|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:8-20 Angels were heralds of the new-born Saviour, but they were only sent to some poor, humble, pious, industrious shepherds, who were in the business of their calling, keeping watch over their flock. We are not out of the way of Divine visits, when we are employed in an honest calling, and abide with God in it. Let God have the honour of this work; Glory to God in the highest. God's good-will to men, manifested in sending the Messiah, redounds to his praise. Other works of God are for his glory, but the redemption of the world is for his glory in the highest. God's goodwill in sending the Messiah, brought peace into this lower world. Peace is here put for all that good which flows to us from Christ's taking our nature upon him. This is a faithful saying, attested by an innumerable company of angels, and well worthy of all acceptation, That the good-will of God toward men, is glory to God in the highest, and peace on the earth. The shepherds lost no time, but came with haste to the place. They were satisfied, and made known abroad concerning this child, that he was the Saviour, even Christ the Lord. Mary carefully observed and thought upon all these things, which were so suited to enliven her holy affections. We should be more delivered from errors in judgment and practice, did we more fully ponder these things in our hearts. It is still proclaimed in our ears that to us is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord. These should be glad tidings to all.
Verse 17. - And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this Child. Thus these men, at the bottom of the social scale in Israel, were chosen as the first preachers of the new-born King. Gradually the strange story got noised abroad in the city. The vision of Zacharias, the story of Mary, the two strange births, the marvellous experience of the shepherds. Following upon all this was the arrival of the Magi, and their inquiries after a new-born Messiah, whom they had been directed by no earthly voices to seek after in the neighborhood of Jerusalem. It was then that the jealous fears of Herod were in good earnest aroused, and the result was that he gave immediate directions for the massacre of the innocents in Bethlehem, of which St. Matthew writes.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when they had seen it,.... Or "him", as the Arabic version reads, the child Jesus, or "them", Joseph, Mary, and the child; or this whole affair, as had been related to them:
they made known abroad; not only in the inn, and among all the people there but throughout the city of Bethlehem,
the saying which was told them concerning this child: both what the angel had told them concerning his birth, and what he was, and where he lay; and what Mary had told them concerning the notice she had from an angel of the conception of him, and the manner of it, and of what he should be; and likewise what Joseph had told them, how an angel had appeared to him, and had acquainted him, after the conception of him, that it was of the Holy Ghost; and was bid to call his name Jesus: as Mary also was, because he was to be the Saviour of his people from their sins: for, no doubt, but they had a conversation with Joseph and Mary about him; and as they could not fail of relating to them, what they had seen and heard that night in the fields, it is reasonable to suppose, that Joseph and Mary would give them some account of the above things; which all make up the saying, or report, they spread abroad: the Persic version reads, "what they had heard of the angel"; but there is no reason to confine it to that.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. made known abroad—before their return (Lu 2:20), and thus were the first evangelists [Bengel].
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