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constitutes the fourteenth, for as the words "to David assign to Him the fourteenth place in the first series, so the words" unto the Christ assign the same place to Him in the third. The thirteenth name can be no other than that of Mary. It was not, indeed, usual to insert female names in the Jewish genealogies; but there were exceptions to the rule. Joab, the distinguished general of David, was his nephew, the son of Zeruiah, David's sister, 2 Sam. 2: 13; 19: 22; 1 Chr. 2: 15, 16. He is uniformly mentioned as "the son of Zeruiah” (2 Sam. 3:39; 8: 16; 16: 10; 1 Chr. 11:6; 18:15; 26:28; 27: 24), while his father's name is withheld. In his family register, Zeruiah, his mother, must have necessarily occupied the place of one of the links in the whole chain of descent. In the present case, Matthew designs to furnish the legal descent of Christ (See above, ver. 2, A.); he accordingly introduces the name of Joseph, the twelfth. But as Mary was alone the true parent of Jesus according to the flesh, to whose son Joseph only transmitted his legal rights, she is mentioned as the representative of the thirteenth generation. The words "of whom," ver. 16, in which the singular number is used in the original, distinctly and expressly excludes Joseph.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise; when his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

A. The birth . . . this wise—the circumstances which preceded and attended it, were the following. Comp. Luke ch. I and ch. 2.-B. Betrothed. The ceremony of betrothal was very solemn; it took place before witnesses. After the espousals, the bride often remained for some time in her father's family, until the man to whom she was affianced came to claim her, Deut. 20:7; Judg. 14; 7, 8. During the period intervening between

the betrothal and the actual marriage ceremonies, the parties were regarded as bound together by ties as solemn and inviolable as those which unite man and wife; hence the bride who became unfaithful during this period, was punished with death, Deut. 22:23, 24.-C. She was found. Neither the public in general, nor even Joseph in particular, had at first received a revelation such as was made to Mary in Luke 1: 35.-D. The Holy Ghost. The words Spirit (Latin) and Ghost (Anglo-Saxon, German Geist) are the same in meaning. In Luke 1: 35 the angel informs the Virgin Mary that through the Holy Ghost she shall become the mother of a son, who, not having an earthly father, shall be called the Son of God. He is called the Only-begotten of the Father (John 1: 14, 18; 3: 16, 18) or God's "own son" Rom 8:32. Hence, as he had no earthly father, being "conceived of the Holy Ghost" (ver. 20), He was sinless (ver. 16, C.) and free from Original Sin, which clings to all who are "born of the flesh" (John 3: 6).

19. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

A. Her husband-betrothed as her future husband; comp. Deut. 22: 23; Rev. 21: 2.-B. A righteous man. The word righteous in the Jewish or legal sense described the character of those who, like Simeon (Luke 225), Joseph of Arimathea (Lu. 23: 50) and others, strictly and conscientiously observed the laws of Moses; thus the word may indicate in general freedom from any fault, innocence, as in ch. 27: 19, 24. As Mary had not communicated to Joseph the divine interposition related in Lu. 1: 26 ff., he supposed that she had committed a gross sin; as a conscientious man he dreaded the divine displeasure if he should conduct her to his home as an

honored wife. In the Gospel sense, the word righteous describes the character of those who, being justified by faith in Christ, have received pardon and found acceptance with God; comp. Rom. 1: 17.-C. Not willing . . . privily. His genuine kindness of heart inclined him to waive the right of accusing her publicly, and to refrain from exposing her to such a disgrace, ver. 18, B.; it was possible for him, as a devout man, to obey the letter of the law by "putting her away" or repudiating or dismissing her with a bill of divorcement (Deut. 24: 1) privily (privately), without publicly assigning the cause.

"But when he thought on these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

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A. But when things. Even this measure, which Joseph's conscience taught him to adopt, he refrained from carrying precipitately into effect. That justice to which others are entitled, requires us to withhold our censure, and especially to refrain from a public accusation, until we have sufficient reason to believe that they are worthy of condemnation. B.-Behold. In Matt. and Luke, this word occurs far more frequently than in Mark and John. It usually precedes the mention of a fact or truth of special importance, and is equivalent to lo, (2 9, B.). C. A dream. Such dreams, in which the Lord communicated His will, are mentioned on various occasions. But the Lord also solemnly warns "against them that prophesy false dreams." Jer. 23: 32; 29: 8. In our day, neither such prophetic dreams, nor messengers from the other world, are sent by the Lord, inasmuch as we have not only " Moses and the prophets" (Luke 16: 29), but also the perfect and complete lessons taught by

Christ and His inspired apostles, (For the dream of Pilate's wife, see 27: 19 C.).-D. Thou son of David (see ver. I, C). The scriptural genealogies appear to contain only uninteresting names; but the present case illustrates the high importance of the object for which they are inserted; they constitute one of the proofs of the right of Christ to the title of Son of David.-E. Mary thy wife-who was espoused to thee as thy future wife (see ver. 19, A.). -F. Conceived . . . . Holy Ghost. The angel not only restored the character of Mary in the mind of Joseph to its original purity, but also revealed the wonderful event which almighty power had ordered, namely, that Mary should be the mother of a son who would have no earthly father.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for it is he that shall save his people from their sins.

A. Thou.... Jesus; see 1: 1 B.—B. For it is he sins. The deep import of the name of Jesus is here set forth; He comes to His people as Jehovah their Saviour. He saves them from their sins in a twofold sense: first, He takes away by His atoning work the guilt and punishment of sin (Isai. ch. 53; John 1: 29; I John 17); then, He also renews and sanctifies believers (Tit. 35), and imparts His grace so bountifully that they no longer love sin (1 John 3: 5, 9) but are dead to it (Rom. 6: 2, 11), are restored to communion with God, and "made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light," Col. I: 12; 3: 24. His people; the people of God, in the Jewish sense, are the children of Abraham, the Jews, Deut. 14: 2; in the wider, Gospel sense, all true believers, bought and redeemed with the blood of Christ (1 Pet. 1: 18, 19), are the people of God (Rom. 9: 25; Tit. 2: 14; Hebr. 4:9, 10, comp. with

Exod. 19:6; Hos. 2: 23), the spiritual children of AbraKnow ye therefore, etc." Gal. 3: 7.


22 Now all this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying.


A. That it might be fulfilled. (Here Matt. sumes the narrative in his own words.) This phrase, which indicates, in general, a divine intention, frequently occurs in Matt., e. g., 2 : 15, 23; 4: 14; 8: 17; 12: 17; 13:35; 21:4; 26:56; 27: 35, and several times in John. It differs from another: then was (or, is) fulfilled, which occurs in Matt. 2:17; 13:14; 27:9, inasmuch as it seems to imply that the event necessarily occurred, because it had been foretold, as if the origin or cause of the event lay in the prediction; the latter phrase obviously states the mere fact that a prophecy was really fulfilled. (Comp. Ann. to 26: 31 D.) Now the words: that, or, so that, in order that the prophecy might be fulfilled, mean neither simply: it was fulfilled, nor, on the other hand, that, because a certain prophecy was once written, therefore, such prophecy, as an independent and operating cause, required the event to follow as its necessary effect. The phrase may be presented in the following light :-The Omniscient and Almighty God had devised the plan of salvation through Christ with all its blessings, before "the foundation of the world," 1 Pet. 1: 20; Eph. 1:4; 3:11; 2 Tim. 1:9. At different successive periods (Heb. 1:1) He announced this gracious purpose to His people through the prophets. In the order of time, according to man's imperfect conception of the thoughts of God, this plan of salvation was first devised in the divine mind, I Pet. 1: 20; afterwards, the world was created, and occupied by the human race, and the predictions respecting the events. embraced in that divine plan of salvation were then made

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