How many angels announced
the birth the Jesus?

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Question: How many shepherds were in the field attending sheep when Jesus was born? How many angels appeared to the shepherds? Lastly, how far did the shepherds near Bethlehem have to travel to see Jesus?

Answer:  I will tackle your inquires one at a time. It is important to note that the books of Matthew and Luke are the only two that give any significant details surrounding the actual birth of Christ. Additionally, Luke 2 is the only place in the Bible that discusses shepherds and angels that are the focal points of your questions. Now to your first question.

8. Now there were shepherds in the same country, who were dwelling in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night;  (Luke 2)

How many shepherds of sheep were attending to their flocks? As you can read for yourself, the Bible does not specify a number. There was more than one - that's all that can be discerned from the Greek text. It is interesting that they were living out in the fields nearby.

Much of Western Culture depicts the birth of Jesus as having occurred in December or January, which are two of the coldest months of the year in that area near Bethlehem, and MUCH too cold for the shepherds to be "living out in the fields". They would begin moving the herds to enclosures in the late fall and only take them out to pasture during the daylight hours. This also corresponds with secular history that says a census (which was the reason Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem), dictated by the Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, was called in September or October.

9. And suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shined round about them; and they were seized with great fear. 13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host . . . (Luke 2)

 
 
 
 
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How many angels appeared to the shepherds? Both the English translations and the original Greek use a singular designation for "an angel of the Lord." In the first manifestation, there was only one angel. Later it was a "multitude" (KJV Bible) or a "host" of angels who appeared. It is also interesting that much of Western Culture has misquoted what the "host" of angels said. They DID NOT say, "Peace on earth and good will toward men." What they ACTUALLY said was below.

14. "Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth AMONG MEN OF GOODWILL." (Luke 2:14, HBFV)

The King James translation's punctuation does not make the verse very clear. How far did the shepherds have to travel in order to see baby Jesus? Although the Bible does not specify an exact distance, it could not have been too far since the fields they were in were just on the outskirts of Bethlehem.

Additional Study Materials
Picture of Shepherd's
Field near Bethlehem
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visited Jesus after he was born?
 
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