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Matthew 2 - An Understandable Version (2005 edition)

Wise Men from the East

1. Now Jesus was born in Bethlehem [a small town] in Judea during the time when Herod [the Great] was king [of Judea]. About that time some astrologer/sages from the east [i.e., Persia] came to Jerusalem, saying,

2. “Where is the one who was born to be king of the Jews? For we saw a star [signifying his birth while we were still] in the east, and have come here to worship him.”

3. And when King Herod heard this, he and the entire city of Jerusalem were [very] upset.

4. So, he gathered all the leading priests and experts in the Law of Moses from among the people and asked them where the Christ [child] was to be born.

5. They replied to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what was written by the prophet [Micah 5:2],

6. ‘And you, Bethlehem in the country of Judah, are not among the least [towns in furnishing] rulers for Judah, for you will produce a leader who will become shepherd of my [i.e., God’s] people Israel.’”

7. Then Herod summoned the astrologer/sages and learned from them exactly when the star had appeared.

8. So, he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and find out the details about the young child, and when you have found him, come and tell me, so I can go and worship him myself.”

9. After hearing the king they left and the star, which they had seen [while still] in the east, moved on ahead of them until it stopped over [the house] where the young child was staying. [See verse 11].

10. And when they saw the star, they were extremely happy.

11. Then they went into the house and saw the young child with His mother Mary. They fell to the ground and worshiped Him, and unpacking their treasures, they offered Him gifts of gold, incense and aromatic spices.

12. Then they were warned by God in a [supernatural] dream not to return to Herod, so they left and returned to their own country by a different route.

The Flight into Egypt

13. Now when they had gone an angel from the Lord appeared to Joseph in a [supernatural] dream, saying, “Get up and take the young child and His mother and hurry to Egypt. Stay there for as long as I tell you to, for Herod will be looking for the young child in order to kill Him.”

14. So he got up, took the young child and His mother at night and went to Egypt.

15. They stayed there until Herod died, so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled, saying [Hosea 11:1], “I [i.e., God] called my Son out of Egypt.”

Massacre of the Innocents

16. When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the astrologer/sages, he was furious and sent out [his soldiers] to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity. This was done to those from two years old and under, basing [their decision] on the exact time determined from the astrologer/sages.

17. This fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,

18. [Jer. 31:15], “A voice was heard in [the town of] Ramah [Note: This was a village near Jerusalem, where Rachel was buried], with crying and deep mourning. It was Rachel crying for her children [Note: Initially this was a reference to the Israelites who were taken to Babylonian captivity. See Jer. 29-31]. She refused to be comforted because they were dead.”

The Home in Nazareth

19. Then when Herod was dead, an angel from the Lord appeared in a [supernatural] dream to Joseph [while he was still] in Egypt, saying,

20. “Get up, take the young child and His mother, and go [back] to the country of Israel, for those who had tried to take the young child’s life are [now] dead.”

21. So he got up, took the young child and His mother and went [back] to the country of Israel.

22. But when he heard that Archelaus was then the king of Judea, in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back. Then, being warned by God in a [supernatural] dream, he went on up to the region called Galilee,

23. and settled in a town called Nazareth, so that it could fulfill what was spoken by the prophets [Isa. 11:1 in the Hebrew text] that Jesus would be called a Nazarene.






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