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ON ST. MATTHEW'S GOSPEL.
composed hom, and earliest lime But it;
The title, neither of this nor of the other histories of our Lord, is to be ascribed to the permen. But it is manifest, that the titles were prefixed, in the earliest times, by those who knew the persons by whom, and the occasion on which, these writings were composed. For the sense wherein the word Gospel is here used, see Prel. Diss. V. Part ji. sect. 18.
2 Kard Mardalov, “ according to Matthew," " of Matthew," or " by Matthew." These are synonymous, as has been evinced from the best authorities. Cas. rendered it." auctore Matthæo," probably enough. Nor is this, as Be. imagines, in the least repugnant to the claim of the evangelists to inspiration. Paul does not hesitate to call the doctrine with which he was inspired his Gospel. Nor does any man at present scruple to call the Epistles written by that apostle, Paul's epistles.
3 To nata Marjarov svoyyéhov. I have preferred this to every other title, because it is not only the briefest and the simplest, but incomparably the oldest, and therefore the most respectable. All the ancient Gr. MSS. have it. The titles in the old La. version called Itc. were simply “Evangelium secundum Matthæum”“secundum Marcum,” etc.; and in most ancient MSS., and even editions of the present Vulgate, they are the same. From the writings of the Fathers, both Gr. and La., it appears that the title was retained every where in the same simplicity, as far down as the fifth century. Afterwards, when, through a vitiated taste, useless epithets came much in vogue, some could not endure the nakedness of so simple a title. It then became “ Sanctuin Jesu Christi Evangelium secundum Matthæum,” etc., which is that used in the Vul. at present. The N. T. printed at Alcala (called the Complutensian Polyglot) is the first Gr. edition wherein a deviation was made, in this respect, from the primitive simplicity. The title is there, in conformity to the Vul. printed along with it, Tô xarà Ματθαίον άγιον ευαγγέλιον. This wode was adopted by some subsequent editors. Most of the translators into modern languages have gone further, and prefixed the same epithet to the name of the writer. Thus Dio. in lin. « Il santo evangelio," etc. “ se
condo S. Matteo.” The translators of P. R. Si. Sa. Beau. and L. CI. in F.“ Le saint evangile," etc. " selon Saint Matthieu.” Our translators after Lu. have not given the epithet to the Gospel, but have added it to the writers. Yet they have not prefixed this term to the names even of the apostles, in the titles of their Epistles. In this I think they are singular. The learned Wet. in his excellent edition of the Gr. N. T. remarks, that though the term corresponding to Gospel occurs in that book upwards of seventy times, it is not once accompanied with the epithet holy.
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cuber tholdoth," is subprothers, of the water, The
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1. “ The lineage.” E. T. - The book of the generation.” Biblos ya vitens. This phrase, which corresponds to the Heb. niin e “sepher tholdoth,” is supposed by some to be the title of the first seventeen verses only; by others, of the whole book. The former in effect translate it as I have done ; the latter, The History. That in the first of these senses, and also for an account of progeny, the Gr. phrase is used by Hellenist writers, is undeniable; it is not so clear that it is used, in the second, for a narrative of a man's life. It is true we sometimes find it where it can mean neither genealogy nor list of descendants, as in that phrase in the Sep. Biplos yavéoews ovqavoũ xai yñs, Gen. 2:4, the meaning of which is doubtless," the origin and gradual production of the universe;" which has plainly some analogy, though a remote one, to an account of ancestry. The quotations which have been produced on the other side, from the Pentateuch, Judith, and the Epistle of James, do not appear decisive of the question. Of still less weight is the name 'Sepher toledoth Jesu,' given to paltry, modern, Jewish fictions, written in opposition to the Gospel ; though this also has been urged as an argument.
2 " Christ,” Xpuotos, without the article, is here to be understood, not as an appellative, as it is in almost all other places of the Gospel, but as a proper name. Into this use it came soon after our Lord's resurrection, but not before. Some distinction was necessary, as at that time the name Jesus was common among the Jews. Diss. V. Part iv. sect. 7.
3 « Son,” vioũ indefinitely, not toŨ vio ū “ the son emphatically. The sense is rightly rendered by Cas. “ prognati Davide," a descendant of David. There is a modesty and simplicity in the manner in which the historian introduces his subject. He says no more than is necessary to make his readers distinguish the person of whom he speaks, leaving them to form their judginent of his mission and character, from a candid but unadorned narration of the facts.
2. “ Judah,” etc. My reason for preferring the 0. T. orthography of proper names you have Diss. XII. Part üi. sect. 6. etc.
6. “By her who had been wife of Uriah.” 'Ex tñs toï Oupiou. Literally, “By her of Uriah.”. It is not just to say that the feminine article ihus used denotes the wife. The relation is in this phrase neither expressed nor necessarily implied, but is left to be supplied from the reader's knowledge of the subject. We have no idiom in English entirely similar. That which comes nearest is when we give the names, but suppress the relation on account of its notoriety. Thus, if it were said that David had Solomon by Uriah's Bathsheba, every body would be sensible that the expression does not necessarily imply that Bathsheba was the wife, more than the widow, the daughter, or even the sister of Uriah. We have an instance in Mark 16: 1, Magia ý zoù laxwßov, where the void must be supplied by the word unino, 'mother.' The like holds of the masculine. In Acts 1:13, lóxwßov Anguluv must be supplied by viós, óson ;' and in Luke 6: 16, 'Iouduv
Jaxopov, by údehqov, brother.' What therefore is really implied in any particular case, can be learnt only from a previous acquaintance with the subject. Hence we discover that the ellipsis in this place cannot be supplied by the word wife ; for when Uriah was dead, he could not be a husband. Those, therefore, who render im ins toù Ouglou' of Uriah's wife,' charge the historian with a blunder of which he is not guilty, and mislead careless readers into the notion that Solomon was begotten in adultery. The common version exbibits the sense with sufficient exactness.
8. “ Uziah,” rov'Ofiav. So the Sep. renders this name in Gr. 2 Chr. 26:3; whereas Ahaziah is by them rendered 'Oyobias. Some names are omitted in the line, in whatever way it be rendered here ; for though A haziah was indeed the son of Joram, Uzziah was the father of Jotham.
11. Some copies read, “ Josiah begat Jehoiachin ; Jehoiachin had Jeconiah,” etc.; and this reading has been adopted into some editions. But there is no authority from ancient MSS., translations, or commentaries, for this reading, which seems to have sprung from some over-zealous transcriber, who, finding that there were only thirteen in either the second series or the third, has thought it necessary thus to supply the defect. For if Jehoiachin be reckoned in the second series, Jeconiah may be counted the first of the third, and then the whole will be complete. But as in very early times the Fathers found the same difficulty in this passage which we do at present, there is the greatest ground to suspect the correction above-mentioned.
11, 12.“ About the time of the migration into Babylon.” “ After the migration into Babylon,” ini ıñs Metoimeglas Baßvàovos. Mata' tnv Metoimeglav Babulovos. In the La. versions, the word uetocneola is differently translated. The Vul. Arias, and Leo de Juda, render it'transmigratio,' Be. 'transportatio,' Pisc. • deportatio,' Er. Cal. and Cas.'exilium,' Lu. in Ger. calls it gefangniss, Dio. in lin.'cattivita' Si. and L. Cl. in Fr. transmigration.' G. F. P. R. Beau. and Sa. adopt a circumlocution, employing the verb 'transporter.' The E. T. says, " about the time they were carried away to Babylon;" “ After they were brought to Babylon.” In nearly the same way the words are rendered by Sc. Dod. renders them, “ About the time of the Babylonish captivity :” “ After the Babylonish captivity.” Wa. says, " the removal to Babylon.” It is evident, not only from the word employed by the sacred historian, but also from the context, that he points to the act of removing into Babylon, and not to the termination of the State wherein the people remained seventy years after their removal, as the event which concluded the second epoch, and began the third, mentioned in the 17th verse : Whereas the La. “exilium,' Ger. 'gefangniss,' Itn. cattivita,' and Eng. captivity,' express the state of the people during all that period, and by consequence egregiously misrepresent the sense. They make the author say what is not true, that certain persons were begotten after, who were begotten during the captivity. Further, it deserves to be remarked, that as this apostle wrote, in the opinion of all antiquity, chiefly for the converts from Judaism, he carefully avoided giving any unnecessary offence to his countrymen. The terms captivity, exile, transportation, subjection, were offensive, and, with whatever truth they might be applied, the Jews could not easily bear the application. A remarkable instance of their delicacy in this respect, the effect of national pride, we have in J. 8:33, where they boldly assert their uninterrupted freedom and independency, in contradiction, both to their own historians, and to their own experience at that very time. This humor had led them to express some disagreeable events, which they could not altogether dissemble, by the softest names they could devise. Of this sort is ueroixEola, by which they expressed the most direful calamity that had ever befallen that nation. The word strictly signifies no more than passing from one place or state to another. It does not even convey to the mind whether the change was voluntary or forced. For this reason we must adınit that Be. Pisc. Beau. Sa. and the E. T. have all departed, though not so far as Cas. Lu. Dio. Dod., and from the more indefinite, and therefore more delicate expression of the original, and even from that of the Vul. from which Sa.'s version is professedly made. For the words used by all these iinply compulsion. Nor let it be imagined, that, because MeroixEoia occurs frequently in the Sep. where the word in Heb. signifies' captivity,' it is therefore to be understood as equivalent. That version 'was made for the use of Grecian or Hellenist Jews, who lived in cities where Gr. was the vulgar tongue; and as the translation of the