2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem 1 in Judea, in the time 2 of King Herod, 3 wise men 4 from the East came to Jerusalem 5 2:2 saying, “Where is the one who is born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose 6 and have come to worship him.” 2:3 When King Herod 7 heard this he was alarmed, and all Jerusalem with him. 2:4 After assembling all the chief priests and experts in the law, 8 he asked them where the Christ 9 was to be born. 2:5 “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they said, “for it is written this way by the prophet:
2:6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are in no way least among the rulers of Judah,
for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” 10
2 tn Grk “in the days.”
3 sn King Herod was Herod the Great, who ruled Palestine from 37
4 sn The Greek term magi here describes a class of wise men and priests who were astrologers (L&N 32.40).
6 tn Or “in its rising,” referring to the astrological significance of a star in a particular portion of the sky. The term used for the “East” in v. 1 is ἀνατολαί (anatolai, a plural form that is used typically of the rising of the sun), while in vv. 2 and 9 the singular ἀνατολή (anatolh) is used. The singular is typically used of the rising of a star and as such should not normally be translated “in the east” (cf. BDAG 74 s.v. 1: “because of the sg. and the article in contrast to ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν, vs. 1, [it is] prob. not a geograph. expr. like the latter, but rather astronomical…likew. vs. 9”).
8 tn Or “and scribes of the people.” The traditional rendering of γραμματεύς (grammateu") as “scribe” does not communicate much to the modern English reader, for whom the term might mean “professional copyist,” if it means anything at all. The people referred to here were recognized experts in the law of Moses and in traditional laws and regulations. Thus “expert in the law” comes closer to the meaning for the modern reader.
9 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”
sn See the note on Christ in 1:16.