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占星家朝拜耶稣

1 希律王执政的时候,耶稣生在犹太的伯利恒。那时,有几个占星家从东方来到耶路撒冷,
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
1 CHAPTER II.



Wise men come from the east to worship Christ, 1, 2.

Herod, hearing of the birth of our Lord, is greatly troubled, 3;

and makes inquiry of the chief priests and scribes, where the

Christ should be born, 4.

They inform him of the prophecy relative to Bethlehem, 5, 6.

The wise men, going to Bethlehem, are desired by Herod to bring

him word when they have found the child, pretending that he

wished to do him homage, 7, 8.

The wise men are directed by a star to the place where the young

child lay, adore him, and offer him gifts, 9-11.

Being warned of God not to return to Herod, they depart into

their own country another way, 12.

Joseph and Mary are divinely warned to escape into Egypt,

because Herod sought to destroy Jesus, 13, 14.

They obey, and continue in Egypt till the death of Herod, 15.

Herod, finding that the wise men did not return, is enraged, and

orders all the young children in Bethlehem, under two years of

age, to be massacred, 16-18.

Herod dies, and Joseph is divinely warned to return to the land

of Israel, 19-21.

Finding that Archelaus reigned in Judea in place of his father

Herod, he goes to Galilee, and takes up his residence at

Nazareth, 22, 23.



NOTES ON CHAP. II.



Verse 1. Bethlehem of Judea] This city is mentioned in

, and must be distinguished from another of the same name

in the tribe of Zebulon, . It is likewise called

Ephrath, ,

or Ephratah, , and its inhabitants Ephrathites, ;

. It is situated on the declivity of a hill, about six

miles from Jerusalem. Beth-lechem, in Hebrew, signifies

the house of bread. And the name may be considered as very

properly applied to that place where Jesus, the Messiah, the true

bread that came down from heaven, was manifested, to give life to

the world. But lehem also signifies flesh, and is applied to

that part of the sacrifice which was burnt upon the altar.

See . The word is also used to signify a

carcass, .

The Arabic version has [Arabic] Beet lehem, and the Persic

[Persic] Beet allehem: but [Arabic] lehem, in Arabic, never

signifies bread, but always means flesh. Hence it is more proper

to consider the name as signifying the house of flesh, or, as some

might suppose, the house of the incarnation, i.e. the place where

God was manifested in the flesh for the salvation of a lost world.



In the days of Herod the king] This was HEROD, improperly

denominated the GREAT, the son of Antipater, an Idumean: he

reigned 37 years in Judea, reckoning from the-time he was

created-king of that country by the Romans. Our blessed Lord was

born in the last year of his reign; and, at this time, the sceptre

had literally departed from Judah, a foreigner being now upon the

throne.



As there are several princes of this name mentioned in the New

Testament, it may be well to give a list of them here, together

with their genealogy.



Herod, the Great, married ten wives, by whom he had several

children, Euseb. l. i. c. 9. p. 27. The first was Doris, thought

to be an Idumean, whom he married when but a private individual;

by her he had Antipater, the eldest of all his sons, whom he

caused to be executed five days before his own death.



His second wife was Mariamne, daughter to Hircanus, the sole

surviving person of the Asmonean, or Maccabean, race. Herod put

her to death. She was the mother of Alexander and Aristobulus,

whom Herod had executed at Sebastia, (Joseph. Antiq. l. xvi. c.

13.-De Bello, l. i. c. 17,) on an accusation of having entered

into a conspiracy against him. Aristobulus left three children,

whom I shall notice hereafter.



His third wife was Mariamne, the daughter of Simon, a person of

some note in Jerusalem, whom Herod made high priest, in order to

obtain his daughter. She was the mother of Herod Philippus, or

Herod Philip, and Salome. Herod or Philip married Herodias,

mother to Salome, the famous dancer, who demanded the head of John

the Baptist, . Salome had been placed, in the will of

Herod the Great, as second heir after Antipater; but her name was

erased, when it was discovered that Mariamne, her mother, was an

accomplice in the crimes of Antipater, son of Herod the Great.

Joseph de Bello, lib. i. c. 18,19,20.



His fourth wife was Malthake, a Samaritan, whose sons were

Archelaus and Philip. The first enjoyed half his father's kingdom

under the name of tetrarch, viz. Idumea, Judea, and Samaria:

Joseph. Antiq. l. xvii. c. 11. He reigned nine years; but, being

accused and arraigned before the Emperor Augustus, he was banished

to Vienna, where he died: Joseph. Antiq. l. xvii. c. 15. This is

the Archelaus mentioned in .



His brother Philip married Salome, the famous dancer, the

daughter of Herodias; he died without children, and she was

afterwards married to Aristobulus.



The fifth wife of Herod the Great was Cleopatra of Jerusalem.

She was the mother of Herod surnamed Antipas, who married

Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, while he was still

living. Being reproved for this act by John the Baptist,

; ; , and having imprisoned this holy

man, he caused him to be beheaded, agreeable to the promise he had

rashly made to the daughter of his wife Herodias, who had pleased

him with her dancing. He attempted to seize the person of Jesus

Christ, and to put him to death. It was to this prince that

Pilate sent our Lord, . He was banished to Lyons,

and then to Spain, where both he and his wife Herodias died.

Joseph. Antiq. l. xv. c. 14.-De Bello, l. ii. c. 8.



The sixth wife of Herod the Great was Pallas, by whom he had

Phasaelus: his history is no ways connected with the New

Testament.



The seventh was named Phoedra, the mother of Roxana, who married

the son of Pheroras.



The eighth was Elpida, mother of Salome, who married another son

of Pheroras.



With the names of two other wives of Herod we are not

acquainted; but they are not connected with our history, any more

than are Pallas, Phoedra, and Elpida, whose names I merely notice

to avoid the accusation of inaccuracy.



ARISTOBULUS, the son of Herod the Great by Mariamne, a

descendant of the Asmoneans, left two sons and a daughter, viz.

Agrippa, Herod, and Herodias, so famous for her incestuous

marriage with Antipas, in the life-time of his brother Philip.



AGRIPPA, otherwise named Herod, who was imprisoned by Tiberius

for something he had inconsiderately said against him, was

released from prison by Caligula, who made him king of Judea:

Joseph. Antiq. l. xviii. c. 8. It was this prince who put St.

James to death, and imprisoned Peter, as mentioned in xii. of

Acts. He died at Caesarea, in the way mentioned in the Acts, as

well as by Josephus, Antiq. l. xix. c. 7. He left a son named

Agrippa, who is mentioned below.



HEROD, the second son of Aristobulus, was king of Chalcis, and,

after the death of his brother, obtained permission of the emperor

to keep the ornaments belonging to the high priest, and to

nominate whom he pleased to that office: Joseph. Antiq. l. xx. c.

1. He had a son named Aristobulus, to whom Nero gave Armenia the

lesser, and who married Salome, the famous dancer, daughter to

Herodias.



AGRIPPA, son of Herod Agrippa, king of Judea, and grandson to

Aristobulus and Mariamne; he was at first king of Chalcis, and

afterwards tetrarch of Galilee, in the room of his uncle Philip:

Joseph. Antiq. l. xx. c. 5. It was before him, his sister

Berenice, and Felix, who had married Drusilla, Agrippa's second

daughter, that St. Paul pleaded his cause, as mentioned Acts 26.



HERODIAS, the daughter of Mariamne and Aristobulus, is the

person of whom we have already spoken, who married successively

the two brothers Philip and Antipas, her uncles, and who

occasioned the death of John the Baptist. By her first husband

she had Salome, the dancer, who was married to Philip, tetrarch of

the Trachonitis, the son of Herod the Great. Salome having had no

children by him, she was married to Aristobulus, her cousin-german,

son of Herod, king of Chalcis, and brother to Agrippa and Herodias:

she had by this husband several children.



This is nearly all that is necessary to be known relative to the

race of the Herods, in order to distinguish the particular persons

of this family mentioned in the New Testament. See Basnage,

Calmet, and Josephus.



There came wise men from the east] Or, Magi came from the

eastern countries. "The Jews believed that there were prophets in

the kingdom of Saba and Arabia, who were of the posterity of

Abraham by Keturah; and that they taught in the name of God, what

they had received in tradition from the mouth of Abraham."-WHITBY.

That many Jews were mixed with this people there is little doubt;

and that these eastern magi, or philosophers, astrologers, or

whatever else they were, might have been originally of that class,

there is room to believe. These, knowing the promise of the

Messiah, were now, probably, like other believing Jews, waiting

for the consolation of Israel. The Persic translator renders the

Greek μαγοι by [Persic] mejooseean, which properly signifies a

worshipper of fire; and from which we have our word magician. It

is very probable that the ancient Persians, who were considered as

worshippers of fire, only honoured it as the symbolical

representation of the Deity; and, seeing this unusual appearance,

might consider it as a sign that the God they worshipped was about

to manifest himself among men. Therefore they say, We have seen

his star-and are come to worship him; but it is most likely that

the Greeks made their μαγοι magi, which we translate wise men,

from the Persian [Persian] mogh, and [Persian] moghan, which the

Kushuf ul Loghat, a very eminent Persian lexicon, explains by

[Persian] atush perest, a worshipper of fire; which the Persians

suppose all the inhabitants of Ur in Chaldea were, among whom the

Prophet Abraham was brought up. The Mohammedans apply this title

by way of derision to Christian monks in their associate

capacity; and by a yet stronger catachresis, they apply it to a

tavern, and the people that frequent it. Also, to ridicule in the

most forcible manner the Christian priesthood, they call the

tavern-keeper [Arabic], peeri Mughan, the priest, or chief of

the idolaters. It is very probable that the persons mentioned by

the evangelist were a sort of astrologers, probably of Jewish

extraction, that they lived in Arabia-Felix, and, for the reasons

above given, came to worship their new-born sovereign. It is

worthy of remark, that the Anglo-saxon translates the word μαγοι

by [Anglo-Saxon], which signifies astrologers, from [Anglo-Saxon]

a star or planet, and [Anglo-Saxon], to know or understand.