Luke 2:21

The Circumcision and Presentation of Jesus

21 When the eight days were completed for His circumcision, He was named JESUS-the name given by the angel before He was conceived.[a]

Luke 2:21 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 2:21

And when eight days were accomplished for the
circumcising of the child
According to the original institution of circumcision, ( Genesis 17:12 ) and which was strictly observed by religious persons, as by the parents of our Lord here, and by those of John the Baptist, ( Luke 1:59 ) Hence the Apostle Paul reckons this among his privileges, that he could have boasted of as well as other Jews, (See Gill on Philippians 3:5). But it may be asked, why was Christ circumcised, since he had no impurity of nature, which circumcision supposed; nor needed any circumcision of the heart, which that was a symbol of? To which it may be replied, though he needed it not himself, it was the duty of his parents to do it, since all the male seed of Abraham were obliged it, and that law, or ordinance, was now in force; and besides, it was necessary that he might appear in the likeness of sinful flesh, who was to bear, and atone for the sins of his people; as also, that it might be manifest that he assumed true and real flesh, and was a partaker of the same flesh and blood with us; and that he was a son of Abraham, and of his seed, as it promised he should; and that he was made under the law, and came to fulfil it, and was obliged to it, as every one that is circumcised is; as well as to show a regard to all divine, positive institutions that are in being, and to set an example, that we should tread in his steps; and likewise to cut off all excuse from the Jews, that they might not have this to say, that he was an uncircumcised person, and so not a son of Abraham, nor the Messiah.

His name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before
he was conceived in the womb,
( Luke 1:31 ) It appears from hence, and from the instance of John the Baptist, that at circumcision it was usual to give names to children; (See Gill on Luke 1:57). The Jews observe F21 that

``six persons were called by their names before they were born: and these are Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Solomon, Josiah, and the King Messiah:''

the latter they prove from ( Psalms 72:17 ) which they render, "before the sun his name was Yinnon", or the son: that is, the Son of God.


F21 Pirke Eliezer, c. 32.

Luke 2:21 In-Context

19 But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them.
20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.
21 When the eight days were completed for His circumcision, He was named JESUS-the name given by the angel before He was conceived.
22 And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, 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 will be dedicated to the Lord )

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or conceived in the womb
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