The author of the Matthew “gospel” was by far the most unreliable of the Bible’s writers, as evidenced by his appalling lack of understanding of the Old Testament and his willingness to imagine that it was filled with prophecies of the coming savior.
He was wrong about Jesus’ triumphant ride into Jerusalem, about Jesus being born of a virgin, about his being born in Bethlehem, about being called a Nazarene, about Herod ordering the slaughter of the innocent children after Jesus’ birth, about Judas’ thirty pieces of silver, and many other “events” in the life of Jesus because he evidently completely misunderstood or misrepresented stories in the Old Testament.
Readers don’t have to take my word for it. The evidence is on display in the articles in the “False Prophecy” section of the directory at the web site at
One of the more ridiculous prophecy-fulfillment attempts by Matthew concerns a speech he says Jesus made about the family unit. Matthew's source for this story is the book of Micah, in which a decayed society and its corrupt rulers are described in disparaging terms:
The godly have been swept from the land…For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man's enemies are the members of his own household. (Micah 7:2-6)
Matthew must have only half-remembered what the passage above was about because he mistakenly took the Micah passage to be a prediction of something that would occur when the savior came to earth; he evidently also wrongly thought that Micah was describing something a savior would bring to pass. Thus, presumably without thinking about it too hard, he wrote a story which describes Jesus wanting to turn family members against one another:
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--a man's enemies will be the members of his own household." (Matthew 10:34-36)
This is preposterous; was not Jesus supposed to be infinitely kind? Even if he was only just ordinarily kind, he certainly would never have wished to turn daughter against mother.
Which is more likely? That Matthew was right in his interpretation of Micah, and Jesus really did say these words, or Matthew was wrong, and that this is a false story manufactured from misunderstood or misremembered Old Testament stories, foolishly thought by Matthew to be prophecies of the coming messiah?