Questions and Proposed Answers
(See Accompanying Matthew 2 Literally Rendered on this site. Thank you, Janie, for text editing!)
Note: This document has not been finely edited. It is written during studies. Please expect to find errors in spelling, words missing, etc. If you use the document and desire to participate in editing it, please do so. I will need the number-letter address along with a partical quote of the error, and what you know or think it should say. Please send it to email@example.com.
1. a) How long after the birth of Yeshua did the Magi arrive? They arrived about a year and a half after the birth. I figured this based on Herod’s determination to slaughter all the male children from two years and down; else he might miss the child. Verse 8 refers to a little child, a distinction from a baby.
1. b) What are Magi? They are astrologers.
1. c) What does Beth-Lehem mean? It means House of Bread.
1. d) What is fitting about the city being called House of Bread? Yeshua Himself is the Bread of Life.
1. e) Where in the east did the Magi originate? The text does not say. It was far enough away that it took them perhaps a year or more (discounting the arrangements time for traveling).
1. f) What transportation did they use? The text does not say. Assuming they used camels is an error. Assuming they didn’t is an error. If they used camels, they would have been two-humped, not one. They could have used horses, asses, or any combination. They may have used animals during part of the journey, sold them, and obtain different animals for the terrain. They had stuff to carry, but they also may have had slaves to help. So many things are not described, and assuming any one of them is an error.
2. a) How did they know that the one born was specifically king of the Jews? They read the constellations. The information of the birth of the King of the Jews was clearly written in the constellations, and they could them. The information about the specific location within Israel was not evident to them in the constellations, so they had to ask for His location.
2. b) How can one read constellations? In what school can a person learn to accurately read constellations to only derive Truth and no error? Learning to read any pictorial language is not more difficult than reading a language of symbols. What is required is a good teacher who can perfectly read the pictorial representations. Yehovah was the writer of the pictures in the constellations; He is therefore equipped to instruct in constellation reading. He taught someone or someones who in turn taught others, the same way we learn to read English characters (letters). An astrologer was one who studies the constellations to read Truth from them. Modern astrologers read the constellations in the same way that modern pastors read the Bible: non-literally with their own opinions and whatever keeps others from the Truth. Thus, there is no practical difference between the word of modern astrologers and nearly all modern pastors/preachers/teachers, etc. Those who are truly called of God will speak what is infallible; the rest will speak the same falsities that they were taught, just as modern astrologers. Yehovah has condemned the lies of astrologers, and astrologers of Israel are under the death penalty. How much is this also true of pastors, preachers and teachers who teach lies about the God of Israel and lead others to death?
If this is true, Yehovah could easily instruct anyone in infallibly astrology today, were that necessary. It is necessary in some lands where Bibles are illegal and where obtaining copies is nearly impossible and at risk of death.
These magi learned to read the constellations infallibly.
2. c) Whom were they asking? They were asking residents of Jerusalem.
2. d) Why were they asking residents of Jerusalem? They assumed that such a momentous event would be common knowledge among a people whose King was of the stature of God! They must have been very surprised to find that their question was not answered among the common residents!
2. e) Were these wise men born of God? I propose that their faith in the infallible Hope of God invested in Israel showed that they strongly believed. Yehovah made sure to protect them. They greeted the Messiah of Israel in Israel when the Israelis were unaware. I have no evidence that they were anything but born of God.
2. f) Was Yeshua actually born king of the Jews? We know from other texts that Yeshua was born the Saviour; His Name means Salvation.
John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto Him, “Art thou a king then?” Yeshua answered, “Thou sayest that I am a king! I was born to this end and I came into the world for this cause, so-that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the Truth hears my voice.”
Yeshua was indeed born King of the Jews. He will take up the throne in the Millennium. His kingdom is in exile in the heavens. He is King, but He is not exercising His kingly prerogative over the Land of Israel and the earth at this time. The kingdom is not here.
The astrologers knew that Yeshua’s being King was from birth! They knew what few readers of the Bible have understood.
2. g) Is His being King of the Jews distinct from His being King of the Israelis (referring to the split between Israel and Judah)? No! The term Jews does not make that distinction automatically. His being King is over all Israel.
2. h) How was that star His star? They were able to understand this from what they knew from the constellations. Yehovah made that star special, and made its identification in a way that these astrologers understood it. They read the constellations because Yehovah put that knowledge into their brains. They knew that star identified with the newly born King of the Jews.
2. i) Did they know that the newly born King of the Jews was named Yeshua? No text (that we have seen) indicates this. Had they known His Name, they would have specified that. Had they specified Him by name, they would have endangered Him and everyone around Him! Herod would have used this information to get a solid lead on Yeshua and His mother and His stepfather, and would probably have pursued them into Egypt to assassinate Him.
2. j) They saw His star in the east. Does that mean that they followed that star all the way to Israel? The texts do not indicate this. Rather, once they see the star again, they greatly rejoice. That tells the reader that the star they saw in the east was not with them on their journey to the Land of Israel. They knew to go to Israel; they needed no star to inform them of their destination in general. They needed help when it comes to the specific city.
2. k) Exactly how would they worship Him? They would prostrate themselves before Him. Worship is always prostration: lying down flat before another.
2. l) What is the benefit of worship? These men had no concern regarding their own ranks in life. They desired to physically demonstrate their willingness to serve the child who is King. Thus, they determined to make a declaration before that King that they are willing to serve. One who is truly humble will sometimes show that humility through the act of prostration. That does not mean that only humble folks worship; many arrogant folks will prostrate before Messiah.
2. m) Did it seem odd to these travelers that others didn’t also want to go and worship the one born king? We spoke earlier on this. They did seem somewhat mystified by the lack of response among the Israelis to their own King.
3. a) Why was all Jerusalem troubled? They were concerned about King Herod. He was a violent man. If he suspected that the Jews had a secret king, he would go violent, and many would die. If Herod was unhappy, everyone would be unhappy.
3. b) Why was Herod troubled? He was called a king; he didn’t desire another to take his position!
3. c) How did Herod hear? He had spies everywhere, folks who would inform him.
4. a) Why did Herod inquire when the Messiah should be born instead of ‘the king of the Jews’? I propose that Herod knew that the Messiah of Israel would later become king. He didn’t desire to actually call this child a king lest he lend credibility to that child’s rank, making it equal or greater in legitimacy than his own rank. Thus, he chose what would be considered an inferior title (Messiah) in his view, while still finding the person he needed to assassinate.
4. b) How much trouble did Herod’s servants have to gather all the chief priests and scribes of the Israeli people? This took a great deal of effort and trouble. Herod was a dangerous man. He was on a very serious and deadly mission.
4. c) What information would the chief priests have regarding this issue? The chief priests would know the Torah if they knew anything. They would also know prophecies.
4. d) What information would the scribes have regarding this issue? They would know every word in the copies of the scrolls they copied! Thus, they would be a quick resource for this information.
4. e) Did the chief priests and scribes know the answer to his question? Yes! They knew, indeed! Yet they hadn’t moved to find Yeshua.
4. f) If this is the case, why didn’t they also go on the quest to find the Messiah? I propose that they didn’t know the timing of Messiah’s birth. I also propose that once they knew that the timing was now, they didn’t want to be identified with worshiping him lest they become targets of Herod’s assassinations.
5. a) Were they right in their location? They were right regarding the location of His birth. They were not necessarily right regarding His present location. The text does not state where Miriam, Joseph and Yeshua were living at this time. Luke does:
Luke 2:39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
5. b) How far is Nazareth from Bethlehem? As the bird flies, it is about 70 miles. As animal or person walks, it must be about 100 miles, which is at least two days journey, and more like a solid three days. She went on this journey while in her last month of pregnancy. Folks were tough!
5. c) Where is it written?
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
5. d) How can these two quotes be reconciled? –
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel.
And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah, in no wise art least among the governors of Judah. For a leader shall go forth out of thee who shall shepherd my People Israel.
A literal rendering of Micah 5:2 is the following:
And thou, House of Bread: I-will-make-her-fruitful. Little to be in the thousands/alufs of Judah. He will go forth from thee to me to be a ruler in Israel.
The last part about His being a shepherd is combining other texts. Since this text mentions “the prophet,” I ended the quote where I did. Genesis was written by Moshe, while Micah wrote Micah.
Genesis 49:24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob. (From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel.)
6. a) This text states that Bethlehem is “land of Judah” while the Micah text calls it “Ephrata”. Which is correct? Both are correct. Bethlehem is in the land of Judah, and it is also specifically known by its longer title, Bethlehem Ephrata. That literally means, House-Of-Bread I-Will-Make-Her-Fruitful.
6. b) Why was this location named House of Bread? A number of locations in Israel were named House of Bread. This is an appropriate name for a bakery. It could also be a storage location for grain: a silo. Chances are good that where there would be a silo/storage facility for grain, there would be a bakery.
6. c) Is this name House of Bread significant? Yes! It is the right place for the Bread of Life to be born.
6. d) Was there a question about Bethlehem being least among the governors of Judah that necessitated Yehovah to explain that this city was not the least? Was Bethlehem a governor? The location and its leader are often combined in thought and address. Thus, one speaks of President Bush when thinking of Washington, or one speaks of Washington when referring to President Bush or the government. Thus, Bethlehem is the seat of a government, but it was considered very small and unimportant compared to other districts. Yehovah is speaking of a future event when Bethlehem’s importance will be great, because Bethlehem will produce a leader (and a shepherd) Who will lead and Shepherd Yehovah’s People Israel.
6. e) When will that leader go forth out of Bethlehem? That will be at and after the end of the Tribulation, unless it is referring to Yeshua’s visits during the Tribulation.
6. f) How will He shepherd them? When will He shepherd them? He will shepherd them in the Millennium, certainly, But He will also shepherd them during the Tribulation, as the 23rd attests. He will shepherd them by directing them in the way they must go, by tending their needs, by providing protection, by doing all things necessary for their welfare.
6. g) What does “my people Israel” indicate? It indicates that the Israelis are His people. No other people or mixture of peoples has taken that spot.
6. h) Will this leader shepherd any Gentiles? Yes, He will shepherd some. Those who desire to do good and who desire Truth will need shepherding during the Tribulation. This text doesn’t mention these folks because they are not part of the topic of this text.
7. a) Why did Herod call the magi secretly? He plotted to kill the child king. If he had made such an inquiry in public, some hearers would have easily guessed what he had in mind, and would have been able to warn residents of Bethlehem. He also promised to “do homage” (bow down) to the child king. Enemies hearing of this promise would have caused Herod to be kicked off his throne.
7. b) Why did Herod desire to know the time of the appearing of the star? He could figure how old the child king was in order to kill only the children of that age.
8. a) What did Herod think that the astrologers would have to do to find the child, once they had arrived in Bethlehem? They thought the astrologers would have to ask residents to identify where this child lived. He thought they would have to determine the birth date and then ask citizens of the area.
8. b) What does do homage mean? It means bow down to another, often with the idea of expressing good things to the object of the homage or about the object of the homage.
9. a) Did they agree to do as King Herod said? The text doesn’t indicate that they agreed.
9. b) Had that star been with them the entire time of their journey? The text does not indicate this. They saw the star in the East, and they knew where to travel: that is, to Israel. They did not need the star to guide them to the Land of Israel. They understood the message in the constellations so that they knew the Land of Israel as being the birthplace of the Messiah. Once the star appeared, that was the signal to travel. Again, I propose that they didn’t need to follow a star; they knew the trade routes to Israel.
9. c) Why is the text worded, “the star… pro-led them”? This indicates that the star is now in a position for them to follow.
9. d) Does this mean that the star moved as they moved? The text’s wording does not rule this out, but it also does not substantiate this. There will be movement in the next phrase. The text states that the star stood over where the little child was. This indicates that the star did move at least at the end, if not during the trip. The very rotation of the earth would have made following stars useless if those stars followed the normal night-sky course. This star acted like a high-motion satellite or like an alien space ship.
9. e) How can a star ‘stand’ over anything? Yehovah has no problem designing the light rays so that they are directly perpendicular to the ground below, and so that it is obvious.
9. f) What information does the wording, “little child” express to a reader? He is no longer an infant; he is a small child.
10. a) Why were they so excited about the reappearance of the star? They knew they had come to the right place, and that star had not been with them on the entire journey. Its reappearance reassured them that they had traveled to the correct place.
10. b) Why didn’t Yehovah supply them with the star during the entire journey? They were tested regarding faith. This also kept that star from being seen by others who would interpret it in their own ways.
10. c) Their seeing the star again in the sky was equivalent to what experience in the Bible? It would be akin to an appropriate cross-reference. They are reading infallible information from that star. An appropriate cross-reference is an infallible cross reference in the Bible. That star was the Word of Yehovah.
11. a) Did they just walk in, or did they knock? The wording indicates that they just walked in. The animals upon which we have supposed that they journeyed, or their walking by feet would have given away their arrival. We don’t know the custom. The wording, however, indicates that they came in, and they found.
11. b) Did these folks speak Hebrew? We also have no indication that they knew the Hebrew language or Hebrew customs. Herod likely would have had interpreters in his court, since businessmen who traveled would have known the languages of places where they bargained. The text only indicates that the prostrated themselves, and that they presented gifts. These acts need no spoken language.
11. c) Where was Joseph? The text doesn’t indicate that he was home. He is in the next text.
11. d) Why did they worship Him? They knew who He was.
11. e) Did they take the child into their laps? It doesn’t say.
11. f) Did they bless the child? It doesn’t say that they spoke.
11. g) How many were in this group? The text doesn’t say. It uses the plural, indicating that there were two or more. The number of the gifts is no indication of the number of the bearers.
11. h) Were there any women in the group? The text doesn’t say. The journey was long, and women are very capable. Assuming that all the astrologers were men is assuming that Yehovah did not have women who could read the stars. We do not know if the astrologers were accompanied by helpers, slaves, etc. Those details are not important.
11. i) Why did they give gold? It was valuable. The gifts were prophetic and needed. Messiah and His family were about to travel. They were poor; they needed the funds, and Yehovah knew it. Gold itself is a type. We have proposed that it typifies immortality because it doesn’t tend to rot.
11. j) What is frankincense? It is the rosin (sap) from a desert bush, not unlike pine sap, but with a different fragrance. It is used as incense to deodorize an area or as a pleasant fragrance. It is activated by placing it on a very hot surface (like a piece of hot coal or a hot rock, or on heated metal), and it smokes with a pleasant smell. It is not highly perfumed, so that its smell is not sickening, but it is a pleasant fragrance.
11. k) Why did they give frankincense? The text doesn’t say. Frankincense was valuable, and it still is. It was useful in life or for the selling.
11. l) What is myrrh? Myrrh is just like frankincense, but from a different bush. It is also rosin, and it is activated the same way. Its smell is different, but it curiously can mask the odor of death much more than frankincense.
11. m) Why did they give myrrh? I propose that gave myrrh for the same reasons as frankincense (it was valuable), but also as a picture of death. Frankincense is intimately connected with sacrifice. Thus, the three, gold, frankincense and myrrh end up being types: incorruptibility, sacrifice and death.
12. a) Why is the word withdrew used? This shows the opposite of an advance. They not only left, but they specifically gave their space back as if they were an army that has left the area. It wasn’t as if they were on a trip with another destination. They had come as far as they desired. They then went back in a withdrawal form. This is a different picture from one in which they merely return. A withdrawal can be done in secret. They pulled out, getting away from danger.
12. b) How far did they withdraw? They went back to their own country located in the East. This withdrawal could have been for more than 1500 miles. They had traveled for 1½ years to arrive. Their return was probably faster.
12. c) From how many countries did these travelers come? They came from one country.
12. d) Was one person in this company given a dream, or were two (or more) given the warning dream? The dream was singular. How many saw the dream is another issue. The text doesn’t say.
12. e) Who instructed them in the dream? We don’t know whether it was Yehovah in some form or an angel, but we know the source: this was from Yehovah. The Greek word does not permit a proof that God did it.
12. f) What would have happened had they reported back to Herod? Yeshua would have been targeted for death. Yehovah would have still saved the child, but many others might have died in the encircling of Yeshua to kill Him.
13. a) Who was this angel of Yehovah? This was an angelic messenger, since messenger and angel are exactly the same word in Greek (and are the same different word in Hebrew). The text doesn’t say. Gabriel or Michael could certainly be the angel, but Yehovah could use any angel.
13. b) Why would an angel have to tell anyone to flee? Wouldn’t advance warning have been preferable? No advance warning would have helped; it would only have increased anxiety and risk.
13. c) Why is Egypt chosen? This is so that prophecy will be fulfilled. Verse 15 shows this: “what was spoken… might be fulfilled, saying, “I have called my Son out of Egypt.” That will occur when Israel and Messiah Yeshua as one Son of Yehovah are called physically out of the Land of Egypt. We have proposed that this will be the fulfillment of the Succot event (Booths or Tabernacles).
13. d) What did they use for travel expenses? They had those gifts. The frankincense and myrrh could have been used to make them appear as traveling merchants. This disguise would not alert Herod. The gold could purchase apparel that disguised them. Coming from the village in which they lived would have marked them as quite poor.
13. e) Who is thee in “be there until I tell thee”? This refers to Joseph. He is the one having the dream.
13. f) How old is the little child? He is about 1½ years old. That is why Herod will kill all the males from 2 years and down, making sure that he gets them all.
13. g) Why didn’t Yehovah just protect the child in place? These actions were for future prophetic events; they were miniatures of events to come. Yehovah will protect when that is appropriate, but He will also warn when that is appropriate. Yehovah at times will neither protect nor warn, as future verses here will show. If Yehovah’s character were to stop all the bad effects of sin, His character would also be to put a halt to sinful man. Yehovah does not usually kill doers of evil. They will be routed in the judgment when they are consigned into the Lake of Fire.
13. h) Why didn’t Yehovah just strike Herod dead? Yehovah rarely does that. Sinners are given opportunity to either turn or to accrue more sin.
13. i) Why did Herod desire to even do anything to Yeshua? He felt threatened. Even though Yeshua was a very small child, even the claim that a child king was in the territory would give boldness to some who would use it as a pretext to challenge the government. There have been child kings in various places.
13. j) Would Herod have succeeded in destroying Yeshua, had he caught up with Him? The danger was real, and not artificial. Herod would have destroyed the child had he caught Him, apart from miraculous intervention or the help of others. We see the danger with Yeshua during His entire ministry, but we also see Yehovah or Yeshua using miraculous forces to forestall the time of Yeshua’s death until the time was right.
14. a) Why did he need to arise? He was in bed when he had the invasive dream.
14. b) What did he take? He took his family and whatever they needed for the trip.
14. c) The text states that they withdrew into Egypt. What does this word mean? It is pulling out.
14. d) Why did they leave at night? They needed to be unobserved by their neighbours.
14. e) Why did the text use “and His mother” instead of “and his wife”? I don’t know the reason, but I can suppose that this shows Joseph in a supportive role for the Child and His mother, that role superceding the role of husband and (adoptive) father. In a normal consideration of a marriage, the husband-wife relationship supercedes the father-child and mother-child relationship. That is not the case in this text.
15. a) Did they have to stay in Egypt until the death of Herod? Verse 20 explains that the answer is yes. They had to stay there, because Herod was determined to kill him until Herod died. Yehovah did not call for their return until Herod died.
15. b) What can these events show about not being presumptuous? They obeyed, taking the warning seriously, and not presuming to return before they were told. This is vital information for folks living during the Tribulation, so that they won’t be presumptuous. Many religious folks (perhaps all) are presumptuous by nature and practice. If presumption is assumption with arrogance, religion teaches arrogance: that is, it teaches an elevated position before and in front of the True and Living God. Thus, religious folks think that they stand right before whatever god/God they think they worship and trust. Folks usually have much confidence, which amounts to arrogance if they are wrong, since humility (the opposite of arrogance) is knowing where one stands in rank and responsibility before God and man, and living that way. Religious folks do not practice this type of humility. They can’t. They have another god that stops them from concentrating on the real One. Arrogance makes for obstinacy.
Joseph and Miriam were not presumptuous. They did what they were told, and waited to hear from the same source before returning to the Land of Israel. Folks who live during the Tribulation will include some who are not presumptuous, and who hearken. They will live.
15. c) Explain “might be fulfilled”: These expressions are common in the Bible. The form of the verb in the ‘New Testament’ is an aorist passive subjunctive. That means that the verb has no tense assigned to it, like gerunds in English: “The rolling ball hit the wall.” The word rolling has no tense with it, but instead looks at a point in time. That is supposedly how the Greek aorist works. The passive state of the verb shows that the verb is doing its work on the subject. Since the verb is might be fulfilled is passive, the action is to the subject, “what was spoken”. Don’t ever trust the Greek subjunctive. The subjunctive form indicates possibility or the possibility that it won’t occur. The English language sometimes uses if with the subjunctive that is contrary to fact, as in, “If I were a rich man…” If we believe that the Greek subjunctive is ‘iffy’, the Bible is also ‘iffy’ and therefore not Truth. I propose that the subjunctive in the Greek usually is an emphatic indicator with certainty, not an uncertain and ‘iffy’ situation.
Thus, “might be fulfilled” is more like “in order to be fulfilled” in its flavour. It still holds the idea that it is dealing with a future event. In other words, it is not saying that this event fulfilled a prophecy, but rather that this event sets the stage for a future fulfillment.
Consider the original text of “Out of Egypt I have called my son”:
Hosea 11:11 For Israel is a youth. And I loved him. And I called to my son from Egypt.
This text could mean one of two things: that the speaker was in Egypt, and called to his son from Egypt, or that the speaker called to his son to leave Egypt. This text is an End Times text, and the son in the text is Israel.
Yehovah did not call to Yeshua; He called to Joseph to bring Yeshua out. Thus, the Hosea text cannot be fulfilled by what happened to Yeshua.
What happened to Yeshua wasn’t the fulfillment of any prophecy, but instead was the set-up for the fulfillment of a specific prophecy.
Had the text been declaring that Yeshua’s experience was a fulfillment of prophecy, the wording would have been more akin to “and was there until the death of Herod to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, ‘I called to my son from Egypt.’”
15. d) Who is the son in this text? It is Israel!
15. e) Which is true? Is Yehovah calling to His son Israel while Yehovah is in Egypt, or is He calling His son Israel to come out of Egypt? Since this is an End Times text, and since a portion of Israel will necessarily find shelter in Egypt, then again, since that portion will have to leave Egypt, being called out from Egypt, both are true.
16. a) Did the Magi mock Herod? They didn’t do what he asked them to do. They avoided obedience. Herod saw that as mockery: making a fool of him. He was very enraged.
16. b) Who are these Magi? They are the astrologers listed above.
16. c) Did the Magi do wrong by not obeying Herod? No; they did right.
16. d) Why did Herod choose to kill boys? He was attempting to kill a king, not a queen.
16. e) Why did Herod choose boys 2 years and under to slaughter? He had diligently sought the time the star appeared (see verse 7). That would have been exactly when the child-king was born.
16. f) Why didn’t Herod instead fear because of the star? Herod didn’t see the star. While he definitely believed the message of the star, he didn’t fear God; he feared competition. He knew that word of a king sent from heaven would bring many to participate in a rebellion. Herod feared the movement that the Israelis supported.
16. g) Why did he choose Bethlehem? Prophecy had identified Bethlehem as the source city.
16. h) Did the Magi have anything to do with Herod’s believing that the child king was legitimate or a threat? Yes, they had everything to do with that. The Magi would not have made that long trip if they hadn’t believed that Yeshua was a king. Their presence stirred up the messianic fervour and the messianic movement among the Israelis.
16. i) Did the Magi do wrong by stirring up the messianic fervour? No, they did no wrong.
16. j) Why did Yehovah give no warning to the parents of the children slaughtered in this text? Didn’t He love those children and care about their parents? All through history, Yehovah has refrained from stopping many slaughters of innocent folks. Had Yehovah been doing the work of stopping sinners from hurting the innocent, history would have been different. This is the very reason why many have turned from Biblical faith. The understanding that Yehovah knows in advance appears to make Yehovah seem guilty by refraining to do anything. Indeed, He will hold others guilty in the ‘Sheep/Goat Judgment’ for not having done things to help the innocent.
View it from this angle. Had Yehovah stopped the terrible consequences of sin before they occurred from the beginning of this planet, you would not exist to ask this question. Yehovah’s withholding and refraining from action in many cases is exactly why you are here. Most would have been slaughtered. Or, Yehovah would have been so often intervening, that humans would have found it outrageous. This is exactly what happens in the Millennium. Yehovah will intervene. Most humans will so hate His intervention, that they will delight in the opportunity to overthrow Yeshua and Jerusalem (during the Millennium.) The complaints against Yehovah will be greater then than during the time of Ramah’s vicious slaughter.
It appears that Yehovah is careless (that is, that He doesn’t care) by not stopping violence against the innocent. It is because He does care that He will not enforce such a rule until He can oversee it in person as King. Consider the consequences. If Yehovah were to stop all violent crime, violent criminals would seek out followers of Yehovah to slaughter them even if they thought they might not succeed. Setting up the Millennium before Messiah is King would be a worse disaster.
16. k) Why did Herod also do this slaughter in all the borders of Bethlehem? He wanted to be certain that he got him and killed him.
18. a) Where is Rama? According to the Greek lexicon, it is “a town of the tribe of Benjamin, situated about 5 miles (8 km) north of Jerusalem on the road to Bethel.”
18. b) Who is Rachel? Apart from some other unidentified woman, she is one of the wives of Jacob. Rachel childed two sons: Joseph and Benjamin.
18. c) What does Rama have to do with the tribes of Joseph and Benjamin? The supposed location of Rama is five miles north of Jerusalem, and is in the area of Benjamin’s possession. Thus, Rachel’s children’s children’s children’s… children were slaughtered.
18. d) Why use Rachel’s name when she was long dead? How would she be weeping? The only way I could construct this and have it make sense at this point in what I understand about details in the Bible was to view Rachel (Raquel) in Sheol. Both Saints and non-saints were in Sheol at this time. I cannot state which side she occupied. She could have been weeping on either side. When this slaughter occurred, she saw her children descend into Sheol, and word of what happened spread in Sheol. Remember that these were children on the surface of the earth, but once in Sheol, all are adults. There are no children in Sheol. Thus, they arrived as adults. She heard what happened, and she mourned for these innocent offspring, and she refused to be consoled. If this is true, it gives another view of events in Sheol. It shows that folks in Sheol have emotional displays just like with the rich man who used to give crumbs to the Lazarus at his gate.
18. e) Why did she refuse to be consoled if these children who died became adults who were in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Two events of very different proportion and timing are colliding in this text. Consider the greater text:
Jeremiah 31:15 Thus said Yehovah, “A voice in Rama was heard: lamentation, weeping of bitternesses. Rachel is weeping concerning her sons. She is refusing to be consoled concerning her sons. For they aren’t!” 16So said Yehovah, “Refrain thy voice from weeping and thine eyes from a tear. For there is a wage to thy act,” declared Yehovah, “and they shall return from the land of an enemy!”
This shows a much greater-scaled slaughter that will occur during the Tribulation. The land of an enemy may be a reference to Babylon.
These folks (whether now in the heavens or in torments in Sheol) are aware of what is occurring, and some are suffering over the violence on earth as they see they other side of the terrible results.
18. f) Why did Yehovah design the Bible so that some texts (the number is not low) require a great deal of thought before they even make sense? Why did Yehovah make some texts so difficult? Yehovah gave man many things to study and consider. Many discoveries come only after a great deal of thought and careful research. But then, why did He make His Word so much like research, since this would seem to eliminate the vast majority of folks from understanding it? If anyone has a love for the truth of the Word, that person will search and will try to find the answer. Another text guarantees that Yehovah will research that for the person!
1 Chronicles 28:9 “And thou, Solomon my son, know the Gods of thy father. And serve Him with a heart of peace and with a being of desire. For Yehovah researches all hearts, and He understands every formation of thoughts. If thou wilt research Him, He will find to thee! And if thou wilt forsake Him, He will cast thee to onward!”
This corresponds with “Seek, and ye shall find.”
Thus, the most difficult text in the Bible that the most simple person truly desires to know will be obtainable and understandable because Yehovah will find the answer to that person and will supply it. The two requirements in that text are also given to Solomon: serving Him with a heart of peace and with a being of desire. Anyone who expects to obtain an answer from Yehovah who has no intention of a heart (mind) of peace as an end result and a being of desire to Yehovah if He is the Truth will be disappointed. Consider this text to back this up:
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he shall ask from God Who liberally gives to all and doesn’t upbraid. And it shall be given him. 6But he shall ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he who wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For that man shall not think that he shall receive anything from Yehovah. 8A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.
19. a) What angel of Yehovah appeared to him in a dream? It is unspecified. It cannot be Yeshua, since He is a child at this time.
20. a) Why again did the angel appear to Joseph, the adopted parent, rather than to Miriam, the true mother? Joseph was the head of the family and was responsible for their welfare to the degree he was able. Yehovah did not diminish Joseph’s position in all this, but underscored it.
20. b) Why did the angel specify, “take and go … with the little child and his Mama” instead of “and your wife”? The accented relationship was with the child and his mother rather than with Joseph and his wife, then the child. Joseph had a responsibility. The other would not have shown responsibility, but the superiority of the marriage relationship.
20. c) The Bible calls that land “the Land of Israel”. Others refer to it nowadays as ‘the Land of Palestine.’ Was it the land of Palestine? The Land of Israel was never given to the Palestinians. Gaza and Ashkelon did and do belong to the Palestinians. They are coastal towns within the present border of Israel. The term Palestine for all Israel was coined by enemies of Israel, and does not reflect Yehovah or His Word.
20. d) Who sought the life of the little child? Herod did. But since the Bible refers to a plurality, Herod wasn’t alone. He was one of at least a group of two (if not two hundred) all at the same time.
20. e) What happened to all who sought Yeshua’s life? They died.
20. f) Who would these folks who sought the little child’s life be? Some would be those who are under Herod’s authority. Others would likely be among the Israelis who later determined to kill Yeshua. Nothing indicates that the plot to kill Yeshua commenced once He started His open miracles. They may have been determined to kill Him from the time they heard from the wise men. Herod and all of Jerusalem were upset over Yeshua’s birth because of Yeshua’s identity as king.
22. a) Where was he afraid to go? He was afraid to go where they had lived before. The text doesn’t say. The text makes it sound like he was afraid to go into the Land of Israel as instructed by the angel, but that isn’t the case. The angel will give more specific instructions in verse 22.
22. b) Where are “the parts of the Galilee”?
Find the Sea of Galilee on the map, in the north central part of Israel. The word galeel in Hebrew means wheel from the verb to rotate. The sea is shaped like a wheel. Cities are located around it; it is a very nice property. The fishing is good and the fish are good. Bananas are now frequent along the sea shore. Thus, the parts of the Galilee are the parts of the wheel.
22. c) Was Archelaus a threat? Joseph thought he was, and the angel didn’t tell Joseph to not fear. Archelaus was a threat. The angel divinely instructed Joseph to go into the Galilee area. That is where Nazareth is located. This way, Joseph didn’t have to fear Archelaus. (If Archelaus had heard that Yeshua is a king growing up in Israel, he also would have sought Yeshua to kill him.)
The Galilee area was a wild Gentile-Jewish-mixed set of neighbourhoods where anything went. It was not known for spirituality, but instead for moral decadence.
23. a) What does Nazareth mean? One Hebrew word is run, netzer meaning a shoot, sprout or branch. The following text refers to Yeshua:
Isaiah 11:1 And a twig will exit from the stump of Jesse. And a shoot from his roots will fruit. 2And the Spirit of Yehovah will rest upon him—Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, Spirit of Counsel and Valiance, Spirit of Knowledge and Fear of Yehovah! 3And His fragrance is in the Fear of Yehovah! And He will judge—not to the appearance of His eyes. And He will correct—not to the hearkening of His ears. 4And He will judge poor ones via righteousness. And He will correct via straightness for humble ones of land. And He will smite land with the staff of His mouth! And He will kill the Culpable-one via the Spirit of His lips! 5And righteousness shall be the belt of his loins. And the Faith is the belt of His arming!