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to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their
own city Nazareth. 40 e And the child grew, and waxed ever. 52.
strong [ in spirit,] filled with wisdom: and the grace of
God was upon him.

ch. i. 80.

41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem 'every year at the feast of the passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's rrender, becoming filled.


¶ omit.

$ literally, it.

t read and render, and they went up after the custom of the feast, and had fulfilled the days,

a render, boy or youth: the word has been the diminutive hitherto, but now

ceases to be.

་ many ancient authorities have, his faith. As the two accounts now stand, it is wholly impossible to suggest any satisfactory method of uniting them; every one who has attempted it has, in some part or other of his hypothesis, violated probability and common sense. But, on the other hand, it is equally impossible definitely to say, that they could not be reconciled by a thorough knowledge of the facts themselves; and such an assertion, whenever made, shews great ignorance of the origin and course of oral narration. How many things will a relator say, being unaware of certain important circumstances outside his narrative, which seem to preclude those circumstances? How often will points of time be apparently brought close together in such a narration,between which, events most weighty to the history have occurred? The only inference from these two accounts, which is inevitable, is, that they are wholly independent of one another. If St. Luke had seen the Gospel of St. Matthew, or vice versâ, then the variations are utterly inexplicable; and the greatest absurdities of all are involved in the writings of those who assume this, and then proceed to harmonize. Of the dwelling at Nazareth before the Nativity, of the circumstances which brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, of the Presentation in the temple, St. Matthew's account knows nothing; of the visit of the Magi, the murder of the Innocents, the flight to Egypt, St. Luke's is unaware. In all the main circumstances of the Conception and Nativity they agree, or are easily and naturally

Exod. xxiii. 23. Deut.

15, 17: xxxiv.

xvi. 1, 16.


W render, to be. reconciled (see further in note on John vii. 42). 40.] grew-in body-waxed strong, in spirit: the addition of these words to the text was a correct gloss. "The body advances in stature, and the soul in wisdom. . . the divine nature revealed its own wisdom in proportion to the measure of the bodily growth," Cyril. becoming filled: see ver. 52 and

note there.

41-52.] VISIT TO THE TEMPLE AT THE PASSOVER. The history of this incident serves for an example of the wisdom wherewith the Child was becoming filled. "The Evangelist next shows that what he has said is true," Cyril. 41.] See Exod. xxiii. 14-17. Women, according to the maxims of the school of Hillel, were bound to go up once in the year-to the Passover. 42.] At the age of twelve, a boy was called by the Jews' son of the law, and first incurred legal obligation. At that time, then, commences the second step (see note on ver. 52) of the life of the Lord, the time when the things becoming for Him began; his course of blameless legal obedience (see note on ver. 21) in his own person and by his own will. Now first (ver. 49) appear those higher consciousnesses to have found expression, which unfolded within Him, till the full time of his public ministry arrived. It cannot be inferred from this narrative, that it was the first time the holy Child had accompanied them to the Passover, 43.] the days, seven days, Exod. xii. 15, 17. 44.] the company forming the cara. van, or band of travellers ;-all who came

journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, y seeking him. 46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and all that heard him were 48 And

8 Matt, vii. 28. asking them questions. 47 And

Mark 22.


32. John vii. astonished at his understanding

and answers.

15, 46.

when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? h John i. 16. wist ye not that I must be about ↳ my Father's business?

I render, sought him every where.
7 render, seeking him every where.
2 render, among my Father's matters.

The in

from the same district travelling together for security and company. terpretation that they went a day's journey, seeking him,' is simply absurd: for they would have turned back sooner: a few minutes might have sufficed for the search. It was not till they laid up for the night that they missed him, as at that time they would naturally expect his return to their own tent. Olshausen remarks, that being accustomed to His thoughtfulness and obedience, they were free from anxiety, till they discovered He really was not in the company. 45. seeking him every where] as they went back, all the way. 46.] Some interpret the three days, of their one day's journey out, one back, and one in Jerusalem: but they were more likely three days spent in search in Jerusalem; or, at all events, reckoned from their discovery of His not being with them. in the temple] In one of the rooms attached to the temple, where the Rabbis taught their schools. No stress must be laid on in the midst; it is only among. Nor must it be supposed from asking them questions that our Lord was acting the part of a master. It was the custom in the Jewish schools for, the scholars to ask questions of their teachers ; and a great part of the Rabbinical books consists of the answers of the Rabbis to such questions. 48-50.] The salient point of this narrative appears to lie in thy father contrasted with my Father. This was the first time that those wonder. ful words of self-consciousness had been heard from the holy Child - when He began to be "a son of the law," He first calls HIM His Father, Who gave Him the

work to do on earth, of perfectly keeping that Law. Every word of these verses is of the first importance to modern combatants for sound doctrine. Let the adversaries answerus,-why should his mother here have spoken, and not Joseph, unless there were some more than usual reason for her being put forward rather than his reputed father? Again, let the mythical school of Strauss give us a reason, why an incident altogether (in their view) so derogatory to the character of the subject of it, should have been inserted, if the myths arose out of an exaggerated estimate of the dignity of that character? thy father] Then up to this time Joseph had been so called by the holy Child Himself: but from this time, never. Such words are not chance; had Mary said "we," the strong contrast with what follows could not have been brought out. How is it that ye sought me ?] i. e. what (reason) is there, that This is no reproachful question. It is asked in all the simplicity and boldness of holy childhood . . . 'did ye not know ?'. . . it appeared as if that conviction, the expression of which now first breaks forth from HIM, must have been a matter known to them before. I must] This is that must, so often used by our Lord of His appointed and undertaken course. Analogous to this first utterance of His conviction, is the dawn, amongst ourselves, of the principle of duty in the youthful and well-trained spirit about this same age, this 'earing time' of human progress: see below on ver. 52. among my Father's matters] primarily, in the house of my Father; but we must not

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xviii. 34.

50 And they understood not the saying which he spake ich. ix. 45: unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: a but his mother * kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus k ver. 19. 1increased in bwisdom and stature, and in favour with 11 Sam. ii. 26. God and man.

Dan. vii. 28.

ver. 40.


or it may be, wisdom as well as age: see note.

a read, and.

exclude the wider sense, which embraces
all places and employments of my Father's.
The employment in which he was found,
learning the word of God, would naturally
be one of these. they understood not]
Both Joseph and His mother knew in
some sense, Who He was: but were not
prepared to hear so direct an appeal to
God as His Father: understood not the
deeper sense of these wonderful words.
Still (ver. 51) they appear to have awa-
kened in the mind of His mother a remem.
brance of "He shall be called the Son of
God," ch. i. 35. And probably, as Stier
remarks, the unfolding of His childhood had
been so gradual and natural, that even
they had not been forcibly reminded by
any strong individual notes, of that which
He was, and which now shewed itself.
It is a remarkable instance of the
blindness of the rationalistic Commentators
to the richness and depth of Scripture
narrative, that they hold this understood
not to be altogether inconceivable, as
coming after the angelic announcement to
Mary. Can they suppose, that she under-
stood that announcement itself? The
right interpretation is, they understood not
the deeper sense: see ch. xviii. 34.
51.] The high consciousness which had
manifested itself in ver. 49 did not inter-
fere with His self-humiliation, nor render
Him independent of His parents. This
voluntary subjection probably shewed itself
in working at his reputed father's trade:
see Mark vi. 2 and note.
From this
time we have no more mention of Joseph:
the next we hear is of His mother and
brethren (John ii. 12): whence it is in-
ferred that, between this time and the
commencement of our Lord's public life,
Joseph died. and his mother kept...]
These words tend to confirm the common
belief that these opening chapters, or at
least this narrative, may have been de-
rived from the testimony of the mother
of the Lord herself. She kept them, as
in wonderful coincidence with the remark-
able circunstances of His birth, and its
announcement, and His presentation in
the temple, and the offerings of the Magi;


but in what way, or by what one great revelation, all these things were to be gathered in one, did not yet appear, but was doubtless manifested to her afterwards: see Acts i. 14; ii. 1. 52.] The Greek word rendered stature means not only that (as in ch. xix. 3), but age (see Matt. vi. 27, where the word is the same, and note), which comprehends the other. During these eighteen mysterious years we may, by the light of what is here revealed, view the holy Child advancing onward to that fulness of wisdom and divine approval which was indicated at His Baptism, by "in thee I am well pleased." We are apt to forget, that it was during this time that much of the great work of the second Adam was done. The growing up through infancy, childhood, youth, manhood, from grace to grace, holiness to holiness, in subjection, self-denial, and love, without one polluting touch of sin,-this it was which, consummated by the three years of active ministry, by the Passion, and by the Cross, constituted "the obedience of one man," by which many were made righteous. We must fully appreciate the words of this verse, in order to think rightly of Christ. He had emptied Himself of His glory: His infancy and childhood were no mere pretence, but the Divine Personality was in Him carried through these states of weakness and inexperience, and gathered round itself the ordinary accessions and experiences of the sons of men. All the time, the consciousness of his mission on earth was ripening; the things heard of the Father' (John xv. 15) were continually imparted to Him; the Spirit, which was not given by measure to Him, was abiding more and more upon Him; till the day when He was fully ripe for his official manifestation, -that He might be offered to his own, to receive or reject Him, and then the Spirit led Him up to commence his conflict with the enemy. As yet, He was in favour with man also: the world had not yet begun to hate Him; but we cannot tell how soon this feeling towards Him was changed, for

III. 1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judæa, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituræa and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias 51: xviii. 13. the tetrarch of Abilene, 2 a Annas and Caiaphas being the

a John xi. 49,

Acts iv. 6.

He alleges John vii. 7), "Me the world hateth, because I testify of it that its deeds are evil;" and we can hardly conceive such testimony, in the years of gathering vigour and zeal, long withheld. The incident of ch, iv. 28, 29 can scarcely have arisen only from the anger of the


CHAP. III. 1-22.] PREACHING AND BAPTISM OF JOHN. DIVINE TESTIMONY TO JESUS AT HIS BAPTISM. Matt. iii. 1-17. Mark i. 4-11. 1.] These dates are consistent with the accurate tracing down which St. Luke predicates of himself, ch. i. 3. In Matt. iii. 1 we have the same events indicated as to time by only "In those days.” The fifteenth year of the sole principate of Tiberius began Aug. 19, in the year of Rome 781, and reckoning backwards thirty years from that time (see ver. 23), we should have the birth of our Lord in 751, or about then; for "about thirty" will admit of some latitude. But Herod the Great died in the beginning of the year 750, and our Lord's birth must be fixed some months at least before the death of Herod. If then it be placed in 749, He would have been at least thirty-two at the time of His baptism, seeing that it took place some time after the beginning of John's ministry. This difficulty has led to the supposi tion that this fifteenth year is not to be dated from the sole, but from the associated principate of Tiberius, which commenced most probably at the end of 764. According to this, the fifteenth of Tiberius will begin at the end of 779-and our Lord's birth would be 749 or 750: which will agree with the death of Herod. This latter explanation has usually been adopted. Our present æra was fixed by Dionysius Exiguus, in the sixth century, and places the birth of our Lord in 754. It may be doubted, however, whether in all these reckonings more accuracy has not been sought than the Gospel narrative warrants any expectation of our finding. The "about thirty" is a wide expression, and might cover any age from thirty (see note on ver. 23) to thirty-two or thirty-three. See on Matt. ii. 2, where it appears probable from astronomical considerations, that our Lord was born as early as U.c. 747. Pontius Pilate . . . .] Pilate

was only Procurator of Judæa: the word governor being used promiscuously of the leading officers of the Roman government. PONTIUS PILATE was the sixth procurator from the deposition of Archelaus, and came to Judæa about the year of Rome 779. He held the province ten years, and was sent to Rome to answer for his conduct by Vitellius, prefect of Syria, in 789, the year of the death of Tiberius. See chronological table in the Introduction to the Acts. Herod] See note on Matt. xiv. 1. HEROD ANTIPAS became tetrarch of Galilee after the death of his father Herod, in the year of Rome 750, and continued till he was deposed in 792. Philip] Son of Herod the Great by Cleopatra, a woman of Jerusalem. He was brought up at Rome, and after his father's death in 750, was made tetrarch of Batanæa, Gaulonitis, Trachonitis, Panias, Auranitis (Batanæa and Auranitis make up Ituræa), and continued till his death in 786 or 787. He built Cæsarea Philippi. He was by far the best of Herod's sons, and ruled his portion mildly and well. He must not be confounded with his half-brother Philip, whose wife Herodias Herod Antipas seduced. This latter was disinherited by his father, and lived in privacy. See note on Matt. xiv. 1. Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene] ABILENE, the district round Abila, a town eighteen miles north of Damascus, now, according to Pococke, Nebi Abel. It must not be confounded with Abila in Decapolis. Josephus mentions it as among the districts which Claudius gave to king Agrippa I. under the name of Abila of Lysanias, and in another place as the Kingdom called that of Lysanias. See further in note in my Greek Testament. It seems to have been a district patrimonially in possession of rulers bearing this name. 2.] ANNAS (Ananus, Josephus) the high priest, was deposed by Valerius Gratus (in the year of Rome 779), and after several changes, Joseph or Caiaphas, his son-in-law (John xviii. 13), was made high priest. It would appear from this verse (and the use of the singular-see margin-renders the inference more stringent. Compare also St. Luke's own phrase, Acts iv. 6) that Annas, as ex-high priest, and possibly retaining in the view of the Jews the legitimate high priesthood, was



Isa. lii. 10. ch. ii. 10.

c high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance b for the remission of sins; 4 as it is written in the book of b ch. i. 77. the words of Esaias the prophet, [d saying,] The voice of one e Isa. xl. 3. crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6 and all flesh shall see the salva- d Ps. xcviii. 2. tion of God. 7e Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore e Matt. vii, 19. which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 10 And the people asked him, saying, f What shall we do then? 11 He answereth and saith facts ii. 37. unto them, He that hath two icoats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. 12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what h shall we do? 13 And he said unto them, 'Exact no more than that which is 1ch. xix. 8. appointed you. 14 And [the] soldiers likewise demanded

gch. xi. 41.

[blocks in formation]

counted still as having the office: he cer-
tainly (John xviii. 13) exercised the power,
-and had influence enough to procure the
actual high priesthood for five of his sons,
after his own deposition, Jos. Antt. xx. 9.
1. A substitute, or deputy to the high
priest (called by the Talmudists Sagan),
appears to have been usual,—see 2 Kings
xxv. 18; and Annas would thus be able to
evade the Roman appointment, and keep
the authority.
the word of God
came .] See John i. 33. 3-6.]
Matt. iii. 1. Mark i. 4, where see note on
the baptism of repentance. 5, 6.]
are peculiar to Luke. They are nearly
verbatim from the LXX in the Alexandrine


James 15,

2 Cor. viii. 14. John iii. 17: iv. 20.

Matt. xxi. 32.

ch. vii, 29.


f render, offspring.
h render, must.
j omit.

copy. 7-9.] Matthew, vv. 7-10. John's speech is verbatim as Matthew, except that fruits is singular, and "think not" in Matthew is begin not in Luke. This indicates a common origin of this portion, which however is still thus slightly deflected; and let it be borne in mind that the slighter the deflection, the more striking the independence of the Evangelists. 8. begin not to say] He cuts off even the attempt to excuse themselves. 10-14.] Peculiar to Luke. 10.] Olshausen refers to the answer to a similar question under the N. T. dispensation, Acts ii. 37. See also Acts xvi. 30; xxii. 10. Deeds of justice and charity are the very first fruits

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