Matthew 2:19-23 – Out of Egypt to Nazareth
MT2:19 Now when Herod finally deceased, look! an angel of YHWH appeared to Joseph in a dream while in Egypt, MT2:20 saying, “Get up and take along the young child and its mother and be on your way into the land of Israel, for those seeking the soul of the young child have died.” MT2:21 And so Joseph got up and took along the young child and its mother and entered the land of Israel. MT2:22 Joseph became afraid to depart when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea after Herod his father. But, after a divine warning in a dream Joseph finally withdrew into the area of Galilee. MT2:23 Upon arriving Joseph settled in a town called Nazareth so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled that [the young child] would be called a Nazarene. [Isaiah 11:1]
 Archelaus: It means “ruler of the people.” (Jewish Antiquities, by F. Josephus, XVII, 194, 195 [viii, 2]).
 Galilee: The place name occurs 78 times in the Christian Bible and becomes the most productive area of Jesus’ ministry.
 Joseph: It is interesting in this account only Joseph is named and the object of attention, whereas Mary the mother of Jesus is not named.
 Called a Nazarene: There are several opinions on the meaning here. Some wish to parallel the word NAZORAIOS with the Hebrew Nazrite. Most see the meaning of Nazareth as “branch-town” (or, sprout-town) and so it is a play on the words root or branch applied to the Messiah. It is possible the name is from the Hebrew netser, meaning “sprout.” Compare Isaiah 11:1 and elsewhere. The word “Nazarene” becomes part of Jesus’ name. Even after his resurrection, and later appearance to Saul of Tarsus, Jesus identifies himself with the term “Nazarene.” Even the demons called him Nazarene. The early Christians were first called by the opposers “Nazarenes.” See Matthew 26:71; Mark 1:24; 10:47; 14:67; 16:6; Luke 4:34; 18:37; 24:19; John 18:5, 7; 19:19; Acts 2:22; 3:6; 4:10; 6:14; 22:8; 24:5; 26:9. Surely Jesus was, indeed, called a Nazarene.
Mark Heber Miller 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM] or Nazarene Commentary, 2000©
Additional BS notes:
Herod the Great (74/73 BCE – 4 BCE), Roman client king of Judea
Herod born around 74 BCE in Idumea, south of Judea, had been apointed governor of Galilee at 25, and his elder brother, Phasael, governor of Jerusalem, by his father Antipater the Idumaean. He had captured Jerusalem and executed Antigonus. Herod took the role as sole ruler of Judea and the title of basileus (Βασιλεύς, “king”) for himself, ushering in the Herodian Dynasty and ending the Hasmonean Dynasty. He was granted the title of “King of Judea” by the Roman Senate, and took on an authoritarian attitude, having a secret police to keep everything under control.
Herod was responsible for the construction of the palace of Masada and the rebuilding of the temple on Temple Mount, a portion of which remains today as the Western Wall and re-established the Sanhedrin. In addition, Herod also built the harbor at Caesarea.
In the attempt to destroy the infant Jesus children of Bethlehem “from two years old and under,” were killed by his order. The Innocents have been venerated in the Christian Church as martyrs since ancient times. In the Eastern Church they are known as the Holy Children. The remembrance of this Infanticide in Bethlehem, venerated in the Christian Church as martyrs since ancient times, are known in the Eastern Church as the Holy Children, , in Belgium known as “Onnozele kinderen” (Innocent children) is celebrated on Holy Innocents’ Day, December 28, in England known as Holy Innocents formerly remembered on Childermas, celebrated in Spain and parts of Latin America in a similar way to April Fools’ Day.
Herod the Great divided his kingdom among his sons Archelaus, Herod Antipas, and Philip. Archelaus (d. after 6 CE) ruled Palestine south of the Vale of Jezreel from 4 BCE to 6 CE; he was removed by Augustus after complaints by the Jews. Herod Antipas (d. after 39 CE), tetrarch of Galilee (4 BCE–39 CE) and Peraea, repudiated his wife, daughter of Aretas, to marry his niece Herodias, wife of his half-brother Herod Philip, whom she divorced to marry Herod Antipas and was the Herod who executed John the Baptist and who was ruling at the time of Jesus’ death.
Herod the Great disregarded many of the demands the Pharisees for the construction of the temple, which caught their anger. Simultaneously, the Sadducees, who were known for their priestly responsibilities in the Temple, were opposed to Herod because he replaced the high priests with priests from Babylonia and Alexandria (in an attempt to gain support from Jews in the diaspora).
At the end of Herod’s reign, anger and dissatisfaction were common feelings amongst the Jews. Heavy outbreaks of violence (such as riots) followed Herod’s death (4 BCE), in many cities including Jerusalem. All the grievances the Jews had toward Herod’s actions during his reign, such as heavy taxes and violating the rules, built up during the years before he died. Because of the treatment the Jews were receiving, they were ready to break free from Roman Rule. Herod’s leadership sparked such anger, that eventually it became one of the causes driving the Great Revolt of 70 C.E.
The Division of Herod’s Kingdom:Light green Tetrarchy (Judea) under Herod Archelaus,
Mauve Territory under Herod Antipas
Orange Territory under Herod Philip II
Grey Salome I (cities of Jabneh, Azotas, Phaesalis)
Dark green Roman province of Syria
Yelow Autonomous cities (Decapolis)
There’s no pre-birth travel involved for Joseph and Mary, and indeed the elaborate story of Archelaus’ rule over Judaea is later told to explain why the couple went to Nazareth. Joseph heard that Archelaus ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea (biblical Edom) from 4 BC to 6 CE, the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I had come to power after the death of his father, Herod the Great.
Herod Archelaus from Guillaume Rouillé’s Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum (16th century depiction)
Archelaus appeared to be kind to the populace in Jerusalem in order to appease their desires for lower taxes and an end to the (political) imprisonment of Herod’s enemies. Archelaus acted in every manner a King, before such title had been given by Caesar. He thought of himself highly and is said to have committed suicide after being banished. Archelaus received the Tetrarchy of Judea last will of his father, though a previous will had bequeathed it to his brother Antipas. He was proclaimed king by the army, but declined to assume the title until he had submitted his claims to Caesar Augustus in Rome. In Rome he was opposed by Antipas and by many of the Jews, who feared his cruelty, based on the murder of 3000; but in 4 BCE Augustus allotted to him the greater part of the kingdom (Samaria, Judea, and Idumea) with the title of ethnarch (not king).
Archelaus held, in honour of Zeus, nine days of games in Dion, a small Macedonian village on the slopes of Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus, in Greek mythology, was the home of the gods. While Archelaus’ games were not the famed Olympics, they are an example of the value the ancient Greeks placed on the connections between body, mind and spirit.
Dynasty of herod (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Vrouwen en kinderen van Herodes de Grote) – Women and children of Herod the great (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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- Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
- Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ
- Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
- Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
- Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt
- Matthew 2:16-18 – Slaughter of the Innocents
- Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night
- Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
- Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God
- Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning
- Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
- Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
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- Counterfeit Gospels
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Further related articles:
- Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans
- Herod Family and Pilate
- Herod dynasty reigning in Palestine at the time of Jesus
- Away in a Manger
- The Flight to Egypt; Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
- Herod’s Opinion of Jesus
- Herod’s Opinion of Jesus; Luke 9:7-9
- Simply Irresistible: Augustus, Herod, and the Empire
- Unearthed after 2,000 Years, the Tomb of Herod
- Historians, Fans Defend the ‘Real King Herod’
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- Spiritualism of the Games
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The entrance to King Herod’s 2,000-year-old palace has been discovered in Israel.
Archaeologists have uncovered the colossal arched corridor leading to a magnificent entrance hall covered with frescoes during excavations at Herodium.
The main feature is a 20-metre-high royal corridor with a complex system of arches, which would have allowed the king and his entourage direct passage into the palace courtyard.
The Herodian Hilltop Palace, 10 miles south of Jerusalem, was built to celebrate Herod’s victory over the Parthian Empire from what is now modern-day Iran, according to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The excavations also found evidence of the vestibule occupied by Jewish rebels during the Great Revolt of 66CE-71CE. The arched corridor contained hidden tunnels dug by rebels from the second century CE as they conducted guerilla war against the Romans.
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The primary sources for the life and teachings of Jesus—the central figure of Christianity—are the Gospels, but references to his life also appear in the works of non-Christian writers of antiquity, including Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, and Josephus. Most scholars agree that Jesus was born just before the death of King Herod the Great in 4 BCE.
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These tunnels, which were partially supported by wooden beams, exited the fortress through the walls in openings hidden in the corridor.
Shaul Goldstein, Director of Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority, said that in the future the corridor will be used to allow visitors to directly access the Herodium palace-fortress in the same way Herod entered it around 2,000 years ago.
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