2:1 And 1 it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the a world should be b taxed.
(1) Christ, the son of God, taking upon himself the form of a servant, and making himself of no reputation, is poorly born in a stable: and by the means of Augustus, the mightiest prince in the world, (thinking nothing of it) has his cradle prepared in Bethlehem, as the prophets foretold. 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the c city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
(a) As far as the empire of the Romans stretched.
(b) That is, the inhabitants of every city should have their names recorded, and their goods rated at a certain value, that the emperor might understand how rich every country, city, family, and house was.
(c) Which David was born and brought up in. 2:8 2 And there were in the same country shepherds d abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
(2) The angels themselves declare to poor shepherds (not at all regarding the pride of the mighty) the Godhead and office of the child lying in the crib. 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord e came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
(d) Living outside, and in the open air.
(e) Came suddenly upon them, when they were not at all thinking about such a matter. 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel f a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
(f) Whole armies of angels, who compass the majesty of God round about, just as soldiers, as it were. 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, g good will toward men.
(g) Gods ready, good, infinite, and gracious favour towards men. 2:21 3 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
(3) Christ, the head of the Church, made subject to the law in order to deliver us from the curse of the law (as the name of Jesus well declares) being circumcised, ratifies and seals in his own flesh the circumcision of the flesh. 2:22 4 And when the days of h her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present [him] to the Lord;
(4) Christ, upon whom all our sins were laid, being offered to God according to the law purifies both Mary and us all in himself. 2:25 5 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name [was] Simeon; and the same man [was] just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the i Holy Ghost was upon him.
(h) This is meant for the fulfilling of the law: for otherwise the virgin was not defiled, nor unclean, by the birth of this child.
(5) Simeon openly in the temple foretells the death of the coming of Messiah, of the casting out of the greatest part of Israel, and of the calling of the Gentiles. 2:27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the k parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
(i) He was endued with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and this is said using the figure of speech metonymy.
(k) Joseph and Mary: and he says "parents" because that is what most of the people then thought. 2:29 Lord, now l lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy m word:
(l) Let me depart out of this life, to be joined to my Father. 2:30 For n mine eyes have seen thy o salvation,
(m) As you promised me.
(n) That is, for I have seen with my very eyes: for he saw before in mind, as it is said of Abraham, "He saw my day and rejoiced." 2:31 Which thou hast prepared p before the face of all people;
(o) That in which your salvation is contained.
(p) As a sign set up in a high place for all men to look upon. 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this [child] is q set for the r fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a s sign which shall be spoken against;
(q) Is appointed and set by God for a mark. 2:35 (Yea, a sword shall t pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
(r) Fall of the reprobate who perishes because of their own fault: and for the rising of the elect, unto whom God will give faith to believe.
(s) That is, a mark, which all men will strive earnestly to hit.
(t) Will most keenly wound and grieve. 2:36 6 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
(6) Another witness besides Simeon, against whom no objection may be brought, inviting all men to the receiving of the Messiah. 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, u filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
(u) As Christ grew up in age, so the virtue of his Godhead showed itself more and more. 2:41 7 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
(7) The scribes and Pharisees are aroused to hear the wisdom of Christ in his time by an extraordinary deed. 2:48 8 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
(8) All duties which we owe to men, even though they are not to be neglected, so are they (according to the position in life which God has set us) not to be preferred before the glory of God. 2:51 9 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
(9) Christ, very man, is made like us in every way except sin.