New American Standard Bible
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.
King James Bible
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Darby Bible Translation
But it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census should be made of all the habitable world.
World English Bible
Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.
Young's Literal Translation
And it came to pass in those days, there went forth a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world be enrolled --
Luke 2:1 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
In those days - About the time of the birth of John and of Christ.
A decree - A law commanding a thing to be done.
Caesar Augustus - This was the Roman emperor. His first name was Octavianus. He was the nephew of Julius Caesar, and obtained the empire after his death. He took the name "Augustus - i. e., august," or honorable - as a compliment to his own greatness; and from him the month "August," which was before called "Sextilis," received its name.
That all the world - There has been much difficulty respecting this passage, from the fact that no such taxing of "all the world" is mentioned by ancient writers. It should have been rendered "the whole land" - that is, the whole land of Palestine. The "whole land" is mentioned to show that it was not "Judea" only, but that it included also "Galilee," the place where Joseph and Mary dwelt. That the passage refers only to the land of Palestine, and not to the whole world, or to all the Roman empire, is clear from the following considerations:
1. The fact that no such taxing is mentioned as pertaining to any other country.
2. The account of Luke demands only that it should be understood of Palestine, or the country where the Saviour was born.
3. The words "world" and "whole world" are not unfrequently used in this limited sense as confined to a single country.
Should be taxed - Our word "tax" means to levy and raise money for the use of the government. This is not the meaning of the original word here. It means rather to "enroll," or take a "list" of the citizens, with their employments, the amount of their property, etc., equivalent to what was meant by census. Judea was at that time tributary to Rome. It paid taxes to the Roman emperor; and, though Herod was "king," yet he held his appointment under the Roman emperor, and was subject in most matters to him. Farther, as this "enrollment" was merely to ascertain the numbers and property of the Jews, it is probable that they were very willing to be enrolled in this manner; and hence we hear that they went willingly, without tumult - contrary to the common way when they were "to be taxed."
LibraryThe Boy in the Temple
'And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought Me! wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?' --LUKE ii. 49. A number of spurious gospels have come down to us, which are full of stories, most of them absurd and some of them worse, about the infancy of Jesus Christ. Their puerilities bring out more distinctly the simplicity, the nobleness, the worthiness of this one solitary incident of His early days, which has been preserved for us. How has it been preserved? If you will look over …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture
The Angel's Message and Song
The Christ Child (Christmas Day. )
Music (Christmas Day. )
"Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?"
"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
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