Matthew 1:18-23

The Birth of Jesus Christ

18 Now the birth of 1Jesus Christ[a] took place in this way. 2When his mother Mary had been betrothed[b] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child 3from the Holy Spirit.
19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling 4to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But as he considered these things, behold, 5an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a son, and 6you shall call his name Jesus, 7for he will save his people from their sins."
22 8All this took place 9to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 10"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name 11Immanuel"(which means, God 12with us).

Images for Matthew 1:18-23

Matthew 1:18-23 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO MATTHEW

The subject of this book, and indeed of all the writings of the New Testament, is the Gospel. The Greek word euaggelion signifies a joyful message, good news, glad tidings of good things; such as Christ was anointed to preach, the Angels brought to the shepherds, and the Evangelists, Apostles, and Ministers of Christ published to the world. \Isa 61:1, 52:7 Lu 2:10\. And such is the account given by this inspired writer, of the incarnation, life, actions, ministry, miracles, sufferings, and death of Jesus Christ; whereby peace and reconciliation, pardon and righteousness, atonement and redemption, life and salvation, are obtained for lost, perishing sinners. The Jews, to whom the message of grace was first sent, and among whom the Gospel was first preached, having despised and rejected it; they and their posterity, in allusion to the word "Evangelion", most wickedly and blasphemously call the whole New Testament, Nwylg Nwa or Nwylg Nwe "Aven Gilion" {a}, a "revelation", or "volume of iniquity and vanity"; but "blessed are the people that know the joyful sound", see Ps 89:15. The writer of this Gospel, Matthew, who also was called Levi in Lu 5:27 was by occupation a publican, or tax-gatherer, and was in his employ when Christ called him by his grace. He was one of the twelve Apostles sent forth by Christ to preach the Gospel of the kingdom, Mt 10:3 and was honoured to be the first of the writers of the New Testament, and to be the first publisher therein of the good news of the incarnate Saviour; and was a wonderful instance of the rich and sovereign grace of God. Though he was employed in collecting the Roman tax, yet he was of Jewish extract; as appears from his being called the son of Alphaeus, Mr 2:14 and from his name Matthew Levi; for as the latter, so the former is an Hebrew name. The Jews say {b} one of the disciples of Jesus was called yatm, Matthai or Matthew: his name signifies a "gift" or "given"; he was one of those the Father had given to Christ, and was kept by him, when the son of perdition was lost, Joh 17:6,9,11,12. It may not be improper to inquire in what language this Gospel was written. The ancient Christian writers were generally of opinion, that Matthew wrote it in Hebrew; Papias and {c} Pantaenus were of this mind, as also Irenaeus {d}, Origen {e} Eusebius {f}, Athanasius {g}, Epiphanius {h}, and Jerom {i}; and it is asserted in the titles of the Arabic and Persic versions, and at the end of the Syriac version of this Gospel, that it was written in that language; and this opinion is espoused by Grotius and Hammond, though justly exploded by others; for what has been published by Munster, Mercer, Hutter, and Robertson, are translations, made by themselves or others, and of no antiquity: and since Hebrew and Syriac words are interpreted in this Gospel, see Mt 1:23, 27:33,46 which would not have been done, had it been written in either language; and since Matthew generally follows the Septuagint version in the passages cited by him out of the Old Testament; and since the Hebrew language was not generally known at that time to the common people, only to the learned; for the law and the prophets, when read in the synagogues in that language, required an interpreter; and since the Greek tongue was the language more commonly spoken, and the rest of the Evangelists wrote in Greek, and the Gospel was designed for the Gentiles as well as the Jews; it is most reasonable to conclude that this Gospel also was wrote in Greek; whereby that ancient prophecy was fulfilled, at least in part, "God shall enlarge" or "persuade Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem", Ge 9:27 the Gospel being published in the language of Japheth, the Greek language, which the Jews, the posterity of Shem, now understood; agreeably to which the Palmudic writers interpret the prophecy; says {k} Bar Kaphra, mentioning the above words,

``They shall speak tpy lv wnwvlb in the language of Japheth, in the tents of Shem;''

or,

``the words of the law shall be spoken in the language of Japheth, in the midst of the tents of Shem {l}.''

R. Jochanan {m} explains them thus:

``tpy lv wyrbr "the words of Japheth" shall be in the tents of Shem; and says R. Chiya ben Aba, the sense of it is, The beauty of Japheth shall be in the tents of Shem.''

Which the gloss interprets thus:

``The beauty of Japheth is the language of Javan, or the Greek language, which language is more beautiful than that of any other of the sons of Japheth.''

The time when this Gospel was written is said {n} by some to be in the eighth or ninth, by others, in the fifteenth year after the ascension of Christ, when the Evangelist had received the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, among which was the gift of tongues; and when the promise of Christ had been made good to him, Joh 14:26.

{a} T. Bab. Sabbat. fol. 116. 1. Vet. Nizzachou. p. 15, 39, 87, 94, 137, 186. Ed. Wagenseil. {b} T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 43. 1. {c} Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l. 3. c. 39. p. 113. Vid. ib. l. 5. c. 8. p. 172. c 10. p. 175. & l. 6. c. 25. p. 226. {d} Adv. Haeres. l. 3. c 1. {e} In Matt. Tom. l. p. 203. Ed. Huet. {f} Eccl. Hist. l. 3. cap. 24. p. 95. {g} Synops. sacr. Script. p. 134. Vol. 2. {h} Contra Haeres. l. 1. Haer. 29. & 30. {i} Catalog. Script. Eccles fol. 90. Tom. 1. ad Hedib. fol. 46. Tom. 3. {k} T. Hieros. Megilla, fol. 71. 2. {l} Bereshit. Rabba, sect. 36. fol. 32. 1. {m} T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 9. 2. {n} Vid. Fabricii Biblioth. Graec. l. 4. c. 5. sect. 2. p. 197. & Vales. not. in Euseb. Eccl. Hist. p. 52.

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Matthew 1:18-23 In-Context

16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel"(which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,
25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Cross References 12

  • 1. ver. 1; Mark 1:1; John 1:17; John 17:3; [ver. 16]
  • 2. Luke 1:27
  • 3. Luke 1:35
  • 4. [Deuteronomy 24:1]
  • 5. Matthew 2:13, 19; [Matthew 2:12, 22]
  • 6. ver. 25; Luke 1:31; Luke 2:21
  • 7. Luke 2:11; Acts 4:12; Acts 5:31; Acts 13:23, 38; [Acts 3:26]
  • 8. Matthew 21:4; Matthew 26:56; John 19:36
  • 9. Matthew 2:15, 23; Matthew 4:14; Mark 14:49
  • 10. Cited from Isaiah 7:14
  • 11. Isaiah 8:8, 10
  • 12. See Matthew 28:20

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Some manuscripts of the Christ
  • [b]. That is, legally pledged to be married
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.