Matthew 1:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

New Living Translation
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.

English Standard Version
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

New American Standard Bible
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

International Standard Version
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah happened in this way. When his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, before they lived together she was discovered to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

NET Bible
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The birth of Yeshua The Messiah was thus: when Maryam his mother was engaged to Yoseph before they would have a conjugal relation she was found pregnant from The Spirit of Holiness.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. His mother Mary had been promised to Joseph in marriage. But before they were married, Mary realized that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this: That being, his mother Mary espoused to Joseph (before they came together) she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

King James 2000 Bible
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way: When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost.

Darby Bible Translation
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was thus: His mother, Mary, that is, having been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child of [the] Holy Spirit.

English Revised Version
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Webster's Bible Translation
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was in this manner: When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child by the Holy Spirit.

Weymouth New Testament
The circumstances of the birth of Jesus Christ were these. After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they were united in marriage, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

World English Bible
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this; for after his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

Young's Literal Translation
And of Jesus Christ, the birth was thus: For his mother Mary having been betrothed to Joseph, before their coming together she was found to have conceived from the Holy Spirit,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:18-25 Let us look to the circumstances under which the Son of God entered into this lower world, till we learn to despise the vain honours of this world, when compared with piety and holiness. The mystery of Christ's becoming man is to be adored, not curiously inquired into. It was so ordered that Christ should partake of our nature, yet that he should be pure from the defilement of original sin, which has been communicated to all the race of Adam. Observe, it is the thoughtful, not the unthinking, whom God will guide. God's time to come with instruction to his people, is when they are at a loss. Divine comforts most delight the soul when under the pressure of perplexed thoughts. Joseph is told that Mary should bring forth the Saviour of the world. He was to call his name Jesus, a Saviour. Jesus is the same name with Joshua. And the reason of that name is clear, for those whom Christ saves, he saves from their sins; from the guilt of sin by the merit of his death, and from the power of sin by the Spirit of his grace. In saving them from sin, he saves them from wrath and the curse, and all misery, here and hereafter. Christ came to save his people, not in their sins, but from their sins; and so to redeem them from among men, to himself, who is separate from sinners. Joseph did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, speedily, without delay, and cheerfully, without dispute. By applying the general rules of the written word, we should in all the steps of our lives, particularly the great turns of them, take direction from God, and we shall find this safe and comfortable.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 18-25. - JESUS THE CHRIST BY DIVINE ORIGIN. Recorded by Matthew only. The frequent similarity of language found in Luke 1:26-35 (vide 'Synopticon) is probably due to the fact that Joseph and Mary not unnaturally fell into the way of using the same words to express two messages of similar import. The object of this paragraph is to show that Messiah was in origin not of man but of God. This fact was accepted even by his reputed father Joseph, who was only convinced of it after a special communication by an angel in a dream; giving him the facts of the case, and foretelling that a son would be born, and that this Son would be the expected Saviour; and also showing from prophecy that such union of God with man was no unheard-of supposition, but the fulfilment and completion of ancient thought suggested by God. Joseph at once accepts the communication and takes Mary home, avoiding, however, all cause for the supposition that the child was, after all, of human origin. Verse 18. - Now the birth (ver. 1, note). Γέννησις ("generation") of the received text refers to the causative act, the true reading (γένεσις) to the birth itself (cf. Luke 1:14). Of Jesus Christ was on this wise. The Revised Version margin says, "Some ancient authorities read, 'of the Christ,'" but perhaps the reading, "of Christ Jesus" (B [Origen]), is even preferable, as in no good manuscript of the New Testament is the article elsewhere prefixed to "Jesus Christ," and the easy residing, "of the Christ," would hardly provoke alteration, while it might easily arise from assimilation to the preceding "unto the Christ" of ver. 17 (cf. Dr. Hort, in Westcott and Hort, 'Appendix.' Bishop Westcott, however, seems to prefer the reading. "of the Christ," and so distinctly Irenaeus, 3:16). If the reading, "of Christ Jesus," be accepted, the evangelist purposely repeats his phrase of ver. 17, and then identifies him with the historic Person. When as. The Revised Version omits "as" because obsolete; cf. "what time as." His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph; had been betrothed (Revised Version), the tense clearly showing that the betrothal had already taken place. Betrothal was and is with the Semitic races a much more formal matter than with us, and as binding as marriage; cf. Deuteronomy 22:23, 24; cf. also the words of the angel, "Mary thy wife" (ver. 20). Before they came together; including, probably, both the home-bringing (ver. 24) and the consummation (ver. 25). She was found (εὑρώθη). Although Cureton ('Corp. Ign.,' p. 271) shows that the Aramaic equivalent is used in the sense of "became," and wishes to see this weaker meaning in several passages of the Greek Testament (including, apparently, the present), the references that he gives (Romans 7:10; 2 Corinthians 5:3; 2 Corinthians 11:12) do not justify us in giving up the stronger and more usual sense. On εὑρέθη always involving more or less prominently the idea of a surprise, cf. Bishop Lightfoot on Galatians 2:17. Observe the reverent silence with which a whole stage of the history is passed over. With child of the Holy Ghost (ἐκ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου; cf. ver. 20, without the article in both cases). According to the usual interpretation of these words, "the Holy Ghost" refers to the Third Person of the Trinity, and "of" (ἐκ) is used because the agent can be regarded as the immediate source (cf. 2 Corinthians 2:2). But the questions suggest themselves:

(1) whether Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον is here used in a strictly Christian or in a pre-Christian sense? and

(2) if the latter, what was this pre-Christian sense? As to (1), it may be argued that the evangelist himself, writing long after Pentecost, and recording sayings taught among Christians only alter Pentecost, would naturally wish his words to be understood in a Christian sense; and hence that Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον here has at least that comparatively developed doctrine of the Personality of the Holy Ghost which we find indicated in the New Testament; e.g. Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:13; John 14-16. It may, however, be justly replied that the words are in themselves rather a record of the feelings of Joseph and Mary about the Incarnation, and are merely a translation of the phrase Ruah-hakodesh (or its Aramaic equivalent, Ruah Kudsha) , which they themselves used; and that hence its true meaning here must be rather sought in the meaning of the Semitic phrase in pre-Christian times. In other words, Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον here means neither more nor less than Ruah-hakodesh meant on the lips of a godly and instructed Jew before the teaching of Christ, and especially before Pentecost.

(2) What was this pre-Christian sense? What did Ruah-hakodesh mean? To answer this fully would be to compile a treatise on one of the most difficult and disputed points of Old Testament and early Jewish theology. But a cursory comparison of passages in the Old Testament and the pre-Christian writings seems to show that, though there are many places which quite fall in with the Trinitarian view, and which are often marked by strong personification of the Spirit (e.g. Isaiah 63:10-14; cf. further App. A. in Dr. Sharpe's 'The Tree of Life,' Cambridge, 1889), religious Jews did not understand by Ruah-hakodesh a permanent and distinct hypostasis in the Deity, but rather the Deity itself in relation to the world as the Source and Maintenance of its life (Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30; Job 34:14; Psalm 139:7; Isaiah 63:10; cf. Wisd. 1:7 Wisd. 12:1), in contrast to the Deity absolutely and as the object of worship. Pre-Christian thought, that is to say, used the term "Holy Spirit" as designating the One God in a certain relation to the world, not as designating a permanent and real distinction in the Godhead. If this be so, we must understand the phrase here to mean that Christ was conceived of God (not of any Person in the Godhead) in contrast to man. We may, perhaps, even give to ἐκ its fullest meaning of" origin" (cf John 1:13, οὐκ ἐξαἱμάτων... ἀλλ ἐκ Θεοῦ). The phrase as a whole thus only insists that the Child was by origin Divine. It will be noticed that Luke 1:35 is then closely parallel, "the Holy Ghost" (Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον) there apparently connoting an outpouring of life; "the power of the Most High" (δύναμις ὑψίστου), an outpouring of strength. Dorner ('System.,' 3:343; cf. 162, etc.) says that the expression in our text is "the less precise ancient Christian designation of the Divine Essence generally, out of which ( de quo) Christ has come. To the Holy Spirit in the Trinitarian sense is only to be ascribed, according to the Scriptures, first, the internal preparation of humanity for the Divine Incarnation, and, secondly, after the Unio the animation of the humanity of Christ by the Divine power issuing from the Logos." The passage in Martensen's 'Dogmatics,' § 139, so well known for its latter part, apparently agrees with this: "He is born not of the will of a man, nor of the will of the flesh; but the holy will of the Creator took the place of the will of man and of the will of the flesh, - that is, the creating Spirit, who was in the beginning, fulfilled the function of the plastic principle. He was born of the Virgin Mary, the chosen woman in the chosen people. It was the task of Israel to provide, not, as has been often said, Christ himself, but the mother of the Lord; to develop the susceptibility for Christ to a point when it might be able to manifest itself as the pro-foundest unity of nature and spirit - a unity which found expression in the pure virgin. In her the pious aspirations of Israel and of mankind, their faith in the promises, are centred; she is the purest point in history and in nature, and she, therefore, becomes the appointed medium for the new creation." Observe that the Greek Creeds (σαρκωθέντα [γεννηθέντα, Marcellus] ἐκ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου καὶ Μαρίας τῆς Παρθένου) , by not inserting the article (contrast afterwards καὶ εἰς τὸ Πςεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) , probably intended only to reproduce St. Matthew's language. The Latin could not fail to be ambiguous (de Spiritu Sancto) . If, however, we divest ourselves of considerations directly derived from exegesis, and, turning to the theological side, ask which Person of the Blessed Trinity, in fact, prepared Mary for the Incarnation of the Second Person, we must undoubtedly answer that it was the Third Person. For this is his peculiar function, uniting alike the Persons in the Godhead and also the Godhead to creation (cf. Dorner, 'System.,' 1:425,437; 4:159, etc.).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Now the birth of Jesus Christ,.... The Evangelist having finished the genealogy of Christ, proceeds to give an account of his birth, which includes both his conception and bringing forth; and which he says

was on this wise, so, "after this manner", and which was very wonderful and astonishing;

when as, for his mother Mary was found with child, not of man, no, not of Joseph her husband; Christ had no real father as man, Joseph was only, as was supposed, his father; but

of the Holy Ghost, according to Luke 1:35. "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee", &c. and this was done that the human nature of Christ might be clear of original pollution; that so being the immediate produce of the Holy Ghost and without sin, it might be fit for union with the Son of God, and for the office of Mediator he had undertook. When Mary is said to be

found with child, the meaning is, it appeared by evident signs, it was observed by Joseph particularly, who might know not only that she was with child, but with child of the Holy Ghost; by conversation with her, who might relate to him what passed between the Angel and her, Luke 1:28 though it looks as if as yet he did not know this, or at least was not fully satisfied about it; since he had a mind to have put her away, before he was assured of the truth of it, by the appearance of an angel to him. Now Mary's being with child, and its being known, were facts, at the time when she was

espoused to Joseph, and thereby the outward credit both of Mary and Jesus were secured; for had this appeared before the espousals, the Jews would have fixed a brand of infamy on them both; and both the espousals and her being found with child, were

before they came together; that is, before they cohabited together as man and wife, before he brought her home to his own house and bed. The espousals were before they thus came together. It was usual with the Jews first to espouse or betroth, and then to marry, or rather consummate the marriage, by bringing the woman home to her husband's house, between which there was some space of time. The account and manner of betrothing is given by Maimonides (y) in the following words.

"Before the giving of the law, if a man met a woman in the street, if he would, he might take her, and bring her into his house and marry her between him and herself, and she became his wife; but when the law was given, the Israelites were commanded, that if a man would take a woman he should obtain her before witnesses, and after that she should be his wife, according to Deuteronomy 22:13 and these takings are an affirmative command of the law, and are called "espousals" or "betrothings" in every place; and a woman who is obtained in such a way is called "espoused" or "betrothed"; and when a woman is obtained, and becomes "espoused", although she is not yet "married, nor has entered into her husband's house", yet she is a man's wife.''

And such a distinction between a married woman and a betrothed virgin, which was Mary's case, may be observed in Deuteronomy 22:22 moreover, her being found or appearing to be with child, was "before they came together"; which it is likely, as Dr. Lightfoot (z) observes, was about three months from her conception, when she was returned from her cousin Elizabeth. It is probable that as soon as she was espoused to Joseph, or quickly after, she went and paid her visit to Elizabeth, with whom she stayed about three months, and then returned home, Luke 1:56. Upon her return home, she appears to be with child, with which she had gone three months, a proper time for the discovery of such a matter, Genesis 38:24 and which is assigned by the Jewish doctors for this purpose. In the Misna (a) such a case as this is put,

"If two men should espouse two women, and at the time of their entrance into the bride chamber, the one should be taken for the other--they separate them for three months, because they may prove with child;''

that is, as Bartenora observes upon it,

"they separate them that they may not return to their husbands; and that if they should be with child, they may distinguish between a legitimate and an illegitimate offspring; and that the children which they may bring forth may not be ascribed to the wrong persons.''

Now Mary being gone three months from the time of her espousals to Joseph, and he and she not being yet come together, it was a clear case, that the child she was gone three months with, was none of his; hence it follows,

(y) Hilchot. Ishot. c. 1. sect. 1, 2, 3.((z) In loc. (a) Yebamot, c. 3. sect. 10.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Mt 1:18-25. Birth of Christ.

18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise—or, "thus."

When as his mother Mary was espoused—rather, "betrothed."

to Joseph, before they came together, she was found—discovered to be.

with child of the Holy Ghost—It was, of course, the fact only that was discovered; the explanation of the fact here given is the Evangelist's own. That the Holy Ghost is a living conscious Person is plainly implied here, and is elsewhere clearly taught (Ac 5:3, 4, &c.): and that, in the unity of the Godhead, He is distinct both from the Father and the Son, is taught with equal distinctness (Mt 28:19; 2Co 13:14). On the miraculous conception of our Lord, see on [1204]Lu 1:35.

Matthew 1:18 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Birth of Jesus
18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 22:23
If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her,

Matthew 2:11
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Matthew 12:46
While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.

Luke 1:27
to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.

Luke 1:35
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Luke 2:5
He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

the birth.

Luke 1:27-38 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house …

of the.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your …

Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

Job 15:14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, …

Luke 1:25,35 Thus has the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on …

Galatians 4:4,5 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, …

Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, …

Hebrews 10:5 Why when he comes into the world, he said, Sacrifice and offering …

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