Fasting is a subordinate aid, which is pleasing to God no farther than as it aids the earnestness and fervency of prayer. We must hold by this rule, that the duties of men are to be judged according as they are directed to a proper and lawful end. We must hold, also, by this distinction, that prayers are a direct worship of God; while fastings are a part of worship only on account of their consequences. Nor is there any reason to doubt, that the holy woman employed fastings as an excitement to bewail those calamities of the Church which then existed.

Calvin: Luk 2:38 - Made acknowledgment also to God 38.Made acknowledgment also to God 206 The holy melody, which proceeded from the lips of Simeon and Anna, is praised by Luke, in order that believers...

38.Made acknowledgment also to God 206 The holy melody, which proceeded from the lips of Simeon and Anna, is praised by Luke, in order that believers may exhort each other to sing with one mouth the praises of God, and may give mutual replies. When he says, that Anna spake of him to all who looked for redemption in Jerusalem, he again points out the small number of the godly. For the substance of faith lay in this expectation; and it is evident, that there were few who actually cherished it in their minds.

Calvin: Luk 2:39 - They returned to Galilee 39.They returned to Galilee The departure to Egypt, I readily acknowledge, came between those events; and the fact mentioned by Luke, that they dwelt...

39.They returned to Galilee The departure to Egypt, I readily acknowledge, came between those events; and the fact mentioned by Luke, that they dwelt in their own city Nazareth, is later, in point of time, than the flight into Egypt, which Matthew relates, (Mat 2:14.) But if there was no impropriety in one Evangelist leaving out what is related by another, there was nothing to prevent Luke from overleaping the period which he did not intend to mention, and passing at once to the following history. I am very far from agreeing with those who imagine that Joseph and Mary, after having finished the sacrifice of purification, returned to Bethlehem, to live there. Those persons are foolish enough to believe, that Joseph had a settled abode in a place where he was so little known, that he was unable to find a temporary lodging. Nor is it without a good reason that Luke says, with respect both to Joseph and Mary, that Nazareth was their own city We infer from it, that he never was an inhabitant of Bethlehem, though it was the place of his extraction. 207 As to the order of time, I shall presently give a more full explanation.

Calvin: Luk 2:40 - And the child grew // He was invigorated in spirit, and was full of wisdom 40.And the child grew From the infancy of Christ Matthew passes immediately to his manifestation. 230 Luke relates here a single fact, which well des...

40.And the child grew From the infancy of Christ Matthew passes immediately to his manifestation. 230 Luke relates here a single fact, which well deserved to be recorded. In the midst of his boyhood, Christ gave a specimen of his future office, or at least indicated, by a single attempt, what he would afterwards be. The child grew, and was invigorated in spirit These words show, that the endowments of his mind grew with his age. 231 Hence we infer, that this progress, or advancement, relates to his human nature: for the Divine nature could receive no increase.

But a question arises. From the time that he was conceived in his mother’s womb, did he not abound in all fullness of spiritual gifts? for it appears absurd to say, that the Son of God wanted any thing that was necessary to perfection. The reply is easy. If it takes nothing from his glory, that he was altogether, “emptied,” ( ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσε , Phi 2:6,) neither does it degrade him, that he chose not only to grow in body, but to make progress in mind. And certainly when the Apostle declares, that, “in all things he was made like unto his brethren,”(Heb 2:17,) and “was in all points tempted like as we are, sin excepted,” (Heb 4:15,) he no doubt includes, that his soul was subject to ignorance. There is only this difference between us and him, that the weaknesses which press upon us, by a necessity which we cannot avoid, were undertaken by him voluntarily, and of his own accord. Christ received, in his human nature, according to his age and capacity, an increase of the free gifts of the Spirit, 232 that “out of his fullness” (Joh 1:16) he may pour them out upon us; for we draw grace out of his grace.

Some excessively timid persons restrict what is here said to outward appearance, and make the meaning to be, that Christ appeared to make progress, though, in point of fact, no addition was made to his knowledge. But the words have a quite different meaning, and this mistaken opinion is still more fully refuted by what Luke shortly afterwards adds, that he grew in age and wisdom with God and man, (Luk 2:52.) We are not at liberty to suppose, that knowledge lay concealed in Christ, and made its appearance in him in progress of time. There is no doubt whatever, that it was the design of God to express in plain terms, how truly and completely Christ, in taking upon him our flesh, did all that was necessary to effect his brotherly union with men. 233

And yet we do not in this way suppose a double Christ: 234 for, though God and man are united in one person, it does not follow, that the human nature received what was peculiar to the Divine nature: but, so far as was necessary for our salvation, the Son of God kept his divine power concealed. What Irenaeus says, that his Divine nature was quiescent when he suffered, 235 I understand to refer, not only to bodily death, but to that amazing distress and agony of soul, which drew from him the complaint, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mat 27:46.) In a word, if we do not choose to deny, that Christ was made a real man, we ought not to be ashamed to acknowledge, that he voluntarily took upon him everything that is inseparable from human nature.

It is a foolish objection, that ignorance does not apply to Christ, because it is the punishment of sin: for the same thing might be said of death. Scripture declares, on the contrary, that he performed the office of Mediator: for all the punishment which we deserved was transferred from us to him. 236 Besides, it is a foolish mistake to say, that ignorance is the punishment of sin. For we must not suppose that Adam, while he remained in innocence, knew all things. Angels also are, to some extent, ignorant, and yet they do not endure the punishment of sin.

A more refined argument is employed by some, that there was no ignorance in Christ, because ignorance is sin. But those persons assume a principle which is altogether false and groundless: otherwise, the angels must either be equal to God, or they must be sinful. 237 There is no doubt a sinful blindness of the human mind, which is justly reckoned a part of original sin: but here we ascribe to Christ no other ignorance than what may fall upon a man who is pure from every taint of sin.

He was invigorated in spirit, and was full of wisdom Luke thus declares, that whatever wisdom exists among men, and receives daily accessions, flows from that single fountain, from the Spirit of God. The following phrase is more general, and the grace of God was upon him: for it includes all the excellence of every description that shone brightly in Christ.

Calvin: Luk 2:41 - And his parents went every year to Jerusalem 41.And his parents went every year to Jerusalem It is mentioned in commendation of the piety of Mary and Joseph, that they gave diligent attendance t...

41.And his parents went every year to Jerusalem It is mentioned in commendation of the piety of Mary and Joseph, that they gave diligent attendance to the outward worship of God. It was not of their own accord, but by a divine command, that they undertook this annual journey. The law enjoins the, males “only to, appear before the Lord,” (Exo 23:17.) This arrangement does not entirely exclude females, but spares them by an exercise of kindness. This mark distinguishes the true religion from vain and wicked superstitions. The former confines itself within the limits of obedience to God, and of compliance with the enactments of his law. The latter wander, at their own pleasure, beyond the limits of God’s word, without any fixed rule. The worship of the temple was, no doubt, infected with many corruptions, the priesthood was sold for money, and doctrine was involved in many errors. Yet, as legal ceremonies were still in force, and the outward rite of sacrifice was observed as it is laid down in the law, believers were bound to perform such exercises in testimony of their faith. The name father is here given to Joseph, not with strict accuracy, but according to the opinion generally entertained respecting him.

Calvin: Luk 2:44 - And thinking that he was in the company 44.And thinking that he was in the company Many passages of Scripture show plainly, that those who came from a distance, at the festivals, to worship...

44.And thinking that he was in the company Many passages of Scripture show plainly, that those who came from a distance, at the festivals, to worship in the temple, were accustomed to travel in companies. There is no reason, therefore, to wonder that, on the first day, Joseph and Mary were less anxious about the child; and their subsequent conduct shows that this was not owing to indolence or carelessness.

Calvin: Luk 2:46 - Sitting in the midst of the doctors 46.Sitting in the midst of the doctors Rays of divine brightness must have evidently shone in this child: otherwise those haughty men would not have ...

46.Sitting in the midst of the doctors Rays of divine brightness must have evidently shone in this child: otherwise those haughty men would not have permitted him to sit along with them. Though it is probable that he occupied a lower seat, and not the rank of the doctors, yet such disdainful men would not have condescended to give him an audience in a public assembly, if some divine power had not constrained them. This was a sort of prelude to his public calling, the full time of which had not yet arrived. In this way, however, he intended to give nothing more than a taste, which would immediately have faded from the recollection of men, had not Mary kept it for us laid up in her heart, (Luk 2:19,) to bring it out afterwards, along with other treasures, for the use of all the godly.

Calvin: Luk 2:47 - And all who heard him 47.And all who heard him Two things here claim our attention. All who heard him were astonished: for they reckoned it a miracle, that a child shoul...

47.And all who heard him Two things here claim our attention. All who heard him were astonished: for they reckoned it a miracle, that a child should frame his questions with such correctness and propriety. Again, they heard Christ, and thus acted the part rather of scholars than of teachers. He had not yet been called by the Father, to avow himself a public teacher of the Church, and therefore satisfied himself with putting modest questions to the doctors. Yet there is no room to doubt that, in this first attempt, he already began to tax their perverse way of teaching: for what Luke afterwards says about answers, I consider as denoting, agreeably to the Hebrew idiom, any kind of discourse.

Calvin: Luk 2:48 - And his mother said to him 48.And his mother said to him Those who think that the holy virgin spake in this manner, for the purpose of showing her authority, are, in my opinion...

48.And his mother said to him Those who think that the holy virgin spake in this manner, for the purpose of showing her authority, are, in my opinion, mistaken. It is even possible, that it was not till they were apart, and the witnesses had withdrawn, that she began to expostulate with her son, after they had left the assembly. However that may be, this complaint was not the result of ambition, but was the expression of grief, which had lasted three days. 238 Yet the manner of her complaint, as if she had received an injury, shows how ready we are by nature to defend our own rights, even without paying regard to God. The holy virgin would a thousand times 239 rather have died, than deliberately preferred herself to God: but, in the indulgence of a mother’s grief, she falls into it through inadvertency. And undoubtedly this example warns us, how jealous we ought to be of all the affections of the flesh, and what care we ought to exercise, lest, by being too tenacious of our rights, and following our own desires, we defraud God of his honor.

Calvin: Luk 2:49 - Did ye not know? // In those things which belong to my Father 49.Did ye not know? Our Lord justly blames his mother, though he does it in a gentle and indirect manner. The amount of what he says is, that the dut...

49.Did ye not know? Our Lord justly blames his mother, though he does it in a gentle and indirect manner. The amount of what he says is, that the duty which he owes to God his Father, ought to be immeasurably preferred to all human duties; and that, consequently, earthly parents do wrong in taking it amiss, that they have been neglected in comparison of God. And hence we may infer the general doctrine, that whatever we owe to men must yield to the first table of the law, that God’s authority over us may remain untouched. 240 Thus we ought to obey kings, and parents, and masters, 241 but only in subjection to God: that is, we must not, for the sake of men, lessen or take away any thing from God. And, indeed, a regard to the superior claims of God does not imply a violation of the duties which we owe to men.

In those things which belong to my Father This expression intimates, that there is something about him greater than man. It points out also the chief design of his being sent into the world, which was, that he might discharge the office enjoined upon him by his heavenly Father. But is it not astonishing, that Joseph and Mary did not understand this answer, who had been instructed by many proofs, that Jesus is the Son of God? I reply: Though they were not wholly unacquainted with Christ’s heavenly origin, yet they did not comprehend, in every respect, how he was intent on executing his heavenly Father’s commands: for his calling had not yet been expressly revealed to them. Mary kept in her heart those things which she did not fully understand. Let us learn from this, to receive with reverence, and to lay up in our minds, (like the seed, which is allowed to remain for some time under grounds) those mysteries of God which exceed our capacity.

Calvin: Luk 2:51 - And he was subject to them 51.And he was subject to them It was for our salvation that Christ took upon him this low estate, — that the Lord and head of angels voluntarily be...

51.And he was subject to them It was for our salvation that Christ took upon him this low estate, — that the Lord and head of angels voluntarily became subject to mortal creatures. Such was the purpose of God, that Christ should remain, for some time, under a shadow, beating the name of Joseph. Though this subjection, on the part of Christ, arose from no necessity which he could not have avoided, yet, as he had taken upon him human nature on the condition of being subject to parents, and had assumed the character both of a man and of a servant, — with respect to the office of Redeemer, this was his lawful condition. The more cheerfully, on this account, ought every one to bear the yoke which the Lord has been pleased to lay upon him. 242

Defender: Luk 2:1 - all the world Such a decree does not reflect ignorance on the emperor's part, but arrogance. As great as the Roman empire was, he certainly knew that Rome could not...

Such a decree does not reflect ignorance on the emperor's part, but arrogance. As great as the Roman empire was, he certainly knew that Rome could not gather taxes beyond its own boundaries. He did believe, however, that the rather limited part of the "world" (in Greek, oikoumene, meaning "inhabited world") which was controlled by Rome was all that deserved the designation."

Defender: Luk 2:2 - Cyrenius Caesar Augustus, the first and probably greatest true emperor of Rome, consolidated power under himself and effectively terminated the days of the Rom...

Caesar Augustus, the first and probably greatest true emperor of Rome, consolidated power under himself and effectively terminated the days of the Roman republic in the period from 44 b.c. (when Julius Caesar was assassinated) until 27 b.c. He died in a.d. 14. Thus, Jesus was born in the later mid-years of his reign. Governors were appointed over the various provinces, and Cyrenius (or Quirinius) was made governor of Syria in 4 b.c., as confirmed archaeologically. The province of Syria included Judaea as a political subdivision. It has also been shown that there was, indeed, a taxing about this time. It is further agreed (see notes on Mat 2:7) that 4 b.c. was probably about the date of Jesus' birth. Although Luke's accuracy as a historian used to be questioned, archaeological and historical studies by William Ramsay and others have shown that all his references to names, places and events are quite reliable, entirely apart from the further assurance of divine inspiration."

Defender: Luk 2:3 - his own city Since genealogical records of families in Judah were traditionally kept in their ancestral home towns, this was Rome's way of assuring that all paid."

Since genealogical records of families in Judah were traditionally kept in their ancestral home towns, this was Rome's way of assuring that all paid."

Defender: Luk 2:5 - espoused wife The marriage was not yet physically consummated, but the "espousal" itself was a binding contract that only could be broken by formal divorce. Joseph,...

The marriage was not yet physically consummated, but the "espousal" itself was a binding contract that only could be broken by formal divorce. Joseph, as well as Mary, was willing to endure the scorn of family and friends over the seeming premarital relations between himself and his fiancee resulting in her pregnancy. He was a "just man" (morally righteous, as well as considerate of others), and the message of the angel had assured him that Mary's child was "of the Holy Ghost" (Mat 1:19, Mat 1:20). Consequently, he had entered gladly into the espousal contract, even though he knew he could not actually consummate the marriage until after Jesus was born (Mat 1:25)."

Defender: Luk 2:7 - in a manger Many years later, that same body would be "wrapped in linen, and laid in a sepulchre" (Luk 23:53)."

Many years later, that same body would be "wrapped in linen, and laid in a sepulchre" (Luk 23:53)."

Defender: Luk 2:8 - abiding in the field It is unlikely that shepherds would be abiding in their fields in late December. Furthermore, the 70-mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem would pro...

It is unlikely that shepherds would be abiding in their fields in late December. Furthermore, the 70-mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem would probably have been too difficult for Mary in the winter. A more probable time would be late September, the time of the annual Feast of Tabernacles, when such travel was commonly accepted. Thus, it is rather commonly believed (though not certain) that Jesus' birth was around the last of September. The conception of Christ, however, may have taken place in late December of the previous year. Our Christmas celebration may well be recognized as an honored observation of the incarnation of "the Word made flesh" (Joh 1:14)."

Defender: Luk 2:13 - heavenly host The probability is that this mighty angel, leading the heavenly host in their praises, was Michael the archangel; this occasion was later commemorated...

The probability is that this mighty angel, leading the heavenly host in their praises, was Michael the archangel; this occasion was later commemorated by the early church as Michaelmas ("Michael sent"), on September 29, the same as the date of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. It would have at least been appropriate for Christ to have been born on such a date, for it was at His birth that "the Word was made flesh and dwelt (literally tabernacled) among us" (Joh 1:14). This would mean, then, that His conception took place in late December. Thus, it might well be that when we today celebrate Christ's birth at what we call Christmas (i.e., "Christ sent"), we are actually celebrating His miraculous conception, the time when the Father sent the Son into the world, in the virgin's womb. This darkest time of the year - the time of the pagan Saturnalia, and the time when the sun (the physical "light of the world") is at its greatest distance from the Holy Land - would surely be an appropriate time for God to send the spiritual "light of the world" into the world as the "Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luk 2:11)."

Defender: Luk 2:21 - circumcising of the child The rite of circumcision, as a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 17:9-14), is known also to be of significant health benefit to the male. Its perfor...

The rite of circumcision, as a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 17:9-14), is known also to be of significant health benefit to the male. Its performance on the "eighth day" is also now known to be the optimum time for it to be done, in terms of the child's most rapid recovery from the operation. The coagulants in the blood of an infant normally reach their optimum effectiveness eight days after birth. Because circumcision was a Jewish law, the infant Jesus experienced it.

Defender: Luk 2:21 - named of the angel See Mat 1:21 and Luk 1:31."

See Mat 1:21 and Luk 1:31."

Defender: Luk 2:24 - turtledoves See Lev 12:8. Joseph, despite his royal lineage, was only a young carpenter, too poor to bring a lamb for his offering."

See Lev 12:8. Joseph, despite his royal lineage, was only a young carpenter, too poor to bring a lamb for his offering."

Defender: Luk 2:30 - thy salvation The aged Simeon saw through the Holy Spirit that the infant in his arms would bring salvation both to Jews and Gentiles (Luk 2:32). In the Bible's fir...

The aged Simeon saw through the Holy Spirit that the infant in his arms would bring salvation both to Jews and Gentiles (Luk 2:32). In the Bible's first mention of "salvation," father Jacob said he had been waiting for it (Gen 49:18). Now Simeon, the namesake of his second son, had actually seen it in the Spirit in the person of little Jesus."

Defender: Luk 2:34 - for a sign There are four "signs" associated with the birth of Christ: (1) the sign of the virgin birth (Isa 7:14); (2) the sign of the guiding star (Mat 2:2); (...

There are four "signs" associated with the birth of Christ: (1) the sign of the virgin birth (Isa 7:14); (2) the sign of the guiding star (Mat 2:2); (3) the sign of the swaddling clothes (Luk 2:12); and (4) the sign of the stumbling stone (Luk 2:34). The opposition which would mark the entire life of Christ would begin with His birth, as Herod would seek, unsuccessfully, to slay Him. Many would fall over this "rock of offense" in Israel (1Pe 2:8), but many would rise again."

Defender: Luk 2:35 - thy own soul Mary, the mother of Jesus, would indeed feel the terrible sword of the evil one as her divine Son was impaled on the cross (see note on Joh 19:25-27)....

Mary, the mother of Jesus, would indeed feel the terrible sword of the evil one as her divine Son was impaled on the cross (see note on Joh 19:25-27)."

Defender: Luk 2:40 - filled with wisdom As a little child, Jesus already was "strong in [the] Spirit" and "filled with wisdom." Though not specifically stated, this surely implies that He, l...

As a little child, Jesus already was "strong in [the] Spirit" and "filled with wisdom." Though not specifically stated, this surely implies that He, like John the Baptist (Luk 1:15), was filled with the Holy Spirit from His mother's womb."

Defender: Luk 2:49 - my Father's business As a boy, Jesus had already become a deep student of the Scriptures, more than able to hold His own with the learned "doctors" (Rabbis). His parents, ...

As a boy, Jesus had already become a deep student of the Scriptures, more than able to hold His own with the learned "doctors" (Rabbis). His parents, knowing His interests as well as His divine mission, should have known where He would be - hence His gentle question. The reference to "His Father's business" indicates that, even in His humanity, at the key age of twelve years, He already had begun to realize His identity and purpose."

Defender: Luk 2:52 - increased in wisdom Jesus is God (Joh 1:1) and God is omniscient, so how could He "increase in wisdom?" This question points up the mystery of His divine/human nature. He...

Jesus is God (Joh 1:1) and God is omniscient, so how could He "increase in wisdom?" This question points up the mystery of His divine/human nature. He was fully God, yet fully man (apart from sin), and this mystery is simply beyond human comprehension. We are told that Christ "emptied Himself" (the essence of the Greek term translated "made Himself of no reputation" in Phi 2:6), thereby implying a voluntary setting aside of His "omni" attributes in order to take "the form of a servant." In the records of His life and teachings, there is abundant evidence of His deity, including His own claims (Joh 8:12; Joh 11:26). At the same time, there is abundant evidence of His true humanity, including the fact that He "increased in wisdom" as He also grew in stature. Every act and teaching must be carefully studied in context to sort this out in each instance."

TSK: Luk 2:1 - Caesar // all // taxed Caesar : Luk 3:1; Act 11:28, Act 25:11, Act 25:21; Phi 4:22 all : Mat 24:14; Mar 14:9, Mar 16:15; Rom 1:8 taxed : or, enrolled

Caesar : Luk 3:1; Act 11:28, Act 25:11, Act 25:21; Phi 4:22

all : Mat 24:14; Mar 14:9, Mar 16:15; Rom 1:8

taxed : or, enrolled

TSK: Luk 2:2 - taxing // governor taxing : Act 5:37 governor : Luk 3:1; Act 13:7, Act 18:12, Act 23:26, Act 26:30

TSK: Luk 2:4 - Joseph // of the city // unto // he was Joseph : Luk 1:26, Luk 1:27, Luk 3:23 of the city : Luk 4:16; Mat 2:23; Joh 1:46 unto : Gen 35:19, Gen 48:7; Rth 1:19, Rth 2:4, Rth 4:11, Rth 4:17, Rt...

TSK: Luk 2:5 - -- Deu 22:22-27; Mat 1:18, Mat 1:19

TSK: Luk 2:6 - so // the days am 4000, bc 4 so : Psa 33:11; Pro 19:21; Mic 5:2 the days : Luk 1:57; Rev 12:1-5

am 4000, bc 4

so : Psa 33:11; Pro 19:21; Mic 5:2

the days : Luk 1:57; Rev 12:1-5

TSK: Luk 2:7 - she // and wrapped // the inn she : Isa 7:14; Mat 1:25; Gal 4:4 and wrapped : Luk 2:11, Luk 2:12; Psa 22:6; Isa 53:2, Isa 53:3; Mat 8:20, Mat 13:55; Joh 1:14; 2Co 8:9 the inn : Luk...

TSK: Luk 2:8 - abiding // watch over their flock by night abiding : Gen 31:39, Gen 31:40; Exo 3:1, Exo 3:2; 1Sa 17:34, 1Sa 17:35; Psa 78:70,Psa 78:71; Eze 34:8; Joh 10:8-12 watch over their flock by night : o...

abiding : Gen 31:39, Gen 31:40; Exo 3:1, Exo 3:2; 1Sa 17:34, 1Sa 17:35; Psa 78:70,Psa 78:71; Eze 34:8; Joh 10:8-12

watch over their flock by night : or, the night-watches

TSK: Luk 2:9 - lo // and the // and they lo : Luk 1:11, Luk 1:28; Jdg 6:11, Jdg 6:12; Mat 1:20; Act 27:23; 1Ti 3:16 and the : Exo 16:7, Exo 16:10, Exo 40:34, Exo 40:35; 1Ki 8:11; Isa 6:3, Isa...

TSK: Luk 2:10 - Fear not // I bring // to Fear not : Luk 1:13, Luk 1:30; Dan 10:11, Dan 10:12, Dan 10:19; Mat 28:5; Rev 1:17, Rev 1:18 I bring : Luk 1:19, Luk 8:1; Isa 40:9, Isa 41:27, Isa 52:...

TSK: Luk 2:11 - unto // in // which // the Lord unto : Luk 1:69; Isa 9:6; Mat 1:21; Gal 4:4, Gal 4:5; 2Ti 1:9, 2Ti 1:10; Tit 2:10-14, Tit 3:4-7; 1Jo 4:14 in : Luk 2:4; Mat 1:21 which : Luk 2:26, Luk...

TSK: Luk 2:12 - -- Exo 3:12; 1Sa 10:2-7; Psa 22:6; Isa 53:1, Isa 53:2

TSK: Luk 2:13 - a multitude a multitude : Gen 28:12, Gen 32:1, Gen 32:2; 1Ki 22:19; Job 38:7; Psa 68:17, Psa 103:20,Psa 103:21, Psa 148:2; Isa 6:2, Isa 6:3; Eze 3:12; Dan 7:10; L...

TSK: Luk 2:14 - Glory // and // good Glory : Luk 19:38; Psa 69:34, Psa 69:35, Psa 85:9-12, Psa 96:11-13; Isa 44:23, Isa 49:13; Joh 17:4; Eph 1:6, Eph 3:20,Eph 3:21; Phi 2:11; Rev 5:13 and...