Birth of Jesus in the bible The Christmas story

Christmas is the story of birth of baby Jesus in land of bethlehem of Judea where he was found in a manger by the shepherds. Hosts of Angel appeared in the heaven praising god when Jesus was born to Mary in bethlehem of Judea in september 2BC. The shepherd from the country fields visits them and finds the baby jesus in a manger. This is the true story of christmas, birth of jesus in the bible.

Traditionally post Constantine making Christianity legal in 313 AD, Jesus birthday was made a national festival and was celebrated on december 25, first recorded in 354 AD and officially declared by Church in 440 AD. Birthday celebration of Jesus was uncommon for Jesus’s Disciples, even unto the next 300 years, what was most important for that church was that he was born and other commissions of him. There are no significant facts in the bible or in historical records to set a fixed date and time of Jesus’s birth but born year of jesus of 2BC can be proved. Therefore Christmas of december 25 is merely a celebration for believers as a reminder that he was born, and being celebrated with full of lights and decorations of christmas tree with balls and stars. For kids the santa clause brings many gifts for them bringing joy to them. Churches conduct candlelight service on the night before christmas.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace - Isaiah 9:6
Luke 1:26-38Annunciation of Jesus birth by Gabriel to virgin mary
Luke 1:39-56Song of the Mary known as The Magnificat
Matthew 1:18-25Dream to Joseph about baby jesus being a gift from the Lord, not an illegitimate child
Luke 2:1-7Setup for jesus to be born in Bethlehem, the city of David
Luke 2:8-14Appearance of multitude of heavenly hosts to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus
Luke 2:15-20visitation of shepherds to baby jesus in a manger
Luke 2:21-40Circumcision and naming of Jesus; Simeon and Anna
Matthew 2:1-8Wise men Magi visiting Jerusalem to Herod enquiring about the birth of the King of Jews
Matthew 2:9-12Magi men visiting the young child Jesus following the star of Bethlehem and presenting gifts
Matthew 2:13-23Journeys of Joseph to avoid the slaying of children by Herod and finally settling in Nazareth
Luke 2:40-52Event in the life of Jesus at the age of 12
scriptures: bible verses about the birth of jesus and childhood of jesus. Birth of Jesus Matthew vs Luke

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Pre Birth Scriptures about the birth of Jesus

Annunciation of Jesus birth by Gabriel to mary

Luke 1:26–38 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Song of the Mary – The Magnificat

Luke 1:39–56 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; And holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him From generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, And exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; And the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, In remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, To Abraham, and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Dream to Joseph to take Mary as wife

Matthew 1:18–25 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Scriptures about Jesus Birth in the bible

Setup for jesus to be born in Bethlehem, the birth city of David

Luke 2:1–7 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Beth-lehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Jesus born and Appearance of heavenly hosts at the birth of Jesus

Luke 2:8–14 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, Good will toward men.

Visit of shepherds to baby jesus in a manger

Luke 2:15–20 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Beth-lehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Naming Jesus as per Mosaic Law

Luke 2:21–40 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart In peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

Scriptures of Magi visit and Herod slaying the children

Magi travels to Jerusalem seeing the star in the east

Matthew 2:1–8 Now when Jesus was born in Beth-lehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Beth-lehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Beth-lehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Beth-lehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

Magi visit young Jesus following the star of Bethlehem

Matthew 2:9–12 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Escape from the slunder of children by Herod

Matthew 2:13–23 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Beth-lehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

Jesus at the age of 12

Luke 2:40–52 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Old testament bible verse about jesus birth

Bible ReferenceBible Verse
Psalm 2:7I will declare the decree: The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; This day have I begotten thee.
Isaiah 7:14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, And shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 9:6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 11:1And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Isaiah 60:6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; All they from Sheba shall come: They shall bring gold and incense; And they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord.
Jeremiah 23:5Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Micah 5:2But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, Though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Hosea 11:1When Israel was a child, then I loved him, And called my son out of Egypt.
Numbers 24:17I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: There shall come a Star out of Jacob, And a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, And shall smite the corners of Moab, And destroy all the children of Sheth.
Jeremiah 31:15Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children Refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
Daniel 9:25-26 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
LineageAbraham (Genesis 12:3), Isaac (Genesis 17:21, Genesis 26:4), Jacob (Genesis 28:14), Judah (Genesis 49:8–12), Jesse (Isaiah 11:1), and David (Isaiah 9:7, Jeremiah 23:5).
Galatians 4:4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.
old testament bible verses about jesus birth

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Gospels of Matthew and Luke about Jesus birth in the bible

Birth of Jesus Matthew vs Luke: The biblical gospel of Matthew and Luke provides the details about Nativity of Jesus christ covering the birth of jesus in Bethlehem of Judea to Mary. Matthew details the events that occurs in Judea like guiding Joseph to take Mary as wife, Magi visit and Herod killing the children. Luke details events specific to jesus like announcement about his birth, heavenly hosts appearing at his birth, visitation of shepherds, circumcision & naming of Jesus and his staying back in the Jerusalem temple at the age of 12. They provide various facts about Jesus birth and his childhood life.

Gospels of Mark and John do not cover the story birth of jesus to Mary due to the design and perspective of gospels, as they present him as the servant(servant’s birth is not considered valuable from historical standpoint) and Son of God(he is already presented as Son of God) respectively.

Events prior to the birth of Jesus

Jewish marriage during the times of Jesus

A Jewish marriage involved espousing of a bride to a bridegroom. This espousal contract was equivalent to a marriage and required a proper divorce for it to be broken, not like the engagement in current times. Post the espousals the bride would stay at her house while the groom prepares his house for the bride. Once the father of groom has analyzed the house then he would let the groom to bring the bride to his house. This same pattern would also be followed by Jesus Christ when he would rapture the believers.

Events in Life of Mary, mother of Jesus

Mary who was the lineage of David and cousin of Elisabeth was espoused to Joseph. At this time she was a virgin and has not yet come to Joseph’s house and neither established any physical relation. But before they came together she was visited by the the Most High God and by the power of him, the word of God was made as a seed and she conceived a child.

In Luke 1:26-38 The Angel Gabriel visits Mary and salutes her saying “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women”, and explains to her how she shall conceive a child whom she must name Jesus. She accepts and believes the words and in faith with humbleness replies “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word”. Note that the Angel clearly says among women & not above women, she was one favoured of God to carry the child Jesus, but was not a deity.

Then Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth and we see in Luke 1:39-56 their conversations and how John the baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost and the song of Mary, mother of Jesus. After 3 months she returned back to her home in Galilee.

Events in Life of Joseph, father of Jesus

Joseph was of the lineage of David and a righteous man. His profession as a non wealthy man during the roman empire was of carpentry or a worker in the construction of structures – Mark 6:3. When he found about mary being pregnant even before they intercourse, he wanted to get away from that relationship. But the Lord sent his Angel in a dream explaining that it was his plan and he should take her as wife. So he took Mary as wife in Nazareth of Galilee. This conception of Jesus was known to many and haters of Jesus, including his brothers would call him bastard – John 8:41 “Then said they to him, We are not born of fornication” and Psalms 69.

Now for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem the city of David, there was a decree of taxation and Joseph had to travel to his origin city. Note that taxation was already part of Roman ruling but this taxation was first time implemented for these Jews, first time in the rulership of Cyrenius. And Joseph takes his family and travels to Bethlehem but as everyone also was coming for this, so all the inns(hotels in those ages) were full.

The birth of Jesus

Jesus in a manger

The time for Jesus to be born had come and his parents had come to Bethlehem of Judea to pay the taxes. But due to the multitudes that had come to pay taxes they could not find a place to lodge themselves in an inn, as all were full. So, they resorted in general shelters and Mary gave birth to jesus and placed him a manger. The shepherds shepherding in the country in the night saw multitude of heavenly hosts praising god and an as per the guidance of an angel, came and visited Mary & Joseph and saw Jesus in a manger. This event has become a wonderful celebration and remembrance of christ’s birth as Jesus in a manger.

Where was Jesus born

Jesus was born in city of Bethlehem of Judean Country during the reign of Herod the great. Luke 2 provides the setup by which his parents would come from Nazareth of Galilee to Bethlehem, the city of David to pay taxes as they were from the lineage of David. Matthew 2 confirms it too when the wise men, Magi from the east came to enquire about the birth of Jesus, in Jerusalem and found from the scriptures of Micah 5:2 they finds Jesus would be born in the Bethlehem of Judean country.

When was Jesus born

Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea to Mary and Joseph on 29 september 2BC. This is based on historical references related to Augustus rule and the service of Zecharia, the father of John the baptist. Some scholars attribute the year to 4BC based on the writings of Josephus but they are discarded by serious scholars as his reference was to eclipse and not the birth, and also other historians date it to 2BC based on various rulers of the roman empire. Traditionally Jesus birthday is celebrated on December 25. This is believed to be started during Constantine period and officially recorded in 440 AD, which again is nearly 400 years later. Neither bible nor history have any solid facts to establish an exact time and date of when Jesus was born, therefore all of these are approximate to set the closest time period of his birth. A wonderful research has been provided by Chuck Missler about various facts related to dating the birth of Jesus at if you need to dig further deep. A well confirmed fact for the question: what year was jesus christ born? is that Jesus christ was born in the year 2BC.

Correcting the misconceptions of year 4BC

  1. The first recorded mention of December 25 is in the Calendar of Philocalus (354 AD), which assumed Jesus’ birth to be on Friday, December 25, 1 AD. This date also happens to be next to the vestige of Roman holiday of Saturnalia (Sun God), Dec 17 to 23.
  2. December 25th was officially proclaimed by the church fathers in 440 A.D.
  3. The year of Jesus’ birth is broadly accepted as 4 BC, primarily from erroneous conclusions derived from Josephus’ recording of an eclipse, assumed to be on March 13, 4 B.C., “shortly before Herod died”. There are several problems with this, in addition to the fact that it is more likely the eclipse occurred on December 29, 1 BC.
  4. Considerable time elapsed between Jesus’ birth and Herod’s death, since the family fled to Egypt to escape Herod’s edict and they didn’t return until after Herod’s death – Matt 2:15, 19-22. Herod died on January 14, 1BC – Magillath Ta’anith

Establishing the birth year 2 BC and Autumn season by history and Scriptures

  1. Tertullian (born about 160 A.D.) stated that Augustus began to rule 41 years before the birth of Jesus and died 15 years after that event – Ten. adv. Judaeos c.8.
    • Augustus died on August 19, 14 A.D., placing Jesus’ birth at 2 B.C. (Note: no year O between 1BC and 1AD)
    • Tertullian also notes that Jesus was born 28 years after the death of Cleopatra in 30 B.C., which is consistent with a date of 2 B.C.
    • Irenaeus, born about a century after Jesus, also notes that the Lord was born in the 41st year of the reign of Augustus.
    • Since Augustus began his reign in the autumn of 43 B.C., this also supports the birth in 2BC
  2. Eusebius (264-340 A.D.), the “Father of Church History,” ascribes it to the 42nd year of the reign of Augustus and the 28th from the subjection of Egypt on the death of Anthony and Cleopatra – Eccle. Hist. i.5. refer wiki
    • The 42nd year of Augustus ran from the autumn of 2 B.C. to the autumn of 1 B.C.
    • The subjugation of Egypt into the Roman Empire occurred in the autumn of 30 B.C.
    • The 28th year extended from the autumn of 3 B.C. to the autumn of 2 B.C.
  3. The only Date that would meet these constraints would be in Autumn of 2BC!
  4. Scripturally The flocks were in open field at night, which is not in winter – Luke 2:8
  5. It would not be sensible to have registrations done by Romans during hard winter.
  6. Jesus himself said that “pray that your flight would not be in winter” – Matt 24:20 & Mark 13:18.
  7. Now when in the Autumn? and Was Jesus born on christmas? John the baptist comes to the rescue, a detailed study about Zacharias course of serving in the temple and using Luke 3:1 on the page about John the baptist helps understand that he was not born on Christmas. His birth was on April 19-20 , 2BC (during Passover). Now Mary came to visit him during the 6th Month, so Jesus was born 6 months post the birth of John the Baptist, making it to September 29, 2BC (the date of feast of Trumpets that year).
  8. Note, Scriptures generally do not place high importance on the birth of any person, that is birthdays are not emphasised in bible. And all of these are speculations in an attempt to know the nearby date only and there is no exact solid evidence to prove the exact date of his birth. Therefore lets not get too deep into the water, though touching the waters was good. And we can continue to celebrate the christmas as a remembrance of God giving his son for us as he promised to Abraham.

Naming of Jesus

Baby of Mary was named as Jesus on the 8th day as directed by Angel to both Mary & Joseph. He was given this name as he would save his people from their sins, as the meaning of the name is “YHWH is salvation”. Also Angel had described his destiny as “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end”. And he was circumcised too. Post completion of days of purification of Mary, as per the law of Moses (every man that openeth the womb of mother) they offered a sacrifice either of a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. In the temple he was seen by Simeon and Anna and they spoke of the redemption plan of God through the child.

Wise men looking for Jesus

Who were the Magi, the three wise men from the east

Magi (Greek translation of Latin word Magoi) were priest officials during the Babylonian Empire. Daniel gets the title of Rab-Mag, chief of Magi in Nebuchadnezzar’s court in the book of Daniel during babylonian captivity in the Babylonian Empire – Daniel 4:9, 5:11. Their primary skill was Oneiromancy(interpretation of dreams), not astrology. They held the offices of Hereditary Priesthood and magistrates (governmental council), and would choose & appoint Kings – ref Herodotus. They held these office across various Empires of Babylonian (606-539 BC), Persian (539 – 332 BC), Greek (332-68BC), Roman (68 BC – 476 AD) and Parthian ( 250 BC – 224 AD, which today is Iran & Afghanistan) . Judea was a buffer war zone between Roman empire and Parthian empire during 2BC, the year of the birth of Jesus. So they would have military power with them accompanied when they visit Herod to safeguard themselves and these were not three in number as told in the legends. Matthew in the bible does not mention that there were three wise men from the east. The first question in Old Testament was to first Adam “where are thou?” and the first question in New Testament was for Last Adam “where is he that is born King of Jesus?”.

How and what did Magi knew about Jesus

Magi were priest in the Babylonian empire and during that period, Daniel was appointed as RabMag, the chief of Magi. Their role involved advisory to King and thus a high state and power in the kingdom. And Daniel having had the visitations from Gabriel, understanding the Old testament scriptures, being Rab-Mag and well regarded by King himself must have put in knowledge to his faithful followers about the Messiah, King of Jews who would be born after 400 years from the time of rebuild of the temple of Jerusalem – Book of Daniel. This prophecy and knowledge would have passed over the years in the priesthood and when they saw the star they set themselves to travel to Jerusalem to meet the King.

Visit of Magi to Jerusalem

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem from Parthian empire. It was a group of Persian, Parthian king makers who came to Jerusalem from the east to find out about the star which they saw in their land (in the east, not a star at the top of Bethlehem of Jerusalem from their location, that would make it west for them). So that also proves that it was supernatural star, not a cosmic star, as later this star would guide them to find Jesus. These were not three ordinary people that came, they were many and had military power accompanying them. You may wonder then why it disappeared in between? Answer it to fulfill the word of God about Herod slaying the children, flight of Jesus to Egypt & call back (“out of Egypt have i called my Son”). And also to make Jerusalem known that a King is indeed born (it doesn’t matter though that those in king’s house did not care), but the deed was done and also made known publicly. Matthew 2:3 says “Herod and all the Jerusalem was troubled at hearing that”. So these Magi enquire about where he should be born & take journey towards Bethlehem.

Magi finds the young Jesus

Magi by the guidance of the supernatural star finally comes and find the young child jesus. At this time he was not in a manger and must be at least 6 months old based on analysing the order of Herod to kill children below 2 years and he realizing that Magi cheated him. So these Magi, who are kingmakers presented to him the gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, representing Deity, Priesthood and Anointing oil(for kings & for burial of kings). Because of these 3 gifts the whole story of Magi visits is shortly known as Three wise men. Later Joseph would have used these gifts for his Journey to save Jesus and his family.

Escape of Jesus family from Herod’s Wrath

Now Herod realized that the Magi have deceived him and did not come back to provide information about which child was destined to be the King of Jews. As anyways he had intentions to kill him to safeguard his place, he ordered a massacre of all children below 2 years in and around Bethlehem. Remember the story birth of Moses, even during his birth too there was a massacre of children. Both of these are the Prophets of the most high God and Moses prophesied that God would raise a prophet like him. This action of Herod well told in advance by God to Joseph in a dream, they flee to Egypt. This fulfills many scriptures of the bible as listed by Matthew. Post the death of Herod, they came back to Israel and When Archelaus, son of Herod reigned in his place, they went to Nazareth of Galilee as guided in a dream by God.

Jesus Childhood

Gospel of Luke in Chapter 2 further presents an event that happened with Jesus at the age of 12 where was he shown to have understood the scriptures. And also at this age he knew that he was the Son of God, mostly because of Mary telling him all things that happened in their lives, as any parents would do. Lets understand practical life, he was disliked by his brothers (as a special son of Mary and also illegitimate one, mocked as said in Psalms 69), just like Joseph, Son of Jacob and therefore cleaved more unto God and his interests were of godly things. He wanted to stay in temple and serve god, which could be understood from his words. But this was not the will of God, just like us we assume sometimes, But God’s time is the Best time. Then he subjected to them and went back home with them, until the age of 30. Further bible tells that Jesus during his childhood increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man – Luke 2:52.