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B. C. 5. An. Olymp. CXCIII. 4.
Ussherian year of the World, 4000.-Alexandrian year of the World, 5498.-Antiochian year of the World, 5488.-Constantinopolitan Era of the World, 5504.-Year of the Julian Period, 4709.—Æra of the Seleucida, 308.-Year before the vulgar Era of Christ, 5.-Year of the CXCIII. Olympiad, 4.-Year of the building of Rome, 749.-Year of the Emperor Augustus, i. e. from the battle of Actium, 26.-Consuls, Augustus XII. and Lucius Cornelius Sulla.-Year of the Paschal Cycle or Dionysian Period, 530.-Year of the Solar Cycle, 5.-Year of the Lunar Cycle, 13.-Dominical Letters, BA.
The genealogy of Christ divided into three classes of fourteen generations each: The first fourteen, from Abraham to David, 2-6. The second fourteen, from Solomon to Jechonias, 7-10. The third fourteen, from Jechonias to Christ, 11-16. The sum of these generations, 17. Christ is conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary, when she was espoused to Joseph, 18. Joseph's anxiety and doubts are removed by the ministry of an Angel, 19, 20; by whom the child is named JESUS, 21. The fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah relative to this, 22, 23. Joseph takes home his wife, Mary, and Christ is born, 24, 25.
the son of Abraham.
HE book of the generation of
2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac A.M. 4000,
Christ, begat Jacob, AB.C. 5.
and his brethren;
Luke 3. 23.b Ps. 132. 11. Isai. 11. 1,
Jer. 23. 5. ch. 22. 2. John
NOTES ON CHAP. I.
Verse 1. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ] I suppose these words to have been the original title to this Gospel; and that they signify, according to the Hebrew phraseology, not only the account of the genealogy of Christ, as detailed below, but the history of his birth, acts, sufferings, death, resurrection and ascension.
The phrase, book of the generation, in sepher toledoth, is frequent in the Jewish writings, and is translated by the Septuagint, Bos yves, as here, by the Evangelist; and regularly conveys the meaning given to it above; e. g. This is the book of the generations of Adam, Gen. v. 1. That is, the account of the life of Adam and certain of his imme
Gen. 21. 2, 3.- - Gen. 25. 26. f Gen. 29. 35.
© Gen. 12. 3. & 22. 18. Gal. 3, 16.
diate descendants. Again. These are the generations of Jacob, Gen. xxxvii. 2. that is, the account or history of Jacob, his son Joseph, and the other remarkable branches of the family. And again. These are the generations of Aaron and Moses, Num. iii.. 1. That is, the history of the life and acts of these persons, and some of their immediate descendants. The same form of expression is also used, Gen. ii. 4. when giving the history of the creation of heaven and earth.
Some have translated βιβλος γενέσεως, The book of the genealogy; and consider it the title of this chapter only; but the former opinion seems better founded.
Jesus Christ] See on verses 16. and 21. ̧
The son of David, the son of Abraham.] No person ever
born, could boast in a direct line, a more illustrious ancestry|| Abraham, though the latter was many generations older: than Jesus Christ. Among his progenitors, the regal, sacer- the reason seems to be this, that David was not only the most dotal and prophetic offices, existed in all their glory and splen-illustrious of our Lord's predecessors, as being both king and dor. DAVID, the most renowned of sovereigns, was king and|| prophet; but because that promise, which at first was given prophet: ABRAHAM, the most perfect character in all anti- to Abraham, and afterwards, through successive generations, quity, whether sacred or prophane, was priest and prophet: confirmed to the Jewish people, was at last determined and but the three offices were never united except in the person of restricted to the family of David. Son of David, was an Christ; he alone was prophet, priest and king; and possessed epithet by which the Messiah was afterwards known among and executed these offices in such a supereminent degree, as the Jews; and under this title, they were led to expect him no human being ever did, or ever could. As the principal by prophetic authority. See Psal. lxxxix. 3, 4. cxxxii. 10, business of the prophet was to make known the will of God 11. compared with Acts xiii. 23. and Isai. xi. 1. Jerem. xxiii. to men, according to certain partial communications received 5. Christ was prophesied of under the very name of David. from Heaven; so Jesus who lay in the bosom of the Father, || See Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24. xxxvii. 24, 25. and who was intimately and thoroughly acquainted with all the mysteries of the eternal world, came to declare the Divine Nature, and its counsels to mankind.-See John i. 18. As the business of the priest was to offer sacrifices to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people; so Christ was constituted a high priest to make, by the sacrifice of himself, an atonement for the sins of the whole world; see 1 John ii. 2. and the whole Epistle to the Hebrews. As the office of king was to reign over, protect, and defend the people committed to his care by the Divine Providence; so Christ is set as a king upon Sion, having the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession, Psal. ii. 6,|| 8, &c. Of the righteousness, peace, and increase of whose government, there shall be no end, Isai. ix. 7. This threefold office, Christ executes not only in a general sense, in the world at large; but, in a particular sense, in every Christian soul. He is first a prophet, to teach the heart the will of God; to convict the conscience of sin, righteousness and judgment; and fully to illustrate the way of salvation. He is next a priest, to apply that atonement to the guilty conscience, the necessity of which, as a prophet, he had previously made known. And lastly, as a king, he leads captivity captive, binds and casts out the strong man armed, spoils his goods, extends the sway of the sceptre of righteousness, subdues and destroys sin, and reigns Lord, over all the powers and faculties of the human soul; so that AS sin reigned unto death, EVEN SO does grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. v. 21. It is remarkable, that the Evangelist names David before rupted line from David, as David did from Abraham. And
Verse 2. Abraham begat Isaac] In this genealogy, those persons only, among the ancestors of Christ, which formed the direct line, are specified: hence no mention is made of Ishmael, the son of Abraham, nor of Esau, the son of Isaac : and of all the twelve patriarchs or sons of Jacob, Judah alone is mentioned.
Verse 3. Pharez and Zara] The remarkable history of these twins may be seen Gen. xxxviii. Some of the ancients were of opinion, that the Evangelist refers to the mystery of the youngest being preferred to the eldest, as prefiguring the exaltation of the Christian church over the synagogue. Concerning the women whose names are recorded in this genealogy, see the note at the end of the chapter.
Verse 8. Joram begat Ozias] This is the Uzziah, king of Judah, who was struck with the leprosy for his presumption in entering the temple to offer incense before the Lord. See 2 Chron. xxvi. 16, &c. Ozias was not the immediate son of Joram: there were three kings between them, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, which swell the fourteen generations to seventeen: but it is observed, that omissions of this kind are not uncommon in the Jewish genealogies. In Ezra vii. 3. Azariah is called the son of Merajoth, although it is evident from 1 Chron. vi. 7-9. that there were six descendants between them. This circumstance the Evangelist was probably aware of; but did not see it proper to attempt to correct what he found in the public accredited genealogical tables; as he knew it to be of no consequence to his argument, which was merely to shew, that Jesus Christ as surely descended, in an uninter
this he has done in the most satisfactory manner: nor did any person in those days pretend to detect any inaccuracy in his statement; though the account was published among those very people whose interest it was to expose the fallacy, in vindication of their own obstinate rejection of the Messiah, if any such fallacy could have been proved. But as they were silent, modern, and comparatively modern unbelievers, may for ever hold their peace. The objections raised on this head are worthy of no regard..
brethren, about the time they were
12 And after they were brought to
13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud
of Jesus Christ.
A. M. 4000. B. C. 5. An. Olymp. CXCII. 4.
d2 Kings 24. 14, 15, 16. & 25. 11. 2 Chron. 36. 10, 20. Jer. 27. 20. & 39. 9. & 52. 11, 15, 28, 29, 30. Dan. 1. 2.- 1 Chron. 3. 17, 19.— Le f Ezra 3. 2. & 5. 2. Neh. 12. 1. Hag. 1. 1.
would be so much inquired into by the Jewish people, as the lineage of the Messiah would be, that the Evangelists should deliver a truth, not only that could not be gainsaid, but also, might be proved and established from certain and undoubted rolls of ancestors." See Hora Talmudica.
Verse 11. Josias begat Jechonias, &c.] There are three considerable difficulties in this verse. 1. Josias was not the father of Jechonias; he was only the grand-father of that prince: 1 Chron. iii. 14-16. 2. Jechonias had no brethren; at least, none are St. Matthew took up the genealogies just as he found them on record. 3. Josias died 20 years before the Babylonish in the public Jewish records, which. though they were in the captivity took place, and therefore Jechonias and his brethren, main correct, yet were deficient in many particulars. The could not have been begotten about the time they were carried Jews themselves give us sufficient proof of this. The Talmud, away to Babylon. To this may be added a fourth difficulty, title Kiddushim, mentions ten classes of persons who returned viz. there are only thirteen in this 2d class of generations; or from the Babylonish captivity: I. COHANEY, priests. II. forty-one, instead of forty-two in the whole. But all these dif" LEVEY, Levites. III. YISHRAEL, Israelites. IV. ficulties disappear, by adopting a reading found in many MSS. CHULLLET, common persons, as to the priesthood; such, whose | Ιωσίας δε εγέννησε τον Ιωακειμ ́ Ιωακειμ δε εγέννησε τον Ιεχονίαν. And · fathers were priests, but their mothers were such as the priests || Josias begat JEHOIAKIM, or Joakim, and JOAKIM begat Jechoshould not marry. V. GIREY, proselytes. VI. CHA- nias. For this reading, see the authorities in Griesbach. JoBUREY, freed-men, or servants who had been liberated by their siah was the immediate father of Jehoiakim (called also Eliamasters. VII. MAMZIREY, spurious, such as were born keim and Joakim) and his brethren, who were Johanan, Zedein unlawful wedlock. VIII. NETHINEY, Nethinims. IX. kiah, and Shallum: see 1 Chron. iii. 15. Joakim was the father SHETUKEY, bastards, persons whose mothers, though of Joachin or Jechonias, about the time of the first Babylonish well known, could not ascertain the fathers of their children, captivity: for we may reckon three Babylonish captivities. because of their connections with different men. X. D The first happened in the fourth year of Joakim, son of JoASUPHEY, such as were gathered up out of the streets, whose siah, about A. M. 3398. In this year, Nebuchadnezzar having fathers and mothers were utterly unknown. Such was the taken Jerusalem, led a great number of captives to Babylon. heterogeneous mass brought up from Babylon to Jerusalem: and The second captivity happened under Jechoniah, son of Joalthough we learn from the Jews, that great care was taken to akim; who having reigned three months, was taken prisoner separate the spurious from the true-born Israelites, and Canons in 3405, and was carried to Babylon, with a great number of were made for that purpose: yet it so happened, that some- the Jewish nobility. The third captivity took place under times a spurious family had got into high authority, and there- Zedckiuh, A. M. 3416. And thus, says Calmet, the 11th fore must not be meddled with. See several cases in Light- verse should be read: Josias begat Joakim and his brethren: foot. On this account, a faithful genealogist would insert in and Joakim begat Jechonias about the time of the first Babylonhis roll, such only as were indisputable. "It is therefore ish captivity; and Jechonias begat Salathiel, after they were easy to guess," says Dr. Lightfoot, "whence Matthew took brought to Babylon. Thus, with the necessary addition of the last fourteen generations of this genealogy, and Luke the Joakim, the three classes, each containing fourteen generafirst forty names of his namely, from the genealogical rolls, tions, are complete. And to make this the more evident, at that time well known, and laid up in the public xxx, I shall set down each of these three generations in a separate repositories, and in the private also. And it was necessary column, with the additional Joakim, that the Reader may indeed, in so noble and sublime a subject, and a thing that have them all at one view.