Matthew 1:21

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS:[a] for he shall save his people from their sins.

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Matthew 1:21 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 1:21

And she shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his
name Jesus.]
For though she was with child, it could not be known any otherwise than by prediction or divine revelation, that she should have a son, whose name should be called Jesus; a name of the same signification with Joshua and Hosea, and may be interpreted a "Saviour", ( Acts 13:23 ) for the word (ewvy) Jesus, comes from (evy) which signifies "to save." And to this agrees the reason of the name given by the Angel,

for he shall save his people from their sins.
The salvation here ascribed to him, and for which he is every way fit, being God as well as man, and which he is the sole author of, is to be understood, not of a temporal, but of a spiritual and everlasting salvation; such as was prophesied of, ( 45:17 ) and which old Jacob had in his view, when he said, "I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord", ( Genesis 49:18 ) which by the Jewish F6 Targumist is paraphrased thus:

``Jacob said when he saw Gideon the son of Joash, and Samson the son of Manoah, that they would rise up to be saviours, not for the salvation of Gideon do I wait, nor for the salvation of Samson do I look, for their salvation is (atevd) (Nqrwp) "a temporary salvation"; but for thy salvation, O Lord, do I wait and look, for thy salvation is (Nymle Nqrwp) "an everlasting salvation", or (according to another copy) but for the salvation of Messiah the son of David, who shall save the children of Israel, and bring them out of captivity, for thy salvation my soul waiteth.''

By "his people" whom he is said to save are meant, not all mankind, though they are his by creation and preservation, yet they are not, nor will they be all saved by him spiritually and eternally; nor also the people of the Jews, for though they were his nation, his kinsmen, and so his own people according to the flesh, yet they were not all saved by him; many of them died in their sins, and in the disbelief of him as the Messiah: but by them are meant all the elect of God, whether Jews or Gentiles, who were given to him by his Father, as a peculiar people, and who are made willing in the day of his power upon them, to be saved by him in his own way. And these he saves from "their sins", from all their sins, original and actual; from secret and open sins; from sins of heart, lip and life; from sins of omission and commission; from all that is in sin, and omission upon it; from the guilt, punishment, and damning power of it, by his sufferings and death; and from the tyrannical government of it by his Spirit and grace; and will at last save them from the being of it, though not in this life, yet hereafter, in the other world, when they shall be without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing.


F6 Targum Jon. Ben Uzziel in loc.

Matthew 1:21 In-Context

19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord 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: for he shall save his people from their sins.
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, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. JESUS: that is, Saviour, Heb
The King James Version is in the public domain.