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The Holy family

St. MATTHEW.

flee into Egypt

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A. N. 4001. the angel of the Lord appeareth to || and sent forth, and slew all the chil. A.M. 4001. B. C. 4.

B.C.4 An. Olymp. Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and dren that were in Bethlehem, and in An. Olymp. cxciv. i. -- take the young child and his mother, || all the coasts thereof, from two years CXCIV. 1.

e thou there until || old and under, according to the time which he I bring thee word : for Herod will seek the had diligently enquired of the wise men. young child to destroy him.

| 17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken | 14 When he arose, he took the young child by 6 Jeremy the prophet, saying, and his mother by night, and departed into 18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentaEgypt:

| tion, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel 15 And was there, until the death of Herod : weeping for her children, and would not be that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of comforted, because they are not. the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt 19 | But when Herod was dead, A.M.eir.4003.

B. C. cir. 2. have I called my son.

behold, an angel of the Lord appear. An. Olymp. 16

CXCIV. 3. Then Herod, when he saw that he was | eth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, . mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, 20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child

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an province | rodes, rer huys Cum audisset in alios, ee

în relate all the ordered wo years old, which we among those maloquan

while in Egypt

themselves ; and which were productions of their own coun- Prophets, Behold, my servant shall deal prudently : Isai. lii. 13. try. The gold was probably a very providential supply, as in the Hagiographia, The Lord said unto my lord : Psal. on it, it is likely, they subsisted while in Egypt.

cx. 1. All these passages, the Jews refer to the Messiah. See Verse 13. Flee into Egypt] Many Jews had settled in Schoetgen. Egypt, not only those who had fled thither in the time of | Verse 16. Slew all the children] This cruelty of Herod Jeremiah, see chap. xlviii. but many others who had settled seems alluded to in very decisive terms by Macrobius, who there also, on account of the temple which Onias IV. had built || flourished toward the conclusion of the fourth century. In at Heliopolis. Those who could speak the Greek tongue enjoyed his chapter De jocis Augusti in alios, et aliorum rursus in many advantages in that country : besides, they had the Greek | ipsum, he says, Cum audisset inter pueros, quos in Syria Heversion of the Septuagint, which had been translated nearly 300 | rodes, rer Judeorum, intra bimatum jussit interfici, filium quoyears before this time. Egypt was now a Roman province, Il que ejus occisum, ait, Melius est Herodis Porcum esse, quam and the rage of Herod could not pursue the holy family to Filium. “ When he heard that among those male infants this place. There is an apocryphal work in Arabic, called about two years old, which Herod, the king of the Jews, the Gospel of the infancy, which pretends to relate all the ordered to be slain in Syria, one of his sons was also muracts of Jesus and Mary while in Egypt. I have taken the dered, he said: “It is better to be Herod's hog than his pains to read this through, and have found it to be a piece | son." Saturn. lib. ii. c. 4. The point of this saying consists of gross superstition, having nothing to entitle it to a shadow in this, that Herod, professing Judaism, his religion forbad of credibility.

his killing swine, or having any thing to do with their flesh; Verse 15. Out of Egypt hade I called my son.) This is therefore, his hog would have been safe, where his son lost quoted from Hos. xi. 1. where the deliverance of Israel, and his life. that only, is referred to. But as that deliverance was extra- Verse 18. In Rama was there a voice heard] These words ordinary, it is very likely that it had passed into a proverb, quoted from Jer. xxxi. 15. were originally spoken concerning so that “Out of Egypt have I called my son,” might have the captivity of the ten tribes; but are here elegantly applied been used to express any signal deliverance. I confess, I can to the murder of the innocents at Bethlehem. As if he had see no other reference it can have to the case in hand, unless said, Bethlehem at this time resembled Rama; for a Rachel we suppose, which is possible, that God might have referred might be said to weep over her children, which were slaughto this future bringing up of his Son Jesus from Egypt, un- | tered, or gone into captivity ; so in Bethlehem, the mothers der the type of the past deliverance of Israel from the same lamented bitterly their children, because they were slain. land. Midrash Tehillin, on Psal. ii. 7. has these remarkable The word Igmros, lamentation, is omitted by the Codd. Vatic. words: I will publish a decree : this decree has been publish-|Cypr. one of Selden's MSS. the Syriac, Arabic, Persic, Athied in the Law, in the Prophets, and in the Hagiographia. In opic, all the Itala, (except that in the Cod. Bezæ) Vulgate, the Law, Israel is rny firstborn son : Exod. iv. 22. In the and Saron, several of the fathers, and above all Jeremiah,

Son." Se said: "It is Syria, one of the

to this pose, which ite it can havdeliverance.

They return

CHAP. II.

and settle at Nazareth. A.M.cir.4003. and his mother, and go into the land || rod, he was afraid to go thither : not- A.M.cir.4003. B. C. cir. 2.

B. C. cir. 2. An. Olymp. of Israel : for they are dead, which || withstanding, being warned of God An. Olymp. CXCIV. 2.

CXCIV. 3. * sought the young child's life. in a dream, he turned aside * into the 21 And he arose, and took the young child | parts of Galilee: and his mother, and came into the land of 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Israel.

Nazareth : that it might be fulfilled which 22 But when he heard that Archelaus did was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called reign in Judea, in the room of his father He-a Nazarene.

• Ch. 3. 13. Luke 2. 39.

o John 1. 15.

Judg. 13. 5. 1 Sam. 1. 11.

chap. xxxi. 15. from which it is quoted. Griesbach leaves || razor shall come upon his head; for the child shall be a nazait in the text with a note of doubtfulness.

|| XITE (7.13 nezir) unto God from the womb. The second pasVerse 20. They are dead] Both Herod and Antipater his | sage usually referred to, is Isai. xi. 1. There shall come forth son; though some think that the plural is here used for the a rod from the stem of Jesse, and a BRANCH (783 netser) shall singular, and that the death of Herod alone is here intended. I grow out of his roots. That this refers to Christ, there is no But as Herod's son Antipater was at this time heir apparent || doubt : Jeremiah, chap. xxiii. 5. is supposed to speak in the to the throne, and he had cleared his way to it by procuring same language I will raise unto David a righteous BRANCH : the death of both his elder brothers; he is probably alluded but here, the word is nos tsemach, not 783 netser ; and it is to here, as doubtless he entered into his father's designs. the 'same in the parallel place, Zech. ij. 8. vi. 12, therefore, They are dead-Antipater was put to death by his father's these two prophets cannot be referred to : but the passages command, five days before this execrable tyrant went to his in Judges and Isniah, may have been in the eye of the Evanown place. See Josephus, Antiq. xvi. 11. xvii. 9.

gelist, as well as the whole institution relative to the Nazarite Verse 22. When he heard that Archelaus did reign] Herod (noj nezir) delivered at large, Num. vi. where see the notes. having put Antipater his eldest son to death, altered his will, || As the Nazarite was the most pure and perfect institution unand thus disposed of his dominions : he gave the tetrarchy | der the law : it is possible, that God intended to point out of Galilee and Petrea to his son Antipas: the tetrarchy of by it, not only the perfection of our Lord, but also the Gaulonitis, Trachonitis, Batanea, and Paneadis, to his son l purity of his followers. And it is likely, that before St. Philip: and left the kingdom of Judea to his eldest remain- Matthew wrote this gospel, those afterwards called Christing ron, Archelaus. This son partook of the cruel and ians, bore the appellation of Nazarites, or Nazoreuns, for so blood-thirsty disposition of his father : at one of the pass the Greek word, Na wpacios, should be written. Leaving the overs, he caused three thousand of the people to be put to spiritual reference out of the question, the Nazarene, or Nadeath in the temple and city. For his tyranny and cruelty, sorean here, may mean simply an inhabitant or person of Augustus deprived him of the government, and banished Nasareth ; as Galilean does a person or inhabitant of Galilee. him. His character considered, Joseph, with great pro The Evangelist evidently designed to state, that neither the priety, forbore to settle under his jurisdiction.

sojourning at Nazareth, nor our Lord being called a NazaHe turned aside into the parts of Galilee] Here Antipas go-|| rene, were fortuitous events, but were wisely determined verned, who is allowed to have been of a comparatively mild and provided for in the providence of God; and therefore disposition: and being intent on building two cities, Julias | foretold by inspired men, or fore-represented by significant and Tiberias, he endeavoured by a mild carriage and pro- || institutions. mises of considerable immunities, to entice people from But how shall we account for the manner in which St. other provinces to come and settle in them. He was besides, Matthew and others apply this, and various other circumin a state of enmity with his brother Archelaus : this was a stances, to the fulfilment of ancient traditions? This quesmost favourable circumstance to the holy family ; and tion has greatly agitated divines and critics for more than a though God did not permit them to go to any of the new century. Surenhusius, Hebrew professor at Amsterdam, and cities, yet they dwelt in peace, safety, and comfort at Na- | editor of a very splendid and tuseful edition of the Mishna, zareth.

in six vol. fol. published an express treatise on this subject, Verse 23. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the in 1713, full of deep research and sound criticism. He reprophets] It is difficult to ascertain by what prophets this marks great difference in the mode of quoting, used in the was spoken. The margin usually refers to Judg. xiii. 5. Sacred Writings: as, It hath been said-it is written--that it where the angel, foretelling the birth of Samson, says, No might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets--the Scrip

ve his jurire) Here atirely milias foretoltios

Reflections on

St. MATTHEW.

the Birth-place of our Lord.

ture says-see what is said--the Scripture foresecing-he saith-- || and it will be useful to the Reader, to keep them constantly is it not written ?-the saying that is written, &c. &c. With || in view. "I may add here, that the writers of the New great pains and industry, he has collected ten rules out of || Testament seem often to differ from those of the Old, bethe Talmud, and the Rabbins, to explain and justify all the cause they appear uniformly to quote from some copy of quotations made from the Old Testament in the New. I the Septuagint versions and most of their quotations agree

Rule Í. Reading the words, not according to the regular verbally, and often even literally, with one or other of the vowel points, but to others substituted for them. He thinks copies of that version, which subsist to the present day. Want this is done by Peter, Acts iii. 22, 23. by Stephen, Acts vii. of attention to the difference of copies in the Septuagint 42, &c. and by Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 54. 2 Cor. viii. 15.

version, has led some divines and critics into strange and Rule II. Changing the letters, as done by St. Paul, Rom. || even ridiculous mistakes, as they have taken that for THE ix. 33 1 Cor. ix. 9, &c. Heb. viii. 9, &c. Heb. x. 5.

SEPTUAGINT which existed in the printed copy before then; Rule III. Changing both letters and vowel points, as he || which sometimes happened not to be the most correct. supposes is done by St. Paul, Acts xiii. 40, 41. 2 Cor. viii. 15.

On the birth-place of our Lord, a pious and sensible man Rule IV. Adding some letters, and retrenching others. has made the following observations: RULE V. Transposing words and letters. :

“ At first sight, it seems of little consequence to know Rule VI. Dividing one word into two.

the place of Christ's nativity; for we should consider him as RULE VII. Adding other words to make the sense inore our Redeemer, whatever the circumstances might be which clear. .

attended his mortal life. But, seeing it has pleased God to RULE VIII. Changing the original order of the words... announce, beforehand, the place where the Saviour of the

Rule IX. Changing the original order, and adding other world should be born, it became necessary that it should words.

happen precisely in that place; and that this should be one Rule X. Changing the original order, and adding and re-of the characteristics whereby Jesus Christ should be known trenching words, which he maintains is a method often used to be the true Messiah. by St. Paul.

“ It is also a matter of small importance to us, where we Let it be observed, that although all these rules are used | may live, provided we find genuine happiness. There is no by the Rabbins, yet, as far as they are employed by the place on earth, however poor and despicable, but may have sacred writers of the New Testament, they never, in any || better and more happy inhabitants than many of those are, case, contradict what they quote from the Old, which can who dwell in the largest and most celebrated cities. Do we not be said of the Rabbins: they only explain what they | know a single place on the whole globe where the works quote, or accommodate the passage to the facts then in ques- of God do not appear under a thousand different forms, and tion. And who will venture to say, that the Holy Spirit where a person may not feel that blessed satisfaction which has not a right, in any subsequent period, to explain and arises from a holy and christian life? For an individual, that illustrate his own meaning, by shewing that it had a greater place is preferable to all others, where he can get and do extension in the divine mind, than could have been then most good. For a number of people, that place is best perceived by men? And has He not a right to add to what | where they can find the greatest number of wise and pious' he has formerly said, if it seem right in his own sight? Is men. Every nation declines, in- proportion as virtue and not the whole of the New Testament an addition to the Old, religion lose their influence on the minds of the inhabitants. as the Apostolic Epistles are to the Narrative of our Lord's The place where a young man first beheld the dawn, and Life and Acts, as given by the Evangelists? .. . the beauty of renewed nature, and with most lively sensa

Gusset, Wolf, Rosenmuller, and others, give four rules; tions of joy and gratitude adored his God with all the according to which, the phrase, that it might be fulfilled, veneration and love his heart was capable of; the place may be applied in the New Testament.

where a virtuous couple first met, and got acquainted; or Rule 1. When the thing predicted, is literally accom where two friends gave each other the noblest proofs of their plished.

most tender affection; the village where one may have given; Rule H. When that is done, of which the Scripture has or seen, the most remarkable example of goodness, upspoken, not in a literal sense, but in a spiritual sense.

rightness, and patience; such places, I say, must be dear Rule III. When a thing is done neither in a literal nor || to their hearts. spiritual sense, according to the fact referred to in the Scrip- " Bethlehem was, according to this rule, notwithstanding ture; but is similar to that fact.

its smallness, a most venerable place; seeing, that there, so Rule IV. When that which has been mentioned in the many pious people had their abode; and that acts of peculiar Old Testament as formerly done, is accomplished in a larger piety had often been performed in it. First, the patriarch and more extensive sense in the New Testament.

Jacob stopped some time in it, to erect a monument to his St. Matthew seenis lo quole according to all these rules; || well-beloved Rachel. It was at Bethlehem that honest Naomi,

John the Baptist

CHAP. III.

begins to preach and baptize.

and her modest daughter-in-law Ruth, gave such proofs of was the type of that Ruler and Shepherd, under whose entheir faith and holiness; and in it Bouz, the generous bene- | pire Israel is one day to assemble, in order to enjoy uninfactor, had his abode and his possessions. At Bethlehem the terrupted happiness. Lastly, in this city the Son of God humble Jesse sojourned, the happy father of so many sons; || appeared; who, by his birth. laid the foundati the youngest of whom rose from the pastoral life to the || salvation, which, as Redeemer, he was to purchase by his throne of Israel. It was in this country that David formed death for the whole world. Thus in places, which from the resolution of building a house for the Lord, and in which their smallness are entitled to little notice, men sometimes he shewed himself the true shepherd and father of his sub spring, who become the benefactors of the human race. jects, when, at the sight of the destroying angel, whose | Often, an inconsiderable village has given birth to a man, sword spread consternation and death on all hands, he made who, by his wisdom, uprightness, and heroism, has been a intercession for his people. It was in Bethlehem that .Ze blessing to whole kingdoms.” rubbabel the prince was born, this descendant of David, who Sturm's Reflections translated by A. C. vol, iv.

CHAPTER III.

John the Baptist begins to preach, 1. The subject of his preaching, 2, 3. Description of his clothing and food, 4.

The success of his ministry, 5, 6. His exhortation to the Pharisees, 79. Ile denounces the judgments of God against the impenitent, 10. The design of his baptism, and that of Christ, 11, 12. He baptizes Christ in Jordan, 13–15; who is attested to be the Messiah by the Holy Spirit, and a voice from heaven, 16, 17.

A. M. 4030. TN those days came a John the Bap- || 2 And saying, Repent ye : for “the A.M. 4030.

A. D. 26. A. D. 26. An. Olymp. I tist, preaching in the wilderness kingdom of heaven is at hand.

An Olymp. CCI. 2. of Judea,

3 For this is he that was spoken, of

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* Mark 1. 4, 15. Luke 3. 2, 3. John 1. 28.

Josh. 14. 10.

© Dan. 2. 41. ch. 4. 17. & 10.7.

NOTES ON CHAP. III.

nature and importance of the herald's office, at the end of Verse 1. John the Baptist] John, surnamed The Baptist, this chapter. Knguosiy, says Rosenmuller, de iis dicitur, qui because he required those to be baptized, who professed to in PLATEIS, in Campis, in AERE aperto, ut a multis audiantur, be contrite because of their sins, was the son of a priest vocem tollunt, &c. “ The verb xneucony is applied to those. named Zacharias, and his wife Elisabeth, and was born who, in the streets, fields, and open air, lift up their voice, about A. M. 3999, and about six months before our blessed that they may be heard by many, and proclaim what has Lord. Of his almost miraculous conception and birth, we been committed to them by regal or public authority; as tire have a circumstantial account in the Gospel of Luke, chap. i. KERUKES among the Greeks, and the PRECONES among the to which, and the notes there, the Reader is requested to re- || Romans.fer. For his fidelity in reproving Herod for his incest with . The wilderness of Judea] That is, the country parts, as dishis brother Philip's wife, he was cast into prison, no doubt tinguished from the city; for in this sense the word wilderat the suggestion of Herodias, the profligate woman in ques- ||ness, 7272 midbar or nimata midbarioth, is used among the tion. He was at last beheaded at her instigation, and his head Rabbins. John's manner of life gives no countenance to the given as a present to Salome, her daughter, who, by her ele- Eremite or Hermit's life, so strongly recommended and apgant dancing, had highly gratified Herod, the paramour of her || plauded by the Roman church. incestuous mother. His ministry was short; for he appears. Verse 2. Repent] METOLYOSITE. This was the matter of the to have been put to death in the 27th or 28th year of the preaching. The verb PETOLYOEW, is either compounded of usta, Christian æra.

after, and yoEly, to understand, which signifies, that after hearCame---preaching] Knguoowy, proclaiming as a herald, a ing such preaching, the sinner is led to understand, that the matter of great and solemn importance to men: the sub- i way he has walked in was the way of misery, death, and ject not his own, nor of himself: but from that God from hell. Or the word may be derived from Meta, after. and whom alone he had received his commission, See on the avora, madness, which intimates, that the whole life of a sin

The Prophecy concerning

St. MATTHEW.

John the Baptist-his manner of life.

A. M. 4030. by the prophet Esaias, saying, . The ll 4 And the same John + had his rai. A.M. 4050. A. D. 26.

A. D. %6. An. Olymp. voice of one crying in the wilder- | ment of camel's hair, and a leathern An. Olym CCI.2.

i CCI. 2. ness, Prepare ye the way of the girdle about his loins; and his meat Lord, make his paths straight.

was · locusts and wild honey.

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ner is no other than a contimued course of madness and folly :|| Holy Ghost, spiritual joy, without mixture of misery! And and if to live in a constant opposition to all the dictates of all this, it is possible, by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, true wisdom ; to wage war with his own best interests in time to enjoy here below. How then does heaven itself differ from and eternity; to provoke and insult the Living God; and, by this state? Answer. It makes the righteousness eternal, the habitual sin, to prepare bimself only for a state of misery, ll peace eternal, and the joy eternal. This is the heaven of be evidences of insanity, every sinner exhibits them plenti-heavens! The phrase, kingdom of heaven, Sibu niabo malfully. It was from this notion of the word, that the Latins cuth shamayim, is frequently used by the Rabbinical writers, termed repentance resipiscentia, a growing wise again, from and always means, the purity of the Divine worship, and re and sapere ; or, according to Tertullian, Resipiscentia, the blessedness which a righteous man feels when employed quasi receptio mentis ad se, restoring the mind to itself : Con- || in it. tra Marcion, lib. ii. Repentance then implies, that a mea- It is farther added, This kingdom is at hand. The sure of divine wisdom is communicated to the sinner, and dispensation of the glorious gospel was now about to be that he thereby becomes wise to salvation. That his mind, fully opened, and the Jews were to have the first offers of salpurposes, opinions, and inclinations, are changed ; and that, vation. This kingdom is also at hand to us, and wherever in consequence, there is a total change in his conduct. It Christ crucified is preached, there is salvation to be found. need scarcely be remarked, that, in this state, a man feels | JESUS is proclaimed to thee, O Man !'as infinitely able and deep anguish of soul, because he has sinned against God, willing to save. Believe in his name-cast thy soul upon his unfitted himself for heaven, and exposed his soul to hell. || atonement, and enter into rest! Hence, a true penitent has that sorrow, whereby he forsakes | Verse 3. The voice of one crying in the wilderness] Or, A sin, not only because it has been ruinous to his own soul, || voice of a cryer in the wilderness. This is quoted from Isai. but because it has been offensive to God.

xl. 3. which clearly proves, that John the Baptist was the The kingdom of heaven is at hand.] Referring to the pro- || person of whom the Prophet spoke. phecy of Daniel, chap. vii. 13, 14. where the reign of Christ | The idea is taken from the practice of eastern monarchs, among men is expressly foretold. This phrase, and the king who, whenever they entered upon an expedition, or took a dom of God, mean the same thing, viz. the dispensation of journey through a desert country, sent harbingers before them, infinite mercy, and manifestation of eternal truth, by Christ to prepare all things for their passage; and pioneers to open Jesus; producing the true knowledge of God, accompanied the passes, to level the ways, and to remove all impediments. with that worship which is pure and holy, worthy of that | The officers appointed to superintend such preparations, were God who is its institutor and its object. But why is this called by the Latins, Strátores. called a kingdom ? Because it has its laws, all the moral Diodorus's account of the march of Semiramis into Media precepts of the Gospel : its subjects, all who believe in Christ and Persia, will give us a clear notion of the preparation of Jesus : and its king, the Sovereign of heaven and earth. || the way for a royal expedition. “In her march to Ecbatane, N. B. Jesus Christ never saved a soul which he did not go- || she came to the Zarccan mountain, which extending many wern; nor is this Christ precious or estimable to any man || furlongs, and being full of craggy precipices and deep hollows, who does not feel a spirit of subjection to the Divine will. could not be passed without making a great compass about.

But why is it called the kingdom of Heaven? Because Being therefore desirous of leaving an everlasting memorial of God designed that his kingdom of grace here, should re-herself, as well as shortening the way, she ordered the precisemble the kingdom of glory above. And hence our Lord | pices to be digged down, and the hollows to be filled up; and, teaches us to pray, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in at a great expense, she made a shorter and more expeditious heaven. The kingdom of heaven is not meat and drink, says road, which, to this day, is called from her, The Road of Se. St. Paul, Rom. xiv. 17. does not consist in the gratification | miramis. Afterwards she went into Persia, and all the other of sensual passions, or worldly ambition : but is righteousness, countries of Asia, subject to her dominion; and wherever she peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghost. Now what can there went, she ordered the mountains and precipices to be levelled, be more than this in glory? Righteousness, without mix- | raised causeways in the plain country, and, at a great expense, fure of sin ; peace, without strife or contention ; joy in the made the ways passable.” Diod. Sic. lib. ii. and Bp. Lowth.

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