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Wise Men Come to Visit Jesus

2 1Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea. He was born during the time when Herod* was king. After Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. 2The wise men asked people, "Where is the new baby that is the king of the Jews? We saw the star that shows he was born. We saw the star rise in the sky in the east. We came to worship him." 3King Herod* heard about this new king of the Jews. Herod was troubled about this. And all the people in Jerusalem were worried too. 4Herod called a meeting of all the leading Jewish priests and teachers of the law. Herod asked them where the Christ* would be born. 5They answered, "In the town of Bethlehem in Judea. The prophet* wrote about this [in the Scriptures*]: 6'Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are important among the rulers of Judah. Yes, a ruler will come from you, and that ruler will lead Israel, my people.'" (Micah 5:2)

7Then Herod* had a secret meeting with the wise men from the east. Herod learned from the wise men the exact time they first saw the star. 8Then Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem. Herod said to the wise men, "Go and look carefully to find the new baby. When you find the baby, come tell me. Then I can go worship him too." 9The wise men heard the king and then left. They saw the same star they had seen in the east. The wise men followed the star. The star went before them until it stopped above the place where the baby was. 10The wise men were happy to see the star. They were very excited. 11The wise men came to the house where the baby was. They saw the baby with his mother Mary. The wise men bowed down and worshiped the baby. The wise men opened the gifts they brought for the baby. They gave the baby treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.* 12But God warned the wise men in a dream. God warned them not to go back to Herod.* So the wise men went home to their own country a different way.

Jesus' Parents Take Him to Egypt

13After the wise men left, an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream. The angel said, "Get up! Take the baby and his mother and escape to Egypt. Herod* will start looking for the baby. Herod wants to kill him. So stay in Egypt until I tell you [it is safe]." 14So Joseph got up and left for Egypt with the baby and the baby's mother. They left during the night. 15Joseph stayed in Egypt until Herod* died. This happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Lord said through the prophet.* The Lord said, "I called my son to come out of Egypt."*

Herod Kills the Baby Boys in Bethlehem

16Herod* saw that the wise men had fooled him. Herod was very, very angry. So Herod gave an order to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and in all the area around Bethlehem. Herod had learned from the wise men the time [the baby was born]. It was now two years from that time. So Herod said to kill all the boys that were two years old and younger. 17So the thing God said through the prophet* Jeremiah happened: 18"A sound was heard in Ramah. It was bitter crying and much sadness. Rachel cries for her children; and she cannot be comforted, because her children are dead." (Jeremiah 31:15)

Joseph and Mary Return from Egypt

19After Herod* died, an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream. This happened while Joseph was in Egypt. 20The angel said, "Get up! Take the baby and his mother and go to Israel. The people that were trying to kill the baby are now dead." 21So Joseph took the baby and the baby's mother and went to Israel. 22But Joseph heard that Archelaus was now king in Judea. Archelaus became king when his father Herod died. So Joseph was afraid to go there. Joseph was warned in a dream. So Joseph left there and went to the area of Galilee. 23Joseph went to a town called Nazareth and lived there. And so the thing happened that God said through the prophets.* God said that [the Christ] would be called a Nazarene.*

Herod Herod I (the Great), ruler of Judea, 40 B.C. to 4 B.C. Christ The "anointed one" (Messiah) or chosen one of God. prophet A person that spoke for God. Sometimes a prophet told things that would happen in the future. Scriptures Holy Writings--the Old Testament. frankincense and myrrh Expensive perfumes. "I called ... Egypt" Quote from Hos. 11:1. prophets People that spoke for God. Some of them wrote books that are part of the Old Testament. Nazarene A person from the city of Nazareth, a name probably meaning "branch" (See Isa. 11:1).

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