Mtt 2:22-23/Herod's Sons: Archelaus and Herod Antipas

Mr. Timothy T. Dickens (
Sat, 2 Nov 1996 17:18:46 -0500 (EST)

Dear friends at the above scholarly list:

This evening my question is two-fold: First, in Matthew's gospel we
are told:

22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place
of his father Herod, hewas afraid to go there. Having been warned in a
dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23and he went and lived in a
town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets:
"He will be called a Nazarene."

Given the narrative in Matthew 2, it is understandable that Joseph
was afraid of Herod: for he sought to kill Jesus. Why is it, however, that
when Joseph returned to "the land of Israel" he was afraid to go into one
region ruled by Archelaus (Herod's son), but not afraid to go into the
realms of Galilee? Herod's other son, Herod Antipas, was ruling this area
(or at least according to the Macmillan Bible Atlas). Joseph seems afraid of
(divinely so v.22) one son of herod, but not another.

My second question has to do with the proper term 'Bethlehem.' I
found in the Macmillan Bible atlas that there are two Bethlehems. The first
is found in Judah; the other is found near Galilee, near what the Hebrew
Bible calls the tribe of Zebulun, bordering Asher. My question is, Does
anyone know if the term "Bethlehem was still used for the portion of land
near Galilee in Jesus' time?


Peace and Love,
Timothy T. Dickens
Smyrna, GA Home School

Please visit my website at:

Near Eastern specialist and Egyptologist. . .are too aware of the
isolationism often seen in traditional classics--or more precisely in
studies of Greek civilization--with its emphasis on the events of a
relatively short period, primarily in a particular exemplar of a single
group of cultures. Studies that appear to see fifth-century B.C.E Athens as
the defining experience of all civilization puzzle those whose interest lie
in other areas of the Mediterranean antiquity, and still more those
concerned with other regions of the world.

"On The Aims And Methods of Black Athena"
by John Baines in Black Athena Revisited