Matthew 2:19

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Daniele Crespi's painting of an angel speaking to Joseph, 1630s

Matthew 2:19 is the nineteenth verse of the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. King Herod has launched the Massacre of the Innocents in an attempt to kill the infant Jesus, but the Holy family having been warned have left for Egypt. In this verse Joseph is again contacted by an angel and told that it is safe to return.

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

But when Herod was dead, behold,
an angel of the Lord appeareth
in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

But when Herod was dead, behold,
an angel of the Lord appeared in
a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying,

For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 2:19

Herod is believed to have died in March or April of 4 BC and most estimates place Jesus at some two years of age at this point. Matthew does not describe Herod's gory death, which is vividly related by Josephus. This verse copies much of the wording of Matthew 2:13, and is the realization of the events promised there. The shift to the historic present tense marks this.[1] This is the third time in the gospel in which an angel contacts Joseph in a dream the others appearing at Matthew 1:20 and Matthew 2:13.

John Calvin saw this verse as evidence that if one obeyed God's commands, as Joseph did when he fled to Egypt, and remained steadfast and patient, as Joseph did by staying in Egypt, that one would eventually be rewarded.[2]


  1. ^ Nolland, John. The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary on the Greek text. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005 pg. 126
  2. ^ John Calvin's commentary on Matthew 2:19

Further reading

Preceded by
Matthew 2:18
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 2
Succeeded by
Matthew 2:20
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