1. SCRIPTURE

Matthew 2:13-18

Mt. 2:13 Now when they departed, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to Yoseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
Mt. 2:14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother and departed for Egypt.
Mt. 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
Mt. 2:16 Then Herod when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.
Mt. 2:17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
Mt. 2:18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamenting, weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they were no more.”

Matthew 2:13-18 (NKJV) Other versions ...


2. COMMENTARY

Vs. 14: And just how could a family that was so poor that they could only afford young pigeons or doves for a sacrifice afford to travel to Egypt and live there? Again, we see the providence of God through the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh; gifts that would provide a living for the family during this period of time.

Vs. 15: The second type of the New Testament quoting the Original Testament is called Literal plus typical. Hosea 11:1, which is quoted here, is a reference to Israel’s exodus out of Egypt. This is an allusion to Exodus 4:22 where Israel became nationally the Son of God. The reference here in Matthew is a type of this.

Josephus, the Jewish historian, relates that Herod became very ill following an act of impiety against the priesthood, at which time an eclipse of the moon occurred. This eclipse, the only one mentioned by Josephus, happened on March 13th of the Julian Period, and the fourth year before the Common Era. Herod’s illness (we have no idea what it was) lasted for several months and it is documented in great detail as being painful and distressful. Many cures were sought and brought temporary relief. However, nothing prevented imminent death. According to Josephus’ calculations, Herod’s death occurred in about September-October, 4 B.C.E. Therefore with the knowledge that Herod’s death was in the autumn, within forty days of the birth of Yeshua, it is established that Yeshua was born during that time of the year.

Vs. 16: It was the custom in ancient Israel to count the years of one’s age from the date of conception. Therefore, Herod actually killed children one year old and younger, according to the way age is calculated today. This attempt to kill the seed of the woman is probably described in the book of Revelation this way: and the dragon stood before the woman (Israel) who was ready to be delivered, to devour the Child (Yeshua) as soon as He was born” (Rev. 12:4). But, forewarned by God, Yoseph and Miriam fled to Egypt with the Child.

Vs. 17,18: These two verses demonstrate the third way the New Testament quotes the Original Testament. This way is called literal, plus application. If we go back to the text of Jeremiah 31:15 and look at its original context, it is neither history nor prophecy, but something that was already presently happening. It was a present contemporary event of the prophet Jeremiah and is a reference to the Babylonian Captivity. In this account young Jewish men were being taken into captivity in Babylon. When they were taken away, they were taken by the town of Ramah, which is near the place where Rachel was buried. Rachel had become the symbol of Jewish motherhood. Rachel was a matriarch of Israel, wife of Jacob, and mother of Yoeph and Benjamin. She died in childbirth on the way from Bethel to Eprath. As she lay dying, she named her son “Ben Oni,” or “Son of my suffering.” Yoseph always called him Benjamin. Jacob did not bury her in the ancestral patriarchal cave at Machpelah, but interred her at the place of her death and set up a monument over her grave. As the young men went by Ramah the mothers of the town came outside and were weeping for the sons of Israel that they would never see again. Jeremiah pictures this as Rachel (Jewish motherhood) weeping. When Herod ordered the male children to be killed, Jewish mothers were weeping again for sons that they would never see again.

3. DISCUSSIONS

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