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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Luke 2:1-7

The fulness of time was now come, when God would send forth his Son, made of a woman, and made under the law; and it was foretold that he should be born at Bethlehem. Now here we have an account of the time, place, and manner of it. I. The time when our Lord Jesus was born. Several things may be gathered out of these verses which intimate to us that it was the proper time. 1. He was born at the time when the fourth monarchy was in its height, just when it was become, more than any of the three... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - Luke 2:1-7

2:1-7 In these days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census should be taken of all the world. The census first took place when Quirinius was governor of Syria; and everyone went to enroll himself, each man to his own town. So Joseph went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judaea, to David's town, which is called Bethlehem, because he belonged to the house and the line of David, to enrol himself with Mary who was betrothed to him and she was with child. When they... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Luke 2:1

And it came to pass in those days ,.... When John the Baptist was born, and Christ was conceived, and his mother pregnant with him, and the time of his birth drew on. The Ethiopic version reads, "in that day"; as if it was the same day in which John was circumcised, and Zacharias delivered the above song of praise: that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus; second emperor of Rome; the name Caesar was common to all the emperors, as Pharaoh to the Egyptians, and afterwards Ptolemy. His... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Luke 2:1

Caesar Augustus - This was Caius Caesar Octavianus Augustus, who was proclaimed emperor of Rome in the 29th year before our Lord, and died a.d. 14. That all the world should be taxed - Πασαν την οικουμενην , the whole of that empire. It is agreed, on all hands, that this cannot mean the whole world, as in the common translation; for this very sufficient reason, that the Romans had not the dominion of the whole earth, and therefore could have no right to raise levies or taxes in those... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Luke 2:1

Verse 1 Luke relates how it happened, that Christ was born in the city of Bethlehem, as his mother was living at a distance from her home, when she was approaching to her confinement. And first he sets aside the idea of human contrivance, (123) by saying, that Joseph and Mary had left home, and came to that place to make the return according to their family and tribe. If intentionally and on purpose (124) they had changed their residence that Mary might bring forth her child in Bethlehem, we... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Luke 2:1

There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed ; more accurately, that there should be a registration , etc.; that is, with a view to the assessment of a tax. On the historical note of St. Luke in this passage much discussion has arisen, not, however, of much real practical interest to the ordinary devout reader. We will glance very briefly at the main criticism of this and the following verse. Respecting this general registration it is alleged read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Luke 2:1-7

The birthplace and the birth. Two travelers, coming up from Galilee, approach the city of David. The knowledge they possessed of the event in which the glories of David's house were to culminate must have invested every feature with a peculiar sacredness of interest. Note Dean Stanley's description of Bethlehem, on the crest of a ridge of black hills terraced with vineyards. As beheld by Joseph and Mary, what a stream of patriotic memories, mixed with the inspirations which spring from the... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Luke 2:1-20

The Savior's birth and type angel's sermon. We now pass from the person of the forerunner to that of his greater Successor. The priest's son was great, but the Virgin's Son was greater. John was a great gift to the world, as every true reformer must be; but a Savior is God's supreme Gift to the children of men. Now, in this narrative before us we learn— I. HOW THE WILL OF EVEN HEATHEN MONARCHS IS MADE TO FULFIL THE WILL OF GOD . The Divine will, expressed... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Luke 2:1

In those days - About the time of the birth of John and of Christ.A decree - A law commanding a thing to be done.Caesar Augustus - This was the Roman emperor. His first name was Octavianus. He was the nephew of Julius Caesar, and obtained the empire after his death. He took the name “Augustus - i. e., august,” or honorable - as a compliment to his own greatness; and from him the month “August,” which was before called “Sextilis,” received its name.That all the world - There has been much... read more

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