WEEK 9 : The Annunciation to Yoseph of the Birth of Yeshua
Mt. 1:18 Now the birth of Yeshua the Messiah was as follows: After His mother Miriam was betrothed to Yoseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
Mt. 1:19 Then Yoseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
Mt. 1:20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Yoseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Miriam, for which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”
Mt. 1:21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Yeshua, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Mt. 1:22 Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
Mt. 1:23 “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “With us is God.”
Mt. 1:24 Then Yoseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife.
Mt. 1:25 And did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Yeshua.
Matthew 1:18-25 (NKJV) Other versions ...
Vs. 18: In this segment the emphasis is on the virgin conception. Remember, Matthew is trying to solve the problem of Jeconias, and for Matthew the solution to the problem is the virgin conception. So, three times he emphasizes it. We are now dealing with Matthew because he tells the story from Yoseph’s perspective.
The Roman Catholic Church declares that Miriam was born without the original sin. This is called the Immaculate Conception. The simple fact is that Miriam was born without original sin just as everyone else is, because there is no such thing as Original Sin. In that sense, one could say that every birth is an Immaculate Conception. But, the Immaculate Conception and Virgin Birth are not the same thing. The Doctrine of Original Sin was started by Augustine in the 5th century and has no basis in the Biblical text. According to the Bible, every child is born basically good and is what his/her parents are until the age of accountability, at which time he/she assumes the responsibility of keeping God’s Law. This also brings up another false teaching in a lot of churches, which require infants to be baptized to cleanse them of that original sin. You cannot find Infant Baptism in the Bible anywhere. Since there is no original sin, infant baptism is useless, especially since the infant cannot comprehend what is happening to them.
Vs. 19: By Jewish law, to break a betrothal required a bill of divorcement (get). As Yoseph was thinking of breaking the betrothal, he would have to deal with a bill of divorcement. The Mishnah says, “Should a bridegroom have to complain of non-virginity on the part of a bride, he presents himself early the next morning to the Bet Din.” This was Yoseph’s first option at that point since his wife-to-be was pregnant, indicating that she was not a virgin. He could bring her before the Bet Din and get the divorce finalized. This procedure is called “Sotah.” According to the Mishnah the espoused wife may thus before the marriage be put away. The Bet Din (Hebrew for House of Judgment) was a religious court usually consisting of three judges (dayyan), which deals with supervision of kosher facilities, divorce, civil disputes, and proselytes. Each Jewish community has its own Bet din, which used to sit on market days, originally Mondays and Thursdays. Deut. 22:22-24 says that if a woman who is betrothed or married is found to have committed adultery, she and the man that she committed adultery with are to be taken outside the city and stoned to death.
There was disagreement in the early Rabbinic period about the exact grounds on which divorce is allowed in the Bible. Deut. 24:1 says, A man takes a wife and possess her. She fails to please him because he finds something obnoxious about her, and he writes her a bill of divorcement, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house.” The Hebrew word for uncleanness used in this verse is ervah, which has for its meaning: blemish, unclean, or disgrace. It does not necessarily mean adultery like the church today tries to make it. It has a wide variety of meanings. The conservative
School of Shammai forbade divorce except in the case of sexual misbehavior by the wife, when the husband must divorce her. The more liberal School of Hillel allowed it if she behaved in an unseemingly way, e.g., by spoiling her husband’s food, and later Halakhah followed Rabbi Akkiva’s view that a man can even divorce his wife if he finds another woman he prefers. Childlessness was also grounds for divorce. There is still a dispute going on in the church today as to the right grounds for divorce, but clearly, this is one subject that has been misunderstood by everyone and subject to a lot of personal prejudice.
His second option, by Jewish custom, was to effect the divorce privately instead of bringing her before a public tribunal and exposing her to public disgrace. This is exactly what Yoseph was contemplating when the angel told him to proceed with the marriage.
Vs. 20: The message of the angel to Yoseph can be summarized in three points. First, he is to fulfill the marriage vow to Miriam. Secondly, he is to believe and accept Miriam’s story. And thirdly, all is going according to God’s plan.
Vs. 21: The fact that Yeshua was a Jew by birth is crucial for our understanding the nature and person of Yeshua as being presented in the Synoptic Gospels. He was given the Hebrew name Yeshua. This name, derived from the Hebrew verb yasha (salvation) revealed the destiny He was to fulfill in His life and ministry on this earth: “He will save His people from their sins.”
Vs. 22,23: In quoting this verse in Isaiah, it tells us the way this verse was understood by the Jewish people of that day. They knew it was speaking of a virgin birth. That is the literal meaning of that verse. But once again it must be emphasized, the miracle is in the conception, not the birth. Yeshua was born just like any other baby is normally born. His conception was not by man, by of the Holy Spirit.
Vs. 24,25: Indeed, God did work out Miriam’s relationship with Yoseph. In this concluding segment, two things must be noted. First, Yoseph, immediately obeyed the angel, being a righteous and spiritual man himself. He took Miriam to be his wife and followed through with the marriage ceremony. Secondly, it clearly says “He knew her not,” meaning he had no sexual relations with her until she brought forth a Son. After the birth of Yeshua, they did have subsequent sexual relations and this falsifies the common claim that Miriam remained a virgin for the rest of her life. The teaching of the perpetual virginity of Miriam is not Scriptural. Not only did she not remain a virgin, but furthermore, she possibly gave birth to as many as six other children (Matt. 13:55,56).
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