Bible Study Notes on Luke 2:1-24 – 20180514

Bible Study Notes

Special Note:  Today, May 14, 2018, the United States is opening its embassy in Jerusalem.  President Trump formally acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017.  This action fully cements that acknowledgement.  Praise the Lord!

Luke 2:1  “…all the world should be registered”
Certainly not the entire world, but that which was controlled by Rome.  Emperors like to act as though they are supreme when all know they are not.  KJV and older English translations use taxed rather than registered.  Certainly the registration would make it easier to tax the people, but most see this as a census.  Apparently Augustus was known to do this every few years, so it’s not surprising this particular one isn’t mentioned other places.

2  “This census first took place…”
Sounds like others have been taken before.  Supports the statements that they occurred several times.

4  “…lineage of David”
Bible traces Joseph’s lineage back to David through Solomon.  Mary’s goes to David through Nathan, another son of Bathsheba.

5  “…with Mary, his betrothed wife…”
Normally when a Jewish couple who were betrothed came together, they were married.  In this situation, Joseph has taken Mary as his wife as the angel told him to, yet they have not consummated their marriage and won’t until after Jesus is born.

6-7  “…while they were there…there was no room for them in the inn”
We think Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem at night and Mary gave birth to Jesus then.  But we’re not told that.  Perhaps we get the idea from the fact there was no room for them at the inn, a condition we expect to be rectified after a day or so.  Appears they arrived in Bethlehem, found no room except for the stable, and while they were there, Mary gave birth to Jesus.  Of course, on the night it happened the shepherds heard of it and came to visit.  Sometime later they would move into permanent quarters, a house.

8  “…in the same country shepherds…”
Probably those who looked after the sheep for temple sacrifices.  Bethlehem is just a few miles from Jerusalem.

11  “…who is Christ the Lord”
He is the Messiah.  The Messiah has come.

12  “…this will be the sign to you…”
This is how you will find Him.

13  “…a multitude of the heavenly host praising God…”
Wonder what this sounded like.  We’re not told they were singing.  Perhaps they were chanting, somewhat like the creatures we read of in Revelation.  Would have been something to hear and see.

17  “…they made widely known the saying which was told them…”
Found Jesus and didn’t keep the news to themselves.

19  “…Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart”
Luke wouldn’t know this unless he talked to Mary.  Points to his method of gathering information.

21  “…when eight days were completed…”
Following the law for a male child, circumcision on the eighth day.  Apparently this is also when they would officially give the child a name.

22  “…when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed…”
Different depending on whether the child was male or female.  For a male, the woman was unclean for a week and then thirty-three days.  For a female, the woman was unclean for two weeks and then sixty-six days.  Appears twice as long for a female.  Not sure why the difference.  Commentaries acknowledge it, but have no clear answer for it.  Most bring in some tradition or belief of man, but I don’t see that God would have put that in His law.  He always has a reason.

24  “…to offer a sacrifice…pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons”
When the time of purification was over, they were to bring a lamb for a burnt offering and a pigeon or turtledove as a sin offering.  If they couldn’t afford a lamb, they could bring two of the birds, one for the burnt offering and the other for the sin offering.  As Mary and Joseph were poor, they brought the two birds.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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