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Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

LK2:8 Now there were shepherds[1] in the same area who were living outside keeping watch at night[2] over their flock. LK2:9 Then YHWH’s angel[3] appeared to them and YHWH’s glory[4] shone all around them and so they became frightened with a great fear. LK2:10 And the angel said to them: “Do not be frightened. For, behold, I declare to all of you a great joy for all the people. LK2:11 Because today there was born to you in David’s city a savior[5] who is Lord Messiah.[6] LK2:12 And this will be your sign – you will find an infant wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” LK2:13 Then suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of celestial armies[7] praising The God and saying: LK2:14 “Glory to God in the heights, and on earth peace among men of goodwill!”[8]


[1] Shepherds: Though Luke compiled his Gospel thirty years later it is still possible he was able to interview one or more of these shepherds. Certainly he could get facts from their children who would have been told the story.

[2] Living outside keeping watch at night: Suggesting it was not yet winter and was mild enough in the fall to sleep outdoors.

[3] YHWH’s angel: A Hebraism that occurs often in the Old Testament. [Genesis 16:7; Exodus 3:2; Numbers 22:22]

[4] YHWH’s glory: A Hebraism. [Exodus 16:7, 10; 24:16, 17; 40:34, 35]

[5] A savior: Or, deliverer. The Greek SOTER is without the article. The designation is used of God and judges of Israel. [Isaiah 19:20]

[6] Lord Messiah: Or, Christ, Anointed Lord, Messiah and Lord, Christ the Lord. [Daniel 9:24, 25]

[7] A multitude of celestial armies: Or, KJV: a multitude of the heavenly host; GDS: a throng of the heavenly army; AMP: an army of the troops of heaven.

[8] Peace among men of goodwill: Or, on earth peace, good will toward men; RSV: among men with whom he is pleased; ABU: peace toward men of his good pleasure; MON: among men who please him. [Isaiah 9:6] Compare Jesus’ use of Isaiah 61:2 at Luke 4:19.

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Preceding: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

File:Rembrandt van Rijn - The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds.jpg

The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds – 1634, Rembrandt (1606–1669)

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  • The Peace of the Lord – Sermon for December 29, 2013 (pastorrichert.wordpress.com)
    It seems appropriate to consider why the angels were bringing tidings of peace when this child whose birth they were announcing would lead to so much bloodshed, when he himself would grow up to say, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” [Matthew 10:34]?
  • The First Christmas (1singlefocus.wordpress.com)
    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”

    And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the
    shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”
    +
    Celebrate His birth like the Shepherds did: spread the Good News, glorifying and praising God, for Christ the Savior is born!

  • Joy. (wccollegedotorg.wordpress.com)
    God chose the shepherds to tell Mary about the baby. What does this say about God? What does this say about the shepherds?  Can God use you to tell some good news?
  • Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours! (freehealthandwellness.com)
    some of the words to the songs sung at this time of year are beautiful and very meaningful, but why do people wait to sing them now? Why not during the year? Some say that the Christmas story was told in the scriptures of the Gospels.
  • Merry Christmas to All of You!! (menofredemption.wordpress.com)
    behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
  • The Lord Sits #ThroneOfGod #YHWH #Jesus #TheLordsits (mrpatvincent.com)
    The Throne of God is mentioned several times throughout scripture. I won’t bombard you with all of them. Most famously it is described by Ezekiel (chapter 1). I’d like to mention also that the angel Gabriel refers to the Throne of God in Luke 1:32-33 because… he should know, he’s been there. He’s actually seen it!
  • God Love’s You! (thelbdessentialsforlife.wordpress.com)
    John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • Let Go and Let God #LetGodAndLetGod #YHWH #Jesus (mrpatvincent.com)
    Give God the reigns of your life. He is a much better driver anyways. Letting go is hard for us humans, isn’t it? We have to be in control of everything. It’s almost as if we’re admitting defeat if we let someone else take over. If someone is more qualified, then why not? And if anyone is more qualified, it’s the LORD. Why is this such a struggle?! It’s OK to let God in. It’s OK to let Him be the deciding factor.
  • Mary pondered these things in her heart: the art of pondering (johndgrigsby.com)
    God had been silent in the Bible for 400 years until the arrival of Jesus.  So the God of the universe had spoke to Mary, gave her a baby, and now these shepherds were witnesses to the authenticity.  I think she just pondered what would be next.  Where would these events take her life next?  Who else would come to visit the baby and how did they know of Him?  Would there be a different way of raising this God child?  She had no idea what would be next, but I think her mind would race with expectations.
  • The Norm Nativity | Angels visit the Shepherds (daily-norm.com)
    Above the stable, a particularly bright star grew even brighter, and in the stars around it, angel Norms started gathering to celebrate the birth, flying then from place to place to spread the great news. One of the first places they visited was a nearby field, where a group of shepherds sat about having a little evening supper after a hard day looking after their not insubstantial flock. When the shepherds caught sight of a group of angels coming towards them, they almost collapsed in shock – their poor little sheep didn’t know what to do with themselves and promptly hid behind their shepherd masters. Only when the excitement of the news relayed by the angels sunk in did the shepherds (and the sheep) begin to settle, jumping up with some excitement and declaring that they must visit the baby forthwith!

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