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And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.”

NOTES.
Called:-should be, were calling.

Writing-table :-should be, tablets. These were thin pieces of wood with raised edges, coated with wax, and joined at one corner; the writing instrument was the stylus,-a pointed metal pencil.

A horn. The horn was the symbol of strength and power. It may be so used here to indicate the might of Christ's Kingdom ; or it may refer to the fact that anyone, having hold of the horns of the altar, was secure from being slain. His holy

-Abraham. God's covenant with Abraham was that

1. He should have a numerous seed.
2. These should possess Canaan.
3. In his seed, (i.e., the Messiah), should all the

nations of the earth be blessed. 1 and 2 had already been fulfilled ; consequently, Zechariah here refers to that part of the covenant relating to Christ, and which was now about to be accomplished.

The day-spring. As the dawn heralds the day, so the birth of John was a token of the near appearance of the Sun of Righteousness.

The prophetical thanksgiving of Zechariah is called in the Church Service Benedictus, (from the first word of it in the Vulgate). Its position is immediately after the Second Lesson at Morning Prayer; it is fitly placed there as a thanksgiving to God for the fulfilment in the New Covenant of His promises in the Old.

The song differs in the Church Service from that of the Authorized Version, owing to the former being taken from Coverdale's Bible.

The following are the differences, (the Authorized Version being placed first):

A horn of salvation- -A mighty salvation.
Our Fathers- -Forefathers.
The oath- -To perform the oath.
He would grant unto us-

He would give us.
By the remission For the remission.

The Birth of Christ. B.O. 4.

(AT BETHLEHEM). “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David): to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddlingclothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

NOTES.
All the world:—all Herod's dominions.

Taxed = enrolled. This was a census, for the purpose of ascertaining the number of the people. The reason of it we do not know. Was first

-governor of Syria:—should be — Was made before Cyrenius was President of Syria. Cyrenius, or Quirinus, was President of Syria nine years after Christ's birth; in his time there was an important census, and Luke in the text guards against this being confounded with the one at the time of Christ's birth.

The city of David. Bethlehem was so called because David was born there.

Joseph and Mary went thither to be enrolled, because the genealogies of their family were kept there.

Manger = the stable.
Christ's Birth announced to the Shepherds.

(NEAR BETHLEHEM). “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore

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afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you : Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling-clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord bath made known unto us.”

NOTES. Keeping watch :-each watching in turn for three hours against thieves and beasts of prey. Angel of the Lord:-probably Gabriel. Glory of the Lord:—the Shechinah. It appeared also at the Transfiguration, and to Paul on his way to Damascus.

Highest = highest heavens.

Good-will toward men,-should be,-among men of good pleasure.

The Shepherds visit Bethlehem. "And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Christ's Circumcision.

(AT BETHLEHEM). “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which

was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb."

NOTES. Eight days. The eighth day after birth was the regular time of circumcising children. The Genealogy of Christ, through His mother.

“Being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janua, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge, which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er, which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim, which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, which

son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the sou of Naasson, which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor, which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son

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of Noe, which was the son of Lamech, which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

NOTES.
Matthew also records the Genealogy of Christ.
The differences between the two Evangelists are that,
1. Matthew gives Christ's legal genealogy through

Joseph, his reputed father ; Luke, Éis natural

descent through Mary. 2. Matthew goes back to Abraham; Luke, to Adam. The reason for these differences is, that Matthew, writing for the Jews, traces Christ's legal descent from Abraham and David, in whose families the Messiah was to come, while Luke, writing for the Gentiles, shows that Christ was naturally sprung from Adam,—and was, therefore, the promised "seed of the woman," and Saviour of all men.

Son of Heli. Heli was Mary's father; but she being doubtless the only child, Joseph, the next of kin,

in marrying her, was regarded, according to Jewish law, as Heli's son. Purification of Mary; the Presentation of

Christ in the Temple; the Prophecies of
Simeon and Anna.

(AT JERUSALEM). “And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: (as it is written in the law of the

Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord); and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons.

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into

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