16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
16 Verse 16. Jesus, who is called Christ.] As the word χριστος
Christ, signifies the anointed or anointer, from χριω, to anoint,
it answers exactly to the Hebrew mashiach, which we pronounce
Messiah or Messias; this word comes from the root mashac,
signifying the same thing. As the same person is intended by both
the Hebrew and Greek appellation, it should be regularly
translated The Messiah, or The Christ; whichever is preferred, the
demonstrative article should never be omitted.
Priests, prophets, and kings, among the Jews, were anointed in
order to the legitimate exercise of their respective offices.
Hence the word χριστος Christ, or Mashiach, became a
name of dignity, and often signified the same as king.
See ; ; ; .
The words Mashiach and melec, χριστος and
βασιλευς, Christ and king, are frequently interchanged.
; ; ;
and see the Scholia of Rosenmuller on this place. The reason of
this may be seen in the following note, which I extract from the
comment on .
"It appears from ,
that anointing with oil, in consecrating a person to any important
office, whether civil or religious, was considered as an emblem of
the communication of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit.
This ceremony was used on three occasions, viz. the installation
of prophets, priests, and kings, into their respective offices.
But why should such an anointing be deemed necessary? Because the
common sense of men taught them that all good, whether spiritual
or secular, must come from God, its origin and cause. Hence it
was taken for granted, 1. That no man could foretell events,
unless inspired by the Spirit of God. And therefore the prophet
was anointed, to signify the communication of the Spirit of wisdom
and knowledge. 2. That no person could offer an acceptable
sacrifice to God for the sins of men, or profitably minister in
holy things, unless enlightened, influenced, and directed, by the
Spirit of grace and holiness. Hence the priest was anointed, to
signify his being divinely qualified for the due performance of
his sacred functions. 3. That no man could enact just and
equitable laws, which should have the prosperity of the community
and the welfare of the individual continually in view, or could
use the power confided to him only for the suppression of vice and
the encouragement of virtue, but that man who was ever under the
inspiration of the Almighty. Hence kings were inaugurated by
anointing with oil. Two of these offices only exist in all
civilized nations, the sacerdotal and regal; and, in some
countries, the priest and king are still consecrated by anointing.
In the Hebrew language mashach signifies to anoint; and
mashiach, the anointed person. But as no man was ever
dignified by holding the three offices, so no person ever had the
title Mashiach, the anointed one, but Jesus, The CHRIST. He alone
is King of kings, and Lord of lords: the king who governs the
universe, and rules in the hearts of his followers; the prophet,
to instruct men in the way wherein they should go; and the great
high priest, to make atonement for their sins. Hence he is called
the Messias, a corruption of the word ha-mashiach, THE
anointed ONE, in Hebrew; which gave birth to οχριστος ho
Christos, which has precisely the same signification in Greek: of
him, Melchisedeck, Abraham, Aaron, David, and others, were
illustrious types. But none of these had the title of THE
MESSIAH, or THE ANOINTED OF GOD. This does, and ever will, belong
exclusively to JESUS, The CHRIST."