Commentary for: Matthew 1:22   

Now all this took place with the result that what was spoken by Yahweha through the prophet was fulfilled, saying,

a[22]
God’s personal name. It occurs in the Shem-Tov Hebrew manuscript of Matthew.

“with the result that.” The Greek reads hina plerōthē (ἵνα πληρωθῇ), which is the conjunction hina followed by the verb for “fulfilled” in the subjunctive mood. Although the conjunction hina can have several different meanings, in general it either introduces a purpose clause (“so that,” “in order that”) or a result clause (“with the result that,” “resulting in”). The fact that the hina can be translated either way leaves the door wide open to the theology of the translator. If the translators believe that God is totally in control of what people do and the events of history, then they use “so that” or “in order that.” Thus the BBE (Bible in Basic English) says, “Now all this took place so that the word of the Lord by the prophet might come true.” In other words according to that translation, the events surrounding the birth of Christ happened the way they did “so that,” or for the purpose of, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy. But we do not believe that is the correct way to think about history and man’s freewill decisions.

To us, God works with our free will and in history such that what we do by our free will fulfills what He foretold. No person is forced to act in such a way that Scripture is fulfilled, rather God is so knowledgeable and skillful that what happens fulfills what He has written, not the opposite. God is so skillful and knowledgeable that what happens results in His Word being fulfilled, not that He writes and then forces events to occur “so that” His Word is fulfilled.

“Yahweh.” “Yahweh” is the personal name of God, and a rabbinic abbreviation for it appears in the Hebrew manuscript of Matthew as well as in the verses of the Old Testament that Matthew quoted. There is evidence that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew and used the name Yahweh, so we have put it in the REV [See commentary on Matthew 3:3).


Commentary for: Matthew 1:22