We have come a long way talking about the birth and after the birth of Jesus here. We talked about how Mary was found pregnant, but she had never been with a man, and then how Joseph wanted to break up with her in secret, but ten married her at the urging of an angel who talked to him in a dream. We talked about how the prophet Isaiah prophesied in 740 B. C. that Jesus would be born of a virgin, and then in 4 B. C., Jesus was born. Matthew wrote about it some time between 50 – 70 A. D. We talked about what a good father Joseph was. And, then we went into chapter 2 of Matthew.
Chapter 2 begins with the Magi following a star. I researched a long time ago to try to figure out where these guys were from because a Japanese girl kept insisting they had to be from China, but I learned they were followers of Zoroaster from India. Zoroaster’s followers all studied the stars and in the old world, people knew them to predict the future by the stars. This group eventually left India and migrated to Egypt. After that, they migrated into Europe, and their emperor was one of my neighbors in Sibiu, Romania, the emperor of the Roma tribe of gypsies. The name “gypsy” came because they came from Egypt. I never met the emperor of the gypsies, but I met the princess of the gypsies. I was invited to her house, and she also invited me to church. Yes, gypsies believe in God. The Zoroaster religion teaches that God exists. It teaches that its followers should choose to follow either God or the Devil, and they teach that both have equal power, unlike Christianity and Judaism. Unfortunately, we always hear about the ones who decided to follow the Devil and hear of the terrible things they have done, but many also follow God. The magi who came to the birth of Jesus had decided to follow God as did the princess of the gypsies who invited me to church.
Many people think the book of Matthew was written for the Jews, but I beg to differ because the magi were not Jews. I think they are there to show us that Jesus was born for everyone, not just the Jews. I also believe Matthew wasn’t written strictly for the Jews because it was originally written in Greek, not Hebrew. Greek was the language at the tine that everyone spoke, like English is today. That tells me that Matthew wanted everyone to know his message, not just the Jews.
These magi went on and found out from King Herod who found out from his chief priests and scribes that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. Yes, another prophecy from the Old Testament that was fulfilled in Jesus birth. This prophecy is from Micah 5:2, and Micah was written from 750-686 B. C. We even learned that the magi were predicted in the Old Testament in Psalms 72:10 and Isaiah 60:6. The prophecies just keep mounting up, and we begin to ask ourselves, “How on earth did all these guys who lived so many years before Jesus was born know just minute details about the birth of Jesus?” There is only one answer: God had to have told them because only God can see all time at once. This means that God exists. It also means the Bible is real and Jesus is actually the one that God promised from the Old Testament.
In this chapter, I keep telling you that King Herod was the bad guy. Historians and Theologians actually pinpoint the year Jesus was born because of the information about Herod here because Herod’s reign was well documents by historians. Jesus was documented by historians too, but no one tells us his birth date, but we know the year from the story of Herod and everyone having to go to their hometown to register to pay taxes. That is the reason Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem to begin with. Women usually don’t travel when they are as far along in their pregnancy as Mary was, but Mary and Joseph were forced to travel by law. In the last verse we talked about, an angel had warned Joseph that Herod would look for the baby to kill him, and to get away from Herod before Herod could find them, Joseph took Mary and Joseph and ran into Egypt. Now, we are ready for verse 15 of Matthew chapter 2. (I will explain all the grammar in the verse, so you will also get a review on the grammar.)
Matei 2:15 : Acolo a ramas pana la moartea lui Irod, ca sa se implineasca ce fusese vestit de Domnul prin prorocul care zice: ,,Am chemat pe fiul meu din Egipt.”
Matei = “Matthew.” Say it like this: “mah-tay,” and make your tongue touch both the top of your mouth and the back of your teeth at the same time on that “t,” and block some of the air. It isn’t as crisp as an Engish “t.”
Acolo a ramas = “He remained there.” Yes, it says “he,” not they. We are getting Joseph’s story. “Acolo” (pronounced: ahkohloh) means “there.” “A ramas” is a third person singular past perfect form of “a ramane” which means “to remain.” As I have said before, the Romanians usually use past perfect when we would use simple past tense. The different between the two tenses is that with simple past tense, it happened all at once in the past, and was immediately finished after that. With past perfect tense, it happened in the past, continued for a time, and finished in the past. Simple past tense in English for “to remain” is “remained.” Past perfect tense for “to remain” in English is “had remained.” If they used simple past tense in Romanian for “he, she, or it remained,” it would be “ramase.” If you use past perfect tense in Romanian for “he, she, or it had remained,” it is “a ramas.” That “a” is a prefix that changes for each person. Actually, as I am looking at it, I think what I have been calling “past perfect” in Romanian, they actually call “past perfect compus,” and not just “past perfect,” so perhaps that is why they use it as simple past all the time. Maybe it can be used as both simple past and past perfect. As far as the pronunciation of “a ramas,” the first “a” should have a mark over it that resembles the smile from a happy face, and the “a” should be pronounced like “uh.” The other “a’s” in “a ramas” are all pronounced like the “a” in “father,” and the “r” is trilled.
pana la moartea lui Irod = “until the death of Herod.” This is two prepositional phrases. The two prepositons are “pana la” and “lui.” “Pana” means “until,” and “la” means “at,” and they are used together here meaning “until the point of death.” “Lui” often means “his,” but when it is used before the noun, it means “of.” The first “a” in “pana” is not a letter we have an equivalent of in English. This “a” should have an inverted “v” over it. It is pronounced way down in your throat like a grunt. The second “a” in “pana” is pronounced “uh.” The “a” in “la” is pronounced like the “a” in “father.” “Lui” is pronounced “loo-ee.” These are the prepositions, and when you have prepositions, you have objects of the prepositions too.
The two objects of the prepositions here are “moartea” and “Irod.” An object of the preposition must be a noun or pronoun. “Moartea” is a noun, and “Irod” is a proper noun.” A proper noun means it is the name of a person, place, or thing and needs to begin with a capital letter. “Moartea” actually means “the death.” The “a” on the end of “moartea” is a feminine definite article meaning “the.” This means that “moarte” (death) is a feminine noun. A definite article means that it is a particular one, not just any one, a particular death in this case, the death of Herod. “Moartea” is pronounced “moh-ahrteyah” all blended together and with the “r” trilled and the “t” putting your tongue on the ridge at the top of your mouth and the back of your teeth at the same time. “Irod” means “Herod.” “Irod” is pronounced “eerod.”
ca sa se implineasca = “in order to fulfill.” “Ca” comes from “pentruca.” “Pentruca” means “because” and shows intention. Here “ca” is coupled with “sa” which means “to” before a verb, so “ca sa” coupled together ends up being translated “in order to.” This was God’s plan, for Jesus to fulfill prophecies. It was God’s intention. “Se” is a reflexive pronoun that is coupled with “implineasca” which comes from “a implini” which means “to fulfill.” “Implineasca” is in the present tense subjunctive which means in English “se implineasca” all together means, “he should fulfill himself.” That “should” goes along with the idea portrayed in “ca sa” (in order to). “Implineasca” is pronounced: “eempleenyaskah.”
ce fusese vestit = “what was made known.” “Ce” is pronounced “chay” because any time there is an “e” or an “i” after a “c” in Romanian, it is pronounced like a “ch.” The “e” in “ce” is pronounced like “ay.” “Ce” means “what,” and there it is used as a relative pronoun, not an interrogative pronoun. This means that it begins a relative clause. Clauses must have a subject and a verb. The subject of this relative clause is “it,” and the verb is “fusese vestit” (was made known.) “Fusese” comes from “a fi” which means “to be.” “Fuse” is third person singular simple perfect past tense in Romanian. We don’t have that tense in English. We only have simple past tense, “was.” The “se” on the end of “fusese” is a pronoun meaning “itself.” “Vestit” comes from “a vesti” which means “to make known” or “to tell news.” The noun for “news” in Romanian is “vestea.” “Vestit” is the past participle meaning “made known.”
de Domnul prin prorocul = “from the Lord through the prophet.” “De” is pronounced “deh,” and means “from,” a preposition. The object of the preposition, “de,” is “Domnul.” “Domnul” is a noun and a definitive article meaning “the Lord.” “Domn” means “Lord,” and “ul” is the masculine definite article meaning “the.” That means the word “Domn” is also a masculine noun. A noun is a person, place, or thing. In this case, a person. “Domn” can also be used like our word “gentleman.” A definite article mans there is a particular one. There is only one Lord and master of mankind, so “Domn” needs “ul” on the end. Next, we have antoher prepositional phrase.
“Prin” is also a preposition meaning “through.” “Prin” is pronounced “preen,” and don’t forget to trill the “r.” “Prorocul” is the object noun of the preposition “prin” and means “the prophet.” “proroc” is the part of the word that actually means “prophet,” and “ul” is the masculine definite article that means “the.” Remember to trill the “r” in “proroc,” and all the “o’s” are long. If a vowel is long, it means that it is pronounced the way the original letter is pronounced.
care zice: = “which says.” “Care” is pronounced “kahray” and means “which.” “Care” is a relative pronoun which means we have another relative clause. “Zice” is pronounced “zeechay” and means “it says.” “Zice” is in simple present tense, third person singular. After “care zice,” we find a colon (:). When there is a colon, we know that something is being introduced. In this case, we are being told what the prophesy says. When a colon is used, what is before it must be a complete sentence, but what is after it doesn’t have to be.
,,Am chemat = “I called.” This is another past perfect compus verb, and we use it as simple past tense in English. We actually don’t have a tense called past perfect compus in English. “Am” is the prefix that tells you that this verb has the first person singular pronoun “I” embedded in it. “Am” before the verb and “t” after it tells you it is speaking in the past. “Am chemat” is pronounced “ahm kehmaht.” Whenever there is a “ch” in Romanian, it is always pronounced like a hard “k” sound in English. Before “am,” you see what looks like two commas, but they are not commas. They are quotation marks. In Romanian, the first quotation marks come at the bottom, on the line, and the last quotation marks come at the top.
pe fiul meu = “my son.” Literally translated, we might think we see, “on my son” here. However, we don’t translate the “pe” into English because we never use it like that. In Romania, when the direct object is a person, they use “pe” before it like they use “a” before the direct object that is a person in Spanish. “Pe” is pronounced “peh.” “Fiul” means “the son.” “Fiul” is pronounced “fee-ool.” “Meu” is the masculine possessive pronoun meaning “my.” It must be masculine to match “fiul” which is the masculine noun it is attached to. Yes, the possessive pronoun comes after the noun instead of before like in English.
din Egipt = “from Egypt.” This is another prepositional phrase. “Din” is the preposition and is pronounced “deen” and means “from.” “Egipt” is the proper noun object of the preposition. “Egipt” (Egypt) is pronounced “ehgeept.”
Let’s put this verse all together: He remained there until the death of Herod in order to fulfill what was made known from the Lord through the prophet which says: “I called my son from Egypt.”
If you remember, I told you in my last blog that it was prophesied that Jesus would be in Egypt. Here, Matthew points out that the prophet said it. You can find this prophecy in the Old Testament, in the book of Hosea, chapter 11, verse one. This was written in the middle of the 8th century, B. C., again many, many years before Jesus was born.
Matthew’s mission has been to show us that Jesus is the one that God promised from the Old Testament, and he is matching all the facts of Jesus’ birth and right after his birth with the prophecies from the Old Testament to show us. He is like a lawyer presenting his case. He says, “Jesus is the Messiah,” and this is why, and he keeps telling us again and again different prophecies that are amazing. You have to ask yourself, “How did al these men who lived so many years before Jesus was even born what the circumstances of his birth and right after his birth would be?” They told us in detail what would happen and where it would happen. The prophets didn’t even live in the same time period as the others, but of all different time periods, and they all agreed. Matthew is presenting an excellent case for belief in Jesus being the one God sent, for the Bible to be real, and for God to be real because these men could only have known such details about Jesus before he was ever born through God. It doesn’t make sense any other way.
Aristotle tells us we need at least three reasons to support a statement to say that it is true. Count the reasons up that Matthew has given us so far. 1) Jesus was born of a virgin. 2) The magi came from the east with gifts. 3) Jesus was born in Bethlehem. 4) Jesus lived in Egypt. We have pretty solid evidence so far to say that Jesus is the one that they were looking for that was prophesied from the Old Testament. We have four reasons instead of just three here. And guess what, Matthew isn’t finished yet. He has already proven his point, but he keeps piling on the evidence. He is giving us indisputable proof that Jesus is the Messiah. Stay with me because you will see even more in further blogs.
I hope you are enjoying the Romanian grammar. Romanian has a lot of verb tenses we don’t have in English. We only have one define article: “the.” However, they have a masculine one, a feminine one, and they also have plural definite articles. However, we can only translate them all into English as “the.” When I was studying Romanian, my teacher said to me that they can say so much more in Romanian than we can say in English, and he was right. English is not complicated at all if you compare it to Romanian. Romanians find English actually very easy to learn to speak, much easier than an English speaker finds Romanian, but we find Romanian easier than Oriental languages. The people who would find Romanian easiest to learn are the Italians, the Spanish speakers, and the Portuguese speakers. French speakers may have a pretty easy time, but their pronunciation is a bit different. Greek speakers may also speak Romanian pretty easy because there is a lot of Greek in it. When I was in Romania, I met Albanians, and they found Romanian pretty easy too because Romanian is similar to Albanian too. Albanian is classified as an Indo-European language, not a Latin or Greek language, but they learn Romanian easily too. I have found some words borrowed from Turkish in Romanian but there is no relation between those two languages at all.
Romania is surrounded by Ukraine to the north that speaks a kind of Russian. Turkey is to the east and speaks its own unique language, Turkish. Hungary is to the west of Romania, and the Hungarian language is like Korean or Mongolian. To the south of Romania, you have Bulgaria. Bulgarian is actually a Slavic language which means it also has nothing in common with Romanian, but from what I have seen of the culture, it is similar. If you look at a map of Romania, you will see Moldova to the north east. Moldova was part of Romania until Romania broke away from Communism. During the time of Communism, Russians moved into Moldova, and the population is split between Romanian speakers and Russian speakers. When Communism fell, they didn’t feel completely Romanian because of having o many Russians there, and they didn’t feel Russian because Moldova is Romanian and is full of Romanian speakers. Moldova decided to pull away from both countries and become a country on its own. Romanians didn’t like them pulling away, but they didn’t go to war over it like so many other countries have in the past when part of a country tries to pull away.
Until next time, noapte buna, somn usor. (Good night, and sleep well.)