Mathew 2

Mathew 2

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

The word translated as when in verse 1 is a mistranslated it should read after. Most of the other translations read just that way you can check that out on any good bible translations site. Bible Hub, Blueletter, biblegateway,

Notice it says nothing about Kings. There is no evidence that they were kings. The word used for wise men is magos. It is the plural form of magi. Magi in the Persian Empire were wise men. In the bible they are referred to as the elders more accurately.

Dan 2:48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon

The record of why Daniel became the head of the wise men or Magi is recorded in Daniel 2.

What Daniel knew he taught and it came down through the ages. The word of God is written in the star’s (Psalm 19 1-6) so when the astrologers more what we call Astronomers saw the alignment of the planets and stars they came to where Daniel said he would rule from. That is why the magi went to Jerusalem rather than Bethlehem because they knew he would rule from there. No place is it indicated that they were following a star.

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him

Star meant a body in the night sky. For more information see the book The Star that Astonished the World. Ernest L Martin.

So from verse two we know that they studied the stars. Now look at:

(NIV) Isaiah 47:12 Call out the demon hordes you’ve worshiped all these years. Call on them to help you strike deep terror into many hearts again. 13 You  have advisors by the ton—your astrologers and stargazers, who try to tell you what the future holds. 14 But they are as useless as dried grass burning in the fire. They cannot even deliver themselves! You’ll get no help from them at all. Theirs is no fire to sit beside to make you warm! 15 And all your friends of childhood days shall slip away and disappear, unable to help.
Why would the word present in a positive light someone who was doing something God expressly forbids? This lends a great deal of weight to the astronomer’s arguments.

I have heard several theories about the star. The best I can tell with limited knowledge in this area is I don’t know enough to say I subscribe to any of the ideas I have heard. All I can do is show you what the word has to say.

Psa 147:4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by [their] names.

So the names of the stars were given by God. He set them in order according to Genesis 1-3. Did God do something special? Yes I do believe he did. There are book you can get about this subject and that is what I recommend. EW Bulinger did some wonderful work in witness of the stars. VP Weirwille did another good book called Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed. You would be much better to read them for yourself than having me try to explain them.  For more information on the star and the magi.

Back to Mathew 2.
3When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Where exactly did the priests get that information?

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting.
There are many prophecies about The Messiah and every one of them will be fulfilled before all things are finished here on this earth. Here is one another is about to come up.

7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

Again privily means privately you could even translate the word secretly. Why did Herod want to meet secretly with the wise men? The only thing that seems logical to me is he didn’t trust anyone. Now I’m not saying the scripture says that just that is the most logical answer I can come up with as to why he did it this way.

8  And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

Look at the last three words verse 9. “The young child” Now notice it does not say baby. It is the Greek word paidion. It means a young child. The word that is used for a baby or newborn is brephos it is translated babe 5, child 1, infant 1, young child. In Luke when it is talking about Jesus it is brephos not paidion. I believe that is why Herod wanted to know when the star appeared. The star first appeared when Christ was born. That was two years prior to the wise men showing up. The child was around 2 years old when the wise men arrived.

Let’s look at the appendixes from EW Bulinger.

Appendixes to the Companion Bible

Dr. E.W. Bullinger
Appendixes to The Companion Bible
Dr. E.W. Bullinger
There are seven Greek words translated "child" in the N.T., which are to be distinguished as follows :--
  1. teknon =  that which is borne or born (from tikto, to bring forth).  Anglo-Saxon = bearn, from beran, to bear.  Hence, Scottish bairn.  Used of a child by natural descent, whether boy or girl.
  2. teknion. Diminutive of teknon (No. i, above); a term of endearment.
  3. hutos = a son, or male, having reference to origin and nature, including that of relationship to the father.
  4. pais = a child, whether son or daughter (in relation to law); a boy or girl (in relation to age); a servant, or maid (in relation to condition), like the French garcon.
  5. paidion. Diminutive of pais (No. iv, above); hence, a young or little child, an infant; also a term of endearment.
  6. paidarion. Another diminutive of pais (No. iv, above), a lad; a little boy or girl.
  7. nepios. Not old enough to speak (from ne, negative, and epo, to speak).
  8. brephos. an embryo, or newly-born babe.
  9. korasion =  a young girl, or maiden.  Diminutive of kore, a girl; like paidion, used as a term of endearment.
10. neaniskos = a young man (always so translated), from the age of twenty to forty.

The word here in Mathew 2 is paidion hence, a young or little child, an infant; also a term of endearment.

There are several words that can be translated a baby this is not one of them.

I realize I am going completely against tradition but if the tradition is wrong then we need to hear the truth. Just like I will not teach that you must confess your sins to get saved because from the word we are told to confess the savior from sin. Tradition is not our base of truth the Word of God is.

Mat 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Mat 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Notice that it says the house not stable.

It also states that they brought gifts. When a king was born there were 3 gifts you brought to a king that was just born gold, frankincense, and myrrh. So the wise men were following custom of the time.

Mat 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

So God told the wise men not to return to Herod. Now Herod was a title. In the book of Acts the name reappears. You remember he refused to believe and got puffed up with pride and he died.

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

So Joseph is forewarned by Gabriele that he needs to get out of town in fact he tells him to get out of Israel. So Joseph waited till the morning and asked his friends what the dream meant and then went to the local Levite and talked it over with him got his view on angles? No they got up and went. That is the kind of believing we need to have. If God says go you don’t need to ask anyone just go.

15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

This was not the first time God called someone out of Egypt was it?

Hosea 11:1 When Israel [was] a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

There are many things that happened in the Old Testament that were prophecy about the coming Christ. They seem like things of the time but they pertain to Christ as well. After all from Gen 3:15- Rev 22:21 the Word of God is about Jesus Christ what he would do, what he was doing, or what he had accomplished.

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, accomplished.

18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Herod was a very suspicious sort to begin with. If you want to find out more about Herod you can go to

and read a short summary about this Herod and his son and following generations. So because the wise men had told him the appeared two years before he had every male child two years and under killed.

There was a prophecy by the prophet Jeremiah that said there would be wailing by Rachel. Now Rachel was the wife of Jacob. Jacob was a man who believed God and God changed his name to Israel so when the bible refers to Rachel it is talking about Israel. So there was lamentation throughout Israel because Herod sent forth soldiers and they killed all the male children.

Jeremiah 31:15 This is what the Lord says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more."

Again another fulfilled prophecy. All prophecy of the word will come to pass. So when God makes a promise to you, you can bank on it.

19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20  Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

So they returned from Egypt but went to Nazareth instead of Bethlehem. They had been told to do this by an angel sent from God. Again Joseph just went and did as instructed. Now the prophecy here in verse 23 you can check through the whole word of God and you won’t find it and there is a simple reason why. If you really read the verse it says “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets”. So not every prophecy was in written form some was just spoken. Simply because it is not in a written prophecy from the Old Testament does not mean it might be fulfilling a prophecy.

So there you have the record from Mathew about the birth of our savior. Next time we will look at Luke chapters 1 and 2.

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