Some scholars believe the first five chapters of Matthew feature four re-enacted episodes from the history of Israel in the OT. The most direct link between Israel’s history and Jesus’ life is the quotation of the exodus passage Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15 [“Out of Egypt I called my son”]. From this direct link, scholars believe Matthew has set the stage for four re-enacted episodes:
• The exodus from Egypt (Matt 2:19–20).
• The crossing of the Red Sea (Matt 3:13–17).
• The desert temptations (Matt 4:1–11).
• The arrival upon Mt. Sinai to receive the Law (Matt 5:1–2).
If this re-enactment motif is accurate, “Jesus appears, not just as the Savior of Israel in fulfillment of prophetic expectation, but also as an embodiment of Israel as they should be” [S. Motyer, New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (IVP, 2000) pp. 584].