Stories of the Child Jesus from Many Lands

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The land that the holy family return to is identified as Judah , the only place in the entire New Testament where Judah acts as a geographic description of the whole of Judah and Galilee Matthew , rather than referring to a collection of religious people or the Jewish people in general.

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It is, however, to Judah that they are described as initially returning, although upon discovering that Archelaus had become the new king, they went instead to Galilee. Historically, Archelaus was such a violent and aggressive king that in the year 6 AD he was deposed by the Romans, in response to complaints from the population. Galilee was ruled by a much calmer king, Herod Antipas , and there is historical evidence that Galilee had become a refuge for those fleeing the iron rule of Archelaus.

Matthew cites Hosea as prophetically fulfilled in the return of Joseph, Mary and Jesus from Egypt:. Matthew's use of Hosea has been explained in several ways. A sensus plenior approach states that the text in Hosea contains a meaning intended by God and acknowledged by Matthew, but unknown to Hosea. A typological reading interprets the fulfillment as found in the national history of Israel and the antitypical fulfillment as found in the personal history of Jesus.

Matthew's use of typological interpretation may also be seen in his use of Isaiah and , and Jeremiah Another reading of Hosea's prophetic declaration is that it only recounts God summoning of the nation of Israel out of Egypt during the Exodus , referring to Israel as God's son in accordance with Moses ' declaration to Pharaoh:.


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The Massoretic Text reads my son , whereas the Septuagint reads his sons or his children ; [2] the Massoretic Text is to be preferred, the singular being both consonant with the other words which are in the singular in Hosea and with the reference to Exodus — The Septuagint reading may be explained as having been made to conform to the plurals of Hosea , they and them.

The Gospel of Luke does not recount this story, relating instead that the Holy Family went to the Temple in Jerusalem, and then home to Nazareth. The story was much elaborated in the "Infancy Gospels" of the New Testament apocrypha with, for example, palm trees bowing before the infant Jesus , Jesus taming dragons, the beasts of the desert paying him homage, and an encounter with the two thieves who would later be crucified alongside Jesus.

These stories of the time in Egypt have been especially important to the Coptic Church , which is based in Egypt, and throughout Egypt there are a number of churches and shrines marking places where the family stayed. The most important of these is the church of Abu Serghis , which claims to be built on the place the family had its home. One of the most extensive and, in Eastern Christianity, influential accounts of the Flight appears in the perhaps seventh-century Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew , in which Mary, tired by the heat of the sun, rested beneath a palm tree.

The infant Jesus then miraculously has the palm tree bend down to provide Mary with its fruit, and release from its roots a spring to provide her with water. However, its account of the birth of Jesus is very similar to the account of the Flight in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew : Mary gives birth leaning against the trunk of a date-palm, which miraculously provides her with dates and a stream. It is therefore thought that one tradition owes something to the other.

Numerous later Muslim writers on the life of Jesus did transmit stories about the Flight into Egypt. The Flight into Egypt was a popular subject in art, showing Mary with the baby on a donkey, led by Joseph, borrowing the older iconography of the rare Byzantine Journey to Bethlehem. Nevertheless, Joseph is sometimes holding the child on his shoulders. From the 15th century in the Netherlands onwards, the non-Biblical subject of the Holy Family resting on the journey, the Rest on the Flight into Egypt became popular, by the late 16th century perhaps more common that the original travelling family.

The family were often accompanied by angels, and in earlier images sometimes an older boy who may represent James the Brother of the Lord , interpreted as a son of Joseph, by a previous marriage. The background to these scenes usually until the Council of Trent tightened up on such additions to scripture included a number of apocryphal miracles , and gave an opportunity for the emerging genre of landscape painting.


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  4. In the Miracle of the corn , the pursuing soldiers interrogated peasants, asking when the Holy Family passed by. The peasants truthfully said it was when they were sowing their wheat seed; however the wheat has miraculously grown to full height. In the Miracle of the idol a pagan statue fell from its plinth as the infant Jesus passed by, and a spring gushed up from the desert originally separate, these are often combined.

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    In other less commonly seen legends, a group of robbers abandoned their plan to rob the travellers, and a date palm tree bent down to allow them to pluck the fruit. During the 16th century, as interest in landscape painting grew, the subject became popular as an individual subject for paintings, often with the figures small in a large landscape. The subject was especially popular with German Romantic painters , and later in the 19th century was one of a number of New Testament subjects which lent themselves to Orientalist treatment.

    Unusually, the 18th century artist Gianbattista Tiepolo produced a whole series of etchings with 24 scenes from the flight, most just showing different views of the Holy Family travelling. A subject taking place after the arrival in Egypt is the meeting of the infant Jesus with his cousin, the infant John the Baptist , who, according to legend was rescued from Bethlehem before the massacre by the Archangel Uriel , and joined the Holy Family in Egypt.

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    This meeting of the two Holy Children was to be painted by many artists during the Renaissance period, after being popularized by Leonardo da Vinci and then Raphael with works like Leonardo's Virgin of the Rocks. In it Tanner expresses his sensitivity to issues of personal freedom, escape from persecution, and migrations of African-Americans from the South to the North. Two plays of the medieval Ordo Rachelis cycle contain an account of the flight into Egypt, and the one found in the Fleury Playbook contains the only dramatic representation of the return from Egypt.

    The oratorio L'enfance du Christ by French composer Hector Berlioz relates the events from Herod's dream and his meeting with the Magi through the angels' warning and the flight into Egypt until the Holy Family arrive at Sais.

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    Simple medieval wall painting in a German church in Bochum-Stiepel. Presentation at the Temple and Flight, with legends of the idol and spring, Melchior Broederlam , Burgundy , c. The miracles of the palm tree and corn on the Flight, from a book of hours , ca. Joachim Patinir , s? At right the miracle of the corn , at top left the falling idol. The Flight into Egypt , Adam Elsheimer , c. Saint Catherine's Monastery , 12th century.

    While Luke places Jesus' family as being originally from the town of Nazareth , Matthew has the family moving there, fearing Archelaus who was ruling in Judea in place of his father Herod.

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    Nazareth , now a town, is not mentioned by the Old Testament, Josephus or rabbinical sources, [18] though many Christian Bible archaeologists , such as the evangelical and egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen , state that they are fairly sure that a village existed in the area at the time of Jesus. At the time, Sepphoris had been largely destroyed in the violence following the death of Herod the Great , and was being rebuilt by Herod Antipas , hence Clarke speculates that this could have been seen as a good source of employment by Joseph, a carpenter.

    The difficulty with the brief quote he will be called a Nazarene is that it occurs nowhere in the Old Testament, or any other extant source. The most similar known passage is Judges where of Samson it says the child shall be a Nazir ite , where a nazirite was a specific type of religious ascetic. That the Nazirite and Nazareth are so similar in name, while Nazareth isn't mentioned in any other source until after the Gospels have been written, and that the passage almost parallels one about the birth of a hero who was a Nazirite, has led many to propose that Matthew originally had Jesus being a Nazirite, but it was changed to Nazarene, inventing a location named Nazareth , when the ascetic requirements fell foul of later religious practices.

    Biblical scholar R. France rejects this explanation, stating that Jesus was not a Nazirite and claiming that he is never described as one. Bargil Pixner [20] in his work "With Jesus Through Galilee" says that the title Nazarene, given to Jesus, alludes not so much to his town of origin as to his royal descent. While this piece of wordplay is meaningless when translated into Greek , Hebrew wordplay is not unknown in Matthew, underlining the opinion that some parts of this gospel were originally written in Hebrew. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Flight into Egypt disambiguation.

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    Early life. In rest of the NT. Road to Damascus John's vision. They doggedly followed a star which led them to Jesus. By the time they met Jesus, he was in a house and was a child, not an infant, implying they arrived a year or more after his birth. God honored the wise men by warning them in a dream to go home by another route and not to report back to King Herod. The Three Kings were among the wisest men of their time.

    Discovering that the Messiah was to be born, they organized an expedition to find him, following a star that led them to Bethlehem. Despite their culture and religion in a foreign land, they accepted Jesus as their Savior. When we seek God with sincere determination, we will find him. These wise men paid Jesus the kind of respect only God deserves, bowing before him and worshiping him.

    Jesus is not just a great teacher or admirable person as many people say today, but the Son of the Living God. After the Three Kings met Jesus, they did not go back the way they came. When we get to know Jesus Christ, we are changed forever and cannot go back to our old life.

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    Matthew says only that these visitors came from "the east. Matthew reveals nothing of these visitors' ancestry. Over the centuries, legend has assigned them names: Gaspar, or Casper; Melchior, and Balthasar.