The Birth of Jesus
1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus # Emperor who ruled the Roman Empire 27 b.c.–a.d. 14; also known as Octavian, he established the peaceful era known as the Pax Romana ; Caesar was a title of Roman emperors. # Mt 22:17; Lk 3:1 that the whole empire # Or the whole inhabited world should be registered. 2This first registration took place while # Or This registration was the first while, or This registration was before Quirinius was governing Syria. # Mt 4:24 3So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.
4And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth # Mt 2:23; 4:13; 21:11; Jn 1:45 in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, # Gn 35:19; 48:7; Jos 19:15; Jdg 12:10; 17:7-9; Rt 1:1; 1Sm 16:1; Mc 5:2 because he was of the house and family line of David, # Lk 1:27 5to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him # Other mss read was his engaged wife and was pregnant. 6While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough — because there was no room for them at the lodging place.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9Then an angel of the Lord # Mt 1:20; 2:13,19; 28:2; Lk 1:11; Ac 5:19; 8:26; 12:7; 12:23 stood before # Or Lord appeared to them, # Lk 24:4; Ac 12:7 and the glory of the Lord # Ex 24:16; 40:34-35; Lv 9:6,23; Nm 20:6; 1Kg 8:11; Is 35:2; 40:5; 60:1 shone around them, and they were terrified. # Lit they feared a great fear 10But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, # Mt 14:27 for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: # Or the whole nation 11Today a Savior, # Mt 1:21; Jn 4:42; Ac 5:31 who is Messiah # Mt 1:16; 16:16,20; Jn 11:27 the Lord, # Lk 1:43; Ac 2:36; 10:36 was born for you in the city of David. 12This will be the sign for you: # 1Sm 2:34; 2Kg 19:29; 20:8-9; Is 7:11,14 You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.”
13Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
14Glory to God in the highest heaven, # Mt 21:9; Lk 19:38
and peace on earth # Lk 12:51 to people He favors! # Other mss read earth good will to people # Or earth to men of good will # Lk 3:22; Eph 1:9; Php 2:13
15When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. 17After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed # Lk 1:63; 2:33; 4:22; 8:25; 9:43; 11:14,38; 20:26; 24:12,41 at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary was treasuring up all these things # Lit these words in her heart # Lk 2:51 and meditating on them. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God # Mt 9:8 for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.
The Circumcision and Presentation of Jesus
21When the eight days were completed for His circumcision, # Lk 1:59 He was named Jesus # Lk 1:31 — the name given by the angel before He was conceived. # Or conceived in the womb 22And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, # Lv 12:6-8 they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23(just as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every firstborn male # Lit “Every male that opens a womb will be dedicated # Lit be called holy to the Lord # Ex 11:5; 12:12,29; 13:2,12; 34:19; Dt 15:19 # Ex 13:2,12) 24and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons # Lv 5:11; 12:8 # Lv 5:11; 12:8).
Simeon’s Prophetic Praise
25There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, # Lk 1:6 looking forward to Israel’s consolation, # The coming of the Messiah with His salvation for the nation; Is 40:1; 61:2; Lk 2:26,30 # Ps 135:14; Is 40:1-2,11; 49:10,13; 51:3,12; 57:18; 61:2; 66:13; Jr 31:9; Mk 15:43; Lk 2:38; 23:51 and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit # Mt 2:12 that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. # Ps 89:48; Jn 8:51; Heb 11:5 27Guided by the Spirit, he entered # Lit And in the Spirit, he came into the temple complex. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for Him what was customary under the law, 28Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said:
You can dismiss Your slave in peace,
as You promised.
30For my eyes have seen Your salvation. # Ps 119:166,174; Is 52:10; Lk 3:6
31You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples —
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles # Or the nations # Is 42:6; 49:6,9; Ac 13:47; 26:23
and glory to Your people Israel. # Is 46:13 LXX
33His father and mother # Other mss read But Joseph and His mother were amazed at what was being said about Him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and told His mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel # Mt 21:44; 1Co 1:23; 2Co 2:16; 1Pt 2:8 and to be a sign that will be opposed # Or spoken against — 35and a sword will pierce your own soul — that the thoughts # Or schemes of many hearts may be revealed.”
36There was also a prophetess, # Lk 2:38; Ac 21:9 Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. # Jos 19:24 She was well along in years, # Lit in many days having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, # Lit years from her virginity # 1Tm 5:9 37and was a widow for 84 years. # Or she was a widow until the age of 84 She did not leave the temple complex, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. # Lk 5:33; Ac 13:3; 14:23; 1Tm 5:5 38At that very moment, # Lit very hour she came up and began to thank God and to speak about Him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. # Other mss read in Jerusalem # Is 52:9; Lk 1:68; 2:25
The Family’s Return to Nazareth
39When they had completed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. # Mt 2:23; Lk 1:26; 2:51; 4:16 40The boy grew up and became strong, filled with wisdom, and God’s grace was on Him. # Lk 1:80; 2:52
In His Father’s House
41Every year His parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. # Ex 12:11; 23:15; Dt 16:1-6 42When He was 12 years old, they went up according to the custom of the festival. # Dt 16:16-17 43After those days were over, # Ex 12:15 as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but His parents # Other mss read but Joseph and His mother did not know it. 44Assuming He was in the traveling party, they went a day’s journey. Then they began looking for Him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. 46After three days, they found Him in the temple complex sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all those who heard Him were astounded at His understanding and His answers. 48When His parents saw Him, they were astonished, and His mother said to Him, # Mt 12:46 “Son, why have You treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.” # Lk 2:49; 3:23; 4:22
49“Why were you searching for Me? ” He asked them. “Didn’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s house? ” # Or be involved in My Father’s interests (or things), or be among My Father’s people 50But they did not understand what He said to them. # Mk 9:32; Lk 9:45; 18:34
In Favor with God and with People
51Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart. # Lk 2:19 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people. # Lk 2:40