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Matthew 1:3

And Judah begat Perez and Zerah of Tamar; and Perez begat Hezron and Hezron begat Ram;
All Commentaries on Matthew 1:3 Go To Matthew 1

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
And Judah begat Pharez and Zara of Thamar. (See what I have said on Tamar, Genesis 38:29.) Observe that in the genealogy of Christ, with the exception of His Blessed Mother, only four females are made mention of, three of them harlots—Thamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba—and the fourth a Gentile, Ruth the Moabitess. Rahab, too, was a Gentile, being an inhabitant of Jericho. If the reason of all this be asked, SS. Jerome, Chrysostom, Ambrose answer, that it was so because Christ would signify that "He who came for the abolishing and putting away of sins wished to be born of sinners." This reason is true, but allegorical. The literal and simple reason Isaiah , that these women were united to their husbands, not in the ordinary way, but after a new and extraordinary manner; and so they became types of the Church of Christ, which, when the Jews were rejected, was gathered out of the Gentiles by a new vocation, and after a new manner. Tamar, because Shelah was denied her in marriage, or rather because her union with him was deferred, using deceit, prostituted herself to Judah. Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, was united to David, first by adultery, then in marriage. Rahab married Salmon because she hospitably received and protected the Hebrew spies who were sent by Joshua to Jericho, and so she became of the same faith and religion. Ruth married Boaz when she had passed with her mother-in-law, Naomi, from Moab into Judæa. The tropological sense is to show us the vanity of pride of birth, and that true nobility consists, not in ancestry, but in our own good disposition and virtues. Thus S. Chrysostom. Wherefore let no one be ashamed of his birth, nor even of vile and wicked ancestors; but let us say with Cicero, "I have outshone my forefathers in virtue." There can be no doubt that there are in the ancestry of the most exalted persons, forasmuch as they are sprung from Adam, many ignoble, worthless, wicked, and infamous persons. Plato, according to Seneca (Epis44), is of opinion that all kings are descended from servants, and that all servants are sprung from kings; that there is no king who has been entirely free from the plough, and no ploughman who has not been mixed up with kings. Lastly, Song of Solomon , amongst the other vanities and uncertainties of the world, reckons this: "Because out of prison and chains sometimes a man cometh forth to a kingdom: and another born king is consumed with poverty." ( Ecclesiastes 4:14.) Aminadab. He was prince of the tribe of Judah when the Israelites came out of Egypt, who, when the rest stood still, fearing to go into the Red Sea, although God had made dry ground through the midst of it, courageously entered into it, and brought his own tribe safely through, and then the other princes and tribes followed. This is a Hebrew tradition. To this alludes the verse, Song of Solomon 6:12, "My soul made me like the chariots of Aminadab." His son Naasson succeeded him in the headship of the tribe. Jesse, or, according to a different punctuation of the Hebrew, Isai. The name itself prefigured Jesus Christ, who was to be born of him. For Jesse and Jesus are the same word if we consider the root of both, which is to be found in the Hebrew ιωφ iasca, i.e., to save. Of her which had been the wife of Urias. After Uriah"s death, David married his wife, and of her he begat Song of Solomon , for Solomon was not born of adultery, but in wedlock. In this passage it is intimated that God did not recall the promises which He had made to David on account of his adultery with Bathsheba, but, on their repentance, He confirmed His promises. Whence from Bathsheba and her son Solomon Christ was descended. In truth, Bathsheba herself became a saintly penitent, and brought up Solomon her son in a holy manner. Yea, she became illustrious for the spirit of prophecy, as I have shown in Proverbs 31:1, on the words, "The words of king Lemuel. The vision which his mother taught him." (Vulgate.) Now Joram begat Ozias—not directly, but with three generations intervening; for Joram was really the father of Ahaziah, Ahaziah of Joash, Joash of Amaziah, Amaziah of Azariah or Uzziah, for he had both names. (See 1 Chronicles 3:12, &c.) It is asked why S. Matthew here omits these three links in the genealogy. S. Jerome answers, because the Evangelist wished to form three exact series of fourteen generations each, on which see ver17. And because Jehoram had allied himself to the most wicked Jezebel and to Ahab, in taking Ahab"s sister, the impious Athaliah, to wife; for God had sworn that, on account of Ahab"s impiety and idolatry, He would blot out all his posterity. ( 1 Kings 21:21, &c.) Posterity in Scripture is reckoned to the fourth generation. Here, then, it is blotted out, forasmuch as it is omitted and obliterated by S. Matthew. Thus S. Hilary, S. Thomas, Jansen, &c. Gaspar Sanchez gives another reason. He conjectures that Matthew actually wrote as follows: "Joram begat Ochoziah, Ochoziah begat Joash, Joash begat Amaziah, Amaziah begat Oziah;" but that the copyist, misled by the similarity between Ochoziah and Oziah, as the names are written in Greek, by a slip of his eye passed over from Ahaziah to Uzziah. Thus Gaspar. But this would be an enormous blunder, and though one copyist might fall into such an error, it was scarcely possible that all could. All extant MSS. and Versions are alike here—Greek, Syriac, Latin, Arabic, &c. "Joram begat Ozias," not Ahaziah. Besides, if these three generations were inserted, they would make seventeen generations, whereas S. Matthew says expressly there were fourteen generations. Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren. Josias begat four sons. The first was Johanan; the second, Jehoiakim, who is also Eliakim; the third, Jehoahaz, also called Shallum; the fourth, Zedekiah, who is also Mattaniah. Jehoahaz, although the third Song of Solomon , succeeded his father Josias immediately upon his death; but Pharaoh, King of Egypt, removed him, and placed his brother Jehoiakim upon the throne. After he had reigned eleven years, Nebuchadnezzar slew him, and gave the crown to his son Jehoiachin. Him he shortly afterwards dethroned, and made his uncle Zedekiah king. When Zedekiah rebelled, he took him captive, and put out his eyes; and in him that branch of David"s royal line came to an end. The carrying away to Babylon—Greek ו̉ני̀ פע לופןיךוףבע ֲבגץכ‏םןע—that Isaiah , about the time of the transmigration to Babylon, or the Babylonish captivity, in which the Jews were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon. The transmigration of the Jews to Babylon took place at three different times. The first was in the eleventh year of King Jehoiakim, when Daniel and Ezekiel were carried away. The second was three months afterwards, when Mordecai, Esther"s uncle, was carried away, together with Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim. The third, and most complete, captivity was eleven years afterwards, under King Zedekiah, when almost all the people who were left were taken away.
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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