Now after the birth of Jesus, which took place at Bethlehem in Judaea in the reign of King Herod, excitement was produced in Jerusalem by the arrival of certain Magi from the east,
inquiring, 'Where is the newly born king of the Jews? For we have seen his Star in the east, and have come here to do him homage.'
Reports of this soon reached the king, and greatly agitated not only him but all the people of Jerusalem.
So he assembled all the High Priests and Scribes of the people, and anxiously asked them where the Christ was to be born.
'At Bethlehem in Judaea,' they replied; 'for so it stands written in the words of the Prophet,
''And thou, Bethlehem in the land of Judah, by no means the least honorable art thou among princely places in Judah! For from thee shall come a prince--one who shall be the Shepherd of My People Israel.''
Thereupon Herod sent privately for the Magi and ascertained from them the exact time of the star's appearing.
He then directed them to go to Bethlehem, adding, 'Go and make careful inquiry about the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and do him homage.'
After hearing what the king said, they went to Bethlehem, while, strange to say, the star they had seen in the east led them on until it came and stood over the place where the babe was.
When they saw the star, the sight filled them with intense joy.
So they entered the house; and when they saw the babe with His mother Mary, they prostrated themselves and did Him homage, and opening their treasure-chests offered gifts to Him--gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
But being forbidden by God in a dream to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by a different route.
When they were gone, and angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Rise: take the babe and His mother and escape to Egypt, and remain there till I bring you word. For Herod is about to make search for the child in order to destroy Him.'
So Joseph roused himself and took the babe and His mother by night and departed into Egypt.
There he remained till Herod's death, that what the Lord had said through the Prophet might be fulfilled, 'Out of Egypt I called My Son.'
Then Herod, finding that the Magi had trifled with him, was furious, and sent and massacred all the boys under two years of age, in Bethlehem and all its neighbourhood, according to the date he had so carefully ascertained from the Magi.
Then were these words, spoken by the Prophet Jeremiah, fulfilled,
'A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and bitter lamentation: It was Rachel bewailing her children, and she refused to be comforted because there were no more.'
But after Herod's death an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said to him,
'Rise from sleep, and take the child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child's life are dead.'
So he roused himself and took the child and His mother and came into the land of Israel.
But hearing that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod on the throne of Judaea, he was afraid to go there; and being instructed by God in a dream he withdrew into Galilee,
and went and settled in a town called Nazareth, in order that these words spoken through the Prophets might be fulfilled, 'He shall be called a Nazarene.'