Sunday, September 04, 2016

Fresh Studies in Matthew, Matthew 2

It is interesting how each gospel takes the facts to meld and mold a different story. Matthew 2 starts with the story of a fake king versus the real king.  I’m sure there was some sardonic humor felt by the early Jews who read this and remembered the mistake that was Herod and their antipathy toward him.  These twelve verses were interpreted in various ways pictorially, but we know they weren’t in the barn (v. 11).   
Herod’s political duplicity is pretty stark.  This is probably the root of later fairy tales of evil kings trying to find children who would threaten their power.  Politically powerful people then were to be feared.  The incident is based on the prophecy that Bethlehem, house of bread and David’s birthplace, was a sacred birthplace.  Of course, who were the Magi?  Lots have been written, but they were Gentiles, the first to believe.  Herod doesn’t know the prophecies or Jewish teaching; he has to get some advisors to figure it out.  His only motivation is to stay in power because . . . well, what else is he going to do?

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