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Matthew 2:6

And you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of you shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
As the Magi seek a Redeemer, so Herod fears a successor. If His birth as an infant makes proud kings tremble, what will His tribunal as a Judge do? Let princes fear Him sitting at the right hand of His Father, whom this impious king feared while He hanged yet on His mother's breast. The star that guided the Magi to the spot where was the Infant God with His Virgin Mother, might have conducted them straight to the town; but it vanished, and showed not itself again to them till the Jews themselves had told them “the place where Christ should be born;” Bethlehem of Judaea. Like in this to those who built the ark for Noah, providing others with a refuge, themselves perished in the flood; or like to the stones by the road that show the miles, but themselves are not able to move.The enquirers heard and departed; the teachers spake and remained still. Even now the Jews show us something similar; for some Pagans, when clear passages of Scripture are shown them, which prophesy of Christ, suspec...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
And thou Bethlehem This was a clear prophecy concerning the Messias, foretold by Micheas; (chap. v. 2,) yet the words which we read in the evangelist are not quite the same as we find in the prophet, either according to the Hebrew or to the Greek text of the Septuagint. The chief difference is, that in the prophet we read: And thou Bethlehem art little; but in the evangelist, thou art not the least. Some answer that the words of the prophet are to be expounded by way of an interrogation, art thou little? It is certain the following words, both in the prophet and in the gospel, out of thee shall come forth a leader or a captain show that the meaning is, thou art not little. St. Jerome's observation seems to clear this point: he tells us, that the Jewish priests, who were consulted, gave Herod the sense, and not the very words of the prophet; and the evangelist, as an historian, relates to us the words of these priests to Herod, not the very words of the prophet. (Witham) The testimony ...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
“The King,” he is called, though in comparison with him whom they are seeking he is an alien and a foreigner. Great station is ever obnoxious to great fears; as the boughs of trees planted in high ground move when never so little wind blows, so high men are troubled with little rumours; while the lowly, like trees in the valley, remain at peace. Perhaps he was troubled not on his own account, but for fear of the displeasure of the Romans. They would not allow the title of King or of God toany without their permission. “Jerusalem was troubled with him,” as willing to favour him whom it feared; the vulgar always pay undue honour to one who tyrannizes over it. Observe the diligence of his enquiry. If he should find him, he would do to him as he showed afterwards his disposition; if he should not, he would at least be excused to the Romans. He quotes this prophecy as they quote who give the sense and not the words. This latter half of the prophecy the Jews dropped; and other parts they alt...

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Hom. in Evan., 1, 10: At the birth of a King of Heaven, a king of earth is troubled; surely, earthly greatness is confounded, when heavenly greatness hews itself. Hom. in Evan., 8, 1: Rightly is He born in Bethlehem, which signifies the house of bread, who said, “I am the living bread, who came down from heaven.” ...
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Jerome

AD 420
Epist. 57: The Jews are here blamed for ignorance; for whereas the prophecy says, “Thou Bethlehem Ephrata;” they said, ‘Bethlehem in the land of Judah.’. in Mich. v. 2: The following is the sense of the prophecy. Thou, Bethlehem, of the land of Judah, or Ephrata, (which is added to distinguish it from another Bethlehem in Galilee,) though thou art a small village among the thousand cities of Judah, yet out of thee shall be born Christ, who shall be the Ruler of Israel, who according to the flesh is of the seed of David, but was born of Me before the worlds; and therefore it is written, “His goings forth are ofold. In the beginning was the Word.” ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Both have their own causes of jealousy, both fear a successor in their kingdom; Herod an earthly successor, the Devil a spiritual. Even Jerusalem is troubled, which should have rejoiced at that news, when a Jewish King was said to be risen up. But they were troubled, for the wicked cannot rejoice at the coming of the good. Or perhaps it was in fear that Herod should wreak his wrath against a Jewish King on his race. Why does Herod make this enquiry, seeing he believed not the Scriptures? Or if he did believe, how could he hope to be able to kill Him whom the Scriptures declared should be King? The Devil instigated Herod; who believed that Scripture lies not. Such is the faith of devils, who are not permitted to have perfect belief, even of that which they do believe. That they do believe, it is the force of truth constrains them; that they do not believe, it is that they are blinded by the enemy. If they had perfect faith, they would live as about to depart from this world soon, not as...

Leo of Rome

AD 461
Thou art troubled, Herod, without cause. Thy nature cannot contain Christ, nor is the Lord of the world content with the narrow bounds of thy dominion. He, whom thou wouldest not should reign in Judaea, reigns every where. Herod represents the Devil; who as he then instigated him, so now he unweariedly imitates him. For he is grieved by the calling of the Gentiles, and by the daily ruin of his power. The Magi, judging as men, sought in the royal city for Him, whom they had been told was born a King. But He who took the form of a servant, and came not to judge but to be judged, chose Bethlehem for His birth, Jerusalem for His death. ...

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
Or the sense is; though little among cities that have dominion, yet art thounot the least, for “out of thee shall come the Ruler, who shall rule My people Israel;” this Ruler is Christ, who rules and guides His faithful people.
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Theodotus of Aetolia

AD 300
Serm. 1, ap. Conc. Eph.: Had He chosen the mighty city of Rome, it might have been thought that this change of the world had been wrought by the might of her citizens; had He been the son of the emperor, his power might have aided Him. But what was His choice? All that was mean, all that was in low esteem, that in this transformation of the world, divinity might at once be recognized. Therefore He chose a poor woman for His mother, a poor country for His native country; He has no money, and this stable is His cradle. ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
Since Bethlehem was small, it was despised, but now it is greatly renowned for Christ Who came forth from it. For all people from the ends of the earth come to venerate this holy Bethlehem. Rightly did he say, "out of thee shall come" and not "in thee shall remain." For Christ did not remain in Bethlehem, but came out from, that is, left it after His birth, and spent most of His years in Nazareth. The Jews say that this prophecy concerns Zerubbabel, but they plainly are lying; for Zerub-babel (See Haggai and Mt. 1:12) was not born in Bethlehem, but in Babylon. Consider his name: "Zeru" means "seed" or "birth," and "babel" means "Babylon," therefore, "he that was born in Babylon." But even the prophecy refutes them where it says, "His goings forth are from the beginning, and in the days of the age" (Micah 5:2). Of whom else are the goings forth both from the beginning and in the days of this age if not of Christ, Who had two goings forth, that is, a double genesis? The first, His bege...
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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