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Matthew 2

2
Wise Men Visit Jesus
1Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea while Herod was king. Wise men then came from the east to Jerusalem 2and asked, “Where is the child who has been born as the new king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose, and now we’ve come to worship him.”
3When King Herod heard about this, he became very concerned, as did everyone else in Jerusalem. 4He called together all the Jewish chief priests and teachers of the law to ask them where the Messiah was going to be born. 5“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “because this is what the prophet has written:
6“ ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are certainly not the least important of the rulers in Judah.
A ruler will come out of you
who will care for my people Israel like a shepherd.’ ”
7Then Herod spoke privately with the wise men and found out exactly when the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and told them, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, send word to me so I can come and worship him too.”
9After the king had given them these orders, the wise men went on their way. The star they’d seen when it rose went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. 11The wise men went into the house, and there they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him, and then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12But because they were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by a different way.
Jesus’ Family Escapes to Egypt
13After the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt! Stay there until I tell you to come back, because Herod is going to try to find the child and kill him.”
14So Joseph got up in the night and left for Egypt with the child and his mother. 15They all stayed there until King Herod died. This made the words that the Lord had spoken through the prophet come true: “I called my son out of Egypt.”
16When Herod realized that the wise men had tricked him, he became very angry. He gave orders to kill all the boys two years old and younger who were living in Bethlehem and the area around it. This was because the wise men had first seen the star two years earlier. 17This made the words of Jeremiah the prophet come true. He had said,
18“A voice is heard in Ramah,
the sound of crying and deep sadness.
Rachel is crying over her children
and she refuses to be comforted,
because they are gone.”
Jesus’ Family Returns to Nazareth
19After this Herod died, and Joseph, who was still in Egypt, had a dream. An angel of the Lord appeared to him 20and said, “Get up! Take the child and his mother and go back to the land of Israel, because the people who were trying to kill him are dead.”
21So Joseph got up and took the child and his mother back to the land of Israel. 22But when he learned that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Judea, he was afraid to go there. He was warned in a dream, and he went back to the land of Galilee instead. 23There he lived in a town called Nazareth. The prophets had said that Jesus would be called a Nazarene, and in this way their words came true.
2
Scholars from the East
1-2After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory—this was during Herod’s kingship—a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.”
3-4When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified—and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
5-6They told him, “Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:
It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land,
no longer bringing up the rear.
From you will come the leader
who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.”
7-8Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and said, “Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.”
9-10Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!
11They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.
12In a dream, they were warned not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country.
13After the scholars were gone, God’s angel showed up again in Joseph’s dream and commanded, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay until further notice. Herod is on the hunt for this child, and wants to kill him.”
14-15Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother under cover of darkness. They were out of town and well on their way by daylight. They lived in Egypt until Herod’s death. This Egyptian exile fulfilled what Hosea had preached: “I called my son out of Egypt.”
16-18Herod, when he realized that the scholars had tricked him, flew into a rage. He commanded the murder of every little boy two years old and under who lived in Bethlehem and its surrounding hills. (He determined that age from information he’d gotten from the scholars.) That’s when Jeremiah’s sermon was fulfilled:
A sound was heard in Ramah,
weeping and much lament.
Rachel weeping for her children,
Rachel refusing all solace,
Her children gone,
dead and buried.
19-20Later, when Herod died, God’s angel appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt: “Up, take the child and his mother and return to Israel. All those out to murder the child are dead.”
21-23Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother, and reentered Israel. When he heard, though, that Archelaus had succeeded his father, Herod, as king in Judea, he was afraid to go there. But then Joseph was directed in a dream to go to the hills of Galilee. On arrival, he settled in the village of Nazareth. This move was a fulfillment of the prophetic words, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”