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The Visit of the Wise Men

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, wise men came from the east to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who was born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are no longer least among the princes of Judah;
for out of you shall come a Governor,
    who will shepherd My people Israel.’[a]

Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, carefully inquired of them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring me word again, so that I may come and worship Him also.”

When they heard the king, they departed. And the star which they saw in the east went before them until it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with great excitement. 11 And when they came 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 gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 But being warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they returned to their own country by another route.

The Escape to Egypt

13 Now when they departed, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and escape to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word. For Herod will seek the young Child to kill Him.”

14 When he rose, he took the young Child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt, 15 and remained there until the death of Herod, to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called My Son.”[b]

The Killing of the Infants

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was utterly furious and sent forth and killed all the male children who were in Bethlehem and the surrounding region, from two years old and under, based on the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet:

18 “In Ramah a voice was heard,
    grieving and weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
    and she would not be comforted,
because they are no more.”[c]

The Return From Egypt

19 But when Herod was dead, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.”

21 And he rose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus reigned in Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Nevertheless, being warned by God in a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

The Magi Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea,(A) during the time of King Herod,(B) Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?(C) We saw his star(D) when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem(E) in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b](F)

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.(G) Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts(H) of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned(I) in a dream(J) not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Escape to Egypt

13 When they had gone, an angel(K) of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.(L) “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”(M)

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled(N) what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[c](O)

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:(P)

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
    weeping and great mourning,
Rachel(Q) weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.”[d](R)

The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel(S) of the Lord appeared in a dream(T) to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”(U)

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream,(V) he withdrew to the district of Galilee,(W) 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth.(X) So was fulfilled(Y) what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.(Z)

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 2:1 Traditionally wise men
  2. Matthew 2:6 Micah 5:2,4
  3. Matthew 2:15 Hosea 11:1
  4. Matthew 2:18 Jer. 31:15

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