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Out of Egypt

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
February 10, 2021 7:00 am

Out of Egypt

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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February 10, 2021 7:00 am

The whole story of The Bible from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation points to one main event, one turning point in history. It all focuses on God’s great plan to redeem the world through his Son. Dr. James Boice discusses the parallel Old Testament prophecies contained in Matthew’s narrative of Jesus’ birth and early life.

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The whole story of the Bible from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation points to one main event one turning point in history. It all focuses on God's great plan to redeem the world through his son on this broadcast of the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce will discuss the parallel Old Testament prophecies contained in Matthew's narrative of Jesus birth and early life. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically.

Christianity began as an organized movement after Christ, but it existed in the mind and plan of God.

Since the ending of time. Let's listen in as Dr. Boyce explains the significance of the Old Testament prophecies related to Christ. One of the striking features about Matthew's presentation of the birth and early years of Jesus Christ is the way refers to Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled each step of the way he does at five times in these two chapters citing Isaiah 714 in the first chapter verse 23 Micah 52 in the second chapter and verse six Hosea 11 verse one and the second chapter verse 15 Jeremiah 3115 in verse 18 of the same chapter and then an uncertain text in the 23rd verse of that chapter. While at the very least, these techs make an important point, and that is what Christianity is nothing new or novel something what was planned and announced by God from the very beginning and then brought to fulfillment through the coming of the Messiah, who is Jesus Christ.

These techs also document the link between the two testaments, one of the things that is sometimes said about the relationship of the Old Testament of the New Testament is that the new is in the old concealed the oldest in the new revealed on this is certainly what Matthew was explaining as he shows how these prophecies are fulfilled in Christ's coming, but they also do something else in mind as they teach SF where careful and studying them how we need to handle Old Testament prophecy. Most of us when we think of Old Testament prophecy. Think of it as a simple prediction of a single coming event is very clear and then is fulfilled very clearly and unmistakably out some of the prophecy is like that fact in these five prophecies to her like that one obviously and very clearly the other one probably so one that is clearest is the quotation from Matthew five to in the account of the coming of the wisemen because when wisemen came and asked where the Christ child should be born, the scribes and other leaders of the people dug out the Scriptures.

There it was in the fifth chapter of Matthew, but you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Juniper out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel is pretty clear. It's hard to think of a prophecy More direct, simple and simply fulfilled the map one. The other one which is probably in the same category as Isaiah 14 which is cited in the first chapter and has to do with the virgin birth looked at that some time ago reason I say it's probably in the same category, but not necessarily saw was some question whether@that was given to Isaiah to give the King Ahaz was for him in his time referring to a child born in his reign, of which the coming of Jesus Christ would only be a secondary application or whether that reference is solely for the coming of Jesus Christ. Most commentators see it as a sign in that day fulfilled in a second sense and the coming of Christ, but it may be number of conservative scholars argue this is exclusively concerned with Jesus Christ. In other words, it's a sign for when the Davidic monarchy should and after that a virgin will conceive and bear a son who will be the king or will reign forever, but as I say, that's only one kind of prophecy about the Old Testament sacrificial system.

For example, book of Hebrews makes a great deal of lapse and it argues that all of those sacrifices prescribed there in the Old Testament by the command of God are all meant to prefigure the work of Jesus Christ. So in a sense, all of the sacrifices are prophecies, DA Carson whom I have quoted before McLeod again in these studies because it is one of the best conservative scholars and students of Matthew summarizes it this way. He says elsewhere in the New Testament we learn how the law anticipated the gospel how the Levitical priesthood pointed to a new high priest who would effectively stand between God and humanity and never need replacing all the ancient kingdom of David served as a model or a type of the kingdom of God. How certain covenants had a built-in obsolescence that led believers to look forward to the dawning of the promised new covenant and many more things like that. Now it's important understand that there are these different types of prophecies because many of the links between the Old Testament and the New Testament are in this category that is not explicit, detailed prophecies of the coming events, but types or suggestions of things that were to be fulfilled in an even greater way when Christ came more to the point because were studying the second chapter of Matthew, the prophecies of the car. There are three of the five core of this second category. Each of them is link to a story. The second half of the second chapter contains stories that are meant to bridge the years between the coming of the wisemen to worship Christ. Probably something that happened when he was between one and two years old and the coming of John the Baptist, who was the forerunner at his coming is announced by Matthew in the third chapters of the years there that are bridged by the three stories set. Matthew tells the are these first of all, the family's flight to Egypt was about that briefly in verses 14 to 15 and Herod's murder of the children of Bethlehem Beatles about that briefly as well and verses 16 to 18, and then finally the family's return to Nazareth, which he tells about in verses 19 to 23.

Herod must've thought that he was very clever when he had his interview with the wisemen and told them that after they had found the Christ child, a way to come back and tell them where the child was because he wanted to go and worship until he had no intention of doing that. Of course any pretender like this is a threat to his own throne.

He was a ruthless man they wanted to do was murder the child. But when God revealed his true intentions to the wise man and sent them home. Another way Herod found out that he had been outwitted by the wisemen. He was furious understand that we would be determined murder all the young male children of the town liberals of made a lot of the facts that that story murder of the innocence of Bethlehem is not recorded anywhere else in ancient literature that is really surprising, we wouldn't expect it to be recorded by Herod. After all, it's hardly to his credit, and if you want to make a list of all the terrible things that Herod did. While this is probably a rather minor one, considering the terrible things committed by this great center. Moreover, Bethlehem was a small town that was remote wouldn't be much information coming to Jerusalem or other centers from their and furthermore it probably didn't even have many children.

People who have studied the time say that the most.

Bethlehem probably had about a thousand people living in it and that day and some estimates go as low as 300 that's the case you're talking about a dozen or so children. I was a crime that was a terrible thing but a minor one in the lifetime of atrocities considered by this man. What we know is that it certainly suits what we know of Herod's character, especially in these last years of his life.

He was always ruthless by the sea grew old and was facing death. He grew especially paranoid and had anybody that he considered of any kind of disloyalty to be killed and killed his wife, Mary, Omni, and her two sons strangled and then as a last act of his long and violent career. He had Antipater another son murdered because he had proclaimed himself perhaps a bit too precipitously as Herod's air slaughter of the young children would be only a minor offense for this great center now in view of this danger, God worn Joseph to take the child and his mother and escaped Egypt, which is what they did. Where this particular section of the second chapter begins Egypt was a natural place for them to go wasn't very far away only about 70 miles from Bethlehem, where they were at the time when the slow journey on foot. That's only about a week of travel wherever it was a stable Roman province had a good government. It was outside of Herod's jurisdiction, so he would have no authority to reach out there. Even if he was aware of the fact that this is where the family went to have a large Jewish population. Philo was writing about A.D. 40 said that at that time there were about a million Jews in Egypt so Joseph wouldn't of had any trouble going there probably fighting relatives of one sort or another, and certainly no difficulty finding work. Now it's at this point in the story that Matthew brings in this quotation from Hosea and so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet out of Egypt. I have called my son I would presents a problem to us is that when we turn that passage in Hosea, we find it's not really about the Messiah, who should, but rather about Israel and about God's deliverance of the people from Egypt in the time of Moses, William Barclay, one of the writers on most of the New Testament books looks at this and says well. Matthew is just scratching around to find anything that can possibly be related in any way whatsoever to what is narrating, even if it doesn't have anything to do with it at all.

Literally, this is what Barclay says Matthew is prepared to use as a prophecy about Jesus.

Any text at all, which can be made verbally to fit even though originally it had nothing to do with the question at hand was never meant to have anything to do with it whenever I find a scholar saying something like that. I step back and say you know I think the biblical writers were a lot smarter than that implies. Matthew was not stupid and he wrote a book is going to win door by blessing of the Holy Spirit forever, long after William Barclay's works are forgotten and I discovered that when you come to something like that.

What you have to do is just dig in a little bit and ask yourself what is it that Matthew is really saying look at it in the most superficial way, which is what Barclay is doing it does seem to be unrelated. Matthew wasn't stupid. Furthermore, he was writing to Jews who were not stupid and knew the Old Testament, I would certainly know the context of adverse is trying to convince them that Jesus is the Messiah used an utterly unrelated tax that had no meaning whatsoever.

They would say you're just making this thing up. It's foolish.

Well, what are we to understand by that Matthew certainly knew that Hosea 11 one is about Israel. He understood what he wants us to understand is something that goes beyond the mere futuristic prophecy, namely that Jesus is the ultimate embodiment of Israel, one in whom the true character and destiny of the people is wrapped up for the fact that Jesus was taken to Egypt and then returned to Nazareth from Egypt has a parallel in the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt and is a way God has of calling our attention to that fact is this to the context of the passage in Hosea is only the deliverance of the people from Egypt, but also God's faithfulness to them in and beyond Egypt in spite of their unfaithfulness many times in the Old Testament Israel was described as God's son but a disobedient son here in Jesus Christ. We have one was the son son of God, and one who is utterly obedient one, who were going to read in the next chapter, God said of this is one in whom I am well pleased. Now let's look at the second of these stories. This is Herod's killing of Bethlehem's young children, which I've already mentioned killing those two years of age and under very brief account because Matthew doesn't give us many of the details. Only real detail is that it was those who were two years of age and under and that this was determined in accordance with the timing born from the wise man.

But that means is that the star the single the birth of the child must've appeared in the wise man well over a year before makes perfect sense to have a long way to travel. Travel alone would take them three or four months and would've taken the time to get ready. So when they explain when they saw the star Herod to make sure says well I was going to stretch the time out a little bit, and kill all the children under two years of age, but that isn't particularly what Matthews interested in what interests. Matthew is this prophecy from Jeremiah. Jeremiah gives it in the 31st chapter and this is what Matthew quotes then what was sent through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled a voice is heard in Rama weeping great morning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more balance another prophecy that's hard to relate to what Matthew was actually telling about Christ and his family.

If we check Jeremiah week find that these tears that are referred to are for those Jews who were being carried off to exile Island. Matthew tears are even for the holy family which in a certain sense might be thought I was going off to exile in Egypt to return later but rather tears are for the children who were left behind, and who were murdered by Herod's soldiers seem to fit fact that the children were murdered would be a reason for tears but it's not clear or obvious fulfillment of the Scriptures so ask what's Matthew doing what is his purpose here.

What is this reference the Jeremiah all about. Some people think that the connection has to do with hope because that's the actual message of Jeremiah 31, from which it comes at the beginning of the chapter, God says that he will continue to be the God of the exiled people. Verse one. Let's judge them for their sin are being carried off to exile, but he's going to continue to be there God then he says that those who were not killed by the Babylonians will experience his favor and set in the second verse of the chapter then he says that his love is an everlasting love verse three and that he will hold the people up again. Verse four verse after verse speaks of Israel's future joy referring to vineyards and flocks and herds, and dancing. God speaks of regathering the people from the land of the north and from the ends of the earth. Verse eight and after the verse that speaks of Rachel weeping for her children, which is verse 15 there's a promise that God will bring the people back to their own land were 17.

In fact, the only reason for the reference to Rachel weeping for her children is the command to refrain from weeping which you have in verse 16 of the chapter is saying is that instead of looking back in sorrow. The judgment and the sad times in the past, people are to look forward, enjoy, hope of what God is yet going to do for them as their God now was hope for the exiles because they would go back to their own land and Matthew would be saying there's hope for Israel because the Messiah is escape God's wrath and he is yet going to grow up to be the Savior. So your people say that's what is really involved. I think at least that many more to than that Matthew is already made at major point of the exile, in giving the genealogy of Jesus Christ in the first chapter, you know. He divides those names of the three sections in the division between the second and the third section is the exile. That's when the Kings of David's line ceased to reign in Jerusalem. So what he may be doing here at sea calls attention to the exile, in the context of the chapter that has to do with hope is saying that really, the exile has not ended until the coming of the king who actually is going to reign and rule forever would be a way of saying that now because of the birth of Jesus Christ. The exile really is overhears the way Carson puts Matthew was already made the exile, a turning point in his thought, for at that time. The Davidic line was dethroned the tears of the exile, are now being fulfilled.

That is, the tears begun in Jeremiah's day are climaxed and ended by the tears of the mothers of Bethlehem, the heir to David's throne has calmly exile is over true son of God has arrived, and he will introduce the new covenant promised by Messiah. That's a good explanation about prophecy. Now the third of these historical episodes that are filling this gap happened years later when Joseph and the family returned to Nazareth. Matthew explained that after Herod died an angel appeared to Joseph in the dream telling to go back to Israel.

Probably, he thought of going back to Bethlehem because that's where Jesus had been born of the family of David, the child that was born was the king was to reign on David's throne.

Probably one of taking them back there wasn't a problem. Herod had been succeeded by Archelaus surviving son and he was known to be as ruthless as his father while Joseph was pondering this wondering where he should go. The angel came to him again told him that it was a real danger and therefore he should return the Bethlehem wedding to do is go on the Nazareth. Instead, which is where the family come from originally. Now at this point. Matthew introduces the last of these difficult citations. This is the most difficult of all is what the verse says so was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, he will be called a Nazarene reason that so difficult is that there's nothing like that in the Old Testament so you got out a concordance you read through it. You don't find anything that sounds all like that verse anywhere in any of the Old Testament books are what we do with it while part of the explanation comes from the fact that Matthew introduces this not as the way he normally introduces his prophecies by referring to a specific profit. This is what the prophet said, but here in the plural.

This was spoken by the prophets plural export of a general reference is not referring any particular text. That's one thing we notice.

Secondly, he replaces the burger usually uses which is the verb said profit said following somebody with a conjunction hottie which means that now it's true that in most of our English texts, the translators and the words that because they sort of need that to make sense of it in English is not there in the Greek language which is spoken by the prophets. Generally, that he would be called a Nazarene so we have a solution to part of the problem there is not referring any particular verse only to a general teaching. That's not all solution because we say well why then does he mention this word Nazarene doesn't occur the reader some of attempted to explain that by saying well. It's like the word Nazirite Nazirite was one was completely consecrated to God. So Jesus was consecrated to God that must be the connection problem is that there's no real connection between the two words Nazareth doesn't really have anything to do with the Nazirite and furthermore, Jesus wasn't a Nazirite although he was certainly dedicated to God. So what's the explanation well solution I think is that Nazareth was a despised place the kind of place you would talk about that is where people that you don't think very much about come from. I suppose the closest thing we would have an English as a blog about Podunk rims will something of that nature. Now that's a way Nazareth was referred to. So what Matthew was saying is that according to the teaching of the prophets. Jesus was not going to be recognized even though he was a son of David and the future King, as Jesus of Bethlehem would have all the good connotations of the Davidic line but either Jesus and why would anybody expect anything to come from there. We have an example of that.

By the way, because when Nathaniel responded when Philip told him that he, Andrew and Philip and found the Messiah. Nathaniel said Nazareth can anything good come from there. Now that's what Matthew seems to be referring to. He is reminding his readers that the prophet said that the Messiah would not be honored by the people. When he came, but rather he would be despised. One great example is Isaiah 53 three was despised and rejected by men, man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. When you begin to understand how this text or use you find that this is not just that simple little collection of stories here at the beginning of Matthew's gospel is teaching the whole theology of the incarnation it saying that this one who came in was born of the Virgin Mary was the son of God, but he was not regarded as that by his people.

Exactly what John says in different language in his prologue where he says that he came unto his own and is known receive Vermont that although they despise him. He didn't receive them. He was the king now we come to the end of that second chapter and this is a point where it's worth just backing off a little bit and asking what kind of lessons we should get from it and how we should apply them to ourselves. One lesson of course is the sovereignty of God above all in the details of the birth and life of Jesus the Messiah exactly a fulfilled precisely what God intended to fulfill in the second lesson is this the need to confess Jesus Christ as our king and our Savior rather than opposing him as Herod did I hear the second Psalm.

This is a prophecy of the Messiah that Matthew doesn't cite but a good one, and it explains very well what was happening in the events that are recorded in this chapter. Psalm two describes how the nations of the world conspire and the kings of the earth take their stand against the Lord and against his anointed.

It's what Harry did and is what everyone does. Apart from the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit to regenerate us and bend our wills to turn to Jesus Christ. Rather than refuse them. We don't want God's Messiah to reign over us anymore and Herod one of this child to take away his throne. And so we oppose them.

Now God is in trouble by that cosmic rebellion. That's what the second Psalm goes on to describe it says that God laughs at this kind of fall. He imagined mere human beings trying to oppose the will of Almighty God.

This is a scornful laugh God rebukes and terrifies his rebellious subjects saying nevertheless, I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill. God goes on to assure the nations that he will rule and that God is giving them the ends of the earth for his possession you will rule them with an iron scepter. You will dash them to pieces like pottery and we said what are we revised to do. That's all this man's answer is be wise, be warned, moreover, serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.

And above all, kiss the sun and grateful loving devotion, the ending, says us that are all who take refuge in him. That's what these rulers do, of course, are opposed to them why they're in danger of this final dreadful destruction.

But why should you be among them.

Gospel is the gospel of God's grace. This is the time in which people have to turn from their sin and embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior. Why should you rage against Christ the hands that he holds out for you to kiss so that hands that are pierced with the males were thrust through them at the time of his crucifixion as he died to be your Savior is a gracious, loving God, but one day is coming as the judge of all my day all the wicked will be punished with today is the day of his grace invites you to come last verse of that song says blessed are all who take refuge in him. As a reminder that the only refuge from the wrath of Almighty God upon sinners for their sin is to be found in that one who came to be the Savior, and though he was despised of men is actually the ruler of all let's pray. Father, we thank you that we've had time to study this chapter and study these prophecies. Thank you for the way when we do study your word. Our minds are stretched and we see things that we were not aware of before.

And above all how close things that we see always in one way or another point us to Jesus Christ recognizes the contents of the Scripture is the subject matter of it. Always the Savior is the one we need.

Father, we would ask by your grace, you would take that study and convey it into the minds and hearts of many. This day they might turn from their rebellion and find your grace the one you sent to be the Savior even Jesus the Nazarene is you are listening to Bible study hour with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals.

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