New American Standard Bible
This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
King James Bible
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
Darby Bible Translation
The census itself first took place when Cyrenius had the government of Syria.
World English Bible
This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
Young's Literal Translation
this enrolment first came to pass when Cyrenius was governor of Syria --
Luke 2:2 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
And this taxing was first made ... - This verse has given as much perplexity, perhaps, as any one in the New Testament. The difficulty consists in the fact that "Cyrenius," or "Quirinius," was not governor of Syria until 12 or 15 years after the birth of Jesus. Jesus was born during the reign of Herod. At that time "Varus" was president of Syria. Herod was succeeded by "Archelaus," who reigned eight or nine years; and after he was removed, Judea was annexed to the province of Syria, and Cyrenius was sent as the governor (Josephus, "Ant.," b. xvii. 5). The difficulty has been to reconcile this account with that in Luke. Various attempts have been made to do this. The one that seems most satisfactory is that proposed by Dr. Lardner. According to his view, the passage here means, "This was the "first" census of Cyrenius, governor of Syria." It is called the "first" to distinguish it from one "afterward" taken by Cyrenius, Acts 5:37. It is said to be the census taken by "Cyrenius; governor of Syria; "not that he was "then" governor, but that it was taken by him who was afterward familiarly known as governor. "Cyrenius, governor of Syria," was the name by which the man was known when Luke wrote his gospel, and it was not improper to say that the taxing was made by Cyrenius, the governor of Syria," though he might not have been actually governor for many years afterward. Thus, Herodian says that to Marcus "the emperor" were born several daughters and two sons," though several of those children were born to him "before" he was emperor. Thus, it is not improper to say that General Washington saved Braddock's army, or was engaged in the old French war, though he was not actually made "general" until many years afterward. According to this Augustus sent Cyrenius, an active, enterprising man, to take the census. At that time he was a Roman senator. Afterward, he was made governor of the same country, and received the title which Luke gives him.
Syria - The region of country north of Palestine, and lying between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates. "Syria," called in the Hebrew "Aram," from a son of Shem Genesis 10:22, in its largest acceptation extended from the Mediterranean and the river Cydnus to the Euphrates, and from Mount Taurus on the north to Arabia and the border of Egypt on the south. It was divided into "Syria Palestina," including Canaan and Phoenicia; "Coele-Syria," the tract of country lying between two ridges of Mount Lebanon and Upper Syria. The last was known as "Syria" in the restricted sense, or as the term was commonly used.
The leading features in the physical aspect of Syria consist of the great mountainous chains of Lebanon, or Libanus and Anti-Libanus, extending from north to south, and the great desert lying on the southeast and east. The valleys are of great fertility, and yield abundance of grain, vines, mulberries, tobacco, olives, excellent fruits, as oranges, figs, pistachios, etc. The climate in the inhabited parts is exceedingly fine. Syria is inhabited by various descriptions of people, but Turks and Greeks form the basis of the population in the cities. The only tribes that can be considered as unique to Syria are the tenants of the heights of Lebanon. The most remarkable of these are the Druses and Maronites. The general language is Arabic; the soldiers and officers of government speak Turkish. Of the old Syriac language no traces now exist.
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. )
The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.
And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
"After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered.
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