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New Defender's Study Bible Notes

2:7 Herod. Herod, sometimes called Herod the Great, was the son of Antipater, a part-Jew of Edomite descent. He was the procurator of Judaea from 47 B.C. until he died in 4 B.C., soon after the flight of Joseph and Mary with the infant Jesus into Egypt (Matthew 2:19). This indicates, of course, that Christ must have been born in 4 B.C. or earlier.

2:7 the star appeared. Evidently, the star had appeared to the wise men only while they were still “in the east” (Matthew 2:2). Even though they probably knew (from Micah 5:2) that He would be born in Bethlehem (a village six miles away from Jerusalem), they would naturally travel first to Jerusalem as a courtesy to the king. They would also assume that the arrival of the long-awaited King would be an occasion for rejoicing, and by the time they could complete their long pilgrimage from Persia, He would surely have been brought to the capital to be worshiped by His people. How wrong they were about that!

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