The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem (Mt 2:1-2:1)

“In the time

Of King Herod,

Jesus was born

In Bethlehem

Of Judea.”

 

Τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ γεννηθέντος ἐν Βηθλέεμ τῆς Ἰουδαίας ἐν ἡμέραις Ἡρῴδου τοῦ βασιλέως,

 

We have a specific time and place for the birth of Jesus. He was born (δὲ Ἰησοῦ γεννηθέντος) in Bethlehem in Judea (ἐν Βηθλέεμ τῆς Ἰουδαίας), during the reign of King Herod (ἐν ἡμέραις Ἡρῴδου τοῦ βασιλέως). Bethlehem was always in the territory of Judah, about 6 miles south of Jerusalem, with a current population of about 25,000 in the present day Palestinian territory. David was from Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. Matthew did not say why Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, like Luke, chapter 2, did because of a census. King Herod the Great (74 BCE-1 CE) was the Roman client king of Judea. In fact, the Roman Senate named him King of the Jews in 40 BCE. He built many things during his reign, including expanding the Second Temple in Jerusalem. At his death, his kingdom was divided among his children.

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