Gospel Journey | Wise Men & Fleeing To Egypt (Timeline Confusion?)

Last time Simeon met Christ and Anna preached redemption. Today, we are going to cover a little tricky part in the timeline.

I may be slightly out of order. Bear with me. But from what I gathered Bethlem and Jerusalem is a pretty straight distance and very doable to walk from one to the other in the matter of an hour to a couple of hours. So for Mary and Joseph to travel to Jerusalem and travel back in a day can easily happen for Christ to be circumcised and for them to still live in Bethlehem.

Wise Men From The East (Timeline confusion?)

Matthew 2:01-18

When Christ was born three wise men came to Jerusalem asking where He was. They saw His star in the East and wanted to worship HIm. Herod, the king, heard this and this greatly troubled him and all of Jerusalem. Herod gathers chief priests and scribes. People who were familiar with scripture.

They quote from scripture where Christ would be located.

Herold secretly calls the wise men wanting to know what time the star appeared. Then he sends them to Bethlehem. He desired for the wise men to find Christ so he could kill Him, lying saying he wanted to “worship”.

Now scripture sometimes says “child” when discussing a baby, like Christ is referred to as a child after eight days of life. But what we can gather is the wise men DID NOT WORSHIP HIM IN THE MANGER! The star appeared above the house that Mary and Jesus were in.

They worship Him and present gifts gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Which two are used for burial purposes, and gold could be symbolic of the rich man Joseph who had a tomb ready for Jesus, something to think about

They were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, so they went back to their own country.

Escape To Egypt And Death Of Innocents

Matthew 2:13-18

Joseph is warned by the angel of the Lord that Herod will seek to destroy Christ. They are to go to Egypt. The distance from Bethlehem to Egypt is about 200 miles to give an idea or 321.9 kilometers.

Joseph wisely takes his family in the night. Christ is referred to as a young child. Scripture is fulfilled through this, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Numbers 24:08)

Herod then finding out he was deceived by the wise men gets angry and has all male children put to the death ages 2 and under. So perhaps, Christ was about two at this point. This also fulfills scripture (v.18). (Jeremiah 31:15) 

Family Goes Back To Nazareth

Matthew 2:19-23 & Luke 2:39-40 

After Herod is dead, Joseph is told by an angel of the Lord to go to the land of Israel. Joseph becomes afraid when he learns that Herod’s son is now ruling over Judea. He is warned in a dream and takes his family to Galilee. This fulfills prophesy as they stay in Nazareth (Judges 13:05).

In Luke, it says that after everything was performed according to the law of the Lord in Jerusalem, they returned to Galilee (meaning they had been there before), to their own city. Christ became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him.

I think it means it was very possible they were still visiting Jerusalem to fulfill what needed to be done after they were safe in Nazareth. 

What To Take Away– God provides His own. There were many times things could have gone wrong for Jesus and His family, but God provided. God will do this with our lives as well, even when things seem hard.

It is also important to remember not everything in the Bible has to have a clear way of making sense. In the legal system, it is not about specifics more than it is about what multiple witnesses say. We can’t let pieces of scripture stumble us and we should never stumble up others with scripture we struggle with.


What spoke to you through this?

May We Praise Him In The HighestThe King Who Was And Is To Come.Lift Up Your Banner Holy PeopleAnd Praise Him As One.

Monthly Scripture- (NLT) 2 Corinthians 5:17, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

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4 thoughts on “Gospel Journey | Wise Men & Fleeing To Egypt (Timeline Confusion?)

  1. Loved your commentary here, and your takeaway, too!
    On the Luke 2:39,40 passage, it looks to me like Luke totally leaves out the whole Herod and trip to Egypt story, possibly because he is writing to a different audience than Matthew was. So, the Simeon and Anna part would have been during their one-day trip when Jesus was a newborn. So, when it says they returned to Nazareth, it would be referring back to Luke 2:4 where Joseph and Mary had left Nazareth to go be registered in Bethlehem.
    Also, if they had gone back to Nazareth before the Wisemen showed up, then they wouldn’t have been in Bethlehem when the Wisemen got there.
    Another thing I was thinking of was that they still felt perfectly safe going to Jerusalem for the circumcision and sacrifice when Jesus was 8 days old, which seems to me would indicate that Herod had not yet been alerted.
    Thanks for bringing these things up to get us searching the scriptures! Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The scripture really are interesting! Thanks so much for going over what you looked at!

      I by far am not the best when it comes to timeline. The only main thing I can take away is they had a home by the time the wise men arrived based on scripture. Good point on Herod not being alerted. God be with you!!!

      Like

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