|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.
Verses 22, 23. - The evidence of prophecy. ("Now all this was done .... God with us.") The Revised Version omits the marks of parenthesis. From a comparison of Matthew 26:56 (and perhaps also Matthew 21:4), this is not the utterance of the evangelist, but of the previous speaker, yet formulated by the evangelist (cf. Weiss). The thought, that is to say, is still part of the angel's encouragement to Joseph; the exact mode of expressing the record of that thought is the evangelist's; so also Tatian's 'Diattess.' (or perhaps only Ephraem's comment upon it; cf. Zahn), Quod si dubitas, Isaiam audi. Verse 22. - All this; τοῦτο ὅλον (not ταῦτα πάντα). The birth of a Saviour, with the means by which it came about, by a virgin, and "of the Holy Ghost." Was done; is come to pass (Revised Version); i.e. in abiding effect (γέγονεν). It is considered as having already taken place (cf. "the prophetic perfect" of the Old Testament). That it might be fulfilled. God's past utterance is looked at as necessitating a present action. Which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying; by the Lord through (Revised Version); i.e. the Lord is the Agent (ὑπό), the prophet the means or instrument (διά). The Lord; i.e. Jehovah, not "God," because the thought is of covenant promise.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now all this was done,.... These are not the words of the Angel, but of the Evangelist; observing that Mary's being with child of the Holy Ghost, and her conception in such an extraordinary manner, whilst a pure virgin, before she and Joseph came together, who though espoused to him, was untouched by him, were all brought about in this way, and with such circumstances,
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet; that is, the Prophet Isaiah, and so some copies read. The passage referred to is in Isaiah 7:14 what is there spoken was by divine inspiration; it was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet; the Spirit of the Lord spake by him. Prophets and holy men formerly, spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; so that what they said is to be looked upon as the word of God. Now between the prophecy of Isaiah referred to, and the fact here recorded by the Evangelist, is an entire agreement: the prophecy shows the will, counsel, and determination of God about this matter; the accomplishment of it, the faithfulness and veracity of God in his word; the prediction declares that the thing would be, and the thing itself was done, that what was spoken might be fulfilled; not merely by way of accommodation, or in a typical and mystical, but in a strict, proper and literal sense.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet—(Isa 7:14).
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