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Matthew 2Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Wise Men Come to Visit Jesus

Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea during the time when Herod was king. After Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked people, “Where is the child who has been born to be the king of the Jews? We saw the star that shows he was born. We saw it rise in the sky in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard about this, it upset him as well as everyone else in Jerusalem. Herod called a meeting of all the leading Jewish priests and teachers of the law. He asked them where the Messiah would be born. They answered, “In the town of Bethlehem in Judea, just as the prophet wrote:

‘Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    you are important among the rulers of Judah.
Yes, a ruler will come from you,
    and that ruler will lead Israel, my people.’”

Then Herod had a private meeting with the wise men from the east. He learned from them the exact time they first saw the star. Then he sent them to Bethlehem. He said, “Go and look carefully for the child. When you find him, come tell me. Then I can go worship him too.”

After the wise men heard the king, they left. They saw the same star they had seen in the east, and they followed it. The star went before them until it stopped above the place where the child was. 10 They were very happy and excited to see the star.

11 The wise men came to the house where the child was with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened the boxes of gifts they had brought for him. They gave him treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 But God warned the wise men in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they went home to their own country a different way.

Jesus’ Parents Take Him to Egypt

13 After the wise men left, an angel from the Lord came to Joseph in a dream. The angel said, “Get up! Take the child with his mother and escape to Egypt. Herod wants to kill the child and will soon start looking for him. Stay in Egypt until I tell you to come back.”

14 So Joseph got ready and left for Egypt with the child and the mother. They left during the night. 15 Joseph stayed in Egypt until Herod died. This gave full meaning to what the Lord said through the prophet: “I called my son to come out of Egypt.”[a]

Herod Kills the Baby Boys in Bethlehem

16 Herod saw that the wise men had fooled him, and he was very angry. So he gave an order to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem and the whole area around Bethlehem. Herod had learned from the wise men the time the baby was born. It was now two years from that time. So he said to kill all the boys who were two years old and younger. 17 This gave full meaning to what God said through the prophet Jeremiah:

18 “A sound was heard in Ramah—
    bitter crying and great sadness.
Rachel cries for her children,
    and she cannot be comforted,
    because her children are gone.”

Joseph and Mary Return From Egypt

19 While Joseph was in Egypt, Herod died. An angel from the Lord came to Joseph in a dream 20 and said, “Get up! Take the child with his mother and go to Israel. Those who were trying to kill the child are now dead.”

21 So Joseph took the child and the mother and went to Israel. 22 But he heard that Archelaus was now king in Judea. Archelaus became king when his father Herod died. So Joseph was afraid to go there. Then, after being warned in a dream, he went away to the area of Galilee. 23 He went to a town called Nazareth and lived there. This gave full meaning to what God said through the prophets. God said the Messiah[b] would be called a Nazarene.[c]


  1. Matthew 2:15 Quote from Hos. 11:1.
  2. Matthew 2:23 the Messiah Literally, “he.” See “Messiah” in the Word List.
  3. Matthew 2:23 Nazarene A person from the city of Nazareth. This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “branch.” So Matthew may be referring to the promise of a “branch” of David’s family. See Isa. 11:1.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International


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