“Wise And Foolish Men” (Matthew 2: 4 – 6, ESV) by Carley Evans


Herod the king hears that wise men from the east are searching for the one “who has been born king of the Jews.” These men have traveled to Jerusalem, saying: “for we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.” Herod and “all Jerusalem with him” worry. (Matthew 2: 2, 3)

Herod brings together “all the chief priests and scribes of the people” and asks “where the Christ was to be born.” (Matthew 2: 3) Oddly enough, the chief priests and scribes correctly identify the Messiah’s birthplace as Bethlehem.

In fear for his throne, Herod secretly meets with the wise men and instructs them to find the Christ child in Bethlehem. He lies, saying that he wants to worship the Messiah, too. The wise men set out; the star appears and “goes before them until it comes to rest over the place where the child is.” (Matthew 2: 9) They come to the house where Jesus is with His mother Mary. The wise men fall down and worship the Christ child. A dream warns them not to return to Herod, and they obey. Each returns to his own country.

Joseph is then also warned in a dream by an angel of the Lord, who tells him to take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt. Joseph obeys.

“Then Herod, when he sees that he has been tricked by the wise men, becomes furious.” (Matthew 2: 16) He kills all the male children in Bethlehem and surrounding region who are two years or younger “according to the time he has ascertained from the wise men” and their report of the star’s appearance.

“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, for they are no more.” (Matthew 2: 18)

When Herod dies, Joseph obeys the angel of the Lord again, settling his family in Nazareth of Galilee. “He [the Messiah] shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2: 23)