Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, September 30th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Take our poll

Bible Commentaries
Matthew 1

Brown's Commentary on the New TestamentBrown's Commentary

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors


  1. Intro
    Scofield: “The date of Matthew has been much discussed, but no convincing reason has been given for the discrediting the traditional date of A.D. 37.”
    1. This book was written primarily for the Jews as a Bridge from the OT to the New. It is designed to show us our King – the Son of David! It was not designed for the gentiles, the Romans or as John wrote, as a general epistle to speak to Christ’s deity.
    2. Author: Matthew (Levi). Possibly trained as a Levite [schooled in the scripture (129 references to the OT)] but (apparently) walked away because of the hypocrisy of the Jews and became a tax collector.
    3. The book is broken into 5 main sections; each consisting of a transition, a teaching and a demonstration by Jesus.
    4. Matthew, in many ways, wrote this Gospel to fly in the face of the religious “do-gooders”. They thought that they shouldn’t associate with “Sinners”, yet Jesus, walked, talked, ate and lived with them! He didn’t just preach and walk away, He loved them into the Kingdom.
    5. Jesus, we will find, was not soft of sin, just sinners. The stories of the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery as well as the publican who beat his breast crying, “Lord, be merciful to me – a sinner” show us the Lord’s heart. His call was to humility, meekness and to follow Him – not the expectations of the religious world.

Verses 1-17

  1. The Generations
    1. Heritage and Royalty
      Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
      1. Genesis 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
      2. Jesus is called the second Adam -- 1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
      3. To the Jewish mind, genealogy is everything. It makes the connection with the past. It shows the fulfillment of promises. It shows that Jesus has the right to claim to be the Messiah.
      4. The Old Testament tells us that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham (this is His family line): Genesis 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
      5. The NT tells us that the Messiah would be a descendant of David (this is His Royal line): 1 Chronicles 17:11 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. Note: This genealogy is the line of Joseph, because he was the “LEGAL” father of Jesus.
        1. There is another genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3 – and it’s that of Mary, not Joseph and so shows the actual biological line of Jesus instead of the legal one. It is different in that it shows a line coming from David’s son Nathan instead of Solomon. The Luke genealogy shows that Jesus is not only the legal heir of the throne of David, but the biological heir as well.
    2. God’s Grace
      1. (v3) Tamar
        Genesis 38:6-26 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. 8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. 9 And Onan [jim: didn’t honor the Lord by obeying his father and so the Lord “slew” him]. 11 Then Judah said to Tamar [jim: wait for my youngest to grow up and you can marry him – putting her off because he feared the 3rd son would die also. Tamar got tired of waiting when she should have been married to the 3rd son who was now grown and so ] 14 And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a vail [jim: the clothes of a prostitute and sat where Judah would see her – when he did, he propositioned her offering her a kid goat for her services (but he didn’t have the goat with him] And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it? [so Judah gave her his signet ring, his bracelets and his staff as ernest against the goat but when he came back to pay her the next day she was gone]…24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. 25 When she was brought forth, [jim: said to Judah, whose ring, bracelets and staff are these? The owner is the father of my child and Judah said, “she is more righteous than I because I didn’t give her my son”]
      2. (v5) Rahab
        Matthew 1:5-6 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
        1. Joshua 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there. [jim: …you probably remember the story, she hid them and helped them escape safely and in return they promised to protect her when they took Jericho.]
      3. (v5) Ruth
        1. God had cursed the Moabites and said that one would not enter into the Temple until the 10th generation…yet we find one in Jesus’ lineage.
        2. Ruth 1:4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
      4. (v6) Bathsheba
        2 Samuel 11:2-3 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
        1. Bathsheba was an adulteress…she and David should have been stoned.
        2. See how the Pharisees responded to the woman caught in adultery in John 8.
      5. Joseph
        Matthew 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
        1. Matthew is NOT called the father of Jesus, rather he is the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus.
        2. Commentators say the “Whom” in the Greek is even feminine to indicate Joseph had nothing to do with it.

Verses 18-21

  1. The Birth of Christ
    1. The Espousal
      Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
      1. Here we find Mary, around 15 yrs old, showing up pregnant while engaged to Joseph.
      2. She could have been stoned, and probably was breaking Joseph’s heart as we have to believe that he loved her by the way he treated her…
      3. Think about this…if a 15 yo girl here in church told us that she was pregnant but don’t worry, she’s still a virgin as the Father is God…what would we think?
    2. Merciful and Just
      Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
      1. Matthew chose mercy over justice (shouldn’t we all?) and planned to divorce her quietly without embarrassing her or making her a public spectacle.
        1. Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
    3. Have No Fear
      Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost
    4. Salvation!
      Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Verses 22-25

  1. Prophecy Fulfilled
    1. Emmanuel
      Matthew 1:22-23 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
    2. Obedience
      Matthew 1:24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Matthew 1". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/matthew-1.html. 2017.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile