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The genealogy]



HE book of the generation of Jesus
Christ, the Son of David, the son
of Abraham.

[Omit, and pass to Ver. 18.]

2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; 3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 4 And Aram begat Aminadab; 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; 7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;

8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; 9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; 10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; 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: 12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; 13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; 14 And Azor begat Sadoc;

[of Jesus Christ. and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan Eliud; 15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; begat Jacob; 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 generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ dre fourteen generations.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ Mary was espoused to Joseph, before was on this wise: When as his mother they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19 Then Joseph her husband, being her a publick example, was minded to a just man, and not willing to make put her away privily.

things, behold, the angel of the LORD 20 But while he thought on these appeared unto him in a 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.

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


CHAP. I. Ver. 1. The book of the generation.This term is here generally understood in the sense of genealogy, and so applied to the verses following; but it is equally applicable to the whole book in the sense of history. So it is used, Gen. xxxvii. 2. And in the Jewish book, called Toldoth Jeshu, it is evidently to be so taken. See above.

Ibid. The son of David, the son of Abraham.The Arabs, it seems, generally derive their descent from some few well-known illustrious persons. See Orient. Lit. No. 1139.

Ver. 2. Abraham, &c.-The genealogy which here follows, appears to be that of Joseph, the reputed father of Jesus, and that in Luke chap. iii. the genealogy of Mary, his real mother. We shall more particularly compare them when we come to that evangelist at present, we shall only remark, that as both Joseph and Mary were required to repair to Bethlehem, it is probable that each was required to produce a family genealogy, and these were possibly the genealogies they produced.

Ver. 7. Solomon begat Roboam, &c.-Some of the names here given are so differently spelt from the Hebrew of the Old Testament, as to require to be identified. In this verse Roboam is the same as Rehoboam, and Abia, as Abijah.

Ver. 8. Josaphat is Jehoshaphat; Ozias, Uzziah. Ver. 9. Joatham is Jotham; Achaz, Ahaz; and Ezekias, Hezekiah.

Ver. 11. Josias begat Jechonias-Marg. "Some MSS. read," Josias begat Jakim (or Jehoiakim), and Jehoiakim," &c. So the Bodleian. See Note on Jer. xxii. 30.

Ver. 12. Jechonias begat Salathiel.-Mr. Wintle is of opinion that there were two persons of the name is, or Jehoiakim; one before, and the other



after the captivity. See his " Daniel," Note, p. 5. Ver. 16. Called Christ-that is, the Messias, or the anointed.

Ver. 17. Fourteen generations.—It is certain, that in order to reduce this list of Joseph's progenitors to three fourteens, several names must be omitted, as will be evident from comparing it with Luke; the probability appears to us to be, that it was a family genealogy, reduced for the purpose of being retained in the memory.

The late Editor of Calmet has suggested, that the term generation may be here taken (as we often use it) for a certain period of time, between 30 and 40 years, and that each branch of the genealogy might amount to 14 such periods. Fragments, No. 330.

Ver. 18. Espoused-or betrothed, Deut. xxii. 23. -Before they came together.-It is well known that the Jews espoused very young, but it was often several months, and even years, before the parties came together, according as it was settled by their parents.

Ver. 19. To put her away privily-that is, by a private divorce, in which no reason is required to be assigned, nor is the dowry forfeited, or the character defamed. Selden and Lightfoot in Doddridge.

Ver. 20. In a dream.-In the times of inspiration, this was one regular medium of communicating the will of God to man; as, for instance, the dreams of Joseph and Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel; but when a written revelation was established, such means became less necessary, and were gradually withdrawn.

Ver. 20. That which is conceived-Gr. "begotten." Ver. 21. Thou shalt call his name JESUS.-It was from his own name to that of any of his servants. So one mark of divine favour, when God added a letter

His miraculous]



for he shall save his people from their which being interpreted is, God with


22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel,



24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had bidder 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 JESUS. (A)


(A) The genealogy of Christ; his miraculous conception, and birth.-The first verse of this chapter is generally considered as the title only of the subsequent genealogy; but, from a circumstance before alluded to (Isa. liii. 8), it appears that the term generation is sometimes used in the larger sense of history. When the Rajah of Tanjore spake to the late Bp.Middleton of the History of England, he called it "the book of the generations of the kings of England." (Dr. Bonny's Life of Bp. Middleton.) So that this verse may be considered as the title of the whole gospel, as it is by Hammond, Vitringa, and other learned men. It is, however, used in a more contracted sense in ver. 17, and elsewhere.

When we come to the Gospel of Luke, it may be proper to compare this genealogy with his; in the mean time, it is clear (from ver. 16.) that this was not the genealogy of Mary, but of Joseph, her husband, and therefore describes rather the legal than the natural descent of Jesus.

What is said of the miraculous conception of our Lord, must be taken on the authority of the inspired writers; as must, in fact, every thing relative to divine myste


and if we cannot believe mysteries, we may as well close the New Testament at once, for it is full of them. But this is not a mystery of the New Testament only; it was predicted by Isaiah; and the event

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was ordered by Providence, to correspond with that prediction. It has been objected, that they do not agree; it was predicted that his name should be Emmanuel, and it was called JESUS. Emmanuel means "God with us," or, God incarnate for our salvation; JESUS, is "JAH the Saviour," implying his intimate relation to Jehovah. (See Note on ver. 21.)

If it be asked, Whence the necessity of his miraculous conception? we reply, to avoid the taint of original sin in all Adam's natural descendants; for how should Christ save us, if he were himself a sinner? (See Heb. ix. 26-28.)

The miraculous conception of Jesus was not only predicted by Isaiah, but implied in the first promise of "the seed of the woman;" a term applied, as we believe, to no other child of Adam. And when Mary is said to be pregnant by the Holy Ghost (or Spirit), we are simply to understand that it was a miraculous event, into the manner of which we have no business to inquire; nor is it to any purpose: for, if the ordinary course of nature be mysterious and inscrutable (as Solomon tells us, Eccles. xi. 5), much more those events which are confessedly extraneous to that course and if we cannot fully comprehend the common motions of the air in wind, how shall we trace the mysterious actions of that Spirit who "worketh all in all ?" (See 1 Cor. xii. 6.)


some learned men have thought that the insertion of an H (Heb. He) in the names of Abraham and Sarab, not only intimated their numerous posterity, but their covenant relation to Jehovah, in which that letter twice occurs. See Dr. Clarke on Gen. xvii. 5. Jak, it is well known, is an epitome of Jehovah, and when the son of Nun was taken into the service of Moses, with a view, no doubt, of being ultimately his successor, this name was prefixed to his former name of Osea, and made it Jehoshua, or Joshua, which in Greek is Jesus; and means Jah, or "Jehovah the Saviour." See Bp. Pearson on the Creed, Art. 2; and Witsins on ditto, Diss. ix. 7-9; also compare our Note on Num. xiii. 16.

Ver. 22. That it might be fulfilled-that is, that the event might correspond with the prediction; or, as Boothroyd, "So that it was fulfilled." The Greek term (ina) often expressing, not the cause, but the consequent event. See Luke xi. 50; John v. 20; xii, 38, &c.-Spoken of the Lord-that is, of

Christ: or "spoken (apo) from the Lord;" that is, by inspiration. This passage has been already briefly considered, Isa. vii. 14. Many have supposed it quoted merely by way of accommodation, as some texts confessedly are; but Bp. Chandler, at great length, and with much ability, contends that it is decidedly a typical prophecy of Messiah. See Defence of Christianity, chap. iv. 2. Dr. Pye Smith adopts nearly the same hypothesis, and defends it with no less ability. Messiah, vol. i. p. 268.

Ver. 23. They shall call-Marg. "His name shall be called."

Ver. 24. When he was raised-Hammond, "Being risen."

Ver. 25. And knew her not till-that this does not imply that Joseph knew her afterwards, see Gen. xxviii. 15; 1 Sam. xv. 35; Matt. xii. 20.

Ibid. Her first born son.-Doddridge," Her son, the first born." See Rom. viii. 29. Whether Mary had other children afterwards, see on chap. xii. 26.

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he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,

18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

20 Saying, Arise, and take the


young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.

21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee :

23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene. (C)

EXPOSITION-Chap. II. Continued.

(C) Ver. 13-25. The escape of the holy family, and Herod's massacre of the infants. -As the divine providence had, in a dream, admonished the Magi to return home another way, whereby they escaped the rage of Herod; so, by the same means, Joseph is warned no longer to remain in Bethlehem, but to fly immediately into Egypt, where many thousands of Jews resided, some of whose hearts the Lord probably opened to receive them; and as to the means of supporting them in their journey, they had been provided by the presents of the wise men so recently received.

The admonitions given to the Magi by way of dream, and to Joseph himself in three several instances, and that in all probability, by the vision of angels in their sleep, seem to indicate a temporary return of the patriarchal dispensation, when angels were the usual messengers of the divine will to men: but this, we may observe, was on the approach of that period of which it was predicted, "Your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." (Acts ii. 17.) Indeed the ministry of angels, if we can be

lieve the New Testament, was evidently continued to the close of the sacred canon. From that period we have a more sure word of prophecy, and should be extremely cautious of trusting to visionary appearances; at the same time, we have no authority to conclude that the Almighty has deprived himself of any means formerly employed, of communicating his will to men, when he shall see an occasion worthy of his interference. Angels are still ministering spirits to the church. (Heb. i. 14.)

That Herod should feel indignant, mortified, enraged, by this conduct of the eastern strangers, is not to be wondered at; and the means he took to avenge himself were in perfect consistence with his former character, in which pride and cruelty were predominating qualities. The measure of bis vengeance, however, furnishes us with a note of time, relative to our Saviour's age at this period. Herod was by no means tender of human life; and as, when the decree came to be executed, mothers would be tempted to represent their children as older than they really were, in order to save their lives; it is natural

NOTES-Chap. II. Con.

(the passage in Macrobius) because the objection taken from the silence of Josephus appeared to me of no moment. When we have but one history of the affairs of a country, and that a brief one, the omission of some particular event is no difliculty. Josephus was a firm Jew, and had therefore a particular reason for passing over the event; because he could not mention it without giving the Christian cause a very great advantage." New Test. Arr. 1. 77, N.

Ver. 18. In Rama. This name signifies a high place, or hill, and such were generally resorted to on these occasions. See Isa. xv. 2, 3; Jer. iii. 23.

Ver. 20. They are dead-that is, Herod and his son Antipater, who was equally cruel with his father.

Ver. 22. Archelaus-another son, also rivalled the cruelties of his father, massacreing 3000 Jews in the temple, near the beginning of his government.

Ver. 23. A Nazarene-cannot here mean a person under a particular vow (i. e. a Nazarite, Numb. vi. 2, &c.) in which sense it could not apply to Jesus: but an inhabitant of Nazareth, is here intended. So, among ourselves, the names of places are sometimes used reproachfully. Thus a Birmingham halfpenny, means a counterfeit; a Billingsgate, means a low fish-woman; and it is likely that Nazareth was, at this time, spoken of with the like contempt that our citizens used formerly to speak of Billingsgate, or Wapping.

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to suppose that he might extend the age prescribed to at least double the age of the infant whose life he sought: we cannot therefore consider the Holy infant at this time as more than a year old, perhaps not more than half so much, when he was visited by the eastern sages. And as it does not appear that he was certain as to the infant's age, we may rather wonder that he did not extend the murderous decree farther, than that it should extend so far.

The scene here delineated is sufficiently truel, without exaggeration. On the passage quoted from Micah (ch. v. 2.), we have already remarked, that Bethlehem was but & small city, and with few inhabitants; it therefore, probably, did not contain more than about fifty male infants; this was, however, a scene of sufficient horror to excite the pathetic lamentation here made. Rachel lay buried near this spot. On a former occasion, when her children were about to go into captivity, she is poetically represented as rising from her tomb to ail over them; but these innocents were gone to "that country from whose bourn Do traveller returns." The manner of lamentation among the eastern women was

ako most

violent, of which we shall give the following example, quoted by the late Editor of Calmet, from M. Le Bruyn's Voyage in Syria (p. 256). That celebrated

traveller says,

"When I was at Rama

(near Lydda; not this Rama near Bethleben, I saw a great company of these Weeping women (namely, those who go to weep over the graves of their relations), who went out of the town. I followed them, and after having observed the place they visited, adjacent to their sepulchres, 1 seated myself on an elevated spot. They first placed themselves on the sepulchres, and wept there; after having remained there about half an hour, some of them rose up, and formed a ring, holding

each other by the hands. . . . . Quickly two of them quitted the others, and placed themselves in the centre of the ring, where they made so much noise, in screaming and clapping the hands, as, together with their various contortions, might have subjected them to the suspicion of madness. After that, they returned and seated themselves to weep again, till they gradually withdrew to their homes." (See Jer. xxxi. 15; John xi. 31, and Note on ver. 18 below.

But it may be remarked, that this, and two or three other passages quoted in this chapter, seem cited in a sense that appears to have little or no connection with their original import; though it is expressly said, that these things happened that the Scriptures might be fulfilled, On this subject we beg leave to introduce a very candid and judicious remark of Dr. J.P. Smith; "It is admitted (he observes), that the Apostles and Evangelists have sometimes cited sentences and phrases from the Old Testament, in the way of accommodation to subjects not contemplated in the original design of those passages. To deny this, would be to refuse them that liberty of observing striking coincidences, and of making useful applications, which writers of all ages have exercised; and the scriptural books were almost the only literature of the Jews. We should, however, be slow and cautious to admit this solution; and well consider the probability that, in such cases, there may be a ground of appropriation, the inobservance of which is solely owing to our ignorance of some circumstance in the original intent of the passage." (Messiah, vol. i. p. 169.)

On the principles just mentioned, we should be far from saying, that any of the passages cited in this chapter are quoted in a sense foreign to their original design. The first passage above quoted is applied to Messiah by the Jewish Sanhedrim, and


CHAP. III Ver. 1. In those days-that is, while Jesus resided with his parents in Nazareth.--John the Beput-or the Baptiser, as afterwards is explainedPreaching-that is, proclaiming, as a herald, or public crier. Campbell.-In the wilderness of Judea-mentioned Jud. i. 16, and in the title of Ps. Ixiii. It lay east from Jerusalem, along the Jordan and the Dead Sea. Not a region unin. bated, but woody, mountainous, and thinly inhuded. The name seems to be of much the same part with our word Highlands. Campbell.

3. The prophet Esaias-Heb. "Isaiah."
The voice of one crying, Prepare, &c. →→→

See Isa. xl. 3. Diodorns Sienlus says of Semira mis, that in her march to Ecbatane she came to the Zarcean Mountain, which, extending many furlongs, and being full of craggy precipices and deep hollows, could not be passed without making a great compass about, Being, therefore, desirous of leaving an everlasting memorial of herself, as well as of shortening the way, she ordered the precipices to be digged down, and the hollows to be filled up; and, at a great expense, she made a shorter and more expeditious road, which to this day is called the road of Semiramis." She did the same afterwards in Persia, and other countries. See Orient. Lit. No. 1146,



but the books of which it consists were known to be the genuine writings of the Apostles and Evangelists, in the same way and manner as we know the works of Cæsar, Cicero, Virgil, Horace, Tacitus, to be theirs. And the canon has been formed upon the ground of an unanimous, or generally concurring, testimony and tradition."*


Of the plan of this Exposition, and the aids employed.-The plan of our Exposition of the Old Testament was detailed in the Preface to our first volume, and the same is intended to be pursued throughout the work. It may not be improper, however, to acknowledge, as in the former instance, the principal helps made use of, as they will, of course, be different from those employed in the former volumes.

We have already remarked the gradual discoveries of divine truth, which, as they become more full, will naturally elicit a more decided expression of our Theological sentiments. But while we thus avow our opinions on the great and important doctrines of human depravity, the atonement of Christ, and salvation by grace alone: while we maintain the supreme dignity of the Son of God, and the absolute necessity of the Holy Spirit's influence to convert the heart; we shall, at the same time, study to avoid all party language; and if, at any time, the Editor ventures to express an opinion on any of the minor points on which true Christians are divided, he hopes to do it with becoming modesty, and without assuming the language either of dictation or of censure.

Our work is partly Expository (or by way of explanation), and partly practical. In the former, we shall continue to avail ourselves of the ablest biblical critics. Upon the Evangelists, particularly, our inquiries will be directed chiefly, though neither implicitly nor exclusively, by Drs. Doddridge and Campbell, names of the highest rank in the department of sacred literature. On the point of harmonizing, beside Doddridge, we have consulted Abp. Newcome's

"This word signities, not only a law, or rule, but Jikewise a table, catalogue, list. Some have supposed that the canonical books were so called because they are the rule of the faith. But though it be true that they are the rule of our faith, yet the reason of their being called canonical is, because they are placed in the catalogue of sacred books." Dr. Lardner, who quotes this passage, seems willing to admit its truth; at least, that "there is no need to dispute about " it. Sup. to Cred. vol. i. p. 6. * Supplement to Cred., vol. i. p. 50.

Harmony, Mr. T. Browne's" Evangelical History; and a Skeleton Harmony (on two broadside sheets) by the Editor's late respected friend, the Rev. S. Greatheed, F.S.A., of Bishop's Hull ;+ Mr. Prebendary Townsend's recent and valuable Chronolo gical arrangement of the New Testament, with many curious and learned Notes; and the last Edition of Mr. Hartwell Horne's "Introduction to the Critical Study of the Bible." Nor shall we wholly neglect the light lately thrown upon the New Testament by Dr. (now Bp.) Jebb, from his application to it of the system of Bp. Lowth,‡ though it must be obvious that it can be but slightly touched on in a Cottage Tes


The above, and many other commentators and critics, whose names will be referred to, furuish the critical and explanatory parts of our work; and we are also indebted for many excellent remarks to Bps. Hall, Horne, and Taylor, Drs. David and Henry Hunter,§ and others, both deceased and living authors. But for all that is anonymous, the Editor is himself responsible.

It would be unpardonable in the Editor to conclude these observations, without acknowledging the merciful Providence which has enabled him thus far to persevere, and to close the Old Testament with the completion of his 70th year; with the prospect also of being able, in a few months, to finish the whole of his design; great part of the present volume being already sketched, and the whole of the materials collected.

The Editor feels peculiar pleasure in entering on this department of his work, and especially on the evangelical memoirs of the Evangelists, as in them he finds exhibited, in the person of our Saviour, a model of every moral virtue, and in his death, a demonstration of infinite mercy and condescension.

* Printed in 2 vols. cr. 8vo. (Buckland, 1777), but we know nothing of the author.

+ These sheets were printed at Taunton (1817), and addressed to Dr. Ryder, now Bp. of Litchfield and Coventry. Mr. G. was equally eminent as a scholar, a divine, and a philanthropist.

The system here referred to, is that of the Hebrew parallels, which Dr. Jebb applies to many parts of the New Testament with good effect; though in some instances, perhaps, he has carried it too far.

Dr. Henry Hunter is well known by his "Saered Biography." Dr. David Hunter is only known as "one of the Ministers of St. Andrews," and by his admirable "Observations on the History of Christ," 2 vols. 12mo. 1770.

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