Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Comment: As we are frequently in life, we here meet the problem of suffering. Not surprisingly God protects His son from the slaughter which is to come by having Joseph flee with the family to Egypt. No one knows how many children were killed, but Bethlehem was a small town and ‘experts’ think maybe a dozen. Herod obviously chose the age of two to make sure that he caught Jesus in his murderous web of death. Sometimes we just have to wonder why and live with the, for now unsatisfactory answer, that we can’t capture the mind and plans of God in our small thinking. The promise is that later we will understand. The families suffered great anguish. Did God comfort them? If God took the children straight to Himself the children lost nothing, except the difficulties of life on earth. Certainly it will make Herod stand accused before God on Judgement Day!
The coming of Jesus makes people chose to be for or against Him. Herod chose, and there were very nasty consequences.
Prayer: I am truly sorry for bad choices which I have made. Please forgive me.
One thought on “Matt 1: 13-18….Why, O why, O why?”
Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage. I am very grateful to know that there may have been only 12 families whose babies were killed. I had imagined the massacre was much larger. This reminds me of the story in Exodus 1:15-22 and 2:1-10 with baby Moses whose mother made a basket of papyrus and coated it with pitch, and put baby Moses in the basket on the River Nile. I feel sure that she knew exactly when the Princess would come to bathe in the river, and she would have prayed to God to protect her baby and keep him safe. Which of course we know did happen. God bless you.