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Author Topic: The King In The Manger  (Read 785 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: The King In The Manger
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2019, 09:42:15 am »
Matt 2:11-12 . .Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Those were not only appropriate tributes in that day, but also valuable commodities that Joseph could put to use in financing his family's pending sojourn in Egypt. (Matt 2:13-14)

It would've been fun if Matthew had told us the weight of the gold so we could put a dollar figure on it according to today's precious metals.

Matt 2:11-12 . . And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

That was a safety measure to prevent Herod from knowing where to find the lad because rulers in that day were typically Machiavellian-- they didn't just crush potential threats to their power; they utterly annihilated it; and as subsequent events demonstrate, ol' Herod had neither conscience nor concern for child welfare.

Matt 2:16a . .Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth

There's really nothing in the story to even remotely suggest that the wise men made a fool out of Herod. It was all in his own mind, i.e. his own perception of the events. In other words; Herod was under the impression that they had mocked him; thus his reaction was stimulated by a false premise.

Matt 2:16b . . He sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

The Greek word for "coasts" is a mite ambiguous. It technically indicates borders, but can also indicate regions and/or environs and surrounding areas.

That verse is commonly appropriated to calculate Jesus' age relative to when the wise men visited him and his mother. But the verse merely indicates the passage of time since Herod interviewed the men; which is quite useless for calculating Jesus' age seeing as how he was already born before the men even left their country-- how long before they left their country, nobody knows for sure.

Matt 2:17-18 . .Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." (Jer 31:15)

Ramah was roughly six miles north of Jerusalem, while Bethlehem is roughly the same distance south in the opposite direction.

Ramah was settled by the people of Rachel's biological son Benjamin, so that any weeping done by the mothers in that area would be reckoned, by heritage, to be Rachel's weeping.

What this suggests to me is that the slaughter of the innocents extended beyond the community of Bethlehem. Were we to set a draftsman's compass to a radius equal to the distance between Bethlehem and Ramah, and scribe a circle with Bethlehem at the center, it would yield a pretty good idea of the area covered by Herod's death squads.

But Herod's efforts were futile. Jesus wasn't even in the country; Joseph had moved the child and his mother down into Egypt before all the killing began. (Matt 2:13)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 09:47:10 pm by Olde Tymer »


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