Birth of Jesus. Masters honor the child. The shepherds rejoice. Zacharias and Elizabeth visit Mary. Jesus is circumcised.
THE time was nearly due for Jesus to be born, and Mary longed to see Elizabeth, and she and Joseph turned their faces toward the Judean hills.
2) And when, upon their way, they came to Bethlehem, the day was done, and they must tarry for the night.
3) But Bethlehem was thronged with people going to Jerusalem;the inns and homes were filled with guests, and Joseph and his wife could find no place to rest but in a cave where animals were kept;and there they slept.
4) At midnight came a cry, A child is born in yonder cave among the beasts. And lo, the promised son of man was born.
5) And strangers took the little one and wrapped him in the dainty robes that Mary had prepared and laid him in a trough from which the beasts of burden fed.
6) Three persons clad in snow-white robes came in and stood before the child and said,
7) All strength, all wisdom and all love be yours, Immanuel.
8) Now, on the hills of Bethlehem were many flocks of sheep with shepherds guarding them.
9) The shepherds were devout, were men of prayer, and they were waiting for a strong deliverer to come.
10) And when the child of promise came, a man in snow-white robe appeared to them, and they fell back in fear. The man stood forth and said,
11) Fear not! behold I bring you joyful news. At midnight in a cave in Bethlehem was born the prophet and the king that you have long been waiting for.
12) And then the shepherds all were glad;they felt that all the hills were filled with messengers of light, who said,
13) All glory be to God on high;peace, peace on earth, good will to men.
14) And then the shepherds came with haste to Bethlehem and to the cave, that they might see and honor him whom men had called Immanuel.
15) Now, when the morning came, a shepherdess whose home was near, prepared a room for Mary, Joseph and the child;and here they tarried many days.
16) And Joseph sent a messenger in haste to Zacharias and Elizabeth to say, The child is born in Bethlehem.
17) And Zacharias and Elizabeth took John and came to Bethlehem with words of cheer.
18) And Mary and Elizabeth recounted all the wondrous things that had transpired. The people joined with them in praising God.
19) According to the custom of the Jews, the child was circumcised;and when they asked, What will you call the child? the mother said, His name is Jesus, as the man of God ｄｅ ｃｌａｒｅd.