The Gospel According to Matthew

Chapter 2

The wise men from the east inquire about Christ, 1, 2; at which Herod is alarmed, 3-8. They are directed by a star to Bethlehem, worship him, and offer their presents, 9-12. Joseph flees into Egypt with Jesus and his mother, 13-15. Herod slays the children, 16-19; Herod dies, 20-22. Christ is brought back again into Galilee to Nazareth, 23.

1 Now, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men came from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, "Where is he who is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him." 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he asked them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

'And you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,/
are not the least among the princes of Judah,/
for out of you a Governor shall come,/
who shall rule my people Israel.'

7 Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, asked them diligently what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, "Go, and search diligently for the young child. And when you have found him, bring me word again so that I may come and worship him also." 9 When they had heard the king, they departed. And behold, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them until it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, fell down, and worshiped him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And being warned by God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

13 And when they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt. Stay there until I bring you word, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."

14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night and departed into Egypt, 15 And was there until the death of Herod, so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken from the Lord by the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I have called my son."

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and sent forth and slew all the children who were in Bethlehem and in all its borders, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently asked the wise men. 17 Then that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying,

18 "In Ramah there was a voice heard,/
lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,/
Rachel weeping for her children,/
and would not be comforted, because they are no more.

19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appears in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying, "Arise, and take the young child and his mother and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the young child's life are dead." 21 And he arose and took the young child and his mother and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus reigned in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Matthew, Chapter 2[➚]


[v.2] - See the note for Genesis 1:14.

[v.6] - Quoting Micah 5:2.

[v.11] - Gospel Link: Luke 2:16.

[v.12] - Gospel Link: Luke 2:20.

[v.15] - Quoting Hosea 11:1.

[v.18] - Quoting Jeremiah 31:15.

[v.22-23] - Gospel Link: Luke 2:39.

[v.23] - "He shall be called a Nazarene." - In his commentary, John Calvin stated that this can be a possible reference to either Joseph or Samson, or both. Concerning Samson, Judges 13:5 states, "for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from his birth." On that note, Calvin said, "But Samson is called the 'Redeemer' or 'Deliverer' of the people, only because he was a figure of Christ, and because the salvation, which was accomplished by his instrumentality, was a sort of prelude of the full salvation, which was at length exhibited to the world by the Son of God. All that Scripture predicts, in a favorable manner, about Samson, may justly be applied to Christ. To express it more clearly, Christ is the original model, Samson is the inferior antitype." Now, concerning Joseph, Genesis 49:26 states that Joseph was "separate" from his brothers (see also Deuteronomy 33:16). The word Nazarite is derived from the Hebrew word meaning, to separate. Here is what Calvin said of Joseph concerning this matter: "For Joseph, who was a temporal Savior of the Church, and was, in many respects, a figure, or rather a lively image of Christ, is called 'a Nazarite of his brothers' (Genesis 49:26, Deuteronomy 33:16). God determined that the distinguished honor, of which he had given a specimen in Joseph, should shine again in Samson, and gave him the name of Nazarite, that believers, having received those early instructions, might look more earnestly at the Redeemer who was to come, who was to be separated from all, 'That he might be the first-born among many brothers' (Romans 8:29)."