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Bethlehem, in the land* of Juda, art not the least among the cities of Juda : for out of
thee shall come a prince who shall rule my 7 people Israel. Then Herod, when he had pri
vately called the wise men, inquired of them 8 particularly what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, 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 9 also.f 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 10 stood over where the young child was. And
when they saw the star they were exceedingly glad.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down, and worshipped him : And when they had opened their treasures,
they presented unto him gifts of gold, and 12 frankincense, and myrrh. And being warn
ed of God in a dream, that they should not
return to Herod, they departed into their own 13 country another way.And when they were
departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise,
* That is, province or district.
+ See Micah v. 2. It is there said, not only that Christ shall rule, but that be is from everlasting, or from ancient time. + That is, pay him respect and obeisance.
This verse is wanting in some ancient MSS.
and take the young child, and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and remain there until I bring
thee word: for Herod will seek the young 14 child to destroy him. Then he arose, and
tock the young child and his mother by night, 15 and departed into Egypt: 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.* 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was
mockedt of the wise men, was exceedingly wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children which were in Bethlehem, I and in all the coasts, thercof, from two years old and un
der, according to the time which he had 17 ascertained of the wise men. Then was ful
filled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the 18 prophet, saying, In Rama a voice was heard,
even lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning ;1 Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they
are not. 19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel
of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in 20 Egypt, saying, Arise, and take the young child,
* This was spoken originally of the Israelites-Hosea xi. 1. We bare here an instance of scripture being quoted by way of accommodation. See also the 18th and 23d verses of this chapter.
+ Or deceived. | This circumstance is mentioned by some Roman writers. o Parts or suburbs. " Those entering on their second year.
See Jeremiah xxxi. 15,
and his mother, and go into the land of Israel :
for they are dead who sought the young child's 21 life. And he arose, and took the young child
and his mother, and came into the land of 22 Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus*
reigned in Judea, in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither; and being
warned of God in a cream, he turned aside 23 into the country of Galilee. 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.†
I IN those dayst John the Baptist came; 2 preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying,
Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.j
* Josephus represents this prince also as jealous and eruel."
+ None of the prophets have expressly called Christ a Nazarene : But many bave described him as such; that is, one devoted to God and religion. See Judges xiii. 5. Acts XX. Num. vi. Some consider it as a tern of reproach, proverbially applied, Nazareth being an obscure place.
I That is, after the events took place mentioned in the former chapter ; for our Savior was nearly thirty years old now.
This evangelist often uses the phrase, “kingdom of heaven," to denote the gospel dispensation. The express. ion is meant to designate the Blessiah's kingdom or reign ; which was then about to commence ; which the devout Jews were then expecting, and which their holy prophets had long before described.
3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet
Isaiah, saying, “The voice of one crying in the
wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, 4 make his paths straight.” And the same John
had his raiment of camels' hair, and a leathern
girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts . 5 and wild honey.* Then went out to him the
people of Jerusalem, and all Judca, and all the 6 country about Jordan, and were baptized of
him in Jordan,t confessing their sins.1. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and
Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto
them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned 8 you to fee from the wrath to come? Bring
forth therefore the proper fruits of repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We
have Abraham for our father : Il for I say unto
you, that God is able of these stones to raise up 10 children unto Abraham. I And now also the
In his costume and manner of living, as well as in bis exhortations, John was like the ancient Jewish prophet Elijah. He came, indeed, in the power and spirit of that holy man, and announced to the degenerate Jews the approach of the Messiah's reign. But they were so worldly and carnal in their views, that they mistook his character, and rejected his doctrines.
+ The word translated in, may be rendered at or by.
I This baptism was a sign of repentance, and preparatory to the gospel dispensation, and not appropriately the Christian baptism.
s To prove your repentance sincere.
1 The Jews boasted of being the descendants of Abraham, and thought themselves in no need of instruction or improvement.
T That is, God is able now to raise up as great and good men as Abraham was.
ax is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore
every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit, 11 is hewn down, and cast into the fire. * 1 in
deed baptize you with water unto repentance : but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear : he
shall-baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and 12 with fire.t Whose fan is in his hand, and he
will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner ; but he will burn up
the chaff with unquenchable fire. 13 Then Jesus cometh from Galilee to Jordan 14 unto John, to be baptized of him. But John
forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptiz. 15 ed of thee, and comest thou to me? And Je
sus answering, said unto him, Suffer it to be
so now : for thus it becometh us to fulfil all 16 righteousness. Then he suffered him. And
Jesus, when he was baptized, went up iinmediately from the water : and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit
of God descending like a dove, and lighting 17 upon him. And lo, a voice from heaven,
* A time of reforination and judginent was approaching: and those who should remain unbelieving and impenitent would be destroyed.?
+ With the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, and its sanctifying influences.
To observe every ordinance of God.
This extraordinary testinony was given in favor of Christ, several other times in the conse of his mission, This voice from heaven the Jews called Bath Co!, and is mentioned by their Rabbis as one mode of communication from God to man.