Luke 2:2

2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Luke 2:2 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 2:2

And this taxing was first made
Or "this was the first enrolment, or taxing" in the Jewish nation; for there was another afterwards, when Judas the Galilean arose, and drew many after him, ( Acts 5:38 ) .

When Cyrenius was governor of Syria;
or "of Cyrenius" "governor of Syria"; that is, it was the first that he was, concerned in; who not now, but afterwards was governor of Syria; and because he had been so before Luke wrote this history, and this being a title of honour, and what might distinguish him from others of that name, it is given him; for as Tertullian says F3, Sentius Saturninus was now governor of Syria, when Cyrenius was sent into Judea, to make this register, or taxing; and which is manifestly distinguished from that, which was made during his being governor of Syria, when Archelaus was banished from Judea, ten or eleven years after Herod's death; which Josephus F4 gives an account of, and Luke refers to, in ( Acts 5:37 ) . Moreover, the words will bear to be rendered thus, "and this tax, or enrolment, was made before Cyrenius was governor of Syria"; (prwth) , being used for (protera) , as in ( John 1:15 John 1:30 ) . This Cyrenius is the same whom the Romans call Quirinius, and Quirinus; a governor of Syria had great power in Judea, to which it was annexed, when Cyrenius was governor there. It is reported of R. Gamaliel, that he went to take a licence, (ayrwob Nwmghm) , "from a governor of Syria" F5; i.e. to intercalate the year: and Syria was in many things like to the land of Judea, particularly as to tithes, and the keeping of the seventh year F6.


FOOTNOTES:

F3 Contr. Marcion, l. 4. c. 19.
F4 Antiqu. l. 18. c. 1.
F5 Misn. Ediot. c. 7. sect. 7.
F6 T. Bab. Gittin. fol. 8. 1.

Luke 2:2 In-Context

1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 All went to their own towns to be registered.
4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.
5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.