Matthew 1:25

And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
Read Chapter 1

Chromatius of Aquileia

AD 407
But concerning what the Evangelist said, “And he did not know her till she had borne her firstborn son,” not a few careless people insist on asking whether after the Lord’s birth the holy mother Mary had relations with Joseph. But this is not admissible on the grounds of either faith or truth. Far be it indeed that after the sacrament of so great a mystery and after the birth of the sublime Lord, one should believe that the Virgin Mary was intimate with a man. Remember that Miriam the prophetess of the Old Testament (the sister of Moses and Aaron) remained a virgin unsullied by man, having beheld the light of heavenly signs after the plagues of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea and the Lord’s glory going in advance and seen in a pillar of fire and clouds. It is not plausible therefore that the Mary of the Gospel, a virgin bearing God, who beheld God’s glory not in a cloud but was worthy of carrying him in her virginal womb, had relations with a man. Noah, who was made worthy to conv...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
This error then is barred by the Evangelist saying, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet. "Now one kind of prophecy is by the preordination of God, and must needs be fulfilled, and that without any free choice on our part. Such is that of which we now speak; wherefore he says, “Lo,” to show the certainty of prophecy. There is another kind of prophecy which is by the foreknowledge of God, and with this our free will is mixed up; wherein by grace working with us we obtain reward, or if justly deserted by it, torment. Another is not of foreknowledge, but is a kind of threat made after the manner of men; as that, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown;” understanding, unless the Ninevites amend themselves. He not only did what the Angel commanded, but as he commanded it. Let each one who is warned of God, in like manner, break off all delays, rise from sleep, and do that which is commanded him. He is “first-born” among the elect by grace; but by...


AD 420
Helvidius is at much superfluous trouble to make this word "know” refer to carnal knowledge rather than to acquaintance, as though any had ever denied that; or as if the follies to which he replies had ever occurred to any person of common understanding. He then goes on to say, that the adverb, 'until,’ denotes a fixed time when that should take place, which had not taken place before; so that here from the words, “He knew her not until she had brought forth her first-born Son,” it is clear, he says, that after that he did know her. And in proof of this he heaps together many instances from Scripture. To all this we answer, that the word 'until’ is to be understood in two senses in Scripture. And concerning the expression, “knew her not,” he has himself shewn, that it must be referred to carnal knowledge, none doubting that it is often used of acquaintance, as in that, “The child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem, and His parents knew not of it.” So here the Evangelist informs us, in t...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And when Joseph had taken her, “he had no relations with her until she had borne a son.” Matthew has here used the word until not that you should suspect that afterward Joseph did know her but to inform you that before the birth the Virgin was wholly untouched by man. But why then, it may be said, has he used the word until? Because it is common in Scripture that this expression is used without reference to specific, limited times. Here are three examples. First, in the narrative of the ark it was said that “the raven did not return until the earth was dried up,” yet the raven did not return even after that limited time. Second, when discussing God the Scripture says, “You are from everlasting to everlasting,” but there is no implication here that some limit is being fixed—rather the opposite. Third, when preaching the gospel beforehand and saying, “In his days may righteousness flourish, and peace abound, until the moon be no more!” it is not thereby setting a temporal limit to this b...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
“Took unto him” not took home to him; for he had not sent her away; he had put her away in thought only, and now took her again in thought. As one might say, ‘He told it not so long as he lived;’ would this imply that he told it after his death? Impossible. So it were credible that Joseph might have known her before the birth, while he was yet ignorant of the great mystery; but after that he understood how she had been made a temple of the Only-begotten of God, how could he occupy that? The followers of Eunomius think, as they have dared to assert this, that Joseph also dared to do it, just as the insane think all men equally mad with themselves. It may be said, that “know” here signifies simply, to understand; that whereas before he had not understood how great her dignity, after the birth he then "knew” that she had been made more honourable and worthy than the whole world, who had carried in her womb Him whom the whole world could not contain.

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
Life returned by the same entrance through which death had entered in. By Adam's disobedience we were ruined, by Joseph’s obedience we all begin to be recalled to our former condition; for in these words is commended to us the great virtue of obedience, when it is said, “And Joseph rising from sleep, did as the Angel of the Lord had commanded him.” Or, Took her so far, as that the nuptial rites being complete, she was called his wife; but not so far as to lie with her, as it follows, “And knew her not.”

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
That is, he never came together with her at all. "Until" here does not mean that before the birth he did not know her and afterwards he did, but that he absolutely never knew her. Scripture employs this expression. For example, the raven "returned not unto the ark until the water had dried off from the earth" (Gen 8:7). But neither did it return after the water had dried off. Again, "I am with you until the end of the world" (Gen 28:20). So after the end He will no longer be with the saints? But how can that be? For at that time more than ever will He be with them. So must you understand here "until she brought forth’’ to mean, neither before the birth nor after the birth did he know her. How could he have touched the Holy Virgin having once understood the ineffable birth giving? The evangelist does not call Him "her firstborn son" in the sense that she later gave birth to a second son, but simply that He was the first and only child that she bore. For Christ is both the "firstborn" ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

App Store LogoPlay Store Logo