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22 from their sins. (Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by

24 the prophet (d), saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and (hall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which, being inter

24 preted, is God with us.) Then Joseph being raised from deep, did as the angel of the Lord had

25 bidden him, and took unto him his wise: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son i and he called his name Jesus.

c H A p. n.

1 XT O W when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Ju

dea, in the days of Herod the king (.-7),behold, there

2 came wise-men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? for we have seen (£) his star in the east, and are come to

3 worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things Jos. was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him (r).

(d) Isaiah vii. 14. The meaning Is, not that the prophecy was the cause or reason why the thing was done, but that the thing dontt was the means or way whereby the prophecy was fulfilled and (hewn to be true. The phrase is in general to be understood, as expressing not the design, but the event only.

(a) There were three Herods. This is Herod the Great, who was made king of Judea by the Romans, when they had conquered that country. His son was Herod Antipas, who beheaded St. John Baptist, and mocked our Saviour. Herod Agrippa cul off St. James, imprisoned Peter, and was eaten up with worms. He was the sather of that king Agrippa, before whom St. Paul made his desence.

\b) These wise men were learned astronomers, bvit though well Dulled in the course os the Heavenly Bodies, yet threv must have been directed by divine revelatio'ri in she meaning of this extraordinary and miraculous appearance, which was probably of the fame nature as the bright light (called a Pillar of Fire, Exi'd. xiy'./ which conducted the Israelites through the wilderness.

(c) Herod was afraid lest this insant should dispossess him of hi»* kingdom; and the minds of all the people were much agitated on. this occasion, being in immediate expectation of the Messiah. . >

B z . 4 And

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and (d) scribes of the people together,, he demanded of

5 them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is

x6 written by the prophet; (e) And thou Bethlehem in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee mall come a Go

7 venior that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wile-men, enquired of

8 them diligently whnt time the star appeared. And he' sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go, aTid search diligently for the young child, and when yc have found him, bring me word again, that I may

9 come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed, and lo, the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came and

10 stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

ir And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented'unto him gifts;

Jl gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream, that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country ano

73 ther way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and, take the young cnild, and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there un

fd) The Scribes were persons employed to write out the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and thus beings well versed in them, iwere consulted in cases of moment and difficulty. They are like-»ise called Lawyers, Doctors, or Teachers; for they expounded' the law, and moreover taught the necessity of observing traditions, many of which however were such as destroyed the force and intent <jf God's commands. See Chap. xv.. a.

(<) Thou Bethlehem, though small in size, art excelled in digpity by none of the principal cities. Micak v, 2.

til I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young

14 child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and 'departed

15 into Egypt; And was there until the death cf Herod: that it might bs fulfilled (/') which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt

16 have I called my son. 'Ehen Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise-men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and flew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise

17 men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by ^8 Jeremy the prophet (g), saying, In Rama was therc.a

y.ojee heard, lamentation and weeping, and great i, mourning, Rachel weeping far her children, and would not be comforted, because they are.not (/i).

19 But when Herod was dead, bihold an angel .of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in

20 Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they

21 are dead which sought the young child's lise. And hearose, and took the young child and his mother, and

22 came into the.land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea (/)* in the room .of his sather Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he

"(f) Thus was fulfilled that •prophecy of Ufa, xi. 1. Sec Chap. i. Note (d).

(?) Jcrejniah Xkx!. 15.

(k) Because they were dead.

(z) Archelaus was afterwards deposed and banished by Augustus for many acts of oppression and tyranny; and Judea being made a province, was, from that time, governed by a procurator or deputy, appointed by the emperor, Cuch as Pihtc, Felix, Festus. Thus had the sceptre departed from Judah at the coming of Christ, according; to.jacob's prophecy, Gen. xlix. 10. The rest of Herod's dominions were continued to three of his sons, who had each the title of King, but was subject nevertheless to the Roman emperor. LukeiVi. 1.

B 3 23 turned

23 turned aside into the parts of (&) Galilee: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth (/), that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

CHAP. III.

1 T N those days (a) came John the Baptist, preaching

2 in the wilderness of Judea,- And saying, Repent ye: 2 for the kingdom of heaven (£) is at hand. For this

is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord(c), make his paths

4 straight. And the same John had his raiment of camels-hair,, and a leathern girdle about his loins;

5 and his meat was locusts and wild honey (d). Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the

6 region round about Jordan, And were baptized of 7.him in"1 Jordan, (e) consessing their sins. But when

he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees ( f) come ;• -J•';" tP

. .(k) Galilee was a province of the holy-land, not within Arehelaus's government, but in that of his brother Herod Antipas. See Chap. i.iv. 1.

..(i), Joseph and Mary dwelt at Nazareth, before they went to Bethlehem; SeeXu/Ifi. 26. ii, 35. Nazareth was so called, because of its remote and separate situation; and to be a Nazarite or Nazarene signifies, to be separated from the common employments of life, and dedicated wholly to the service of God. See Judg. xiii. 5. . (2) Those days are particularly ascertained Luke iii. t.

(b) The kingdom os Heaven Is the Christian Religion, which i"j Christ's spiritual kingdom in the hearts of men; and none are worthy to be admitted into it without sincere repentance and reforstiaiion.

(r) Jfaiah xl. 3.

(d) He lived in the fame retired austere manner as the prophet Elijahdid, 2 Kings i. 8. Locusts were anciently, and still are, commonly eaten in the Eastern and Southern countries.

• (t) With great humility consessing and repenting of their sins. (/i,These were the two principal sects of the Jews; and the

Baptist

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to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the 8 wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet .9 for repentance. And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our sather: for \ say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up

10 children unto Abraham (g). And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn

11 down, and cast into the fire (h). I indeed baptize vou with water unto repentance; but he that'eometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear(/); he shall baptize you with the Holy

12 Ghost, and with fire. Whose san is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather iui wheat into the garner: but he will bufn the chaff" with unquenchable fire.

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto I4 John, to be baptized of him. But (i) John forbdd

him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and

Baptist begins his preaching by boldly rebuking the vices of both. The Pharisees were firm believers of all the Old Testament, and were besides extremely scrupulous and superstitious in observing ancient traditions and ceremonies; but they undervalued and neglected the great duties of the Moral Law. See Chap, xxiii. 23. The Sadducees are said to have believed no part of the Scriptures, but the five Books of Moses. They certainly held that the Soul diedj with the Body, and consequently that there is no resurrection, or life after this. See ABs xxiii. 8.

(g) Think not to claim any merit or savour at the hand of Godj because ye are descended from Abraham; for if your whole nation were extinct, God could raise up to himself a peculiar people out of those whom you now despise as the stones under your seet.

(i) God is about to offer you a hew and gracious dispensation, oil the terms of repentance and reformation; and if ye will not accept it on those conditions, the divine vengeance will destroy your nation, as certainly as a tree is cut down by the ax.

(t) Whose {hoes 1 am not Worthy to carry ;"that is, whom I am not worthy to attend upon in the meanest servile osfices. See Luke iii. 16. Note. ^

(k) See John i. 33.""" . -' ','' . ' , 1 ,''' ,

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