(Mat 2:1 NASB) Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
(Mat 2:2 NASB) “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.”
Mat 2:2: The wise men were important and powerful leaders from the powerful Persian Empire. The Persians were never conquered by Rome and were still a strong force in that day.
The precise star being followed by the wise men is not known today. Many astronomers have researched the star formations of that day and no conclusions have been reached that could explain the voyage of the men from the East. It seems to be a futile search for something not very important.
The star was possibly a supernova that burned itself out after the wise men reached their destination.
(Mat 2:3 NASB) And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Mat 2:3: The presence of this group was greatly troubling to Herod and all of Jerusalem. There were probably hundreds or more of these wise men to have upset Herod and others in Jerusalem. Three men riding in on camels hardly would have caused such commotion.
(Mat 2:4 NASB) And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born.
(Mat 2:5 NASB) And they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet,
(Mat 2:6 NASB) ‘AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER, WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'”
Mat 2:6: This is a prophecy from Micah 5:2 and was written about 700 years before the time of Yeshua. The last phrase, “who will shepherd over my people Israel” is mentioned in several prophecies in the Tanakh such as Ezek. 37:24-26.
The chief priests and scribes were familiar with this prophecy and recited it to Herod. We are not told if the scribes were told of the wise men.
(Mat 2:7 NASB) Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared.
(Mat 2:8 NASB) And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him.”
Mat 2:8: Bethlehem means “house of bread.” It was prophesied as the birthplace of Messiah and it was also the place where Rachel was buried (Gen 35:19).
(Mat 2:9 NASB) And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was.
(Mat 2:10 NASB) And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
(Mat 2:11 NASB) And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Mat 2:11: The wise men did not go to the manger where Yeshua was born. The wise men arrived sometime later. The reference here is to a “Child,” and not a “baby,” which is what the shepherds saw (Luke 2:16).
The crowds in Bethlehem were dissipated and Joseph and Mary had moved into a house by this time. They brought Him gifts of gold, frankincense and Myrrh. The gold speaks of His being the King. The incense speaks of His Priesthood. The myrrh is a spice that bodies were embalmed with and speaks of His death (John 19:39).
(Mat 2:12 NASB) And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way.
(Mat 2:13 NASB) Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.”
(Mat 2:14 NASB) And he arose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed for Egypt;
Mat 2:14: Notice Joseph’s immediate obedience.
(Mat 2:15 NASB) and was there until the death of Herod, that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “OUT OF EGYPT DID I CALL MY SON.”
Mat 2:15: This is another fulfilled prophecy pointed out by Matthew (Hosea 11:1)
(Mat 2:16 NASB) Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its environs, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the magi.
Mat 2:16: This was probably Herod’s plan. (Part supposition, part fact) He thought back to what the wise men told him (v.7). They told him that they first saw the star about a year ago. Herod said to kill all males 2 yrs & younger. (Historically, it is written that they dashed heads against trees) He told his soldiers to kill for a 10-mile radius around Jerusalem. This would cover Bethlehem and a little town called Ramah.
(Mat 2:17 NASB) Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying,
(Mat 2:18 NASB) “A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE.”
Mat 2:18: More prophecy fulfilled (Jer. 31:15).
(Mat 2:19 NASB) But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying,
(Mat 2:20 NASB) “Arise and take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.”
Mat 2:20: Elohim wanted his Son raised in Israel.
(Mat 2:21 NASB) And he arose and took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
(Mat 2:22 NASB) 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 by God in a dream, he departed for the regions of Galilee,
Mat 2:22: Archelaus was apparently another lunatic like Herod. “Archelaus” (4 B.C.-A.D. 6) inherited Judea, Idumea, and Samaria. Augustus made him ethnarch, a title with less prestige than that of “king.” He pursued the building of public works but was a repressive ruler. Early in his reign a riot broke out in Jerusalem during Passover. Three thousand people were killed by his soldiers, a fact which explains why Elohim told Joseph to migrate to Galilee. After a deputation of the aristocracy from Judea and Samaria visited Rome to protest his rule, he was deposed and banished.
(Mat 2:23 NASB) and came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Mat 2:23: The term “Nazareth” is likely a reference to who’s having taken the Nazarite vow. This was prophesied in Judges 13:5. Yeshua took the Nazarite vow at His past Passover.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas