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Matthew 2:11

    Matthew 2:11 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented to him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; and opening their treasures they offered unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And they came into the house, and saw the young child with Mary, his mother; and falling down on their faces they gave him worship; and from their store they gave him offerings of gold, perfume, and spices.

    Webster's Revision

    And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; and opening their treasures they offered unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

    World English Bible

    They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; and opening their treasures they offered unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 2:11

    They presented unto him gifts - The people of the east never approach the presence of kings and great personages, without a present in their hands. This custom is often noticed in the Old Testament, and still prevails in the east, and in some of the newly discovered South Sea Islands.

    Gold, and frankincense, and myrrh - Some will have these gifts to be emblematic of the Divinity, regal office, and manhood of Christ. "They offered him incense as their God; gold as their king; and myrrh, as united to a human body, subject to suffering and death." Aurum, thus, myrrham, regique, Deo, Hominique, dona ferunt. Juvencus. Rather, they offered him the things which were in most esteem among themselves; and which were productions of their own country. The gold was probably a very providential supply, as on it, it is likely, they subsisted while in Egypt.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 2:11

    The house - The place where he was born, or the place where they lived at that time.

    Fell down - This was the usual way of showing respect or homage among the Jews, Esther 8:3; Job 1:20; Daniel 3:7; Psalm 72:11; Isaiah 46:6.

    Worshipped him - Did him homage as King of the Jews. See the notes at Matthew 2:2.

    Had opened their treasures - The treasures which they had brought, or the boxes, etc., in which they had brought their gold, etc.

    They presented unto him gifts - These were presented to him as King of the Jews, because they supposed he was to be a distinguished prince and conqueror. It was customary in the East to show respect for persons of distinction by making presents or offerings of this kind. See Genesis 32:14; Genesis 43:11; 1 Samuel 10:27; 1 Kings 10:2; Psalm 72:10-15. This custom is still common in the East, and it is everywhere there unusual to approach a person of distinguished rank without a valuable present.

    Frankincense - Frankincense is a white resin or gum. It is obtained from a tree by making incisions in the bark, and suffering the gum to flow out. It is highly odoriferous or fragrant when burned, and was therefore used in worship, where it was burned as a pleasant offering to God. See Exodus 30:8; Leviticus 16:12. It is found in the East Indies, but chiefly in Arabia; and hence it has been supposed probable that the wise men came from Arabia.

    Myrrh - This was also a production of Arabia, and was obtained from a tree in the same manner as frankincense. The name denotes bitterness, and was given to it on account of its great bitterness. It was used chiefly in embalming the dead, because it had the property of preserving dead bodies from putrefaction. Compare John 19:39, it was much used in Egypt and in Judea. It was obtained from a thorny tree, which grows 8 or 9 feet high. It was at an early period an article of commerce Genesis 37:25, and was an ingredient of the holy ointment, Exodus 30:23. It was also used as an agreeable perfume, Esther 2:12; Psalm 45:8; Proverbs 7:17. It was also sometimes mingled with wine to form an article of drink. Such a drink was given to our Saviour, when about to be crucified, as a stupefying potion, Mark 15:23; compare Matthew 27:34. The offerings here referred to were made because they were the most valuable which the country of the Magi or wise men produced. They were tokens of respect and homage which they paid to the new-born King of the Jews. They evinced their high regard for him, and their belief that he was to be an illustrious prince; and the fact that their deed is recorded with approbation shows us that we should offer our most valuable possessions, our all, to the Lord Jesus Christ. Wise men came from far to do him homage, and bowed down, and presented their best gifts and offerings. It is right that we give to him also our hearts, our property, our all.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 2:11

    2:11 They presented to him gifts - It was customary to offer some present to any eminent person whom they visited. And so it is, as travellers observe, in the eastern countries to this day. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh - Probably these were the best things their country afforded; and the presents ordinarily made to great persons. This was a most seasonable, providential assistance for a long and expensive journey into Egypt, a country where they were entirely strangers, and were to stay for a considerable time.