Matthew 2:13-23 – The Birth of Jesus According to Matthew. The Real Christmas Part 3

Jesus’s birth and the Events surrounding His birth, was in fulfilment of prophecies

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”

14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt

15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Comment: The wise men came and worshipped and now they had left. After they had left, an angel came to warn Joseph in a dream that Herod was about to search for Jesus to kill Him. He must then take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt and remain there until the death of Herod. Joseph did exactly what he was told by the angel. This was one again a fulfilment of an old testament prophecy by Hosea and found in Hosea 11:1. Matthew is still on a quest to show to his Jewish readers and to us by extension that the events surrounding the birth of our Lord Jesus were a fulfilment of prophecies.

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.

17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,

weeping and loud lamentation,

Rachel weeping for her children;

she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Comment: How did Herod see that he was tricked? Matthew does not tells us but somehow he did realize that the wise men did not fulfil their promise to come and inform him of the whereabouts of Jesus. ON realizing this, he became furious and ordered that all children in Bethlehem and surrounding region 2 years and younger who are male, must be killed. Now, why 2 years and younger? Matthew tells us that this had to do with the time he ascertained form the wise men. What time is that? In Math 2:7, Herod asked the wise men when the star appeared. Matthews says based on this, Herod came to a 2 year or under age limit. In my opinion, the wise men must have told Herod that they had been following the start for about 2 years. In Math 2:2, the wise men seem to imply that the star rose when Jesus was born. This would make sense why Herod would choose 2 years and younger. Herod was sure of this age limit and was correct because if he was wrong, then there was no need for Joseph to flee to Egypt. So, we can say with some certainty that Jesus was definitely 2 years or younger. Then Matthew once more quotes Jer 31:15 and shows that the prophecy spoken there was fulfilled by these events.
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”

21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.

22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee.

23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Comment: Herod eventually died and Joseph was once more told by the angel to go back to Israel since Herod was dead. Once again Joseph did what he was told and took his family back to Israel. Archelaus who was Herod’s son was ruling over Judea where Bethlehem is located and he was just as cruel as his father. On being warned of this in a dream, presumably by an angel of the Lord, he instead of Bethlehem, went to live in Galilee in Nazareth. Once again Matthew showing that prophesies were fulfilled by these events. Here Matthew does not quote a specific prophet but prophets.

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Posted in Gospel of Matthews, Matthew 2, The Birth of Jesus.

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