Luke 2:15
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) The shepherds.—Some, but not the best, MSS. give, as in the margin, “the men the shepherds,” as if to emphasise the contrast between the “angels” who departed and the “men” who remained.

This thing. . . . which the Lord hath made known.—Literally, this word, or spoken thing. The choice of the Greek word seems to indicate that St. Luke was translating from the Aramaic.

Luke 2:15-20. As the angels were gone away — Probably they saw them ascend; the shepherds said, Let us now go; without delay; and see this thing — This wonderful and important event; which is come to pass: and they came and found Mary and Joseph, &c. — Though it is not mentioned, it seems the angel had described to them the particular place in Bethlehem where Christ was born. And, having found the child lying where the angel had said, they were by that sign fully confirmed in their belief, and with boldness declared both the vision which they had seen, and the things which they had heard pronounced by the angel, and the heavenly host with him. And all they that heard wondered at those things, &c. — Joseph and Mary, with the people of the inn who attended them, and such of their relations as were come up to Bethlehem to be enrolled, and happened to be with them on this occasion, were exceedingly astonished at the things which the shepherds openly declared; and the rather, because they could not understand how one born of such mean parents could be the Messiah. But Mary kept all these things, &c. — Mary was greatly affected with, and thought upon, the shepherds’ words, the import of which she was enabled to understand, in consequence of what had been revealed to herself. She said nothing, however, being more disposed to think than to speak: which was an excellent instance of modesty and humility in so great a conjuncture. And the shepherds returned, glorifying God, &c. — They returned to their flocks, and by the way praised God for having condescended, by a particular revelation, to inform them of so great an event as the birth of the Messiah, and because they had seen the signs by which the angel in the vision pointed him out to them. To this we may add, that, “besides what they had heard from the angel and seen at Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary would doubtless give them an account of those particulars which the sacred historian has related above, respecting the conception of this divine infant; and this interview must have greatly confirmed and comforted the minds of all concerned.” — Doddridge.

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.Unto Bethlehem - The city of David, where the angel had told them they would find the Saviour. These shepherds appear to have been pious people. They were waiting for the coming of the Messiah. On the first intimation that he had actually appeared they went with haste to find him. So all people should without delay seek the Saviour. When told of him by the servants of God, they should, like these shepherds, forsake all, and give no rest to their eyes until they have found him. We may "always" find him. We need not travel to Bethlehem. We have only to cast our eyes to heaven; to look to him and to believe on him, and we shall find him ever near to us, and forever our Saviour and friend. 15. Let us go, &c.—lovely simplicity of devoutness and faith this! They are not taken up with the angels, the glory that invested them, and the lofty strains with which they filled the air. Nor do they say, Let us go and see if this be true—they have no misgivings. But "Let us go and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us." Does not this confirm the view given on Lu 2:8 of the spirit of these humble men?Ver. 15-18. It was night, yet they delayed not to go and make a search, according to the revelation of the angel; and not in vain, they

found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe. Divine revelations never deceive the soul that gives credit to them. Heaven and earth may pass away, but nothing which God hath spoken shall pass away without its accomplishment.

When they had seen it, they made known the saying, &c: they had no charge of secrecy upon them, so did well in publishing what was of such universal concern for men to know. Spiritual morsels ought not to be ate alone. The effect of their relation, in the generality of the people that heard it, was the same which we have often met with upon the people’s seeing of Christ’s miracles, viz. amazement and astonishment; we read nothing of their faith. The first was a natural effect of a strange relation. The other must have been the special operation of God.

And it came to pass, as the angels,.... The Persic version reads in the singular number, "the angel: were gone away from them into heaven", from whence they came, and which was the place of their abode and residence; and therefore they are called the angels of heaven, where they always behold the face of God, hearken to the voice of his commandment, and go and come at his orders; and these having finished their embassy, delivered their message to the shepherds, and done all the work they came about,

departed from them: and, as the Ethiopic version adds, "and ascended up into heaven"; and as soon as they were gone, immediately,

the shepherds said one to another, let us now go even to Bethlehem the place where the angel said the Saviour was born,

and see this thing which hath come to pass, which the Lord hath made known to us: from whence it appears, that it was not from diffidence of the matter, as questioning the truth of what the angel said, that they moved one another to go to Bethlehem; for they firmly believed the thing was come to pass, which the angel had told them of, and that what he said was from the Lord; nor did they act any criminal part, or indulge a vain curiosity, in going to Bethlehem to see what was done; for it seems to be the will of God that they should go, and for which they had a direction from the angel, and a sign given them by which they might know the new born Saviour from any other infant, Luke 2:12 and which would also be a further confirmation of their faith, and by which they would be qualified not only as ear, but as eyewitnesses of the truth of this fact, to report it with greater certainty.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 2:15 f. Καὶ οἱ ἄνθρ.] This καί is not also, but the simple and after ἐγένετο; see on Luke 5:12.

οἱ ἄνθρωποι οἱ ποιμένες, not: the shepherd people (Grotius, Paulus, and others), against which the second article is decisive (comp. Matthew 18:23; Matthew 22:2, al.; see Bernhardy, p. 48; Kühner, II. p. 120), but a contrast to οἱ ἄγγελοι, in which case, however, we must not lay upon the expression a stress which is foreign to the connection (“totum genus humanum quodammodo repraesentantes,” Bengel), but rather must adhere to the simple and artless mode of representation: after the departure of the angels the people too, the shepherds, said, etc.

διέλθωμεν] through the fields as far as to Bethlehem, Acts 9:38; Acts 11:19.

δή] denotes what is definitive, without more ado. See Klotz, ad Devar. p. 395; Nägelsbach, Anm. z. Ilias, ed. 3, p. 433 f.

τὸ ῥῆμα] which has been said; ὃ ὁ κύρ. ἡμ. is an epexegesis of it.

ἀνεῦρον] they discovered (after previous search, in conformity with the direction at Luke 2:12). The word only occurs in the N. T. again at Acts 21:4, comp. 4Ma 3:14; more frequently among Greek writers.

Luke 2:15-20. The shepherds go to Bethlehem.—διέλθωμεν δή, come! let us go. The force of δή, a highly emotional particle (the second time we have met with it, vide at Matthew 13:23), can hardly be expressed in English. The rendering in A. V[24] (and R. V[25]), “Let us now go,” based on the assumption that δὴ has affinity with ἤδη, is very tame, giving no idea of the mental excitement of the shepherds, and the demonstrative energy with which they communicated to each other, comrade-fashion, the idea which had seized their minds. “The δὴ gives a pressing character to the invitation,” Godet. Similarly Hahn = “agedum, wohlan, doch”. Cf. δὴ in Acts 13:2. The διὰ in διέλθωμεν suggests the idea of passing through the fields.—ἕως (conjunction used as a preposition) may imply that it was a considerable distance to Bethlehem (Schanz).—ῥῆμα, here = “thing” rather than “word”.

[24] Authorised Version.

[25] Revised Version.

15. Let us now go] Rather, Come now! let us go.

Luke 2:15. Οἱ ἄνθρωποι, the men [the shepherds]) representing, as they did in some measure, the whole human race. Comp. Luke 2:14, among men; in antithesis to, the angels. Men came to Jesus; whereas angels did their office from a distance.—διέλθωμενἓως, let us go on—even to) Hence it may be inferred that the shepherds had their house, not at Bethlehem, but in some locality between which and Bethlehem midway was situated broadwise the region where they kept watch over their flocks; Luke 2:20 is in agreement with this view. Comp. Acts 9:38, διελθεῖν ἓως (αὐτῶν) ἡμῶν, “to come on even to (them) us.” On this account [owing to their having to go forward and back over so much space] the matter became the more known through their means.—τὸ γεγονὸς, which has come to pass) They believe that the event has already come to pass, from the announcement of the angel.

Luke 2:15The shepherds

Some texts add οἱ ἄνθρωποι, the men; but the later texts omit.

Let us go (διέλθωμεν)

The preposition διά, through, implies through the intervening space.

Thing (ῥῆμα)

See on Luke 1:37. The utterance of the shepherds contains a climax: "Let us go and see this saying, which has come to pass; which the Lord made known."

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