The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
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Ambrose of Milan
In Luc. iii: He therefore names specially two authors of His birth - one who received the promise concerning the kindreds of the people, the other who obtained the oracle concerning the generation of Christ; and though he is later in order of succession is yet first named, inasmuch as it is greater to have received the promise concerning Christ than concerning the Church, which is through Christ; for greater is He who saves than that which is saved.
Vigil. Tapsens. (ibid. p. 644): The audaciousness of this most insane error I will curb by the authority of the heavenly testimonies, and demonstrate the distinct personality of the proper substance of the Son. I shall not produce things which are liable to be explained away as agreeable to the assumption of human nature; but shall offer such passages as all will allow to be decisive in proof of His divine nature. In Genesis we find God saying, “Let Us make man in Our own Image.” By this plural number shewing, that there was some other person to whom He spoke. Had He been one, He would have been said to have made Him in His own Image, but there is another; and He is said to have made man in the Image of that other.
De Haer, et 10: Cerinthus then and Ebion made Jesus Christ only man; Paul of Samosata, following them, asserted Christ not to have had an existence from eternity, but to have begun to be from His birth of the Virgin Mary; he also thought Him nothing more than man. This heresy was afterwards confirmed byPhotinus.He therefore, who in the beginning was with God, could not in this last time take the beginning of His being from man. He says further, (let Photinus hear his words,) “Father, glorify Me with that glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” .
de Haeres. 19: The error of Nestorius was, that he taught that a man only was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom the Word of God received not into Unity of person and inseparable fellowship; a doctrine which Catholic ears could not endure.
de Haeres. 41: Sabellius they say was a disciple of Noctus, who taught that the same Christ was one and the same Father and Holy Spirit.
de Haer., 49: The Arians will not have the Father, Son, a...
Some might be perplexed by the fact that Matthew enumerates one series of ancestors, descending through David to Joseph, while Luke specifies a different succession, tracing the ancestry from Joseph backwards through David. It was easy for them to perceive that Joseph was able to have two fathers, one blood father by whom he was born and another adoptive father by whom he was adopted. Indeed, this was the custom of adoption even among that people of God. In this way they could endow sonship upon those whom they had not given birth. Recall how Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses (and she was a foreigner). And Jacob himself adopted his own grandsons, the sons of Joseph: “And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt, before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. And the offspring born to you after them shall be yours.” In this way, too, it came about that there were twelve tribes of Israel, with the tribe of Levi be...
Therefore St. Matthew began writing his Gospel with an introduction of this sort, saying, “This is the book of Jesus Christ, descendant of David, descendant of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob,” and the rest that follows. Matthew, as I have said, tells of the second birth of the Lord into flesh and for this reason traces his family line from Abraham, treating separately the tribe of Judah, until he comes down to Joseph and Mary. Since the Evangelist begins from Abraham by succession of birth and recounts in order the names of all, one may wonder why he calls Christ our Lord only the descendant of David and the descendant of Abraham in saying, “This is the book of the lineage of Jesus Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham.” At any rate, we know that the Evangelist did not say this without reason and in this order. Each of them, both Abraham and David, whether by the promise of the Lord or rank of birth, lived as a worthy predecessor in the line of Jesus Christ as to his ex...
§ 1 The sacrament of our salvation and faith, though in all the divine scriptures, is especially contained in the evangelical preaching, in which the secret of the heavenly sanctuary is revealed to us even as the mystery of the Lord’s passion and resurrection is revealed to everyone. However, the transcribers the gospel (as it is divided into four books) are: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, who once had been prefigured and predestined to the duty of this divine work, as the blessed Luke reported: Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compose a narrative of the things that have been fulfilled among us. (Luke 1:1)
For Matthew is appointed by the divine authority and grace of the holy spirit to be the first to write down the gospel, then Mark and Luke, most recently of all John, after he came back, upon the death of Domitian Caesar, from Patmos, the island where he had been bound. After he had been posted on this island and written the Revelation, he was disclosed the gospel he was to wri...
The book of the generation.—Thus it is verbally in the Greek, Latin, Syrian, Arabic, Egyptian, Persian texts. But the Ethiopian has the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Matthew here seems to imitate Moses. Listen to what blessed Peter Damian says in his Sermon on S. Matthew: "As Moses is not improperly placed before the prophets and all who have written anything in the Old Testament, so Matthew rightly takes precedence of all who are found to have written in the New Testament. For as Moses compiled (texit) an account of the origin of the world, so has Matthew described the rising newness of the Church, as it were of a spiritual world. Hence it has been provided that, the HOLY SPIRIT guiding the pen, both Moses and S. Matthew placed the same commencement to their respective works, saying, "The Book of the Generation."" So far Damian. Now Moses, in Gen.
Ep. i. ad MO nachos Egypti.: Saith the Apostle of the Only-begotten, “Who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God.” Hear how He saith that He and the Father will dwell in them that love Him. Do you then suppose that we shall grant that He is there emptied of His glory, and has taken upon Him the form of a servant, when He makes His abode in the hearts of them that love Him? Or the Holy Spirit, does He fulfil an assumption of human flesh when He dwells in our hearts?.
Ep. ad Joan. Antioch. Tom. 6, Ep. 107: We account those persons mad who have suspected that so muchas the shadow of change could take place in the nature of the Divine Word; it abides what it ever was, neither is nor can be changed.
The first English Testament, divided into verses, was that printed at Geneva, by Conrad Badius, in the year 1557. (Haydock)
"The book of the Generation "is not referred to the whole gospel, but to the beginning, as in Genesis v. "This is the book of the generation of Adam. "(Estius)
The book of the Generation, i.e. the genealogy or pedigree, which is here set down in the first sixteen verses. In the style of the Scriptures any short schedule or roll is called a book, as the bill or short writing of a divorce, is called a little book. (Matthew v. 31.) (Witham)
Jesus, in Hebrew Jesuah, is the proper name of Him, who was born of the Virgin Mary, who was also the Son of God, "a name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. "(Luke ii.) It signifies Saviour, "because he was to save his people from their sins. "He was also called Christ, which signifies anointed; for though in the Old Testament kings, priests, and prophets were anointed, and though many were then designated ...
Liber Generationis. Biblos geneseos. So Genesis v. 1. Hic est liber generationis Adam, Biblos lib. 1. Contra Jovin. tom. iv. parte 2. pag. 174. Ostend ant mihi, ubi hoc Verbo (Alma) appellentur et nuptæ, et imperitiam confitebor.
Ordinaria: The full expression would be “This is the book of the generation; "but this is a usual ellipse; e.g. “The vision of Isaiah,” for, ‘This is the vision.’ “Generation,” he says in the singular number, though there be many here given in succession, as it is for the sake of the one generation of Christ that the rest are here introduced.
But since from this title it appears that the whole book is concerning Jesus Christ, it is necessary first to know what we must think concerning Him; for so shall be better explained what this book relates of Him.
Other denied the reality of Christ’s human nature. Valentinus said that Christ sent from the Father, carried about a spiritual or celestial body, and took nothing of the Virgin, but passed through her as through a channel, taking nothing of her flesh. But we do not therefore believe Him to have been born of the Virgin, because by no other means He could have truly lived in the flesh, and appeared among men; but because it is so written i...
What God conferred on those, who, by the anointing of oil were consecrated as kings or priests, this the Holy Spirit conferred on the Man Christ; adding moreover a purification. The Holy Spirit cleansed that which taken of the Virgin Mary was exalted into the Body of the Saviour, and this is that anointing of the Body of the Saviour’s flesh whence He was called Christ.
What Matthew publishes in order of kingly succession, Luke has set forth in order of priestly origin. While accounting for each order, both indicate the relationship of the Lord to each ancestral lineage. The order of his lineage is thus duly presented, because the association of the priestly and royal tribes that was begun through David from marriage is now confirmed out of the descent from Shealtiel to Zerubbabel. And so, while Matthew recounts his paternal origin that began in Judah, Luke teaches that his ancestry was taken from the tribe of Levi. Each in his own way demonstrates the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is both the eternal king and priest, as seen even in the fleshly origin of both of his ancestries. It does not matter that the origin of Joseph instead of Mary is recounted, for indeed there is one and the same blood relationship for the whole tribe. Moreover, both Matthew and Luke provide precedents. They name fathers in order not so much by their lineage as by their...
‘The face of a man’ (in Ezekiel's vision) signifies Matthew, who accordingly opens his Gospel with the human genealogy of Christ.
We read in Isaiah, “Who shall declare His generation?” But it does not follow that the Evangelist contradicts the Prophet, or undertakes what he declares impossible; for Isaiah is speaking of the generation of the Divine nature; St. Matthew of the incarnation of the human.
The order of the names is inverted, but of necessity; for had he written Abraham first, and David afterwards, he would have to repeat Abraham again top reserve the series of the genealogy.
Matthew wrote for the Jews, and in Hebrew ; to them it was unnecessary to explain the divinity which they recognized; but necessary to unfold the mystery of the Incarnation. John wrote in Greek for the Gentiles who knew nothing of a Son of God. They required therefore to be told first, that the Son of God was God, then that this Deity was incarnate.
And do not consider this genealogy a small thing to hear: for truly it is a marvellous thing that God should descend to be born of a woman, and to have as His ancestors David and Abraham.
But why would it not have been enough to name one of them, David alone, or Abraham alone? Because the promise had been made to both of Christ to be born of their seed. To Abraham, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” David was king and prophet, but not priest. Thus He is expressly called the son of both, that the threefold dignity of His forefathers might be recognized by hereditary right in Christ.
Another reason is that royal ...
It were indeed meet for us not at all to require the aid of the written Word, but to exhibit a life so pure, that the grace of the Spirit should be instead of books to our souls, and that as these are inscribed with ink, even so should our hearts be with the Spirit. But, since we have utterly put away from us this grace, come, let us at any rate embrace the second best course.
For that the former was better, God has made manifest, both by His words, and by His doings. Since unto Noah, and unto Abraham, and unto his offspring, and unto Job, and unto Moses too, He discoursed not by writings, but Himself by Himself, finding their mind pure. But after the whole people of the Hebrews had fallen into the very pit of wickedness, then and thereafter was a written word, and tables, and the admonition which is given by these.
And this one may perceive was the case, not of the saints in the Old Testament only, but also of those in the New. For neither to the apostles did God give anything i...
Do you indeed remember the charge, which we lately made you, entreating you to hearken unto all the things that are said with all silence, and mystical quietness? For we are today to set foot within the holy vestibule, wherefore I have also put you in mind of the charge.
Since, if the Jews, when they were to approach a mountain that burned, and fire, and blackness, and darkness, and tempest; — or rather when they were not so much as to approach, but both to see and to hear these things from afar—were commanded for three days before to abstain from their wives, and to wash their garments, and were in trembling and fear, both themselves and Moses with them; much more we, when we are to hearken to such words, and are not to stand far from a smoking mountain, but to enter into Heaven itself, ought to show forth a greater self-denial; not washing our garments, but wiping clean the robe of our soul, and ridding ourselves of all mixture with worldly things. For it is not blackness that you...
Behold a third discourse, and we have not yet made an end of the prefatory matter. It was not then for nought that I said, It is the nature of these thoughts to have a great depth.
Come, then, let us speak today what remains. What is it then that is now required? Why Joseph's genealogy is traced, who had no part in the birth. And one cause we have mentioned already; but it is necessary to mention likewise the other, that which is more mystical and secret than the first. What then is this? He would not that it should be manifest to the Jews, at the time of the birth, that Christ was born of a virgin.
Nay, be not troubled at the strangeness of the saying. For it is no statement of mine, but of our fathers, wonderful and illustrious men. For if He disguised many things from the first, calling Himself Son of Man, and has not everywhere clearly unfolded to us even His equality with the Father; why do you wonder at His having for a time disguised this also, taking order as He was for a...
Epist. 59, ad Const.: We do not speak of Christ as man in such a sort as toallow that any thing was wanting to Him, which it is certain pertains to human nature, whether soul, or rational mind, or flesh, and flesh such as was taken of the Woman, not gained by a change or conversion of the Word into flesh. But if to avoid being driven to the conclusion that the Godhead could feel suffering and death, he departs from the corruption of Apollinaris, and should still dare to affirm the nature of the incarnate Word, that is of the Word and the flesh, to be the same, he clearly falls into the insane notions of Manichaeus and Marcion, and believes that the Lord Jesus Christ did all His actions with a false appearance, that His body was not a human body, but a phantasm, which imposed on the eyes of thebeholders.But what Eutyches ventured , must needs be rebuked in Eutyches, to wit, that our souls before they were placed in our bodies had actions not only wonderful but various.
By this exordium he shows that it is the birth of Christ according to the flesh that he has undertaken to narrate.
Though the genealogy occupies only a small part of the volume, he yet begins thus, “The book of the generation.” For it is the manner of the Hebrews to name their books from that with which they open; as Genesis.
He says, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ,” because he knew it was written, ‘The book of the generation of Adam.’ He begins thus then, that he may oppose book to book, the new Adam to the old Adam, for by the one were all things restored which had been corrupted by the other.
By saying, “of Jesus Christ,” he expresses both the kingly and priestly office to be in Him, for Jesus, who first bore this name, was after Moses, the first who was leader of the children of Israel; and Aaron, anointed by the mystical ointment, was the first priest under the Law.
Though any affirm that the prophet (Isaiah) does speak of His human generation, we need not answer to his enquiry, “Who shall declare it?” - “No man;” but, "Very few;” because Matthew and Luke have.
These heresies therefore the Apostles overthrow in the opening of their Gospels, as Matthew in relating how He derived His descent from the kings of the Jews proves Him to have been truly man and to have had true flesh.
One must bear in mind therefore that the Evangelists, or rather the Spirit speaking through them, took pains to ensure that their readers believed that Christ was truly God and truly human. Because of what they wrote, no one could possibly doubt that he is God by nature, beyond all variation, mutation or illusion, and that according to the ordered plan of God he was truly human. This is why John could say, on the one hand, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John immediately adds, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Hence Matthew wrote appropriately, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” On the one hand he is not able to be counted simply from natural generation among families, since it is written, “Who shall declare his generation?” He is before the centuries and of one substance with the Father himself, from the standpoint of eternity. But by this genealogy he is also numbered among ...
The Life of the Evangelist Matthew
Matthew, also known as Levi, tax collector turned apostle, was the first to compose the Gospel of Christ, in Judea in the Hebrew language for those of the circumcision who believed. It is unknown by whom it was later translated into Greek. The Hebrew text is preserved to this day in the library of Caesarea that was most diligently assembled by the Martyr Pamphilus. The Nazarenes of Berroia in Syria, who use this text, gave me permission to copy it. From this one is easily convinced that where the evangelist makes use of the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, either himself, or in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, he does not follow the authority of the Seventy (i.e. The Septuagint), but of the Hebrew text. It is from the latter that these two passages come: Out of Egypt have I called My Son (Mt 2:15) and He shall be called a Nazarene (Mt 2:23).
Why did he not say "vision" or "word" as did the prophets who prefaced their writing in this manner: "The vision which Isaiah saw (Is 1:1)," and "The word which came to Isaiah (Is 2:1)." Do you wish to know why? Because the prophets were speaking to hard-hearted and disobedient people, and therefore they would say, "This is a divine vision," or "This is the word of God," so that the people would be frightened and not disdain what was said. But Matthew was addressing believers who were obedient and of a good disposition, and for this reason he did not begin in the manner of the prophets. I will also add that what the prophets saw, they saw noetically, that is, with their minds, envisioning these things by the Holy Spirit; and this is why they called them "visions." But Matthew did not see Christ noetically, nor did he envision Him in his mind, but he was with Him tangibly and listened to Him with his senses and saw Him in the flesh. Therefore he did not say, "The vision which I saw," bu...
There are four Evangelists; two of them, Matthew and John, were of the company of the twelve, and two, Mark and Luke, were of the seventy. Mark was a follower and disciple of Peter; and Luke, of Paul. Matthew, then, first wrote the Gospel, in the Hebrew language for the Jews who believed, eight years after Christ’s Ascension. Some say that John translated it from the Hebrew language into Greek. Mark wrote his Gospel ten years after the Ascension, instructed by Peter. Luke wrote his Gospel fifteen years after the Ascension, and John the most wise Theologian, thirty two years after the Ascension.
It is said that after the death of the first three Evangelists, the three Gospels were brought to John while he yet lived that he might see them and judge if they had been composed according to the truth. When John read them he fully accepted the grace of the truth in them. and whatever the other Evangelists had omitted, he completed in his Gospel, and whatever they had touched on briefly, he...