Luke 2:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

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
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Caesar Augustus - This was Caius Caesar Octavianus Augustus, who was proclaimed emperor of Rome in the 29th year before our Lord, and died a.d. 14.

That all the world should be taxed - Πασαν την οικουμενην, the whole of that empire. It is agreed, on all hands, that this cannot mean the whole world, as in the common translation; for this very sufficient reason, that the Romans had not the dominion of the whole earth, and therefore could have no right to raise levies or taxes in those places to which their dominion did not extend. Οικουμενη signifies properly the inhabited part of the earth, from οικεω, to dwell, or inhabit. Polybius makes use of the very words in this text to point out the extent of the Roman government, lib. vi. c. 48; and Plutarch uses the word in exactly the same sense, Pomp. p. 635. See the passages in Wetstein. Therefore the whole that could be meant here, can be no more than that a general Census of the inhabitants and their effects had been made in the reign of Augustus, through all the Roman dominions.

But as there is no general census mentioned in any historian as having taken place at this time, the meaning of οικουμενη must be farther restrained, and applied solely to the land of Judea. This signification it certainly has in this same evangelist, Luke 21:26. Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth, τῃ οικουμενῃ this land. The whole discourse relates to the calamities that were coming, not upon the whole world, nor the whole of the Roman empire, but on the land of Judea, see Luke 21:21. Then let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains. Out of Judea, therefore, there would be safety; and only those who should be with child, or giving suck, in those days, are considered as peculiarly unhappy, because they could not flee away from that land on which the scourge was to fall: for the wrath, or punishment, shall be, says our Lord, εν τῳ λαῳ τουτῳ, On This Very People, viz. the Jews, Luke 21:23. It appears that St. Luke used this word in this sense in conformity to the Septuagint, who have applied it in precisely the same way, Isaiah 13:11; Isaiah 14:26; Isaiah 24:1. And from this we may learn, that the word οικουμενη had been long used as a term by which the land of Judea was commonly expressed. Ἡ γη, which signifies the earth, or world in general, is frequently restrained to this sense, being often used by the evangelists and others for all the country of Judea. See Luke 4:25; Joshua 2:3.

It is probable that the reason why this enrolment, or census, is said to have been throughout the whole Jewish nation, was to distinguish it from that partial one, made ten years after, mentioned Acts 5:37, which does not appear to have extended beyond the estates of Archelaus, and which gave birth to the insurrection excited by Judas of Galilee. See Josephus, Ant. book xx. c. 3.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee...

Acts 11:28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world...

Acts 25:11,21 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die...

Philippians 4:22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.


Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.

Mark 14:9 Truly I say to you, Wherever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world...

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

taxed. or, enrolled.

December 25. "I Bring You Glad Tidings" (Luke ii. 10).
"I bring you glad tidings" (Luke ii. 10). A Christmas spirit should be a spirit of humanity. Beside that beautiful object lesson on the Manger, the Cradle, and the lowly little child, what Christian heart can ever wish to be proud? It is a spirit of joy. It is right that these should be glad tidings, for, "Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all people." It is a spirit of love. It should be the joy that comes from giving joy to others. The central fact of Christmas is
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Simeon's Swan-Song
'Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: 30. For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.'--LUKE ii. 29,30. That scene, when the old man took the Infant in his withered arms, is one of the most picturesque and striking in the Gospel narrative. Simeon's whole life appears, in its later years, to have been under the immediate direction of the Spirit of God. It is very remarkable to notice how, in the course of three consecutive verses, the operation of that divine Spirit
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

"Nunc Dimittis"
We shall note, this morning, first, that every believer may be assured of departing in peace; but that, secondly, some believers feel a special readiness to depart now: "Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace;" and, thirdly, that there are words of encouragement to produce in us the like readiness: "according to thy word." There are words of Holy Writ which afford richest consolation in prospect of departure. I. First, then, let us start with the great general principle, which is full of comfort;
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Christ About his Father's Business
But now I shall invite your attention, first, to the spirit of the Saviour, as breathed in these words, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" and then, secondly, I shall exhort the children of God, with all the earnestness which I can command, with all the intensity of power which I can summon to the point, to labour after the same spirit, that they too may unfeignedly say, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? " I. First, then note THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST. It was
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

Cross References
Matthew 22:17
Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?"

Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Luke 2:3
And everyone went to their own town to register.

Luke 2:5
He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

Luke 3:1
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar--when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene--

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