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Birth of Jesus

Return to Nazareth

Scripture

Matthew 2:19-23

Similar Passage

Escape to Egypt

Commentary

Joseph is told in a dream that Herod has died and that it was safe for he and his family to return to Israel.  This takes place in 4 BC.  This does not mean anything other than the original dating system, based upon the birth of Christ, was off by a few years.  Jesus was like born in 6 BC.  One of Herod's last acts as king was the murder of the baby boys in Bethlehem.  He died within a year of ordering this edict.

Despite Herod being out of the way, it is not entirely safe with his son Archelaus on the throne.  Therefore Joseph is told in another dream to retreat to Nazareth.  This is in fulfillment of prophecy.

Archelaus will only spend ten years as king.  After his tumultuous reign, Rome steps in and changes the governmental structure.  Herod's family will still hold plenty of influence and we will see members of his family all throughout the New Testament.

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