Meditations on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, Chapter 1

Adapted from manuscript notes written from 2003 to 2010

By

Michael Fernandez

Posted Sunday, March 9, 2014

A detailed commentary on Matthew’s Gospel written for the modern audience.  It contains material of historical, theological, and social/scientific nature reflecting the current state of theological and historical research by men and women much wiser than the author.  It also contains commentary on present day trends such as the psychologization of the Church and postmodernism, among other things, and how they relate to Scripture. Adapted from manuscript notes originally written between 2003-2010 and updated with newer information and improved references as the transcription process continues.  All Scriptures cited are from the New King James Version (NKJV/NKJ) unless otherwise noted.

Matthew Chapter 1

1:1 PURPOSE

● Matthew’s apparent purpose in writing his gospel appears to be to reach the Jews. To show them Jesus as the prophesied Messiah, King of Scripture. This would account for his emphasis, from the start, on Jesus’ descent from the Patriarch Abraham and King David. There is also, his heavy emphasis on fulfilled prophecies. Matthew refers to and cites more Old Testament Scriptures than any of the other Gospel writers.

● Author Tom Schaff believes that the generally accepted view (above) is in error. He suggests the following alternative:

○ Matthew’s early reference to Jesus as being the Son of David and the son of Abraham are simply to establish His bona fides as the legitimate heir to the throne of God’s people and the one through whom the blessing promised to all the world through Abraham’s seed came.

○ Matthew’s heavy use of O.T. Scripture may have merely been an attempt to educate Gentile readers to the fact that this same Jesus is the One of whom the Scriptures spoke. As Schaff points out, Paul’s epistle to the Romans is full of O.T. Scripture quotations and references yet it was not addressed to Jewish believers but Gentile. All the Gospels record Jesus going almost exclusively to the Jews and only on a few occasions being involved with Gentiles. Additionally, the entire Gospel, as contained in both the Old and New Testament Scriptures, is for all people.

○ Matthew’s (need for) explaining the meaning of Hebrew words argues against a primary emphasis on the Jews (cf. Matthew 1:23; Matthew 27:33, 46).

○ The Bible itself says no such thing as that the Gospel of Matthew is or was intended primarily for Jewish readers. Therefore, as Schaff points out, any such conclusion is “a pointless exercise in conjecture.” Further, he writes, and I must agree, “we cannot say as fact things upon which the Bible is silent.”

1:1-16 JESUS’ GENEALOGY

● The Matthean genealogy is a stylized one, set in groups of 14 (as a mnemonic aid?) and shows Jesus as the Son of David and of the Patriarch Abraham; two important Messianic titles.

● The Matthean genealogy, while primarily focused on showing Jesus’ descent from the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and His descent from King David and so establishing His claim as the Messiah/King of prophecy, also differs from most biblical and Jewish genealogies in that it:

1. Included women, and not just any women, but women who were known sinners.

2. Included Gentiles.

● The Matthean genealogy is more than just a list of names establishing Jesus’ claim to the throne of Israel. It is a lesson on the grace and mercy of God, as an examination of its unusual inclusions will show. Some of the more exceptional inclusions in this genealogy are:

○ v. 2 – Jacob. A real scoundrel at first; he was a man who conned his brother out of both his birthright and his blessing (the special blessing due to the firstborn child). See his story in Genesis 25:29-34; Genesis 27:1-46.

○ v. 3 – Tamar and Judah. Israel’s first born son begot Perez by way of Tamar, his own daughter-in-law, who herself had “played the harlot,” with him in order to get sons as was her due because Judah had failed to keep his promise to give her his youngest son as husband, following the deaths of two other sons who had been married to her. See story in Genesis 38.

○ v. 5 – Rahab. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab who was a harlot, who sheltered the two Hebrew spies sent by Joshua to the city of Jericho. She, though a prostitute (and thus a gross sinner) and a Gentile (which in the eyes of the Jews of Jesus’ day, may have been viewed as being just as bad, if not worse), recognized that the hand of God was upon the Israelites and cast her life and that of her family upon the mercy of God. See story in Joshua 2:1-21; Joshua 6:17.

○ v. 5 – Ruth. Boaz begot Obed by Ruth (a Moabitess). Here is another Gentile woman in Jesus’ lineage. This shows that Jesus came to save not just the Jews, but ANYONE who would turn to God in faith. See story in Ruth.

○ v. 6 – David and Bathsheba. David begot Solomon by the widow of Uriah whom he (David) had killed in an attempt to cover up his (David’s) adultery with his (Uriah’s) wife. So here are both a murderer and adulterer, and an adulteress who are included in the lineage of our Lord. See story in 2 Samuel 11, 12.

● So, here were not just men of honor (thought there were some) but men and women, Jew and Gentile, honorable and dishonorable. The thread that ties them all together – Faith in God! “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8).

● The genealogy of Christ, as presented here is also a picture of the Church, made up of all kinds of different people, all connected by their God given faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

• Beginning at Matthew v6 and Luke v31 the genealogies split. In both cases, Jesus is shown as being descended from King David but through different sons. Some scholars say the genealogies trace the lines of Joseph, as Jesus’ (earthly) father, in Matthew and Mary, Jesus’ mother, in Luke. Matthew, tracing the line through the normally followed kingly line of descent through Jeconiah (reigned in Judah for 3 months in 597 B.C., cf. 2 Kings 24:8; a.k.a., Jehoiachin, Coniah), contrasted with Luke, tracing Mary’s line of descent through David’s son Nathan (cf. Luke 3:31) and not through Jeconiah, upon whom was the curse of God that none of his descendants would sit on the throne of David, and thus avoiding that prophetic snare. The Lucan genealogy also differs in that it seems to emphasize Jesus’ humanity as a descendant of Adam.

Verse #(s):Matthew Ancestor(s) Verse #(s):Luke Ancestor(s)
2 Abraham 38 – 34 Adam to Abraham
  Isaac 34 Isaac
  Jacob   Jacob
  Judah 33 Judah
3 Pere & Sarah by Tamar   Perez
  Hezron   Hezron
  Ram   Ram
4 Amminadab   Amminadab
  Nashon 32 Nashon
  Salmon   Salmon
  Boaz by Rahab   Boaz
  Obed by Ruth   Obed
  Jesse   Jesse
6 David 31 David

1:11 CURSED

● See Jeremiah 22:24-30[i], regarding the prophetic curse upon Jeconiah (Coniah) and his descendants.

● As Jesus was not physically descended from Jeconiah; He avoids this curse.

1:20 WHO IS HOLY?

Adapted from note: “Who is Holy?” in Notes – Difficult Passages (pp. 16-17, MS.) written originally on 2-9-2008.

While translated, “by the Holy Spirit” or “Holy Ghost” in the KJV, NKJV, AB, Rheims, NRSB, NAB, NIV, NASB (English) and the NVI, Reina-Valera and LBLA, reading “del Espiritu Santo” or equivalent; I do not understand how that is so.

The T.R. And UBS 4 Greek manuscripts both read the same (with the exception that the T.R. capitalizes the words for “spirit” and “holy.” The Greek reads as follows:

“ (that) το G3588 T-NSN (for) γαρ G1063 CONJ (in) εν G1722 PREP (her) αυτη G846 P-DSF (begotten or generated) γεννηθεν G1080 V-APP-NSN (from) εκ G1537 PREP ([the] Spirit/spirit) πνευματος G4151 N-GSN (is) εστιν G1510 V-PAI-3S (Holy/holy) αγιου G40 A-GSN” (GNT-TR with Strong’s, grammar, and author’s English equivalents (in parenthesis)) .

In both the TR and UBS 4, the Greek is anarthrous (without the definite article) yet, all the English translations and Spanish translations referred to above supply the definite article “the” (“el”) for “spirit”.

My question is; why is this translated “by the Holy Spirit”, instead of “by spirit is holy”? That is, why is this not translated as “that which is conceived in her by spirit is holy”?

Granted, elsewhere we are told that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would conceive a son (cf. Luke 1:35, cf. Luke 1:31[ii]), but that does not seem to be what it says here.

Elsewhere, Christ is referred to as “the Holy One of God” (σε τις ει ο αγιος του θεου; cf. Mark 1:24); “that holy thing [one] to be born of you” (cf. Luke 1:35 note 2 below); “the Holy One of God” (see above, cf. Luke 4:34[iii]); etc. These sayings are consistent with a rendering of this verse as I have indicated above. Why then, is it not translated thus? What rule(s) of Greek Grammar allow, or require it to be translated as it was?

PRESERVED

Regardless of the textual and translation variants, one thing is certain, each reflect a truth of Christ as clearly expressed in other passages (see above). This then is evidence of God’s preservation of His Word in that any “truth” that He would have us to know, any “revelation” has been and will be preserved.

1:21 THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES

● Jesus; Ἰησοῦς, Jesús, Jesu; all are forms of the Hebrew Yeshua meaning literally, “The Lord Saves.”

HIS PURPOSE

● Here, in the first chapter of Matthew, we have the first of many direct statements as to Christ’s purpose or mission on earth, “He will save His people from their sins” (HCSB).

● He will save – speaks of the certainty of His accomplishing that salvation He came to give. See “Security of the Believer,” below.

● His people – speaks of His coming for a particular people. This compared with Revelation 5:9-10 and Matthew 28:19-20[iv] (the Great Commission) among other passages, shows that this does not refer to the Jews only (who are His people in the flesh, i.e., biologically related), but to all those whom God has chosen from before the foundation of the world to be His, cf. Ephesians 1:4[v]

SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER

● That “He will save” is a solid, direct statement of what Christ came to and will do, without fail. “He will save His people from their sins.” His people will be, not “might be,” not “be given an opportunity to be,” but “will be saved!”

● See also: Joshua 7:11-13 and note 2 “Security of the Believer[vi];” Matthew 10:22 and note “Enduring to the End[vii];” 24:13 and note “Perseverance” [v]; John 6:39-40 and note “Security of the Believer;” 13:1 and note “Security of the Believer [vi];” 2nd Corinthians 5:5 and note “Security of the Believer [vii];” Galatians 3:13 and note “Redeemed = Security [viii];” Hebrews 3:6 and note “Endurance;” and 6:11-12 [Future]and note “Perseverance, Exhortations to.”[Future]

1:22-23 GOD WITH US
● “Immanuel,” lit. “God with us.” One of many direct biblical statements declaring that Christ was/is God.
● A fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah that a virgin would bear a son and call him “Immanuel,” cf. Isaiah 7:14[viii].

1:25 JESUS’ BIRTH – TIMING OF
● See also, Luke 2:1-2; 2:8 and related notes[ix], for a more detailed discussion of the “when” of Christ’s birth.
● Compare also, John 18:31-32 and note, “Prophecy Fulfilled[x],” regarding the timing of His advent.
● See also, note “Timeline” at Matthew 2:1-6[xi].

TILL
● Joseph “did not know [have sexual relations with] her till she brought forth her firstborn Son.”
Joseph and Mary did have relations after Jesus’ birth. True, the Scriptures do not say so in so many words, but it is there for those who look. Compare Matthew 27:55-56 and note that the James listed there is the same “James the Lord’s brother: of Galatians 1:19[xii].
● Had Mary remained a virgin her entire life, as is taught by the Roman Catholic church, the above statement would have been either incorrect, at the worst or, misleading, at the best.
○ The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Joseph was an older man who brought his own children into his marriage with Mary, making James and the others “stepbrothers,” not “half-brothers” of Jesus. They deny that he and Mary ever had sexual relations. Though that does seem, on the surface, to be a reasonable interpretation of what happened; it is incorrect nonetheless.
○ This is seen in the choice of the words, “till” and “firstborn” in relation to Joseph and Mary’s sexual relationship. Till, implies that there were relations later. Firstborn indicates-
a) That there were other children born to Mary, as if she had no others, “only” would have been a better, clearer term. And,
b) “Firstborn” is the limiting term defining the “when” to which the “till” refers.
● Where the Bible is silent, we had best, if not be silent, then, not be dogmatic. The Bible does not directly say that Joseph and Mary had relations, nor does it directly state that she remained a virgin her entire life. Both conclusions are based on how one interprets the Scripture passages relating to them. While I believe that the Reformed churches (Protestant) have the correct understanding, this is not an area in which brethren should divide. One is not saved or lost based on whether Mary did or did not have sexual relations with her husband after the birth of Jesus. Both Protestant and Catholic agree that she was a virgin when Jesus was conceived in her by the Holy Spirit as is expressly stated in Scripture.

(21) And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (22) So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: (23) “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which is translated, “God with us.” (24) Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, (25) and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.


ENDNOTES:

[i] Jer 22:24-30 “As I live,” says the LORD, “though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off; (25) and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear–the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of the Chaldeans. (26) So I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country where you were not born; and there you shall die. (27) But to the land to which they desire to return, there they shall not return. (28) “Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol– A vessel in which is no pleasure? Why are they cast out, he and his descendants, And cast into a land which they do not know? (29) O earth, earth, earth, Hear the word of the LORD! (30) Thus says the LORD: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.’ ”

[ii] Luke 1:35, cf. Luke 1:31

Luke 1:35

(35)  And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:31

(31)  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.

[iii] Luke 4:34

(34)  saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!”

[iv] Revelation 5:9-10 and Matthew 28:19-20

Revelation 5:9-10

(9)  And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

(10)  And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

Matthew 28:19-20

(19)  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

(20)  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

[v] Ephesians 1:4

(4)  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

[vi] Joshua 7:11-13

Jos 7:11-13 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. (12) Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. (13) Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the LORD God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.”

SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER

• Curiously enough, in spite of Aachan’s death for his sinful act, this event in its entirety is a good argument for the doctrine of The Security of the Believer. How so? As follows:

Israel as a whole was God’s chosen people cf. Romans 9 and while, in Aachan, Israel sinned and suffered the loss of God’s blessings of success, power of her enemies; at the same time, Israel remained God’s chosen people. Moreover, when Israel cleansed herself of her sin, her communion with God and His power in her corporate life was restored.

• This example is but one of many to come of Israel’s almost continual cycle of sin, repentance, restoration, fall back into sin, repentance…., etc., etc., etc., until God’s purpose for her was fulfilled: the coming of Christ, of Him who will save His people from their sins.

[vii] Matthew 10:22

(22)  And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

10:22     Enduring to the End

●             “[H]e who endures to the end will be saved.”

             Originally written in January 2004.

●             I recently heard a preacher teach that this verse does not apply to Christians and the Church, but rather, to Jewish converts in the [Great] Tribulation.  While I respect this brother and have learned much from him in the past, and no doubt will learn more in the future, I do not agree with his interpretation of this verse.

●             The theme of “endurance to the end” is a basic theme throughout Scripture, and especially so in the New Testament.  Compare, Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13; 2 Timothy 2:12; Hebrews 6:15; Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, and 21.  These are but a few of the more obvious passages.  There are many others which speak of enduring, continuing in, persevering in, etc.

●             While this verse may have an application to Jewish converts in the end times, the “Tribulation,” they do apply to us today.

[viii] Isa 7:14 NKJV

(14) Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

[ix] Luk 2:1-2 NKJV

(1) And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. (2) This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.

2:1-2 WHAT YEAR?

● Christ’s birth is connected to the year of an Empire wide census. We cannot fix the exact timing of this census at this late date due to the loss of necessary records from that period.

● What is known from the extant historical records is that one Publius Sulpicius Quirinius did rule twice over Syria, which included Judea, the first time possibly from 6-4BC and the second between 6-9AD. History also bears record that a census of the whole world [read: Roman Empire] was ordered in 8BC but due to circumstances no longer known, was not carried out in the region of Syria/Judea until the time of Quirinius. Note: Some sources put Qurinius’s firs governorship between 11-9BC and the original order by Augustus for the census around 12BC. In any event, it is currently impossible to determine the exact time of the census (at least as it was conducted in Judea, nor as a result, the exact year of Christ’s birth.

● The general consensus is that Joseph and Mary, as a result of the census taking place in Judea, travelled to Bethlehem sometime before 4BC, the year of Herod the Great’s death) and probably not before 9-6BC.

● As John MacArthur points out in his study Bible notes, at the time of the writing of Luke, the reader [Theophilus] was most likely familiar enough with the events in question that more information was not needed.

Luk 2:8 NKJV

(8) Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.

2:8 What Month?

● Contrary to long held custom, Jesus’ birth most certainly was not on December 25th of any year. December 25th was the date selected by some well meaning (?) church leaders to take over, as it were, the pagan celebration of Dies Solis Invictus or the Day of the Invincible Sun. That Jesus could not have been born in December is indicated from the fact that the Scripture records that the shepherds were “living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night” v.8. In the hill country around Jerusalem, the nights in winter are cold and most shepherds take their sheep in at night.

● So when was He born? On this side of eternity, we will probably never know. We know that Mary became pregnant “in the sixth month” cf. 1:26. But the sixth month from when? From the beginning of Elizabeth’s pregnancy? Or perhaps the sixth month of the year, and if that, by which calendar, civil or religious? That gives us at least 3 different potential months for Jesus’ conception/birth.

1. If Jesus was conceived 6 months after John the Baptist was conceived, assuming his conception took place within one month of his father’s service in the Temple (8th month of the religious calendar), that would place John’s conception during the 9th month of the religious calendar (Nov/Dec) – From the Exodus onward, the Jews employed two calendars. The original/civil calendar began the New Year in the Mid-September where with the institution of Passover and the new beginning for the Hebrews, the new calendar began with that event, making the new year’s beginning in the spring – and Jesus’ conception following six months later or Jun/Jul and with John’s birth being around Sept/Oct and Jesus’ birth sometime around the Passover Mar/Apr.

2. If Jesus’ was conceived in the sixth month of the year, then depending on whether it was according to the civil or religious calendar, His conception would have taken place in:

■ Feb/Mar according to the civil calendar with birth following in May/Jun. Or,

■ Aug/Sep by the religious calendar with birth following in Apr/May.

As we do not know for sure what Luke meant by his dates, we cannot know for sure when Christ was born.

● It may well be that God caused the precise information regarding the date of Christ’s birth and as a consequence, His death, to be lost so that we do not fall into the temptation of trying to “divine” or guess the date of His return (though there are plenty that still try) by using one or both of those dates as a fixed point to calculate.

● One final word. There are some who suggest that Christ may have been born at the time of Passover. But again, this is pure conjecture. It is a better probability than December 25th, but it is not a certainty.

[x] John 18:31-32 NKJV

(31)  Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,”

(32)  that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.

18:31-32              PROPHECY FULFILLED

•             Two prophecies are fulfilled in Christ’s death at the hands of the Romans.

I.             The first involves the timing related to the coming of the Messiah [regarding which, I just saw an ad for a book by popular Pastor John Hagee in which he denies that Jesus came to be the Messiah, the book proves, “that Jesus did not come to earth to be the Messiah” (39 sec. mark http://mywordlikefire.com/2014/03/07/john-hagee-says-jesus-did-not-come-to-earth-to-be-the-messiah/).  Yeah, right.  And anyone who believes that, I have a bridge for sale in Boston].  Regarding the timing is this prophecy from Genesis.

•             Genesis 49:10

•             (10)  The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; ….

•             The “scepter” which is symbolic of ruling authority came to Judah in the time of King David and there it remained in one form or another throughout the kingdom years, the Babylonian exile – even those remaining behind were governed by their fellow Judahites – through the post-exile years until 6AD when Judah went from being an “independent associate kingdom” subject to Rome, to becoming a Roman province governed by a Roman Procurator or Governor according to Roman Law.  Judah thus lost the right to inflict capital punishment without prior approval from the Roman governor “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.”

•             Thus, the first prophecy of Genesis 49:10 limits the timing of the first Advent of the Messiah to a date prior to 6AD.  Jesus was born in 6-4BC.

•             The Second prophecy, related to the first was told by Jesus of how He would be killed by being crucified cf. John 8:18; 12:32-33.  This form of execution, while having its origins in the Persian practice of nailing or otherwise fastening the victim to a wagon wheel and torturing them to death, was taken and refined by the Romans into the form then practiced of lifting up the victim, fastened to an upright post (generally capped with a cross-piece in the form of a T or a t hence the term “cross”) where they were left to die.

•             Jesus’ “prophecy” spoken to the Disciples was not so much an original prophetic statement, but a reiteration of what He had revealed centuries earlier to King David. Compare Psalm 22, esp. vv14-18, and Isaiah 53, esp. vv.5-12 where death by [Roman style] crucifixion is described.

•             Just as prophesied a 1000 years earlier and again during His ministry, Jesus was “lifted up.”

[xi] Matthew 2:1-6

(1)  Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,

(2)  saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

(3)  When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

(4)  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

(5)  So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

(6)  ‘BUT YOU, BETHLEHEM, IN THE LAND OF JUDAH, ARE NOT THE LEAST AMONG THE RULERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.’ ”

TIMELINE

●             Note the “in the days of Herod the king,” places Jesus’ birth not later than 4 BC, as that is the year that Herod died.

●             See notes to Matthew 1:25 [Previous day and below] .

Additional Historical Note, cf. Luke 2:1-3 [v].  Cyrinius [a/k/a Quirinius] was made governor in 4BC according to some archeological findings.

[xii] Matthew 27:55-56; Galatians 1:19

Matthew 27:55-56

(55)  And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar,

(56)  among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

Galatians 1:19

(19)  But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.

A copy of Chapter 1 of Matthew’s Gospel can be read by opening this link.  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+1&version=NKJV

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