Joseph had a dilemma (Matthew 1:18-25. He was betrothed to Mary but found her pregnant. A betrothal in those days was as binding as a marriage contract. The groom typically prepared a home, either as an addition to his parent’s home or a free-standing one depending on his financial ability. That could take a year. Then when all was prepared, the bridegroom would come to collect his bride. Hence the biblical pictures of Christ as the bridegroom who comes for his bride the Church. Finding Mary pregnant, Joseph had a dilemma. He was mindful to cancel the whole deal privately rather than put Mary to public disgrace and possible stoning by the more self-righteous in the community. Joseph was encouraged by an angel that this was a prophesied sign of a new age of peace and security for Israel.