The chiastic structures of Mat 2:
1a) Mat 2:1, Wise men came from the East;
1b) Mat 2:2, We have come to worship One born King of the Jews + we have seen His star;
1c) Mat 2:3, When the king heard the wise men, he was troubled;
1d) Mat 2:4, Herod inquired of the chief priests and the scribes where Messiah was to be born;
central axis) Mat 2:5-6, So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel;’”
2d) Mat 2:7-8, Herod sent them to Bethlehem to search carefully for the young Child;
2c) Mat 2:9, When they heard the king they departed;
2b) Mat 2:10-11, When they saw His star they rejoiced + they fell down and worshiped Him;
2a) Mat 2:12, They departed for their country another way.
1a) Mat 2:13-15, Joseph flees to Egypt at the warning of the Angel;
1) Mat 2:13, Angel appeared to Joseph: flee to Egypt;
2) Mat 2:14, Joseph arose, took his family, and fled to Egypt;
3) Mat 2:15a, He was there until the death of Herod;
4) Mat 2:15b, That the word of the LORD might be fulfilled: “Out of Egypt I have called My Son;”
central axis) Mat 2:16-18, Herod massacred the baby boys of Bethlehem;
2a) Mat 2:19-23, Joseph returns to Israel at the instruction of the Angel;
1) Mat 2:19-20, Angel appeared to Joseph: return to Israel;
2) Mat 2:21, Joseph arose, took his family, and returned to Israel;
3) Mat 2:22, He went there (Galilee) because Herod’s son reigned in his place;
4) Mat 2:23, That the word of the LORD might be fulfilled: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Herod is an antichrist. John told us that by his time, many antichrists had already come (1 Joh 2:18), and Herod is one of them. The antichrist can be found with ruling authority in the kingdoms of this world, or close to ruling authority, the influencer of ruling authority, because the antichrist always uses the authority of the kingdoms of this world to try to kill Messiah or Messiah’s people. The baby boys of Bethlehem were slaughtered because the government commanded the power of the military.
The antichrists or their types that have appeared in Scripture all follow this same pattern:
1) Pharaoh commanded his soldiers to throw the Hebrew baby boys into the Nile River (Exo 1);
2) Saul used his army to seek for David to kill him (1 Sam 23);
3) The Median- Persian nobles influenced Darius the Mede to issue a decree designed to cast Daniel into the lions’ den (Dan 6);
4) Haman influenced the king of Persia to issue a decree for the mass murder of the Jews (Est 3).
This pattern has repeated beyond the New Testament:
1) The Roman empire persecuted the Christians in ten terrible persecutions from 95-313 ad;
2) The Roman church, the ecclesiastical authority, influenced the Holy Roman Empire, the civil authority, to persecute the two witnesses (Christians + Jews) who would not submit to Rome for 1260 years during the Medieval and Reformation eras;
3) The 9th horn of the Roman beast, Adolf Hitler, murdered 6 million Jews in the gas chambers.
This is the pattern that will repeat again before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, so we must be forewarned and watch for it!