Matthew 2Of Judea; to distinguish it from another Bethlehem, in Galilee.Herod; this Herod was an Edomite. He had been proselyted to the Jewish religion, but was a very deceitful, wicked, and cruel man. Friends of the Saviour are sometimes found where we should least expect them. Born King of the Jews; there was at this time, as we learn from heathen writers, a general expectation throughout the east, that one would be born in Judea who should possess universal dominion. Among the Gentiles, this expectation was probably founded on some imperfect acquaintance with the prophecies of the Old Testament.In the east; in their own country, which lay east of Judea. The nature of this star we have no means of determining. It is sufficient for us to know that God in some way made known to these Magi its meaning, and influenced them to take this journey, to find and pay their homage to the new-born King. Troubled; Herod feared a rival, and his trouble caused the people to be troubled. Chief priests; the principal ministers of religion among the Jews at that time.Scribes; writers and expounders of the divine law. The prophet; Mic 5:2. Matthew does not quote the exact words of the prophet Micah, but the sense. Deception and hypocrisy are often united with great cruelty, and end in misery. Went before them; in their journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.Stood over where the young child was; so that they were guided by it to the exact spot. Those who conscientiously follow the light which they have, will receive, in the use of proper means, all the light they need. Out of Egypt have I called my Son; originally spoken by the prophet Ho 11:1; of the Israelitish nation as God's Son. But it was the appointment of God that in this, as in so many other things, the history of Christ's body the church should foreshadow his own personal history. Had diligently inquired; Herod, supposing that the time of the appearance of the star, which he had accurately learned from the Magi, must agree with the age of Jesus, determined to destroy all the children in Bethlehem whose age could possibly come within that of the young child whose life he sought. The efforts of men to prevent the fulfilment of the word of God are unavailing. Fulfilled; the scene in Judea was like that depicted by the prophet, Jer 31:15, so that his words most fitly describe it. In Rama; north of Jerusalem, in the tribe of Benjamin, of which tribe Rachel was the mother. There is probably an allusion to Rachel's sepulchre, near to Bethlehem, where she is poetically represented as weeping for her slain children. Children as well as parents are exposed to sudden and unexpected death; therefore no present duty should be put off to a future time. Nazareth; a place very much despised.Nazarene; one exceedingly despised, as the prophets foretold that Jesus Christ would be. Isa 53:2,3. The fulfilment of prophecy in the person of Christ proves him to be the true Messiah.
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