Biblical Commentary        
Chapter Summaries
Matthew
Chapter 2
Chapter 2

The birth of Jesus did not go unnoticed.

Wise men from the east (how many or where from we do not know) inquire of King Herod
where the King of the Jews was. The chief priests and scribes recognize the prophecy of
Micah 5:2 states he would be born in Bethlehem. With this information the wise men travel to
Bethlehem, being asked by Herod to report back to him.

These wise men had followed a star in the sky, which again appeared to guide them to where
Jesus was. When the wise men found Jesus, they fall down and worship the young child
(note: young child, not babe). They present gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. From the fact
that three types of gifts are given it has been assumed that there were three wise men.

However, it is possible that one wise man had more than one type of gift, and that more than
three wise men had only three types of gifts. They, also contrary to popular conception, did not
come to Jesus on the night he was born. Jesus was a young child, not a babe, when they
came. Jesus was born in a stable, they came "into a house."

These wise men were warned of God to not report back to Herod as he had ordered, so they
returned to their own country by another route.

Joseph is warned by an angel of the Lord to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt for safe-keeping.
This he did. This allowed for the fulfillment of the prophecy of Hosea 11:1 that God would call
his Son out of Egypt.

King Herod realized that the wise men fooled him, and became very angry. Before he had sent
the wise men on their way, he had asked them when they first saw the star which guided
them. With this information, King Herod ordered all the male children two years old and under
killed. Again, this brought about the fulfillment of prophecy, Jeremiah 31:15.
After the death of Herod, an angel instructs Joseph to bring Jesus and Mary back to Israel.
However, when Joseph comes back to Israel and realizes that Herod's son is now sitting on
the throne, he is scared. God then tells him, to go to Nazareth. This again is a fulfillment of
prophecy.

The prophecy that Jesus would be called a Nazarene is obscure. Nazareth means "stick or
branch." The prophecies which mention Jesus as being the BRANCH are fulfilled with his
residence in Nazareth, and being called a Nazarene.
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