Matthew Henry (1662-1714) was a Presbyterian minister in England who began his commentary on the Bible in 1704. He completed his work up to the end of Acts before his death. Afterwards, his ministerial friends completed the work from Henry’s notes and writings. Time has sealed the reputation of Matthew Henry’s classic commentary as a rich source of insight into God’s word. For nearly 300 hundred years, Christian have consulted its rich insights into the very heart of God’s Word. Passage by passage, its prayerful, penetrating reflections inspire and challenge the reader. And now, in the tradition of the updated versions of Streams in the Desert and My Utmost for His Highest, the New Matthew Henry Commentary updates the language of the original, making it much easier to understand, while retaining its beauty and strong content. This one volume contains a wealth of exposition and comment, metaphors, analogies, and illustrations that have set Matthew Henry’s Commentary apart as one of the enduring legacies of faith. Ideal for personal devotions, Bible study, sermon and lesion preparations. Forever fresh and never failing to render new pearls of wisdoms, it’s a book you will reach for often to obtain deeper understanding of the Scriptures. Abridged and unabridged editions.
Reviser’s Preface, by Martin H. Manser
Note on Matthew Henry
Song of Solomon
A Practical and Devotional Exposition of the First Book of Moses,
Here before us is the Holy Bible, or book, for this is what the word bible means. We call it the Book, for it is incomparably the best book that has ever been written: it is the book of books. We call it the Holy Book, because it was written by holy prophets, moved by the Holy Spirit. The great things of God’s Law and Gospel are here written for us, that they might be transmitted to distant lands and ages in a purer and more complete way than they could possibly be by word of mouth or tradition. This is the light that shines in a dark place (2Pe 1:19), and a dark place indeed the world would be without the Bible.
We have before us that part of the Bible which we call the Old Testament. This is called a testament or covenant because it was a settled declaration of the will of God concerning the entire human race, and had its force from the designed death of the great One who died, leaving his will, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). It is called the Old Testament. This stands with reference to the New Testament, which does not cancel and supersede the Old, but crowns and perfects it, by bringing in the better hope which was prefigured and foretold in it.
We have before us that part of the Old Testament that we call the Pentateuch, or the five books of Moses. In our Savior’s division of the books of the Old Testament into the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms, or Hagiographa, these are the Law.
We have before us the first and longest of those five books, which we call Genesis, written, some think, when Moses was in Midian, for the instruction and encouragement of his suffering brothers and sisters in Egypt. We prefer to think that he wrote it in the desert, after he had been on the mountain with God, where, probably, he received full and detailed instructions as to what to write.
Genesis is a name taken from the Greek. It means the “original” or “generation”: it is a history of originals-the creation of the world, the entrance of sin and death into it, the invention of arts, the rise of nations, and especially the formation of the church, and its state in its early days. It is also a history of the generations of Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc. The beginning of the New Testament is called Genesis too (Mt 1:1); biblos geneseos, the book of the genesis, or generation, of Jesus Christ. Blessed be God for that book which shows us our healing, as this book opens up our wounds. Lord, open our eyes, that we may see the wonderful things of both your Law and your Gospel!
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