Page images
PDF
EPUB

and Aminadab begat Naasson;1 and 7 And Solomon begat Roboam;" Naasson begat Salmon ;2

and Roboam begat Abia ; and Abia 5 And Salmon begat Booz of begat Asa ; Rachab:3 and Booz begat Obed of 8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse ; Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram

6 And Jesse begat David5 the begat Ozias ; king; and David the king begat 9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Solomon6 of her that had been the Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz uife of Urias;

begat Ezekias ;

10 And Ezekias begat Manas

2 11 Chron. ii, 10. Num. i. 7. Ruth iv. 20. 3 Josh. vi. 25. Ruth iv. 21. 4 Ruth iv. 13. 5 1 Sam. xvii, 12. 6 2 Sam. xii. 24.

* 1 Chron. iii. 10. 8 Kin. xx. 21. 1 Chron. iii. 13.

It was

nealogy of Jesus. Luke also, ch. iii., sibly occurred from this cause. 2. Most gives a genealogy of the Messiah. No interpreters have supposed that Matthew two passages of scripture have caused gives the genealogy of Joseph, and Luke more difficulty than these, and various that of Mary. They were both descendattempts have been made to explain them. ed from David, but in different lines, There are two sources of difficulty in This solution derives some plausibility these catalogues. 1. Many names that from the fact that the promise was made are found in the Old Testament are here to David, and as Jesus was not the son omitted ; and 2. the tables of Matthew of Joseph, it was important to show that and Luke appear in many points to be Mary was also descended from him. different. From Adam to Abraham, Though this solution is plausible, and Luke only has given the record. From may be true, yet it wants evidence. It Abraham to David the two tables are cannot, however, be proved that this was alike. Of course there is no difficulty in not the design of Luke. 3. It has been reconciling these two parts of the tables. said also that Joseph was the legal son The difficulty lies in that part of the and heir of Heli, though the real son of genealogy from David to Christ. There Jacob, and thus the two lines terminated they are entirely different. They are in him. This was the ancient explanamanifestly different lives. Not only are tion of most of the fathers, and on the the names different, but Luke has men- whole is the most satisfactory. tioned, in this part of the genealogy, no a law of the Jews, that if a man died less than forty-two names, while Matthew without children, his brother should has recorded but twenty-seven,

marry his widow. Thus the two lines Various ways have been proposed to might have been intermingled. Acexplain this difficulty ; and it must be cording to this solution, which was first admitted that none of them is perfectly proposed by Africanus, Matthan, desatisfactory. It does not comport with scended from Solomon, married Estha, the design of these notes to enter mi- of whom was born Jacob. After Matnutely into an explanation of the per- | than's death, Matthat being of the same plexities of these passages. All that tribe, but of another family, married his can be done is to suggest the various widow, and of this marriage Heli was ways in which attempts have been born. Jacob and Heli were therefore made to explain them. 1. It is remark- children of the same mother. Heli dying ed that in nothing are mistakes more without children, his brother Jacob likely to occur than in such tables. married his widow, and begat Joseph, From the similarity of names, and from who was thus the legal son of Heli. the different names by which the same This is agreeable to the account in the person is often called, and from many two evangelists. Matthew says that other causes,

errors would be more Jacob begat Joseph ; Luke says that likely to creep into the text in genealo- Joseph was the son of Heli, i. e. was gical tables,' than in other writings. his legal heir, or reckoned in law to be Some of the difficulties may have pos- his son. This can be seen by the plan

ses ; and Manasses begat Amon; to Babylon, Jechonias begat Saand Amon begat Josias ;

lathiel ;. and Salathiel begat Zoro11 And Josias? begat Jechonias babel ;3 and his brethren, about the time 13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; they were carried away to Babylon: and Abiud begat Eliakim ; and Eli

12 And after they were brought akim begat Azor ; Some read, Josias begat Jakim, and Jakim

* 1 Chron. iii. 17. Neh. xii. 1. begat Jechonias. given below, showing the nature of the was easy to understand these tables, they connexion.

were believed to be correct. 2. The Though these solutions may not seem evangelists are not responsible for the to be entirely satisfactory, yet there are correctness of these tables. They are retwo additional considerations which sponsible only for what was their real should set the matter at rest, and lead and professed object to do. What was to the conclusion that the narratives are that object? It was to prove to the not really inconsistent. 1. No difficulty satisfaction of the Jews, that Jesus was was ever found, or alleged, in regard descended from David, and therefore that to them, by any of the early enemies of there was no argument from his ancestry Christianity. There is no evidence that that he was not the promised Messiah. they ever adduced them as containing a Now to make this out it was not necescontradiction. Many of those enemies sary, nor would it have conduced to their were acute, learned, and able ; and they argument, to form a new table of geneshor by their writings that they were not alogy. All that could be done was, to go indisposed to detect all the errors that to the family records - to the public could possibly be found in the sacred tables, and copy them as they were narrative. Now it is to be remembered actually kept, and show that, according that the Jews were fully competent to to the records of the nation, Jesus was show that these tables were incorrect, if descended from David. This, among the they were really so; and it is clear that Jews, was full and decided testimony in they were fully disposed, if possible, to do the case. And this was doubtless done. it. The fact, therefore, that it is not done In the same way, the records of a family is clear evidence that they thought it to among us, as they are kept by the family, be correct. The same may be said of are proof in courts of justice now, of the the acute Pagans who wrote against birth, names, &c., of individuals. Nor Chrisianity. None of them have called is it necessary or proper for a court to in question the correctness of these tables. call them in question, or to attempt to This is full proof that, in a time when it I correct them. So the tables here are 14 And Azor begat Sadoc ; and was born Jesus, who is called Sadoc begat Achim ; and Achim Christ. begat Eliud;

* David.

Solomon.

Nathan,

Latihan.

Esthe.

Matthat.

Jacob.

Wife of each.

Heli.

Heir and legal son of

Joseph.

17 So all the generations from 15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; Abraham to David are fourteen and Eleazar begat Matthan; and generations; and from David until Matthan begat Jacob;

the carrying away into Babylon 16 And Jacob begat Joseph are fourteen generations; and from the husband of Mary, of whom the carrying away into Babylon

I Luke i. 31-35.

Second dirision,

good evidence to the only point that the In counting these divisions, however, it writers wished to establish : that is, to will be seen that there is some difficulty in show to the Jews that Jesus of Nazareth making out the number fourteen in each was descended from David. All that can division. This may be explained in the be asked now is, whether they copied the following manner. In the first division, tables of those families correctly. It is Abraham is the first, and David the last, clear that no man can prove that they making together fourteen. In the second did not so copy them, and, therefore, that series, David would naturally be placed no one can adduce them as an argument first, and the fourteen was completed in against the correctness of the New Testa. Josiah, about the time of the captivity, ment.

as sufficiently near for the purpose of 17. All the generations, &c. This convenient computation. 2 Chron. xxxv. division of the names in their genealogy in the third division, Josiah would natuwas doubtless adopted for the purpose rally be placed first, and the number was of aiding the memory. It was common coinpleted in Joseph. So that David and among the Jews; and other similar in- Josiah would be reckoned twice. This stances are preserved. They were des- may be shown by the following table of titute of other books besides the Old the names : Testament, and had but few copies of First division.

Thind division that among them, and those chiefly in Abraham, David, Josias, their synagogues. They would, there- Isaac, Solomon, Jechonias, fore, naturally devise plans to keep up Jacob, Roboam, Salathiel, the remembrance of the principal facts Judas, Abia, Zorobabel, in their history. One method of doing Phares, Asa, Abiud, this was, to divide the tables of Esrom,

genea

Josaphat, Eliakim, logy into portions of equal length, to be Aram, Joram, Azor, committed to memory.

This greatly Aminadab, Ozias, Sadoc, facilitated the remembrance of the names. Naasson, Joatham, Achim, A man who wished to commit to memory Salmon, Achaz, Eliud, the names of a regiment of soldiers, Booz, Ezekias, Eleazar, would naturally divide it into companies, Obed, Manasses, Matthan, and platoons, and this would greatly Jesse, Amon, Jacob, facilitate his work. This was doubtless David. Josias.

Joseph. the reason in the case before us. And,

-14

-14 -14. though it is not strictly accurate, yet it Carrying away into Babylon. This was the Jewish way of keeping their refers to the captivity of Jerusalem, and records, and answered their purpose. the removal of the Jews to Babylon by There were three leading persons and Nebuchadnezzar, five hundred and eighty events that nearly, or quite, divided their years before Christ. See 2 Chron. xxxvi. i history into equal portions: Abraham, Josiah was king when these calamities David, and the Babylonish captivity. began to come upon the Jews, but the From one to the other was about four- exact time of the seventy years of capteen generations, and, by omitting a few tivity did not commence until the eleventh names, it was sufficiently accurate to be year of Zedekiah's reign, or thirty-two made a general guide or directory in years after the death of Josiah. Babylon remembering their history.

was situated on the Euphrates, and was

unto Christ are fourteen genera- she was found with child of the tions.

Holy Ghost. 18 Now the birth 1 of Jesus 19 Then Joseph her husband, Christ was on this wise : When as being a just man, and not willing his mother Mary was espoused to to make her a publick example, was Joseph, before they came together, minded 3 to put her away privily. 1 Lake i. 27-35. Pifth year before the ac

20 But while he thought on

count called A.D.

& Deut. xxiv. 1-4.

encompassed with walls which were about ficted where the person was not marsixty miles in circuit, eighty-seven feet ried, but betrothed. Deut. xxii. 23, 24. broad, and three hundred and fifty feet In this case, therefore, the regular punhigh, and the city was entered by a hunishment would have been death in this dred brazen gates, twenty-five on each painful and ignominious manner. Yet side. It was the capital of a vast empire, Joseph was a religious man, mild and and the Jews remained there for seventy tender ; and he was not willing to comyears. See my notes on Isaiah, ch. xii. plain of Mary to the magistrate and expose

18. On this wise. Thus. In this man- her to death, but sought to avoid the ner. I Espoused. Betrothed, or engag- shame, and to put her away privately. ed to be married. There was commonly | | Put her away privily. The law of an interval of ten or twelve months Moses gave the husband the power of among the Jews between the contract divorce. Deut. xxiv. 1. It was custoof marriage and the celebration of the mary in a bill of divorce to specify the Duptials. See Gen. xxiv. 55; Judges causes for which the divorce was made, xv. 8 ; yet such was the nature of this and witnesses were also present to testify Engagement, that unfaithfulness to each to the divorce. But in this case it seems other was deemed adultery. See Deut. Joseph resolved to put her away without 1931. 25, 28. I With child by the Holy specifying the cause ; for he was not willGhost. See note, Luke i. 35.

ing to make her a public example. This 19. Her husband. The word in the is the meaning here of privily. Both original does not imply that they were to Joseph and Mary this must have been married. It means here the man to

a great trial. Joseph was ardently atwhom she was espoused. 1 A just man. tached to her, but her character was likely Justice consists in rendering to every man to be ruined, and he deemed it proper to bis own. Yet this is evidently not the separate her from him. Mary was innocharacter intended to be given here of cent, but Joseph was not yet satisfied of Joseph. It means that he was kind, her innocence. Yet we may learn how teader, merciful; so attached to Mary, that to put our trust in God. He will defend he was not willing that she should be the innocent. Mary was in danger of exposed to public shame. He sought, being exposed to shame. Had she been therefore, secretly to dissolve the con- connected with a cruel, passionate, and nexion, and to restore her to her friends violent man, she would have died in diswithout the punishment commonly inflicted grace. But God had so ordered it, that on adultery. The word just has not unfre- she was connected with a man 'mild, quently this meaning of mildness, or mercy. amiable, and tender; and, in due time, See 1 John i. 9. Psa, cxlv, 17; see ver. Joseph was apprized of the truth in the 16–19 of the psalm. A public ex- and took his faithful and beloved emple. To expose her to public shame or wife to his bosom. Thus, our only aim infamy. Adultery has always been con- should be to preserve a conscience void of sider d a crime of a very heinous nature. offence, and God will guard our reputaIn Egypt it was punished by cutting off tion. We may be assailed, or circumthe nose of the adulteress ; in Persia stances may be against us; but in due the nose and ears were cut off ; in Judea time God will take care to vindicate our the punishment was death by stoning. character, and save us from ruin. L. XX. 10; Ezek. xvi. 38, 40 ; John 20. He thought on these things. Ho vž, This punishment was also in- did not act hastily. He did not take the

case,

these things, behold, the angel of Mary thy wife : for that which is the Lord appeared unto him in a 1 conceived? in her is of the Holy dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of Ghost." David, fear not to take unto thee 21 And she shall bring forth a 1 ch. ii. 13, 19, 22.

? Begotten • Luke 1. 31–38.

This expresses

course which the law would have per- in mind of his relation to David perhaps mitted him to do, if he had been hasty, to prepare him for the intelligence that violent, or unjust. It was a case deeply Mary was to be the mother of the Messiah affecting his happiness, his character, and the promised heir of David. 9 Fear the reputation and character of his chosen not. Do not hesitate or have fears about companion. God will guide the thought her virtue and purity. Do not fear that ful and the anxious. And when we have she will be unworthy of you, or will dislooked patiently at a perplexed subject, grace you. and know not what to do, then God, as in 21. His name JESUS. The name the case of Joseph, will interpose to lead Jesus is the same as Saviour. It is deus, and direct our way. Psa. xxv. 9. rived from the verb signifying to save.

The angel of the Lord. The word In Hebrew it is the same as Joshua. In angel literally means a messenger. It is two places in the New Testament it is applied chiefly in the scriptures to those used where it means Joshua, the leader invisible holy beings who have not fallen of the Jews into Canaan, and in our transinto sin; who live in heaven 1 Tim, v. lation the name Joshua should have been 21, compare Jude 6; and who are sent retained. Acts vii. 45. Heb. iv. 8. It forth to minister to those who shall be was a very common name among the heirs of salvation. Heb. i. 13, 14. Dan. Jews. T He shall save. *ix. 21. The word is sometimes applied the same as the name, and on this account to men, as messengers Luke vii. 24; ix. the name was given to him. He saves 52 ; James ii. 25; to the winds Psa. men by having died to redeem them; by civ. 4 ; to the pestilence Psa. lxxviii. giving the Spirit to renew them John 49; or to whatever is appointed to make xvi. 7,8; by his power in enabling them known, or to execute the will of God. to overcome their spiritual enemies, in deIt is commonly applied, however, to the fending them from danger, in guiding them unfallen, happy spirits that are in heaven, in the path of duty, in sustaining them in whose only dignity and pleasure it is to trials and in death ; and he will raise them do the will of God. Various ways were up at the last day, and exalt them to a employed by them in making known the world of purity and love. 9 His people. will of God, by dreams, visions, assuming Those whom the Father bas given to a human appearance, &c. 9 In a dream. him. The Jews were called the people This was a common way of making known of God, because he had chosen them to the will of God to the ancient prophets himself, and regarded them as his peculiar and people of God. Gen. xx. 3 ; xxxvii. and beloved people, separate from all the 6; xli. 1. 1 Kin. iii. 5. Job iv. 13-15. nations of the earth. Christians are called Dan. vii. 1. In what way it was ascer- the people of Christ, because it was the tained that these dreams were from God, purpose of the Father to give them cannot now be told. It is sufficient for to him Isa. lü. 11; John vi. 37, and us to know that in this way many of the because in due time he came to redeem prophecies were communicated; and to them to himself. Titus ii. 14. 1 Peter Temark that now there is no evidence that i. 2. From their sins. This is the we are to put reliance on our dreams. great business of Jesus in coming and dyDreams are wild, irregular movements of ing. It is not to save men in their sins, the mind, when it is unshackled by reason, but from their sins. Sinners could not be and it is mere superstition to suppose happy in heaven. It would be a place that God now makes known his will in of wretchedness to the guilty. The de

See my Introduction to sign of Jesus was, therefore, to save from Isaiah. Son of David. Descendant sin; 1. by dying to make an atonement, of David. See ver. 1. The angel put him Titus ü. 14; and 2, by renewing the

this way.

« PreviousContinue »