Matthew 2:7. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, &c. He thought it prudent to keep the matter as close as possible, lest the Jews, understanding the time of the birth of the Messiah, should, from thence, take occasion to rebel: for not having an hereditary right to the kingdom, and having been guilty of many acts of cruelty among them, he had no reason to presume upon their good-will toward him. He feared, likewise, lest, if it should be noised abroad that the Messiah was born, his purpose of destroying him should be prevented. But there is no wisdom or counsel against the Most High! He inquired of them diligently Or, as the words ηκριβωσε παρ ’ αυτων , more properly signify, inquired of them the exact time, or, got exact information from them, what time the star appeared That is, at what time it began to appear, judging, as probably the fact was, that the star first appeared at the time the child was born. His view in this was, that he might thereby form some conjecture concerning the age of the child to whose birth it referred. For on the one hand, it seems, he did not wish to destroy more children than the accomplishment of his design appeared to require; and on the other, not to leave this child alive.
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