See the chapter in full below in blue with *** by my study comments.
Watch and see how some key prophecies of Christ are fulfilled
within this chapter clearly showing He was Who He claimed to be!
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,
***Chapter 2 starts out with a declaring of Jesus birth in the very place it was predicted He would come out of. See Mich 5:2 and Genesis 49:10. These are some of the MANY prophecies that Jesus' life fulfilled, proving He was the Messiah to come. We also see wise men appearing from the East, seeking after Christ. Since they came from the East, these men could have known about the scriptures from Daniel, perhaps from Persia. Daniel 9:24-27 talks of a time line for the Messiah and Numbers 24 also predicts a star. It should be noted here that worldly Christmas songs have proven how a lie restated enough times, becomes a truth. The song says 3 wise men appear but scripture says NO such thing as no number is given but there were three gifts brought.
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.
*** These wise men had seen a star that guided them to the area of Christ's birth. They came to worship Him so they were God fearing men. We do not know much about that star as scripture does not tell us a great deal. But it was NOT fixed as a normal star as "it moved before them". See verse 9 of Matthew 2. We don't know exactly but perhaps it was a pillar of fire as we saw in the Old Testament? Nehemiah 9:12 talks of a moving pillar that guided men. This is all very interesting and fitting as Christ is known as the bright and morning star.
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
I think an interesting side note is that Christ is our light and just like the wise men, we must follow the light/our shepherd (John 10) to be of Him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
*** Herod was the ruler of the area of Israel and was known as a very evil man. (He even murdered his own sons.) He, himself, wanted to be considered the King of the Jews so hearing a 'so called' King of the Jews was born, surely must have enraged him. This shows us what pride and ego can do to a man. Scripture says it comes before the fall, Proverbs 16:18.
It says also that all of Jerusalem was troubled with Herod over Jesus birth. Perhaps they did not know another King or they were siding with such a evil ruler that had power over them.
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.
***Here Herod shows us that he did not know the scriptures himself (he was NOT a Jew by blood) and he relies on the religious leaders to counsel him to find Jesus. The priests and the scribes would have been students of the Word of God and Herod sought truth from those scriptures, even to do evil.
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.
***Here the religious leaders quote Genesis 49:10 showing they clearly knew where Christ was predicted to come out of. Note: they willingly handed that truth and info over to a evil King perhaps not knowing why Herod wanted this information.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
***Herod plays detective here as he questions the wise men about the star and the timing of it all. Privy means privately so Herod was being sneaky and we know he had evil motives at work. (Was he hiding this from the Jews??)
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.
***So with the info that Bethlehem is the place and knowing a star points the why, Herod instructs them go find this King. Herod proves to be a liar (as evil men are) saying he wants to worship Christ. Remember; the wise men came to worship Christ so Herod is just playing up to them to find Christ.
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.
*** Again we have the star showing the way, going before them and stopping right over Christ's location. This is NO normal star so it is a miraculous event. Notice it says where the 'young child' was. The word here in Greek is paidion and it can mean a infant or a small child. There is evidence that Jesus was perhaps as old as 2 years when the magi find him. ( read on )
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
*** Imagine this scene. These wise men of faith traveling far and long seeking out a new born King and at last... they find Him. I can relate as I rejoiced when I committed my life and found new life in Christ my King!!!!
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.
*** Here is a clue to Christ's age. We know Jesus was born in a stable but by this time, he is in a house so time has passed. Falling down is not fainting or knocked out. Prostrate was and is a form of reverence for God, face down in humility towards Him. Here we see 3 gifts given to Jesus and that is where the 3 wise men may have been invented but we do not know the correct number of them and it does not matter.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
***Having found Christ, God alerts these men to NOT report to Herod (who had ill motives) and to get out of the area, 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.
***God used dreams in these times to inform and guide people and we see two examples of it here. Today we have the finished Word to guide us.
14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
*** Joseph being a wise man of faith does just as God instructs him to do. See how obedience pays off? Imagine if Joseph would have said, but I like it here so we are staying. When God speaks we are to OBEY! ( See Hebrews 5:9 )
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.
*** Again an Old Testament scripture is fulfilled as Hosea 11:1 is referenced here that mentioned Christ coming out of Egypt. As an interesting foot note and archetype; see Exodus 12 where the Jews came out of Egypt after God frees them from it's centuries of slavery.
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.
*** Having an evil King is one thing but having a double crossed, mocked and angry, evil King is quite another! Notice here what Herod decrees; ALL children under 2 are to be put to death. Why he knew the King was a male? Perhaps Herod is taking some revenge on people he though may have helped the wise men? I do not know for sure but it is interesting he killed the females as well.
In some ways this is liken to the persecution and death we will get for His name. See Matthew 10. Those small Jewish children were killed for nothing more than the cause of Jesus name and He was Jewish as they were.
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
*** Here we see yet another prophecy fulfilled. It is Jeremiah 31:15
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.
*** This speaks of the great sorrow in the land over what had taken place.
The Messiah came into the world in great turmoil and involving death and He leaves it the same way but with VICTORY over it all!
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
*** As James 4 says this life is but a vapor. Even great ruling Kings live for a short time the they die off and for Herod his end came. Another dream and Joseph is told to move back.
Notice: in these angelic appearance (angel means messenger) dreams, there is a reason and purpose to the fulfilling of prophecy. It is NOT what we see today when people claim to have a dream or vision. Those are most often vague and have no real meaning and thus NOT of God. The Lord's Word is now complete so he does not communicate in that way today but will again in the future in Israel in the last days. ( See Joel 2 )
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.
***So back into the Holy Land they go now that is it safe. Jesus had a destiny to live out and so His life was spared and protected. Perhaps we need to trust in God that if He has a purpose and a time for our own death, we need not fear anything as He has it all under control! I also noticed that even for Jesus (God) His young life was full of trials, danger and trouble. Why do we think our lives will be any different (amen?) as we live for Him?
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:
***Perhaps that Herod's son Archelaus had remembered the past and Joseph feared him as well, we can't know for sure? But again it was all part of the plan and prophecies of old. Notice as I mentioned in Chapter 1 that Joseph is a protector and a faithful father to his family, diligent and unselfish!
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.
*** So Jesus and His family settle in Nazareth. Matthew says the Old Testament Prophets reference Jesus coming from this town. While Nazareth itself it is not mentioned directly in the OT Word, Isaiah 11:1 denotes a branch in Hebrew is netzer, "NZR" which letters are included in NaZaReth. Then Isaiah 53;3 and Psalm 22 show a lowly man from thus from a lowly area / town wold make sense. In John 1:46 it does back this all up as it mentions "can anything good come out of Nazareth"? History shows it was a small "bumpkin kind of town" 2000 years ago and a looked down upon area. It seems no one would expect a Messiah to come from there but glory to God; He did!