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PREFACE TO THE GOSPEL OF ST. MATTHEW.

of a glorious angel, attesting it to the women, who had come to the sepulchre with a view to anoint his body. Of the many appearances of Christ to his disciples, Matthew only records two; namely, one to these women, and one to all the disciples collected together in Galilee. His history concludes with the important testimony borne by Christ, immediately before his ascension, to the exaltation of his human nature to the highest dignity and power; to which is subjoined his solemn charge to the apostles, and their successors in the ministry, to teach and baptize all nations, and his gracious promise that his presence should be with them to the end of the world. ( 2*)

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THE GOSPEL

ACCORDING TO

SAINT MATTHE W.

CHAPTER I.

In this chapter we have, (1,) The genealogy of Christ, in the line of Joseph, showing him to be descended from David and Abraham, in forty-two generations, divided into three fourteens, 1–17. (2,) An account of the circumstances of his birth, as far as was necessary to show that he was born of a virgin, according to the prediction of the Prophet Isaiah, (chap. vii. 14,) 18–25.

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prophetical character of the Messiah was, that he was to spring from Abraham and David. The sense of the latter clause, indeed, the son of Abraham, is ambiguous: it may mean either that David was the son of Abraham, or, which seems the more probable sense, that Christ, who was the son of David, was also the son of Abraham. This sense accords better both with the following words, and with the design of the evangelist, which was to show, that Christ was descended from both these renowned patriarchs, and that in him was fulfilled the promises made to both. David is first named, 1. That the catalogue, to begin from Abraham, might proceed regularly, without the repetition of his name; 2. Because the memory of David was more fresh upon the minds of the Jews, and his name in greater repute than that of Abraham, especially when the discourse related to the Messiah, John vii. 42; more plain and explicit promises of him being made to David, and the prophets having spoken of Christ under the name of David. Add to this, that David was both a prophet and a king, and therefore a more manifest type of the Messiah, who sustains both of these offices, as well as that of a priest. Hence those who had entertained higher conceptions of Christ than others, termed him the son of David, as appears from many passages in the gospels.

Verse 1. The book—That is, This is the book, the verb being elegantly omitted, according to the custom of the Hebrews, and also of the Greeks and Romans; of the generation—Or, as the Syriac expresses it, The writing, narrative, or account of the generation, or birth of Jesus, &c. The word yɛvɛoɩç, indeed, here rendered generation, some- || times signifies the history of a person's life, yet it || is much more frequently used for genealogy, or birth; and it seems to be intended to be taken in this restrained sense here. Dr. Macknight renders the phrase, The table of the genealogy of Jesus: observing that the word Bibλos, book, is used in this limited sense Mark x. 4, where a bill of divorce is so called: and Jer. xxxii. 12, where a deed of conveyance is termed “, a book. Indeed, the Jews, and also the Greeks, called all writings books, whether short or long. Of Jesus Christ—Jesus is his proper name, given him by God, his true Father,|| Matt. i. 21; Luke i. 31; ii. 21. Christ is, as it were, a surname, descriptive of his unction to the prophetic, priestly, and kingly offices. To the name Christ, that of Jesus is often superadded in the New Testament, not only that Christ might be pointed out for the Saviour, as the word Jesus sig- || nifies, but that Jesus might be shown to be the true Messiah, or Christ, in opposition to the unbelief of the Jews. The son of David, the son of Abra- Verse 2. Abraham begat Isaac-"The evangelist ham—i. e., a descendant of David and Abraham; here opens his history with our Lord's genealogy the word son, in the language of the Hebrews, being || by Joseph, his supposed father. Luke gives another put for any descendant, however remote. Here genealogy of him, thought by many to be Joseph's the evangelist proposes what he is going to prove; also, but without foundation; for the two genealoviz., that Jesus Christ, whose history he is about to gies are entirely different, from David and downgive, was the son of David and Abraham, which it || ward. It is true, some have attempted to reconcile was necessary he should show, because the grand || them by alleging, that they exhibit Joseph's pedi

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Genealogy of Jesus Christ.

gree, the one by his natural, the other by his legal || concerning the great personage, in whom all the father. But, had that been the case, the natural || families of the earth were to be blessed, having and legal fathers would have been brothers, which been made to those patriarchs, in quality of his proit is plain they were not, Jacob, Joseph's father in genitors; first to Abraham, Gen. xxii. 18, then to Matthew, being the son of Matthan, the son of Ele- David, Psa. cxxxii. 11, 12." And accordingly Mat azar; whereas Eli, the father supposed to be thew begins this genealogy with a plain allusion to assigned him by Luke, was the son of Matthat, a these promises: for he evidently intended it, not so different person from Matthan, because the son of much as an introduction to his history of Christ, as Levi." Besides, on this supposition, we should be to show that, according to the flesh, he was the son altogether uncertain whether our Lord's mother, || of David and the son of Abraham, as it was often from whom alone he sprang, was a daughter of foretold the Messiah should be. David, and consequently could not prove that he If it be inquired whence Matthew had this genehad any other relation to David than that his mother || alogy, there being nothing of it to be found in was married to one of the descendants of that || Scripture, Dr. Whitby answers, "From the authenprince. Let the reader judge whether this would || tic genealogical tables kept by the Jews, of the line come up to the import of the passages of Scripture, of David: for, it appears from the taxation, menwhich tell us he was made of the seed of David. See||tioned Luke ii., that they had genealogies of all their Rom. i. 3; Acts ii. 30. But this important difficulty families and tribes, since all went to be taxed, every is easily removed by supposing that Matthew gives || one to his own city, verse 3, and Joseph went to Joseph's pedigree, and Luke, Mary's. See Mac- || Bethlehem, the city of David, because he was of the knight. But, taking it for granted that Luke gives || house and lineage of David. And this is certain, us our Lord's real pedigree, and Matthew that of Joseph, his supposed father, it may reasonably be inquired why Matthew has done so? To this it may be answered, that he intended to remove the scruples of those who knew that the Messiah was to be the heir of David's crown; a reason which ap-|| pears the stronger, if we suppose, with the learned writer last quoted, that Matthew wrote posterior || prove, εK тwv apxaιwv τηv Siadoxny, their succession to Luke, who has given the real pedigree. For,|| from an ancient line; and if they could not do it, "though Joseph was not Christ's real father, it was they were to be excluded from officiating as priests, directly for the evangelist's purpose to derive his and that, in whatsoever part of the world they pedigree from David, and show that he was the|| were, they used this diligence. And again, Christ eldest surviving branch of the posterity of that being promised as one who was to proceed out of prince, because, this point established, it was well the loins of David, and therefore called the son of enough understood that Joseph, by marrying our || David, it was absolutely necessary that the geneLord's mother, after he knew that she was with alogy of the house and lineage of David should be child of him, adopted him for his son, and raised || preserved, that they might know that their Messiah him both to the dignity and privileges of David's was of the seed of David, according to the promise. heir. Accordingly, the genealogy is concluded in || Hence the apostle says to Timothy, Remember that terms which imply this: Jacob begat Joseph, the|| Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus. Joseph || from the dead, 2 Tim. ii. 8. And Eusebius, (Eccl. is not here called the father of Jesus, but the hus- || Hist., lib. i. cap. 6,) from Africanus, says, accord band of his mother, Mary; and the privileges fol- ing to the version of Ruffinus, 'That all the succeslowing this adoption will appear to be more essen- sions of the Hebrews were kept in the secret tially connected with it, if, as is probable, Joseph || archives of the temple, and thence they were never had any child. For thus the regal line of || described, ε τns Bibh8 twv eμɛpwv, from their epheDavid's descendants by Solomon, failing in Joseph, || merides, by the kinsmen of our Saviour.' It therehis rights were properly transferred to Joseph's fore, doubtless, was from these authentic records adopted son, who, indeed, was of the same family, that Matthew had his genealogy, for otherwise he though by another branch. Matthew, therefore, would have exposed himself to the cavils of the || has deduced our Lord's political and royal pedi- || Jews. And hence the author of the epistle to the gree, with a view to prove his title to the kingdom || Hebrews represents it as a thing evident to the Jews, of Israel, by virtue of the rights which he acquired || that our Lord sprang out of Judah, Heb. vii. 14.” through his adoption; whereas Luke explains his natural descent, in the several successions of those from whom he derived his human nature. That the genealogy, not only of our Lord's mother, but of his reputed father, should be given by the sacred historians, was wisely ordered; because the two taken together prove him to be descended of David and Abraham in every respect, and consequently that one of the most remarkable characters of the Messiah was fulfilled in him; the principal promises ||

touching the tribe of Levi, because their whole temple service, the effect of their sacrifices and expiations, depended on it. And, therefore, Josephus, || being a priest, not only confidently depends on these genealogical tables for the proof of his descent, avwbev e§ 1ɛpewv, in a long series from priests ; but adds, that all their priests were obliged to

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As to some difficulties which occur upon comparing this genealogy with that of Luke, the reader is referred to the notes on them both. We must observe, however, that if we could not satisfactorily remove some, or even any of those difficulties, it would not affect the credit of the evangelists, for it would be a sufficient vindication of them to say, that they gave Christ's pedigree as they found it in the authentic tables, preserved among the Jews in the temple registers. Upon this subject Bishop Burnet

Genealogy of Jesus Christ.

CHAPTER I.

Genealogy of Jesus Christ.

A. M. 4000. 3 And Judas begat Phares and || dab begat Naasson; and Naasson A. M. 4000. Zara of Thamar; and Phares be- begat Salmon;

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gat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;

5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and

1 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Amina-|| Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

g Gen. xxxviii. 27.

h Ruth iv. 18, &c.; 1 Chron. ii. 5, 9, &c.

and bow down to him, and that his descendants should continue à distinct tribe, with some form of government among them, till Shiloh, who was to spring from his loins, should come.

observes, that had not this genealogy been taken with exactness out of those registers, the bare showing of them would have served to have confuted the whole. For, if those registers were clear and uncontroverted in any one thing, they were so Verse 3. And Judas begat Phares and Zarawith respect to the genealogies; since these proved Some have observed that these sons of Judah are both that the Jews were Abraham's seed, and like- || mentioned together because they were twins born wise ascertained their title to the lands, which, || at the same time: but if this had been a reason for from the days of Joshua, were to pass down either || assigning Zara the honour of being named in this to immediate descendants, or, as they failed, to genealogy, Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, ought collateral degrees. Now, this shows plainly, that to have obtained it likewise. He seems rather to there was a double office kept of their pedigrees; be mentioned to prevent any mistake. For if he one natural, which might probably be taken when || had not, considering the infamy of Pharez's birth, the rolls of circumcision were made up; and the|| we might have been apt to imagine that not the other, relating to the division of the land; in which, || Pharez whom Judah begat in incest, but another when the collateral line came instead of the natu- son of Judah, called Pharez, was our Lord's proral, then the last was dropped, as extinct, and the genitor, it being no uncommon thing among the other remained. It being thus plain, from their Jews to have several children of the same name. constitution, that they had these two orders of Wherefore, to put the matter beyond doubt, Thatables, we are not at all concerned in the diversity of || mar, as well as Zara, is mentioned in the genealogy, the two evangelists on this head; since they both if her name be not rather added because she was might have copied them out from those two offices remarkable in the sacred history. This reason at the temple; and if they had not done it faith- certainly must be assigned why three other women fully, the Jews could easily have demonstrated are named in this catalogue, viz., Rahab, Ruth, and their error in endeavouring to prove that Jesus was Bathsheba. They were all remarkable characters, entitled to that well-known character of the Mes- and their story is particularly related in the Old siah, that he was to be the son of David, by a false || Testament. This seems much more probable than pedigree. Now since no exceptions were made at the opinion of those who think they are mentioned, the time when the sight of the rolls must have either because they were great sinners, to teach us ended the inquiry, it is plain they were faithfully || that Christ came to save such, or with a view to copied out; nor are we now bound to answer such obviate the cavils of the Jews against the mean difficulties as seem to arise out of them, since they || condition of the mother of our Lord; their rewere not questioned at the time in which only annowned ancestors, such as even David and Soloappeal could be made to the public registers them-mon, being descended of women whose quality selves. See Burnet's Four Discourses, p. 16. rendered them much meaner than she was. It Abraham begat Isaac, &c.—Matthew, being a || was, however, one degree of our Saviour's humiliaJew, brings Christ's genealogy down from Abraham, for the comfort of the Jews, who deduced all their genealogies from him, because God had taken || him and his seed into a peculiar covenant; Luke, a Gentile, and a companion of the apostle of the Gen- || tiles, carries Christ's pedigree upward unto Adam, Verse 4. And Aram begat Aminadab-Of these, for the comfort of the Gentiles, who were not line- to Jesse, little is said in Scripture, for either they ally of the seed of Abraham. Jacob begat Judas || lived in slavery in Egypt, or in trouble in the and his brethren-The words, his brethren, are || wilderness, or in obscurity in Canaan before the added, probably, because they were patriarchs and kingdom was settled. Naasson, as we learn Num. heads of the people from whom the Messiah was to i. 7, was head of the house of Judah, not, as some proceed, and to show that he was related to all the through mistake have affirmed, when the Israelites tribes as well as to that of Judah, and to comfort entered Canaan, but when they were numbered those of the dispersion, (many of whom were not and marshalled in the wilderness of Sinai, in the returned out of captivity, as Judah was,) in their second year after they were come out of Egypt. equal interest in the blessings of the seed of Abra-|| Accordingly, in the catalogue given 1 Chron. ii. 10, ham. Judah is particularly named in preference || he is termed prince of the children of Judah, where to any of them, both because it was from him our Salmon his son is called Salma.

tion, that he would be born of such sinners, and it certainly may encourage the vilest to come unto him, and expect salvation from him. Nor shall they be disappointed, if, in true repentance and lively faith, they turn from their sins to God.

Lord came, and because to him the extraordinary Verse 5. Salmon begat Booz of Rachab-Viz., promise was made, that his brethren should praise || after their settlement in Canaan. It is not exact

Genealogy of Jesus Christ.

ST. MATTHEW.

Genealogy of Jesus Christ.

A. M. 4000. 6 And i Jesse begat David the begat Joram; and Joram begat A. M. 4000. k king; and David the king begat|| Ozias; Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias ; 7 And 1Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;

9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; 10 And m Ezekias begat Manasses; and Ma

8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat|| nasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;

i 1 Sam. xvi. 1; xvii. 12.———k 2 Sam. xii. 24.

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11 Chron. iii. 10, &c.- m2 Kings xx. 21; 1 Chron. iii. 13.

said that this woman was Rahab of Jericho, com- || two which adhered to David's family was of much monly called the harlot, but it is highly probable longer duration, not to mention that the tribe of she was; for that Rahab was contemporary with Judah, out of which the Messiah was to spring, was Salmon, and a remarkable person, and there was no one of those two that continued in their allegiance other of that name, especially of that age, of whom to his house. This kingdom also was a type of the the compiler of the table could possibly suppose || kingdom of Christ, which indeed might be said to his reader to have any knowledge. It is true she be begun by him. For to him the promise of the was of one of those idolatrous nations with which || Messiah was made, and of his seed the Messiah was the Israelites were forbidden to marry. But as the || to be raised up, to possess his throne, and establish reason of that prohibition was only lest they should it for ever. Ezek. xxxvii. 25. And David begat be tempted to idolatry, it could have no force in|| Solomon of her that had been the wife, &c.—In the case of Rahab, who, before her marriage with || the original it is, of her of Urias; εK тηs т8 Ovpi8. Salmon, undoubtedly acknowledged the God of Though David, in this unhappy affair, acted in a Israel for the true God, and became a proselyte of way most unworthy of his character, yet God, on righteousness. And Booz begat Obed of Ruth-his deep repentance, not only graciously forgave Although the son of a Moabite by an Israelitish him, but entailed the promise on his seed by this woman was forbidden to enter into the congrega- || very woman. An amazing instance this of his tion of the Lord; that is, at least was rendered boundless mercy! incapable of being a prince in Israel, and perhaps even of being naturalized by circumcision; yet it evidently appears from this celebrated instance, Ruth being a Moabitess, that this precept was not understood as excluding the descendants of an Israelite by a Moabitish woman from any hereditary honours and privileges, otherwise the kinsman of Booz would not have wanted a much better reason than any he assigned, (Ruth iv. 6,) for refusing to marry Ruth, when she became a widow. And Obed begat Jesse-Inasmuch as there were at least 300 years between Salmon and David, and only three persons are here named as intervening to fill up that space of time, viz., Booz, Obed, and Jesse, || they must each of them have been about 100 years old at the birth of his son, here named, which is || not to be wondered at, considering the age in which || they lived. Moses, a little before their time, had lived 120 years, when his natural strength was not abated. And Caleb, at 85, was strong and fit for war. Add to this, that they were persons of emi- || nent piety, and therefore, probably, God vouchsafed || to each of them a longer life than ordinary, and continued their strength to a late period thereof. Verse 6. And Jesse begat David the king-David || has the title of king given him in this genealogy, because he was the first king of his family, and because he had the kingdom entailed upon his children; in which respect he had greatly the advan- || tage of Saul, from whose family the kingdom was taken away almost as soon as it was conferred. It is true, ten of the twelve tribes revolted from David's grandson. Nevertheless, the promise of God remained sure, for whereas an end was soon put to the kingdom of the ten tribes, the empire of the

Verse 7. And Solomon begat Roboam-From whose government ten of the tribes revolting, chose Jeroboam for their king, who, to prevent them from returning to their subjection to the house of David, introduced the worship of the golden calves, and led the whole nation into the dreadful crime of gross idolatry; a crime from which they were never totally reclaimed, and which was the chief source of their misery and ruin, bringing down the divine vengeance upon them in repeated punish||ments, till they were so reduced as to become an easy prey to the Assyrian monarchy.

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Verse 8. And Joram begat Ozias-By Ozias, Uzziah is intended, and it is certain from the history of the Kings and Chronicles that he was the son of Amaziah, 2 Chron. xxvi. 1; Amaziah, of Joash, ch. xxiv. 27; Joash, of Ahaziah, ch. xxii. 11; and Ahaziah, of Jehoram. But, according to the language of the Hebrews, the children of children are reputed the sons or daughters, not only of their immediate parents, but of their ancestors, and these ancestors are said to beget those who are removed some generations from them. Thus Isaiah says to Hezekiah, of thy sons which thou shalt beget shall they take away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon: which prediction was not fulfilled until the days of Jeconiah, long after the days of Hezekiah. But it will be asked, why these three in particular are left out of the catalogue? The best answer to this question seems to be, that the evangelist followed the Jewish tables in writing this list, and that he found them left out in these. But if he himself, though he found them in the tables, omitted their names, it must, as Dr. Doddridge observes, have been "by some peculiar

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