OW THE birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit;
And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, And his name shall be called Emmanuel,"
(which means, God with us).
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying:
"Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him."
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
And assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet:
'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
For from you shall come a ruler
Who will govern my people Israel.'●"
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child and when you have found him bring me word that I too may come and worship him."
When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy;
And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
- The Gospel According to Matthew,