Super Evangelium S. Matthaei Lectura
Commentary on Matthew
Prologue of St. Jerome
I. Matthaeus ex Iudaea sicut in ordine primus ponitur, ita Evangelium in Iudaea primus scripsit, cuius vocatio ad Dominum ex publicanis actibus fuit. Duorum in generatione Christi principia praesumens: unius cuius prima circumcisio in carne, alterius cuius secundum cor electio fuit: ex utrisque enim patribus Christus. Sicque quaternario numero triformiter posito, principium a credendi fine in electionis tempus porrigens, et ex electione usque in transmigrationis diem dirigens, atque a transmigrationis die usque in Christum definiens, decursam adventus Domini ostendit generationem, et numero satisfaciens et tempori; ut et se quid esset ostenderet, et Dei in se opus monstrans, etiam in his quorum genus posuit, Christi operantis a principio testimonium non negaret.
I. Matthew from Judea, just as he is placed first in order, so he first wrote a Gospel in Judea, whose calling to the Lord was from the acts of a publican. He takes up first the origins of two fathers in the generation of Christ: one whose first circumcision was in the flesh, and another whose election was according to the heart; for Christ came from both fathers. And thus, the number fourteen set down triformly, presenting the origin from the faith of believing to the time of election, and setting it in order from the election to the day of the transmigration, and then giving an exact description from the transmigration down to the Christ, he sets forth the hurried generation of the coming of the Lord, giving sufficient attention both to number and to time; both that he might display himself, what he is, and also pointing to the work of God in himself, as well as in those whose race he set forth, that he might not deny the testimony of Christ working from the beginning.
II. Quarum omnium rerum tempus, ordo, numerus, dispositio, vel ratio quod fidei necessarium est, Deus Christus est, qui factus ex muliere, factus sub lege, natus ex virgine, passus in carne, omnia in cruce fixit, ut triumphans ea in semetipso, resurgens in corpore et Patris nomen in patribus Filio, et Filii nomen Patri restituens in filiis, sine principio, sine fine, ostendens unum se cum Patre esse, quia unus est.
II. The time, the order, the number, the arrangement or reason of all these things, what is necessary for faith, that Christ is God, who was made from a woman, made under the law, born of a virgin, suffered in the flesh, fastened all things to the cross, so triumphing over them in himself, rising in the flesh and restoring the name of the Father to the Son in the fathers, and the name of the Son to the Father in the sons, without beginning, without end, showing himself to be one with the Father, because they are one.
III. In quo Evangelio utile est desiderantibus Deum, sic prima vel media vel perfecta cognoscere, ut et vocationem Apostoli, et opus Evangelii, et dilectionem Dei in carne nascentis per universa legentes intelligant, atque id in eo, in quo reprehensi sunt et apprehendere appetunt, recognoscant.
III. In which Gospel it is useful to those desiring God to understand in this way the first or the middle or the perfect things, so that reading they might understand both the calling of the Apostle and the work of the Gospel and, through all, the love of God born in the flesh, and then reflect on this thing in which they are held back and desire to take hold of.
IV. Nobis autem in hoc studio argumenti fuit, et fidem factae rei tradere, et operantis Dei intelligendam diligenter esse dispositionem a quaerentibus non tacere.
IV. But for us in the pursuit of the preface there has been this: to hand on both the faith of things done, and not to leave unmentioned the arrangement, to be understood diligently by those who are seeking, of the God who is at work.
Exposition of St. Thomas
1. Matthaeus ex Iudaea et cetera. Evangelio Matthaei Hieronymus praemittit prologum, in quo tria facit:
1. Matthew from Judea. Jerome places a prologue before the Gospel of Matthew, in which he does three things:
primo enim ipsum auctorem describit;
first, he describes the author himself;
secundo Evangelii mysteria aperit, ibi duorum in generatione Christi principia praesumens;
second, he opens the mysteries of the Gospel, at takes up the origins of two in the generation of Christ;
tertio suam intentionem ostendit, ibi nobis autem in hoc studio argumenti fuit.
third, he indicates his own intention, at for us however in the pursuit of the preface.
2. Auctorem vero ipsum describit ex quatuor: primo ex nomine, cum dicit Matthaeus; secundo ex origine, cum dicit ex Iudaea; tertio ex scribendi ordine, ibi sicut in ordine primus ponitur; quarto ex vocatione, ibi, cuius vocatio ad Dominum, idest ad Christum et cetera. De hoc Matth. IX, 9 et Luc. V, 27.
2. He describes the author himself by four things: first by name, when he says Matthew; second by origin, when he says from Judea; third by order of writing, at as he is placed first in order; fourth by calling, at whose calling to the Lord, i.e., to Christ. Concerning this, see Matthew 9:9 and Luke 5:27.
Et nota quod Glossa interlinearis, quae dicit: primus, idest ante quem nullus etc., videtur velle, quod alii post Matthaeum scripserint in Iudaea, quod non est verum: solus enim Matthaeus scripsit in Iudaea, Marcus in Italia, Lucas in Achaia, Ioannes in Asia.
And note that the interlinear Gloss, which says first, i.e., before whom no one, seems to want to say that others after Matthew have written in Judea, which is not true. Only Matthew wrote in Judea; Mark wrote in Italy, Luke in Achaia, and John in Asia.
3. Consequenter ipsius Evangelii mysteria aperit.
3. Next, he opens the mysteries of the Gospel itself.
Et primo aperit mysteria circa principium Evangelii;
And first, he opens the mysteries which concern the beginning of the Gospel;
secundo ostendit eadem mysteria requirenda esse et in medio, et in fine, ibi in quo Evangelio utile est et cetera.
second, he shows that the same mysteries are to be sought in the middle; and at the end, at in which Gospel it is useful.
In principio autem Evangelii duo tanguntur. Primo ponitur quasi quidam titulus, cum dicitur, liber generationis; secundo generationis cuiusdam series describitur, cum dicitur, Abraham genuit Isaac et cetera.
Now at the beginning of the Gospel two things are touched upon. First, a title is set down, so to speak, when it says, the book of the generation; second, the series of a certain generation is described, when it says, Abraham begot Isaac.
Primo ergo ponit mysteria tituli, vel quae tanguntur in titulo;
First, therefore, Jerome sets out the mysteries of the title, or of those things touched upon in the title;
secundo mysteria generationis, ibi sicque quaterdenario.
second, the mysteries of the generation, at and thus, the number fourteen.
4. In titulo autem dicitur liber generationis Iesu Christi; ubi tanguntur duo principia, scilicet David et Abraham. Et hoc quia Abrahae prius datum est praeceptum de circumcisione; ad Rom. IV, 11: signum accepit circumcisionis, signaculum iustitiae fidei, quae est in praeputio, ut sit ipse pater omnium credentium. David autem electus est a Domino; I Reg. XIII, 14: inveni virum secundum cor meum. Unde propter hoc isti duo tanguntur, ut denotetur quod Christus traxit originem ex circumcisis patribus et electis. Et hoc est, duorum, hominum, vel duorum principiorum, idest duo principia, scilicet David et Abraham.
4. Now it says in the title, the book of the generation of Jesus Christ. Here two origins are touched upon, namely David and Abraham. And this is because the precept about circumcision was given to Abraham first; second he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of justice of the faith which he had, being uncircumcised: that he might be a father of all who believe (Rom 4:11). But David was chosen by the Lord: the Lord has sought a man according to his own heart (1 Sam 13:14). For this reason, these two are touched upon in order to point out that Christ took origin from the circumcised fathers and the chosen. And this is the of two, i.e., of two men, or of two origins, David and Abraham.
5. Consequenter ponit mysteria, quae tanguntur in genealogia.
5. Next, he sets out the mysteries which are touched upon in the genealogy.
Et primo tangit mysteria ipsius Evangelii, vel Evangelistae;
And first, he touches on the mysteries of the Gospel itself, or of the Evangelist;
secundo ipsius Christi, ibi quarum omnium rerum et cetera.
second, of Christ, at of all these things.
6. Et est mysterium quod Evangelista genealogiam Christi per tres tesseradecades distinxit: quarum prima est ab Abraham usque ad David; secunda a David usque ad transmigrationem; tertia usque ad Christum; ut ostenderet Christum esse et de circumcisis, et de electis, et de transmigrantibus. Et hoc est triformiter posito, idest tripliciter repetito, supra in genealogia, a credendi fide, idest ab ipso Abraham, qui fuit primum exemplar credendi, in electionis tempus porrigens, idest usque ad ipsum David deducens, et ab electione, idest ab ipso David, in transmigrationis diem dirigens; et a transmigrationis die usque in Christum definiens, patet, decursam, idest breviter et cursorie tactam, adventus Domini ostendit generationem, et numero satisfaciens et tempori. Patet.
6. And it is a mystery that the Evangelist divides the genealogy of Christ into three fourteens. The first of these is from Abraham to David, the second from David to the transmigration, the third to Christ—that he might show Christ to be from the circumcised and from the chosen and from those who transmigrated. And this is set down triformly, i.e., repeated three times in the genealogy. From the faith of believing, i.e., from Abraham himself, who was the first model of believing. To the time of election, i.e., leading down even to David. And setting it in order from the election, i.e., from David himself, to the day of the transmigration. And from the day of the transmigration. This is clear. He shows the hurried, i.e., briefly and cursorily touched upon, generation of the coming of the Lord, giving sufficient attention both to number and to time. This is clear.
7. Quarum omnium rerum et cetera. Nota quod in hac generationis serie quatuor tanguntur, tempus, numerus, ordo et dispositio sive ratio; quia ab Abraham usque ad David et cetera. Omnia ista nil aliud ostendunt nisi quod Deus Christus est: hoc enim intendit secundum dispositionem et rationem allegoricam, quod Christus est Deus. Quod est fidei necessarium, scilicet quod Christus Deus est, idest in omnibus non est plus de necessitate fidei, nisi quod Christus est Deus.
7. Of all these things, the time. Note that in this series of the generation four things are touched upon: the time, the order, the number, and the arrangement or the reason, because the time from Abraham to David is touched upon. The reason is the arrangement. All these things show nothing other than that Christ is God; for he intends this according to an allegorical arrangement and reason, namely that Christ is God. What is necessary for faith, namely that Christ is God, i.e., in all things there is nothing of more necessity for faith than that Christ is God.
Qui factus ex muliere et cetera. Nota, et expone, et signa capitula.
Who was made from a woman. Note, explain, and indicate the chapters.
Et omnia in cruce fixit, idest peccata, secundum quod de medio tulit, quod adversum nos chirographum erat. Item melius: Christus secundum Deum et hominem qui est omnia, secundum illud, Ioan. XII, 32, ego si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad meipsum, et Phil. II, 10: ut in nomine Domini omne genuflectatur caelestium, terrestrium et Infernorum. Ut triumphans ea in semetipso, quia per trophaeum crucis omnia sibi subiecit, et de quolibet triumphavit.
And fastened all things to the cross, i.e., all sins, according as he took from the middle, because the handwriting was against us (Col 4:14). Or better: Christ as God and as man, because he is all things: and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself (John 12:32), and: that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth (Phil 2:10). So triumphing, because through the trophy of the cross he subjected all things to himself, and has triumphed over anything at all.
8. Et Patris nomen in patribus Filio. Ad evidentiam autem huius notandum, quod in serie generationis ponuntur quidam patres et quidam filii, sicut patet. Item ponitur ibi quidam pater sine patre, sicut Adam: quidam filius sine filio, sicut Iesus. Item ponuntur quidam qui sunt patres et filii, sicut omnes intermedii. Per hoc autem mystice designatur, quod in Trinitate est Pater et Filius, sicut in hac genealogia sunt quidam patres, quidam filii. Item per hoc quod primus pater non habet patrem in hac serie, nec ultimus filius filium, ostenditur quod isti sunt ab aeterno. Item per hoc quod unus et idem in persona est pater et filius respectu diversorum, tangitur quod isti sunt unum, non quidem in persona, sed natura.
8. And the name of the Father to the Son in the fathers. For clarity it should be noted that certain fathers and certain sons are placed in the series of the generation, as is clear. Again, a certain father without a father is placed there, namely Adam, and a certain son without a son, namely Jesus. Similarly, certain ones who are both fathers and sons are placed there, namely all the ones in between Abraham and Jesus. This indicates mystically that in the Trinity there is a Father and a Son, just as in this genealogy there are certain fathers and certain sons. Similarly, the fact that the first father does not have a father in this series, nor the last son a son, shows that they are eternal. Again, the fact that one and the same person is father and son with respect to different persons, indicates that they are one, not indeed in person, but in nature.
Et hoc est quod dicit et Patris nomen restituens Filio in patribus, idest quod Filius habeat Patrem; in patribus, idest per hoc quod ponuntur ibi quidam patres. Et nomen restituens Patri, idest quod Pater habeat Filium, et hoc in filiis, idest per hoc quod ponuntur ibi aliqui filii sine principio et sine fine: quia pater primus non habet patrem, nec ultimus filius filium. Ostendens se unum esse cum Patre, idest unus naturae, quia unus, in persona, scilicet Pater et Filius, respectu tamen diversorum, in dicta genealogia.
And this is what Jerome means by restoring the name of the Father to the Son in the fathers, i.e., that the Son has a Father; in the fathers, i.e., through the fact that certain fathers are placed there in the series. And restoring the name of the Father, i.e., that the Father has a Son, and this is in the sons, i.e., through the fact that certain sons are placed there. Without beginning and without end, because the first father does not have a father, nor the last son a son. [Showing himself to be one with the Father,] i.e., of one nature, because they are one, namely in person, yet with respect to different persons in the aforementioned genealogy.
Nota interlinearem quae dicit: unus Christus; quod nihil est dictum.
Note the interlinear Gloss which says, one Christ. This should certainly not be said.
9. Consequenter ostendit consimilia mysteria requirenda esse in dicto Evangelio, non solum in principio, sed etiam in medio et fine: et hoc est, in quo Evangelio, scilicet Matthaei, utile est desiderantibus Deum sic, idest eodem modo sicut diximus, cognoscere prima, idest principium, vel media, vel perfecta, finem, et consummationem; ut et vocationem apostoli et cetera. Scriptum est Phil. III, 12: sequor autem, si quo modo comprehendam.
9. Next, he shows that similar mysteries are to be sought in the aforementioned Gospel, not only at the beginning, but also in the middle and at the end. And this is what Jerome means by, in which Gospel, namely the Gospel of Matthew, it is useful to those desiring God to understand in this way, i.e., in the same way as we have said, to understand the first i.e., the beginning, or the middle, or the perfect things, the end and consummation, so that reading, they might understand. It is written: I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend (Phil 3:12).
10. Nobis autem. Hic ostendit intentionem suam, scilicet quod intendit quod ea quae hic dicuntur, vera sunt in historia, et tamen spiritualiter intelligenda.
10. But for us. Here he shows his own intention, namely that he means that those things which are said here are true in history, and nevertheless are to be understood spiritually.
Nobis autem fuit hoc, idest haec intentio, in studio argumenti, idest prologi.
But for us in the pursuit of this preface, i.e., the prologue, there has been this, i.e., this intention.