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Day 2 – Marriage to a Virgin

Matthew 1: 18 -25

Note, that the text tells us that Mary “was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together she was found with child by the Holy Spirit…”.  Several key points should be understood.  First, in Hebrew culture the marriage was a two-step process – betrothal and then the coming together – there was a waiting period in between.  However, the marriage was established at betrothal.  Thus, to be with child from another man during the interim period would have been adultery.  This is why Joseph had do consider divorcing Mary.  Fundamentally, you can’t have divorce unless you’re married to begin with so Joseph and Mary were married at the time she became pregnant.

 

Next, we need to understand why Joseph would agree to take Mary into his home as his wife. The most obvious answer is because the Angel told him to.  However, it goes deeper than that.  As we are told in the genealogy that opens the gospel Joseph is a decedent of King David.  This fact is important.  David’s son once tried to overthrow him.  To do this he took control of the palace and the army and then he took ten of David’s wives as his own – he had marital relations with them.  King David recaptures his kingdom and God tells David to take the ten wives back into his house, to care for them as his wives but to never sleep with them again.  Of course, Joseph would have been familiar with this history.  He would have immediately recognized the role into which he had been cast.  He most likely would have been honored and humbled to take Mary into his home and he would have never approached her intimately as he would have recognized the Mary is the “spouse of the Holy Spirit”.

 

Tomorrow: Matthew Chapter 2

2 thoughts on “Day 2 – Marriage to a Virgin”

  1. “he would have never approached her intimately as he would have recognized the Mary is the “spouse of the Holy Spirit”.”

    Then how do you explain verse 25

    Matthew 1:25King James Version (KJV)
    25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

    here are 3 verses that use the phrase “knew her” in regards to intimate knowledge
    Genesis 38:26
    And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.

    Judges 19:25
    But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.

    1 Kings 1:4
    And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

    so since Matthew 1:25 says, “he knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son”, doesn’t the word “till” imply that he knew her after she gave birth? If they didn’t have sex after Jesus was born, why not say “he knew her not, even after she had brought forth her firstborn son”

  2. No, “till” may imply that the event happens afterwards but it doesn’t always. Ronald Knox, known for his eloquent English translation notes, “… but the Hebrew word represented by “till does not imply that the event which might have been expected did take place afterwards. Gen 8:7; Ps. 109:2, Dan 6:24 and 1 Mac 5:54.” He translates the verse as, “… and he had not known her when she bore a son…”.

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