WEEK 15 : The Family Returns to Nazareth

1. SCRIPTURE

Matthew 2:19-23

Mt. 2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Yoseph in Egypt.
Mt. 2:20 Saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.”
Mt. 2:21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
Mt. 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.
Mt. 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

Matthew 2:19-23 (NKJV) Other versions ...


2. COMMENTARY

Vs. 22: Notice that the family does not return to Jerusalem. The reason for the move was because the one that was appointed as head of Judea was Archelaus, the son of Herod the Great. He, as much as it may be hard to believe, was even worse than his father. He was so bad that he was eventually banished by Rome altogether. In order to avoid problems with Archelaus, who may have inherited the paranoia of his father, the family chose to move to Galilee which was outside of his jurisdiction. It was under the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas. Although Herod Antipas was also the son of Herod the Great, he was very different than Archelaus or his father.

Vs. 23: The fourth category of how the New Testament quotes the Original Testament is called summation or summary. In this verse the specific seeming quotation is “He should be called a Nazarene.” Try as you may, you will not find a single prophecy that states, “He should be called a Nazarene.” One verse that may be connected to this is 11:1 by the use of the term netzer used in that verse. Verse 23 uses the plural term “prophets”, but there is not even a single one that says this.

The fourth category does not have a direct quotation from the O.T., but a summary of what the O.T. taught. The clue is when the word “prophets” is used in the plural here. In the first three categories the word prophet is, in most cases, singular. In the fourth category, it is used in the plural. The author is not quoting but summarizing what the prophets said.

What is a Nazarene? A Nazarene is someone who is despised and rejected. This attitude is reflected in John 1:45,46. Nathaniel’s question, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” is reflecting the negative viewpoint people had of the Nazarenes. People who were Nazarenes were people who were despised and rejected. It is as if they told Nazarene jokes back in those days.. And what did the prophets say about the Messiah? The prophets did predict that the Messiah would be a despised and rejected individual (Isaiah 53). The best way of labeling that is to call a person a Nazarene.

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