The Weekend Word
So the king has come to Bethlehem as Micah said. He has gone to Egypt as Hosea said. And he has caused weeping in Ramah by Rachel, just as Jeremiah said. Finally, in Matthew’s various presentations of pictures of the coming king from the prophets, he includes one more – Nazareth.
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
- Josephus in his Antiquities –says he died of this: “Ulcerated entrails, putrefied and maggot-filled organs, constant convulsions, foul breath, and neither physicians nor warm baths led to recovery.”
- I would say a rather fitting end for that kind of a man.
- How long was the holy family in Egypt? 6 mo – 3 ½ yrs.?
- Joseph was told to go to Egypt and wait … he did.
20 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.”
- Back to v.13 – when the angel had said “until I tell you…” – now he is telling them.
- Apparently, Herod wasn’t the only one. There were some others involved, and the Lord had set them aside also. We don’t have any word about that, but its plural here. “You can go back now. They are all dead.”
21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.
- Moving day!
- Think about this – if Jesus came to die, why wasn’t he allowed to die with the massacred children? Could he have died as ‘the child/God’ vs man/God?
- Note that there is no specific place. They just came back to Israel, undoubtedly coming from the direction of Egypt, they probably came up through the south and they would have come to Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Perhaps in their thinking, that would have been the place to stay.
22 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.
- Son of Herod – obviously not the threat his father was.
- I wonder how Archelaus was spared execution?
23 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.
- We don’t seem to have a direct passage saying this.
- However, all of the geo political activity was used by God to put the pieces in place … as the prophets spoke.
- Now here’s another element in the prophecies surrounding his birth to show he was born a king. He was to go back to Nazareth. By the way, this was Joseph and Mary’s original home, wasn’t it? According to Luke 2:4, they were from Nazareth. They were to return to live out the prediction of the prophets who said he would be a Nazarene.
- The term “Nazarene” – this statement “He shall be called a Nazarene” appears nowhere in the Old Testament.
- Let’s read it again – “so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, – plural – ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’ ” – Where is that found?
- If you are looking in the Old Testament for the prophets who said it, you won’t find them.
- Some will go far and wide to try and make a connection to Isaiah 11:1 where it talks about Christ being a branch netser, which is Hebrew, and they say netser and Nazareth – it’s a bad connection.
- Besides, you still need to deal with the prophets, plural, not just Isaiah 11:1. It is very remote that anyone would make the connection.
- Matthew says “the prophets.” – How would you explain this?” It is simple to explain – the prophets said this. It just never got written in the Old Testament until now and it finally got written by Matthew. “- But he means the Old Testament prophets said it.
- So the question is presented – Did the prophets say some things that didn’t get written down?” Yes, there are plenty of things that were said that weren’t written down in the Old Testament.
- Jude v14 = “It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
- Enoch did not say this in the Old Testament. It isn’t there. How do we know he said it? Because Jude said that Enoch said it. How did Jude know? Because Jude was what? … Inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.
- So guess who said that Jesus would be a Nazarene? The prophets said it.
- This is beautiful – Matthew doesn’t even give a bit explanation. He just says “the prophet said, He shall be called a Nazarene,”
- This tells me that it was common knowledge among the people – that the prophets said this about the Messiah.