Luke 2:4

4 And Joseph also went up 1from Galilee, from the town of 2Nazareth, to Judea, to 3the city of David, which is called 4Bethlehem, 5because he was of the house and lineage of David,

Luke 2:4 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 2:4

And Joseph also went up from Galilee
Where he now lived, and worked at the trade of a carpenter; having for some reasons, and by one providence or another, removed hither from his native place:

out of the city of Nazareth;
which was in Galilee, where he and Mary lived; and where he had espoused her, and she had conceived of the Holy Ghost:

into Judea;
which lay higher than Galilee, and therefore he is said to go up to it:

unto the city of David;
not what was built by him, but where he was born and lived; see ( 1 Samuel 17:12 ) .

which is called Bethlehem:
the place where, according to ( Micah 5:2 ) the Messiah was to be born, and was born; and which signifies "the house of bread": a very fit place for Christ, the bread which came down from heaven, and gives life to the world, to appear first in. This place was, as a Jewish chronologer says F7, a "parsa" and half, or six miles from Jerusalem; though another of their writers, an historian and traveller F8, says, it was two "parsas", or eight miles; but Justin Martyr F9 says, it was but thirty five furlongs distant from it, which is not five miles; hither Joseph came from Galilee,

because he was of the house and lineage of David;
he was of his family, and lineally descended from him, though he was so poor and mean; and this is the reason of his coming to Bethlehem, David's city.


F7 Ganz. Tzemach David, par. 2. fol. 14. 2.
F8 R. Benjamin Itin. p. 47.
F9 Apolog. 2. p. 75.

Luke 2:4 In-Context

2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.

Related Articles

Cross References 5

  • 1. Luke 1:26
  • 2. See Matthew 2:23
  • 3. ver. 11; John 7:42; [1 Samuel 16:1]
  • 4. Matthew 2:1
  • 5. Luke 1:27
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.