Matthew Lesson 2 Day 4

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Matthew Lesson 2 Day 4

Matthew 2:13-18

Wise men from the east visit Herod, and Joseph moves his family to Egypt.

9) Herod’s reaction to the wise men.

In Herod’s first encounter with the wise men, he was troubled. Considering his frequent overreactions recorded by historians, troubled was an understatement. (See 11a)

News about the birth of another king posed a threat to his reign. Now he realizes the wise men left the country without reporting back to him, so he feels tricked and becomes furious.

10a) An angel sent by the Lord visits Joseph again.

Joseph moved his family Egypt because the angel once again came to him in a dream, saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and kill him.” (vs. 13 NOG)

Joseph woke up, got up while it was still dark, and took the child and his mother and left for Egypt. (Note that Matthew chose to mention the child before the mother.)

A large Jewish community lived in Egypt, so the idea of didn’t sound completely strange to Joseph.

“Egypt was a natural place to which to flee. It was nearby, a well-ordered Roman province outside Herod’s jurisdiction; and, according to Philo (writing circa A.D. 40), its population included about a million Jews.” (Carson)1

Personal

It’s certainly easier to know what do if an angel brings specific instructions. I haven’t experienced that yet. My family has never been in a life threatening situation like that either.

The Lord did instruct us to sell our house and get rid of everything that wouldn’t fit in our car and one other car. He gave us months instead of minutes.

I’m determined to be obedient even to instructions I think I heard. I feel like there is a reward for that, and I find I hear His voice more frequently since I made that decision. I also feel it is important to hear and quickly obey in this time of increasing persecution.

b) Matthew 2:15 quotes Hosea 11:1

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” Hosea 11:1

Even as God brought the nation of Israel out of Egypt, Matthew shows us this verse is also a prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. In this verse, God says, “I called my son.”

11a) Herod was a bloody, violent ruler.

Barclay quotes some details historians wrote about him.

Herod was “a bloody, violent ruler. . . he annihilated the Sanhedrin . . . he slaughtered three hundred court officers . . . he murdered his wife Marimne, and her mother Alexandra, his eldest son Antipater, and two other sons, Alexander and Aristobulus.” ~Barclay1

When Herod realized he’d been tricked, he sent soldiers to kill all the boys two years old and younger in or near Bethlehem. This matched the exact time the wise men said they saw the star.

Carson wrote that Bethlehem’s total population was not large, so perhaps a dozen or so children were killed.1 I always envisioned many more. Still, I can only imagine the horror this incident caused in that small town.

b) Prov 21:30

No wisdom, no understanding, and no advice
    can stand up against Yahweh.” (NOG)

For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness,’ and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.'”(1 Corinthians 3:19-20)

“Many are the plans in the mind a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)

12) Matthew quotes Jeremiah 31:15

“Thus says the Lord:
‘A voice is heard in Ramah,
    lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
    she refuses to be comforted for her children,
    because they are no more.’”

Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem. . . ) (Genesis 35:19)

She was considered the mother of all Israel, but when quoted here, she represents the mothers in Bethlehem..

“This prophecy was literally fulfilled when Judah was carried into captivity; there was then a great mourning in the tribes of Benjamin and Judah, for their children that were slain and carried away into captivity. It was now fulfilled, that is, verified, a second time.” (Poole)

This wasn’t the first time a ruler tried to kill all of the Jewish baby boys. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, told the midwives to kill every son as soon as he was born because they were becoming too numerous. (Exodus 1:8-20)


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1 EnduringWord.com used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
7 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
8 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Matthew Lesson 2 Day 4