Magi [pronounced May-ji ~ a caste of wise men specializing in astrology, medicine and natural science]
Magi came to Bethlehem, they asked Herod “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?”
[please see scripture at bottom of page]
they saw the star in the east and have come to worship Him.
Herod and all of Jerusalem were troubled. Herod gathered the chief priests and scribes and asked where the Christ was to be born. They told him according to the scripture [Micah 5:2]
2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
The story goes, the king told the magi to find the holy king and report back to him so he too could worship him.
But an angel set the magi straight and they went home without telling Herod.
An angel told Joseph to flee to Egypt for Herod was looking to destroy the child. And so they went.
Here’s the focus:
Herod became enraged by the Magi’s deception and slew all the male children in Bethlehem and in all its vicinity from 2 years old and under.
The prophecy spoken by Jeremiah is fulfilled.
*[Jer. 31:15 ~ Thus says the Lord:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.”]
*also could be Israel weeping over exiles.
Joseph, Mary and the child ended up, not back in Bethlehem but Nazareth [back to Joseph and Marys residence]. Another prophecy fulfilled.
From what I can see, Jesus never returned to Bethlehem.
So my questions are:
1. Would killing of a towns 2 years and under males effect the community then and later?
2. Did everyone know of the coming king?
3. Did they all see the star or just the shepherds, magi and maybe Herod?
3. Do you think people made the connection of Christ being in Bethlehem and the death of their own children?
or did any of the mothers ever figure out Jesus was the reason for their own sons deaths?
4. How far was Bethlehem from Jerusalem where Jesus made his triumphant entry, was on trial and died on the outside of town?
5. How would you feel if you knew Mary got to keep her baby, but you didn’t?
The Visit of the Wise Men
2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
The Flight to Egypt
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Herod Kills the Children
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
The Return to Nazareth
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”