Matthew 1:19
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

New Living Translation
Joseph, her fiance, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

English Standard Version
And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

New American Standard Bible
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

King James Bible
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.

International Standard Version
Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to disgrace her, decided to divorce her secretly.

NET Bible
Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to divorce her privately.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But Yoseph her lord was righteous and did not want to expose her, and he was considering divorcing her secretly.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Her husband Joseph was an honorable man and did not want to disgrace her publicly. So he decided to break the marriage agreement with her secretly.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Joseph her husband, being just and not willing to expose her publicly, desired to leave her secretly.

King James 2000 Bible
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, decided to put her away privately.

American King James Version
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.

American Standard Version
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately.

Darby Bible Translation
But Joseph, her husband, being [a] righteous [man], and unwilling to expose her publicly, purposed to have put her away secretly;

English Revised Version
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, purposed to put her away privately.

Weymouth New Testament
But Joseph her husband, being a kind-hearted man and unwilling publicly to disgrace her, had determined to release her privately from the betrothal.

World English Bible
Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly.

Young's Literal Translation
and Joseph her husband being righteous, and not willing to make her an example, did wish privately to send her away.
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

Verse 19. - Then Joseph her husband; and (Revised Version). The thought is slightly adversative (δέ); though this was "of the Holy Ghost," yet Joseph was about to put her away. Being a just man; righteous (Revised Version); i.e. who strove to conform to the Divine precepts manifested for him in the Law (cf. Luke 1:6; Luke 2:25). And not willing; i.e. "and yet not wishing," though the Law, which he was striving to follow, seemed to inculcate harshness. This clause has been taken in the opposite sense equivalent to "and therefore not wishing," because the spirit of the Law, which he had learned to understand, was in reality against all unnecessary harshness. The negative used (if it can be at all insisted upon; cf. Simcox, 'Language of the New Testament,' p. 188) is in favour of the former interpretation. To make her a public example; rather, to proclaim her ("Wold not pupplische her, Wickliffe); avery αὐτὴν δειγματίσαι (cf. Colossians 2:15). The thought is of public proclamation of the fact of the divorce, not that of bringing Mary herself forward for public punishment, and so making her a public example ( παραδειγματίσαι). Was minded (ἐβουλήθη). The tense indicates the resolution come to as the result of the conflict between duty and wish implied in the preceding clause. To put her away secretly. Adopting the most private form of legal divorce, and handing the letter to her privately in presence of only two witnesses, to whom he need not communicate his reasons (cf. Edersheim, 'Life,' 1:154). Observe in this verse Joseph's insistance on his personal and family purity, and yet his delicate thoughtfulness for her whom he loved.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then Joseph her husband,.... To whom she had been betrothed, and who was her husband, and she his wife according to the Jewish law, Deuteronomy 22:23 though not yet come together,

being a just man, observant of the law of God, particularly that which respected adultery, being wholly good and chaste, like the Patriarch of the same name; a character just the reverse of that which the Jews give him, in their scandalous (b) book of the life of Jesus; where, in the most malicious manner, they represent him as an unchaste and an unrighteous person:

and not willing to make her a public example, or to deliver her, i.e. to the civil magistrate, according to Munster's Hebrew edition. The Greek word signifies to punish by way of example to others, to deter them from sinning; and with the ancients it (c) denoted the greatest and severest punishment. Here it means either bringing her before the civil magistrate, in order to her being punished according to the law in Deuteronomy 22:23 which requires the person to be brought out to the gate of the city and stoned with stones, which was making a public example indeed; or divorcing her in a very public manner, and thereby expose her to open shame and disgrace. To prevent which, he being tender and compassionate, though strictly just and good,

was minded to put her away privily: he deliberately consulted and determined within himself to dismiss her, or put her away by giving her a bill of divorce, in a very private manner; which was sometimes done by putting it into the woman's hand or bosom, see Deuteronomy 24:1. In Munster's Hebrew Gospel it is rendered, "it was in his heart to forsake her privately."

(b) Teldos Jesu, p. 3.((c) A. Gellii Noct. Attic. l. 6. c. 14.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

19. Then Joseph her husband—Compare Mt 1:20, "Mary, thy wife." Betrothal was, in Jewish law, valid marriage. In giving Mary up, therefore, Joseph had to take legal steps to effect the separation.

being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example—to expose her (see De 22:23, 24)

was minded to put her away privily—that is, privately by giving her the required writing of divorcement (De 24:1), in presence of only two or three witnesses, and without cause assigned, instead of having her before a magistrate. That some communication had passed between him and his betrothed, directly or indirectly, on the subject, after she returned from her three months' visit to Elizabeth, can hardly be doubted. Nor does the purpose to divorce her necessarily imply disbelief, on Joseph's part, of the explanation given him. Even supposing him to have yielded to it some reverential assent—and the Evangelist seems to convey as much, by ascribing the proposal to screen her to the justice of his character—he might think it altogether unsuitable and incongruous in such circumstances to follow out the marriage.

Matthew 1:19 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. 20But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 22:20
If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman's virginity can be found,

Deuteronomy 22:23
If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her,

Deuteronomy 24:1
If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house,

John 8:4
and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.

John 8:5
In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.Now what do you say?"

Acts 27:39
When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could.

2 Corinthians 1:15
Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you first so that you might benefit twice.
Treasury of Scripture

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.

her husband.

Leviticus 19:20 And whoever lies carnally with a woman, that is a female slave, betrothed …

Deuteronomy 22:23,24 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed to an husband, and a man …

a just.

Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect …

Psalm 112:4,5 To the upright there rises light in the darkness: he is gracious, …

Mark 6:20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, …

Luke 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; …

Acts 10:22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that …

a public.

Genesis 38:24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, …

Leviticus 20:10 And the man that commits adultery with another man's wife, even he …

Deuteronomy 22:21-24 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's …

John 8:4,5 They say to him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act…

was.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 When a man has taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass …

Mark 10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorce, and to put her away.

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