Work in Progress

3R: Matthew – Chapter 2

Matthew 1 / Matthew 2 / Matthew 3

I’m pulling a sicky today so expect today to be high on quotes and low on content.

Being the third day the plan is to look back at chapter 1, review chapter 2 and take a first look at chapter 3.

Chapter 1

  • The genealogy
    • 14 generations from Abraham to David
    • 14 generations from David to the deportation at Babylon
    • 14 generations from the deportation to Babylon and the Messiah
  • The birth of Jesus
    • Mary is pregnant by the ‘Holy Spirit’
    • Joseph plans to separate quietly (being ‘a righteous man’) but an angel tells me it’s alright not too
    • … Mary is to have a baby and they are to name him Jesus
      • ‘for he will save people from their sins’ (v21)
      • … and fulfill a prophecy (v23)
        • Which means: ‘God is with us’
    • Joseph does what the angel commands
      • including having no sexual relations with Mary until after Jesus’ birth.

Chapter 2

The Visit of the Wise Men

2.2 King of the Jews (see also 27.11, 29, 37, 42) contrasts with King Herod (2.1; see Introduction). The title “king” was granted only by Rome; thus the story has potentially subversive implications. His star. See Num 24.17. A famous leader of an Israelite messianic rebellion (132–135 CE) was called Bar Kochba, “Son of the Star.” Pay him homage, i.e., bow down in respect or worship (see vv. 8, 11; 14.33;28.9, 17; see also Ps 72.10–11).

2.4 Chief priests, high-ranking aristocratic temple priests who performed sacrifices and purification rites (see note on 21.15). Scribes, writing bureaucrats and scholars, usually viewed as in league with inimical Pharisees in Matthew (but cf. 8.19; 13.52; 17.10; 23.2–3). The people are occasionally viewed negatively; see 13.15; 15.8; 21.23;26.3, 47; esp. 27.24–25; cf. 1.21; 4.23; 9.35.

Attridge, Harold W.; Society of Biblical Literature. HarperCollins Study Bible . HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who is to shepherd my people Israel.”’

Mt 2:6; NRSVA

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
    who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
    one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
    from ancient days.

Micah 5:2; NRSVA

For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out Israel and brought it in. The Lord said to you: It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel.’

2 Samuel 5:2; NRSVA
  • 7: Herod calls the wise men 
  • 8: Sends them to Bethlehem to pay ‘homage’ 
  • 9: The wise men head out and follow the star
  • 10: Then they stop, along with the star, ‘overwhelmed with joy’

Frankincense and myrrh were costly, resinous gums derived from trees and shrubs (Isa 60.6; Song 3.6). Because of their aromatic qualities, they were often employed in religious rituals (including burials). The mention of three gifts is probably the origin of the postbiblical tradition that there were three wise men.

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha (p. 1828). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
  • 12: They are warned in a dream not to return to Herod … and don’t

The Escape to Egypt

  • 13-15: Joseph and his family follow suit and escape from Herod

This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’

Mt 2:15b; NRSVA

The Massacre of the Infants

‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
    wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
    she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’

Mt 2:18; NRSVA

Thus says the Lord:
A voice is heard in Ramah,
    lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
    she refuses to be comforted for her children,
    because they are no more.

Jeremiah 31:15; NRSVA

The Return from Egypt

  • 19 Herod dies and Joseph his told: …
  • 20 ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.’ 
  • 21 Joseph goes to Israel …
  • 22 But changes his mind when he hears of the new leadership and ends up in Galilee instead before …
  • 23 Making his home in Nazareth, fulfilling the prophecy ‘He will be called a Nazorean.’

Chapter 3

Tomorrow we will be taking a look at Chapter 3. Have a quick look take and we’ll catch up from there.

Matthew 1 / Matthew 2 / Matthew 3