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EXPOSITORY NOTES &c.
THE HOLY BIBLE contains the whole Revelation of the will of God to the children of men. This
sacred book is usually divided into the Old and New Testament. The Old Testament contains the law and the propheis; the writings of the New Testament are either histories or epistles: the histories are the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles; the four Gospels were written by the four Evangelists whose name they bear; of whom Bt. Maithew and St. John were eye witnesses of
what they wroie, but St. Mark and St. Luke had what they wrote from the relation of others. This Gospel before us, of St. Matthew, contains an history of the birth, life, miracles, death, and resurrection of the holy JESUS; all of which are the most stupendous and amazing matters and
mysteries as well as the most necessary truths to be known and believed, in the world : and This Chapter before us contains the genealogy or pedigree of our Saviour Jesus CHRIST, as he was
man, unto verse 17, and then relates the fact of his wonderful incarnation, to the end of the chapter.
pitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, THE book of the generation of but also for the sins of the whole world.
Jesus Christ, the son of David, 2 Abraham begat Isaac; and the son of Abraham.
Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob beThat is, the descent of Jesus Christ, who gat Judas and his brethren ; 3 And was, according to the flesh, the son of Judas begat Phares and Zara of David, and the son of Abraham, is on this Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; wise. And his genealogy from Abraham down to his reputed father was thus. Here and Esrom begat Aram; 4 And note, That our Evangelist, designing to Aram begat Aminadab; and Amiwrite a narrative of our Saviour's life, be- nadab begat Naasson; and Naasson gins with his pedigree and genealogy, and begat Salmon; shews whom he descended from, namely, from David and Abraham. Where observe, Both the Evangelists, St. Matthew and 1. That David is named before Abraham, St. Luke, make mention of our Saviour's because he being a king, and an illustrious pedigree; the former by his reputed father's type of the Messias, the Jews expected, and side, the latter by his mother's side: the do to this day expect, that the son of David | design of both was to present us with a should reign over them; and that they general draught of our Lord's pedigree and should enjoy a temporal kingdom by him.descent, and not to be strict and accurate Observe, 2. The names given to our bless-in enumerating every individual person. ed Saviour, Jesus and Christ ; Jesus is his This should teach us, not to be over-curious Hebrew name, and signifies, A Saviour; in scanning the parts of this genealogy, Christ is his Greek name, and signifies, much less captiously to object against it. Anointed: from whence some do infer an For if the Evangelists were not critical and intimation and encouragement, that both | exact in composing this genealogy, why Hebrews and Greeks, both Jews and Gen- || should we shew ourselves so in examining tiles, may alike come unto Christ for life it? Rather let us attend to the design of and salvation, he being the common Sa- the Holy Ghost in writing of it, which was viour of both; according to that of St. John, two-fold: First, for the honour of our SaEpist 1. chap. ii. ver. 2. He is the pro- || viour, as man, shewing who were his noble
and royal progenitors according to the flesh. Observe, Here are several women menSecondly, for the confirmation of our faith, || tioned in our Saviour's genealogy, and all, touching the reality of our Redeemer's in- or most of them, have a brand of infamy carnation. The scripture making mention upon them. Thamar was one, with whom of all his progenitors, from the first man her father-in-law Judah committed incest; Adam to his reputed father Joseph, will not Rachab is called an harlot; Ruth came of suffer us to doubt either of the truth of his Moab, whom Lot begat of his own daughhuman nature, or of the certainty of his ter; and Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, being the promised Messias. Learn hence, was one with whom David had committed That the wisdom of God hath taken all ne-adultery. Now the wisdom of God has cessary care, and used all needful means, thought fit to leave all this upon record for the satisfying the minds of all unpre- for several ends and purposes. 1. To dejudiced persons touching the reality of note the freeness of God's grace, which Christ's human nature, and the certainty extends itself in the saving effects and of his being the promised Messias; for both benefits of it to them that are most unthese ends is our Saviour's genealogy and worthy and illdeserving. 2. To encourage descent recorded in the holy scriptures. the greatest sinners to go unto Christ by
5 And Salmon begat Booz of faith, and seek to be ingrafted unto him: Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of for as Christ by the power of his Godhead Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse ; 6
did purify our nature from all the pollution
of our ancestors, so he can, by the power And Jesse begat David the king; of his grace and Spirit, sanctify our perand David the king begat Solomonsons and natures, how foul and impure soof her that had been the wife of ever they either are or have been. 3. Here. Urias ; 7 And Solomon begat Ro- by our Lord gives us to understand that he boam; and Roboam begat Abia ; came to save the most notorious sinners, and Abia begat Asa; 8 And Asa scandalous. 4. This is recorded for the
as well as those whose lives have been less begat Josaphat; and Josaphat be- support of such as are illegitimate and base gat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias ; | born: how vile soever their parents' sin 9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and has rendered them in the eyes of men, it Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz is their own sin only which exposes them begat Ezekias; 10 And Ezekias to contempt in the sight of God. It is not begat Manasses ; and Manasses be- us objects of God's wrath.
illegitimacy, but unregeneracy, that makes gat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; 18 Now the birth of Christ was 11 And Josias begat Jechonias and on this wise: When as his mother his brethren, about the time they Mary was espoused to Joseph, bewere carried away to Babylon ; 12 fore they came together, she was And after they were brought to Ba- | found with child of the Holy Ghost. bylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel ;
That is, the birth of Christ was not in the and Salathiel begat Zorobabel ; 13 ordinary and natural way, but his mother And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Mary was found to be with child by the Abiud begat Eliakim ; and Eliakim extraordinary and miraculous operation begat Azor; 14 And Azor begat of the Holy Ghost
. Here note, That the Sadoc; and Sadoc_begat Achim; espousal of Mary to Joseph was for the
safety of Christ, and for the credit and reand Achim begat Eliud ; 15 And putation of the Virgin. It was for our SaEliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar viour's safety, because, being to fly into begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Egypt, he has Joseph his reputed father to Jacob; 16 And Jacob begat Joseph take care of him; and it was for the Virginis the husband of Mary, of whom was reputation, lest she should have been acborn Jesus, who is called Christ. 17 special regard Almighty God has to the
counted unclean. Learn hence, What a So all the generations from Abra- fame and reputation of his children: he ham to David are fourteen genera- would have them free from the least sustions; and from David until the picion of evil and dishonesty. Mary being carrying away into Babylon are espoused to an husband, frees herself from fourteen generations; and from the the suspicion of naughtiness, and her son
from the imputation of an illegitimate birth. carrying away into Babylon unto Observe farther, The miraculous concepChrist are fourteen generations. tion of the holy Jesus: the Holy Ghos:
overshadowed the Virgin, and did miracu- || 21 And she shall bring forth a lously cause her conception without the son, and thou shalt call his name help of an human father. Thus Christ JESUS: for he shall save his peowas the Son of God as well in his human as in his divine nature: he must needs be ple from their sins. a perfect holy person, who was purely con
Observe here, 1. A prediction of our Saceived by the Holy Spirit's operation. viour's birth: the Virgin shall bring forth
19 Then Joseph her husband, ' a son. 2. A precept for the imposition of being a just man, and not willing his name: Thou shalt call his name Jesus, to make her a public example, was that is, a Saviour. 3. The reason why that minded to put her away privily.
name was given him: because he should
save his people, not temporally, as Joshua That is, being a holy person, and a strict did the Israelites from their enemies, but observer of the rites of his nation, he was spiritually and eternally, from their sins ; unwilling to company with a defiled wo- not in their sins, but from them: that is, man, and therefore minded to put her away from the guilt and punishment, from the by giving a bill of divorce into her hand power and dominion, of them. Observe, before two witnesses; but being kind and 4. The peculiar subjects of this privilege, gentle, he intended to put her away privily, his people : He shall save his people from their lest she should have been exposed, and sins. Learn, 1. That sin is the evil of stoned to death. Observe here, How early evils; or that sin, considered in itself, is our dear Lord's sufferings began; he and comparatively the greatest and worst of his mother are designed to be put away, evils. 2. That the great end of Christ's even when he was but an embryo in the coming into the world was to be a Saviour womb. Observe farther, From the great from this evil. 3. That Christ's own peoclemency of Joseph toward the suspected ple do want, and stand in need of, a SaVirgin, that kind and merciful men always viour as well as others: if he does not save presume the best, and prosecute with gen- 'them from their sins, they must die in and teness, especially where life is concerned. : for their sins as well as others. Therefore Meek Joseph doth resolve upon the milder he saves them from sin three ways: 1. By course, and chooses rather to put her away obtaining pardon for sin, and in reconcilprivily than publicly to expose her. ing us to God. 2. By weakening the reign
20 But while he thought on these ing power of sin, and implanting a new things, behold, the angel of the Lord principle of holiness in the heart. 3. By appeared unto him in a dream, say- happy beginnings at the end of this life, in
perfecting and accomplishing all these ing, Joseph, thou son of David, fear heaven. Dr. Hammond's Pract. Catech. not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is
22 Now all this was done, that it of the Holy Ghost.
might be fulfilled which was spoken
of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Two things are here observable; namely, the care that Almighty God lakes, 1. For 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with Joseph's satisfaction. 2. For vindicating child, and shall bring forth a son, the Virgin's reputation. For Joseph's sa- and they shall call his name Emtisfaction an angel is despatched, to give manuel; which being interpreted, assurance that the Virgin was not defiled is, God with us. by man, but overshadowed by the Holy Ghost. Whence note, That Almighty God Of all the prophets of the Old Testawill certainly find out ways and means for ment, the prophet Esay has the honour to the people's satisfaction, when they are be first recited in the New. Here the willing, and desirous above all things, to Evangelist quotes his prophecy of Christ's come to the knowledge and right under-incarnation, Eehold, a virgin shall be with standing of their duty. Observe, 2. How child. Learn thence, That the great mystery the angel clears the Virgin's innocency, of our Saviour's wonderful incarnation was as well as satisfies Joseph's doubtings, by (though darkly) revealed to the church of assuring him that what was conceived in God under the old Testament. Observe her was by the Holy Ghost. Learn hence, farther, The name given to our Saviour That God will in his own time clear the under the Old Testament, Emmanuel, that. innocency of such as suffer in their name is, God uith us : God manifest in our flesh, and reputation for the sake of Christ, God appearing in our nature; God reconthough for the present they may lie under ciling man to himself. O happy and blessthe burden of disgrace and shame. ed union of two natures in one person:
of the Holy Ghost, but he instantly obeys Now
Christ is God and man united, that God | which consessedly is not contained in the
holy scripture, let the church of Rome an-, 24 Then Joseph, being raised
CHAP. II. from sleep, did as the Angel of the Our Saviour's miraculous conception, by the power Lord had bidden him, and took unto of the Holy Ghost, being recorded in the first
chapter, several remarkable circumstances relathim his wife.
ing to his birth are set down in this : as, namely, Joseph is no sooner assured that Mary
The place of his birth, Beth-lehem; and the time,
In the days of Herod the king. is with child by the overshadowing power
when Jesus was born in the Lord's command, and takes Mary to
Bethlehem of Judea, in the him, without farther disputing or delaying. days of Herod the king, behold, Learn thence, That a gracious person, there canie wise men from the east when once satisfied in God's word of com- to Jerusalem, mand, disputes no farther, but instantly
Observe here, 1. The place of our Lord's complies with the will of God, even in the birth, Bethlehem : he was born, not at most hazardous and difficult duties.
Athens, not at Rome, not at Jerusalem, not 25 And knew her not till she had in any opulent or magnificent city, but in brought forth her first-born son: and the meanest of the cities of Judah; therehe called his name JESUS.
by shewing us, that his kingdom was not of
this world, and that he little regarded It is piously believed, though not posi-pomp and outward greatness. O how can tively in scripture asserted, that the Virgin we be abased enough for Christ, that thus had no other child but our Saviour; it is a neglected himself for us ! Observe, 2. very probable opinion, though not an in- The time of our Lord's birth, In the days of fallible article of faith, as the church of Herod the king. This Herod being a foreignRome would make it; for the word until | er, and made king by the Romans which signifies in scripture, as much as never. now reigned over the Jews; in him was So Gen. xxviii. 15. I will not leave thee until fulfilled Jacob's prophecy, Gen. xlix. 10. I have done that which I have promised! that | That the sceptre should not depart from Jue is, I will never leave thee. So the words fol-dah, that is, the Jews should have governors lowing, her first-born son, do not imply that of their own nation, until Shiloh come; that she had any child after, but that she had is, until Christ, the promised Messiah, none before. That child which first open- come in the flesh. So that, considering eth the womb, is usually in scripture call the circumstances of time and place, ed the first-born, though there was no other where and when Christ was born, it was born after. Thus, Josh. xvii. 1. Machir is and is wilful obstinacy in the Jews, to deny called the first-born of Manasseh, though that the Messiah is come in the flesh. he had no more children. So that Christ Observe, 3. That tribute of honour which not only as God, but also as he was man, was paid unto our Saviour at his birth: was the first-born and only son. St. Aus- the wise men of the east came and worshiptin expounds and applies Ezek. xliv. 2. toped him; that is, the Chaldean, Arabian, or the Virgin Mary; This gate shall be shut, Persian astronomers, who, as the first-fruits and it shall not be opened, and no man shall of the Gentiles, seek after Christ; whilst enter in by it; because the Lord God of Israel the Jews, his own people, rejected him. hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. On, how will their coming so far as the And others of the ancients say, that as east to seek Christ, rise up another day Christ lay in a tomb, in which none lay in judgment against us, if we refuse to be before himself, so he lodged in a womb, in found by Christ, who came from heaven which none ever lay, either before or after to seek us ! himself. But he said, Quid post partum secutum erat curiosè non est quærendum: What born king of the Jews ? for we have
2 Saying, Where is he that is the Virgin was afterwards, is of small concern to the mystery; therefore not to be seen his star in the east, and are inquired after. And yet it is now passed come to worship him. by some into a matter of faith, that the Observe here, 1. The enquiry that they Virgin Mary was ever a virgin, and it hath make after Christ: they do not ask whether been styled an heresy to hold the contrary; he was born, but where he was born; but how it is consistent with good divinity not doubting of the fact, but ignorant of to make that an article of divine faith, the place. Observe, 2. The ground of which is founded on no divine revelation, their enquiry, For we have seen his star : or to make that necessary to be believed, || they had seen a star, but how did they
know it was his star! Probably by divine | was so called from its fertility and fruitful. revelation; they had a light within, as wellness, and, as some think, with reference to as a star without, or they had never found Christ, the true bread of life, born there. Christ. It is likely the Holy Spirit's illu- Bethlehem was a mean and contemptible mination accompanied the star's appari- | place in itself; but being honoured with tion. As God made known the birth of Christ's presence, how great is it! Learn Christ to the Jews by an angel, so he ma- thence, that the presence of Christ digninifested the same to the gentiles by a new- fies and exalts a place, how mean soever created star. Observe, 3. The end of in itself. Bethlehem, though a little city in their journey: We are come to worship him ; itself, yet is not the least among the cities that is, to pay all that honour and homage of Judah, because Christ is born there. which is due to a great and mighty prince;
7 Then Herod, when he had priall that adoration and worship which belongs to the promised Messiah, the Re vily called the wise men, enquired deemer of the world. All honour and of them diligently what time the homage, all glory and worship, is due to star appeared. 8 And he sent them Christ from the sons of men, and will be to Bethlehem; and said, Go and given him by those that know him.
search diligently for the young child; 3 When Herod the king had and when ye have found him, bring heard these things, he was troubled,me word again, that I may come and and all Jerusalem with him. worship him also. Observe here, That when Christ came
Observe here, 1. How Herod cloaks his into the world to save men, it cast the intended cruelty with disguised hypocrisy; world in a consternation, and caused won
he had a murder in his heart, when he prederful disturbance. Herod is first concern- tended to worship Christ with his mouth. ed, and next all Jerusalem with him: Herod, | There is no villany so great, but will for fear of losing his kingdom ; Jerusalem, mask itself under a pretence and show of for fear of new commotions. Thus Christ, piety. Herod veils his intent to kill Christ who was the angel's song, the wise men's with a pretence to worship him. Observe, joy, Israel's consolation, becomes Herod's 2. Herod calls him the young child, not the fear, and Jerusalem's terror. But why | young king; that word was too big to come was Herod thus disturbed ? 'Tis true, a
out of Herod's proud mouth; he could king is born, but one whose kingdom is neither bear the thing, nor brook the title. not of this world ; 'twas Herod's false ap- A king 'tis true he is, but one that will neprehension that was the cause of this per
ver be thy rival; he has a kingdom, but it turbation. Hence we see that the greatest is not of this world. Observe, 3. How enmities, and the bitterest animosities, craftily Herod lays his plot; he desires the have arisen from causeless fears and wise men to enquire thoroughly, and to in. groundless jealousies.
form him privately. To be wise in doing
mischief is the worst wisdom in the world: 4 And when he had gathered all 'tis not the wisdom from above, but from the chief priests and scribes of the hell beneath. people together, he demanded of
9 When they had heard the king, them where Christ should be born. they departed: and, lo, the star, 5 And they said unto him, in Bethle- which they saw in the east, went behem of Judea: for thus it is written fore them, till it came and stood by the prophet, 6 And thou Beth
over where the young child was. lehem, in the land of Juda, art not | 10 When they saw the star, they the least among the princes of Juda: rejoiced with exceeding great joy. for out of thee shall come a Gover. 11 And when they were come into nor, that shall rule my people Israel. the house, they saw the young child
Herod, being in great perplexity, con- with Mary his mother, and fell down, vened a council of the chief priests and and worshipped him: and when scribes, and demands of them the place they had opened their treasures, they where Christ the promised Messiah was to be born : they readily reply, out of the presented unto him gifts ; gold, and prophet Micah, chap. v. 2. that Beth-lehem frankincense, and myrrh. was the place; this was the city of David's Observe here, 1. How the star, which birth, and of Christ's, the son of David. for some time disappeared, now appears Bethlehem signifies the house of bread, and again, to their farther direction in finding