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legal marriage of his mother, to him who was of that family; for after that contract of marriage, whatever tribe or family she was of before, she was legally accounted to be of that family into which, by her espousals she was engrafted. And of that family, and no other, was he to be reckoned, who was born of her after those espousals. Now, that the reckoning of families and relations among the Jews, by God's own appointment, did not always follow natural
generations, but sometimes legal institutions, is manifest by the law of a man dying without issue ; for when the next kinsman took the wife of the deceased, to raise up seed to him, he that was born of the woman, was, by law, not reckoned to be his son by whom he was begotten, but was to be the son, and so of the family of him that was deceased, to bear his name, and inherit his estate, Numb. xxxvi, 6. And this legal cognation, Luke seems to intimate, Luke i, 27, where he says, “that the mother of Jesus was espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the family of David;" there being no apparent reason to mention his family, but that the genealogy of his wife's son was to relate thereto. And if this was the law of genealogies, as it evidently was, Matthew, recording the genealogy of Joseph, to whom the blessed Virgin was espoused, doth properly record that of her son, according to the mind of Him who gave both law and promise; and upon this known rule of genealogies, and legal relations, may Matthew proceed in his recital of the pedigree of Joseph.
$6. Luke directly, and of set purpose, gives us the genealogy of the blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord; for the line of his progenitors, which he derives from Nathan, is not at all the same with that of Joseph from Solomon, insisted on by Matthew'.
It is true, there are a Zerubbabel and Salathiel in both genealogies, but this proves not both the lines to be the same; for the lines of Solomon and Nathan might by marriage meet in these persons, and so leave it indifferent, which line was followed up to David; and the lines of Joseph and Mary might be separated again in the posterity of Zerubbabel, Matthew following one of them, and Luke the other. This, I say, is possible, but the truth is (as is evident from the course of generations insisted on) that the Zerubbabel and Salathiel, mentioned in Matthew, were not the same persons with those of the same name in Luke, those being of the house of Solomon, these of the house of Nathan. So that from David it is not the line of Joseph, but of the blessed Virgin that is recited by Luke. And the words wherewith Luke prefaceth his genealogy, do no way impeach this assertion, (ws ενομιζελο υιος Ιοσηφ τε Ηλ.) “as was supposed the son of Joseph the son of Eli;" for whereas, these words (ws Evoji$€70) “as was supposed,” are usually read in a parenthesis, the parenthesis may better be extended thus; “being (as was supposed the son of Joseph) the son of “Heli.” Or Joseph may be said to be the son of Eli, because his daughter was espoused to him, otherwise the true natural father of Joseph was Jacob, as Matthew declares, Heli being the father of the blessed Virgin. So that both legally and naturally our Lord Jesus Christ was a descendant of the house of David, according to the promise. And as this was unquestionable among the Jews in the days of his conversation in the flesh; so the present Jews have nothing of moment to oppose to these unquestionable records. This is the first characteristical note given of the Messiah, whereby he might be known. And it is signally corroborated by the providence of God, in that all genealogies among the Jews are now so confounded; and have been so for so many generations, that it is utterly impossible any one should rise amongst them, and manifest himself to be of this or that particular family. The burning of their genealogies by Herod, the extirpation of the family of David by Vespasian, and their long dispersion, have put an utter end to all probability about the genealogies amongst them.
87. 2. Another characteristic note, pointing out the Messiah in prophecy, was the place where he should be born; which, added to the time and the family,
idently designed his person. This place of his nativity is foretold in Mich. v, 2; “And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, “is it (or, it is) little for thice to be amongst "the thousands of Judah; out of thee shall come forth "unto me, he that shall be a ruler in Israel, whose go“ings forth are from of old, from the days of eternity.” That of old this prophecy was understood by the church of the Jews, to denote the place of the Messiah's birth, we have an illustrious testimony in the records of the Christian church, Matt. ii, 5, 6. Upon the demand of Herod, where the Messiah should be born, the chief priests and scribes affirm, with one consent that he was to be born at Bethlehem, confirming their judgment by this place of the prophet. And afterwards, when they supposed that he had been born in Galilee, because he lived there, they made this an argument against him, because he was not born according to the scripture, in Bethlehem, the town where David was, John vii, 41, 42.*
*It is remarkable that the Chaldee paraphrase renders the words, “Out of thee shall come forth to me the ruler,” thus: « Out of thee shall come forth to me the Messiah, who shall shave the dominion," R. Solomon expounds the place thus: “Little to be in the thousands of Judah; that is, thou deservest to
When we consider the occasion of Joseph and Mary coming to Bethlehem, their being obliged to it by public authority; and when we consider that the decree for the enrolment was of great charge and trouble to the whole empire, and that no public use was ever made of that enrolment ; nor is it certain, that it was accomplished in many other parts of the empire; may we not reasonably infer, that the infinitely wise Governor of all the world puts this into the emperor's mind, and incites him thus to set mankind into a motion, that two persons of low condition might be brought out of Galilee into Bethlehem, that Jesus, according to this prophecy, might be born there? Had they gone of their own accord, it might have given advantage to the Jews, to say that the mother of Jesus went to Bethlehem only with a view to be delivered, that she might better report her son to be the Messiah. But by this admirable providence, all such objections are removed; their minds are determined by an authority not to be resisted; a journey they must make, at a time very unseasonable for the holy Virgin, being so near the time of her delivery, and be publicly enrolled of the family of David, upon the command of him who never knew ought of that business, and which none but himself could be instrumental to accomplish. Not long after this, that town of Bethlehem was utterly destroyed; nor hath it been for a thousand and six hundred years, either great or small, among the thousands of Judah.
$8. 3. The manner of the Messiah's birth, that he should be born of a Virgin, is a third characteristical note given of him. The first promise sufficiently in
"be so, because of the profanation of Ruth, the Moabitess, who “was in thee; out of thee shall come forth to me the Messiah, "the son of David." VOL. I.
timated that he was not to be brought into the world according to the ordinary course of mankind, but was to be (dianpilunws) in a distinguishing manner the seed of the woman, to the exclusion of man. To make this design yet the more evident, God gives it forth directly in a word of promise, Isa. vii, 10–16; "Moreover the “Lord spaketo Ahaz, saying, ask thee a sign of the Lord “thy God, ask it either in the depth, or in the height “above; but Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I “tempt the Lord. And he said, Hear ye now, O house “of David, is it a small thing for you to weary men, but "ye will weary my God also? Therefore, the Lord "himself will give you a sign: behold, a Virgin shall “conceive and bear a Son, and call his name Emanu“el; butter and honey shall he eat, that he "to refuse the evil and choose the good; for, before "the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose "the good, the land that thou abhorrest, shall be for“saken of both her kings.” This is the prophetic promise, the accomplishment whereof in our Lord Jesus we have recorded, Mat. i, 22, 23; “All this was “done, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by “the prophet: Behold, a Virgin shall be with child, “and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call his "name Immanuel." Now, this being a thing utterly above the course of nature, it is an infallible evidence, and demonstrative note of the true Messiah. He, and he alone, was to be born of a Virgin; and Jesus of Nazareth alone was actually so; therefore, Jesus alone is the, Messiah.
$9. The Jews being greatly pressed with this prophecy, and its accomplishment, try all means to escape, by breaking through one of them. And we might expect that they would principally attempt the story of the evangelist; but circumstances on that side be