The Birth of Jesus: Mary

“…But why do I describe the shameless impudence that the famine brought on men in their eating inanimate things, while I am going to relate a matter of fact, the like to which no history relates, either among the Greeks or Barbarians?… I had indeed willingly omitted this calamity of ours, that I might not seem to deliver what is so portentous to posterity, but that I have innumerable witnesses to it in my own age; and besides, my country would have had little reason to thank me for suppressing the miseries that she underwent at this time. There was a certain woman that dwelt beyond Jordan, her name was Mary; her father was Eleazar {Lazarus;}… what food she had contrived to save, had been also carried off by the rapacious guards… and it was now become impossible for her any way to find any more food, while the famine pierced through her very bowels… She then attempted a most unnatural thing; and snatching up her son, who was a child sucking at her breast, she said, “O thou miserable infant! for whom shall I preserve thee in this war, this famine, and this sedition?… This famine also will destroy us, even before that slavery comes upon us… Come on; be thou my food, and be thou a fury to these seditious varlets, and a by-word to the world, which is all that is now wanting to complete the calamities of us Jews.” As soon as she had said this, she slew her son, and then roasted him, and ate the one half of him, and kept the other half by her concealedThis sad instance was quickly told to the Romans, some of whom could not believe it, and others pitied the distress which the Jews were under; but there were many of them who were hereby induced to a more bitter hatred than ordinary against our nation. But for Caesar, he excused himself before God as to this matter, and said that he had proposed peace and liberty to the Jews, as well as an oblivion of all their former insolent practices; but that they, instead of concord, had chosen sedition; instead of peace, war; and before satiety and abundance, a famine… therefore they deserved to eat such food as this was. That, however, this horrid action of eating an own child ought to be covered with the overthrow of their very country itself, and men ought not to leave such a city upon the habitable earth to be seen by the sun, wherein mothers are thus fed, although such food be fitter for the fathers than for the mothers to eat of, since it is they that continue still in a state of war against us… And at the same time that he said this, he reflected on the desperate condition these men must be in…”

– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 6, 3:3-5

“…Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost {i.e. “dead”;}. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost {dead;}. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins {seditions;}. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us {well, he’s with God anyway;}. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

– Matthew 1:18-25

Caesar {Joseph;} did not want her son to become a public example although Mary {Mary;} did, so he tried to cover it up with the overthrow of their entire nation {putting her away privily;}.

“And he said, “Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death.” Jesus said, “Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]””

– Thomas 1:1-2

Yes! I am indeed disturbed! And I am marveling! So I guess that means I get to reign over all now, woohoo!

So, reviewing what we have in Matthew so far, we started by recognizing that the very first passage in Matthew gives a long description of the genealogy of Jesus and is very similar to the very first passage of The Life of Flavius Josephus, but it also tells us there are 42 generations and the second passage in Matthew we find a parallel to passage 42 of The Life of Josephus.  But that parallel tells about his wife Mary which guides us to Wars of the Jews, Book 6, 3:4.  Then the third passage of Matthew, “The Pilgrimage of the Magi“, in chapter 2, is a parallel to Book 6, 5:4.

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