Summary: Part 2 of message looking at the fulfillment of prophecy in the birth and early life of Christ.
Sermon 1/14/07-Out of Egypt, Pt. 2
Intro: Chapter 2 matt. Focuses on 4, each is very specific and unique,
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.
Four prophecies fulfilled in chapter 2 of Matt.
The first prophecy of chapter 2 is found in verses 5-6-birth in Bethlehem-already seen how that was fulfilled.
Last week looked at
The Messiah would be called out of Egypt (vs. 13-15)
Rachel weeping for her children (vs. 16-18)
C. The Messiah would be called a Nazarene (vs. 19-23)
Read Mt. 2:19-23
Not long after ordering the murder of the infants Herod became ill and died in 4 B.C. at the age of 69 at his palace in Jericho.
When most xians first learn that Jesus was most likely born anywhere from 6-4 B.C. they are confused and some skeptics use this as an argument against the reliability of Scripture, but there is really a very easy explanation.
Goes back to the development of the calendar that we use today.
The first person to develop our current system of dates (AD /BC) was Dionysius Exiguus in 525 AD.
-the Romans had developed the dating system used throughout the western world, AUC-latin for from the foundation of the city. For them the founding of Rome was the central event in all of history. Dionysius believed that it would be more reverent for dating to begin with Jesus birth rather than the foundation of Rome.
-used historical records available to him & he determined the birth of Jesus had occurred on December 25, 753 AUC (approx. 754 years after the founding of Rome). That placed the beginning of the Christian era on jan. 1, 754 AUC, or under the new dating system January 1, AD 1.
But it turns out that Dionysius did not have all the historical data now available to scholars to make a more precise dating.
We now know that King Herod died in march/April 750 AUC. Since Matthew states that Jesus was born while Herod was still alive, Jesus was actually born according to the Roman calendar between 748-750 AUC, 4-6 years earlier than Dionysius’s calculations. Thus a more accurate dating of jesus birth places it in 5-6 BC. This has nothing to do with the accuracy of the biblical records, only the historical accuracy of the well-intentioned but misguided Dionysius.
So with Herod dead, the immediate danger to Jesus was over and the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph once again and told him to take his family back to Israel.
But we see in verse 22-that Joseph still had reason to be cautious regarding where he was to settle in Israel. Because as verse 22 states the new ruler in the region where they had previously made their home was Archelaus.
2 events from his life that highlight why Joseph didn’t want to settle in the region where he was ruling.
After remaking his will many times, Herod had finally settled on dividing the kingdom between 3 of his sons-Herod Antipas-Galilee, Herod Philip-area further north, and Herod Archelaus-Judea, Samaria, Idumea.
None of them were happy with the arrangement and they all decided to go to Rome and contest the will. Before they could go a small rebellion arose in Jerusalem.
-it was a reaction to one of Herod the Great’s numerous acts of brutality.
-before Herod died, had executed two popular Jewish rabbis, Judas and Matthias, they had stirred up their disciples to tear down a Roman eagle that Herod had erected over the temple gate. Now because of their execution a rebellion broke out the following year during the Passover, Archelaus sent in soldiers and they executed some 3,000 Jews, many of whom were simply Passover pilgrims and who had no part in the revolt.
-so with the rebellion quelled, Herod’s 3 sons went to Rome to contest the will.
-also a small delegation from one of the towns in Judea that went to try and persuade Caesar not to appoint Archaleaus ruler over them.
-Caesar upheld Herod’s will and Archaleaus was appointed ruler over Judea, Samaria and Idumea.
-not pleased with those who had gone to Rome to oppose him and upon his return he sent his army to their village and not only had them killed but everyone else in the village as well.
This on top of another 2000 people that were crucified as a result of riots that broke out while the 3 brothers were in Rome. So you can see why Joseph would have been fearful of settling in the region where Archelaus would have been ruling.
Side note: Because of his cruelty, eventually the Jews and the Samaritans, who hated each other, united and went to Rome to request Caesar remove Archelaus as ruler. Caesar, fearing a revolution from the people, deposed Archelaus and banished him in 6 A.D. From then on the rule over Judea was passed to Roman rulers called prefects, one of whom was Pontius Pilate(26 A.D.-36 A.D.)