Matthew 2 Commentary

Please choose a passage:

Matthew 2:1-2

Matthew’s narrative of Jesus, the Messiah, continues with the arrival in Jerusalem of magi from the east. Having seen “His” star in the east, they have travelled from far to worship the young King of the Jews.

Matthew 2:3-6

The magi’s news of a newborn king disturbs Herod and all of Jerusalem. The child is a threat to Herod’s power. He summons the scribes and priests, and asks them to let him know where the Messiah is supposed to be born.

Matthew 2:7-8

Herod intends to kill the child sought by the magi and end the threat to his rule. He treacherously summons the magi to determine precisely when the star first appeared so that he would know how old the newborn king is.

Matthew 2:9-12

The magi continue following the star until it leads them to Jesus. They worship Jesus and present him with three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When the magi leave, they do not return to Herod, because God warned them by a dream to not reveal Jesus to the wicked king.

Matthew 2:13-15

An angel commands Joseph to take his young family away from Bethlehem and to flee to Egypt, because Herod will soon try to kill Jesus. Joseph obeys and stays there until Herod dies. Matthew highlights that this action fulfills the prophecy from Hosea, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

Matthew 2:16

King Herod is furious when he realizes that the magi tricked him. He sends soldiers to kill all the males in and around the village of Bethlehem under two years of age. Matthew points out that this tragedy fulfills a prophecy from Jeremiah.

Matthew 2:17-18

Matthew points out that the tragedy of the murdered children in Bethlehem fulfills the prophecy from Jeremiah, again confirming Jesus as the anticipated Messiah.

Matthew 2:19-23

After King Herod dies, an angel informs Joseph by dream that it is safe to return to Israel. Joseph obeys, but is careful to avoid the region of Judea, because Herod’s son is in charge. In another dream God warns Joseph to go north to the region of Galilee.