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Matthew 1:18-21

Context
The Birth of Jesus Christ

1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, 1  she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 1:19 Because Joseph, her husband to be, 2  was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to divorce her 3  privately. 1:20 When he had contemplated this, an 4  angel of the Lord 5  appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 1:21 She will give birth to a son and you will name him 6  Jesus, 7  because he will save his people from their sins.”

1 tn The connotation of the Greek is “before they came together in marital and domestic union” (so BDAG 970 s.v. συνέρχομαι 3).

2 tn Grk “husband.” See following note for discussion.

3 tn Or “send her away.”

sn In the Jewish context, “full betrothal was so binding that its breaking required a certificate of divorce, and the death of one party made the other a widow or widower (m. Ketub. 1:2; m. Sota 1:5; m. Git. passim…)” (R. H. Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on his Literary and Theological Art, 21).

4 tn Grk “behold, an angel.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

5 tn Or “the angel of the Lord.” Linguistically, “angel of the Lord” is the same in both testaments (and thus, he is either “an angel of the Lord” or “the angel of the Lord” in both testaments). For arguments and implications, see ExSyn 252; M. J. Davidson, “Angels,” DJG, 9; W. G. MacDonald argues for “an angel” in both testaments: “Christology and ‘The Angel of the Lord’,” Current Issues in Biblical and Patristic Interpretation, 324-35.

6 tn Grk “you will call his name.”

7 sn The Greek form of the name Ihsous, which was translated into Latin as Jesus, is the same as the Hebrew Yeshua (Joshua), which means “Yahweh saves” (Yahweh is typically rendered as “Lord” in the OT). It was a fairly common name among Jews in 1st century Palestine, as references to a number of people by this name in the LXX and Josephus indicate.



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