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from Abraham to David are erations; and from the carryfourteen generations; and from ing away into Babylon unto David until the carrying away Christ are fourteen genera into Babylon are fourteen gen- tions.
of Jesus' ancestors, chap. 3: 23–38. Luke traces the descent of Mary, the The list, as given by Luke, differs from mother of Jesus. But instead of inthat furnished by Matthew. Matthew serting the name of a female in a genesays, the father of Joseph, Mary's hus- alogical register, Luke inserts her husband, was Jacob (1:16); Luke says, band's name ; that is, instead of Mary, the father of Joseph was Heli. But he mentions Joseph, and calls him the there is no contradiction between the son of Heli,” as he was Heli's sontwo evangelists; for they trace the fam- in-law, having married Mary, his ily descent in two distinct lines. They daughter. Thus Heli was father [faboth mention Abraham, and agree in ther-in-law) of Joseph, inasmuch as their list of names from Abraham to he was father of Joseph's wife. David. Passing from David, Matthew This view, which reconciles the two proceeds with the line of the kings who records, is confirmed by the different descended from David, while Luke words used by the two evangelists to proceeds with David's descendants express descent. Matthew uses the through Nathan, who was one of Da- word beget, implying natural connecvid's sons (2 Sam. 5:14), but not his tion; Luke uses the expression son of, successor in the government; and it at a more general term. Thus, while length appears, that by both of these Jacob is truly said, by Matthew, to lines Jesus descended from David. have begotten Joseph, Heli is with Now, a very natural remark, in this equal truth represented, by Luke, as view of the matter, is, that Matthew the father (father-in-law] of Joseph. traces the descent of Joseph, the re- The account just given may thus puted and legal father of Jesus; and be presented to the eye :
It may be objected to this view of by Luke, mentions two names which the matter, that the line, as presented | also occur in Matthew's list, namely,
18 Now the birth of Jesus 19 Then Joseph her hus. Christ was on this wise: When band, being a just man, and as his mother Mary was es- not willing to make her a pubpoused to Joseph, before they lic example, was minded to put came together, she was found her away privily. with child of the Holy Ghost. I 20 But while he thought on
Sałathiel and Zorobabel. Matt. 1: 12, ing to the then existing practices 13. Luke 3: 27. But it may be re- among the Jews, a bill of divorce plied, that, while the names are the could be procured without having the same, there is no necessity for believ- | cause of the divorce distinctly stated ing that the persons thus named were in the writing. the same.
1 20. The angel of the Lord appeared 18. On this wise; in this manner. unto him in a dream. God, who had The word wise, as a substantive, and ordered all the circumstances by which used separately from another word, is Joseph was so much perplexed, made now obsolete. It is still retained, how a special communication to him, in a ever, as an appendage to other words; dream. The word rendered angel sigas lengthwise, likewise. It corresponds nifies primarily a messenger, and apto our modern word way, or manner. I plies both to men who are sent by their || Espoused , engaged to be married. fellow-men on messages (as in Luke || Before they came together; before 17:24, where the expression messengers they lived together as husband and of John is in the Greek the angels of wife.
John), and to those heavenly beings 19. Joseph her husband. Among whom God is represented as employthe Jews, there was commonly an in- ing. Since the idea of a messenger terval of ten or twelve months, some-l performing the will of another, is the times a much longer time, between the | fundamental idea of the word angel, engagement to marry and the cele the word is applicable to any thing bration of the nuptials. Yet, as soon which the Lord may employ in exeas the engagement to marry was made, cuting his purposes, particularly if his the persons were spoken of as husband purposes are executed in an uncommon and wife, and unfaithfulness to each or striking manner. Hence the word other was regarded in the same light as is applied to the providential care of if the marriage ceremonies had actually God" (Ps. 34: 7. 91: 11), and to any been performed. See Deut. 22: 23, special arrangement of circumstances 24. A just man. The word here by which God effects some signal retranslated just is as general in its ap- sults (2 Kings 19:35, in which instance plication as our word good, and con-probably the pestilence is called an antains in it the idea of kindness, as well | gel; Acts 12: 23, in which instance a as that of integrity. The same word sudden and fatal attack of disease is is used in 1 John 1: 9, with reference so called); as well as to the real emto the forgiveness of sins, which is ployment of heavenly beings, as in peculiarly an act of mercy or kindness. Acts 12:7-11. 10: 3, 30. In effectil Not willing to make her a public ing his designs, God may be constantly example ; not willing to expose her to employing the agency of angels in acpublic infamy, by bringing an accusa- cordance with the established laws of tion against her. The kind feelings the material universe, and of the spirits of Joseph, and the attachment which of men. In the case of Joseph, his cirhe had cherished for Mary, led him cumstances were such that he needed to seek a dissolution of the intended special guidance from heaven; no huconnection by giving her a bill of di- man being was adequate to guide him. vorce in a private manner. Accord- | Thus situated, he had a remarkable
these things, behold, the angel for that which is conceived in of the Lord appeared unto him her is of the Holy Ghost. in a dream, saying, Joseph, 21 And she shall bring forth thou son of David, fear not to a son; and thou shalt call his take unto thee Mary thy wife; name JESUS: for he shall
dream. The dream was attended with tion was made to him, this appellation such circumstances and such special was peculiarly appropriate. It was in impressions on his mind, that he could | harmony with the design to impress not reasonably doubt its having pro- Joseph with the belief that Mary was ceeded from God. The dream might about to become the mother of the have been suggested to his mind by Messiah, as it was a distinct recog. an angel commissioned from above. nition of Joseph's descent from David A message from God, such as was | -- an important circumstance in renow communicated to Joseph, would gard to the husband of the Messiah's accord with his former confidence mother. || Is of the Holy Ghost. Comin the piety of Mary, and with the pare Luke 1:35. entire absence of any feeling of This extraordinary creation of the guilt on her part; and when he human nature of Jesus Christ is no learned from Mary the circumstances more incredible than the creation of related at full length by Luke (1: 26 Adam and Eve, as related in the book --56), he might well acknowledge of Genesis. That it was supernatural, the hand of God, and regard the is true; but that He, who established dream as a special event, arranged the laws of nature, can produce an for relieving his mind, and for lead-effect either in accordance with those ing him in the path of duty, and as laws, or in a manner above them, is
ind by one of those also true. The redemption of a postate heavenly messengers who are prompt sinners was certainly a very special in obeying the will of their Lord. case; and it is not surprising that
That dreams were in former times the measures preparatory to this very among the means employed in com- special object should be themselves municating the knowledge of God's distinguished by some peculiarity. will, or of future events, to men, ap- Nor was it at all unworthy in the Dipears to be sustained by the Scriptures. vine Being thus manifestly and miThe dreams of Joseph, as related in raculously to interpose in reference to Gen. 37: 5—7, 9, and of the officers so wonderful an object. Nor may it of Pharaoh, in Gen. 40, occupied a be unsuitable to remark, that, as he very special place in the order of who stood at the head of the human events. Examine also Numb. 12: 6. family in regard to the first creation, and Job 33:14-17. In the second was in a peculiar sense the product chapter of Matthew, there is repeated of creating power, so he who was to mention of information from above be the head of the new, the spiritual being made in the same way. But creation, was also in a peculiar sense the circumstances of men in those an- the product of the same creating cient times were so different from ours, power. that we are not at liberty to regard our 21. Thou shalt call his name Jesus, dreams as proceeding from God, with for he shall save. Among the Jews, the intention of making known to us names, besides distinguishing one inhis will. There are other ways in dividual from another, were often which we can acquire knowledge of otherwise significant. They were our duty. | Thou son of David. In sometimes suggested by some remarkthe existing circumstances of Joseph, able circumstances connected with and with special reference to the ob: the child or the family, or by some reject for which the divine communica- vealed design of God in connection
save his people from their was spoken of the Lord by the sins.
prophet, saying, 22 Now all this was done,| 23 Behold, a virgin shall be that it might be fulfilled which with child, and shall bring forth
with the birth of the child. Hagar's same in signification; namely, Sachild (Gen. 16: 11) was to be named viour, or, The LORD will save. The Ishmael,“ because,” as the angel said, difference in the manner of spelling " the Lord hath heard thy affliction.” and sounding Joshua and Jesus arises The name is compounded of two from the different powers of the Hewords, which in Hebrew signify God brew language, and of the Greek; will hear. Compare Gen. 41: 51, 52. Joshua being the sound more conEx. 2: 10. 18: 3, 4. Names were formed to the Hebrew, and Jesus to sometimes given as intimations of the Greek. I observe here, in passsome design of God to be hereafter | ing, that in two passages of the New accomplished. See Hosea 1: 4, 6, 9. Testament (Acts 7: 45, and Heb. 4: Compare Is. 8:3, 4. In accordance | 8), the word Jesu smeans the Joshua with this custom, the son who was to of the Old Testament. The name be born to Mary, was to be named Joshua could not be expressed in the JESUS. To understand the meaning Greek language more nearly than by of this name, we must trace it back the word Jesus. || His people. The to the Hebrew language, from which Jews supposed that the Messiah was it was derived. The word which is coming with special reference to their the root of this name, means to save. | being rescued from an abject conSometimes the word which signifies dition, and regarded themselves as God, and sometimes a part of the his people. But this communication word corresponding to Jehovah, was to Joseph, coming from heaven, must used in connection with another word be considered as referring to the real to compose a name. This is the case object of the Messiah, and to the rein the present instance; and the lation which he was to sustain to word properly means, The LORD will others besides the Jews. He was to save. It was to be given to the son be the Spiritual Redeemer and Lord of Mary, because he was to be the of men. His people, then, are those Saviour, divinely appointed to deliver who acknowledge his government his people from their sins.
and rely on him for spiritual bless. This name is the same as that| ings. These he will deliver from which is called in the Old Testament their sins. The new dispensation Joshua. In Num. 13: 8, mention is was specially designed to effect a made of Oshea, the son of Nun. The change in the inward characters of word Oshea, when regarded accord. men, and, by making them holy, to ing to its etymology, signifies salva-deliver them from the just consetion. In the same chapter of Num- quences of sin, particularly in eter bers (v. 16), it is related that Moses nity. changed the name Oshea to the name | 22, 23. That it might be fulfilled, Jehoshua. The alteration was made, &c. The subject thus far spoken of, so far as the letters of the word in the was of a most extraordinary characoriginal are concerned, by merely ter; and the result which was to prefixing a part of the word which flow from those events, was also very expresses Jehovah. Thus, to the extraordinary. The evangelist reidea of salvation, or deliverance, was garded the event announced by the added the idea, that the salvation angel, as a striking fulfilment of cerproceeded from Jehovah. The words tain prophetic language which had Joshua [the same as Jehoshua, only been used on a former occasion. The abbreviated] then, and Jesus, are the language used on that former occa.
a son, and they shall call his ing interpreted, is, God with name Emmanuel; which, be- us.
sion was singularly applicable to the them captive to Assyria. And Hocircumstances which he was relating; shea, the son of Elah, made a con. it might be applied to them with a spiracy against Pekah, the son of greater fulness and particularity, than Remaliah, and smote him, and slew to the occasion which first called it him.” In the 16th chapter of the forth. It was spoken by Isaiah (7: same book, it is also related, that Tig14) to king Ahaz, when the king and lath-pileser, “king of Assyria, went all his people were filled with terror, up against Damascus (the chief city in view of an invasion threatened by of Syria), and took it, and carried the the confederated kings of Israel and people of it captive to Kir, and slew Syria. Isaiah was directed by the Rezin” (who is mentioned by Isaiah). Lord to go to Ahaz, and bid him dis The death of these kings occurred miss his fears, because the design of shortly after their attempt upon Jeruthe confederated kings should not be salem. Thus the language of Isaiah accomplished. He was commissioned, appears to have had reference to moreover, to assure Ahaz, that Syria events that were speedily to take had already arrived to the height of place; and, thus understood, it was its power; that it would be allowed to happily adapted to the circumstances make no such addition to its power as of Ahaz and his people. the conquest of Jerusalem would be; But it may be asked, How could the and that the kingdom of Israel was name Emmanuel be given to the son already on the wañe, and within sixty- whose birth was predicted, if there five years would be wholly broken up. was nothing uncommon in his nature ? Ahaž might, therefore, set his mind at This inquiry is answered by referring rest, and place unshaken confidence to a usual practice, among the ear in God. It was then proposed to him Jews, of giving to children names to ask some particular token from the significant of some circumstance or Lord, as an assurance of what God event, and of employing the name of had promised. On his declining to God in compounding names for chil. select a sign, the prophet himself was dren. In the case spoken of by Isai. dired ed by the Lord to mention one ; ah, the nation was in dread of an innamely, that a certain virgin should vasion from powerful confederated soon become the mother of a son, and foes; and in view of their danger, should call his name Emmanuel ; and their hearts trembled like the leaves that before this child should be old of a forest. But they were encourenough to refuse the evil and to choose aged to be quiet, because God was on the good, the kings of Israel and Syria their side ; and to the child whose should both be cut off. .
birth was foretold, a name was to be The language, then, here quoted given significant of the promised infrom Isaiah, had reference, probably, terposition of God. Other names in at first, to the deliverance of Jerusalem the Jewish nation were compounded from the threatened invasion. The of some common word, and of the history of those times, as related in name of God; as, for instance, Joshua, the Old Testament, agrees with this Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, &c. view. In 2 Kings 15: 29, 30, it is re- The use which Matthew has made lated that “in the days of Pekah, king of this passage, has led to the belief of Israel [the same as mentioned by that Isaiah really predicted in those Isaiah], came Tiglath-pileser, king of words the birth of Jesus Christ; and Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth- the language of Matthew does cermaacha, and Janoah, and Kedesh, tainly, at first sight, appear to favor and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, this belief. It is proper, then, to inall the land of Naphtali, and carried quire whether the language of Mat.