Matthew 2:13-18 ESCAPE TO EGYPT & HEROD KILLS THE CHILDREN
2:13-18 This is the second time Joseph's message from God came in a dream, the first to announce that Mary's child was the Messiah. The second dream told Joseph to protect the child. We give credit to God who protected the child. Joseph did not wait to do what God told him to do. He immediately got up and left in the middle of the night. My Dad used to say "when I speak, you jump." He did not want me to wait any amount of time before I did the task he was telling me to do, even if I was watching TV and was to take out the trash. This is what Joseph did when he listened to God and I should do the same. The gifts from the wise men must have been helpful in affording the move to Egypt.
The parallel of Jesus and Israel is interesting. Hosea 11:1 says, "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son." The early generations of Israel were captive in Egypt and Moses lead the people out (Exodus 14). Jesus went to Egypt as a child. There were some Jews still in Egypt from during the type of captivity in Jeremiah 43 and 44. Hosea was a prophet and this verse is quoted in Matthew 2:15. This is yet another prophecy fulfilled.
Once again, Herod's paranoia get the best of him as he orders all boys under age two to be killed. Herod's paranoia makes him ruthless and without heart or compassion. Herod's fear that one baby boy was out to get him cause the death of many innocent young boys. Once again, Herod tries to mess with God, but man cannot mess with God. The plan of God was not for Jesus to take Herod's throne, but rather to be kind of Herod's life. Give Jesus the throne of your life.
Paranoia is defined as "characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance" and I think that describes Herod well. Herod was extremely insecure. I think general (not severe) paranoia is common in today's world. Our minds begin to overthink until anxiety develops over fear of something that might happen as imagined in our minds. For a self-check, do not worry about things until they actually happen. Stop the wrongful worry. To be worried about circumstances created by the mind is an indication of a lack of trust in God. Nehemiah 6:8 says, "Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind."
The order to kill the male children under age two gives an indication of a timeline. The wise men could have followed the star to visit Jesus closer to age 2, being age 1, (rather than one month) or Herod waited that long before he realized the Magi would never return. These children were the first martyrs. Jesus escapes death only so that He might die on the cross for all sinners.
Rachel was the favored wife of Jacob and as such the mother of a nation. Jacob's 12 sons became the 12 tribes of Israel. Rachel was buried near Bethlehem in Ramah (Genesis 35:19). In verses 17 and 18, Matthew quotes Jeremiah 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."