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Verse 22

Matthew 1:22 . Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled That is, by the doing of all this was fulfilled the following prophecy. For we are not to suppose that the bare accomplishment of an ancient prediction was the end God had in view in sending his Son into the world; which would imply that, if no such prediction had been given, God would not have sent his Son. No: God’s design was the salvation of mankind, and the prophecy was fulfilled, as it were, by the way, without being primarily intended. For the events foretold by the prophets came to pass, not because of the prophecies which predicted them, but the prophecies predicted them because they would come to pass. Thus, in other places, what was merely a consequence of things being done, is represented as the chief end of doing them, as Romans 5:20, The law came in (viz., between Adam and Christ,) that the offence might abound. Certainly God did not give the law with a design to make men’s sins abound; but this was the consequence of its being given. For, like a dam placed in the way of a stream, it made the corruption of mankind rise the higher and spread the wider. To this may be added, however, that he who had foretold these things because he had determined to do them, in due time actually did them, that he might show himself true to his word and promise.

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