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B. V. Æ. 6.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which
J. P. 4709. was spoken of the Lord by the prophet", saying,
23“. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring n Isa. vii. 14. forth a son, and * they shall call his name Emmanuel, which
Or, his being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised 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 JESUŠ.
name shall be called.
.יהוה איש מלחמה ",a man of war
.קניתי איש את יהוה promised deliverer
compounded of one and vx: the letter v being interposed from the latter word, the two others and x being rejected as serviles, and therefore added or rejected at pleasure. This name is given at full length by Moses to the Angel Jehovah who conducted the Israelites through the wilderness, “ The Lord is a " . The same name is given likewise at length in the exclamation of Eve, in which she expressed a hope that her son was the
. The angel commands that the name Jesus be given to the Messiah, “because he shall save his people from their sins.” The Angel Jehovah led his people through the wilderness, and saved them from their enemies, and from the hands of all who hated them. Christ was to do the same. The analogy between the enemies of Israel, and the enemies of the soul of man, is complete. Christ in the former instance was the Saviour of his people from their temporal enemies. He was now to be revealed as their Saviour from their more dangerous and inveterate adversaries, Death, Satan, and the evil of their own nature.
Pfeiffer is of opinion, with the generality of commentators, that the name must be derived from vvr, to save, and he rejects therefore the above deriva. tion, which is given with little variation from Osiander, Reuchlin, and Sebastianus Castalio. See the whole Dissertation de nomine Jesu- Pfeifferi dubia vexata, p. 1154, particularly Th. 6 to 18 inclusive,
I have placed the appearance of the angel to Joseph after Mary's return from the house of Elisabeth, as she came back from Hebron before the birth of John, three months after the annunciation of the Messiah. On her arrival at her own house, when her pregnancy became evident, the fears and suspicions of Joseph, we may justly suppose, were excited. Before that period he could have no reason for suspicion. Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 421.
17 The Christian may believe that this passage refers to the Messiah on the authority of St. Matthew; and the Jew may likewise believe it, on the authority of the ancient targumists, who, with their countrymen in general, were accustomed to refer these expressions of their early prophets to the expected Messiah. To overthrow the force of the prediction, they have, however, in later days, made use of arguments which their ancestors would have disdained. Vide Kidder's Demons. of Mess. p. iii. p. 90, &c. &c. &c.
J.P.4709, B. V. Æ. 5.
Birth of Christ at Bethlehem.
LUKE ii. 18. 1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out
a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be *Or, enrolled. * taxed 18.
2 (And this taxing was first made 19 when Cyrenius was governor of Syria 20.)
18 Another proof was now to be afforded to the whole Jewish nation, that the time of the Messiah had arrived. The Father of the Patriarchs had long pro-, phesied that the sceptre was not to depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh, “ the sent," the Messiah (a) come, (Gen. xlix. 10.) The people, though they had long been subjected to the Romans, had been hitherto more immediately under the controul of their high priests, and of the family of Herod, who called himself a Jew, though he was of the race of Edom; They were now reduced to a mere province; they were commanded by a Heathen, a stranger and a foreigner, to enrol their families in the public registers; to take the oath of fidelity, and, probably, to pay tribute to him as their sovereign and ruler (6). What could have been a stronger argument and appeal to every individual Jew, that the sceptre had entirely departed, and that Shiloh was to be immediately expected, than this individual taxation, or badge of subjection ?
19 The word a páry must be construed in the same sense of priority as to time; it bears this sense in some, though not many, instances. It is much better thus to render the passage, than to adopt any conjectural emendation ;
(a) The Targum of Onkelos gives this interpretation—"Non recedet Tay yobtv, faciens potentiam ex domo Juda x7001, et scriba ex nepotibus ejus in æternum, donec veniat Messias;" and the Targum of Jonathan, “Non cessabunt reges, et præsides ex domo Juda, et scribæ, docentes legem ex semine ejus, usque ad tempus, donec veniat Messias :" and the Jerusalem Targum gives the same interpretation. See also a large number of authorities from the early Jewish writers, all to the same effect, in Schoetgenius Horæ Hebraicæ, vol. ii. p. 492, &c.
On the Sceptre of Judah, see the dissertation of Schoetgenius de Schiloh Dominatore; and a curious and most ingenious dissertation by Bishop Warburton, who thus interprets the prophecy—“ The Theocracy shall continue over the Jews, until Christ come to take possession of his Father's kingdom.” Divine Legation, vol. iv. p. 245–266. “ Quod nomen habet Messias ? Qui sunt de domo xbow R. Schilæ seu scholastici ejus, dixerunt abov Schilo esse nomen ejus : quia dicitur Gen. xlix. 10. Usquedum veniet Schilo." Meuschen N. T. ex Talmude, p. 30, and 902. See also Leslie's Case of the Jews, Dublin, 1755, p. 6. (b) About this time Augustus, as is related by Josephus, ordered the oath of fidelity to be taken to him, as the superior and sovereign of the land. In that oath, Herod was considered as secondary to the Emperor, and the people were not required to give him their personal allegiance. It is possible that the enrolment ordered by Augustus was the same as the ánoypapri of St. Luke. See the next note.
20 See next page.
B. V. .
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own P. 4700 city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city Bethlehem. of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto • the city of David, which is o John called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David :)
whether #pò rñs, with Whitby, or apórn tpò tñs, with Michaelis, which his translator so decidedly condemns; or than Mr. Benson's, which is very ingenious, but unsupported by the only authority which ought to induce us to receive any alteration of the vulgate text of the New Testament, the authority of manuscripts. It is certainly a very slight alteration, but it must be rejected, in the absence of other proof.
He would read αύτη ή απογραφή πρώτη εγένετο η (απογραφή και εγένετο) niyepovevovros rñs, &c. &c. inserting only the single letter i, between éyéVETO and riyeuoveúovtos—and thus render the passage, “ This taxing took place before that, which took place, when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.”
The suggestion of Mr. Benson, that the decree for the taxing, or ároypap), of St. Luke, was the same as the taking the oath of allegiance to Augustus, mentioned by Josephus, is well supported ; and, if his hypothesis did not require an alteration of the sacred text, which is not warranted by the requisite authorities, might be received without hesitation. See the next note on the solution of the difficulty in this verse. Vide Benson's Chronology of the Life of Christ.
20 It has been asserted, that this verse contradicts some well supported facts in history. Cyrenius, it is said, was not Governor of Syria till eleven years after this enrolment. At the time of Christ's birth, Saturninus and Volumnius were Presidents of that country.
The following is a correct statement of the fact, according to the best authorities who have carefully studied the subject. Herod, some few years before his death, had been misrepresented to Augustus The Roman emperor, to punish his imputed crime, ordered that Judea should be reduced to a Roman province, and a register be taken of every person's age, dignity, employment, family, and office. When this decree was first promulgated Cyrenius was only a Roman senator, and collector of the imperial revenue. Its execution was postponed, through the influence of Nicholas of Damascus, who was sent by Herod to Rome, to vindicate his conduct to Augustus ; and it was only carried into effect eleven years afterwards, when Cyrenius had been advanced from the inferior dignity of collector of the public tribute, to the office of Governor of Syria.
The difficulty, therefore, respecting the words in the original will disappear, when the passage is considered in reference to this statement. Dr. Lardner, who is followed by Dr. Paley, proposes a solution, which has now been generally adopted. “ This was the first enrolment of Cyrenius, who, though a Roman Senator only, when it was decreed, was Governor of Syria, and is known among the Jews by that title.” When St. Luke wrote the Gospel, Cyrenius was known by his latter title. Lardner's Works, 4to. p. 136, &c. Paley's Evidences, vol. ii. p. 177. Hales's Anal. vol. ii. p. 705, &c.
J. P. 4709. 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Genealogies of Christ 22.
MATT. i. 1. p Luke iii. 23. 1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son
of David, the son of Abraham.
21 There does not appear to have been any necessity, from the nature of the tax, for the personal attendance of Mary at Bethlehem. When we consider her situation, it is not improbable she might have been induced to have accompanied her husband to insure his protection, and to preserve herself from the insult or contumely of her unbelieving neighbours, to which she might have been already exposed. To avoid reproach, or derision, she might have encountered fatigue and inconvenience. However this may be, it shews us the manner in which the prophecies of the Old Testament were accomplished by circumstances apparently accidental. No mortal wisdom could have foreseen the journey of Joseph to Bethlehem, and the consequent fulfilment of that prediction of Micah, which the Jews had long referred to, as an undoubted prophecy of the birth-place of Christ. When Herod called the Priests together, to demand of them “Where Christ should be born,” they assured him it was at Bethlehem, from the prophecy of Micah (Mic. v. 2.) This authority, however satisfactory to a Christian, is not, I have heard, sufficient for the modern Jew, who is more inclined to depend on the testimony of his ancient Rabbis. I refer him to Joma, f. 10. 1. apud Meuschen N. T. ex Talmude, p. 19. (in p. 28. it is only a repetition of the same reference,) and the Targum on Micah, xn'in pige op 733, “ Ex te ante me prodibit Messias, ut faciat potentiam super Israel.” Apud Schoetgen. vol. i. p. 3.
ON THE GENEALOGIES OF ST. MATTHEW AND ST. LUKE.
22 The apparent discrepancies between the Genealogies of St. Matthew and St. Luke, contained in this section, have given rise to much discussion. The enrolment ordered by Augustus must have compelled every family to review their tables of pedigree, which were always preserved among the Jews with more than usual attention : we may therefore justly conclude that if any error had crept into the pedigree of Joseph and Mary, it would then have been rectified. In addition to this, we may observe, that St. Matthew and St. Luke published their Gospels at a time when the general tables of pedigree were still preserved, and when every genealogical table which professed to trace the descent of one who claimed to be the expected Messiah, would be inspected
LUKE iii. 23, to the end. being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
with the most scrupulous and jealous anxiety. Yet we do not read that any objection to the accuracy of the Evangelists was raised by their contemporaries. Satisfactory solutions of the apparent differences have been given by Archbishop Newcome, Grotius, Whitby, South, Julius Africanus, and others, as well as Lightfoot, whose opinion on this point is generally the most approved. This learned divine supposes that St. Mathew wrote his Gospel more particularly for the Jews : he therefore proves Christ to be their Messiah, the heir of the throne of David, by legal descent from Abraham and David. But St. Luke, addressing himself to the Gentiles, to whom the promise had been given before the Levitical Dispensation, proves the same Christ to be the predicted seed of the woman, the son of Adam, the son of God.
From perusing the various schemes of the theologians who have discussed this point, we may, however, come to these general conclusions :
From Abraham to David the genealogies of St. Matthew and St. Luke coincide.
It is commonly agreed that Matthew gives the legal, and not the natural, pedigree of Joseph.
Matthew traces the descendants of David through Solomon to Jechonias; in whom the descendants of Solomon became extinct.
The legal successor of Jechonias was Salathiel ; who was descended from David through his son Nathan.
Hence Salathiel appears in Matthew as the son of Jechonias ; though he was really the son of Neri, as stated by Luke.
Zorobabel had two sons, Abiud and Rhesa.
It is agreed that from Heli upwards, in Luke's genealogy, the natural succession is given
It is disputed whether Joseph was Heli's actual son, or his legal son, or his son-in-law.
According to Julius Africanus (apud Euseb.) Joseph was the actual son of Jacob, and the grandson of Matthan. An opinion adopted by Whitby.
According to Grotius, Joseph was the actual son of Heli, and the legal successor of Jacob. This makes Luke's genealogy the natural pedigree of Joseph throughout.
Lightfoot supposes that Joseph was the son-in-law of Heli, his wife Mary being the daughter of Heli.
All seem to agree that both Joseph and Mary were lineally descended from Zorobabel.
Therefore from Zorobabel upwards their natural pedigrees, as given by Luke, coincide.
Whether the pedigree from Zorobabel downwards, in Luke, be that of Joseph or Mary, is uncertain.
Whether the pedigree in Matthew from Zorobabel downwards, be the real, or the legal descent of Joseph, is uncertain.