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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Matthew 1



Verse 1

TITLE. The. The titles of the N.T. books in the Authorized Version and Revised Version form no part of the books themselves in the original text.

Gospel. Anglo-Saxon God spell = a narrative of God: i.e. a life of Christ. The English word "Gospel" has no connection with the Greek euaggelion, which denotes good news, and was in use as = joyful tidings, &c, B.C. 9, in an inscription in the market-place of Priene (now Samsun Kale, an ancient city of Ionia, near Mycale), and in a letter (papyrus)250years later; both are now in the Royal Library in Berlin.

according to = i.e. recorded by. Greek. kata. App-104. The title "Saint", as given in the Authorized Version and Revised Version, is a mistranslation of the headings found only in the later MSS., which are derived from Church lectionaries; and should have been rendered "THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW". The Revised Version reads "The Gospel according to Matthew"; L Tr. T and WH read "according to Matthew"; B omits the word hagion = holy.

Matthew. See App-141. Genesis book comments. Occurs only in connection with the first man and the second man (Genesis 5:1 and Matthew 1:1).

generation = genealogy or pedigree. See App-99. The same meaning as the Hebrew expression (Genesis 5:1).

Jesus Christ: i.e. the humbled One now exalted. See App-98.

the Son of David. Because promised directly to David (2 Samuel 7:12, 2 Samuel 7:16). The expression occurs nine times of Christ in Matt. (Matthew 1:1; Matthew 9:27; Matthew 12:23; Matthew 15:22; Matthew 20:30, Matthew 20:31; Matthew 21:9, Matthew 21:15; Matthew 22:42). Compare Psalms 132:11. Isaiah 11:1. Jeremiah 23:5. Acts 13:23. Romans 1:3. David, heir to the throne. App-98. The name of David is in the commencement of the NT. and in the end also (Revelation 22:16).

the Son of Abraham. Because promised to him (Luke 1:73), and received with joy by him as by David (John 8:56. John 22:43). Compare Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:18. Galatians 1:3, Galatians 1:16. Heir to the land (Genesis 15:18). App-98.

Verse 2

Abraham.Genesis 21:2, Genesis 21:3. Romans 9:7, Romans 9:9.

begat. Greek. gennao. When used of the father = to beget or engender; and when used of the mother it means to bring forth into the world; but it has not the intermediate sense, to conceive. In verses: Matthew 1:2-16 it is translated begat, and should be so in verses: Matthew 1:16 and Matthew 1:20 also. In Matthew 1:1 the noun genesis means birth.

Jacob., Genesis 25:26.

Judas = Judah. Genesis 29:35; Genesis 49:10.

and his brethren. Because the promise was restricted to the house of Judah; not extended to the whole house of Abraham or of Isaac.

Verse 3

Phares and Zara. Hebrew Pharez and Zarah. Twins. Genesis 38:29, Genesis 38:30.

Thamar., Genesis 38:11-30. The first of four women in this genealogy. The other three were Rahab, Matthew 1:5; Ruth, Matthew 1:5; Bathsheba, Matthew 1:6. Note the Introversion: Hebrew, Gentile; Gentile, Hebrew: showing the condescension of Christ in taking our nature.

Esrom. Hebrew Hezron. 1 Chronicles 2:4, 1 Chronicles 2:6.

Aramaean Hebrew Ram. Ruth 4:19. 1 Chronicles 2:11.

Verse 4

Aminadab = Amminadab. Ruth 4:19. 1 Chronicles 2:10.

Naasson. Hebrew Nahshon. Ruth 4:20. Exodus 6:23.

Salmon. Hebrew Salma.

Verse 5

Booz. Hebrew Boaz. Ruth 4:21. 1 Chronicles 2:12.

Rachab. Eng. Rahab. Joshua 2:1; Joshua 6:25. See note on Thamar, Matthew 1:3.

Obed of Ruth., Ruth 4:21. 1 Chronicles 2:12.

Jesse., Ruth 4:22. 1 Chronicles 2:12.

Verse 6

David the king., Ruth 4:22. This addition to the name of David is because of the object of Matthew"s Gospel. See the Structure on p. 1305. Luke 1:32.

the king. Omitted by all the critical Greek texts enumerated and named in App-94.

Solomon., 2 Samuel 12:24. The line in Matthew is the regal line through Solomon, exhausted in Joseph. The line in Luke is the legal line through Nathan, an elder brother (2 Samuel 5:14), exhausted in Mary. If Christ be not risen, therefore, all prophecies must fail.

her, &c. See note on Thamar, Matthew 1:3.

Urias = Uriah (2 Samuel 12:24).

Verse 7

Roboam = Rehoboam (1 Kings 11:43). Note that in this case and in the three following: Rehoboam (a bad father) begat a bad son (Abijah); Abijah (a bad father) begat a good son (Asa); Asa (a good father) begat a good son (Jehoshaphat); Jehoshaphat (a good father) begat a bad son (Jehoram).

Abia = Abijam (1 Kings 14:31); Abijah (2 Chronicles 12:16). See note on Matthew 1:7.

Asa., 1 Kings 15:8.

Verse 8

Josaphat = Jehoshaphat (2Ch 17-18).

Joram = Jehoram (2 Kings 8:16. 2 Chronicles 21:1). Three names are omitted here. All are not necessary in a royal genealogy. In Matthew 1:1 three names are sufficient.

The four names are:

1. Ahaziah (2 Kings 8:27. 2 Chronicles 22:1-9).

2. Joash or Jehoash (2 Kings 11:2-21; 2 Kings 12:1-20. 2 Chronicles 24:1-25).

3. Amaziah (2 Kings 14:8-20. 2 Chronicles 25:1, 2 Chronicles 25:8).

4. Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:36-37; 2 Kings 24:1-6. 2 Chronicles 36:5-8).

Ozias = Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:1), or Azariah (2 Kings 14:21).

Verse 9

Joatham = Jotham (2 Kings 15:7. 2 Chronicles 26:23).

Achaz = Ahaz (2 Kings 15:38. 2 Chronicles 27:9).

Ezekias = Hezekiah (2 Kings 16:20. 2 Chronicles 28:27).

Verse 10

Manasses = Manasseh. (2 Kings 20:21. 2 Chronicles 32:33.)

Amon. (2 Kings 21:18. 2 Chronicles 33:20.)

Josias = Josiah (2 Kings 21:24. 2 Chronicles 33:20).

Verse 11

Jechonias = Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:8).

they were carried away = removed. Greek. metoikesia = the Babylonian transference. A standing term. Occurs only in Matthew. It began with Jehoiakim, was continued in Jechoniah, and completed in Zedekiah (2 Kings 24 and 25. 2 Chronicles 36).

Verse 12

they were brought = the carrying away, as in Matthew 1:11.

Jechonias, Jeremiah 22:30, does not say "no sons"; but, "no sons to sit on the throne of David".

Salathiel = Shealtiel, the real son of Assir; and hence was the grandson of Jeconiah (1 Chronicles 3:17-19), born "after" (see Matthew 1:12).

Zorobabel. The real son of Pedaiah (1 Chronicles 3:19), but the legal son of Salathiel (compare Deuteronomy 25:5). See Ezra 3:2; Ezra 5:2. Nehemiah 12:1.

Verse 16

of whom. Greek. ex hes, feminine. [Mary].

born = brought forth. Greek. gennao. Spoken, here, of the mother. See note on "begat" (Matthew 1:2).

Jesus. See App-98.

Christ = Anointed. Hebrew Messiah. See App-98.

Verse 17

So. Verse 17 is the Figure of speech Symperasma. App-6.

all the generations. See the Structure, above. The first begins with the call of Abraham, and ends with the call of David the layman (1 Samuel 16:13). The second begins with the building of the Temple, and ends with the destruction of it. The third begins with the nation under the power of Babylon, and ends with it under the power of Rome (the first and fourth of the world-powers of Dan 2).

the: i.e. the generations given above, not all recorded in the O.T. fourteen. It is not stated that there were forty-two, but three fourteens are reckoned in a special manner, as shown in the Structure above. Note the three divisions of the whole period, as in the seventy weeks of Daniel (Dan 9. App-91).

Verse 18

Now: or, But, in contrast with those mentioned in verses: Matthew 1:2-16. Render: "The begetting, then, of Jesus Christ was on this wise (for after His mother was espoused to Joseph, she was found with child) of pneuma hagion". See App-101.

birth = begetting. Greek. gennesis. Occurs only here and Luke 1:14, used of the Father.

Jesus (Omit. by Tr. [WH] Rm.)

Christ. Hebrew Messiah. So translated in John 1:41; John 4:25.

on this wise: i.e. not begotten, as in the cases recorded in verses: Matthew 1:2-16.

was espoused = bad been betrothed. By divine ordering, so that the two lines, through Solomon and Nathan, might be united and exhausted in Messiah. before. Greek. prin. Occurs seven times (Matthew 26:34, Matthew 26:75. Mark 14:72. Luke 22:61; John 4:49; John 8:58; John 14:9); prin e, Occurs seven times (Matthew 1:18. Mark 14:30. Luke 2:26; Luke 22:34. Acts 2:20; Acts 7:2; Acts 25:16). In eleven of the fourteen passages where this word occurs the events did take place. In the other three, one was miraculously prevented (John 4:49); the day of the Lord is absolutely certain (Acts 2:20); the other was legally imperative (Acts 25:16).

came together: as in 1 Corinthians 7:5.

the Holy Ghost. Greek. pneuma hagion = holy spirit: i.e. power from on high. Not "the Holy Spirit". See App-101.

Verse 19

being a just man = though he was a just man (i.e. desirous of obeying the Law).

and = yet.

not. Greek. me. App-105.

not willing = not wishing. Greek. thelo. See App-102.

to make her a publick example = to expose her to shame. L TTr. A WH read deigmatizo instead of para-deigmatizo. Occurs only here and in Colossians 2:15. This exposure would have necessitated her being stoned to death, according to the Law (Deuteronomy 22:22). Compare John 8:5.

was minded = made up his mind, or determined. Greek. boulomia. See App-102.

put her away = divorce her according to the Law (Deuteronomy 24:1).

privily = secretly. By putting a "bill of divorcement into her hand" (Deuteronomy 24:1).

Verse 20

he thought: i.e. pondered about or contemplated this step. This was Satan"s assault, as he had assaulted Abraham before (Genesis 12:11-13). See App-23.

these things. The two courses open to him in Matthew 1:19.

the angel of the LORD. The first of three appearances to Joseph in these chapters, p. 1308 (Matthew 1:20, Matthew 1:24; Matthew 2:13, Matthew 2:19).

angel = messenger. The context must always show whether human or Divine.

the LORD = Jehovah. No Art. See App-98.

appeared. Greek. phaino. See App-105.

a dream. Greek. onar. Occurs only in Matt, (here; Matthew 2:12, Matthew 2:13, Matthew 2:19, Matthew 2:22; and Matthew 27:19). Only six dreams mentioned in N.T. To Joseph (Matthew 1:20; Matthew 2:13, Matthew 2:19, Matthew 2:22); to the wise men (Matthew 2:12); and to Pilate"s wife (Matthew 27:19).

fear not = Be not afraid. This shows bis condition of mind.

conceived = begotten. Greek. gennao, as in verses: Matthew 1:2, Matthew 1:16, Matthew 1:18.

Verse 21

bring forth. Not the same word as in verses: Matthew 1:1, Matthew 1:2, Matthew 1:16, Matthew 1:20. Greek. tiklo. Not "of thee" as in Luke 1:35, because not Joseph"s son.

His name. Figure of speech Pleonasm. App-6= Him.

JESUS. For this type see App-48. The same as the Hebrew Hoshea (Numbers 13:16) with Jah prefixed = God [our] Saviour, or God Who [is] salvation. Compare Luke 2:21. See App-98.

he = He, and none other, or He is the One Who (emph.)

sins. Greek. hamartia. See App-128.

Verse 22

all = the whole of.

fulfilled. See App-103for the first fulfillment of prophecy in the N.T.

spoken. Greek. to rhethen. By Isaiah to Ahaz (Isaiah 7:13-16;), but afterwards written. of = by. Greek. hupo.

by = through, or by means of. Greek. dia. App-104. Matthew 1:1.

Verse 23

a virgin. Quoted from Isaiah 7:13-15. See the notes there. Greek. parthenos, which settles the meaning of the word in Isaiah 7:14. See

Emmanuel. Occurs only in Matt. See App-98.

Verse 25

knew her. Heb, idiom, and Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct) for cohabitation. Note the imperfect tense = was not knowing. See App-132.

till., Matthew 12:46-60; Matthew 13:55, Matthew 13:56, clearly show that she had sons afterwards. See the force of this word heos in Matthew 28:20, "unto".

her firstborn Son. These words are quoted by Tatian (A.D. 172) and twelve of the Fathers before cent. 4; and are contained in nearly all MSS. except the Vatican and Sinaitic (cent. 4). All the Texts omit "her firstborn" on this weak and suspicious evidence. But there is no question about it in Luke 2:7.

he: i.e. Joseph


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 1:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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