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Matthew 2:19-23; The Return to Nazareth (Historical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

Matthew reports that Joseph was afraid to live in Judea under the rule of Herod’s son, Archelaus—and apparently with good reason. After Herod the Great died, there was a power struggle among his sons over who would inherent his kingdom. […]

Matthew 2:19-23; The Return to Nazareth (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

During the time of Jesus’ childhood, Nazareth was a tiny, backwater village situated in foothill on the southern edge of what was known as “Lower Galilee.” It was dwarfed by larger towns nearby. With a population estimated by some to […]

Matthew 2:13-18; The Escape to Egypt (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

At the time when the angel instructed Joseph to flee King Herod, Egypt had become a kind of safe haven for Jews forced to leave their home country. Egypt (like Herod’s Judea) was under Roman control—but was outside of King […]

Matthew 1:18-24; The Birth of Jesus Christ (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

When Mary became pregnant with Jesus, she was “betrothed” to Joseph. Betrothal (in Hebrew, kiddushin) at that time was somewhat similar to our modern-day “engagement,” with a few significant exceptions. First, girls as young as twelve and boys as young […]

Previous Posts

Matthew 9:1-8; Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Cultural Commentary)
The mysterious relationship between sin and sickness is a question that’s brewed for hundreds of generations. Is a man sick because he sins, or is physical sickness independent of spiritual and moral cause? Ancient Judaic thought had settled on the assumption that every sickness was punishment

posted 12:00:50pm Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:28-34; The Healing of Two Demon-Possessed Men (Cultural Commentary)
What was the deal with the drowning pigs? When Jesus healed two demon-possessed men in the region of the Gadarenes, the demons begged to be exorcised into a nearby herd of swine (Matthew 8:29-33). Jesus granted that request, so the demons inhabited those pigs. The whole herd subsequently stampede

posted 12:00:04pm Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:28-34; The Healing of Two Demon-Possessed Men (Historical Background)
The first thing that Matthew tells about the two demoniacs in 8:28 is that they were “coming from the tombs.” Mark, in his similar account of the event, reveals that at least one of these men actually “lived in the tombs.” This is an important detail with both cultural and historical signifi

posted 12:00:03pm Jan. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:28-34; The Healing of Two Demon-Possessed Men (Cross-Reference Comparisons)
The exorcism account that Matthew tells in 8:28-34 is generally believed to be the same event also documented in Luke 8:26-39 and Mark 5:1-20. Matthew and Luke abbreviate the details, and thus are sometimes assumed to have drawn from Mark as the source, though that assumption is primarily conjecture

posted 12:00:02pm Jan. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:23-27; Jesus Calms the Storm (Historical Backgrounds)
In the second century B.C. Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a Syrian Greek tyrant, ruled over the Jewish nation with an iron fist, claiming god-like power over all of nature. In the end, though, he was stricken ill and weak, prompting this pitiful epitaph in 2 Macabees 9:8, “Thus he who had just been think

posted 12:00:00pm Jan. 16, 2015 | read full post »


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