Title: The infancy of Jesus in Egypt
Scriptures to Read: Matthew 2:13-18
It was better to be Herod’s pig than Herod’s son
Herod is called Herod the Great, but another name for him is Herod the paranoid. He was always fearful that someone was out there conspiring to take his throne away. He killed his favourite wife, Mariamne because he was afraid she was conspiring against him. He also killed four of his own sons because he thought they were conspiring against him. As a result of killing one of his sons, Caesar Augustus once said: “It was better to be Herod’s pig than Herod’s son.” Herod was a nominal convert to Judaism, so as a result, he did not eat pork. So if you were Herod’s pig, you were pretty safe. But if you were one of his sons, that was an occupational hazard.
Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt
When Herod realizes that the wise men skipped town without reporting back to him, he takes matters into his own hands. He organizes a raiding party for slaughter. In verse 13 before the army arrives, an angel warns Joseph to take his family and flee to Egypt and stay there until told to return. Have you ever thought about how Mary and Joseph obtained finances to go to Egypt? Remember they had just received gold, frankincense and myrrh from the wise men.
Herod slaughters all male children two years and younger
Why does Herod use the two-year figure? It was the time he carefully learned from the Wiseman. This also tells us how long it was since the star first appeared. Yeshua was in Egypt for approximately 1-1/2 to two years. This means that by the time they left Egypt, Yeshua was 3-1/2 to 4 years old.