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New Defender's Study Bible Notes

2:11 the house. The overcrowded situation, which existed in Bethlehem when Mary and Joseph arrived there, was well dissipated, with the tax registration finished. The family had now found a suitable house to live in, instead of the manger where Christ was born, or the inn where they had first sought lodging (Luke 2:7). It had been many months since His birth, possibly almost two years. Herod, after inquiring “diligently what time the star appeared” to the wise men, ordered all the young children in and around Bethlehem up to two years of age to be slain (Matthew 2:7,16).

2:11 worshipped him. As great as they were in the eyes of men, these wise men knew that this babe was greater—even “God with us”—and so fell down before Him.

2:11 gifts. These Magi, correctly recognizing the special witness of “His star” (Matthew 2:2) fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 60:3, which foretold that “Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” In Persian society, the Magi were honored as royalty, and they brought gifts appropriate for another King. The fact that they brought three gifts—gold, indicating Christ’s future reign; frankincense, indicating His priestly intercession for them, and myrrh, indicating His coming death for them—has given rise to the tradition that there were just three wise men, but there may well have been many more.

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