New American Standard Bible
"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
King James Bible
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Darby Bible Translation
Where is the king of the Jews that has been born? for we have seen his star in the east, and have come to do him homage.
World English Bible
"Where is he who is born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east, and have come to worship him."
Young's Literal Translation
saying, 'Where is he who was born king of the Jews? for we saw his star in the east, and we came to bow to him.'
Matthew 2:2 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Where is he ... - There was at that time a prevalent expectation that some remarkable personage was about to appear in Judea. The Jews were anxiously looking for the coming of the Messiah. By computing the time mentioned by Daniel Dan 9:25-27, they knew that the period was approaching when he would appear. This personage, they supposed would be a temporal prince, and they were expecting that he would deliver them from Roman bondage. It was natural that this expectation should spread into other countries. Many Jews at that time lived in Egypt, in Rome, and in Greece; many, also, had gone to Eastern countries, and in every place they carried their sacred writings, and diffused the expectation that some remarkable person was about to appear. Suetonius, a Roman historian, speaking of this rumor. says: "An ancient and settled persuasion prevailed throughout the East that the Fates had decreed some one to proceed from Judea who should attain universal empire." Tacitus, another Roman historian, says: "Many were persuaded that it was contained in the ancient books of their priests, that at that very time the East should prevail, and that some one should proceed from Judea and possess the dominion." Josephus also, and Philo, two Jewish historians, make mention of the same expectation. The fact that such a person was expected is clearly attested. Under this expectation these wise men came to do him homage, and inquired anxiously where he was born?
His star - Among the ancients the appearance of a new star or comet was regarded as an omen of some remarkable event. Many such appearances are recorded by the Roman historians at the birth or death of distinguished men. Thus they say that at the death of Julius Caesar a comet appeared in the heavens and shone seven days. These wise men also considered this as an evidence that the long-expected Prince was born. It is possible that they had been led to this belief by the prophecy of Balaam, Numbers 24:17, "There shall come a star out of Jacob," etc. What this star was is not known. There have been many conjectures respecting it, but nothing is revealed concerning it. We are not to suppose that it was what we commonly mean by a star. The stars are vast bodies fixed in the heavens, and it is absurd to suppose that one of them was sent to guide the wise men. It is most probable that it was a luminous appearance, or meteor, such as we now see sometimes shoot from the sky, which the wise men saw, and which directed them to Jerusalem. It is possible that the same thing is meant which is mentioned by Luke 2:9; "The glory of the Lord shone round about them;" i. e., (see the note on this place), a great light appeared shining around them. That light might have been visible from afar, and might have been seen by the wise men in the East.
In the East - This does not mean that they had seen the star to the east of themselves, but that, when they were in the East, they had seen this star. As this star was in the direction of Jerusalem. it must have been west of them. It might be translated, "We, being in the East, have seen his star." It is called his star, because they supposed it to be intended to indicate the time and place of his birth.
To worship him - This does not mean that they had come to pay him religious homage, or to adore him They regarded him as the King of the Jews, but there is no evidence that they supposed that he was divine. They came to honor him as a Prince, or a king, not as God. The original word implies no more than this. It means to prostrate oneself before another; to fall down and pay homage to another. This was the mode in which homage was paid to earthly kings, and this they wished to pay to the new-born King of the Jews. See the same meaning of the word in Matthew 20:20; Matthew 18:26; Acts 10:25; Luke 14:10. The English word "worship" also meant formerly "to respect, to honor, to treat with civil reverence'" (Webster).
LibrarySermon for Epiphany
(From the Gospel for the day) This Sermon on the Gospel for the day, from St. Matthew, showeth how God, of His great faithfulness hath foreseen and ordained all sufferings for the eternal good of each man, in whatever wise they befall us, and whether they be great or small. Matt. ii. 11.--"And they presented unto him gifts: gold, and frankincense and myrrh." NOW consider first the myrrh. It is bitter; and this is a type of the bitterness which must be tasted before a man can find God, when he first …
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler
Eastern Wise-Men, or Magi, visit Jesus, the New-Born King.
Supplementary Note to Chapter ii. The Year of Christ's Birth.
"I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.
"Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.
'But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And Jesus said to him, "It is as you say."
shouting: "BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
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