Matthew Chapter 1 - Genealogy of Jesus Christ


#1

[LIST=1]
*] Matthew begins the gospel by listing the ancestry of Jesus Christ, starting from Abraham. Why does he do this? Why is it important for us to understand the ancestry of Jesus Christ?
*] Does Matthew list the ancestry of Jesus Christ in order to show that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of a certain prophecy or promise that God gave to Abraham. What does the ancestry of Jesus Christ prove?
*] In Matthew 1:1, Jesus Christ is called the Son of Abraham and the Son of David. Why is this so important? Why is it important to call Jesus Christ the son of Abraham and David? Did God promise to David and Abraham that the Savior of the World would come from their household/lineage? If yes, then where is this promise found in the Old Testament?
*] There were some pretty terrible people in the lineage of Jesus Christ. For example, there was Boaz who was an incredible sinner. King David himself committed murder and adultery with Bathsheba. Is this significant? Is it significant that there were major sinners in the ancestry of Jesus Christ? What can we learn from this?
*]The number of generations from Abraham to Jesus Christ was fourteen. I have heard that the number seven in Biblical numerology represents perfection. Does the fact that fourteen is twice seven point to the glory and the perfection of Jesus Christ?
*] What is the deportation to Babylon spoken about in Matthew Chapter 1. Why is this event significant?
[/LIST]


#2

[LIST=1]
*] When Catholics say that Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, what does this mean? Matthew 1:18: “Mary was found to be with child OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.” What does the phrase “OF THE HOLY SPIRIT” mean?
*] There was a prophecy in the Old Testament that Jesus Christ would be born of a virgin. Why was this so important? Why did God chose for Jesus Christ to be born of a virgin? Why is Mary’s virginity so important? Why did Mary need to be a virgin? I know that the Catholic Church teaches that Mary is a perpetual virgin. God designed that Mary is a virgin. Why is this so important? What can we learn about the virginity of Mary?
[/LIST]


#3

In Matthew 2: 1 - 12, the Bible describes how the wise men visited Christ Jesus.

[LIST=1]
*]What is a wise man?
*]o What is the relationship between Bethlehem and Judea? Matthew 2:1 says that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea. Is that similar to saying California of the United States? Is Bethlehem a city or a state? Is Judea a country or a state or a province?
*]o What is the relationship between Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Judea, Judah, and Israel? Are they like countries, cities, and states? Does someone have a link to a simple map that can explain this to me geographically?
*]o I heard that the feast of the Epiphany celebrates the wise men visiting Jesus Christ. Is it true that the significance of this feast is that the salvation of Jesus Christ is not restricted only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles? Where can I find a certain Church document that explains the importance of the wise men being non-Jews?
*]o What can we learn about the fact that wise men were NOT Jewish, but were instead gentiles?
*]o What is the relationship between Judea and Judah? Why is there a spelling change? Are they the same thing but spelled differently?
*]o There is repeated mention that the wise men and the star came from the EAST. Does this direction have any spiritual significance?
*]o Do the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the wise men had given to Jesus Christ teach us anything? What can we understand about these three specific gifts? Do these gifts symbolize anything or represent anything?
*]o I know what gold is, but what is frankincense and myrrh? What are they?
*]o What can we learn from the fact that a STAR guided the wise men to Jesus Christ? Can we learn anything significant about nature from this? When we see that a STAR guided the wise men to Jesus, can we say that nature has its own unique way of glorifying God?
*]o From what country did the wise men originally come from?
[/LIST]


#4

In Matthew 2:13 - 16, the Bible describes Joseph, Mary, and Jesus fleeing to Egypt.

[LIST=1]
*]Why was Herod so hateful of Jesus Christ? Why did Herod want to kill Jesus?
*]o The Israelites escaped AWAY FROM Egypt. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus escaped TO Egypt (away from Herod). Is there a connection? What does Egypt represent?
[/LIST]


#5

In Matthew Chapter 2, the Massacre of the infants is describe, with reference to someone named Rachel: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.”

Question: Who is Rachel? (Matthew 2: 18)


#6

In Matthew 2: 19 - 23, it describes Joseph coming back from Egypt after Herod died.

[LIST=1]
*]o Is the district of Galilee (Matthew 2:22) INSIDE of Israel?
*]o Why did the angels appear to Joseph only in a dream but Mary had the chance to see an angel while she was awake?
*]o Every step that Jesus took, ever since he was a little baby, was a fulfillment of some prophecy in the Old Testament. Why is this so important? Why is prophecy so important?
*] Where is Nazareth in relation to Galilee and Israel?
[/LIST]


#7

[quote="sonoftherosary, post:2, topic:335926"]
[LIST=1]
*] When Catholics say that Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, what does this mean? Matthew 1:18: “Mary was found to be with child OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.” What does the phrase “OF THE HOLY SPIRIT” mean?
*] There was a prophecy in the Old Testament that Jesus Christ would be born of a virgin. Why was this so important? Why did God chose for Jesus Christ to be born of a virgin? Why is Mary’s virginity so important? Why did Mary need to be a virgin? I know that the Catholic Church teaches that Mary is a perpetual virgin. God designed that Mary is a virgin. Why is this so important? What can we learn about the virginity of Mary?
[/LIST]

[/quote]

Well, I will do my best to try to explain, nonetheless, God is a mystery no matter how much we in our limited human understanding try to perceive of this.

First of all, God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Not three separate gods, but one God in three persons.

God's Holy Spirit came upon Mary, in the sense that God, the second "person" of the Trinity, (The Word), became man. This is Jesus. Because Jesus is still God, (God cannot be separated) He now has two natures: the Divine nature as God, and the Human nature as Jesus. That is why He is called "Son of man" (human nature) as well as "Son of God" (divine nature).

In order for this to have happened, and therefore so there was no doubt, Mary had to be a virgin -- never had intimate relations with another human so as to lend credence to the fact that God became incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was born of a virgin. (Mary). Jesus was NOT conceived by a normal sexual relationship between man and woman.

Mary was the holy and pure vessel that carried the incarnate God: The Word (Jesus - read first chapter of the Gospel of John), That is why she is also referred to as the new Ark of the Covenant. The old ark was made of wood and gold, and carried the manna from heaven, the 10 commandments and the rod of Aaron (representing the "bread of life", the Law of God and the symbol of the High Priest -- all of which Jesus was/is). No one was permitted to touch the wooden Ark of the covenant - to do so was immediate death as we saw in the Old Testament when Uzzah touched the ark and was struck dead in 2 Samuel 6:6, 7.

So, if someone was not permitted to touch the wooden Ark, you have to ask yourself, how much more so would it not be permitted for anyone to "touch" Mary, who carried the incarnate God. The wooden ark was holy, yet Mary was consecrated to God, and she was much more sacred and holy than any wooden man made object. She was, in a sense, the most holy "spouse" of the Holy Spirit and Joseph would have known and accepted this. Just think what an absolute and special honour/privilege Joseph had to be a foster father to Jesus and protector of Mary!!

I hope I made a bit of sense :)

blessings,
CEM


#8

[quote="sonoftherosary, post:6, topic:335926"]
In Matthew 2: 19 - 23, it describes Joseph coming back from Egypt after Herod died.

[LIST=1]
*]o Is the district of Galilee (Matthew 2:22) INSIDE of Israel?
*]o Why did the angels appear to Joseph only in a dream but Mary had the chance to see an angel while she was awake?
*]o Every step that Jesus took, ever since he was a little baby, was a fulfillment of some prophecy in the Old Testament. Why is this so important? Why is prophecy so important?
*] Where is Nazareth in relation to Galilee and Israel?
[/LIST]

[/quote]

Nazareth is in the "district" of Galilee, north of the Jezreel valley. and south west of the Sea of Galilee. (I think almost 30 kilometers). Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel.

We don't know why the angel appeared in a dream to Joseph whereas they appeared to Mary in person. In the whole aspect of the plan of salvation, it really is not all that important as to how they appeared but that they did. :)

Prophecy is God's word. God promised that He would send a redeemer/Savior so we humans who had fallen from God's grace, would one day be reconciled with God again, and therefore attain, should we obey, eternal salvation with God in heaven. God gave us many prophecies so we could recognize and accept our Savior when He came (should our hearts be open to this). We saw in Jesus the fulfillment of all those Old Testament prophecies.

:) I answered the last question included in the first.

blessings,
CEM


#9

[quote="sonoftherosary, post:1, topic:335926"]
[LIST=1]
*] Matthew begins the gospel by listing the ancestry of Jesus Christ, starting from Abraham. Why does he do this? Why is it important for us to understand the ancestry of Jesus Christ?
*] Does Matthew list the ancestry of Jesus Christ in order to show that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of a certain prophecy or promise that God gave to Abraham. What does the ancestry of Jesus Christ prove?
*] In Matthew 1:1, Jesus Christ is called the Son of Abraham and the Son of David. Why is this so important? Why is it important to call Jesus Christ the son of Abraham and David? Did God promise to David and Abraham that the Savior of the World would come from their household/lineage? If yes, then where is this promise found in the Old Testament?
*] There were some pretty terrible people in the lineage of Jesus Christ. For example, there was Boaz who was an incredible sinner. King David himself committed murder and adultery with Bathsheba. Is this significant? Is it significant that there were major sinners in the ancestry of Jesus Christ? What can we learn from this?
*]The number of generations from Abraham to Jesus Christ was fourteen. I have heard that the number seven in Biblical numerology represents perfection. Does the fact that fourteen is twice seven point to the glory and the perfection of Jesus Christ?
*] What is the deportation to Babylon spoken about in Matthew Chapter 1. Why is this event significant?
[/LIST]

[/quote]

There's excellent commentary on this subject in Mitch/Hahn's Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament. I think that they address every question that you've posted in the commentary. Get a copy - I could type out the whole of the commentary, but I'm afraid that it might be illegal as it's copyrighted material!

Clinton


#10

[quote="sonoftherosary, post:1, topic:335926"]
Matthew begins the gospel by listing the ancestry of Jesus Christ, starting from Abraham. Why does he do this? Why is it important for us to understand the ancestry of Jesus Christ?

Does Matthew list the ancestry of Jesus Christ in order to show that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of a certain prophecy or promise that God gave to Abraham. What does the ancestry of Jesus Christ prove?

In Matthew 1:1, Jesus Christ is called the Son of Abraham and the Son of David. Why is this so important? Why is it important to call Jesus Christ the son of Abraham and David?

Did God promise to David and Abraham that the Savior of the World would come from their household/lineage? If yes, then where is this promise found in the Old Testament?

[/quote]

The overall theme of Matthew's gospel is that of Jesus as the Jewish messiah who fulfilled the Jewish Scriptures, and it shows in how he begins his gospel.

Matthew states that Jesus is the "son of David." As we'll see, for Matthew David is such an important figure that his name is a crucial element in the genealogy, and with good reason: many (but by no means all) messianic ideas in Second Temple Judaism have the messiah being related to David in some fashion, either by being a member of the Davidic line or by being reminiscent of the old king (but not necessarily a descendant). In keeping with this Matthew names David immediately after proclaiming Jesus as "Christ" (i.e. Messiah).

The term "son of David" was a standard messianic title for rabbis of later centuries, and a titular use may already be attested in the 1st century BC. Developing out of older expressions such as "sprout of Jesse" (Isaiah 11:10) and "shoot (of David)" (Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12; also 4QPatrBless 3; 4QFlor 1,11-12; 4QpIsa[sup]a[/sup] frags. 7-10, 11-17 for the use of the title in Qumran literature), the title became the focus of a rich tradition.

By the time of Jesus, the dominant, although not exclusive, expectation was that the messianic king would be in a way a 'son of David'. A deliverer was expected who would fulfill the promises in 2 Samuel 7, which accounts for the early Christian emphasis of Jesus' claimed Davidic lineage; cf. Acts 2:29-36; 13:22-23; Romans 1:3-4; 2 Timothy 2:8; Revelation 5:5; 22:16; Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Ephesians 18.2; 20:2.

Out of all the evangelists, Matthew lays the most stress on Jesus' being the "son of David," a term which appears nine times within his gospel (1:1, 20; 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30, 21; 21:9, 15). The title and its associations are particularly prominent in chapters 1-2: David is repeatedly mentioned (1:6, 17) and huge importance is laid upon Bethlehem, the city of David (2:1-8, 16).

After David comes Abraham. It is slightly confusing as to whether "son of Abraham" refers to Jesus or David, but the overall intent would still be the same. "Son of Abraham" is an identity marker equivalent to 'Jew' (cf. Matthew 3:9; John 8:33-41; Luke 19:9; Acts 13:26). The inference of Matthew's incipit is thus that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. The phrase is also used to refer to one who is worthy of Abraham: cf. 4 Maccabees 6:17, 22; 18:23; Galatians 3:7; Talmud, Betzah 32b.

As the Savior of Israel, Jesus must be a true Israelite, and so Matthew traces His origin to Abraham. Because the Matthaean genealogy covers the period from Abraham to the Messiah it is natural to think of Jesus as the culmination of the history which began to Abraham. But there is probably more to Jesus' being a "son of Abraham." Abraham was a gentile by birth, and it is promised that "all the nations" will be blessed in him (Genesis 12:3; 18:18; etc.) In Jewish literature he was sometimes portrayed as "the father of many nations" (Genesis 17:5; 44:19; 1 Maccabees 12:19-21) or as the first proselyte (e.g. Talmud, Hagigah 3a); and the promise to Abraham was employed to further the purposes of Jewish mission. St. Paul also represents him as the true father of all believers, Jew and gentile alike (Romans 4:1-25; Galatians 3:6-29). Therefore the reference may also for Matthew serve to indicate that Jesus is also the Messiah for the gentiles.

The juxtaposition of the two terms "son of David" and "son of Abraham" is very intriguing since outside of Matthew, the promises made to the "seed" of Abraham and the "seed" of David are brought and conflated together (so in Luke 1:30-33, 55, 69-73; Acts 3:25; 13:23; also cf. Galatians 3:16; Jeremiah 33:21-22; Targum on Psalm 89:4). This perhaps also explains the juxtaposition: the "seed" of Abraham and the "seed" of David to whom the promises apply equals the Messiah.


#11

The very first name in Matthew's genealogy is that of Abraham. Why is he on the head of the list? For one, Abraham stands at the beginning of, or at a decisive point in, several schematic accounts of Jewish history. (1 Maccabees 2:51-60; 1 Enoch 89:10; 93:5; 4 Ezra 6:7-8; 2 Baruch 53:5; 57:1-3; Mishnah, Avot 5.2, 3; Exodus Rabbah on 12:2) Starting with Abraham also provides a neat transition from "son of Abraham," and also makes David - significantly enough - the fourteenth name on the list. The fact that Abraham is also regarded in some traditions as a king (b. Sanhedrin 108b; Genesis Rabbah on 22:1; Justin's Epitome 36.2 reports a tradition that Abraham was at one time king of Damascus; cf. Josephus, Antiquities 1.159-160) lends weight to the interpretation that Matthew's genealogy is designed to show Jesus' royal pedigree: if Matthew knew this tradition, it may have partly influenced his decision to begin with Abraham. (Cf. also David's genealogical tree in Numbers Rabbah on 13:14, which has Abraham as its root.) Matthew may have been of the same mind as the author of 2 Baruch (57:1-3), in that Abraham marked a beginning no less than that marked by Adam:

And after these (waters) you did see bright waters: this is the fount of Abraham, also his generations and advent of his son, and of his son's son, and of those like them. Because at that time the unwritten law was named amongst them,

And the works of the commandments were then fulfilled,
And belief in the coming judgment was then generated,
And hope of the world that was to be renewed was then built up,
And the promise of the life that should come hereafter was implanted.
These are the bright waters, which you have seen.

Now, the very first "begetting" on the list (Abraham of Isaac) is significant in that it was somewhat miraculous in nature (Genesis 17:15-21; 18:9-15; 21:1-7); in other words the first begetting in 1:2 has something in common with the last in 1:16.

The number of generations from Abraham to Jesus Christ was fourteen. I have heard that the number seven in Biblical numerology represents perfection. Does the fact that fourteen is twice seven point to the glory and the perfection of Jesus Christ?

A minor correction: the grand total isn't fourteen. As Matthew himself says, "So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations." So what you have - at least according to Matthew - is three sets of fourteen, giving you a total of fourty-two generations. (The description isn't totally correct, however; there are only thirteen generations in the final set in the text we have.)

More likely it is a reference to David's name. In many ancient writing systems, letters also doubled as numbers - Greek and Hebrew are two such examples. In Hebrew, David's name is composed of three consonants (d-w-d) - note that Hebrew is an abjad, a type of writing system that (originally) only recorded consonants - the numerical value of which amounts to fourteen: d(aleth) + w(aw) + d(aleth) = 4 + 6 + 4 = 14.

The interesting thing we should note here is that the one name with three consonants and the value of fourteen is the fourteenth name on the list. In addition, this name is mentioned immediately before the genealogy (1:1), and twice at its conclusion (1:17), and that it is honored by the title "king." Coincidence? Probably not.


#12

Jeremias (Jeremiah) 31:15
Thus saith the Lord: A voice was heard on high of lamentation, of mourning, and weeping, of Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted for them, because they are not.

Rachel was “the somewhat petulant, peevish, and self-willed though beautiful younger daughter” of Laban, and one of Jacob's wives (Gen. 29:6, 28). He served Laban fourteen years for her, so deep was Jacob's affection for her. She was the mother of Joseph (Gen. 30:22-24). Afterwards, on Jacob's departure from Mesopotamia, she took with her her father's teraphim (31:34, 35). As they journeyed on from Bethel, Rachel died in giving birth to Benjamin (35:18, 19), and was buried “in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave”. Her sepulchre is still regarded with great veneration by the Jews. Its traditional site is about half a mile from Jerusalem.

This name is used poetically by Jeremiah (31:15-17) to denote God's people mourning under their calamities. This passage is also quoted by Matthew as fulfilled in the lamentation at Bethlehem on account of the slaughter of the infants there at the command of Herod (Matt. 2:17, 18).


#13

A few ones for now.

[quote="sonoftherosary, post:3, topic:335926"]
What is a wise man?

[/quote]

The term in Greek is magos. Based on their usages, we can infer four meanings for the Greek term magos. The first is the original, while the others are deritative and secondary:

1) A member of the Persian (Zoroastrian) priestly caste; by extension, to learned men and priests who specialized in astrology and dream interpretation.
2) Possessors of supernatural knowledge/power.
3) Magicians/sorcerers. The other instances of magos in the NT are used in this sense: for example, Simon Magus (Acts 8:9-24) and Elymas aka Bar-Jesus (Acts 13:6-12). The term is also used in the Greek translations of Daniel to describe the court 'magicians' of Babylon.
4) In some instances in Classical Greek literature, deceivers or charlatans, who use sleight of hand to give the appearance of achieving supernatural effects.

Commonly today Matthew's magoi is identified as being somewhere in between the first and the third categories. The later identification with 'kings' (which is not originally implied by the word) is more to tie up the OT and the NT spritually (Psalm 68:29, 72:10; Isaiah 60:3). If anything, historical magoi were servants of kings.

For the record, in the ancient world, there was an overlap between what we now call "science" and what we now think of as "superstition." In one example, ancient medicinal practices were a mix of remedies which may actually work with quack ones and magical incantations or some other voodoo. In fact, it was only in the 17th century - during the 'Enlightenment' - that astrology and astronomy were finally considered to be two distinct disciplines.

From what country did the wise men originally come from?

Three words: we don't know.


#14

[quote="sonoftherosary, post:4, topic:335926"]
In Matthew 2:13 - 16, the Bible describes Joseph, Mary, and Jesus fleeing to Egypt.

[LIST=1]
*]Why was Herod so hateful of Jesus Christ? Why did Herod want to kill Jesus?
*]o The Israelites escaped AWAY FROM Egypt. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus escaped TO Egypt (away from Herod). Is there a connection? What does Egypt represent?
[/LIST]

[/quote]

  1. Herod was a few sheep short of a full flock. In his case, his insanity manifested itself as a desire to safeguard his own position, to the extent that he had his own sons killed when he thought they were a threat. He would have seen the birth of a new "King of the Jews" as a similar threat, even though any manifestation of the "threat" would have been long after Herod "aged off."

  2. As part of the Diaspora in the 6th century B.C., many Israelites fled to Egypt to escape the Babylonians (read Jeremiah). At the time of Christ there was a huge Jewish colony in Alexandria. The Holy Family would have been perfectly safe, among compatriots and well out of the hands of Herod.

It is excellent that you are reading the Bible and are looking for answers to the many questions that come up. However, you could answer them yourself if you would buy and read a good commentary to go along with your Bible.


#15

[quote="sonoftherosary, post:4, topic:335926"]
In Matthew 2:13 - 16, the Bible describes Joseph, Mary, and Jesus fleeing to Egypt.

[LIST=1]
*]Why was Herod so hateful of Jesus Christ? Why did Herod want to kill Jesus?
*]o The Israelites escaped AWAY FROM Egypt. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus escaped TO Egypt (away from Herod). Is there a connection? What does Egypt represent?
[/LIST]

[/quote]

  1. The wisemen told Herod that the stars said a King of Isreal was born. Since Herod was already king,although an illegitimate one, and did not recently have a child, he saw this "new" king as a threat to his Monarchy.

  2. I don't believe there is a connection.


#16

How far behind in your homework are you???


#17

[quote="Steveabrous, post:15, topic:335926"]
2. I don't believe there is a connection.

[/quote]

Actually, there is a sort of connection here. Matthew in his gospel portrays Jesus as a new Moses, and he makes quite a lot of references to the Moses story. For one, both Jesus and Moses are portrayed as being targeted by evil kings at their birth (Herod in Matthew; the pharaoh "who did not know Joseph" in Exodus). One goes out of Egypt while the other goes into it. In fact, Jesus is portrayed as giving His intepretation of the Law from a mountain (Matthew 5-7) because Moses received the Law from a mountain. There are five large blocks of discourse material in Matthew's gospel (chapters 5-7; 10; 13; 18; 23-25) just as there are five books of the Torah. See all these parallels? :D

[quote="sonoftherosary, post:5, topic:335926"]
In Matthew Chapter 2, the Massacre of the infants is describe, with reference to someone named Rachel: "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more."

Question: Who is Rachel? (Matthew 2: 18)

[/quote]

Rachel is Jacob's favorite wife and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. Try reading Genesis 31-35. ;)

One advice for you: it is much better to read Matthew after you've read the Old Testament - particularly the Pentateuch/Torah (Genesis to Deuteronomy), the Psalms, and Isaiah - since he makes all these references to Jewish scripture and tradition.

[quote="sonoftherosary, post:6, topic:335926"]
In Matthew 2: 19 - 23, it describes Joseph coming back from Egypt after Herod died.

[list=1]
Is the district of Galilee (Matthew 2:22) INSIDE of Israel?
Where is Nazareth in relation to Galilee and Israel?

[/quote]

Technically, the whole land (what we now call Palestine) was known as Israel. The Galilee (I personally like to add "the" here contrary to common usage because the word Galilee comes from the Hebrew word galil 'region' - coming in turn from the word meaning 'circle'. So "the Galilee" = "the Region." That being said I don't advise you to follow me ;)) is a region up in northern Israel.

Nazareth was back then a small agricultural village. It was so unimportant that it is not mentioned in ancient Jewish sources earlier than the 3rd century. (The gospels are our only references to it from the 1st century.)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3d/First_century_palestine.gif/435px-First_century_palestine.gif

Every step that Jesus took, ever since he was a little baby, was a fulfillment of some prophecy in the Old Testament. Why is this so important? Why is prophecy so important?

This goes back to the general emphasis found in Matthew: he is very eager to cast Jesus as the fulfilment of the Hebrew scriptures that now and again, he quotes a prophecy being fulfilled or makes some references (some overt, some not) to them. That's why I advised you that it's better to read Matthew if you already have some background knowledge of the Old Testament. Without it you'd have a very hard time figuring out what the heck Matthew was talking about.


#18

[quote="patrick457, post:13, topic:335926"]
Three words: we don't know.

[/quote]

I personally think the Magi came from Saudi Arabia, same location as the Queen of Sheba.

Egypt is referred to as a southern kingdom, Persia as a northern kingdom and that would make Saudi Arabia east.

Magi were not restricted to one particular region. Their influence had been spread to the bounds of the Perian kingdom.


#19

[quote="Darryl_B, post:18, topic:335926"]
I personally think the Magi came from Saudi Arabia, same location as the Queen of Sheba.

[/quote]

Now there's a problem for you: strictly speaking, we also don't know exactly where 'Sheba' is supposed to be. Ethiopians claim that the queen came from their area (in fact, a medieval legend has Solomon and the queen having a son, Menelik - who is supposedly responsible for smuggling the Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem to Ethiopia), but another tradition favors modern Yemen, which is just nearby Ethiopia.


#20

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