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Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt

MT2:13 After the magi had withdrawn, look! an angel of YHWH appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying: “Get up and take along the young child and its mother. Flee into Egypt![1] Remain there until I speak to you again. For Herod is about to seek the young child to destroy it.” MT2:14 So Joseph took along the young child and its mother and withdrew by night into Egypt. MT2:15 They remained there until the decease of Herod so that the word of YHWH by the prophet [Hosea] might be fulfilled, which says, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”[2]

[1] Egypt: There was a large Jewish community in Alexandria Egypt with its magnificent library and Hebrew shivas. This was a long journey by the classic trade route. Over fifteen centuries before the nation of Israel escaped out of Egypt and now its future King does the same.

[2] My Son: The Son of Yahweh as at Psalm 2:1-6. Hosea 11:1 (“When Israel was a boy, then I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.”) is not a prophecy in the strictest since the context shows the prophet speaks of Israel as a “young man.” In Israel’s youth, the new nation was called out of Egypt. The whole experience was something of a parable which pointed to another “Son” who would go into Egypt and then be called back out. Matthew borrows the phrasing and applies it to young Jesus. Clearly the Son is not the same as Yahweh the one calling. The quote is from the Hebrew text and not the Septuagint, for the Greek reads: “… out of Egypt have I called (Israel’s) children.” One of those later children proved to be also Jesus.

Pieter Bruegel de Oude (1525–1569), Kindermoord te Bethlehem, olieverf op doek (111×160 cm) — 1566-1567. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wenen – Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569), Infanticide in Bethlehem, oil on canvas (111 × 160 cm) – 1566 to 1567. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Text of the Gospel of Matthew in the 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM] or Nazarene Commentary 2000©. This rendering by Mark Heber Miller may be considered a literal version with limited paraphrase.


Preceding articles:

  1. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  2. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  3. Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth
  4. Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest
  5. Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief
  6. Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant
  7. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God
  8. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John
  9. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  10. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  11. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  12. Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ
  13. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  14. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night
  15. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
  16. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God
  17. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning
  18. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  19. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  20. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

Upcoming article:



  • The depiction of Mary in Western art (
    The first images that I showed were of the Virgin Mary, sculptures from the 12th and 13th centuries.  I mentioned that it was only in the 12th century that images of Christ and Mary began to appear often in Western art. From this time on, they would be the dominant religious images in the Christian world, one male and the other female. The 12th-century images that I showed  began with a hieratic Mary, a mother who held a child in her lap, with whom there was no personal contact, no intimacy.  This changed in 13th-century images. There is interplay between the Virgin and infant Jesus, playful contact between a mother and her child.  I then turned from preliminary medieval images of Mary to scenes of the Nativity from the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Massacre of the Innocents (
    The Gospel of Matthews narrates the horrific Biblical account of the killing of infants by the then Roman appointed Jewish king of Israel, Herod, at the time of the birth of Jesus. As it turns out, a prophecy in the Old Testament, made by Jeremiah the prophet, spoke of the birth of a new king of Jews (Hazrat Isa A.S.), ‘who would be born on the night that a star comes out of Jacob’. When Jewish astrologers of the time, the Magi, informed Herod of the coming of this event, he ordered that every child under the age of two be killed in and around the town of Bethlehem. Herod had hoped that this Massacre of the Innocents would achieve two goals: 1) it would preserve the future reign of Herod’s progeny, and 2) it would wipe out the existence, message, and purpose of the promised Messiah. Herod failed in achieving both these objectives. Per the Divine Will, just before the Massacre of Innocents started, Joseph and Mary (Hazrat Maryam A.S.) took the child, and escaped to Egypt. And thus the prophet and his mission were preserved, only to return to Israel ten years later and proclaim the truth of God.
    Two thousand years later, five thousand kilometers away from the towns of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, in the Army Public School, Peshawar, another Massacre of the Innocents took place on Tuesday.
  • The Nativity According to Matthew (
    It is also not clear just what the Star of Bethlehem actually was. There have been several theories presented, but none of them are entirely satisfactory. The star might have been a supernova, perhaps in a nearby galaxy. There is no way to know for certain since any supernova remnant so far away would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to detect. It might also have been a comet. This is rather unlikely. Although a comet would behave much as the star is said to behave, hanging in the sky over a certain location for several nights, comets were universally perceived as being harbingers of disaster in ancient, and not so ancient, times. The most likely explanation is a conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn. The astronomer Keppler discovered that there was indeed such a conjunction in the year 7 BC. The following year there was another conjunction of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. This might have been very impressive to the Magi. It may also be that the Star was a supernatural phenomenon and one that cannot be studied today.
  • Prophecy in Israel and the Ancient Near East (
    Is prophetism in ancient Israel simply one form of ancient Near Eastern prophecy among many? Is it distinct from other forms of ANE prophecy? If so, how? In his newly published Interpreting the Prophetic Books: An Exegetical Handbook, Gary V. Smith notes some similarities, but also some key differences between biblical and ANE prophecy. He also explains the frustration the true prophets of God felt when people disregarded their messages for the messages of the false prophets:
  • Why Mary and her Immaculate Conception matter (
    Scripture tells of no supernatural feats by the Blessed Virgin, who lived simply as a mother and a spouse, caring for her Son, and accompanying Him in life and death.
  • Being Spiritually Grounded (
    I want it to be known that lasting healing comes from God (YHWH), it is a gift to the believer paid for by the stripes on Yahushah’s back. (Isa. 53:5)
  • Jesus… the Ubermensch? (
    I made a pretty bold claim that I believe Jesus of Nazareth is the best possible candidate to rightfully hold the title “Ubermensch.”
    we must understand the assumption that Jesus believed in the Hebrew, monotheistic God (Yahweh, or, in Hebrew, YHWH). A monotheistic God is a divine, maximally great being, that is a single entity, and has the power to interact in the world. Jesus was not a polytheist (belief in multiple gods), a pantheist (belief that everything is part of an impersonal god), or an atheist (belief in no gods). I shall write from the assumption that a monotheistic God (YHWH) exists, because one cannot truly understand Jesus without this first assumption.
  • Prophecy Fulfilled: Flight Into Egypt (
    Herod instructed the wise men to return to him and let him know where Jesus was, so that he might “come and worship Him also.”  Herod had nodesire to worship Him.  Hisdesire was to destroy Him.  However, the wise men were warned by God in a dream to return home another way,rather than returning to Herod.  And God intervened also to warn Joseph.  The account of the family’s departure and returnis filled with prophecies fulfilled:Prophecy:

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

  • Jerry Hwang on The Missio Dei in the Book of the Twelve (
    Recent OT scholarship has increasingly recognised that the Minor Prophets were compiled by Hebrew scribes to be read as a cohesive anthology. While acknowledging that each book of the Minor Prophets exhibits a distinctive individuality, scholars continue to debate how to interpret the collection as a coherent whole. In this vein, I propose that the major themes of the Minor Prophets – land, kingship, the move from judgement to salvation, and the relationship of Israel to the nations – fine a unifying link in the missio Dei. The plan of God to redeem his entire creation is progressively unfolded in the Minor Prophets, in that the apostasy of God’s people in God’s land (Hosea; Joel) is but the first step in a history of redemption which culminates with the recognition by all nations that YHWH alone is worthy
  • Hosea Say What? (
    It looks like Matthew is connecting the prophetic dots by the slimmest of connections.
    Those who suggest Matthew is playing free association with Biblical prophecy–“Jesus came out of Egypt; here’s something in the prophets about coming out of Egypt; let’s put these two things together”–haven’t looked closely at how Matthew uses the Old Testament in his Gospel. More than any gospel writer, Matthew goes to great lengths to show that Jesus’ birth, life, and death, are rooted firmly in the Old Testament. Jesus was born of a virgin (fulfilling Isaiah 7:14). He was born in Bethlehem (fulfilling Micah 5:1-2). He was sought out to be killed by Herod (fulfilling Jeremiah 31:15). He was preceded by John preparing the way (fulfilling Isaiah 40:3). He healed diseases (fulfilling Isaiah 53:4). He spoke through parables (fulfilling Psalm 78:2). He came to Jerusalem riding on a donkey (fulfilling Zechariah 9:9). Matthew is very deliberate with his use of the Old Testament. So his citing of Hosea 11 must be more than just a loosey-goosey connection with the word Egypt.

Comments on: "Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt" (1)

  1. […] Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt […]


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