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MATTHEW - Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Matthew
PART 1 - The Preliminary Period in the Ministry of Christ (Matthew 1:1 - 4:25)
A - Birth and Childhood of Jesus (Matthew 1:1 - 2:23)

4. Herod’s Attempt to Kill Jesus (Matthew 2:12-23)

MATTHEW 2:19-21
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 20 “Arise and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the young child’s life are dead.” 21 He arose and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
(Luke 2:39; John 1:46)

God did not want Jesus to grow up in the Egyptian culture for a long time, so he directed Joseph through a third revelation in a dream to go back home. They were not to return to Bethlehem and not to the Jewish kingdom, but to the northern land of Israel, so that Jesus’ education might primarily take its roots from the Hebrew and Aramaic languages and from the principles of the Old Testament.

In all we do, it is good to see our way clear and plain with God going before us. We should not move one way or the other without his order.

The hand of God took Herod's life. Though kings, prophets and shepherds die, God, his Son Jesus and the spiritual body of Christ, which signifies his true followers, endure forever. If you are a true follower of Jesus and you fall into distress, be secure because he who believes in Jesus, the Living Lord, has eternal life.

MATTHEW 2:22-23
22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."

When Herod the great died in 4 BC from an inexpressible torture, he decided in his will that each one of his three sons inherit a part of his kingdom; so Archelaus inherited Jerusalem and its territories, Antipas inherited Galilee and Pereas, and Philip inherited Gaulonitis, Trachonitis and Paneas. Archelaus who succeeded his father in Jerusalem was a tyrant like his father. He once ordered his soldiers to slay three thousand pilgrims in the streets of Jerusalem, all at one time. Because of his rudeness and savageness, Julius Caesar removed him from office in 3 AD and banished him to France. Caesar delivered his region to Pontius Pilate, the governor, who sentenced Christ to death on the cross. Therefore whenever we read in the New Testament about Herod, we must conclude that the evangelists refer to Antipas, the king of Galilee and southern Jordan.

It goes without saying, that Joseph was frightened by the news of the savageness of Archelaus in Jerusalem, and wondered whether God’s order to go back home was wrong. But the man of faith prayed in his worry, and the Lord answered him in a fourth revelation and ordered him to go to Galilee. There Joseph chose the city of Nazareth as a residence, because Mary had lived there. This small inelegant, non-majestic city is not mentioned in the whole Old Testament but became the earthly home of Jesus. This is true to prophecy that he would have no worldly majesty that we should be attracted to him, not even the region he grew up in (Isaiah 53:2).

Upon mentioning this city, another Hebrew word crossed Matthew’s mind, "Netzar", which signifies the rod which will come forth out of the stem of Jesse and will grow as a branch out of his roots (Isaiah 11:1, 2). In this prophecy was mentioned the fullness of the Holy Spirit who dwells in Jesus who is the "Netzar." Thus, Jesus, being called from "Nazareth", is declared to be that "Netzar", i.e. that branch.

Pilate summarized the most important meaning related to the city of Nazareth in the title he wrote and put on the cross: "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." (John 19:19).

PRAYER: I worship you, Gracious Heavenly Father, because you instructed Joseph four times through dreams, declared to him your will, and supported him with power to obey your direction by faith. You protected your Son entirely when he was young; so protect me too. Create in me the desire to obey your guidance that I may joyfully respond to the voice of your Holy Spirit.


  1. What were the three things revealed to Joseph? And where were they mentioned in the Gospels?


Dear reader,
having read our comments on the Gospel of Christ according to Matthew in this booklet, you are now able to answer the following questions. If you answer 90% of the questions stated below, we will send you the next parts of this series for your edification. Please do not forget to include writing your full name and address clearly on the answer sheet.

  1. Who is Matthew, and how did he introduce himself?
  2. What are the characteristics of the Gospel according to Matthew?
  3. What is the purpose of the Gospel according to Matthew?
  4. Why is the Christian not bound by a certain book but is devoted to the person of Jesus?
  5. What does the title "Christ" signify with respect to Jesus?
  6. Why was Jesus called the "Son of David?"
  7. How can Jesus be the Son of Abraham too?
  8. How was Isaac comparable to Jesus?
  9. How was Jacob made worthy of offering God’s blessing to all men?
  10. How was the promise about Judah fulfilled in Jesus?
  11. Why did the Evangelist Matthew bring into view four women in the genealogy of Jesus? What are their names?
  12. When did the division take place in the kingdom of the Old Testament, and from which group does Jesus descend?
  13. How did God protect the southern kingdom and how did he deliver it into captivity?
  14. Why does the genealogy of Jesus end with Joseph who is not his father according to the flesh?
  15. What does the chronological order of the genealogy of Jesus indicate?
  16. What is the meaning of Mary being found with child of the Holy Spirit?
  17. Why did the angel order Joseph to embrace Mary?
  18. What is the meaning of "Jesus"?
  19. What is the meaning of "Immanuel"? And why is Christ worthy of that name?
  20. How did Joseph, the husband of Jesus' mother, become one of the heroes of faith?
  21. When did the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter take place for the first time during that period?
  22. Who is Herod? And what is the supreme Jewish Council?
  23. What are the most important ideas in the prophecy of Micah?
  24. Why were the wise men filled with great joy?
  25. What is the meaning of worship?
  26. How did God save the child Jesus and his parents from the hand of Herod?
  27. What is the last goal of God’s punishments?
  28. What were the three things revealed to Joseph? And where were they mentioned in the Gospels?

We encourage you to complete with us the examination of Christ and his Gospel that you may receive an everlasting treasure. We are awaiting your answers and praying for you. Our address is:

Waters of Life
P.O.Box 600 513
70305 Stuttgart

Internet: www.waters-of-life.net
Internet: www.waters-of-life.org
e-mail: info@waters-of-life.net


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