Summary: Sermon from Matthew 2 dealing with the four prophecies Matthew cites as being fulfilled in that chapter and through seeing God’s hand at work then, we can know He is at work in our lives today.
Sermon-1/7/07-Out of Egypt-Matt. 2:13-23
Read Matt. 2:13-23
OT over 330 prophecies concerning the coming Messiah.
Chapter 2 matt. Focuses on 4, each is very specific and unique, so much so that the chances of one person fulfilling all 4 simply by chance are astronomical.
They could have only been fulfilled by the one who is the Messiah, each focuses on the early life of the Messiah and attaches it in some way to a specific location-Bethlehem, Egypt, Ramah, and Nazareth.
The first prophecy of ch. 2 is found in vs. 5-6-birth in Bethlehem-already seen how that was fulfilled.
This morn. Look at God’s hand at work in the fulfillment of the other prophecies of ch. 2 today-look at 2 today and last one next week.
I. Three prophecies fulfilled.
The first of these is found in vs. 13-15, w/ the fulfillment of the prophecy a. The Messiah would be called out of Egypt.
-Egypt was a natural place of refuge for a number of Jews.
-Sanctuary for Jews established by Alexander the Great in Alexandria during the time of Greek rule, between the end of the OT & the beginning of the NT.
-Jewish philosopher and historian Philo, a resident of Alexdandria, reported that by AD 40, the city’s population included at least one million jews.
-It was a group of Jewish scholars in Alexandria that translated the Hebrew OT into Greek, in the third century BC. This translation called The Septuagint was used by much of the early church, and it was from that version of the OT that many NT writers quote.
So Mary, Joseph, & Jesus had quite a trip ahead of them because It was a 75-80 mile trip to the Egyptian border and then another 100 miles to their likely destination the city of Alexandria.
See God’s hand at work here.
-Jewish sanctuary established in Egypt-translates Hebrew to Greek-trade language of the day @ the time of Christ/early church
-this community provided a natural sanctuary for the young Christ to protect Him from Herod.
-The gifts from the wisemen were more than likely used to finance this trip and support the family until their eventual return to Israel.
God is always at work, even when we can’t see it.
In vs. 15 Mt. says that “this fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet “I called my son out of Egypt.” The prophet he is speaking of there is Hosea, from Hosea 11:1 but if we go back and read Hosea’s actual prophecy, we seem to run into a problem.
Hosea 11:1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him as a son, and I called my son out of Egypt.” If I heard someone quote a part of a verse like that today, and apply it to something that it didn’t seem to apply to I would say that they were taking the verse out of context. So did Matthew take this verse out of context when he said that this prophecy was fulfilled through Jesus?
Info from JNTC by David H. Stern, Messianic Jew
To answer that we have to understand how the typical first century Jewish rabbi interpreted the Scriptures. They had 4 basic modes of Scripture interpretation. They are:
1-P’shat (simple)-the plain, literal sense of the text, more or less what we would refer to today as “grammatical-historical exegesis”, which looks at the grammar of the language and the historical setting as background for deciding what a passage means.
2- Remez (hint)-where a word, phrase or other element in the text hints at a truth not conveyed by the p’shat. The idea behind this is that God can hint at things that the biblical writers were unaware of themselves.
3-Drash or midrash (search)-an allegorical or homiletical application of a text. This is a type of eisegesis-reading your own thoughts & ideas into the text-as opposed to exegesis, which is extracting from the text what it actually says. The thought here is that the rabbis believed God could use the words of Scripture to guide their minds to truths that were not directly related to the text at all.
4-Sod (secret)-a mystical or hidden meaning arrived at by operating on the numerical values of the Hebrew letters, noting unusual spellings, transposing letters, and the like. The idea here being that God invests meaning in the minutest details of Scripture, even the individual letters.
Here in vs. 15 Matthew is most likely using remez. Israel is called God’s son throughout the OT, as far back as Ex. 4:22. the messiah is presented as God’s son a few verse earlier (1:18-25), so the Son equals the son: the messiah is equated with, is one with, the nation of Israel. This is the deep truth matthew is hinting at by calling Jesus flight to Egypt “a fulfillment” of Hosea.