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Birth of Christ. 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 birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise; When as his mother Mary was espoused d to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the 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.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 (New all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, 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 raisEspoused, not married, but betrothed or engaged to be married.
Wise men of the east. ed 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.
The wise men, coming to Christ, 11 worship him, and offer their presents. 14 Joseph fleeth into Egypt with Jesus and Mary.
NOW, when Jesus was born in Beth-lehema of Judea,b in the days of Herode the king, behold, there came wise men d from the east to Jerusalem, e
a Beth-lebem, called also Ephrath, or Ephratah, was a city of Judah or rusalem. It was called the city of Judea, six or seven miles south of JeDavid, from his being born and educated there. It was also the birth place of our Saviour, as was predicted, Micah v. 2.
b Judea, an extensive, rich country, spreading along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea. It has at different times been called, the Land of Canaan, the Land of Israel, Judea, the Land of Promise, the Holy Land, &c., and by the Greeks and Romans Palestine.
c This Herod was called the Great, there being several of this name. Augustus Cæsar, emperor of Rome, made him king or governor of Judea,
which at this time was reduced to a Roman province. Herod was cruel and jealous, lest the government should pass out of his hands.
d Wise men. Heathen or Gentile
philosophers, probably from Persia
Jerusalem, the capital of Judea,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his starf in the east,g and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things he was troubled,h and all Jerusalem with
4 And, when he had gathered all the chief priests i and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Beth-lehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet, k
6 And thou Beth-lehem, in
f Star. Probably a meteor or luminous vapour.
g In the east. We in the east, &c. for the wise men came from the east to Judea, and must have seen the
star in the west.
b Was troubled, lest he should lose his kingdom, and the succession of it in his own family.
i The chief priests were the leaders of the 24 orders or classes of priests. There was strictly speaking but one chief or high-priest; though
in case of sickness or other detention
from duty, the second in order officiated, and was then sometimes called bigh-priest.
Scribes. Writers and expositors of the law of Moses, (see introduction page 8.) They were a corrupt set of men, who perverted the Scriptures, and extolled the traditions of the elders or ancients, above them.
k Prophets, anciently called seers, because they foresaw or foretold future events. They also instructed and admonished the people, and denounced the judgments of God.
the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda; for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go, and search diligently for the young child; and, when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king they departed; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 ¶ And when they were come into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped him; and, when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
13 And, when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, arise, and
1 Princes. That is, chief cities.
take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt;
15 And was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son.
16 ¶ Then Herod, when he saw that he was mockedm of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Beth-lehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy n the prophet, saying,
18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel; for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
m Mocked, deluded or deceived. Jeremy, Jeremiah the prophet.
21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither; notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee;
23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene. o
John preacheth; 4 his appa-
IN those days came John the baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
2 And saying, repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. a
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias,b saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Pre
• Nazarene, one devoted to the peculiar service of God; it was also a term of reproach among the Jews, who would not fail to fix it on our Saviour.
a Kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God, & the Gospel of the kingdom, gene
rally mean the same thing, i. e. the Gospel dispensation, or the Christian religion, which is a spiritual kingdom in the hearts of men.
b Esaias, Isaiah.
John baptizes many.
pare ye the way of the Lord,c make his paths straight. d
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, e and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7¶ But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadduceesf come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers! who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth, therefore, fruits meet for repentance. g
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up ehildren unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees;h
c Lord. Old Testament Jehovah.
In the Hebrew of the
d Make bis paths straight. In ancient times, when princes and sovereigns journeyed, pioneers or attendants, went before to level and straighten the way for them; so John preached repentance and reformation to prepare the way for the Saviour of men.
e Camel's hair, a coarse cloth. f Pharisees and Sadducees; see Introduction, pages 6 and 7. g Let your conduct prove your repentance sincere.
b And now the axe, &c. The Gospel is the last dispensation of mercy we are ever to expect. They, who neglect and disobey it, must suffer all the evils it denounces upon the impenitent.
therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fani is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purgej his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; k but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering, said unto him, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. I Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon
i Fan, an instrument to winnow grain or corn.
j Purge or cleanse his floor; will entirely separate the grain from the chaff.
k Garner. Granary, or store-house.
Fulfil all righteousness; perform all the duties and ordinances of God according to his appointment.
17 And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
1 Christ fasteth, is tempted, and overcometh; 17 begin neth to preach, and calleth some to be his disciples. THEN was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered, and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the boly city,and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them ;
9 And saith unto him, All
goes to Capernaum.
these things will I give thee, If thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him; and, behold, angels came and ministered a unto him.
12 ¶ Now, when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee ; b
13 And, leaving Nazareth,c he came and dwelt in Capernaum, d which is upon the seaa Ministered unto, waited upon.
b Galilee, a large fertile territory in the northern parts of Canaan.
Here our Saviour and most of his disciples were educated; and here he taught and wrought most of his miracles.
c Nazareth, a small city of Galilee about 70 or 75 miles north of Jerusalem, and a little west of mount Tabor. It was noted for the wickedness of its inhabitants. In this obscure city
our Saviour lived and laboured most of the thirty first years of his life; but when he began to preach, the people being offended, and attempting to destroy him, by throwing him from their hands and afterwards refrom the brow of a hill, he escaped sided little in the place.
d Capernaum, one of the principal cities of Galilee at the north end of
lake Gennesareth, where, after leav ing Nazareth, Jesus frequently resided and taught; hence it was said to be exalted to heaven; but from its negligence in improving the instructions of Christ, he said it should be cast
down to hell. The sufferings of this city from the Romans, soon after, were excessive.