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The genealogy

ST. MATTHEW.

A.M. 4000. begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat || begat Matthan; and Matthan begat An. Olymp. Azor;

B. C. 5.

Jacob;

CXCIII. 4.

14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; 15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar

1 Abraham

2 Isaac

3 Jacob

4 Judah

5 Pharez

6 Esrom

7 Aram

8 Aminadab

9 Naason

10 Salmon

11 Booz

12 Obed

13 Jesse

14 David

a Luke 3. 24.

1 Solomon

2 Rehoboam

3 Abia

4 Asa

5 Josaphat

6 Joram

7 Ozias

8 Joatham

9 Achaz

10 Ezekias

11 Manasses

1 Jechonias

2 Salathiel
3 Zerobabel

4 Abiud

5 Eliakim

6 Azor

7 Sadoc

8 Achim

9 Eliud

10 Eleazar 11 Matthan 12 Jacob

13 Joseph 14 JESUS

12 Amon

13 Josias

14 Joachim

In all forty-two generations.

Verse 12. Jechonias begat Salathiel] After Jechonias was brought to Babylon, he was put in prison by Nebuchadnezzar, where he continued till the death of this prince, and the accession of Evilmerodach, who brought him out of prison, in which he had been detained thirty-seven years; and restored him to such favour, that his throne (seat) was exalted above all the kings which were with him in Babylon: Jerem. lii. 31, 32. But though he thus became a royal favourite, he was never restored to his kingdom. And according to the prophecy of Jeremiah xxii. 30. no man of his seed sat upon the throne of David; yet the regal line was continued through his son Salathiel, who died in Babylon: but Zorobabel, his son, returned from captivity, and by him the race of David was continued, according to Matthew, by Abiud; and, according to Luke by Rhesa. See on Luke iii. 23, &c.

The term carrying away to Babylon, pμetoixedia, from μeToXSW, to change a habitation, or place of residence, would be more properly translated by the word transportation, which is here peculiarly appropriate the change was not voluntary; they were forced away.

Verse 16. Jesus, who is called Christ.] As the word Xeros, Christ, signifies the anointed or anointer, from xgw, to anoint; it answers exactly to the Hebrew mashiach, which we pronounce Messiah or Messias; this word comes from the root mashac, signifying the same thing. As the same person is intended by both the Hebrew and Greek appellation, it should be regularly translated The Messiah, or The Christ;

of Jesus Christ.

A. M.4000 B. C. 5. An. Olymp. CXCIII. 4.

b

16 And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

b Ver. 21. & ch. 13. 55. & 27. 56.

whichever is preferred, the demonstrative article should never be omitted.

Priests, prophets, and kings, among the Jews, were anointed in order to the legitimate exercise of their respective offices. Hence the word Xeros Christ, or mun Mashiach, became a name of dignity, and often signified the same as king. See Isai. xlv. 1. Psal. cv. 15. Lev. iv. 3. vi. 20. 1 Sam. ii. 10. The words Massiach and b□ melec, Xgiotos and BaAs, Christ and king, are frequently interchanged. 1 Sam. ii. 10. Psal. ii. 2, 6. Luke xxiii. 2. and see the Scholia of Rosenmuller on this place. The reason of this may be seen in the following note, which I extract from the comment on Exod. xxix. 7.

"It appears from Isai. Ixi. 1. that anointing with oil, in consecrating a person to any important office, whether civil or religious, was considered as an emblem of the communication of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. This ceremony was used on three occasions, viz. the installation of prophets, priests, and kings, into their respective offices. But why should such an anointing be deemed necessary? Because the common sense of men taught them, that all good, whether spiritual or secular, must come from God, its origin and cause. Hence it was taken for granted, 1. That no man could foretell events, unless inspired by the Spirit of God. And therefore the prophet was anointed, to signify the communication of the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge. 2. That no person could offer an acceptable sacrifice to God for the sins of men ; or profitably minister in holy things, unless enlightened, influenced, and directed, by the Spirit of grace and holiness. Hence the priest was anointed, to signify his being divinely qualified for the due performance of his sacred functions. 3. That no man could enact just and equitable laws, which should have the prosperity of the community and the welfare of the individual continually in view, or could use the power confided to him, only for the suppression of vice and the encou ragement of virtue, but that man who was ever under the inspiration of the Almighty. Hence kings were inaugurated by anointing with oil. Two of these offices only, exist in all civilized nations, the sacerdotal and regal; and in some countries, the priest and king are still consecrated by anointing. In the Hebrew language, nun mashach signifies to anoint; and n mashiach, the anointed person. But as no man was ever dignified by holding the three offices, so no person ever had.

Number of generations.

CHAP. I.

The conception of Christ

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B. C. 5.

B. C. 5. An. Olymp. CXCIII. 4.

CXCIII. 4.

17 So all the generations from A-ther, she was found with child of A.M. 4000. An. Olymp. braham 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 to Joseph, before they came toge

• Luke 1. 27.

the title Mashiach, the anointed one, but Jesus, The CHRIST. He alone is King of kings, and Lord of lords: the king who governs the universe, and rules in the hearts of his followers; the prophet, to instruct men in the way wherein they should go; and the great high-priest, to make atonement for their sins. Hence he is called the Messias, a.corruption of the word worn ha-mushiach, THE anointed ONE, in Hebrew; which gave birth to Xros ho Christos, which has precisely the same signification in Greek of him, Melchisedech, Abraham, Aaron, David, and others, were illustrious types. But none of these had the title of THE MESSIAH, OF THE ANOINTED of GOD. This does, and ever will, belong exclusively to JESUS, The CHRIST."

the Holy Ghost.

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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,

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Luke 1. 35. Deut. 24. 1.

not been consummated, was considered as perfectly legal and binding on both sides; and hence, a breach of this contract, was considered as a case of adultery, and punished exactly in the same way. See Deut. xxii. 25, 28. Nor could a contract of this kind, though there was no cohabitation, be broken but by a regular divorce, as Mr. Selden, in his Uxor Hebraica, has proved at large from the Jewish Rabbins.

She was found with child] Her situation was the most distressing and humiliating that can be conceived. Nothing but the fullest consciousness of her own integrity, and the strongest confidence in God, could have supported her in such trying circumstances, where her reputation, her honour, and her life, were at stake. What conversation passed between her Verse 17. Fourteen generations] See the note on ver. 11. and Joseph, on this discovery, we are not informed; but the The Jews had a sort of technical method of summing up gene-issue proves, that it was not satisfactory to him: nor could he rations in this way. In Synopsis Sohar. p. 132. n. 18. we have resolve to consider her as his wife, till God had sent his angel the following words: "From Abraham to Solomon were fif- to bear the most unequivocal testimony to the virgin's innoteen generations; and then the moon was at the full. From cence. His whole conduct on this occasion, was exceedingly Solomon to Zedekiah were other fifteen generations; the moon benevolent and humane. He might at once have taken the was then in the wane, and Zedekiah's eyes were put out.". advantage of the law, Deut. xxii. 23, 24. and had her stoned That is, the regal state came to its zenith of light and glory in to death. the time of Solomon; but decreased gradually, till it became nearly extinct in the days of Zedekiah. See Schoetgen.

Verse 19. To make her a public example] Tagaduyμatioαl. to expose her to public infamy; from raga, near, and Sexvuμat I shew, or expose. Though Joseph was a righteous man, dixaios, and knew that the law required that such persons as he sup

Verse 18. Espoused to Joseph] The word uvnoruus, from μm, to contract, or betroth, refers to the previous marriage agreement, in which the parties mutually bound them-posed his wife to be, should be put to death; yet as righteousselves to each other; without which, no woman was ever married among the Jews.

ness is ever directed by mercy, he determined to put her away or divorce her privately, i. e. without assigning any cause, that her life might be saved: and as the offence was against himself, he had a right to pass it by if he chose. Some have supposed that the term Sixaos should be translated merciful, and it certainly often has this signification, but here it is not necessary.

Before they came together] The woman was espoused at her own, or her father's house; and generally, some time elapsed, before she was taken home to the house of her husband: Deut. xx. 7. Judg. xiv. 7, 8. This custom has been immemorially observed among the inhabitants of Ireland, who have not only this, but many other Asiatic customs, which, added to various Verse 20. That which is conceived (or formed) in her] So authentic historic proofs, are collateral evidences, that they I think yene should be translated in this place: as it appears received the Christian religion, not from the popes of Rome, that the human nature of Jesus Christ, was a real creation in but through the means of Asiatic missionaries. the womb of the virgin, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Among the Jews, the espousal, though the marriage had The angel of the Lord mentioned here, was probably the an

The prophecy concerning

ST. MATTHEW.

B. C. 5.

a

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A.M. 4000. fear not to take unto thee Mary thy || shall save his people from their sins. An. Olymp. wife: for that which is conceived 22 Now all this was done, that it in her, is of the Holy Ghost. might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

CXCIII. 4.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name

e

f

JESUS: for he

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a Luke 1. 35. Gr. begotten. Luke 1. 31.—That is, Saviour, Heb.

gel Gabriel, who, six months before, had been sent to Zacharias and Elisabeth, to announce the birth of Christ's forerunner, John the Baptist. See Luke i. 36.

Verse 21. JESUS] The same as Joshua, yum Yehoshuâ, from yoɩ yashâ, he saved, delivered, put in a state of safety. See on Exod. xiii. 9. Num. xiii. 16. and in the preface to Joshua. He shall save his people from their sins.] This shall be his great business in the world: the great ertand on which he is come, viz. to make an atonement for, and to destroy, sin: deliverance from all the power, guilt, and pollution of sin, is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus. Less than this, is not spoken of in the gospel and less than this, would be unbecoming the gospel. The perfection of the gospel system is, not that it makes allowances for sin, but that it makes an utonement for it :-not that it tolerates sin, but that it destroys it. In ver. 1. he is called Jesus Christ, on which Dr. Lightfoot properly remarks, "That the name of Jesus, so often added to the name of Christ in the New Testament, is not only that Christ might be thereby pointed out as the Saviour, but also that Jesus might be pointed out as the true Christ, or Messiah, against the unbelief of the Jews." This observation will be of great use in numberless places of the New Testament. See Acts ii. 36. viii. 35. 1 Cor. vi. 22. 1 John ii. 22. iv. 15, &c.

Verse 22. By the prophet] ISAIAH is added here by several MSS. Versions, and Fathers. The prophecy is taken from Isaiah vii. 14.

the miraculous conception.

A.M. 4000. A. Olymp.

B. C. 5.

CXCIII. 4.

Verse 23. Behold, a virgin shall be with child] We have already seen from the preceding verse, that this prophecy is taken from Isai. vii. 14. but it may be necessary to consider the circumstances of the original promise, more particularly. At the time referred to, the kingdom of Judah, under the government of Ahaz, was reduced very low. Pekah, king of Israel, had slain in Judea 120,000 persons in one day; and carried away captives 200,000, including women and children, together with much spoil. To add to their distress, Rezin, king of Syria, being confederate with Pekah, had taken Elath, a fortified city of Judah, and carried the inhabitants away captive to Damascus. In this critical conjuncture, need we wonder that Ahaz was afraid that the enemies who were now united against him must prevail, destroy Jerusalem, end the kingdom of Judah, and annihilate the family of David? To meet and remove this fear, apparently well grounded, Isaiah is sent from the Lord to Ahaz, swallowed up now both by sor

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child,.

Acts 4. 12. & 5. 31. & 13. 23, 38.- Isai. 7. 14.

row and by unbelief, in order to assure him, that the counsels of his enemies should not stand; and that they should be utterly discomfited. To encourage Ahaz, he commands him to ask a sign or miracle, which should be a pledge in hand, that God should, in due time, fulfil the predictions of his servant, as related in the context. On Ahaz humbly refusing to ask any sign, it is immediately added, Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive und bear a son; and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, &c. Both the divine and human nature of our Lord, as well as the miraculous conception, appear to be pointed out in the prophecy quoted here by the Evangelist :-He shall be called - IM-MENU-EL; literally, The STRONG GOD WITH us: similar to those words in the New Testament—The word which was God-was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth: John i. 1, 14. And, God was manifested in the flesh : 1 Tim. iii. 16. So that we are to understand, God with us, to imply, God incarnated-God, in human nature. This seems farther evident from the words of the prophet, ver. 15. Butter and honey shall he eat-he shall be truly man, grow up and be nourished in a human, natural way; which refers to his being WITH US, i. e. incarnated. To which the: prophet adds, That he may know to refuse the evil and chuse the good:-or rather, According to his knowledge, ny ledaato, reprobating the evil, and chusing the good:-this refers to him as God; and is the same idea, given by this prophet, chap. liii. 11. By (or in) his knowledge (the knowledge of Christ crucified, 1n be daâto) shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their offences. Now this union of the divine and human nature, is termed a sign or miracle,

oth, i. e. something which exceeds the power of nature to produce. And this miraculous union was to be brought about in a miraculous way: Behold a VIRGIN shall conceive: the word is very emphatic, nøbyn ha-âlmah, THE virgin; the only one that ever was, or ever shall be, a mother, in this way. But the Jews, and some called Christians, who have espoused their desperate cause, assert, that "the word neby âlmah does not signify a VIRGIN only; for it is applied Prov. xxx. 19. to signify a young married woman." I answer, that this latter text is no proof of the contrary doctrine: the words by 33 777 derec geber be-âlmah, the way of a man with a maid, cannot be proved to mean that for which it is produced: besides, one of De Rossi's MSS. reads "phys be-âlmaiv, the way of a

Christ, why called

B. C. 5.

a

An. Olymp.
CXCIII. 4.

A.M. O and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with

Or, his name shall be called.

us.

24 Then Joseph, being raised from sleep, did his name JESUS.

CHAP. I.

strong, or stout, man (1 geber) IN HIS YOUTH; and in this reading the Syriac, Septuagint, Vulgate, and Arabic agree;|| which are followed by the first version in the English language, as it stands in a MS. in my own possession-the woeie of a man in his waring youthe: so that this place, the only one that can with any probability of success, be produced, were the interpretation contended for correct, which I am by no means disposed to admit, proves nothing. Besides, the consent of so many versions in the opposite meaning, deprives it of much of its influence in this question.

Emmanuel and Jesus.

as the angel of the Lord had bidden A.M. 4000. him, and took unto him his wife : 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born son: and he called

B. C. 5. An. Olymp. CXCIII. 4.

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The word by almah, comes from by âlam, to lie hid, be concealed; and we are told, that "virgins were so called, because they were concealed or closely kept up in their fathers' houses, till the time of their marriage." This is not correct: see the case of Rebecca, Gen. xxiv. 43. and my note there: that of Rachel, Gen. xxix. 6, 9. and the note there also: and|| see the case of Miriam, the sister of Moses, Exod. ii. 8. and || also the Chaldee paraphrase on Lam. i. 4. where the virgins are represented as going out in the dance. And see also the whole history of Ruth. This, being concealed, or kept at home, on which so much stress is lad, is purely fanciful; for we find, that young unmarried women drew water, kept sheep, gleaned publicly in the fields, &c. &c. and the same works they perform among the Turcomans to the present day. This reason, therefore, does not account for the radical meaning of the word; and we must seek it elsewhere. Another well known and often used root in the Hebrew tongue, will cast light on this subject. This is na galah, which signifies to reveal, make manifest, or uncover, and is often applied to matrimonial connections, in different parts of the Mosaic law:

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yálam, therefore, may be considered as implying the concealment of the virgin, as such, till lawful marriage had taken place. A virgin was not called by âlmah, because she was concealed by being kept at home in her father's house, which is not true, but literally and physically, because, as a woman, she had not been uncovered-she had not known man. This fully applies to the blessed. virgin, see Luke i. 34. "How can this be, seeing I know no man ?" and this text throws much light on the subject before us. This also is in perfect agree ment with the ancient prophecy, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent," Gen. iii. 15. for the person who was to destroy the work of the devil, was to be the progeny of the woman, without any concurrence of the

Exod. 13. 2. Luke 2.7, 21.

man. And hence, the text in Genesis speaks as fully of the virgin state of the person, from whom Christ, according to the flesh, should come, as that in the prophet, or this in the Evangelist. According to the original promise, there was to be a seed, a human being, who should destroy sin; but this seed, or human being, must come from the woman ALONE; and no woman ALONE, could produce such a human being, without being a virgin. Hence, A virgin shall bear a son, is the very spirit and meaning of the original text, independantly of the illustration given by the prophet: and the fact recorded by the Evangelist, is the proof of the whole. But how could that be a sign to Ahaz, which was to take place so many hundred of years after? I answer, the meaning of the prophet is plain: not only Rezin and Pekah should be unsuc→ cessful against Jerusalem at that time, which was the fact; but Jerusalem, Judea, and the house of David, should be both preserved, notwithstanding their depressed state, and the multitude of their adversaries, till the time should come, when a VIRGIN should bear a son. This is a most remarkable circumstance—the house of David could never fail, till a virgin should conceive and bear a son-nor did it: but when that incredible and miraculous fact did take place, the kingdom and house of David became extinct! This is an irrefragable confutation of every argument a Jew can offer in vindication of his opposition to the gospel of Christ. Either the prophecy in Isaiah has been fulfilled, or the kingdom and house of David are yet standing. But the kingdom of David, we know, is destroyed: and where is the man, Jew or Gentile, that can shew us a single descendant of David, on the face of the earth? The prophecy could not fail-the kingdom and house of David have failed-the virgin, therefore, must have brought forth her son-and this son is Jesus, the Christ. Thus Moses, Isaiah, and Matthew concur; and facts the most unequivocal, have confirmed the whole! Behold, the wisdom and providence of God!

Notwithstanding what has been said above, it may be asked, In what sense could this name Immanuel be applied to Jesus Christ, if he be not truly and properly GOD? Could the Spirit of truth ever design that Christians should receive him as an angel or a mere man, and yet, in the very beginning of the gospel history, apply a character to him, which belongs only to the Most High God? Surely no. In what sense then, is Christ GOD WITH Us? Jesus is called Immanuel, or God with us, in his incar

Reflection on

nation-God united to our nature-God with man- God in man.-God with us, by his continual protection.-God with us, by the influences of his Holy Spirit—in the holy sacrament, -in the preaching of his word-in private prayer. And God with us, through every action of our life, that we begin, continue, and end in his name. He is God with us, to comfort, enlighten, protect, and defend us in every time of temptation and trial, in the hour of death, in the day of judgment; and God with us, and in us, and we, with and in him, to all eternity.

Verse 25. Her first-born son] Toy voy aUTHS TOV TEWTOTOKOV. Literally, That son of her's, the first-born one. That Mary might have had other children, any person may reasonably and piously believe; that she had others, many think exceedingly probable, and that this text is at least an indirect proof of it. However this may be, the perpetual virginity of Mary should not be made an article of faith. God has not made it one-indeed it can hardly bear the light of several texts in the Gospels.

ST. MATTHEW.

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He knew her not] Had no matrimonial intercourse with ber-TILL she had brought forth that son of her's, of whom the Evangelist had been just speaking, the first-born, the eldest of the family, to whom the birth-right belonged, and who was miraculously born before she knew any man, being yet in a state of virginity. See on chap. xiii. 55. The virginity of Mary, previously to the birth of Christ, is an article of the utmost consequence to the Christian system; and therefore it is an article of faith: her perpetual virginity is of no consequence; and the learned labour spent to prove it, has produced a mere castle in the air. The thing is possible; but it never has been, and never can be proved.

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Chapter the first,

when he first began to shed that blood, without which there could be no remission of sins.

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The goodness of God is manifested, not only in his giving his son to save a lost world; but also in the choice of the persons who were his progenitors: among whom we find, First, SAINTS, to excite our courage: Abraham, remarkable for his faith; Isune, for his obedience; and Jacob, for his fervour and constancy.

Secondly, Penitent SINNERS, to excite our confidence: such as David, Manasses, &c.

Thirdly, Sinners, of whose repentance and salvation we hear nothing; to put us on our guard. Who can read the account of idolatrous Solomon, who, from the whole evidence of the sacred history, died in his sins, without trembling?

Four WOMEN are mentioned in this genealogy: two of these were adulteresses, Tamar and Bathsheba; and two were Gentiles, Rahab and Ruth, and strangers to the covenant of promise; to teach us, that Jesus Christ came to save sinners; and that though strangers to his people, we are not on that account, excluded from a salvation which God has designed for all men, He is not the God of the Jews only`; he is also the God of the Gentiles.

The state of the royal family of David, the circumstances of the holy virgin and her spouse Joseph, the very remarkable prophecy of Isaiah, the literal and circumstantial fulfilment of it, the games given to our blessed Lord; the genealogical scroll of the family, &c. &c. are all so many proofs of the wisdom, goodness, and providence of God. Every occurrence seems, at first view, to be abandoned to fortuitous influence, and yet the result of each, shews, that God managed the whole. These circumstances are of the greatest importance; nor can the Christian Reader reflect on them without an increase of his faith and his piety.

CHAPTER II.

Wise men come from the East to worship Christ, 1, 2. Herod, hearing of the birth of our Lord, is greatly troubled, 3; and makes enquiry of the chief priests and scribes, where the Christ should be born, 4. They inform him of the prophecy relative to Bethlehem, 5, 6. The wise men, going to Bethlehem, are desired by Herod to bring him word when they have found the child, pretending that he wished to do him homage, 7, 8.. The wise men are -directed by a star to the place where the young child lay, adore him, and offer him gifts, 9-11. Being warned of God not to return to Herod, they depart into their own country another way, 12. Joseph and Mary are divinely warned to escape into Egypt, because Herod sought to destroy Jesus, 13, 14. They obey, and continue in Egypt till the death of Herod, 15. Herod finding that the wise men did not return, is enraged, and orders all the young children in Bethlehem, under two years of age, to be massacred, 16—18. Herod dies, and Joseph is divinely warned to return to the land of Israel, 19-21. Finding that Archelaus reigned in Judea in place

of his father Herod, he goes to Galilee, and takes up his residence at Nazareth, 22, 23.

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