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Great question, Rosemary Nord! In my opinion, Jesus was about 2 years of age. Matthew 2:16 tells us that when Herod realized that the magi had not returned to tell him the exact location of where the Christ was living, he ordered every child 2 years old and younger to be murdered. "Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi." Matthew 2:16 (NASB) Matthew 2:16, 2 tell us that Herod the Great had determined that the magi had seen the star 2 years earlier. Consequently, Herod murdered all children from two years of age and under. This would reveal that Jesus was about two years of age when the magi visited Him. (Matthew 2:1 "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.") And it would have taken some months for the wise men to travel from the far east to Bethlehem. Possibly longer. They didn't come to the barn in Bethlehem but to "the house" as the Bible says in Matthew 2:11, ""And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
I would say that He would have been between one and two years of age (and most likely closer to one). I base this on: -- the travel time that would have been required for the Magi to reach Bethlehem while traveling only by night so that the star could guide them (including their time with Herod prior to visiting Jesus); -- the reference to the magi entering the "house" where Jesus was, indicating that sufficient time had passed since Jesus' birth for the crowd caused by Augustus' enrollment decree to have thinned out, so that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus could have found more long-term lodging in Bethlehem; -- the time that it would have taken for Herod to realize that the wise men did not intend to report back to him, as he had instructed them to; and -- the time constraint in Herod's order to kill all male children two years of age or younger, when (it seems to me) he would have wanted to use a maximum age that would be sure to include Jesus, and thus would have been likely to err on the "high side" with respect to Jesus' possible age.
Matt. 2:2 says, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.” According to this scripture, Jesus was already born. People traveled on foot and camel back then. The magi had already been travelling awhile, so I would have to say I don't believe he was a newborn when they got there. Possibly one year old, maybe a little older. I believe Joseph and Mary lived in a house at that time. Be blessed.
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