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“My son” in Hosea 11:1 quoted in Matt. 2:14-15

I don't understand the basis for dual fulfillment, specifically as referenced:

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”—Matthew 2:13-15 (ESV)

Matthew says that Jesus's flight to and return from Egypt is a fulfillment of Hosea 11:1: "Out of Egypt I called my son". But upon reading Hosea 11, the chapter seems to be talking only about Israel's disobedience and his enduring love for them. Following the idea of parallelism in Hebrew poetry, the line "Out of Egypt I called my son" would be paired with the line "When Israel is a child, I loved him". This to me supports the idea that Hosea 11 is speaking of Israel, and not intended to be Messianic prophecy.

Why then does Matthew consider Jesus's flight to and return from Israel to be a fulfillment of Hosea 11:1?

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marked as duplicate by Mike, Monica Cellio, Soldarnal, Jon Ericson Oct 25 '12 at 16:03

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The usage of Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15 is consistent with the "drash" reading of scripture that was accepted among the dominant Pharisaic Jewish tradition at the time of Jesus.

See this explanation of "drash" and its relationship to context in the Wikipedia article on "pshat" [emphasis is mine]:

Definitions of Peshat also note the importance of context, both historical and literary. This is in contrast to Drash, which will often take the text of a verse out of its context, for uses beyond the context such as ritual or moral purposes. However, this does not mean that Peshat and Drash are fully opposing methods. In fact, one may often be used in helping to explain the other, in finding and defining nuances in text that might be otherwise inexplicable without application of both methods.

For Matthew, Joseph's flight to Egypt and return with Jesus mirrors the exile of Jacob's son Joseph to Egypt and the later exodus of Israel with Moses as referenced in Hosea 11:1. Not only is the narrative context of Hosea not critical to Matthew, the fact that there is such an applicable verse in a different context and written so long before is further proof of his point and invites further comparison of the life of Jesus with other similar passages.

This usage of scripture is in part based on the conviction that they contain all knowledge of significant truths, past and future, either explicitly or in hints, and that this knowledge can be found in individual verses or even in parts of verses read on their own without reference to narrative context, and sometimes even read on opposition to the simple meaning (the "pshat") to yield new understanding.

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As you are not a Christian you might want to mention so when answering a question that seeks a Christian response, or at least when giving an answer most Christian would not find valid. This way the reader understands the framework you use to form an answer. As Christ is considered by Christians as the true Israel this explanation would not be accepted by most Christians as it was not Mathew's exegetical methods but rather the miraculous event that made the true Israel, mirror the ancient, that has caused the connection. No need to pretend the 'taking it out of its rightful context' this way. –  Mike Oct 23 '12 at 1:46
@Mike I do my best to answer questions on this site based on my understanding of the intent of the author of the text, based on my knowledge of history, similar texts, and the languages of the period, whether or not I sympathise with the author of the text. My assumption is that no one posting a question on this site is looking for a response designed to support any particular theological position but is trying to understand the intent of the original author in his historical context. –  Eli Rosencruft Oct 23 '12 at 11:02
Fair enough. As nobody is perfectly objective it seems beneficial in this case to have our personal frameworks apparent. Cheers. –  Mike Oct 23 '12 at 11:39
Thank you, this seems like the most likely explanation. Though I'm honestly disappointed that the reasoning seems to be that weak. :/ –  livingparadox Oct 23 '12 at 16:57
@livingparadox I wouldn't call it weak reasoning in the context is the accepted hermeneutics of the time. In fact, its pretty strong for this type of claim. –  Eli Rosencruft Oct 24 '12 at 17:24

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