Sapphire Sky

May 13, 2018

Friends and Enemies of the King

Filed under: encouragement, theology — Tags: , , — Steve Knaus @ 12:58 am

Thoughts from Matthew 2…

Matthew’s second chapter continues his account of the promised King.

 

Who was this king? Who is this person that Matthew was writing about?

Matthew’s first chapter told of the heritage and birth of the new king. He has the heritage and the rights of the great dynasty of Israel, going back to King David himself. His birth was a miracle, born to a poor unmarried woman and her betrothed husband.

But why should we care? Why should our modern world care about an ancient Jewish king?

Because He is much more than that. He is not simply some distant story. He was God Himself, come to mankind!

Matthew’s account is clear: He was born to a human mother among a human family. He was very much human (see here).

But His father was God (see here, here, and here). Therefore he was also very much God.

And He came for a purpose. Matthew stated His purpose in his first chapter, “you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). He will save His people from their sins. He was the promised one that the Jews had been waiting for, their Messiah!

But Matthew then showed that Jesus did not only come for the Jews. He was born to a Jewish family, but some of His first attendants were outsiders, or Gentiles.

Jesus was still a young child — probably only a few months old — when He was visited by dignitaries from far away. These visitors, or Magi, had learned of the new king and come to worship Him.

Even at the start, Jesus’ own people didn’t care for Him (see here). The religious leaders knew exactly where He would be. They even gave directions for the Magi but they never came.

The king over the Jews saw Him as a threat. King Herod knew that this was the long-awaited Messiah, and he tried to kill him. At first he tried to use deception to find the baby. When that failed, he resorted to massacre. He sent his soldiers to murder all the young boys in Bethlehem!

But it was these outsiders, the ones who should have never cared, who came to worship Jesus the Messiah. The Magi used their own resources to travel a long and dangerous road, carrying priceless gifts, unsure of the final destination.

God had given them a glimpse of His glory, in the form of a bright light, in their home country of Babylon. That vision caused them to come to Jerusalem, seeking the new king of the Jews. They were then directed to the nearby village of Bethlehem, where they again encountered God’s light. They found the new king and worshipped Him, giving their gifts.

Remember!

Most of us have heard about the “wise men” as part of the Christmas story. It can seem distant, exotic, and very removed from our present lives. But we should take time to remember some of the lessons from these wise men (or Magi):

  • The Magi knew very little about God, but they followed what they knew. They didn’t know His location but they came gladly to worship!

  • You don’t need a Jewish heritage to worship Jesus Christ. You only need to follow Him.

  • God does not look for those who are especially powerful, religious or smart. The educated priests ignored Jesus Christ and the powerful king wanted to kill Him!

  • God will protect His own! He directed Joseph to take Jesus and Mary away to Egypt when Herod wanted to kill him, and then back to Israel when it was safe to return.

Previous post: The Birth of the King


Matthew 2:1-23
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

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

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. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
“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.”

But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 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.” And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 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. 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.


Matthew 2:1-2
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Luke 2:1-38 recounts the details of the birth of Jesus Christ. Several months later (see below), King Herod in Jerusalem had a visit from a group of eastern Magi. They have seen the star and have come to worship the one who was born king of the Jews.

These were the men who advised the eastern kings. Herod was insane with power and would do anything to protected his title that he claimed for himself, “King of the Jews”. But now, these men came to him asking for direction to the real king of the Jews!

The have come to the new king to give him homage. Although we see their belief later on when they encounter Jesus, their initial intent may have been only to greet the new king, and not yet to worship him.

Matthew 2:3-6
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Herod was troubled at request of these foreigners. He believed that he was king of the Jews, and was insulted that they would be looking for another.

Herod went to the chief priests and asked where the Messiah was to be born. It is interesting to note that the priests knew the answer. They knew Micah’s prophecy (Micah 5:2), that He would be born in Bethlehem — only about 6 miles away!

It is also interesting to note that Herod asked the priests about the Messiah. He knew exactly who the Magi were talking about. Herod will try to kill the baby, knowing full well that he is not going after a new usurper but the Messiah Himself!

Herod was troubled because he believed his throne was being threatened. All Jerusalem was troubled because they knew that Herod tended to kill people when he was upset.

Matthew adds to Micah’s prophecy that that the Messiah will be a shepherd of His people (2 Samuel 5:2).

“Matthew answers Jewish unbelief concerning Jesus Christ by quoting their own official body regarding the prophecy of His birth in Bethlehem was literal, that the Messiah was an individual (not the entire Jewish nation), and that their Messiah was to be a king who would rule over them.” – John F. Walvoord 1

“These priests knew the Scriptures and pointed others to the Savior, but they would not go to worship Him themselves! They quoted Micah 5:2 but did not obey it. They were five miles from the very Son of God, yet they did not go to see Him! The Gentiles sought and found Him, but the Jews did not.” – Wiersbe 2

Matthew 2:7-8
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”

Herod met secretly with the Magi and asked them when the star had appeared. On the pretense of going to worship Him as well, he asked for the Magi to come back with his location.

Herod’s true intent is unmasked later and it is revealed that he only wanted to use the Magi as spies so that he can go and kill the child.

It is interesting that none of the Jews, who knew about the Messiah’s birth, bothered to go to Bethlehem to look for themselves!

Matthew 2:9-10
After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.

They had seen the star in the east, and it appeared again to them as they journeyed to Bethlehem. It must have been an incredibly joyful sight! They had based everything on what they saw back in Babylon and had to walk by faith the entire way. Now, God gives them a glimpse again that they are on the right way!

Matthew 2:11
And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

The Magi found the house where Joseph and Mary were living, and came to worship the young king.

The Magi brought three gifts for the young child. Although we can see direct parallels between the gifts and the ministry of Jesus Christ, they would have given them simply because they were very valuable and kingly.

The gold was a gift for a king, and showed the royalty of Jesus Christ.

The frankincense was burned during priestly worship, and showed both the priesthood and the divinity of Jesus Christ.

The myrrh was an expensive perfume. One of its many uses was to wrap a body as it was prepared for burial. This showed the humanity and the death of Jesus Christ.

Joseph would soon need to gather his young family and flee from Bethlehem to Egypt. These expensive gifts would help them to finance the trip.

“Viewed as gifts, the incense and the myrrh would, indeed, have been strangely inappropriate. But their offerings were evidently intended as specimens of the products of their country, and their presentation was, even as in our own days, expressive of the homage of their country to the new-found King.” – Edersheim 3

Matthew 2:12
And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

The hand of God is very evident in protecting the young child from the evil men. In this case, God directly intervened and warned the Magi not to return to Herod. Instead, they left directly from Bethlehem and return to their country.

Matthew 2:13-15
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.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 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.”

Again, God sent an angel to intervene in the life of the the young Jesus Christ. Joseph was warned to flee to Egypt because Herod is about to try and destroy the child. They then left secretly and stayed in Egypt until the death of Herod.

Assuming that Herod was near the end of his life when this took place, the sojourn in Egypt would have been for only a few months.

This also brings Matthew’s second fulfilled prophecy about the Messiah. This quote is from Hosea 11:1. Hosea’s prophecy reflects on how God took care of the nation of Israel as he brought them out of Egypt.

Matthew uses Hosea’s prophecy to show that Israel’s passage through Egypt pre-figures the passage through Egypt of Jesus Christ Himself. This is called a “type” prophecy, where the life of one person or group reflects the life of Jesus Christ which is to come.

“Matthew draws the contrast between Israel, as the Son of Jehovah going to Egypt and returning, to Christ, the greater Son who also came from Egypt. In both cases, the descent into Egypt was to escape danger. In both cases, the return was important to the providential history of the nation Israel.” – Walvoord 1

Matthew 2:16-18
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. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
“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.”

Herod was furious that the Magi left secretly and did not obey him. Since he could not find the identity of Jesus Christ, he orders all of the young boys in Bethlehem to be killed.

There were probably about 20-30 children in Bethlehem who were murdered by Herod.

This third prophecy about Jesus Christ is from Jeremiah 31:15-16. The context of Jeremiah was to console the mothers of Israel (represented by Rachel) as their sons were taken off to Babylonian captivity. Jeremiah’s message is of comfort: there is horror and sorrow for the moment but the Messiah will come who will make all things right.

Matthew applies Jeremiah’s prophecy to the mothers of Bethlehem. There is weeping and sorrow but the Messiah is coming. 4 5

Matthew 2:19-21
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 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.” And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.

Joseph is sent back to the land of Israel after Herod’s death.

According to Alfred Edersheim, the visit of the Magi took place in February, 4 BC. Herod died in early April of the same year, so the duration in Egypt would have been very brief.3

“The stay of the Holy Family in Egypt must have been of brief duration. The cup of Herod’s misdeeds, but also of his misery, was full. During the whole latter part of his life, the dread of a rival to the throne had haunted him, and he had sacrificed thousands, among them those nearest and dearest to him, to lay that ghost.” – Edersheim 3

Matthew 2:22-23
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. 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.

Herod appointed his son Archelaus to rule over Judea after him. Archelaus proved to have his father’s cruelty and tyranny but without his skill. Archelaus was finally deposed by the Romans after a short reign.

Joseph feared for his family under the rule of Archelaus, and he was directed by God to return to Nazareth in Galilee.

The final prophecy of this chapter is difficult to place in the Old Testament. There are no specific prophecies in the Old Testament which say that the Messiah would be called a Nazarene.

However, the term, “Nazarene” was one of reproach. Nathaniel is quick to point out the reproach of the town in John 1:46. When the Jews accused Paul in Acts 24, they tried to demean Christians by calling them the “sect of the Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5). There are several prophecies in the Old Testament indicating that the Messiah would live the life of reproach (see Psalm 22:6-8, Isaiah 53:1-6). 6


About Herod

Herod I “The Great” lived from 73 BC to 4 BC. Herod was born during the decline of the Hasmonean dynasty and during the rise of the Roman Empire in Jewish affairs.

Herod was an Idumaean, a descendent of the Edomites in the Old Testament (children of Esau in Genesis 25:30). His father, Antipater, gained favor with the Romans and rose to power in Judea. Antipater then gave governor positions to his two sons, Herod and Phasaelus. Antipater was ultimately poisoned by a rival, and Phasaelus was destroyed by the Parthians, but Herod continued in favor with the Romans and in power over the Jews. By 40 BC, the Roman Senate gave Herod the title, “King of the Jews”.

Herod was a master at Roman politics. He and his father successfully navigated the changing power within Rome, as the power switched from Pompey, to Caesar, to Cassius, to Mark Antony, and finally to Octavius, who became Caesar Augustus.

Herod was known for his building projects. During his rule, he built the many fortresses, including Herodium, Machaerus, and Masada. Most well known was Herod’s massive project of rebuilding the Jewish temple in Jerusalem.

Herod was known for his cruelty and his paranoia. It would take only a whisper from an accuser for Herod to murder his own family members over fear of betrayal. He had his favorite wife, Mariamme, murdered over fear that she was unfaithful (he had 10 wives). He murdered three of his own sons when he feared that they would take over his throne. Herod destroyed all of the remaining Hasmonean leaders over fear of the power that they may hold.

Herod’s cruelty is shown in scripture when he murdered all of the baby boys in Bethlehem. Some critics of Scripture argue that this cannot be true, since this massacre was not reported by contemporary historians. However, this type of massacre was typical of Herod, and this was only one of his many atrocities.

Herod envied and hated the Jews. As an example of such hatred, he had several of Jewish leaders imprisoned when he knew that his death was near. Herod gave orders to execute the Jewish leaders upon his own death, thereby guaranteeing weeping in Jerusalem when he died. Thankfully, Herod’s orders were not carried out and the Jewish leaders were saved from execution.

Herod was also known for his family legacy. Herod himself is mentioned in Matthew 2, and his son Archelaus is briefly mentioned in Matthew 2:22. After Herod’s death, the Romans divided his territories among his sons and other Roman governors. Herod’s sons and grandsons took the ruling title of “Herod”.

Herod’s son Antipas ruled Galilee and Perea during the ministry of Jesus Christ and is mentioned through the Gospels as “Herod the Tetrarch” (ruling a fourth of the region, see Matthew 14:1, Luke 3:1). It was this Herod Antipas that had John the Baptist killed (Matthew 14:1-12), and who participated in Jesus’ trial (Luke 23:6-12).

Herod’s grandson, Agrippa I, had the Apostle James killed and Peter imprisoned, and was eventually killed by God when he was in Tyre and Sidon (Acts 12). Herod’s great-grandson, Agrippa II, presided over Paul’s defense in Acts 25-26, and to whom Paul directly appealed to believe (Acts 26:27-28).

Herod died in great agony in Jericho in 4 BC.

“So ended a reign almost unparalleled for reckless cruelty and bloodshed, in which the murder of the Innocents in Bethlehem formed but so trifling an episode among the many deeds of blood, as to have seemed not deserving of record on the page of the Jewish historian.” – Alfred Edersheim

Sources:

 


About the Magi (Wise Men)

There are many traditions and legends that have developed around the wise men who came to worship the King. The pictures portrayed on Christmas Cards and in Nativity scenes show three men on camels stooping next to the shepherds to worship the newborn Christ. Some of the more advanced legends have given them names (e.g. Gaspar, Melchior, Balthazar) and have attributed to them a diverse ethnic background. Some stories claim that they were kings, such as the Christmas song, “We Three Kings”.

Unfortunately, most of these legends have no basis in the account of scripture, nor are they consistent with the historical record. These legends often contain more fantasy than fact.

Matthew’s gospel account tells us the following about the Magi:

  • They were called Magi, or wise men (Matthew 2:1)

  • They were multiple (Matthew 2:1)

  • They came from the East (Matthew 2:1)

  • They saw a rising star, which directed them to Jerusalem to find the king of the Jews (Matthew 2:2)

  • They were motivated to do homage to the new king of the Jews (Matthew 2:2)

  • They went to the house in Bethlehem to find and worship Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:8-11)

  • They gave three gifts to the new king: gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11)

 

Who were the Magi?

Most Bible scholars connect the Magi, or “wise men” in Matthew with the caste of royal astrologers from ancient Babylon and Persia. 600 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, the young man Daniel was captured from Jerusalem and taken to Babylon to serve among the king’s wise men. Daniel excelled, becoming a leader of the country and chief of the wise men (Daniel 2:48, Daniel 5:11). The “Chaldeans” in Daniel 2 may have been the same Magi.

The Magi would study the stars, combining both the science of astronomy and the mysticism of astrology. They were very educated, and would use their knowledge and insight to divine answers for the superstitious kings whom they served. Daniel 2 and Daniel 5 show examples of Babylonian emperors calling for their Magi to explain the unusual.

The influence of the Magi was so great that the Persian kings needed the approval of the Magi before they could take the throne.

The beliefs of the Magi appeared to be a mix of an ancient religion (similar to Zoroastrianism), but also affected by the idols and other religions of their rulers (e.g. Daniel 6).

However, there was apparently a sect of the Magi that held allegiance to the God of the Jews. They were affected by the exiled Jews who came to Babylon and they followed the teaching of their ancient leader, Daniel. The Jews spoke of their deliverer, the Messiah, coming and Daniel 9 gave them a timeline.

We do not know if the Magi were originally worshippers of God, but they were profoundly affected by the timeline of the Messiah’s birth and the appearance of the star. It was that star that caused them to come to Jerusalem in order to seek out the king of the Jews. Matthew’s account tells that they came with gladness and worshiped the new king.

Why did they come to Jerusalem?

The Magi apparently did not have all of the Old Testament prophecy. They knew the time and the nationality of the new king but not His location. Therefore, they went to the capital city of Jerusalem and asked the king for His location.

Note that they were not led by the star from the east to Jerusalem. They saw the star and realized that it must indicate that the king was born.

How many Magi were there?

We do not know the number (nor the names) of the Magi. Early church tradition held that there were 12 Magi; current tradition has reduced the number to 3.

Regardless of the number of the Magi, they would have traveled with a large party. They came as an official delegation to the new king, crossing the desert with very expensive gifts. They likely had a small army with them for protection as they traveled.

When did they arrive in Bethlehem?

Unlike the popular view, the Magi were not worshipping with the shepherds on the night that Jesus Christ was born. They arrived in Bethlehem several months later.

Matthew’s account does not give a specific timeline for the visit of the Magi, but various events give us clues about the time of their visit:

  • Matthew 2:11 says that “going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother”. Mary and Joseph were no longer in the crude arrangements for Jesus’ birth; they had now settled in a house.

  • Luke 2:22-24 tells of Mary and Joseph going to the temple for purification, which would have been 40 days after Jesus’ birth. They brought a pair of turtledoves, which was the lowest possible offering, indicating their abject poverty (see Leviticus 12:6-8). This line of logic assumes that Jesus’ purification must have occurred before the Magi came and gave their gifts, or else Mary and Joseph would have been able to afford a more costly offering. Therefore, Jesus must have been at least 40 days old upon their arrival.

  • Matthew uses the Greek work paidion (παιδίον), indicating a young child (Matthew 2:11). This is different than Luke’s use of brephos (βρέφος), indicating a newborn baby (Luke 2:16).

  • Herod asked the Magi when the star appeared, and then proceeded to murder all of the boys in Bethlehem from two years old and under. Herod would not have been conservative in his killing, so if he killed all children up to two years old, Jesus was likely much younger than that.

  • Herod died in 4 BC (see above), so the visit of the Magi must have occurred before that time.

Therefore, we know that Jesus was older than 40 days and younger than two years. Give the above information, he was probably less than a year old at the time of the visit of the Magi.

Sources:

 


 

About the Star

As little information as we have about the Magi, we have even less information about the star that directed them. We have the mental picture of a massive spotlight in the sky, patiently leading them each step from Babylon to Jerusalem, and then to Bethlehem.

However, Matthew’s account says very little about the star. All that we know about the star is:

  • The Magi saw the star “rise” in the East and they took it as a sign that the king of the Jews had been born (Matthew 2:2).

  • They saw the star again after leaving Jerusalem (Matthew 2:9).

  • The star went before them came to rest over where the child was (Matthew 2:9).

Astronomers and theologians have proposed several theories about what that star could be. The star was identified by the Magi but otherwise ignored by the rest of the world. The star was intermittent — they saw it for the first time in the east and then the second time on the journey to Bethlehem. Finally, the star seemed to be able to move before them to Bethlehem and to rest over where the child was.

The text only says that the star came to rest over where the child was. Although the traditional view is of a giant spotlight pointing directly to the home, it more likely means that the star shone over the village of Bethlehem. The Magi needed to make inquiries and plan their route to Jerusalem, and they may have needed to inquire and search Bethlehem in order to find Jesus Christ.

Some of the most common theories about the star:

  • The great astronomer Johannes Kepler identified a spectacular conjunction of the planets, including Jupiter and Saturn in 7 BC. Mars also joined this conjunction the following year (6 BC). The date is much too early to for this to be the “star” of Matthew 2, but it may have caught the attention of the Magi.

  • The moon passed in front of Jupiter twice in 6 BC, and is suggested by some as the phenomenon identified by the Magi. However, this phenomenon was not visible in Babylon.

  • Some (including Kepler) believed that this was a supernova. This would be much brighter than other stars, but would not explain how it was intermittently seen, and how it went before them to Bethlehem.

  • Others have proposed that this was a comet. Halley’s Comet passed overhead in 12 BC, but this would have been much too early. Chinese records indicate a possible comet in 4 BC.

  • Some have proposed that the star was not astronomical but was a guiding angel. Although this is plausible, the appearance of an angel as a “star” is unprecedented in scripture.

  • The most plausible explanation is that the “star” was a supernatural revelation from God. God showed a glimpse of His glory to the Magi in Babylon, which prompted them to travel to Judea. God then showed his glory again, seen as brightness to the men, as they travelled from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. The supernatural occurrence would explain how it was intermittent, visible only to the Magi, and was able to lead them.

“The most probable explanation is that the star in the East as well as the star that guided them to Bethlehem were supernatural rather than natural phenomena. No star in the distant heavens could provide such accurate guidance.” – John Walvoord

Sources:

  • D.A. Carson, Editor, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Zondervan, 2010, Matthew 2

  • Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Book II, CHAPTER VIII -THE VISIT AND HOMAGE OF THE MAGI, AND THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT (St. Matthew 2:1-8.)

  • John F. Walvoord, Matthew Thy Kingdom Come, 2. The Divine Protection of the Child Jesus, Matthew 2

 


[1] John F. Walvoord, Matthew Thy Kingdom Come, 2. The Divine Protection of the Child Jesus, Matthew 2

[2] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament, David C. Cook, 2007, Matthew 1:18-2:23, Pages 12-15

[3] Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Book II, CHAPTER VIII -THE VISIT AND HOMAGE OF THE MAGI, AND THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT (St. Matthew 2:1-8.)

[4] John MacArthur, The King Fulfills Prophecy, Part 2, Matthew 2:16-23, 3/12/1978

[5] D.A. Carson, Editor, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Zondervan, 2010, Matthew 2

[6] There are three common and plausible explanations for the prophecy that He would be called a Nazarene:

  1. The Hebrew word for branch is netzer, which sounds close to Nazareth. Therefore, this may go back to the prophecies that Jesus is the righteous branch (e.g. Zechariah 6:12, Isaiah 11:1). This may be possible but it requires a lot of linguistic leaps to get to this point.

  2. Many Bible teachers point out that Matthew uses the plural for “prophets”, and use that to show that this was not a single Old Testament prophecy, but from multiple unrecorded sources. Not all prophecies are recorded in Old Testament scripture (e.g. Jude 14-15). This may be possible, but I would opt first for an explanation within the Old Testament before looking outside scripture for a prophecy which was fulfilled.

  3. The final explanation is that “Nazarene” is a term of reproach. Matthew is saying that by living as a Nazarene, Jesus Christ will be despised among men (Isaiah 53). This is the explanation that I have followed in this passage.

 

2 Comments »

  1. […] Previous post: Friends and Enemies of the King […]

    Pingback by The Herald of the King | Sapphire Sky — May 25, 2018 @ 12:38 am

  2. […] passed since the times when Jesus was born (Matthew 1), and when He was visited by the wise men (Matthew 2). Jesus’ relative, John the Baptist, was preaching in the wilderness that the kingdom of Heaven […]

    Pingback by The Initiation of the King | Sapphire Sky — June 5, 2018 @ 11:12 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: