Matthew uses the Old
Testament verses as typology models and not as exact predictive prophecy.
Jesus is presented as the
Old Testament stories and situations are types that serve as transferable
models to Jesus. The Old Testament then serves to identify Jesus as a new and
Matthew makes associations and connects patterns. Matthew is not trying to
provide exact prophetic fulfillment or predictions.
- Born in Judah
- Visited from the East
- Escaped to Egypt
- Grew up in Galilee
"When they had gone" or "When they had returned" since
"had gone" and "returned" (vs. 2:12) are the same verb.
This account records
the 3rd dream and 2nd angelic
God was protecting and
preserving his son. Gospel of John records similar events through out the life
Egypt was :
- a Roman province
- a well managed and
socially ordered area of the Roman world.
- outside of Herod's
- populated with about a
million Jews according to Philo in 40 AD. Alexandria,
Egypt had a
heavy population. Alexandria
would be a good guess to where Joseph took his family.
- Old Testament people fled
for protection beginning with Abraham and followed by Joseph and Jacob. Also,
Jeroboam fleeing from Solomon (1 Kings 11:40), a contemporary prophet of
Jeremiah (Jeremiah 26:21-23) and the Jews of Jeremiah's time (Jeremiah 43:7)
Joseph was to wait until
divinely called back
Joseph took "the child
and his mother" - note the normal way of writing this would have been
"his wife and child" but the focus is on "the child". Mary
role is focused on being the child's mother
and not Joseph's wife.
Egypt would be 150 miles away or about a week long journey
community returned at this time to rebuild their center which was destroyed in
Matthew sees this as
fulfillment of prophecy from Hosea 11:1. In context in Hosea 11 God calls the
nation of Israel
but they would not obey. In contrast
here Jesus will obey and bring deliverance. Hebrews 5:8
1. Jesus is the antitype of Israel. And, Israel and
their history, rituals and calling is a type of Christ. Israel was in
the wilderness for 40 years, Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness. Israel is the
vine that did not produce fruit (Isaiah 5), but Jesus is the true vine (John
15) that will produce. Israel
is the Lord's son (Ex. 4:22-23; Jeremiah 31:9; Hosea 11:1; Psalm 2:6, 12)
2. The word
"fulfill" means more than just predict an event. The history and laws
have prophetic significance as Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have
come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish theme but
to fulfill them." The word "fulfill" is "pleroo" and
does not mean Jesus is doing the Law or that Jesus is dictated to by the
prophets, but it is Jesus : A) showing where the OT points by using the
following verses (Matt. 5:21-48), B) showing He is the goal of the Old
Testament, C) revealing the kingdom of God as explained in the OT, D)
fulfilling the purpose and goal of the OT in himself.
3) True Israel is found
in Christ not in a race of people. Israel was a shadow and a means of
preparation for the Messiah. But, all that Israel was asked to accomplish can
only be done by Jesus. Israel
still has a place in history and work that needs to be done, but this will
ultimately be fulfilled by Jesus or in Christ.
Jesus is the new Israel. Jesus
is the one who fulfilled all that Israel was to be. Jesus would say
in Matthew 4:17 that he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets and not
destroy or abolish them.
- New ekklesia (church,
community, group of called ones) - Matthew 16:18
- New Moses (and Prophet) -
here at birth, escape and Transfiguration Mt.17:1
- Twelve New Tribal Leaders
- the Apostles - Matthew 19:28
- New Covenant - Matthew
- New Exodus - and New Israel - Hosea
Critics believe Matthew made
this story up concerning Herod's killing of babies because it is not recorded
elsewhere in scripture. Yet, this act of Herod was typical of his character. It
is not hard to believe that the same Herod who killed his favorite wife and two
sons (plus many others) would not kill a few children to protect his throne. No
historian would have taken time to record the killing of a few babies (maybe
10-20) in a small town.
Herod the Great killed:
3) Many in the Hasmonean
6) Ten conspiritors and
7) Mariamne, his Hasmonean
wife, in 29 BC
8) Alexander, Mariamne's
son, in 7 BC
son, in 7 BC
10) Antipater in 4 BC, Doris' son who married a Hasmonean princess and was to
inherit Herod's kingdom
11) Planned the death of all
the Jewish leaders upon his death, but this was never carried out.
The use of OT scripture once
again is not trying to say it was an exact occurrence of an exact prophecy,
but, once again, "fulfillment" just like Israel history and laws always do,
pointing to a greater fulfillment in Jesus. Everything Israel was told to do, Jesus will
do better, even completely.
The wise men had left Herod
the same evening of the day they spoke with him. They traveled at night the
short 5 miles to Bethlehem.
They may have found the child that night, had the dream and left in the
morning. By the end of the day Herod may have been looking for the magi.
"outwitted" by the magi and fulfilled Psalm 2:2 as he "raged
against the Lord and his Anointed One.
Revelation 12:1-9 - The
promises/word of God opposed by Satan through out time. This battle manifested
through out the Bible: Eve, Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Israel
Moses, David, Royal line (Athaliah), Zedekiah, Zerrubabel, Zechariah, Antiochus
Epiphanes vs. Macabees, Jesus, the church, Jews vs. Anti-christ
Matthew is the only NT
writer to quote Jeremiah (here; 16:14; 27:9)
The reference to Jeremiah
31:15 by Jeremiah refers to Judah's
deportation by the Babylonians. Ramah was a city about 5 miles north of
Jerusalem on the way to Bethel which is close to Zelzah the location Rachel's
tomb (1 Samuel 10:2). The captives would be chained and taken to this city by
the Babylonians. Jeremiah was found here by Nebuzaradan and released in
Jeremiah 40:1-4. It was AT THIS TIME THE
LINE OF THE KINGS OF DAVID ENDED. BUT, NOW, THESE TEARS HAVE BEEN THE CAUSE OF
THE RESTORATION of the line of David. The exile will end because of Jesus.
Jacob was between Bethel (12 miles north of Jerusalem)
and Bethlehem (Ephrath- 5 miles south of Jerusalem) when Rachel
died according to Genesis 35:16.
Fourth dream and third angel
Herod the Great made a late
change in his will and instead of giving his entire kingdom to Herod Antipas he
divided it into 3 parts for three sons:
A- Herod Archelaus was given
and Idumea. Augustus Caesar agreed to give him the title "ethnarch"
which was more honorable than "tetrarch" with the promise of earning
the title "king". Archelaus was banished in 6 AD for cruel and poor
B-Herod Antipas was given Galilee and Perea. He is called "tetrarch"
C- Herod Phililp was
tetrarch of Iturea, Trachonitis