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King Herod and the

Astrologers

(Chapter 2, verses 1-6)

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       (1) After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea during the reign of King Herod, Eastern astrologers came to Jerusa­lem, (2) asking: "Where is the boy-king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and came to pay our respects." (3) King Herod (and the rest of the Jewish population in Jerusalem) was angered upon hearing their words. (4) He summoned all the chief priests and scribes, probing and asking questions as to the whereabouts of Christ's birthplace. (5) "The Christ is to be born in Bethlehem of Judea" they answered. "We know this because the prophet of long ago wrote: (6) ‘Hey, Bethlehem of the Judean countryside, you're no small fry when it comes to cities that are important to Judean governors. Why? Because a major governor will come out of you who'll govern my people, Israel.'"

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The Astrologers Find Jesus

(Chapter 2, verses 7-12)

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       (7) Then Herod secretly queried the astrologers in an effort to establish the time of the star's appearance. (8) He sent them to Bethlehem with this order: "Search thoroughly for the toddler, and when you guys find him, let me know so that I, too, can pay my respects to the boy-king." (9) As soon as the king finished with them they left for Bethlehem. Why, look there in the night sky! The star they saw before in the east [the one they identified as the boy's star] appeared again to them and led them to the boy-king. (10) They were happy as can be when they saw the star again. (11) It had stopped over a certain house whereupon they entered, finding the boy-king and its mother inside. They showed great honor by bowing before the future king, and from their treasures presented it with gifts, yes, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (12) However, they all had the same divine dream that warned them not to return to Herod, so they took a different route to their home country.

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Joseph Flees to Africa

(Chapter 2, verses 13-15)

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       (13) After they left, Yehowah's angel again visited Joseph in a dream, saying: "Wake up and take your family to Egypt, Africa. Sit tight there until you hear from me because Herod is going to be on a search-and-destroy mission as far as the boy-king is concerned. He wants to kill him." (14) Joseph woke right up and did exactly as the angel instructed. He took his family, the boy-king and the child's mother, to Egypt, Africa. (15) They all stayed there until Herod was good and dead. By doing so, they also fulfilled Yehowah's words through his prophet, which states: "I called my son out of [Africa], that is, Egypt."

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King Herod Slaughters

Male Toddlers

(Chapter 2, verses 16-18)

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       (16) When the wickedly sly Herod realized that he had been outfoxed, he was so angry that he sent his soldiers out to kill all the boys in Bethlehem from two years of age and under. He figured from interviewing the astrologers that the boy Jesus was around this age. (17) This terrible occasion was foretold long ago by Jeremiah the prophet, who states: (18) "A mysterious voice was heard in Ramah, moaning and much sobbing; it was Rachel openly grieving over her slaughtered children, and she refused to be comforted, for they had perished."

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Joseph Returns to Israel

(Chapter 2, verses 19-23)

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       (19) When Herod finally died, Yehowah's angel, as promised, came again to Joseph (who was still in Africa) in a dream, (20) and said: "Get up and take your family back to Israel, for the ones who wanted to kill the child-king are dead themselves." (21) So, following the angel's direction, he got up and took his family back to Israel. (22) While on his way to Judea he heard that King Herod's wicked son Archelaus had replaced him as ruler. This scared Joseph so much he no longer considered Judea an option. On top of this, he was divinely warned in a dream [not to go to Judea], so he settled on the territory of Galilee, (23) where Jesus was to grow up in a city called Nazareth. This fulfilled what was spoken through the prophets when they said: "He will be called a Nazarene."