Matthew 2:13-23

Talks for Growing Christians

Joseph, Mary and Jesus went to Egypt until the death of Herod

Matthew 2:13-23

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Lesson Number 4

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus returned from Egypt.
  2. Prophecy was fulfilled when Herod killed the children.
  3. prophecy was fulfilled when Joseph moved to Nazareth.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t expect God’s guidance to make your life easier.


  1. Review the four dreams God used to guide Joseph.
  2. How does Matthew show the preeminence of Jesus over His mother, Mary?
  3. What is Hosea 1:1 referring to in its original context?
  4. What is Jeremiah 31:15 speaking about in its original context?
  5. Where in the Old Testament prophetic books can we find the prophecy, “He shall be called a Nazarene”?


  1. a. Matthew 1:20-24 Joseph was guided to take Mary as his wife, because she was going to have a Son conceived of the Holy Spirit. b. Matthew 2:13 Joseph was guided to take his family to Egypt to escape from Herod. c. Matthew 2:19-20 Joseph was guided to return to Israel because Herod was dead. d. Matthew 2:22 Joseph was guided to reside in Galilee, not Judea, because Herod’s son, Archelaus, was reigning over Judea.
  2. Five times in this chapter Jesus is mentioned before His mother (2:11, 13, 14, 20, 21). Also, the wise men worshiped Jesus alone, not Jesus and Mary (2:17).
  3. Hosea was referring to the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt.
  4. The Israelites wept and mourned because their children died when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem during the time of Jeremiah.
  5. We do not find the exact quote in any Old Testament book. But the idea that Jesus would be despised is a common prophetic theme. See Isaiah 5:3, Psalm 22:6, and John 1:46.


  1. God guided Joseph specifically through dreams. But this guidance did not make Joseph’s life easier. Do you think it was easy for Joseph to trust God and take pregnant Mary as his wife? Do you think it was easy for Joseph to move baby Jesus and His mother to Egypt in the middle of the night? As Christians, God has promised to guide us. See Proverbs 3:5-6. Although following God’s guidance will make your life more enjoyable, fulfilling, and rewarding, it will not necessarily be easier. Have you seen this to be true in your own life? Following God’s guidance is worth it!
  2. In this lesson we saw the fulfillment of three Old Testament prophecies. In their original context, these prophecies did not seem to refer to the Messiah. Yet by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew saw the fuller meaning of scripture. We need to allow for the fuller meaning of scripture. Yet this does not mean we should look for “hidden meanings” in Old Testament texts. Let your interpretations be guided by the rest of scripture.


  1. Are you willing to obey the Lord, as Joseph was, even if His guidance does not make your life easier?

Key Verses

  • “He took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt.” Matthew 2:14
  • “He arose took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.” Matthew 2:21

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