The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleMatthew 2:9
When they had heard the king…
With great care and
attention, what he had told them of the birth place of the young child;
the strict charge he had given them to search diligently for him, and
then return to him with an account of the whole affair; and his
expressions of respect to the new born prince, which they took to be
said in great sincerity,
took their leave of Herod and his court, and set
forward on their journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem:
to their great surprise and joy,
the star, which they saw in the east,
then appeared; for, it seems,
it had for some time disappeared: it looks as if it had been only seen
at the time of Christ's birth, and when they were in their own country;
for both here, and in (Matthew 2:2) they are only said to have seen it
"in the east", that is, when they were in the east country; so that it
seems from that time they had had no sight of it, not while they were
on their journey, nor at Jerusalem; nor was it necessary they should.
When they saw it in their own country, according to their best
observation, it was over the land of Judea, and they were persuaded of
it, that it was a certain sign that the king of the Jews was born: they
therefore determine upon and prepare for a journey to Jerusalem, the
metropolis of the nation, and where the king kept his court, to inquire
for him; nor needed they the guidance of the star to direct them to a
place so well known; but being in quest of him in an obscure place, and
without any guide, this star appears to them; and, which is something
went before them, till it came, and stood over, where the young child
This star had a motion, kept pace with them, and was a guide
unto them, till it and they came to the place where Christ was; and
then it stood directly over the house, so that they had no need to
inquire of any person for him. It is certain from hence, that this star
was indeed a very unusual one; its being seen in the daytime, its
motion and standing still, its situation, which must be very low, and
its use to point out the very house where Christ was, show it to be so;
but though it was an unusual appearance, it should not be thought
incredible. F1 Varro relates, that
``from the time Aeneas went from Troy, he saw the star Venus in
the daytime, day after day, till he came to the field of
Laurentum, where he saw it no more, by which he knew that
those lands were fatal.''
The appearing of this star, and then its disappearing for a time,
agree, in some measure, with the account the Jews give of the star
which they expect will be seen at the coming of the Messiah; for they
``after seven days that star shall be hid, and the Messiah
shall be hid for twelve months--when he shall descend, the
pillar of fire shall be seen as before, in sight, and
afterwards the Messiah shall be revealed, and many people
shall be gathered to him.''
F1 Apud Servium in Virgil Aeneid. l. 1. p. 471. Ed. Basil. 1586.
F2 Zohar in Exod. fol. 3, 4. & 71. 1.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 2:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=002&verse=009>. 1999.