19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
19 Verse 19. To make her a public example] παραδειγματισαι, to
expose her to public infamy; from παρα, near, and δεικνυμαι, I
show, or expose; what is oddly, though emphatically, called in
England, showing up-exposing a character to public view. Though
Joseph was a righteous man, δικαιος, and knew that the law
required that such persons as he supposed his wife to be should be
put to death, yet, as righteousness is ever directed by mercy, he
determined to put her away or divorce her privately, i.e. without
assigning any cause, that her life might be saved; and, as the
offence was against himself, he had a right to pass it by if he
chose. Some have supposed that the term δικαιος should be
translated merciful, and it certainly often has this
signification; but here it is not necessary.