Wednesday, July 5, 2017

[BTT028] Matthew 2:6-18 / Jeremiah 31:15-17

Previous:  [BTT027] Matthew 2:14-15 / Hosea 11:1-4

Matthew 2:6-18 / Jeremiah 31:15-17


Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”


Thus says the Lord:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation and bitter weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted for her children,
Because they are no more.”
Thus says the Lord:
“Refrain your voice from weeping,
And your eyes from tears;
For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord,
And they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
There is hope in your future, says the Lord,
That your children shall come back to their own border.


Jeremiah speaks of "Rachel weeping for her children" to refer to the destruction of Israel, whose children were led away into captivity by Assyria. But the Lord stops Rachel's tears, saying that her children will be returned from captivity.

Matthew speaks about King Herod murdering every male child two years old or younger. Unfortunately, it does not look like these children will be coming back any time soon.

Again, the fulfillment defies the original. It is clear that the first half of this prophecy was already fulfilled by the Assyrian conquest and the second half by the return of the Israelites under Cyrus.

If anything, the New Testament seems to indicate that we should ignore the original context of these passages.

Point One: Prophecies may have multiple fulfillments
Revised Point Two: The original context may be misleading in prophecy

Sticking too closely to the original context leaves no room for Herod's butchery, since the original context is about a people who will return.

Point Three: Past, Present, and Future do not matter in prophecy

Next: [BTT0029] Matt 4:12-16 / Isaiah 9:1-7

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