God new evidence

GOD: new evidence


Out of Egypt?

(Unwrapped: the Truth about Christmas #26)

What's in the series?      Previous: A prophecy misused?       Next: Called a Nazarene?

Joseph, Mary and Jesus, fled to Egypt to escape king Herod's slaughter. Matthew links their running away to Egypt to a statement in the Old Testament where God says 'Out of Egypt I called my son.'  (Hosea 11:1)

In its original context, this was about Moses leading the nation of Israel out of slavery to freedom. It was not a prophecy about the Messiah.  It was looking back to the story of Israel, not looking forwards to Jesus.

But Matthew interpreted it in line with Jewish practices at that time:  You could use one text to explain another, if they shared a word or phrase.

In this case, the shared phrase is 'out of Egypt,' and the Bible passage that he links it to is in the book of Numbers 24:7-8

This passage is talking about the Messiah.  And it includes the phrase that God led him out of Egypt. This is enough for Matthew to make the link to the original statement 'Out of Egypt I called my son.'


An apparent problem

If you look up Numbers 24:7-8 in an English Bible, it does not say what we claim in the video:

'A man shall come out of his seed, and he shall rule over many nations... God led him out of Egypt.'

Matthew was using a Greek translation of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint. This was in common use in his day, and it is often used by the writers of the New Testament.

The Septuagint of Numbers 24:7 does indeed say 'a man shall come out of his seed.' And the Septuagint of Numbers 24:8 says 'him' instead of 'them.' This helps us to make sense of what Matthew is doing here.

To find out more read Matthew 1:18-2:18

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