Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
It is plain that the Jews used their Old Testament Scriptures in ways that do not commend themselves to us. To-day rabbis can find references and proofs in passages which, to our more orderly and logical minds, seem to have no bearing on the subject. They have always been readily carried away by similarity in the sound of passages. Strict criticism cannot approve of their quotations or recognize their intelligent connections. We are to remember' that one supreme idea possessed the mind of the Jew. He looked for Messiah; everything was full of Messiah; everything pointed to Messiah. The Jews were ready to find references to Messiah everywhere. So when they believed Messiah had come, they naturally turned to the old Scripture, and matched the facts of his life with all the Messianic references. We are more critical than they; we have a keener historical sense; and so we have learned to regard the Messianic allusions as secondary references, the prophecies bearing a first relation to the times in which they were uttered. St. Matthew is presenting Jesus as the Messiah promised to the Jews; and he brings into special prominence, through the whole of his narrative, that harmony between the events and the prophecies by which Jesus is marked out as the "Christ." The formula "that it might be fulfilled" is like a refrain repeated in every page of the book. In the two first chapters we find five detached incidents of the childhood of Jesus connected with five prophetic sayings. "This Gospel is the demonstration of the rights of sovereignty of Jesus over Israel as their Messiah." The importance of Scripture fulfilments may be shown by illustrating the two following points.
I. AN INDEPENDENT REVELATION IS INCONCEIVABLE. If God is pleased to work by revelations, we may be quite sure that those revelations are related; and we expect them to be given in an ascending scale; the roots of all later revelations are sure to be found in the earlier ones. An independent revelation is at once stamped with suspicion. If its connections cannot be shown, its trustworthiness may be denied. True revelations had been given to the Jews. New revelations must confirm their truth, and be their unfolding. Conceive what would have been said if Jesus had appeared making independent claim as Messiah, heedless of all connection between his revelation and preceding ones. Without hesitation we say that, in such a case, his claim could not have been justified. "The Scripture must be fulfilled."
II. AN ANTAGONISTIC REVELATION MUST BE REJECTED. It would have been the all-sufficing answer for the Pharisees, if only they could have given it - Scripture is opposed to the claims of this Jesus of Nazareth. But they never dared attempt to prove antagonism between his revelation and the previous one. Disciples and apostles, and even our Lord himself in his teachings, fully combat the idea of antagonism. He came "not to destroy the Law and the prophets, but to fulfil." He was able, "beginning at Moses and all the prophets," to expound "in all the Scripture the things concerning himself." "To him give all the prophets witness." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
WEB: Now all this has happened, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,