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And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men

are dead, which sought thy life. — And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith
the Lord, Israel is my son, even my first-born: and I say unto thee, Let my

son go, that he may serve me.—Exod. iv. 19-23.
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

Hos. xi. i.



ND when they were departed, behold, the
angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a
dream; saying, Arise, and take the young child

and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child, to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 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. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which


he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel : for they are dead which sought the young child's life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea, 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: 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.Matt. ii. 13-23.

ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE SACRED NARRATIVE. Christ's flight into Egypt, to avoid the cruelty of Herod, was the effect of the wise men's inquiry after him: for before that, the obscurity he lay in was his protection. It was but little respect, compared with what should have been, that was paid to Christ in his infancy; yet even that, instead of honouring him among his people, did but expose him to danger.

Joseph knew neither the danger the child was in, nor how to escape it ; but God, by an angel tells him both in a dream ; as before he directed him in like manner what to do.—Matt. i. 20. Joseph, before his alliance to Christ, had not been wont to converse with angels as now: so, those that are spiritually related to Christ by faith, have that communion and correspondence with heaven, to which before they were strangers.

Joseph is here told what their danger was, “ Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.” God is acquainted with all the cruel projects and purposes of the enemies of his church.

“ I know thy rage against me,” saith God to Sennacherib.— Isai. xxxviii. 28. How early was the blessed Jesus involved in trouble! Usually, even those whose riper years are attended with toils and perils, yet have a peaceable and quiet infancy; but it was not so with Jesus; his life and sufferings began together ; he was born “a man striven with,” as Jeremiah, (Jer. xv. 10,) who was "sanctified from the womb."—i. 5. Both Christ, the head, and the church, his body, agree in saying, “ Many a time have they afflicted me, from my youth up." Pharaoh's cruelty fastens upon the Hebrews' children, and the great red dragon stands ready to “ devour the man-child as soon as it should be born."-Rev. xii. 4.

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