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1JESUS was born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of Herod. After his birth astrologers from the east arrived in Jerusalem,

2asking, “Where is the new-born king of the Jews? We observed the rising of his star, and we have come to pay him homage.”

3King Herod was greatly perturbed when he heard this, and so was the whole of Jerusalem.

4He called together the chief priests and scribes of the Jews, and asked them where the Messiah was to be born.

5“At Bethlehem in Judaea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

6‘Bethlehem in the land of Judah, you are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a ruler to be the shepherd of my people Israel.’”

7Then Herod summoned the astrologers to meet him secretly, and ascertained from them the exact time when the star had appeared.

8He sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, so that I may go myself and pay him homage.”

9After hearing what the king had to say they set out; there before them was the star they had seen rising, and it went ahead of them until it stopped above the place where the child lay. They were overjoyed at the sight of it


11and, entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother and bowed low in homage to him; they opened their treasure chests and presented gifts to him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12Then they returned to their own country by another route, for they had been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod.

13After they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and escape with them to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14So Joseph got up, took mother and child by night, and sought refuge with them in Egypt,

15where he stayed till Herod's death. This was to fulfil what the Lord had declared through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”

16When Herod realized that the astrologers had tricked him he flew into a rage, and gave orders for the massacre of all the boys aged two years or under, in Bethlehem and throughout the whole district, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the astrologers.

17So the words spoken through Jeremiah the prophet were fulfilled:

18“A voice was heard in Rama, sobbing in bitter grief; it was Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they were no more.”

19After Herod's death an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt

20and said to him, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who threatened the child's life are dead.”

21So he got up, took mother and child with him, and came to the land of Israel.

22But when he heard that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Judaea, he was afraid to go there. Directed by a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee,

23where he settled in a town called Nazareth. This was to fulfil the words spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

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