« Prev Chapter III. Next »

III.

But in order that what I have said may be made evident, I shall explain the interchange10421042    The reading of the Codex Regius is ἀκολουθίαν , i.e., succession; the other leading mss. give ἐπολλαγήν, i.e. interchange or confusion. of the generations. If we reckon the generations from David through Solomon, Matthan is found to be the third from the end, who begat Jacob the father of Joseph. But if, with Luke, we reckon them from Nathan the son of David, in like manner the third from the end is Melchi, whose son was Heli the father of Joseph. For Joseph was the son of Heli, the son of Melchi.10431043    But in our text in Luke iii. 23, 24, and so, too, in the Vulgate, Matthat and Levi are inserted between Heli and Melchi. It may be that these two names were not found in the copy used by Africanus. As Joseph, therefore, is the object proposed to us, we have to show how it is that each is represented as his father, both Jacob as descending from Solomon, and Heli as descending from Nathan: first, how these two, Jacob and Heli, were brothers; and then also how the fathers of these, Matthan and Melchi, being of different families, are shown to be the grandfathers of Joseph. Well, then, Matthan and Melchi, having taken the same woman to wife in succession, begat children who were uterine brothers, as the law did not prevent a widow,10441044    Here Africanus applies the term “widow” (χηρεύουσαν) to one divorced an well as to one bereaved. whether such by divorce or by the death of her husband, from marrying another. By Estha, then—for such is her name according to tradition—Matthan first, the descendant of Solomon, begets Jacob; and on Matthan’s death, Melchi, who traces his descent back to Nathan, being of the same tribe but of another family, having married her, as has been already said, had a son Heli. Thus, then, we shall find Jacob and Heli uterine brothers, though of different families. And of these, the one Jacob having taken the wife of his brother Heli, who died childless, begat by her the third, Joseph—his son by nature and by account.10451045    κατὰ λόγον. Whence also it is written, “And Jacob begat Joseph.” But according to law he was the son of Heli, for Jacob his brother raised up seed to him. Wherefore also the genealogy deduced through him will not be made void, which the Evangelist Matthew in his enumeration gives thus: “And Jacob begat Joseph.” But Luke, on the other hand, says, “Who was the son, as was supposed10461046    Two things may be remarked here: first, that Africanus refers the phrase “as was supposed” not only to the words “son of Joseph,” but also to those that follow, “the son of Heli;” so that Christ would be the son of Joseph by legal adoption, just in the same way as Joseph was the son of Heli, which would lead to the absurd and impious conclusion that Christ was the son of Mary and a brother of Joseph married by her after the death of the latter. And second, that in the genealogy here assigned to Luke, Melchi holds the third place; whence it would seem either that Africanus’s memory had failed him, or that as Bede conjectures in his copy of the Gospel Melchi stood in place of Matthat (Migne). [A probable solution.] (for this, too, he adds), of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Melchi.” For it was not possible more distinctly to state the generation according to law; and thus in this mode of generation he has entirely omitted the word “begat” to the very end, carrying back the genealogy by way of conclusion to Adam and to God.10471047    Other mss. read, “Adam the son of God.”


« Prev Chapter III. Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |