Matthew 4:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 4:12, NIV: When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee.

Matthew 4:12, ESV: Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee.

Matthew 4:12, KJV: Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;

Matthew 4:12, NASB: Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee;

Matthew 4:12, NLT: When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left Judea and returned to Galilee.

Matthew 4:12, CSB: When he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee.

What does Matthew 4:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

We don't know exactly how much time passed between Jesus' baptism by John and John's imprisonment by Herod Antipas. Antipas was one of the sons of the late king of Israel, Herod the Great. Jesus may have spent some time in the southern region of Judea until Herod's arrest and then retreated to the northern region of Galilee to avoid trouble Himself.

Many Bible scholars argue that Jesus' public ministry began "officially" once John had been arrested. The time of the one who would prepare the way of the Lord had come to an end (John 3:28–30). It was time for the ministry of the Lord Himself to begin. Jesus' message was very similar to John's: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2; 4:17).

Matthew does not explicitly mention how Jesus felt about the arrest of John the Baptist. Presumably, this was a difficult experience: John was His relative (Luke 1:34–35) and God's chosen man to prepare Israel for His arrival.