Home > Dispensationalism, History of Israel, The Gospel > J. N. Darby and Matthew 2:15

J. N. Darby and Matthew 2:15

December 17, 2012

The Trinity Millennialism Project has published Darby’s handwritten annotations included in his personal copy of the Greek New Testament. The image below shows part of his commentary on Matthew 2:15.


The verse tells how Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Egypt, where they stayed till Herod’s death, and Matthew said this was done “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.” The quote is from Hosea 11:1, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” Matthew applied an OT prophecy about Israel to Jesus, so Darby concluded, and wrote above, “Christ is the true Israel.”

Although Darby evidently understood that the true Israel is Jesus, as Matthew’s Gospel demonstrates in various ways, this is the very truth that dispensationalism obscures, and strives against. The Gospel teaches that those in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile after the flesh, are included in the Israel of God by faith. The statement above is not present in Darby’s notes on Matthew chapter 2 in his Synopsis of the Books of the Bible. He says in Note # 5, “Israel had been the vine brought out of Egypt. Christ is the true Vine.” It would have been much simpler to say, as he said in his personal notes, “Christ is the true Israel.” After Christ ascended to heaven, only those Jews who believed in him remained in Israel; unbelievers were destroyed from among the people. [Acts 3:23] This implies that apart from Christ, there is no more Israel.

  1. January 12, 2013 at 2:23 am

    I don’t agree with everything Darby Said. He is wrong by claiming that Jesus Christ is the true Israel of God. We already know who the true Israel of God is, The Apostle Paul told us in Romans chapter 2. The True Israel of God are those Jews, National Israelites, who believed the Gospel and obeyed Acts 2:38, just like the Apostle Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost.

  2. Mike V
    February 4, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Darby is right. As a Dispensationalist I too affirm Jesus as the true Israel who restores the nation Israel (see Isa 49:6). This is a case of corporate solidarity in which the One (Jesus) represents and restores the many (Israel).

  3. Louise
    May 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    So glad that people are hungering for the word of God. Israel is not a nation, a nationality, a religion. The true Israel of God are those who are in Jesus Christ. Galations 3: “There is neither Jew (natural) nor Greek (natural) there is neither bond nor free, their is neither male nor female: for ye are all one (not two) in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then ARE ye Abraham’s SEED, and heirs according to the promise (covenant).” i.e., the true children of Abraham.

  1. February 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm
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