The possible divorce (Mt 1:19-1:19)

“Her husband,


Was a righteous man.

He was unwilling

To expose her

To public disgrace.

He planned

To dismiss her



Ἰωσὴφ δὲ ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτῆς, δίκαιος ὢν καὶ μὴ θέλων αὐτὴν δειγματίσαι, ἐβουλήθη λάθρᾳ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτήν.


Joseph (Ἰωσὴφ), Mary’s husband (ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτῆς), was a righteous man (δίκαιος ὢν). Being a just person was an important theme of the Old Testament, so that it appears quite often in Matthew. Joseph did not want (μὴ θέλων) to expose Mary (αὐτὴν δειγματίσαι) to any public disgrace (δειγματίσαι) because of her pregnancy. Thus, he purposed (ἐβουλήθη) to send her away (ἀπολῦσαι αὐτήν), dismiss her, or divorce her quietly (λάθρᾳ). He thought that he was getting damaged goods. However, he wanted to get rid of or divorce Mary quietly without any big to-do.

Yahweh speaks about the desolate land (Jer 4:27-4:28)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘The whole land shall be a desolation.

Yet I will not make a full end.

Because of this

The earth shall mourn.

The heavens above shall

Grow black.

I have spoken.

I have purposed.

I have not relented.

I will not turn back.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that the whole land will be desolate, but he is not done. The earth will mourn, while the heavens will turn black. He has spoken. He has purposed this because he will not relent or turn back. The course is set.