Matthew – Messianic Prophecies

January 4, 2010

According to the Targums, we know that the prophecy that a ”young
woman” or ”virgin” would bear a son was translated by the
Alexandrian scholars as meaning ”virgin,” and that there was an
implication that this was an unusual sign, as high as Heaven or as low
as Sheol. A young woman having a son would not be such a significant
sign.

The fact that the sign appears as a star to pagans tells us that God
wants to give his message to those who are seeking Him out. The fact
that the Christ comes from Bethlehem is a fulfillment of the prophecy
of Micah that Bethlehem is ‘not the least, for from you shall come a
ruler who will govern my people.’ There is similarly a notion in John
that the Christ must come from Bethlehem.

Mary was going into labor and so the Holy Family sought out any shelter
they could. Finding a stable in which she could give birth, shortly
thereafter they sought out family in Bethlehem and stayed in that
house. This is where the Magi find Christ. This event surely must have
come after the Presentation in the Temple, since it would have been
difficult to journey to Egypt and back in secrecy within the short span
of 40 days.

Like Pharaoh of old, Herod sought to kill the entire male population,
and the similarities to Pharaoh are very strong.  There is a prophecy
about Rachel, who died looking to Bethlehem, and Jeremiah delivered a
prophecy about a cry going up from Ramah, Rachel weeping for her
children, which is fulfilled by Herod’s slaughter of children in that
same city. The prophecy that ”He shall be called a Nazarene” seems to
be a fulfillment of Isaiah 11:1, as there is a similarity between the
root of the words ”branch” and ”Nazareth.”

The closing theme is Gerard Satamian’s Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com

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