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and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;
5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse ;
6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David_the_king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
ifest. Several instances of this kind occur in this chapter. ¶ Thamar. See note on ver. 6. Her history is recorded, Gen. ch. xxxviii.
7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;
13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud ; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;
8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;
14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;
9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and 15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; Achaz begat Ezekias; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and
10 And Ezekias begat Manas-Matthan begat Jacob;
5. Rachab-Ruth. See note on ver. 6. For the general history of these two women, see Josh. ch. ii., vi., and the Book of Ruth.
6. The king. This epithet is added to denote emphatically the particular individual; or, more probably, because David was by far the most illustrious king who ever sat on the throne of Israel, and might, by way of eminence, be properly styled the king. Her that had been the wife of Urias. Bathsheba. See 2 Sam. ch. xi. Solomon was the second son which was born to David of Bathsheba. 2 Sam. xii.
ses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias ;
11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:
It is commonly remarked that, in this genealogy, from Abraham to Joseph, only four females are named, each of whom had a striking peculiarity in her history. It has been said that Thamar was guilty of incest; Bathsheba, of adultery; that Rachab and Ruth were Gentiles, with whom the Jews might not legally intermarry; and that these four were named in preference to all others, to indicate that Christ came to save sinners and Gentiles as well as others. This interpretation may be true; but I confess it seems somewhat fanciful. If the evangelist desired to indicate certain gross sinners among the
12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;
ancestors of Jesus, for such a purpose, he might have found a sufficient number among the males. Indeed, the names of three kings, between Joram and Ozias, are omitted, ver. 8; and many commentators suppose they are thus omitted on account of their scandalous wickedness. It seems improbable that these should be omitted, as too sinful to be named, and that females should be introduced merely as examples of sinfulness. It does not appear that Thamar was more guilty than Judah, or Bathsheba than David, in the offences which they committed; and as these transactions were matters of public history, it would seem sufficient to have named the males, omitting the females. And in regard to the two who were Gentiles, I am not aware that the apostles ever referred to the ancestry of Jesus, in proof that the Gentiles are interested in his salvation. On the whole, it seems more probable that these four females are named on account of something unusual or remarkable in their history. See note on ver. 3.
8. Joram begat Ozias. Ozias is called Azariah, 1 Chron. iii. 12, and Uzziah, 2 Chron. ch._xxvi. Compare 2 Kings xv. 5-7. He was not the actual son of Joram; but three intermediate ancestors, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, are omitted. 1 Chron. iii. 11, 12. Such omissions are not unusual in the Jewish catalogues of names.
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
Whitby mentions several similar instances in the Old Testament.
11. Josias begat Jechonias, &c.Here is another instance of omission. Jehoiakim was the son of Josias and father of Jechonias. 1 Chron. iii. 15, 16. The remark of Lightfoot, on the omission of Jehoiakim, may be quoted, for its quaintness, if for no more:" He, that was neither fit to be lamented, nor to be buried like one of the kings of Judah, was much more unfit to come into the line of the kings of Judah, that leadeth to Christ."
16. Of whom. That is, of Mary; Joseph being only the reputed father of Jesus. ¶ Called Christ. Some have supposed he was thus designated in the public registry. I am not aware that any evidence of such a fact exists. The evangelist seems rather to mean simply that the Jesus, whose genealogy he had traced from Abraham through David, was the same who had exhibited proofs of Messiahship, and who was called by his disciples the Christ.
17. Fourteen generations. "It is observable, (1.) that the apostle saith of the generations from Abraham to David, that they were in all fourteen; but when he comes to the second interval, he does not say, as before, the fourteen mentioned by him were all the generations of that interval, as knowing that, for good reasons, he had omitted three belonging to that interval; but only that the whole number of those which he had named was fourteen; as really they were. (2.) That, in every one of these several intervals, they were under a several and distinct manner of government; and the end of each interval produced some alteration in the state. In the first, they were under judges and prophets; in the second, under kings; and in the third, under Asmonean priests. The first fourteen brought their state to glory in the kingdom of David; the second, to misery in the captivity of Babylon; and the third, to glory again in the kingdom of Christ. The first begins with Abraham, who received the promise, and ends in
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.
David, who received it again more clearly; the second begins with the building of the temple, and ends in the destruction of it; the third begins with their peeping out of misery in Babel, and ends in their accomplished delivery by Christ."-Whitby. It may be added, that, to make the full number of fourteen in each class, David and Josiah must be twice counted,—each ending one class and commencing the next
The carrying away. Campbell renders this, migration, and gives the following reason:-"As this apostle wrote, in the opinion of all antiquity, chiefly for the converts from Judaism, he carefully avoided giving any unnecessary offence to his countrymen. The terms captivity, exile, transportation, subjection, were offensive; and, with whatever truth they might be applied, the Jews could not easily hear the application. A remarkable instance of their delicacy in this respect, the effect of national pride, we have in John viii. 33, where they boldly assert their uninterrupted freedom and independency, in contradiction both to their own historians, and to their experience at that very time. This humor had led them to express some disagreeable events, which they could not altogether dissemble, by the softest names they could devise. Of this sort is metoikesia, (ETOIZEoia,) by which they expressed the most dreadful calamity that had ever befallen their nation. The word strictly signifies no more than passing from one place or state to another. It does not even convey to the mind whether the change were voluntary or forced." T Into Babylon. See 2 Chron. ch. xxxvi. Babylon was situated on both sides of the river Euphrates, at the distance of about six hundred miles, nearly east, from Jerusalem. It was enclosed by walls, about sixty miles in circuit, eightyseven feet thick, and three hundred and fifty feet high. The entrance was by one hundred brazen gates, twenty-five on each side. Notwithstanding its vast strength, it was taken by Cyrus, about
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came to
B. C. 536; and by him the Jews were released from their captivity, which had continued seventy years. So entire has been the work of destruction, that scarcely enough of this once splendid city remains, to indicate where it actually stood.
gether, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing
18. Birth. Not alone what is ordinarily designated birth, but also the miraculous circumstances preceding and attending that event. On this wise. In the following manner; a phrase formerly common, but now seldom used. Espoused. Betrothed, or engaged to be married. Such engagements were sometimes made by Jewish parents, on behalf of their children, while the parties most essentially concerned were very young. But whether thus made, or by the parties themselves, from the making of the engagement until the consummation of the marriage, the affianced bride remained at the house of her father or guardian. Jahn says, "There was commonly an interval of ten or twelve months between the time when an agreement to marry was made, and the time when the marriage was celebrated. Gen. xxiv. 55; Judg. xiv. 8. From the time of the agreement till its consummation by marriage, although there was no intercourse between the bride and bridegroom, not even so much as an interchange of conversation, they were, nevertheless, considered and spoken of as man and wife. If, at the close of this probationary period, the bridegroom were unwilling for any cause to solemnize his engagements by the marriage of the bride, he was bound to give her a bill of divorce, the same as if she had been his wife. If the bride, on the contrary, could be convicted of having had any illicit intercourse with any person between the period of the promise and its consummation, she was condemned to be stoned, the same as if she had been married." ¶ Of the Holy Ghost. By the will and power of the divine spirit, without any human agency whatever. No person, who believes the account which Moses gives of Adam's creation, need have any difficulty in believing that Jesus Christ was peculiarly the Son of God, in the
manner of his birth as well as in his character. Some have denied the miraculous conception, as it seems to me, unnecessarily. They believe Jesus to have been simply a man,-nothing more; and they seem to imagine that it is inconsistent with this theory, if not fatal to it, to admit that his birth was the effect of divine and not human agency. But the same persons admit that Adam was created by God, without the intervention of any human agency; and yet they do not believe him to have been anything more than a man. The same rule may apply in both cases. In my judgment, the fact that Jesus was created or begotten by the spirit of God, does not of itself prove that he was more than man; and a person may very consistently believe the one while he disbelieves the other. To be sure, this fact is to be taken into the account, with other circumstances, in determining the answer to the question,-" What think ye of Christ?" But, in connection with this, his language and conduct, while he dwelt with men, the manner of his death, resurrection, and ascension, and the testimony of his apostles concerning the subsequent manifestations of his spirit and power,-all these and more must be considered. After a candid consideration of the whole subject, if any one shall believe that Jesus was no more than a man, still he need not deny that his birth was miraculous. If, on the other hand, he shall believe that Jesus possessed a superhuman nature and spirit, that he was, in a sense and to an extent in which no other person ever was or will be, the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of his person,-his faith in this great truth will be confirmed by the belief that he was born, not of the will of the flesh, or of man, but of God.
19. Husband. So accounted, in consequence of the espousals, though the marriage was not yet consummated, (see note on ver. 18,) nor had he yet received her as his wife into his own house, ver. 20. TA just man. Conscientious; one who would not wil-^
lingly violate law, or countenance its violation by others. He believed it would be wrong to receive for a wife one who had been unfaithful to her matrimonial engagements; and such, at this time, he believed to be the character and conduct of Mary. Not willing to make her a public example. He was not willing to expose her to public disgrace, as he must if he proceeded against her in a public manner. Adultery, in all civilized nations, has been regarded as an infamous crime. Among the Jews, it was punishable by death; though commentators differ in opinion whether unfaithfulness before the consummation of marriage was subject to the extreme penalty. But Joseph was unwilling to expose one whom he loved, notwithstanding her supposed frailty, to disgrace and perpetual infamy, even if she escaped death. He chose to seek relief from his dilemma in another way.
Was minded to put her away privily. He chose to adopt a course, prescribed in the law, and to dismiss privately her whom he had espoused. A bill of divorce might be given, in the presence of two witnesses, without specifying the cause. A form of such divorce is quoted by Lightfoot, in which it is not alleged that the wife had been guilty of any misconduct. This private method Joseph was inclined to adopt, as most just, and at the same time most merciful.
20. But while he thought on these things. He did not act hastily and rashly. Some are accustomed, on the slightest provocation, to become furious with passion, under the influence of which they abuse or sacrifice their friends. Others, in seasons of doubt or perplexity, become discouraged, and despair of deliverance. Joseph was neither furious nor desponding. He thought himself wronged; yet his better feelings revolted against absolutely crushing the unfortunate. He felt that his own happiness, and that of her whom he had tenderly loved, depended on what he was about to do. Even after he had decided that a private
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.
divorce would be the most expedient method of relief from his trying and embarrassing condition, he postponed the execution of his intention, and continued to revolve the subject in his mind. His forbearance and thoughtfulness did not go unrewarded. It were well if all Christians would manifest a similar spirit, in seasons of perplexity or provocation. Thus doing, they might escape the bitter fruits of hasty and passionate conduct. T An angel. A messenger appointed by God. "An angel is any instrument or form of the divine communication. This title is given to men, to beings of other spheres, to fire, storms, winds, plagues, and other modes by which God either publishes or executes his will. Gen. xxviii. 12; Exod. iii. 2, with Acts vii. 30; Ps. lxxviii. 49; civ. 4; Acts xii. 23; Rev. i. 20. Angel is often the name of an office, not of a distinct person, or conscious intelligence."-Livermore. ¶ In a dream. Communications were often made to the patriarchs and prophets, by dreams. How they were known to be divine communications, the words of truth, it may not be possible for us to understand; yet that they were such, we cannot doubt, inasmuch as the predictions, which the prophets were thus moved by the Holy Ghost to utter, were so exactly and circumstantially fulfilled. But the age of miracles is passed; and reliance can no longer be placed on dreams. They may, and doubtless do, sometimes, foreshadow approaching events. But they so generally take their character from the condition of the body, or from former subjects and habits of thought, that it is not wise to regard them. ¶ Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife. Do not hesitate to receive into thy house her whom thou hast espoused. Her innocence need not be doubted, nor any disgrace apprehended on account of her situation. Receive her as thy wife, and treat her with that kindness and tenderness which she has a right to claim. T That which is conceived. The child, namely, which occasioned all his
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
perplexity. Is of the Holy Ghost. See note on ver. 18. This removed all difficulty at once. Mary had committed no crime. On the contrary, she was honored above all others, by being miraculously constituted the mother of the Christ.
21. Jesus. The same as Joshua. See note on ver. 2. This was a common name among the Jews, signifying a saviour, or preserver. But, when applied to the son of Mary, as Rosenmüller well remarks, it has a peculiar significancy, inasmuch as he is the Saviour of men. By this name, his official character is expressed. It is often joined to the word Christ, as the proper name of our Lord; the two words together signifying the anointed or consecrated Saviour. Lightfoot remarks,"That the name of Jesus is so often added to the name of Christ in the New Testament, is not only that thereby Christ might be pointed out for the Saviour,-which the name Jesus signifies; but also that Jesus might be pointed out for [the] true Christ, against the unbelief of the Jews; who, though they acknowledged a certain Messiah, or Christ, yet they stiffly denied that Jesus of Nazareth was he." The peculiar reason why this name should be given to him immediately follows the command. For he shall save his people. It was his office to save; therefore was he called Jesus, or Saviour. As the salvation wrought by him should be so exceedingly important in its nature, and so unlimited in extent, he might well be called, by way of eminence, The Saviour. His mission was not confined to his own nation, nor to any other portion of the human family. It suited not the infinitely merciful purpose of God, that the richest of all his blessings should be bestowed on some, and withheld from others. Hence he spake by the prophet concerning Jesus,-"It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of > Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
be my salvation unto the end of the earth."-Isa. xlix. 6. His people. Some have supposed that a less number than the whole race of man is here indicated. But the general testimony of the Scriptures justifies the belief that his people, as here used, is equivalent to all men. Ps. ii. 8; John xvii. 2, 10; 1 Cor. xv. 27, 28. Various other circumstances combine to confirm this belief. (1.) The impartial goodness of the God and father of the spirits of all flesh. Ps. cxlv. 9; Matt. v. 44-48; 1 John iv. 8-10. (2.) The declared object of Christ's mission. Gen. xxii. 18, with Acts iii. 25, 26, and Gal. iii. 16; John iii. 17; Eph. i. 9, 10; Phil. ii. 9—11; 1 John iv. 9, 14. (3.) The testimony of Jesus and his apostles, that he came to save all, especially sinners. Matt. ix. 13; xviii. 11; John xii. 32; xvii. 2; 1 Tim. i. 15; ií. 6; Heb. ii. 9; 1 John ii. 2. Such are the number and character of those whom Jesus had commission to save. ¶ From their sins. Not from some trivial danger or distress; but from that sinfulness which is the occasion of the most frequent and intense misery. Not from the consequences of sin, leaving the root of the evil undisturbed; but from sin itself. The salvation which Jesus Christ came to accomplish is a deliverance from sinfulness, a purification from unrighteousness, a redemption from iniquity; in the language of Dr. A. Clarke, a "deliverance from all the power, guilt, and pollution of sin." Less than this," he adds, "is not spoken of in the gospel; and less than this would be unbecoming the gospel." Matt. xxvi. 28; John 1. 29; Tit. ii. 14; 1 John i. 7, 9. Salvation, then, may be regarded as a change from sinfulness to holiness; "remission of sins; emendation of life; peace of mind; hope of eternal life; and endless happiness itself."Rosenmüller.
22, 23. The remarkable events which he had recorded, bore such a striking resemblance to an ancient prophecy, that the evangelist quotes it, declaring that it was thus fulfilled or verified. The prophecy is recorded, Isa. vii. 14.