| Hurlbut's Story of the Bible|
|by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut|
|A book which stands in such honor as the Bible should be known by all. And the time when one can most readily obtain a familiarity with the Bible is in early life. Those who in childhood learn the Story of the Bible are fortunate, for they will never forget it. In this unabridged and unedited edition you will find all the principal stories of the Bible, each one complete in itself, while together combining to form a continuous narrative. With 168 stories from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, there is ample material for a full year of reading. Ages 6-12 |
THE MANGER OF BETHLEHEM
Matthew i: 18 to 25; Luke ii: 1 to 39.
OON after the time when John the Baptist was born,
Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, the husband of Mary,
had a dream. In his dream he saw an angel from the
Lord standing beside him. The angel said to him:
"Joseph, I have come to tell you, that Mary, the young
woman whom you are to marry, will have a son, sent by
the Lord God. You shall call his name Jesus, which
means 'salvation,' because he shall save his people
from their sins."
Joseph knew from this that this coming child was to be
the King of Israel, of whom the prophets of the Old
Testament had spoken so many times.
Soon after Joseph and Mary were married in Nazareth, a
command went forth from the emperor, Augustus Caesar,
through all the lands of the Roman empire, for all the
people to go to the cities and towns from which their
families had come, and there to have their manes written
down upon a list, for the emperor wished a list to be
made of the people under his rule. As both Joseph
and Mary had come from the family of David the king,
they went together from Nazareth to Bethlehem, there to
have their names written upon the list. For you
remember that Bethlehem in Judea, six miles south of
Jerusalem, was the place where David was born, and
where his father's family had lived for many years (see
It was a long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem; down
the mountains to the river Jordan, then following the
Jordan almost to its end, and then climbing the
mountains of Judah to the town of Bethlehem. When
Joseph and Mary came to Bethlehem they found the city
full of people who, like themselves, had come to have
their names enrolled or written upon the list. The inn
or hotel was
 full, and there was no room for them; for no one but
themselves knew that this young woman was soon to be
the mother of the Lord of all the earth. The best that
they could do was to go to a stable, where the cattle
were kept. There the little baby was born, and was
laid in a manger, where the cattle were fed.
On that night some shepherds were tending their sheep
in a field near Bethlehem. Suddenly a great light
shone upon them, and they saw an angel of the Lord
standing before them. They were filled with fear, as
they saw how glorious the angel was. But the angel
said to them:
"Be not afraid; for behold I bring you news of great
joy, which shall be to all the people; for there is born
to you this day in Bethlehem, the city of David, a
Saviour who is Christ the Lord, the anointed king. You
may see him there; and may know him by this sign: He
is a new-born baby, lying in a manger at the inn."
And then they saw that the air around and the sky above
them were filled with angels, praising God and singing:
 "Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace among
men in whom God is well pleased."
While they looked with wonder, and listened the angels
went out of sight as suddenly as they had come. Then
the shepherds said, one to another:
"Let us go at once to Bethlehem, and see this wonderful
thing that has come to pass, and which the Lord has
made known to us."
Then as quickly as they could go to Bethlehem, they
went and found Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, and
his young wife Mary, and the little baby lying in the
manger. They told Mary and Joseph and others also, how
they had seen the angels, and what they had heard about
this baby. All who heard their story wondered at it;
but Mary, the mother of the child, said nothing. She
thought over all these things, and silently kept them
in her heart. After their visit, the shepherds went
back to their flocks, praising God for the good news
that he had sent to them.
JESUS IN THE MANGER, WITH ANGELS LOOKING ON
When the little one was eight days old they gave him a
name; and the name given was "Jesus," a word which
means "salvation;" as the angel had told both Mary and
Joseph that he should be named. So the very name of
this child told what he should do for men; for he was
to bring salvation to the world.
It was the law among the Jews that after the first
child was born in a family, he should be brought to the
Temple; and there an offering should be made for him to
the Lord, to show that this child was the Lord's. A
rich man would offer a lamb, but a poor man might give
a pair of young pigeons for the sacrifice. On the day
when Jesus was forty days old, Joseph and Mary brought
him to the Temple; and as Joseph the carpenter was not
a rich man, they gave for the child as an offering a
pair of young pigeons.
THE BABY JESUS BROUGHT TO THE TEMPLE
At that time there was living in Jerusalem a man of God
named Simeon. The Lord had spoken to Simeon, and had
said to him that he should not die until the Anointed
King should come, whom they called "the Christ," for
the word Christ means "anointed." On a certain day the
Spirit of the Lord told Simeon to go to the Temple. He
went, and was there when Joseph and Mary brought the
little child Jesus. The Spirit of the Lord said to
"This little one is the promised Christ."
Then Simeon took the baby in his arms and praised the
Lord and said:
"Now, O Lord, thou mayest let thy servant depart,
According to thy word, in peace.
For my eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast given before all the peoples,
A light to give light to the nations,
And the glory of thy people Israel."
When Joseph and Mary heard this, they wondered greatly.
Simeon gave to them a blessing in the name of the Lord;
and he said to Mary, "This little one shall cause many
in Israel to fall, and to rise again. Many shall speak
against him; and sorrow like a sword shall pierce your
You know how this came to pass afterward, when Mary saw
her son dying on the cross.
While Simeon was speaking, a very old woman came in.
 name was Anna and God spoke to her as to a prophet.
She stayed almost all the time in the Temple,
worshipping God day and night. She, too, saw through
the Spirit of the Lord, that this little child was
Christ the Lord, and gave thanks to God for his grace.
Thus early in the life of Jesus God showed to a few
that this little child should become the Saviour of his
people and of the world.
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics