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Bible Commentaries

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary
Matthew 2

 

 

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Verse 1

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Magi, Greek: oi Magoi.


Verse 2

We have seen his star. They knew it to be his star, either by some prophecy among them, or by divine revelation. This star was some lightsome body in the air, which at last seemed to point to them the very place where the world's Redeemer lay. We know not whether it guided them during the whole course of their journey from the East to Jerusalem. We read nothing more in the gospel, but that it appeared to them in the East, and that they saw it again, upon their leaving Jerusalem to go to Bethlehem. (Witham) --- the wise men, in the Syrian tongue maguseha, are supposed to have come from Stony Arabia, near the Euphrates. They might have preserved in this country the remembrance of the prophecy of Balaam, which had announced the coming of the Messias by the emblem of a star, (Numbers xxiv. 17.) which was to arise from Jacob. The star which appeared then, was the symbol of the star which Balaam had predicted. (Haydock)


Verse 3

fear of losing his kingdom, he being a foreigner, and had obtained the sovereignty by violence. But why was all Jerusalem to be alarmed at the news of a king so long and so ardently expected? 1. Because the people, well acquainted with the cruelty of Herod, feared a more galling slavery. 2. Through apprehension of riots, and of a revolution, which could not be effected without bloodshed, as the Romans had such strong hold. They had also been so worn down with perpetual wars, that the most miserable servitude, with peace, was to the Jews an object rather of envy than deprecation. (Haydock)


Verse 6

And thou Bethlehem, &c. This was a clear prophecy concerning the Messias, foretold by Micheas; (chap. v. 2,) yet the words which we read in the evangelist are not quite the same as we find in the prophet, either according to the Hebrew or to the Greek text of the Sept. The chief difference is, that in the prophet we read: And thou Bethlehem art little; but in the evangelist, thou art not the least. Some answer that the words of the prophet are to be expounded by way of an interrogation, art thou little? It is certain the following words, both in the prophet and in the gospel, out of thee shall come forth a leader or a captain, &c. shew that the meaning is, thou art not little. St. Jerome's observation seems to clear this point: he tells us, that the Jewish priests, who were consulted, gave Herod the sense, and not the very words of the prophet; and the evangelist, as an historian, relates to us the words of these priests to Herod, no the very words of the prophet. (Witham) --- The testimony of the chief priests proves that this text of Micheas was even then generally applied to the Messias, and that to Him alone it must be referred according to the letter. (Haydock)


Verse 11

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Aurum, &c. Pulcherrime, says St. Jerome on this place, Juvencus Munerum Sacramenta comprehendit, Thus, Aurum, Myrrham, Regique, Hominique, Deoque,

Dona ferunt. See St. Ambrose in Luc. lib. ii. chap. ii. St. Gregory hom. x. in Evang. &c.


Verse 14

is very probable that Joseph, with Jesus and his Mother, remained in some part of Egypt, where the Jews were settled, as at Alexandria. That many Jews dwelt in Egypt, particularly from the time of the prophet Jeremias, is evident from Josephus, and also from the first chapter of the second book of Machabees. Mention is also made of them in Acts ii. and Act. iv. under the name of Alexandrines.


Verse 15

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Ex Ægypto vocai filium meum. In the Septuagint Greek: ta tekna autou, filios ejus.


Verse 16

this example, we learn how great credit we owe to the Church in canonizing saints, and celebrating their holydays: by whose only warrant, without any word of Scripture, these holy Innocents have been honoured as martyrs, and their holyday kept ever since the apostles' time, although they died not voluntarily, nor all, perhaps, circumcised, and some even children of pagans. (St. Augustine, ep. 28.; Origen, hom. iii. in diversos.) (Bristow)


Verse 18

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Vox in Excelso audita est. Jeremias xxxi. 15.


Verse 23

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Nazaræus, Greek: nazoraios. St. John Chrysostom, hom. ix. in Matt. p. 66. Ed. Latinæ, Multa ex Propheticis periere monumenta. --- St. Hieron. [St. Jerome] in Matt. pluraliter Prophetas vocans, ostendit se non verba de Scripturis sujpsisse, sed sensum: Nazaræus Sanctus interpretatur, Sanctum autem Dominum futurum, omnis Scriptura commemorat. Possumus et aliter dicere, quod etiam iisdem verbis juxta Hebraicam veritatem in Isaia Scriptum sit. chap. ix. ver. 1. Exiet Virgo de radice Jesse, et Nazaræus de radice ejus conscendet.

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Bibliography Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Matthew 2:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/matthew-2.html. 1859.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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