Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 1:25 - 1:25

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Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 1:25 - 1:25


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Ver. 24,25. The will of God (as we heard) was revealed to Joseph in a dream. It is God that giveth a power to sleep, and a power to awake; therefore it is said, being raised from sleep, he showed both his faith and obedience; his faith in the Divine revelation, a certainty of which he had doubtless by some extraordinary Divine impression, and his obedience to the Divine precept.



He took unto him his wife, that is, he took her unto his house, (for betrothed virgins used to abide at their own friends’ houses till the consummation of the marriage), and owned her as his wife, yet not fully using her as such, for the text saith he



knew her not (a modest phrase used from the beginning of the world, as appears from Gen_4:1, to express the conjugal act)



till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. Some make a great stir in determining whether he knew her afterwards, yea or no. Some of the ancients were stiff in their opinion that he did not, so are the popish writers, and many protestant interpreters. Mr. Calvin I think determines best, that none will move such a question, but such as are unwarrantably curious; nor contend for either part, but such as are unreasonably quarrelsome. For as, on the one side, none can conclude that she had more children from the word



till, further than they can conclude, from Psa_110:1, that Christ shall not for ever sit at his Father’s right hand, (the word until being a particle only exclusive of a preceding time, not affirming the thing in future time), nor doth the term firstborn conclude any born afterward; so, on the other side, there are no cogent arguments to prove that Mary had no more children by Joseph. We read of the brother of our Lord, Gal_1:19, and of his mother and his "brethren," Mat_12:47; and though it be true brethren may signify kinsmen, according to the Hebrew dialect, yet that it doth so in these texts cannot be proved. The Holy Ghost had made use of the virgin for the production of the Messias; why after this her womb should be shut up, and Joseph take her home to be his wife, and not use her as such I cannot tell, nor yet what reproach it could be to Mary or to our Saviour, marriage being God’s ordinance, and the undefiled bed honourable: and those who think our Saviour would have been dishonoured in any others lying in the same bed after him, seem to forget how much he humbled himself in lying in that bed first, and then in a stable and a manger. We know he knew her not till Christ was born, whether he did afterward or no we are willingly ignorant because God hath not told us.



And he called his name Jesus: this is added to declare his obedience to the command received by the angel. We shall meet with more circumstances relating to the birth of Christ when we come to the two first chapters of Luke.