(Luke 2:1 NASB) Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.
Luke 2:1: Caesar Augustus reigned be 27 BC and 14 AD. Elohim used the selfish act of this pagan leader of Rome to set the stage for Messiah. Notice that it says a census was to be taken of all the inhabited earth. This should be understood as Caesar taking a census of his kingdom which was large and extended out a long way.
While Rome was a large kingdom, it was not as near as large as the Muslim Empire we see today. So when prophetic Scripture speaks of the entire world, as in Rev. 13:16-17, we should realize that it is speaking of a large kingdom and those who are a part of it. It is not necessarily speaking of the Incas, Mexico City and Disney World. Scripture is speaking of those in that large kingdom whose extents cover far beyond Israel.
(Luke 2:2 NASB) This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
Luke 2:2: From historical information, it is likely that Quirinius was governor of Syria two separate times. He reigned as political governor 6 AD to 9 AD, but he reigned as military governor from 12 BC to 2BC. This first census was likely taken during his reign as military governor.
(Luke 2:3 NASB) And all were proceeding to register for the census, everyone to his own city.
(Luke 2:4 NASB) And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
(Luke 2:5 NASB) in order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
Luke 2:5: Apparently the census was taken by everyone going back to the city where the head of the house was born to be registered. That way people weren’t counted twice if they moved from one city to the other.
(Luke 2:6 NASB) And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
(Luke 2:7 NASB) And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:7: It says the after Mary gave birth, Yeshua was laid in a manger. The Greek word here denotes a manger as “the ledge or projection in the end of the room used as a stall on which the hay or other food of the animals of travelers was placed.” We are not told that they stayed in a stable. They likely were celebrating Sukkot (the Feast of Booths) and were in a temporary structure. Jewish tradition states that it is certainly acceptable for a pregnant woman to stay in a house or inn during this feast given her condition. However, the inns were apparently full.
The traditional Christmas celebration is another attempt to paganize Scriptural belief in Messiah. Early Christian tradition attempted to state that He was born in a cave instead of a structure of some sort. This is another attempt to tie Christianity to pagan Mithraism. The sun god Mithra was born in a cave with shepherds nearby being killed by exploding rocks when the sun god was born in this cave on December 25th. This pagan myth was largely adopted by Christianity to draw pagans in to Christian beliefs. Such nonsense is to be avoided by followers of Messiah.
(Luke 2:8 NASB) And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luke 2:8: The fact that shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks by night is a testament to the fact that Messiah was not born in late December, as was the mythical sun god Mithra, or Saturnalia.
(Luke 2:9 NASB) And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
(Luke 2:10 NASB) And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people;
(Luke 2:11 NASB) for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11: We are not told the name of the angel of Yahweh, perhaps because his name is not important. But since Gabriel made the announcements to Zacharias and Mary, he is a likely candidate.
It should also be pointed out that he is bringing “good news of great joy to all people.” Is this really good news of great joy to ALL people? Or all that are His? It does not make sense that the arrival of the One who is later going to bring judgment down upon the unrighteous is good news to the unrighteous. Once again, this appears to be a Hebrew idiom referring to this being good news of great joy to those that are the people of Elohim.
(Luke 2:12 NASB) “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.”
(Luke 2:13 NASB) And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
(Luke 2:14 NASB) “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
(Luke 2:15 NASB) And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”
Luke 2:15: The NASB states that the angels say “”Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Once again, this is a celebration for peace on earth for those with whom He is pleased. This does not include those with whom He is not pleased.
(Luke 2:16 NASB) And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.
(Luke 2:17 NASB) And when they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.
(Luke 2:18 NASB) And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.
(Luke 2:19 NASB) But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Luke 2:19: The shepherds and all who heard their testimony marveled. Mary was not taken by surprise. She was previously told of the importance of her Child. She treasured all these things in her heart.
It is likely that when Luke recorded the account of Yeshua in his writings, he received much of his information from Mary.
(Luke 2:20 NASB) And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
(Luke 2:21 NASB) And when eight days were completed before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
(Luke 2:22 NASB) And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
Luke 2:22: He was named Yeshua. That name never changed. A woman who bore a male child was considered unclean for forty days (Lev. 12:2-4). It was after those forty days they took Him to Jerusalem to present Him at the Temple.
(Luke 2:23 NASB) (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “EVERY first-born MALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD”),
Luke 2:23: All the first born of Israel were initially dedicated to service to Elohim as priests (Ex. 13:2, 12-15). Elohim later substituted the Levites in service to Him instead of the firstborn (Num.18:15-19).
(Luke 2:24 NASB) and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES, OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS.”
Luke 2:24: The mother (if she was poor) was to present an offering of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. This purified her after her days of purification (Lev. 12:6-8).
(Luke 2:25 NASB) And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
(Luke 2:26 NASB) And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
Luke 2:26: The Father revealed to Simeon that he would see Messiah before he died.
(Luke 2:27 NASB) And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law,
Luke 2:27: As mentioned previously, the first born of all of Israel is to be redeemed. Initially, they were to be in service to Elohim all their lives. Instead, Elohim substituted the Levites for service to Him. Since the duties of the firstborn were replaced by the Levites, the parents of the first born are to redeem, or buy back, their firstborn son. The price for this is 5 shekels (Num. 3:45-48).
(Luke 2:28 NASB) then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
(Luke 2:29 NASB) “Now Lord, Thou dost let Thy bond-servant depart In peace, according to Thy word;
(Luke 2:30 NASB) For my eyes have seen Thy salvation,
(Luke 2:31 NASB) Which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
(Luke 2:32 NASB) A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Thy people Israel.”
Luke 2:32: Through the Spirit of the Father, Simeon knew that this child was the promised Messiah for both Jews and Gentiles that are a part of Israel. He quoted portions of the Tanakh that point out that fact (Isa. 49:6, 60:1-3).
(Luke 2:33 NASB) And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.
(Luke 2:34 NASB) And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed–
(Luke 2:35 NASB) and a sword will pierce even your own soul– to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
Luke 2:35: Simeon said that the child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel. Yeshua Messiah led to the fall of many (scribes, Pharisees, etc.) and the rise of His chosen ones.
He is “for a sign to be opposed,” or spoken against. Yeshua had many enemies among His people.
Being the Word of Elohim made flesh, He is a sword that pierces the soul and life and reveals the thoughts of many hearts. We saw in many instances that the true character of many were revealed by Messiah.
(Luke 2:36 NASB) And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with a husband seven years after her marriage,
(Luke 2:37 NASB) and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. And she never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers.
(Luke 2:38 NASB) And at that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Luke 2:38: Anna apparently was as a widow after being married only seven years. She served in the Temple from a young age to the age of 84 years old. The Father revealed the importance of this child to her also.
(Luke 2:39 NASB) And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth.
(Luke 2:40 NASB) And the Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
Luke 2:40: The Child grew in wisdom and stature. The favor of the Father was upon Him.
(Luke 2:41 NASB) And His parents used to go to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.
(Luke 2:42 NASB) And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast;
(Luke 2:43 NASB) and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. And His parents were unaware of it,
(Luke 2:44 NASB) but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances.
Luke 2:44: The people would make this trip in large caravans for safety and also recreation during the Feast times. It is possible that men traveled in one caravan and women in the other. Boys could be traveling in either group. Since Yeshua was an obedient boy, they probably assumed He was with other relatives when they did not see Him right away. They did not find Him until three days later.
(Luke 2:45 NASB) And when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for Him.
(Luke 2:46 NASB) And it came about that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions.
(Luke 2:47 NASB) And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.
Luke 2:47: While Yeshua was respectfully listening to the teachers, He was amazing them with His understanding and with His answers. He was Truly the Word of Elohim that became flesh and dwelt among us.
(Luke 2:48 NASB) And when they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.”
(Luke 2:49 NASB) And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”
(Luke 2:50 NASB) And they did not understand the statement which He had made to them.
Luke 2:50: His parents should have known where He would be considering who He is.
(Luke 2:51 NASB) And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
(Luke 2:52 NASB) And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Luke 2:52: Yeshua grew in wisdom and stature as well as growing in favor (Gr.-charis grace) with Elohim and men. How could He increase in favor with Elohim? As He progressed in age, He was coming closer to His destination as Redeemer of Israel.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas