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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Matthew 2

Verse 1

Jesus. See App-98 .

in. Greek. en. App-104 .

Bethlehem = house of bread. Five miles south of Jerusalem. One of the fenced cities of Rehoboam, originally called Ephrath (Genesis 35:16 , Genesis 35:19 ).

Herod the king. To distinguish him from other Herods. See App-109 .

wise men . Greek. magoi. It nowhere says they were Gentiles, or that there were only three, or whether they were priests or kings. The "adoration of the Magi" must have taken place at Nazareth, for the Lord was presented in the Temple forty-one days after His birth (8+ 33 days. Leviticus 12:3 , Leviticus 12:4 . Compare Luke 2:21-24 ), and thence returned to Nazareth (Luke 2:39 ). App-169 . There, in "the house" (Matthew 2:11 ), not "in a stable" at Bethlehem, they found the Lord. They did not return to Jerusalem from Nazareth (Matthew 2:12 ); but, being well on their way home, easily escaped from Herod. Herod, having enquired accurately as to the time, fixed on "two years" (Matthew 2:16 ), which would have thus been about the age of the Lord. After the flight to Egypt, He returned once more to Nazareth (Matthew 2:23 . This chapter (Matthew 2:0 ) comes between Luke 2:39 and Luke 2:40 .

east. North and south are always in Greek only in singular. East and west are relative to the north and therefore occur in the plural also to Jerusalem. The most likely place.

Verse 2

Where . . . ? This is the first question in the N.T. See note on the first question in the O.T. (Genesis 3:9 ).

is born = has been brought forth: see note on Matthew 1:2 .

we have seen = we saw: i.e. we being in the east saw.

His star. All questions are settled if we regard this as miraculous. Compare Numbers 24:15-19 .

are come = we came.

worship = do homage. Greek. proskuneo. See App-137 .

Verse 3

When = But.

had heard = on hearing.

was troubled. The enemy used this for another attempt to prevent the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15 . See App-23 .

all Jerusalem. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Whole), App-6 . = most of the people at Jerusalem at that time.

Verse 4

chief priests, &c.: i.e. the high priest and other priests who were members of the Sanhedrin, or National Council.

scribes of the People = the Sopherim, denoting the learned men of the People; learned in the Scriptures, and elders of the Sanhedrin. This incident shows that intellectual knowledge of the Scriptures without experimental delight in them is useless. Here it was used by Herod to compass Christ's death (compare Luke 22:66 ). The scribes had no desire toward the person of the "Governor", whereas the wise men were truly wise, in that they sought the person of Him of Whom the Scriptures spoke and were soon found at His feet. Head-knowledge without heart-love may be used against Christ.

demanded = kept enquiring.

where, &c. This was the first of the two important questions: the other being "what time", &c, Matthew 2:7 .

Christ = the Messiah. See App-98 .

Verse 5

written = standeth written. Not spoken, as in Matthew 2:23 . Quoted from Micah 6:2 . See App-107 .

by = by means of. Greek. dia. App-104 .Matthew 2:1 .

Verse 6

Juda = Judah.

art not the least. Figure of speech Tapeinosis , in order to magnify the place.

not = by no means. Greek. oudamos. Occurs only here.

among. See App-104 .

princes. Put by the Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), App-6 , for the "thousands" (or divisions) which they led.

out. Greek. ek. App-104 . See note on Micah 5:2 .

come = come forth, not "come unto", as in Zechariah 9:9 .

rule = shepherd. Rulers were so called because this was their office.

Verse 7

privily = secretly. enquired . . . diligently = enquired . . . accurately Compare Deuteronomy 19:18 . Greek. akriboo. Occurs only here and in Matthew 2:16 .

what time, &c. This was the second of the two important questions: the other being "where" (Matthew 2:4 ).

the star appeared = the time of the appearing star.

appeared = shone forth. See App-106 .

Verse 8

for = concerning.

young Child. Greek. paidion. App-108 .

that I may come = that I also may come. Not "Him also" as well as others, but "I also" as well as you.

Verse 9

had heard = having heard.

departed: to Nazareth (not to Bethlehem). App-169 .

they saw. When in the east. See Matthew 2:2 .

went before = kept going before (Imperfect). Therefore not an astronomical phenomenon, but a miraculous and Divine act.

till. Implying both distance and time.

came = went: i.e. to Nazareth. See Matthew 2:1 .

Verse 10

saw the star. Supply the Ellipsis from Matthew 2:9 ( App-6 ) = "having seen the star [standing over where the young child was], they rejoiced", &c.

rejoiced with . . . joy. Figure of speech Polyptoton ( App-6 ), for emphasis.

Verse 11

into. Greek. eis. App-104 .

into the house. Not therefore at Bethlehem, for that would have been into the stable. See note Matthew 2:1 . There is no "discrepancy" here.

Child. Greek. paidion. See App-108 .

Mary. See App-100 .

Him. Not Mary. treasures = receptacles or treasure cases. gold, &c. From three gifts being mentioned tradition concluded that there were three men. But it does not say so, nor that they were kings. These presents supplied their immediate needs.

Verse 12

warned of God = oracularly answered, implying a preceding question. Compare Matthew 2:22 .

in. Greek. kata. App-104 .

a dream. Greek. onar. See note on Matthew 1:20 .

not. Greek. me. App-105 .

to = unto. Greek. pros. App-104 .

departed = returned.

another = by another, as in Matthew 2:5 .

Verse 13

were departed = had withdrawn or retired.

the angel. See note on Matthew 1:20 .

the LORD. Here denotes Jehovah. See App-98 . Divine interposition was needed to defeat the designs of the enemy; and guidance was given only as and when needed. Compare: Matthew 2:20 , Matthew 2:22 . See App-23 .

take = take with [thee].

will seek = is on the point of seeking.

Verse 14

took = took with [him].

Verse 15

death = end. Greek. teleute. Occurs only here.

that = in order that.

spoken. As well as written. Compare Matthew 2:5 and Matthew 2:23 .

of = by. Greek. hupo. See App-104 .

Out of Egypt, &c. Quoted from Hosea 11:1 . See App-107 .

have I called = did I call.

Verse 16

saw. App-133 .

mocked = deceived.

wroth. Greek. thumoomai. Occurs only here.

all. The number could not have been great.

children = boys. Plural of pais. App-108 .

coasts = borders.

two years. Greek. dietes. Occurs only in Matthew. It was now nearly two years since the birth at Bethlehem. Herod had inquired very accurately, Matthew 2:7 . See notes on Matthew 2:1 and Matthew 2:11 . The wise men found a pais, not a brephos (see App-108 . ), as the shepherds did (Luke 2:16 ).

of = from. Greek. p'ara. App-104 .

Verse 17

spoken. As well as written.

by = by means of. Greek. hupo ( App-104 .), but all the critical texts read dia.

Jeremy = Jeremiah. Quoted from Jeremiah 31:15 . See App-107 .

Verse 18

Rama = Ramah in O.T.

lamentation. Greek. threnos. Occurs only here.

children. Greek plural of teknon. App-108 .

Verse 20

they. Note the Figure of speech Heterosis (of Number), App-6 , by which the plural is put for the singular.: i.e. Herod.

life = the soul. Greek. e psuche.

Verse 22

Archelaus. See App-109 .

in = over. Greek. epi. See App-104 . L T [Tr. ] [A] WH omit epi.

in the room of = instead of. Greek. anti. App-104 .

turned aside = departed, as in verses: Matthew 2:12 , Matthew 2:13 .

Galilee. The region north of Samaria, including the Plain of Esdraelon and mountains north of it. App-169 .

Verse 23

dwelt = settled.

in. Greek. eis.

Nazareth. His former residence. App-169 . TheAramaic name. See App-94 . See note on verses: Matthew 2:1 , Matthew 2:11 , in, and Luke 2:39 .

that = so that.

spoken. It does not say "written". It is not "an unsolved difficulty", as alleged. The prophecy had been uttered by more than one prophet; therefore the reference to the Hebrew nezer ( = a branch) is useless, as it is used of Christ only by Isaiah (Isaiah 11:1 ; Isaiah 60:21 ), and it was "spoken" by "the prophets" (plural) Note the Figure of speech Hysteresis. App-6 .

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.