55Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
55 Verse 55. Is not this the carpenter's son?] Seven copies of the
old Itala have, Is not this the son of JOSEPH the carpenter? But
it is likely our Lord, during the thirty years of his abode at
Nazareth, wrought at the same trade with Joseph; and perhaps this
is what is intended, Lu 2:51.
He went down with them (his parents) to Nazareth, and was SUBJECT
unto them. An honest trade is no discredit to any man. He who
spends his time in idleness is fit for any business in which the
devil chooses to employ him.
Is not his mother-Mary, and his brethren, James, &c.] This
insulting question seems to intimate that our Lord's family was a
very obscure one; and that they were of small repute among their
neighbours, except for their piety.
It is possible that brethren and sisters may mean here near
relations, as the words are used among the Hebrews in this
latitude of meaning; but I confess it does not appear to me
likely. Why should the children of another family be brought in
here to share a reproach which it is evident was designed for
Joseph the carpenter, Mary his wife, Jesus their son, and
their other children? Prejudice apart, would not any person of
plain common sense suppose, from this account, that these were the
children of Joseph and Mary, and the brothers and sisters of our
Lord, according to the flesh? It seems odd that this should be
doubted; but, through an unaccountable prejudice, Papists and
Protestants are determined to maintain as a doctrine, that on
which the Scriptures are totally silent, viz. the perpetual
virginity of the mother of our Lord. See Mt 1:25.