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.
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Augustine of Hippo
Hear the sacrament of a great mystery. Moses before had shut up the light of day from the traitors the Egyptians; Christ by going down thither brought backlight to them that sat in darkness. He fled that he might enlighten them, not that he might escape his foes.
Serm. 218, App.: The miserable tyrant supposed that by the Saviour’s coming he should be thrust from his royal throne. But it was not so; Christ came not to hurt others’ dignity, but to bestow His own on others.
Hom. in Nat. Innocent: The flight into Egypt signifies that the elect are often by the wickedness of the bad driven from their homes, or sentenced to banishment. Thus He, who, we shall see below, gave the command to His own, "When they shall persecute you in one city, flee ye to another,” first practised what He enjoined, as a man flying before the face of man on earth. He whom but a little before a star had proclaimed to the Magi to be worshipped as from heaven.
Out of Egypt have I called my son. St. Jerome understands these words to be taken out of the prophet Osee, (Chap. xi. 2.) and granted they might be literally spoken of the people Israel: yet as their captivity in Egypt was a figure of the slavery of sin, under which all mankind groaned, and as their delivery by Moses was a figure of man's redemption by our Saviour Christ, so these words in a mystical and spiritual sense apply to our Saviour, who in a more proper sense was the Son of God, than was the people of Israel. (Witham)
The application of this passage of the prophet to Christ, whereas in the simple letter it might appear otherwise, teaches us how to interpret the Old Testament; and that the principal sense is of Christ and his Church. (Bristow)
The first time when he would teach Joseph that she was lawfully espoused, the Angel called the Virgin his espoused “wife;” but after the birth she is only spoken of as the Mother of Jesus. As wedlock was rightfully imputed to her in her virginity, so virginity is esteemed venerable in her as the mother of Jesus.
Egypt full of idols; for after this enquiry for Him among the Jews, Christ leaving Judaea goes to be cherished among nations given to the vainest superstitions.
When he takes the Child and His mother to go into Egypt, it is in the night and darkness, when to return into Judaea, the Gospel speaks of no light, no darkness.
in Osee, 11, 2: The Evangelist cites this text because it refers to Christ typically. For it is to be observed, that in this Prophet and in others, the coming of Christ and the call of the Gentiles are foreshewn in such a manner, that the thread of history is never broken.
Let those who deny the authenticity of the Hebrew copies, show us this passage in the LXX, and when they have failed to find it, we will show it them in the Hebrew. We may also explain it in another way, by considering it as quoted from Numbers, “God brought him out of Egypt; his glory is as it were that of aunicorn.”
He says not, ‘the Mother and her young Child,’ but, “the young Child and His mother;” for the Child was not born for the mother, but the mother prepared forthe Child. How is this that the Son of God flies from the face of man? or who shall deliver from the enemy’s hand, if He Himself fears His enemies? First; He ought to observe, even in this, the law of that human nature which He took on Him; and human nature and infancy must flee before threatening power.
The straitness of every persecution may be called night - the relief from it inlike manner, day.
See how immediately on His birth the tyrant is furious against Him, and the mother with her Child is driven into foreign lands. So should you in the beginning of your spiritual career seem to have tribulation, you need not to be discouraged, but bear all things manfully, having this example.
It is a law of prophecy, that in a thousand places many things are said of some and fulfilled of others. As it is said of Simeon and Levi, “I will d...
Here Matthew omits the day of purification when the first-born must be presented in the Temple with the lamb, or a pair of turtle doves, or pigeons. Their fear of Herod did not make them bold to transgress the Law, that they should not present the Child in the temple. As soon then as the rumour concerning the Child begins to be spread abroad, the Angel is sent to bid Joseph carry Him into Egypt.
For when the true light withdraws, they who hate the light are in darkness, when it returns they are again enlightened.
By this that the Angel appears always to Joseph in sleep, is mystically signified that they who rest from mundane cares and secular pursuits, deserve angelic visitations.
Isaiah had foretold this flight into Egypt. “Lo! the Lord shall ascend on alight cloud, and shall come into Egypt, and shall scatter the idols of Egypt.” It is the practice of this Evangelist to confirm all he says; and that because he is writing to the Jews, therefore he adds, “that it might be fulfilled”.
In Joseph is figured the order of preachers, in Mary Holy Scripture; by the Child the knowledge of the Saviour; by the cruelty of Herod the persecution which the Church suffered in Jerusalem; by Joseph’s flight into Egypt the passing of the preachers to the unbelieving Gentiles, (for Egypt signifies darkness;) by the time that he abode in Egypt the space of time between the ascension of the Lord and the coming of Anti-Christ; by Herod’s death the extinction of jealousy in the hearts of the Jews.