But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Archelaus.—Strictly speaking, this prince, who, under his father’s will (made just before his death), governed Judæa, Samaria, and Idumæa, was never recognised as a king by the Roman Emperor, but received the inferior title of Ethnarch. Antipas had Galilee and Peræa, Philip the region of Trachonitis. Popularly, however, the higher title was still used of him as we find it in 14:9 of the Tetrarch Antipas. The character of Archelaus was as cruel and treacherous as that of his father, and within a few months after his accession, he sent in his horsemen to disperse a multitude, and slew not less than 3,000 men. The temper of Antipas on the other hand was as yet looked on as milder. This, and possibly his absence from Galilee on a visit to Rome, may well have led Joseph to turn to that region as offering a prospect of greater safety (Jos. Ant. xvii. 2, 5, 6, 8, 9). Nine years later the oppression of Archelaus became so intolerable that both Jews and Samaritans complained of him to the Emperor, and he was deposed and banished to Gaul.
The parts of Galilee - The country of Galilee. At this time the land of Palestine was divided into three parts: Galilee, on the north; Samaria, in the middle; and Judea, on the south. Galilee was under the government of Herod Antipas, who was comparatively a mild prince, and in his dominions Joseph might find safety.
he was afraid to go thither—and no wonder, for the reason just mentioned.
notwithstanding—or more simply, "but."
being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside—withdrew.
into the parts of Galilee—or the Galilean parts. The whole country west of the Jordan was at this time, as is well known, divided into three provinces—Galilee being the northern, Judea the southern, and Samaria the central province. The province of Galilee was under the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas, the brother of Archelaus, his father having left him that and Perea, on the east side of the Jordan, as his share of the kingdom, with the title of tetrarch, which Augustus confirmed. Though crafty and licentious, according to Josephus—precisely what the Gospel history shows him to be (see on Mr 6:14-30; Lu 13:31-35)—he was of a less cruel disposition than Archelaus; and Nazareth being a good way off from the seat of government, and considerably secluded, it was safer to settle there.Luke 3:1. Of all the sons of Herod, Archelaus is said to be of the most fierce and bloody disposition, which made Joseph afraid to go thither. His brother Herod Antipas is reported of a much milder disposition, and more inactive temper. So Joseph, not without the direction of God, goeth into his own province, which was Galilee.
"Archelaus, the second king of the family of Herod, reigned after his father's death: and a little after he says, Caesar Augustus caused Archelaus to reign "in the room of Herod his father"'';
which is the very phrase used by Matthew. Now this man was like his father, a very cruel wicked man; and, as the above chronologer says (c), he ordered his troops, and slew at the feast of the passover, in the temple of the Lord, "nine thousand persons": though perhaps Josephus's account is truest, who says (d), that he sent in his whole army upon the people, who had raised a sedition, and slew, whilst they were sacrificing, about "three thousand"; and this happened at the beginning of his reign, and indeed before he had scarce mounted the throne. And now the news of this might have reached the ears of Joseph, and be the reason why he
was afraid to go thither, into Judea, where Archelaus reigned.
Notwithstanding being warned of God in a dream, who never failed to advise him when in difficulty and distress, he did not go back again to Egypt, but
turned aside into the parts of Galilee; where Herod Antipas, another of Herod's sons, was tetrarch or governor; who was a milder person, and not so cruel and tyrannical as Archelaus: besides, Galilee was an obscure place, where, Joseph might reasonably think, he should live with Mary and Jesus unobserved, and free from danger.But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 2:22. Augustus, after the death of Herod and the complications connected with it, divided the kingdom amongst his three sons in such a manner that Archelaus received the half of the four quarters of the kingdom, namely, Judea, Idumaea, and Samaria; Antipas, Galilee and Perea; Philip, Batanea, Trachonitis, and Auranitis. Both the latter were called Tetrarchs, but Archelaus obtained the title of Ethnarch, Josephus, Antt. xvii. 8. 1, xvii. 11. 4, which was to be exchanged for the title of king should he prove worthy of it. But after nine years he was banished by Augustus on account of his cruelty to Vienne (Josephus, Antt. xvii. 13. 2; B. J. ii. 7. 3), and died there. His territory was added to the province of Syria, and placed under the administration of a procurator.
βασιλεύειν is therefore here taken generally: regnare, as it often is in the classics. On ἀντί, compare Herod. i. 108; Xen. Anab. i. 1, iv. 2; 2 Chronicles 33:20; 1Ma 3:1; 1Ma 9:31; 1Ma 13:4.
ἐφοβήθη] for Archelaus resembled his father in his suspicious and cruel temper, Josephus, Antt. xvii. 11. 2 f.
ἐκεῖ ἀπελθεῖν] a well-known attraction: adverbs of rest with verbs of direction, Matthew 17:20; John 7:35; John 8:21; John 11:8; John 18:3; Romans 15:24; LXX. Deuteronomy 1:37; 2 Samuel 17:18; Winer, p. 439 [E. T. 591]; Bernhardy, p. 349 f. ΓΑΛΙΛΑΊΑς] in the portions of his district belonging to Galilee, (Matthew 15:21, Matthew 16:13; Acts 2:10), so that he avoided Judea, and did not return to Bethlehem. The voluptuary Antipas was known to be more humane than Archelaus.
 Comp. Schneckenburger, neutest. Zeitgesch. p. 201 ff.; Hausrath, neut. Zeitgesch. I. p. 284 ff.; Keim in Schenkel’s Bibellex.Matthew 2:22-23. Settlement in Nazareth in Galilee. Joseph returns with mother and child to Israel, but not to Judaea and Bethlehem.—ἀκούσας … Ἡρῴδου: Archelaos reigns in his father’s stead. A man of kindred nature, suspicious, truculent (Joseph., Ant., 17, 11, 2), to be feared and avoided by such as had cause to fear his father.—βασιλεύει, reigns, not in the strict sense of the word. He exercised the authority of an ethnarch, with promise of a royal title if he conducted himself so as to deserve it. In fact he earned banishment. At Herod’s death the Roman emperor divided his kingdom into four parts, of which he gave two to Archelaus, embracing Judaea, Idumaea and Samaria; the other two parts were assigned to Antipas and Philip, also sons of Herod: to Antipas, Galilee and Peraea; to Philip, Batanea, Trachonitis and Auranitis. They bore the title of Tetrarch, ruler of a fourth part (Joseph., Ant., 17, 11, 4).—ἐφοβήθη ἐκεῖ ἀπελθεῖν. It is implied that to settle in Judaea was the natural course to follow, and that it would have beer followed but for a special reason. Schanz, taking a hint from Augustine, suggests that Joseph wished to settle in Jerusalem, deeming that city the most suitable home for the Messiah, but that God judged the despised Galilee a better training school for the future Saviour of publicans, sinners and Pagans. This hypothesis goes on the assumption that the original seat of the family was Nazareth.—ἐκεῖ: late Greek for ἐκεῖσε. In later Greek authors the distinction between ποῖ ποῦ, οἷ οὗ, ὅποι ὅπου, ἐκεῖ and ἐκεῖσε practically disappeared. Rutherford’s New Phrynichus, p. 114. Vide for another instance, Luke 21:2. Others explain the substitution as a case of attraction common in adverbs of place. The idea of remaining is in the mind = He feared to go thither to abide there. vide Lobeck’s Phryn., p. 44, and Fritzsche.—χρηματισθεὶς τῆς Γαλιλαίας: again oracular counsel given in a dream, implying again mental perplexity and need of guidance. Going to Galilee, Judaea being out of the question, was not a matter of course, as we should have expected. The narrative of the first Gospel appears to be constructed on the assumption that Nazareth was not the original home of the holy family, and to represent a tradition for which Nazareth was the adopted home, Bethlehem being the original. “The evangelist did not know that Nazareth was the original seat of the family.” Weiss, Matt. evang. p. 98.22. Archelaus] A son of Herod the Great. His mother was Malthaké, a Samaritan. After a cruel and disturbed reign (under the title of Ethnarch) of about eight years he was banished to Vienna in Gaul—the modern Vienne. His dominions, including Samaria, Judæa, and Idumæa, then passed into the direct government of Rome. See note, ch. Matthew 14:1, and Introduction, p. 25.
22, 23. The Dwelling at Nazareth
22. notwithstanding] Rather “but” or “so.”
he turned aside] Rather, retired or withdrew. The English ‘anchorite’ is derived from the Greek word in the original. The same word is translated in Matthew 2:12-13, “departed.”
Galilee] Now under the government of Herod Antipas, full brother of Archelaus. For the extent of his dominions see Map.Matthew 2:22. Βασιλεύει, is reigning) Archelaus was reigning, whether with or without the name of king.—ἐφοβήθη, was afraid) Anxious about the child, fearful lest Archelaus should emulate his father’s hatred.—ἐκεῖ, thither) The Hebrew שמה, thither, is frequently rendered ἐκεῖ by the LXX.—ἀπελθεῖν, to depart) Mary and Joseph also, without doubt, had previously dwelt at Nazareth.—εἰς τὰ μέρη, into the parts) From hence may be inferred the poverty of Joseph, who had not a fixed abode which he could return to as a matter of course.—τῆς Γαλιλαίας, of Galilee) This did not prevent attentive souls from knowing the real birthplace of Christ.Verse 22. - But when he heard that Archelaus. Until his murder five days before Herod's own death in the spring of A.U.C. 750, Antipater, Herod's eldest son, might naturally have been regarded as the successor, though in fact Antipas had been named as such in the will. But after Antipater's death Herod altered his will; and appointing Antipas Tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, and Philip Tetrarch of Gaulonitis, Traehonitis, and Paneas, he granted the kingdom to Archelaus. Further, even after Herod's death, the succession was far from certain until the consent of Augustus had been obtained, and this, in fact, was jeopardized by Archelaus's massacre of three thousand cf those who, on his accession, called for justice on the agents of the barbarities of the late reign. Eventually, however, Herod's last arrangement was practically confirmed by Augustus, save that he expressly gave Archelaus, who had hastened to Rome, but half of his father's dominion, and appointed him only ethnarch, promising to make him king "if he governed that part virtuously" (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 17:08. 1; 11. 4; cf. 'Bell. Jud.,' 1:33. 8; 2:7. 3). Joseph's fear of Archelaus quite corresponds to the character given of him by the Jewish ambassadors before Augustus. "He seemed to be afraid lest he should not be deemed Herod's own son; and so, without any delay, he immediately Jet the nation understand his meaning," i.e. by the slaughter of the three thousand malcontents above referred to (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 17:11.2). He was in A.D. deposed for his cruelty, and banished to Vienne, in Gaul. Did reign; Revised Version, was reigning; an attempt to express the vivid present of the original, which recalls the very words he heard. After Augustus's decision, Archelaus could not legally have called himself βασιλεύς, but the title, especially as implied in the verb, would have been customary in popular speech (cf. Matthew 14:9). But it is possible that the expression was used before Archelaus went to Rome, and at the time of his first grasp of power under Herod's will. In Judaea. The Revised Version ( over Judaea, βασιλεύει τῆς Ἰουδαίας) rightly implies not only that he lived in Judaea, but that, unlike his father, was not king of the whole of Palestine, but emphatically of Judaea. To this Idumaea and Samaria were appendages. In the room of his father Herod. Had St. Matthew the same thought as the Jewish ambassadors above? He was afraid to go thither; and presumably he told God his fears. Notwithstanding (only δέ); Revised Version, and. Being warned of God (ver. 12, note). For he does not leave his people in perplexity. In a dream. No angel is mentioned this time. He turned aside; Revised Version, he withdrew (ἀνεχώρησεν). Into the parts of Galilee; where Antipas was tetrarch. The form (cf. Matthew 15:21; Matthew 16:13) seems to imply removal from one spot to another before finally settling at Nazareth, and also the subordinate importance of the places visited, compared with the more populous towns.
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