Understanding The Bible
"Who Is Jesus" Part-5
by Joan A Deering

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Who Is Jesus?

By Joan A Deering


“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king,"  [Matthew 2:1a]  [1]

Herod was the king in Jerusalem at the time Jesus was born. “Herod” is a title not a name people were born with. This particular Herod was referred to as Herod the Great.

“behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem,..."   [Matthew 2:1b]

The term Magi [2] was used as the name for priests and wise men among the Medes, Persians, and Babylonians.

"...saying, 'Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”  Matthew [Matthew 2:1b-2]

It is a possibility the Magi came from Babylon because the prophet Daniel was taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He besieged Jerusalem and brought a great number of people from there back as captives to Babylon. It’s possible the Magi heard of the events over time while Daniel was in Babylon in regard to God giving him wisdom to answer the king and others when they were troubled by dreams and events. They may also have had a copy or copies of the Hebrew Scriptures also because of Daniel and the Hebrews that were taken into captivity.

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.  They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:  [Matthew 2:3-5]

The New International version uses the word disturbed which described how Herod the king reacted to the information from the scribes and priest. We will go further with this in Part-6 of “Who is Jesus.”

These following verses are from the referenced Old Testament writings.  These show some of what the chief priests and scribes were referring to when they answered Herod in Matthew 2:3-5.

Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is righteous and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  [Zechariah 9:9]

And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For from you will come forth a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’” 
Matthew 2:6]


The Matthew verse quoted above is from the Old Testament book of Micah 5:2 foretelling of the Messiah (Hebrew: Anointed One; Greek: Christ;  Jesus) to be born in Bethlehem Judea.

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.  [Jeremiah 23:5]

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[1] All Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible

[2] The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, copyright 1957 The Moody Bible Institute


2022-02-04 1230