Study Guide

Gospel of Matthew Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

The Great Escape

  • Some wise men (sometimes called magi) from the east see the stars align, and you know what that means. Oh, you don't? Well, it means a special baby was born. They go to King Herod and ask where the child is. 
  • Not exactly the best move on their part. See, Herod gets crazy jealous and sends the wise men to find the baby and report back to him on the child's whereabouts. Spoiler alert: it's not so Herod can send a birthday present.
  • The wise men find baby Jesus and bring a treasure chest of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 
  • But before they head out, they're warned in a dream not to tell Herod where the child is.
  • Spooky.
  • Once the wise men leave, an angel comes to Joseph in—you guessed it—a dream. In this one, Joseph is told to pack up and head off to Egypt until further notice. Why the rush? Oh, only because Herod is out for blood and is looking to kill Jesus. Sound like a valid reason.
  • Herod soon realizes that he was stood up by the wise men, and he is not happy. 
  • Since he wasn't told where the child was, he resolves to kill all infant boys in Bethlehem who are two years old or younger. And yet another prophecy is fulfilled—this time, Matthew quotes Jeremiah.
  • Finally, Herod dies, and Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are in the clear. In yet another dream, God gives them the go-ahead to return home. 
  • But instead of going back to Judea, they settle in Galilee, which fulfills another prophecy (this is getting exhausting), although the source of this one is a bit fuzzy.

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