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Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’

MT2:7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and carefully ascertained from them the time[1] of the star’s appearing,[2] MT2:8 and sending them off to Bethlehem he told them: “Go your way and make a careful search for the young child[3] so you may report back to me so I can also[4] go and prostrate myself to the child.” MT2:9 But, having heard the king these [magi] went their way, and, look! the star[5] which they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood right above where the young child was. MT2:10 Seeing the star they rejoiced with a great deal of joy. MT2:11 And when they went into the house[6] they say the young child with his mother Mary. They fell down and prostrated themselves on the ground before the child. They opened the treasures[7] they brought and presented the gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.[8] MT2:12 However, the magi were given a divine warning in a dream[9] not to return to Herod, so they withdrew by another route to their own country.

 

[1] The time: This is no longer the time of the birth but about two years later. It is unlikely these Persian magicians time matters to be present at the birth in the manger. Rather, something else has led them on their long journey from the east. The classic image of the angels, shepherds, and wise men is mistaken. Apparently the timing of the observation of this “star” was two years before.

[2] The star’s appearing: Of great interest to astrologers and seemingly Herod believes in astrology. He has determined the place (Bethlehem) and now he knows the rough age. His plot grows more and more evil. Revelation 12:4 reveals the Satanic plot to devour the Christ Child upon his birth. This Satan does throughout the life of Jesus, including his death.

King's College Chapel, Cambridge

King’s College Chapel, Cambridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[3] The young child: This is no longer a newborn baby but rather according to the Greek a PAIDIOU, or young boy. By this time surely the little Jesus is walking and forming words.

[4] So I can also: Herod is lying. His agenda is murderous as events will show.

[5] Star: Note evidently this star now reappears. It is possible they have not seen this “star” for two years and thus the considerable joy on their part. Now it “appears” again and moves with them – it is not a comet, asteroid, or meteorite. It is highly unlike it is a super nova. The identity of this “star” is discussed in the notes on Matthew 2:2.

[6] House: Note it is not a “manger” but a house. The family has moved and possibly lived here for about two years.

[7] Treasures: The value is not stated, however, we may assume it was considerable and no doubt later is used in the trip to Egypt and life there.

[8] Frankincense, and myrrh: “Frankincense” is an African incense with a pleasurable odor. “Myrrh” was one of the ingredients in the priestly anointing oil. Jesus is offered wine drugged with myrrh at his execution so the incense appears in both his birth and death, including his burial (John 19:39, 40).

[9] Dream: RHM: instructed by dream; BAS: made clear to them. We see dreams are a divine instrument, and they occur in several contexts here in the opening chapters of Matthew.

Mark Heber Miller 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM] or Nazarene Commentary, 2000©

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Preceding articles:

  1. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  2. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  3. Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth
  4. Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest
  5. Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief
  6. Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant
  7. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God
  8. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John
  9. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  10. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  11. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  12. Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ
  13. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  14. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night
  15. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
  16. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God
  17. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning
  18. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  19. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  20. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

Upcoming articles:

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Early life of Christ in the Bowyer Bible print...

Early life of Christ in the Bowyer Bible print 8 of 21. adoration of Jesus by the Magi. Vos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

  • Jesus or Herod? (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)
    In Matthew’s second chapter, we see that Jesus’ birth creates a conflict about who is King. It was in the time period of the reign of Herod the Great. Herod endowed his realm with massive fortresses and splendid cities, as well as a new Temple.
  • Matthew 02:01-23, “Responses to the Newborn King” (ezracommentary.wordpress.com)
    • No guns signaled his birth.
    • No decorations were put up in Jerusalem
    • No commemorative coins were issued.
      +
      Rome had appointed Herod king in 37 B.C. But the wise men had spoken of a supernatural star that had announced the birth of a king. Notice that they asked, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” They were not talking about someone who would be appointed king at some point in history. They were talking about one who was born king, one who by His very nature is King. The Bible calls Him King of kings and Lord of lords. He is not nominated or appointed. He is not elected and he cannot be voted out of office. His kingship does not depend on your vote. He does not become king by some parliamentary procedure, and he cannot be removed from office by a motion of no-confidence. Jesus was born King. It is his nature to rule. Look at the prophecy of Micah again in v. 5-6,
  • The Virgin Shall Conceive And Bear A Son (todaysanewday.wordpress.com)
    Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
  • Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem (dailytwocents.com)
    They arrived at the house where the star stood shining above,praised and worshiped then presented gifts to the child.They then went their way, never to return to Herod.
  • Preparing for Christmas 2 – They followed a Star… (fortyandfantastique.wordpress.com)
    After so long without a prophet, and so many prophecies yet to be fulfilled, the Jewish people had to have been yearning for something to happen! But, as we learn in Matthew 2, it wasn’t just the Jews who noticed!
    +
    it must have taken some time for the Magi to travel from the East (some commentators speculate that they came from Persia) to see Jesus. Matt 2:11 states that the Magi came to a “house” not a manger.  According to the Jewish laws, a woman had a period of 40 days of confinement after giving birth to a male child (Leviticus 12:1-8) and then she was to take an offering to the temple. Luke 2:21-22 says that Mary and Joseph went to the temple to do this, so they had to have remained in Bethlehem at least that long. They departed for Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath sometime after this forty days and also after the visit of the Magi, as recorded in Luke, but before Jesus was 2 years old, because based on the Magi’s calculations, Herod killed all the male children 2 years old and younger, in order to be “sure” to eliminate Jesus as the “King” of the Jews. So Jesus was older than 40 days and younger than 2 years when the Magi visited Him.
  • The day the Star stopped: Understanding Christmas (commdiginews.com)

    Christian historian Sextus Julius Africanus (ca. A.D. 180 – ca. A.D. 250) is said to have been the first to claim that Jesus was born on the 25th of December. It turns out that Africanus might have had Jesus’ birthday confused with another prominent event in His life – the visit of the Magi, scholars and astronomers from Babylon who likely were intellectual descendents of the prophet Daniel.

    How could following a star lead somebody to the location of the Christ child? In order to understand the star-gazing journey memorialized in Christmas songs and fashion, we have to once again look to the Old Testament.

    The purpose of stars, planets, etc. was mentioned in the beginning – “for signs and for seasons and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14). The Scriptures say that the stars and constellations were named by the creator Yahweh, not by mankind (see Job 9, Isaiah 40:26, and Amos 8) – although different cultures ascribe a variety of stories to these preformed patterns in the sky.

  • Jesus, Our Precious Gift: An Interactive Christmas Drama 2014 (amberdover.wordpress.com)
    I wrote a nativity play for our homeschool group. I also had an Advent craft and goodies for the kiddos.
  • God’s Will (genesisone.wordpress.com)
    The prophecy was that the promised Messiah would come from Bethlehem, in Judea. This was affirmed by the religious leaders to Herod.
  • One Thing’s Perfect (josephelonlillie.com)
    Christmases are never the same. They change from year to year, and they are never really perfect, no matter how hard we try to force them to be so
  • Finally, the night has come~by rldubour (ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com)
    In your thoughts you know the true meaning.The star of David and why the three wisemenCome seeing.A child was born in a manger that night.

    The Son of God to show us the light.

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