Welcome! Jesus Christ is my LORD and Savior! Romans 10:9-10,13; John 3:16

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I am a Natural Born United States Citizen with NO allegiance or citizenship to any nation but my own, and will use this site as a hobby place of sorts to present my own political and religious viewpoints, as a genuine Constitutional Conservative and a genuine Christian Conservative.

Thank you for coming.
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In the Year of our LORD Jesus Christ
2017
-- As of January 20, 2017
A Sigh Of Relief With The Inauguration Of Donald John Trump as President of the United States of America, And Hope For A Prosperous Future For All United States Citizens (we who are a nation called "the melting pot of the world"). We shall be great and exceptionally great again.


Peace and Liberty. Semper Fidelis.









Friday, December 23, 2016

The Birth of Jesus: The Christmas Narrative Of The Gospels -- What Christmas / Christ's Mass Is Really Historically All About -- A Christmas 2016 Posting





The Gospel of Matthew - The Historical Introduction in the Alternative Word Pictures with Reiterations translation - translation mine (AWPR)


18) Now concerning Jesus Christ:  His coming into being was in this way; Mary, the mother of Him, being betrothed by marriage contract to Joseph, formerly and before their coming together, she was sought out and inquired, and found to be having in the womb, out by the Holy Spirit.1

19) But Joseph, the man betrothed to her, being righteous and just, and not having in mind -- nor the will 2 -- to bring her alongside, to make a public show (of her), for the moment was willing to loose her away (by means of a divorce) secretly, and hide (her) swiftly, without notice. 

20) And as he was increasingly growing in wrath and indignation while dwelling thoughtfully 3 on these things:  Behold!  By a dream, the LORD’s Angel was seen by him, saying
                ‘ Joseph, a legitimate offspring and son of David.   Do not run away
                    in fear, 4 receive and take Miriam as your bride: for that which is
                    come into being in her is out of the Spirit, and Holy.

21)              And she will bring forth and bear a Son and you shall call forth
             His Name as Yeshua  [Jesus], for He will deliver and make whole,
             saving  His people from the sickness and death of their sins.’

22)             This also came into being in order that it might be supplied abundantly and fulfilled, by that spoken with definite words -- the LORD coming forth through the Prophet,5 saying,

23)             ‘Behold!  the virgin of marriageable age who has never known a man,
in the belly will hold and possess,  and will bring forth and bear a Son,
and they will call forth and summon the Name of Him, EMMANUEL:
the which is, being after the interpretation,
          ‘’In the midst of and among us -- GOD.’’6

24)             And Joseph, being excited in mind and body, and being fully awoken from the sloth and weariness 7 of his slumber, he set about and completed those actions in what manner or way (that was) expressly set and ordered him 8 by the LORD’s angel, and took possession of his wife;
25)             and did not completely know her until she brought forth and bore her Son, the Firstborn.    And he called forth and summoned the Name of Him:  Yeshua  [Jesus].”

            Notes on Matthew 1:18-25

1               This sentence as translated by the full Greek expression of word pictures, show that Miriam (Mary) was about to be taken up by her husband when she was discovered with child.  In all likelihood, it was either the appointed priest or it was  the advance ambassador of the betrothed, Joseph’s best man, who would have  the one who sought and inquired (as this verse tells us).  It is not held against Eli, Miriam’s father, nor against Miriam herself, that she is pregnant.  In fact, the conclusion points to Miriam as being part of a large household where she is never left alone.  It also indicates that she is the oldest of at least several daughters, and surrounded by overprotective aunts, or like female relatives.  If we read the passage correctly, there may be a suggestion that Miriam was sold to Joseph while as a child, prior to her reaching a state of maturity.  This is supported by the tone of the following verse, 19, in which Joseph is spoken in the manner of an old or mature individual, and Miriam as but a young girl.   

2               βουλομαι -  is willingness, as found in the moment.  That “will”  which has intent and purpose and longevity, being a continuous and active expression, is “thelo” in the Greek.  Boulomai is a mindful will that can change with a mood swing.  This is exactly what was happening with Joseph.  

3                ενθυμηθεντος  : en - meaning “in”, and thumos - the mind that is racing in agitation, indignation, anger, wrath, etc.  The scribes who are indignant, and think within how that Jesus blasphemes (Matthew 9:4), or those Pharisees who are hateful and indignant in their minds (Matthew 12:25) so as to call Jesus in league with Beelzebub, are further examples are the correctness of my translation of this verse.

4               φοβηθης  -  to terribly frighten.  In the Classical Greek,  Phobeo was used to describe those so terrified, that they ran away out of their minds with fear.  The Hebrew “charada” is closely associated with this type of fear, which also is what is told the women at the Resurrection tomb in Matthew 28:5 - “Do not fear so as to run away!”

5               Isaiah 7:14

6               Actual literal translation of   Μεθ  ημων  θεος.  In this context, as in Matthew 26:58, Peter sits “in the midst of”  the under-officers of the high priest, but not necessarily “with”. 

7                διεγερθεις -  “egeiro” which means ‘to rise up, to awake from sleep,’  -- intensified by “dia” -‘through’.  Mark and Luke use this descriptive word to tell of how deep a slumber Jesus was in during the raging of the wind and sea of Galilee (Mark 4:38; Luke 8:24); while John applies it to the intensity of the sea itself, as if awoken from the sleep of calmness (John 8:18).  This intensive of “egeiro” is  used again in 2 Peter, where Peter is trying to shake the sloth and slumber from the weary minds of those who believe, that they might intensely become awake to the message he  is imparting  before he dies (2 Peter 1:13, 3:1).

8                 προςεταζεν  - to arrange by or through commands, and to set in order.  In Matthew 21:6, the disciples follow the command and instruction of this word,  set about to carry out the dictum: “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied up with a colt, untie them and bring them about and lead them to Me.”  (Matthew 21:2) 




The Gospel of Luke  
  
[written circa 50 A.D. while Peter and Paul jointly preached in Corinth of Achaia]
  
2:8-21 in KJV and AWPR Translations

  
King James Version (KJV)

Alternative Word Pictures with Reiterations translation - translation mine (AWPR)

   

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  (KJV) 
  

(8)     And Shepherds were in the fields and grazing ranges of 

          the country-side,

          the same (also) abiding / lodging in the fields

          (with the flocks [of sheep])

          and keeping a doubly protective guarded watch of the night

          over the flock  of them.

          (AWPR)



9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. (KJV) 

(9)     And behold, look and see,

an Angel (of the) LORD stood above and over them,

          and (the) LORD’s glory shone forth [great light] around them;

          and they were terrified with such a fright so as to run away,

          [it being such a mentally and spiritually overwhelming] 

             great fleeing terror.

          (AWPR)



10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  (KJV)
  
(10)   But the Angel said to them,

          (Although you can)

‘Do not fear or be terrified with such a fright so as to run away.

              Behold, look and see,

               for I am giving forth a good proclamation of good tidings,

    of good news to you,

               which will be to the people a great joyous exultation;

          (AWPR)


  
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.   (KJV)

(11)             because was born to you    this day / today

                    a Savior / Deliverer (from destruction) and benefactor

                    who is Christ / (the Anointed (One),

                    LORD / YHVeH / JeHoVaH,

                    in the city of David. 

          (AWPR)


  
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.   (KJV)
  
(12)             And this to you is a miraculous (and visible) Sign /

                    proof of a Miracle Of Fulfillment:

                    you will search out – inquire and find a (nourishing) baby

                    having been enwrapped about as in a band

         in a swathing / in swaddling clothes,

          laid down – placed – set in a stall.

                  [alternatively: a feeding trough].

                  (AWPR)



 13    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,    (KJV)
  
(13)   And of a sudden – suddenly

          there was together with the Angel

          a fullness – multitude – throng of a Heavenly / Celestial army

          singing praises of approval – benefits – commendations / praising

          GOD,

          and laying down forth definite words, saying:

          (AWPR)




 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.   (KJV)


(14)            ‘Praise – honor – applause duly rendered / Glory

                     in the highest to GOD;

                     and upon Earth,

                     Peace – Tranquility – Rest – and Every Kind Of Good;

                     in men, benevolent pleasing favor – kindness  and good will.’

          (AWPR)




15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.    (KJV)


(15)   And it so happened in what manner or way,

          the angels withdrew and went away / departed

          from them into the Heaven.

         

          And the men, the Shepherds, 

          spoke up alongside and with one another,  (saying),

                   ‘Let us most definitely (now) pass through and go

                    as far as / unto Bethlehem,

                    and let us behold, see and know 

                   this pronouncement / command,

                    that having occurred and come into being,

                    the which the LORD / JeHoVaH / YHVeH

                    made known / revealed unto us.’

          (AWPR)



 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.   (KJV)

 (16)   And they came forth so as to make a public appearance,

          urging themselves on hastily – quickly,

          and diligently sought and found out both Mariam / Mary and Joseph

          and the newborn child / baby  lying down in a stall

                             [alternatively: a feeding tough].

          (AWPR)

  
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.   (KJV)

 17)   Then seeing and being made aware with understanding,

          they went around making it known regarding the

          Statement / Pronouncement / Command spoken to them

          regarding this child.

          (AWPR) 

  
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.   (KJV)
    

(18)   And all those hearing and listening intently

          were struck with astonishment and marveled / wondered

          regarding / concerning the thing spoken about the Shepherds

          (who were) up alongside and with them.

          (AWPR)

  
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.   (KJV)


(19)   Then Mariam / Mary

kept considering – pondering – mulling over – meditating

(upon) these spoken words / sayings, in the heart of her.

           (AWPR)


  

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.   (KJV)

  
(20)   And the Shepherds turned about and returned,

                   

            [alternatively: Gr. epistrephan also means “having converted”]
  

(verbally and publicly [with loudness])

recognizing – honoring – glorifying and singing praises to GOD

for / upon / regarding all (the) things

which they attentively heard and beheld / saw,

even as (it) was spoken / proclaimed up to and alongside with them.

(AWPR)

  


21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.   (KJV)
  
(21)   And when were fulfilled – completed – accomplished

          (made fully past) 8 days to circumcise the baby,

          moreover was called forth the name of Him, Jesus / Yeshua;

          that called forth / That called from through the Angel

          before He was conceived in the womb.

          (AWPR)  
















In Judaism, there is the theological topic of Tikkun Olam, the “Restorative Repairing  (hence, “redemption”)  of the World / Ages.”     The Hebrew word Tikkun, by a secondary definition, will  incorporate the idea of  an ascending “spark” or flame, as if part of an burnt offering that  ascends up to GOD. Therefore, to be repaired or restored, one must make oneself as if a light of the menorah, or as a living allegory of the burnt offering (a living sacrifice) unto GOD.

Therefore, the basic concept of Tikkun Olam can be immediately recognized by many born-again Christians who read the priestly Gospel of John (1:1-13) where Jesus, as the light and spark of eternal life, lights the dead pilot --

(some may want to envision a gas burner or gas burning space heater that remains unlit until sparked on to give heat and fulfill its destined function in order to better grasp this concept)

-- that is within every man - woman - child of whosoever believes into and receives Him. 


If we apply this concept to Christ's Mass / Christmas, we can see in the historical retelling of the event of the star that led the magi from the East, that effectually the star itself, be it a preternatural Constellation or a manifesting Angel, was signifying the same concept as pointing the way to He who was the true spark and redemption of the World / Ages, Christ Jesus the Messiah whom is clearly named Yeshua in various Salvation Scriptures in the Hebrew Passages of the Bible for any willing to simply accept the Scriptures instead of debating GOD on a "How dare you name the King Messiah the same as the one whom the Gentile Christians follow."  




Micah 5:2  
“And you, Bethlehem Ephratah,
(though you) have grown into being least and insignificant
while being among the Commanders of the Thousands of Judah;   



{read “alupe”, construct plural; not alepe}


(yet) out of you to Me,  He shall come forth to become
Compared like unto Me in a Proverb,   
                 { Numbers 21:17-18b*}


ruling with dominion in Israel;
And his forth coming origin as one going out
is from the days of eternity, since before the world (came into being).”





Matthew 2:6
“And you, Bethlehem, Land of Judah,
Not by any means least in rank, dignity, or importance are you
Among the leaders of Judah who rule as Commanders
Who exercise authority by means of both military and civil law;



Out of you for will come out and go forth from His place
A leader who will rule as a Commander
And who will exercise authority by means of both military and civil law;

Who will Shepherd the people of Me, Israel.”   



{and be their King,   2 Sam. 5:2}


----------------------------------------------------
*Numbers 21:17-18b  
17 Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:
18 The  Cistern Well which the princes dug,
Which dug the nobles of the people,
by  the (direction of  the )  Commander of the statutes – laws –customs –decrees, with their staves.”           



"Behold!  GOD is my JESUS!
I will trust and not be afraid, for my strength and my song is YH YHVeH,
and He became to me, JESUS.
And you shall draw water with joy
out of the flowing mountain spring of JESUS."
  - Isaiah 12:2-3




In Micah 5:2, we read that the "comings forth" as umootsata(y)v  is as the source going forth, as though referring to a well spring which origin is unseen, and practically unknowable except in generality.

That origin is M'Qedem memey olam...from before the days of eternity, from before the days of the world.   

In Isaiah 7:14, we have "The Virgin" or Ha Almah in regard to the use of the word for "virgin".   Almah speaks of a "hiddenness", a chaste purity, lest perhaps someone would say as in Deuteronomy 22:19, the virgin verse of Isaiah 7:14  could ever speak of a Bethulah as one (a woman) having already had intercourse.   This is why we have Almah in Isaiah 7:14, a VIRGIN in the true sense of the word, whereas also Bethulah might be argued against as not being a virgin if the female is past age 12 (or something to this effect)  as the Akkadian cognate (the origin of the Hebrew word Bethulah)  informs us in regard to what the original origin of the word Bethulah concerned itself with.
Again, in the Akkadian, the related Bethulah cognate will only translate to virginity when applied to the very youthful; while in the Ugaritic, the possible  root  "btlt" is a oft a reference to the wife of Baal, who indeed has an active sex life in the mythology regarding Baal and Anat.   That kind of idolatrous association would be avoided by Scripture, even if human organizations later chose to merge pagan patterns and holidays where the Bible utterly separates itself from such idolatry and immoral practices as idol worshipers engage in.


 In many ways, First Century Judaism and Christianity were almost as close as some Protestant denominations are from one another in our day.


We see that many of the ideas between First Century Judaism and First Century Christianity easily cross over as virtually synonymous but for the identification of a definitive Messiah.   In our day, the division or lack of tolerance to one another is often more popular than it was in Christianity's first 35 - 40 years.





















Matthew Chapter 2 in the King James Version (KJV) and Alternate with Word Pictures and Reiterations Version (AWPR)


Matthew Chapter 2

King James Version (KJV)

Alternate Word Pictures with Reiterations (AWPR) - Translation mine.



1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, (KJV)


     1)       Then Jesus / Yeshua, having been born in Bethlehem of Judea

in the days of Herod the king:

Behold, look and see;

Magi from (the) rising sun – from (the) dawn – 
     from (the) East

(publicly and noticeably) arrived into Jerusalem, 

 (AWPR)




2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (KJV)

2)      Uttering definite words – saying:

          ‘In what place – Where is He (whom is) brought forth – born

            King of the Jews?

            For – Because   we beheld – saw – observed – watched

            the luminous body – the star of Him 
            in the East,                

            and came forth publicly so as to make an appearance

            to kiss – to adore – to show respect 
                  and falling/ prostrating obeisance

                  -  to worship him.

           (AWPR)





3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  (KJV) 

3)      Then (paying heed and) hearing intently – listening 
          (carefully),

Herod the king

was stirred up and agitated / troubled 
with great fear and questions,

and all of Jerusalem with him.   

(AWPR)





4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.  (KJV)

4)    And gathering – assembling together

the first / chief priests and Scribes




[Scribes - includes scribes who copy the Torah, Accountants,

and Civil Servant / Officials that were Recorders, Librarians,
 and other various forms of Book or Document Keepers
 (including tax-collectors like   
 Matthew, author of this Gospel).]

            of the people,

            he asked – inquired – examined from them

            where – in what place the Christ was to be born.  

(AWPR)





5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, (KJV)

5)     Then they said – spoke – replied to him,

          ‘In Bethlehem of Judea,

          for thus – in this manner or way

          it has been 
          engraved – inscribed – carved – written

            through the prophet,     

(AWPR)





6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule my people Israel.  (KJV)

6)     ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,

          by no means – not at all

          are you least in rank – dignity – importance

          in – amongst the leaders – rulers – governors of Judah;

          for – because out of you will proceed / come forth

          a leader – chief – commander – ruler,

          someone who will Shepherd the people – nation

          of Me, Israel.  

(AWPR)





7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. (KJV)

7)    At that time then, Herod in a manner or way
          concealed from notice –

secretly – discreetly – privately

calling – summoning forth – authoritatively invited

the Magi – the wise men

(and) asked precisely - inquired accurately / inquired exactly

from them the Time – Period – Season

of the shining – illuminating – giving light

[and remaining in that state of excessive illumination]

star – luminous body.   

(AWPR)




8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.  (KJV)

8)    And causing to go – sending them


[implies a military escort for part of the journey 
to ensure they went on the correct road and were 
certainly on their way.  Herod was in Jerusalem 
only 4.1 plus miles to the north, where sending word 
back to him could be done by one servant sent back
 on foot, even walking by lamp or torch by night,
 in just inside one hour]

into Bethlehem, he said,

          ‘Having walked and passed – having gone through,

            accurately examine – exactly with diligence find out –

             inquire thoroughly about

          regarding the little child.



          Then, as soon as – whenever you find and
          search out / discover,

          announce it to – send word to – make known to

          me,  so that I may also come up alongside with (you)

          to worship Him.’     (AWPR) 




Comment on distance:

Justin, in his Apology, 1.34, says:  "And thou, Bethlehem, the land of Judah" etc.  ‘Now there is a village in the land of the Jews, 35 stadia  [4.1 miles] from Jerusalem, in which Jesus Christ was born, as you can [still] ascertain also from the registers of the taxing made under Cyrenius, your first procurator in Judea."  It appears to me that the Inn or House to where Jesus was to be located was in this general vicinity at least a mile closer than the boundaries of modern Bethlehem and in the hills northeast of the current modern city, as yet unexcavated.  That makes sense that if Bethlehem was so crowded that there was no room, they would be forced to make the best they could in the outskirts of the city, at a in Bethlehem point closest to Jerusalem, and yet above the primary dust and smog (that generally settles upon the first 200 feet of a civilization and makes the air tan or brownish as one looks down across a valley or plain of it), it seems to me. 





9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.  (KJV)

9)    Then they, having heard and listened to 
          the king carefully – intently

(continued and) passed through – departed.

And behold, look and see;
 the luminous body – the star

which they saw – beheld – observed – watched

in the rising sun – in the dawn – in the East

preceded before and led them forth until, coming,

it stood up above / over and upon

where the little child was.  

(AWPR)





10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. (KJV)

10)    Then seeing – beholding – observing 
          the luminous body / star,

          they rejoiced with great – abundant

           joy – delight – gladness,

          with very much eagerness.  

          (AWPR)




11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.   (KJV)

11)     And coming into the house / building, 1

         They saw – beheld – observed the little child

         with Miriam / Mary the mother of Him.

         And falling down prostrate they 
         adored – showed obeisance to –

         worshiped Him.

         And opening the treasures put – set – stored of them,

         they brought up alongside with / next to – near to Him

         gratuitous – generous  gifts of

         gold and frankincense and myrrh.  

        (AWPR)


        
    
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.  (KJV)


12)       And having been addressed

         in a very straight-forward business-like warning – oracle

         by a dream that they should not go back again – return

         up alongside with Herod,

         through another of the same kind of way – highway – route

         they departed back again into

         the country – land – region – territory of them.2   (AWPR)




13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.   (KJV)


13)      Then they, having left – having departed back again:

                   behold, look and see;

          an angel / messenger of (the) LORD

          shone – gave light / illumination – appeared

                   down in a dream to Joseph,
                  uttering definite words – saying,



              ‘Rise (from sleep and sluggishness) – Rise up!

               take up and seize the little child and the mother of Him,

               and hurriedly flee – escape quickly  into Egypt;

               and be you in that place there

               until I shall speak to you:

               for Herod is at the point of – is about to

               look for and strive to find

               the little child, to kill – put to death – destroy Him.’

               (AWPR)



14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:  (KJV)


14)    Then he  rising up (from sleep and sluggishness)

          Took up and seized – snatched up 

          The little child and the mother of Him by night,

          And departed back again into Egypt.3

          (AWPR) 



15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.  (KJV)


15)    And he was in that place there until

          the end – completion (death) of  Herod,

         in order that would be fulfilled that spoken

         under the LORD through the prophets,

         laying down definite words saying – speaking,

            ‘Out of Egypt I have called / summoned forth

              The Son of Me.’

         (AWPR)



16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. (KJV)

16)    At that time then,  Herod (upon) seeing –beholding that

          he was deluded – deceived – played the fool

          under – by the Magi,

          (he) was provoked into a great wrath – indignation – rage.

          And sending forth [soldiers on his resulting orders],

          he took away in death – he murdered

          All the male children in Bethlehem,

          
         And in all the boundaries – frontiers – limits – region of it,

          from 2 years and downwards,

         according to the Time he diligently and accurately 
         inquired from the proximity of


  [i.e., that Herod posed to a group presented before him

   who were also far enough away to converse in whispers secretly

   among themselves]

        the Magi.

       (AWPR)





17)  Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet,   

        saying,  (KJV)

      17)      Then at that time was fulfilled – accomplished – completed

                  that definitely uttered / said  

                  under – by – through Jeremiah the prophet

                  saying,

           (AWPR)     




18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.  (KJV)

18)      ‘A voice – A sound

                    Shone forth –toned forth

  [and would echo in the recurring recollections of the minds

    of those who heard it]

                    in Rama was attentively heard – listened carefully to:

                    loud wailing and grievous weeping with tears,

                    and much (tormented – sorrowful) bewailing;

                    Rachel grievously weeping with tears 
                    for the children of her,

                    And certainly not willing / certainly not having the

                    will – desire – purpose

                    to have called to the side of – to be aided or comforted

                    because they certainly were not.’

                    (AWPR)




Comment:  The tomb of Rachel, wife of Jacob, who died in giving birth to Benjamin (cf. Genesis 35:16-19), was and is located in the region that is now the city of modern Bethlehem.  Benjamin was called Ben-Oni “son of I / son of me”, which some have mistranslated as “son of my sorrow”.  However, Jacob affirms it was “son of I / son of me” when he renamed the child as Ben-Yamin “Son at my Right Hand”.  Indeed, Jesus / Yeshua would eventually be known to humanity as “the son at the Right Hand” of GOD the Father Almighty.





19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, (KJV)

19)    Then Herod

          having come to his end – having expired / completed / died;

          behold, look and see: an Angel of (the) LORD

          down in a dream gives light – shines – appears

          to Joseph in Egypt,

          (AWPR)      




20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.  (KJV)

20)       Speaking with definite words – saying,

             ‘Rising up (from sleep and sluggishness).

              Take up – possess – seize – take along

              the little child and the mother of Him,

              and pass through into (the) Land of Israel:

              for – because those seeking – striving to find

              the soul of / the life of   the little child

              have died (by natural means).’     (AWPR)




21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. (KJV)

21)    Then he [Joseph] rising up,

          took up – seized and took along – snatched up

          the little child and the mother of Him,

          and came forth publicly into (the) Land of Israel.

          (AWPR)




22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:  (KJV)

22)    Then, hearing attentively and hearkening that Archelaus

          reigns upon Judea  against / in place of – in lieu of /

          in substitution as a successor of 

          Herod the father of him,

          he [Joseph] feared and trembled with fright and terror

          (so as to run away) [rather than]  to go there in that place:

           Then, down in a dream,

           being addressed

           in a very straight-forward business-like

           order - response - warning – oracle,

           he [Joseph]  departed back again into the [sea – waters

           of the] sides – parts – coasts.4

           And behold, look and see;

           The heavens to him were opened,

           And he saw – beheld – observed (it was) the Galilee.

           (AWPR)




23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene. (KJV)

23)   And having come forth publicly,

          He dwelt in a permanent dwelling / he resided

          Into a city – protected settlement called Nazareth;

          So as to accomplish – make full – complete – fulfill

          That spoken – foretold through the prophet:

                 ‘He shall be summoned forth / called Nazarene.”

          (AWPR)






Disclaimer:  The Alternate Word Pictures with Reiterations (AWPR) translation should be used as a Bible Study Aid only, and it is recommended that a direct literal translation or the King James Bible be used for regular and ecclesiastical purposes, and that the AWPR be used in association only as a Bible study aid so as to help the reader / user in their Bible Studying to clarify context and Scriptural Intent.     Thanks.  -- Brianroy






End-notes: 

1.       The events of the Magi arriving is AFTER the events listed in Luke Chapter 2.  Finding Mary and Jesus the angelically announced Messiah in a manure filled stall, it is not a stretch in any way that the Shepherds (who possibly were raising their flocks primarily  in the valley of Achor, south of Jericho – Isaiah 65:9-10, before proceeding round about to Jerusalem through the south via Bethlehem) could easily have used sheep as payment for someone or the Inn itself to take Miriam and her baby in out of doors.  Judaism often places an emphasis of the relationship of child and mother, and of common decency.  A trade (for example) of 7 fat sheep for eating, and perhaps a lamb without spot or blemish for trade or sacrifice for the Temple would have been more than sufficient payment.  There is absolutely no justification for any relocation of the event to Nazareth or anywhere else.  In fact, the events of both the Shepherds and the visit by the Magi would have preceded the actual day of circumcision of the little child Jesus, meaning the visits by the Shepherds in Luke 2 (written in A.D. 50) and that of the Magi in Matthew 2 (written between June of A.D. 55 and the early fall of A.D. 56 at the latest), both were completed within the first 8 days of Jesus birth.   




2.      The Highway to Israel from Babylonia would have been via:  Accad, Mari, Tadmor, Damascus, Capernaum, Jericho, Jerusalem, and points along that route.




The exit taken by the Magi away from Herod, would likely have been south from Bethlehem to the road that passed from Kadesh Barnea (around the southern part of the Dead Sea traveling East then North through Edom on the King's Highway) to Rabboth-Bene-Ammon, then due east to Dumah, and from Dumah to Babylonia.




3.      “Departed back again”  is the most accurate translation possible for the Koine Greek Word of this verse, which is “anechoresen” – the aorist indicative active of anachoreo.  This means that Joseph, although of the House of David, was a Jew who was previously living in Egypt and for some time had made his home and livelihood there.  Most likely that home was in Alexandria, and the use of the aorist indicative active of anachoreo in the way it is presented in this verse suggests that is where Mary also had spent some time as the wife of Joseph upon her marriage to him.  It also gives cause for a working hypothesis as to part of the reason why Mark took his Gospel to Alexandria after the death of the Apostle Peter on June 29, 57 A.D., and founded what would be the Coptic Church before his own death in the 8th year of Nero in A.D. 62 (just 5 years after that of Peter’s death in Rome).  There must have been some sort of familiarity and testimony that joined Joseph by family and (Mary and the LORD Jesus to that city later, albeit briefly) as a city of refuge away from and out of Herod’s jurisdiction and influence.





4.       Joseph, it seems to me, most clearly took the little child / baby Jesus and the mother of Him out of Egypt by ship back to Israel.  They probably first embarked to Joppa, heard the news of Archelaus, and then took the journey to the next stop of Caesarea (Song of Solomon 2:1) on the coast of Samaria and entered through the plain of Sharon.  Prophecy related to Sharon in the Old Testament informs us that Joseph then would have proceeded by land up to Mount Carmel (Isaiah 35:1-2) before turning aside to Galilee, so as to appear to enter it from an origin in the north and avert suspicion as having actually come from the south. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               




Other Comments I would add  to consider:

Justin, in his Apology, 1.34, says:
"And thou, Bethlehem, the land of Judah" etc.
"Now there is a village in the land of the Jews, 35 stadia from Jerusalem, in which Jesus Christ was born, as you can [still] ascertain also from the registers of the taxing made under Cyrenius, your first procurator in Judea."

From this, we gather:
1) There were still existing meticulously detailed Roman records about a century and a half after their entry.
2) The taxing Bureaucracy were thorough and exacting record keeping pack-rat Administrators; junkies for detailed information and administration.
3) Cyrenius was called the 1st procurator of Judea. 
4) Bethlehem was still existing in the second century A.D., as was known to have existed in Cyrenius' and Jesus' day.
5) The location of this Bethlehem rules out all other nominations for Jesus' birthplace, being 35 stadia from Jerusalem.  But pay attention to Justin, here.

1 stadia was roughly 606 - 630 feet to the Greco Roman.    35 stadia was roughly 4.0 to 4.1 miles  from  Jerusalem's Old City.

Hence, that Bethelehem of Jesus' is in the open fields and winding roads northeast of the current Bethlehem occupied by the Palestinians.  And it is these open fields that archaeologists should excavate. Here is the most likely area they will dig up a stone relic engraved with Bethlehem or some such information in it.


In Luke, we read that EVERY descendant of the House of David converged on Bethlehem! 

While by a modern understanding we might speculate that the number of Davidians at Bethlehem could possibly have been as high as 60,000 to 70,000  after 500 years of repopulating, because of political intrigue and murder of royal lineages,  the more likely answer of the population in Bethlehem at the first census might be one preserved hundreds of years later in the Byzantine period, at which time there was a listing placed on a column that claimed that a number of 20,000 were present at Bethlehem at the time of Christ's birth. While some have claimed this was the number of those 2 and under who were killed at Bethlehem, the historical evidence of the smallness of this lineage, especially of those who were a threat to Herod the Great whose agents were everywhere to arrest even if two men were to stop and talk to one another on a road, one asking another for directions to somewhere and the other daring to answer.   This number of 20,000 listed on a Bethlehem Byzantine Era column would clearly then be the entire number of those of the House of David, and likely we might expect (at best) only as many as a 1,000 to 2,000 babies from birth to the age of two to be present, as the Census number includes only men, and not any women and children that were brought along to be taxed by the Romans.  All these people pressed into the small village of less than a perhaps several hundred, many involved in High Holiday sheep examining (to separate those with blemishes), sheep watching - sheep shearing with wool collection and processing.  What is NOT told you in the Bethlehem narrative is the fact that outside Bethlehem when Jesus was born were fields and fields of many tens of thousands of bleating sheep that were to be used for the daily ritual Temple Sacrifice less than 5 miles away.  

   There are those who contend it was Spring when Jesus was born, but they fail to consider that this would have been so overwhelming at the time of Census that it would have been noted in some way, as over 257,000 sheep at a minimum would be needed to be present for sacrifice at Jerusalem at Passover. According to Josephus, there were Paschal lamb counts of 256,500 lambs for some 2.7 million who went up to Jerusalem in A.D. 70 in the midst of the war with Rome. (Wars of the Jews, 6.9.3.).  Both the sight and smell as well as the thought of the logistics involved for over a quarter of a million sheep moving in or around Passover up to Jerusalem passing by or coming from Bethlehem annually is just an amazing activity that is easily forgotten by a modern world self-absorbed in a full detachment from an agrarian based society.  These 257,000 plus (allowing for a select number to be rejected by the priests before sacrifice)  would be driven up to Jerusalem in regular intervals of flock directing shepherds using a flag / banner waving system and done via  the southern passage from Bethlehem.

  I find it interesting, that since Jesus was born in and among the herds  perhaps in an roofed but open shelter without walls...that this out-of-the-way location at Bethlehem's outskirts, is precisely what allowed Joseph the means to escape Herod's mercenaries.  Visual and audio cover of an animal herd, and a distance of stealth from the actual town during late night hours.

Chapter LI.   Origen, Against Celsus, 1.51  By the time of Origen, the  location was celebrated as a cave at that site, and not the middle of a field...my son is the smell of a fruitful field (says prophecy).   
"Now the Scripture speaks, respecting the place of the Saviour's birth-that the Ruler was to come forth from Bethlehem-in the following manner: "And thou Bethlehem, house of Ephrata, art not the least among the thousands of Judah: for out of thee shall He come forth unto Me who is to be Ruler in Israel; and His goings forth have been of old, from everlasting." Now this prophecy could not suit any one of those who, as Celsus' Jew says, were fanatics and mob-leaders, and who gave out that they had come from heaven, unless it were clearly shown that He had been born in Bethlehem, or, as another might say, had come forth from Bethlehem to be the leader of the people. With respect to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, if any one desires, after the prophecy of Micah and after the history recorded in the Gospels by the disciples of Jesus, to have additional evidence from other sources, let him know that, in conformity with the narrative in the Gospel regarding His birth, there is shown at Bethlehem the cave where He was born, and the manger in the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling-clothes. And this sight is greatly talked of in surrounding places, even among the enemies of the faith, it being said that in this cave was born that Jesus who is worshipped and reverenced by the Christians. Moreover, I am of opinion that, before the advent of Christ, the chief priests and scribes of the people, on account of the distinctness and clearness of this prophecy, taught that in Bethlehem the Christ was to be born. And this opinion had prevailed also extensively among the Jews; for which reason it is related that Herod, on inquiring at the chief priests and scribes of the people, heard from them that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem of Judea, "whence David was." "

David was moved to Bethlehem between 70 and 132 A.D., post Herod, and the Jerusalem white sepulcher was destroyed during this time.  


In Against Marcion 3.13, Tertullian points us to Psalm 72:15,10 in regard to the Magi:

"And there shall be given to him the gold of Arabia" and again: "The kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer to Him gifts."  For the East generally regarded the Magi as Kings; and Damascus was anciently deemed to belong to Arabia, before it was transferred to SyroPhoenicia on the division of the Syrias (by Rome).

...Let those eastern magi wait on the new-born Christ, presenting to Him...the riches of Damascus without a battle, and unarmed.

...Jewish cavillers, in order to disconcert us, boldly PRETEND that Scripture does not hold that a VIRGIN, but only a young woman, is to conceive and bring forth. They are, however, refuted by this consideration, that nothing in the nature of  [an OTH / a Sign] can possibly come out of what is a daily occurence...."

What is being told us?  That at least from the road out of Damascus, the Magi came bearing gold, the spoil of the Jews living in Damascus, to offer gifts from that city to Yeshua.    Herod would have seen this gold, and the other gifts, because it is a spoil enough for a king to start a kingdom.

So now, we have a greater understanding of the political intrigue of Herod...who slaughtered Bethlehem not just because of a prophecy, but for the amount of gold that was being given to a new rival born within it.


The origin of the Magi was probably from Babylonia, in the area or region Hillel, he who brought a fresh Hebrew Copy of the 5 books of Moses that Israel's scribes had (in the Herodian era, at least) heavily abandoned for the Greek translations of the Scriptures would come from.   Hillel revitalized Israel in remembering its Hebrew roots, and the love of the Hebrew Torah.  They were NOT to be like the Gentiles, but a Light to the nations and represent their Hebrew forefathers in their own language passed down to them, not forsaking their inheritance nor their birthright and responsibilities to it.  


In relation to Herod I in 5 B.C., it appears that Herod,  under cloak of law, must have took the position of sharing some of the wealth he accumulated from the massacre at Bethlehem, with some of the Romans overseeing the Census for purposes of taxation, as well as those "anathema" Jewish tax-collectors themselves (who well preceded Matthew).   That is the inference given us in the Mishna's approach to these kinds of Jewish State officials. 
But what about all that gold?  Didn't Joseph get any of it?
 Maybe, but not that much.   We know that Joseph took up Mary and Jesus right quick, and when he came back, he only had pennies enough to buy a poor man's offering after Mary's 33 days had passed (Leviticus 12:4,6-8;  Luke 2:22-24). 

 From October 27 plus 33 days is the end of November.  Yet Joseph did not go up right away to Jerusalem, he hesitated.  In all likelihood, Joseph arrived in Jerusalem when Hannukah overlapped with what day we now call Christmas, in 5 B.C.   It appears to be a Hannukahn style blessing upon Jesus by Simeon and Anna at the Temple (cf. Luke 2:25-39). 

Therefore, unlike the lunar eclipse that was expected in March of 4 B.C., Herod dies either at the end of November or the first days of December under a kind of lunar eclipse that wasn't supposed to happen.  The event of Herod's death is announced in Egypt's coast in a matter of a couple days by ship, likely to Alexandria or it parts where the largest concentration of Hebrews outside Israel would dwell in one place, in time enough for Joseph to return to Jerusalem at Channukah, the festival of lights, and meet Simeon and Anna at the Temple while offering sacrifices having virtually no money at all left from what had previously been offered by the Magi...perhaps spending any and all gold he was originally able to carry away in haste on supply safety for Mary and the baby Messiah, as well as lodging and quick passage (such as swifter boats between Joppa and Alexandria, for example).