Matthew 2 Commentary (Concise)
Matthew 2 Bible Commentary
Matthew 2 is a chapter that details the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. In this chapter, we see the account of the Magi, or the Wise Men, who came from the east to worship the newborn King. We also see the account of King Herod, who was troubled by the news of the birth of the King of the Jews and sought to kill the baby Jesus.
The Magi (Verses 1-12)
The story of the Magi begins with their arrival in Jerusalem, where they ask King Herod, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (Verse 2). Herod, who was a paranoid and cruel ruler, is troubled by this news and seeks to find out more about the situation. He asks the chief priests and teachers of the law where the Messiah was to be born, and they tell him that it was to be in Bethlehem, as prophesied in Micah 5:2.
Herod then secretly summons the Magi and asks them to report back to him once they find the baby Jesus, claiming that he too wants to worship him. However, the Magi are warned in a dream not to return to Herod and instead return to their own country by a different route. This is because Herod had evil intentions and was planning to kill the baby Jesus.
The Magi’s journey to worship Jesus is significant because it shows that Jesus is not just a savior for the Jews, but for all people. The Magi were Gentiles, yet they were among the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah and came to worship him. Their journey also shows that Jesus’ birth was a significant event that was recognized even by those who were not Jews.
Joseph’s flight to Egypt (Verses 13-18)
After the Magi’s departure, an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream and warns him to take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt, as Herod was planning to kill Jesus. Joseph obeys and takes his family to Egypt, where they remain until Herod’s death.
The significance of Joseph’s flight to Egypt is that it shows the divine protection and guidance given to Jesus and his family. It also fulfills the prophecy in Hosea 11:1 that says, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” This shows that Jesus is the true son of God, who was sent to save the world.
Herod’s massacre of the infants (Verses 16-18)
When Herod realizes that the Magi have tricked him and have not reported back to him, he becomes furious and orders the killing of all male children in Bethlehem who were two years old and under. This was a cruel and wicked act, but it fulfilled the prophecy in Jeremiah 31:15, which says, “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
The significance of Herod’s massacre of the infants is that it shows the darkness and evil that exists in the world. It also shows the opposition that Jesus faced from those who were threatened by his coming. However, it also shows the triumph of God’s plan, as Jesus was able to escape Herod’s wrath and continue his mission to save the world.
Joseph’s return to Nazareth (Verses 19-23)
Recounts the events that occurred after the wise men visited Jesus in Bethlehem, and King Herod’s attempts to kill him. Here is a brief commentary on this passage:
After the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him to take Jesus and Mary and flee to Egypt. The angel warned Joseph that Herod would search for Jesus to kill him. Joseph obeyed the angel and took Jesus and Mary to Egypt, where they stayed until Herod’s death.
After Herod died, another angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Jesus and Mary back to Israel. However, when Joseph heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was ruling in Judea, he was afraid to go there. Instead, Joseph took Jesus and Mary to Nazareth, a town in Galilee.
The passage emphasizes the importance of God’s protection over Jesus and his family, as well as the obedience of Joseph in following God’s commands. It also fulfills the prophecy that Jesus would be called a Nazarene, as he grew up in Nazareth.
Matthew 2 King James Version
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 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.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
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. 14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 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.
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 inquired of the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, 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.
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 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. 21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
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: 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.