Matthew 2:15

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and was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt did I call my son. (ASV)


"Matthew" is here alluding to Hosea 11:1, where "my son" is a reference to Israel. This is an abuse of the original text, not primarily because Jesus as an individual stands in for a "prophecy" concerning an entire nation, but because the nation in the ensuing verses is portrayed as errant and rebellious, attributes the gospel writers would hardly apply to Jesus. Consider the light in which "my son" is presented in verse 2 of Hosea 11:

      1 "When Israel was a child, I loved him, 
        and out of Egypt I called my son. 
      2 But the more I called Israel, 
        the further they went from me. 
        They sacrificed to the Baals 
        and they burned incense to images. 

As an aside, it should be noted that many conservative Christians disparage the traditional Jewish interpretation of Isaiah 53 as a reference to the nation of Israel, partly because the text seems to be referring to an individual. Yet the "prophetic" text of Hosea is clearly referring to a nation, and "Matthew" has no difficulty applying this passage to the individual Jesus. This appears to be a double standard.


Here's a Summary of the problems pointed out above with "Matthew's" supposed claim of prophecy fulfillment:

1) The Jewish Bible reference is not a prophecy but a supposed historical summary.

2) The Context of the Jewish Bible reference is clearly Israel.

3) The description of the subject in the Jewish Bible reference is Negative.

--JoeWallack 08:16, 4 Feb 2007 (CST)


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