Saying, arise, and take the young child and his mother,
&c.] Joseph strictly observed and obeyed the divine command of the angel, who had ordered him to continue in Egypt, till he brought him word what he should do, and where he should go: here he was with Mary and Jesus, when the angel bid him arise, and take them with him,
and go into the land of Israel.
He does not bid him go to Bethlehem or Nazareth, or any particular place, but the land of Israel, where he might go even into any part of it, without fear; and gives this reason for it,
for they are dead which sought the young child's life;
meaning either Herod only, the plural number being put for the singular; or including Antipater his son with him, who might be equally concerned in seeking the life of Christ; since he was next heir, and whom Herod F26 ordered to be slain about five days before his death; or else designing with him many of the executioners of the infants at Bethlehem, and thereabout; who might have been, as well as he, miserable instances of divine vengeance, for their concern in that barbarous tragedy.
F26 Joseph. de Bello Judaico, l. 1. c. 33. sect. 8, 9.