And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda - To distinguish it from Bethlehem, in the tribe of Zebulon. Joshua 19:15. See on Matthew 2:1 (note).
Art not the least - In Micah 5:2, it is read, Though thou be little - tsdir lehayoth , little to be. Houbigant, struck with the oddness of the construction of the Hebrew, by dividing the last word, and making a small change in two of the letters, makes the prophet agree with the evangelist, ,tsilegna tsdir lo hayita , thou art not the least. Several learned men are of opinion, that the copy from which St. Matthew quoted, had the text in this way. However, some MSS. of very good note, among which is the Codex Bezae, have , for , Art thou not the least? This reconciles the prophet and evangelist without farther trouble. See the authorities for this reading in Griesbach and Wetstein.
Among the princes of Juda - In Micah 5:2, it is, the thousands of Judah. There is much reason to believe that each tribe was divided into small portions called thousands, as in England certain small divisions of counties are called hundreds. For the proof of the first, the reader is referred to Judges 6:15, where, instead of my Family is poor in Manasseh, the Hebrew is, my Thousand ( ) is the meanest in Manasseh: and to I Samuel 10:19, Present yourselves before the Lord by your Tribes and by your Thousands: and to I Chronicles 12:20, Captains of the Thousands of Manasseh. Now these Thousands being petty governments, Matthew renders them by the word , because the word princes or governors was more intelligible in the Greek tongue than thousands, though, in this case, they both signify the same. See Wakefield.
That shall rule my people Israel - , Who shall Feed my people. That is as a shepherd feeds his flock. Among the Greeks, kings are called, by Homer, , shepherds of the people. This appellation probably originated from the pastoral employment, which kings and patriarchs did not blush to exercise in the times of primitive simplicity; and it might particularly refer to the case of David, the great type of Christ, who was a keeper of his father' s sheep, before he was raised to the throne of Israel. As the government of a good king was similar to the care a good shepherd has of his flock, hence signified both shepherd and king; and , to feed and to rule among the ancient Greeks.
Other Adam Clarke entries containing Matthew 2:6:
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