Matthew 2

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1 του G3588 T-GSM δε G1161 CONJ ιησου G2424 N-GSM γεννηθεντος G1080 G5685 V-APP-GSM εν G1722 P EP βηθλεεμ G965 N-P I της G3588 T-GSF ιουδαιας G2449 N-GSF εν G1722 P EP ημεραις G2250 N-DPF ηρωδου G2264 N-GSM του G3588 T-GSM βασιλεως G935 N-GSM ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S μαγοι G3097 N-NPM απο G575 P EP ανατολων G395 N-GPF παρεγενοντο G3854 G5633 V-2ADI-3P εις G1519 P EP ιεροσολυμα G2414 N-ASF

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3 ακουσας G191 G5660 V-AAP-NSM δε G1161 CONJ ηρωδης G2264 N-NSM ο G3588 T-NSM βασιλευς G935 N-NSM εταραχθη G5015 G5681 V-API-3S και G2532 CONJ πασα G3956 A-NSF ιεροσολυμα G2414 N-NSF μετ G3326 P EP αυτου G846 P-GSM

4 και G2532 CONJ συναγαγων G4863 G5631 V-2AAP-NSM παντας G3956 A-APM τους G3588 T-APM αρχιερεις G749 N-APM και G2532 CONJ γραμματεις G1122 N-APM του G3588 T-GSM λαου G2992 N-GSM επυνθανετο G4441 G5711 V-INI-3S παρ G3844 P EP αυτων G846 P-GPM που G4226 P T-I ο G3588 T-NSM χριστος G5547 N-NSM γενναται G1080 G5743 V-PPI-3S

5 οι G3588 T-NPM δε G1161 CONJ ειπον G2036 G5627 V-2AAI-3P αυτω G846 P-DSM εν G1722 P EP βηθλεεμ G965 N-P I της G3588 T-GSF ιουδαιας G2449 N-GSF ουτως G3779 ADV γαρ G1063 CONJ γεγραπται G1125 G5769 V- PI-3S δια G1223 P EP του G3588 T-GSM προφητου G4396 N-GSM

6 και G2532 CONJ συ G4771 P-2NS βηθλεεμ G965 N-P I γη G1093 N-VSF ιουδα G2448 N-GSM ουδαμως G3760 ADV ελαχιστη G1646 A-NSF ει G1488 G5748 V-PXI-2S εν G1722 P EP τοις G3588 T-DPM ηγεμοσιν G2232 N-DPM ιουδα G2448 N-GSM εκ G1537 P EP σου G4675 P-2GS γαρ G1063 CONJ εξελευσεται G1831 G5695 V-FDI-3S ηγουμενος G2233 G5740 V-PNP-NSM οστις G3748 -NSM ποιμανει G4165 G5692 V-FAI-3S τον G3588 T-ASM λαον G2992 N-ASM μου G3450 P-1GS τον G3588 T-ASM ισραηλ G2474 N-P I

7 τοτε G5119 ADV ηρωδης G2264 N-NSM λαθρα G2977 ADV καλεσας G2564 G5660 V-AAP-NSM τους G3588 T-APM μαγους G3097 N-APM ηκριβωσεν G198 G5656 V-AAI-3S παρ G3844 P EP αυτων G846 P-GPM τον G3588 T-ASM χρονον G5550 N-ASM του G3588 T-GSM φαινομενου G5316 G5730 V-PEP-GSM αστερος G792 N-GSM

8 και G2532 CONJ πεμψας G3992 G5660 V-AAP-NSM αυτους G846 P-APM εις G1519 P EP βηθλεεμ G965 N-P I ειπεν G2036 G5627 V-2AAI-3S πορευθεντες G4198 G5679 V-AOP-NPM ακριβως G199 ADV εξετασατε G1833 G5657 V-AAM-2P περι G4012 P EP του G3588 T-GSN παιδιου G3813 N-GSN επαν G1875 CONJ δε G1161 CONJ ευρητε G2147 G5632 V-2AAS-2P απαγγειλατε G518 G5657 V-AAM-2P μοι G3427 P-1DS οπως G3704 ADV καγω G2504 P-1NS-C ελθων G2064 G5631 V-2AAP-NSM προσκυνησω G4352 G5661 V-AAS-1S αυτω G846 P-DSM

9 οι G3588 T-NPM δε G1161 CONJ ακουσαντες G191 G5660 V-AAP-NPM του G3588 T-GSM βασιλεως G935 N-GSM επορευθησαν G4198 G5675 V-AOI-3P και G2532 CONJ ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S ο G3588 T-NSM αστηρ G792 N-NSM ον G3739 -ASM ειδον G1492 G5627 V-2AAI-3P εν G1722 P EP τη G3588 T-DSF ανατολη G395 N-DSF προηγεν G4254 G5707 V-IAI-3S αυτους G846 P-APM εως G2193 CONJ ελθων G2064 G5631 V-2AAP-NSM εστη G2476 G5627 V-2AAI-3S επανω G1883 ADV ου G3757 ADV ην G2258 G5713 V-IXI-3S το G3588 T-NSN παιδιον G3813 N-NSN

10 ιδοντες G1492 G5631 V-2AAP-NPM δε G1161 CONJ τον G3588 T-ASM αστερα G792 N-ASM εχαρησαν G5463 G5644 V-2AOI-3P χαραν G5479 N-ASF μεγαλην G3173 A-ASF σφοδρα G4970 ADV

11 και G2532 CONJ ελθοντες G2064 G5631 V-2AAP-NPM εις G1519 P EP την G3588 T-ASF οικιαν G3614 N-ASF {VA 1: ευρον G2147 G5627 V-2AAI-3P } {VA 2: ειδον G1492 G5627 V-2AAI-3P } το G3588 T-ASN παιδιον G3813 N-ASN μετα G3326 P EP μαριας G3137 N-GSF της G3588 T-GSF μητρος G3384 N-GSF αυτου G846 P-GSN και G2532 CONJ πεσοντες G4098 G5631 V-2AAP-NPM προσεκυνησαν G4352 G5656 V-AAI-3P αυτω G846 P-DSM και G2532 CONJ ανοιξαντες G455 G5660 V-AAP-NPM τους G3588 T-APM θησαυρους G2344 N-APM αυτων G846 P-GPM προσηνεγκαν G4374 G5656 V-AAI-3P αυτω G846 P-DSM δωρα G1435 N-APN χρυσον G5557 N-ASM και G2532 CONJ λιβανον G3030 N-ASM και G2532 CONJ σμυρναν G4666 N-ASF

12 και G2532 CONJ χρηματισθεντες G5537 G5685 V-APP-NPM κατ G2596 P EP οναρ G3677 N-OI μη G3361 P T-N ανακαμψαι G344 G5658 V-AAN προς G4314 P EP ηρωδην G2264 N-ASM δι G1223 P EP αλλης G243 A-GSF οδου G3598 N-GSF ανεχωρησαν G402 G5656 V-AAI-3P εις G1519 P EP την G3588 T-ASF χωραν G5561 N-ASF αυτων G846 P-GPM

13 αναχωρησαντων G402 G5660 V-AAP-GPM δε G1161 CONJ αυτων G846 P-GPM ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S αγγελος G32 N-NSM κυριου G2962 N-GSM φαινεται G5316 G5727 V-PEI-3S κατ G2596 P EP οναρ G3677 N-OI τω G3588 T-DSM ιωσηφ G2501 N-P I λεγων G3004 G5723 V-PAP-NSM εγερθεις G1453 G5685 V-APP-NSM παραλαβε G3880 G5628 V-2AAM-2S το G3588 T-ASN παιδιον G3813 N-ASN και G2532 CONJ την G3588 T-ASF μητερα G3384 N-ASF αυτου G846 P-GSM και G2532 CONJ φευγε G5343 G5720 V-PAM-2S εις G1519 P EP αιγυπτον G125 N-ASF και G2532 CONJ ισθι G2468 G5749 V-PXM-2S εκει G1563 ADV εως G2193 CONJ αν G302 P T ειπω G2036 G5632 V-2AAS-1S σοι G4671 P-2DS μελλει G3195 G5719 V-PAI-3S γαρ G1063 CONJ ηρωδης G2264 N-NSM ζητειν G2212 G5721 V-PAN το G3588 T-ASN παιδιον G3813 N-ASN του G3588 T-GSM απολεσαι G622 G5658 V-AAN αυτο G846 P-ASN

14 ο G3588 T-NSM δε G1161 CONJ εγερθεις G1453 G5685 V-APP-NSM παρελαβεν G3880 G5627 V-2AAI-3S το G3588 T-ASN παιδιον G3813 N-ASN και G2532 CONJ την G3588 T-ASF μητερα G3384 N-ASF αυτου G846 P-GSM νυκτος G3571 N-GSF και G2532 CONJ ανεχωρησεν G402 G5656 V-AAI-3S εις G1519 P EP αιγυπτον G125 N-ASF

15 και G2532 CONJ ην G2258 G5713 V-IXI-3S εκει G1563 ADV εως G2193 CONJ της G3588 T-GSF τελευτης G5054 N-GSF ηρωδου G2264 N-GSM ινα G2443 CONJ πληρωθη G4137 G5686 V-APS-3S το G3588 T-NSN ρηθεν G4483 G5685 V-APP-NSN υπο G5259 P EP του G3588 T-GSM κυριου G2962 N-GSM δια G1223 P EP του G3588 T-GSM προφητου G4396 N-GSM λεγοντος G3004 G5723 V-PAP-GSN εξ G1537 P EP αιγυπτου G125 N-GSF εκαλεσα G2564 G5656 V-AAI-1S τον G3588 T-ASM υιον G5207 N-ASM μου G3450 P-1GS

16 τοτε G5119 ADV ηρωδης G2264 N-NSM ιδων G1492 G5631 V-2AAP-NSM οτι G3754 CONJ ενεπαιχθη G1702 G5681 V-API-3S υπο G5259 P EP των G3588 T-GPM μαγων G3097 N-GPM εθυμωθη G2373 G5681 V-API-3S λιαν G3029 ADV και G2532 CONJ αποστειλας G649 G5660 V-AAP-NSM ανειλεν G337 G5627 V-2AAI-3S παντας G3956 A-APM τους G3588 T-APM παιδας G3816 N-APM τους G3588 T-APM εν G1722 P EP βηθλεεμ G965 N-P I και G2532 CONJ εν G1722 P EP πασιν G3956 A-DPN τοις G3588 T-DPN οριοις G3725 N-DPN αυτης G846 P-GSF απο G575 P EP διετους G1332 A-GSM και G2532 CONJ κατωτερω G2736 ADV κατα G2596 P EP τον G3588 T-ASM χρονον G5550 N-ASM ον G3739 -ASM ηκριβωσεν G198 G5656 V-AAI-3S παρα G3844 P EP των G3588 T-GPM μαγων G3097 N-GPM

17 τοτε G5119 ADV επληρωθη G4137 G5681 V-API-3S το G3588 T-NSN ρηθεν G4483 G5685 V-APP-NSN υπο G5259 P EP ιερεμιου G2408 N-GSM του G3588 T-GSM προφητου G4396 N-GSM λεγοντος G3004 G5723 V-PAP-GSN

18 φωνη G5456 N-NSF εν G1722 P EP ραμα G4471 N-P I ηκουσθη G191 G5681 V-API-3S θρηνος G2355 N-NSM και G2532 CONJ κλαυθμος G2805 N-NSM και G2532 CONJ οδυρμος G3602 N-NSM πολυς G4183 A-NSM ραχηλ G4478 N-P I κλαιουσα G2799 G5723 V-PAP-NSF τα G3588 T-APN τεκνα G5043 N-APN αυτης G846 P-GSF και G2532 CONJ ουκ G3756 P T-N ηθελεν G2309 G5707 V-IAI-3S παρακληθηναι G3870 G5683 V-APN οτι G3754 CONJ ουκ G3756 P T-N εισιν G1526 G5748 V-PXI-3P

19 τελευτησαντος G5053 G5660 V-AAP-GSM δε G1161 CONJ του G3588 T-GSM ηρωδου G2264 N-GSM ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S αγγελος G32 N-NSM κυριου G2962 N-GSM κατ G2596 P EP οναρ G3677 N-OI φαινεται G5316 G5727 V-PEI-3S τω G3588 T-DSM ιωσηφ G2501 N-P I εν G1722 P EP αιγυπτω G125 N-DSF

20 λεγων G3004 G5723 V-PAP-NSM εγερθεις G1453 G5685 V-APP-NSM παραλαβε G3880 G5628 V-2AAM-2S το G3588 T-ASN παιδιον G3813 N-ASN και G2532 CONJ την G3588 T-ASF μητερα G3384 N-ASF αυτου G846 P-GSM και G2532 CONJ πορευου G4198 G5737 V-PNM-2S εις G1519 P EP γην G1093 N-ASF ισραηλ G2474 N-P I τεθνηκασιν G2348 G5758 V- AI-3P γαρ G1063 CONJ οι G3588 T-NPM ζητουντες G2212 G5723 V-PAP-NPM την G3588 T-ASF ψυχην G5590 N-ASF του G3588 T-GSN παιδιου G3813 N-GSN

21 ο G3588 T-NSM δε G1161 CONJ εγερθεις G1453 G5685 V-APP-NSM παρελαβεν G3880 G5627 V-2AAI-3S το G3588 T-ASN παιδιον G3813 N-ASN και G2532 CONJ την G3588 T-ASF μητερα G3384 N-ASF αυτου G846 P-GSM και G2532 CONJ ηλθεν G2064 G5627 V-2AAI-3S εις G1519 P EP γην G1093 N-ASF ισραηλ G2474 N-P I

22 ακουσας G191 G5660 V-AAP-NSM δε G1161 CONJ οτι G3754 CONJ αρχελαος G745 N-NSM βασιλευει G936 G5719 V-PAI-3S επι G1909 P EP της G3588 T-GSF ιουδαιας G2449 N-GSF αντι G473 P EP ηρωδου G2264 N-GSM του G3588 T-GSM πατρος G3962 N-GSM αυτου G846 P-GSM εφοβηθη G5399 G5675 V-AOI-3S εκει G1563 ADV απελθειν G565 G5629 V-2AAN χρηματισθεις G5537 G5685 V-APP-NSM δε G1161 CONJ κατ G2596 P EP οναρ G3677 N-OI ανεχωρησεν G402 G5656 V-AAI-3S εις G1519 P EP τα G3588 T-APN μερη G3313 N-APN της G3588 T-GSF γαλιλαιας G1056 N-GSF

23 και G2532 CONJ ελθων G2064 G5631 V-2AAP-NSM κατωκησεν G2730 G5656 V-AAI-3S εις G1519 P EP πολιν G4172 N-ASF λεγομενην G3004 G5746 V-PPP-ASF {VA 1: ναζαρετ G3478 N-P I } {VA 2: ναζαρεθ G3478 N-P I } οπως G3704 ADV πληρωθη G4137 G5686 V-APS-3S το G3588 T-NSN ρηθεν G4483 G5685 V-APP-NSN δια G1223 P EP των G3588 T-GPM προφητων G4396 N-GPM οτι G3754 CONJ ναζωραιος G3480 N-NSM κληθησεται G2564 G5701 V-FPI-3S

  

Exploring the Meaning of Matthew 2      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman

Chapter 2.

After Jesus is Born

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1. And when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came Magi from the east into Jerusalem,

2. Saying, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.”

3. But having heard, Herod the king was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

4. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born.

5. And they said unto him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet:

6. ‘And thou Bethlehem, [of] the land of Judah, art by no means the least among the governors of Judah, for out of thee shall come a Governor, who shall shepherd My people Israel.’”

7. Then Herod, privately calling the Magi, precisely inquired of them at what time the star appeared.

8. And sending them to Bethlehem, he said, “Go and search earnestly for the little Child; and when you have found [Him], report to me, so that I also may come and worship Him.”

9. And when they had heard the king they went [out]; and behold, the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came [and] stood over where the little Child was.

10. And having seen the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

11. And coming into the house, they found the little Child with Mary His mother, and falling [down] they worshiped Him; and opening their treasures, they offered to Him gifts: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

12. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed into their own country by another way.

13. And when they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appears in a dream to Joseph, saying, “Arise and take the little Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be there until I tell thee; for Herod is about to seek the little Child to destroy Him.”

14. And when he arose, he took the little Child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt,

15. And was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was declared by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt have I called My Son.”

16. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the Magi, was exceedingly wrathful, and sent out and slew all the boys that were in Bethlehem, and in all her borders , from two years and under, according to the time which he had precisely inquired of the Magi.

17. Then was fulfilled what was declared by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,

18. “A voice was heard in Rama, lamentation, and weeping, and much howling, Rachel weeping [for] her children; and she was not willing to be comforted, because they are not.”

19. And when Herod was dead, behold, the angel of the Lord, in a dream appears to Joseph in Egypt,

20. Saying, “Arise, take the little Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel; for they are dead who sought the soul of the little Child.”
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Joseph’s struggle within himself — as to whether or not to accept Mary and the child — represents the spiritual battle which each of us must undergo in the course of our regeneration. It is one thing to receive the Lord in the understanding (represented by Joseph), but quite another to allow Him to order the things of our will — represented by the angel telling Joseph to take Mary as his wife. This is the fiercer battle which now begins “after Jesus is born.”

The antagonist is Herod, the king of Judea at the time of Jesus’ birth. Comfortable and secure in his role as the supreme ruler of the land, Herod is deeply troubled by the report of the Wise Men who say, “Where is He who is born King of the Jews?” Spiritually seen, Herod, as king of Israel, represents total self-absorption, our corrupt hereditary will, setting itself up as the ruler of our lives. This is our state after fourteen generations of captivity in Babylon — a state in which we are governed by our basest emotions: greed, control, anger, fear, hatred and jealousy. We can be sure that whenever we find ourselves in a state like this, Herod is sitting comfortably and securely on his throne. He is a tyrannical ruler, easily threatened, but not easily dethroned. His motivating force is to destroy the Lord in us — even at His birth — rather than relinquish his control over us.

God knows that we need divine protection from the wrath of Herod who represents our selfish desire to control. God therefore speaks to Joseph (as He does to us) in a dream, saying “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and remain there until I bring you word; for Herod is about to seek the young Child to destroy Him” (2:13).

Egypt, at that time, was a world center for education and learning. Medicine, mathematics, poetry and many other fields of study were flourishing. So Jesus’ flight into Egypt represents the need that all of us have for basic education, not just the standard three “R’s,” (reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic) but the fourth “R” as well — the basics of religion.

Religious truth, especially the most basic, can help defend us against the onslaughts of Herod — the despot of our lower nature, a fierce tyrant who strives to murder everything that is true in us, even in its most innocent beginning. This is represented by Herod’s massacre of the male children in and around Bethlehem: “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem, and in all its districts, from two years old and under” (2:16; emphasis added).

The name “Bethlehem,” comes from two Hebrew words: “Beth” meaning “house” and “lechem” meaning “bread.” Therefore, Bethlehem means “House of Bread” — a place of spiritual nourishment. In the context of this episode, Herod’s destruction of all the male children of Bethlehem, two years old and under, represents how evil inclinations can destroy our earliest impulses to learn truth. These earliest desires to acquire knowledge of truth are symbolized by the male babies of Bethlehem. Whenever we fall into states of cynicism and skepticism, refusing to learn or trust the simple teachings of the Word, whenever we find ourselves without desire to seek the truth, and whenever the distractions of the world lure us away from the quest for wisdom, we can know that “Herod” has risen up in our hearts. A massacre has begun. “Herod in us” is striving to murder the innocent and tender qualities that have been born in our heavenly Bethlehem.

But if we flee to and remain in Egypt (as Jesus does), we will be protected. It is the place where our instruction begins. This is a temporary, but essential part of our spiritual development; temporary because we must eventually return to the land of Canaan where the truth will be applied to our lives; and essential, because these basic, natural truths are the only means by which we can be prepared to receive the higher insights that will eventually flow in from above. 1

For most of us, the period of our instruction in basic truths can last for many years, well into adolescence and beyond. In fact, it never really ends. Throughout our lives we will continue to acquire knowledge, both worldly and spiritual. We will, as it were, “go down into Egypt.” And, as we do so, learning truth and putting it into our lives, we will begin to see how the literal teachings of scripture “open up” like parting clouds, revealing more and more of the interior truths they contain.

In Jesus’ own case, this process of acquiring basic truth was much more rapid. Although Matthew does not tell us how long Jesus remained in Egypt, we can safely assume He was still quite young when He left, for an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the soul of the young Child’s are dead” (2:20; emphasis added).

Growing up in Nazareth

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21. And he arose, [and] took the little Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.

22. And hearing that Archelaus reigned in Judea instead of his father Herod, he feared to go thither; but being warned in a dream, he departed into the parts of Galilee.

23. And coming, He dwelt in a city called Nazareth, so that it might be fulfilled which was declared by the prophets, that He should be called a Nazarene.
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Eventually, Joseph, Mary, and the young Child decide to return to Judea. This represents the next step in our spiritual journey. Once we have learned the simple, basic, most literal truths of the Word (sojourning in Egypt), it is time to return to Judea. It is time to be further instructed, and to see what is more interiorly concealed within the letter of the Word. This is a necessary step in every person’s spiritual development. The letter of the Word serves as a literal history of people and places; it is an introduction to basic truth. It does not, however, reveal the full details of our spiritual journey, or provide the kind of discernment we need for the refinement of our souls. Not yet, but that will surely come when we are ready to receive further instruction.

Meanwhile, as the divine narrative continues, Joseph is “warned by God in a dream” that it is not yet time to return to their home. Though Herod is dead, his son is still in power. And so Mary, Joseph, and the young Child turn aside into the region of Galilee, into a city called Nazareth. This is yet another step on the journey of spiritual development. In the language of sacred scripture, it could be called, “growing up in Nazareth.

But what does it mean to “grow up in Nazareth”?

Nazareth of Galilee was a primitive region populated mostly by farmers, fishermen and uneducated tradespeople who knew very little about theology or the laws of the temple.

Unlike the well-educated (but misguided) religious leaders in Judea, the people of Galilee were not part of the religious establishment of the time. Although they had a strong belief in God, they were not familiar with the main doctrines taught by the religious leaders or the traditions of the temple authorities. And yet, a simple belief in God is often better than a more complicated belief system based on human reason rather than divine revelation. In this regard, the “learned world” often looks down upon people who believe in simplicity that there is a God, and that God is good. 2

The simple, hard-working, good people of Nazareth, therefore, symbolize the humility and simplicity we need to believe in God and live according to His teachings. It is remarkable that almost all the early disciples came from Galilee. It was not their theological training that made them receptive to the teachings of Jesus — for they had very little. In fact, it might be said that it was the absence of theological training — or to be more precise, the absence of false and misleading theology — that made them receptive to Jesus’ words. 3

Galilee, then, and the city of Nazareth which was in the region of Galilee, represent the simplicity of heart and the goodness of life that can receive God openly without skepticism or negativity. Because their religious principles are simple and uncomplicated — love God, love your neighbor — these people can receive Jesus’ teachings readily and with joy. All this is contained in the scriptural statement that Jesus grew up in Nazareth of Galilee, in the “land of the Gentiles.” 4 These words speak about a state in us “where Jesus grows up” — a state in which we are willing to receive basic truths simply, uncritically, and with joy.

As we shall see later in the narrative, the fact that Jesus grows up in Nazareth, in the land of the Gentiles, will be held against Him. The religious leaders will regard Him as poor and uneducated, untrained in their religious tenets, and therefore incapable of understanding or conveying spiritual truth to anyone. And yet, as this episode closes, we learn that His growing up in Nazareth is the fulfillment of prophecy, for we read, “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’” (2:23).

As we reflect on this miraculous moment in the early life of Jesus, it becomes evident that those simple, most basic truths we learn (Egypt) must be protected in a place of simple trust and unalloyed faith (Nazareth of Galilee). This is a necessary stage in which early truths from the letter of the Word can deepen and develop. It is why we feel a natural desire to protect the innocence of children from corrupting influences — Herod, and the son of Herod. And it is the same with each of us as we learn new truth from the letter of the Word, and allow it to grow up within us in a state of simple faith.

-----
Footnotes:

1Arcana Coelestia 1462:6: “That the Lord when an infant was brought into Egypt, signified the same that is here signified by Abram [instruction in truths from the letter of the Word]; and it took place for the additional reason that He might fulfill all the things that had been represented concerning Him. In the inmost sense the migration of Jacob and his sons into Egypt represented the first instruction of the Lord in knowledges from the Word.” See also Apocalypse Explained 654.

2Apocalypse Explained 447:5: “Galilee signifies the establishment of the church with the Gentiles who are in the good of life and who receive truths.”

3Arcana Coelestia 4760:4: “It is well-known that the learned have less belief than the simple in a life after death, and that in general they see Divine truths less clearly than the simple do. The reason is that they consult facts, of which they possess a greater abundance than others, with a negative attitude, and by this destroy in themselves any insight gained from a higher or more interior position. Once this has been destroyed they no longer see anything in the light of heaven but in the light of the world; for facts exist in the light of the world, and if they are not lit up by the light of heaven they bring darkness, however different it may seem to be to them. This was why the simple believed in the Lord but not the scribes and Pharisees, who were the learned in that nation.”

4Apocalypse Explained 730: “Gentiles signify those who are in ignorance of truth, and yet are in the good of life according to their religious principle, from which they have a desire for truths.”

-----

   Studovat vnitřní smysl

Exploring the Meaning of Matthew 2      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman

Chapter 2.

After Jesus is Born

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1. And when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came Magi from the east into Jerusalem,

2. Saying, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.”

3. But having heard, Herod the king was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

4. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born.

5. And they said unto him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet:

6. ‘And thou Bethlehem, [of] the land of Judah, art by no means the least among the governors of Judah, for out of thee shall come a Governor, who shall shepherd My people Israel.’”

7. Then Herod, privately calling the Magi, precisely inquired of them at what time the star appeared.

8. And sending them to Bethlehem, he said, “Go and search earnestly for the little Child; and when you have found [Him], report to me, so that I also may come and worship Him.”

9. And when they had heard the king they went [out]; and behold, the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came [and] stood over where the little Child was.

10. And having seen the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

11. And coming into the house, they found the little Child with Mary His mother, and falling [down] they worshiped Him; and opening their treasures, they offered to Him gifts: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

12. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed into their own country by another way.

13. And when they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appears in a dream to Joseph, saying, “Arise and take the little Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be there until I tell thee; for Herod is about to seek the little Child to destroy Him.”

14. And when he arose, he took the little Child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt,

15. And was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was declared by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt have I called My Son.”

16. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the Magi, was exceedingly wrathful, and sent out and slew all the boys that were in Bethlehem, and in all her borders , from two years and under, according to the time which he had precisely inquired of the Magi.

17. Then was fulfilled what was declared by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,

18. “A voice was heard in Rama, lamentation, and weeping, and much howling, Rachel weeping [for] her children; and she was not willing to be comforted, because they are not.”

19. And when Herod was dead, behold, the angel of the Lord, in a dream appears to Joseph in Egypt,

20. Saying, “Arise, take the little Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel; for they are dead who sought the soul of the little Child.”
---

Joseph’s struggle within himself — as to whether or not to accept Mary and the child — represents the spiritual battle which each of us must undergo in the course of our regeneration. It is one thing to receive the Lord in the understanding (represented by Joseph), but quite another to allow Him to order the things of our will — represented by the angel telling Joseph to take Mary as his wife. This is the fiercer battle which now begins “after Jesus is born.”

The antagonist is Herod, the king of Judea at the time of Jesus’ birth. Comfortable and secure in his role as the supreme ruler of the land, Herod is deeply troubled by the report of the Wise Men who say, “Where is He who is born King of the Jews?” Spiritually seen, Herod, as king of Israel, represents total self-absorption, our corrupt hereditary will, setting itself up as the ruler of our lives. This is our state after fourteen generations of captivity in Babylon — a state in which we are governed by our basest emotions: greed, control, anger, fear, hatred and jealousy. We can be sure that whenever we find ourselves in a state like this, Herod is sitting comfortably and securely on his throne. He is a tyrannical ruler, easily threatened, but not easily dethroned. His motivating force is to destroy the Lord in us — even at His birth — rather than relinquish his control over us.

God knows that we need divine protection from the wrath of Herod who represents our selfish desire to control. God therefore speaks to Joseph (as He does to us) in a dream, saying “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and remain there until I bring you word; for Herod is about to seek the young Child to destroy Him” (2:13).

Egypt, at that time, was a world center for education and learning. Medicine, mathematics, poetry and many other fields of study were flourishing. So Jesus’ flight into Egypt represents the need that all of us have for basic education, not just the standard three “R’s,” (reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic) but the fourth “R” as well — the basics of religion.

Religious truth, especially the most basic, can help defend us against the onslaughts of Herod — the despot of our lower nature, a fierce tyrant who strives to murder everything that is true in us, even in its most innocent beginning. This is represented by Herod’s massacre of the male children in and around Bethlehem: “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem, and in all its districts, from two years old and under” (2:16; emphasis added).

The name “Bethlehem,” comes from two Hebrew words: “Beth” meaning “house” and “lechem” meaning “bread.” Therefore, Bethlehem means “House of Bread” — a place of spiritual nourishment. In the context of this episode, Herod’s destruction of all the male children of Bethlehem, two years old and under, represents how evil inclinations can destroy our earliest impulses to learn truth. These earliest desires to acquire knowledge of truth are symbolized by the male babies of Bethlehem. Whenever we fall into states of cynicism and skepticism, refusing to learn or trust the simple teachings of the Word, whenever we find ourselves without desire to seek the truth, and whenever the distractions of the world lure us away from the quest for wisdom, we can know that “Herod” has risen up in our hearts. A massacre has begun. “Herod in us” is striving to murder the innocent and tender qualities that have been born in our heavenly Bethlehem.

But if we flee to and remain in Egypt (as Jesus does), we will be protected. It is the place where our instruction begins. This is a temporary, but essential part of our spiritual development; temporary because we must eventually return to the land of Canaan where the truth will be applied to our lives; and essential, because these basic, natural truths are the only means by which we can be prepared to receive the higher insights that will eventually flow in from above. 1

For most of us, the period of our instruction in basic truths can last for many years, well into adolescence and beyond. In fact, it never really ends. Throughout our lives we will continue to acquire knowledge, both worldly and spiritual. We will, as it were, “go down into Egypt.” And, as we do so, learning truth and putting it into our lives, we will begin to see how the literal teachings of scripture “open up” like parting clouds, revealing more and more of the interior truths they contain.

In Jesus’ own case, this process of acquiring basic truth was much more rapid. Although Matthew does not tell us how long Jesus remained in Egypt, we can safely assume He was still quite young when He left, for an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the soul of the young Child’s are dead” (2:20; emphasis added).

Growing up in Nazareth

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21. And he arose, [and] took the little Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.

22. And hearing that Archelaus reigned in Judea instead of his father Herod, he feared to go thither; but being warned in a dream, he departed into the parts of Galilee.

23. And coming, He dwelt in a city called Nazareth, so that it might be fulfilled which was declared by the prophets, that He should be called a Nazarene.
---

Eventually, Joseph, Mary, and the young Child decide to return to Judea. This represents the next step in our spiritual journey. Once we have learned the simple, basic, most literal truths of the Word (sojourning in Egypt), it is time to return to Judea. It is time to be further instructed, and to see what is more interiorly concealed within the letter of the Word. This is a necessary step in every person’s spiritual development. The letter of the Word serves as a literal history of people and places; it is an introduction to basic truth. It does not, however, reveal the full details of our spiritual journey, or provide the kind of discernment we need for the refinement of our souls. Not yet, but that will surely come when we are ready to receive further instruction.

Meanwhile, as the divine narrative continues, Joseph is “warned by God in a dream” that it is not yet time to return to their home. Though Herod is dead, his son is still in power. And so Mary, Joseph, and the young Child turn aside into the region of Galilee, into a city called Nazareth. This is yet another step on the journey of spiritual development. In the language of sacred scripture, it could be called, “growing up in Nazareth.

But what does it mean to “grow up in Nazareth”?

Nazareth of Galilee was a primitive region populated mostly by farmers, fishermen and uneducated tradespeople who knew very little about theology or the laws of the temple.

Unlike the well-educated (but misguided) religious leaders in Judea, the people of Galilee were not part of the religious establishment of the time. Although they had a strong belief in God, they were not familiar with the main doctrines taught by the religious leaders or the traditions of the temple authorities. And yet, a simple belief in God is often better than a more complicated belief system based on human reason rather than divine revelation. In this regard, the “learned world” often looks down upon people who believe in simplicity that there is a God, and that God is good. 2

The simple, hard-working, good people of Nazareth, therefore, symbolize the humility and simplicity we need to believe in God and live according to His teachings. It is remarkable that almost all the early disciples came from Galilee. It was not their theological training that made them receptive to the teachings of Jesus — for they had very little. In fact, it might be said that it was the absence of theological training — or to be more precise, the absence of false and misleading theology — that made them receptive to Jesus’ words. 3

Galilee, then, and the city of Nazareth which was in the region of Galilee, represent the simplicity of heart and the goodness of life that can receive God openly without skepticism or negativity. Because their religious principles are simple and uncomplicated — love God, love your neighbor — these people can receive Jesus’ teachings readily and with joy. All this is contained in the scriptural statement that Jesus grew up in Nazareth of Galilee, in the “land of the Gentiles.” 4 These words speak about a state in us “where Jesus grows up” — a state in which we are willing to receive basic truths simply, uncritically, and with joy.

As we shall see later in the narrative, the fact that Jesus grows up in Nazareth, in the land of the Gentiles, will be held against Him. The religious leaders will regard Him as poor and uneducated, untrained in their religious tenets, and therefore incapable of understanding or conveying spiritual truth to anyone. And yet, as this episode closes, we learn that His growing up in Nazareth is the fulfillment of prophecy, for we read, “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’” (2:23).

As we reflect on this miraculous moment in the early life of Jesus, it becomes evident that those simple, most basic truths we learn (Egypt) must be protected in a place of simple trust and unalloyed faith (Nazareth of Galilee). This is a necessary stage in which early truths from the letter of the Word can deepen and develop. It is why we feel a natural desire to protect the innocence of children from corrupting influences — Herod, and the son of Herod. And it is the same with each of us as we learn new truth from the letter of the Word, and allow it to grow up within us in a state of simple faith.

-----
Footnotes:

1. Arcana Coelestia 1462:6: “That the Lord when an infant was brought into Egypt, signified the same that is here signified by Abram [instruction in truths from the letter of the Word]; and it took place for the additional reason that He might fulfill all the things that had been represented concerning Him. In the inmost sense the migration of Jacob and his sons into Egypt represented the first instruction of the Lord in knowledges from the Word.” See also Apocalypse Explained 654.

2. Apocalypse Explained 447:5: “Galilee signifies the establishment of the church with the Gentiles who are in the good of life and who receive truths.”

3. Arcana Coelestia 4760:4: “It is well-known that the learned have less belief than the simple in a life after death, and that in general they see Divine truths less clearly than the simple do. The reason is that they consult facts, of which they possess a greater abundance than others, with a negative attitude, and by this destroy in themselves any insight gained from a higher or more interior position. Once this has been destroyed they no longer see anything in the light of heaven but in the light of the world; for facts exist in the light of the world, and if they are not lit up by the light of heaven they bring darkness, however different it may seem to be to them. This was why the simple believed in the Lord but not the scribes and Pharisees, who were the learned in that nation.”

4. Apocalypse Explained 730: “Gentiles signify those who are in ignorance of truth, and yet are in the good of life according to their religious principle, from which they have a desire for truths.”

-----

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 113, 117, 1171, 1462, 1502, 1540, 2135, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 277, 503, 526, 913

Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 23

True Christian Religion 205


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 72, 242, 324, 422, 433, 448, 449, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 2, 41

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 31, ...

Skočit na podobné biblické verše

Exodus 4:19, 22

Numbers 23:22, 24:17

Joshua 5:14

2 Samuel 2

1 Kings 11:40

1 Chronicles 2

Psalms 72:10, 78:71

Isaiah 11:1, 40:11, 60:6

Jeremiah 26:21, 31:15

Hosea 11:1

Jonah 4:6

Micah 5:1, 2

Zdroje pro rodiče a učitele

Zde uvedené položky jsou poskytnuty se svolením našich přátel z General Church of the New Jerusalem. Můžete prohledávat/procházet celou knihovnu kliknutím na odkaz this link.


 Adoration of the Wise Men
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Adoration of the Wise Men
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Angels in the Christmas Story
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Behold, the Star
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Birth of the Lord
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Childhood of Jesus
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Christmas Star
Gives directions for assembling four large triangles into a beautiful star. 
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Correspondences of Gold
Illustrations of three stories in the Word that mention gold. (Quotations are the King James translation.)
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Fall Down and Worship Him
Think about your day tomorrow, and prioritize your various activities by thinking about what the Lord wants you to do.
Activity | Ages over 15

 Five Christmas Scenes
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Flee to Egypt
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Flight into Egypt
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Flight into Egypt Silhouette
"Cut out the pieces to show the silhouettes of Mary and Joseph taking the young Child to Egypt, then assemble on a large piece of blue paper and add stars by using glitter or small star stickers. "
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Following the Star
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Follow the Star Dramatization
This simple dramatization of the story of the wise men following the star to find the baby Lord includes a script and an illustration of Mary, Joseph, and the young Child.
Activity | Ages 3 - 7

 Gifts for the Lord
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Gifts of the Wise Men
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 His Star Still Shines
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Jesus' Childhood
People are born without a set purpose and develop a purpose as they learn and choose a pathway. Jesus was born with an identity and a purpose; He had to discover His identity and become true to it.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Joy in the Coming of Our Lord
Like the star that led the wise men, the truth will lead us to the Lord and make us happy. But the real joy in our lives will be when we come to the Lord offering gifts to Him, as the wise men did.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Lacing Star
Print this star onto card stock, punch holes around the edge, then use yarn with sparkly (metallic) strands to “sew” around the edge of the star to make it sparkle.
Project | Ages 4 - 8

 Making Christmas Star Cookies
Ideas for decorating rolled cookies cut in the shape of stars. 
Project | Ages over 7

 Memory Verse: The Guiding Star
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Pop-up Crèche Card for Christmas
A lovely project to color and assemble. Designed by Eudora Sellner Walsh.
Project | Ages 7 - 17

 Quotes: Prophecies of the Advent
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: The Guiding Star
Teachings from the Lord's Word for Christmas about the guiding star.
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: Unto Us a Child Is Born
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: Using Our Talents
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Scroll of Angelic Appearances in Christmas Story
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Show and Tell the Gifts of the Wise Men
Read about the three gifts in Matthew 2. Then show everyone some gold, frankincense and myrrh. Discuss ways we can give these symbolic gifts to the Lord.
Activity | All Ages

 Signs at Christmas
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Star of Wonder
Four ways to picture the star in the dark of night.
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Star Out of Jacob
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Star Out of Jacob with Quote
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Stars
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Story of the Wise Men Scene Boxes
Paint four sides of a box to show 4 different scenes from the story of the wise men.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Story of the Wisemen Stained Glass Windows
Make stained glass windows depicting the star of wonder, the three wise men following the star or the wise men presenting their gifts before the Lord.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Strange Gifts
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Christmas Star
As we think about stars at Christmas time, let us invite the Lord into our hearts and minds so that His Christmas star will light the way to heaven for us.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Flight into Egypt
Angels came to Joseph in a dream to help protect the baby Lord. Angels can help protect us too. Sample from the Jacob's Ladder Program, Level 1, for ages 6-7.
Religion Lesson | Ages 6 - 7

 The Gold of the Wisemen
Gold stands for loving the Lord. This was the first gift that the wise men gave the Lord because it is essential for worshiping the Lord. You can give the Lord the gift of spiritual gold - the gift of love. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Guiding Star [salt crystal star]
Paint a beautiful guiding star and then use salt crystals on wet paint to make a starry sky for the background.
Project | Ages over 7

 The Innocence of Love
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord Come into the World
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Lord Comes into the World (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Lord Comes into the World (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Lord Comes into the World (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Murder of the Innocents and the Flight into Egypt
Within each one of us the Lord’s wonderful Providence keeps what is most important safe from harm. In time, this protection makes it possible for us to prepare ourselves to become angels in heaven.
Worship Talk | Ages 15 - 17

 The Slaughter of the Innocents
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Star of Bethlehem
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Three Gifts of the Wise Men
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Visit of the Wise Men
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Visit of the Wise Men (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Visit of the Wise Men (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Visit of the Wise Men (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Wise Men
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Wise Men
Two project ideas for picturing the wise men.  
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 The Wise Men
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Wise Men
The wise men brought gifts to the baby Lord. How are we to search for the Lord? What gifts should we bring Him?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Wise Men
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Wise Men
A story for young children with color illustrations.
Story | Ages 4 - 10

 The Wisemen Diorama
Print this project onto thick paper (such as cover stock). Then color the wise men, the camels, and the background scene of Bethlehem and assemble a diorama with the wise men looking at the star. 
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 The Wisemen Present Gifts
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Wisemen Rejoice to See the Star
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Wise Men Worship the Lord
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Three Christmas Initial Letters
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Three Christmas Scenes
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Three Kings from the East
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Three Wise Men
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?
Lesson and activities comparing what the Lord wills to what He permits so that people can be free to make heavenly or hellish choices in their lives.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Why the Lord Was Taken into Egypt
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Wise Men Follow the Star
At the time of the Lord’s birth a beautiful star appeared in the night sky. It was a star of heavenly light and only people whose spiritual eyes had been opened could see it. Far away from Bethlehem, in the land to the east, this special star was seen by some wise men. Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 2, for ages 7-8.
Religion Lesson | Ages 7 - 8

 Wise Men from the East
Presents a dramatic word-picture of the wise men's journey and a message for us all: If you wish to be wise, and to be made happy with an exceeding great joy, follow the Lord's star.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Wisemen See Star
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Wisemen's Gift Ornaments
Make ornaments for your tree by printing pictures of wise men's gifts on stiff paper (such as cover stock). Then color the gifts, cut them out, and display on your tree.
Project | Ages up to 10


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