To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)To be taxed.—Literally, to register himself.
With Mary his espoused wife.—Many of the best MSS. omit the substantive: “with Mary who was betrothed to him.” The choice of the participle seems intended to imply the fact on which St. Matthew lays stress (Matthew 1:25). She went up with him, not necessarily because she too had to be registered at Bethlehem, but because her state, as “being great with child,” made her, in a special sense, dependent on Joseph’s presence and protection.Matthew 2:1.
Because he was of the house - Of the family.
And lineage - The "lineage" denotes that he was descended from David as his father or ancestor. In taking a Jewish census, families were kept distinct; hence, all went to the "place" where their family had resided. Joseph was of the "family" of David, and hence he went up to the city of David. It is not improbable that he might also have had a small paternal estate in Bethlehem that rendered his presence there more desirable.See Poole on "Luke 2:4"
being great with child; very near her time, and yet, though in such circumstances, was obliged by this edict, to come to Bethlehem; and the providence in it was, that she might give birth there, and so the prophecy in Micah 5:2 have its accomplishment: this was an instance, and an example, of obedience to civil magistrates.To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. to be taxed] Rather, to enrol himself.
with Mary] It is uncertain whether her presence was obligatory (Dion. Hal. iv. 5; Lact. De Mort. Persec. 23) or voluntary; but it is obvious that at so trying a time, and after what she had suffered (Matthew 1:19), she would cling to the presence and protection of her husband. Nor is it wholly impossible that she saw in the providential circumstances a fulfilment of prophecy.
his espoused wife] Or, who was betrothed to him; ‘wife’ is omitted in B, D, L.Luke 2:5. Ἀπογράψασθαι, to be enrolled [Engl. Vers. to be taxed]) to give in his name. The middle voice.—γυναικὶ, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ, his wife, being pregnant.) This, which was mentioned in the first chapter, is repeated, because it was so set down also in the census-roll, among the records of the Romans.Verse 5. - With Mary his espoused wife The older authorities here omit "wife." Translate, with Mary who was betrothed to him.
We may read either, went up with Mary, denoting merely the fact of her accompanying him; or, to enrol himself with Mary, implying that both their names must be registered.
Great with child (ἐγκύῳ)
See on Luke 1:24. Only here in New Testament.
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