Matthew 2:21
And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
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Matthew 2:21-22. And he arose — Joseph obeyed the angel, and, it appears, would gladly have gone to Judea, probably to Bethlehem, because from his own knowledge of the prophecies, as well as from the decision of the scribes, an account of which he might have received from the magi, he fancied his son’s education in Bethlehem was as necessary to his being acknowledged the Messiah, as his birth, which had been so providentially ordered to happen there. Nevertheless, when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea, he was afraid to go thither, knowing the jealous and cruel disposition of that prince. Archelaus was the sixth son of Herod, and the most cruel of all those that survived him. His father appointed him his successor, with regal authority, but Augustus gave him only the title of ethnarch, or ruler of the nation, annexing to his government Samaria and Idumæa. In the very beginning of his reign, he massacred 3,000 Jews at once in the temple, and was afterward, viz., in the tenth year of his government, banished by Augustus to Vienna in Gaul, on a complaint brought against him by the chief of the Jews, for his various cruelties. Joseph, therefore, might well be afraid to settle in a country that was under the government of such a cruel tyrant. Being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee — which was under the government of Herod Antipas, (see note on Matthew 2:2,) a prince of a milder character than Archelaus, and then on such hostile terms with him, that there was no danger of his giving up Joseph and Mary into his power. Add to this, that, being intent upon building the cities of Julias and Tiberias, he endeavoured, by promises and immunities, as well as by a mild government, to allure strangers to come and settle there. We may observe here, that although Joseph’s near relation to Jesus exposed him to many difficulties and dangers, such as he had been a stranger to till it commenced, yet it made him ample amends for that inconvenience, by placing him and his under the peculiar care of a watchful Providence, ever attentive to his safety, and that of his little family; and by procuring him the favour of so many extraordinary visitations and supernatural discoveries of the divine will. This is no less than the fourth message sent him from the court of heaven since he became the husband of Mary!

2:19-23 Egypt may serve to sojourn in, or take shelter in, for awhile, but not to abide in. Christ was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, to them he must return. Did we but look upon the world as our Egypt, the place of our bondage and banishment, and heaven only as our Canaan, our home, our rest, we should as readily arise and depart thither, when we are called for, as Joseph did out of Egypt. The family must settle in Galilee. Nazareth was a place held in bad esteem, and Christ was crucified with this accusation, Jesus the Nazarene. Wherever Providence allots the bounds of our habitation, we must expect to share the reproach of Christ; yet we may glory in being called by his name, sure that if we suffer with him, we shall also be glorified with him.They are dead who sought ... - This either refers to Herod alone, as is not uncommon, using the plural number for the singular; or it may refer to Herod and his son Antipater. He was of the same cruel disposition as his father, and was put to death by his father about five days before his own death. 21. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel—intending, as is plain from what follows, to return to Bethlehem of Judea, there, no doubt, to rear the Infant King, as at His own royal city, until the time should come when they would expect Him to occupy Jerusalem, "the city of the Great King." See Poole on "Matthew 2:22".

And he arose and took the young child and his mother,.... He exactly conformed in every circumstance to the orders given him, with respect to the persons he took, the place he went to, and the expeditiousness of doing it; and is an example of ready and cheerful obedience to the commands of God, worthy of imitation. We may learn from hence, as well as from some other instances already met with, a reason among others, why, though Mary was a virgin, and even if she was to continue so, yet she must be espoused to Joseph as her husband; that she might have one to take care of her and her young child, and be a means, under God, of preserving, protecting, and providing for them. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
Verse 21. - And he arose, and took the young Child and his mother (so far verbally equivalent to ver. 14), and came into the land of Israel. Implicit and immediate obedience marking all he did.' Matthew 2:21
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