When Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit (1:18). We are made to assume that Joseph discovers that Mary is pregnant, but that he does not know that she is with child from the Holy Spirit. Joseph must decide what he will do with Mary. The discussion of this verse generally focuses on two questions. First, did Joseph suspect Mary of adultery? Second, if he did suspect Mary of adultery, what were his options? If Joseph reveals that Mary is pregnant she will be killed. If Joseph conceals Mary's pregnancy, he will be opposing the law of the Lord. What is a 'righteous' man to do? Marohl's study of honor killings, be they modern or ancient, opens up new avenues of interpretation for the Gospel of Matthew's infancy narrative. It is a pattern that is to be replicated in the lives of the Jesus followers.
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