Matthew’s Literary Artistry

sienaslaughter

A Christmas sequel to Joseph Gets Passed Over.

I believe the writers of the New Testament fully employ the literary structures of the Old, to a degree far beyond the level discussed by modern scholarship. [1]

Matthew begins his gospel with the Genesis of Jesus, a genealogy summarised as a 7 x 7. He then demonstrates the Exodus of Jesus with a similar 7 x 7. The destroyer at the original exodus was angelic. In Joshua (matching the exodus chiastically), the Lord gave the sword to a human messenger, an Adamic redeemer/avenger. Herod is a corrupted Joshua, a mediating head willing to sacrifice (ironically) his own body, his own future, his own true succession, on the Altar of the Abyss. Herod had become a murderous Pharaoh, and he turned first century Israel into Canaanite child-killers.

(For the skeptics of this process of analysis, I am using the New King James, and my previous experience of the Bible Matrix made it obvious to me where the English word order did not follow the Greek. Each instance was verified with a Greek-English Interlinear. The best example would be the end of verse 12.)

Creation – Light amidst the Darkness

Now Jesus
…..having been born
……….in Bethlehem ["house of bread"]
……….of Judea ["praised one"]
……………in the days (Governors)
……….of Herod ["hero, warrior"]
…..the king, (Self-anointed mediator)
(NOTE: No succession, no rest. Herod is Adamic)

Division – Delegation of New Hierarchy

behold, wise men from the East (Creation)
…..came to Jerusalem, saying, (Division)

(Scroll opened at Ascension: Gentiles as Jews!)
……….“Where is He (Light sought)
……………who has been born (Firmament torn) [1]
………………..King of the Jews? (New Land)
…………………….For we have seen His star (Governing Light)
………………..in the East (source of Gentile Swarms)
……………and have come (New mediators approach)
………..to worship Him.” (Rest entered)

(Testing: Covenant Ruler under the Covenant Law)
……………When Herod the king (False Transcendence)
………………..heard this, (Backward Hierarchy)
…………………….he was troubled, (Ethics)
………………..and all Jerusalem (Sanctions – True and False Bride)
…………….with him. (Doomed Continuity)

(Maturity: Jews as Gentiles!)
……….And when he (False Ark)
……………had gathered (False Veil)
………………..all the chief priests (False Altar)
………………..and scribes of the people (False Table)
…………………….together, (False Pentecost/Lampstand)
………………..he inquired of them (False Wise Men/Incense)
……………where the Christ (Truly anointed mediator)
……….was to be born. (True continuity)

(Conquest: New Mediator)
…..So they said
……….to him,
……………“In Bethlehem
……………of Judea,
………………..for thus it is written
……………by the prophet:

……….‘But you, (Sabbath)
……………Bethlehem, (bread divided?) (Passover)
………………..[in] the land of Judah,
………………..Are not the least (Firstfruits)
…………………….among the governors of Judah; (Pentecost)
………………..For out of you shall go forth (Trumpets)
……………a Ruler Who will shepherd (Atonement)
……….My people Israel.’ ” (Booths)

(NOTE: Step 6 within stanza 6 is expanded as a full cycle. And again, step 7 is missing.)

Ascension – of Covenant Head upon the Altar

(Creation – Genesis)
Then Herod, (False Transcendence)
…..when he had secretly called (Hierarchy)
……….the wise men, (Ethics/Rulers)
…..determined from them the time (Sanctions)
of the appearing star. (Continuity)

(Division – Exodus)
And he sent them [Sabbath]

…..to Bethlehem [House of Bread]

……….[False decree (Law-scroll) given]
……….and said,
……….
“Go (Command)
……………and search carefully (Passover)
………………..for the young Child, (Firstfruits)
…………………….and when you have found [Him,] (Ruler)
………………..bring back word to me, (Law repeated)
……………that I may come (Fained Covenant body)
……….and worship Him also.” (Fained ingathering)

……………[From false ruler to true]
……………When they heard the king,
…………… they departed;
…………………….and behold, the star
…………………………which they had seen in the East
…………………….went before them, (Military)
………………..till it came and stood over (Mediator)
……………where the young Child was. (Shelter)

……….[A new Covenant body, new eldership]
……….When they saw the star,
……………they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. (From silence to song)
………………..And when they had come into the house, (New Tabernacle)
…………………….they saw the young Child (New Governor)
………………..with Mary His mother, (Warrior-Bride)
…………….and fell down (Crystal Sea)
……….and worshiped Him. (New Shelter)

…..And when they (Gentile worshippers as source!)
……….had opened their treasures, (Veil torn – Passover)
……………they presented (Altar)
……………gifts to Him: (Table – Firstfruits)
………………..gold, (Lampstand – Pentecost)
……………frankincense, (Incense – Trumpets)
……….and myrrh. (Mediator – Atonement)

[Notice these last three are the furniture in the Holy Place. The Gentiles are new elders. [3] Also, Rest/Succession/Shekinah (final glory) is missing again. Messiah would be cut off, but not now. This cycle is an Atonement without Booths. The cutting off of the true King would bring about the cutting off the false one. Christ would resist the offer of Herod’s kingdom (and others, Matthew 4) but then be given Herod’s “Firstfruits” head on a platter as the first conquest of the Church. And, stepping out a level, we saw the magi as Gentile plunder at Maturity; now we see them and their treasures installed as government on the crystal sea.

Then, this stanza was no. 6 within Division. Just as there is no seventh line in this stanza, so there is no seventh stanza.]

Testing – The Consuming Fire of the Law falls upon the Sacrifices

(Creation – Light for Joseph)
Then, being divinely warned in a dream (Transcendence)
…..that they should not return to Herod, (No Delegation)
……….by another Way (New Ethics)
…..they withdrew (Sanctions)
into their own country. (Continuity – Rest/Shelter)

(Division – A new Delegation)
Now when they had departed, behold,
…..an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying,
……….Arise, take the young Child and His mother, (Firstfruits)
……………flee to Egypt, (Wilderness – same structure as Gen. 15)
……….and stay there until I bring you word; (Second Law)
…..for Herod will seek the young Child (Mediator/Atonement)
to destroy Him.” (Succession cut off)

(Ascension – Firstfruits Lamb)
ALTAR – NEW LAND
When he arose, he took
…..the young Child (Veil of flesh)
……….and His mother (Covenant)
……………by night (Star in Firmament – Day 4)
……….and departed for Egypt, (Gentile swarms)
…..and was there until the death of Herod, (Atonement)
TABLE – FACE OF THE MAN
that it might be fulfilled (Day 1 – Word)
…..which was spoken (Day 2 – Word divides)
……….by the Lord (Day 3 – on the Mountain)
……………through the prophet, saying, (Day 4 – Law opened)
……….“Out of Egypt (Day 5 – swarms/resurrection body)
…..I called My Son.” (Day 6 – New Adam)

(Testing – Serpent deceived: eye for eye, tooth for tooth)
(FALSE LIGHT EXPOSED)
Then Herod, (Bad Transcendence)
…..when he saw (No Hierarchy)
……….that he was deceived (No Ethics)
…..by the wise men, (No Sanctions!)
was exceedingly angry; (No Succession)

(Maturity: Jewish soldiers as locusts)
and he sent forth (Un-Law)
…..and put to death (Un-Passover)
……….all the male children (Un-Firstfruits)
……………who were in Bethlehem
……………(Un-Pentecost: house of bread is threshed)
……….and in all its districts, (Un-Trumpets: no warning)
…..from two years old and under, (Un-Atonement separation:
…..Herod as Urim and Thummim; he chooses which goat)
(Un-Booths – Jew/Gentile feast – Solomon as judge)
according to (Herod as Law)
…..the time (designation)
……….which he (Ethics/Ruler)
…..had determined (Sanctions/Division)
from the wise men. (The true wise judges)

(Conquest: Jerusalem Mourns at Atonement)
Then was fulfilled what was spoken
…..by Jeremiah (“the Lord exalts”) the prophet, saying:

……….“A voice was heard in Ramah, (“high place”)
……………Lamentation,
………………..weeping,
…………………….and great mourning,
………………..Rachel weeping [for] her children, (Warrior bride fruitless)
……………Refusing to be comforted,
……….Because they are no more.” (Succession cut off)

Jerusalem had indeed become a High Place, an Altar of the Abyss. In reality it was the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna). Just as Pharaoh’s slaughter of Hebrew infants ended in Passover, and just as Israel’s slaughter of their own children ended with a mass grave at the hands of Babylonian swords, so Jesus would tell the women weeping for Him to weep for their own children. Six thousand Jewish women and children were slain in one stroke when part of Herod’s Temple complex collapsed at the end of the Jewish war.

(Glorification: The new king’s succession)
(Creation)
But when Herod was dead, behold,

(Division – Angelic passover at night)
…..an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream

(Ascension)
……….to Joseph in Egypt, saying, (family Head)
……….“Arise,
……………take the young Child
………………..and His mother, (Old Covenant)
…………………….and go to the land of Israel, (Prince-Land)
………………..for those who sought (Military Swarms – false body)
……………the young Child’s life (Atonement postponed)
……….are dead.” (Succession denied)

(Testing – Joseph’s obedience to the Law)
……………Then he arose,
………………..took the young Child
…………………….and His mother,
…………………………and came into the land of Israel.

(Maturity)
……….(Second Law:)
……….But when he
……………heard that (delegation)
………………..Archelaus (“the people’s ruler”: false head)
…………………….was reigning (false star)
………………..over Judea (false “praise” people: false body)
……………instead of his father Herod, (false mediator)
……….he was afraid to go there. (No rest/shelter)

(Conquest: Day of Covering)
And being warned by God in a dream, (Ark-Light)
…..he turned aside (Veil)
……….into the region of Galilee. (New Altar-Land)
……….And he came and dwelt (New Tabernacle/Bread)
……………in a city called Nazareth, (New Lampstand, see [4] below)
……….that it might be fulfilled (Second Law)
……….which was spoken by the prophets, (Witnesses)
…..“A Nazarene” (Watchman – Mediator)
He shall be called. (The name as Shekinah dwelling in God’s new house)

So, Matthew 1 alludes to Genesis (Creation). Matthew 2 to Exodus (Division), ending at Testing on the greater level (Jesus in the wilderness) and with no true shelter at the end of this Testing structure: it’s not a 7 x 7 after all. It doesn’t get past Day 4, anointing a new ruler, like David, which leads naturally to Matthew 3. Chapter 3 alludes to Leviticus (Ascension): Jesus’ baptism begins His ministry. He symbolically ascends to the Father as a near-bringing.

______________________________
[1] See Uneducated Fishermen? Nuh-uh.
[2] See Firmament of Flesh.
[3] See Were There 24 Wise Men?
[4] The meaning of “Nazareth” or “Nazara” has been disputed. Its origin may be netser (branch) or natsar (“watch, guard or keep”). (“…if the word Nazareth is be derived from Hebrew at all, it must come from this root [i.e. נָצַר, natsar, to watch]” (Merrill, Selah, (1881) Galilee in the Time of Christ, p. 116.
Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, Charles A. Briggs, The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (1906/2003), p. 665.) In this stanza, Nazareth is placed at the centre as the Lampstand, the “watcher” (almond) tree with seven-eyes that looked over the Table of Facebread as both redeemer and avenger. Although trees have branches, Christ as branch is at Glorification, the beginning of a new Succession from the old stump. So what Matthew does in this stanza is put Christ firstly as the bread under the watchful eyes of Joseph, his guard. But then it puts Christ as the qualified seven-eyed Lamb at the end of the passage. Jesus becomes the Watchman. I’d say Matthew, and the Lord, had natsar in mind, wouldn’t you?

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One Response to “Matthew’s Literary Artistry”

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Dennis Tuuri pointed out an inconsistency in my breakup of verse 12 (” How is it, for instance, that in one section, being divinely warned in a dream is broken into two fragments, whereas in another the nearly identical phrase is in one fragment?”) so it seems to be a 5-point “legal” stanza at Creation as Covenant Word. I have edited the post accordingly.