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Angel Appears to Joseph












Dec of 5 BC

Nativity of Jesus

1:25 - 2:1






And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.   Matthew 1:25


  1. Mary:  Remained a virgin, at least until after marrying Joseph

    1. Scriptures make the point that the Holy Spirit, not Joseph, is the biological father of Jesus, as in John 3:16

    2. Among some protestants there is disagreement as to whether Mary remained virgin ever-after

    3. Maturing of our apologetic interpretive processes, we hear and weigh the arguments, and unless new information is presented there is little if any reason to spend a lot of time re-arguing points of faith -- being careful that we actually have correctly heard and weighed the arguments.

  2. Son:  Traditional understanding:  Son of God and Son of Man 

    1. Fully Human

    2. Fully Divine

    3. We are partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-5)

  3. Jesus:   form of Joshua

    1. Jehovah Saves, "for he shall save his people from their sins" (Mt. 1:21)

    2. Joshua, who led Israel into Canaan after Moses died

    3. Joshua, High Priest at the rebuilding of the Temple (Zechariah 6:9-15)


Quotes & Notes on:    Matthew 1:25

  • John Wesley's Notes:
    He knew her not, till after she had brought forth-It cannot be inferred from hence, that he knew her afterward: no more than it can be inferred from that expression, 2Sa 6:23, "Michal had no child till the day of her death," that she had children afterward. Nor do the words that follow, the first-born son, alter the case. For there are abundance of places, wherein the term first born is used, though there were no subsequent children. Lu 2:7.

  • Treasury of Scripture Knowledge:
    * she. Ex 13:2; 22:29; Lu 2:7; Ro 8:29
    * and he. Lu 2:21

  • Adam Clarke's Commentary:
    He called his name JESUS.] This name was given by the command of God, see Mt 1:16, and was imposed on Christ when eight days old; for then, according to the Jewish law, he was circumcised: thus he had the name of Saviour given when he first began to shed that blood without which there could be no remission of sins.

  • Family Bible Notes:
    (No comment on this verse)

  • 1599 Geneva Bible Notes:
    The word "till", in the Hebrew language, gives us to understand that a thing will not come to pass in time to come: as Michal had no children "till" her death day, 2Sa 6:23. And in the last chapter of this evangelist: Behold, I am with you "till" the end of the world.

  • People's New Testament Commentary:
      Knew her not. A Hebrew form for conjugal intercourse. The language of the verse does not imply the perpetual virginity of Mary.

  • Robertson's Word Pictures:
        And knew her not (kai ouk eginôsken autên). Note the imperfect tense, continuous or linear action. Joseph lived in continence with Mary till the birth of Jesus. Matthew does not say that Mary bore no other children than Jesus. "Her firstborn" is not genuine here, but is a part of the text in Lu 2:7. The perpetual virginity of Mary is not taught here. Jesus had brothers and sisters and the natural meaning is that they were younger children of Joseph and Mary and not children of Joseph by a previous marriage. So Joseph "called his name Jesus" as the angel had directed and the child was born in wedlock. Joseph showed that he was an upright man in a most difficult situation.

  • Albert Barnes' Commentary:
      Her firstborn son. Her eldest son, or he that by the law had the privilege of birthright. This does not of necessity imply that she had other children; though it seems probable. It was the name given to the son which was first born, whether there were others or not.

    His name JESUS. This was given by Divine appointment, Mt 1:21. It was conferred on him on the eighth day, at the time of his circumcision, Lu 2:21.

    {a} "firstborn" Ex 13:2
    {b} "JESUS" Lu 2:21

  • Jamieson-Faussett Brown:
     The word "till" does not necessarily imply that they lived on a different footing afterwards (as will be evident from the use of the same word in 1Sa 15:35; 2Sa 6:23; Mt 12:20); nor does the word "first-born" decide the much-disputed question, whether Mary had any children to Joseph after the birth of Christ; for, as LIGHTFOOT says, "The law, in speaking of the first-born, regarded not whether any were born after or no, but only that none were born before." (See on JFB for Mt 13:55).

  • Spurgeon Commentary:
    (No comment on this verse)

  • William Burkitt's Notes:
    It is piously believed, though not positively in scripture asserted,that the Virgin had no other child but our Savior: it is a very probable opinion, though not an infallible article of faith, as the Church of Rome would make it: for the word until signifies in scripture as much as never.

    So Ge 28:15. I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have promised; that is, I will never leave thee.

    So the words following, Her first-born son, do not imply that she had any child after, but that she had none before. That child which first opened the womb, is usually in scripture called the first-born, though there was no other born after.

    Thus Jos 18:1-28 Machir is called the first-born of Manasseh, though he had no more children. So that Christ, not only as God, but as also he was man, was the first-born and only son. St. Austin expounds and applies Eze 44:2 to the virgin Mary; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it; because the Lord God of Israel hath entered in by it; therefore it shall be shut. And others of the ancients say, that as Christ lay in a tomb, in which none lay before or after himself. But he said, Quid post partum secutum erat curiose none est quarendum. What the Virgin was afterwards, is of small concern to the mystery, therefore not to be inquired after. And yet it is now passed by some into a matter of faith, that the Virgin Mary was ever a virgin, and it has been styled a heresy to hold the contrary; but how is it consistent with good divinity, to make that an article of divine faith, which is founded on no divine revelation. Or to make that necessary to be believed, which confessedly is not contained in the Holy scripture, let the Church of Rome answer.

  • Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary:
    (No comment on this verse)

  • The Fourfold Gospel:
     And he called his name JESUS. Two Old Testament heroes bore the name Jesus under the form of Joshua. One was captain of Israel for the conquest of Canaan (Jos 1:1,12), the other was high priest of Israel for rebuilding the Temple (Zec 6:11,12). Christ was both the Captain of our salvation and the High Priest of our profession.



Updated:   Wednesday, March 06, 2013 at 03:51 AM



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