the land of Israel

Matthew 2:21

2:21 the land of Israel. Joseph apparently intended to return to the house in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:9) where they had been living before their quick flight to Egypt. Instead, in response to another divine warning (Matthew 2:22), he took the family back to Nazareth, where they had lived before journeying to Bethlehem. The parallel account in Luke makes no mention of the visit of the Magi or of the flight to Egypt. It simply notes that they returned to Nazareth after a short visit to Jerusalem to dedicate Jesus to the Lord and to offer the appropriate sacrifice after his mother’s month of purification (note Luke 2:21-24, 39; Leviticus 12:1-8). They evidently had returned to Bethlehem from Jerusalem, which was only a few miles away, by the time that the Magi came several months later.

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