« PreviousContinue »
62 is called by this name. And they made signs ta 63 his father, how he would have him called. And
he asked (q) for a writing table, and wrote, saying, 64 His name is John. And they marvelled all. And
his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue 65 loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear
on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all 66 the hill country of Judea. And all they that had
heard them, laid them up in their hearts, saying,
What manner of child shall this be? And the hand 67 of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacha
rias was filled with the holy Ghost, and prophefied, 68 saying, Blefted be the Lord God of Israel, for he 69 háth (r) visited and redeemed his people, And hath
raised up an (s) horn of salvation for us, in the house 70 of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth
of his holy prophets, which have been since the qr world began (t), That we should be saved from our
enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us. 72. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and 23 to remember his holy covenant : The oath which 74 he sware to our father Abraham, That he would
grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the
hands of our enemies, might serve him without 75 fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all 26 the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be
called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt
go before the face of the Lord, to prepare his ways; 77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people, by
(q) He asked by making signs.
(r) God is most frequently said to visit when he punisheth : but here, as conferring an act of grace and favour. Sce 'also Chap xix. 44:
(s) Horn is used by the Jews for power. A horn of salvation therefore means a powerful Saviour.
(t) The firft prediction of a Saviour was in the curse pronounced upon the serpent immediately after the fall of man.
Oin. jii, 15.
78 the remiffion of their fins, Through the tender
mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from 79 on high hath visited us, To give light to them that
sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide 80 our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew,
and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the defarts till the day of his fhewing unto Israel (u).
AN ND it came to pass in those days, that there went
out a decree from Cefar Auguftus, that all the 2 (a) world should be taxed. (And this taxing was
first made when Cyrenius was governor of Sy-. 3 ria) (b). And all went to be taxed, every one into 4 his own city. And Joseph also went up from Gali
lee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, (be
cause he was of the house and lineage of David) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being 6 great with child.
And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that the 7 should be delivered (c). And she brought forth her
first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
(4) Till the time of his entering upon his ministry, and preaching publicly to the people.
(a) Auguftus ordered every person in the land of Judea, which was sometimes called all the world, to be registered. See Als xi. 28.
(6) In the time of Cyrenius or Quirinius, so well known after- : wards for being Governor of Syria.
(c) Observe how the providence of God directed the Romans Emperor's decree to be the means of bringing the blessed Virgin to : lie-in at the very place, where it was foretold Chrift should be born! See Matt. ii. 5. xxi. 4.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds
abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock 9 by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came
upon them, and (d) the glory of the Lord shone 10 round about them; and they were sore afraid. And
the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I
bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be II to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the
city of David, a Saviour, which is (e) Christ the 12 Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall
find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in 13 a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and say14 ing, Glory to God in the higheit, and on earth (f) 15 peace; good will towards men. 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 ún16 to us. And they came with hafte, and found Mary 17 and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And
when they had seen it, they made known abroad the
faying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it, wondered at those things 19 which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary
kept all these things, and pondered them in her
(d) This was the glorious Tight which attended the divine prefence on particular folemn occasions ; which conducted the Israelites through the wilderness; which shone round the person of our Lord. when he was transfigured on the mountain ; and which struck St. Paul to the earth at his conversion. See Atts xxvi. 13. where it is described as a light from heaven, above the brightness of the fun, at mid-day.
(e) Christ signifies Anointed; the Meffiah, whose coming was at that time generally expected, and who is described by the prophets under the title of the Lord. Sce note on Ch. i. 17. Pf. cx. i.
(f) Peace signifies reconciliation and forgiveness from God; the highest instance that could be given of his good will and loving kindness to men.
20 heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and
praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcision of the child, his name was called
JESUS, which was so named of the angel before 22 he was conceived in the womb (8). And when the
days of her purification, according to the law of Mo
ses, were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, 23 to present him to the Lord. (As it is written in the
law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb 24
Thall be called holy to the Lord.) And to offer a facrifice according to that which is said in the law of
the Lord, A pair of turtle doves, or two young (b) 25 pigeons. And behold, there was a inan in Jeru
salem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man
was just and devout, waiting for the confolation of 26 Ifrael (i): and the holy Ghost was upon him.. And
it was revealed unto him by the holy Ghost, that he
should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's 27 Christ. And he came by the spirit into the temple:
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to 28 do for him after the custom of the law (k), Then
took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and 29 faid, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in 30 peace, according to thy word. For mine
For mine eyes have 31 feen thy salvation : Which thou hast prepared be
(£) He was called Jesus, or the Saviour, which was the name given him by the angel. Mat. i, 21.
th) This was the offering appointed for the poor ; whereas a lainb was to be offered by such as could afford it. Lev. xii. 8.
(i) The confolation of Israel is called, Verse 38, the redemption, which was to be accomplished by the Messiah or Christ, whom they were at that time earnestly expecting:
(k) In acknowledgment that God is the author and proprietor of life, and probably likewise in memory of the deflruction of the firstborn in Egypt, the law required an offering to be made for the firit-born. Exod. xiii. 12, In obedience to this law Christ was presented in the temple,
fore the face of all people: A light to lighten the 33 Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Ifrael. And
Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things 34 which were spoken of him. And Simeon blefled
them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in
Israel; and for a fign which thall be spoken against (1): 35 (Yea, a sword mall pierce through thy own soul
also) that the thoughts of many hearts may be re36 vealed. And there was one Anna a prophetess, the
daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Afer; she was
of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven 37 years from her virginity: And she was a widow
of about fourscore and four years; which departed
(m) not from the temple, but served God with fastings 38 and prayers night and day. And the coming in that
inftant, gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and
fpake of him to all them that looked for redemption 39 in Jerusalem. And when they had performed all
things according to the law of the Lord, they re
turned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in fpirit,
filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year 42 at the feast of the pasfover : And when he was
twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, after 43 the custom of the feast. And when they had ful
(1) Many shall fall, or be in a worse state than they were, by their infidelity; and many, on the other hand, shall be raised to a state of salvation, by accepting the gracious covenant which he shall offer, Mark xvi. 16. but he himfelf ihall suffer all manner of hardships and opposition, which will discover the general disposition of the nation to be unworthy of the blesling that is offered them.
(m) Departed not, that is, did not fail to attend on the temple service, keeping the falling days, and daily offering up her prayers both morning and evening.