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.
Darby Bible Translation
But Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and unwilling to expose her publicly, purposed to have put her away secretly;
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.
Matthew 1:19 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Her husband - The word in the original does not imply that they were married. It means here the man to whom she was espoused.
A just man - Justice consists in rendering to every man his own. Yet this is evidently not the character intended to be given here of Joseph. The meaning is that he was kind, tender, merciful; that he was so attached to Mary that he was not willing that she should be exposed to public shame. He sought, therefore, secretly to dissolve the connection, and to restore her to her friends without the punishment commonly inflicted on adultery. The word just has not unfrequently this meaning of mildness, or mercy. See 1 John 1:9; compare Cicero, De Fin. 5, 23.
A public example - To expose her to public shame or infamy. Adultery has always been considered a crime of a very heinous nature. In Egypt, it was punished by cutting off the nose of the adulteress; in Persia, the nose and ears were cut off; in Judea, the punishment was death by stoning, Leviticus 20:10; Ezekiel 16:38, Ezekiel 16:40; John 8:5. This punishment was also inflicted where the person was not married, but betrothed, Deuteronomy 21:23-24. In this case, therefore, the regular punishment would have been death in this painful and ignominious manner. Yet Joseph was a religious man - mild and tender; and he was not willing to complain of her to the magistrate, and expose her to death, but sought to avoid the shame, and to put her away privately.
Put her away privily - The law of Moses gave the husband the power of divorce, Deuteronomy 24:1. It was customary in a bill of divorce to specify the causes for which the divorce was made, and witnesses were also present to testify to the divorce. But in this case, it seems, Joseph resolved to put her away without specifying the cause; for he was not willing to make her a public example. This is the meaning here of "privily." Both to Joseph and Mary this must have been a great trial. Joseph was ardently attached to her, but her character was likely to be ruined, and he deemed it proper to separate her from him. Mary was innocent, but Joseph was not yet satisfied of her innocence. We may learn from this to put our trust in God. He will defend the innocent. Mary was in danger of being exposed to shame. Had she been connected with a cruel, passionate, and violent man, she would have died in disgrace. But God had so ordered it that she was betrothed to a man mild, amiable, and tender: and in due time Joseph was apprised of the truth in the case, and took his faithful and beloved wife to his bosom. Thus, our only aim should be to preserve a conscience void of offence, and God will guard our reputation. We may be assailed by slander; circumstances may be against us; but in due time God will take care to vindicate our character and save us from ruin. See Psalm 37:5-6.
LibraryThe Nativity of Jesus the Messiah.
SUCH then was the hope of the promise made of God unto the fathers,' for which the twelve tribes, instantly serving (God) night and day,' longed - with such vividness, that they read it in almost every event and promise; with such earnestness, that it ever was the burden of their prayers; with such intensity, that many and long centuries of disappointment have not quenched it. Its light, comparatively dim in days of sunshine and calm, seemed to burn brightest in the dark and lonely nights of suffering, …
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
The Tragic Break in the Plan.
The Prophecy of Obadiah.
"But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin,
"If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her,
"When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house,
they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.
"Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?"
When day came, they could not recognize the land; but they did observe a bay with a beach, and they resolved to drive the ship onto it if they could.
2 Corinthians 1:15
In this confidence I intended at first to come to you, so that you might twice receive a blessing;
Jump to PreviousDetermined Disgrace Divorce Example Husband Intended Joseph Kind-Hearted Mind Minded Planned Privately Privily Public Publicly Purposed Quietly Release Resolved Righteous Secretly Shame Unwilling Upright Wanting Willing
Jump to NextDetermined Disgrace Divorce Example Husband Intended Joseph Kind-Hearted Mind Minded Planned Privately Privily Public Publicly Purposed Quietly Release Resolved Righteous Secretly Shame Unwilling Upright Wanting Willing
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