Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις, ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην.
Now it was in those days, an edict went out from Caesar Augustus; all the world to be taxed.
Paraphrase: Now the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus issued an order that the entire world was to submit to a census for the purpose of levying taxes.
Octavian is the Caesar referenced in this verse; see here.
αὕτη ἀπογραφὴ πρώτη ἐγένετο ἡγεμονεύοντος τῆς Συρίας Κυρηνίου.
This census was the first Kureniou being governor of Syria.
Paraphrase: This census, by the way, was the first one issued by the Syrian governor, Quirinius.
καὶ ἐπορεύοντο πάντες ἀπογράφεσθαι, ἕκαστος εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ πόλιν.
and all were going to be registered, each to his own city.
Paraphrase: As a result of this edict, all the Judeans were travelling to the place where they were born in order to get registered.
In deference to Jewish prejudices, any infringement of which was the certain signal for violent tumults and insurrection, it [the census] was not carried out in the ordinary Roman manner, at each person’s place of residence, but according to Jewish custom, at the town to which their family originally belonged. The Jews still clung to their genealogies and to the memory of long-extinct tribal relations… source
Ἀνέβη δὲ καὶ Ἰωσὴφ, ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἐκ πόλεως Ναζαρὲθ, εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν, εἰς πόλιν Δαυὶδ, ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλεέμ, διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου καὶ πατριᾶς Δαυίδ,
and Joseph went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David.
Paraphrase: Naturally, Joseph also needed to make this trip. Therefore, he and Mary packed up what they needed for the three day trip and started walking south on the road to Bethlehem. Joseph needed to go to Bethlehem because he was from the family of David, and Bethlehem was where David had been born and raised. (1 Samuel 17:12)
See Burton §408 for this use of the infinitive.
ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ, τῇ ἐμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ.
to be registered with Miriam, who was betrothed to him, being pregnant.
Paraphrase: He intended to get registered in Bethlehem and then to return to Nazareth. He took along his wife, Mary who at this time was nearing the end of her first pregnancy.
Matthew 1:24 implies that Joseph married Mary immediately after the announcement from the angel that Mary’s pregnancy was not a result of her infidelity. This verse implies that they are not yet married. Robertson, however, says that μνηστεύω must mean married here; otherwise, the two would not have been allowed to travel together.
Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ, ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν.
And when they were there, the days to give birth were fulfilled.
Paraphrase: When they arrived at Bethlehem, they were exhausted from their journey, especially from that last uphill climb to enter the city. Their discomfort was exacerbated by the fact that they had arrived late in the day and that it was cold this time of year. To top things off, Mary’s labor had begun.
The speculation that they had arrived late in the day is based on the fact that there was no room for them in the καταλύματι.
καὶ ἔτεκεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς, τὸν πρωτότοκον, καὶ ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτὸν, καὶ ἀνέκλινεν αὐτὸν ἐν φάτνῃ, διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι.
and she birthed her firstborn son and swaddled him and laid him down in a feeding trough because there was no place for them in the public housing.
Paraphrase: Being late in the day, there was no longer any room for them in the public housing for travelers. Joseph had to hurry since Mary’s labor was progressing. With few options left, He decided to commandeer one of the caves where some of the men had stabled their mules and oxen. He shoved aside the animals and made as good a place as possible for his wife. Mary’s labor finally ended with the birth of a baby boy. Quickly, Mary and Joseph swaddled the baby in strips of cloth they had brought along for this purpose. With tender love and concern, they held the baby in their arms. At night, they once again shoved away the mules and oxen which were there roommates and laid Jesus down in one of the feeding troughs. It was the best they could do.
See Vincent for καταλύματι.
Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ, ἀγραυλοῦντες καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν.
And there were shepherds in the that area who stayed in the fields and kept a guard at night over their sheep.
Paraphrase: Now near Bethlehem, some shepherds had made camp for the night in one of the fields. They were taking turns keeping an eye on the sheep as they were used to doing.
καὶ ἄγγελος Κυρίου ἐπέστη αὐτοῖς, καὶ δόξα Κυρίου περιέλαμψεν αὐτούς, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν.
and an angel of the Lord stood over them and the glory of the Lord shone all around them and they were terrified with a great terror.
Paraphrase: Then an angel of YHWH came down and stood over them. The dazzling brilliance of the glory-cloud of YHWH blazed all around them. (Ezekiel 1:4) The unsuspecting shepherds were struck numb with horror. (Revelation 1:17)
καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος, Μὴ φοβεῖσθε· ἰδοὺ, γὰρ εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην, ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ.
and the angel said to them, “Fear not; for behold, I am gospelling great joy to you which shall be to all people.
Paraphrase: Then the angel of YHWH spoke directly to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid! Listen; I have good news for you and for everyone, everywhere. This news will bring greater joy to you than you ever could have imagined.
ὅτι ἐτέχθη ὑμῖν σήμερον Σωτήρ, ὅς ἐστιν Χριστὸς Κύριος, ἐν πόλει Δαυίδ.
for today, a Savior is born to you who is the Messiah Lord, in the city of David.
Paraphrase: Now here is the reason why this will bring you such great joy. This Child is the Anointed One, promised long ago and the One for whom you have been waiting. This One has been sent on a mission from the Great King, YHWH, Himself. His mission is to save His people from the punishment which their sin has brought down upon them and to reconcile them to YHWH again. (Matthew 1:21) Now since this Messiah-king will sit on king David’s throne and carry on his dynasty (Luke 1:32), you will be able to find this Child in David’s city, Bethlehem.
καὶ τοῦτο ὑμῖν τὸ σημεῖον· εὑρήσετε βρέφος ἐσπαργανωμένον, καὶ κείμενον ἐν φάτνῃ.
and this for you is the sign; you will find the infant, being swaddled and being laid in a feeding trough.
Paraphrase: I am going to give you a sign, which you can trust, so that you can know with certainty that this announcement really is from YHWH Himself. Here is what you are to do. Go to Bethlehem and look in the stables behind the public housing. In one of those stables, you will find an infant with His mother and father. This infant will be swaddled as you would expect any newborn baby to be, but it will be laying in an animal feeding trough. When you find this infant, you will have found the sign which points you to the fact that you have really found Israel’s King, YHWH’s anointed One, who will set you free from sin and guilt.
Καὶ ἐξαίφνης ἐγένετο σὺν τῷ ἀγγέλῳ πλῆθος στρατιᾶς οὐρανίου, αἰνούντων τὸν Θεὸν καὶ λεγόντων·
and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly soldiers, praising God and saying:
Paraphrase: When the angel had finished speaking, there was a breaking forth of myriad upon myriads of other angels. (Psalm 68:17; Daniel 7:10; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 5:11) They all stood above the awestruck shepherds and formed a choir of unparalleled glory, singing:
Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις Θεῷ, καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας!
Glory in the highest to God and on earth peace among men of delight
Paraphrase: Glory be to the Great God and King, the Most High Majesty, YHWH, who was, and is and is to come; the One who brings peace to His people and to all those with whom He is pleased.
Almost all the translations have accepted εὐδοκίας here instead of εὐδοκία as the KJV has. Edersheim, however, defends the KJV, pointing to Cook’s reasoning on this. Metzger says that prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the expression “men of God’s good pleasure” was considered to be an almost impossible expression in Hebrew. Several equivalent expressions, however, have turned up in these scrolls. Metzger, Textual Commentary, 111.
Καὶ ἐγένετο, ὡς ἀπῆλθον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν οἱ ἄγγελοι, οἱ ποιμένες ἐλάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους, Διέλθωμεν δὴ ἕως Βηθλεὲμ, καὶ ἴδωμεν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο τὸ γεγονὸς, ὃ ὁ Κύριος ἐγνώρισεν ἡμῖν.
and it was, as the angels departed from them to heaven, the shepherds were saying to one another, “Quick! Let us go through until Bethlehem and let us see this word, the word, being, which the Lord revealed to us.
Paraphrase: When they had finished singing this glorious chorus, the angels left and returned to heaven. The shepherds were left standing there in shock and amazement. They turned to each other and said, “Quick! let’s get to Bethlehem as fast as we can and find this sign about which the angel has told us and which God Himself has revealed to us!”
For Διέλθωμεν δὴ, see Winer top of this page.
Καὶ ἦλθαν σπεύσαντες, καὶ ἀνεῦραν τήν τε Μαριὰμ καὶ τὸν Ἰωσὴφ, καὶ τὸ βρέφος, κείμενον ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ.
and they came, hurrying, and found Miriam and Joseph and the infant, lying in the feeding trough.
Paraphrase: Then the disciples came charging through the fields and ran through the town and made their way straight to the public housing unit. They found the stables and there, to their amazement and delight, were Mary, Joseph, and the infant-King whose birth the angels had announced. Just as the angel had said, the baby was lying in a feeding trough and wrapped up snugly.
ἰδόντες δὲ, ἐγνώρισαν περὶ τοῦ ῥήματος τοῦ λαληθέντος αὐτοῖς περὶ τοῦ παιδίου τούτου.
and seeing, they made known concerning the word which was spoken to them concerning the child.
Paraphrase: This was the sign the angel had told them about; and when the shepherds saw it, they could not contain themselves for joy. They spread the news to all who would hear that the great Messiah-King had been born and was given to Israel as Prince and Savior.
καὶ πάντες οἱ ἀκούσαντες ἐθαύμασαν περὶ τῶν λαληθέντων ὑπὸ τῶν ποιμένων πρὸς αὐτούς.
and all who heard, were wondering about what was being said by the shepherds to them.
Paraphrase: The townspeople were astonished at this news and were wondering amongst themselves if it could really be true and if the report of the shepherds could really be trusted.
ἡ δὲ Μαρία πάντα συνετήρει τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα, συμβάλλουσα ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῆς.
But Mary preserved all these words, turning them over and over in her heart.
Paraphrase: Meanwhile back at the stable, Mary was again lost in her thoughts. She could not stop thinking about what the shepherds had just told her. Some months back, she had been so puzzled by the report given her from the angel. (Luke 1:29, 38) Now the shepherds had confirmed what she had heard from angels. What was this child she now held in her arms? Could it be that this child was the great King whom God’s people had been expecting for such a long time?
Καὶ ὑπέστρεψαν οἱ ποιμένες, δοξάζοντες καὶ αἰνοῦντες τὸν Θεὸν ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ἤκουσαν καὶ εἶδον, καθὼς ἐλαλήθη πρὸς αὐτούς.
And the shepherds returned glorifying and worshipping God for all what they heard and saw, even as it was spoken to them.
Paraphrase: The shepherds continued on their way back to their flocks but their joy was too great to be contained. As they walked, they sang praises to God, the Most High, and worshipped Him for what they had seen in Bethlehem and for what the angels had announced to them. Their hearts were full and their mouths were open as they rejoiced in God, their Savior and His saving love to His people.
Καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ τοῦ περιτεμεῖν αὐτόν, καὶ ἐκλήθη τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦς, τὸ κληθὲν ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀγγέλου πρὸ τοῦ συλλημφθῆναι αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ.
Καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸν νόμον Μωϋσέως, ἀνήγαγον αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα, παραστῆσαι τῷ Κυρίῳ
καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν νόμῳ Κυρίου ὅτι· Πᾶν ἄρσεν διανοῖγον μήτραν ἅγιον τῷ Κυρίῳ κληθήσεται,
καὶ τοῦ δοῦναι θυσίαν, κατὰ τὸ εἰρημένον ἐν τῷ νόμῳ Κυρίου, Ζεῦγος τρυγόνων ἢ δύο νοσσοὺς περιστερῶν.
Καὶ ἰδοὺ, ἄνθρωπος ἦν ἐν Ἰερουσαλὴμ, ᾧ ὄνομα Συμεών· καὶ ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος δίκαιος καὶ εὐλαβής, προσδεχόμενος παράκλησιν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, καὶ Πνεῦμα ἦν Ἅγιον ἐπ’ αὐτόν.
καὶ ἦν αὐτῷ κεχρηματισμένον ὑπὸ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Ἁγίου μὴ ἰδεῖν θάνατον πρὶν ἢ ἂν ἴδῃ τὸν Χριστὸν Κυρίου.
καὶ ἦλθεν ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι εἰς τὸ ἱερόν· καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν, τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ,
Luke 2:28 καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδέξατο αὐτὸ εἰς τὰς ἀγκάλας, καὶ εὐλόγησεν τὸν Θεὸν, καὶ εἶπεν·
Luke 2:29 Νῦν ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλόν σου, Δέσποτα, κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου, ἐν εἰρήνῃ·
Luke 2:30 ὅτι εἶδον οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου τὸ σωτήριόν σου,
Luke 2:31 ὃ ἡτοίμασας κατὰ πρόσωπον πάντων τῶν λαῶν,
Luke 2:32 φῶς εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν ἐθνῶν, καὶ δόξαν λαοῦ σου, Ἰσραήλ.
Luke 2:33 Καὶ ἦν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἡ μήτηρ, θαυμάζοντες ἐπὶ τοῖς λαλουμένοις περὶ αὐτοῦ.
Luke 2:34 καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς Συμεὼν, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς Μαριὰμ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ· Ἰδοὺ, οὗτος κεῖται εἰς πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν πολλῶν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ, καὶ εἰς σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον—
Luke 2:35 καὶ σοῦ δὲ αὐτῆς τὴν ψυχὴν διελεύσεται ῥομφαία— ὅπως ἂν ἀποκαλυφθῶσιν ἐκ πολλῶν καρδιῶν διαλογισμοί.
Luke 2:36 Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα, προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ, αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς,
Luke 2:37 καὶ αὐτὴ χήρα ἕως ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων, ἣ οὐκ ἀφίστατο τοῦ ἱεροῦ, νηστείαις καὶ δεήσεσιν λατρεύουσα νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν.
Luke 2:38 καὶ αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐπιστᾶσα, ἀνθωμολογεῖτο τῷ Θεῷ, καὶ ἐλάλει περὶ αὐτοῦ πᾶσιν τοῖς προσδεχομένοις λύτρωσιν Ἰερουσαλήμ.
Luke 2:39 Καὶ ὡς ἐτέλεσαν πάντα τὰ κατὰ τὸν νόμον Κυρίου, ἐπέστρεψαν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν, εἰς πόλιν ἑαυτῶν, Ναζαρέθ.
Luke 2:40 Τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανεν καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο, πληρούμενον σοφίᾳ, καὶ χάρις Θεοῦ ἦν ἐπ’ αὐτό.
Luke 2:41 Καὶ ἐπορεύοντο οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ κατ’ ἔτος εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ τῇ ἑορτῇ τοῦ πάσχα.
Luke 2:42 Καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἐτῶν δώδεκα, ἀναβαινόντων αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἑορτῆς,
Luke 2:43 καὶ τελειωσάντων τὰς ἡμέρας, ἐν τῷ ὑποστρέφειν αὐτοὺς, ὑπέμεινεν Ἰησοῦς ὁ παῖς ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ. καὶ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ.
Luke 2:44 νομίσαντες δὲ αὐτὸν εἶναι ἐν τῇ συνοδίᾳ, ἦλθον ἡμέρας ὁδὸν, καὶ ἀνεζήτουν αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς γνωστοῖς·
Luke 2:45 καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες, ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ, ἀναζητοῦντες αὐτόν.
Luke 2:46 Καὶ ἐγένετο μετὰ ἡμέρας τρεῖς, εὗρον αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, καθεζόμενον ἐν μέσῳ τῶν διδασκάλων, καὶ ἀκούοντα αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπερωτῶντα αὐτούς.
Luke 2:47 ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες οἱ ἀκούοντες αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῇ συνέσει καὶ ταῖς ἀποκρίσεσιν αὐτοῦ.
Luke 2:48 Καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν, ἐξεπλάγησαν, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ, Τέκνον τί ἐποίησας ἡμῖν οὕτως; ἰδοὺ, ὁ πατήρ σου, κἀγὼ ὀδυνώμενοι, ἐζητοῦμέν* σε
Luke 2:49 Καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς, Τί ὅτι ἐζητεῖτέ με; οὐκ ᾔδειτε ὅτι ἐν τοῖς τοῦ Πατρός μου δεῖ εἶναί με;
Luke 2:50 καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐ συνῆκαν τὸ ῥῆμα ὃ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς.
Luke 2:51 Καὶ κατέβη μετ’ αὐτῶν καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς Ναζαρὲθ, καὶ ἦν ὑποτασσόμενος αὐτοῖς. καὶ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ διετήρει πάντα τὰ ῥήματα ‹ταῦτα› ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῆς.
Luke 2:52 Καὶ Ἰησοῦς προέκοπτεν ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ καὶ ἡλικίᾳ, καὶ χάριτι παρὰ Θεῷ καὶ ἀνθρώποις.