As told in the Nativity of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, Herod the Great ordered all newborn boys in Bethlehem killed when he learned of the advent of a ‘king’. The Holy Family have been warned in time and flee to Egypt. On their way, angels bend a date tree down so that Joseph can pick its fruit. The arcade-like shape of the trunk links this scene to the two previous ones (33706, 33708, 36114). Schongauer could well have seen the subtropic dragon tree in the left foreground on travels in southern Spain.