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divine direction, that the sin of Jehoram is thus animadverted upon, even to the fourth generation, || his intermediate descendants being thus blotted out || of the records of Christ's family, and overlooked as if they had never been."

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Genealogy of Jesus Christ

14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and A. M. 4000. 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.

xxxvi. 10, 20; Jer. xxvii. 20; xxxix. 9; lii. 11, 15, 28-30; Dan. i. 2.- -P 1 Chron. iii. 17, 19.- -9 Ezra iii. 2; Neh. xii. 1.

note,) expounds itself: it being added, a man that shall not prosper in his days; for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah. The expression, therefore, manifestly means, without a child that Verse 11. Josias begat Jechonias-According to shall actually succeed in the kingdom: for the text the Bodleian and other MSS., (of which notice is itself supposes that he should have seed, but none taken in the margin of our Bibles,) we must read that should prosper, sitting on the throne of David Josiah begat Jehoiakim, and Jehoiakim begat Jecho-|| and ruling in Judah: which is according to the niah. And this indeed seems absolutely necessary || sacred history, (2 Chron. xxxvi.,) for the king of to keep up the number of fourteen generations; un- | Babylon set up Zedekiah, his uncle, in his stead, less we suppose, with Dr. Whitby, that the Jechoniah here is a different person from that Jechoniah mentioned in the next verse, which seems a very unreasonable supposition, since it is certain that throughout this whole table each person is mentioned twice, first as the son of the preceding, and|| then as the father of the following. And his brethren-Jehoahaz and Zedekiah, who were both kings of Judah, the former the predecessor to Jehoiakim, and the latter the successor of his son Jehoiachin. Of the history of these persons see the notes on 2 Kings xxiii. 30, 31; and xxiv. 1–30; and xxv. 1-7. About the time they were carried away to Babylon- || There were two transportations to Babylon of the tribes which composed the kingdom of Judah. The first happened in the eighth year of the reign of Jehoiachin the son of Jehoiakim. For Jehoiachin delivered up the city to Nebuchadnezzar, and, by treaty, agreed to go with the Chaldeans to Babylon, at which time the princes and the mighty men, even 10,000 captives, with all the craftsmen and smiths, were carried away to Babylon. 2 Kings xxiv. 12-16. The second transportation happened in the 11th year of the reign of Zedekiah, when the city was taken by storm, and all the people made prisoners of war and carried off. The seventy | years of the captivity were dated from the first transportation, here properly called μeroikeσia, a removal or migration: and it is of this that the evangelist speaks in this genealogy: the other is more properly termed axuahwola, a being taken and carried away captive.

who was the last king of Judah, in the 11th year of whose reign the Jews were carried away captive. Salathiel begat Zorobabel-Here is another difficulty: for, 1 Chron. iii. 19, we read, The sons of Pedaiah were Zerubbabel and Shimei: now if Zerubbabel was the son of Pedaiah, how could he be the son of Salathiel? In answer to this, let it be observed, 1st, that Salathiel might die without issue, and Pedaiah, his brother, might marry his widow, (according to the law of God, Deut. xxv. 5,) to raise up seed to his brother. Zerubbabel, being the fruit of this marriage, would of course be called the son of Salathiel and the son of Pedaiah. Or, 2dly, there might be two persons of the name of Zerubbabel; one the son of Salathiel, and the other the son of his brother Pedaiah. This seems very likely, considering that the word Zerubbabel signifies a stranger in Babylon, a name which very probably would be given to several children born in the captivity. Be this as it may, the Zerubbabel here mentioned was that illustrious person who was the chief instrument of restoring and settling the Jewish commonwealth, on their return from captivity.

Verse 16. Jacob begat Joseph-It is evident that Joseph was properly the son of Jacob, and only the son-in-law of Eli: Luke iii. 23. See note on verse 2. Though Joseph was not the true father of Christ, yet Christ's pedigree was reckoned by him, because he had no other father as man, and Joseph was his supposed father, being the husband of Mary, his mother; and the mother being transplanted Verse 12. And after they were brought to Baby- into her husband's family, the child must go for one lon-After the Babylonish captivity commenced, of that family. And therefore Joseph's family was Jechonias begat Salathiel-It is here objected, that to be set down, lest, if it had not been known, the God said concerning this Jeconiah, called also Jews should have taken occasion to reject Christ Coniah, Jer. xxii. 30, Write ye this man childless: on that account, for it was generally received among How then did he beget Salathiel? This objection them that Jesus was the son of the carpenter, Matt. is easily answered, for that verse, (where see the || xiii. 55; the son of Joseph, John vi. 42. If, there

Genealogy of Jesus Christ.

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17 So all the generations from Abra- || into Babylon are fourteen generations; A. M. 4000.
ham to David are fourteen genera- || and from the carrying away into Ba-
bylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

tions; and from David until the carrying away

fore, Joseph had not been acknowledged to have as for the executing of all his other offices. See been of the tribe of Judah, and of the family of Luke iv. 18; John iii. 34; Acts iv. 27; and x. 36, 38. David, they would undoubtedly have considered As all the offices mentioned above, the prophetic, this as a strong objection to Christ's pretences of the priestly, the kingly, were to meet in him, and being the Messiah. Hence the Divine Wisdom was to be sustained by him in an infinitely higher depleased to direct this apostle to remove that stum-gree than they were by any persons under the bling-block. Let it be observed, further, that "it || Jewish dispensation, who were no more than types was a received rule among the Jews, that the family || of him, so he is represented as anointed with the of the mother is not called a family; all their pedi- || oil of gladness above his fellows, Heb. i. 9. He is grees being reckoned and deduced from the father.|| immeasurably filled with the Holy Ghost, even as This is the reason why Matthew has here set down to his human nature, and most completely qualified the genealogy of Joseph; and thus Jesus Christ is || for sustaining every office and character in which the son of David, because Joseph's marriage with we need him. Are we ignorant of God and of divine Mary gave to Jesus a right to all the privileges || things? He is a teacher come from God, a prophet which a child, that is born of strange parents, was|| like, nay, superior to Moses, and him we are to hear entitled to by adoption, and which were granted by || on pain of eternal destruction. He is the truth, and law to the posterity of a man who had married his || wisdom, and word of God: yea, the light of the brother's widow. It is, moreover, very probable, || world, and they that believe in him shall not abide that Mary was an only daughter, and an heiress,|| in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Have and consequently obliged to marry in her own we sinned and come short of the glory of God? family. See Num. xxxvi. 7-9. So that by giving || Are we guilty before God, and subject to his just the genealogy of Joseph, Matthew gives at the same judgment? He is the high priest of our profession, a time that of Mary. He is called the husband of priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek, a Mary; for the names of husband and wife were priest possessed of an unchangeable priesthood, and given by the Jews to persons who were only be- || who, by one offering of himself, once made, hath trothed. See Gen. xxix. 21; Deut. xxii. 24. Some || perfected for ever them that are sanctified; having copies, however, read, Joseph, to whom the virgin put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and ever Mary was betrothed." Of whom was born Jesus—|| living to make intercession for us. Are we the This is elegantly said, for he was the seed of the servants of sin, and therefore the subjects of Satan, woman, not of the man. Who is called Christ- || captivated by his power, and held under his domini. e., Who is known by that name, and is really the ion? Does this present world tyrannise over us, Christ, or, the anointed one. Matthew adds this and the law in our members war against the law of that he may distinguish the Saviour from others, our mind and lead us captive to the law of sin that who, either then or before, might have been called is in our members? And are we subject also to Jesus. Among the Hebrews, those who were raised, || the law of death, and in bondage to the fear of it? by the singular providence of God, to eminent dig- He is exalted a prince and a saviour; is a king nities, were termed '', Messiahs, or, anointed set upon the holy hill of Zion; and as to this office. persons, even though, strictly speaking, they had also, the Spirit of the Lord God is upon him, benot been anointed with oil, as Abraham and Isaac, cause the Lord hath anointed him to proclaim Psa. cv. 15; Cyrus, Isa. xlv. 1; and the king of liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison Tyre, Ezek. xxviii. 14. Much more those who, by to them that are bound: to proclaim the acceptable an unction, were consecrated to any particular year of the Lord;—to deliver us from this present office, as their prophets, high priests, and kings, evil world;-to make us free from the law of sin had that appellation given them. In particular and death;—to destroy him that had the power of their kings, as long as royalty remained in the fam- death, that is, the devil;—and to deliver them, who, ily of David, were called Christs, or, anointed ones. through fear of death, were all their life long subBut after the destruction of the kingdom, this name, ject to bondage. as appears from Dan. ix. 25, 26, began to be referred to one Redeemer, whom the Jews, encouraged by the predictions of the prophets, and especially of the last named, Daniel, looked for from God, to be their chief ruler and teacher, John iv. 25; and by whom a perfect reparation of the breach was expected to be made. That supereminent and singular Christ, Jesus professed himself to be, and both he and his disciples assigned, as a reason of the appellation, that he was furnished with power manifestly extraordinary and unparalleled, as well for the declaring and confirming his heavenly doctrine,

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Verse 17. So all the generations, &c.-"Matthew, designing to show that Jesus was the Messiah, began his genealogy at Abraham, to whom the promise was originally made, that in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. But the succession of Christ's ancestors, from Abraham downward, naturally resolved itself into three classes; viz., first of private persons from Abraham to David; next of kings from David to Jehoiakim; and then of private persons from the Babylonish captivity, when an end was put to the royal dignity of our Lord's progenitors." For Jehoiachin, the

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son of Jehoiakim, was reduced to the condition of Verse 18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on a private person, being made a captive; "and as for this wise, 8τwç nv, was thus-It was not in the ordiSalathiel and Zerubbabel, notwithstanding they had nary course of nature, or manner in which children the supreme command, after their return from the are conceived and born, but in the wonderful manner captivity, they were not vested either with the titles following. Not only the birth, but the conception or powers of princes, being only lieutenants of the of Christ, and what preceded it, are here included kings of Persia. Wherefore the evangelist, thus in the word yevvnois, which some critics have uninvited by his subject, fitly distributes Christ's an- warily confounded with the word yɛveois, used in cestors into three classes, the first and last of which the first verse of this chapter. When his mother consisting exactly of fourteen successions, he men- was espoused to Joseph-According to the custom tions only fourteen in the middle class, though in of the Jews, who did not usually marry without reality it contained three more, viz. Ahaziah, Joash,|| previous espousals. This was nothing but a solemn and Amaziah. But omissions of this kind are not promise of marriage, made by the parties to each uncommon in the Jewish genealogies. For example, || other, before witnesses, to be accomplished at such Ezra vii. 3, Azariah is called the son of Meraioth, || a distance of time as they agreed upon, which, it although it is evident, from 1 Chron. vi. 7-9, that seems, was sometimes longer and sometimes shorter, there were six descendants between them."-Mac- || according as the age of the persons, or other cirknight. We may observe also, that God's chosen cumstances, might demand or advise. It was a cuspeople, in each of these several intervals, were un- tom, if not ordained, at least approved of by God, as der a different kind of government, and the end of appears from Deut. xx. 7, and had many advantages each interval produced a great alteration in their attending it. The parties had hereby time to think state. In the first, they were under patriarchs, pro- seriously of the great change they were soon to phets, and judges; in the second, under kings; and make in their lives, and to seek unto God for his in the third, under the Asmonæan priests and gene- || blessing upon them. And they might converse torals. The first fourteen generations brought their gether more freely about their household affairs, and state to dignity and glory in the kingdom of David;|| the management of their family, than they could the second, to disgrace and misery in the captivity || well have done consistently with modesty, without of Babylon; and the third, to honour and glory || such a previous betrothing. God would have Mary again in the kingdom of Christ. The first begins to be espoused, for the safety and honour of Christ with Abraham, who received the promise, and ends in his infancy, and the credit and comfort of his in David, to whom it was renewed and revealed mother. Before they came together-Viz., to cohabit more fully; the second begins with the building of as man and wife; she was found with child-Very the temple, and ends with its destruction; the third unexpectedly, doubtless; perhaps by Joseph, who, begins with their temporal captivity in Babylon, and with the care of a husband, observed his intended ends with their spiritual deliverance by Christ. wife, and from whose sight she did not conceal herWhen we survey such a series of generations,” || self, being conscious she had not dishonoured him. says Dr. Doddridge, “it is obvious to reflect, how,|| Of, or rather, by the Holy Ghost-Mary knew it like the leaves of a tree, one passeth away, and was by the Holy Ghost she had conceived with another cometh; yet the earth still abideth. And child; both because she was sure she had not known with it, the goodness of the Lord, which runs on man, as she told the angel, and because the angel from generation to generation, the common hope of had assured her, the Holy Ghost should come upon parents and children. Of those who formerly lived her, and the power of the Highest overshadow her. upon earth, and perhaps made the most conspicuous This, no doubt, she would reveal to some of her figure among the children of men, how many are friends, who, considering her great piety, and the there whose names are perished with them! and testimony borne by her cousin Elizabeth, probably, how many of whom only the names are remaining!|| fully believed her. But certainly she had not menThus are we likewise passing away! And thus shall tioned it to Joseph, as despairing, perhaps, of his we shortly be forgotten! Happy, if, while we are giving credit to what was so improbable, or judging forgotten by men, we are remembered by God, and it better to commit the matter to God, by whom, as our names are found written in the book of life! || she had learned, it had already been revealed to her There will they make a much brighter appearance || cousin Elizabeth, and by whom she might hope it than in the records of fame, or than they would do even in such a catalogue as this of those who were related to Christ according to the flesh; whose me- || mory is here preserved, when that of many, who were once the wonder and terror of the mighty in the land of the living, is lost in perpetual oblivion."

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would be revealed to Joseph also. Indeed, it is not easy to conceive how he should know or believe it, otherwise than in consequence of some supernatural revelation made to himself. This, therefore, in tenderness to her reputation, and out of regard to their mutual peace when they should come together, as

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19 Then Joseph her husband, be- || hold, the angel of the Lord appeared A. M. 4000. ing a just man, and not willing to unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, make her a public example, was minded to put thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee her away privily. Mary thy wife "for that which is conceived

20 But while he thought on these things, be- in her is of the Holy Ghost.

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t Deut. xxiv. 1.

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dence along with it; besides the intimation the prophecy of Isaiah gave, and the satisfaction he undoubtedly had in the virtuous character of Mary herself; we must conclude that he would have acted a very severe and unrighteous part, had he proceeded to extremities without serious deliberation; and that putting her away privately would, in these circumstances, have been the hardest measure which justice would have suffered him to take. It seems the expression, rapadetyμarioal, here rendered to make her a public example, “may perhaps refer to that exemplary punishment which the law inflicted on those who had violated the faith of their espousals before the marriage was completed. See Deut. xxii. 23, 24, where it is expressly ordered that a betrothed virgin, if she lay with another man, should be stoned.. We may suppose, however, that the infamy of a public divorce, though she had not been stoned, may also be expressed by the same' word. But then there was besides a private kind of divorce, in which no reason was assigned, and the dowry was not forfeited as in the former case, and by this she would not have been so much defamed.” But it must be observed, that as their being betrothed to each other was a thing publicly known, he could not have put her away so privately, but there must have been witnesses of it, two at least, her parents, suppose, or some of her nearest relations.

well as to prepare the way for Joseph's acknowledging Jesus for the true Messiah and his Saviour, God was graciously pleased to grant him. We may observe here, it became Christ to be born thus by the supernatural agency of the Holy Spirit forming his human nature of the body of a virgin, as he formed Adam out of the dust of the earth, 1, that || he might have no other father but God: 2, that the womb of the virgin being sanctified by the Spirit of holiness, there might be no traduction of original sin, which would have been contrary both to || the majesty of his person, and the execution of his office: 3, that his nativity might be perfectly free from every defilement of lust and impurity. And as it was necessary that he should be born of a virgin that he might be born without sin, and that the ancient promise might be fulfilled, (see Isa. vii. 14,) | so it was wisely ordered that he should be born of || a betrothed virgin. For hereby he was preserved from coming under the reproach of illegitimacy, and his mother from being subjected to the punishment of the judicial law. And at the same time, by this means she was not destitute of one to take care of her during her confinement, nor Jesus of a guard || during his infancy. "Never was a daughter of Eve || so dignified as the virgin Mary, yet she was in danger of falling under the imputation of one of the worst of crimes. We find not, however, that she || tormented herself about it; but, conscious of her Verse 20. But while he thought on these things— own innocency, she kept her mind calm and easy,|| While he was revolving them in his mind, in the and committed her cause to him who judgeth right- || night season, ignorant as he then was of the divine eously; and, like her, those who are careful to keep conception in Mary; while he was inclined to dia good conscience, may cheerfully trust God with vorce her in this private way, but had not absolutely the keeping of their good name.” determined upon it; and while there was a conflict Verse 19. Joseph her husband, being a just [or in his breast from opposite considerations; justice righteous] man―That is, as many understand it, a|| showing, on the one hand, what was due to himself; strict observer of the law, and of the customs of his and on the other, what was due to one of Mary's ancestors, and therefore not judging it right to re- character;-while he was thus deliberating with tain her under these circumstances. But the fol- himself, and in danger of innocently doing wrong, lowing words, and not willing to make her a public || the angel of the Lord appeared unto him-Here we example, seem manifestly to lead to another and have a remarkable instance of the care which God even an opposite sense of the word here rendered takes of good men, both in keeping them from `sin, just, or righteous. Hence some interpret the clause and in affording them direction in time of need. thus: Joseph, being a good-natured, merciful, and|| Joseph had formed that determination which every tender-hearted man, was unwilling to go to the ut- prudent and wise man would have formed in similar most rigour of the law, but chose rather to treat her circumstances; and yet, if he had executed his dewith as much lenity as the case allowed. But, Dr. sign, he would have greatly injured the holy virgin, Doddridge very well observes, it is without any in deserting her, and exposing her to censure and good reason that dikatos should be here rendered reproach. He kept the matter in his own breast, merciful or good-natured, because, "if we consider || and discovered it to no living creature. But it was the information which Joseph might have received from persons of such an extraordinary character as Zachariah and Elizabeth, who would certainly think themselves obliged to interpose on such an occasion, and whose story so remarkably carried its own evi-ll

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not concealed from God, who is privy to the most secret things, and who cannot suffer any that fear him, and look for his direction, to take any step that will be to the injury or loss of the innocent. So constantly does the divine providence superintend

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the affairs of men, and watch for the salvation of the righteous, even while they sleep.-An angel foretold to Mary, that she should be the mother of Christ; and an angel appointed Joseph to be the foster-father of the child, when born; angels ministered to Christ after his temptation; angels strengthened him in his agony; angels bore testimony, as to his nativity, so also to his resurrection, for it was proper that they should pay a peculiar respect to him by whom they had been created, and to whom they were, and were to be, subject.

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y Acts iv. 12; v. 31; xiii. 23, 38.

of the Holy Ghost. Thus, after Matthew has related how Christ was of royal descent, he now shows that he was also of much higher birth, and had a divine original. Now, although no example be extant of such a wonderful nativity, it nevertheless ought not to be rashly called in question by any especially by the Jews, since they believe that Abraham, the father of the nation, had a son by Sarah after she was past child-bearing; since they believe that Adam, the first man, was produced without father or mother; and that all the dead will be restored to life. That Joseph's scruples about taking Mary did not proceed, as some of the fathers supposed, from veneration, appears from the reason here given by the angel why he should take her, which, in that case, would have been the only reason against taking her. And we may observe, too, that the angel's terming her his wife, and encouraging him to take her, shows on what a flimsy foundation the belief of her perpetual virginity, entertained by the papists and others, is built.

In a dream—The angel appeared to Mary while awake, because faith and consent were required in || her that she might conceive by the Holy Ghost; but || he appeared to Joseph while sleeping, because that was sufficient in his case, and he was about to believe easily. For we more easily believe those things possible to have been done, which are done already by the divine power, and contrary to the law of nature, than the things which are yet to be done. Hence it was, that the matter was not signified to Joseph before the virgin had conceived, Verse 21. She shall bring forth a son—Hers, not which, indeed, if it had been, might have left room thine, for he does not say to thee, Christ being anаTWP, for suspicion. In proportion as Joseph was the || without father, as man. And thou shalt call his more and the longer perplexed with doubt, so much || name Jesus-It belonged to Joseph, as being reputed the stronger and more weighty is his testimony, his father, and the person under whose protection after he is informed of the truth. Saying, Joseph, Christ was placed during his infancy, to give him thou son of David-The angel reminds Joseph of his name. his name. "Six men," says Rabbi Eliezer, "have the nobility of the stock from whence he sprung, been named before they were born; viz., Isaac, Ishthat he might not think of any thing mean, but mael, Moses our lawgiver, Solomon, Josiah, and might raise his mind to the expectation of great King Messiah." To these we may add, Cyrus and || things. He who made David, who was the son of John the Baptist, and observe, that those persons to a shepherd, a king, why should he not also give a whom a name has been given by God before their carpenter a son that should be a king? Who pro- birth, have always been remarkable persons. The mised David that the Messiah should arise from his name Jesus, in Greek, answers to Joshua, or rather, posterity, He will certainly make his promise good, || Jehoshuah, in Hebrew, which signifies Jehovah shall and will sooner change the whole order of nature save; for Jah, or Jehovah, enters into the composithan suffer what he hath foretold to fail of accom- tion of the name, as Bishop Pearson has largely plishment. Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy and clearly shown in his most learned and instrucwife-i. e., Who is betrothed to thee to be thy wife. tive Exposition of the Creed, pp. 69-71. So that For it is a mistake to interpret these words, as some Christ's being called Jesus, was in effect an accomhave done, as if she had been already married to plishment of the prophecy that he should be called Joseph, and he had abstained from all conjugal in- Emmanuel. It was not without reason that the tercourse with her, in consequence of some vow he successor of Moses was called by this name; for, by had made. Dr. Waterland reads this clause, Scru- subduing the Canaanites, and putting the tribes of ple not the taking of Mary thy wife. It seems that || Israel in possession of the promised land, he showed Joseph had been induced, by. a fear of offending || himself to be, under God, the Saviour of his people. God, to think of divorcing his wife, either because || But this name agrees much better to our Jesus, who he thought she belonged to another man, or because|| both delivers his followers from much more danhe knew it was by no means lawful or honourable gerous enemies, and divides unto them a much more for him to cherish an adulteress. The angel's words glorious inheritance. Thus, in the next clause, he imply, Fear not to take her home to thee, and treat || shall save his people from their sins-Joseph, by her kindly as a wife ought to be treated, according || his people, could not understand any other than the to the espousals that have passed between you,|| Jewish nation, which is generally signified by that though there may seem to be some danger of bring-name in the Scriptures; and to them he was pecuing a reflection on thyself and family; for that which || liarly sent, and them he will at length fully gather, is conceived in her is of no human original, but pro- save, and restore. We know, however, that all the duced by the miraculous and unexampled operation true Israel of God, including even the Gentiles that

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