9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
9 Verse 9. In the east] Or, at its rise.
Stood over where the young child was.] Super caput pueri, Over
the head of the child, as the OPUS IMPERFECTUM, on this place, has
it. See Griesbach's Var. Lect. So it appears to have been a
simple luminous meteor in a star-like form, and at a very short
distance from the ground, otherwise it could not have ascertained
the place where the child lay. But the last quoted reading, from
the Opus Imperfectum, justifies the opinion that the luminous
appearance which had hitherto directed them now encompassed the
head of the child; and probably this gave the first idea to the
ancient painters, of representing Christ in the manger, with a
glory surrounding his head. This glory, or nimbus, is usually
given also to saints and eminent persons, especially in the Roman
Church, by all Roman Catholic painters.