Matthew 2:5

ESV They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
NIV In Bethlehem in Judea,' they replied, 'for this is what the prophet has written:
NASB They said to him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:
CSB "In Bethlehem of Judea," they told him, "because this is what was written by the prophet:
NLT In Bethlehem in Judea,' they said, 'for this is what the prophet wrote:
KJV And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

What does Matthew 2:5 mean?

King Herod was troubled. The wise men who had arrived from the east came seeking something very important to the Jewish people. If they are right, the long-awaited Christ had been born in Israel. Clearly, this is not something Herod entirely believes. At least, not in the sense that he has faith in God or His salvation. Rather, he is worried that those ideas can make this child a threat to his rule. So, instead of rejoicing, Herod sets out to stop that child from growing into a man who could undo his power.

Herod's actions show he recognized the Old Testament Scriptures as a valuable source of information. He at least recognized the influence they had in Israel. He called together the chief priests and scribes—the ones who knew Israel's Scriptures best—to answer a prophecy question: Where is the Messiah to be born?

Israel's religious leaders knew their Scriptures. In the following verse, they will quote the passage that answers Herod: Christ was to be born in Bethlehem. If the wise men are correct in their reading of the stars and the Jewish Scriptures, that's where they should look in order to honor the newborn Christ.

Herod has his own scheme for what to do if they find this boy. That includes a back-up plan in case the wise men don't follow through (Matthew 2:7, 16).
What is the Gospel?
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