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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Matthew 1

 

 

Verses 1-12

Predestination: The Birth of Jesus, the Messiah, the God- Prayer of Manasseh , and King - Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is generally recognized as a passage of Scripture that reveals the person of Jesus Christ as the Jewish Messiah. 243] More specifically, Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 emphasizes the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ was predestined to be the Messiah. 244] This passage of Scripture contains three testimonies from the Old Testament Scriptures that focus upon the three primary aspects of the fulfillment of the Messiah: His human nature ( Matthew 1:1-17), His divine ( Matthew 1:18-25), and His royalty ( Matthew 2:1-12). These three testimonies bear witness to the fact that the Messiah would come from the seed of Abraham and royal lineage of David ( Matthew 1:1-17), born of a virgin birth with divine nature ( Matthew 1:18-25), and inherit the Davidic kingship as the everlasting King of Kings and Lord of Lords ( Matthew 2:1-12). (1) The Messiah as the Seed of Abraham and Royal Lineage of David- Matthew 1:1-17 records the testimony of Old Testament Scripture revealing how Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Messiah as the seed of Abraham who descended from the royal lineage of Davidic kingship. The genealogy of Jesus' birth reveals that He has been predestined to fulfill the divine Messianic promises given to Abraham and David, who were given the two primary Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah. These two sets of prophecies were understood by the first century Jews as a reference to the Messiah. (2) The Messiah's Virgin Birth and Divine Nature- Matthew 1:18-25 is the testimony of Jesus being born of a virgin as prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. His divine conception reveals the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14, stating that He will be born of a virgin. (3) The Messiah's Davidic Kingship- Matthew 2:1-12 is the testimony of the fact that the Messiah would be born in the city of Bethlehem as prophesied in Micah 5:2 and He would rule over God's people. His birth ( Matthew 2:1-12) reveals the fulfillment the prophecy of being born in Bethlehem. These prophecies that were fulfilled at His birth confirm that Jesus Christ was predestined to be the Messiah and King. Matthew is careful to quote each of the prophecies that were fulfilled at His birth. These three stories all testify of His Messiahship because of the manner of His birth. In summary, Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 testifies that the Messiah was predestined to be born of the seed of Abraham and David as the Son of God and reign eternally as King of Kings.

243] Albright and Mann say, "In the first section Matthew's purpose is to demonstrate who Jesus is: the Messiah, God's anointed representative, the expected King." See Albright, W. F, and C. S. Mann. Matthew. In Anchor Bible Commentary, vol 26. (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971; reprint, 1987), 5.

244] R. T. France picks up on this theme of predestination on the opening chapters of Matthew's Gospel, saying, "Using a number of different but related approaches, he will weave in :11 a rich tapestry of scenes and reflections which together help the reader to appreciate how in the coming of Jesus of Nazareth all God's purposes for his people, declared and illustrated throughout the writings of the OT and the history of Israel, are coming to their destined fulfillment." See R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew , in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2007), 25.

Matthew could have chosen other important events in Jesus' birth, as we find in the Gospel of Luke. However, Matthew's Gospel places emphasis upon three witnesses from the Old Testament Scriptures that proved Jesus Christ was the coming Messiah, the Son of God, and the King of the Jews. Therefore, Matthew quotes from the Old Testament in the second and third stories, while the genealogy itself serves as an Old Testament witness. Matthew inserts the following fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures within their respective sections:

Matthew 1:22-23, "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Song of Solomon , and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted Isaiah , God with us."

Matthew 2:5-6, "And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel."

Literary Evidence for the Theme of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 - The literary evidence of the theme of predestination in Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is seen in the fact that the Greek word χριστό ς (Christ), which is the equivalent to the Old Testament Hebrew word ( משׁיח) (Messiah), is used five times within this passage ( Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:16-18; Matthew 2:4), while appearing only eleven other times in Matthew's Gospel outside of this opening passage ( Matthew 11:2; Matthew 16:16; Matthew 16:20; Matthew 22:42, Matthew 23:10; Matthew 24:5; Matthew 24:23; Matthew 26:63; Matthew 26:68; Matthew 27:17; Matthew 27:22). The other Matthean uses of χριστό ς are found primarily after Peter's confession at Caesarea Philippi when he declared that Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of the living God" ( Matthew 16:16). Additional literary evidence is seen in the other titles given to Jesus in this opening passage, such as "the son of David, the son of Abraham, Immanuel, King of the Jews," which bear witness to the motif of the revelation of the Messiah as fully God and fully man and as the King of kings. 245]

245] R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew , in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2007), 25.

Literary Evidence for the Structure of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 - The literary evidence of a three-fold division in Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is seen in the fact that a statement about Jesus' birth begins each of these three sections ( Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:18; Matthew 2:1) showing that this passage of Scripture emphasizes the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures concerning Christ's prophetic birth. In addition, the second and third sections contain the well-recognized Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ. 246]

246] R. T. France believes Matthew 1:18 to 2:23 is structured around the Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ, saying, "Sometimes the appeal to Scripture is overt, as in the five quotations which form the structural basis of 1:18-2:23…" See R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew , in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2007), 25.

Central Theological Application of the Text - The central theological application of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 reveals that God has created, designed, and predestined everyone for a purpose, to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit as children of God, and to rule and reign with Christ Jesus. Within the context of the Gospel of Matthew , every believer has been born, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and delegated the authority of the name of Jesus in order to fulfill the Great Commission ( Matthew 28:18-20), working together in discipling the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Outline- Here is a summary of the three testimonies of Jesus' birth that reveals His humanity, His deity, and His royalty ( Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12):

1. O.T. Fulfillment of Lineage (Seed of Patriarchs) — Matthew 1:1-17

a) Israel Under the Prophets- Abraham to David — Matthew 1:1-6

b) Israel Under the Kings- David to Captivity — Matthew 1:6-11

c) Israel Under the Priests- Captivity to Jesus — Matthew 1:12-17

2. O.T. Fulfillment of Conception (Born of a Virgin) — Matthew 1:18-25

3. O.T. Fulfillment of Birth (Visit of the Wise Men) — Matthew 2:1-12


Verses 1-17

Predestination: The Messiah as the Seed of Abraham and Royal Lineage of David ( Luke 3:23-38) - Matthew's first testimony of how Jesus' birth was predestined by God the Father to fulfill essentially all Old Testament prophecies is found in Matthew 1:1-17, where he records the genealogy of Jesus Christ as the seed of Abraham and royal lineage of David. Jesus is the seed of promise from the loins of Abraham whose descendants will multiply as the sand of the sea and stars in the sky ( Genesis 15:5), the seed who will bless all families of the earth ( Genesis 12:3). The fact that Matthew's genealogy follows the Davidic kingship of ancient Israel unlike Luke's genealogy, which takes a detour, presents Jesus as a candidate to the royal throne, with His role as the future king soon confirmed by the visit of the Magi ( Matthew 2:1-12). This passage of Scripture that opens the New Testament and the Gospel of Matthew emphasizes the foreknowledge of God the Father in predestining Jesus' birth in the lineage of Abraham and David, which we clear see in its opening and closing verses. Its opening verse ( Matthew 1:1) reveals Jesus Christ as of the lineage of David and Abraham, with its closing verse ( Matthew 1:17) showing how God divinely orchestrated Israel's history into three distinct periods. Each statement regarding a father "begetting" a son serves to sum up all of the redemptive history regarding these individuals as recorded in the Old Testament Scriptures. Thus, this genealogy will serve as a summary of the entire Old Testament. Matthew 1:17 will show that this lineage covers the three periods of Israel's history, which were the times they were led by prophets, kings and priests.

a) Prophets- Abraham to David — Matthew 1:1-6

b) Kings- David to Captivity — Matthew 1:6-11

c) Priests- Captivity to Jesus — Matthew 1:12-17

Matthew 1:1-17 reveals to the reader how God the Father, in His divine foreknowledge and providence, intervened in the affairs of Israel's entire history to bring about the birth of His Son in due time. 247] Paul referred to God's divine time scale in history to bring forth His Son in Romans 5:6 by saying, "in due time Christ died for the ungodly," and in Galatians 4:4, "when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His son."

247] Regarding Matthew 1:1-17, Grant Osborne says, "Matthew is interested in salvation history and wants to show how God is in sovereign control of world history and guides it for his own purposes." See Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 69.

Romans 5:6, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

Galatians 4:4, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Song of Solomon , made of a woman, made under the law,"

In essence, Matthew 1:1-17 is a summary of the entire Old Testament with an emphasis upon the redemptive seed of Jesus Christ, orchestrated through the divine foreknowledge of God the Father. This opening passage reveals that all Old Testament prophecies are centered around the fulfillment of the office and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because all prophecies are centered in Chirist, Matthew is justified in using the well-recognized Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ throughout his Gospel.

The author himself provides a literary structure to this opening genealogy in Matthew 1:17 by offering a three-fold division. In addition, the fact that Matthew declares to his readers that there is a three-fold testimony embedded within his opening genealogy sounds the alarm that he will repeat this within his Gospel, which is found to be the case. In order to separate this genealogy into three equal divisions, Matthew omits the names of four Davidic kings from this genealogy and he counts Jechonias twice. 248]

248] Helen Milton, "The Structure of the Prologue to St. Matthew's Gospel," in Journal of Biblical Literature 812 (June 1962): 175.

Central Theological Idea of the Text - The central theological idea of Matthew 1:1-17 reveals that God has created, designed, and predestined everyone to a particular destiny. We have been created in the image of God, and one aspect of this image is our destiny.

Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

Ephesians 1:4, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:"

Purpose of Genealogies- Throughout the Bible men were named as the son of their fathers, "the son of." Even today in Africa, herdsmen name their cattle after the name of the mother cow, "the son of." They also give the cattle descriptive names that describe their characteristics. 249] The purpose of using this system of naming cattle is that in an illiterate society, this was the method used to trace genealogies, for no written records were kept. Thus, for Jesus to call Himself the "Son of God," meant to the Jews that He was not a descendant of a natural birth, but that He came directly from God, a divine birth.

249] Yoweri K. Museveni, Sowing the Mustard Seed (London: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 1997), 3.

Using the Male Gender to Trace Genealogies- Why did God choose to trace genealogies and ancestries through the male gender and not the female? A possible answer is found in a report by The Associated Press, which appeared in the November 10, 2000 edition of the journal Science. The article entitled, "DNA Study Traces Ancient Ancestry of Europe," Peter A. Underhill says that scientists doing a research to determine the ancestry of Europeans used the male "Y" chromosome to trace hundreds of generations back. The reason for using the "Y" chromosome in the study is because of its rare changes throughout the centuries. This consistency helped to plot the movement of European ancestors. Only the sons inherit the "Y" chromosome. The daughters receive an "X" chromosome from both parents. The Y chromosome coming from the father to the son is the only one of about 23chromosomes that does not split and match with half of the female chromosome. Thus, all other chromosomes go through variations when the sperm combines with the egg. The only exception to this variation of combinations in chromosomes with each generation is the unchanging "Y" chromosome passed down from the father to the son. This chromosome does not divide and match with the mother"s chromosomes. Therefore, the "Y" chromosome carried only by the sons, can remain virtually unchanged for many generations. 250] Adam and Jesus were the only two people in the history of mankind that received their "Y" chromosome directly from God, which means it was unaltered and made exactly in the image of God.

250] Associated Press, "DNA Study Traces Ancient Ancestry of Europe," in Science, November 10, 2000 [on-line]; accessed 8 September 2009; available from http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/GENEALOGY-DNA/2000-11/0973877169; Internet.

Testimonies of Ancient Jewish Genealogies- Today there are no existing ancient manuscripts that verify all of the names used in opening genealogy of Matthew's Gospel. Some of these individuals are unknown outside this passage of Scripture. However, genealogies were very important to the Israelites in order to trace their Jewish roots. This is verified in the following Old Testament passages:

Ezra 2:62, "These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood."

Ezra 8:3, "Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty."

Nehemiah 7:5, "And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,"

Nehemiah 7:64, "These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood."

The fact that Matthew would be able to trace Jesus' genealogy back to Abraham testifies to the fact that the Jews kept ancient records of their ancestry. This is confirmed when Paul declares himself to be of the tribe of Benjamin ( Romans 11:1, Philippians 3:5).

Romans 11:1, "I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin."

Philippians 3:5, "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;"

Luke was able to establish the lineage of Zacharias and Elisabeth when he recorded their testimony of the birth of John the Baptist.

Luke 1:5, "There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth."

Josephus tells us that there were indeed public tablets of Jewish ancestry. In his opening paragraph of his autobiography, he goes to great length to defend his Jewish heritage. He closes by saying:

"Thus have I set down the genealogy of my family as I have found it described in the public records, and so bid adieu to those who calumniate me [as of a lower original]." (The Life of Flavius Josephus 16)

Josephus also tells us of the painstaking care that the Jews have taken to keep records as old as two thousand years of their ancestry. All Jews of the Diaspora kept accurate records, which were sent to Jerusalem for safekeeping.

"For our forefathers did not only appoint the best of these priests, and those that attended upon the Divine worship, for that design from the beginning, but made provision that the stock of the priests should continue unmixed and pure; for he who is partaker of the priesthood must propagate of a wife of the same nation, without having any regard to money, or any other dignities; but he is to make a scrutiny, and take his wife"s genealogy from the ancient tables, and procure many witnesses to it. And this is our practice not only in Judea, but wheresoever any body of men of our nation do live; and even there an exact catalogue of our priests" marriages is kept; I mean at Egypt and at Babylon, or in any other place of the rest of the habitable earth, whithersoever our priests are scattered; for they send to Jerusalem the ancient names of their parents in writing, as well as those of their remoter ancestors, and signify who are the witnesses also. But if any war falls out, such as have fallen out a great many of them already, when Antiochus Epiphanes made an invasion upon our country, as also when Pompey the Great and Quintilius Varus did so also, and principally in the wars that have happened in our own times, those priests that survive them compose new tables of genealogy out of the old records, and examine the circumstances of the women that remain; for still they do not admit of those that have been captives, as suspecting that they had conversation with some foreigners. But what is the strongest argument of our exact management in this matter is what I am now going to say, that we have the names of our high priests from father to son set down in our records for the interval of two thousand years; and if any of these have been transgressors of these rules, they are prohibited to present themselves at the altar, or to be partakers of any other of our purifications; and this is justly, or rather necessarily done, because every one is not permitted of his own accord to be a writer, nor is there any disagreement in what is written; they being only prophets that have written the original and earliest accounts of things as they learned them of God himself by inspiration; and others have written what hath happened in their own times, and that in a very distinct manner also." (Against Apion 17)

Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340), the ancient church historian, testifies to the Jewish tradition of keeping accurate records of their ancestry.

"But as there had been kept in the archives up to that time the genealogies of the Hebrews as well as of those who traced their lineage back to proselytes, such as Achior the Ammonite and Ruth the Moabitess, and to those who were mingled with the Israelites and came out of Egypt with them, Herod, inasmuch as the lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and since he was goaded with the consciousness of his own ignoble extraction, burned all the genealogical records, thinking that he might appear of noble origin if no one else were able, from the public registers, to trace back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes and to those mingled with them, who were called Georae. A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called Desposyni, on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, villages of Judea, into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and from the book of daily records as faithfully as possible." (Ecclesiastical History 1713-14)

Eusebius also cites Hegesippus, who relates a story of how the Roman Emperor Domitian (A.D 81-96) had ordered all of the descendents of David killed. He tells how the grandchildren of Jude , the brother of the Lord, were brought before Domitian and their life spared. This story informs us that Jewish genealogies did exist in the first century back to the time of King David.

"But when this same Domitian had commanded that the descendants of David should be slain, an ancient tradition says that some of the heretics brought accusation against the descendants of Jude (said to have been a brother of the Saviour according to the flesh), on the ground that they were of the lineage of David and were related to Christ himself. Hegesippus relates these facts in the following words." (Ecclesiastical History 319)

From these quotes we see the need for Matthew to first establish Jesus' lineage as a Jew before presenting Him as a "teacher" of the Jews. The Jews required a Jewish leader. Therefore, Matthew establishes this fact up front. Otherwise, these Jewish recipients would not have received the message in Matthew's Gospel. Albert Barnes tells us that Matthew probably took these names from the family records of Joseph that were kept according to the tradition of the Jews. 251] These records could have been public record and easily used by Matthew.

251] Albert Barnes, The Gospel According to Matthew , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Matthew 1:1.

Unfortunately, these ancient Jewish records no longer exist today, having been destroyed in the years past. Eusebius tells us that it was King Herod that had all of these ancient records burned. 252] Matthew clearly used these ancient tablets, or the memories of them, in writing this genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

252] See Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 1713.

Regarding the genealogies of Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38, it becomes apparent that both of them were recorded in retrospect of Christ's appearance on earth. That Isaiah , these particular genealogies were not prepared in anticipation of revealing the Messiah, although we know that general Jewish genealogies were kept. The fact that many of the names of individuals in each of these genealogies are unknown and obscure is evidence that no scholar had an accurate idea of who the Messiah would be nor when He would appear.

It is true that God did reveal to the Jews that the Messiah would be of the stock of Abraham and of the royal lineage of King David. But other than that, no one knew where or when He would appear. This fact is clearly reflected within both genealogies. Yet, in the midst of this obscure list of names is revealed the divine intervention of God in the affairs of mankind. God knew all along which lineage that His Son would come from as the seed of man. 253]

253] Robert Rendall, History, Prophecy and God (London, 1954), 61; cited in F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963), 83.

Therefore, Jesus Christ is seen as a part of the Jewish nation in the book of Matthew , bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh. But the book of Luke reveals that Jesus came not for the Jew only, but for all of mankind, having taken upon Himself the likeness of Adam. But after two thousand years of painstaking record keeping, it did the Jews little good in helping them to recognize the Messiah.

A Comparison of the Genealogies of Matthew and Luke - Matthew"s genealogy ( Matthew 1:1-17) reveals Jesus as the Son of David. Luke"s genealogy ( Luke 3:23-38) reveals Jesus as the Son of God. John"s genealogy ( John 1:1-18) reveals Jesus as God. A quick reading of the two genealogies in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke reveal that Matthew"s genealogy follows the lineage of Solomon while Luke"s Gospel follows the lineage of Nathan, both sons of David. Why is this so?

The genealogy found in Luke 3:23-38 begins at Jesus and goes back to God. In Matthew , the genealogy goes forward from Abraham to Jesus. However, the two genealogies differ at the sons of David, Solomon and Nathan. There are a number of proposed reasons.

(1) The Biological Lineage and the Legal Lineage- If we look back to the writings of the early Church fathers, we find in the writings of Julius Africanus (A.D 160 to 240) a different detailed explanation for this discrepancy. In his Epistle to Aristides, Africanus, basing his statements upon tradition, says that the two genealogies represent lineage according to nature and according to Law. (It helps to understand that the term "begat" was used as a legal term. It was used by the Jews to determine one's legal heir, which often took precedence over one's physical heir.) Thus, Julius Africanus further explains by saying that Matthew gives the list of biological fathers of each offspring, while Luke gives the names of the legal fathers whenever one of them died and a second man raised up children in the name of a childless brother. He gives the example that Eli died childless, so that Jacob took his widow and raised up Eli's offspring. This would mean that Eli was Joseph's legal father, while Jacob, Eli's brother, was Joseph's biological father.

"For whereas in Israel the names of their generations were enumerated either according to nature or according to law,-- according to nature, indeed, by the succession of legitimate offspring, and according to law whenever another raised up children to the name of a brother dying childless; for because no clear hope of resurrection was yet given them, they had a representation of the future promise in a kind of mortal resurrection, with the view of perpetuating the name of one deceased;-- whereas, then, of those entered in this genealogy, some succeeded by legitimate descent as son to father, while others begotten in one family were introduced to another in name, mention is therefore made of both-- of those who were progenitors in fact, and of those who were so only in name. Thus neither of the evangelists is in error, as the one reckons by nature and the other by law. For the several generations, viz, those descending from Solomon and those from Nathan, were so intermingled by the raising up of children to the childless, and by second marriages, and the raising up of seed, that the same persons are quite justly reckoned to belong at one time to the one, and at another to the other, i.e, to their reputed or to their actual fathers. And hence it is that both these accounts are true, and come down to Joseph, with considerable intricacy indeed, but yet quite accurately."

"But in order that what I have said may be made evident, I shall explain the interchange of the generations. If we reckon the generations from David through Song of Solomon , Matthan is found to be the third from the end, who begat Jacob the father of Joseph. But if, with Luke , we reckon them from Nathan the son of David, in like manner the third from the end is Melchi, whose son was Heli the father of Joseph. For Joseph was the son of Heli, the son of Melchi. As Joseph, therefore, is the object proposed to us, we have to show how it is that each is represented as his father, both Jacob as descending from Song of Solomon , and Heli as descending from Nathan: first, how these two, Jacob and Heli, were brothers; and then also how the fathers of these, Matthan and Melchi, being of different families, are shown to be the grandfathers of Joseph. Well, then, Matthan and Melchi, having taken the same woman to wife in succession, begat children who were uterine brothers, as the law did not prevent a widow, whether such by divorce or by the death of her husband, from marrying another. By Estha, then--for such is her name according to tradition--Matthan first, the descendant of Song of Solomon , begets Jacob; and on Matthan"s death, Melchi, who traces his descent back to Nathan, being of the same tribe but of another family, having married her, as has been already said, had a son Heli. Thus, then, we shall find Jacob and Heli uterine brothers, though of different families. And of these, the one Jacob having taken the wife of his brother Heli, who died childless, begat by her the third, Joseph--his son by nature and by account. Whence also it is written, ‘And Jacob begat Joseph." But according to law he was the son of Heli, for Jacob his brother raised up seed to him. Wherefore also the genealogy deduced through him will not be made void, which the Evangelist Matthew in his enumeration gives thus: ‘And Jacob begat Joseph.' But Luke , on the other hand, says, ‘Who was the Song of Solomon , as was supposed (for this, too, he adds), of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Metchi.' For it was not possible more distinctly to state the generation according to law; and thus in this mode of generation he has entirely omitted the word ‘begat' to the very end, carrying back the genealogy by way of conclusion to Adam and to God." (Epistle to Aristides 2-3 [ANF 6] and Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 172-10 [NPF 2 11])

We also find a lengthy discussion by John of Damascus regarding the distinctions between these two genealogies along a similar explanation.

"But that Joseph is descended from the tribe of David is expressly demonstrated by Matthew and Luke , the most holy evangelists. But Matthew derives Joseph from David through Song of Solomon , while Luke does so through Nathan; while over the holy Virgin"s origin both pass in silence. One ought to remember that it was not the custom of the Hebrews nor of the divine Scripture to give genealogies of women; and the law was to prevent one tribe seeking wives from another. And so since Joseph was descended from the tribe of David and was a just man (for this the divine Gospel testifies), he would not have espoused the holy Virgin contrary to the law; he would not have taken her unless she had been of the same tribe. It was sufficient, therefore, to demonstrate the descent of Joseph. One ought also to observe this, that the law was that when a man died without seed, this man's brother should take to wife the wife of the dead man and raise up seed to his brother. The offspring, therefore, belonged by nature to the second, that Isaiah , to him that begat it, but by law to the dead. Born then of the line of Nathan, the son of David, Levi begat Melchi and Panther: Panther begat Barpanther, so called. This Barpanther begat Joachim: Joachim begat the holy Mother of God. And of the line of Song of Solomon , the son of David, Mathan had a wife of whom he begat Jacob. Now on the death of Mathan, Melchi, of the tribe of Nathan, the son of Levi and brother of Panther, married the wife of Mathan, Jacob"s mother, of whom he begat Heli. Therefore Jacob and Hell became brothers on tile mother"s side, Jacob being of the tribe of Solomon and Heli of the tribe of Nathan. Then Heli of the tribe of Nathan died childless, and Jacob his brother, of the tribe of Song of Solomon , took his wife and raised up seed to his brother and begat Joseph. Joseph, therefore, is by nature the son of Jacob, of the line of Song of Solomon , but by law he is the son of Hell of the line of Nathan. Joachim then took to wife that revered and praiseworthy woman, Anna. But just as the earlier Anna, who was barren, bore Samuel by prayer and by promise, so also this Anna by supplication and promise from God bare the Mother of God in order that she might not even in this be behind the matrons of fame. Accordingly it was grace (for this is the interpretation of Anna) that bore the lady: (for she became truly the Lady of all created things in becoming the Mother of the Creator)" (An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith 414) (NPF 2 9)

(2) Joseph's Lineage and Mary's Lineage - Many modern scholars speculate that the Gospel of Matthew gives Joseph"s lineage, while the Gospel of Luke gives Mary"s lineage. Therefore, both Joseph and Mary would be descendants of David, and thus, they both would qualify as someone from whom the Messiah could come forth. Note also that Matthew 1:16 seems to indicate that Matthew is showing Joseph"s lineage and Luke 3:23 indicates that Luke shows Mary"s lineage.

Matthew 1:16, "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."

Luke 3:23, "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,"

Another reason to believe that Matthew"s genealogy represents Joseph is the fact that Matthew tells the birth of Jesus from Joseph"s eyes, while Luke tells the birth of Jesus from the eyes of Mary. An additional need for two genealogies for our Savior is to show that Jesus was a biological descendent of King David through Mary, which would appeal to the Gentiles, but Jesus was "legally" the son of Joseph by Jewish law, and His Messiahship would have been contested by some Jews had Jesus not been a "legal" descendent of the Davidic lineage. John Lightfoot comments that Luke's Gospel reveals Jesus Christ as the "seed of woman," while Matthew's Gospel reveals Him as the "Son of David." 254] Benny Hinn notes that it is an insult in the Hebrew culture to mention the name of the wife before the husband, thus Joseph is named in Luke's Gospel rather than Mary. 255]

254] John Lightfoot, Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae: Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations Upon the Gospels, the Acts , Some Chapters of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans and the First Epistle to the Corinthians, vol 2, ed. Robert Gandell (Oxford: The University Press, 1859), 15.

255] Benny Hinn, "Fire Conference," Miracle Center Cathedral, Kampala, Uganda, 5-6 June 2009.

The Purpose of Matthew's Genealogy- The fact that the Gospel of Matthew opens with a genealogy reminds us of the book of Genesis. In fact, this Gospel is addressed primarily to the Jews in order to show that Jesus is the Messiah that the Old Testament prophesied would come. The purpose of this genealogy in the opening chapter of Matthew's Gospel is seen in verse one, to prove that Jesus Christ qualifies as the fulfillment of the coming Messiah. It clearly shows Jesus as a descendent of Abraham and David, both men giving significant Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. All Jews evidently knew that the true Messiah would be a descendent of both. Through David, Jesus would be the King of the Jews and through Abraham He would bring a blessing to all nations. In contrast, the Gospel of Luke emphasized Jesus as the son of man by taking his genealogy back to Adam.

Note also that Jesus Christ is the Alpha ( Genesis 1:1) and the Omega ( Matthew 1:16). That Isaiah , He is listed at the beginning of this genealogy and the end of this genealogy in chapter 1.

Revelation 22:13, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."

The Completeness of Matthew's Genealogy- A simple study of this genealogy reveals that from the time Jacob and his son Pharez entered Egypt until the time of the Exodus when Amminadab's daughter married Aaron was four hundred years. If this genealogy represents four hundred years by four generations (Phares to Esrom to Aram to Aminadab), then it is possible that several names were left out. We also know that between the time of Rahab the harlot and the conquest of Canaan under Joshua (1 ,450 B.C) and David was approximately four hundred years. This period is represented in Matthew's genealogy by five generations (Salmon-Boaz-Obed-Jesse-David). Therefore, it is also likely that several names were left out. Since we do know from the Scriptures that Matthew leaves out the names of three kings of Judah in Matthew 1:9, it increases the likelihood that he also left out the names of others. Also, Matthew leaves out Jehoiakim as a rightful king in the lineage of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:11. If we compare Matthew's genealogy to Luke's, we see in Matthew that from David to Joseph Isaiah 27 generations, while in Luke from David to Joseph Isaiah 42generations. This suggests again that Matthew did not include a complete list of names.

A complete genealogy was not necessary in order to accomplish the task of proving Jesus' royal lineage. Some of the genealogies in the Old Testament also omitted names that were not important to the theme of the passage. Thus, it appears that the Jews often left out some names when quoting their genealogies without feeling that it done an injustice to the list.

The Women in Matthew's Genealogy- There is a reference made to five women in this genealogy: Thamar, Rachab, Ruth , Bathsheba, and Mary. It is of interest that the first four women are even mentioned in this ancient record. However, why would this ancient list include these women. Perhaps the answer lies in a comment made by John Lightfoot, which explains how the public records of the Jews attempted to preserve pure Jewish families, so they kept records of people's pedigrees in order to identify those families that were pure, and those defiled. Those born of non-Jewish women were noted as defiled.

"Hence, that of Simon Ben Azzai deserves our notice: ‘I saw (saith he) a genealogical scroll in Jerusalem, in which it was thus written - N, a bastard of a strange wife.' Observe, that even a bastard was written in their public books of genealogy, that he might be known to be a bastard, and that the purer families might take heed of the defilement of his seed." 256]

256] John Lightfoot, The Whole Works of the Rev. John Lightfoot, D.D. Master of Catharine Hall, Cambridge, ed. John Rogers Pitman, vol 11 (London: J. F. Dove, 1823), 12-13.

Thus, these ancient entries into this genealogy may originally have been entered according to Jewish tradition an attempt to indicate non-Jewish blood or illegitimate births, thus keeping records of all impure blood. If we read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah , we see how diligently the Jewish scribes searched these genealogies in order to determine who were pure the Jews, and who had blood mingled with the Gentiles. This search was especially important for the priests, who had to be of pure blood in order to serve in the priesthood.

Ezra 2:62, "These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood."

Ezra 9:2, "For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass."

Ezra 10:18, "And among the sons of the priests there were found that had taken strange wives: namely, of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren; Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah."

Ezra 10:44, "All these had taken strange wives: and some of them had wives by whom they had children."

Nehemiah 7:61, "And these were they which went up also from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer: but they could not shew their father"s house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel."

Nehemiah 7:64, "These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood."

Nehemiah 13:23-25, "In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews" language, but according to the language of each people. And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves."

Nehemiah 13:29, "Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites."

The four women listed in Jesus' ancestry clearly showed that the blood of the Jewish Messiah had been mingled with Gentile blood (Rahab and Ruth) and that He was a descent of illegitimate births (Tamar and Bathsheba). The Law strictly forbade a "bastard" from entering into the congregation of the Lord until the tenth generation.

Deuteronomy 23:2, "A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD."

The next verse of the Law forbade a Moabite, of which blood Ruth represents, from entering into the congregation of the Lord until the tenth generation.

Deuteronomy 23:3, "An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:"

This type of genealogy would have disqualified a Levite from the strict requirements of priesthood.

Finally, it is important to state that in each Old Testament story of these four women, there was clearly a divine intervention of God in their lives in order to bring about the birth of their children. Thus, the Jews had to acknowledge God's hand upon each one of them. No other religion of mankind allows women so much freedom to become all that God has created them to be. Most world religions place women and children on a lower order than the man. This genealogy, therefore, reveals the import role of women in God's redemptive plan for mankind.

Although this genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:1-17 is filled with sinful forefathers and even prostitutes, yet overall, God divinely orchestrated this genealogy to give birth to our Saviour. Man had his role to play through the centuries of time, but God determined its destiny. This one genealogy tells us that God is big enough to ensure that His divine plan to redeem mankind will be fulfilled despite man's failure to fulfill their individual callings.

Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Matthew 1:1"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ" - Word Study on "book" - Strong says the Greek word βί βλος (G 976) means, "a sheet or scroll of writing, a book." However, because of the context of Matthew 1:1, some modern English versions translate the Greek word βί βλος with a broader meaning, such as "the list of ancestors" (God'sWord), "the "the lineage roll" (Rotherham), "a record" (ISV), etc.

Word Study on "generation" - Strong says the Greek word "generation" ( γέ νεσις) (G 1078) literally means, "nativity," and figuratively, "nature." The TDNT says it means, "birth, genesis." This word is used literally in Matthew as the genealogy of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:18), and figuratively in the book of James as "nature, or natural" ( James 1:23; James 3:6). Both ( γέ νεσις) and ( γενεά) (G 1074) come from the same root word ( γέ νος) (G 1085), which has its origin in the verb of being ( γί νομαι) (G 1096). The word γέ νεσις is use four times in the New Testament ( Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:18, James 1:23; James 3:6).

Matthew 1:18, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." [Some Greek texts use the word ( γέ ννησις) (G 1083) in this verse instead of ( γέ νεσις)]

James 1:23, "For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:"

James 3:6, "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell."

Word Study on "The book of the generation" - The Greek phrase ( βί βλος γενέ σεως) occurs only twice in the LXX, being used in Genesis 2:4; Genesis 5:1. This indicates that Matthew had the structure of the book of Genesis in mind when he used this Hebrew formula.

Genesis 2:4, " αὕτη ἡ βίβλος γενέσεως οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς, ὅτε ἐγένετο, ἧ ἡμέρᾳ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν" (LXX)

Genesis 5:4, " ἐγένοντο δὲ αἱ ἡμέραι αδαμ μετὰ τὸ γεννῆσαι αὐτὸν τὸν σηθ ἑπτακόσια ἔτη, καὶ ἐγέννησεν υἱοὺς καὶ θυγατέρας." (LXX)

Word Study on "Christ" - The Greek word "Christ" ( χριστό ς) (G 5547) is the equivalent of the Old Testament word ( מָשִׁיחַ) (H 4899) for "Messiah." Both words literally mean, "anointed one." Both are transliterated into English in the KJV. The Hebrew word was used in the Old Testament to refer to the priests and kings who were anointed to serve in these capacities. However, the book of Psalm spoke of an anointed one who was coming to deliver the people of Israel ( Psalm 2:2). The Jews during the time of Jesus were eagerly awaiting this Messiah to deliver them from the oppressive Roman rule ( Daniel 9:25-26). They referred to the Messiah as the "Son of David," a phrase that is used ten times in the Gospel of Matthew , because of the prophetic Psalm concerning the coming of the Messiah.

Psalm 2:2, "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,"

Daniel 9:25-26, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."

Word Study on "Jesus Christ" - It is important to note that this dual name of "Jesus Christ," or "Christ Jesus," was rarely used by Jesus or by His disciples until after His resurrection. Although it is found frequently in the book of Acts , we only have one occurrence where it is used by Jesus or His disciples within the Gospels ( John 17:1). It was also used a few times by the Evangelists when introducing the identity of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, Jesus did not make His identity publicly known, except to His disciples ( Matthew 23:8; Matthew 23:10; Matthew 26:68; Matthew 27:17, Mark 9:41).

John Lightfoot says the dual name of "Jesus Christ" was used not only to reveal Him as the Savior of the world, but also to emphasize to the Jewish community that He was indeed the Messiah. 257] Note:

257] John Lightfoot, Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae: Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations Upon the Gospels, the Acts , Some Chapters of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans and the First Epistle to the Corinthians, vol 1, ed. Robert Gandell (Oxford: The University Press, 1859), in e-Sword, v 951 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2009), comments on Matthew 1:1.

John 1:41, "He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which Isaiah , being interpreted, the Christ."

Acts 2:36, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ."

Acts 4:27, "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,"

Acts 10:38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."

Acts 18:5, "And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ."

Acts 18:28, "For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ."

Hebrews 1:8-9, "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."

1 John 2:22, "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."

Comments on "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ" - There are three ways that scholars interpret the phrase, "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ," depending on whether this phrase is understood to refer to the genealogical list of Jesus Christ's ancestors only ( Matthew 1:1-17), or to His birth and childhood ( Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23), or to the entire Gospel of Matthew.

(1) The Book Roll- Many scholars believe that the word "book" used here is not to be applied to the entire Gospel of Matthew , but rather to this particular genealogy ( Matthew 1:1-17). Thus, it may be translated, "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ". This meaning is seen in several translations:

BWE, "Here are the names of the people in the family line from which Jesus Christ came. He came from David's family. He came from Abraham's family."

Rotherham, "The Lineage Roll of Jesus Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham."

God'sWord, "This is the list of ancestors of Jesus Christ, descendant of David and Abraham."

Moffatt, "The birth roll of Jesus Christ."

RVS, "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."

YLT, "A roll of the birth of Jesus Christ."

(2) The Nativity- A second view is to interpret this phrase as an introduction Jesus' origin, which is His birth and childhood ( Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23). The translation of this phrase would then be "the record of the origin of Jesus Christ."

James Murdock's Translation of the Syriac Peshitta, "The book of the nativity of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, son of Abraham."

(3) The History- However, others such as Adam Clarke, believe that this phrase not only gives an account of the genealogy of Christ, as detailed in the first seventeen verses, but also introduces the history of His "birth, Acts , sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension." 258] Some scholars believe that this phrase is intended to tell the history of that person mentioned. Thus, we would translate the phrase as "the record of the history of Jesus Christ."

258] Adam Clarke, Matthew , in Adam Clarke"s Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Matthew 1:1.

LO, "The History of Jesus Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham."

A close study of the use of this phrase in the book of Genesis leads one to favor Clarke's view of a broader meaning. This is because the same phrase in Genesis introduces large segments of narrative history as well as the genealogical tables. In addition, the Greek word "generation" ( γέ νεσις) is used again in Matthew 1:18, implying that this genealogy continues as a story in the same way it does in the book of Genesis.

Matthew 1:18, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."

The theme of any book in the Holy Bible can be found in the first verse or passage of the book. For example, the opening verse of the Gospel of Mark reflects the preaching ministry of Jesus Christ as He proclaims the arrival of the Kingdom of God, which reflects the secondary theme of the Gospel of Mark: the testimony of the miracles of Jesus Christ through the preaching of the Gospel that Jesus is the Son of God. The opening verse of the Gospel of Matthew reveals the genealogy of Jesus Christ, which is takes the form of a chronological fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures of the coming of the Messiah, and this verse reflects the secondary theme of Matthew: the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus is the Son of God. The opening verses of Luke's Gospel make the claim that this book is a collection of eye-witness accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, which reflects the secondary theme of Luke: the testimony of John the Baptist and other eye witnesses through prophetic utterances that Jesus is the Son of God. The theme of a collection of many testimonies is declared in the closing verse of the Gospel of Luke as well, saying, "And ye are witnesses of these things." ( Luke 24:48)

The Absence of the Definite Article - The phrase "the genealogy of Jesus Christ" lacks the definite article in the Greek text of Matthew 1:1, but contains this article in Matthew 1:18, "the genealogy of Jesus Christ." In fact, some scholars believe the definite article is missing entirely from Matthew 1:1 becaue the author is placing emphasis upon Jesus' title of the Messiah, of Davidic Sonship and Abrahamic Sonship rather than His individual character, while Matthew 1:18 places emphasis upon the individual as the one to whom all Old Testament biblical prophecy is directed.

Summary- In summary, the opening verse in the Gospel of Matthew can be interpreted as a declaration of the historical events in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ that fulfill Old Testament prophecy, thus, reflecting the secondary theme of Matthew.

Matthew 1:1 — "the son of David, the son of Abraham" - Comments - One purpose of Matthew"s Gospel is to convince the Jews and Christians that Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies that God gave the two patriarchs David and Abraham concerning the Messiah. In Matthew's genealogy Jesus is called the seed of David and of Abraham ( Matthew 1:1) because the Jews believed that the Messiah would come from the seed of these two patriarchs ( John 7:42, Romans 1:3, Galatians 3:29, 2 Timothy 2:8, Hebrews 2:16). To Abraham God gave the first promise that the Messiah would descend from a particular group of people. To David was a more specific promise that the seed of David would reign as King in the royal lineage of David. Luke's Gospel will take a similar genealogy back to Adam, but with a different purpose, which is to show God's plan to redeem all nations through the Son of Man. In contrast, Matthew's Gospel reveals Jesus Christ as the promised seed of Abraham, the Messiah, who would reign as King of Kings forever and ever in the royal Davidic lineage. Thus, the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, which is the secondary them of Matthew's Gospel, reflects Jesus Christ as the "King of the Jews."

John 7:42, "Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?"

Romans 1:3, "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;"

Galatians 3:29, "And if ye be Christ"s, then are ye Abraham"s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

2 Timothy 2:8, "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:"

Hebrews 2:16, "For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham."

The son of David associates Jesus with those Jews who were of the tribe of Judah, while the son of Abraham associates Jesus with all twelve tribes of Israel.

Arthur Pink says that the phrase "‘Son of David' connects Christ with the throne, while the ‘Son of Abraham' associates Him with the altar." 259] Note that David was a king on the throne, and a type of figure of Christ. Abraham offered Isaac on the altar, as He gave His life on that altar for our sins; thus, Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, as the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

259] Arthur W. Pink, An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (Carlisle, PA: Evangelical Press, 1977) [on-line]; accessed 23February 2010; available from http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sermon/sermon_intro.htm; Internet, "Introduction, 2nd paragraph."

David is listed first before Abraham perhaps because the Messiah was better known to the Jews as the seed of David rather than of Abraham. John Gill tells us that Abraham was known to the Jews as ( היחס ראש) the "head of the genealogy." 260] Abraham was the first to whom it was revealed that the Messiah would be born of his descendants and David was the last to whom this was revealed. From David came the promise of a king ( 2 Samuel 7:12-13), but from Abraham came the promise of a seed that would not only become a nation, but would bless other nations ( Genesis 22:16-18).

260] John Gill, Matthew , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Matthew 1:1.

"the son of" - In many cultures, in Africa today as well as the Jews of Bible times, family terms such as " Song of Solomon , daughter, father, mother," were used in a very broad sense to include extended family members and even ancestors. Jesus calls one lady that He healed a "daughter of Abraham."

Luke 13:16, "And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?"

In the Western mind these terms are used in the narrowest sense of the word, being limited to immediate family members. However, throughout the Scriptures we see these terms being used in a broad, loose sense.

We find in Matthew 1:1 that the phrase "son of" is not modified with the definite article "the" in the Greek, thus leaving the meaning of "son of" as indefinite. Therefore, the phrase "son of" may easily be translated in this context as "descendent of." This article was added by translators. In contract, every use of the word "son of" in verses 2-16 is modified by the definite article "the," meaning that a person is being identified as the immediate son of his father.

We find this definite article missing again in Matthew 1:20 when Joseph is called the "son of David," thus meaning the "descendent of David."

Matthew 1:20, "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."

"the son of David" - As seen in the above outline of the Gospel of Matthew , a second theme is woven throughout, besides the theme of Christ's fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. This second theme is that the King has come. It was the prophecies of David that first revealed the fact that this Messiah would come as King of Kings. There are number of promises that God made to David concerning the Messiah ( 2 Samuel 7:12-13, Psalm 89:35-37).

2 Samuel 7:12-13, "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever."

Psalm 89:35-37, "Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah."

King David was considered the father of the Messiah.

Matthew 9:27, "And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us."

Matthew 12:23, "And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?"

Matthew 21:9, "And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest."

Mark 12:35, "And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?"

The Messiah was to be born in of the royal lineage of King David and he was to come and usher in a new Jewish kingdom.

Mark 11:10, "Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest."

Luke 1:32, "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:"

Acts 15:16, "After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:"

The phrase "the son of David" means, "the descendent of David." Perhaps no other name described the coming Messiah in the minds of the Jews of Jesus" day than the title, "Son of David" (See Matthew 22:42). The writings of King David clearly prophesied that the Messiah was the coming king of the lineage of David. The Hebrew word ( מָשִׁיחַ) "Messiah" (H 4899) is used to ten times in the book of Psalm ( Psalm 2:2; Psalm 18:50; Psalm 20:6; Psalm 28:8; Psalm 84:9; Psalm 89:38; Psalm 89:51; Psalm 105:15; Psalm 132:10; Psalm 132:17).

This title "son of David" is used ten times in the Gospel of Matthew , three times in the Gospel of Mark , three times in the Gospel of Luke and none in the Gospel of John.

Matthew 22:42, "Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David."

Jesus Christ was the branch that sprouted forth out of the root of David.

Isaiah 11:1, "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:"

Matthew 1:1 describes the way the Messiah would appear. After the royal lineage of King David had ceased for almost six hundred years, it was renewed by the anointing of Jesus Christ at His water baptism and forever established at His resurrection.

2 Samuel 7:12-13, "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever."

This Messiah would carry many titles as described in Isaiah 9:6-7.

Isaiah 9:6-7, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."

Isaiah prophesies that it would be the zeal of the Lord that would bring this to pass. In other words, it would be a divine, miraculous intervention of God Almighty in the affairs of man to accomplish this prophecy.

With this focus, it was easy for the scholars of Jesus" day to misinterpret a man from Nazareth as being unable to fulfill the prophecy of the coming Messiah, the son of a carpenter, with no royalty attached.

Because the nation of Israel was under the oppressive Roman rule in Jesus" day, the Jews were looking for someone to liberate them from this strong hand. The Jews longed for a Jewish king, a Messiah to set them free. However, Jesus, the Messiah, had a different anointing, a different calling. After returning from His 40-days of being tempted in the wilderness, He returned in the power of the Spirit, stood in the synagogue at Nazareth and read out of Isaiah 61, a passage on deliverance. Jesus" anointing was not to liberate the Israelites from Roman rule, but to set people free from the bondages of Satan. Jesus chose a passage of Scripture that the Jews would be able to relate to in their search for a deliverer.

"the son of Abraham" - The underlying theme of the Gospel of Matthew is the revelation that Jesus fulfilled all Old Testament prophecies. These prophecies rested upon Abraham. This is why Abraham is called the father of us all ( Romans 4:16), since to him God first delivered the prophecies of the coming of the Messiah that included his children.

Romans 4:16, "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,"

The prophecies that were given to Him for the first time included all of the descendents of Abraham, as well as those believers in Christ today. That Isaiah , these Abrahamic prophecies were directed towards us, his children. These promises proceeded from Abraham.

Thus, in Abraham rests all of the additional prophecies, for they came forth from his loins, from the children of Israel that prophesied further concerning the Messiah. It is in these prophecies that we place our faith in God.

There are number of promises that God made to Abraham concerning the Messiah ( Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:16-18).

Genesis 12:3, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

Genesis 22:16-18, "And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy Song of Solomon , thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."

Abraham was considered the father of the Jewish nation, as is testified by Zacharias, the Pharisees, the Jewish people, Paul the apostle and James.

Matthew 3:9, "And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."

Luke 1:73, "The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,"

Luke 16:24, "And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."

John 8:39, "They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham"s children, ye would do the works of Abraham."

Acts 7:2, "And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,"

Romans 4:1, "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?"

James 2:21, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?"

God had called Abraham a father of many nations in the beginning.

Genesis 17:5, "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee."

Romans 4:17, "(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were."

The Absence of the Greek Article - It is important to note that the phrase "son of David, son of Abraham" contains no definite article in the Greek text, while the list of names in Matthew 1:2-16 all have the definite article preceding them. 261] The definite article serves the purpose of identifying a particular individual, while the absence of the article allows the now to reflect a class. The phrase in Matthew 1:1 could be translated "Jesus Christ held Davidic sonship as well as Abrahamic sonship." In other words, the forthcoming genealogy of Matthew 1:2-16 serves as a testimony of Jesus' Davidic sonship as well as Abrahamic sonship as stated in the opening verse. In fact, the entire Gospel of Matthew supports the Davidic sonship as well as Abrahamic sonship of Jesus Christ as the Evangelist reveals a chronological list of Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus fulfilled. The closest example we have to this statement of Jesus' Sonship is found in Hebrews 1:2, which says God in these last days has spoken us through the office of "Sonship," having spoken in the past through the office of the prophet. Matthew's Gospel opens with the statement that Jesus Christ holds the title of Davidic Sonship as well as Abrahamic Sonship, which title Matthew will prove with supporting evidence throughout the rest of His Gospel. This view is supported by the fact that the genealogy ( Matthew 1:2-16) ends with the statement, "Jesus who is called (Messiah)," and by the way Matthew begins his historical narrative with the phrase, "The genealogy of Jesus Christ is thus;" ( Matthew 1:18) that Isaiah , the historical narrative of Jesus Christ proves His Davidic Sonship and His Abrahamic Sonship.

261] Within the genealogy of Matthew 1:2-16, the definite article precedesonce an individual's name at its first mention, but the article is absent with its second mention, since the article has served its purpose with the first mention and is not needed for the second mention.

Summary- From David came a promise that God would deliver His people Israel, but from Abraham came the promise that this deliverance would extend to all nations. Thus, Matthew gives us the underlying themes of his Gospel, which is to see that the Jews will reject their Messiah, and the "time of the Gentiles" would be ushered in for them to accept their Savior.

Therefore, the Gospel of Matthew is established upon the fulfillment of the prophecies of these two men, Abraham and David.

Matthew 1:1Comments (Introduction to the New Testament) - The opening verse to the Gospel of Matthew serves to introduce the genealogy of Jesus Christ himself, as well as the entire Gospel of Matthew , and the group of books called the Gospels and Acts , and perhaps the entire New Testament.

Introduction to the Genealogy of Jesus Christ- This verse is a concise summary of the full genealogy which follows, and this by the fact that it highlights the two main patriarchs of Israel"s history. They both had many Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in them. David and Abraham were the two most beloved of God out of this entire genealogy. It was upon the prophecies of Abraham and David that the Jewish hope of a coming Messiah was established.

1. Abraham- A friend of God:

2 Chronicles 20:7, "Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?"

James 2:23, "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."

2. David- A man after God"s own heart:

1 Samuel 13:14, "But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee."

Acts 13:22, "And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will."

Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew - In addition, this opening verse not only summarizes the first seventeen verses of genealogy, but it also summarizes the entire Gospel of Matthew by telling us that this is the story of the life of Jesus Christ. For we see in the book of Genesis that this phrase is used to introduce the stories of the patriarchs.

Introduction to the Gospels and Acts - Finally, we can also say that this opening sentence to Matthew's Gospel is a summary of the section of the New Testament called the Gospels. It gives us a summary of the content of the four Gospels and Acts. We can see this by comparing the opening verse of Genesis and note that the phrase "In the beginning" sets the theme for the Pentateuch. In other words, the book of Genesis tells us the origin of creation and the nations, but the entire Pentateuch tells us the origin of the nation of Israel.

Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

In this sense, Genesis 1:1 introduces the theme of the Pentateuch just as Matthew 1:1 reveals to us the theme of the Gospels and Acts.

In addition, Romans 1:16-17 not only introduces the theme of the book of Romans , but it reveals to us the underlying theme of all the New Testament epistles.

Romans 1:16-17, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."

These epistles serve to give to us a complete story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with each epistle giving to us simply a part of this great message of Salvation.

Matthew 1:1Comments (The Theme of the Gospel of Matthew) - The theme of each book in the Holy Bible is revealed in the first few verses of each book. The first verse of Matthew's Gospel declares in a nutshell that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the major prophecies spoken by David and Abraham. Matthew heard Jesus Christ when He told the Jews to search the Scriptures, for they testify of Him.

John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

Thus, the Gospel of Matthew serves as the link between the Old and New Testaments. This prophetic story of Jesus Christ can be called the "genealogy of Jesus Christ" in the same way that the stories in the book of Genesis are structured into genealogies. The Gospel of Matthew reveals Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, who comes as King to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. This theme is seen in the closing verses as Jesus gives the Great Commission to disciple all nations with the teachings of the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 28:19-20, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Song of Solomon , and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

In a similar way, we see that Mark's Gospel also opens with a verse that reveals the theme of the book.

Mark 1:1, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;"

We find that Mark's theme is the proclamation of the Lord Jesus Christ with signs and miracles accompanying this proclamation. Again, this theme is seen again in the closing commission, when Jesus tells His disciples to preach the Gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:20, "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."

The Gospel of Luke is a list of testimonies of John the Baptist and many others who were witnesses to the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. These many testimonies are declared in his opening verses.

Luke 1:1-4, "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed."

These testimonies are referred to in the closing verses of Luke's Gospel:

Luke 24:48, "And ye are witnesses of these things."

The Gospel of John is the testimony of the Father declaring Jesus Christ to be the eternal Son of God. This is clearly stated in the opening verses.

John 1:1-4, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men."

Even the closing verse of John's Gospel makes a reference to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ by stating that the world could not contain the books if all of His works were recorded.

John 21:25, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

The book of Acts is the testimony of the Holy Spirit and of the apostles, who are mentioned in the opening verses of this writing, and are both referred to in the closing verses of Acts.

Acts 1:1-2, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:"

Acts 28:25, "And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,"

Acts 28:30-31, "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him."

The testimony of the book of Acts is simply an extension of the testimonies found in the Gospel of Luke.

Matthew 1:1Comments (Summary of Fulfillment of Old Testament Covenants) - The opening verse of the Gospel of Matthew serve to bridge the gap between the Old and New Testaments. This verse suggests a closing of the Old Testament and a birth of the New. The Gospel of Matthew will show us how the first Adam, created in the Garden of Eden, failed to fulfill God's command to take dominion over the earth, but a second Adam has come who has done His Father's will. The fulfillment of taking dominion over the earth will take place through additional covenants that God made to mankind. This opening verse immediately connects Jesus with the two most important Old Testament covenants known by the Jews. It shows that the prophecies given both to David and to Abraham have been fulfilled in Christ Jesus. It shows that Jesus has the inherited rights to the throne of David and to God"s covenant (or promise) to Abraham.

Jesus as David's seed:

1 Chronicles 17:11-12, "And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever."

Psalm 132:11, "The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne."

Isaiah 11:1-2, "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD"

Jeremiah 23:5, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth."

Matthew 22:42, "Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David."

Luke 1:32, "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:"

Luke 1:69, "And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;"

John 7:42, "Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?"

Acts 2:30, "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;"

Acts 13:23, "Of this man"s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:"

Jesus as Abraham's seed:

Genesis 12:1-3, "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father"s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

Genesis 13:14-16, "And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered."

Genesis 17:7-8, "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."

Genesis 22:16-18, "And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy Song of Solomon , thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."

Galatians 3:8-9, "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."

Therefore, this one verse shows the fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies, of which some are mentioned in the New Testament:

1. Jesus was born of the seed of David.

2. Jesus was the seed of Abraham- "In thy seed (singular) all nations shall be blessed."

Old Testament prophecies of the coming of Jesus were thousands of years old. Yet, God"s promises are true and faithful. Jesus came in the fullness of God"s time. Note:

2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

Galatians 4:4, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Song of Solomon , made of a woman, made under the law,"

Matthew serves as a summary of the contents not only of the genealogy of chapter one, but of the compilation of Old Testament fulfillments of the Lord Jesus Christ found in the Gospel of Matthew. Thus, this opening verse reveals the theme of this Gospel, namely, that Jesus Christ is the Messiah by fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies. His arrival will be as important as were the two most important events in Israel's past, the life and ministry of Abraham and King David.

Matthew 1:2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;

Matthew 1:2 — "Abraham begat Isaac" - Word Study on "Abraham" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Abraham" ( אַבְרָהָם) (H 85), Greek ( αβραά μ) (G 11), means, "father of a multitude," which was given to him by God in Genesis 17:5, "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee."

Comments - Isaac was the seed of promise, and served as a prototype of Christ's sacrificial offering when Abraham offered him up to God on the altar ( Genesis 21:12). Through Isaac was the Messiah promised.

Genesis 21:12, "And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called."

Matthew 1:2 — "and Isaac begat Jacob" - Word Study on "Isaac" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Isaac" ( יִצְחָק) (H 3327), Greek ( ισαά κ) (G 2464), means, "laughter (i.e. mockery)." Both Abraham and Sarah laughed when the Lord told them that she would bear him a son in their old age ( Genesis 17:17; Genesis 18:12).

Genesis 17:17, "Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?"

Genesis 18:12, "Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"

Comments - Matthew 1:2 would have read "and Isaac begat Esau" had the elder twin not sold his birthright to the younger, but God's law of divine election determined the recipient of this birthright.

Romans 9:10-13, "And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."

This genealogy in the first chapter of Matthew's Gospel speaks of the underlying theme of the Old Testament, which is God's foreknowledge and divine intervention in the affairs of mankind in order to bring about their redemption through Christ Jesus.

Matthew 1:2 — "and Jacob begat Judas" - Word Study on "Jacob" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Jacob" ( יַעֲקֹב) (H 3290), Greek ( ιακώ β) (G 2384), means, "heel catcher (i.e. supplanter)." Note:

Genesis 25:25-26, "And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau"s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them."

Word Study on "Judas" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Judas," or "Judah," ( יְהוּדָה) (H 3063), Greek ( ιού δας) (G 2455) means, "celebrated." Note:

Genesis 29:35, "And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing."

Comments- Jacob's prophecy given on his deathbed revealed that the Messiah would come from the lineage of Judah.

Genesis 49:10, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."

1 Chronicles 5:2, "For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph"s:)"

This was a foundational truth in establishing the doctrine of Jesus Christ's identity in the early church. Note this emphasis in the epistle to the Hebrews.

Hebrews 7:14, "For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood."

Again, we see in this genealogy the role of divine election by the Father in determining the birth of His Son Jesus Christ.

Matthew 1:2 — "and his brethren" - Comments- The phrase "and his brethren" is clearly a reference to the twelve tribes of Israel, from whose loins came the nation of Israel. Their significance as the founding fathers, although only one was of the lineage of Jesus, could not have been ignored in such an historical document as Matthew's Gospel, which was likely intended for Jewish converts. Paul will embrace the important role of these other eleven tribes in his epistle to the Romans by stating, "of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came," for these other tribes were recipients of the promises as well as Judah.

Romans 9:4-5, "Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen."

Later in his Gospel, Matthew will explain how the Messiah founded the Church upon twelve apostles, figurative of how the nation of Israel was founded upon the twelve sons of Jacob. Note:

Matthew 16:18, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Matthew 19:27-28, "Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Matthew 1:2Comments- Later in his Gospel, Matthew will establish the three patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) as the fathers of the faith that the Jews rejected when they rejected Christ Jesus ( Matthew 8:10-12).

Matthew 8:10-12, "When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

The life spans of the Patriarchs were:

Abraham

100 - Isaac born

175 - Died

Isaac

60 - Esau and Jacob born

180 - Died

Jacob

130 - Entered Egypt ( Genesis 47:9)

147 - Died ( Genesis 47:28)

Joseph

110 - Died ( Genesis 50:22)

Why does this genealogy begin at Abraham? Because the Jews were familiar with Old Testament genealogies. Abraham was an important figure in Jewish history being the "father" of all Jews. Note how the Jews referred to Abraham as their father.

John 8:53, "Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?"

The Gentiles were not as informed of Jewish history to understand the significance of Abraham. Since the Gospel of Matthew is largely to the Jewish converts, this genealogy serves as a testimony that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Messiah.

Matthew 1:3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;

Matthew 1:3 — "And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar" - Word Study on "Phares and Zara" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Phares" or "Pharez" ( פֶּרֶץ) (H 6557), Greek ( φαρέ ς) (G 5329), means, "a break, breach." The Hebrew name "Zara" or "Zarah" ( זֶרַח) (H 2226), Greek ( ζά ρα) (G 2196), means, "a rising of light." Note:

Genesis 38:27-30, "And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb. And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first. And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez. And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah."

Comments- Phares and Zara were twins, born through adultery. They are both listed here because of the important story regarding them in Genesis 38. These twins were conceived in sin by Thamar, Judah's daughter-in-law.

These twins may also have been included in this list because of the Jewish practice of identifying bastards in order to recognize a Jewish lineage that had become impure. John Lightfoot tells us that in these detailed genealogical records, if one was born without a father, this child was declared a bastard in the public records. He says, "Hence, that of Simon Ben Azzai deserves our notice: ‘I saw (saith he) a genealogical scroll in Jerusalem, in which it was thus written - N, a bastard of a strange wife.' Observe, that even a bastard was written in their public books of genealogy, that he might be known to be a bastard, and that the purer families might take heed of the defilement of his seed." 262]

262] John Lightfoot, The Whole Works of the Rev. John Lightfoot, D.D. Master of Catharine Hall, Cambridge, ed. John Rogers Pitman, vol 11 (London: J. F. Dove, 1823), 12-13.

Matthew 1:3 — "and Phares begat Esrom" - Comments- Little is said about Esrom (or Hezron) outside of the Old Testament genealogies.

Genesis 46:12, "And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul."

Ruth 4:18-19, "Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,"

1 Chronicles 2:5, "The sons of Pharez; Hezron, and Hamul."

1 Chronicles 2:21, "And afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was threescore years old; and she bare him Segub."

1 Chronicles 2:24, "And after that Hezron was dead in Calebephratah, then Abiah Hezron"s wife bare him Ashur the father of Tekoa."

1 Chronicles 2:25, "And the sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron were, Ram the firstborn, and Bunah, and Oren, and Ozem, and Ahijah."

1 Chronicles 4:1, "The sons of Judah; Pharez, Hezron, and Carmi, and Hur, and Shobal."

He was the father of Caleb, or Chelubai, who played an important role during the conquest of Canaan under Joshua.

1 Chronicles 2:9, "The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai."

1 Chronicles 2:18, "And Caleb the son of Hezron begat children of Azubah his wife, and of Jerioth: her sons are these; Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon."

He did establish the family of the Hezronites.

Numbers 26:21, "And the sons of Pharez were; of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites: of Hamul, the family of the Hamulites."

Matthew 1:4 — "Aram" - Comments- Little is known of Aram (or Ram), the son of Hezron, outside of Old Testament genealogies. He is also called the son of Jerahmeel in 1 Chronicles 2:27, which is his brother according to 1 Chronicles 2:9. But most scholars believe that Ram the son of Hezron is more likely.

Ruth 4:19, "And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,"

1 Chronicles 2:9, "The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai."

1 Chronicles 2:10, "And Ram begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah;"

1 Chronicles 2:25, "And the sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron were, Ram the firstborn, and Bunah, and Oren, and Ozem, and Ahijah."

1 Chronicles 2:27, "And the sons of Ram the firstborn of Jerahmeel were, Maaz, and Jamin, and Eker."

Matthew 1:4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;

Matthew 1:4 — "And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson" - Comments- These names are also spelled "Amminadab" and "Nahshon" in the Old Testament Little is known about Amminadab and Nahshon outside the Old Testament genealogies. We are told that Amminadab's daughter Elisheba became the wife of Aaron the high priest ( Exodus 6:23). We are told that Nahshon was a prince of the children of Judah ( 1 Chronicles 2:10). We know that Nahshon lived during time of the Exodus from Egypt ( Numbers 2:3; Numbers 7:12; Numbers 7:17). Otherwise, we are left with their names in genealogies ( Numbers 1:7, Ruth 4:19-20).

Exodus 6:23, "And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar."

1 Chronicles 2:10, "And Ram begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah; And Nahshon begat Salma, and Salma begat Boaz,"

Numbers 2:3, "And on the east side toward the rising of the sun shall they of the standard of the camp of Judah pitch throughout their armies: and Nahshon the son of Amminadab shall be captain of the children of Judah."

Numbers 7:12, "And he that offered his offering the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah:"

Numbers 7:17, "And for a sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five he goats, five lambs of the first year: this was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab."

Numbers 10:14, "In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab."

Numbers 1:7, "Of Judah; Nahshon the son of Amminadab."

Ruth 4:19-20, "And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,"

Scholars ask why Matthew left out the name of Moses, whose life and ministry was perhaps the most important in history. One can only suggest that the omission of Moses' name declares that the Mosaic Law played no role in guiding the divine birth of the Messiah. Rather, it was added because of Israel's transgressions (see Galatians 3:16-19).

Matthew 1:5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

Matthew 1:5"And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab" - Little is known about Salmon (or Salma) in the Scriptures except that he married Rahab the harlot and became the great grandfather of Jesse, the father of King David. His name is limited to two genealogies in the Old Testament ( Ruth 4:20-22, 1 Chronicles 2:11-12).

Ruth 4:20-22, "And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David."

1 Chronicles 2:11-12, "And Nahshon begat Salma, and Salma begat Boaz, And Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse,"

Scholars debate if this Rachab in Matthew 1:5 was this the same Rahab that we read about in Joshua 2:1-3? Note in Genesis 15:16 that in the fourth generation, Israel is to come out of Egyptian bondage. Since Genesis 46:12 says that Hezron went down to Egypt, then a count of the next four generations comes to Salmon: Hezron to Ram, to Amminadab, to Nahshon, to Salmon. Thus Salmon would have come out during the Exodus in the fourth generation from Hezron. However, Salmon would have had to be under the age of twenty at the time of the Exodus , since the first generation of adults died in the wilderness. Therefore, it is very possible that this is the same Rahab of Joshua 2:1-3.

Genesis 15:16, "But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full."

Genesis 46:12, "And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul."

Ruth 4:18-22, "Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David."

Some scholars believe that Matthew may have left out some names between Hezron and Salmon since it seems unlikely that only four generations would have been born in four hundred years. This argument is based upon the fact that Matthew clearly leaves out some names in this genealogy.

A second argument to support the belief that this verse refers to the same Rahab of Joshua 2:1-3 is the fact that this genealogy refers to four women who played an important role in Israel's history: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. Their importance is seen in the fact that the Old Testament Scriptures dedicate lengthy passages to Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba. Therefore, it seems to fit the context of this genealogy to mention Rahab because of her important role.

Matthew 1:5Comments- Ruth and Rachab were Gentiles, so that they represent the grafting in of wild olive branches, the Gentiles ( Romans 11), into the natural vine (Jesus). This fits an underlying theme found in the Gospel of Matthew that the Gospel is to be preached to all nations, having been rejected by the Jews.

Matthew 1:6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;

Matthew 1:6 — "And Jesse begat David the king" - Comments- The first division of Jesus' royal lineage ends with King David, by whom the Messiah received His royal status. King David reigned from 1010 to 970 B.C. He is the only one that is given the title of a king in this important genealogy, perhaps because it was prophesied that the Messiah would come from the royal lineage of King David. David was the first of the tribe of Judah to be named a king over Israel, so that the Messiah is figuratively called by the name "David" in the Old Testament ( Ezekiel 34:24; Ezekiel 37:24-25, Hosea 3:5). 263]

263] John Gill, Matthew , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Matthew 1:6.

Matthew 1:6"of her that had been the wife of Urias" - Comments- Bathsheba is still called Uriah's wife and not David's wife one thousand years later.

1 Kings 15:5, "Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite."

Matthew 1:6Comments- A missionary that once visited my church said that Jesse was nothing without David and that David was nothing without Jesse. She said that the Lord spoke this to her on one occasion as she applied this truth to her relationship to her mother, who raised her up in the faith. Her mother would get credit for the great work that God was doing through her daughter, a missionary.

Matthew 1:7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;

Matthew 1:7 — "And Solomon begat Roboam" - Comments- Solomon reigned from 970 to 930 B.C. Rehoboam reigned from 930 to 913 B.C. Rehoboam was the son of a woman of the Ammonites. Thus, we see additional Gentile blood in the lineage of the Messiah.

1 Kings 14:21, "And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother"s name was Naamah an Ammonitess."

1 Kings 14:31, "And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother"s name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead."

Matthew 1:7 — "and Roboam begat Abia" - Comments- We find the name Abia spelled a number of different ways in the Old Testament. He was called Abia ( אֲבִיָּה) (H 29) one time ( 1 Chronicles 3:10) and Abijah ( אֲבִיָּם) (H 38) twenty times ( 2 Chronicles 12:16). He was also called Abijam ( אֲבִיָּם) (H 38) ( 1 Kings 14:31). He reigned as king over Judah from 913to 910 B.C.

1 Chronicles 3:10, "And Solomon"s son was Rehoboam, Abia his Song of Solomon , Asa his Song of Solomon , Jehoshaphat his Song of Solomon ,"

1 Kings 14:31, "And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother"s name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead."

2 Chronicles 12:16, "And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead."

His mother's name was called Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom and Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.

1 Kings 15:2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother"s name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

2 Chronicles 13:2, "He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother"s name also was Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam."

Matthew 1:7 — "and Abia begat Asa" - Comments- King Asa reigned from 910 to 869 B.C. His mother is by the same name as his grandmother, which was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom. This suggests that Maachah was actually his grandmother, and not his mother.

1 Kings 15:10, "And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother"s name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom."

Matthew 1:8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;

Matthew 1:8 — "And Asa begat Josaphat" - Comments- Josaphat, or Jehoshaphat reigned from 872to 848 B.C. The difference in spelling is credited to the fact that the Greek language lacked a comparable letter to the Hebrew letter ( ה). His mother's name was called Azubah the daughter of Shilhi ( 1 Kings 22:24).

1 Kings 22:42, "Jehoshaphat was thirty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother"s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi."

Matthew 1:8 — "and Josaphat begat Joram" - Comments - Joram was also called Jehoram, who reigned from 848 to 841 B.C.

Matthew 1:8 — "and Joram begat Ozias" - Comments - Ozias was also called Prayer of Azariah , and Uzziah. He reigned from 792to 740 B.C.

2 Kings 15:1, "In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign."

2 Chronicles 26:1, "Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah."

Matthew 1:8Comments - There was one queen and three kings between Joram (Jehoram) (848 to 841 B.C.) and Azariah (792to 740 B.C.) that are left out in this genealogy. The four rulers over Judah that are not listed are:

Ahaziah (841 B.C.)

Athaliah (841to 835 B.C.)

Joash (835 to 796 B.C.)

Amaziah (796 to 767 B.C.)

Some suggest that these three men were omitted in order to give symmetry to this list. Others suggest that they were omitted because they were descendants of Ahab and Jezebel. Since God cut off Ahab's seed to the third and fourth generation, it may relate to this divine principle of judgment being fulfilled. This omission is noticed by Jerome, who agrees with this reasoning when he says that these three kings were to the third generation of Athaliah, who was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel ( 2 Kings 8:18; 2 Kings 11:1). 264] Thus, Amaziah was the third generation from Ahab.

264] See Jerome, Commentary in the Gospel of Matthew 1:1 (PL 26 cols 22C-D to 23A).

2 Kings 8:18, "And he (Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat) walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD."

2 Kings 11:1, "And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal."

Matthew 1:9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;

Matthew 1:9 — "And Ozias begat Joatham" - Comments - Joatham was also called Jotham. He reigned from 750 to 735 B.C. His mother's name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.

2 Kings 15:33, "Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother"s name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok."

Matthew 1:9 — "and Joatham begat Achaz" - Comments - Achaz was also called Ahaz. He reigned from 735 to 715 B.C. To him was the famous prophecy given that the Messiah would come from a virgin ( Isaiah 7:14).

Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Song of Solomon , and shall call his name Immanuel."

Matthew 1:9 — "and Achaz begat Ezekias" - Comments - Ezekias was also called Hezekiah. He reigned from 715 to 686 B.C. His mother's name was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.

2 Kings 18:2, "Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother"s name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah."

We see God's divine intervention in the lineage of the Messiah when He gave Hezekiah an additional fifteen years to live.

Isaiah 38:5, "Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years."

Matthew 1:10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;

Matthew 1:10 — "And Ezekias begat Manasses" - Comments - Manasses was also called Manasseh. He reigned from 697 to 642 B.C. His mother's name was Hephzibah.

2 Kings 21:1, "Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother"s name was Hephzibah."

Charles Spurgeon says that Manassah stands out in this lineage as the chief of sinners and, thus, the recipient of God's greatest mercy. 265]

265] Charles H. Spurgeon, Sermon 501: Grace Abounding (1863), in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol 9, in Christian Library Series, vol 6 (Rio, WI: Ages Digital Library, 2006).

Matthew 1:10 — "and Manasses begat Amon" - Comments - Amon ruled from 642to 640 B.C. His mother's name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.

2 Kings 21:19, "Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And his mother"s name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah."

Matthew 1:10 — "and Amon begat Josias" - Comments - Josias was also called Josiah. He reigned from 640 to 609 B.C. His mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.

2 Kings 22:1, "Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother"s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath."

He was one of Judah's best kings. We see God's divine hand of intervention in the lineage of the Messiah in that his name was prophesied several hundred years before his birth.

1 Kings 13:1-2, "And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men"s bones shall be burnt upon thee."

Matthew 1:11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:

Matthew 1:11 — "And Josias begat Jechonias" - Comments - Jechonias was also called Jeconiah or Jehoiachin (598 to 597 B.C.).

Matthew 1:11 — "and his brethren" - Comments - The phrase "and his brethren" could refer to the brothers of Jechonias who also reigned as king over Judah. Matthew would have included in because he failed to list them in this genealogy although they played important roles in Israel's history. However, some scholars speculate that this phrase may be used in a wider sense to refer to the children of Israel who were carried into Captivity with Jechonias.

Matthew 1:11Textual Criticism- Some ancient Greek manuscripts add the phrase that Josiah begot Jakim who begot Jechonias so fourteen generations, which is mentioned in Matthew 1:17, could be added without naming Jechonias twice. Thus, the phrase "to Jakim" would end the fourteen generations called "until the carrying away." Jechonias would begin the next fourteen generations, "from the carrying away to Babylon."

Matthew 1:11Comments (1) - There were several rulers over Judah during period in which the children of Israel were carried off in the Babylonian captivity. Josiah had two sons that ruled Jerusalem. Jehoahaz ruled for three months and was carried off to Egypt. His brother Jehoiakim then ruled for eleven years until his death, after which his son Jehoiachin reigned in his place. Thus, it was not necessary to mention the first son of Josiah since he was not in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Thus, Matthew leaves out Jehoiakim as a rightful king in the lineage of Jesus Christ.

Jehoahaz (609 B.C.)

Jehoiakim (609 to 598 B.C.)

Jehoiachin or Jeconiah (598 to 597 B.C.)

Zekekiah (597 to 586 B.C.)

Matthew 1:11Comments (2) - We must realize that the Babylonian Captivity was not just a form of punishment, but it had a much more and far-reaching effect, which was to ultimately bring redemption back to the nation of Israel. It is this very theme that is played out in the book of Ezekiel.

Charles Spurgeon calls the birth of Jesus Christ from such a cutting off of the Davidic lineage the "root out of dry ground." 266]

266] Charles H. Spurgeon, Exposition by C. H. Spurgeon: Isaiah 53:2, in Sermons, in Christian Library Series, vol 6 (Rio, WI: Ages Digital Library, 2006).

Isaiah 53:2, "For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him."

Matthew 1:12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;

Matthew 1:12 — "Jechonias begat Salathiel" - Comments- In 1 Chronicles 3:16, Jeconiah, or Jehoiachin, (598 to 597 B.C.) begat Salathiel.

1 Chronicles 3:15-17, "And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his Song of Solomon , Zedekiah his son. And the sons of Jeconiah; Assir, Salathiel his Song of Solomon ,"

A number of scholars refer to Jeremiah's prophecy of judging Coniah, or Jeconiah, childless. However the context of this verse uses the word "childless" figuratively in that this last king would have no "reigning" child. For the second part of this verse states that "no man of his seed shall prosper."

Jeremiah 22:30, "Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah."

We know from 2 Chronicles 36:1-23 that Nebuchadnezzar took Jecohiah captive to Babylon and made Zedekiah, his uncle, king in his stead.

Matthew 1:12 — "and Salathiel begat Zorobabel" - Comments - The name "Zorobbabel" ( ζοροβά βελ) (G 2216) means "begotten in Babel" (Strong). He was born in the Babylonian Captivity and became a governor in Jerusalem upon the first return of the Jews around 537 B.C. The Old Testament gives several references to the person Zorobabel (Zerubbabel) because of his key role in the return of the exiles from Babylonian captivity.

Ezra 3:2, "Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God."

Ezra 5:2, "Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them."

Nehemiah 12:1, "Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah ,, Ezra ,"

Haggai 1:1, "In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,"

Haggai 2:2, "Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying,"

Haggai 2:23, "In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts."

However, one verse in 1 Chronicles 3:19 gives Zerubbabel as the son of Pedaiah, the brother of Shealtiel. Some scholars suggest that Shealtiel may have dies childless, so that Pedaiah would have raised up a son in his brother's name. This type of marriage was a part of the Mosaic Law and would have been recorded as such in Jewish genealogies.

1 Chronicles 3:19, "And the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel, and Shimei: and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister:"

After these names, there ceases to be a written genealogical record within the Old Testament.

Matthew 1:13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;

Matthew 1:13 — "And Zorobabel begat Abiud" - Comments- When we refer to the Old Testament ( 1 Corinthians 3:19-20), we see that there is no mention of Abiud as the son of Zerubbabel. Thus, scholars suggest that Abiud went by another name in the Old Testament.

1 Chronicles 3:19-20, "And the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel, and Shimei: and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister: And Hashubah, and Ohel, and Berechiah, and Hasadiah, Jushabhesed, five."

Matthew 1:14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;

Matthew 1:15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;

Matthew 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Matthew 1:16 — "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary" - Comments- The Greek name "Mary" is the equivalent of the Hebrew name "Miriam."

Matthew 1:16 — "who is called Christ" - Comments- The title "Christ" was strictly used in the Old Testament to refer to the offices of kings ( 1 Samuel 24:6; 1 Samuel 24:10), priests ( Leviticus 4:5; Leviticus 4:16) and prophets ( 1 Kings 19:16). None others carried this title. We see Jesus Christ referring to His anointing as the Messiah in His opening message to the children of Israel ( Luke 4:18).

1 Samuel 24:6, "And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD"S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD."

Leviticus 4:5, "And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock"s blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation:"

1 Kings 19:16, "And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room."

Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,"

Matthew 1:16Comments- The apostle Matthew , the author of this Gospel, is careful to make a clear distinction in the fact that Joseph is not Jesus' biological father, although he was the "legal" father according to Jewish law. The phrase "of whom" is feminine singular, referring to Mary. Helen Milton suggests that the Gospel write makes this comment to draw the attention to the fact that Joseph is not the father of Jesus, which will be explained in the next section regarding the birth of Jesus. 267] In the first few chapters of the Gospel of Matthew , Jesus is only mentioned as Mary's Song of Solomon , while He is never mentioned as the son of Joseph. Note:

267] Helen Milton, "The Structure of the Prologue of St. Mathew's Gospel," in Journal of Biblical Literature 812 (June 1962): 177.

Matthew 1:16, "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."

Matthew 1:18, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."

Matthew 2:11, "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."

Matthew 2:13, "And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."

Luke also was careful to make this same clarification:

Luke 3:23, "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,"

Legally, Jesus was considered the son of Joseph; however, the people saw Jesus only in the flesh, and therefore believed Him to be the biological son of Joseph. Note:

John 6:42, "And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?"

Why was it so important for Matthew to give Joseph's lineage? Could he not have given Luke's same list of names that is believed to be the biological lineage of Mary, His mother? Matthew had to use the father's lineage in order to establish Jesus' legal right to sit on the throne of David, since Jesus' maternal lineage would not have given Him that right.

Matthew 1:13-16Comments - Genealogical Records- There is no written genealogical record in the Old Testament of these names. One assumes that Matthew found them in the genealogical records that were kept in Jerusalem before its destruction in A.D 70.

Matthew 1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

Matthew 1:17Comments - The Emphasis of the Closing Verse of Jesus' Genealogy - Matthew 1:17 serves as a closing verse to summarize the genealogy of Jesus ( Matthew 1:1-16). It serves a similar function as the key phrase "that it might be fulfilled…" found throughout the Gospel of Matthew used to identify its thematic scheme in that this verse tells us that God, through His divine providence, has fulfilled His promises to Abraham and David in sending the Messiah to redeem Israel. The mention in this verse of three periods of fourteen generations each testifies to divine providence.

Matthew 1:17 seems to restate verse one of this genealogy, but adds the additional fact that fourteen generations passed between significant events in the history of the Jewish nation. The opening verse ( Matthew 1:1) reveals Jesus Christ as of the lineage of David and Abraham, and the closing verse ( Matthew 1:17) shows how God divinely orchestrated Israel's history into three distinct periods, or epochs. Thus, the emphasis is made in the opening and closing verses of this passage on God the Father's foreknowledge in intervening in the affairs of mankind to affect redemption for mankind.

1. From Abraham to David are 14generations:

Abraham Isaac Jacob Judas Phares Esrom Aram Aminadab Naasson Salmon Booz Obed Jesse David the king.

2. From Solomon to Jechonias (Babylonian captivity) are 14generations.

Solomon Roboam Abia Asa Josaphat Joram Ozias Joatham Achaz Ezekias Manasses Amon Josias Jechonias.

3. From Jechonias to Jesus are 14generations. (Jechonias is counted twice.)

Jechonias Salathiel Zorobabel Abiud Eliakim Azor Sadoc Achim Eliud Eleazar Matthan Jacob Joseph Jesus.

Comments - The Time-Frame of Matthew's Genealogy- Several passages of Scripture give us an indication of the time span of Matthew's genealogy in Matthew 1:1-16. It is possible to add up the approximate years of some historical events in the nation of Israel, and thus estimate chronological dates for these events. In the book of Genesis , we are told that Abraham leaves Haran at age of seventy-five ( Genesis 12:4); and Isaac is born when Abraham was one hundred years old ( Genesis 17:21; Genesis 21:5); and Jacob is born when his grandfather Abraham was one hundred sixty years old, and his father Isaac was sixty years old ( Genesis 25:26). We are told that the seventy souls of Israel went into Egypt when Jacob was one hundred thirty (130) years old ( Genesis 47:9). Thus, Israel and his sons went into Egypt two hundred and sixty (260) years after Abraham left Haran. We are told that the children of Israel spent either four hundred (400) years in Egypt ( Genesis 15:15, Acts 7:6), or four hundred thirty (430) years ( Exodus 12:40, Galatians 3:17). Thus, the Exodus from Egypt took place at least six hundred ninety (690) years after Abraham left Haran. We know that the Israelites spend forty years in the wilderness, and that the conquest of Canaan under Joshua took five years ( Joshua 14:10). We are told that from the time of the conquest of Canaan to Samuel is four hundred fifty (450) years ( Acts 13:20), which appears to be an estimate. We are told that King Saul reigned forty years ( Acts 13:21). King David reigned forty years ( 2 Samuel 5:4). King Solomon reigned forty years ( 1 Kings 11:42, 2 Chronicles 9:30). We are told that Solomon built the Temple four hundred and eighty (480) years after the Exodus , in the fourth year of his reign ( 1 Kings 6:1).

If we add up the six hundred ninety (690) years from the time Abraham left Haran to the Exodus , plus the forty (40) years of Israel's wilderness journey, plus the four hundred fifty (450) years from the time of the conquest of Canaan to Samuel, plus the forty (40) years of King Saul's reign, we come up with approximately one thousand two hundred twenty (1 ,220) years from Abraham to David. If David's reign began about nine hundred (900) B.C, and the Babylonian Captivity took place in 586 B.C, the time span from David to the Captivity is about 414years. 268] From the Captivity to the birth of Jesus Christ was about five hundred eighty (580) years.

268] Helen Milton makes the interesting observation that the phrase in Matthew's genealogy "and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations" ( Matthew 1:17) reflects the narrative material found in the two books of Chronicles. Although the books open with lengthy genealogies and close with a brief comment concerning Israel's return from their captivity during the reign of King Cyrus, these books offer narrative history from the beginning to the end of Israel's kingdom, a period noted in the opening genealogy of Matthew's Gospel as divinely orchestrated by God. Thus, the author of Chronicles viewed this period of Jewish History as divinely significant to Israel's redemption. See Helen Milton, "The Structure of the Prologue to St. Matthew's Gospel," in Journal of Biblical Literature 812 (June 1962): 175.

Comments - Reasons for Dividing Matthew's Genealogy into Three Groups - Scholars have proposed a number of reasons as to why Matthew's genealogy is divided into three groups, separated by fourteen generations each?

(1) Factors of Seven Years Testify to Divine Intervention- The use of particular numbers in the Scriptures have always intrigued scholars, particularly the frequency of the number "seven," which is used almost seven hundred times in the Bible. The number seven or multiples of seven are popularly believed to express "the idea of completeness or perfection." 269] One view to the use of seven, or its multiple factor "fourteen," in Matthew 1:17 is that it reveals God"s divine role in the history and lineage of the birth of Jesus. That Isaiah , these fourteen-generation intervals were not just a coincidence, but rather a divinely orchestrated event leading to and culminating in the birth of Jesus. The doubling of the number 7 simply intensifies its testimony to divine orchestration. 270] The fact that fourteen generations are repeated three time throughout redemptive history serves as a three-fold testimony in which a matter is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses. With this view in mind, the use of a factor of the number seven in Matthew 1:17 leads to the conclusion that Jesus' genealogy and birth were divinely orchestrated. Thus, anytime the number seven or a factor of seven is used in historical events, it serves as a witness of divine intervention. For example, Joseph told Pharaoh that God would send seven years of plenty and seven years of famine ( Genesis 41:25-32). These two seasons of seven years served as a double witness of God's divine intervention upon the earth. Another example is seen when we examine Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, where we find that there are twenty-eight seasons listed in this passage of Scripture, which number is a multiple of seven times four. It is in these seasons of life orchestrated by God that we find meaning and purpose for our lives. The closing verses to Ecclesiastes will warn us that everything we do in these seasons of life must be undergirded with the fear of God and the keeping of His commandments. The fact that there are twenty-eight seasons is significance because it is a multiple of seven. Another clear example is found in Matthew's description of Jesus' divine lineage, where God brought Israel through seasons of change every fourteen generations.

269] R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson"s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Number(s): Rhetorical Use of Numbers."

270] Jim Goll says, "Multiples of these Numbers , or doubling or tripling carry basically the same meaning, only they intensify the truth." See Jim W. Goll, The Seer: The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams, and Open Heavens (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc, 2004), 109.

One insight that will be helpful in interpreting this passage of Scripture is to realize that God uses a somewhat different counting system than man. We base all of our counting on the number "ten." After ten, the system begins to repeat itself. God's counting system is based on the number "seven." Therefore, in the Scriptures, seven is the number of completion and thus plays a role in revealing the meaning of a passage. When you see something happen in the Holy Bible seven times, seven days, seven years, or seven periods of seven years, then you know that God is counting the way that He has ordained events to be counted.

We know that a seven-year period represents a divine appointment of time. Joseph prophesied of two seven-year periods, one of prosperity and another of famine. The Scriptures tell us that God orchestrated these seven-year periods ( Psalm 105:16). We also know that God confirms His Word in the mouth of two or three witnesses ( 2 Corinthians 13:1). Therefore, two seven-year periods were a confirmation of God"s divine hand involved in man"s affairs. We see this when Solomon held a seven-day feast for fourteen day ( 1 Kings 8:65).

Psalm 105:16, "Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread."

2 Corinthians 13:1, "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

1 Kings 8:65, "And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days."

Thus, the number fourteen represents a double confirmation of divine intervention in the events of history. In other words, these three sets of double sevens serve to intensify the certainly of divine intervention in the affairs of mankind.

(2) The Numerical Significance of David's Name is Fourteen- Another suggestion as to why Matthew's genealogy is divided into three groups, separated by fourteen generations each is the fact that the Hebrew letters for the name "David" ( דוד or דיוד) (H 1732) add up to the number 14. The Hebrews did not have numbers. Instead, they assigned a number to each of the Hebrew letters and used these letters in arithmetic. Perhaps Matthew was demonstrating that this genealogy was divinely orchestrated using numerology.

ד - The fourth Hebrew letter represents the number 4

ו - The sixth Hebrew letter represents the number 6

ד - The fourth Hebrew letter represents the number 4

Therefore 4 + 6 + 4 = 14.

(3) The Divisions Testify to Man's Failure in Various Forms of Government Institutions - The three divisions of Jewish history described in Matthew 1:17 reflect three forms of government. We know that the events in the lives of Abraham and David, as well as the Babylonian Captivity, are the three most important events in Jewish history because of the changes that occurred in government. The Jewish nation was under the prophets, kings and priests during these three periods of Jewish history. St. Thomas Aquinas quotes Pseudo-Chrysotom's comments on Matthew 1:17, saying,

"Having enumerated the generations from Abraham to Christ, he divides them into three divisions of fourteen generations, because three times at the end of fourteen generations the state of the people of the Jews was changed. From Abraham to David they were under Judges; from David to the carrying away into Babylon under Kings; from the carrying away to Christ under the High Priests. What he would shew then is this: like as ever at the end of fourteen generations the state of men has changed, so there being fourteen generations completed from the carrying away to Christ, it must needs be that the state of men be changed by Christ. And so since Christ all the Gentiles have been made under one Christ Judges , King, and Priest. And for that Judges , Kings, and Priests prefigured Christ"s dignity, their beginnings were always in a type of Christ; the first of the Judges was Joshua the son of Nave; the first of the Kings, David; the first of the Priests, Jesus son of Josedech. That this was typical of Christ none doubts." 271]

271] St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, vol 1, St. Matthew , part 1, second edition (Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864), 37.

"Or he divided the whole genealogy into three parts to shew that not even by the change of their government were they made better, but under Judges , Kings, High Priests, and Priests, held the same evil course. For which cause also he mentions the captivity in Babylon, shewing that neither by this were they corrected." 272]

272] St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, vol 1, St. Matthew , part 1, second edition (Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864), 37.

John Broadus describes three forms of government under these periods are a Theocracy, a Monarchy, and a Hierarchy (a government ruled by the priests). 273]

273] John A. Broadus, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew , in An American Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Alvah Hovey (Philadephia, PA: American Baptist Publication Society, 1888),

(4) The Divisions are Made for Purposes of Memorizing - Albert Barnes suggests that Matthew broke up this list into three divisions for the purpose of memorizing the names. He supports this by the fact that the Jews used this method in other writings for the same reason. 274]

274] Albert Barnes, The Gospel According to Matthew , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Matthew 1:17.

Illustration - Modern society views replication of events as divine orchestration just as the ancient world interpreted them. For example, on 8 January 2012the Denver Broncos defeated the Pittsburg Steelers 29-23in overtime in an end-of-the-season NFL wildcard playoff game. The amazing feature of this particular American football game that made headline news around the world was the statistics of this game, in which a replication of the number 316 occurred three times: (1) the Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow threw the football for a total of 316 yards, (2) with a throwing average of 316 yards per throw, and (3) the final quarter-hour television rating of this game was 316. These three statistics grabbed the attention of the world because the Scripture verse John 3:16 was a well-known motto of the winning quarterback Tim Tebow. 275] In addition, the head coach for the Denver Broncos was named John Elway (that is "John" for John 3:16). Tim Tebow became famous as a college quarterback with the University of Florida because he wrote the words " John 3:16" in the black under his eyes. He also began his news interview after the winning game against the Steelers and in the past with his traditional opening statement, "First and foremost, I just want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." 276] He often knelt in prayer on the football field when his team scored a touchdown, an event that became known as "tebowing." 277] Thus, the testimony of three witnesses serves as a powerful testimony to the world. Many Christians credited this series of three occurrences of 316 in a single game as divine intervention, while many secular people shrugged it off as mere coincidence.

275] Chris Chase, "Tebow Time: The three references, boffo TV ratings and Lady Gaga love," Yahoo! Sports, 9 January 2012 [on-line]; accessed on 19 January 2012; available from http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/shutdown-corner/tebow-time-three-3-16-references-boffo-tv-172145772.html; Internet.

276] Dan Delzell, "Tim Tebow Praises Tom Brady and Jesus Christ," The Christian Post, 12January 2012 [on-line]; accessed on 19 January 2012; available from http://www.christianpost.com/news/tim-tebow-praises-tom-brady-and-jesus-christ-66990/; Internet.

277] "High school backetball players beaten for ‘Tebowing'," Foxnews.com, 15 January 2012 [on-line]; accessed 20 January 2012; available from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/15/high-school-basketball-players-beaten-for-tebowing/; Internet.

Comments - Israel's Historical Periods Described in Extra-biblical Sources- There are a number of ancient, inter-biblical, Jewish, pseudoepigraphal writings that divide Hebrew history into distinct units. For example, the book of 1Enoch divides prophetic history into a series of ten weeks until mankind enters eternity, described as "many weeks without number forever." (1Enoch 9112-17; 931-10) 278] We find this description of prophetic weeks similar to Daniel's seventy weeks ( Daniel 9:24-27). The Book of Jubilees divides history into fifty-year periods called "jubilees." It seeks to prove that all significant events in history are framed within these fifty-year jubilees. 279] The book of 2Baruch (A.D 50-70) divides the history of the Jews into twelve periods symbolized by white and black waters (2Baruch 53-74). 280]

278] 1Enoch, translated by R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol 2, ed. R. H. Charles (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 262-265.

279] The Book of Jubilees, translated by R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol 2, ed. R. H. Charles (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 1-82.

280] II Baruch , trans. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol 2, ed. R. H. Charles (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 510-518.

Arthur Hervey tells us that Philo (20 B.C. to A.D 50), a first century, Jewish historian, lists the genealogy from Adam to Moses by dividing the list into two sets of tens and one set of seven. 281] Philo writes, "…and Moses is the seventh generation in succession from the original settler in the country who was the founder of the whole race of the Jews." (Life of Moses 12) 282]

281] Arthur C. Hervey, "Genealogy: Genealogy of Jesus Christ," in Dr. William Smith's Dictionary of the Bible,vol 1, ed. H. B. Hackett and Ezra Abbot (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co, 1889), 886.

282] C. D. Yonge, The Works of Philo Judaeus, the Contemporary of Josephus, vol 3 (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1855), 2.

Heinrich Meyer quotes from the Zohar, a medieval Jewish mystical writing, which says, "from Abraham to Solomon are fifteen generations, and then the moon was at its full; from Solomon to Zedekiah are again fifteen generations, and then the moon was eclipsed and the eyes of Zedekiah were torn out." (Synopsis Sohar) He adds that the Zohar's commentary on Genesis 5:3; Genesis 11:10 counts "ten links from Adam to Noah and from Noah to Abraham. 283]

283] Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer, Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Gospel of Matthew , trans. Peter Christie, in Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament,eds, Frederick Chrombie and William Steward (New York: Funk and Wagnalis, 1884), 43.


Verses 1-23

The King's Arrival: The Messiah's Birth and Childhood - Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 records the account of Jesus' birth and childhood, introducing the King, as is proper protocol for royalty. Matthew uses this narrative section to prove by six witnesses from the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ has been predestined as a descendent of Abraham and David to hold the Scriptural right to claim the Messiahship and the legal right to claim His Kingship by the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures. Matthew used this method because the Jews understood that an issue is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Three witnesses to Jesus' birth and three witnesses to His childhood were enough for any Jew to accept Him as their Messiah. The emphasis in this passage is upon the fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture regarding the birth and childhood of a King before His public appearance when He was baptized in the Jordon River by John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke also gives a parallel account of Jesus' birth and childhood, but with an emphasis upon prophecy. While Matthew emphasizes the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures in his account bearing witness to the coming of the Messiah as the King of the Jews, Luke's account emphasizes the eye-witness testimonies and prophecies that took place, which identify Him as the Saviour of the World.

Matthew uses this section to prove by six witnesses from the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ holds the legal right as King of the Jews because of His descendent from the lineage of David and He holds the right to claim the Messiahship by the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, which office Jesus takes in the next section. Matthew uses this method because the Jews understood that an issue is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Three witnesses to Jesus' birth and three witnesses to His childhood were enough for any Jew to accept Him as their Messiah.

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

A. Predestination: O.T. Fulfillment of Messiah's Birth — Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12

1. O.T. Fulfillment of Lineage (Seed of Patriarchs) — Matthew 1:1-17

a) Israel Under the Prophets- Abraham to David — Matthew 1:1-6

b) Israel Under the Kings- David to Captivity — Matthew 1:6-11

c) Israel Under the Priests- Captivity to Jesus — Matthew 1:12-17

2. O.T. Fulfillment of Conception (Born of a Virgin) — Matthew 1:18-25

3. O.T. Fulfillment of Birth (Visit of the Wise Men) — Matthew 2:1-12

B. Calling: O.T. Fulfillment of Messiah's Childhood — Matthew 2:13-23

1. O.T. Fulfillment of Calling from Egypt — Matthew 2:13-15

2. O.T. Fulfillment of Herod Massacres the Children — Matthew 2:16-18

3. O.T. Fulfillment of Calling as a Nazarite — Matthew 2:19-23

The Hidden Identity of Jesus' Birth and Childhood- One important point that becomes apparent as we read Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 is that God hid the identity of Jesus Christ during His birth and childhood from the Jews. Otherwise, they would have either exalted Him into an earthly position, or as Herod, some would have killed Him. However, God did reveal Him to the wise men from the East, who were Gentiles; because they simply came to worship Him as the Messiah who had fulfilled divine prophecy; and He revealed Him to the shepherds in the field near the baby's manger.

The Perils Surrounding Jesus' Birth and Childhood- Another important point is seen in the humble birth of the Saviour and the perils that Joseph and Mary faced at the time of his birth. The birth of a firstborn child should be a wonder event in the life of a young couple. Yet, we find Joseph struggling with the fact that this was not actually his Song of Solomon , not fully understanding how this event was taking place. Mary had to ride a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem when she was nine months pregnant because of the fear and compulsion of the Roman government imposing a census upon the Jews. She gave birth to a child in a dirty stable far from family, humbled by such dire circumstances. King Herod began to search for the child to kill him while Joseph and Mary and baby Jesus were taking the difficult journey to Egypt through the harsh desert environment. We realize that Jesus entered this world vulnerable to the conditions created by depraved humanity. He was not isolated from the hardships that we have to endure. Thus, we find the phrase "young child" being used nine times in Matthew 2:1-23, as it describes a vulnerable infant struggling in a world of sin that He had come to redeem. It is interesting to note that God allowed Jesus to reach the age of around two years old before Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt, a feat that could have easily proved deadly for a newborn child. In His divine providence, God allowed His Son enough time to grow in enough measure of physical strength before taking this difficult journey into Egypt as such a young age.

Comparison of the Narrative of Jesus' Birth and Childhood to the New Testament Apocrypha- There do exist some ancient writings within the New Testament Apocrypha that offer parallel narratives to Matthew's story of Jesus' birth and childhood. Such ancient, noncanonical writings as Protevangelium of James , The Gospel of Pseudo- Matthew , The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, The History of Joseph the Carpenter, The Gospel of Thomas, and The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Saviour bear witness to events of Jesus' birth and childhood found within the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. 240]

240] The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol 8, trans. Alexander Walker (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916), 361-415.

The Accuracy of Jewish History- Although the Greeks and Romans carried a long history of ancient legend and mythology, the Jews were much too strict to allow such false stories to invade their culture. Thus, the story of Jesus' birth and childhood would not have become widespread among the Jews unless it had been an accurate account of their history. The Jews refused to allow the stories of Greek and Roman gods and mortals to intermingled into the strict training of their children regarding their Jewish heritage. Such ancient myths would have been considered blasphemous by the Jews. A Jewish mind would have never allowed the story of how the Holy Spirit came upon the virgin Mary and caused her to conceive the Messiah unless there was overwhelming proof of such a miraculous event.

Jesus' Childhood Years Are Not Recorded in Scripture Because they were not Necessary for Man's Redemption- As chapter two of Matthew's Gospel ends and chapter three begins, we jump ahead in time at least twenty-five years. We know very little about Jesus' childhood until He was called into the ministry and baptized by John the Baptist. Although a few passages in Matthew and Luke's Gospels record some events about Jesus' birth and infancy, Luke 2:41-52 is the only passage in the Gospels that records the childhood of Jesus Christ until His calling into the ministry.

In his book Heaven: Close Encounters of the God Kind Jesse Duplantis was asking Paul the apostle some questions about his personal life. Paul then explained that not much in known about his personal life outside of his ministry because it would not help anybody. Paul explained that in the same way, very little is known about Jesus' personal life before His ministry. What ever happened is not relevant to our lives or it would have been written down. He said that it is His work that we need to know about. Even others who have given their lives to the Lord have very little written about their personal lives. This is because it is no longer they that live, but Christ that lives within them. 241]

241] Jesse Duplantis, Heaven Close Endounters of the God Kind (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, 1996), 158-9.

How God the Father Prepared Jesus Christ for His Public Ministry- Billye Brim was teaching in the early childhood of Jesus Christ as a guest on the Kenneth Copeland Ministries television Believer's Voice of Victory. 242] She said that a woman by the name of Clara Grace, who was a prophetess, received a vision from the Lord. In this vision, she saw the Lord Jesus Christ as a young man building his last piece of furniture before entering into the ministry. As He finished His work that day and turned to put up His tools, He looked at Clara Grace. She was then brought within Jesus Christ and received insight into the eighteen silent years of Jesus' life from the age of twelve until He was baptized by John in the river Jordan. In this vision, Jesus Christ told her that He never laid his head to rest without first meditating about who He was and what He was in God's divine plan. Billye Brim refers to Deuteronomy 6:7 where it tells us to speak and meditate on God's Word when we lay down and when we awake as an example of how Jesus did the same.

242] Billye Brim, interviewed by Gloria Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program, 22May 2003.

Deuteronomy 6:7, "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Billy Brim makes the point that the statement made by Jesus Christ in John 8:28 includes the teachings that the Father taught Him before He entered into the ministry as well as what the Father taught Him during His three-year ministry.

John 8:28, "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of Prayer of Manasseh , then shall ye know that I am Hebrews , and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things."

She gives other Scriptures that refer to the fact that the Father taught Jesus how to walk daily and to prepare for the ministry. She says that the passage in Psalm 119:97-102 is Messianic because He is the only one who ever refrained His feet from every evil way ( Psalm 119:101). In this passage the Psalmist says, "For thou hast taught me."

Psalm 119:97-102, "MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me."

The Lord would wake Jesus day by day and reveal to Him His plan for that day and season. This revelation would give Jesus Christ the tongue of the learned to speak a word to him who was weary.

Isaiah 50:4-5, "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back."

This plan required obedience to His Heavenly Father, even when it included persecutions and death on the Cross.

Isaiah 50:6-7, "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed."

To this plan the Lord was not rebellious ( Isaiah 50:5). This is how Jesus Christ learned to wait on the Heavenly Father and hear from Him. Jesus laid down to sleep meditating on the Word of God and how He fit into God's plan. Jesus awoke with God speaking to Him about His plan for Him that day.

The Names of Jesus in the Passages on Jesus' Birth and Childhood- Jesus is given three titles in the first chapter of Matthew , which refer to His office as a Messiah who would deliver His people: Saviour, Christ, Emmanuel. We are also given two names of Jesus that refer to Him as our King: King of the Jews, a Governor.

1. Saviour — ( Matthew 1:21)

2. Christ (the Anointed One) — ( Matthew 1:16)

3. Emmanuel (God with us) — ( Matthew 1:23)

4. Jesus — ( Matthew 1:25)

5. King of the Jews — ( Matthew 2:2)

6. a Governor — ( Matthew 2:6)

7. My Son — ( Matthew 2:15)

8. a Nazarene — ( Matthew 2:23)


Verses 18-25

Predestination: The Messiah's Virgin Birth and Divine Nature ( Luke 2:1-7) - Matthew's second testimony of how Jesus' birth was predestined by God the Father to fulfill essentially all Old Testament prophecies is recorded in Matthew 1:18-25, where he records the story of the Messiah's prophetic conception of being born of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit. This event fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 and is quoted in Matthew 1:22-23.

Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Song of Solomon , and shall call his name Immanuel."

Matthew 1:22-23, "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Song of Solomon , and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted Isaiah , God with us."

This story of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ testifies to the divine and human nature of the person of Jesus Christ, being told from Joseph"s point of view. It is very likely that Luke gives us the virgin birth told from Mary"s point of view ( Luke 2:1-7).

We should keep in mind that the underlying emphasis of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 is on the divine foreknowledge of God the Father in effecting His plan of redemption for mankind. Thus, we see the angel of the Lord intervening in Joseph's life to show him God's divine providence at work in his life.

Central Theological Application of the Text - The central theological application of Matthew 1:18-25 reveals that God has created, designed, and predestined everyone to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit as children of God. Within the context of the Gospel of Matthew , every believer has been empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Great Commission ( Matthew 28:18-20), working together in discipling the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Deity and Humanity of Jesus Christ Declared - Matthew 1:20-24 clearly states that Jesus Christ was both fully man and fully God. 284] It states here that God came to dwell among us by being born of a woman. Jesus Christ was not a spirit that manifested Himself as did the angels, nor was He simply a good man who died and was never resurrected. This doctrine that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man was one of the great mysteries of the Church.

284] Stanley Saunders says, "In this passage Matthew begins to develop an im age of the dual nature of Jesus' identity - both human and divine - that will run throughout the Gospel." Stanley P. Saunders, Preaching the Gospel of Matthew: Proclaiming God's Presence (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 8.

1 Timothy 3:16, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."

Later in the first century and throughout the history of the church, this doctrine will be attacked fiercely by heretics since it is the foundational doctrine upon which the glorious Church will walk in victory throughout the ages to come.

Joseph's Dream- The wording of this passage suggests that Joseph was cast into a sleep by the Lord and was then awakened by Him also. It tells us, "While Joseph thought on these things, the angel of the Lord spoke to him in a dream…then Joseph being raised from sleep." I have had this experience of meditating on a matter and found myself in a sleep with a divine visitation.

We can find other illustrations of such an experience in the Holy Bible. We see that Abraham fell into a deep sleep and the Lord spoke to Him in a dream.

Genesis 15:12, "And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him."

We see Peter falling into a trance, which was a state of being more awake than asleep, while the Lord spoke to him in a vision.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 1:18 — "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise" - Comments- The Greek word "birth" ( γένεσις) in Matthew 1:18 is the same Greek word used in Matthew 1:1, where it is usually translated "generation" or "genealogy." This is a Hebrew structure used throughout the book of Genesis. It also shows that the author of this Gospel is a Jew who wrote with a Jewish mind. Jesus becomes the main character of this narrative material in this phrase since it is His genealogy.

Comments - The phrase "the genealogy of Jesus Christ" lacks the definite article in the Greek text of Matthew 1:1, but contains this article in Matthew 1:18, "the genealogy of Jesus Christ." In fact, the definite article is missing entirely from Matthew 1:1, since the author is placing emphasis upon Jesus' title of the Messiah, of Davidic Sonship and Abrahamic Sonship rather than His individual character. In contrast Matthew 1:18 places emphasis upon the individual as the one to whom all Old Testament biblical prophecy is directed.

Matthew's Gospel opens with the statement that Jesus Christ holds the title of Davidic Sonship as well as Abrahamic Sonship, which title Matthew will prove with supporting evidence throughout the rest of His Gospel. This view is supported by the fact that the genealogy ( Matthew 1:2-16) ends with the statement, "Jesus who is called (Messiah)," and by the way Matthew begins his historical narrative with the phrase, "The genealogy of Jesus Christ is thus;" ( Matthew 1:18) that Isaiah , the historical narrative of Jesus Christ proves His Davidic Sonship and His Abrahamic Sonship.

The fact that a statement about Jesus' birth begins each of the three sections of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 shows that this passage of Scripture emphasizes the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures concerning Christ's prophetic birth ( Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:18; Matthew 2:1).

Matthew 1:1, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."

Matthew 1:18, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."

Matthew 2:1, "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,"

Matthew 1:18 — "When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph" - Comments- The name "Mary" is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew name "Miriam."

Comments- John Gill gives us the account and manner of the Jewish custom of betrothing by quoting Maimonides:

"Before the giving of the law, if a man met a woman in the street, if he would, he might take her, and bring her into his house and marry her between him and herself, and she became his wife; but when the law was given, the Israelites were commanded, that if a man would take a woman he should obtain her before witnesses, and after that she should be his wife, according to Deuteronomy 22:13 and these takings are an affirmative command of the law, and are called אירוסין או קידושין ‘espousals' or ‘betrothings' in every place; and a woman who is obtained in such a way is called מאורסת או מקודשת ‘espoused' or ‘betrothed'; and when a woman is obtained, and becomes מקודשת ‘espoused', although she is not yet נבעלה ‘married, nor has entered into her husband's house', yet she is a man's wife." 285]

285] John Gill, Matthew , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Matthew 1:18.

Deuteronomy 22:13, "If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,"

Albert Barnes says that the Jewish custom was to have an interval of ten to twelve months between the contract for marriage, or betrothal, and the actual wedding. During this interval, the virgin was betrothed, or espoused, to her future husband. This engagement was as strong as the marriage itself. 286] In Deuteronomy 22:22-29, the Law of Moses considered a virgin who has been betrothed to a man as being bound under the same laws as a wife. If another man lay with such a betrothed virgin, then death is the penalty. If the virgin is not betrothed when a man lays with her, then the penalty is weakened to a monetary fine. The only way that this relationship between a man and his betrothed virgin can be broken is by a writing of divorce, since he was considered her husband ( Matthew 1:19).

286] Albert Barnes, The Gospel According to Matthew , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Matthew 1:18

Deuteronomy 22:23-24, "If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the Prayer of Manasseh , because he hath humbled his neighbour"s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you."

We see the strength and bond of the act of betrothal in the story of Jacob and Laban. After seven years of labor, Jacob demanded his "wife" from Laban, her father ( Genesis 29:21).

Genesis 29:21, "And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her."

It is important to note that Mary became pregnant by the Holy Ghost after her betrothal and before the marriage was consummated. In this way, God timed this event so that Joseph and Mary would not be condemned by their society for misconduct. God's timing is perfect.

Matthew 1:18 — "before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost" - This is the first use of the name "Holy Ghost," or "Holy Spirit," in the New Testament. However, we do find it used three times in the Old Testament ( Psalm 51:11, Isaiah 63:10-11).

Psalm 51:11, "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me."

Isaiah 63:10, "But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them."

Isaiah 63:11, "Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?"

The parallel passage in Luke's Gospel says:

Luke 1:35, "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."

Matthew immediately declares the divine conception of Jesus Christ in the opening verse of the narrative history of the Messiah.

Matthew 1:18Comments- We know from Luke's Gospel that after the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced the birth of Jesus, that she immediately visited her cousin Elisabeth for three months ( Luke 1:26-40). Since Matthew's Gospel tells us that Mary's conception came after her betrothal ( Matthew 1:18), then she would have spent three months away from Joseph during the time of her betrothal. This three-month period would have given Mary time to show her pregnancy to others and upon her return to Joseph, to be found with child by him (note Genesis 38:24).

Luke 1:56, "And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house."

We know that at this time of pregnancy, a woman first begins to show, though in the case of the first pregnancy, it may be ever so slightly. Note:

Genesis 38:24, "And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt."

Thus, it is most likely that Mary was found with child upon returning to see Joseph after her stay with Elisabeth. This absence would have compounded her husband's confusion and distrust had not the angel appeared unto him.

Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just Prayer of Manasseh , and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

Matthew 1:19 — "Then Joseph her husband" - Comments- According to the Mosaic Law, when a woman is betrothed to a Prayer of Manasseh , his is then called her husband (note Deuteronomy 22:23-24).

Matthew 1:19 — "not willing…was minded" - Comments - Marvin Vincent gives a lengthy explanation of the difference between these two Greek words. He says that ( θέ λω) (G 2309) expresses a purpose or determination or decree, the execution of which Isaiah , or is believed to be, in the power of him who wills. Thus, we see Strong's definition as "to determine, choose, purpose." In contrast, Vincent explains that the word ( βού λομαι) (G 1014) expresses wish, inclination, or disposition, whether one desires to do a thing himself or wants someone else to do it. Thus, Strong's second definition reflects this "weaker" mood as "to wish, to be inclined to." He would translate this verse something similar to this:

"Then Joseph her husband, being a just Prayer of Manasseh , and determined not to make her a public example, was wishing that there was some way that he could put her away privately"

Vincent uses examples of Classical Greek to support this explanation. However, he does acknowledge that the New Testament sometimes uses the word ( θέ λω) in the weaker sense, and it sometimes uses ( βού λομαι) in the stronger sense. 287]

287] Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol 1 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905), 12-15.

Matthew 1:19Comments- Because Joseph was a righteous Prayer of Manasseh , he had to make a decision. He could not dwell with an adulterous woman. He knew that this decision must be based upon the Law of Moses. He could have had her put to death by public stoning ( Leviticus 20:10), but this would have made both of them a public spectacle.

Leviticus 20:10, "And the man that committeth adultery with another man"s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour"s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."

Deuteronomy 22:20-21, "But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father"s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father"s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you."

Or, Joseph could have taken Mary to the priest and implemented the Law of Jealousy, in which she would have had to drink water sprinkled with dust from the temple floor ( Numbers 5:11-31). But even this would have made her a public example by making her publicly cursed among the people.

Or, he could have given her a writing of divorcement ( Deuteronomy 24:1).

Deuteronomy 24:1, "When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house."

This third method would have been the quietest way in which to handle the situation and can be allowed by the reading of this verse. A Jewish betrothal necessitated such a document as much as a marriage. However, before Joseph could do any of these things, God divinely intervened by a dream.

In his comments on this verse in Matthew , John Lightfoot refers to the Talmudic tract ‘Gittin,' which gives us an example of how simple and quietly a Jewish divorce can take place. He says that where this document treats divorce, the husband "delivers a bill of divorce to a wife to be put away: among other things, it might be given privately, if the husband so pleased, either into the woman's hand or bosom, two witnesses only present." 288]

288] John Lightfoot, Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae: Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations Upon the Gospels, the Acts , Some Chapters of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans and the First Epistle to the Corinthians, vol 2, ed. Robert Gandell (Oxford: The University Press, 1859), 18-19.

In contrast to Joseph's response, it is interesting to note how Judah reacted in this manner when he found his daughter-in-law with child. He immediately wanted her to be burnt, supposing that this would cause others to see him a righteous man ( Genesis 38:24).

Genesis 38:24, "And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt."

Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 1:20 — "But while he thought on these things" - Comments- After having meditated upon the idea of putting his wife away, Joseph had a dream. Often, we will dream about things that are troubling us. This was the case with King Nebuchadnezzar, whose thoughts were upon what events should come to pass afterwards. The Lord then gave the king a dream as a way of revealing to him these future events ( Daniel 1:1-21).

Daniel 2:29, "As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass."

Matthew 1:20"behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream" - Comments- It is interesting to note that the Old Testament refers to young men having visions and old men having dreams. Thus, a dream was an acceptable way that the Jews believed God would speak to a man.

Joel 2:28, "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:"

The Old Testament gives us a number of examples of God speaking to people in dreams.

Genesis 31:11, "And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I."

1 Kings 3:5, "In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee."

Note how King Saul sought the Lord by dreams, but found none.

1 Samuel 28:6, "And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets."

It is very common for God to give us a divine visitation or speak to us in a supernatural way during major changes in our lives. This is the way God spoke to Jacob, and this is the way the Lord has intervened in my life.

The devil does not know what God speaks to us in divine dreams, therefore, Satan could not immediately hinder to what was going on in the heart of Joseph.

Matthew 1:20 — "saying, Joseph, thou son of David" - Comments (1) - The "son of David" means "a descendent of David." We find in the first verse of this chapter that the word "son of" is not modified with the definite article "the" in the Greek, thus leaving the meaning of "son of" as indefinite. Therefore, the phrase "son of" may easily be translated in this context as "descendent of." The use of the article in Matthew 1:1 in the KJV and other modern English versions has been added by translators. In contract, every use of the word "son of" in verses 2-16 is modified by the definite article "the," meaning that a person is being identified as the immediate son of his father, although we know of a number of exceptions to this rule in this genealogy.

So it is in verse 20, where the definite article is not used again in the Greek. This gives us the meaning, "descendent of David."

Comments (2) - Whether Joseph was David"s son thru Solomon (Matthew"s genealogy) or thru Nathan (Luke"s genealogy), Joseph was definitely of the lineage of David and Abraham. This phrase ties Joseph to the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:1-17 and gives him a significant role in the birth and childhood of the Messiah. Matthew emphasizes Joseph's relationship to David in order to support Jesus' right as heir to the Davidic throne.

Comments (3) - The angel knew about God's covenant promise to David. He knows that Jesus is David's seed who will be established forever ( 1 Chronicles 17:14). The angel could have said, "Joseph, son of Jacob." However, God's promise to David was being fulfilled, so the angel refers to David and Joseph"s ancestry back to David in light of the fulfillment of God"s promises.

1 Chronicles 17:14, "But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore."

This title for Joseph related Joseph to the birth of Jesus Christ in an indirect way, since Joseph was not the biological father of the Lord Jesus.

Matthew 1:20 — "fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife" - Comments- It is interesting to note that the angel addressed Joseph's worries with the statement, "Fear not." This reveals that the source of our concerns is fear. We know that fear is the opposite of faith. When the angel revealed to Joseph God's divine plan at work in his life, he stopped worrying and trusted God with this difficult situation he was facing; because Joseph, a just Prayer of Manasseh , loved God. It was this love that removed his fears. The Scriptures say, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love," ( 1 John 4:18).

Bob Larson uses this acrostic to define fear: "False Evidence Appearing Real." 289] Kenneth Copeland says that as faith opens the door for the anointing to work, so does fear open up the door and allow torment to come in. 290] It took genuine faith in God for Joseph to believe what the angel said about a virgin birth and to act in obedience to these words. A virgin had never conceived before. Nothing like this had ever happened before. Joseph had no reference point in his life to compare such an event. He had to utterly trust and fear God in this situation.

289] Bob Larson, Bob Larson in Action, on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

290] Kenneth Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Matthew 1:20 — "for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost" - Comments- The Spirit of God has the power to transform the pre-incarnate Word of God into a tiny seed, and place Him within the womb of Mary. The power of the Spirit of God to create the heavens and the earth waxes small in comparison to be able to transform God Himself into a tiny seed. Benny Hinn says, "The Holy Ghost took God and made Him into a man." 291]

291] Benny Hinn, This Is Your Day (Benny Hinn Ministries, Grapevine, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program, 5 November 2012.

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a Song of Solomon , and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21 — "And she shall bring forth a son" - Comments- Note that the angel does not tell Joseph that Mary would bring forth a son for him, as the angel told Zacharias ( Luke 1:13). This is because Joseph was not the biological father, as was Zacharias.

Luke 1:13, "But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a Song of Solomon , and thou shalt call his name John."

Matthew 1:21"and thou shalt call his name JESUS" - Comments (1) - The Greek word " ιησους" (G 2424) is translated "Jesus." Why is this particular name given to the Son of God? The rest of the verse explains the reason: because Jesus" name means "salvation." ιησους is the Greek translation for the Hebrew name "Joshua" ( יְהוֹשׁוּעַ) or ( יְהוֹשֻׁעַ) (H 3091), which means, "Jehovah-saved" (Strong), being a combination of the Hebrew word הוהי, meaning "Jehovah," and ( יָשַׁע) (H 3467), meaning, "to be safe, to free or succor" (Strong). Joshua's original name was Oshea, or Hosea ( הוֹשֵׁעַ) (H 1954), meaning "deliverer" (Strong). However, in Numbers 13:8; Numbers 13:16, Moses changed his name from Oshea to Joshua ( יְהוֹשׁוּעַ).

Numbers 13:8, "Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun."

Numbers 13:16, "These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua."

The name "Joshua" is thus a contraction of the name "Jehoshua." In the later Old Testament books, it takes the name "Jeshua" ( Nehemiah 7:7; Nehemiah 8:17), from which the Greek translation reads "Jesus."

Nehemiah 7:7, "Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah ,, Prayer of Azariah , Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this;"

Nehemiah 8:17, "And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness."

Comments (2) - Apparently, in Jewish tradition, the fathers named the firstborn child. See Luke 1:63, "And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all."

We do see that the Jews often named their child according to the mercy that God had shown them, as was the case of Leah naming her sons conceived by Jacob, or the Jews named their child according to the divine task given to them, as was the case of the children of Israel and Hosea. In the case of Jesus Christ, God provides the name in order to show His mercy upon His children and to reveal the calling of Jesus as the One who is to save His people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21 — "for he shall save his people from their sins" - Comments- Note that Jesus did not come to save His people from Roman rule, but rather from their sins. This phrase is very likely a quote from Psalm 130:8.

Psalm 130:8, "And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities."

Psalm 130 is found in the group of Songs of Degrees which the children of Israel commonly sung as they made their way to Jerusalem during times of yearly feasts. Therefore, Joseph would have been familiar with this quote from the angel. He would have sung it often as he came to Jerusalem with others to seek God's face in repentance and to pray for deliverance from the oppression of the Romans.

We know that Joseph understood that the Lord was going to save the people of Israel from their sins. It was not until the book of Acts that the disciples fully understood that Jesus Christ died for all people, which included the Gentiles also. Paul then explains in his epistles that the Church is the "Israel of God". Thus, we understand the angel to means in this verse that Jesus would save all of those people who would put their faith in Him.

Matthew 1:21Comments (1) - The expected return of the Messiah was, in the minds of the people, to deliver them from their Roman oppression. But this statement from the angel clearly gives Joseph the reason for the coming of the Messiah, which was to deliver the people from their sins and reconcile them back to God. As Matthew's Gospel progressively reveals, the Gentiles are to be now included in this group of people. This became a stumbling block for the Jews.

Comments (2) - As we have seen a number of times in the Old Testament, when God appeared to men and told them what to name their sons and daughters, the meaning of this name always matched the ministry of this person, or to proclaim a prophetic message. Here, the name Jesus means, "salvation," since He shall save His people from their sins.

Matthew 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Matthew 1:22Comments- The phrase ἵνα πληρωθῇ (that it might be fulfilled) is unique to the Gospel of Matthew , being used nine times ( Matthew 1:22; Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:17; Matthew 2:23; Matthew 4:14; Matthew 8:17; Matthew 12:17; Matthew 13:35; Matthew 21:4), with similar phrases being used loosely three times in other places in Matthew ( Matthew 13:14; Matthew 26:56; Matthew 27:9). 292] The reason this phrase is unique to the Gospel of Matthew is because the primary theme of this Gospel is the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, which states that Jesus Christ is the coming Messiah, who will reign as King of the Jews. Thus, the Gospel of Matthew continually declares that Jesus Christ fulfills Old Testament Messianic passages.

292] A tenth Matthean ἵνα πληρωθῇ formula can be found in Matthew 27:35 in the KJV. However, the rules of modern textual criticism require the omission this phrase from the UBS4 because it is not found in the earliest Greek manuscripts. Thus, only nine ἵνα πληρωθῇ formulae will be considered in this commentary.

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Song of Solomon , and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted Isaiah , God with us.

Matthew 1:23 — "and they shall call his name Emmanuel" - Word Study on "Emmanuel" - Strong says the Greek name "Emmanuel" ( έμμανουήλ) (G 1694) means "God with us," which is a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name "Immanuel" ( עִמָּנוּאֵל) (H 6005). Strong says this Hebrew name is a compound of three Hebrew words: עִם (H 5973) (with), and אֵל (H 410) (a contracted form for "the Almighty"), plus the suffix pronoun נו (us), so that this compound word means, "with us (is) God."

Comments- The Greek word έμμανουήλ has one use in the New Testament ( Matthew 1:23), and its Hebrew name "Immanuel" has two uses in the Old Testament ( Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 8:8). —

Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Song of Solomon , and shall call his name Immanuel."

Isaiah 8:8, "And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel."

Scripture Reference- Note also:

Isaiah 8:10, "Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us."

Comments- Note that Matthew slightly changes the quote of Isaiah 7:14 from "she shall call" to read, "they shall call." Matthew is emphasizing that this child has been born to redeem a people back to God, in contrast to immediate context of Isaiah's prophecy, which states that mother would conceive as a sign of God's deliverance to ancient Israel. In other words, this is a dual prophecy, and must be adapted to the first century Jews. Thus, Matthew is saying that the people whom He has redeemed will call Him "Emmanuel."

NIV, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Song of Solomon , and (she) will call him Immanuel."

Isaiah will later make this point that this child has been given to God's people as a leader.

Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Some translations of Isaiah 7:14 read, "thou shalt call." This is because the third person feminine singular, "she," and the second person singular, "you," have the same Hebrew construction within the written text so that it is a possible translation.

Brenton, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a Song of Solomon , and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel."

Rotherham, "Wherefore let My Lord Himself give you a sign, Lo! a Virgin, being with child and giving birth to a Song of Solomon , thou wilt call his name Immanuel."

John Wesley comments that this slight change in wording indicates that Matthew originally wrote his Gospel in the Greek language rather than in the Hebrew as some early Church fathers have stated. 293]

293] John Wesley, Notes on the New Testament, in The Wesleyan Heritage Library (Rio, WI: Ages Digital Library: Wesleyan Heritage Publications, 2002), comments on Matthew 1:23.

Matthew 1:23 — "which being interpreted Isaiah , God with us" - Comments- Matthew opens and closes his Gospel with the promise that God is now with us and that He will never forsake us.

Matthew 28:20, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Matthew 1:23Scripture References- Note similar verses:

John 1:14, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

1 Timothy 3:16, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."

Matthew 1:22-23Comments- The Prophecy of Jesus' Virgin Birth- The prophecy of Jesus' virgin birth recorded in Matthew 1:22-23 is taken from Isaiah 7:13-14.

Isaiah 7:13-14, "And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Song of Solomon , and shall call his name Immanuel."

It reveals to us the purpose of God in His divine plan of redemption for mankind. The word "Behold" indicates that God would do a wonderful and extraordinary thing to bring about His purposes.

How did Matthew interpret Isaiah 7:13-14 as a prophecy of the virgin birth of the Messiah: perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the Messiah is spoken of within the broader context of this passage in the book of Isaiah. In chapter 7, Ahaz was king of Judah. The kings of northern Israel and Syria had united in order to come against Judah. When the heart of Ahaz was weak, the Lord sent Isaiah to speak to the king and to tell him to ask from God a sign. When Ahaz refused to trust in the Lord, then Isaiah prophesied that God Himself would give a sign, or a pledge that the land of Judah would be delivered. He said that a virgin would conceive a Song of Solomon , and before this child was old enough to know the difference between good and evil, the kings of the north would be removed.

In explaining Moyer's view of how Matthew interpreted this Old Testament as Messianic by considering the broader context of nearby passages in the book of Isaiah , D. A. Carson says, "The promised Immanuel ( Matthew 7:14) will possess the land ( Matthew 8:8), thwart all opponents ( Matthew 8:10), appear in Galilee of the Gentiles ( Matthew 9:1) as a great light to those in the land of the shadow of death ( Matthew 9:2). He is the Child and Son called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" in Matthew 9:6, whose government and peace will never end as he reigns on David"s throne forever ( Matthew 9:7)." 294] Within the context of Isaiah 6-12, which speaks of the nation of Israel going into exile and the Messiah coming to deliver His people, the virgin birth spoken of in Isaiah 7:14 fits properly within the context of Matthew's announcement that Jesus Christ is the Coming Messiah, who has come to save His people. Carson notes that we even see Matthew referring to this exile in Matthew 1:11-12; Matthew 1:17 as a fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, and we will see the Evangelist come back to this passage in Isaiah 6-12when he introduces Jesus' ministry in Galilee, for he will quote from Isaiah 9:1-2.

294] D. A. Carson, Matthew , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 8, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), notes on Matthew 1:23.

Matthew 1:24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

Matthew 1:24Comments- The phrase "and took unto him his wife" tells us that Joseph then consummated the marriage by taking her into his home, and perhaps having a public marriage ceremony to precede this. This was the reason that Joseph would then travel with Mary to the city of Bethlehem with her.

We can imagine the anxiety of a young bride who was now with a child wondering if her husband would embarrass her and divorce her. Yet, God knows our hearts, so He miraculously intervened in this situation to bring about a blessed consummation of marriage. When we yield ourselves to God's plan for our lives, and allow the seed of God to impregnate our spirit and we obey His divine call, He will work out circumstances around us in a miraculous way, as He did for Mary, the mother of our Lord.

Matthew 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Matthew 1:25 — "And knew her not till" - Comments- It is interesting to point out that the author uses the imperfect tense for the word "knew," which implies continuous action done in the past. Therefore, we may read it to say, "he continued with her during her period of pregnancy without knowing her." Joseph did not lay with Mary until after the birth of Jesus Christ. 295]

295] A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Matthew 1:25.

Matthew 1:25 — "she had brought forth her firstborn son" - Comments- The phrase "firstborn son" tells us that Mary, the mother of Jesus, had children after the Messiah. In fact the Scriptures tell us that Mary had four other sons and at least two daughters.

Matthew 12:46, "While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him."

Matthew 13:55-56, "Is not this the carpenter"s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James , and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?"

Matthew 1:25Comments- There has been debate in the early writings of the Church whether Jesus Christ had any blood brothers, or were they simply step-brothers. But this phrase indicates that Joseph did "know" Mary at a later date, and therefore, she conceived again and gave Joseph his own biological children.

Scripture Reference- Note a similar verse in Luke:

Luke 2:7, "And she brought forth her firstborn Song of Solomon , and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Matthew 1:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/matthew-1.html. 2013.


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Thursday, November 23rd, 2017
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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