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Christ In Type And Prophecy: Volumes 1&2 by Rev. A.J. Maas S.J.

1. CONNECTION OF THE PROPHECY WITH ITS CONTEXT.—The prophet, beginning with 9:10 and continuing to 14:9, has two main points in view: a. He describes what God has done for his people, and what the people has done for God. b. He depicts the future Messianic salvation. In the first part of c. 11, where our prophecy is found, the sacred writer calls special attention to the following contrasts: a. God has led his people out of Egypt, and has instructed it by means of his prophets, but the people has adhered to its idols. b. God has guarded the people by a special providence, but the people has most ungratefully ignored God. c. God has shown his loving assistance in all his people’s difficulties and trials; but now it shall be given over to the sword and to exile, and its punishment shall not be averted, because it is impenitent.

2. MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF THE PROPHECY.—a. The words “I called my son out of Egypt” refer in their literal sense to God’s freeing the Israelites out of the Egyptian bondage. α. This is evident from the whole context of the passage, β. and is well illustrated by the words of Ex. 4:22 and 19:5, 6, where Israel is called God’s firstborn, and God’s priestly and royal race. γ. The same may be inferred from the LXX. rendering, “my sons,” which applies to the whole Israelite nation, and from the Chaldee paraphrase, which gives a similar translation. Still Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion follow the Hebrew text, retaining its singular number.

b. St. Matthew (2:15), speaking of our Lord’s stay in Egypt, says: “And he was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying out of Egypt have I called my son.” There can then be no doubt that the prophet’s words were in some real sense fulfilled by the return of the child Jesus from Egypt. This is not hard to understand, if we reflect that Israel’s adoption to the sonship of God was only a figure of the Messias’ real sonship; Israel’s call from Egypt is therefore rightly regarded as prefiguring the Messias’ recall from the land of exile.

OS. 11:1–7

Because Israel was a child, and I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt. As they called them that went away from before their face, they offered victims to Baalim, and sacrificed to idols. And I was like a foster-father to Ephraim, I carried them in my arms, and they knew not that I healed them. I will draw them with the cords of Adam, with the bonds of love, and I will be to them as one that taketh off the yoke on their jaws, and I put his meat to him that he might eat. He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they would not be converted. The sword hath begun in his cities, and it shall consume his chosen men, and shall devour their heads. And my people shall long for my return, but a yoke shall be put upon them together, which shall not be taken off.

According to Pusey, St. Matthew does not appeal to this prophecy in order to prove anything, but only for the sake of pointing out the relation of God’s former dealings with the people. The ulterior object of the evangelist is therefore nothing else than to remove the prejudice that might arise in the mind of a high-caste Jew from the circumstance that the early infancy of Jesus was passed in a polluted, heathen land. St. Matthew’s argument proceeds, therefore, in this way: Your fathers have lived in the land of the unbeliever and the Gentile. But this fact has been no obstacle to God’s love for your nation. Therefore Jesus’ life in Egypt cannot be considered an obstacle to his divine mission and his divine character. It has been shown that St. Matthew had a far better reason for appealing to Osee’s prediction concerning Ephraim, and that therefore the object mentioned by Pusey cannot be said to be the evangelist’s sole motive for quoting the prophet.








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