THE WISE MEN FROM THE EAST. HEROD SEEKS TO KILL JESUS. THEIR FLIGHT TO EGYPT. THE RETURN TO NAZARETH. A-2
Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in accordance with prophecy. We are not told specifically what part of the East these wise men came from, or how many there were. They may have been from the area of Babylon where Daniel was a captive. They uttered prophecies, explained omens, interpreted dreams, and practiced divination (Dan. 2:2, 48; 4:9). Balaam attempted to curse Israel, but God overruled, and he spoke this prophecy. “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” Numbers 24:17. The “Star” here is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Herod the king was troubled at the thought of another king. Jerusalem was troubled because they knew the cruelty of Herod. Dake gives the following note about Herod.
- “Herod the Great, son of Antipater (an Idumean) and Cypros (an Arabian woman). Antipater was made Procurator of Judea by Julius Caesar in 47 B.C. Herod was made governor of Galilee when he was 25 years old and was made king of Judea in 37 B.C. He rebuilt the Jewish temple (Jn. 2:20). At his death in 4 B.C. his kingdom was divided. His son Herod Antipas reigned over Galilee and Perea from 4 B.C. to A.D. 39 (Lk. 3:1-2). He killed John the Baptist (Mt. 14:1). Another son, Archelius, was made ruler of Judea and Samaria (Mt. 2:22). He is called “Philip” in Mt. 14:3. Philip was succeeded by Herod Agrippa I in A.D. 37. In A.D. 40 he took over all the original territory of Herod the Great. He is mentioned in Acts 12. He was succeeded by Herod Agrippa II (Acts 25:13; 26:32).”Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.
A major indictment of the religious leaders was, they knew where their Messiah was to be born, and what His office was. Knowing all this, they willingly and knowingly rejected and killed Him.
Herod pretended he wanted to worship Jesus, but his plan was to kill him. All this was plotted by the devil to destroy the Son of God. The star that led the wise men, not to a manger, but to the house where the young child was. He was about two years old at this time. The star that led the wise men was an angel. (Rev. 1:20).
The important thing is that they were seeking the King. His mother has no preeminence in their search and worship. They “fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” God warned them not to let Herod know where the child was. Thus, they returned home without going back to Jerusalem from Nazareth.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Matthew shows how New Testament events were a fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture.[/pullquote]
Joseph is warned in a dream to take the child to Egypt for protection from Herod. After the death of Herod, Joseph was instructed to return to Israel. Two prophecies were fulfilled in this action. One, “out of Egypt have I called My Son.” The second prophecy, although not written down, was His return to Nazareth.
While Joseph and his family were in Egypt, Herod went on a killing spree, and murdered all babies two years old and younger. Again, Matthew shows how all events were a fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture. The text quoted from Jeremiah 31:15 is a Tribulation passage. Ramah is a city about five miles north of Jerusalem. This shows the extent of Herod’s wrath. Thus, the worship by the wise men, the flight into Egypt, and the return to Nazareth, was all fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.