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.
22. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea in the room of his father Herod—Archelaus succeeded to Judea, Samaria, and Idumea; but Augustus refused him the title of king till it should be seen how he conducted himself; giving him only the title of ethnarch [Josephus, Antiquities, 17.11,4]. Above this, however, he never rose. The people, indeed, recognized him as his father's successor; and so it is here said that he "reigned in the room of his father Herod." But, after ten years' defiance of the Jewish law and cruel tyranny, the people lodged heavy complaints against him, and the emperor banished him to Vienne in Gaul, reducing Judea again to a Roman province. Then the "scepter" clean "departed from Judah."
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.