JW Reading - Daily portion


This week's reading is LUKE 2-3.

Today's portion goes from 2:1 to 2:18.


Chapter 2 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Au·gusʹtus for all the inhabited earth to be registered. 2 (This first registration took place when Qui·rinʹi·us was governor of Syria. ) 3 And all the people went to be registered, each one to his own city. 4 Of course, Joseph also went up from Galʹi·lee, from the city of Nazʹa·reth, into Ju·deʹa, to David’s city, which is called Bethʹle·hem, because of his being a member of the house and family of David. He went to get registered with Mary, who had been given him in marriage as promised5  and who was soon to give birth. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her son, the firstborn, and she wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the lodging place. 8  There were also in the same region shepherds living out of doors and keeping watch in the night over their flocks. 9 Suddenly Jehovah’s angel stood before them, and Jehovah’s glory gleamed around them, and they became very fearful. But the angel said to them: “Do not be afraid, for look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have. 10 11 For today there was born to you in David’s city a savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this is a sign for you: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger. ” 13 Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: “Glory in the heights above to God, and on earth peace14  among men of goodwill. ”15 So when the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another: “Let us by all means go over to Bethʹle·hem and see what has taken place, which Jehovah has made known to us. ” 16 And they went quickly and found Mary as well as Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that they had been told concerning this young child. 17 18 And all who heard were astonished at what the shepherds told them,

/////////// Publications researches ///////////


2:1

Caesar: Or “Emperor. ” The Greek word Kaiʹsar corresponds to the Latin term Caesar. (See Glossary :

Caesar


Augustus, a Latin word meaning “August One, ” was first given by the Roman Senate as a title to Gaius Octavius, the first Roman emperor, in the year 27 B. C. E. He thus became known as Caesar Augustus. His decree resulted in Jesus’ being born in Bethlehem, in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. —Da 11:20 :
Mic 5:2 :

the inhabited earth: In a broad sense, the Greek word for “inhabited earth” (oi·kou·meʹne) refers to the earth as the dwelling place of mankind. (Lu 4:5 :
Ac 17:31 :
Ro 10:18 :
Re 12:9 :
16:14 :
Ac 24:5 :

to be registered: Augustus likely issued this decree because a census would help him to tax his subjects and conscript men for military service. In doing so, Augustus evidently fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy about a ruler “who causes an exactor to pass through the splendid kingdom. ” Daniel further foretold that during the reign of that ruler’s successor, “a despised one, ” something momentous would happen: “The Leader of the covenant, ” or the Messiah, would be “broken, ” or put to death. (Da 11:20-22 :


2:2

Quirinius .  .  . governor of Syria: Publius Sulpicius Quirinius, a distinguished Roman senator, is mentioned only once in the Bible. Scholars initially claimed that Quirinius served only one term of governorship over the Roman province of Syria in about 6 C. E. , during which a rebellion broke out in response to a census. As a result, they attacked this passage and cast doubt on Luke’s account by reasoning that Quirinius was governor in 6 or 7 C. E. , whereas Jesus’ birth was earlier. However, in 1764 an inscription was found that strongly suggests that Quirinius served as governor (or, legate) in Syria for two distinct terms. Other inscriptions too have led some historians to acknowledge that Quirinius served a term as governor of Syria earlier, in the B. C. E. period. It was evidently during this term that the first registration, mentioned in this verse, took place. Furthermore, the critics’ reasoning ignores three key facts. First, Luke acknowledges that there was more than one census, calling this the “first registration. ” He was evidently aware of a later registration, which occurred about 6 C. E. That registration was mentioned by Luke in the book of Acts (5:37 :
Lu 1:3 :
2Ti 3:​16 :


2:4

went up from Galilee: There was a town named Bethlehem just 11 km (7 mi) from Nazareth, but prophecy specified that the Messiah would come from “Bethlehem Ephrathah. ” (Mic 5:2 :
Bethlehem, referred to as David’s city, was located in Judea, in the south. (
1Sa 16:​1 :
11 :
13 :


2:5
ia 153 :

1,  2. Describe Mary’s journey, and explain what made it uncomfortable for her.

MARY shifted her weight uncomfortably atop the little beast of burden. She had been riding for hours. Just ahead, Joseph walked steadily onward, leading the way along the road toward distant Bethlehem. Mary once again felt the stirring of life within her.

2 Mary was well along in her pregnancy; the Bible describes her at this time with the expressive phrase “heavy with child. ” (Luke 2:5) As the couple passed by one field after another, perhaps some of the farmers looked up from their plowing or sowing and wondered why a woman in such a condition would go on a journey.


155 :

7 Nonetheless, Luke writes that Joseph went “to get registered with Mary. ” He also notes that Mary “had been given [to Joseph] in marriage as promised. ” (Luke 2:4,  5) Being Joseph’s wife made a great deal of difference in Mary’s decisions. She viewed her husband as her spiritual head, embracing her God-given role as his helper by supporting him in his decisions. So she met this potential challenge to her faith with simple obedience.


w08 10/1 22-23 :

MARY shifted her weight uncomfortably atop the little beast of burden. She had been riding for hours. Just ahead, Joseph walked steadily onward, leading the way along the road toward distant Bethlehem. Mary once again felt the stirring of life within her.

Mary was well along in her pregnancy; the Bible describes her at this time with the expressive phrase “heavy with child. ” (Luke 2:5) As the couple passed by one field after another, perhaps some of the farmers looked up from their plowing or sowing and wondered why a woman in such a condition would go on a journey.


2:6
po 139-140 :

While they were there, the days came to the full for her to give birth.


2:7

the firstborn: This expression implies that Mary later had other children. —Mt 13:55, 56 :
Mr 6:3 :

manger: The Greek word phatʹne, rendered “manger, ” means “feeding place. ” It may have been some kind of feeding trough for animals, though the Greek word phatʹne can also refer to the stall in which animals are kept. (Compare Lu 13:15 :

lodging place: The Greek word could also be rendered “guest room, ” as at Mr 14:14 :
Lu 22:11 :


2:9

Jehovah’s angel: See study note on Lu 1:11 :

11 Jehovah’s angel appeared to him, standing at the right side of the incense altar.


Jehovah’s glory: The first two chapters of Luke’s account are rich with references to and allusions to passages and expressions from the Hebrew Scriptures where the divine name occurs. Although existing Greek manuscripts use the word Kyʹri·os (Lord) in this verse, there are good reasons for using the divine name in the main text. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the corresponding Hebrew expression for “glory” occurs along with the Tetragrammaton more than 30 times. (Some examples are found at Ex 16:7 :
40:34 :
Le 9:6 :
23 :
Nu 14:10 :
16:19 :
20:6 :
1Ki 8:11 :
2Ch 5:14 :
7:1 :
Ps 104:31 :
138:5 :
Isa 35:2 :
40:5 :
60:1 :
Eze 1:28 :
3:12 :
10:4 :
43:4 :
Hab 2:14 :
Septuagint, found in a cave in Nahal Hever in the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea, dated between 50 B. C. E. and 50 C. E. , contains the Tetragrammaton written in ancient Hebrew characters within the Greek text at
Hab 2:14 :
Septuagint replaced the divine name with Kyʹri·os in this and many other verses, the definite article was not included where it would be expected according to standard grammatical usage, making Kyʹri·os tantamount to a proper name. So in view of the Hebrew Scripture background as well as the absence of the Greek definite article, the divine name has been used in the main text of
Lu 2:9 :
study notes on Lu 1:6 :

They both were righteous before God, walking blamelessly in accord with all the commandments and legal requirements of Jehovah.


1:9 :

according to the established practice of the priesthood it became his turn to offer incense when he entered into the sanctuary of Jehovah.


2:10
w78 6/1 25 :

Surely we have even more reason to rejoice as we are entrusted with the good news of the established Kingdom to “be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations” before the end comes. (Matt. 24:14) If the birth of Jesus was a proper occasion for the angel to declare “good news of a great joy that all the people will have, ” surely his enthronement as heavenly King is a far greater occasion for rejoicing, when “the kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever. ” (Luke 2:10; Rev. 11:15) This declaring of the “good news” is Jehovah’s work for his people today. Our taking a firm stand on the side of that kingdom and loyally working for its interests will cause even Jehovah’s heart to rejoice.


w72 370 :

For the benefit of those seeking the goodwill of God, the Bible writer Luke relates it for us: “The angel said to them: ‘Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in David’s city.


685 :

21. (a) When, where and with what announcement was this better mediator born? (b) Why did Jesus celebrate the Jewish Passover, and at his last celebration, what did he identify himself to be, and how?

21 In the year 2 B. C. E. that better Mediator was born, as a descendant of King David and in David’s city, Bethlehem. At the same time he was the Son of God, and at his birth the angel of God announced to the shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem: “I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ” (Luke 2:10,  11) Being born of a Jewish mother, this one who was to be “Christ the Lord” was a natural Jew and under the Law of the covenant that Moses had mediated between God and Israel. In confirmation of this we read, in Galatians 4:4: “But when the full limit of the time arrived, God sent forth his Son, who came to be out of a woman and who came to be under law. ”


kj 311 :

my sheep, the sheep of my pasturing, you are earthling men. I am your God, ’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ”—Ezekiel 34:31.

46. In what favorable period are these designated “sheep” living, and what kind of “earthling men” are they in connection with Jehovah?

46 The anointed remnant of spiritual Israel, restored to God’s favor since 1919, are manifestly living in the “year of good will on the part of Jehovah. ” (Isaiah 61:1, 2) By making them “the sheep of my pasturing” he is treating them as His “men of good will, ” concerning whom the angelic “multitude of the heavenly army” said at the time of Jesus’ birth in David’s city, Bethlehem: “Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of goodwill. ”—Luke 2:10-14.

47. Under whose shepherding does the “great crowd” of “other sheep” place itself, and why do they follow along as “one flock” with the remnant of spiritual Israel?

47 The “great crowd” that comes out of all nations, tribes and peoples discern that Jehovah has made choice of the remnant of spiritual Israelites and they likewise put themselves under his Shepherd-King Jesus Christ, as his “other sheep. ” Despite their not being spiritual Israelites but coming from all earthly nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, they listen to the voice of the Fine Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and sheeplike they follow him as the “one shepherd” whom Jehovah has raised up over spiritual Israel. Why do they follow along with the remnant of spiritual Israel as “one flock” under “one shepherd”? It is because they know for a fact that Jesus Christ is Jehovah’s Shepherd-King for all mankind. —John 10:16; Revelation 7:9-17.


w70 622 :

David had been a shepherd at Bethlehem, and there were still shepherds there at the time of Mary’s giving birth to her miraculous firstborn Son. This event was of importance to the whole human race. It therefore deserved to be verified by eyewitnesses, members of our race. So on the night that Jesus was born in the city of David’s birth God sent his angel to announce the human birth of his Son to shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem. The glorious angel calmed the fears of the surprised shepherds by saying:

21 “Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in David’s city.


sv 14 :

So on the night that Jesus was born in the city of David’s birth God sent his angel to announce the human birth of his Son to shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem. The glorious angel calmed the fears of the surprised shepherds by saying:

21 “Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in David’s city. And this is a sign for you: you will find an infant bound in cloth bands and lying in a manger. ”​—Luke 2:1-12.

22. (a) In what sense was the newborn child to be “Christ, ” of whom was he to be Lord, and to the joy of how many people? (b) What did the army of angels say on that occasion?

22 There we have the statement of the divine purpose: This newborn Jesus was to become the Messiah or Christ, One anointed to the kingship just as his forefather David had been anointed to the kingship over God’s chosen people. Furthermore, he was to be a king greater than David had been, for he would become David’s “Lord, ” in fulfillment of the prophetic Psalm 110:1,  2. He was to be also a “Savior, ” and, if this did not mean that he would be a Savior of our human race, why would “all the people” be due to have a “great joy” at the good news of his birth?


w62 230 :

of something due or required. ”

8. Why is it not too soon to render a judgment on Christendom, and according to what book must judgment be handed down, and why?

8 Christianity was established nineteen centuries ago, and so Christendom has had plenty of time in which to show what she would do or could accomplish with Christianity. After all this time, and in the face of the present world outlook, it is not too soon for us to hold an accounting and render a judgment on Christendom. Has she disappointed God and proved lacking in what he expects, desires and approves? Has she met her obligations toward him, and has she proved to be of use and helpfulness to him? To render a judgment, we must hand down our decision according to the book of Christianity, God’s own Bible. In it God gives his own judgment.

9, 10. (a) On what is the name Christianity built, and when was it to be established? (b) What words to be used by Jesus Christ did God’s prophet Isaiah foretell?

9 The name Christianity is built upon the name Christ, which is a title by which Jesus of Bethlehem-Judah was called. Hence Christianity means the imitating of Jesus Christ and the obeying of his teachings and commandments. Christ means Anointed One; the Jewish word “Messiah” means the same thing. God foretold in his book the Bible that Christianity would be established at a certain time, which was nineteen hundred years ago. Over seven hundred years before that, God inspired his prophet Isaiah to write down the very words that Jesus Christ, or Jesus the Anointed One, would say! Turn in your Bible to Isaiah’s prophecy, chapter sixty-one, verses one and two. The American Standard Version of the Bible reads here:

10 “The spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the year of Jehovah’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn. ”

11. In that respect how did Jesus Christ not fail God, and so what must true Christians do?

11 Are not those things wonderful things to preach and proclaim? These were the things that Jesus Christ was anointed to preach and proclaim. In a Jewish synagogue in his boyhood town of Nazareth he quoted those very words of Isaiah’s prophecy to prove that they applied to him, that he was the Christ or Anointed One. (Luke 4:16-21) The record of his earthly life shows that he did carry out those words. In this he did not fail or disappoint Jehovah his God, who had anointed him with holy spirit. So his followers, his disciples, his imitators, that is to say, Christians, must preach and proclaim the same good, comforting things.

12, 13. (a) What was Christianity meant to hold out to all mankind, and how was this indicated at Jesus’ birth? (b) Why will those angelic words not fail?

12 The coming of Christianity was meant to hold out to all obedient men and women the hope of everlasting life in perfect happiness in a new world created by Jehovah God. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the Middle East in the year 2 B. C. , some of God’s angels from heaven appeared to shepherds in the nearby field and said: “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in [Bethlehem] the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. .  .  . Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased. ”—Luke 2:8-14, AS.

13 Thus the announcing of Jesus’ birth was good news for all the people everywhere; and Christianity, which he founded, was meant to bring a great joy to all the people of whatever race, color, nationality, language or social standing. Christianity was meant to result in glory in the heights above to God and upon the earth peace


2:11

who is Christ: The angel’s use of this title was evidently prophetic, since the outpouring of holy spirit at the time of Jesus’ baptism marked the time of his becoming in actual fact the Messiah, or Christ. —Mt 3:16, 17 :
Mr 1:9-11 :
Lu 3:21, 22 :

Christ the Lord: The Greek expression here rendered “Christ the Lord” (Khri·stosʹ kyʹri·os, lit. , “Christ Lord”) occurs only here in the Christian Greek Scriptures. The angel’s use of these titles was evidently prophetic, and the clause could therefore be rendered “who was to be Christ the Lord. ” (See study note on who is Christ in this verse. ) Under inspiration, Peter explains at Ac 2:36 :
Lu 2:11 :
5-8, 10 in
App. C :
ma·shiʹach Yeho·wahʹ, that is, “Jehovah’s Christ. ” For these and other reasons, some have understood the term at
Lu 2:11 :


2:12
kj 311 :

my sheep, the sheep of my pasturing, you are earthling men. I am your God, ’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ”—Ezekiel 34:31.

46. In what favorable period are these designated “sheep” living, and what kind of “earthling men” are they in connection with Jehovah?

46 The anointed remnant of spiritual Israel, restored to God’s favor since 1919, are manifestly living in the “year of good will on the part of Jehovah. ” (Isaiah 61:1, 2) By making them “the sheep of my pasturing” he is treating them as His “men of good will, ” concerning whom the angelic “multitude of the heavenly army” said at the time of Jesus’ birth in David’s city, Bethlehem: “Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of goodwill. ”—Luke 2:10-14.

47. Under whose shepherding does the “great crowd” of “other sheep” place itself, and why do they follow along as “one flock” with the remnant of spiritual Israel?

47 The “great crowd” that comes out of all nations, tribes and peoples discern that Jehovah has made choice of the remnant of spiritual Israelites and they likewise put themselves under his Shepherd-King Jesus Christ, as his “other sheep. ” Despite their not being spiritual Israelites but coming from all earthly nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, they listen to the voice of the Fine Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and sheeplike they follow him as the “one shepherd” whom Jehovah has raised up over spiritual Israel. Why do they follow along with the remnant of spiritual Israel as “one flock” under “one shepherd”? It is because they know for a fact that Jesus Christ is Jehovah’s Shepherd-King for all mankind. —John 10:16; Revelation 7:9-17.


w70 622-623 :

And this is a sign for you: you will find an infant bound in cloth bands and lying in a manger. ”​—Luke 2:1-12.


2:13
w72 370 :

And suddenly there came to be with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying:


kj 311 :

my sheep, the sheep of my pasturing, you are earthling men. I am your God, ’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ”—Ezekiel 34:31.

46. In what favorable period are these designated “sheep” living, and what kind of “earthling men” are they in connection with Jehovah?

46 The anointed remnant of spiritual Israel, restored to God’s favor since 1919, are manifestly living in the “year of good will on the part of Jehovah. ” (Isaiah 61:1, 2) By making them “the sheep of my pasturing” he is treating them as His “men of good will, ” concerning whom the angelic “multitude of the heavenly army” said at the time of Jesus’ birth in David’s city, Bethlehem: “Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of goodwill. ”—Luke 2:10-14.

47. Under whose shepherding does the “great crowd” of “other sheep” place itself, and why do they follow along as “one flock” with the remnant of spiritual Israel?

47 The “great crowd” that comes out of all nations, tribes and peoples discern that Jehovah has made choice of the remnant of spiritual Israelites and they likewise put themselves under his Shepherd-King Jesus Christ, as his “other sheep. ” Despite their not being spiritual Israelites but coming from all earthly nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, they listen to the voice of the Fine Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and sheeplike they follow him as the “one shepherd” whom Jehovah has raised up over spiritual Israel. Why do they follow along with the remnant of spiritual Israel as “one flock” under “one shepherd”? It is because they know for a fact that Jesus Christ is Jehovah’s Shepherd-King for all mankind. —John 10:16; Revelation 7:9-17.


w65 618 :

and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. .  .  . no word shall be impossible with God. ”—Luke 1:28-37, Dy.

26, 27. (a) Information by Luke helps us to determine what regarding the birth and its location? (b) According to Luke, how did God raise up witnesses of the child’s birth that night?

26 Doctor Luke supplied historical facts and figures by means of which we can calculate the year of Jesus’ birth. He shows how the birth of Jesus came to take place at the city of Bethlehem, as foretold by the prophet Micah seven centuries earlier. (Luke 2:1-7; Matt. 2:1-16; Mic. 5:2) The birth took place in a stable in an overcrowded city, where a person could be overlooked for the crowd. But the birth was not allowed to go without witnesses besides the child’s mother Mary and foster father Joseph. God raised up witnesses to this birth of his Son. He sent an angel to give to the shepherds out in the fields at Bethlehem the needed directions on how to find this newborn babe in a stable manger.

27 The angel identified who the child really was and told what his future was to be by saying: “For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. ” Besides those shepherd witnesses, there were also heavenly witnesses, for, after the announcement of the child’s birth, “suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will. ” Right after that the shepherds found the newborn babe just as described and became eyewitnesses of the birth of the Son of God. Then they returned to their flocks, “glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. ”—Luke 2:1-20, Dy.

28. (a) The child was to hold what position toward King David? (b) What question arises as to the child’s government, and why?

28 This child was to become God’s Christ or Anointed One, and he was to become also King David’s Lord. King David, to whom God’s promise of an everlasting kingdom was made, ruled over only a small land area in the Middle East. Also, according to what the angel Gabriel said to Mary, her Son Jesus was to be given “the throne of David his father” and was to “reign in the house of Jacob, ” that is to say, in the nation that descended from the patriarch Jacob the grandson of Abraham. How, then, could the government that was to be laid upon the shoulder of Jesus Christ be a world government, a government over all mankind?

29. (a) What did his lordship over King David indicate? (b) How did David indicate that he would have a Lord over him?

29 That his government would be greater than that of King David was indicated in the angel’s announcement that the newborn Jesus would become, not only the foretold Christ, but also Lord, that is to say, Lord over even King David the king of Israel or Jacob. David himself indicated that he would have a Lord over him, when he wrote down what the Lord God said to him. David wrote: “The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand: until I make thy enemies thy footstool. The Lord will send forth the sceptre of thy power out of Sion: rule thou in the midst of thy enemies. ”—Ps. 109:1, 2, Dy; Ps. 110:1, 2, AV.

THE WRONG WORLD GOVERNMENT REFUSED

30. (a) Why has no successor of the Caesars of Rome been a world governor? (b) In what year did John the Baptist appear preaching?

30 In the first century of our Common Era, with the events of which we now deal, the Roman Empire was the dominant world power. But it was not a world government. Many governments outside the boundaries of the empire did not acknowledge


im 130; gv 13; w62 42 :

They think that the big choice lies between democratic government of Western style and Communist government of the Eastern style, although some try to keep to the middle of the road in government policy. The politically minded people of this world never give any thought to the government of God. They ignore the greatest fact in connection with the subject of government: that the Governor of the universe, Jehovah God the Creator, has a government for the earth and its inhabitants. He has already put in power the Ruler for this perfect government over long-misruled mankind. It is not a government unable to understand and sympathize with human problems. Because of God’s appointed Ruler, this government has a close flesh-and-blood tie with us people. Hundreds of years beforehand, in a prophecy by Micah, Jehovah God foretold the very birthplace of this appointed Ruler. It is the most famous birthplace on earth. This makes it plain that the Ruler whom God appoints over mankind was himself once one of us! Once a man! That fact should make this government of God’s provision feel closer to us, more intimate to us, than a mere government by holy angels.

4. What government announcement did Jehovah make in Micah 5:2, and to whom was its fulfillment to be of importance?

4 Foreseeing the dire need of righteous government for oppressed mankind, Jehovah God made this government announcement through Micah (5:2): “And you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, the one too little to get to be among the thousands of Judah, from you there will come out to me the one who is to become ruler in Israel, whose origin is from early times, from the days of time indefinite. ” Micah said that 350 or more years after King David of Jerusalem was born, in 1107 B. C. , in Bethlehem in the tribal territory of Judah. Micah focused the attention of the entire universe upon Bethlehem as the town where a royal descendant of David would be born, who would be a permanent heir to his throne according to God’s covenant with David for an everlasting kingdom in David’s family. (2 Sam. 7:11-16; Matt. 2:4-6; John 7:41, 46) This was to be an event of importance to not only all the earth but also all heaven.

5. In keeping with the importance of the event, how was the Ruler’s birth announced, and to whom?

5 So it was simply in keeping with the importance of the event that, when Jesus was born as a descendant of King David in Bethlehem, his birth was announced to God-fearing shepherds by a glorious angel, who said: “Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in David’s city. ” After this announcement, “suddenly there came to be with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: ‘Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of good will. ’”—Luke 2:4-14.

6. How is it true that the origin of this Ruler is “from early times, from the days of time indefinite”?

6 Those very angels who thus praised God at the birth of Jesus Christ had known him up in heaven as the only-begotten, firstborn Son of God. This fact is evident from the prophecy of Micah 5:2, as it refers to Jesus as the one “whose origin is from early times, from the days of time indefinite. ” So that birth in Bethlehem was not the start of him. His life had been miraculously transferred from heaven to earth, from the spirit realm to the human realm, in order that, by natural ties, he might become the everlasting heir to David’s throne over Israel. He had his “origin from early times” in heaven, from when God created him to be the “firstborn of all creation, ” “the beginning of the creation by God. ” (Col. 1:15; Rev. 3:14) There was no earlier time for creation’s


2:14

and on earth peace among men of goodwill: Some manuscripts have readings that could be rendered “and on earth peace, goodwill toward men, ” and this wording is reflected in some Bible translations. But the reading employed by the New World Translation has much stronger manuscript support. This angelic announcement did not refer to an expression of God’s goodwill toward all humans regardless of their attitudes and actions. Rather, it refers to those who will receive his goodwill because they display genuine faith in him and become followers of his Son. —See study note on men of goodwill in this verse.

men of goodwill: The “goodwill” referred to in this angelic statement is evidently that displayed by God, not by humans. The Greek word eu·do·kiʹa can also be rendered “favor; good pleasure; approval. ” The related verb eu·do·keʹo is used at Mt 3:17 :
Mr 1:11 :
Lu 3:22 :
study notes on Mt 3:​17 :

17 Look! Also, a voice from the heavens said: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved. ”


Mr 1:​11 :

11 And a voice came out of the heavens: “You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you. ”


an·throʹpois eu·do·kiʹas) refers to people who have God’s approval and goodwill, and it could also be rendered “people whom he approves; people with whom he is well-pleased. ” So this angelic statement was referring to God’s goodwill, not toward men in general, but toward those who would please him by their genuine faith in him and by becoming followers of his Son. Although the Greek word eu·do·kiʹa in some contexts can refer to the goodwill of humans (Ro 10:1 :
Php 1:15 :
Mt 11:26 :
Lu 10:21 :
Eph 1:5 :
9 :
Php 2:13 :
2Th 1:11 :
Septuagint at
Ps 51:18 :

2:15

which Jehovah has made known to us: The angels conveyed the message, but the shepherds recognized the source as being Jehovah God. Although existing Greek manuscripts use Kyʹri·os (Lord) here, there are good reasons for using the divine name in the main text. In the Septuagint, the Greek verb rendered “has made known” is used to translate a corresponding Hebrew verb in contexts where Jehovah communicates his will to humans or where humans want to know his will. In such scriptures, the original Hebrew text often uses the Tetragrammaton. (Ps 25:4 :
39:4 :
98:2 :
103:6,  7 :
study note on Lu 1:6 :

They both were righteous before God, walking blamelessly in accord with all the commandments and legal requirements of Jehovah.


2:17
w72 112 :

The Greek word for “young child” is pai·diʹon. It can be used of a twelve-year-old, as at Mark 5:40-42, which refers to a girl resurrected by Jesus; but it can also apply to a newborn baby, as when used of the child Jesus at the time he was visited by the shepherds. ​—Luke 2:17.





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JW Reading - 2018