25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
25 Verse 25. Her first-born son] τονυιοναυτηςτονπρωοτοκον.
Literally, That son of hers, the first-born one. That Mary might
have had other children, any person may reasonably and piously
believe; that she had others, many think exceedingly probable, and
that this text is at least an indirect proof of it. However this
may be, the perpetual virginity of Mary should not be made an
article of faith. God has not made it one: indeed it can hardly
bear the light of several texts in the Gospels.
He knew her not] Had no matrimonial intercourse with her-TILL
she had brought forth that son of hers, of whom the evangelist had
been just speaking, the first-born, the eldest of the family, to
whom the birthright belonged, and who was miraculously born before
she knew any man, being yet in a state of virginity. See on
Mt 13:55. The virginity of Mary, previously to the birth of
Christ, is an article of the utmost consequence to the Christian
system; and therefore it is an article of faith: her perpetual
virginity is of no consequence; and the learned labour spent to
prove it has produced a mere castle in the air. The thing is
possible; but it never has been, and never can be proved.
He called his name JESUS.] This name was given by the command
of God, see Mt 1:16, and was imposed on Christ when eight days
old; for then, according to the Jewish law, he was circumcised:
thus he had the name of Saviour given when he first began to shed
that blood without which there could be no remission of sins.
The goodness of God is manifested, not only in his giving his
Son to save a lost world, but also in the choice of the persons
who were his progenitors: among whom we find, First, SAINTS, to
excite our courage: Abraham, remarkable for his faith; Isaac, for
his obedience; and Jacob, for his fervour and constancy.
Secondly, Penitent SINNERS, to excite our confidence: such as
David, Manasses, &c.
Thirdly, Sinners, of whose repentance and salvation we hear
nothing; to put us on our guard. Who can read the account of
idolatrous Solomon, who, from the whole evidence of the sacred
history, died In his sins, without trembling?
Four WOMEN are mentioned in this genealogy: two of these were
adulteresses, Tamar and Bathsheba; and two were Gentiles, Rahab
and Ruth, and strangers to the covenant of promise; to teach us
that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, and that, though strangers
to his people, we are not on that account excluded from a
salvation which God has designed for all men. He is not the God
of the Jews only; he is also the God of the Gentiles.
The state of the royal family of David, the circumstances of the
holy virgin and her spouse Joseph, the very remarkable prophecy of
Isaiah, the literal and circumstantial fulfilment of it, the names
given to our blessed Lord, the genealogical scroll of the family,
&c., &c., are all so many proofs of the wisdom, goodness, and
providence of God. Every occurrence seems, at first view, to be
abandoned to fortuitous influence, and yet the result of each
shows that God managed the whole. These circumstances are of the
greatest importance; nor can the Christian reader reflect on them
without an increase of his faith and his piety.