Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem
1 Now in those days a decree went out from [the emperor] Caesar Augustus, that all the inhabited world (the Roman Empire) should be registered [in a census].
2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 And everyone went to register for the census, each to his own city.
4 So Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
5 in order to register with Mary, who was betrothed to him, and was with child.
6 While they were there [in Bethlehem], the time came for her to give birth,
7 and she gave birth to her Son, her firstborn; and she wrapped Him in [swaddling] cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no [private] room for them in the inn.
8 In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened.
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.
11 For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah).
12 And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.”
15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying one to another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem, and see this [wonderful] thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 So they went in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the Baby as He lay in the manger.
17 And when they had seen this, they made known what had been told them about this Child,
18 and all who heard it were astounded and wondered at what the shepherds told them.
19 But Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart.
20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.Luke 2:1-20 (AMP)
- Luke 2:1 Augustus, Rome’s first and possibly greatest emperor was born Gaius Octavius in 63 b.c. He was the great-nephew, adopted son and heir of the dictator, Julius Caesar. Under Augustus’ intelligent leadership (27 b.c.-a.d. 14) Rome entered the period of peace and prosperity known as the Pax Romana.
- Luke 2:1 This was the first general census conducted outside Rome that included the people of the Roman provinces.
- Luke 2:5 See note 1:27.
- Luke 2:7 This was customary among the Jews, and quite comfortable and protective for the baby. Wrapping the baby in strips of cloth was intended to strengthen the back and bones for good growth.
- Luke 2:7 I.e. feeding trough for animals.
- Luke 2:10 I.e. Gentiles as well as Jews.