5. And if the Jews should raise a question touching the prophecy, and say, that the words, Out of Egypt have I called my Son, were uttered concerning themselves; we would tell them, This is a law of prophecy, that in many cases much that is spoken of one set of persons is fulfilled in another; of which kind is that which is said touching Simeon and Levi, I will divide them, says He, in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel. Genesis 49:7 And yet not in themselves did this come to pass, but in their descendants; and Noah’s saying again about Canaan, came to pass in the Gibeonites, Canaan’s descendants. And that concerning Jacob one may see to have so come to pass; for those blessings which say, Be lord over your brother, and let your father’s sons worship you, Genesis 27:19 had no accomplishment in himself (how could they, he being in fear and trembling, and worshipping his brother over and over again? Genesis 33:3), but in his offspring they had. The very same may be said in this case also. For which may be called the truer son of God, he that worships a calf, and is joined to Baalpeor and sacrifices his sons to devils? Or He that is a Son by nature, and honors Him that begot Him? So that, except this man had come, the prophecy would not have received, its due fulfillment. It is worth observing, too, that the evangelist intimates the same by the phrase, that it might be fulfilled; implying that it would not have been fulfilled, unless He had come.
And this makes the Virgin also in no common degree glorious and distinguished; that the very thing which was the whole people’s special endowment in the way of praise, she also might thenceforth have for her own. I mean, that whereas they were proud of their coming up from Egypt, and used to boast of it (which indeed the prophet also was hinting at, when he said, Have I not brought up the strangers from Cappadocia, and the Assyrians from the pit ), He makes this pre-eminence belong to the Virgin likewise.
Rather, however, both the people and the patriarch, going down there, and coming up thence, were together completing the type of this His return. Thus, as they went down to avoid death by famine, so He death by conspiracy. But whereas they on their arrival were for the time delivered from the famine, this man, when He had gone down, sanctified the whole land, by setting His foot thereon.
Homilies on Matthew
Homily 8; Matthew 2:2