Let’s look at just one item in the reading from Exodus, then at one item from the Gospel.
It is odd that the Old Testament, which is usually so negligent about referring to dates and time spans, should tell us that the children of Israel should have stayed in Egypt for just four hundred and thirty years. And, yet that time frame does coincide with some dates we know of from other sources.
The ancient Egyptian dynasties going back to 3100 B.C, were interrupted in 1650 when the Hyksos, a Semitic people like the Hebrews, took over for four centuries. It is likely that the pharaohs who welcomed Joseph and his brothers were those Hyksos rulers who spoke their language.
The Hyksos were put down when they were replaced by the native Egyptian Raamses I in 1320 B.C. He was followed by Seti, who was followed by Raamses II,who was the pharaoh of the Exodus in 1250 B.C.
The Gospel from Matthew tells us that Isaiah’s prophesy about the Suffering Servant referred to Jesus who was so meek and mild that he would not break a broken reed, and who would not quench a smoldering wick. Both images could refer to an untalented young person with whom any truly Christ-like teacher person would be endlessly patient.
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