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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Matthew 2

Verses 1-12

Predestination: The Birth of Jesus, the Messiah, the God-Man, and King Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is generally recognized as a passage of Scripture that reveals the person of Jesus Christ as the Jewish Messiah. [243] More specifically, Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 emphasizes the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ was predestined to be the Messiah. [244] This passage of Scripture contains three testimonies from the Old Testament Scriptures that focus upon the three primary aspects of the fulfillment of the Messiah: His human nature (Matthew 1:1-17), His divine (Matthew 1:18-25), and His royalty (Matthew 2:1-12). These three testimonies bear witness to the fact that the Messiah would come from the seed of Abraham and royal lineage of David (Matthew 1:1-17), born of a virgin birth with divine nature (Matthew 1:18-25), and inherit the Davidic kingship as the everlasting King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Matthew 2:1-12). (1) The Messiah as the Seed of Abraham and Royal Lineage of David - Matthew 1:1-17 records the testimony of Old Testament Scripture revealing how Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Messiah as the seed of Abraham who descended from the royal lineage of Davidic kingship. The genealogy of Jesus’ birth reveals that He has been predestined to fulfill the divine Messianic promises given to Abraham and David, who were given the two primary Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah. These two sets of prophecies were understood by the first century Jews as a reference to the Messiah. (2) The Messiah’s Virgin Birth and Divine Nature - Matthew 1:18-25 is the testimony of Jesus being born of a virgin as prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. His divine conception reveals the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14, stating that He will be born of a virgin. (3) The Messiah’s Davidic Kingship - Matthew 2:1-12 is the testimony of the fact that the Messiah would be born in the city of Bethlehem as prophesied in Micah 5:2 and He would rule over God’s people. His birth (Matthew 2:1-12) reveals the fulfillment the prophecy of being born in Bethlehem. These prophecies that were fulfilled at His birth confirm that Jesus Christ was predestined to be the Messiah and King. Matthew is careful to quote each of the prophecies that were fulfilled at His birth. These three stories all testify of His Messiahship because of the manner of His birth. In summary, Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 testifies that the Messiah was predestined to be born of the seed of Abraham and David as the Son of God and reign eternally as King of Kings.

[243] Albright and Mann say, “In the first section Matthew’s purpose is to demonstrate who Jesus is: the Messiah, God’s anointed representative, the expected King.” See Albright , W. F., and C. S. Mann . Matthew. In Anchor Bible Commentary, vol. 26. (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971; reprint, 1987), 5.

[244] R. T. France picks up on this theme of predestination on the opening chapters of Matthew’s Gospel, saying, “Using a number of different but related approaches, he will weave in 1:1 4:11 a rich tapestry of scenes and reflections which together help the reader to appreciate how in the coming of Jesus of Nazareth all God’s purposes for his people, declared and illustrated throughout the writings of the OT and the history of Israel, are coming to their destined fulfillment.” See R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007), 25.

Matthew could have chosen other important events in Jesus’ birth, as we find in the Gospel of Luke. However, Matthew’s Gospel places emphasis upon three witnesses from the Old Testament Scriptures that proved Jesus Christ was the coming Messiah, the Son of God, and the King of the Jews. Therefore, Matthew quotes from the Old Testament in the second and third stories, while the genealogy itself serves as an Old Testament witness. Matthew inserts the following fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures within their respective sections:

Matthew 1:22-23, “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Matthew 2:5-6, “And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.”

Literary Evidence for the Theme of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 - The literary evidence of the theme of predestination in Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is seen in the fact that the Greek word Χριστο ́ ς (Christ), which is the equivalent to the Old Testament Hebrew word ( משׁיח ) (Messiah), is used five times within this passage (Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:16-18; Matthew 2:4), while appearing only eleven other times in Matthew’s Gospel outside of this opening passage (Matthew 11:2; Matthew 16:16; Matthew 16:20; Matthew 22:42, Matthew 23:10; Matthew 24:5; Matthew 24:23; Matthew 26:63; Matthew 26:68; Matthew 27:17; Matthew 27:22). The other Matthean uses of Χριστο ́ ς are found primarily after Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi when he declared that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Additional literary evidence is seen in the other titles given to Jesus in this opening passage, such as “the son of David, the son of Abraham, Immanuel, King of the Jews,” which bear witness to the motif of the revelation of the Messiah as fully God and fully man and as the King of kings. [245]

[245] R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007), 25.

Literary Evidence for the Structure of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 - The literary evidence of a three-fold division in Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is seen in the fact that a statement about Jesus’ birth begins each of these three sections (Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:18; Matthew 2:1) showing that this passage of Scripture emphasizes the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures concerning Christ’s prophetic birth. In addition, the second and third sections contain the well-recognized Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ . [246]

[246] R. T. France believes Matthew 1:18 to 2:23 is structured around the Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ , saying, “Sometimes the appeal to Scripture is overt, as in the five quotations which form the structural basis of 1:18 2:23…” See R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007), 25.

Central Theological Application of the Text The central theological application of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 reveals that God has created, designed, and predestined everyone for a purpose, to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit as children of God, and to rule and reign with Christ Jesus. Within the context of the Gospel of Matthew, every believer has been born, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and delegated the authority of the name of Jesus in order to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), working together in discipling the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Outline - Here is a summary of the three testimonies of Jesus’ birth that reveals His humanity, His deity, and His royalty (Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12):

1. O.T. Fulfillment of Lineage (Seed of Patriarchs) Matthew 1:1-17

a) Israel Under the Prophets - Abraham to David Matthew 1:1-6

b) Israel Under the Kings - David to Captivity Matthew 1:6-11

c) Israel Under the Priests - Captivity to Jesus Matthew 1:12-17

2. O.T. Fulfillment of Conception (Born of a Virgin) Matthew 1:18-25

Verses 1-12

Predestination: The Birth of Jesus, the Messiah, the God-Man, and King Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is generally recognized as a passage of Scripture that reveals the person of Jesus Christ as the Jewish Messiah. [243] More specifically, Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 emphasizes the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ was predestined to be the Messiah. [244] This passage of Scripture contains three testimonies from the Old Testament Scriptures that focus upon the three primary aspects of the fulfillment of the Messiah: His human nature (Matthew 1:1-17), His divine (Matthew 1:18-25), and His royalty (Matthew 2:1-12). These three testimonies bear witness to the fact that the Messiah would come from the seed of Abraham and royal lineage of David (Matthew 1:1-17), born of a virgin birth with divine nature (Matthew 1:18-25), and inherit the Davidic kingship as the everlasting King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Matthew 2:1-12). (1) The Messiah as the Seed of Abraham and Royal Lineage of David - Matthew 1:1-17 records the testimony of Old Testament Scripture revealing how Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Messiah as the seed of Abraham who descended from the royal lineage of Davidic kingship. The genealogy of Jesus’ birth reveals that He has been predestined to fulfill the divine Messianic promises given to Abraham and David, who were given the two primary Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah. These two sets of prophecies were understood by the first century Jews as a reference to the Messiah. (2) The Messiah’s Virgin Birth and Divine Nature - Matthew 1:18-25 is the testimony of Jesus being born of a virgin as prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. His divine conception reveals the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14, stating that He will be born of a virgin. (3) The Messiah’s Davidic Kingship - Matthew 2:1-12 is the testimony of the fact that the Messiah would be born in the city of Bethlehem as prophesied in Micah 5:2 and He would rule over God’s people. His birth (Matthew 2:1-12) reveals the fulfillment the prophecy of being born in Bethlehem. These prophecies that were fulfilled at His birth confirm that Jesus Christ was predestined to be the Messiah and King. Matthew is careful to quote each of the prophecies that were fulfilled at His birth. These three stories all testify of His Messiahship because of the manner of His birth. In summary, Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 testifies that the Messiah was predestined to be born of the seed of Abraham and David as the Son of God and reign eternally as King of Kings.

[243] Albright and Mann say, “In the first section Matthew’s purpose is to demonstrate who Jesus is: the Messiah, God’s anointed representative, the expected King.” See Albright , W. F., and C. S. Mann . Matthew. In Anchor Bible Commentary, vol. 26. (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971; reprint, 1987), 5.

[244] R. T. France picks up on this theme of predestination on the opening chapters of Matthew’s Gospel, saying, “Using a number of different but related approaches, he will weave in 1:1 4:11 a rich tapestry of scenes and reflections which together help the reader to appreciate how in the coming of Jesus of Nazareth all God’s purposes for his people, declared and illustrated throughout the writings of the OT and the history of Israel, are coming to their destined fulfillment.” See R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007), 25.

Matthew could have chosen other important events in Jesus’ birth, as we find in the Gospel of Luke. However, Matthew’s Gospel places emphasis upon three witnesses from the Old Testament Scriptures that proved Jesus Christ was the coming Messiah, the Son of God, and the King of the Jews. Therefore, Matthew quotes from the Old Testament in the second and third stories, while the genealogy itself serves as an Old Testament witness. Matthew inserts the following fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures within their respective sections:

Matthew 1:22-23, “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Matthew 2:5-6, “And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.”

Literary Evidence for the Theme of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 - The literary evidence of the theme of predestination in Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is seen in the fact that the Greek word Χριστο ́ ς (Christ), which is the equivalent to the Old Testament Hebrew word ( משׁיח ) (Messiah), is used five times within this passage (Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:16-18; Matthew 2:4), while appearing only eleven other times in Matthew’s Gospel outside of this opening passage (Matthew 11:2; Matthew 16:16; Matthew 16:20; Matthew 22:42, Matthew 23:10; Matthew 24:5; Matthew 24:23; Matthew 26:63; Matthew 26:68; Matthew 27:17; Matthew 27:22). The other Matthean uses of Χριστο ́ ς are found primarily after Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi when he declared that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Additional literary evidence is seen in the other titles given to Jesus in this opening passage, such as “the son of David, the son of Abraham, Immanuel, King of the Jews,” which bear witness to the motif of the revelation of the Messiah as fully God and fully man and as the King of kings. [245]

[245] R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007), 25.

Literary Evidence for the Structure of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 - The literary evidence of a three-fold division in Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is seen in the fact that a statement about Jesus’ birth begins each of these three sections (Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:18; Matthew 2:1) showing that this passage of Scripture emphasizes the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures concerning Christ’s prophetic birth. In addition, the second and third sections contain the well-recognized Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ . [246]

[246] R. T. France believes Matthew 1:18 to 2:23 is structured around the Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ , saying, “Sometimes the appeal to Scripture is overt, as in the five quotations which form the structural basis of 1:18 2:23…” See R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007), 25.

Central Theological Application of the Text The central theological application of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 reveals that God has created, designed, and predestined everyone for a purpose, to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit as children of God, and to rule and reign with Christ Jesus. Within the context of the Gospel of Matthew, every believer has been born, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and delegated the authority of the name of Jesus in order to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), working together in discipling the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Outline - Here is a summary of the three testimonies of Jesus’ birth that reveals His humanity, His deity, and His royalty (Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12):

1. O.T. Fulfillment of Lineage (Seed of Patriarchs) Matthew 1:1-17

a) Israel Under the Prophets - Abraham to David Matthew 1:1-6

b) Israel Under the Kings - David to Captivity Matthew 1:6-11

c) Israel Under the Priests - Captivity to Jesus Matthew 1:12-17

2. O.T. Fulfillment of Conception (Born of a Virgin) Matthew 1:18-25

Verses 1-23

The King’s Arrival: The Messiah’s Birth and Childhood Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 records the account of Jesus’ birth and childhood, introducing the King, as is proper protocol for royalty. Matthew uses this narrative section to prove by six witnesses from the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ has been predestined as a descendent of Abraham and David to hold the Scriptural right to claim the Messiahship and the legal right to claim His Kingship by the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures. Matthew used this method because the Jews understood that an issue is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Three witnesses to Jesus’ birth and three witnesses to His childhood were enough for any Jew to accept Him as their Messiah. The emphasis in this passage is upon the fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture regarding the birth and childhood of a King before His public appearance when He was baptized in the Jordon River by John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke also gives a parallel account of Jesus’ birth and childhood, but with an emphasis upon prophecy. While Matthew emphasizes the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures in his account bearing witness to the coming of the Messiah as the King of the Jews, Luke’s account emphasizes the eye-witness testimonies and prophecies that took place, which identify Him as the Saviour of the World.

Matthew uses this section to prove by six witnesses from the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ holds the legal right as King of the Jews because of His descendent from the lineage of David and He holds the right to claim the Messiahship by the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, which office Jesus takes in the next section. Matthew uses this method because the Jews understood that an issue is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Three witnesses to Jesus’ birth and three witnesses to His childhood were enough for any Jew to accept Him as their Messiah.

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

A. Predestination: O.T. Fulfillment of Messiah’s Birth Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12

1. O.T. Fulfillment of Lineage (Seed of Patriarchs) Matthew 1:1-17

a) Israel Under the Prophets - Abraham to David Matthew 1:1-6

b) Israel Under the Kings - David to Captivity Matthew 1:6-11

c) Israel Under the Priests - Captivity to Jesus Matthew 1:12-17

2. O.T. Fulfillment of Conception (Born of a Virgin) Matthew 1:18-25

3. O.T. Fulfillment of Birth (Visit of the Wise Men) Matthew 2:1-12

B. Calling: O.T. Fulfillment of Messiah’s Childhood Matthew 2:13-23

1. O.T. Fulfillment of Calling from Egypt Matthew 2:13-15

2. O.T. Fulfillment of Herod Massacres the Children Matthew 2:16-18

3. O.T. Fulfillment of Calling as a Nazarite Matthew 2:19-23

The Hidden Identity of Jesus’ Birth and Childhood - One important point that becomes apparent as we read Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 is that God hid the identity of Jesus Christ during His birth and childhood from the Jews. Otherwise, they would have either exalted Him into an earthly position, or as Herod, some would have killed Him. However, God did reveal Him to the wise men from the East, who were Gentiles; because they simply came to worship Him as the Messiah who had fulfilled divine prophecy; and He revealed Him to the shepherds in the field near the baby’s manger.

The Perils Surrounding Jesus’ Birth and Childhood - Another important point is seen in the humble birth of the Saviour and the perils that Joseph and Mary faced at the time of his birth. The birth of a firstborn child should be a wonder event in the life of a young couple. Yet, we find Joseph struggling with the fact that this was not actually his son, not fully understanding how this event was taking place. Mary had to ride a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem when she was nine months pregnant because of the fear and compulsion of the Roman government imposing a census upon the Jews. She gave birth to a child in a dirty stable far from family, humbled by such dire circumstances. King Herod began to search for the child to kill him while Joseph and Mary and baby Jesus were taking the difficult journey to Egypt through the harsh desert environment. We realize that Jesus entered this world vulnerable to the conditions created by depraved humanity. He was not isolated from the hardships that we have to endure. Thus, we find the phrase “young child” being used nine times in Matthew 2:1-23, as it describes a vulnerable infant struggling in a world of sin that He had come to redeem. It is interesting to note that God allowed Jesus to reach the age of around two years old before Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt, a feat that could have easily proved deadly for a newborn child. In His divine providence, God allowed His Son enough time to grow in enough measure of physical strength before taking this difficult journey into Egypt as such a young age.

Comparison of the Narrative of Jesus’ Birth and Childhood to the New Testament Apocrypha - There do exist some ancient writings within the New Testament Apocrypha that offer parallel narratives to Matthew’s story of Jesus’ birth and childhood. Such ancient, noncanonical writings as Protevangelium of James, The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, The History of Joseph the Carpenter, The Gospel of Thomas, and The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Saviour bear witness to events of Jesus’ birth and childhood found within the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. [240]

[240] The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 8, trans. Alexander Walker (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1916), 361-415.

The Accuracy of Jewish History - Although the Greeks and Romans carried a long history of ancient legend and mythology, the Jews were much too strict to allow such false stories to invade their culture. Thus, the story of Jesus’ birth and childhood would not have become widespread among the Jews unless it had been an accurate account of their history. The Jews refused to allow the stories of Greek and Roman gods and mortals to intermingled into the strict training of their children regarding their Jewish heritage. Such ancient myths would have been considered blasphemous by the Jews. A Jewish mind would have never allowed the story of how the Holy Spirit came upon the virgin Mary and caused her to conceive the Messiah unless there was overwhelming proof of such a miraculous event.

Jesus’ Childhood Years Are Not Recorded in Scripture Because they were not Necessary for Man’s Redemption - As chapter two of Matthew’s Gospel ends and chapter three begins, we jump ahead in time at least twenty-five years. We know very little about Jesus’ childhood until He was called into the ministry and baptized by John the Baptist. Although a few passages in Matthew and Luke’s Gospels record some events about Jesus’ birth and infancy, Luke 2:41-52 is the only passage in the Gospels that records the childhood of Jesus Christ until His calling into the ministry.

In his book Heaven: Close Encounters of the God Kind Jesse Duplantis was asking Paul the apostle some questions about his personal life. Paul then explained that not much in known about his personal life outside of his ministry because it would not help anybody. Paul explained that in the same way, very little is known about Jesus’ personal life before His ministry. What ever happened is not relevant to our lives or it would have been written down. He said that it is His work that we need to know about. Even others who have given their lives to the Lord have very little written about their personal lives. This is because it is no longer they that live, but Christ that lives within them. [241]

[241] Jesse Duplantis, Heaven Close Endounters of the God Kind (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, 1996), 158-9.

How God the Father Prepared Jesus Christ for His Public Ministry - Billye Brim was teaching in the early childhood of Jesus Christ as a guest on the Kenneth Copeland Ministries television Believer’s Voice of Victory. [242] She said that a woman by the name of Clara Grace, who was a prophetess, received a vision from the Lord. In this vision, she saw the Lord Jesus Christ as a young man building his last piece of furniture before entering into the ministry. As He finished His work that day and turned to put up His tools, He looked at Clara Grace. She was then brought within Jesus Christ and received insight into the eighteen silent years of Jesus’ life from the age of twelve until He was baptized by John in the river Jordan. In this vision, Jesus Christ told her that He never laid his head to rest without first meditating about who He was and what He was in God’s divine plan. Billye Brim refers to Deuteronomy 6:7 where it tells us to speak and meditate on God’s Word when we lay down and when we awake as an example of how Jesus did the same.

[242] Billye Brim, interviewed by Gloria Copeland, Believer’s Voice of Victory (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program, 22 May 2003.

Deuteronomy 6:7, “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down , and when thou risest up.”

Billy Brim makes the point that the statement made by Jesus Christ in John 8:28 includes the teachings that the Father taught Him before He entered into the ministry as well as what the Father taught Him during His three-year ministry.

John 8:28, “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things .”

She gives other Scriptures that refer to the fact that the Father taught Jesus how to walk daily and to prepare for the ministry. She says that the passage in Psalms 119:97-102 is Messianic because He is the only one who ever refrained His feet from every evil way (Psalms 119:101). In this passage the Psalmist says, “For thou hast taught me.”

Psalms 119:97-102, “MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me .”

The Lord would wake Jesus day by day and reveal to Him His plan for that day and season. This revelation would give Jesus Christ the tongue of the learned to speak a word to him who was weary.

Isaiah 50:4-5, “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned . The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.”

This plan required obedience to His Heavenly Father, even when it included persecutions and death on the Cross.

Isaiah 50:6-7, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”

To this plan the Lord was not rebellious (Isaiah 50:5). This is how Jesus Christ learned to wait on the Heavenly Father and hear from Him. Jesus laid down to sleep meditating on the Word of God and how He fit into God’s plan. Jesus awoke with God speaking to Him about His plan for Him that day.

The Names of Jesus in the Passages on Jesus’ Birth and Childhood - Jesus is given three titles in the first chapter of Matthew, which refer to His office as a Messiah who would deliver His people: Saviour, Christ, Emmanuel. We are also given two names of Jesus that refer to Him as our King: King of the Jews, a Governor.

1. Saviour (Matthew 1:21)

2. Christ (the Anointed One) (Matthew 1:16)

3. Emmanuel (God with us) (Matthew 1:23)

4. Jesus (Matthew 1:25)

5. King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2)

6. a Governor (Matthew 2:6)

7. My Son (Matthew 2:15)

8. a Nazarene (Matthew 2:23)

Verses 13-23

Calling: The Infancy and Childhood of Jesus the King The narrative material in Matthew 2:13-23 is unique to the Gospel of Matthew as it records Joseph’s flight into Egypt and return to Nazareth. While Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 places emphasis upon the predestined nature of Jesus Christ through the testimony of Scripture, Matthew 2:13-23 emphasizes His divine. Scholars generally view this passage of Scripture as a single unit because of its common theme of the infancy and childhood of Jesus Christ. With God’s intervention in the affairs of Joseph and his family, Grant Osborne says one of the central ideas of this passage is “divine sovereignty in salvation history,” [328] and David Turner mentions “the sovereignty of God” in his comments on Matthew 2:15 b and “divine providence” in his comments on Matthew 2:16-18, [329] while Donald Hagner refers to “divine providence” in this passage of Scripture. [330] Closer to the concept of divine calling, Charles Erdman uses the phrase “divine guidance,” [331] and Bernhard Weiss uses the phrase “divine command” [332] regarding this passage. Willoughby Allen captures the concept of divine calling well by saying, “Just as of old the Israelite nation, Jehovah's firstborn (Ex 412), had been called out of Egypt to be the chosen people ; so Jesus the Son of God by supernatural conception was called out of Egypt to save His people.” [333] While the concepts of divine sovereignty, providence, and guidance are more easily recognized and commonly expressed by commentators regarding this passage, more specifically, Matthew 2:13-23 records three occasions in which God intervenes as He spoke to Joseph in a dream and “called” him to relocate his family into Egypt because of Herod’s wrath and back to Nazareth. Thus, the concept of “divine calling” is more easily recognized as divine sovereignty, intervention, or providence.

[328] Grant R. Osborne, Matthew, in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 94.

[329] David L. Turner, Matthew, in Baker Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 90, 92.

[330] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol. 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, (Dallas: Word Inc., 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 3.0b [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2004), 34-35.

[331] Charles Erdman says, “Two facts, however, are emphasized by the writer: the story, like that of the Magi, is one of divine guidance, and, secondly, all its incidents are declared to be in fulfillment of inspired prophecy.” He then says, “Thus by means of his own choosing God is ever guiding those who are devoted to the interests of his Son.” He again says, “Yet his [Jesus] dwelling there [Nazareth] was due to divine guidance.” See Charles R. Erdman, The Gospel of Matthew An Exposition (Philadelphia: PA: The Westminster Press, 1920), 31-32.

[332] Bernhard Weiss, A Commentary on the New Testament, vol. 1, trans. George H. Schodde and Epiphanius Wilson (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1906), 12.

[333] Willoughby C. Allen, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew, in The International Critical Commentary, eds. Charles Augustus Briggs and Samuel Rolles Driver (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1907), 18.

The Literary Evidence of the Theme of Matthew 2:13-23 - The literary evidence of the theme of divine calling in Matthew 2:13-23 is seen in the use of the same Greek word καλέω used in Romans 8:30 that is also used in Matthew 2:15 in a similar sense, “Out of Egypt have I called my son,” and in Matthew 2:25, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” Therefore, Matthew 2:15 interprets this divine intervention in the life of Joseph and his family as a divine “calling.”

Romans 8:30, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

During these three callings in which God spoke to Joseph (Matthew 2:13; Matthew 2:19-20; Matthew 2:22), Matthew records the fulfillment of three Old Testament prophecies as a further testimony of His calling as the Messiah: (1) Joseph’s flight into Egypt in Matthew 2:13-15 is in fulfillment of Hosea 11:1; (2) Herod’s massacre of the Jewish children in Matthew 2:16-18 fulfills Jeremiah 13:11; and (3) Joseph’s return to the city of Nazareth where Jesus was raised (Matthew 2:19-23) testifying of the fulfillment of Scripture that He would be called a Nazarene, the exact reference being uncertain. Scholars recognize that these three sections (Matthew 2:13-15, Matthew 2:16-18, Matthew 2:19-23) are clearly divided by the fact that each unit ends with an Old Testament quotation. [334] Matthew inserts the following fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures within their respective sections:

[334] David Turner says, “Though the analysis here divides the rest of the chapter into three sections (13-15, 16-18, 19-23) coinciding with three formula quotations, Matthew 2:13-23 as a whole should be viewed as a unit containing the withdrawal and return of the Messiah.” See David L. Turner, Matthew, in Baker Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 88; R. T. France believes Matthew 1:18 to 2:23 is structured around the Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ , saying, “Sometimes the appeal to Scripture is overt, as in the five quotations which form the structural basis of 1:18 2:23…” See R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007), 25.

Matthew 2:15, “And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

Matthew 2:17-18, “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”

Matthew 2:23, “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”

The Literary Evidence of the Structure of Matthew 2:13-23 - The literary evidence that supports the divisions within Matthew 2:13-23 is the fact that the three sections (Matthew 2:13-15; Matthew 2:16-18; Matthew 2:19-23) begin with participial clauses, with 13-15 and 19-23 also beginning with the Greek genitive absolute construction. These three prophecies that were fulfilled during His childhood confirm God’s divine calling of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and King. Matthew is careful to quote each of the three prophecies that were fulfilled during His infancy and childhood. The rest of Matthew’s Gospel (chapters 3-28) deals with the fulfillment of specific Old Testament prophecies regarding His earthly ministry, His passion, and resurrection.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. O.T. Fulfillment of Calling from Egypt Matthew 2:13-15

2. O.T. Fulfillment of Herod Massacres the Children Matthew 2:16-18

3. O.T. Fulfillment of Calling as a Nazarite Matthew 2:19-23

Comparison of Narrative Material Regarding Jesus’ Childhood in Luke and Matthew - Luke 2:39-40 tells us how Jesus and His family returned to Nazareth after His birth. However, we must be able to reconcile this account with that of Matthew 2:13-15, which describes Joseph’s flight to Egypt until the death of King Herod before returning to Nazareth. Apparently, the family did not go immediately to Nazareth, but first fled to Egypt and later made their way to Nazareth. We know from Luke 2:22 that His parents stayed in the area of Bethlehem at least one month, during which time they dedicated baby Jesus in the Temple. We do not know precisely the time of the visit of the wise men from the East, but it was within the first two years of Jesus’ birth. A popular way to harmonize the Gospel narratives on Jesus’ childhood is give the following order of events: Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:1-7), the visit by the shepherds (Luke 2:8-20), Jesus’ dedication in the Temple (Matthew 2:22-23), the visit by the wise men (Matthew 2:1-12), His flight to Egypt and the killing of the children in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:13-18), Jesus’ return to Nazareth (Matthew 2:19-23, Luke 2:39), His childhood in Nazareth (Luke 2:40). [335]

[335] A. T. Robertson, A Harmony of the Gospels for Students of the Life of Christ Based on the Broadus Harmony of the Revised Version (New York: George H. Doran Company, 1922), xiv.

Luke 2:39, “And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.”

Matthew 2:13-15 The Messiah’s Childhood: Calling from Egypt Matthew’s first testimony of how Jesus’ childhood calling fulfilled Old Testament prophecy is recorded in Matthew 2:13-15, where he records the story of Joseph’s flight into Egypt until the death of Herod, and calling back to Israel. This event fulfilled the prophecy of Hosea 11:1 and is quoted in Matthew 2:15.

Hosea 11:1, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”

Matthew 2:15, “And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

We should keep in mind that the underlying emphasis of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 is on the divine foreknowledge of God the Father in effecting His plan of redemption for mankind. Thus, we see the angel of the Lord intervening in Joseph’s life to show him God’s divine providence at work in his life.

Matthew 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

Matthew 2:13 “saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother” - Comments - Notice that it did not say, “Joseph’s child.” The Gospel of Matthew is careful not to imply that Joseph is the biological father.

Matthew 2:13 “and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word” Comments The angel of the Lord brought Joseph word to return to Israel in Matthew 2:19-20, “But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.”

Matthew 2:13 “for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him” Comments The Greek phrase μέλλει ζητεῖν (about to seek) carries a greater note of imminence than the future tense. Some modern English translations bring out this sense of urgency better than the KJV.

ESV, “for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”

NCV, “because Herod is starting to look for the child so he can kill him.”

NRSV, “for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”

Matthew 2:13 Comments Matthew 2:13 serves as a clear illustration of how the Lord guides us in our spiritual journey. My experiences has been that the Lord has always been faithful to speak to me in a supernatural way, usually in a dream, when a major change or decision was coming in my life. Thus, an angel of the Lord warned Joseph of what to do in a dream. I have also learned to continue on the same path of God’s last supernatural instruction until a season of change comes, and the Lord directs me otherwise. Thus, did the angel tell Joseph to stay in Egypt until the Lord instructed him otherwise.

As long as I follow this simple principle, I have found that I am in the Lord’s plan for my life. It is when I make major changes without the Lord’s direction that I am in danger of missing God’s will. It is important to note that the Lord does not speak to us in such strong ways regarding every little issue in our life. It is just when a major change is coming that the Lord is always faithful to instruct us, just as He did with Joseph.

Also, although Mary was a godly person as was Joseph, the Lord will give the head of a household instruction, realizing that those under that household will follow.

Matthew 2:14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

Matthew 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Matthew 2:15 Comments - Comments - The phrase ἵνα πληρωθῇ (that it might be fulfilled) is unique to the Gospel of Matthew, being used nine times (Matthew 1:22; Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:17; Matthew 2:23; Matthew 4:14; Matthew 8:17; Matthew 12:17; Matthew 13:35; Matthew 21:4), with similar phrases being used loosely three times in other places in Matthew (Matthew 13:14; Matthew 26:56; Matthew 27:9). [336] The reason this phrase is unique to the Gospel of Matthew is because the primary theme of this Gospel is the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, which states that Jesus Christ is the coming Messiah, who will reign as King of the Jews. Thus, the Gospel of Matthew continually declares that Jesus Christ fulfills Old Testament Messianic passages.

[336] A tenth Matthean ἵνα πληρωθῇ formula can be found in Matthew 27:35 in the KJV. However, the rules of modern textual criticism require the omission this phrase from the UBS 4 because it is not found in the earliest Greek manuscripts. Thus, only nine ἵνα πληρωθῇ formulae will be considered in this commentary.

Matthew 2:16-18 The Messiah’s Childhood: Herod Massacres the Children Matthew’s second testimony of how Jesus’ childhood calling fulfilled Old Testament prophecy is recorded in Matthew 2:16-18, where he records the story of Herod’s massacre of the Jewish children. This event fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:15 and is quoted in Matthew 2:17-18.

Jeremiah 31:15, “Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.”

Matthew 2:17-18, “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”

Extra-biblical References to Herod’s Massacre of the Jewish Children Donald Hagner believers there is one possible reference to Herod’s massacre of the Jewish children recorded in Matthew 2:16-18. The Roman author Macrobius (A.D. 5 th c.) writes, “When he heard that the boys were in Syria, King Herod ordered the murder of the Jews, within two years of age, his son was killed, said: It is better to be Herod's pig than his son.” ( Saturnalia 2.4.11) [337]

[337] Macrobius, Macrobii Ambrosii Theodosii Opera quae supeersunt, vol. 2, ed. Ludwig von Jan (Quedlinburghi et Lipsiae: Typis ed sumptibus GG. Bassii, 1852), 235.

Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

Matthew 2:16 “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth” - Comments - Having worked for years in a developing nation, where corruption is still an issue, I have seen corrupt and immature leaders and managers make emotional, impulsive decisions like Herod does here. They tend to take no counsel from advisors. These types of decisions are not for the good of the people that these leaders serve, but are based on ego and fear of losing power and control.

Matthew 2:16 Comments - Suetonius (A.D. 70-130), the Roman historian, records a similar event prior to the birth of Octavius Augustus (b. 63 B.C.), the Roman emperor from 31 B.C. to A.D. 14. [338] Perhaps King Herod was familiar enough with this previous event to follow it by killing the children when confronted with a similar situation.

[338] Suetonius writes, “According to Julius Marathus, a few months before Augustus was born a portent was generally observed at Rome, which gave warning that nature was pregnant with a King for the Roman people. Thereupon the Senate in consternation decreed that no male child born that year should be reared. But those whose wives were with child saw to it that the decree was not filed in the treasury, 2 since each one appropriated the prediction to his own family.” (Octavius Augustus). See Suetonius, The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, trans. Joseph Gavorse (New York: The Modern Library, 1931), 108

Matthew 2:17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,

Matthew 2:17 Comments - Comments - The phrase ἵνα πληρωθῇ (that it might be fulfilled) is unique to the Gospel of Matthew, being used nine times (Matthew 1:22; Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:17; Matthew 2:23; Matthew 4:14; Matthew 8:17; Matthew 12:17; Matthew 13:35; Matthew 21:4), with similar phrases being used loosely three times in other places in Matthew (Matthew 13:14; Matthew 26:56; Matthew 27:9). [339] The reason this phrase is unique to the Gospel of Matthew is because the primary theme of this Gospel is the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, which states that Jesus Christ is the coming Messiah, who will reign as King of the Jews. Thus, the Gospel of Matthew continually declares that Jesus Christ fulfills Old Testament Messianic passages.

[339] A tenth Matthean ἵνα πληρωθῇ formula can be found in Matthew 27:35 in the KJV. However, the rules of modern textual criticism require the omission this phrase from the UBS 4 because it is not found in the earliest Greek manuscripts. Thus, only nine ἵνα πληρωθῇ formulae will be considered in this commentary.

Matthew 2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Matthew 2:18 Comments - While praying in October 1987 about where the Lord would have me to go and to minister the name of Jesus, the Lord seemed to quicken this verse about “Rama,” to go to a land where death and destruction, weeping and wailing, prevailed. Little would I realize that in July 1997, ten years later, I would be in Uganda, East Africa, a land where the most awful atrocities to mankind were ever committed during the dictatorships of Idi Amin and Milton Obode, who ruled their nation with an iron fist from the early 60’s until the mid 80’s, after which such atrocities took place in northern Uganda by Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army rebels from the mid 80’s until the late 2000’s.

Matthew 2:19-23 The Messiah’s Childhood: Joseph’s Return to Nazareth Matthew’s third testimony of how Jesus’ childhood calling fulfilled Old Testament prophecy is recorded in Matthew 2:19-23, where he records the story of Joseph’s return from Egypt to the city of Nazareth where Jesus was raised. Matthew 2:23 testifies to the fulfillment of the prophecy that He would be called a Nazarene, the exact Old Testament reference being uncertain.

Matthew 2:23, “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”

We should keep in mind that the underlying emphasis of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 is on the divine foreknowledge of God the Father in effecting His plan of redemption for mankind. Thus, we see the angel of the Lord intervening in Joseph’s life to show him God’s divine providence at work in his life.

Matthew 2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

Matthew 2:19 Comments King Herod ruled over Jewish Palestine from 37-4 B.C. There are no credible records of the age of Jesus at the timeof his death in 4 B.C.

Matthew 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.

Matthew 2:20 Comments The Lord made a similar statement to Moses when telling him to return to Egypt to lead God’s children out of bondage.

Exodus 4:19, “And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.”

Matthew 2:21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

Matthew 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

Matthew 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

Matthew 2:23 “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth” - Comments - Why did he go to Nazareth of Galilee? The Gospel of Luke reveals that this was their former home. So naturally they would have a tendency to return to people whom they knew. Note:

Luke 1:26-27, “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth , To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.”

Luke 2:3-4, “And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth , into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)”

Luke 2:39, “And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth .”

Matthew 2:23 “that it might be fulfilled” - Comments - Comments - The phrase ἵνα πληρωθῇ (that it might be fulfilled) is unique to the Gospel of Matthew, being used nine times (Matthew 1:22; Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:17; Matthew 2:23; Matthew 4:14; Matthew 8:17; Matthew 12:17; Matthew 13:35; Matthew 21:4), with similar phrases being used loosely three times in other places in Matthew (Matthew 13:14; Matthew 26:56; Matthew 27:9). [340] The reason this phrase is unique to the Gospel of Matthew is because the primary theme of this Gospel is the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, which states that Jesus Christ is the coming Messiah, who will reign as King of the Jews. Thus, the Gospel of Matthew continually declares that Jesus Christ fulfills Old Testament Messianic passages.

[340] A tenth Matthean ἵνα πληρωθῇ formula can be found in Matthew 27:35 in the KJV. However, the rules of modern textual criticism require the omission this phrase from the UBS 4 because it is not found in the earliest Greek manuscripts. Thus, only nine ἵνα πληρωθῇ formulae will be considered in this commentary.

Matthew 2:23 “which was spoken by the prophets” Comments - On twelve occasions the Gospel Matthew uses a set of similar “quotation formulas” in reference to the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. On six occasions he identifies the prophet by name (Matthew 2:17; Matthew 3:3; Matthew 4:14; Matthew 8:17; Matthew 12:17; Matthew 27:9); on five occasions Matthew refers to “the prophet” without a proper name (Matthew 1:22; Matthew 2:5; Matthew 2:15; Matthew 13:35; Matthew 21:11); and on one occasion he uses the plural “by the prophets” (Matthew 2:23). Since Matthew 2:23 contains no direct quotation from an Old Testament prophet, nor does this phrase occur “in any pre-Christian extra-biblical writings known to us,” Donald Hagner suggests that Matthew has in mind “a motif common to several prophets.” [341]

[341] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), comments on Matthew 2:23.

Matthew 2:23 “He shall be called a Nazarene” Comments - Because scholars do not clearly identify an Old Testament passage in Matthew 2:23, several possible views have been set forth.

1. A Nazarite - Matthew may have been referring to the Nazarite in Judges 13:5, “…for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb…” The Hebrew word “ naw-zeer ” ( נָזִיר ) (H5139) ( Ναζιραῖον in the LXX in Judges 13:5; Judges 13:7) is similar to the Greek word Ναζωραι ͂ ος “Nazarene” (Matthew 2:23). Hagner notes that although John the Baptist was identified with as a Nazarite (Luke 1:15), Jesus was accused of being “a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners” (Matthew 11:19). [342]

[342] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), comments on Matthew 2:23.

Judges 13:5, “For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”

Judges 13:7, “But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.”

Luke 1:15, “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.”

Matthew 11:19, “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.”

2. The Branch On popular view attempts to associated the Nazarene with the Hebrew word “neser” ( נֵצֶר ) (H5342) in Isaiah 11:1, which refers metaphorically to Jesus as the “Branch” of Jesse. This Hebrew word is similar as well. Isaiah 53:2 repeats the Messianic branch/plant metaphor. Hagner notes that although this Hebrew term “the Branch” is used only once in the Old Testament, it developed into an important motif that became woven in the ancient rabbinical writings. [343]

[343] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), comments on Matthew 2:23.

Isaiah 11:1, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:”

Isaiah 53:2, “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.”

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Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Matthew 2". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/matthew-2.html. 2013.