Matthew 2:13-23


Matthew uses the Old Testament verses as typology models and not as exact predictive prophecy.


Jesus is presented as the new Israel. 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 successful Israel. Matthew makes associations and connects patterns. Matthew is not trying to provide exact prophetic fulfillment or predictions.


Jesus was:

- 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 involvement.


God was protecting and preserving his son. Gospel of John records similar events through out the life of Jesus.


Egypt was :

- a Roman province

- a well managed and socially ordered area of the Roman world.

- outside of Herod's jurisdiction

- 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 to Egypt 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



Herod's death:

-The Qumran community returned at this time to rebuild their center which was destroyed in 31 BC.


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 of Israel 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 26:28

- New Exodus - and New Israel - Hosea 11:1



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:

1) Antigonus

2) Hyrcanus

3) Many in the Hasmonean Family

4) Brother-in-law

5) Mother-in-law

6) Ten conspiritors and their families

7) Mariamne, his Hasmonean wife, in 29 BC

8) Alexander, Mariamne's son, in 7 BC

9)Aristobulus, Mariamne's 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.


Herod was "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 in Egypt, 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 Judea, Samaria 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 managment

B-Herod Antipas was given Galilee and Perea. He is called "tetrarch"

C- Herod Phililp was tetrarch of Iturea, Trachonitis