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r 2 Kings iv.
20. w see note:
h Ruth iv. 18. of Thamar; and h Phares begat Esrom; and h Esrom
begat Aram; 4 and 5 Aram begat Aminadab; and 5 AmiK1 Kings L.* nadab begat Naasson; and "Naasson begat Salmon ; 5 and 11 Kings xiv. h Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed m 1 Kings xv. of Ruth; and 5 Obed begat Jesse; 6 and h Jesse begat n1 Kings xv.
24, David the king; and i David the king begat Solomon of o 1 Kings axii.
30, p 2 Kings viii. her [a that had been the wife] of Urias; 7 and * Solomon begat 9 sec 2 Kings Roboam; and 'Roboam begat Abia; and m Abia begat Asa;
king W:7.8 and - Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram ; s 2 Kings xvi. and p Joram begat Ozias; 9 and 4 Ozias begat Joatham ; + 2 Kings 21. and Joatham begat Achaz; and * Achaz begat Ezekias; u 2 Kings sxi. 10 and · Ezekias begat Manasses; and u Manasses begat 2 Kings xxi.
Amon; and 'Amon begat Josias; 11 and Josias begat anas. Curon. Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were
& not expressed in the original. It most probably is, that the Evangelist count of the character commonly assigned omitted what was ordinary, but stated to her. 8. Joram . . . Ozias] Three what was doubtful or singular. It has kings, viz. Ahaziah, Joashi, Amaziah been suggested, that as these women are (1 Chron. iii. 11, 12), are here omitted. of Gentile origin or dubious character, Some think that they were erased on acthey may be mentioned as introducing the count of their connexion, by means of calling of Gentiles and sinners by our Athaliah, with the accursed house of Abab. Lord : also, that they may serve as types Simeon is omitted by Moses in blessing the of the mother of our Lord, and are conse- tribes (Deut. xxxiii.): the descendants of quently named in the course of the genea- Zebulun and Dan are passed over in logy, as she is at the end of it.
1 Chron., and none of the latter tribe are 6. Rachab] It has been imagined, on chro- sealed in Rev. vii. But more probably nological grounds, that this Rachab must such erasion, even if justifiable by that be a different person from Rahab of Jeri- reason, was not made on account of it, but cho. But those very grounds completely for convenience, in order to square the tally with their identity. For Naashon numbers of the different portions of the (father of Salmon), prince of Judah (1 genealogies, as here. Compare, as illusChron. ii. 10), offered his offering at the trating such omissions, 1 Chron. viii. 1 setting up of the tabernacle (Num. vii. 12) with Gen. xlvi. 21. 11. Josias . . 39 years before the taking of Jericho. So Jechonias) Eliakim, son of Josiah and that Salmon would be of mature age at father of Jechonias, is omitted; which was or soon after that event; at which time objected to the Christians by Porphyry. Rabab was probably young, as her father The reading which inserts Joacim (i. e. and mother were living (Josh. vi. 23). Nor Eliakim) rests on hardly any foundation, is it any objection that Achan, the fourth and would make fifteen generations in the in descent from Judah by Zara, is contem- second “fourteen.” The solution of the porary with Salmon, the sixth of the other difficulty by supposing the name to apply branch: since the generations in the line to both Eliakiin and his son, and to mean of Zara average 69 years, and those in the the former in ver. 11 and the latter in ver. line of Phares 49, both within the limits of 12, is unsupported by example, and conprobability. The difficulty of the interval trary to the usage of the genealogy. When of 366 years between Rahab and David we notice that the brethren of Jechonias does not belong to this passage only, but are his uncles, and find this way of speakequally to Ruth iv. 21, 22; and is by no ing sanctioned by 2 Chron. xxxvi. 10, where means insuperable, especially when the ex- Zedekiah, one of these, is called his brother, treme old age of Jesse, implied in 1 Sam. we are led to seek our solution in some xvii. 12, is considered.— I may add that, recognized manner of speaking of these considering Rahab's father and mother kings, by which Eliakim and his son were were alive, the house would hardly be not accounted two distinct generations. called the house of Rahab except on ac- If we compare 1 Chron. iii. 16 with 2 Kings
17. see notes.
carried away to Babylon : 12 and after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel 31 Chron. il. begat Zorobabel; 13 and Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; 14 and Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; 15 and Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; 16 and Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
18 Now the bbirth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy bread, generation.
render, For when. xxiv. 17, we can hardly fail to see that from Abraham to David, of course incluthere is some confusion in the records of sive. The second from David (again inJosiah's family. In the latter passage, clusive) to the migration; which gives where we have “his father's brother,” the no name, as before, to be included in both LXX render “his son.” 12. Jecho. the second and third periods, but which is nias . . . . Salathiel] So also the genealogy mentioned simultaneously with the beget. in 1 Chron. iii. 17. When, therefore, it is ting of Jechonias, leaving him for the third denounced (Jer. xxii. 30) that Jechoniah period. This last, then, takes in from should be 'childless,' this word must be Jechonias to JESUS CHRIST inclusive. So understood as explained by the rest of the that the three stand thus, according to verse, ‘for no man of his seed shall prosper, the words of this verse: (1) from Abraham sitting upon the throne of David and ruling to David. (2) From David to the migraany more in Judah.' Salathiel .. tion to Babylon, i.e. about the time when Zorobabel] There is no difficulty here Josiah begat Jechonias. (3) From the miwbich does not also exist in the 0. T. gration (i. e. from Jechonias) to Christ. Zerubbabel is there usually called the son 18—25.] CIRCUMSTANCES OF HIS BIRTI. of Shealtiel (Salathiel). Ezra iii. 2, &c. 18. espoused) i. e. betrothed. The Neh. xii. 1, &c. Hag. i.1, &c. In 1 Chron. interval between betrothal and the coniii. 19, Zerubbabel is said to have been summation of marriage was sometimes the son of Pedaiah, brother of Salathiel. considerable, during which the betrothed Either this may have been a different Zerub- remained in her father's house, till the babel, or Salathiel may, according to the bridegroom came and fetched her. See law, have raised up seed to his brother. Deut. xx. 7. came together] Here 13. Zorobabel .....
. Abiud] Abiud to be understood of living together in one is not mentioned as a son of the Zerub- house as man and wife. Chrysostom well babel in 1 Chron. iii.—Lord A. Hervey, suggests, that the conception was not On the Genealogies of our Lord, p. 122 ff., allowed to take place before the betrothal, has made it probable that Abiud is iden- both that the matter might take place more tical with the Hodaiah of 1 Chron. iii. 24, in privacy, and that the Blessed Virgin and the Juda of Luke iji. 26.-On the might escape slanderous suspicion. comparison of this genealogy, with that was found] not merely for was, as some given in Luke, see notes, Luke ii. 23–38. have said, but in its proper meaning
17. fourteen generations] If we she was discovered to be, no matter by carefully observe Matthew's arrangement, whom. The words “of (by) the Holy we shall have no difficulty in completing Ghost," are the addition of the Evangelist the three " fourteens." For the first is declaring the matter of fact, and do not
Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man,
shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Ezek. xxxvi.
JESUS: for HE shall y save his people from their sins.
render, an. belong to the discovery. 19. husband] 21. Jesus] The same name as Joshua, the 80 called, though they were as yet but former deliverer of Israel. Philo says, betrothed : so in Gen. xxix. 21. Deut. xxii. “ Jesus is, being interpreted, “The salva24. just] “and not willing” is, not tion of the Lord.'” He] emphatithe explanation of just, but an additional cally: He alone : best rendered, perhaps, particular. He was a strict observer of the it is He that.' his people] In the law,- and (yet) not willing to expose her. primary sense, the Jews, of whom alone The sense of 'kind,' 'merciful,' proposed Joseph could have understood the words : by some instead of just, is inadinissible. but in the larger sense, all who believe on
privily] Not • without any writing Him: an explanation which the tenor of of divorcement,' which would have been prophecy (cf. Gen. xxii. 18: Deut. xxxii. unlawful; but according to the form pre- 21), and the subsequent adipission of the scribed in Deut. xxiv. 1. The husband Gentiles, warrant. Cf. a similar use of might either do this, or adopt the stronger Israel' by St. Peter, Acts v. 31. from course of bringing his wife to justice openly. their sins] It is remarkable that in this The punishment in this case would have early part of the evangelic history, in the been death by stoning. Deut. xxii. 23. midst of pedigrees, and the disturbances of
20. behold) answers to the Hebrew thrones by the supposed temporal King of “hinneh,” and is frequently used by Matt. the Jews, we have so clear an indication and Luke to introduce a new event or of the spiritual nature of the office of change of scene : not so often by Mark, Christ. One circumstance of this kind and never with this view in John.
outweighs a thousand cavils against the an angel] The announcement was made historical reality of the narration. If I to Mary openly, but to Joseph in a dream; mistake not, this announcement reaches for in Mary's case faith and concurrence further into the deliverance to be wrought of will were necessary,--the communica- by Jesus, than any thing mentioned by the tion was of a higher kind,--and referred Evangelist subsequently. It thus bears to a thing future; but here it is simply the internal impress of a message from an advertisement for caution's sake of an God, treasured up and related in its orievent which had already happened, and is ginal formal terins.-"Sins” is not put altogether a communication of an inferior for the punishment of sin, but is the sin order : : see Gen. xx. 3. But see on the itself-the practice of sin, in its most other hand the remarks at the close of the pregnant sense. • How suggestive it is,' notes on ver. 21. son of David] These remarks Bishop Ellicott, “that while to the words would recall Joseph's mind to the loftier spirit of Mary the name of Jesus is promised seed, the expectation of the revealed with all the prophetic associations families of the lineage of David, and at of more than David's glories-to Joseph, once stamp the message as the announce- perchance the aged Josephı, who might ment of the birth of the Messiah. May it have long seen and realized his own spirinot likewise be said, that this appellation tual needs, and the needs of those around would come with more force, if Mary also him, it is specially said, thou shalt call his were a daughter of David? The addition, name Jesus : for He shall save his people "thy wife," serves to remind Joseph of from their sins.' Historical Lectures on that relation which she already held by the Life of our Lord, p. 56. 22. that betrothal, and which he was now exhorted it might be fulfilled] It is impossible to recognize. See above on ver. 19. to interpret that in any other sense than
a (magi) Dan.
was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 z Be- z Isa. vii. 14. hold, e a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife : 25 and knew her not till she had brought forth ? her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
II. 1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem 'of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came a wise" . Acts Ivi render, the.
1 read, a son. in order that. The words “all this was Hebrew has, “thou shalt call' (fem.). done,” and the uniform usage of the N. T., Emmanuel) i. e. God (is) with us. forbid any other. Nor, if rightly viewed, In Isaiah, prophetic primarily of deliver. does the passage require any other. What- ance from the then impending war; but ever may have been the partial fulhilment also of final and glorious deliverance of the prophecy in the time of Ahaz, its by the manifestation of God in the flesh. reference to a different time, and a higher 25.] With regard to the much-controdeliverance, is undeniable: and then, what- verted sense of this verse we may observe, ever causes contributed to bring about all (1) That the priinâ facie impression on this, might be all summed up in the fulfil. the reader certainly is, that knew her ment of the divine purpose, of which that not was confined to the period of time prophecy was the declaration. The ac. here mentioned. (2) That there is nocomplishment of a promise formally made thing in Scripture tending to remove this is often alleged as the cause of an action impression, either (a) by narration,-and extending wider than the promise, and the very use of the term,“ brethren of purposed long before its utterance. And the Lord” (on which see note at ch. of course these remarks apply to every xiii. 55), without qualification, shews that passage where the phrase is used. Such a the idea was not repulsive : or (b) by im. construction can have but one meaning. plication,-for every where in the N. T. If such meaning involve us in difficulty marriage is spoken of in high and honourregarding the prophecy itself, far better able terms; and the words of the angel leave such difficulty, in so doubtful a matter to Joseph rather imply, than discounas the interpretation of prophecy, unsolved, tenance, such a supposition. (3) On the than create one in so simple a matter as other hand, the words of this verse do not the rendering of a phrase whose ineaning require it: the idiom being justified on the no indifferent person could doubt. The contrary hypothesis. See my Greek Test. immediate and literal fulfilment of the pro- On the whole it seems to me, that no one phecy seems to be related in Isa. viii. 1–4. would ever have thought of interpreting Yet there the child was not called Em. the verse any otherwise than in its prima manuel : but in ver. 8 that name is used facie meaning, except to force it into as applying to one of far greater dignity. accordance with a preconceived notion Again, Isa. ix. 6 seems to be a reference to of the perpetual virginity of Mary. It this prophecy, as also Micah v. 3. is characteristic, and historically instruc23. the virgin] the words are from the tive, that the great impugner of the view Septuagint. Such is the rendering of the given above should be Jerome, the im. LXX. The Hebrew word is the more pugner of marriage itself: and that his general term, “ the young woman,” and is opponents in its interpretation should so translated by Aquila. they shall call] have been branded as heretics by after This indefinite plural is surely not without ages. See a brief notice of the contromeaning here. Men shall call-i. e. it versy in Milman, Hist. of Latin Chrisshall be a name by which He shall be called tianity, i. 72 ff.
he called] i.e. Joseph ; -one of his appellations. The change of see ver. 21. person seems to shew, both that the pro. CHAP. II. 1–12.] VISIT AND ADORAphecy had a literal fulfilment at the time, TION OF MAGI FROM THE East. and that it is here quoted in a forin suited 1. Bethlehem of Judæa] There was an. to its greater and final fulfilment. The
other Bethlehem in the tribe of Zebulan,
b Gen. xxv. 6.
1 Kings iv. 30. Job i. 3.
men from the beast to Jerusalem, 2 saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews ? for we have seen his star
near the sea of Galilee, Josh. xix. 15. The cient and consistent opinion in all the name Bethlehem-Judab is used, Judges xvii. East, that it was fated that at that time 7, 8, 9: 1 Sam. xvii. 12. Another name those should go forth from Judæa who for our Bethlehem was Ephrath ; Gen. should rule the empire:”—and of Tacitus, xxxv. 19; xlviii. 7 ; or Ephrata, Micah v. 2. to the same effect and nearly in the same It was six Roman miles to the south of words, -and (c) the prophecy, also likely Jerusalem, and was known as the city to be known in the East, of the seventy of David,' the origin of his family, Ruth weeks in Daniel ix. 24 ;-we can, I think, i. 1, 19. in the days of Herod] be at no loss to understand how any reHEROD THE GREAT, son of Antipater, an markable celestial appearance at this time Idumean, by an Arabian mother, made should have been interpreted as it was. king of Judæa on occasion of his having (3) There is no ground for supposing the fled to Rome, being driven from his te- magi to have been three in number (as trarchy by the pretender Antigonus. This first, apparently, by Leo the Great, A.D. title was confirmed to him after the battle 450); or to have been kings. The first of Actium by Octavianus. sought to tradition appears to have arisen from the strengthen his throne by a series of cruel. number of their gifts: the second, from ties and slaughters, putting to death even the prophecy in Isa. lx. 3. Tertullian his wife Mariamne, and his sons Alexander seems to deduce it from the similar proand Aristobulus. His cruelties, and his phecy in Ps. lxxii. 10, for, he says, the affectation of Gentile customs, gained for Magi were most commonly kings in the him a hatred among the Jews, which East. 2. his star] There is a ques. neither his magnificent rebuilding of the tion, whether this expression of the magi, temple, nor his liberality in other public we have seen his star, points to any works, nor his provident care of the people miraculous appearance, or to something during a severe fainine, could mitigate. observed in the course of their watching He died miserably, five days after he had the heavens. We know the magi to have put to death his son Antipater, in the been devoted to astrology: and on comseventieth year of his age, the thirty- paring the language of our text with this eighth of his reign, and the 750th year of undoubted fact, I confess that it appears Rome. The events here related took place to me the most ingenuous way, fairly to a short time before his death, but neceg. take account of that fact in our exegesis, sarily more than forty days; for he spent and not to shelter ourselves from an apthe last forty days of his life at Jericho parent difficulty by the hypothesis of a and the baths of Callirrhoe, and therefore miracle. Wherever supernatural agency would not be found by the magi at Jeru- is asserted, or may be reasonably inferred, salem. The history of Herod's reign is I shall ever be found foremost to insist on contained in Josephus, Antt. books xiv.- its recognition, and impugn every device xvii. It would be useless to detail all of rationalism or semi-rationalism; but it the conjectures to which this history has does not therefore follow that I should given rise. From what has been written consent to attempts, however well meant, on the subject it would appear, (1) That to introduce miraculous interference where the East may mean either Arabia, Persia, it does not appear to be borne out by the Chaldæa, or Parthia, with the provinces narrative. The principle on which this adjacent. See Judges vi. 3: Isa. xli. 2; commentary is conducted, is that of xlvi. 11: Num. xxüi. 7. Philo speaks of honestly endeavouring to ascertain the “ the Eastern nations and their leaders sense of the sacred text, without regard the Parthians." In all these countries to any preconceived systems, and fearless there were magi, at least persons who in of any possible consequences. And if the the wider sense of the word were now scientific or historical researches of others known by the name.
The words in ver. 2 seem to contribute to this, my readers will seem to point to soine land not very near find them, as far as they have fallen within Judæa, as also the result of Herod's en- my observation, made use of for that purquiry as to the date, shewn in “two pose. It seems to me that the preliminary years old.” . (2). If we place together question for us is, Have we here in the (a) the prophecy in Num. xxiv. 17, which sacred text a miracle, or have we some could hardly be unknown to the Eastern natural appearance which God in His astrologers, – and (b) the assertion of Providence used as a means of indicating Suetonius “ that there prevailed an an. to the magi the birth of His Son ? Dif.