Matthew 2:22

Matthew 2:22

But when he heard that Archelaus
This Archelaus was a son of Herod the great by Malthace Samaritan, and was appointed by him for his successor a little before his death, and was upon it declared king by the populace, the soldiers, and those that were in power; all which is affirmed by Josephus F1, and confirms the account given by the Evangelist; with whose account agrees what the Jewish chronologer says F2, that

``Archelaus, the second king of the family of Herod, reigned after his father's death: and a little after he says, Caesar Augustus caused Archelaus to reign (owdrwh wyba txt) "in the room of Herod his father"'';

which is the very phrase used by Matthew. Now this man was like his father, a very cruel wicked man; and, as the above chronologer says {c}, he ordered his troops, and slew at the feast of the passover, in the temple of the Lord, "nine thousand persons": though perhaps Josephus's account is truest, who says F4, that he sent in his whole army upon the people, who had raised a sedition, and slew, whilst they were sacrificing, about "three thousand"; and this happened at the beginning of his reign, and indeed before he had scarce mounted the throne. And now the news of this might have reached the ears of Joseph, and be the reason why he

was afraid to go thither,
into Judea, where Archelaus reigned.

Notwithstanding being warned of God in a dream,
who never failed to advise him when in difficulty and distress, he did not go back again to Egypt, but

turned aside into the parts of Galilee;
where Herod Antipas, another of Herod's sons, was tetrarch or governor; who was a milder person, and not so cruel and tyrannical as Archelaus: besides, Galilee was an obscure place, where, Joseph might reasonably think, he should live with Mary and Jesus unobserved, and free from danger.


F1 Ib. c. 28. sect. 7. &c. 33. sect. 1. & l. 2. c. 1. sect. 1.
F2 Ganz. Tzemach David, par. 1. fol 25. 1.
F3 Ib.
F4 De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 1. sect. 5.