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The Wise Men Visit

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea when Herod was king. After Jesus’ birth wise men [a] from the east arrived in Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the one who was born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star rising and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod and all Jerusalem heard about this, they became disturbed. He called together all the chief priests and the experts in the Scriptures and tried to find out from them where the Messiah was supposed to be born.

They told him, “In Bethlehem in Judea. The prophet wrote about this:

Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
you are by no means least among the leaders of Judah.
A leader will come from you.
He will shepherd my people Israel.”

Then Herod secretly called the wise men and found out from them exactly when the star had appeared. As he sent them to Bethlehem, he said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you have found him, report to me so that I may go and worship him too.”

After they had heard the king, they started out. The star they had seen rising led them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 They were overwhelmed with joy to see the star. 11 When they entered the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary. So they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.[b]

12 God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they left for their country by another road.

The Escape to Egypt

13 After they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. The angel said to him, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and kill him.”

14 Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left for Egypt that night. 15 He stayed there until Herod died. What the Lord had spoken through the prophet came true: “I have called my son out of Egypt.”

16 When Herod saw that the wise men had tricked him, he became furious. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys two years old and younger in or near Bethlehem. This matched the exact time he had learned from the wise men. 17 Then the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah came true:

18 “A sound was heard in Ramah,
the sound of crying in bitter grief.
Rachel was crying for her children.
She refused to be comforted
because they were dead.”

From Egypt to Nazareth

19 After Herod was dead, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. 20 The angel said to him, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to Israel. Those who tried to kill the child are dead.”

21 Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Judea, Joseph was afraid to go there. Warned in a dream, he left for Galilee 23 and made his home in a city called Nazareth. So what the prophets had said came true: “He will be called a Nazarene.”


  1. 2:1 Or “astrologers.”
  2. 2:11 Myrrh   is a fragrant resin used for perfumes, embalming, and deodorizers.

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