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and he remained there until the death of HEROD, in order to fulfill what the LORD spoke through the prophet saying, “Out of EGYPT I called my son.”

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He remained there until the death of THE SELF-PROCLAIMED HERO, just as THE SUPREME RULER had spoken through the prophet saying, “Out of THAT PLACE THAT IS BESIEGED BY SIN I have called my son.”


1: “Out of EGYPT I called my son.”

This is a reference to Hosea 11:1, where we read, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and from Egypt I called my son.” Some scholars think the intent of the passage in Hosea is to indicate that from the time the people of Israel were slaves in Egypt God was already calling them His sons (which is proven true in Ex. 4:22-23). The parallelism of Hosea 11:1 seems to imply that this theory is true, “I loved Israel,” is synonymous with “I called him my son.” However, the Hebrew text says “from Egypt,” not “in Egypt,” implying that God called Israel to come out from that sinful place and come to Him. This latter interpretation is the most natural rendering of the text.

One thing is sure and that is the connection to the people of Israel and their history. Jesus was becoming like his countrymen by going to Egypt and returning. Did this mean he also became “sinful?” No. The beauty of this mental picture is that Jesus could come out from a sinful place while still remaining sinless by not personally committing any sin. Even from birth he could be surrounded by sin yet remain sinless. That is what God wants from us, He wants us to live above the influences that may surround us. This is obviously something we cannot do on our own but only with the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

But is there also an element of truth in saying that this means that even while young God called Jesus His Son? Yes, that would be true. I think it is not out of the question, and a Jewish mind might go that direction. So once again, something has two possibilities and both of them should be considered right because both of them would or could have been understood by the people of that day. However, my paraphrase column only expresses one of the meanings because trying to include both would make it too cumbersome.