Matthew Chapter Two


1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem
Within Judea, when King Herod reigned,
A party of astrologers came from

The east, arriving in Jerusalem,
2 And asked, “Where is the child who has been born
The Jewish king? For we have seen his star

In far-off eastern lands, and we have come
To worship him.” 3 Now when King Herod heard
This he was vexed, and all Jerusalem

With him. 4 When he had called together all
The Jewish scribes and priests, he asked them where
The Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem

In Judea,” they answered, “because this
Is what the prophet wrote about it: 6 “‘But
You, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land, are by

No means the least of Judah’s princes; for
From you will come a ruler who will be
The shepherd of my people Israel.’“

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly
And learned from them exactly when they first
Saw the star. 8 “Go to Bethlehem,” he said,

“And search carefully for the child. As soon
As you have found him, come back and tell me,
So that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they’d heard the king, they started out
Again to Bethlehem, and now the star
They had seen in the east went up in front

Of them 10 until it stopped above the place
Where the child lay. Their joy was boundless, 11 so
They went into the house and saw the child

Magi witnessing-divine-01

With his mother Mary, and they bowed down
And worshiped him, then they revealed their treasures,
Presenting him with gifts of gold and incense

And myrrh, 12 and having had a warning in
A dream not to go back to Herod, they
Returned to their own country by another

Route. 13 After they had gone, an angel of
The Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.
“Get up,” he said, “and take the child and his

Mother– escape to Egypt. Stay there ‘til
I tell you to return, for Herod plans
To find the child and kill him.” 14 So he got up,

Took the child and his mother in the night
And left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until
The death of Herod. This fulfilled the prophet’s

Prediction: “Out of Egypt I have called
My son.” 16 When Herod realized that he had been
Tricked by the Magi, he was furious,

And ordered all the boys in Bethlehem
And the surrounding district who were two
Years old and under to be killed, and based

His calculation on the time he had
Learned from the Magi; 17 then what was said through
The prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and
Great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted, because

They are no more.” 19 But after Herod’s death,
An angel of the Lord came in a dream
To Joseph while he was in Egypt 20 and

Said, “Get up, take the infant and his mother
And go into the land of Israel,
For those who tried to kill the child are dead.”

21 So he returned at once to Israel
With the child and his mother, 22 but on the way
He learned that Archelaus was reigning in

Judea in place of his father Herod,
And he was scared; then, in another dream,
He was warned to turn aside, and he withdrew

To Galilee instead, 23 and went and lived
In Nazareth, which prophets had foreseen
When they wrote: “He will be called a Nazarene.”


(rendered in blank verse by Day Williams)