Matthew 2.13-23 Images



Download the Notes:




The Great, Fiery Red Dragon Goes After the Christ 

Matthew 2.13–23

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • November 1, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. Israel gave the world the Christ,

    1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne (Rev 12.1–5).

    1. The picture of the woman shows her to be Israel.
    2. The dragon appears,
      1. who is Satan,
      2. working through the Roman Empire.
        1. Like Komodo Dragons have been known to do,
        2. this fiery red dragon waited for the birth,
          1. at which time the dragon would devour the Child.
          2. However, the Child avoided the dragon.
  2. Matthew 2 shows the history of these things. 
    1. Herod sought to devour the Child, but
    2. the Child avoided his murderous ploy.


  1. Matthew 2.13–15 | Jesus in Egypt

    13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” 14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

    1. The Lord knew what Herod would do.
      1. He would try to kill Jesus.
      2. Why send Jesus and His family into Egypt to escape Herod?
        1. Herod would not invade another nation that was guarded by Rome,
        2. killing their children to get to Christ.
    2. What time of day did they escape into Egypt?
      1. Under cover of darkness,
      2. Joseph got them out of there as fast as and as safely as possible.
    3. This was the only time He left the land of Israel.
    4. Both Josephs went down into Egypt to save the lives of their families.
    5. When Jesus came out of Egypt, what prophecy did it fulfill?
      1. That God would call His Son out of Egypt.
      2. There is some controversy over this prophecy:
        1. Some see it as a prophecy of Hosea 11,

          “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
          And out of Egypt I called My son.”
          (Hos 11.1)

          1. The controversy arises over the naming of Israel, not Immanuel.
          2. However, Matthew may not have had that passage in mind.
        2. It is more likely that Matthew referenced Numbers 24,

          5 “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob!
          Your dwellings, O Israel!
          6 Like valleys that stretch out,
          Like gardens by the riverside,
          Like aloes planted by the LORD,
          Like cedars beside the waters.
          7 He shall pour water from his buckets,
          And his seed shall be in many waters.
          His king shall be higher than Agag,
          And his kingdom shall be exalted.
          8 God brings him out of Egypt;
          He has strength like a wild ox;
          He shall consume the nations, his enemies;
          He shall break their bones
          And pierce them with his arrows.
          9 He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
          And as a lion, who shall rouse him?’
          ‘Blessed is he who blesses you,
          And cursed is he who curses you.”
          (Num 24.5–9)
        3. If Matthew intended Hosea 11,
          1. he may have meant it in a sense of the types and shadows imagery.
          2. Israel served as a shadow of the Messiah.
  2. Matthew 2.16–18 | Herod Enraged

    16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:

    18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
    Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
    Rachel weeping for her children,
    Refusing to be comforted,
    Because they are no more.”

    1. Matthew said that Herod became exceedingly angry.
      1. Just how angry is that?
      2. It is enough anger to order the death
        1. of all male children
        2. living in Bethlehem and its districts
        3. from the age of 2 years old and under!
          1. How do we describe such cold-heartedness?
    2. Soldiers, we assume, carried out this vicious and hateful deed.
    3. Jeremiah spoke a prophecy centuries before of this awful event.

      Thus says the LORD:
      “A voice was heard in Ramah,
      Lamentation and bitter weeping,
      Rachel weeping for her children,
      Refusing to be comforted for her children,
      Because they are no more.”
      (Jer 31.15)

      1. The prophet spoke of a voice in Ramah.
        1. How did he describe the voice?
          1. Lamentation
          2. Weeping
          3. Great mourning
        2. Why would Rachel not be comforted?
          1. Her children were gone.
          2. How can we picture the grief of all parents in Bethlehem?
      2. Who was Rachel?
        1. Rachel married Jacob.
        2. She was the one Jacob wanted to marry, not Leah.
          1. Thus, she symbolizes the mother of the children of Israel,
          2. although she did not have all of his children.
  3. Matthew 2.19–21 | Back to the Land of Israel

    19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.

    1. Herod died.
      1. Herod had to face God after death.
      2. Now he laments, weeps, and has great mourning, and
        1. it shall never stop because
        2. he is no more on the earth, but
          1. in a place of eternal weeping.
          2. However, where are the children that he murdered?
      3. Can he see them, even as the rich man could see Lazarus?
    2. An angel told Joseph to return because
      1. those who sought the Child’s life were dead.
      2. This sounds as though more than just Herod went after Christ.
        1. Joseph had received three angelic visits thus far.
        2. He returned with his family.
  4. Matthew 2.22–23 | Jesus Becomes a Nazarene

    22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene” (Matt 2.13–23).

    1. Another Herod began to reign over Judea and
      1. Joseph rightly feared for the life of his family.
      2. God spoke to Joseph yet a fourth time, and
        1. Joseph traveled north to Galilee.
    2. They lived in an obscure town called Nazareth.
      1. This fulfilled what the prophets had said.
      2. Yet, you cannot find Nazarene in the Old Testament.
    3. Here are some possibilities.
      1. The town was populated, if not then, at least in the past by Nazirites.
      2. Matthew meant in a collective sense that the prophets spoke of the humble nature of the Messiah.