The conception of Jesus (Mt 1:18-1:18)

“Here is how the birth

Of Jesus,

The Messiah Christ,

Took place.

Mary,

His mother,

Had been engaged

To Joseph.

However,

Before they lived together communally,

She was found

To be pregnant with a child

From the Holy Spirit.”

 

Τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἡ γένεσις οὕτως ἦν. μνηστευθείσης τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ Μαρίας τῷ Ἰωσήφ, πρὶν ἢ συνελθεῖν αὐτοὺς εὑρέθη ἐν γαστρὶ ἔχουσα ἐκ πνεύματος ἁγίου.

 

Matthew was going to explain how the birth (ἡ γένεσις) of Jesus Christ (δὲ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ), the anointed Messiah, took place. His mother (τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ), Mary (Μαρίας), was engaged or betrothed (μνηστευθείσης) to Joseph (τῷ Ἰωσήφ). In this arranged marriage, these were two engaged people. Perhaps the father of Mary had agreed to the marriage of his young daughter to Joseph, the son of Jacob. There was no mention of Mary’s father or mother here. This was the common engagement process where the girl stayed with her parents for as long as a year. However, before they came to live together in marriage (πρὶν ἢ συνελθεῖν αὐτοὺς), Mary was found to be pregnant. Literally, there was a child in the womb (εὑρέθη ἐν γαστρὶ ἔχουσα). However, this pregnancy was from the Holy Spirit (ἐκ πνεύματος ἁγίου), not from Joseph or another man. Right from the beginning, Jesus was in the womb of Mary because of the Holy Spirit. This divine presence was different in many ways,

Raphael tells Tobias about the solution to his problem (Tob 6:16-6:18)

“However, Raphael said to him.

‘Do you not remember your father’s orders?

When he commanded you to take a wife from your father’s house? Now listen to me, brother!

Say no more about this demon!

Take her!

I know that this very night she will be given to you in marriage. When you enter the bridal chamber,

Take some of the fish’s liver and heart.

Put them on the embers of the incense.

An odor will be given off.

The demon will smell it and flee.

He will never be seen near her any more.

Now when you are about to go to bed with her,

Both of you must stand up and pray,

Imploring the God of heaven

That mercy and safety may be granted to you.

Do not be afraid!

She was set apart for you before the world was made.

You will save her.

She will go with you.

I presume that you will have children by her.

They will be brothers to you.

Now say no more!’

When Tobias heard the words of Raphael, he learned that she was his kinswoman, related through his father’s lineage. He loved her very much. His heart was drawn to her.”

The angel Raphael reminded Tobias that his father had told him to take a wife from his own house. Raphael told him not to worry about the demon. He told Tobias to take the fish liver and fish heart and then burn it on incense. The smell from the smoke would make the demon flee and stay away forever. He implored both of them to stand up and pray before they went to bed. Ask the God of heaven to be merciful to them and keep them safe so that they would have children. Now Tobias was relieved to find out that Sarah was a kinswoman of his father. He would be able to chase away the demon with the fish heart and liver. He began to love her as her was drawn to her, even though he had never met her yet. This is almost like an arranged marriage.