Matthew 2:19-23 THE RETURN TO NAZARETH
When Herod died, Joseph had a third dream to tell him to take the child home. Joseph thought home was Bethlehem, but when he learned Herod's son, Archelaus, was in power, he realized home was to return to Nazareth (former home of Joseph and Mary). The importance of the mention of "Nazarene" is that Galilee was despised by those in Judea and Samaria because the people came in contact with Gentiles traveling on trade routes in great caravans through the nearby crossroads. World news arrived to Nazareth quickly, causing the people to have an attitude of independence. The prophecies were that many would despise the Messiah (Psalm 22:6-8, Psalm 22:13, Isaiah 53:2-3, Isaiah 53:8). In John 1:46 Nathanael says, "Nazareth! . . . Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to Egypt, and back to Nazareth because of the direction of angels in his dreams. His life must have felt like I do sometimes when I say, "I feel like I live in a pinball machine." May I follow God's leading like Joseph, even if I do not know where God might lead me. God was always with Joseph and God is always with me.
When Herod died, Rome was divided among three sons. 1) Archelaus ruled Judea, Samaria, and Idumea; 2) Herod Antipas ruled Galilee and Perea; and 3) Herod Philip II ruled Traconitis. Archelaus began his reign by slaughtering 3,000 influential people and 9 years later he was banished. In Galilee, the family was ruled by Herod Antipas.
Luke 2:39-40 THE RETURN TO NAZARETH
There is quite a bit of time covered in these few verses. More is detailed in Matthew. In just a few short words, Jesus grows to a young boy, becomes strong, and grows in wisdom. The favor of God was on Him. I find this a bit of a strange statement because He is God. Other versions of the Bible use the word "grace" instead of "favor." As a parent raising a child, I pray these things for my child, that he will grow in strength and wisdom and find favor with God.