A Study of Matthew | Chapter 2
Here is my notes for Chapter 2 of the book of Matthew. It is best to read through the chapter then go through the notes.
Verses 1-23 After Jesus was born, some wise men (royal astrologers or magi(Greek)) went to Jerusalem asking where the King of the Jews was. For they saw his star in the skies. The star was mentioned in the book of Numbers 24:17 “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult.” We do not have an origin specified for the wise men or the number who traveled to meet him. They could have been ancestors of Balaam of Babylon so they would have known about the prophecy. If the wise men came from Babylon they would have traveled a little over 100 miles. King Herod was well respected by the Jews because he renovated the temple and made it much larger and beautiful. He feared a King from the lineage of David because he knows the prophecies of the coming King and he himself is not of the proper lineage. Herod was actually an Edomite who claimed to be Jewish and the King of the Jews. Herod knew he wasn’t the actual prophesied King so he had fear of a possible King. Everyone was expecting the coming King to be a military leader who would take over the land by force. This is another reason why Herod wanted to kill Jesus. Jesus did not come in the form of what the religious leader thought so they would later reject him. Most scholars believe Jesus was around 1 or 2 years old when the wise men found him. They brought three gifts which included gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold stood for royalty, frankincense was a gift for deity, and myrrh was an anointing agent for burial. They had symbolic meanings and were probably used for the family to sell to get home and live off of. The wise men were led home using a different path after they met Jesus. Do not be surprised if God takes you a different path in your journey to your destination once you meet Jesus.
In a Kingdom culture, when someone meets a King they bring him a gift. This is a sign of honor. The gift is not alway monetary, but whatever it is should hold some kind of value.
The Lord appeared to Joseph in a second dream this time telling him to protect the child. Even though Joseph was not his biological father he still served as a father figure. He taught him the ways of carpentry business, took care of him, and protected him. They moved to a town called Nazareth. The Old Testament never actually says “He will be called a Nazarene”, but this may be a reference to Isaiah 11:1-5 where a branch (descendant) of Jesse will bear fruit and the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him. The word for Nazarene and Branch are similar.
This concludes Matthew’s accounts of the earlier part of Jesus’s life.
If you would like any clarification reach out to Jason Bordeaux.