An unnamed angel warns Joseph of Herod’s intent to kill Jesus, and tells them to hide in Egypt. The Israelites were once slaves in Egypt, but for Jesus it was a place of refuge. Joseph was faithfully obedient and moved in haste for the protection of his son. God knew Joseph would be a protective father to Jesus. Divine guidance fulfills the prophecy of Hosea 11:1.
The Magi had not returned to Herod with the location of Jesus. His wait for their return had given Joseph and Mary the time needed to flee. Herod’s massacre of the children was based on the information he had gathered from the Magi. From what we know of Herod’s cruelty, there is little reason to doubt the occurrence of such evil.
Upon Herod’s death, his son Archelaus became ruler of the Jews. Again Joseph is warned of danger, and he took his family to Galilee, which was ruled quietly by Herod’s other son Philip. This is the first mention of Nazareth, the town by which Jesus would be identified often. The rule of Archelaus was worse than his father. He was actually removed from power, after the Jews and Samaritans pleaded with Augustus Caesar. We can witness God’s will unfold in this: After the removal of Archelaus, the Roman government decided to appoint civil servants to rule over Judea- one of which was Pontius Pilate.
Where can we find the prophecy about Jesus being called a Nazarene? The prophecy of the “Nazarene” is found nowhere in the Bible. Matthew was not referring to a specific prophecy, but to what was spoken by the prophets. “Nazarene” may borrow from the Hebrew word for “branch” (netzer), which was a messianic title of the Old Testament. It may also refer to the prophesied rejection of Jesus, as Nazareth had a poor reputation (John 1:46).