Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)

Chapter 2

2:1  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

4 Herod the king

Called Herod the Great, son of Antipater, an Idumean Genesis 36:1 (See Scofield "Genesis 36:1") and Cypros, an Arabian woman. Antipater was appointed procurator of Judea by Julius Caesar, B.C. 47. At the age of fifteen Herod was appointed to the government of Galilee. B.C. 40 the Roman senate made him king of Judea. An able, strong, and cruel man, he increased greatly the splendour of Jerusalem, erecting the temple which was the centre of Jewish worship in the time of our Lord.

2:2  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.


"The King" is one of the divine titles Psalms 10:16 and so used in the worship of the Church 1 Timothy 1:17 but Christ is never called "King of the Church." He is "King of the Jews" Matthew 2:2 and Lord and "Head of the Church" Ephesians 1:22,23 (See Scofield "Matthew 16:18") See Scofield "Hebrews 12:23" ; Matthew 16:18; Hebrews 12:23

2:4  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.


(Greek - apollumi [a)po/llumi] ," = "writer)." Heb. "spherim," "to write," "set in order," "count." The scribes were so called because it was their office to make copies of the Scriptures; to classify and teach the precepts of oral law (See Scofield "Matthew 3:7") and to keep careful count of every letter in the O.T. writings. Such an office was necessary in a religion of law and precept, and was an O.T. function 2 Samuel 8:17; 20:25; 1 Kings 4:3; Jeremiah 8:8; 36:10,12,26. To this legitimate work the scribes added a record of rabbinical decisions on questions of ritual (Halachoth); the new code resulting from those decisions (Mishna); the Hebrew sacred legends (Gemara, forming with the Mishna the Talmud); commentaries on the O.T. (Midrashim); reasonings upon these (Hagada); and finally, mystical interpretations which found in Scripture meanings other than the grammatical, lexical, and obvious ones (the Kabbala); not unlike the allegorical method of Origen, or the modern Protestant "spiritualizing" interpretation. In our Lord's time, to receive this mass of writing superposed upon the Scriptures was to be orthodox; to return to the Scriptures themselves was heterodoxy--our Lord's most serious offence.

2:15  And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Out of Egypt

The words quoted are in Hosea 11:1 and the passage illustrates the truth that prophetic utterances often have a latent and deeper meaning than at first appears. Israel, nationally, was a "Song of Solomon 1:1" Exodus 4:22 but Christ was the greater "Song of Solomon 1:1" ; Romans 9:4,5; Isaiah 41:8; 42:1-4; 52:13,14 where the servant-nation and the Servant-Son are both in view.

2:19  But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,


(See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4")

2:22  But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:


Son of Herod the Great, Matthew 2:1 and Malthace, a Samaritan woman. Deposed A.D. 6.

2:23  And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

He shall be called

Probably referring to Isaiah 11:1 where Christ is spoken of as "a netzer (or, 'rod') out of the stem of Jesse."

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Bibliography Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Matthew 2". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". <>. 1917.