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Matthew Chapter One


Matthew 1

The object of the Spirit of God, in this Gospel, being to present Jehovah as fulfilling the promises made to Israel, and the prophecies that relate to the Messiah (and no one can fail to be struck with the number of references to their fulfilment), He commences with the genealogy of the Lord, starting from David and Abraham, the two stocks from which the Messianic genealogy sprang, and to which the promises had been made. The genealogy is divided into three periods, conformably to three great divisions of the history of the people: from Abraham to the establishment of royalty, in the person of David; from the establishment of royalty to the captivity; and from the captivity to Jesus.

We may observe that the Holy Ghost mentions, in this genealogy, the grievous sins committed by the persons whose names are given, magnifying the sovereign grace of God who could bestow a Saviour in connection with such sins as those of Judah, with a poor Moabitess brought in amidst His people, and with crimes like those of David.

It is the legal genealogy which is given here, that is to say, the genealogy of Joseph, of whom Christ was the rightful heir according to Jewish law. The evangelist has omitted three kings of the parentage of Ahab, in order to have the fourteen generations in each period. Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim are also omitted. The object of the genealogy is not at all affected by this circumstance. The point was to give it as recognised by the Jews, and all the kings were well known to all.

The evangelist briefly relates the facts concerning the birth of Jesus-facts which are of infinite and eternal importance, not only to the Jews, who were immediately interested in them, but to ourselves-facts in which God has deigned to link His own glory with our interests, with man.

Mary was betrothed to Joseph. Her posterity was consequently legally that of Joseph, as to the rights of inheritance; but the child she carried in her womb was of divine origin, conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost. The angel of Jehovah is sent, as the instrument of providence, to satisfy the tender conscience and upright heart of Joseph, by communicating to him that that which Mary had conceived was of the Holy Ghost.

We may remark here, that the angel on this occasion addresses Joseph as "son of David." The Holy Ghost thus draws our attention to the relationship of Joseph (the reputed father of Jesus) to David, Mary being called his wife. The angel gives at the same time the name of Jesus (that is, Jehovah the Saviour) to the child that should be born. He applies this name to the deliverance of Israel from the condition into which sin had plunged them. [1] All these circumstances happened, in order to fulfil that which Jehovah had said by the mouth of His prophet, "Behold a [the] 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."

Here then is that which the Spirit of God sets before us in these few verses: Jesus, the Son of David, conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost; Jehovah, the Saviour, who delivers Israel from their sins; God with them; He who accomplished those marvellous prophecies which, more or less plainly, drew the outline that the Lord Jesus alone could fill up.

Joseph, a just man, simple in heart and obedient, discerns without difficulty the revelation of the Lord, and obeys it.

These titles stamp the character of this Gospel, that is, of the way Christ is presented in it. And how wonderful this revelation of Him by whom the words and promises of Jehovah were to be fulfilled! What a groundwork of truth for the understanding of what this glorious and mysterious Person was, of whom the Old Testament had said enough to awaken the desires and to confound the minds of the people to whom He was given!

Born of a woman, born under the law, heir to all the rights of David according to the flesh, also the Son of God, Jehovah the Saviour, God with His people:-who could comprehend or fathom the mystery of His nature in whom all these things were combined? His life in fact, as we shall see, displays the obedience of the perfect man, the perfections and the power of God.

The titles which we have just named, and which we read in chapter 1:20-23, are connected with His glory in the midst of Israel-that is to say, the heir of David, Jesus the Saviour of His people, and Emmanuel. His birth of the Holy Ghost accomplished Psalm 2:7 with regard to Him as a man born on the earth. The name of Jesus, and His conception by the power of the Holy Ghost, no doubt go beyond this relationship, but are linked also in an especial manner with His position in Israel. [2]


[1] It is written, "For he shall save his people," thus plainly shewing the title of Jehovah contained in the word Jesus or Jehoshua. For Israel was the people of the Lord, that is, of Jehovah.

[2] The wider relationship is more distinctively given in the Gospel of Luke, where His genealogy is traced up to Adam; but here the title of Son of man is specially appropriate.

── John DarbySynopsis of Matthew


Matthew 1

Chapter Contents

The genealogy of Jesus. (1-17) An angel appears to Joseph. (18-25)

Commentary on Matthew 1:1-17

(Read Matthew 1:1-17)

Concerning this genealogy of our Saviour, observe the chief intention. It is not a needless genealogy. It is not a vain-glorious one, as those of great men often are. It proves that our Lord Jesus is of the nation and family out of which the Messiah was to arise. The promise of the blessing was made to Abraham and his seed; of the dominion, to David and his seed. It was promised to Abraham that Christ should descend from him, Genesis 12:3; 22:18; and to David that he should descend from him, 2 Samuel 7:12; Psalm 89:3, & c.; 132:11; and, therefore, unless Jesus is a son of David, and a son of Abraham, he is not the Messiah. Now this is here proved from well-known records. When the Son of God was pleased to take our nature, he came near to us, in our fallen, wretched condition; but he was perfectly free from sin: and while we read the names in his genealogy, we should not forget how low the Lord of glory stooped to save the human race.

Commentary on Matthew 1:18-25

(Read Matthew 1:18-25)

Let us look to the circumstances under which the Son of God entered into this lower world, till we learn to despise the vain honours of this world, when compared with piety and holiness. The mystery of Christ's becoming man is to be adored, not curiously inquired into. It was so ordered that Christ should partake of our nature, yet that he should be pure from the defilement of original sin, which has been communicated to all the race of Adam. Observe, it is the thoughtful, not the unthinking, whom God will guide. God's time to come with instruction to his people, is when they are at a loss. Divine comforts most delight the soul when under the pressure of perplexed thoughts. Joseph is told that Mary should bring forth the Saviour of the world. He was to call his name Jesus, a Saviour. Jesus is the same name with Joshua. And the reason of that name is clear, for those whom Christ saves, he saves from their sins; from the guilt of sin by the merit of his death, and from the power of sin by the Spirit of his grace. In saving them from sin, he saves them from wrath and the curse, and all misery, here and hereafter. Christ came to save his people, not in their sins, but from their sins; and so to redeem them from among men, to himself, who is separate from sinners. Joseph did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, speedily, without delay, and cheerfully, without dispute. By applying the general rules of the written word, we should in all the steps of our lives, particularly the great turns of them, take direction from God, and we shall find this safe and comfortable.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Matthew


Matthew 1

Verse 1

[1] The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ — That is, strictly speaking, the account of his birth and genealogy. This title therefore properly relates to the verses that immediately follow: but as it sometimes signifies the history of a person, in that sense it may belong to the whole book. If there were any difficulties in this genealogy, or that given by St. Luke, which could not easily be removed, they would rather affect the Jewish tables, than the credit of the evangelists: for they act only as historians setting down these genealogies, as they stood in those public and allowed records. Therefore they were to take them as they found them. Nor was it needful they should correct the mistakes, if there were any. For these accounts sufficiently answer the end for which they are recited. They unquestionably prove the grand point in view, that Jesus was of the family from which the promised seed was to come. And they had more weight with the Jews for this purpose, than if alterations had been made by inspiration itself. For such alterations would have occasioned endless disputes between them and the disciples of our Lord.

The son of David, the son of Abraham — He is so called, because to these he was more peculiarly promised; and of these it was often foretold the Messiah should spring. Luke 3:31.

Verse 3

[3] And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;

Of Thamar — St. Matthew adds the names of those women also, that were remarkable in the sacred history.

Verse 4

[4] And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;

Naasson — Who was prince of the tribe of Judah, when the Israelites entered into Canaan.

Verse 5

[5] And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

Obed begat Jesse — The providence of God was peculiarly shown in this, that Salmon, Boaz, and Obed, must each of them have been near a hundred years old, at the birth of his son here recorded.

Verse 6

[6] And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;

David the king — Particularly mentioned under this character, because his throne is given to the Messiah.

Verse 8

[8] And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;

Jehoram begat Uzziah — Jehoahaz, Joash, and Amaziah coming between. So that he begat him mediately, as Christ is mediately the son of David and of Abraham. So the progeny of Hezekiah, after many generations, are called the sons that should issue from him, which he should beget, Isaiah 39:7.

Verse 11

[11] And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:

Josiah begat Jeconiah — Mediately, Jehoiakim coming between.

And his brethren — That is, his uncles. The Jews term all kinsmen brethren.

About the time they were carried away — Which was a little after the birth of Jeconiah.

Verse 16

[16] And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

The husband of Mary — Jesus was generally believed to be the son of Joseph. It was needful for all who believed this, to know, that Joseph was sprung from David. Otherwise they would not allow Jesus to be the Christ.

Jesus, who is called Christ — The name Jesus respects chiefly the promise of blessing made to Abraham: the name Christ, the promise of the Messiah's kingdom, which was made to David. It may be farther observed, that the word Christ in Greek, and Messiah in Hebrew, signify anointed, and imply the prophetic, priestly, and royal characters, which were to meet in the Messiah. Among the Jews, anointing was the ceremony whereby prophets, priests, and kings were initiated into those offices. And if we look into ourselves, we shall find a want of Christ in all these respects. We are by nature at a distance from God, alienated from him, and incapable of a free access to him. Hence we want a mediator, an intercessor, in a word, a Christ, in his priestly office. This regards our state with respect to God. And with respect to ourselves, we find a total darkness, blindness, ignorance of God, and the things of God. Now here we want Christ in his prophetic office, to enlighten our minds, and teach us the whole will of God. We find also within us a strange misrule of appetites and passions. For these we want Christ in his royal character, to reign in our hearts, and subdue all things to himself.

Verse 17

[17] So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

So all the generations — Observe, in order to complete the three fourteens, David ends the first fourteen, and begins the second (which reaches to the captivity) and Jesus ends the third fourteen. When we survey such a series of generations, it is a natural and obvious reflection, how like the leaves of a tree one passeth away, and another cometh! Yet the earth still abideth. And with it the goodness of the Lord which runs from generation to generation, the common hope of parents and children. Of those who formerly lived upon earth, and perhaps made the most conspicuous figure, how many are there whose names are perished with them? How many, of whom only the names are remaining? Thus are we likewise passing away! And thus shall we shortly be forgotten! Happy are we, if, while we are forgotten by men, we are remembered by God! If our names, lost on earth, are at length found written in the book of life!

Verse 19

[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.

A just man — A strict observer of the law: therefore not thinking it right to keep her.

Verse 21

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

Jesus — That is, a Saviour. It is the same name with Joshua (who was a type of him) which properly signifies, The Lord, Salvation.

His people — Israel. And all the Israel of God.

Verse 23

[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.

They shall call his name Emmanuel — To be called, only means, according to the Hebrew manner of speaking, that the person spoken of shall really and effectually be what he is called, and actually fulfil that title. Thus, Unto us a child is born - and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace - That is, he shall be all these, though not so much nominally, as really, and in effect. And thus was he called Emmanuel; which was no common name of Christ, but points out his nature and office; as he is God incarnate, and dwells by his Spirit in the hearts of his people. It is observable, the words in Isaiah are, Thou (namely, his mother) shalt call; but here, They - that is, all his people, shall call - shall acknowledge him to be Emmanuel, God with us.

Which being interpreted — This is a clear proof that St. Matthew wrote his Gospel in Greek, and not in Hebrew. Isaiah 7:14.

Verse 25

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

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, 2 Samuel 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. Luke 2:7.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on Matthew


Chapter 1. The Birth of Jesus Christ

Son of David

Son of Abraham


I. The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

1. Patriarchs Eorm the Nation

2. Kings Establish the Kingdom

3. Royalties Ruin the Kingdom

II. Four Gentile Women

1. Tamar and Rahab

2. Ruth of Moab

3. Uriah’s Wife

III. The Birth of Jesus Christ

1. Joseph, a Just Man

2. Mary, with Child by the Holy Spirit

3. Immanuel

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament
The Genealogy Of Jesus Christ (1:1-17)
1. We begin our study by reading the first seventeen verses of Matthew
   (Mt 1:1-17)
2. In 2 Ti 3:16-17, we are told that ALL scripture is profitable
   a. This includes such sections as the one we have just read
   b. Though some may consider it a dry, laborious genealogical table
      of names...
      1) It is profitable for doctrine
      2) It is profitable for instruction in righteousness
3. My objective will be to share some spiritual thoughts that can be
   gleaned from this scripture
[Since Matthew is the only one of the four gospel writers to begin his
gospel with a genealogical record of Jesus, let me first suggest a 
reason why...]
      1. It has been observed that:
         a. Matthew wrote for the Jews
         b. Mark wrote for the Romans
         c. Luke wrote for the Greeks
         d. John wrote for the church
      2. Matthew's gospel was designed to convince Jews that Jesus is
         the Messiah
         a. Fulfillment of Jewish prophecy is a recurring theme - e.g.,
            Mt 1:22-23; 2:4-6,14-15,17-18,23
         b. Genealogy was certainly important to the nation of Israel 
            - Gen 5, 10, 1 Chr 1-9
      1. The Messiah had to be a descendant of Abraham - cf. Gen 22:18
      2. The Messiah had to be a descendant of David - cf. Isa 11:1-2,
      -- Mt 1:1 proclaims this to be true of Jesus, and Mt 1:2-17
         demonstrates it
[Whatever else Jesus may have done, if He was not a descendant of 
Abraham and David, He could not be the Messiah.  So a gospel directed
especially to the Jews would naturally settle this issue before 
proceeding.  Now let's note some...]
      1. Into three sections of fourteen names each - Mt 1:17
         a. Abraham to David
         b. David to the Babylonian captivity
         c. Babylonian captivity to Jesus
         -- This may have been to facilitate committing to memory
      2. Which may explain why some names were omitted
         a. Between Joram and Uzziah there were three kings (Ahaziah,
            Joash, & Amaziah) - cf. Mt 1:8
         b. But such omission was not unusual in Jewish genealogies; 
            minor figures were often deleted
         -- The main purpose was to establish essential connections,
            not minor details
      1. Not His "fleshly" right, for Matthew describes Jesus as the
         adopted son of Joseph
      2. Luke records the "fleshly" ancestry of Jesus in Lk 3:23-38
         a. A record of His ancestry from His mother's side
         b. Where He is shown to have descended from David through 
            Nathan, not Solomon
         -- A careful study of Lk 3 confirms this
      3. This helps to answer a puzzling dilemma found in the OT
         a. God promised that the Messiah would come from the loins of
         b. But a descendant through Solomon, Jeconiah (Mt 1:11), was
            so wicked that God promised none of his descendants would
            rule on the throne of David - Jer 22:24-30
         c. How then would God fulfill His promise to David?
            1) By a descendant from a son other than Solomon
            2) Which Jesus was, having descended in the flesh from
      4. So Jesus is both "legal" and "fleshly" heir to the throne of
         a. "Legal" heir by virtue of His adoption by Joseph, 
            descendant of Solomon
         b. "Fleshly" heir by virtue of His birth by Mary, descendant
            of Nathan
      1. They are unique, not only to be included in such a list, but
         in that:
         a. Three were tainted in regards to moral purity
            1) Tamar played a harlot
            2) Rahab was a harlot
            3) Bathsheba was an adulteress
         b. Ruth, though morally sweet and noble, mingled the royal
            blood line with Gentile blood!
      2. Why mention these four women?  Perhaps to suggest...
         a. The relation of Christ to the stained and sinful?
         b. Jesus would be a King to show mercy and pity to harlots,
            and open His kingdom to include Gentiles?
[Whether this was Matthew's intention here, he does illustrate later
that Christ extended mercy to the morally repugnant and would enlarge
His kingdom to include all nations.
Finally, let's consider...]
      1. He made promises...
         a. To Abraham
         b. To David
         c. Through Isaiah
         ...and the coming of Jesus, son of David, son of Abraham,
         fulfilled that promise!
      2. We can therefore have confidence that God will keep His word!
         a. E.g., the promise of His Son's final coming - cf. Ac 1:9
         b. There is no need to lose heart!
            1) The duration between this promise and its fulfillment
               has barely reached the time between the promise made to
               Abraham and its fulfillment!
            2) I.e., 2000 years passed, but God still kept His promise
               to Abraham
            3) Likewise He will keep His promise to us!
      1. Many godly fathers have had ungodly sons!
         a. Solomon had Rehoboam
         b. Hezekiah had Manasseh
         c. Josiah had Jeconiah
      2. As it has been said, "God has no grandchildren"
         a. Being a child of God does not insure that your children 
            will be God's children!
         b. As parents, let us...
            1) Be diligent to raise our children in the "nurture and 
               admonition of the Lord"
            2) Not lose heart when our children stray (even Manasseh
               eventually repented)
      1. Jesus humbled Himself when He came to this earth in the 
         likeness of men - cf. Ph 2:5-8
      2. He did this for our sakes!
         a. To taste death for everyone - He 2:9
         b. To help bring us to glory - He 2:10
         c. To deliver us from the fear and power of death - He 2:14-15
         d. To become our merciful and faithful High Priest - He 2:
1. All this and much more, Jesus did by becoming what the first 
   seventeen verses of Matthew's gospel proclaims:  "...the Son of 
   David, the Son of Abraham"
2. This genealogy of Jesus Christ...
   a. Establishes the right of Jesus to be the Messiah
   b. Reminds us of God's mercy
      1) In the lives of Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba
      2) In our own lives by fulfilling His promise to send Son to die
         for our sins
Have you received the mercy God offers through "Jesus Christ...the
Son of David, the Son of Abraham"?


Jesus And Immanuel (1:18-25)
1. In Mt 1:18-25, we have Matthew's account of the birth of Jesus...
   a. Matthew tells the story with a focus on Joseph
   b. Whereas Luke centers on Mary
2. Noble qualities of Joseph are certainly seen in this passage...
   a. His tender consideration for Mary
   b. His willingness to bear ridicule
   -- Little else is known of him, for it is his adopted son who is the
      primary interest in Matthew's gospel
3. The word "gospel" means "good news", and hints of just how good that
   news is occurs in this  passage...
   a. Especially when one contemplates the names by which the son of 
      Mary was to be called
   b. Such names as "Jesus" and "Immanuel"
4. In this lesson, we shall consider more closely these two names...
   a. One which describes His OFFICE (what was He to do?)
   b. One which describes His NATURE (who was He?)
[First we note that in his dream, the angel of the Lord tells Joseph
concerning the child to be born of Mary...]
      1. A very common Jewish name, often given in memory of Joshua 
         (the Hebrew form of the name, Jesus)
      2. It is interesting to compare these two figures of history
         a. Joshua led the nation of Israel into the promised land 
         b. Jesus leads the people of God into the Promised Land 
      1. Jesus (Joshua) means "God is Savior"
      2. The son of Mary was rightfully called that, because "He will
         save His people from their sins" - Mt 1:21
      3. This Jesus would do by saving them...
         a. From the GUILT of sin
            1) By offering His blood as the atonement for their sins 
               - cf. Ro 5:8-9a
            2) When one is washed by the blood of Jesus, He truly is
               their Savior
         b. From the POWER of sin
            1) By sending His sanctifying Spirit to help His people 
               break sin's dominion
            2) Paul writes of this in Ro 8:1-2,12-14
         c. From the CONSEQUENCE of sin
            1) I.e., the wrath of God to come
            2) Cf. Ro 5:9; 1 Th 1:9-10
         d. Ultimately, from the PRESENCE of sin
            1) I.e., when we depart to "be with the Lord"
            2) Cf. Re 7:13-17
      4. And so the name of JESUS should be...
         a. A very encouraging name to heavy-laden sinners
            1) Souls which desire salvation may draw near to the Father
               with confidence through Christ
            2) For it is His OFFICE (function, work) to show mercy 
               - Jn 3:17
         b. A very sweet and precious name to believers
            1) For He continues to intercede in our behalf, to save us
               from our sins
            2) Cf. He 4:14-16; 7:24-25
[As stated in a popular hymn, "There is a Name I love to hear..." and
that name is "Jesus"!  It may have been common in the days of Jesus,
but should be very special now to all who seek to be saved from their
As Matthew recounts what the angel told Mary, he adds that the birth of
Jesus also fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah in which it is said...]
      1. Isaiah's prophecy concerning this name is found in Isa 7:14
      2. In which a virgin would give birth to a child who would be 
         called "Immanuel"
      1. Immanuel literally means "God is with us" - cf. Mt 1:23
      2. This name describes the Messiah's NATURE; i.e., that He is
         a. Other passages expound upon this aspect of Christ's nature
            1) He is "Mighty God, Everlasting Father" - Isa 9:6
            2) He is "God", possessing the "glory of God"; the Great
               "I AM", who shared in the glory of the Father prior to
               His incarnation - cf. Jn 1:1-3,14; 8:56-59; 17:5 (cf.
               Isa 42:8)
            3) Declared to be "the Son of God with power" by virtue of
               His resurrection - Ro 1:3-4
            4) He was "equal with God" who willingly humbled Himself
               - cf. Ph 2:5-11
            5) In Him "dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily"
               - Co 2:9
         b. Human minds, finite and feeble, wrestle with this great
            mystery, but Jesus was "God manifested in the flesh"!
            - 1 Ti 3:16
1. Would you have a strong foundation for your faith and hope?
   a. Then keep in constant view your Savior's name "IMMANUEL" ("God
      with us")
   b. For having become flesh, God understands our human plight - cf.
      He 2:17-18
2. Would you have sweet comfort in suffering and trial?
   a. Then keep in constant view your Savior's name "JESUS" ("God is
   b. For in sending His Son to die, God has offered a propitiation for
      our sins - 1 Jn 4:9-10
Thus they called the Child, born of a virgin and raised by a carpenter.
By His resurrection from the dead, He proved true to His name.  Are you
willing to obey Jesus as the One who was "God with us", and through whom
"God is Savior"? - Mt 7:21-23; 28:19-20


--《Executable Outlines