1. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.
2 . Abraham began Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren.
3-6. And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; and Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; and Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; and Jesse begat David the king.
6-8. David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; and Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; and Asa begat Josaphat.
8-11. And Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; and Ozias begat Joatham; and
Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; and Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; and Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon.
12-15. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; and Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; and Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; and Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob.
16. And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.
22. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23. Behold, a Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25. And knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born Son: and he called his name, Jesus.
Jerome, Cont. Helvid. c. 5: Helvidius is at much superfluous trouble to make this word "know" refer to carnal knowledge rather than to acquaintance, as though any had ever denied that; or as if the follies to which he replies had ever occurred to any person of common understanding. He then goes on to say, that the adverb, 'until,' denotes a fixed time when that should take place, which had not taken place before; so that here from the words, "He knew her not until she had brought forth her first-born Son," it is clear, he says, that after that he did know her. And in proof of this he heaps together many instances from Scripture.
To all this we answer, that the word 'until' is to be understood in two senses in Scripture. And concerning the expression, "knew her not," he has himself shewn, that it must be referred to carnal knowledge, none doubting that it is often used of acquaintance, as in that, "The child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem, and His parents knew not of it." [Luke 2:43]
In like manner, 'until' often denotes in Scripture, as he has shewn, a fixed period, but often also an infinite time, as in that, "Even to your old age I am He." [Isa 46:4] Will God then cease to be when they are grown old? Also the Saviour in the Gospel, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of this world." [Matt 28:20] Will He then leave His disciples at the end of the world? Again, the Apostle says, "He must reign till He has put His enemies under His feet." [1 Cor 15:25]
Be it understood then, that which if it had not been written might have been [p. 58] doubted, is expressly declared to us; other things are left to our own understanding.
[ed. note: In other words, "till," need not imply a termination at a certain point of time, but may be giving us information up to a point from which onwards there is already no doubt. Supposing an Evangelist thought the very notion shocking that Joseph should have considered the Blessed Virgin as his wife after he was a witness of her bearing God the Son, he would only say that the vision had its effect upon him up to that time when it was no longer necessary. Just as if, in speaking of a man like Augustine, one said, that, in consequence of some awful occurrence, he was in the habit of saying prayers till the time of his conversion, no one would suppose that he left them off on being converted.]
So here the Evangelist informs us, in that wherein there might have been room for error, that she was not known by her husband until the birth of her Son, that we might thence infer that much less was she known afterwards.
Jerome: From the words, "her first-born Son," some most erroneously suspect that Mary had other sons, saying that first-born can only be said of one that has brethren. But this is the manner of Scripture, to call the first-born not only one who is followed by brethren, but the first-birth of the mother.
1 When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. 2 Saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him. 3 And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. 5 But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet:
6 And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel. 7 Then Herod, privately calling the wise men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; 8 And sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come to adore him. 9 Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. 10 And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country. 13 And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him. 14 Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: 15 That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called my son.
16 Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry; and sending killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: 18 A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. 19 But when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel. For they are dead that sought the life of the child.
21 Who arose, and took the child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But hearing that Archelaus reigned in Judea in the room of Herod his father, he was afraid to go thither: and being warned in sleep retired into the quarters of Galilee. 23 And coming he dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was said by prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene.
1 And in those days cometh John the Baptist preaching in the desert of Judea. 2 And saying: Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by Isaias the prophet, saying: A voice of one crying in the desert, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. 4 And the same John had his garment of camels' hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the country about Jordan:
2 "Do penance"... Paenitentiam agite. Which word, according to the use of the scriptures and the holy fathers, does not only signify repentance and amendment of life, but also punishing past sins by fasting, and such like penitential exercises.
6 And were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them: Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of penance. 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham for our father. For I tell you that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10 For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doth not yield good fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire.
7 "Pharisees and Sadducees"... These were two sects among the Jews: of which the former were for the most part notorious hypocrites; the latter, a kind of freethinkers in matters of religion.
11 I indeed baptize you in the water unto penance, but he that shall come after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire. 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his floor and gather his wheat into the barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. 13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering, said to him: Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfill all justice. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him. 17 And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Pseudo-Chrys.: As a skilful physician from the colour of the skin infers the sick man's disease, so John understood the evil thoughts of the Pharisees who came to him. They thought perhaps, We go, and confess our sins; he imposes no burden on us, we will be baptized, and get indulgence for sin. Fools! if ye have eaten of impurity, must ye not needs take physic? So after confession and baptism, a man needs much diligence to heal the wound of sin; therefore he says, "Generation of vipers."
Chrys.: But that you may learn how great a good is fasting, and what a mighty shield against the Devil, and that after baptism you ought to give attention to fasting and not to lusts, therefore Christ fasted, not Himself needing it, but teaching us by His example.
1 Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry.
3. And when the Tempter came to Him, he said, "If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread."
4. But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.' "
Ambrose, Ambros. in Luc., c. 4. 3: He begins with that which had once been the means of his victory, the palate; "If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves." What means such a beginning as this, but that he knew that the Son of God was to come, yet believed not that He was come on account of His fleshly [p. 122] infirmity. His speech is in part that of an enquirer, in part that of a tempter; he professes to believe Him God, he strives to deceive Him as man.
Leo, Serm. 39, 3: hence he opposed the adversary rather by testimonies out of the Law, than by miraculous powers; thus at the same time giving more honour to man, and more disgrace to the adversary, when the enemy of the human race thus seemed to be overcome by man rather than by God.
Greg.: So the Lord when tempted by the Devil answered only with precepts of Holy Writ, and He who could have drowned His tempter in the abyss, displayed not the might of His power; giving us an example, that when we suffer any thing at the hands of evil men, we should be stirred up to learning rather than to revenge.
5. Then the Devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6. And saith unto Him, "If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down; for it is written, 'He shall give His Angels charge concerning Thee:' and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone."
7. Jesus said unto Him, "It is written again, 'Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.' "
Remig.: The "pinnacle" is the seat of the doctors; for the temple had not a pointed roof like our houses, but was flat on the top after the manner of the country of Palestine, and in the temple were three stories. It should be known that "the pinnacle" was on the floor, and in each story was one pinnacle. Whether then he placed Him on the pinnacle in the first story, or that in the second, or the third, he placed Him whence a fall was possible.
Gloss, ap. Anselm: He set Him on a pinnacle of the temple when he would tempt Him through ambition, because in this seat of the doctors he had before taken many through the same temptation, and therefore thought that when set in the same seat, He might in like manner be puffed up with vain pride.
Ambrose: But as Satan transfigures himself into an Angel of light, and spreads a snare for the
faithful, even from the divine Scriptures, so now he uses its texts, not to instruct [p. 125] but to deceive.
Jerome: This verse we read in the ninetieth Psalm, [Ps 91:11] but that is a prophecy not of Christ, but of some holy man, so the Devil interprets Scripture amiss.
Jerome: The false Scripture darts of the Devil He brands with the true shield of Scripture.
Jerome: It should be noted, that the required texts are taken from the book of Deuteronomy only, that He might shew the sacraments of the second Law.
8. Again, the Devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9. And saith unto Him, "All these things will I give Thee, if Thee wilt fall down and worship me."
10. Then saith Jesus unto him, "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.' "
11. Then the Devil leaveth Him, and, behold Angels came and ministered unto Him.
Origen, in Luc., Hom. 30: We are not to suppose that when he shewed him the kingdoms of the world, he presented before Him the kingdom of Persia, for instance, or India; but he shewed his own kingdom, how he reigns in the world, that is, how some are governed by fornication, some by avarice.
Gloss. non occ.: See the Devil's pride as of old. In the beginning he sought to make himself equal
with God, now he seeks to usurp the honours due to God, saying, "If thou wilt fall down and
worship me." Who then worships the Devil must first fall down.
Gloss. ap. Anselm: Though Luke's order seems the more historical; Matthew relates the temptations as they were done to Adam.
17. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, "Repent: for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand."
Jerome: Mystically interpreted, Christ begins to preach as soon as John was delivered to prison,
because when the Law ceased, the Gospel commenced.
18. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19. And He saith unto them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
20. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.
21. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them.
22. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him.
Remig.: "Saw," that is, not so much with the bodily eye, as spiritually viewing their hearts.
Aug., Serm. 197, 2: He chose not kings, senators, philosophers, or orators, but he chose common, poor, and untaught fishermen.
Aug., Tract. in Joann. 8, 7: Had one learned been chosen, he might have attributed the choice to the merit of his learning. But our Lord Jesus Christ, willing to bow the necks of the proud, sought not to gain fishermen by orators, but gained an Emperor by a fisherman. Great was Cyprian the pleader, but Peter the fisherman was before him.
Pseudo-Chrys.: The operations of their secular craft were a prophecy of their future dignity. As he who casts his net into the water knows not what fishes he shall take, so the teacher casts the net of the divine word upon the people, not knowing who among them will come to God. Those whom God shall stir abide in his doctrine.
Gloss. interlin.: "Follow me," not so much with your feet as in your hearts and your life.
Gloss. ap. Anselm: These last disciples were an example to such as leave their property for the
love of Christ; now follows an example of others who postponed earthly affection to God.
Observe how He calls them two and two, and He afterwards sent them two and two to preach.
23. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
24. And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them.
25. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Because they being weak could not come to their physician, He as a zealous
Physician went about to visit those who had any grievous sickness. The Lord went round the
several regions, and after His example the pastors of each region ought to go round to study the
several dispositions of their people, that for the remedy of each disease some medicine may be
found in the Church.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Or, He taught natural righteousness, those things which natural reason teaches,
as chastity, humility, and the like, which all men of themselves see to be goods. Such things are
necessary to be taught not so much for the sake of making them known as for stirring the heart.
For beneath the prevalence of carnal delights the knowledge of natural righteousness sleeps
Aug., City of God, book 21, ch. 6: Daemons are enticed to take up their abode in many creatures,
(created not by themselves but God,) by delights adapted to their various natures; not that they
are animals, drawn by meats; but spirits attracted by signs which agree with each one's taste.