Luke 2:5
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
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(5) 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.

2:1-7 The fulness of time was now come, when God would send forth his Son, made of a woman, and made under the law. The circumstances of his birth were very mean. Christ was born at an inn; he came into the world to sojourn here for awhile, as at an inn, and to teach us to do likewise. We are become by sin like an outcast infant, helpless and forlorn; and such a one was Christ. He well knew how unwilling we are to be meanly lodged, clothed, or fed; how we desire to have our children decorated and indulged; how apt the poor are to envy the rich, and how prone the rich to disdain the poor. But when we by faith view the Son of God being made man and lying in a manger, our vanity, ambition, and envy are checked. We cannot, with this object rightly before us, seek great things for ourselves or our children.The city of David - Bethlehem, called the city of David because it was the place of his birth. See the notes at 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.

5. espoused wife—now, without doubt, taken home to him, as related in Mt 1:18; 25:6. See Poole on "Luke 2:4"

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife,.... Whom also he had married, though he had not known her in a carnal way; she came along with him to be taxed and enrolled also, because she was of the same family of David, and belonged to the same city:

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.
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. Luke 2:5To be taxed with Mary

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.


Not merely betrothed. See Matthew 1:20, Matthew 1:24, Matthew 1:25; also see on Matthew 1:18.

Great with child (ἐγκύῳ)

See on Luke 1:24. Only here in New Testament.

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