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Matthew 2:19-23

Context
The Return to Nazareth

2:19 After Herod 1  had died, an 2  angel of the Lord 3  appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 2:20 saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.” 2:21 So 4  he got up and took the child and his mother and returned to the land of Israel. 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus 5  was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, 6  he was afraid to go there. After being warned in a dream, he went to the regions of Galilee. 2:23 He came to a town called Nazareth 7  and lived there. Then what had been spoken by the prophets was fulfilled, that Jesus 8  would be called a Nazarene. 9 

1 sn See the note on King Herod in 2:1. When Herod the Great died in 4 b.c., his kingdom was divided up among his three sons: Archelaus, who ruled over Judea (where Bethlehem was located, v. 22); Philip, who became tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonitis (cf. Luke 3:1); and Antipas, who became tetrarch of Galilee.

2 tn Grk “behold, an angel.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

3 tn Or “the angel of the Lord.” See the note on the word “Lord” in 1:20.

4 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the angel’s instructions.

5 sn Archelaus took after his father Herod the Great in terms of cruelty and ruthlessness, so Joseph was afraid to go there. After further direction in a dream, he went instead to Galilee.

6 sn See the note on King Herod in 2:1.

7 sn Nazareth was a very small village in the region of Galilee (Galilee lay north of Samaria and Judea). The town was located about 15 mi (25 km) west of the southern edge of the Sea of Galilee. According to Luke 1:26, Mary was living in Nazareth when the birth of Jesus was announced to her.

map For location see Map1 D3; Map2 C2; Map3 D5; Map4 C1; Map5 G3.

8 tn There is no expressed subject of the third person singular verb here; the pronoun “he” is implied. Instead of this pronoun the referent “Jesus” has been supplied in the text to clarify to whom this statement refers.

9 tn The Greek could be indirect discourse (as in the text), or direct discourse (“he will be called a Nazarene”). Judging by the difficulty of finding OT quotations (as implied in the plural “prophets”) to match the wording here, it appears that the author was using a current expression of scorn that conceptually (but not verbally) found its roots in the OT.



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