New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Flight to Egypt. 13 [a]When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,[b] and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” 14 Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. 15 [c]He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet(A) might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
The Massacre of the Infants. 16 When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. 17 Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:
18 [d](B)“A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.”
The Return from Egypt. 19 When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said,(C) “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”[e] 21 He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod,[f] he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. 23 [g](D)He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazorean.”Read full chapter
- 2:13–23 Biblical and nonbiblical traditions about Moses are here applied to the child Jesus, though the dominant Old Testament type is not Moses but Israel (Mt 2:15).
- 2:13 Flee to Egypt: Egypt was a traditional place of refuge for those fleeing from danger in Palestine (see 1 Kgs 11:40; Jer 26:21), but the main reason why the child is to be taken to Egypt is that he may relive the Exodus experience of Israel.
- 2:15 The fulfillment citation is taken from Hos 11:1. Israel, God’s son, was called out of Egypt at the time of the Exodus; Jesus, the Son of God, will similarly be called out of that land in a new exodus. The father-son relationship between God and the nation is set in a higher key. Here the son is not a group adopted as “son of God,” but the child who, as conceived by the holy Spirit, stands in unique relation to God. He is son of David and of Abraham, of Mary and of Joseph, but, above all, of God.
- 2:18 Jer 31:15 portrays Rachel, wife of the patriarch Jacob, weeping for her children taken into exile at the time of the Assyrian invasion of the northern kingdom (722–21 B.C.). Bethlehem was traditionally identified with Ephrath, the place near which Rachel was buried (see Gn 35:19; 48:7), and the mourning of Rachel is here applied to her lost children of a later age. Ramah: about six miles north of Jerusalem. The lamentation of Rachel is so great as to be heard at a far distance.
- 2:20 For those who sought the child’s life are dead: Moses, who had fled from Egypt because the Pharaoh sought to kill him (see Ex 2:15), was told to return there, “for all the men who sought your life are dead” (Ex 4:19).
- 2:22 With the agreement of the emperor Augustus, Archelaus received half of his father’s kingdom, including Judea, after Herod’s death. He had the title “ethnarch” (i.e., “ruler of a nation”) and reigned from 4 B.C. to A.D. 6.
- 2:23 Nazareth…he shall be called a Nazorean: the tradition of Jesus’ residence in Nazareth was firmly established, and Matthew sees it as being in accordance with the foreannounced plan of God. The town of Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, and no such prophecy can be found there. The vague expression “through the prophets” may be due to Matthew’s seeing a connection between Nazareth and certain texts in which there are words with a remote similarity to the name of that town. Some such Old Testament texts are Is 11:1 where the Davidic king of the future is called “a bud” (nēser) that shall blossom from the roots of Jesse, and Jgs 13:5, 7 where Samson, the future deliverer of Israel from the Philistines, is called one who shall be consecrated (a nāzîr) to God.
Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.