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All the world ; the words in the Greek may denote either all the Roman world, that is, the Roman empire, or Palestine and the neighboring countries.
Should be taxed ; literally, should be enrolled, that a census might be taken of the inhabitants in order to their taxation. This enrollment was a practical act of Roman sovereignty, and a most decisive proof that the sceptre had departed from Judah. Wicked men, in the prosecution of their selfish purposes, without intending and without knowing it, take such courses as fulfil the predictions and accomplish the benevolent purposes of God. Compare Isaiah 10:5-17 .
When Cyrenius was governor of Syria ; it is known with certainty that Cyrenius was appointed governor of Syria several years after our Saviour’s birth, and that he then made an enrolment of the people. Upon the supposition that this was the enrolment here referred to, some have proposed to explain the words "was first made," to mean, was first carried out in its original design by the actual laying of a tax in accordance with the enrolment. But recent investigations have made it not improbable that Cyrenius was twice president of Syria, and that the enrolment connected with our Saviour’s birth happened under his first presidence. This will explain why it is spoken of as then first made, because another enrollment followed.
Taxed ; enrolled for taxation.
His own city ; the place where his ancestors lived.
Those manifestations which God makes of himself, especially in the person and work of his Son, are deeply interesting, not only to his people on earth, but also to the inhabitants of heaven.
On earth peace ; as the result of the Saviour’s advent. All who receive him have peace with God and the spirit of peace towards man; and the prevalence of his gospel will bring peace to the world.
Good will toward men ; kindness, compassion, and grace, manifested in the gift of a Saviour.
Pondered them ; continued to think of them and study their meaning. The habit of treasuring up the sayings of the wise and good, especially those which are recorded in the Bible, and of observing the dispensations of Providence, is a source of rich instruction, and may be made a means of grace to ourselves and others.
Days of her purification ; after the birth of a son, a mother among the Jews was required to remain at home, and was considered as unclean forty days. These were called the days of her purification. She was then required to offer for a burnt-offering a lamb, and for a sin-offering a turtle-dove, or a young pigeon. If she was too poor to bring a lamb, she was to bring two turtle-doves or young pigeons, and offer one for a burnt, and the other for a sin-offering; after which she was considered as clean. Leviticus 12:2-8 .
Holy to the Lord ; consecrated to the Lord as his peculiar property. See Exodus 13:12 .
Consolation of Israel ; the Messiah, from whom consolation comes. Aged persons who have long walked uprightly in piety towards God and good will towards men, often have, as they approach the close of life, remarkably clear and exalted views of the Saviour-views which disarm death of its terrors, and prepare them to ascribe "unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father," "glory and dominion for ever and ever." Genesis 49:1 ; Genesis 49:10 ; Genesis 49:22-26 .
Fall ; ruin by rejecting Christ.
Rising again ; salvation by believing in him.
A sign ; an object of peculiar derision. Isaiah 53:3 ; Acts 28:22 .
A sword shall pierce through thy own soul ; generally understood of the anguish which she would be called to endure as a witness of the Saviour’s sufferings and death.
The thoughts of many hearts may be revealed ; by their treatment of the Saviour they will show the character of their hearts.
Aser ; Asher. After the captivity, some of the remnant of the ten tribes were found united with the Jews.
Departed not ; she was uniform in her daily attendance upon the services of the temple.
They returned into Galilee ; in brief narratives like the present, intervening events are often passed over in silence. We know from Matthew that the wise men from the East found the Saviour at Bethlehem; that afterwards he was carried into Egypt; and after a sojourn there of some time, to Nazareth in Galilee, whence Mary had come with Joseph to Bethlehem before his birth.
Twelve years old ; at this age it seems sons went with their parents to the passover.
Fulfilled the days ; the eight days of the passover: one for preparation, and seven for the observance of the feast. Exodus 12:15 ; Leviticus 23:5-6 .
Company ; relatives and friends who travelled with them.
Wist ; knew.
About my Father’s business ; or, among my Father’s matters; which was, in this case, studying his Father’s law in his Father’s house. Parents who regularaly and conscientiously take their children with them to the house of God, and train them in the way they should go, may expect that they will feel it to be a duty, and will esteem it a privilege, to engage early in the service of their heavenly Father. Proverbs 22:6 .
Understood not the saying ; about being occupied with his Father’s business; especially, why he should call God his Father in so high and peculiar a sense.
Subject unto them ; performed the appropriate duties of an affectionate and obedient child.
These sayings ; the sayings of Jesus, as well as those of the angel and of others concerning him. Those children who cheerfully obey their parents, in this respect resemble the holy child Jesus.
Increased in wisdom ; this is spoken of Jesus as man. See Matthew 24:36 ; Mark 13:32 .
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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 2". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany