|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-8 Those who live at the greatest distance from the means of grace often use most diligence, and learn to know the most of Christ and his salvation. But no curious arts, or mere human learning, can direct men unto him. We must learn of Christ by attending to the word of God, as a light that shineth in a dark place, and by seeking the teaching of the Holy Spirit. And those in whose hearts the day-star is risen, to give them any thing of the knowledge of Christ, make it their business to worship him. Though Herod was very old, and never had shown affection for his family, and was not himself likely to live till a new-born infant had grown up to manhood, he began to be troubled with the dread of a rival. He understood not the spiritual nature of the Messiah's kingdom. Let us beware of a dead faith. A man may be persuaded of many truths, and yet may hate them, because they interfere with his ambition, or sinful indulgences. Such a belief will make him uneasy, and the more resolved to oppose the truth and the cause of God; and he may be foolish enough to hope for success therein.
Verse 3. - When; and when, Revised Version. There is a contrast (δέ) between the eager question of the Magi and the feelings of Herod. Herod the king. In the true text the emphasis is not on the person (as in ver. 1, where the date was all-important), but on the office as then exercised. Tile king visibly regnant is contrasted with him who was born to be King. Heard. Through some of his many sources of information, for "there were spies set everywhere" (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 15:10. 4). These things; it, Revised Version. Nothing is expressed in the original. He was troubled; perplexed, agitated (ἐταράχθη). Fully in accordance with his jealous and suspicious character. For he had already slain, as actual or possible candidates for the throne, five of the Maccabean princes and princesses, including his favourite wife Mariamne (thus extirpating the direct line) and also his two sons by Mariamne. Josephus ('Ant.,' 17:02. 4; cf. Holtzmann) mentions a prediction of the Pharisees towards the end of Herod's life, that "God had decreed that Herod's government should cease, and his posterity should be deprived of it." This seems to have a Messianic reference, though used at the time for an intrigue in favour of Pheroras, Herod's brother. And all Jerusalem. The feminine (here only, πᾶσα Ἰεροσόλυμα) points to a Hebrew source. The reason for the inhabitants of Jerusalem feeling troubled is generally explained, by their fear, which was in fact only too well justified by experience, that the news would excite Herod to fresh crimes. It is also possible that many would shrink from the changes which the coming of Messiah could not but bring. Present ease, though only comparative, is with the unbelieving preferable to possibilities of the highest blessedness. Matthew 21:10 affords both a parallel and a contrast. With him. In this respect Jerusalem was one with Herod (John 1:11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When Herod the king had heard these things,.... That is, the report made by the wise men of the appearance of an unusual star, and of the birth of the king of the Jews, which they affirmed with all certainty, without any hesitation,
he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Herod was troubled, his mind was disturbed and made uneasy, fearing he should be deposed, and lose his kingdom, to which he knew he had no just right and claim, being a foreigner; and "all Jerusalem", i.e. all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who heard of this, were also troubled, and showed a concern at it with him; either feignedly, as knowing his jealousy, suspicion and cruelty; or in reality, because of tumults, commotions and wars, they might fear would arise upon this, having lost the true notion of the Messiah, as a spiritual king, saviour and redeemer. And hereby was fulfilled, in part, the famous prophecy in Genesis 49:10 according to the sense of one (w) of the Targumists on it, who paraphrases it after this manner;
"Kings and governors shall not cease from the house of Judah, nor scribes, who teach the law, from his seed, until the time that the king Messiah, the least of his sons, comes, "and because of him", , "the people shall melt."''
that is, they shall be distressed and troubled, their hearts shall melt like wax within them; which was their present case, though perhaps the paraphrast may design the Gentiles.
(w) Jonathan ben Uzziel in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled—viewing this as a danger to his own throne: perhaps his guilty conscience also suggested other grounds of fear.
and all Jerusalem with him—from a dread of revolutionary commotions, and perhaps also of Herod's rage.
Matthew 2:3 Parallel Commentaries
Matthew 2:3 NIV
Matthew 2:3 NLT
Matthew 2:3 ESV
Matthew 2:3 NASB
Matthew 2:3 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible